Trauma is not just in your head. It leaves a real physical imprint on your body, affecting your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Alicia Decker, Co-Founder of Mended Light and a trauma recovery advocate, shares how trauma stored in the body can lead to disease, chronic pain, and other health issues. In this article, we’ll explore the physical impact of trauma, how it manifests in the body, and what we can do to heal.
The Physical Impact of Trauma
Trauma can have a profound impact on the body. In fact, trauma can alter the nervous system, leaving a lasting imprint on the body’s physical response to stress. This can lead to chronic pain, headaches, poor sleep, digestive issues, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders, and other health issues.
According to Decker, “If there’s a trauma in our life and we try to bury it, it will manifest in a physical way, often as a disease to call attention to the need for healing.” This means that we need to be aware of how our physical health is intertwined with our mental and emotional health.
The Connection Between Physical Pain and Emotional Trauma
Decker shares her own experience of carrying tension in her back and neck for her entire life. As a child, she was diagnosed with scoliosis, and she was also hit by a Jeep while riding her bike home from school. She has laid down a couple of motorcycles, injured herself cliff jumping, and learned to walk again after a car accident. She also experienced emotional and sexual trauma.
Decker found a massage therapist who was also trained in emotional release, and together they explored the correlation between her physical pain and the emotions stored in her body. Through this process, she became aware of the connection between physical pain and emotional trauma.
Healing from Trauma
Healing from trauma is not easy, but it is possible. It requires acknowledging the pain, shame, and hurt that we feel from the trauma, and giving ourselves permission to heal. Decker emphasizes that healing is an opportunity for growth, and that we can become people with incredible gifts, talents, and capabilities that also show great love, understanding, and empathy for experiencing and overcoming hard things.
Decker also shares “The Healing Questions Guide,” which is a resource that can be used as a starting point for exploring the connection between physical pain and emotional trauma. Some of the questions she shares include:
– What value is there in believing I’m alone or separate from those that I love?
– What am I doing or not doing that is blocking love in my life?
– What do I need to forgive or let go of to heal this issue?
These questions can be used to journal, meditate, or discuss with a therapist or support group. They can help us become aware of the emotions and beliefs that are keeping us stuck in pain and prevent us from healing.
Trauma is not just in our heads; it leaves a real physical imprint on our bodies. It can manifest as chronic pain, disease, and other health issues. Healing from trauma requires acknowledging the pain, shame, and hurt that we feel and giving ourselves permission to heal. By exploring the connection between physical pain and emotional trauma and using resources like “The Healing Questions Guide,” we can begin the process of healing and live a life that is safe, whole, and worthy of love.
To get support in your healing journey, schedule a complimentary 15 minute consultation with a member of our clinical team right here today.
Our 3-video series, Healing from Trauma, can help you take the first step towards recovery. Our videos provide insight and advice that will help you decide if therapy is right for you, and give you the tools to start your healing journey.
Video One: How to Get Traumatic Images Out of Your Head
Video Two: Can you be Traumatized and Not Know It?
Video Three: Can You Get PTSD from Emotional Abuse?
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