Tag Archives: trauma

Altered states of consciousness to enhance healing

We live at the threshold of a universal recognition that the human being is not mere matter, but a potent, energetic field of consciousness. Modalities of the past millennium are quickly giving way to breakthrough technologies wherein we heal ourselves at the level of all true healing, which is spirit.” ~ Michael Beckwith.

People often ask me what the fundamental difference is in my practice. The best way for me to describe is that in Western medicine/traditional psychology people tend to be treated as organs, ie. mind. In Transpersonal, sometimes referred to as Spiritual Psychotherapy, we tend treat people as a whole – mind, body and spirit. In a lot of the wisdom teachings we tend to see the mind, body and spirit as inseparable.

‘When you shut down emotion, you’re also affecting your immune system, your nervous system. So the repression of emotions, which is a survival strategy, then becomes a physiological illness later on” -An incredible important advocate in field of addiction treatment and a very interesting human being – Gabor Maté. I recently had the absolute pleasure of spending a whole week with him in Costa Rica at Rythmia Life Advancement Center off the Pacific coast of Guanacaste exploring new ways of healing from our woundedness and reconnecting with the essence of who we are..our soul. The transformation I personally experienced but more importantly what I witnessed was both powerful and emotionally healing which I share in my video below….

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Healing from Trauma

 

healing from trauma

It’s interesting how we define Trauma. This week Oprah raised awareness about early childhood trauma & it’s lifelong effects in her 60 minutes episode. I see this in my own work and the impact it can have on how we function as ‘adults’ in our lives. It can be debilitating for many.

But at the same time I often hear from people dismissing what they go through in life as not that traumatic. It’s almost as if we compare the levels of what is considered trauma. I remember when doing my own healing work around my grandmother’s murder that when the word ‘trauma’ was used to explain what I had experienced I dismissed that as I thought to myself “ hey, I was functioning okay, I got up everyday and went to work etc’ .

Trauma doesn’t have to be a near fatal incident. My dictionary defines trauma as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. Defined like that the events which can be considered traumatic are wide ranging indeed – from what might be considered the stuff of ordinary life such as divorce, illness, accidents and bereavement to extreme experiences of war, abuse, rape and genocide.

If you’ve been viewing the world one way, then something stressful happened to you that now causes you to view the world differently…that’s trauma. Stressful events can create a certain level of shock on the mind and body. If not addressed they develop into dysfunctional patterns that can impact your behavior in everyday life.

Shock to our minds, bodies and souls

Peter Levine, author of Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma and others contend that emotional trauma goes unhealed when the natural trauma response is interrupted and feelings unleashed by the event remain unresolved. Because of this, anxiety, anger, depression, guilt, hopelessness, self-blame, shame and other feelings freeze up inside of us. That “freeze” is not just emotional, but physical as well. Recent research indicates that parts of the brain become altered by traumatic events. These disruptions are actually visible on brain scans.

Just what is a natural trauma response? It’s the whole continuum of emotional and physical sensations that occur with the first inclination that something is wrong or dangerous. To understand it, Levine suggests looking at how animals respond to danger, real or perceived. After the animal has instinctively chosen to fight, flee or freeze, and the danger has passed, the animal trembles throughout its entire body, “shedding” the tension required for alertness and quick response.

Human response to danger—real or perceived—can also involve shaking, sweating, crying, laughing or shuddering. Just like the animal, such responses are natural and part of the body’s effort to return to a state of equilibrium. They are crucial to the recovery process, and they may go on for hours, days or weeks. Too often, however, we deny this process or don’t give it its due. We say to ourselves or hear from others, Pull yourself together. Forget about it. Get up and shake it off. It’s time to get on with your life.

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