Make Your Nervous System Your Ally
Our nervous system is wired for our survival. In a healthy, regulated nervous system, when we experience something threatening or stressful, our body physiologically responds by activating our protection system (also known as fight or flight). Our heart rate increases, breath becomes short and shallow, our eyes dilate to scan for danger, digestion shuts off, our muscles tense, blood rushes to our arms and legs, and our body is flooded with a cascade of stress hormones designed to mobilize us in the face of danger.
These natural bodily responses are designed to be temporary. As soon as the threat has passed, our nervous system ideally shifts back into a more balanced, downregulated state. However, in a traumatized body, this natural oscillation between activation and rest can become interrupted, leaving us stuck in a constant state of hypervigilance, anxiety, and distress. Beyond mobilized patterns of fight or flight, we can also get stuck in protective patterns of freeze, immobilization, and dissociation.
Traumatized bodies work overtime to protect us from threat (whether real or perceived) and something that was evolutionarily designed as a temporary response can become a permanent state of being. The health consequences of living in a traumatized body can include chronic fatigue, pain and muscle tension, fibromyalgia, digestive issues, depression, anxiety, memory impairment, sleep issues, weight gain, and more.
Patterns of connection that are necessary for us to thrive us humans and relational beings can also shut down resulting in isolation, disconnection from social support systems, and ruptured relationships.
While there are many paths to healing, in my work I have found that the most effective approaches include methods that address the body, where trauma gets physically stored. When we are able to understand trauma as both psychological and physiological, we can access re-embodiment and re-connection and begin to disarm adaptive patterns of protection that have kept us stuck.
One of my favorite ways to assist the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of tension, stress, and trauma is TRE® Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises. To experience TRE, join my weekly Yoga + TRE classes every other Saturday at 10am PST. You can book a class here.
If you're looking for more personalized support, book a 1:1 Somatic Coaching Session with me here.
Healing is possible. With somatic practices like TRE®, you can learn to befriend your body and make your nervous system your ally instead of your enemy.