One of the best audio cd’s I’ve heard on trauma and how it’s stored in the body is by Peter Levine. He’s a leading expert in understanding and treating trauma.
As mammals our natural response to anything traumatic is fight, flight or freeze. As humans we judge ourselves for freezing, but in nature it’s actually a survival mechanism, as it means the predator may think an animal is dead and while going away to get cubs the animal can then flee. After the freeze response animals shake out the frozen energy and then carry on as if nothing had happened.
As humans we judge ourselves as wimpy if we tremble and shake, we have the ability to numb it out or stop it. But it’s a natural biological response to a frightful situation.
In doing any kind of healing of trauma which creates trapped energy in the brain and body, I tend to find I go through a period afterwards where I get angry, I make sure I move my arms to release the energy as if fighting, or I get on my rebounder and jog as if I am fleeing. It tells the brain that the situation is over and I got away. It is the response that should have happened if I hadn’t frozen in the situation where I wasn’t able to get away.
David Berceli’s trauma releasing exercises works on the same premise.
One example I have recently released was in my early school days, we had a particularly nasty headmaster who really shouldn’t have been in charge of a school, but that was the way they did it in the 1960s, and I’m sure it was worse for some the further back through the 20th century you went.
5 minutes before the bell rang at play time and lunch time, there was a *freeze* bell. So as kids we literally had to freeze like statues and the headmaster walked around to make sure we were all frozen. If we weren’t, we were punished.
We literally were locking into our muscles the trauma of powerlessness around being *prey* for this man.
School was a great place for making children sit still, and you were naughty if you were fidgety or moved around a lot, which is what our body’s want to do to release tension.
Frozen In Time
Healing trauma is about freeing up the trapped energy in the brain and body that keeps you frozen in time, and creates stress symptoms that play out as emotional and physical disturbances.
Frozen Trauma means that we may have problems regulating our energies, because we have found ways to avoid feeling that trapped energy, be it disassociation, addiction, anxiety, depression, and disease.
The energy is always pushing for release.
But once safe and out of the dangerous situation, the energy that has been encapsulated can be released, and the learnings can be assimilated into your being, integrating the wisdom and power that you had to give up in order to survive.