What The Body Remembers/Help for Healing from Trauma

Trauma is a universal theme, sadly.

Sitting next to my daughter in the emergency room for several hours turned out to be invigorating in a strange way recently.

I have a day job working on the front lines with abused children, and this year, I’ve been a staff trainer for interventions in addressing the Adverse Childhood Experience Study, the largest study that directly correlates childhood abuse and trauma with significantly compromised physical and mental health in middle-aged adults.

My daughter, nearly twenty-six, should be the picture of health. She exercises daily, eats a clean diet (for an American, surrounded by fast-food, preservatives, and all things processed), and has a solid support system, but she lives in excruciating chronic pain.

Her team of doctors finally rendered her diagnoses:

Fibromyalgia, irritable bowel with possible Crohn’s disease, Celiac Disease, all complicated by a vagus nerve disorder.
Life gets scary quickly for her, and the conditions pit one issue against the other. And then her heart stops beating altogether.

The doctors have been clear that nearly every issue is related to her exposure to domestic violence and later being a kidnap victim as a pre-schooler.

The up-side to having a smart daughter in chronic pain is that she’s open to all types of healing. Just because trauma gets trapped in the body doesn’t mean it has to linger there forever.

Here are a few proven methods that we’ve added to the list of traditional supports like therapy, physical therapy,  and medication management that have resulted in less pain and more peace in her life.

For instance:

pureyogaworkshopYoga is an amazing salve for emotional (and some kinds of physical) wounds, especially ho’oponopono yoga. The link has a wonderful post by blogger Stacey Shanks that gives more detail.

Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE)  are new in our world. Our amazing friend Dr. Linda Chamberlain, added TRE to her bag of tools, and led my daughter and I in an easy but impactful hour. Picture this: a zebra in Africa is chased by a lion. The zebra survives, but after the case is over, shakes uncontrollably for ten or twenty minutes. As humans, we’ve learned to stifle those shakes, and in that stifling process, the trauma gets locked inside us.

Massage has been a godsend for my daughter for help living more comfortably in her body.

Trauma leaves an indelible mark on it’s victim, but the symptoms can be both managed and even lessened by embracing the tools available to us. We may not have a choice on some of our experiences, but we always have choices in how we address them.

What have you done to heal from trauma? Leave comments below.

A Girls’ Guide to Travelling Alone/Interview with Jane McIntyre about Roman Holiday

1510730_10202012491091778_125210113_n‘Tis the season to be jolly. How are you holding up ?

I’ve never been subtle about my dislike of the  holidays.  If I can’t travel this time of year, I like to reflect on my travels or read about the travel adventures of others to transport me out of my funk.  And I’m loving reading A Girls’ Guide to Travelling Alone by Gemma Thompson.

A year ago, I was planning my solo trip to France and Italy. Rome was one of my favorite destinations.  Now, I’m enjoying the story Roman Holiday by former BBC radio journalist Jane McIntyre.

I caught up with Jane on Twitter initially, and for me, it was love at first tweet. She’s a hoot.  Jane works as an extra in television and films, and spends time in her lovely cottage in Normandy.

Jane MacIntyre
Jane McIntyre

Shoes, shorts, shampoo, suncream. Dollars and euros.

And a couple of 20-quid notes. The sitting room was fast becoming a bureau-de-changing room.

At one end, my 16-year-old daughter’s neat piles of camp clothes and trainers, heading for Wisconsin, USA. At the other, and now leaning a little, Pisa-like, my attempt at ‘travelling light to Italy.’ We were both flying solo: the first time for Alice. And both leaving from Manchester airport, but three days apart.–Jane McIntyre

Thank you for being my guest, Jane!

How did you find out about the contest for Girls Traveling Alone?

Probably on Twitter!  I seem to find out about so much in life on there. I`m completely addicted to it….!

Does it inspire you to write more?
How could it not inspire me…and other writers included in it. It`s  a fantastic mix of people, places and experiences …the stories do, I guess, what any good travel `essay` should do: attack the senses. Draw you in. Make you read in colour. I`m thrilled to be involved and I`m trying, all the time, to write notes about what I see and places I go, even in the UK.

What is one thing you want your daughter to know about her journey into adulthood?
Alice is 18 now, and by the way I have an older daughter too, 24 year old Juliet. Both have done a fair bit of travelling alone; to and from the States and around Europe. I`m so proud of both of them for being bold and bright enough to save, fix their itineraries, and dip their toes into a new country or culture. So my one thing I`d like both of them to take in their ongoing journeys into adulthood is this: You’ve both been blessed with decent brains and good common sense. So..in life…. trust your instincts. About people. About…where to travel. Who to travel with, or who to avoid. And what you can achieve (but always aim high!).
To see what Jane McIntyre is up to, read her blog at lovemymondays.blogspot.co.uk.

And for your copy of A Girls’ Guide to Travelling Alone, download it from Amazon or Itunes for way less than it’s worth!