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How to Heal Generational Trauma: How Pain Travels through Generations until someone is ready to feel it
In my post on Emotional Healing Techniques, I wrote about how our personal experiences can influence our physical health and overall well-being. Since then, I have learned a lot more about how we can actually inherit traumas from previous generations. This concept might seem odd or really “out there” to some people, but I completely believe it now. As I’ve had to start working on my own emotional healing over the last year, I have realized what a huge role generational emotional trauma has played in my own health.
If our parents or grandparents went through their own traumas before we were born or even while they were pregnant, that trauma can be passed along (just like heavy metals, viruses, nutritional deficiencies, etc). A trauma can include anything: abuse of any kind, bullying, abandonment, drug use, birth trauma, chronic illness, etc. If they’ve never addressed their traumas, the emotions can get stored internally and influence their health, or it can just be passed onto the next child. Gene expression, habits, physical ailments, and behaviors in general can all be influenced.
How to Heal Generational Trauma
Whether you know about your generational trauma or not, it is always worth looking into emotional healing as it can help even with just healing your own experiences. Having this generational trauma (on top of the toxicities and deficiencies passed on) can definitely make the healing process a bit more difficult and longer, but it is a huge part of the process- it gives you a chance to end this cycle. A phrase I’ve seen often over the last year is that “pain travels through generations until someone is ready to feel it.”. Unfortunately, many people are realizing this as being true.
After generations of people hiding their feelings and experiences for fear of ridicule (or any other reason), it is time to acknowledge that the way we view all traumas is wrong. People do not need to just “suck it up” and “move on with life”. The proper support measures are rarely offered, and if they are offered then they are typically subpar. For example, when I was a child and I dealt with my biggest severe trauma, I remember having one session with a counselor. ONE. After dealing with physical and sexual abuse, and then being taking from my home in the middle of night, I had ONE single session with a child care worker, and that was it. And after that, no one ever spoke to me about my experiences. It was like it never happened, and I was apparently supposed to forget it and move on- at 9 years old. I later found out the traumas that my birth mother and her mother dealt with, and I can now understand how it’s been up to me to reverse this damage (and this is just from one side of my family!).
You may want to do research and start asking family members about the possible traumas in your ancestors’ histories, or you might not even want to delve into much detail and just want to work on healing. No matter what, it’s important to find methods of healing that work best for you.
When it comes to emotional healing, the best way to go about it is to read about several modalities and go with what speaks to you most. There are MANY ways to heal. If you have been working on physical healing and feel like you’ve hit a roadblock, then it is absolutely worth looking into the emotional healing side of things. We are all different- this is why there are so many modalities to choose from!
My Favorite Emotional Healing Techniques:
Yes, of course this is my first choice. Minerals have huge relationships with emotions. When calcium is too high, it can make us emotionally distant and numb (and it’s very common to have very high calcium when we have a lot of emotional trauma to heal- in this case it is crucial to work a bit on physical healing as well so that calcium can normalize). When copper is imbalanced, we can deal with anxiety, OCD, and bipolar type symptoms. If sodium and potassium are low, we can deal with apathy and depression.
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).
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. 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. You can read about my experience with homeopathy here.
Acupuncture is another one of my favorite methods of healing. It basically just helps your body do what it is trying to do. It makes the healing process easier as it opens up the energy blockages. Acupuncture can pretty much help with any health issue- depression, infertility, chronic pain, obesity, digestive issues, and so much more. Length of treatment will depend on the severity of your issues- the most common recommendation I have seen is about 10 weeks of weekly appointments. Just like with anything else, make sure the acupuncturist you are seeing is properly trained. Even better if you can find someone that you found by a word-of-mouth recommendation from someone that had success with that particular acupuncturist.
Most people get a little scared of the needle aspect of acupuncture but they really are very small! There are many studies backing up the effectiveness of acupuncture as well- you can read a bit more about this here. For most people, acupuncture can create an almost immediate increase in energy and a boost in mood. For those that are actively trying to heal, it can take several sessions before you feel a huge difference. Healing reactions are absolutely possible with acupuncture (and any other modality out there). My first few sessions made me absolutely exhausted for a day or 2 but then I started to feel so amazing after each session.
Any Kind of Body Work
Emotions and traumas get stored in organs and muscles for the most part and they can get stored pretty deep. Body work of any kind can help with releasing stored emotions. The most common forms of body work that I have seen to be helpful are chiropractic, myofascial release, acupuncture, massage, and some lymph healers like castor oil packs and the far infrared heating pad. Working on overall health and wellness will help with healing internally and make us stronger, which will help with releasing stored trauma as well. If you ever use a modality or add a new supplement to your protocol and start noticing that you feel more emotional and want to cry- that is a huge sign that your body is trying to release stored trauma. It might seem troublesome or crazy, but it is how our bodies heal 🙂
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!
Other big ideas:
- 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“
- Work on nervous system healing
More reading on this subject:
- It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle by Mark Wolynn. This book goes over the how and the why we inherit this trauma, even if we don’t even know what it is! It also goes over many ways to heal from this.
- Inherited Trauma Shapes your health: This article speaks about descendants of those that were in the Holocaust and how it is well known that they are dealing with inter-generational trauma
- Can a Parent’s Life Experience Change the Genes a Child Inherits?– This article goes more into the science about how trauma can influence our epigenetics
- My posts on Other Modalities of Healing or Emotional Healing Techniques