THE ENERGETICS OF TRAUMA 1024 1024 Antigoni Tsegeli

Developing Focusing as a metaskill in Trauma process through Shiatsu: In this workshop we will look at the Energetics of Trauma and have the opportunity to understand how the Body knows and how responses.

Trauma is a natural, in the course of life, often unavoidable archetypal experience of existence.

Trauma is any event that injures our protective shell, leaving us with a sense of collapse and powerlessness. That feeling of there is NO WAY OUT! Dissociation is coming as a way out of the situation. It is a coping mechanism for something that has happened and we were not witnessed to it. The cortisol is running and the body cannot cope with a prolonged period of stress-anxiety. Life stresses change the expression of glucose-cortisol receptors and these receptors reset themselves and trauma begins. We get caught in between a rational and an emotional state of existence. The mind doesn’t remember but the body remembers and holds it all back. We could say that is an intelligent mechanism to cope with life. And this is a paradox. Usually common reactions to anxiety are fight or flight trauma response, freezing, dissociation, grief, chronic pain or undischarged energy and stagnation are showing the body’s intelligence to cope with the sense of hopelessness inside!

Looking at the Energetics of Trauma, we see two main opposites: Fear and Inner Safety

The experience of ‘feeling safe’ keeps the ANS (autonomous nervous system) out of states of defense. Being safe is not the equivalent of removing threat. Being safe is the presence of connection. Safety is based on social connectedness providing a ‘neural’ expectancy, which promotes both mental and physical health. The polyvagal theory of Dr. Stephen Porges – the science of feeling safe as he calls it – helps illuminate the mind-body connections that influence the regulation and activation of the ANS, which can help promote healthy physiological, calm psychological and positive social behavioral states.

Blissful well-being is an ancient philosophical concept that encompasses meaning, purpose, social connection and alignment with one’s values. This perspective of well-being has demonstrated positive benefits for physical and mental health, including controlling pain intensity, pain interference and the use of pain medication. The nervous system is a physical system in the body and maintaining it to a high standard requires regular maintenance. Good somatic work or a massage can bring you back to “remembered wellness”. It improves how you feel and breaks the “fight or flight” mode we

“Feeling safe in the arms of another” or
“Feeling safe in the arms of another appropriate mammal, like a dog.”

Dr. Stephen Porges

Trauma, the exiled part or parts of the body are hidden in layers underneath the symptoms of ‘disease’.  Different parts where some are vulnerable, scared, young, protective, adults. They are younger versions of us that experienced things we have experienced in the past and they adapted to keep us safe. They are parts of our whole being and they form based on what happened in the past. Our nervous system holds ALL and uses them to decide if something in our present is safe, dangerous or life-threatening.

Reparenting our young parts means getting our adult parts back on line and giving love, safety, attunement and connection from our adult parts. The healing process starts with providing that to the part in us that has never received. Our bodies are wise and designed to heal. All trauma therapy begins with our trauma. Unless we recognize our trauma we can be very helpful to our work and ourselves. People who have experienced trauma and suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have a higher risk of developing chronic pain. Studies show that chronic pain may not always result from structural or tissue damage, but instead may persist because the nervous system is stuck in a physical-psychological survival situation. Studies have shown that chronic pain may not only be caused by physical damage, but also by stress and emotional issues

Pain is a signal that something is happening and the body is going into survival mode. The body produces pain to distract us from negative emotions. Chronic pain can negatively affect the way our autonomic nervous system (ANS) functions. Deregulated states of the ANS having exhausted its reserves can contribute to altered abnormal physiological, emotional and behavioral states. The body cannot handle chronic stress leading to depression ending to an endless feeling of NO WAY OUT. There are two communicating vessels that need immediate treatment. In effect, it is a vicious cycle in which pain exacerbates the symptoms of depression and, subsequently, the induced depression exacerbates the symptoms of pain. This condition is not only present in cases of pain due to an injury, but is particularly common in cases where there is a serious health problem, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Body produces pain to distract us from negative emotions.

The challenges we face as Shiatsu therapists require us to have sources of resilience. We often find ourselves in overwhelming moments during our practice and face various symptoms that let the body’s intelligence bring to surface a soul that is in pain. Resources through an Embodied Self give us resilience. It is a process of empathy and compassion that provides an appropriate ‘toolbox’ for keeping us safe to handle various situations and different cases.

In this workshop we will look at the energetics of trauma and have the opportunity to understand how the body knows and how it responds. Understanding the response and the symptoms of trauma and anxiety according polyvagal theory, we will use Focusing as an inner skill to accompany our client in their own process of healing. Touch plays a main role for regulation and our companionship to our client for co-regulating the nervous system.

How can we create the structure and context for our clients to feel welcoming enough to access and unfold their own vulnerability and then to move forward? Restoring wholeness is one task in order to work with an organism that has been shattered by trauma. Being detached from what has happened, we create the right distance to meet and make contact with what comes from far away.

We will explore and experience techniques regulating the ANS to release somatic stress and activate the parasympathetic system. It is a demanded behavior of contraction and expansion that happens through our touch. Our body doesn’t just react to threat; it transforms how we interact with other people. Our touch gives connection and presence here and now.

AND when the body feels safe and haS been heard and held, it can release the tension; it can be expanded to unfold its weakness. It can experience the freedom of HOPE.

The workshop will be intensive and experiential with a small part of theory for giving the possibility to our rational mind to acknowledge the mechanisms of the body and make the connections to emotional parts of our experience.

“Your body knows the direction of healing and life. If you take the time to listen to it through focusing, it will give you the steps in the right direction.”

Eugene Gendlin / Focusing Founder

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