For Health Care Practitioners
There are many different ways that stress and unresolved trauma can show up in your patients. Without tending to all of the underlying components of these presenting issues, it can be difficult to fully treat the symptoms.
In order to survive extreme stress, humans utilize their more primitive instincts, commonly known as the “fight, flight, freeze” response of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). This early animalistic self-defense was designed to push the body into high-gear to ensure speed, reactivity, pain avoidance, and survival. To accomplish this, our stress response limits all non-essential body functions—namely those of our digestive, immune, endocrine, and reproductive systems. Conversely, the functioning of our survival-related functions, such as heart rate and cortisol production, are amplified.
Originally this was only meant to take place for short periods of time. Without access to the natural completion of this response, including discharge of excess survival energy and finding safety, the ANS stress response often becomes chronically activated (as is the case with PTSD). Compromising major bodily systems for extended periods of time and long-term exposure to stress hormones can have huge implications for our physical health. Additionally, the fast-pace and often anxiety-producing nature of modern life is causing many more bodies to show signs of chronic stress and trauma-like symptoms.
Without attention, these previously adaptive components of our survival instincts can cause a great deal of suffering and health complications.
Some common signs and symptoms of traumatic stress include:
- Ulcers, Colitis, and Digestive Problems
- Autoimmune Diseases and Decreased Immunity
- Thyroid and Adrenal Issues
- Chronic Pain and Headaches
- Cardiovascular Disease and Hypertension
- Sexual Dysfunction and Menstruation Cessation
- Insomnia and Nightmares
- Depression and Dissociation
- Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders
- Generalized Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Somatic Psychotherapy can be a great compliment to other forms of healing, such as naturopathy, traditional western medicine, acupuncture, massage, and chiropractics when dealing with trauma-related issues. By working directly with the nervous system, this approach to trauma helps retrain the body’s stress response and begins to address the underlying causes of these complex issues.
In addition to private sessions, I am also available for consultation with other health practitioners on how to utilize the body in different practices and with different clients, please contact me if you are interested in collaborating.