Abuse: Moving To Recovery

March 15th, 2016 by Daniel Ruiz

Abuse. Hearing the word abuse even in conversation often sends chills up the spine. The word alone often makes you cringe, your body tenses up. Most people often recall moments in their life when they have seen, heard, read about, or experienced a moment of abuse. Unfortunately, for many, the context of abuse is much more personal. Abuse is all around us. We hear about domestic abuse in the nightly news, we see pictures of Rihanna domestic abuse injuries, read about Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown and recently colleges have been taking more heat for their rape and sexual abuse policies.

But for many, abuse is not something read about, it is a lived experience. It is an experience that even days, weeks, months, or years later lives and inhabits the very body of the victim (and arguably the perpetrator). Abuse is not just physical. Abuse can be identified as four different types:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Sexual
  • Self Abuse

Victims of abuse, of whatever form it may be, all experience some degree of personal trauma. This trauma, acts like an internalized emotion that crawls into our muscles, or nerves. It takes on a physical presence in the body.  Personal trauma is a physical experience, regardless of what sort of abuse the victim has endured.

How can emotional abuse be physical?

This can be understood through a simple exercise. Think of a moment a painful emotional moment in your life:

  • A loved one passed away
  • An image in the news
  • A difficult breakup
  • Maybe even a personal experience of some form of abuse

Now, as you recall that moment, observe your body’s reaction. When we see a difficult picture, we feel our gut react. When we hear about someone experiencing pain, we physically cringe. When we remember a painful breakup, we tense up and recall our anxieties. Point is, our body reacts and feels. When we endure abuse, this physical reaction is much greater and more severe: it’s trauma. Our muscles and nerves hold on to and remember stress and tension, much like our muscles learn how to move for daily functions.

Moving forward from abuse

 If you experience personal trauma, trying to move forward is challenging. Often, even if victims are emotionally prepared to accept their histories, it is difficult to enact personal change. Movement can help with this. We often think of physical therapy as the movement therapy to help with physical injuries. But there are other forms of physical therapy that engage muscles to heal the stress and tension of trauma. To help us understand this, we can call on the experience and knowledge of Dr. David Berceli.

TRE and Dr. David Berceli

TRE (Tension & Trauma Release Exercise) is healing technique developed by Berceli. It works as a series of exercises that trigger the muscle’s innate reflex of shaking or vibrating.

TRE releases tension through the muscles’ natural reflexes that connect to the nervous system. Dr. Berceli believes that this release helps the body (and mind) regress back into balance and calm. What’s great about this technique is that it can help all forms of personal trauma and its benefits greatly range.

  • Less Worry & Anxiety
  • Reduces Symptoms of PTSD
  • More Energy & Endurance
  • Improved Marital Relationships
  • Less Workplace Stress
  • Better Sleep
  • Reduced Muscle & Back Pain
  • Increased Flexibility
  • Greater Emotional Resiliency
  • Decreases Symptoms of Vicarious Trauma
  • Healing of Old Injuries
  • Lessened Anxiety surrounding Serious Illness
  • Relief from Chronic Medical Conditions

Regardless of the reason for your personal trauma, its amazing to read and hear about a resource that targets long-term and resilient change. Get moving and start to heal.

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