By Dr. Michael Roth
Our physical bodies out-picture all our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and identities. When these feelings are acknowledged and processed, our mind-body system functions properly. However, when they get stuck in our bodies, physical dis-ease may occur. Patients in my holistic chiropractic office often present with muscle tension, fatigue, insomnia, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome or chronic pain. Often, these conditions are the result of past TRAUMA experienced by the patient.
What is trauma? In my practice, trauma is an emotional insult that creates a charge in the nervous system. It is a one-time or repeated stress that gets lodged in the body and disrupts the flow of energy in the Triad of Health. The greater the repetition of the event, the deeper is the charge.
Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety, yet any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and alone can be traumatic, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective facts that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized.
An event will most likely lead to emotional trauma if:
- It happened unexpectedly.
- You were unprepared for it.
- You felt powerless to prevent it.
- It happened repeatedly.
- Someone was intentionally cruel.
- It happened in childhood.
For example, let’s say that as a child at the dinner table, you spilled your milk and your father yelled at you. In time, you develop an allergy to milk, a result of this unexpected event.
Experiencing trauma in childhood can have a severe and long-lasting effect. Adverse experiences in childhood generate strong emotions in children. Children who have been traumatized see the world as a frightening and dangerous place. When childhood trauma is not resolved, this fundamental sense of fear and helplessness carries over into adulthood, setting the stage for further trauma.
The cause of the trauma is not always obvious. Here are some commonly overlooked causes of emotional and psychological trauma:
- Falls or sports injuries
- Surgery (especially in the first 3 years of life)
- The sudden death of someone close
- A car accident
- The breakup of a significant relationship
- A humiliating or deeply disappointing experience
- The discovery of a life-threatening illness or disabling condition
Trauma disrupts the body’s natural equilibrium, freezing us in a state of hyper-arousal and fear. In essence, our nervous system gets stuck in overdrive. Our innate fight-or-flight system can be overworked from ongoing, relentless stress. This is especially true when trauma occurs in the early stages of life. Persistent stress can trigger diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression, and addiction later on.
I use protocols in my practice to uncover and clear past trauma that is stuck in the body and has resulted in illness and pain. My patients are amazed at how much better they feel before they even leave the office! Please call Crystal in our Ventura office (805-644-0461) to make an appointment with me and release that which is holding you back from optimum health and wellness.