PTSD? A Holistic Approach
What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Do you feel on edge? Do you experience recurring nightmares? Do you get startled by sudden noises? Do you have a tendency to isolate yourself or express anti – social behavior? Could you have PTSD?
If you have experienced severe trauma or a life-threatening event, you may develop symptoms of posttraumatic stress, commonly known as post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, shell shock, or combat stress. Maybe you felt like your life or the lives of others were in danger, or that you lost control over what was happening. You may have witnessed people being injured or dying, or you may have been harmed yourself.
“Even though I knew they were just fireworks on the 4th of July, to me they still sounded like incoming mortars. It took me right back to my deployment…”
Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD include recurring memories or nightmares of the event(s), sleeplessness, loss of interest, or feeling numb, anger, and irritability. There are many ways PTSD can impact your everyday life. When someone’s mental emotional and physical health have been compromised it can become exceedingly difficult to manage relationships because the relationship with one’s self –a priority is vulnerable/wounded. How can we participate or nurture someone else when we are injured. After traumatic stress it is common for the body mind soul to remain in survival mode- a lower level of consciousness that starves the deep nourishment of the soul’s desire.
From an Eastern/Holistic perspective any health Symptom or Problem is caused because of lack of flow- a stagnation in the movement of the primal forces of nature that affect the orderly operations of the body mind spirit functions. Health is about distribution of Chi –Energy. The Blood follows the Chi to nourish and cleanse every cell. Stagnation traps the energy in one area, leaving other places starving. E.G. A pain in the shoulder or head keeps blood from circulating to the intestines or some other organ. Physical symptoms are equally connected to emotional and spiritual stagnation. What causes stagnation? Some say it’s complicated?
Any emotional Problem is rooted in only 3 sources- our relationship to the 1) Past, 2) Parents/ Parenting and 3) Partners (family, intimate partners, co-workers, friends, enemies, business, social, global). Attachment to stress is always connected to these sources and the physical pain that may come along with them is a) an attempt to signal us to make a change. Physical wounds also b) act as an anchor to keep our attention in the body instead of over processing in the brain. Once the physical body has recovered there is more energy available to transform the associated wounds of the heart mind and spirit that eventually evolve our soul. Re-solving these emotional and spiritual attachments results in Peace, Patience, Perseverance, Posterity, Prosperity, Passion and more (find your own).
People experiencing PTSD often speak of their own traumas without consciously reconciling the traumas of the war environment with the “other” side- where military participants signed on to Participate in an environment of conflict and violence with our brothers and sisters-Partners in a global relationship.
Healing this past violent incongruence with the universal Peacefulness every person aspires to, involves transforming the wound that is lodged in the workings of our body mind into an energy source that instead of being hidden or buried, surfaces and circulatesto evolve our soul/consciousness. Complete healing requires For give ness– Forward giving to the self after making amends and resolving conscious or subconscious confusion and/or guilt.
Nightmares, disturbing dreams and any sleep dis order, are the psyche’s natural way of healing such trauma. Our subconscious houses at least 99% of our life experiences. We are only conscious of perhaps1%. Sleep is a natural healing environment. The body mind and soul regenerates through both the stillness and dream states we experience every night- transforming the shadows of fear in the darkness of sleep. Ideally, sleep state healing overflows into the light of our waking experience.
The activated healing during sleep can be compared to an automatic upgrade on a computer system. Often we awake, sometimes abruptly to reboot our consciousness for the upgrade to take effect. Sometimes our old internal software is incapable of handling the new operating system and the upgrade / healing is incomplete. Or sometimes the upgrade contains a virus = a pathogenic belief that can deteriorate the whole system.
How to Heal the Past.
Firstly, when someone experiences trauma, that trauma is exactly the necessary ingredient to initiate healing of the soul. It comes to each of us-to you? Because you have or will learn the necessary skills to use this stress instead of it using you. You signed on to experience both the shadow and the light of life’s dualistic nature. Being a victim-blaming others for the trauma, is a sure way to avoid resolving the extreme of opposite conflicting forces craving a better balance. Blaming others negates our participation and response ability and keeps us stuck in the past.
Electricity/energy needs both a positive and negative pole to generate light. The greater the difference in the positive and negative charges the more light and energy that can be potentially created from their union. Being in the trauma of war allows one to experience and appreciate an equal and opposite feeling – Peace. Only the strongest souls choose such an extreme environment of violent polar opposites to initiate their growth. The Body – Heart Mind Soul is the conductor of these resulting electrical charges. Strengthening ourselves allows the resolution of extremes to find a healthy equilibrium.
BIG energy comes from the polar opposites of battle. USE it to motivate the evolution of the soul (instead of it using you) and to overflow the resulting healing energy to others.
- E. S.
Physical Emotional and Spiritual interventions/changes are necessary to heal.
Sleep-Do whatever is necessary to achieve a healing sleep. Sleep is a physical, emotional and spiritual healing tool. Do you get enough sleep and do you sleep deeply?
Sleep is the time reserved for our subconscious mind to work out the “stuff” that keeps us from feeling our natural vital state.
What can you do balance your sleep and activity levels?
Avoid eating before sleep, clear your bedroom space, and impregnate your soul with affirmations and prayers before sleep. Conceive your highest potential, your life purpose- Shape your destiny.
E.g. “I am healing my body mind and soul through the regenerative sleep I experience tonight. The resolution of any inner conflicts within me create vital health and peace for me and all humanity ”
With every breath I feel the Universal Life Force entering my body. I breathe and feel every cell of my body being nourished and cleansed. I empty my mind of thoughts- As thoughts come I breathe and the power of healthy change that lives within heals me.
I am energized by all that is around me My sub conscious self continues to move my body mind spirit to make decisions and actions that empower me by improving my health… vital health of body mind spirit With every breath I am becoming healthier I transform the past patterns of limiting attachments into new vital horizons of being healthy
I for(ward) give myself and experience deep healing My sub conscious self continues to move my body mind spirit to make decisions and actions that empower me by improving my health… vital health of body mind spirit
With every breath I am becoming healthier Make up your own.
Massage/Bodywork is another efficient way to experience a deep regenerative state similar to sleep. The relaxed state experienced in bodywork initiates transformation as the practitioner initiates the flow of energy and blood to circulate wherever we need it. As receivers of massage, we calm the mind of distracting thoughts and instead put our attention into the bliss of body awareness and healing.
Breath– O2 is our no. 1 life essential nutrient and Co2 is our no. 1 toxic metabolic by – product. Efficient breathing nourishes and cleanses our blood. Extreme ups and downs in our breathing patterns also affects the heart rate, blood pressure and are the root of tension, mood swings and anxiety. Slowing our breath through quiet deep diaphragm breathing improves the condition of our lungs. When our lungs are clear, our brain is also clear and instead of anal lies ing, creative solutions intuitively surface.
Exercise and sptoend more time in nature. Go somewhere where the air is clean, feel the earth under your feet, jump in the water, walk in the trees, eat a meal made over a fire and you will be surprised at the clarity you experience. Internal energy exercises like yoga, tai chi and chi kung clear the brain and strengthen the internal body as well as the outer framework.
Food– Extreme eating patterns are the next factor in creating vital health. Do you eat enough vegetables and whole grains? How often do you eat junk food? Sugar? Meat? Do your food choices move you towards health and healing or keep you stuck in the past? Choosing organic wholesome foods over junk food that tax the body, will allow us to use our energy for making healthy decisions instead of eliminating chemicals hormones and antibiotics. Better yet, grow your own food in a garden or planters on your balcony. Planting seeds yourself and taking care of your own foods permeates the plants with a complementary energy customized to heal your body.
How to improve your emotional balance? Do you experience extreme highs and lows in your moods? Learn to feel before you react in a way you will regret. When someone pushes your buttons… Listen to where you feel this emotion. Instead of chasing it away by judging, arguing, crying for pity, pleasing others, having a drink etc., take 5-10 seconds to feel the sensation. Use the breath to empty yourself of thoughts and use the feeling for healing. You will find that this slowing down and fueling yourself with the physical sensations found in your feelings will stop you from reacting in ways that might otherwise damage your relationships.
This method will help you to respect yourself and everyone you come in contact with as well as energize you through being in the body instead your head. When in confusion or doubt, breathe…. feel the physical sensations in the borders of your body and watch them run through you.
Are you spiritually balanced? Do you have a sense of spiritual direction that you experience regularly?
When making a decision ask, does this choice move me closer to my dream in life or send me back a few steps. Cultivate intuition instead of the logical brain because over anal lies ing choices keeps one stuck in the past .
Emptying the brain through daily meditation/sitting quietly makes room for genuine truths- (truths that further your consciousness and health) to surface.
Relationships are the root of our social condition on planet earth. The reverence we feel within and express outwardly in our personal and family relationships overflows, to bring peace to the planet.
Find creative outlets like drawing writing, music, dance etc to heal the past through
for (ward) give ness. Create the vital vibrations of inspiring (new) energy.
Breathe…Feel…. and Be Love.
Seymour Koblin is the Founding Academic Director of the School of Healing Arts 501 c 3 non-profit organization where Holistic services and education are provided for those suffering from PTSD and many other health challenges. Join SOHA at Miraculous Mondays 6:30 pm for a free Holistic Health Class/lecture followed by free massage.