Updated: Oct 9, 2022
Did You Know That Your Body Is Storing Unhealed Trauma?
You may have heard before that trauma and the pain from memories can be stored in your body. This happens when you are not able to process, face, accept and heal from traumatic situations that you have experienced. This means that your body is living as though it is in a constant state of threat. It is always waiting for the next attack or painful event. As you can assume, you face more problems as a result of storing this trauma. You are not operating at your full capacity, and you are not at peak health. A myriad of problems occurs, including mental and physical.
You experience stress easier, you may have physical pains and tension, your immune system is compromised, and more.
“Trauma has such a severe impact because of the way it affects, and ultimately, rewires the brain. When the brain goes into stress or is stuck in stress, it leads to physical changes and a complicated ripple of life-altering symptoms.” When Trauma Gets Stuck in the Body by Beth Shaw for Psychology Today
How to Heal Your Body of Stored Trauma
One method for healing this stored trauma, we can take from the animal kingdom, is to shake out our bodies (especially after a stressful or traumatic situation). Animals will “shake off” the energy of traumatic events, by simply shaking and moving their bodies. This is a natural, survival-based response to trauma (When Trauma Gets Stuck in the Body).
Sometimes when people cry or have anxious episodes, their bodies can shake or convulse. This is the same thing that animals do. You might assume if you are feeling heightened emotions, calm down and be still. But this is not always the case. Coincidentally, leaning into your body's natural instinct can actually help you to calm down quicker and more efficiently.
You can take “shaking it off” a step further, with dancing. Dancing is a beautiful and healthy way to release stored trauma. When you are moving freely, shaking off all the heavy energy, something special happens. You can enter a trance-like space, which is meditative and unique every time. If you are interested in doing a dance meditation, I recommend playing meditation music with drums or chants. This is so you can get into a rhythm and flow, and release any inhibitions. Your focus is on feeling the experience, not performing or trying to appear any certain way.
The drums and/or chants work to help your mind go into a meditative or flow state. It's called focused attention meditation, where you focus on an object or sound to quiet the mind. It's effective because your brain is busy keeping up with the rhythm, it has no time to think of something else.
If you are interested in this topic, you can read Medicine Dance, a book by Marsha Scarbrough. The story tells of ‘one woman’s healing journey into the world of Native American sweat lodges, drumming meditations and dance fests’.
"Trance dance allows the mind to empty itself of itself. Through the healing power of unedited movement, Spirit is invited to reside within, allowing the dancers to weave themselves back to wholeness while trusting the process of perpetual transformation." Read more at: https://mysticalembodiment.net/dance/trance-dance-ritual/
Another method to heal from trauma and pain is meditation. Through the process of regular meditation, you rewire your brain. Meditation helps to train your (possibly anxious) mind. You can ease your “monkey mind,” which is a cute way of saying an overactive mind- one that jumps from thought to thought like vines. Instead, you train your brain, through the process of meditation. You focus on what matters to you, and what you are grateful for. You become grateful for things that you had never even noticed before. Additionally, your mindset and outlook can change for the better. Your whole life can transform.
One more method for healing stored trauma is yoga. You can find specific guided yoga flows for emotional releases, like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2a_r3jfsDk
Yoga is a powerful tool for relating to and connecting with your body. Be sure to set an intention before you begin your yoga session that you release any stored trauma (or emotion) and you tune into your body, lovingly.
Read More About Trauma and How It Affects Your Body Below:
When Trauma Gets Stuck in the Body by Beth Shaw for Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-the-body/201910/when-trauma-gets-stuck-in-the-body
You can also read “You Can Heal Your Body” by Louise Hay. You can look up a specific illness and what could’ve been a potential emotional or traumatic cause and focus on healing through affirmation and meditation.