What our Bodies and Brains need for trauma healing:
Healing through Therapy:
In the TSRP program, our trauma counsellors provide group and individual therapy, utilizing a range of evidence based therapies that integrate the mind/body connection such as Self Regulation Therapy, Somatic Experiencing, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Traumatic Incident Reduction.
Healing through Presence:
Yoga, Mindfulness, Floating, and Meditation/Prayer: Evidence proves that these practices can change the brain in profound ways. Building these practices into your daily routine have a significant impact on your healing journey
Healing through Biofeedback and Neurofeedback:
Traumatic events have the ability to leave an imprint on the brain. Neurofeedback tools like the Muse brain-sensing headband, analyze your brainwaves while you meditate through EEG technology. This technology measures your progress over time, gently guiding you deeper into the benefits of meditation practice.
Healing through Nutrition and Gut Health:
Nutrition plays a key role in the structure and function of our body and brain. Scientists hypothesize that there is a strong link between inflammation and PTSD, anxiety and depression. Dr. David Perlmutter talks about our gut playing a key role in mental health, and refers to the gut as our body’s second brain. When people suffering from mental health conditions take care of their nutrition and gut health, they can see a reduction in inflammation, more regulated emotions, and a variety of other positive impacts on one’s physical health.
Healing through the Vagus Nerve:
The Vagus Nerve is the longest nerve in the body, connecting to the brain, gut (digestive system), heart, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, kidney, ureter, spleen, lungs, fertility organs (females), neck (including the pharynx, larynx, esophagus), ears and tongue. This nerve is key in activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Higher vagal tone means that your body can relax faster after stress and is associated with better mood, less anxiety and more adaptability and resilience to stressful events. In addition, the vagus nerve reads the gut microbiome, which can also attribute to stress resilience and mood. Awareness of this nerve and encouraging simple strategies to increase vagal tone, can have a significant impact on stress resilience.
Healing through Creative Expression:
Art therapy can be a safe and therapeutic way of processing intense feelings and beliefs, and traumatic experiences without the need for verbal expression. By activating the creative brain, through creating art and reflecting on the process and the products, people can gain incredible insight into their experiences, thoughts, feelings, and hopes. Art therapy increases one’s self awareness and shows people that they have a creative side to them that can help in working through difficult emotions, calming their nervous system, and bringing them a sense of enjoyment.
Healing through Physical Activity and Nature:
Regular exercise and exposure to our natural surroundings are proven to reduce the distressing symptoms of PTSD in profound ways. Several studies have examined both the effects of a regular exercise program, and nature on PTSD symptoms. Participants who come to the TSRP program take part regularly in exercise activities such as walking, hiking, yoga, pilates, swimming that help to establish a new habit that can be an integral part of their healing.
Healing through healthy relationship with self and others:
Healthy relationships, free from shame and guilt, are an essential element in healing from PTSD. Through shared meals, various enjoyable therapeutic group activities, journaling, and self-reflection, participants in the TSRP program learn the importance of building healthy relationships with themselves and others.
Published on January 2-, 2020
Written by Janelle Koop, MSW practicum student