What is ”trauma” ? A brilliant book called ‘’Waking the Tiger’’ by Peter A. Levine who is a specialist in trauma therapy and healing is a self-help book which presents therapeutic advice for healing past traumas. I found the book wonderfully enlightening, if a little complex in parts.
It illustrates how one should deal with trauma – without being overwhelmed – by facing it head-on, not the trauma, but its “reflection” in our nervous system. The book asserts that animals in the wild are persistently subject to threats yet rarely exhibit symptoms of trauma.
Sadly the Western population does not really ‘’get’’ how to really live a fulfilling life, free from pain and stress. As I understood the book it basically says that if we just acted like animals did and encompass trauma AS IT HAPPENS instead of dusting ourselves off and pretending nothing has happened, then we would all be much healthier. An example is when a lion is hunting an impala, the impala releases adrenalin for whatever the outcome and if it escapes goes back to the herd and grazes as normal. Its flight/fight mechanism is restored and the adrenalin will be released again when necessary.
Apparently humans ‘’freeze’’ during or after trauma which means we store a lot of emotional nastiness that comes out in the form of mental health issues, cancers etc.
There are many examples in my life of things that were quite frightening and not dealt with properly at the time… such as going straight back to work after a miscarriage.
So this is just the tip of the iceberg and one day after practice and experience I hope to be able to write a more holistic book after incorporating different forms of therapy into my life. As always time and cost prohibit exploring other options especially when medication finally seems to be working. However, I am certain that our mental health and emotional systems can be restored to a more balanced state through complementary means.