I never intended to treat trauma when I started practising acupuncture. In fact, this was not one of the over 300 illness we studied at TCM school. And yet here I am now into my 7th year, and it’s become one of my practice specialities.
The Longer the Trauma Lasts, The Greater the Impact on the Body
Trauma is not a specific illness, rather it’s the root cause of a lot of illness: IBS, asthma, eczema, migraines, fibroids, irregular periods, cancers, heart and stroke, obesity, addiction and autoimmune disorders.
There are also many types of traumas, but here’s what we scientifically have proven,
Types of Trauma
Car accidents, sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment, violence, alcoholic parents and divorce are just some of the types of trauma people may experience in their lifetime. We have termed it post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD. When trauma occurs if it’s not processed emotionally and released it gets stored in the body. The body becomes dysregulated or technically it will stay in “hyper vigilance mode” what we know as fight or flight. A traumatized person often lives with their autonomic nervous system turned on. This state was designed for quick on and off response to stressors or perceived threat. We ideally should live in our parasympathetic state – the rest and digest state. This is where repair and maintenance takes place. It’s our calm stat
People don’t realize that their past determines their present.
When I am doing timelines on people’s health histories what I see time and time again is their illness started shortly after the trauma occurred or it would flair up if they became triggered or re-traumatized again. People don’t realize that their past determines their present. One of the best books on trauma and the long-term impact on health is by Dr. Bessel van Der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score. This book has been on the New York Times Best Seller List for 8 years!!!
He cites study after study showing the impact trauma has on the physical, behavioral and cognitive level – it literally reshapes both the body and the brain.
The reason I am writing these posts is to make people aware that their emotional histories are often the cause of their medical problems. Until we make these connections and heal the underlying emotional wounds, we will not succeed in healing their physical illnesses.
How Does Acupuncture Heal Trauma?
Quite simply, acupuncture when combined with healing touch switches a patient living in their autonomic nervous system to their parasympathetic nervous system. They go from fight and flight to rest and digest. It moves them to a state of calm. They feel safe. A person who feels safe can digest their food, fall asleep at night, relax the muscles in their body, strengthened their immune system. The challenge is keeping them in this state as environment and events will trigger them again. My primary goal is always to get people to a state of deep calm from here they can begin their healing process both emotionally and physically. I don’t work alone. People who have been traumatized need care and support.