Trauma and chronic stress deeply affect our bodies and minds, leaving lasting imprints in our cognitive and physiological memory. Physiological memory stores the physical sensations and reactions tied to traumatic experiences, which can resurface through triggers and lead to recurring distressing symptoms.
Body-based therapies recognize the vital role of the body in trauma healing. By integrating body and mind, these therapies provide effective tools to unlock deep healing potential. They encourage us to reconnect with our bodily sensations, movements, and postures, tapping into the wisdom of the body. This process allows for the exploration and release of tension, leading to increased body awareness.
A key aspect of body-based therapies is learning to regulate our physical responses. Therapists can help clients gain a better understanding of their bodily impulses and sensations, guiding them in safely navigating trauma-related sensations. By gradually learning skills to regulate arousal levels, we can regain control over our bodies, promoting resilience and regulation.
Body-based therapies also focus on integrating traumatic experiences into our overall narrative. By bridging cognitive and physiological aspects of trauma, we can form a coherent and compassionate understanding of our journey. This integration cultivates a sense of safety, healing, and wholeness.
Recognizing the interconnectedness of our bodies and minds is crucial for healing trauma and chronic stress. Body-based therapies offer powerful pathways to overcome these challenges while honouring the wisdom of the body. By embracing these approaches, we can embark on transformative journeys toward healing, resilience, and a renewed sense of well-being.
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Laura McKinney, B.A., is a therapy and assessment practicum student working under the supervision of Dr. Lila Hakim, C. Psych., currently completing her master’s in psychology. As a practicum student, Laura offers therapy at a discounted rate. She is passionate about helping clients heal from trauma and chronic stress. Please check out her profile on the Toronto team page on the CFIR website for more information.”