Its Physiology, stored memories and their release

My experience as a grief and trauma counselor has taught me many things. It has also assisted me to understand my own process as I have worked with energy movements (or emotions) within my own personal experiences.

On this page
· The "Breath Stopping" shock and Trauma Experience
· Trauma Reflexes Emotions and Toxins
· Trauma and the Mind
· Trauma and the Toxic Release Process
· The Thrill of Repeated Trauma Patterns
· Trauma Releasing and Resolution

An understanding of the body physiological responses to "trauma" has assisted my mind to better cope with the release of what wants to move through my own body - without making my experiences wrong.

What follows here is one of the most common physiological sequences (or models). There are others, so you do not necessarily have to follow the following patterns - but, for some, this (by no means comprehensive summary) may provide some explanation of how they have these feelings and memories .. and why.

The "Breath Stopping" shock and Trauma Experience

Have you noticed that every time you experience a shock or trauma of any sort, you stop breathing - you catch (or hold) your breath?

The effect of this is that an energetic imprint of the sights, sounds and smells of the "trauma incident" are energetically "recorded" in your body during the moment of "shock".

Now .. the body has a marvelous survival mechanism built in. It is the strongest of all of the inherent reflexes.

The moment the initial "holding the breath" passes, a signal is sent from the heart to the adrenal glands to release a great dose of adrenaline to stimulate the cells of the body in an attempt to clear the results of the trauma. The bigger the experienced shock, the greater the adrenaline rush.

This is the source of the classic "fight or flight reflex".

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Trauma Reflexes Emotions and Toxins

The effect of this is two fold - there is an attempted release of the immediate trauma energy .. and also, any past patterns stored in the cells which resonate to the new trauma will also be stimulated into release. These are the emotions we experience.

At the same time there are chemical processes taking place.

The release of the holding patterns can cause the release of toxins from the cells of the body. Normally, these are released through the sweat glands in our skin and through normal bodily eliminative functions. (and, yes, they usually have an unpleasant smell)

What our conditioned intellect fails to take into consideration is that all this is happening even before the intellect has even consciously registered the experience in the thinking mind.

These are the reflexes that come into action without thinking ..

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Trauma and the Mind

But, then, the mind kicks in - and we start to calculate our controlled responses according to what we have been taught or conditioned. Even the mind's interpretation of the effects of the adrenaline rush and subsequent screaming or crying is something that you have been taught - most probably as a child.

One of the most common initial reactions to our experience is to make our survival reflex wrong. The screaming and crying of a baby is often the babies attempt to release the memory of being born from the cells of its body, as well as clearing out a lot of "in utero" junk - and some of its inherited patterns.

This for most, is our first experience of the survival reflex in action.

No one is to blame for this .. least of all our parents, because they didn't have this sort of information available to them, and they did the very best they could - especially when faced with the mirror of their own childhood repression.

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Trauma and the Toxic Release Process

The chemical toxins generated through the repression of the release process become stored primarily in the liver (from which the later release is called anger) and the spleen (resentment). In its attempt to clear, the liver produces bile and if we cannot make decisions because of the inner conflicts, the gall bladder starts to act up.

This repressed infant survival reflex sets up a memory - another trauma pattern stored in the cells of the body. The next time there is a trigger, another adrenaline rush triggers another emotional release.

The more the repression, the bigger the subsequent release.

Eventually we learn about tantrums - and our expression is labeled anger. It might even get us more recognition than our silence. Some of us even learn that any response is better than none so the pattern of attention seeking through the manipulation of our adrenal glands is set and the body develops an addiction to its own adrenaline.

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The Thrill of Repeated Trauma Patterns

Eventually, the body gets used to the adrenaline drug so that bigger and bigger "shocks" are required for us to get our thrill and along comes another memory trigger - bigger than we have ever experienced - and the normal reflex of the body takes over with a super release of adrenaline .. and everything that we have ever repressed with our conscious mind starts to get thrown up out of our body .. before we even become aware of what is happening along with all of the conflicting interpretations we have been taught .. and the labels that have been placed on us ..

and the mind once again kicks in -
so our own internal battle rages - mind vs adrenal rush and all the reflections of the past which we have buried can be presented to us in a moment.

We are in terror of our own inherent power which has been controlled throughout generations .. just as our parents were terrified of the power of the scream that the child released in its own attempt to rid itself of the past to commence its own healing journey.

For many in the Westernized culture, this is the reason why the body is not a safe place to be.

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Trauma Releasing and Resolution

What follows in this section of the site may be of some assistance. It is not written as a diagnosis, prescription or treatment. You should consult a professional practitioner for professional advice.

I have found it very beneficial to support my body in the release of physical as well as emotional toxins throughout all of my deep processes. Experience has taught me that drinking plenty of water (not tea or coffee) will help the blood release the toxins into the body waste water. Supplementary Vitamin C (especially in the form of dilute juice sipped continually throughout the day) will support the liver as it attempts to clear the toxins (and it also helps the nauseous feeling resulting from the change in the acid level of the digestive system from the process).

I have also found that a fuzzy head and headaches most often result from the accumulation of toxins in the brain and this can be alleviated somewhat with a Vitamin B complex - especially if, like me you smoke and drink coffee <g>.

Gentle exercise - walking, swimming etc will help the energies move through the body. The worst thing anyone can do is sit and stew over the events, because that is exactly what will happen.

» Introduction to Self Help



"Trauma: Its Physiology, stored memories and their release"
was written, published and © Transpersonal LifeStreams®, Tasmania, Australia.
The URL of this page is
Updated January, 2005

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