As per Webster’s dictionary:
“A disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury”
Peter Levine, the founder of the trauma healing modality ‘Somatic Experiencing’ says;
“Trauma is not in the event, it’s in our nervous system”.
There are debates stating that the same event or situation can happen or be experienced by different people with varying degrees of consequences & symptoms including PTSD; a mental health diagnosis, depending on each individuals vulnerability and nervous system resilience. Therefore, any traumatic event, no matter the degree of intensity, that interrupts our natural coping mechanisms has the distinct possibility to register as a trauma in the nervous system. You may experience such an event at birth, in your childhood developmental years, from a specific experience happening any time in life and/or though inherited, generational trauma.
These responses are not consciously chosen, the body responds accordingly to specific situations. The situation only registers as a trauma when these innate responses do not have the opportunity to fully ignite or complete. The ‘Fight or Flight’ response when misdirected or incomplete and the “freeze” response when immobilized, remain in our physical tissues ~ connective, muscular, nervous & epithelium. This creates acute (duration of 3 months maximum) or chronic (longer than 3 months) stress & tension. For some, the onset of symptoms may appear in the future, when another event triggers the original trauma.
These oppressive restrictions impact the natural flow of energy which can alter our perceptions of reality, shape our behavioral patterning and effect our general mental, emotional, physical health. They may even continue to develop as defense mechanisms against further pain, hurt and upset or protection from the breakthrough of overwhelming emotions and sensations like rage, anxiety or sexual excitation. As highly intelligent, self preserving beings, these defenses and protections once served to secure your place in love and belonging. This armor is now preventing you from fully growing into yourself.
You are taught how and encouraged to, complete your incomplete ‘Fight or Flight’ response and/or to mobilize the ‘Frozen/Dissociated’ response using open mouth connected breathing, therapeutic touch and body work, body awareness, connecting to felt sense and various forms of resourcing. This dislodging of stored stress & tension will not pose a threat to yourself or others around you as this work is done in an extremely safe, highly supported and nurturing environment.