Incredibly important to understand for help with PTSD! Read and share!
How trauma lodges in the body and how to release it
Basically van der Kolk (who has worked extensively with Veterans and PTSD) says that trauma gets stuck in our bodies--our muscles (from the clenching when the event happens) and areas of the brain that talk therapy simply can't reach.
He says, "We can talk till we're blue in the face, but if our primitive part of our brain perceives something in a particular way, it's almost impossible to talk ourselves out of it, which, of course, makes verbal psychotherapy also extremely difficult because that part of the brain is so very hard to access."
People who are traumatized often shut down their emotions, too. So they are not aware of what their body is feeling, which is where practices such as yoga, martial arts, taichi, all come into play to help heal. "Something that engages your body in a very mindful and purposeful way -- with a lot of attention to breathing in particular -- resets some critical brain areas that get very disturbed by trauma," he explains.
He suggests that through these mindful practices that traumatized people no longer get "hijacked" by loud noises, people saying hurtful things to them, insults, etc. They can simply acknowledge the emotion of it and move on.
Van der Kolk is also a proponent of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy). "Anybody who first hears about it, myself included, thinks this is pretty hokey and strange. It's something invented by Francine Shapiro, who found that, if you move your eyes from side to side as you think about distressing memories, that the memories lose their power."
EMDR should only be explored with a licensed practitioner, he says.
READ THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW by clicking the SOURCE link below.