What is Trauma?
Psychological trauma is the unique individual experience of an event or enduring condition, in which:
* An individual’s ability to integrate his/her emotional experience is overwhelmed, or
* The individual experiences (subjectively) a threat to life, bodily integrity or sanity.
Some common forms of trauma include:
* Sexual abuse
* Verbal/emotional abuse
* Witnessed violence
* Violent crime
* Battering or other physical abuse
* Medical/surgical trauma
* Injurious accident
* Traumatic childbirth
* Natural disasters
In times of crisis, the body gears up for protective action. The heart pumps faster, breathing speeds up, the senses go on full alert. But when this *fight or flight* response fails to avert the danger, crisis becomes trauma. The normal human coping capacities become overwhelmed by helplessness and terror.
Although trauma arouses strong emotion, many of its lingering effects are physical: sleep problems, extreme startle responses, numbness or hyper-sensitivity to touch, headaches, restricted movement and breathing patterns, altered posture. The body seems stuck in the trauma response, and physical experience becomes disconnected from the moment-by-moment realities of life.
Trauma Touch Therapy™
For the survivor of trauma, the awakening of full awareness and sensation may seem too explosive to risk. Trauma Touch Therapy™ is an unhurried process, allowing for a gradual, integrative release of tension and pent-up emotions.
Together the Trauma Touch Therapist and client create an emotionally safe environment in which healthy boundaries can develop and trust can unfold. The therapy always proceeds on the most manageable level of exploration, with the utmost respect for the client’s sensitivities and limits.
Trauma Touch Therapist™ are massage therapists, but they do not apply strokes of their own accord as in typical massage. Clients decide to accept touch on their clothes or their skin. They may choose to lie down, sit, or stand. The type, quality, and location of touch is also the client’s choice. If touch is unwelcome, the session may focus on breath or movement.
Trauma Touch Therapy™ Benefits
* Integrates the body with the emotional, mental, and spiritual realms of experience
* Eases muscle tension and joint rigidity
* Restores physiological efficiency of breathing, movement, and posture
* Encourages healthy boundaries
* Enhances awareness of sensation
* Fosters renewed trust and security
* Calms panicked areas of the body
* Reduces the potency of triggers
* Fosters new stress management skills
* Improves the capacity for intimacy
* Models acceptance and compassion
* Provides a sense of groundedness, of belonging within the body