Trauma affects all of us.
To the felt sense, trauma is a pocket of force that has been incorporated into the body awaiting the day it can safely dissipate. It’s the body’s best way to protect the good of the whole – it minimises the impact.
Trauma is an imprint, like a repetitive coding, hooked into the nervous system that fragments the body’s energy field. When the imprint can open up and release, then our system becomes more whole – we have more health.
Through out our lifetime we encounter many ways our system is affected by trauma including:
- Traumatic events
- Developmental trauma
- Prenatal and birth trauma
- Intergenerational trauma
Some of us have experienced traumatic events that are very painful, for example being in a severe car crash, being abused or being attacked. These types of events can lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Generally our society recognises these events as being significant and requiring healing.
We may not always recognise that traumatic events can be ‘minor’ or ‘normal’. For example, being in a minor car crash or having surgery (or dental work) are traumatic events for our bodies and require attention. Our system needs to process the force that was applied otherwise it will hold onto to it to protect the health of the whole organism.
All of us have experienced developmental trauma. Generally less understood (outside of therapeutic circles) than traumatic events, developmental trauma is a result of the hurts and wounds we were repeatedly exposed to when we were young. These hurts and wounds were too much for our young selves to cope with at the time. This trauma impacted our impressionable, sensitive selves.
Prenatal and birth trauma
We were all born and often birthing experiences were traumatic. Whether our development in the womb and birth occurred without any obvious challenges, this process shaped us in very profound ways.
Surgery is organised trauma. There are lots of things it is essential for, but it is still organised trauma. Rollin Becker, Osteopath
Our body’s impluse is to protect us from the impact of trauma
To protect ourselves from trauma we physically contract. Our living tissue field responds automatically to minimise the energetic impact within our whole body. Our organism does this to enable us to survive. It is not a conscious process.
Our protective contractions seal off (make safe) the energetic force that was too much for us to process at the time. This force becomes held within our energetic and physical system which enables us to continue to live and grow in our childhood environments, or to survive an overwhelming event.
Contraction or physical holding happens in our fascia.
Our fascia is like a million tiny spiderwebs, all interconnecting and weaving together every aspect of our body. This living net is intelligent, responsive, and pervasive. Blood, cells, lymphs, and fluid all flow through the fascia delivering nutrients and taking waste away to be eliminated.
Fascia is fascinating
To heal from trauma our bodies need to deeply relax
If we are unable to deeply relax and be soothed internally, to soften and open up, our contraction remains. This creates and maintains body memory and shaping. Contraction also limits the flow of energy inside and the reorganising of our tissues. Our health is no longer optional. This is why when we feel emotional pain today, we might also feel aches and pains in our heart.
Our resilience comes from releasing the internal holding in our body, regaining our energy, and processing psychological impacts that needs to be addressed. This releasing can be a gentle and attuned process which happens when we feel safe, in a deep way that is not cognitive. Then our defences can let go and transformation can happen.
We can not change the past but deep inside we can let go.