Dec 15

5 keys to healing trauma

Trauma impacts us on all levels body, mind, emotions, and energy. It affects every aspect of our lives. Regardless of the cause, trauma is always accompanied by a dysregulated nervous system. People with trauma spend more time than is normal or healthy in high-energy states of anxiety and overwhelm, or low-energy states of shut-down and depression. Each of these states can have many associated symptoms.

In most cases people with trauma respond well to treatment and can recover significantly. That’s not to say it’s easy or quick. It’s almost always challenging and takes time, but it’s well worth it to not only reduce and eliminate symptoms but to have a life of greater wellbeing and wholeness. There are dozens of tools and techniques that can assist with decreasing symptoms and resolving trauma.

The following exercise will help your nervous system to both calm down and wake up, countering the effects of trauma. This is a good way to begin learning to consciously regulate your nervous system.

These keys can be used effectively as a five or ten-minute guided meditation. Each one can also be used as a stand-alone practice throughout the day. There’s no limit to how deep you can go with each one.

As you read each key try and feel what it’s describing. Place your attention on the felt-sense. If at first you don’t feel much, stick with it and your ability to feel these sensations will improve over time. As you become more adept at sensing, the effectiveness of this practice improves.

  1. Become more embodied: Learn to inhabit your body more completely. Begin with the feet. Imagine breathing into and out of your feet as though you can inhale and exhale through the pores of your skin. Let your awareness follow your breath into your feet.  Sense into your feet and you inhale and exhale. See what you notice. At first it may be numbness; pay attention to that. Beneath that you’ll notice density or tension. See if you can breathe into the tension on the inhale and release it on the exhale. There are many areas in the feet where you can find tension or holding on. Find another area, breathe into it while sensing and release the tension.

This first step is a template that can be used for each section of the body. Repeat the procedure with each area – after the feet, the lower legs, upper legs, pelvis, lower abdomen, torso, arms and shoulders, neck, and head.

By now you should be more embodied and can move on to the second key.

  1. Become more grounded: Keeping some awareness in your body begin drop your awareness into the earth beneath you. See if you can sense into the earth just as you’re sensing into your body. You’re not leaving your body, but extending the range of your awareness. See if you can sense the solidity and density of the earth. Experience this feeling of groundedness. Know that this is an aspect of your right to be here – Something most traumatized people have lost.
  1. Experience feeling safe. Sense feeling safe enough right now, being grounded and supported by the earth – Sense this safeness…and ease. Breathe with the ease of sensing this safeness.
  1. Breathe into any remaining tense areas in your body. As you encounter tension, ask; what’s the message? See if there’s an answer and note it. When ready release the tension down into the earth. Then breathe into the heart area. Ask your heart if it has a message for you.  Breathe – Relax – Open any blocked areas… open to the flow of life-energy.
  1. Sense the flow of life-energy throughout your body. Sense this flow from the base of the spine and up the spine to the top of your head… Sense this free-flowing energy as the power and aliveness to create greater abundance for yourself and others. Begin to sense how this can move from an inner- sensed flow into outer manifestation.

Try using this exercise once a day for ten minutes for a week, then check and see how you’re progressing. And, remember any of the keys can be use throughout the day for additional support.

The more embodied, grounded, and safe you feel the more resilient your nervous system will become. Breathing into tense areas, releasing tension and sensing the flow of energy will also help.

What is your experience of trying this exercise? Let me know in the comments area.

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