Aug 17, 2021
Welcome to another solo episode of the Self-Heal Podcast, where I riff on a topic I’m passionate about, and where I provide some actionable tools and exercises you can use right now to shift from stress to true success in all areas of your life.
Before I dive into today’s topic, let me ask you this…
Have you, a family member, or friend, ever suffered from an injury that didn’t heal properly?
It can happen to the best of us, no matter what the body part is.
Let’s take a step backward and say that your body has an inborn mechanism to heal itself, even if it’s not in the way you’d like.
Warning… Graphic example: a client recently broke a bone that wasn’t identified initially. By the time it was caught, new bone had already formed even though the bone pieces weren’t aligned. My client had to have the bone re-broken so that it could be properly set.
So, whether it’s a sprain, strain, or fracture, your body will fill in the broken bits with new bone or scar tissue.
The challenge is that this scar tissue will make your body less efficient because of faulty mechanics. You may experience:
You can’t just get over it by ignoring it and pretending it doesn’t exist.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The answer is simple… get help.
Now, what if this is psychoemotional trauma?
It too will “heal” and leave scars.
You may be:
It can even hurt your physical health, including making you more prone to insomnia, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disease, infections, and even cancer.
It is so powerful, it can even modify the expression of your DNA to hurt your descendants’ health.
The answer here is also simple… Get help.
The challenge is that it’s not necessarily easy, whether it’s because of poor access to effective help, or because of the shame and stigma surrounding trauma and asking for help since it’s “all in your head.”
It’s time for us to accord the same respect to mental and emotional trauma that we give to physical trauma and injury.
It’s just a different part of the body, and the impacts are similar.
My heart breaks for everyone who has experienced any kind of trauma or PTSD, especially knowing that they don’t have to keep suffering.
We can stop the suffering of trauma. In fact, it’s imperative that we do so before we can shift from stress into true success.
This requires that you first identify the source of your trauma.
Now, you may already think you know of any trauma you’ve suffered.
And did you know there are three types of trauma?
You might be very surprised to find out that you may be suffering the consequences of traumas you weren’t even aware of.
1. Personal Trauma: This is the one we most commonly think of — the significant events we suffer or witness. It can also be cumulative microtrauma.
For instance, the medical community has stated that COVID and the events of the past year and a half have been so traumatic that many are now suffering from PTSD due to the constant fear and threat to our lives, finances, relationships, and health.
2. Intergenerational Trauma: This is where children have been exposed to their parents’ and grandparents’ post-traumatic stress responses, so that they are sensitized to the same fears and reactions. This has been well documented in grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. It can also occur in other instances, as with family violence.
3. Epigenetic Trauma: Now, research is showing that PTSD can be inherited without any contact with the traumatized individuals I’ve termed this “Epigenetic PTSD”.
“Epigenetic” means that your genes are actually modified so that the next generations are scarred by the same trauma. This even has physical effects like increased disease and mortality in descendants of prisoners of war from the American Civil War, and from the Dutch “Hunger Winter” or famine at the end of WWII.
While it is not yet clear just how many generations may be affected, we know that it can impact at least three generations. And any contact with the same individuals (e.g. your parent or grandparent) would reinforce the impact.
The ramifications of this are huge, from whole cultures suffering form the Holocaust, slavery, tyranny, famines, wars and violence, and the Great Depression, just in the past 100 years.
Even if you don’t belong to one of those cultures, you may still be impacted.
For instance, my grandfather was sold into indentured slavery at the age of 9 years old and torn away from his older brother by the British government when they decided to clear out their orphanages to save money. They were known as Home Kids.
My father suffered immense PTSD from atrocities he experienced and witnessed as a U.N. peacekeeper in the Congo.
Do you know your personal history?
Was there suicide, violence, or other trauma?
Now, add in your own personal traumas and you have a swirling Molotov cocktail just waiting to explode inside of you that you may not have even been aware of.
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