Acupuncture & Trauma Recovery
Trauma or a traumatic experience. Many clients will not hestitate to say no when I ask whether they have gone through any. Often they find the label too heavy or exaggerated for what they have experienced. Nonetheless, alsmost all of us are more or less traumatized.
Take the process of birth alone for example. Most of us however, will not be able to call back that memory on a conscious level. And one person might not have any issues while the other has unexplainable health complaints.
PTSS (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) was first used as a diagnosis in 1980, in relation to the consequences of (the Vietnam) warfare. Thank God not everybody has to go through war. But next to veterans, and let’s not forget civilian victims, a lot of other professionals are confronted with traumatizing situations. Think of: Police, fire department and ambulance personnel. But also even closer to home, unfortunately there is street violence, domestic violence, medical procedures, severe illness and accidents or being a witness to these. And then we have divorce, loss or adoption which can leave deep traces in our being, no matter at what age. A lot of experiences that we refuse to label as trauma.
And there is such a thing as inherited trauma, like in second generation war victims. In Chinese medicine, next to the physical state also the psychological state of the parents at the moment of conception or during play an important role for example. But it goes further than this. Also modern science tells us that trauma of up to 3 generations can can settle in our cells.
Right there is the crux of the matter. Whether it is inherited trauma or an experience on whatever scale, it will settle in our bodies. And whether we are conscious of it or not, just talking about it or cognitive therapy by itself is often not the solution. Needless to say, neither is the complete numbing of our emotions.
One day together with Myung, I was witness to a scene where a duck protected her new borns from a heron who came too close. After her succesful and loud defense, the mother duck violently flappered her wings on her way back to the ducklings. It might seem as just a victory ritual but it’s also to process the experience so it does not become trapped in her system. That way animals, like us, have the self-healing ability to deal with trauma. This is also exactly what trauma experts like Peter A. Levine PhD and David Berceli PhD describe when in the wild, preys escape from their predators. When peace is restored, the animals shake heavily but short. This is their ‘spontaneous healing’. We as human beings have that ability too. When we experience something that has a big impact like a violent encounter or accident, our body starts trembling. Often just after the incident. But in most cases that causes panic or we see it as a sign of weakness and we ‘man-up’. Our mind blocks our natural ability to discharge. There are more things that prevent trauma from leaving our system.
Acupuncture and additional elements help with trauma recovery. On the level of Body & Mind, which are inseparable in the end. Of course we have an intake where we can discuss things that are relevant. But the trauma does not have to be relived time after time. With unique diagnostic methods and elements of treatment, in Acupuncture Healing Sessions we have a somatic entrance to a higher level of balance and freedom.
The following wise words are from Bessel van der Kolk M.D.:
“The body keeps the score: If the memory of trauma is encoded in the viscera, in heartbreaking and gut wrenching emotions, in autoimmune disorders and skeletal/muscular problems, and if mind/brain/visceral communication is the royal road to emotion regulation, this demands a radical shift in our therapeutic assumptions.”