Feel & Heal

October 31, 2018

Stress & Nervous System

 

Studies have show the stress and stress response memorylives within the nervous system. In times of exposure to

 

stressful events where you can feel a variety of emotions such as hopeless / helpless / lack of control the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is engaged. 

 

This is the part of the nervous system responsible for controlling unconscious bodily actions like breathing. More specifically it is the Sympathetic NS also known as the "fight or flight" that is triggered during such times of stress. 

From this the HYPOTHALAMIC - PITUITARY- ADRENAL AXIS of the mid-brain begins to fire up, which sends a signal fromyour hypothalamus in the form of a hormone to message/stimulate the pituitary gland which then stimulates the adrenal glands which are part of the endocrine system. 

 

When "fight or flight" response is activated stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are released from the adrenal glands. 

This response is needed in times of great danger for the body to have enough energy to - fight or flight.

Stored trauma happens when this biological process is too overwhelming and the person is unable to process and release the stressful event.

Naturally in this state animals and humans will try to release this stress by - shaking, crying, screaming. 

These responses allow the body to physically process the stress, however when this natural stress response is not processed it remains stored in the tissues of the body. 

 

When/ If a future yet much smaller/ less serious threat occurs all the unprocessed traumatic memory is recalled -

The nervous system responds as if it was the original threat, trauma or stressor. This biological response is beyond the ability to control, you cant think your way out of it.

This reaction leads to stored trauma within the body which can manifest as 

 

> pain

> tension

> disassociation

> immobility

> energy blockages 

> illness 

> dis-ease

 

Unprocessed stress becomes traumatic memory that lies dormant within the body, unseen or even unfelt in daily life with very little awareness of it, until in a situation of trigger when it is 

released as if for the very first time allowing the trauma and all its mental and emotional pain to resurface

 

The work then lys in retraining the body, this can be done with practices such as 

 

> meditation

> breathing techniques

> yoga

> somatic movement

> dance

> soothing music 

> sound healing

> nature

 

These tools deactivate the Sympathetic NS and activate the opposing Para-Sympathetic NS response - " rest & digest "

This regulates breathing, slows the heartbeat and circulates blood back to the vital organs.

These powerful practices can change a persons physiology and can effect mood. Understanding how to heal past trauma and past wounds through such practices can lead to a deeper awareness of oneself, the ability to see and understand certain triggers within ones-self, move into a more embodies and ultimately a joyful life 

 

Rebecca 

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