Is Trauma Holding You Back?
By Cali Freyn
It seems in the last year we have all been touched in some way by stressful events. Our great planet is going through some uncomfortable changes, and we are all along for the ride. I listened to a podcast recently with an Auschwitz concentration camp survivor, now a PhD in psychology. She had a quote that has stayed with me: “There is no hierarchy for trauma.” As she explained, you do not have to be a concentration camp survivor to feel, recognize our experiences trauma, as it’s not just the event that is traumatic, but how we react and cope with it that stays with us. Coming from a family of trauma survivors and just naturally resilient people, I am very familiar with the “just suck it up and move forward” mentality. I do not necessarily think this is the right or wrong way to handle stressful situations, but I also think resilience is a super important life skill that not all people are gifted with. This has made me think that maybe situations that are potentially traumatic are affecting us more than we know. Perhaps the brain and the body keep score on events that may not be considered or recognized as traumatic. Every person is individual in how they experience trauma and stress, so an event that may seem traumatic to a particular individual may not to another.
Since we started our Neurofeedback program here at IM of CNY, our eyes have been opened to the effects of trauma and chronic stress, specifically on the brain. We have implemented our Emotional Rebalancing Program specifically designed to battle chronic stress and assist trauma survivors. Along with this program, we have been completing a trauma certification course through HeartMath to help us better understand and help our patients cope with trauma and its effects on the brain and body. What we have started to notice is significant. Not just our experiences here in our program, but years of research have proven that trauma can cause health issues and if not processed can be a roadblock to healing.
According to the journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association a study conducted on people with PTSD shows that trauma exposure and stress have a direct consequence on an individual’s immune system. The immune system in these individuals was found to be compromised and linked to long term health complications. The number of lymphocytes, T cells, and natural killer cells were significantly lower than that of non-PTSD individuals. Experiencing a traumatic event has also been known to be linked to changes in systolic blood pressure, atrioventricular defects, and increased risk for coronary events. In this study trauma was also shown to have direct links to reproductive and pain disorders, as well as to gastrointestinal conditions. These direct connections are not limited to what I have mentioned; the list is long, and most of the time the connection to trauma is overlooked and never truly addressed as the root cause.
HeartMath and Neurofeedback are all about resetting a new pattern for the nervous system. Our brain and amygdala are continually looking for and recognizing patterns as familiar or unfamiliar. Chronic hyperarousal or anxiety can become a recognized normal pattern in your brain. When this happens, the brain will continually try and get back to this as a recognized neutral state. Trauma ends up fragmented and undigested throughout your brain and body causing dysregulation in the body systems. The good news is you can change your familiar and unfamiliar patterns in the brain.
Neurofeedback can help break up these stored norms in the brain, and HeartMath helps to process and re-establish the new reference patterns, therefore creating coherence in the body and central nervous system.
Just like everything we do here at the practice, this program addresses and dives into the root cause of the dysregulation in the body; freeing you from your trauma and chronic stress so you can truly heal mind, body, and soul.
Holistic Health and Wellness Coach
Want to learn more about Neurofeedback and HeartMath? Call the office 315-741-5774 or email us at Neurofeedback@imofcny.com