Releasing Trauma Through Movement

Sep 04, 2020

Movement has the power to pull us out of our heads and drop us back into our bodies. When we come back in to our bodies, we can feel and process emotions, trauma and move through energy that has gotten stuck.

The process doesn't need to be hard or difficult, sometimes it just takes a step back from what is bright in your awareness.

After repeated trauma, I made a decision to start being active and it may have been what saved my life. 

 

My Battle With Depression

I used to be deep in my cave of sadness, riddled with fear and crippled by anxiety. Trauma from childhood and my teenage years created this overall feeling of numbness that I felt as a young adult. 

I was so stuck in my head, completely numb to my body, and I was struggling. 

I would suffer from panic attacks, I was on the verge of suicide and most of the days I would get up, just to go back to bed.

 

Strong Enough No One Could Hurt Me

I was stubborn (let's be real, I still am), and after having felt like I had been used one too many times, I made a decision.

I decided, in that moment, that I would start to work out so that I could be strong enough that no one could ever hurt me. I made up my mind that no one would ever be able to overpower me, and I would protect myself. 

Although the motivation was a little skewed, it worked.

 

Finding Fitness and Yoga

Despite my odd motivation to get started, I pushed myself to get to the gym or a hot yoga class almost daily for years. 

I didn't know what was happening at the time, but I just knew that I would get so lost in the workout that it would stop the anxiety for a second. 

It wouldn't be a long time, mostly just long enough for me to get my reps in before I was done and anxiously looking around at other people, but it started to shift me.

 

Trauma & Emotions Are Held In The Body

I blog about this often, but our bodies hold the majority of our unprocessed emotions and trauma in our tissue and cells. 

When we experience something difficult, our body will freeze that response into our physical being, and we can have the emotions triggered through other seemingly unrelated experiences.

Beyond trauma, we also disconnect from parts of our body due to shame, guilt or another negative beliefs. We sweep things under the rug, silence our voices, let injustices go unexposed, and we hold on tightly to things that no longer serve us. 

From this process, we disconnect further. This results in our bodies needing to create psychosomatic illnesses or become sick, to get our attention. Our bodies want us to pay attention to our emotions and live connected to ourselves.

We aren't meant to feel like shit all the time, and we aren't meant to rely on prescriptions, medications or external "fixes" to make us whole.

 

The Fix

I would love to say that there is a simple or easy fix to release all stuck emotions and energy and process all trauma, but there's not.

It takes a lot of hard work, addressing your fears, showing up every day, and likely having some hard conversations with yourself and others.

Although there is no one size fits all fix, there are some things that can help. Compounding a variety of little things that can help can create a solution over time.

 

What you can do to move energy, release emotions and work through trauma:

1. Dance

I will forever be such an advocate for dance. We are never truly taught how to just "be" when it comes to dancing. It's either a structured waltz, a dainty ballet, or even just throwing that ass at the club. 

All of the forms of dance that we are taught are for us to show up in a certain way. Rather than letting us move how our bodies want to, we dance to look good in front of others. 

Instead of dancing with expectation, just move. No judgement or need to be different. As you get started, your body will begin to warm up and you will move as you need to.

 

2. Shake

Shaking your body helps to release trauma and emotions that are stuck in the body. 

Generally when our bodies are stuck, it is as a response of trauma. Our physical body remains in the position or in the state that it was left at when the trauma was experienced.

Without being able to follow through with the intended response or feeling, that energy stays in the body. Allow this energy to release through shaking can be extremely healing.

Additionally, as our energetic centres can get blocked tightly, sometimes a little heavy lifting is needed. Having a therapist or guide move you through these practices can help too.

I've been doing a practice of grabbing my hips and shaking them with my hands to move some dense energy in my root chakra and it has been working magically. 

 

3. Get Outside

It seems so cliche to say but being in nature can truly change your state and help put much needed perspective on things you are going through.

Connect with nature, ground with water or earth and give any excess emotions, trauma or energy back to nature.

Let the force and power of Pachamama hold the weight of that which is heavy for you.

 

4. Explore Alternative Healing Modalities

I've done a lot of my own trauma healing but I recognize that there are some things that my psyche is still protecting me from. 

For that reason, I've begun seeing a therapist to start EMDR therapy, as well as I have been working with an acupuncturist and a massage therapist. 

Physical therapies, alternative medicine, psychedelics and energy work are all incredibly powerful healing tools. They work on the physical and energetic levels to move through all kinds of ailments in the body. 

 

Onwards and Upwards

Ultimately, whatever healing tools you are called to are right for you. For me, it was both losing and finding myself in movement. 

There's not a single person in this world that cannot benefit from intentional, healing, releasing based movement. 

One of the offerings I have recently begun sharing is the medicine of ecstatic dance. It is a safe space to move however you feel comfortable to, while being guided with music. 

We will be announcing the next transformative dance evening soon. Follow me on Instagram for updates!

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