Reliving Trauma May Not Relieve Trauma

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Lois Grasso

As a holistic health coach and practitioner of Transformational Breathwork® and EFT (aka Emotional Freedom Technique aka Tapping), I am often amazed by the results provided by these two holistic healing methods. After reading Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma by Dr. Peter A. Levine, the reasons for the results have become quite obvious to me: Almost everyone has some degree of unresolved trauma and these two body-oriented methods are effectively resolving trauma.

Look, it doesn’t take much to traumatize a young child. But trauma is easily shoved to a dark dungeon in a child’s mind — hopefully to be dealt with later in life (or not) at great cost and difficulty.

Unfortunately, few adults have the patience or understanding to even realize this, never mind being able to help the child process the trauma. So, most of us – children and adults – have unresolved trauma stored in our bodies and minds. I believe this is what causes the all-too-common “chemical imbalance” blamed regularly for mental health issues.

Mainstream medicine acts as if our brains are just randomly selected for chemically imbalanced. And supposedly the only thing we need to balance the brain chemistry is Prozac, Zoloft, Celebrex, or perhaps Ritalin or Adderall, etc.

Contrary to popular belief, unresolved trauma causes all kinds of physical and mental health issues. Relationships and families suffer, phobias and/or control issues develop, trust issues keep us isolated, fibromyalgia (unexplained pain) develops. And then there’s the anxiety disorders, eating disorders, weight problems, panic attacks. Perhaps depression or chronic fatigue emerges. Even irritable bowel syndrome (aka IBS ) can be relieved when early childhood trauma or adult trauma is resolved.

Rachel (not her real name) came in recently, after repeated prodding by a former therapist, who knew of my work. Rachel said she wanted help with a career change and fibromyalgia (unexplained pain) throughout her body. In the second session, we uncovered the origin of her difficulties: Trauma from decades ago – a result of severe childhood sexual abuse.

Apparently, after years of psychotherapy, despite bringing many repressed memories to the surface and gaining many valuable insights, she was still suffering in many ways that were interfering with her ability to move forward.

After just 11 months of regular coaching sessions, with Transformational Breathing® , EFT Tapping, and my own method: On The Ball Anger Clearing™, Rachel was feeling good enough to choose a new career direction. She now feels very good about supporting adult rape victims at a non-profit agency.

Granted, childhood sexual abuse is one of the most challenging of traumatic experiences to recover from, but with body-centered “energy psychology” approaches, like Transformational Breathing® and Emotional Freedom Techniques, there is hope for the determined person.

After reading Waking The Tiger and doing the work in my office,  Rachel realized that simply reliving the horrific experiences in her mind by talking about them was not going to resolve the trauma. Here’s why…

Please share this information with everyone you know. You never know who might benefit!

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