Back from Hell
Healing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
In 1937, as the nation stood on the brink of World War II, Franklin Delano Roosevelt told a Chicago audience, "War is contagion." In fact, war's sickness has swept the world countless times and for thousands of years, leaving in its wake a socially sanctioned form of disease -- war-related trauma.
The effects of the traumatic aftermaths of war are only now being documented. Closely, looking at the Civil War and Vietnam.
Slowly we are learning how to treat the devastating syndromes caused by war trauma. Even more slowly, alternative bodywork therapies are becoming part of the treatment.
As a Healer, I have encountered the re-actions of traumatized war veterans.
Releasing for the combat-traumatized veteran, may be periodically weeping, uncontrollable flashbacks , shivering or sweating during a session, all helping in removing those emotional and psychological blocks.
Trauma erodes trust and often silences the survivor. Veterans are often hesitant to talk about the experiences, which may begin to surface during the relaxation and physical relief of energy work. Indeed, one of the amazing facts about trauma syndromes is that they remain in the body virtually forever unless they are treated successfully in therapy.
Combat trauma, through energy work , may help to alleviate its drastic and tragic effects.
The long-term effects of experiencing war combat are unrelentingly horrendous. Battle-worn veterans through the ages have endured myriads of hellish and seemingly irreparable symptoms that occur in well-documented patterns.
The telltale signs of war trauma include :
sudden panic attacks
dread and despair
a pervasive sense of helplessness
substance abuse and addictions
uncontrollable weeping and grief
shaking and trembling
constant nervousness and fidgeting
and sometimes total physical and emotional collapse.
These symptoms can be traced back to traumatic events that stimulated the state of hyperarousal and/or froze the fight-or-flight response. Such responses occur when survival mechanisms are activated to keep the physiology on "special alert," or when the overwhelming threat is so great that the system shuts down.
Besides hyperarousal, fight-or-flight and, in the face of inescapable threat, freezing/numbness, the primordial responses of the body to a physical threat to survival include dissociation, a type of psychological checking out and a departure from present time and place. In war, or other trauma, any or all of these responses become imprinted in the body's biochemistry, and can be triggered years later by the smallest stimuli -- a scent, a sound, a color, an image or the touch of a Healer's hand.
As a Veteran explained; "I've always had to be brave, in my family, in the army, at school. Throw out my chest and go on, no matter what." Thus, the treatment of veterans has been complicated by the cultural norms for male behavior: emotional control, bravery, physical strength and silent endurance of pain have been the only acceptable behaviors.
Trauma therapy revealed the reasons that veterans - whom society wanted to regard as brave heroes - frequently became "basket cases" after the war was over. In healing, as veterans began to allow their war trauma to "unwind," they said they knew their experiences and feelings were not culturally allowable male behaviors. Some have been holding tears back for 30 years .
"Shell shock" was identified as a quasi-justifiable malady during World War II. However, through the 1950s, treatment of combat veterans generally took a limited and rather patchwork approach for several reasons. First, although society sanctioned the traumatizing experience (war), it denied the validity -- or at least the enduring intensity -- of the trauma syndromes veterans suffered in its aftermath.
Secondly, the syndrome of war-related trauma symptoms had been only partially documented scientifically and was not widely understood.
And third, treatment of war trauma was, with few exceptions, not yet considered a scientifically valid therapeutic specialty.
Forty-three years after Roosevelt called war a contagious sickness, the traumatic after-effects of combat and war-related trauma to veterans finally received its own psychiatric/physiological category. .
Many Vietnam War survivors were drastically impaired by their combat experiences. First, as a group, those who fought in Vietnam were far younger and less experienced in life at the time they faced combat than those who fought in World War II. Second, their war was so unpopular that societal support for their suffering, and their need to recover from it, was meager at best.
The American Psychiatric Association added a new grouping to its list of mental afflictions: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
"What distinguishes people who develop post-traumatic stress disorder from people who are merely temporarily overwhelmed, is that people who develop PTSD become 'stuck' on the trauma, keep re-living it in thoughts, feelings or images." It is this constant, intrusive "reliving" -- not the actual trauma -- that causes PTSD.
One reason for chronic pain, and other results of PTSD, is the heightened sympathetic nervous system support and activation that remains locked in the physiology long after the trauma.
Neuro-peptide action is responsible for conveying emotions to every cell of the body, where the emotional information affects the activity of each cell.
The best way to short-circuit these endless trauma effects is to treat the traumatized mind, emotions and body -- as a whole -- in Energy Healing Work.
Bodywork in particular can play an especially vital role in the process of unwinding PTSD. Bayday's techniques involves only minimal touch, perhaps simply holding a tense area of the body, It can facilitate gradual releases for the client, taking the emotional removal of blocks in small, bite-sized amounts.
If you feel good, you are more productive, and you just generally do better.
Energy work can play a greater role in assisting veterans on their long journey of trauma recovery.
Many Blessings to you all...