by Cinnamon Cranston
Certified Rosen Method Bodywork Practitioner
The physical/mental state of overwhelm is a common experience in today’s world leaving many with the lingering experience of disconnectedness to themselves and others.
Trauma is the word used to describe events and circumstances where we are overwhelmed and powerless or helpless to change our circumstances. Examples of emotional and/or physical trauma include parental divorce, death of a loved one, childhood emotional abuse, oppression from a dominate group, growing up in a family where emotions are repressed, being raised by a parent suffering from mental health issues or addiction, childhood neglect, physical or sexual assault/abuse, accidents, medical traumas, near death experiences, witnessing violence, prolonged illnesses, threat of violence, poverty, loss of home and more.
At some point in our human existence we will inevitably experience some form of trauma. Why is it that some people seem more resilient than others in recovering from trauma? Trauma that occurs in early childhood is more devastating in that it is occurring during the period of our life when we are learning how to connect to self and others.
When we are left in a state of overwhelm for a prolonged period of time as children, we develop ways to cope with the high levels of survival response going on in our bodies. One of the most common is dissociation or disconnection from our sense of self and our bodies. Memory function also becomes impaired leaving large gaps in memory and an incomplete understanding of whom we are.
As adults we are left with a fragmented sense of self and this makes connection to self and others difficult. It also makes us more vulnerable to the effects of any current or future trauma. Having an overwhelmed nervous system can lead to generalized symptoms of anxiety, depression, addiction and health issues such as irritable bowel, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and autoimmune disorders.
The good news is neuroscience has come a long way in its understanding of how the brain and nervous system works and in how trauma affects the brain. We now know that trauma or survival responses that have been habituated in the body’s neural networks can be healed over time with the right approach to treatment.
Rosen Method Bodywork is one modality that has had a profound effect in helping people recover their capacity for resilience and well-being within their bodies. It is a “bottom up” therapy that focuses on helping people gain awareness of their body and past experiences. This approach accesses the right side of the brain (unconscious) and deeper primal parts of the brain that regulate the fight/flight/freeze response and integrate sensory memory and emotion from the past. This is a great compliment to psychotherapy that uses a “top down” approach that helps people integrate past experiences from their cognitive sense of self (left brain), or in other words, a person’s understanding of whom they are.
Rosen Method Bodywork also helps people to feel more connected to the present moment and the possibility for experiencing more connection to themselves within their bodies. Sensations of safe connection to self and other, ease of breath, presence, deep release, aliveness and being inside their bodies start to develop as the trauma is fully experienced and integrated into the whole of their being. The trauma becomes known as an experience and not held in the body as an unconscious identity.
When terrible things happen to people, especially as children, they are left feeling that they are terrible and they grow around this as a belief and their bodies hold this belief in place unconsciously. Rosen Method Bodywork allows people to experience themselves as they truly are and this is a precious gift to them and everyone they touch.
Cinnamon is a Certified Rosen Method Bodywork Practitioner and the Co-owner of the Rosen Method Institute Canada. Contact her at email@example.com or 780-203-5159.
This article was originally published in Mosaic Magazine’s February, 2018 issue, and is copied here with permission from the editor, Connie Brisson.
Note: This information is for educational purposes only. It’s intended to supplement your current health program, not to replace the care of a licensed medical doctor. Thoroughly research all topics for yourself.