ACUPUNCTURE AND TCM IN DOWNTOWN NELSON B.C. TO HELP YOU SOFTEN AND TRANSFORM TRAUMA TRAPPED IN THE BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT
To put it simply, during a trauma event, something inside a person shuts down, gets stuck or freezes. This blockage causes all types of pain and is immediate and unconscious. As a result this distress causes disconnection in our network of systems and people get lost in the mind, stuck in the body or splintered in spirit.
In order to heal from any kind of trauma it is necessary to create awareness and movement, softening and spaciousness around the trauma response. How do we best accomplish this? The approach I use clinically is to stay less involved with the story of the event and more engaged in present feeling experience. In presence we can develop awareness of the physical and emotional states that are driving our unique trauma response. As our awareness deepens our curiosity expands and from that place we can begin to safely and consciously navigate a healthy relationship to life.
The great news is, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine offer several methods, strategies and practices that are effective in softening, freeing and transforming the trauma body.
What do I mean when I say ‘trauma body’? I define the trauma body as the entire subjective experience of distress in the physical body, the mind and the spirit together. Most often a person will present with their trauma distress emphasized in one of these three areas and this is what it may look like;
The physical expression of the trauma body is a result of the stagnation and bracing that accumulate and disrupt the natural flow of relationships amongst the network of organs, systems and channels. It may present in symptoms such as; a lack of awareness or feeling in a part of your body, chronic pain, auto-immune disorders, restless legs, chronic head aches, fidgeting and compulsive habits, lethargy and chronic fatigue, lack of proprioception or poor balance, chronic injuries, chronic body tension, inability to rest and relax and digestive distress.
The emotional expression of the trauma body has a tendency to show up as hyper-reactivity. It tends follow a pattern of expression in three clear steps; trigger, rise and drive. Any event can trigger the unresolved original response from the traumatic event. When we get triggered the unconscious emotion rises unchecked, takes over our consciousness and then drives our behaviours. Often times we will see this present as any number of emotional extremes and irregularities, addictions, depression, bi-polar disorders, multiple personality disorders, auditory or visual hallucinations, trigger reactivity in relationships and communications, debilitating anxiety or the tendency to project discomfort out onto others.
The spiritual expression of the trauma body often presents as a loss of connection between the heart and mind and may result in symptoms such as; poor boundaries, lack of confidence, low self esteem, harmful thinking patterns, cognitive disorientation and disturbance, dissociation, confusion, night terrors and disturbing dreaming, foggy thinking, poor memory and difficulty maintaining presence and focus.
How acupuncture can help: Acupuncture is very effective at softening bracing and detangling pain patterns. If you have ever had acupuncture, you are well aware how exceptional it is at moving things like your Qi, and also how amazing it is at pulling you back into your body and helping to still the mind. Acupuncture brings us into the present, helps make space to be with the discomfort of our trauma and then helps move and transform that which has been stuck.
How Chinese medicinal herbs can help: Chinese medicinal herbs are informational substances that can give a person direct guidance on how to reorient a particular pattern at the deepest most nourishing level of our being. With extreme life events come extreme internal imbalances which disrupt yin and yang and consequently result in disharmony, distress and disease. The use of Chinese herbal medicine is a great strategy which helps return balance to yin and yang in whatever way is required. As each individual has a specific constitutional pattern, it is important for your TCM Doctor to guide you properly through the appropriate preparation, administration and use of herbs that are right for you.
What you can do at home: At home it is particularly important to develop a relationship with a meditation or embodiment practice that best suits your style. These practices will help you navigate the ups and downs of healing the trauma body and will help free the Qi that was trapped, stagnant or bound. The embodiment practices in TCM provide a ground for self observation, self realization and personal empowerment and I personally suggest Chen Style Taijiquan, Dao Yin Qi Gong or standing meditation.
As you navigate the expansions and contractions of your life, keep in mind that often we are not even aware we are in a trauma response. So, if you are dealing with any of the above mentioned symptoms or signs, and are looking for support in your process, please remember that Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine offer excellent strategies, methods and practices that are beneficial for your support and healing.
Dr. Julia Pileski
Blue Heron Traditional Chinese Medicine