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The Connection Between Trauma and the Body

Few of us are immune from traumatic experiences in life. However, some experiences may happen so early in our lives that we do not remember them. When that happens, we do not simply forget because we cannot remember. Trauma can continue to impact our lives.

The Effect of Trauma

That negative experience stays with us and can get buried deep into our unconscious memory and muscle tissues. Though it may sound harmless, trapped trauma memories can profoundly affect our current day-to-day functioning.

Trauma Happens, but What Happens to It?

According to the Journal of Traumatic Stress, trauma can accumulate. This is especially true of traumas we experience during childhood. When trauma accumulates, the risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) increases. Issues with self-regulation can be seen, and if the trauma cannot be processed, it gets stuck in our bodies.

Early trauma memories can find a home deep in our muscle tissues and fibers with the activation of our “fight or flight” response. The trappings of emotions in the body are something that happens on a cellular level. In more common language, these would be referred to as “trapped feelings.” Positively, trapped feelings and traumatic memories can be released.

Does The Body Really Keep Score?

In addition to talking therapies, including trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), there are therapeutic options available to help process trauma. Mind-body therapies, which focus on the connections between the brain, body, behavior, and mind, are gaining momentum in practice. Yoga has been found to be extremely effective in treating complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD).

According to the journal mentioned above, Bessel Van Der Kolk, researcher and clinician, has studied the effects of trauma on the mind and body for more than three decades. A pioneer in mind-body research and their implementation in practice, Van Der Kolk notes that “[T]he terror and isolation at the core of trauma literally reshape both brain and body.” If we are to come back to a place of wholeness with our minds and bodies, we must, at some point, be willing to address the trauma held captive there.

Overcoming Trauma: Connecting With Our Hearts, Bodies, and Minds

Finding healing and learning to thrive after trauma is a difficult endeavor. If you have taken the steps toward recovery, then you are familiar with the ebb and flow of the process. Living in recovery is a journey, just like the healing one.

It may take time for you to be able to reconnect with your mind and body after trauma. That does not mean it will never happen. Many early traumatic experiences are buried deep within our bodies. Now that we are older and safe, it is okay to let go. It is also okay for our bodies to let go. Through vulnerability and connection, we begin the process of being able to listen to our bodies and respond accordingly. Our body, in turn, begins to trust and communicate with us.

Trauma impacts the mind, body, and spirit. Now is the time to take back your life and heal the broken parts. Choosing recovery is a brave endeavor, and processing trauma is not something you need to do alone. If you or someone you love is struggling in their recovery from a traumatic experience, The Guest House is staffed with knowledgeable professionals specializing in the treatment of trauma. Call (855) 483-7800 to see how our approach can benefit you. Life after trauma does not have to be a struggle. Reach out to The Guest House now.