Trauma impacts each and every one of us to varying degrees. Trauma can be described as feeling endangered; a threat to your life, wellbeing or sanity. The situation is out of our control and we may feel helpless. Intricate physiological processes in our brain and bodies are designed to diligently keep us safe, identify potential threats, and to prevent further trauma. Complex and Developmental trauma are the types of trauma that I would like to touch on today, and looking at the ways in which healing from it deeply impacts our lives.
Complex Trauma is repetitive trauma and often begins early in life and disrupts many of a child’s physical, cognitive, behavioural, emotional development, and the very formation of a ‘self’. It interferes with a child’s ability to develop a secure attachment bond with a parent or caregiver. Developmental trauma can happen in utero or after birth. It occurs during the physical, neurological, and emotional growth processes. It commonly stems from insecure attachment with a parent or caregiver.
Unhealed Trauma Impacts us in Various Ways:
Unhealed trauma can affect and impact us physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically and energetically, in numerous ways; including our connection with ourselves and others, how we feel day to day, moment to moment, also impacting our sense of safety and our outlook and perspective on life.
Due to the fact that we were so young when the trauma(s) took place, it can be very difficult, if not, impossible to remember. It is also very difficult to identify the physical and emotional reasons why we might feel the way we do; including the mysterious difficulties or circumstances that we experience, as well as the blocks and the repetition of harmful or unhealthy unconscious patterns or behaviours.
When the trauma/fear response is at the forefront of our lives, our physiology is making decisions for us. We might be hypervigilant, on high alert, and our ability to “see” clearly is greatly hindered. We might notice feeling unsafe, untrusting, unsettled, anxious, tense; including emotional and physical pain, impatient, angry, irritated, frustrated, pessimistic, scattered/difficulty concentrating and focusing, disconnected, frozen, numb/numbing of emotions, low- energy, resigned, self- critical and judgemental to the self and of others, emotionally cut off, withdrawing from others, confusion, shame, fear, depression, suffer with insomnia, etc.
When we are not grounded in ourselves or when we were not able to develop a “self”, it becomes way easier to be drawn into (or become resigned to) negativity, pessimism, feeling helpless (it’s hard to imagine a future), powerless, self-loathing, and/or drama within and around us. It might feel “normal” as its familiar. It is not our “normal” state of being to feel this way- it shows us that something us out of balance and needs our care and attention. In our natural state of being, we feel safe and alive in our bodies; positive, optimistic and joy-filled and are able to live our deepest and truest lives! Yes, life comes with challenges and difficulties, in which, in our natural state, we are better able to handle them.
Healing Our Energy System
Complex and/or developmental trauma can be seen in our energy body. Through a chakra scan (Pranic Healing) we can identify congestion or depletion in the amygdala, vagus nerve, hippocampus, hypothalamus, thalamus; and numerous other places, including the solar plexus, adrenal glands.
This physiological activity in these areas sends messages to and impacts the rest of the body, such as digestive issues, menstrual issues, back pain, neck pain and so on. As a result, we might receive certain “labels” such as ADHD, depression, anxiety disorders, etc.
Pranic Healing assists us in healing and balancing the trauma/trauma response through the chakras; impacting our physiology, nervous system, emotions, and the mind.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or “Tapping”) is a somatic (body) release technique which has been shown to decrease amygdala activation, which reduces the stress response, slowing down heart rate and respiration; moving away from sympathetic activation towards the optimal arousal zone/regulation.
EFT can assist us with deeper level understanding; when our nervous system is regulated, our unconscious mind is more freed up to assist us with memories, ideas and insights which help heal the energetic, physical, mental, emotional block(s), so that we can reclaim the parts of us that the trauma altered or derailed.
Pranic Healing and Emotional Freedom Techniques work so beautifully in combination with one another!!
Re-Connecting with Ourselves and Others
When we are able to look at, identify and safely process and heal the original trauma, the more our nervous systems/bodies, physiology, mind and emotions are able to relax and feel safe and secure. This changes how we feel in our bodies, about ourselves, and how we feel in the world; altering our outlook and perceptions and enabling us to become more resilient and better equipped to handle life’s many challenges and twists and turns.
Then, we are more freed up to connect with others more deeply and in meaningful and positive ways; including looking for solutions and cooperating with others for the common good. We may begin to develop or remember the parts of ourselves that need our love, compassion, care, and understanding and give those to ourselves.
A lifetime can be affected by the events that happen during childhood. What happened to us/what we experienced, and what we “took in” on a deep level about ourselves, and our safety, is what we experienced and NOT who we ARE at our core, although it may feel that way.
Healing trauma is a sacred process involving willingness, courage, dedication, self-reflection, and self- care. In healing the layers of the trauma and the impact on our self-esteem, nervous system, and sense of safety in the world, we may then become acquainted with our TRUE selves (essence, energy and nature) and feeling peaceful, at ease, calm, positive, hopeful and grateful in our being(s) and that’s a beautiful thing!
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The definitions of Trauma and Complex and Developmental Trauma were adapted from
“Tapping Out of Trauma 1.0”- by Craig Weiner DC and Suzanne Fageol CC