Everyone on some level has experienced trauma in their lives. Trauma or PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) happens when we experience something threatening or terrifying in our lives. It can be a car accident, an invasive surgery, being abused as a child, serving in a war, and any victimization including identity theft can leave us with trauma.
What happens to most of us humans is that we don’t properly remove the trauma from our bodies. If we don’t remove this high energy that is produced during a flight or fight experience then we can live a in constant state of stress consciously or unconsciously waiting for the next threat to come and getting triggered by everyday occurrences.
Animals do this instinctually in the wild. According to Dr Peter Levine, “animals spontaneously ‘discharge’ this excess energy through involuntary movements including shaking, trembling, and deep spontaneous breaths.” returning the animal to a normalized state. If an animal doesn’t do this it will die in the wild.
Humans have mostly lost this ability to normalize after trauma because we think too much. We try to rationalize the trauma (denial), we shame ourselves (dissociate), and we fear (immobilize) the trauma which can “disrupt our innate capacity to self-regulate, functionally “recycling” disabling terror and helplessness.”
When the nervous system does not reset after an overwhelming experience we can develop many symptoms such as nightmares, sleeplessness, phobias, depression, chronic pain, immune problems, and the list goes on.
I have been through so many therapy sessions trying to recover from PTSD, trying to fix my mind but what I discovered in my own personal research is that trauma and PTSD are healed through the body not the mind. Once I turned my focus to this concept I started to see dramatic results.
Recognizing my body and the energy that I produced both good and bad brought an awareness that changed my stress levels and reduced my threat response. I was amazed how often I was in overdrive when I thought I was completely normal or calm. I wasn’t. I just had been so used to being on alert it became my norm and this is not good. Techniques I use that are successfully removing my trauma (and let me tell you I have a lot) are:
Tapping; for more info: The Gold Standard for Tapping
SE (Somatic Experiencing); for more info: SOMATIC EXPERIENCING (SE™)
Affirmation Massage ©2014: This is a technique I have developed that really works to relieve chronic pain from trauma. And it is easy because a massage practitioner does most of the work; you just have to be mindful throughout the massage. I took the concepts from both tapping and SE. I repeat body accepting affirmations while I am being massaged by the massage practitioner. As they work through my body I work through accepting my body. For example let’s say the practitioner is working on my calf leg. I will repeat in my mind, “I totally and completely accept and love my leg. My leg is relaxed and free of pain. I love my leg.” You can use whatever affirmation works best for you but it is important to keep this focus throughout the massage and allow yourself to feel your body and accept your body. It works! I have had the nice effects of a massage last weeks instead of days.