Help With Stress & Trauma

Some common symptoms of traumatic or chronic stress include:

  • Chronic Pain and Headaches
  • Insomnia and Nightmares 
  • Digestive Problems and Ulcers
  • Generalized Anxiety and Panic Attacks
  • Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders
  • Autoimmune Diseases and Decreased Immunity  
  • Sexual Dysfunction and Menstruation Cessation
  • Thyroid and Adrenal Issue  
  • Depression and Creative Blocks

In modern life it is difficult to imagine anyone that doesn't experience some stress or hasn't survived some form of trauma. In an effort to cope with these experiences, our bodies rely on our more primitive instincts, commonly known as the "fight, flight, or freeze" response. 

As animals this stress response evolved to protect us from a direct threat (think of a zebra running to escape attack by a lion) by pushing our system into over-drive. This is a natural instinct, but can have real implications for our mental and physical health when it lasts for longer than the short and isolated periods of time for which it was originally intended.  

 An experience of trauma that remains unresolved and stuck in your system can cause the stress response to become chronically activated, as is the case with PTSD. The fast-paced nature of modern times can also cause this response system to be unnecessarily turned on.

By working directly with the nervous system, this approach to trauma helps gently retrain the body’s stress response and begins to address the underlying causes of these complex issues. 

Many come to this innovative approach because years of traditional therapy was not able to fully address their trauma-related symptoms. Somatic Psychotherapy has offered them a more integrated and effective treatment that gives them freedom from old wounds.

Resources

For more information about this theory of traumatic stress and research on its related effects: 

Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers 
Stanford University, neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky studies the human ailment of stress. In this Ted Talk he describes the uniqueness of humans in relationship to the causes and effects of stress on our bodies. His book Why Zebras Don’t get Ulcers: Guide to Stress, Stress-related Diseases, and Coping offers an in-depth study of the science behind the way stress is operating in modern culture and the deleterious impact it is having on our physiology. 

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn has shown that pain-related drug utilization was decreased, and activity levels and feelings of self esteem increased, for a majority of participants when they used MBSR. For more information on this program here

Video of Democracy Now interview with Dr. Gabor Mate discussing the connection of stress, emotion, and illness. 

Bill Bowen, founder of Psycho-Physical Therapy, on "Why the Body in Psychotherapy?"

 

 


Trauma is extreme or chronic stress. It can be from a one-time occurrence or the accumulation of many events over time. Some common things that can cause trauma are accidents, invasive medical procedures, sexual or physical assault, emotional abuse, neglect, loss, financial and relationship concerns, or exposure to ongoing fear and conflict.

Past events do not need to dictate your current reality, there is hope for change.