The body and mind cannot be separated. Neuroscientist Candice Pert’s reminds us of cadaver days and body snatching. The church and medicine attempted to separate the two by donating the bodies to the dissectionists and the church maintaining the soul and the spirit. Move on to where we are now and we can clearly see the disjointed treatment methods of isolation, not to mention our belief system which is responsible for a whopping 95% of our behaviour (the unconscious). Yet our bodies are an integrated system. Anyone who is teaching any sort of movement will experience this with their participants and themselves. When we experience low level emotions such as anger, judgement, fear, scarcity, sadness, grief and blame, we feel and see it in our posture and hold it in the body.
We all know this from lockdown. New research is now looking into the effects of isolation on pregnant women during COVID-19. Health promotion must begin at conception. I am still today puzzled at why exercise, nutrition, vitamin D, hydration and sleep are not being promoted through media at a mass level. In the womb the growing human is already affected by maternal stress and everything outside that goes on around the mother. Pregnant women need much more than blood tests, physical exams, and ultrasounds. They require emotional support so the hormones of stress do not chronically flow into the fetus via the umbilical cord. Current birthing practices, egregiously over-medicalized, interfere with natural physiologic processes and maternal-infant bonding.
Chinese medicine teaches us that each organ has an association with a feeling or emotion. The wise old sayings such as: ‘Green with envy’ and ‘angry liver’ come from the organ’s load and toxicity. Even Vincent Van Goph depicted depression in the shapes of his paintings.
“Trauma is not the bad things that happen to you, but the things inside that happen to you.” – Gabor Mate.
Trauma is the invisible force that shapes our lives. It shapes the way we live, the way we love, and the way we make sense of the world.
Our traumatic responses and imprints are our unconscious. Any trauma is a disconnection from the self. The biggest myth is that addiction is a choice. It’s not what is the addiction, it is what is the pain that they are hiding. Find the pain and learn how to deal with it and you will get rid of the addiction. If only it was so simple. Bruce Lipton – Biology of Belief tells us that we have the ability to change our genes, therefore our outcomes, and our perception of the way we experience things in life. “Self-medication—namely, substance abuse—is one of the methods that traumatized people use in an attempt to regain emotional control, although ultimately it causes even further emotional dysregulation (e.g., substance-induced changes in affect during and after use). Other efforts toward emotional regulation can include engagement in high-risk or self-injurious behaviors, disordered eating, compulsive behaviors such as gambling or overworking, and repression or denial of emotions; however, not all behaviors associated with self-regulation are considered negative. In fact, some individuals find creative, healthy, and industrious ways to manage strong affect generated by trauma, such as through renewed commitment to physical activity or by creating an organisation to support survivors of a particular trauma.”1 Around 64% of people in prison come from abusive backgrounds. The compassionate prison project looks to help prisoners become the best possible them.
Human beings sacrifice health and love for the next big thing. The key is to meet every human beings at where they are and don’t try to change them. Drugs and high-performance sports go together to produce freedom as a response to childhood trauma. Most elite level athletes will be running from some sort of adversity.
We live in a world of traumatised systems meaning consumerism. Large parts of economy survive because the purchase gives us temporary pleasure. We are destroying the earth. Trauma does not know colour or status. It shows up as depression, anxiety, PTSD, dis-ease, disconnection and insomnia to name but a few. We see the world for what has happened to us rather than what has happened for us. Pain whether it physical, mental or emotional is the root cause of trying to feel comfortable, it’s a behaviour support system. Stress is a danger to the immune system.
When an illness comes along. We treat it as the enemy and do our best to fight it off, cut it off, burn it out, take it out, flush it out and so on. This is not to say that we should not get treatment or medication. The bigger picture is: what is this teaching us??
Everything has a band aid effect in life, and we are sold short term solutions. When you go on the healing journey, you ask bigger questions regarding your physiology. Compassionate enquiry finds the truth inside of us all. A human being cannot be identified without compassion for each other and ourselves. We improve ourselves and society when we can find ourself. Remember as soon as we point one finger at another , there are three pointing back at ourselves. Trauma involves pushing down and not feeling the pain. Trauma is a disconnection from self, it effects our brain development of the pre/mid frontal cortex. A predator always knows who to pick.
Children have a tendency to shut down emotions and disconnect from pain. Whenever we suppress everything, we become a sitting duck for deeper things inside. This is where addictions show up, they are short term solutions. A baby needs its parents’ brain in order to regulate emotions. Parents who are alienated from their feelings, produce children who repeat the same pattern. “A substantial body of research shows that adverse life experiences contribute to both psychological and biomedical pathology. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an empirically validated treatment for trauma, including such negative life experiences as commonly present in medical practice. The positive therapeutic outcomes rapidly achieved without homework or detailed description of the disturbing event offer the medical community an efficient treatment approach with a wide range of applications”. 2
The importance of nutrition and a healthy ecology, soil and planet of an environment free of toxins and pollution, need hardly be stressed. We are sitting on the biggest pandemic ever with destruction to mother earth at an ever rising rate. Policymakers, governments, religions, schooling and community leaders need to be taught that economic and social disparities, insecurities, and stresses, as well as racial or ethnic inequalities, result in health problems and vastly increased health costs. In truth, almost all diseases are social diseases. But the sad truth is that we do not make money from the healthy, we only make money from the sick……Hence we stay on the wagon wheel of commercialism or do we????
“To be whole is much more than to experience the absence of disease.” Gabor Mate
If we wish to take full responsibility for health in our society, we must not only be vigilant guardians of our personal well-being. We must also work to change structures, institutions, and ideologies that keep us mired in a toxic culture. In a nutshell we need to learn how to think and not be told what to think…………“A culture can be toxic or nourishing,” writes Thom Hartmann.
‘Molecules of emotion’ – Candice Pert
‘How to build a culture of good health’ – Gabor Mate
‘The biology of belief’- Bruce Lipton
‘The wisdom of trauma’ – Dr.Gabor Mate
- – Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services – Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 57.Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (US). Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2014.
2. The Role of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy in Medicine: Addressing the Psychological and Physical Symptoms Stemming from Adverse Life Experiences. Perm J. 2014 Winter; 18(1): 71–77. doi: 10.7812/TPP/13-098