I don’t compare or put a severity level on trauma. All trauma, regardless of the source, type, or duration, has powerful consequences and impacts a person’s identity and sense of self-worth. Also, I do not believe trauma victims are permanently damaged or destroyed. From those who suffer PTSD and abuse through military service/war to those who suffer from sociopath/narcissistic abuse as children, I absolutely believe recovery is possible.
I have tried lots of traditional methods and approaches to recovery. The one that works for me is yoga, and I started practicing yoga not aware of the impact it would eventually have on my trauma and triggers! I simply stumbled upon the healing and transformational power of yoga.
During a traumatic event and/or periods of perpetual trauma, our ability to physically move and act is hindered. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that everyone who suffers from trauma holds trauma in their physical bodies…in their muscles…in their connective tissues. The combination of focused breathing and movement that yoga requires has been proven to release that internal tension and “free” a patient slowly and gradually over time.
To add to its credibility as an effective tool, yoga is gaining the spotlight in the integrative health field. Non-profits like Boulevard Zen and Yoga Hope have provided yoga as therapy to DV survivors and to survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing respectively. Many survivors of cancer also have yoga as part of their recovery programs in hospitals and institutes. In addition, med students are even being encouraged to become yoga practitioners and teachers, so they understand the power of yoga in order to recommend yoga therapy to their future patients.
If I had not seen and experienced the positive results in myself and in others whom I have personally met and been in contact, I would not feel confident enough to share and encourage others to give yoga and meditation a try. To just consider it.
But it does require a commitment of at least several weeks of consistent practice. Recent studies conducted with older generation veterans concluded that after just 8 weeks of a regular and consistent practice of transcendental meditation (TM), vets with PTSD experienced a 50% decrease in their symptoms and triggers. That’s huge to me, considering TM requires zero movement of the physical body beyond the rise and fall of the lungs, pumping of the heart, and the flow of oxygenated blood to all our organs.
So I feel internally motivated to make an effort to influence and persuade folks who happen to find this blog to try yoga. I am starting to put together Introduction to Yoga and Meditation videos to share on this site very soon. I can’t wait to offer these to you.
For now, check out Yoga and Meditation Therapy for Survivors of Sociopath Abuse on this site.