Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, need to be a life sentence.

~Dr. Peter A Levine

 

Most of us have experienced trauma or “painful life events”. Trauma can be defined as a pervasive problem one experiences after being exposed to an incident or series of events that are emotionally disturbing and/or life-threatening. This kind of suffering can have a lasting adverse effect on a person’s mental, physical, social, emotional, and/or spiritual well-being. When we talk about trauma, many of us immediately think about life-altering events like terrorist attacks, mass shootings, natural disasters, and worldwide pandemics. However, trauma can also include less obvious experiences like losing a loved one, being raised in an unstable environment, verbal, physical or sexual abuse, emotional or physical neglect, alcohol/drug exposure, poverty, seeing someone get hurt, bullying, racism, or discrimination—everyday occurrences that are part of the human experience, yet traumatic nonetheless.

Every one of us has lived through traumatic events, whether we recognize it or not. With some quiet reflection, I’m sure you can recall specific incidents that challenged your understanding of the world, shook your confidence, eroded your sense of safety, or left you feeling isolated and alone — those incidents, are characterized as traumatic. The impact of trauma in our lives continues long after the event is over, and our minds and our bodies carry this danger mode that can be triggered at any time throughout the days, weeks, months, and years to come, long after the threat has passed.

We carry trauma with us in our physical and energetic bodies, and it can wreak havoc if it goes unattended. As distressing memories, thoughts, and emotions continue to invade and interrupt everyday life. consciously or subconsciously, they can strain mental health and have a significant effect on virtually every aspect of life. The big question is, once we uncover and accept the fact that we have had traumatic experiences, what do we do with it? How do we begin to heal from the trauma in our lives? It is important to understand that, when trauma occurs it’s not something that just happens in the brain or in the mind. It happens in the body. The body then holds onto that fear and helplessness until it has a new experience that contradicts the trauma and results in a shift toward empowerment. You can try to change your negative thoughts and overcome your limiting beliefs. You can try to understand where the trauma is rooted. But nothing will change until the changes happen in the body itself. Without changing the experience in the body, you cannot heal.

As a Certified Trauma-Informed Somatic Therapy Practitioner, I am a believer in the power of implementing somatic practices and experiences, introduced by Dr. Peter Levine, for moving through Trauma and healing from it. The word Soma means the physical body, and his work includes the assignment of body-based practices designed to help those who are suffering from traumatic experiences. Through somatic therapy practices, we learn to tap in and listen to the body’s wisdom. We reintegrate mind and body to work toward a state of being where we can more fully trust that we are safe in our own body and in the world around us. We learn to self-regulate to calm our mind and body. We begin to appreciate the pleasure and joy of movement, feel more empowered, and enhance our ability to connect with ourselves and others.

Our bodies hold the records, and as Bessel Van der Kolk states, ” keep the score”. Simply put, somatic therapy helps us manage symptoms of trauma and chronic stress. It is important to understand that we are all different and respond to different types of modalities and techniques or combinations of them. Some of the somatic practices that I incorporate in my work with clients include but are not limited to: Grounding & Centering, Self-Touch, Breath Work, Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping), Humming/Sound Vibration and Healing, Imagery & Movement, and Mindfulness/Meditation.

When we work through our trauma with these somatic practices, we start to lighten up, to rid ourselves of these heavy burdens, and to create space for healing. We break limiting belief systems that hold us back. We reconnect to our deepest inner knowing to get back into balance and alignment. We see the world with new eyes and with an overall sense of well-being. If you, or someone you know, is stuck in patterns of suffering, please reach out to me. I would be honored to help you move through your healing process so you can reclaim your joy.

 

High Vibes + Grateful Heart! XO, Jenn