I have already talked about my experience with medications and how it has numbed me and my ability to process my trauma. What I have not shared is the before and the now.
Before I remembered what happened to me, the memories I had blocked out, I went through 3 years of weight loss, gastrointestinal problems, pain all over my body and fatigue. Every medical test they could run they ran on me. Nothing was found. Once I began to remember I was sexually abused and raped I was told the trauma was causing my medical problems.
Yes, trauma affects our bodies. It will show up looking like a medical problem if we push it down. If it’s not worked through. What I did not know was the medications they then put me on numbed out my trauma and my pain and medical issues.
Now that I’m going off my medications I FEEL my trauma all over again because I haven’t been able to work through it. We’ve started, but haven’t finished one single piece because of the block of medication. However, now I’m in severe pain again.
The radiating pain of tense muscles all over my body. My stomach issues are back as well. So the question is how do we deal with these issues while we work through our trauma? Because we all know processing takes time. We will not be healed all at once so we need ways to help our bodies through.
What I have found helpful:
Note: I am not a professional and none of these options should be considered professional advice. Always consult a doctor or professional when seeking any kind of treatment.
Yoga – Making sure you don’t worship what yoga does – but only focus on the breathing and stretching yoga can be relaxing and helpful to the body. YouTube is a great resource for finding what fits you best. Our bodies are tense and the breathing and stretching in yoga help us to remember to relax.
Exercise – Other exercise besides yoga is great when you are in pain. I know it sounds odd to exercise when you’re in pain, but it does help. Just make sure what you are doing doesn’t send you into more pain. If you have trouble with walking or elliptical machines try swimming or water aerobics. It is easier on your joints. Remember to breathe when exercising this helps you relax.
Massage – This one is tricky. First it costs money which can be difficult to come by, but you also need to feel comfortable being touched. The first two times I tried I left after the first 10 minutes in tears because I couldn’t handle it. Then a friend recommended a lady she felt safe with and I felt better with her. I still have to tell myself to relax and breathe, but it’s not a dark room and it’s safe.
Chiropractor – They are great to adjust you. I never knew this, but by adjusting you they help your nervous system work better. You might have to ask around to find one that works right for you. Again, the cost can be an issue if your insurance doesn’t cover this or has a copay.
Biofreeze – This is a pain relief gel. Make sure and read the directions.
Ice and Heat – Use whichever makes you feel better. Again, seek the advice of a professional. Heat helps my muscles more, but some say ice helps them.
Tens Unit – I purchased an inexpensive tens unit off of Amazon. It has helped me immensely. My Chiropractor suggested it. I linked the one I purchased so you can see what they are. I purchased the larger pads to go with it as they cover more area on the body. Again, I am not a professional so ask your doctor.
Diet – Did you know sugar is actually more addictive than cocaine? Watching what we eat can help with pain. We are only allowed 4 tsp of sugar a day. That is not much at all. Many things have sugar in them. Just 4 g of sugar is 1 tsp. It can add up fast and extra sugar in our bodies easily adds to our pain. There are many studies about it. Over the years I have slowly decreased sugar. (Don’t try to do it all at once!) But it does help immensely with the pain. Every little bit helps!
So do you feel your trauma? What is your body saying to you? Ask your therapist or doctor what might be helpful to get you through while you’re processing your trauma. Hang in there. As my therapist says let’s pray for emotional and spiritual freedom as well as freedom from the pain our bodies now experience. One day, we will be healed.
Remember you’re never alone.
There is a book that helps describe what our bodies experience from trauma. I have not read the entire book yet, but it comes to me highly recommended. It’s called, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, And Body in the Healing of Trauma by: Bessel VanDer Kolk, M.D.
© 2019 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.