Trauma Recovery: Understanding & Embracing the Journey

Apr 07, 2024
Megan Ashton

We often think of trauma as dramatic events like war, assaults, or major accidents, but it can be much broader.  “I think a more helpful way to look at trauma is that it can be anything that is too much, too soon, or too fast for our nervous system to handle without being overwhelmed,” explains Prema Mckeever, somatic therapist and Biodynamic Breath & Trauma Release System® training facilitator. “The potential causes of trauma are endless. It could be a child feeling bullied at school or neglected by their family at home, or it could be adult realities such as severe work, financial, or relationship stress. Anything that gives us a sense of being unsafe or even threatened can cause trauma and create a lasting impact.”

Trauma & the Body

Trauma isn’t just about what happens in our minds; it is stored in our bodies and affects our entire being, this is why we can’t talk or reason our way out of it. At the heart of trauma lies the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which governs our fight, flight, and freeze responses. During a traumatic event our body experiences, at the cellular level, a surge of intense fight or flight energy and stress hormones. We need to feel safe and our body needs to sense that the threat is over, in order for our nervous systems to come back to a state of rest and balance. However, if we don’t feel safe enough to process the trauma, we can become stuck in either the fight/flight, or the freeze response.  

The Fight/Flight vs the Freeze Response

Many individuals grasp the concept that trauma can trigger the fight/flight response, however, trauma can elicit an even more extreme reaction known as the freeze response. While the fight/flight response involves a sense of readiness to mobilize and protect oneself, the freeze response entails a profound state of powerlessness and overwhelm, where the situation is so severe, the only perceived option is to shut down. Freeze can also stem from prolonged periods spent in the fight/flight mode, as the body eventually exhausts itself from the continual release of stress hormones. While all of these responses serve an evolutionary purpose in the short term, chronic activation can lead to several long-term issues. 

Symptoms of Chronic Fight/Flight Activation:

Physical Symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension and pain
  • Digestive issues (irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers)
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Weakened immune system

Emotional Symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling on edge or hypervigilant
  • Difficulty relaxing

Symptoms of Being Stuck in the Freeze Response:

Physical Symptoms:

  • Dissociation (feeling detached from your body or surroundings)
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia or excessive sleep)
  • Weakened immune system
  • Pain (without a clear physical cause)
  • Sexual dysfunction

Emotional Symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Numbness
  • Detachment from emotions (feeling numb)
  • Difficulty experiencing joy or pleasure
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Difficulty connecting with others
  • Feeling hopeless or helpless

Healing Trauma

Healing from trauma involves moving from mere survival to thriving in our lives. It requires restoring the healthy flow of energy in our nervous system, and reconnecting with ourselves and others. Our bodies and minds possess an incredible built-in resilience, allowing us to weather even the most intense and prolonged stress or trauma. Even when our nervous system is taxed, if we give it the right tools, it has a remarkable ability to adapt and heal. By moving beyond persistent fight/flight or freeze responses, we pave the way for wholeness. This journey allows us to embody resilience, reawakening our natural capacity for deep connection – both within ourselves and with the world around us.

Introducing BBTRS®

The BioDynamic Breathwork & Trauma Release System® (BBTRS), utilizes breath, movement, and conscious emotional release to address trauma on multiple levels—energetic, physiological, psychological, and developmental. By safely discharging stuck energy and completing the fight/flight response, BBTRS® helps individuals find resilience and deeper connections, allowing them to live more fully in the present.

Embracing the Journey & Finding Support

Healing from trauma is not a linear process but a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. It involves acknowledging and honoring our experiences while actively working towards healing and growth. Through modalities like BBTRS® and the support of trained facilitators, individuals can embark on this journey with compassion and courage, and reclaim their health and happiness.

We provide guided sessions both online and in-person led by our highly trained facilitators and practitioners. If you’re seeking personalized support on your healing journey, we invite you to explore our offerings and connect with our dedicated team here.

 

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The BioDynamic Breathwork & Trauma Release System® 6-Element approach empowers your body’s natural process for healing.

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By registering, I understand that I am required to maintain the confidentiality and privacy of demo clients and my fellow participant’s attendance regarding anything they’ve shared or processed.

By registering, I agree this will be a safe space of openness where cultural, historical, generational, societal, and personal differences are respected without verbal or physical judgment, criticism, or harm.

By registering, I am aware that recording equipment maybe be present during this workshop. If I ask a question my voice will be recorded and I may appear on video. This video may be posted on the Biodynamic Breathwork and Trauma Release™ website, YouTube, FaceBook, and other media outlets.
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