Dr. Will Horton
Many of us are familiar with the idea that trauma can break a person and permanently damage them. But what if there was another way? What if our bodies had an in-built mechanism to release stored up stress, tension, emotions or traumas from all over your body?
Trauma is not just a big deal, but it impacts every area of our lives. From relationships to health and happiness even how we do at work! But don’t worry if you haven’t experienced any major trauma in your life because pretty much everyone has some level of trauma in their body from things that happen to them or around them–even though they may not think so themselves.
The fast pace of modern life can be traumatizing, especially for those who don’t have the necessary time and space to discharge their stress. Even if you haven’t experienced trauma in your own lifetime, we all carry the impact of our ancestors’ experiences through epigenetics; so how do we release these feelings?
The first thing you have to know about healing trauma is that your body is not a machine. It’s not an inanimate object like this glass; it’s living tissue and can change depending on what happens around it–meaning, the environment of its cells changes based on how they are treated by their respective environments. For example, if I put it here on the table (the surface), there will be some interaction with dust or other little particles coming into contact with them over time.
However, unlike these glasses sitting untouched without being interacted at all within my house collecting dirt for years now as we speak…well let me just say your body does interact physiologically when something traumatic has occurred!
Glass can take about a million years to decompose. I looked it up and your body interacts with the environment constantly, but you have sensory nerve cells that gather information like temperature or pressure against skin from clothing or furniture etc… You even have mirror neurons which read other people’s emotions through cues such as facial expression and posture. Your body can process 40 million bits of data per second which is more than the cognitive brain. Your mind or prefrontal cortex cannot keep up with your unconscious and physical minds, but you are in control to take care of it so that one day it will be able to handle everything on its own!
It might be a cliche, but glass can represent our souls. When it breaks and shatters into pieces there is no way to repair the damage done by trauma, just as you would not be able to put together your very own broken heart or soul after experiencing traumatic events in life. But what if this analogy was inaccurate? What if we were more like plastic than fragile glass when dealing with psychological trauma? Neuroplasticity has shown that brains are much better at repairing themselves through new learning and experiences than previously believed due to centuries of incorrect information about their abilities; thus improving quality of life rather than causing irreparable harm which could become permanent.
Trauma is tough on the body. It doesn’t just break your bones, but has a deep and lasting effect on your nervous system as well. When you’re under stress or in danger of some kind, it causes changes to happen at the molecular level that are necessary for survival – like pumping more blood to make sure you have enough oxygen when running from an attacker (among other things!). But this shift can also be very damaging if left alone without being dealt with properly; not only does prolonged exposure cause physical problems such as heart disease or diabetes, but all those feelings bottled up inside eventually take their toll mentally too!
Your body is constantly in a state of flux, and you are forever modifying your perceptions as well. This concept can be illustrated by the way people tend to view events such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks differently than others who never experienced it firsthand. The human mind has an amazing capacity for survival; however this comes at some cost to our mental health which could manifest itself in various ways including PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). When we suffer from trauma, what occurs isn’t just emotional but physical too: pain and tension that arises from deep within us alters not only how we feel about the world around us–creating fear-, anger-driven responses–but also affects how our brain perceives reality over time.
You are living your life on autopilot. You’re going through the motions, but barely feeling anything anymore. When you have an unresolved trauma stored in your body it becomes impossible to feel love and connection with other people because being around them will only stimulate more pain for a person who is still healing from past wounds that were never addressed or acknowledged until now. All of this could be happening while paying those pesky bills and getting everything done each day so on paper things look pretty normal; however inside they may not actually feel all there for someone struggling under these circumstances as well as dealing with their daily struggles which can make the whole thing seem like too much at times when really what’s needed most is just some time away from reality.
Trauma mutes your experience of life. In fact, modern definitions of trauma parallel with ancient healing traditions often refer to it as soul loss. Shamans and medicine people have been doing this for centuries in order to recover a person’s splintered soul through body-based rituals that are emerging today from neuroscience studies in neurobiology.
In short, trauma zombifies you. You’re alive but not quite living fully or in control of the memories that seem to plague your every step and move as if they were once a part of you. So what do we do about it? The most common focus is on trying to intellectualize our pasts either through various forms of therapy including somatic therapies which often try and draw connections between body responses such as heart rate spikes from traumatic events with rational thought processes, assuming that thinking can somehow take back one’s life when too many bad things have already happened.
But trauma stored in the body needs to be addressed at a physical level, which means we need to speak your body’s language and that is sensation. Trauma causes your nervous system to communicate a lack of safety back into the brain from any number of traumas-a physical one like an accident or injury, emotional ones such as abuse, grief or loss; what I call slow trauma can also happen when you are constantly under pressure with never ending stressors rearing their ugly head over time.
The first thing we need to do is redefine the term “job” in order for us all to make it through this. A lot of people have PTSD from their work, and burnout can be likened as a trauma state. If you’re suffering from fatigue or being easily upset about things that would normally not bother you at your job–fMRI scans confirm what researchers are now finding: Burnout mirrors childhood traumas like abuse!
The modern-day working culture has become so stressful for many workers because they often experience high levels of stress – even more than those who faced traumatic events growing up such as child abuse (PTSD). When someone suffers from symptoms which include feeling exhausted most days, irritability towards others including loved ones, and feeling totally drained of energy – it’s no wonder that people say they are ‘burnt out’.
For many people, the experience of trauma is so overwhelming that it becomes difficult to live in their bodies. They try desperately not to feel anything and disconnect from everything whenever they’re feeling any kind of discomfort or pain because this may trigger memories associated with being traumatized. This can create a vicious cycle where we are unable to discharge our traumas as easily as others who have experienced less traumatic events happen when life gets hard for us like a break up or job loss-the emotional distress just builds on itself until eventually something’s gotta give: either you go into an unhealthy numbness and detach yourself from your body by numbing out, suppressing emotions, drugs/alcohol abuse etc., which leads only further downward spiral.
The mind-body connection is a revolutionary approach for a culture that keeps physical and mental health practices separate. Your body’s well being impacts your brain, which in turn influences how you feel about yourself. It doesn’t make sense to isolate one from the other–your cerebellum fires concurrently with regions of your brain related to executive function skills like reasoning and decision making! To further complicate matters, it turns out our brains learn by repeating behaviors until they’re automatic – so every time we take care of ourselves physically or mentally (or both!), this creates new pathways in our neural networks that will become more entrenched as long term habits over time..
When we start to connect with sensation and use movement, our habitual patterns can be interrupted so that old emotional scars break apart. This helps you live from the present moment instead of constantly repeating behaviors in your past; resolving trauma in your body is a deep subject but I’ve barely scratched its surface here.
This is the work that I do with my private clients and within all of my programs because overcoming physical pain as well as freeing up one’s mind has proven key towards helping people become their best selves yet again. Through feeling every single inch or pore on their entire bodies, they come closer than ever before – not only by learning more about themselves but also healing any trauma lingering deep below the surface where it was found until now!