“Everything is energy” is an aphorism; what does this mean, practically, for you, for us, and for our emotional and physical wellbeing? The body is an energy field. You are an energy field. This holds the key to understanding our experience, and the key to understanding and healing trauma.
Most of your charge seems to come from the heart, which generates 60 to 1000 times more energy than the brain. The magnetic field of the heart, measured by a cardio magnetogram, extends about 12 ft around the body. An interesting study by the Institute of HeartMath showed that when a person was thinking loving thoughts about another, the heart rhythm of the “thinker” showed up in the brainwaves of the “thought of.” In another study, when two people consciously focus on thinking positive thoughts about each other, their heart rhythms synchronize. And the same magic happens with our pets. For example, a study found the heart rhythms of a boy and his dog synchronized when they were together. You can read about these studies here.
So we see that our loving thoughts affect others, and we connect to each other in subtle, energetic ways which have real impacts. But what happens when there is a disruption in our energy field?
The bad and the ugly.
Not surprisingly, physical and emotional disruptions will follow. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study was conducted by Kaiser Health and the CDC. It examined the childhood traumas of 17,000 (mostly white, middle- and upper-middle class, college educated) people. Researchers found a big correlation between traumas and both mental health and physical health issues. In fact, people who scored 4 or more on the ACE quiz are several times more likely to develop chronic disease and depression. They are ten times more likely to commit suicide. (If you are interested in taking the ACE quiz, you can do so here.)
When we talk about traumatic experiences, it is important to note that it is not only the big traumas, such as the ones measured on the ACE study, which stay with us. Even small “traumas”, like being laughed at by our classmates or yelled at by our parents, can have a lasting impact. When situations similar to the original trauma come up, it is easy for us to resonate with and even re-experience the trauma.
Key to understanding and healing trauma
Knowing that childhood traumas, and indeed all traumatic experiences, seem to become trapped in the body leads us to an important question: What can we do about it?
Thankfully we have tools to heal. But the way to heal is not based on insight, understanding, or figuring things out. This is because the rational mind is not where trauma exists. Trauma is emotional/energetic, so effective therapies need to work on the emotional/energetic levels. Peter Levine discusses this concept in this video.
Energy psychology techniques are a group of therapies which includes the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Thought Field Therapy (TFT), the Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT), and the Emotion Code/Body Code. Each of these approaches utilize the meridian system to release energy blockages caused by traumatic experiences: tapping or holding meridian points (EFT, TFT, TAT) or tracing the Governing Vessel (Emotion/Body Code). Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), and its offshoot, EMDR, use eye patterns and imagery to release trauma. In every case, the focus is not on understanding what happened, but on getting to the emotional/energetic pattern that we need to release in order for us to heal.
A case in point
I was working with a client who has a high ACE score – he experienced a lot of trauma when he was growing up. Several months ago, he came to session extremely upset. He had recovered a memory of a particularly ugly, traumatic incident from his childhood. We used an EFT protocol to heal the trauma impact from this memory. Understand and heal trauma
At the beginning of our session, I asked him to rate his experience on a 0-10 scale, and it was “more than a 10.” By the end of the hour, he was able to recall what had happened without feeling upset. When I asked him to rate the incident on the same 0-10 scale, it was a 0. He and I were both grateful for this amazing tool of healing.
A few months later, he came to session upset about other things. I asked him how he felt about the incident. He stopped and looked surprised for a moment, and then replied that he had not even thought about it. Interestingly, he still felt calm and detached when he remembered it.
He, and many others, still have a lot of trauma to resolve. But they can, and I am determined to help. Not just working with my clients, but spreading the word about the impact of trauma and ways to work through it. We, I, you are an energy field: a key to understanding and healing trauma.
We have ways to heal. People need to know this stuff.