Body memories

Hey guys!! I hope you are doing good ❀ How was ypur day? So, welcome back to another neuroluscious blog πŸ™‚

So let’s get started. Whatever trauma or sexual abuse we have gone through in life even if we don’t remember it our body our somatic memory will remember it for years to follow.

Contemporary research

Pavlov and other psychologists brought about this concept of defensive action which is a series of bodily reflex reactions to harmless stimuli.For example

A rape victim may respond to conditioned
stimuli, such as the approach by an unknown man, as if she were about to be raped again, and
experience panic. Pavlov also pointed out that individual differences in temperament accounted
for the diversity of long term adaptations to trauma.

Abraham Kardiner,who was the first person to systemically describe post traumatic stress noted that individuals who had a traumatic experience had a special vigilance to possible environmental threats.

Recent Research
Dr. van der Kolk is a Boston-based psychiatrist who specializes in post-traumatic stress disorder and has worked with a broad range of clients, from veterans to sexual assault survivors. He says that in order to have an effective therapy we need to keep this in mind,the physiological changes that is stored in our memory.

Trauma rewires our brain system, increases our stress hormone and the amygdala which initiates the fight and flight response which can remain triggered for a long time even after it has subsided.Many trauma victims relive their trauma through fragmented voices,images and emotions which doesn’t seem to be belonging to the past.

Some trauma victims experience dissociation which is literal desensitization in their body or the inability to describe physical sensations.

When you don’t feel safe in your body and shuts down everytime during incidents both innocuous and intimate like massage or sex

The body keeps the score

An amazing book which talks about neuroscientific research about trauma and stress.

So here are some insights from this book

  • Trauma doesnot only affect those who directly experience it but the persons near to him/her can also experience it too.The wives of PTSD patients are more likely to be depressed and the children of the depressed mothers are more likely to be anxious and insecure.Having been exposed to family violence as a kid often makes it difficult to form stable,trusting relationships in adulthood.
  • Years later, traumatized people find it extremely difficult to articulate their traumatic experience in words.
  • Every psychology textbook talks about talking about cognitive therapy which is talking about their life experiences as a way to heal which has really not proved to be so beneficial as there are relapses.
  • Neuroscientific research shows that the trauma or the psychological issue is not a defect of understanding so using insight and understanding to help us understand our trauma doesnot work.

Flashbacks are very common in trauma victims and they can occur at any time.

  • Traumatized people have a lot of sensory overload so they numb their senses or to shut themselves off and they use drugs and alcohol to shut themselves down.
  • 81% of those having borderline personality disorder report childhood abuse and neglect
  • Obesity is often considered a problem.For many individuals eating serves to numb them of their body sensations and anxiety.

Nobody can treat a war,rape, molestation,what has happened cannot be undone but we can deal with the imprint of trauma in our brain, soul and our body., The crushing sensations on our chest associated with anxiety, the nightmares, the fog that keeps you from engaging fully in what you are doing.

  • Traumatized people keep their body shut and their mind closed to keep away from uncomfortable sensations and feelings. Its not surprising that so mny traumatized people are compulsive drinkers and eaters.
  • Drugs cannot cure trauma. They can just dampen the physiology. In a study published, comparing prozac with EMDR, emdr proved to be more beneficial.
  • Cognitive therapy aimed at readjusting their thoughts as the thoughs are irrational as these thoughts are cognitive flashbacks they cannot be readjusted
  • If you don’t know what your brain needs you can’t take care of it. If you don’t feel hunger you can’t nourish yourself. Traumatized people need to learn that they need to tolerate their sensations,befriend their new experiences and cultivate new action patterns. The practice of Yoga helps focus attention on breathing and sensations. Simply noticing what you feel fosters emotional regulation.
  • People can learn to control and change behavior, but only if they feel safe enough to experiment with new solutions, the body keeps the score. Our first priority is to move away from fight and flight response, reorganize their perception of danger and manage relationship.
  • Bye Bye!! Love you all! Take care. Love yourself.

2 thoughts on “Body memories

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