One of the things I love most about my work is that I, too, am constantly learning. Of course, it goes without saying that I’m always actively learning about the scientific aspects of homeopathic and functional medicine. However, I am most drawn to helping my clients with their emotional traumas. One of my steadfast beliefs is there is always a reason for anxiety and depression. The reason may not be obvious, but if we dig down deep enough, we’ll find it. This takes time, dedication, and courage – from both the person doing the work and the practitioner.
This week, a woman I’ve been working with for over a year and a half came in and said, “I have a lot of unpacking to do.” I knew she wasn’t talking about moving. I was so pleased to hear her say this because it was an indication that she, too, was aware of all the layers of trauma we had been working to peel away, and was ready and able to go to a deeper layer.
Previously, we’d been dealing with the repercussions of her nighttime anxiety and resulting sleeplessness. After her epiphany, we started digging deeper to uncover all the tiny bits of information that went into creating her inner distress.
Perhaps you find yourself thinking, “What’s the problem? Just leave it be!” That’s not the nature of trauma and anxiety. Let me explain.
There are many facets to trauma, but one of the most important – and the one I find most often in my practice – relates to how emotional trauma impacts your health at a cellular level.
If an upsetting experience happens at a very young age, often there is no frame of reference for how to incorporate that experience, not only into your psyche but also into your body. In an effort to maintain health, both your psyche and your body develop certain frames of reference, or “adaptations,” so the trauma is buried deep into your being and you are able to continue to grow. The traumatic event, now hidden, is carried along with you and becomes part of you, for the body and psyche have an innate drive to grow and be as healthy as possible.
These adaptations work for a while, allowing you to develop, function, and get on with life. But often, as you go through life, you’ll notice that what had been a functional way of adapting to the trauma has now become burdensome. The original trauma, as yet undealt with, begins to interfere with your ability to achieve some of the things that are important to you. For example, in my practice I’ve worked with a woman who wanted to complete graduate school, but something always managed to get in her way of finishing. A common situation I’ve seen is wanting a committed relationship but being attracted to people who are not able to give you what you want and deserve.
As a homeopath, I seek to uncover your adaptations, for they form the basis for how illness develops both emotionally and physically. Fortunately, these adaptations also point us toward the solutions for regaining your health.
My client was ruthless in her determination to uncover all the aspects that were contributing to her nighttime distress. As we delved into the important minutia, her nighttime anxiety dramatically decreased, and for the first time in many years she was able to sleep through the night!
As we start to understand the root cause of the emotional trauma, the body can begin to unwind and let go of its adaptation to the original event. The impact it has had on your physical health becomes much clearer, and we are then able to apply my integrative skills to help your body adjust to a new way of being.
Although it’s important to be ruthless in your determination to get down to the layer of the root cause, it’s also extremely important, as you unwrap information about the trauma, to stay open and vulnerable and to temper your attitude about yourself with compassion.
This is what I call “whole-body/calm-mind healing.” It means doing the hard and often painful work to lay bare the trauma that may have been buried for years, even decades. Childhood trauma has deep roots, so it takes a while to uncover. Understanding and accepting that the process will take time allows you to engage patiently in your “unpacking” in a healthful way, certain in the knowledge that it is possible for you to reclaim your health and restore your life.
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