Trauma impacts each and every one of us to varying degrees. Trauma can be described as feeling endangered- a threat to your life – or life-force, well-being or sanity. The situation is essentially out of our control, and we may well feel helpless, affecting or interfering with intricate physiological processes in our brain and body designed to diligently keep us safe, identify potential threats, and prevent further trauma. ‘Complex’ and ‘Developmental Trauma’ are the types of trauma that I would like to touch on today- looking at the ways in which healing from them can deeply impact our lives.
‘Complex Trauma’ is repetitive trauma -and often begins early in life-disrupting much of a child’s physical, cognitive, behavioural and emotional development; indeed- the very formation of the ‘self’. It can also seriously interfere with a child’s ability to develop a secure attachment- bond with a parent or caregiver. Moreover, ‘Developmental trauma’ can happen in- utero or after birth- occurring 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, and 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. 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 and its resultant fear- response is at the forefront of our lives, our physiology- which is making decisions for us, is affected. We might be hypervigilant, on high alert, and our ability to “see” clearly can be greatly hindered. In addition, we might notice feeling unsafe, untrusting, feeling unsettled, anxious, or tense. Also, we may experience emotional and physical pain, and feel a variety of things: for instance -impatience, anger, irritation, frustration. We may also feel pessimistic, scattered-having a difficulty in concentration and focusing: even a feeling of being disconnected- or frozen. There can also be a numbing of emotions, low- energy, a feeling of resignation, self-criticism and we may also notice ourselves being judgemental to the self and/or others; emotionally cutting off- or withdrawing from others, confusion, shame, fear, depression, and suffering from insomnia.
If we were not able to develop a “self” as a child and, therefore, probably not becoming grounded in ourselves, it becomes a lot easier to go off- course and be drawn into unhealthy, toxic situations, negativity, pessimism, feeling helpless (-it being hard to imagine a healthy future) and powerless. It might feel “normal”, and familiar- as it might be what we know. In fact, it is not our “normal” state of being to feel this way- but it, rather, shows us that something is out-of-balance and needs our care and attention. In our natural state of being, we feel safe and alive in our bodies- which can engender natural positive, optimistic and joy-filled states, where we are able to live our deepest and truest lives! Life may indeed bring us challenges and difficulties, but now- , in our natural state, we are better able to meet with and handle them.
Healing Our Energy System
‘Complex’ and/or ‘Developmental trauma’ can also be seen in our energy body. Through a chakra -scan, we can observe its presence in the congestion or depletion in the solar plexus, adrenal glands and in the brain- specifically the amygdala, vagus nerve, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and thalamus. Physiological -activity in these areas sends messages to and impacts the rest of the body, resulting in symptoms such as digestive -issues, menstrual -problems, back pain, neck pain and so on. As a result, we might receive certain “labels” such as ADHD, depression, anxiety- disorders, etc.
Pranic Healing can assist us in healing and clearing the trauma/trauma energy/trauma- response throughout 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 can reduce the stress -response, slowing down heart -rate and respiration- moving away from sympathetic- activation towards the optimal arousal zone/regulation. Trauma tends to dysregulate the brain, and EFT helps re-regulate the brain and re-establish full cognitive resources.
When our nervous system and brain come back into balance, our unconscious mind becomes more freed- up to assist us with deep-level understanding, for example, offering us memories, ideas and insights which help to heal the energetic, physical, mental, emotional block(s), so that we can reclaim the parts of us that the trauma altered or derailed.
Indeed, ‘Pranic Healing’ and ‘Emotional Freedom Techniques’ can work so beautifully in tandem with one another to address complex trauma.
Re-Connecting with Ourselves and Others
When we are able to look at, identify, safely process, and heal the original trauma, the more our nervous systems/bodies, physiology, mind, and emotions can 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.
We can feel more free 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 indeed give these 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 the world- 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. When we begin to heal the layers of the trauma and the impact on our nervous- system, energy- system, self-esteem and sense of safety in the world, we may then naturally become acquainted with our TRUE selves and begin to feel peaceful, more at ease, calm, positive, hopeful and grateful in our being(s) and in the world, and that, to me, 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