When you are holding a secret in your body, over time that secret becomes toxic—diseased, riddled with pain. Secrets are lethal. Your body can even keep a secret –trauma – from you. Your mind may have shut the door on that traumatic memory, but your body remembers. Your body is like a house – secrets and traumas are rooms that have gone dark. Similar to how parents who have lost a child, shut the child’s bedroom door and never go in. Locked in time. These dark rooms become susceptible to decline, injury and disease. We can help you unlock the darkness in your body, even if you can’t remember the trauma, but can feel the pain. What are you most afraid of _____? This will begin to clue you into what you are holding deep in your body.
In my early days as a physical therapist, I recognized a pattern in my clients suffering from pain. They were unable to engage the deep layers of the abdominal muscles. It appeared to be numb and a place they had never felt connected to in their body. It didn’t take long to initiate and then the life stories began to flow. I started to unravel the root of puzzling musculoskeletal pain, eating disorders, insomnia, addictions, abdominal distress, autoimmune disorders and pelvic issues. Untold body stories and secrets rose, I sensed relief and calm settle in as the truth emerged from what felt like a tomb or locked chamber in their core. As the core engaged, deep emotions of shame or guilt, fear or anger radiated heat with a low frequency shaking.
The biomechanics of trauma became crystal clear to me. As it turned out, holding onto a secret or trauma signaled the body to protect itself forming what I identified as the trauma posture – the shoulders rounded, the rib cage slid back and the hips tucked. They had unknowingly over used their psoas muscles – the muscles in the core engaged in fight-flight-freeze triggered by a signal of constant threat. The psoas muscles pulled the body’s core, legs and arms inward to a closed fetal position or freeze stance to protect their internal organs. These muscles located deep within the core, hips and back should engage when say we encounter a dangerous threat to our survival for example meeting a bear in the woods or predator in a dark house or alley. Trauma catalyzed a constantly firing psoas muscles that atrophied the abdominals thus weakening the pelvic floor and destabilizing the lower back, causing back pain, coincidentally the largest cause of disability in America.The psoas muscles are powerful and can alter our posture, gait, emotional states, breathing patterns, and circulation, gut and bladder functions. More on the psoas muscle here.
No matter where the pain, I always came back to the lumbar spine. It seemed to be wired incorrectly so I had to release the psoas muscles so my patients felt safe to express their feelings. Once we reset their core muscles, they could feel and express the secret trauma through their throat. They could attach an emotion to the proper incident instead of tumbling into the explosive emotion with no understanding of its root. The body holding onto trauma overtime alters the physiological mechanics and systems leading to deeper systemic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and lung disease.
At that time, when I tapped into my own core it felt blank, not much feeling however pressure and inflammation was present. I say that now because it’s gone and I can look back on what I was seeing in my patients and feeling in my own body. My mind didn’t want to connect to my thoughts. I didn’t want to go back and think of “what happened?” What secret is my body protecting? It took massive courage to stay on this course. I want you to know you are not alone in your pain or fear.
If we are holding secrets and trauma in the core of our body, our gut intuition is often clouded. Our gut intuition will send red flags if danger is near, if someone or something is not right for us. But, when we are disconnected in our core, we may step right into what I call a blind spot or a re-enactment or cycle of our invisible wound – secret or trauma. You know when you see someone repeating the same pattern in relationship after relationship. You can see it. But that individual, your family member or friend, is blind to the pattern. Maybe that someone is you and you feel hardwired for self-destruction. That is a sign that there is a secret within that must reveal itself. At some point, trying to survive the trauma turned off the gut intuition sending up flares and roadblocks not to go down that path. I would liken it to walking toward a fire. You feel the heat and know to turn the other direction. If your sensor or danger radar is disconnected then you walk right into the fire and get burned. Our bodies cannot heal when we are in a constant state of fight-flight-freeze also known as the activated sympathetic nervous system. We have to manually reset the body to rest and repair, also known as the parasympathetic nervous system.
We can lift the secret to plug you back into your gut intuition and your body’s power source. You will recognize dangers at present and ahead. Maybe your secret’s signal is pain, insomnia, disease, anxiety, shame, humiliation or paralyzing fear. Come into Centripetal Force Studio, we can help you lift the secret out of your body, so you can feel safe to heal.
Some tips to surface the secret your body is protecting:
- Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Roll out a yoga mat and get a clean tennis ball and two softballs. Sit down on a mat and when you are ready lay down on a tennis ball between your shoulders and roll around the backside tissues. You will need to lift your body to move the tennis ball. As you roll it around your backside from between the shoulders all the way down to behind your heart, feel into the areas where tension or pain arises. When you detect sensations, hold the ball on that point and roll gently almost rocking over the ball. Feel the emotions that rise. This will release emotions stored in the tissues and fascia. And, take note of any sensations in your body and/or images and memories that come to your mind’s eye. Emotions could come in waves at first and then the memories connected will arise. You may feel the need to cry or possibly even clench your fists feeling some anger or pull your body inward with fear. Don’t suppress, allow the emotions to move through you. Take note of what is driving the sensations. You can do the same rolling motion with two clean soft balls behind the low back, buttocks and backside of the pelvis. Again, pay attention to the feelings that arise, the images that pop up in your mind’s eye or the sensations in your body. Refer to our Emotional Pain Chart.
- In addition, you can lay on a yoga mat with a foam roller to open your chest and heart line. Lay on your back, placing the foam roller beneath your backside at your chest. Roll your arms open, hands up, lift your chest while trying to keep your low back in a neutral position. You may need some assistance with this one.
- Also, check in with a Pilates, Gyrotonic and/or yoga class to strengthen your shoulder stabilization, hip mobility, core connection and improve your posture while staying connected to your emotions.
- These are some very early DIY steps to feeling the connection between your body’s trauma posture and stored pain – secret your body is protecting. These exercises are not substitutes for physical and energetic therapy but instead some suggestions to feeling the connection that we will deepen in our work together.
Ultimately, my recommendation is to make an appointment with Gina Calderone, MPT, the Physical and Energetic Therapist, and Denise Carson, MS, the Body Journalist, to unravel the root of your body’s secret, at Centripetal Force Studio. We can get started with a SKYPE or FaceTime meeting. We’re here. Together, we can restore your body and energy. Let’s rise!