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The memory of the trauma is imprinted on the human organism


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original link: http://wp.me/p5nnb-bos 


The memory of the trauma is imprinted on the human organism

The memory of the trauma is imprinted on the human organism. I don’t think you can overcome it unless you learn to have a friendly relationship with your body. The big question: How can you help people confront their internal sensations? Yoga is one way you can do that. – 
 (The Trauma Center)




I find yoga very helpful for this and also ecstatic dance. I’ve started calling ecstatic dance my self-directed body work because it’s so good at getting deep holding patterns in the body.  And I should be clear that my ecstatic dance is also largely informed by my yoga practice…and I do many yogic like stretches while dancing as well. These practices have become vitally important to me and are one of the cornerstones of my healing process.

I made some comments on Will Spirit’s blog yesterday too about this. He was talking about some of the difficulties he finds with sitting meditation in particular. For him specifically he finds it triggers traumatic memories and flashbacks. I have found that sitting meditation, especially on its own, is overrated. That’s not to suggest it’s not helpful as well as important, but I have found bringing mindfulness into all aspects of my life to be far more important.


This is what I said in response Will’s post:

I could not possibly continue my meditation practice without my body/movement practices. There much emotional release and traumatic release happens. I think that is in large part what is missing in many western Buddhist circles…consciousness about the body.


I practice 
 and more importantly now 
 that has been deeply informed by my yoga practice. With dance one can move and writhe any which way allowing for what I’ve come to see as self-directed body work…catharsis happens regularly.


I think anyone dealing with any significant trauma really needs to have a body practice…or several…I walk mindfully and swim too.


Mindfulness alone…sitting practice, anyway, runs the risk of people getting lost in dissociation it seems. With the body practices along with the more passive practices I think those risks become largely minimized.


I should write another piece on how body oriented mindfulness is critical for a good number of us.


You can see some of what I’ve written here: 



So after I wrote that I saw the above quote from Bessel van der Kolk on Subtle Yoga’s facebook page and this post was born.

The below two posts by William Harryman outlined a three hour talk by Bessel van der Kolk. If you didn’t see these posts when they were first published I highly recommend taking a look now. William did an excellent job.

See also: Yoga for Trauma Survivors (and info on trauma and the body)


original link: http://wp.me/p5nnb-bos 

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 


withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you Giak. You are very inspiring.


1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

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