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Healing Emotional Trauma: We cannot Heal Physically without Healing Emotionally
Many of us go through life experiencing a whole host of traumatic things. When we are young, there is an especially hard time dealing with any sort of trauma, whether it be abuse, the death of a loved one, constant bullying, or anything else that can impact our life. Childhood trauma itself is linked to so many chronic illnesses (source), but in our society this never really gets addressed. Either the child goes through general therapy sessions that really don’t help the situation or they outright get ignored and told to just move on with their life. Healing emotional trauma is an essential part of the healing process as an adult.
I’ve often read as well that children lack the ability to even emotionally heal from the traumas they deal with as kids. I really believe this because I have personally gone through many traumas as a child, and I remember never truly understanding why things were happening to me or what to do about them. We are just not mature enough to process the emotions that we go through. Because of this, our health can suffer because most will start to repress these emotions. And we can actually STORE these emotions in the body! Generation trauma is also something else to continue- pain can travel through generations until someone is ready to deal with it.
But when it comes to health, we are all individuals. Because of this biochemical individuality, not everyone will do well with the same form of healing. Since everyone is so different, there is not one specific method I would recommend for everyone (other than the mineral balancing as that will help to strengthen the body to handle emotions better, both as you are healing your trauma and when you deal with possible future traumas). So here is a big list of idea- do what speaks to YOU!
Great Suggestions for Healing Emotional Trauma
It wasn’t until I learned about minerals that I started learning about how events in our childhood could influence our health. In HTMA and mineral balancing science, it is well known that traumatic situations (especially long term and unresolved) can wreak havoc on the body. We start to get into that cycle of fight-or-flight that we cannot break out of and we burn through sodium, potassium, and many other minerals like crazy. Eventually, these minerals start to tank and we are left in physical burnout that can lead to illnesses such as fibromyalgia, thyroid disorders, adrenal fatigue, autoimmune illnesses, and more. The trauma creates a stressful situation in the body and uses up our nutrients, which leads to a state of illness. This can be something that happens directly after an incident or something that takes decades to build up. (source). Also, many of these minerals that we can become deficient in can lead us to addictions as well, which further messes with our health and mineral balance.
Addressing your mineral imbalances can help to physically strengthen the body, which in turn will help you when you are ready to heal emotional trauma. Many people with severe adrenal exhaustion have reported to me that they attempted emotional healing techniques when they were still very physically weak and it ended up making them crash further. Depending on where you are in your health journey, you could be one that needs to work on building up psychical strength first or you might need to start addressing the emotional before the physical side will even budge. In my experience, most people need to start building up their physical strength first (this was true for myself as well!). Then when you start to deal with the emotionally aspect, your body will be strong enough to handle the healing.
There are many HTMA patterns that are common with those with prolonged trauma. The most common thing we see is a calcium shell, where calcium can start to build up to extremely high levels (usually as it approaches 200 and above- normal levels are between 40-50). This can create a sort of defense mechanism, so the person dealing with chronic stress will be in an almost numb, apathetic state to help protect them from feeling all of the things they should be feeling during this stress. Those with calcium shells eventually feel this shell crack when they begin to heal, and they might have bouts of time where they experience the emotions that they used to hold in (again, something I have been through myself, long before I knew what HTMA was!). Read more here on the calcium shell.
Homeopathy for Healing Emotional Trauma
As I mentioned above, I had a lot of trauma as a child and never had the chance to heal it (although I never really knew I needed to address it until a few years ago). I highly recommend homeopathy for those that need a gentle approach for healing. Working with a truly knowledgeable practitioner is key because many homeopaths are not changing their methods despite how toxic we are these days. Currently, I am recommending the homeopath Krista Rivet as I have worked with her personally and found her service to be great.
Homeopathy is energy medicine and works deep to heal the whole body at once. This means physical AND emotional issues can get healed. I am a huge believer in the strength and effectiveness of homeopathy after my own experiences with it. Talk to a few homeopaths and pick one that you really resonate with.
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. This is a “psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. ” (source)
I’ve known several people that have had success with EMDR and absolutely love it. It has sparked my interest as well as it seems to be another method that is supposed to help you heal with the minimum amount of discomfort.
Emotional Freedom technique is not new, but it has been garnering a lot of attention over the last few years in the natural health field. This method used meridian tapping to harness your body’s energy to heal itself. Many people swear by this method. My suggestion for this is to find a good practitioner that knows all about EFT and how to properly do it because it seems to be much more powerful this way. Doing EFT on your own can help too, but some only notice the benefit if they speak with a practitioner. YouTube has plenty of how-to videos too!
Retraining your mindset
For some people, it really is “mind over matter”. Creating a healing mantra can help immensely. Something easy you can remember and repeat to yourself several times a day or just when things are getting rough is good. Mine used to be, “I am happy, healthy, and whole.” When we are constantly thinking about our pain or stress, it really can KEEP us in that physical state of illness. In order to heal, we have to start thinking positive about everything: our situations, our bodies, the people in our life, and how we think (even if we don’t share our thoughts). Sometimes we are the ones responsible for breaking the chain of negative thinking!
Myofascial Release Therapy for Emotional Healing
I just heard about this official therapy recently, but it makes SO much sense to me. A few years ago, I started using a massager at home and I started having pretty significant emotional release (lots of crying!). Someone mentioned that there is an official Myofascial release therapy, and it finally helped me to connect the dots! Our muscles can store memories and emotions. Physical manipulation can help to free them. Check out more here.
Nervous System Healing
Healing the nervous system is an essential part of emotional healing. Personally, this is something I didn’t learn much about in any of my training or schooling and it’s so frustrating! Trauma creates dysfunction in our nervous system- we have to heal the nervous system in order to feel safe in our bodies again. The body gets stuck in the state that it was in when the trauma occurred and it constantly burns through nutrients- you have to get out of this loop in order to see REAL healing take place.
Symptoms of nervous system dysregulation include: anxiety, OCD, reacting to many foods or other items, insomnia, memory issues, social anxiety, social media addiction, or you can have issues with regulating mood (anger swings, depression, feeling the need to argue with everyone you talk to, etc). Lyme, mold, parasites, and other similar issues can keep ones nervous system in a state of stress. You can read more about the nervous system here.
All of the options on this list can help with nervous system healing luckily, but other things that can help include CBD oil, learning how to be present in your body, recognizing your triggers and reactions and starting to shift them. meditation, and nervine herbs like catnip, chamomile, hops, lavender, oat seed, skullcap, valerian, and passionflower.
Patience is essential when healing the nervous system, especially if you’ve been stuck for years.
Somatic healing is currently trending BIG TIME and with good reason (as I update this post in January 2023). This form of healing truly connects the mind-body and helps with healing the disconnection between these aspects of our health. Somatic healing uses very gentle and repetitive exercises to help with regulating your nervous system. This type of healing is a huge helper for those that are in OVERWHELM. If everything feels like it’s too much, if you react harshly to many foods or herbs, if you feel like you’ve tried “everything” but can’t seem to tolerate any of it then this is likely the type of healing you are missing.
I love The Workout Witch as her courses are very affordable and her approach is amazing. We store a lot of trauma in our hips, so one of the biggest things she speaks about is opening the hips up to release tension and trauma. She offers a great bundle for those with whole-body tension: for Hips, Jaw, and Shoulders. These exercises are seriously SO easy and you can do most of them laying in bed. Don’t let the word “workout” trip you because it’s not an intensive 2 hour long cardio course. It’s a simple and incredibly profound way to move your body so that your nervous system can finally learn to shut off.
- Art Therapy
- Music Therapy
- Regular talk therapy can help some people
- Just making friends can be a helper, especially if you have become a bit withdrawn because of chronic illness
- Dr. Caroline Leaf’s Brain Detox
- Breathing methods like Buteyko
- Yoga and meditation
- Write a letter to your abusers, even if you never send it. Some even write something up and then destroy it!
- Flower Essences
- cranial sacral Therapy
- Reiki is absolutely amazing- I highly recommend Catherine at Create and Blossom
- Books like “Your Body Speaks your Mind“, “The Healing Codes“, “The Body Keeps the Score“, and Dr. Nicole LePera’s “How to Do the Work“
Just know that you are not alone in your healing. There are plenty of people in your life that will help if you give them the chance (hopefully!).