Updated: Feb 1, 2022
While some may refer to trauma that has been "accumulated" or "locked up" in the body, this is not necessarily a scientific way of speaking. Whether the injury is caused by one or more events, the body can remember them. When your body accumulates trauma, the only way to get rid of it is to make sure that there is nowhere for it to go. Releasing trauma from the mind and body can have incredibly powerful effects.
Unleashing physical and mental trauma can have incredibly powerful effects. This may explain why trauma is associated with everything from constipation to fainting. Organs, tissues, skin, muscles, and endocrine glands may remain damaged.
It is believed that instead of being archived as a whole memory played back in our heads like a film, traumatic experiences are archived as fragments of images of bodily sensations. As a result, the traumatic experience or memory is incorrectly "recorded" in the brain. When activated, the brain can disconnect from reality or replay the traumatic event as a flashback.
At Worcester's Holistic Health & Wellness, we compare traumatic memories to a virus in our coding system, in which unprocessed events can lead to the disruption of our mental and physical processes. Like a virus in our coding system, unprocessed traumatic memories can become hot spots that cause disruptions in our mental and physical processes. Rather, our brains revert to a simpler technique of signal transcription and encode traumatic memories such as bodily sensations and images. Instead, our supercomputer subverts the simpler method of recording signals and encodes traumatic memories into images or bodily sensations.
When trauma occurs, in an attempt to protect your brain temporarily shuts down your memory processing system, and the experience is not retained like traditional memories. It leaves a real physical imprint on your body, disrupting memory storage and altering your brain. It leaves a real physical imprint on your body, disrupting memory storage and altering your brain. When trauma is trapped, your body senses it and your brain tries to make sense of it.
When your brain can't process trauma, it overloads your body. Your brain is "disconnected" from this area of the body and therefore unable to process trauma. Your goal should be to rewire your brain to the area of the body where the trauma is stored. Working with a therapist is the best way to release accumulated trauma and rewire the brain to that area of the body.
Working with a specially trained trauma resolution counselor can help you unravel past traumas and release them from your system to a safe place. For best results, choose a dual diagnosis treatment center with experience working with trauma survivors. There are fewer such trained therapists than ones who work with the subconscious mind since it's a good option.
The body is another tool that therapists can use to help a person experiencing emotional stress, in the same way, that we use journaling, sandboxing or creative writing. We also believe that physical movement, touch, anything that brings you closest to your body, such as deep belly breathing, can be a key ingredient in healing from trauma. Acupuncture has also been linked to improved blood flow and changes in the brain, which Blakeway says may play a role in how we perceive our bodies and how we experience emotions.
Although we cannot accurately demonstrate that acupuncture helps move blocked energy or relieve trauma, acupuncture, along with treatments such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which involves manual stimulation or "touching" of acupuncture points along the way to the body, have been shown in studies to help relieve some of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. But psychiatrists and healers have their own theories about this, and they argue that certain types of physical movement or therapies that involve physical stimuli can be a good adjunct to conventional trauma treatment. And again, not only yoga; you could probably do martial arts or qigong, but something that engages your body in a very conscious and purposeful way, with more attention to breathing in particular, restores some critical areas of the brain that have been very disturbed by trauma. Holistic exercises such as meditation and yoga can indeed release these physical and mental deposits of trauma; help in the recovery process.
This is the theory that trauma persists in the body, that any repressed emotion from early childhood changes the musculature and fascia (the fibrous tissue that covers the body like a web); and that by applying pressure to the muscles with specific exercises, you can break free of the trapping patterns and dead zones that have made them sore. Alternatively, some believe that severe traumas and emotions can actually become energy literally stuck in the body, although this is not supported by scientific evidence.
These unresolved traumatic experiences eventually persist and interfere with the normal flow of our body, disrupting our physical and psychological processes. When traumatic events occur, it can take a long time to let go of memories, emotions, and feelings of insecurity. When trauma is not processed or resolved on its own, it can persist far beyond the actual event. Emotional trauma can cause lasting brain changes that can lead to addiction, depression, and a host of other issues that can ruin a life if left untreated.
According to a Harvard Medical School study, the emotional and physical responses it causes can make you more likely to develop serious illnesses, including heart attack, stroke, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Schnuer, who is also executive director of the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, has found that trauma can lead to the development of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Of course, physical injuries and injuries can often be measured visually and can cause physical pain associated with the injury, but the emotional trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can also have profound effects on the human body. While the word "trauma" is often associated with war, sexual abuse, or abuse, it can also refer to less obvious experiences.
As people's responses to overwhelming experiences have been systematically studied, researchers have noticed that trauma persists in somatic memory and is expressed in changes in response to biological stress. That's why sometimes the smell, the way a person touches you, or even the tone of voice can trigger trauma in the victim. It is the same as what you say, this imprint of the trauma, not only in your mind. When trauma persists in the tissues and not in the brain, this is a permanent defense strategy.
Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolks works with the brain, the body, and the human response to overwhelming experiences we call trauma has reached a tipping point. This understanding of trauma was advanced in 2015 by the publication of Bessel Van Der Kolks' best-selling book, The Body Keeps the Score. His research has shown that the vagus nerve (the organ that connects the brain and the colon) plays an important role in trauma. Conditioning the body, and this damage allows our defenses to grow.
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