Today’s FB Live is meant to explain or normalize your experience. There are SO many people going through SO much right now and they are really unclear as to WHY they are going through it and what it is.
Let’s start with Ear Activation – I did this in a previous video but you can literally do this all do with zero negative side effects! (see at the bottom of the post)
DEFINITIONS OF TRAUMA:
Simple vs Complex Trauma
Simple trauma example = The death of a grandparent. We have time to prepare emotionally, we have time to speak to them and see them, once they pass we have time to grieve, we have support in that grief from family and friends.
Complex trauma =
- is usually interpersonal i.e. occurs between people
- involves ‘being or feeling’ trapped
- is often planned, extreme, ongoing and/or repeated
- often has more severe, persistent and cumulative impacts
- involves challenges with shame, trust, self-esteem, identity and regulating emotions.
- has different coping strategies. These include alcohol and drug use, self-harm, over- or under-eating, over-work etc.
- affects emotional and physical health, wellbeing, relationships and daily functioning
What’s happening in the brain =
Heightened Cortisol & Adrenaline – This happens so we can know when we are in danger and have to make a split second decision. This hormone is meant to be released for an acute situation.
But since we are in a sustained period of crisis, we are now experiencing emotional dysregulation as an effect of cortisol & adrenaline. It can be keeping us in a heightened state of alert OR drowsiness. Either way, it’s not allowing our feelings to fully settle and the grief journey to fully process because we’re not through the cycle yet.
Common symptoms people experience when going through trauma = ANYTHING.
This is often based on what is YOUR Achilles heel. Think about how you’ve reacted in the past under extreme stress; be it work stress/interpersonal argument/health scare, etc. So some people will have digestive distress – either constipation OR diarrhea. DREAMS! LOTS of weird dreams. INSOMNIA (super common), headaches, FATIGUE (this is because the brain is having trouble processing everything and literally needs a break).
Our best response is to be protective of our mental health as well as immune health. Hyper vigilance is NOT good for the brain or the immune system. In terms of emotions, you have to allow yourself to FEEL them when you need to. Emotions are like our breath –they come and go if we allow them. But emotions become constipated if we don’t let them out. Think about the natural course of everything in the body from the inhale to the bowels, it flows IN and OUT. If we hold something in, we will become full of emotional toxins. So I think a lot of our tendencies is to want to PUSH through emotions and keep working. But the truth is that if you allow them to come and go, they are nothing to avoid and they allow our body to function optimally.
I’m not going to get very much into tips and tools on this LIVE because that’s all we’ve been doing for three weeks on this FB Live.
But just as a sense:
Chinese Medicine Healing Tools – Ear Activation, EFT
Other Healing Tools – Alternate Nostril Breathing, Deep breathing, self massage
Plain old Body’s natural way of healing itself without you even realizing it – Dance, love, crying, imagination, nature (even imagining nature)
Emotionally: Giving ourselves permission for what our healthy coping mechanisms are IN THE MOMENT. They may be changing day to day
The response to this sustained crisis is to SELF medicate our brains with DOSE
DOPAMINE keeps us motivated and excited
- Do something NEW!
- Music – Listen AND Make! (This includes singing in the shower and air drumming!)
- Be creative
- Try a detail oriented hobby
OXYTOCIN is the love hormone
- Giving and receiving touch (hugs, massage, kissing)
- Words of encouragement
- One on One time (taking time with people you love to really connect)
- Gratitude journaling
SEROTONIN is our stress reducer!
- Eat foods such as chicken, eggs, turkey, spinach, beans, lentils, dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, nuts to get more L-tryptophan which stimulates serotonin release
ENDORPHINS is often called nature’s pain reliever
- Deep Breathing
Ear Activation Technique
Stress relief/Anxiety/Emotional upset
The innervation of the ear goes directly to the brain. There are four major chemicals in the brain that influence our mood – Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, Endorphins (DOSE). This process impacts the brain directly by triggering it to release those chemicals. This is a Traditional Chinese Medicine modality as there are over 200 points in the ear. Auricular acupuncture is used commonly in recover communities.
Put the bottom lower of your earlobe between your thumb and your forefinger. Rub the earlobe between the two fingers strongly. Do this while moving up the outside of the ear to the top. Also can pull on the lobe. Then rub back down again. Ear should become red. At the end of this 10 second process, take a deep breath to allow yourself to experience the happy chemicals. Likely to feel a buzzing in your head. Great way to clear your head for meditation and affirmations.
-Monica Mae Leibson, R. Ac.
Acupuncturist, Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula