Navigating Cell Danger Response: A Path to Healing with Primal Trust

Cell Danger Response isn’t just a buzzword. It’s a physiological state that can profoundly affect our health and healing journey. If you’re someone who has tried “everything to get better”, or reacts strongly or negatively to a range of supplements, detox protocols, health regimes etc, please read on – this information is likely the key you need to unlock your healing.

Our bodies are incredibly adaptive and protective. When faced with threats—be it physical, emotional, or environmental—our cells can go into what I like to call a “protective hypometabolic state.” It’s like when you’re in Florida and a hurricane is coming—you batten down the hatches, close the shutters, and go into survival mode. But what happens if you never open those shutters again? You remain in a constant state of vigilance and protection, never fully allowing yourself to relax and let life in. That’s the essence of the Cell Danger Response.

Cell Danger Response
Our cells can be affected by a vast range of biochemical and even emotional influences.

Understanding the Cell Danger Response

The Cell Danger Response is a cascade of physiological reactions that occur when our cells perceive danger. This can stem from chronic stress, unresolved trauma, exposure to toxins, or even chronic infections. Our cells essentially “harden” their walls, metaphorically speaking, to protect themselves. This hardening prevents proper nutrient exchange, impairs detoxification pathways, and hampers the body’s ability to heal and function optimally.

Cell Danger Response is a theory coined by Dr. Robert Naviaux, a pioneer in mitochondrial medicine and cell biology. The concept of Cell Danger Response (CDR) highlights how cells shift into a protective hypometabolic state to defend themselves. This response involves a complex cascade of biochemical reactions aimed at safeguarding cellular integrity.

Essentially, when cells sense danger, they prioritize survival over normal functions like growth and repair, altering their metabolism and communication pathways. Understanding CDR is crucial as it underscores the interconnectedness of our environment, stress levels, and overall health, emphasizing the profound impact of perceived threats on cellular biology and systemic wellness.

Cell Danger Illustration
As above, so below. As within, so without. Cell Danger Response provides a complete theory for explaining a range of complex chronic health conditions.

Bridging Internal Safety with External Reality

Our emotional and nervous systems often mirror what’s happening at the cellular level. If we’re stuck in a perpetual state of fear or trauma, it makes sense that our cells are also on high alert. For this reason, at Primal Trust™ we emphasize the importance of developing a sense of safety and trust, both internally and externally.

In the realm of cellular biology, even without deep expertise, I’ve found it helpful to simplify these concepts for understanding. So, when our cells enter the Cell Danger Response (CDR), they essentially go into survival mode, fortifying their walls as a protective measure. This hardening makes it difficult for our cells to absorb essential nutrients from supplements and expel internal toxins like molds and metals. To restore healthy nutrient exchange, we need to coax our cells out of this defensive stance. This is where practices like we teach in Primal Trust™ and techniques to tone the vagus nerve and calm the limbic system become crucial. By creating space in our nervous system and igniting a sense of purpose and zest for life, we can influence our cellular biology to prioritize thriving over just survival.

There’s a fascinating parallel between our internal cellular processes and our external experiences. It’s similar to how we sometimes strive to open ourselves up in imperfect relationships; on a cellular level we must convince our cells, particularly our mitochondria—the powerhouses of our cells—to embrace life despite encountering pathogens and toxins. This shift in perspective, from merely protecting against harm to actively thriving, resonates deeply throughout our body’s systems. It’s akin to how improving heart rate variability and achieving heart-brain coherence can alter our electromagnetic field, signaling a shift towards openness and vitality. I hypothesize that this coherence affects our cellular voltage, potentially influencing mitochondria to interpret signals as invitations to thrive rather than cues to defend.

Better Health Guy Podcast
Listen to Dr. Cathleen King, CEO and Founder of the Primal Trust™ Academy and Community talk about Cell Danger Response with Scott on the Better Health Guy podcast right here.

The Role of eATP in the Cell Danger Response

One fascinating aspect of the Cell Danger Response (CDR) revolves around the role of extracellular ATP (eATP). ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, is renowned as the primary energy carrier within cells. However, in the context of CDR, elevated levels of eATP in the extracellular space play a critical role.

Normally confined within cells, ATP is released into the extracellular environment during cellular stress or damage. This eATP acts as a danger signal, like an alarm bell, alerting neighboring cells and immune responders to potential threats. Consequently, this triggers an inflammatory cascade and heightens the defensive responses of cells. The presence of elevated eATP perpetuates the state of cellular vigilance, contributing significantly to the chronic state of the Cell Danger Response. This amplification loop underscores the intricate signaling mechanisms that dictate cellular behavior under stress conditions, highlighting ATP’s dual role as both an energy source and a potent danger signal in maintaining cellular homeostasis.

Cell Danger Response Infographic
For infographics similar to this and more educational content on nervous system regulation, please follow us on Instagram:

Moving beyond the biochemical intricacies, brain retraining and nervous system regulation programs like Primal Trust™, and practices aimed at toning the vagus nerve and soothing the limbic system are pivotal in navigating the complexities of the Cell Danger Response. These approaches are designed to create space and safety within the nervous system. By nurturing a sense of purpose and a desire to embrace life despite challenges, these practices extend their influence to the mitochondrial level. Traditionally seen as the powerhouse of cells responsible for energy production, mitochondria also play a crucial role in responding to environmental cues, including those from our emotional and physiological states.

In redefining the role of ATP within this context, the focus really shifts from mere survival and protection to actively promoting resilience and thriving. Rather than viewing ATP solely as a signal for cellular defense against pathogens and toxins, these practices encourage mitochondria to interpret signals in a broader context. They prompt mitochondria to support cellular functions that prioritize thriving amidst adversity, mirroring even the resilience we seek in our personal relationships. 

This interconnectedness between our emotional resilience and cellular biology illustrates the principle of “as above, so below,” suggesting that our approach to life influences our cellular responses and vice versa.

The Role of Primal Trust™ in Healing

So, how can Primal Trust™ support someone stuck in a Cell Danger Response? Our approach is multifaceted and rooted in empowering the nervous system and limbic system—the brain’s emotional center. We use tools to tone the vagus nerve, which plays a crucial role in regulating the autonomic nervous system. By doing so, we help shift the body out of survival mode and into a state where healing can occur.

Moving Through the Stages

Just as CDR has different stages, our healing journey at Primal Trust™ is also staged. We guide individuals through a process of gradually rebuilding trust in their bodies and the world around them. This process involves:

1. Education and Awareness: Understanding the mechanisms behind CDR and how it manifests in your body is the first step. We provide comprehensive education so you can make informed choices about your health.

2. Tools for Regulation: We offer a diverse toolkit of over 40 tools—from somatic experiencing to emotional regulation techniques—to help regulate the nervous system and promote a sense of safety.

3. Inner Work and Trauma Release: Addressing underlying trauma patterns is crucial. Our program delves deep into identifying and releasing these patterns that contribute to chronic stress responses.

4. Community and Support: Healing doesn’t happen in isolation. Our vibrant community provides support, encouragement, and co-regulation—a vital aspect often overlooked in traditional healthcare settings.

5. Integration and Long-Term Wellness: It’s not just about managing symptoms; it’s about resilience and long-term wellness. We help you integrate these practices into daily life for sustained healing.

how healing happens
Would you like to read more about Cell Danger Response and how it relates to nervous system regulation and healing chronic health issues? Download your free copy of our book, How Healing Happens:

Evidence and Outcomes

You might wonder, does this approach work? The answer is a resounding yes. We’ve seen remarkable outcomes with our approach. Participants in our programs report significant improvements in function, reduced symptoms of chronic illness, and a greater sense of well-being. For instance, individuals with conditions like long-COVID and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) have experienced on average a 40% improvement in their health within just three months, and Lyme disease sufferers improved an amazing 51% in that time! 

social media screenshot
Ready to join us or find out more about what we do? Head to:

Join Us on the Journey

As we continue to evolve and learn, our commitment to empowering individuals on their healing journey remains steadfast. We’re constantly refining our programs based on the latest research and feedback from our community. Our goal is not just to help you feel better but to support you in feeling safer, step by step, day by day.

If you’re navigating a chronic illness, struggling with unresolved trauma, or simply seeking a deeper understanding of your body’s innate healing mechanisms, consider joining us at Primal Trust™. Our programs are accessible online, and we offer a range of resources to support you wherever you are in your journey.

Share Post

Related Blog Posts

What is Neuroplasticity? Understanding the Brain's Ability to Change

What is Neuroplasticity? Understanding the Brain’s Remarkable Ability to Change

Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to change and adapt. Through the process of growing new or strengthening existing neural pathways, the brain is capable of wiring and rewiring itself depending on the stimuli it is fed. This means great things for being able to literally rewire the brain out of chronic stress responses keeping the body stuck in chronic health states.

View Post arrow

Our Happy Members

What Primal TrustTM Members have to say about their experience.

This program has it all.

"I’ve done so many things over the years to heal myself and I’m finally happy and healthy now because of the program and I even slack a little lol. It works if you work it! What you put in you get out. There’s a lot of information and tools. Best money I’ve spent in my entire healing journey."
Dar S.
"I have had so many great experiences and amazing successes with Primal TrustTM since I found it 4 months ago, I couldn’t possibly tell you all of them!!! Dr. Cat and the Regulate Program have helped me immensely in every aspect of my life. Initially I joined because I have been struggling with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for over 10 years. Since joining only 4 months ago my energy has nearly fully returned, I no longer have crashes...most of the pain I used to feel has either disappeared or dissipated now... Primal TrustTM has renewed my love for my life..."
Jenny Naismith

Primal TrustTM is the best thing I have done for myself ever.

"It's given me tools to help navigate life, and to be compassionate with myself, to recognize the shame and fear I have; where it stems from and to regain a deep connection with myself. In turn this has strengthened my marriage, helping me understand resistance and trauma patterns that I have been holding and this has helped me become truly emotional available. I am calmer, happier and healthier. My symptoms of Lyme disease are almost non-existent now and my digestion has drastically improved! No more nausea!!!! I am so grateful to Dr.Cat, and this community for this experience and for creating a safe and supportive environment to do this extremely important self care work."
Caterina Salvatori
“I am a different person! Not only have I healed and sent "my“ /autoimmune condition (Hashimotos) into remission (no more symptoms or antibodies) but I am also hugely resilient, happy 95% of the time and no longer drown in trauma reactions from cPTSD. I am back working, travelling and meeting friends and challenging contact & situations alike… like meeting my mother for the first time in 2 years or even burying a loved one. I can handle everything and stay healthy and with tons of inner peace ❤️"
Catherine Fritz
Free Copy
How Healing Happens Free Book

Is Nervous System Dysregulation Behind Your Chronic Symptoms?

Explore 30 thought-provoking questions to unveil potential nervous system dysregulation and get a FREE copy of our 100+ page guidebook with tools to get started.