Ways to Heal Trauma

Ways to Heal Trauma

Healing trauma is a unique and personal experience. It falls into the category of, “not one size fits all”.

The way you may choose to get help for your trauma response whether emotional, physical or spiritual is up to you.

There is a lot of research about healing trauma and there are a variety of ways to help your mind and body to heal.

I have a little summary for you that might be helpful. Sometimes it is several things (activities or therapies) that will provide relief and for some people it is one activity or type of therapy. Whatever you choose is right for you. It’s like eating food, we all have different tastes, likes and dislikes, some foods tantalise our taste buds and others make us screech.

Here are some suggestions. Some of them you can do on your own or in a group and others require professional support.

  • Work with a professional. Thankfully there are a variety of therapies available. Naturally, those that work in a particular model will be more aligned to that model. I often explore the idea of professional support with clients by comparing it to a traumatic event my granddaughter experienced. She had a significant fall, broke her leg in two places and was taken to ER resuscitation. It was ideal to go to ER where they are well equipped to deal with a significant injury to a child. Imagine if she was sent to an elderly aunt to fix the injury. Sometimes we need the right help at the right time. I understand it can be challenging at times because of the stigma attached to mental health concerns.

Here are some examples of the type of therapies that can help:

  1. Eye Movement Desensitisation Therapy or Eye Movement Integration Therapy. I will write another blog about both EMDR and EMIT as I specialise in these therapies.
  2. Brainspotting described as a combination of Hypnotherapy and EMDR
  3. MBSR – Mindfulness- based stress reduction in the form of stress management therapy. Usually an 8-week course.
  4. TRE – Tension and Trauma Release Exercises – a series of movements that urge the natural reflex mechanism of shaking and vibrating
  5. Other forms of support include:
  • Emotional Polarity Technique
  • Trauma Informed Acupuncture
  • Trauma Informed Yoga
  • Trauma Informed Breathwork
  • Neurofeedback
  • Thought Field Therapy
  • Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
  • Cranio Sacral Therapy
  • Non-regression Hypnotherapy.

Here are some non-therapy options and activities (perhaps it really is therapy too):

  • Go outside – nature heals
  • Volunteer – sometimes helping others can help work through our own experiences. If you don’t feel comfortable around people, perhaps and animal shelter
  • Practice yoga and stretching – it helps you to breathe deeply, stretch the body and connect with self. Trauma sensitive yoga is a highly specialised field and is helpful to the needs of people who have experienced trauma.
  • Dance -It improves your self-confidence and reduces your stress You can dance at home or in a group.
  • Garden – it has positive benefits on your feelings of well-being It is proven to lessen the effects of a traumatic experience as well as Vitamin D from the sun.
  • Breathe – breathing is the only autonomic function we can control; it’s how we can access our autonomic workings of the nervous system. Breathe with intention, pay attention to the pace of your breathing. Here is a small exercise
  • Lie quietly in a warm comfortable place, with the left hand on the heart and the right hand on your tummy, simply feel the right hand rise up and down while you gently breathe more deeply into your hand (using your mind). Here are some apps that can help, Stop Breathe and Think and MyLife.
  • Listen to music and sing along. Music helps us aurally (ears) as we listen and physically as we sing (vibrate). Socially it can bring us together with others and personally it can bring out intimate feelings or memories. Join a community choir, listen to your favourite songs while in the shower or make a playlist that gives you joy ,, or deep love and grief if you feel the need to process those emotions.
  • Eat – find nutrient rich foods, find delicious pleasure foods. Take time to cook and enjoy different flavours and textures.
  • Connect – Often if you are traumatised there is a tendency to isolate. I recommend you push against the urge to isolate and connect with people who are loving and make you feel safe. Join a group, take a cooking class or just be around other humans. Walking on a sunny day and passing other people to say hello helps.
  • Exercise – get your hate rate up to buffer the effects of PTSD. Exercise also has a positive, widespread impact on every function of the body; walking, running, frisbee, swimming, chasing kids, surfing, canoeing, dog walking, paddleboarding, ten pin bowling, cricket, basketball, golf and the list goes on. Every type of exercise helps our mind and body.
  • Laugh – laughing benefits you both psychologically and physically. It helps with pain relief, improves wellbeing, strengthens immune function and helps manage stress and improves social interactions.
  • Keep your routine – especially for meals, exercise, sleep and work. Write a small list of important tasks for e.g. brush my teeth, make my bed, eat 3 meals and rest when I need to. When you are triggered by your trauma it is easy to leave habits that are important to your physical and mental health.
  • Reduce drug and alcohol use – Sometimes it might seem helpful to increase drugs and alcohol after a traumatic experience or when old traumas are triggered. Unfortunately, it may make you feel worse. Find someone to talk to, a trusted friend or family member or perhaps a therapist.

“Life has taught me I am not always in control. Life is full of experiences, lessons, heartbreak, and pain. But, it has also shown me love, beauty, possibility, and new beginnings. Embrace it all. It makes us who we are, and after every storm comes a clear sky.”

Unknown Author

With compassion, kindness and love, I create a calm space for you to explore, release, heal and grow through your trauma.

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