Healing trauma in the body
November 22, 2023

Healing Trauma and The Body

Many trauma survivors are afraid of feeling their own physical sensations.

Sensations can be reminders of how the body felt during the trauma. No wonder so many survivors cope with alcohol, drugs, food, sex, etc. compulsively.

However, I’m here to tell you healing is possible.

Healing trauma held in the body involves recognizing and addressing the physical manifestations and sensations associated with traumatic experiences.

Trauma can become stored in the body as chronic tension, pain, or patterns of physical response. Approaches that focus on the body aim to release this stored tension, regulate the nervous system, and promote a sense of safety and well-being. Here are some strategies to address and heal trauma held in the body:

  1. Somatic Experiencing (SE):
    • Somatic Experiencing is a therapeutic approach that focuses on the body’s physical sensations and movements to release traumatic energy. It helps individuals tap into and complete the body’s instinctual response to trauma.
  2. Body-Based Psychotherapies:
    • Therapies like Hakomi, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, etc. incorporate the body into the therapeutic process. They focus on bodily sensations, movements, and postures to explore and release stored trauma.
  3. Trauma-Informed Yoga:
    • Yoga specifically designed for trauma survivors incorporates gentle movements, breathwork, and mindfulness to help release tension stored in the body. Trauma-sensitive yoga classes are often led by instructors trained in understanding and responding to trauma triggers.
  4. Massage and Bodywork:
    • Massage therapy, craniosacral therapy, and myofascial release can help release physical tension and promote relaxation. These approaches often focus on areas of the body where trauma is held, allowing for the release of stored emotions.
  5. Biofeedback and Neurofeedback:
    • These techniques involve monitoring physiological responses (such as muscle tension or heart rate) and providing feedback to help individuals gain control over their bodily functions. Biofeedback and neurofeedback can be used to regulate the nervous system and reduce the physical impact of trauma.
  6. Breath and Body Awareness:
    • Mindful awareness of the breath and bodily sensations can be a powerful tool for reconnecting with the present moment and promoting relaxation. Practices like body scan meditations can help individuals become more attuned to physical sensations.
  7. Movement Therapies:
    • Dance/movement therapy and other expressive movement practices can help individuals explore and release stored emotions through movement. These approaches focus on the interconnectedness of the mind and body.
  8. Grounding Techniques:
    • Grounding exercises involve connecting with the present moment and the physical environment. This can include activities like feeling the sensation of the ground beneath your feet, holding onto a comforting object, or using tactile stimulation to bring attention to the present.
  9. Energy Healing Practices:
    • Practices such as Reiki or acupuncture work with the body’s energy systems to promote balance and release energetic blockages. While the scientific evidence for these practices varies, some individuals report benefits in terms of relaxation and well-being.

It’s important to approach these methods with the guidance of trained professionals, especially those experienced in trauma-informed care. Working with a therapist or practitioner who understands the interconnectedness of body and mind can enhance the effectiveness of these approaches in promoting healing from trauma held in the body.

When we start to slowly turn inward, it helps shift things internally.


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