What is healing? New research in neuroscience is beginning to aid us in understanding the importance of not separating the mind from the body or the soul/spirit from the mind. Current research in neuroscience is providing insight that the physical body remembers what the mind cannot.
Neuroscience is showing that the physical body responds to trauma and can become stuck in a loop of heightened arousal. Trauma creates a bodily fixation where individuals experience a freezing in time. In this state the past and present collide because the body is remembering the past trauma and is physiologically aroused because the body wants to complete the natural cycle that it wasn’t able to complete because the trauma interrupted it. When an individual is in a heightened state their perception of danger is heightened and they are more likely to perceive threat when there isn’t one and then respond to that perceived threat ineffectively. So the body continues to become over-charged and hyper-aroused. The autonomic nervous system takes over because it never had the opportunity to discharge. Neuroscience is assisting us in understanding that the body needs to physically discharge the held energy in order to move past the trauma and move into homeostasis.
As neuroscience is assisting us in understanding how trauma affects the body, we are seeing the importance of integrating somatic work into traditional psycho-therapy. Here at WellPath Counseling we have clinician (specifically Allison Batty-Capps) whose work to assist individuals in reconnecting to their body to understand what needs to be released, teaching them how to martial resources to calm the body so they can re-learn how to live in a relaxed state body. Once they have mastered how to pendulate between a tense body and a relaxed state body consciously, I assist them in making conscious connection to unconscious memories (implicit or actual) in order to aid them in fully understand and healing from their experiences. I do this using a combination of mindfulness techniques, somatic techniques, relaxation techniques utilizing reiki energy healing, expressive arts, and psycho-therapy.