Energy Healing & Trauma Recovery— Part 2
[Read Part 1.]
People who are healing from traumatic experiences find it difficult to stay connected, centered, consciously present. Psychologists, doctors, and psychiatrists such as Bessel Van Der Kolk, Peter Levine and Pat Ogden, all stress the importance of finding the way back to the physical body and its sensations as a key element in trauma recovery. Embodiment and inner safety must be in place for trauma recovery to occur.
Energy healing can be a powerful support in restoring mind-body connection. A student recently described her tandem process of calming the body to step out of traumatic reactivity, preceded and followed by anchoring and aligning her energy. This dual approach facilitates conscious access to her body, emotions and spirit. She knows that her spirit reaches for joy, freedom and actualizing her life to its greatest potential and capacity. To paraphrase her words, without the energy healing practices that rewire patterned trauma-laden tendencies, her spirit would be left unfulfilled.
Inner safety & embodiment aligns and integrates
Inner safety is not merely physical. It is not merely emotional. It is both of these and more. Inner safety is rooted in the energy body, it brings containment, alignment and self-awareness to the forefront and enables response and choice through present moment awareness.
Most understand that energy is the source of all things. The body and its emotions can’t exist without energy generating them. Energy not only drives emotion; it drives every autonomic and conscious function of the body. Nothing happens without energy. We reference energy all the time, ‘I wanted to clean my room but never found the energy’, yet we may not do much to evolve our energy in relation to our life and experiences.
Energy plays an important role in both generating and resolving the emotional and physiological implications of trauma. In fact, the energy patterns, imprinted from the trauma experience drives emotional numbness or reactivity, the body’s hypersensitivity or its deadening, and mental hypervigilance or dissociation.
Trauma reactivity disrupts integrated awareness
When a trauma reaction is triggered, the energy bodies (Astral/emotional, Etheric/physical and Mental/Causal) dissemble. The connection to physicality, emotional awareness and the present moment is severed. While the individual may know that the past trauma is not occurring now, s/he is unable to operate through the coherence of current time. In many cases, the dissonance of traumatic reactivity is known in energy terms as disembodiment. What factors contribute to disembodiment?
Feet chakras facilitate grounding
The pattern begins with a triggering or activating moment, causing the client to spontaneously, unconsciously close the feet chakras. The feet chakras are essential for grounded, present moment awareness. When the feet chakras close, several things occur:
- The ability to release and let go of emotional energy is diminished. When difficult emotions arise, it’s useful to have a release valve, to let powerful emotional energies to dissipate and release. Much of the ‘charge’ of a triggering event can be dissipated through the feet chakras when they are open and energy (and gravity) are supporting release.
- Energy can migrate upwards in the body toward the head. This tends to generate or support the tendency to dissociate, to leave the body, because conscious awareness escapes through the crown chakra, at the top of the head. It can also result in over-stimulation of mental processes, setting up a tendency to perseverate and panic.
- The Earth beneath the feet feels distant, far away and and inaccessible, impacting the overall sense of connection and inner safety. So even though the client knows the trauma is in the past, regaining present moment awareness and a sense of connection to self, and the Earth is a difficult endeavor.
Second chakra – the seat of the emotions
Located two fingers below the navel, the second chakra is the seat of the emotions, and when vigilance is called for (which is a frequent component of trauma reactivity), the second chakra eternally scans the external environment for signs of danger. In reality, the second chakra function is supposed to generate awareness and connection to the internal emotional environment. Thus, a person who has experienced trauma often has a chakra that’s functionally turned inside out.
A person with an externally entrained second chakra frequently experiences emotional flooding. This entrainment is often labeled as empathic connection or as ‘highly sensitive’, or is described as a feeling of being ‘vampired’ or fed on by others. It’s sometimes even named as a superpower! Yet too often there’s a distinct level of suffering that accompanies a wide open second chakra.
Whatever emotional patterns the individual with an excessively open second chakra carries are exacerbated. For example, anxiety, depression, self-loathing, shame or anger gets amplified. Because of the external entrainment, the second chakra is actually attracting these emotional energies from others, amping up whatever behaviors and patterns are typical in the individual.
As the client learns to bring the second chakra back into balance, by closing its aperture and consciously aligning with authentic emotions, triggers rapidly diminish and equanimity is more accessible.
The seventh chakra and disembodiment
Those who dissociate, or in energetic terms, when someone’s conscious awareness leaves the body, the seventh chakra at the top of the head is excessively open. The combination of closed feet chakras, the flooded emotional awareness resulting from the wide open and externally focused second chakra, and an overly open crown chakra create the perfect storm for disembodiment.
Developing a relationship with the seventh chakra that promotes embodiment assists the client in healing their body, mind and emotions. The client begins to understand that leaving the body was once an effective survival strategy and safety mechanism when the trauma was occurring in real time. Yet now, the trauma is in the past, yet the disembodiment (dissociation) means that the client is not present, and loses access to the resourceful capacity to heal and evolve. Bottom line: healing happens through embodiment.
Energy boundaries generate inner safety
When someone has experienced a trauma, it’s likely that both their energetic and physical boundaries have been breached, creating a lack of safety and extreme vulnerability.
Energy boundaries contain the aura, the field of awareness that surrounds the physical body. When energy boundaries are in place, energy is contained and emotional vulnerability is minimized. A sense of safety and emotional containment emerges from a boundaried aura.
An Embodiment Protocol
Clients who learn a cohesive protocol of energy practices have actionable tools to return to conscious awareness, and over time, resolve their dissociation/disembodiment issue. The protocol creates a boundaried, contained, de-activated and deeply present emotional (Astral) energy body. As the reactivity dissipates in the emotional body, the client’s body, mind and emotions can follow suit.
The client can take a few breaths and focus on the chakras and aura with the intention to create a discrete, individuated container for the body, mind and emotions that operates in current time, connected to the Earth and its solid, supportive, anchoring energy.
The first step in the protocol is opening the feet chakras. As the feet chakras open in the arches of the feet, gravitational pull is reinstated, and it becomes possible to connect to the present moment, and the internal safety of self-awareness and self-containment.
The protocol elements:
- Feet chakras – 60-70% open
- Second chakra – 10-20% open
- Crown chakra – 10-20% open
- Energy boundaries to contain the aura
- Grounding to anchor the body with the Earth’s gravitational pull
In the heat of the moment, it’s possible that some of the aspects of the protocol may not be applied. Whatever works in the moment to stabilize and separate from the past trauma to cultivate awareness and connection in the here and now is the exact right approach! Once the intensity of the moment has passed, it’s helpful to repeat the energy protocol and foster its use as part of the client’s trauma recovery toolkit.