Touch, Trauma & Today
Today’s Guest post comes from Tigger MacGregor of gallowaymassage.com
When I discovered that a world renowned neuroscientist had published research that showed a clear link between Touch and the removal of trauma triggers I was overjoyed – for two reasons.
Firstly, because it made sense of the powerful shifts and transformations I had seen in my own clients and in fellow therapists over the thousands of hours I’d spent in the training room as a student and trainer.
Secondly, because the significance of dealing directly with trauma through Touch had massive potential for improving mental and physical health, especially given the findings of the ACEs study.
The most beautiful thing about this Touch is that it can be delivered both by a professional in a therapeutic setting (notably through Trauma Discharge Massage or PsychoTactile Therapy) but can also be learnt by members of the public with no therapeutic training whatsoever and used to discharge trauma triggers gently, sustainably and safely (through NeuroTouch).
So why am I telling you all this, letting you know about a powerful tool to deal with pre-existing traumas, or those you’re experiencing now with lockdown, at a time when you can’t access it: like Tantalus, forever thirsty with both water and food just out of reach? Because I truly believe that this too shall pass.
The Covid-19 outbreak will have ripple effects continuing for decades, if not generations – and the best thing we can do to face these changes is to build our resilience so that we can withstand the buffeting of the waves of life. Now, and as we emerge into “the new world”.
There are hundreds of resources out there which offer to improve your health and resilience: it may take trying a couple to find the one that works for you. Likewise, finding a Touch therapist who’s the “right fit” may take some time.
So my invitation to you is this: Learn about your breath: almost every healing tradition places the role of the breath at its very heart. Deepening your understanding of the breath, and your skill in using it to bring you into a meditative and healing space is likely to be beneficial in many areas of your life. The resource I have found most helpful for this is The 4 Breaths meditation.
Explore your local Touch Therapist options: a strong relationship with your therapist, whatever modality, is hugely important to the effectiveness of your work with them. Although not working, you can contact local and, ideally, recommended therapists to start assessing for yourself if you think they would be a good “fit” . That way, when they ARE able to offer treatments again, you know exactly who to ring up and get your sessions booked in with. Take a look at their website and social media, drop them an email or even arrange a phone call. The therapeutic relationship is an important one: taking the time to find the right fit is time well spent. Be Kind To Yourself: you will already have strategies that have helped you through hard times in the past. Some will be available to you right now. Some won’t. But prioritising the time and space to enact the strategies you can access at the moment is vital. Right now your resilience is taking a beating if only due to the massive uncertainties we all face, let alone the additional stresses your individual situation brings you. So I really invite you to be kind to yourself. Have that cup of tea. Take that extra nap. Go for an extra long walk while the sun is shining. Spend time playing with your kids. You know what works for you – and looking after you is the most important thing you can do just now.