Reacting to threat - Part 3
Updated: Jan 6
I have been learning a lot about trauma and childhood adversity in recent years. So I was delighted to discover that Gerry Pyves had also been developing a greater interest. As the creator of NO HANDS Massage and a qualified psychotherapist Gerry had been connecting the dots between neuroscience, psychotherapy and touch.
Over the last couple of years during NO HANDS Clinical Deveopment we’ve been evolving the way we work so that the power of our safe, appropriate touch really has the potential to discharge ambient trauma and help build resilience.
As I’ve explained in my previous posts it is recognised that trauma is being experienced by many of us on a daily basis simply by hearing of it on the news and via our social media. We don’t just have to witness it second hand or even experience it directly. Our bodies are reacting to trauma we hear about. Think about it. Every time you read about a terrible disaster don’t you feel it in your gut? The shock, fear, trepidation?
So, we no longer have to directly experience something terrible to be suffering from trauma. The more we hear and read about it the more we fill our trauma bucket. If we don’t release the load it will eventually overflow. Something simple could be the last straw and we flip our lid.
The good news is that regular NO HANDS Massage or, rather, Trauma Discharge Therapy can be a powerful way to regularly empty out your trauma bucket so that you always have plenty of resilience available and avoid overfill.
But that’s not all.
We have a first aid protocol. Sometimes, as we sink into the trance like state massage can induce, we might access a memory from the past deep in our subconscious. These are not necessarily cognitive memories. Unresolved trauma is held within the body. So we might experience a very physical response such as a racing heart, stomach pain or tension for no apparent reason.
As a bodyworker it’s important that I have this First aid protocol so that I keep my clients safe if they should be re-traumatised on my table.
On the table during my massage last week. I had a very strong feeling come over me at one point. I felt like the sound became amplified to my left. It felt like I could hear my breathing, my heart pounding... in fact I felt like I was against a wall, perhaps hiding under a blanket or in a cupboard. There was a sense of terror. I felt like I was terrified of being found.
This passed almost as soon as it started. I was aware of the soothing, tender touch of my massage therapist. I aware of where I was in the room. I felt safe.
That day something deep within my psyche surfaced. I was able to safely release that teeny bit I was ready to let go of. I don’t need to analyse it or anything. It came up, it passed. It’s gone. That bit has gone because it came up a time when I was receiving touch that held me safe.
Initially I was waiting to see if more would come up. Would the feeling continue or get stronger? But it didn’t. That was enough for today. At no point did I feel unsafe. Having done the training I also knew that Barbara has the First Aid protocols should I have gone in to full blown trauma. So she continued the massage and I didn’t need to tell her what I had felt until I was dressed.
As I walked around after the massage I felt a quiet sense of calm and a feeling I can only describe as strength.
The neuroscience of touch means that a little bit of some historical trauma has been released.
Want to know more? Book in for a Trauma Discharge Therapy session with me.