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Can Regulating the Nervous System Reduce OCD Symptoms Related to Trauma?

Trauma is a condition that can affect the body just as much as the mind. If you’re struggling with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) due to trauma, regulating the nervous system is crucial.

The Nervous System

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nervous system “plays a role in nearly every aspect of our health and well-being.” It guides everyday activities, automatic activities, and complex processes. The nervous system controls nearly everything you do as a human being. Some of its many functions include:

  • Sleeping and waking up
  • Feeling emotions
  • Breathing and thinking
  • Learning and memory
  • Healing and aging
  • Hunger, thirst, and digestion

Why Is Regulating the Nervous System Important?

The nervous system is responsible for every single one of your basic life functions. A healthy nervous system will promote both mental and physical well-being. On the other hand, an unhealthy nervous system can contribute to declining health and mental instability. In this state, it becomes more difficult to heal your mind and body from mental health conditions, addiction, and traumatic events.

If you struggle with a condition like OCD, you’re no stranger to a nervous system in overdrive. Stressful situations can create even more dysregulation in the body, resulting in a constant cycle of fear and anxiety. This is why regulating the nervous system is crucial as you embark on your journey of healing trauma-related OCD.

The Link Between Trauma and OCD

According to Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, evidence has been provided that “demonstrates a high prevalence rate” of OCD among individuals with a traumatic history. The prevalence rate is listed from 30 to 82%, making it necessary for trauma to be considered when treating someone with OCD. OCD caused by trauma has no bounds. It can look vastly different from person to person, making it important to treat it on an individualized basis.

The Veterans Affairs Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Centers (MIRECC) examined the link between OCD and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They found that some individuals had an OCD diagnosis emerge concurrently with PTSD. For others, the diagnosis can occur after the fact, with a later age of onset and greater rates of obsessions and compulsions.

Regulating the Nervous System for Trauma

When a traumatic event occurs, the body goes into “fight or flight” mode. People can easily be pushed beyond their limits, compromising their mental and physical health in return.

A 2021 study in the European Journal of Psychotraumatology conducted research on Somatic Experiencing (SE), a body-oriented, therapeutic approach to treating trauma. It said that traumatic events “trigger a strong stress reaction” in the body and can lead to serious physical and psychological illnesses like PTSD.

The study also mentions that trauma can cause a “persistent somatic and emotional dysregulation of the nervous system,” resulting in chronic and abnormally increased stress reactions. For this reason, it’s crucial to find therapies and healing modalities that can bring the nervous system back to its normal state.

Healing at The Guest House

The Guest House is a comprehensive care center specializing in different areas of trauma. We recognize that trauma can cause OCD, and we aim to help you heal both in a way that suits you best. With a strong focus on mental health and addiction-related trauma, you will find highly-trained clinicians to support you along your healing journey. We offer traditional talk therapy on both an individual and group basis, giving you the structure and strength you need to keep you on the right path toward lasting recovery.

Regulating the Nervous System

Traditional therapies often focus solely on mental and behavioral health without acknowledging the need to heal trauma in the body. At The Guest House, nervous system regulation is a top priority, and it’s used together with traditional therapy to give you the full spectrum of quality care. The Guest House offers various treatment modalities and programs because there is no “one size fits all” approach to healing trauma and OCD. Our unique blend of therapies will help you find a plan that works best for you.

Somatic Therapy

Somatic therapy at The Guest House is an excellent tool for regulating your nervous system. This modality helps you release energy reserves to get your nervous system back to a harmonious state. Somatic therapy can include a number of different practices like massage, body movement, and stretching. These practices help to release built-up tension and move trauma through the body in an effective way.

Holistic Care

Along with somatic therapy, you will find a multitude of other healing modalities here at The Guest House. Meditation and yoga, for example, are popular programs that will help your mind and body come back to a balanced state. We also offer art and cinema therapy, sound healing, and many other holistic methods that aim to heal your mind, body, and soul together as one.

Healing Outdoors

Our beautiful 52-acre estate gives you an incredible opportunity to heal trauma-related OCD outside in nature. Simply spending time outdoors can help you ground your energy and strengthen your connection with yourself. Adventure therapy is an excellent chance to spend time in nature and bond with your peers. You’ll strengthen your survival skills in a camp-like setting while enjoying fun and challenging activities.

Another outdoor healing modality is our equine therapy program. Our gentle therapy horses can help you focus your energy away from the stresses of OCD. Instead, you’ll have the opportunity to nurture and care for these majestic beings.

No matter what kind of trauma you may have experienced in your life, you will find solace and support through healing at The Guest House.

Regulating the nervous system is essential in healing trauma and its related conditions, like OCD. When you experience a traumatic event, your body will go into “fight or flight” mode, leading to high stress and disharmony in the body. The Guest House is a trauma-informed care center with a strong focus on holistic healing. We offer a wide variety of therapies that will help you regulate your nervous system as you heal your mind, body, and soul. With a unique blend of traditional and nontraditional modalities, there is something for everyone at The Guest House. Here you will find the structure and support you need to move forward toward lasting recovery. Call us today at (855) 483-7800.