Sunday, December 13, 2009

Body Memory And Trauma - Part 3 of 3

Note: This is Part 3 of 3. Please click here for PART 1, and Part 2 to read this in sequence.

As I write this, I can feel the intense anger, pain, hurt, betrayal and heat in my body. It is as if I want to lash out and hit a punching bag. I want to scream out at this moment and just go, “Stop – I’ve had enough! What part of that don’t you understand?” Yet, the words seem to have no influence or power for me. They seem to be merely sound uttered with no result.

Part of the entire ordeal lately has left me not wanting to be physically close to anyone (not even myself). Imagine going through the roughest moment of your life and then repeating it every day. If you can picture yourself not wanting to be connected with relationships or others, than you’re beginning to get the picture. How I didn’t just give up during this time, I do not understand. This is far more than any person should ever have to face in their life and recover through.

So as the day wore on, I grew tired and the body memories came at me with a full force of vengeance. They would not let up and so I knew I had to find a way to help move through this. I decided to take a bath that night with some sea salt and peppermint essential oil that I had. It just seemed like the thing to do. The warm water felt soothing to me, and so I just soaked in the tub for some time while trying to notice how my breath felt in the water. I could sense my body move in the water as my breath went in and went out. Each inhalation and exhalation was a safe and comforting feeling to me. As I continued to soak in the warm water, I just kept connecting myself to my breath, and I could feel tiny little trembling in my arms as they were submerged. I knew that the trembling was connected to my nervous system discharging stored up energy as it looked for a way out. I stayed with my breath until I was able to extend the inhalations and exhalations, trying to allow the issues I was facing an opportunity to exit. As I stayed with this, I noticed that a lot of the tension in my body had dissipated and there was a greater calmness to my body. At that point, I just felt much more relaxed than I had all day long.

As I went to bed that night, I laid down wondering what the night was going to be like. Up until that point, I had several weeks of very little sleep and the exhaustion was wearing on me very hard. Little did I realize just how powerful my bath had been, for when I laid down to sleep, my eyes went shut easily and I think I slept the entire night without waking up once. It was the first night in many where I actually could sleep.

Waking up the next morning, I still felt somewhat tired but felt more refreshed than I had in quite some time. My body felt more relaxed and a lot less tense. Throughout the day, I noticed that the itching on my skin had dramatically reduced and overall I felt much more at peace. It was then that I realized something had shifted in me. I began to understand at that moment that the Yoga had just pushed the fears and sympathetic nervous system up into arousal, but the bath and breathing had allowed the full pendulation of my nervous system into the parasympathetic mode so that my body could heal itself and nourish itself in the way that it needed to. This was the resolution to what got kicked up in Yoga.

My next Yoga class was with a different instructor that was very low level, and while my body needed the relaxation, I wish it would have been kicked up a little than given more rest. However, the Yoga class did allow me to focus more in on my body and my breath, which of course helped take me deeper into the healing that was going on.

Tonight was my next Yoga class with the main instructor I usually go to. It is a respectful, honoring state of Yoga that we practice. The instructor is good about inviting us to do as much as we can, while listening to our bodies and remembering to breathe. Before Yoga, my resting pulse rate was again in the low to mid 90’s. However after Yoga, I once again used the Finger Pulse Meter to check my pulse and surprisingly it was 54. That is one of the lowest readings I have ever had since I’ve been checking it.

My body feels at peace tonight and not as tense. I can feel the shift and I can feel like maybe it is ok to once again inhabit my body. There are still the body issues and memories that are surfacing but for now, I’ve just chipped a major chunk away from them. The itching and pain is not completely gone but it is not as intense as it has been.

This is the holiday season and it usually pushes things up for me, so I am trying hard to take care of myself and give myself things that will help reregulate my nervous system. While the body issues are still there, they have greatly subsided since that major shift in me. For the first time since they flared up several weeks ago, I feel like maybe it is true, that this too shall pass and that I will once again regain my power over my body. Part of me says that this is still a dream but deep down, I know it is possible and hold that intention along with my courage and strength to continue on through another day.

NOTE: Due to the length of the article, this is the end of Part 3 of 3.

1. Somatoform Disorder/Body Memory: The presence of physical symptoms that suggest there is a underlying medical condition, when in fact the situation cannot be explained. These situations most likely represent an unconscious reaction of psychological situations and show up as a medical condition with or without any physical manifestation.

2. Body Memory (Somatic Memory): Sensations in the body that often link to some portion or aspect of trauma that the individual has been through. Body memories may occur in many ways.

Definition Source:

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