Have you heard of the book “The Body Keeps The Score” by Dr. Bessel van den Kolk.
If not, it’s a book that explores the connection between the brain, mind and body when it comes to trauma.
Now before you stop reading because you haven’t experienced what you may think of as a “trauma” – think again.
What is traumatizing to one person, may not even register to the next.
And there are various degrees of trauma as well…
…little ones to big ones.
The point being you process different things different than me and what gets you worked up may not get me in the same way.
In my podcast with interview that comes out today with psychotherapist Alex Boianghu we go deep into the concept of trauma and how it’s perceived by the body.
(Check out the podcast HERE)
The interesting thing about trauma is that it doesn’t have to be stored as pain or “dis-ease”, held onto or kept in a story in the mind.
It can be released as soon as you notice the trigger.
You do have to get to know yourself well enough to know what situations, circumstances and thought patters may set you up for a trauma response.
If you’re like me, when I first learned about this I had a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of what I thought was a trauma compared to what the body perceives as a trauma.
I used to associate trauma with accidents, injuries, violence and such.
What I’ve come to realize is, the word trauma is a broad umbrella for many reactions, perceptions and meanings you give to life’s situations.
In our podcast interview Alex describes being a witness to a young man’s murder and how his perception of the incident dictated how he dealt with the event.
Whether you’ve experienced big traumas or a lot of little traumas in life, it’s possible your body has taken the story it created about the incident and stored it.
The process of the body taking in information and storing it is called somatization.
This is where pain and “dis-ease” can be manifestations of stories you’ve archived in your body.
I have to wonder, how did humans end up with this mechanism…
…is it a primal protection response with a “glitch” that goes into storage mode versus release mode?
It appears the better you are at releasing or letting things go the less prone to pain and “dis-ease” you will be.
Alex uses EMDR (eye movement desensitization response) to help with the process of freeing the body from it’s archived stories.
What’s interesting is that he compares the benefits of EMDR’s rhythmic movements to Muslim repetitive bowing in their call to prayer or the rhythmic dancing of Sufi’s.
Similar repetitive cross body patterns are used in functional neurology techniques to help achieve balance in the nervous system and relieve pain.
Over a decade ago I read a book by Normal Doidge, MD called “The Brain That Changes Itself”.
Much of the research that he coined was rooted in cross body techniques to re-align and restore function to the nervous system.
What if there’s something to re-aligning the nervous system after self perceived traumatic events?
Even the little stuff that gets you fired up…
…would something like this work?
I know that there are functional neurologists and specialists in this field working on these concepts right now.
I’ve been diving into it too.
I suspect the physical therapy movements like the “dead bug” and “bird dog”, both cross body movements, have roots in nervous system aligning.
Let’s bring it back to the concept of chronic pain …
… while you might have pain on both sides of the body chances it started one sided.
Maybe it was in the low back and radiated to one side of the hip or neck pain that’s now messing with one shoulder, elbow or entire arm.
Could one sided pain set you up for a pattern of nerve imbalances that caused abnormal nerve firing?
Or did a movement pattern that was present before the pain set you up for the nerves to fire incorrectly and cause pain?
Is trauma a collection of nerves that are misfiring or a scrambled mess of ions that prevent nerves from firing well?
Remember, you’re an energetic being that needs a charge of sodium and potassium for nerves to fire with adequate calcium and magnesium for muscle contraction and relaxation.
If “energy” is off because of a trigger and there’s an inflammatory response happening in a joint because of a repetitive posture or nervous system imbalance – could that set you up for “storing” a trauma in that particular area?
What if your “energy” aka ions are off because you’ve been depleting yourself from hard work, training for a sporting event or carrying out mentally taxing activities?
You burn through ions aka electrolytes with physical and mental activity.
This depletes your ion charge and you feel fatigued.
Would it benefit you to keep your ion charge up along with a practice of cross body movements such as dance, exercise or balance techniques to become more resilient or kick out your perceived traumas as they show up?
Something to think about.
To explore pain further I often have clients…
…ask themselves… when that pain first showed up…
- What were you doing at the time?
- Any new sports, postures you would have been in for a length of time?
- What was going on in life then?
- Any predominant emotions coming up for you during that time?
- Is there any connection to hormone cycles or declining of hormones with age?
- What was going on with diet and hydration at that time?
Take a few moments to see if anything connects for you.
Sometimes it takes a few times to explore the pain while moving the area that hurts.
Now you may be wondering, what about “dis-ease” in the body – how do you know if that’s a trauma response or not?
Some folks argue that all disease is a result of decreased charges in the body.
A lowered charge leaves one more susceptible to neurological imbalances.
The neurological imbalances, create disturbances in regulation of circulation and inflammation leading to disease in a certain area.
Fascinating concept to think about.
What can you do to explore this concept further?
Could you benefit from practitioner of EMDR or a functional neurology evaluation?
Might either of these or both help your body to end the cycle of story collection?
Click HERE for the national registry of functional neurologists.
Click HERE for EMDR practitioners near you.
If you’d like to geek out more on this subject – listen into my podcast with Alex Boianghu HERE or hit reply and let’s chat.
Here’s to your health,