Trauma and PTSD

Trauma and PTSD

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) by Wikipedia
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental and behavioral disorder that can develop because of exposure to a traumatic event, such as sexual assault, warfare, traffic collisions, child abuse, domestic violence, or other threats on a person's life. Symptoms may include disturbing thoughts, feelings, or dreams related to the events, mental or physical distress to trauma-related cues, attempts to avoid trauma-related cues, alterations in the way a person thinks and feels, and an increase in the fight-or-flight response.

​Some of PTSD Symptoms according to Mayo Clinic

Intrusive memories:
  • Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event
  • Reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
  • Upsetting dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event
  • Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic event
Symptoms of avoidance may include:
  • Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
  • Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event
Changes in physical and emotional reactions:
  • Being easily startled or frightened
  • Always being on guard for danger
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame

I would like to offer my own perspective on these two. As a disclaimer, please consult your doctor or therapist, this is not a substitute for medical treatment.

​I have been studying various self-help techniques as well as spiritual methods of overcoming residual feelings and sensations of events that happened in the past but are still felt and experienced as suffering in the present. I have helped myself and others to release memories, sensations and feelings to do with them. What has been helpful to me is nearly 20 years of mastering methods like Emotional Freedom Techniques, the Sedona Method, Open Focus and practicing meditation. This has enabled me to have the skills and the confidence to work with it. My clients have received great results of feeling liberated from the pain of the feelings about their memories. The memories remained the memories, but the emotional and in many cases physical pain is gone.

Many people fret and recoil at the idea of “going there”. Trauma is perceived by mind and body as something so painful that we block ourselves from dealing with it. And understandable! Unless one has access to the techniques of working with trauma, and even then it is hard to let it all go and cleanup properly without assistance of someone who is proficient with the necessary techniques. The main reason is that the techniques require a combination of specific questioning and feeling,/perceiving/thinking. If one is trying to do this on one’s own it involves playing two roles at once, which is really hard and unless one has reached a certain level of skill, is really not successful. Instead of one releasing the feelings and emotions, one’s focus will get diverted to thinking which only brings more thinking and is completely unproductive.

When trauma happens, we receive an emotional shock as well as physical one. At that time the bodily defences work so hard to protect us from the threat to our survival, we become spaced out and very disconnected from so much to maintain focus on survival. Meanwhile the body tenses in various areas in various degrees. There is a medical condition called Takotsubo Syndrome which is described as the heart receives a shock and enlarges from stress and can’t go back to its normal shape for a long time, maybe months, causing all kinds of problems as a result. Different traumas of different intensities and on different individuals with different predispositions creates this kind of constriction of tension and impairment of normal functioning of circulation, nerves, etc. For some its stiff neck and shoulders, for others these migraines, heart problems, high blood pressure, digestive problems and so on and so forth. These are accompanied by feelings of fear, panic, extra vigilance and all the way to the extreme levels of them.

Through a combination of techniques I am versed and experienced in, the client and I sail together in a manner which does not requires painful describing of intense events, but through perception of what the event produces in the body/mind. This is done gently, with awareness, with evaluation of intensity on the scale of 0-10, providing a safe space through our native physiological workings of the body’s nervous system. We use these inherent to the brain mechanisms to self-repair and let go, rather then fighting them. The result is freedom from emotional pain, and possibly physical one too. One feels free to live a life free of disturbance.
Traumas can be very small and very big - from someone calling you a bad name all the way to war traumas. However, the trauma mechanism is the same and the release mechanism is the same too.

The main techniques I utilise are called Open Focus, discovered by an American scientist/physicst/psychologist/researcher into the brain waves, the late Professor Les Fehmi. Professor Fehmi and his wife a psychotherapist and researcher have been working on this for over 40 years in New York with thousands of people having gone through their laboratory. I have been trained and certified by Mrs Fehmi personally. 
My specific angle of using Open Focus is working with fear, real and perceived to do with past, present and future. I am using the word “traumatised” very broadly based on the premise that fear is at the bottom of most of what we experience. It is my favourite subject and my favourite work - to help clients let go of fears and live life fully. 

I invite you to take a step with me on the path towards fearlessness, peace, goal achievement and living your life fully. 

Here is a quote from the writings by Les Fehmi on Open Focus to illustrate the points I have made above:

"When the mind is asked to imagine or attend to space, however, there is nothing—no-thing—to grip on to, to objectify and make sense of, no memories of past events or anticipation of future scenarios. The brain is allowed to take a vacation. This is presumably why cortical rhythms slow quickly into alpha, and later into theta, and the same brain that was racing moments before becomes a stress-reducing brain and a quiet mind. The imagination and realization of space seems to reset stress-encumbered neural networks and return them to their original effortlessly flexible processing.
Then, after this “vacation,” overall performance is enhanced. Even as it relaxes the brain’s attention mechanisms, imagining space opens the scope of attention very quickly. And while imagining space most prominently affects our vision, it opens the other senses as well. In fact, just closing one’s eyes causes a prominent increase of synchronous alpha over the whole brain, not only in the visual system. This suggests that synchrony’s role is a more general and fundamental one, like attention. In my experience, objectless imagery is the quickest way to get into an open focus, and an awareness of space is a powerful tool to teach people to access and maintain alternative styles of attention.
​We can also transfer this awareness of space to everyday life. Moreover, if we pay attention to stress in an open style as it occurs, it doesn’t accumulate and stay bottled up; it is immediately experienced and released to go through on its merry way. If we are not only aware of the things around us, but also admit an awareness of space, silence, and a sense of timelessness as the ground of our experience, we have the ability to lead a much less stressful life"
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