100% of people have experienced some sort of severe or complex trauma, and often they are not consciously aware of it – and the perception of heightened emotional events, no matter what they are, can leave people fragmented in both mind, body, and spirit, ultimately impacting every area of human functioning — physical, mental, behavioral, social, spiritual. Trauma can also occur when there is no one to help us resolve our pain or support us for having our need for safety and love met. Your body really does ‘keep the score’ and over time the trapped beliefs and emotions create trauma to every cell and tissue in the body, often leading to disease and chronic illness.
Now you don’t need to feel alone! At Modern Holistic Health, you can have a compassionate, competent, and aware team of practitioners to guide you through the trauma & emotional healing process to re-integrate your mind, body, and spirit, reclaim your power within, and provide your body with the new neurological connections you need for healing and integrating your whole self. If you are ready for REAL change in your life, we are here to help you!
While there are different approaches when it comes to healing from trauma, we find that using a combination of specific tools and modalities helps our clients to discover the root cause of their trauma so they can overcome it. Coaching the client through specific modalities to express and eliminate unwanted emotions, and using a process where the client is guided into their past timeline to discover the root cause of their trauma, starting with the original event that occurred that led them to perceive things differently and create the trauma afterward is another tool that has helped many to overcome their trauma.. So, what are some events that could lead to trauma?
Variations or Types of Trauma
We can separate the events commonly causing trauma into five broad categories: complex, developmental, vicarious, historical, and intergenerational. Within these categories, the traumatic event can be acute (a one-time occurrence) or chronic (recurring over time). All, of course, can overlap and result in feelings of being unsafe, alone, unheard, unloved, feeling shame, anger, guilt, sadness, rage, fear, grief, and very disconnected. Yet, to observers, certain events may seem insignificant or non-eventful. The critical thing to remember here is that the event itself is not the trauma. Rather, trauma occurs depending on how a person interprets and perceives the event, whatever it may have been.
A person may feel left with anger, fear, sadness, hurt, guilt, or shame following a traumatic event, and the harboring of those feelings leads to a negative impact on human functioning over time.
Complex trauma can occur when dangerous, frightening, harmful, or life-threatening events are chronic, frequent, or prolonged over time. This often happens within the contents of interpersonal relationships and can include experiencing or observing family violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, childhood neglect/bullying, or having a family member in the home with a mental or substance abuse disorder. It can also include global trauma or trauma that occurs while serving in the military.
Historical trauma, due to massive group trauma, is cumulative over a lifespan and across generations. Examples include genocide, poverty, systemic discrimination, colonialism, slavery, and war. This is an example of how trauma can change human DNA that can be passed down for many generations.
Developmental trauma can occur in utero, during birth, or after birth and it impacts a child’s healthy development. This type of childhood trauma can occur when exposed early to ongoing or repetitive trauma, including the examples for complex trauma, as well as abandonment, physical/sexual abuse or assault, emotional abuse, witnessing violence or death, and/or coercion or betrayal. This type of trauma interferes with healthy attachment and brain/body development into adulthood.
People who live with family members who have experienced trauma can suffer intergenerational trauma’s psychological and emotional effects. For example, suppose a parent developed coping and adaptation patterns in response to trauma. They can then pass that way of interpreting and perceiving life—those responses, beliefs, thoughts, and emotional patterns—to the next generation as a learned behavior. This is another example of how DNA can be altered due to trauma.
This is an interesting one. Typically found in service providers, vicarious trauma causes a mind/body physical response, belief, thought, and/or emotion resulting from empathetic engagement with another’s traumatic background. Although they were not an immediate witness to the event, they absorb and internalize the resulting trauma and unconsciously integrate it into their own functioning.
Root Causes of Trauma: The Bio/Psycho/Social Model of Chronic Disease
Now that you’ve learned some of the underlying factors that cause trauma, it’s time to understand what can cause you to sustain the negative trauma response that leads to chronic disease.
The Bio/Psycho/Social Model (Root Causes) of Chronic Disease
At Modern Holistic Health, we teach that the most common root causes or common denominators of chronic illness, disease, mental health disorders caused by trauma, and neurodegenerative disease are from Foods, Toxins (environmental), Infections, Mycotoxins, Epigenetic influences (how our environment influences our genetic and systemic engines), and Trauma/Unprocessed Emotions/Belief Systems. Using the bio/psycho/social model, the underlying causes are divided into categories. Each category—your biology, psychology, and social interactions—can either heal or sustain trauma over time.
The good news is that every underlying cause (or barrier to healing) in each category can be addressed and eliminated from the body and mind on your trauma-healing journey.
- Environmental Toxins
- Coping Skills
- Family dynamics
- Relationship style
- Social support
- Professional/career social dynamics
When left unaddressed, the trauma symptoms can persist and lead to further damage to the body’s systemic engines, the brain, and the mind and it can even damage DNA which can persist for over 6 generations. This often results in a ripple effect that not only leads people into illness and chronic disease, it also negatively impacts the quality of relationships, financial health, and lifestyle quality too. Each of these points is a barrier to healing. By removing the barriers, severe trauma healing is not only possible but inevitable with a systematic approach.
Common Symptoms of Trauma
As you’ve seen, unresolved complex trauma manifests itself in many ways in the mind, body, and can show up everywhere in one’s life. Remember, the conscious/unconscious mind, the brain and body are connected, so it’s only natural that when a trauma response occurs in the mind that there is a ripple effect on the brain and body that can show up as pain, a variety of chronic conditions, symptoms, and even disease.
Here’s a list of some surprising trauma symptoms you may not know of:
- Skin conditions
- Hormone conditions (including Menorrhagia)
- Autoimmune disease
- Neurodegenerative disease
- Hair loss
- Heart disease
- Metabolic disorders
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Weight gain or loss
- GI issues(gut pain, constipation, IBS)
- Trouble falling/staying asleep
- Heart palpitations
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in libido (increased or decreased)
- Mood swings
- Outbursts of irrational anger/rage
Under the surface, the impact of trauma can be huge. It can lead to:
- Smaller brain size, or inactivation of right and left hemispheres of the brain
- Rewiring of the brain and body neurological pathways
- Impaired stress response, leading to adrenal, thyroid, and other hormone imbalances
- Changes in gene expression which can cause brain chemistry imbalances and other serious health concerns
- Poor impulse control which can lead to destroyed marriages and relationships to self and others
- Addictions in the form of alcohol, drugs, over working, food, sex, and others
- Poor self-image leading to loss of self love and destructive changes in brain and body neurology
- Relationship problems with partners, children, work colleagues, family
- Increased sensitivity to stress leading to metabolic diseases, sleep issues, weight gain, blood pressure
- Excessive worry that can lead to advanced, faster aging of DNA, cells, organs, and premature death
- Feelings of helplessness & lack of self-efficacy
- Limited coping skills
- Difficulty problem-solving
- Problems with concentration
Severe trauma is painful, yet it’s not always easy to identify as the root cause of your pain, illness, or disease if you are not aware of the consequences of unresolved trauma and emotions. If you’d like support in analyzing your symptoms and designing a custom health and recovery program based on your unique trauma, genetic makeup, chemistry, and lifestyle, reach out! We are great at what we do and we’re here to help you!
Allow your body to heal itself.