I have successfully worked with many people suffering from post traumatic stress.
When you experience a traumatic event like a car crash or an assault, your body switches temporarily into survival mode, in order to do it’s best to protect you. Three deep rooted survival reactions can occur – Flight, Fight and Freeze.
Very often you can have aspects of post traumatic stress disorder without having the disorder. So lets first look at some specifics about what it is.
So – What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD?
Post traumatic stress Disorder is defined as:
“a psychological reaction occurring after experiencing a highly stressing event (as wartime combat, physical violence, or a natural disaster) that is usually characterized by depression, anxiety, flashbacks, recurrent nightmares, and avoidance of reminders of the event —abbreviation PTSD —called also post-traumatic stress syndrome” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/post%E2%80%93traumatic%20stress%20disorder
For details on the diagnosis of PTSD use this link http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/basics/tests-diagnosis/con-20022540
It’s important to realise that you can have stress related to a previous traumatic event and not have full PTSD and this is extremely common in cases with anxiety, depression, poor sleep etc.
An insight from Tony Galvin on post traumatic stress.
In a nutshell a person with PTSD is reacting to something that occurred in the past, in a way that no longer makes rational sense – given their current circumstances. That is to say – your car crash may have happened a long time ago but the thoughts / memories of the crash still bring up a feeling of terror – and the smell of petrol may make you freeze. In my experience your body is still reacting as though the event is not over and the primitive survival part of your brain is still on high alert.
The freeze response is one of the most interesting aspects of PTSD and is brilliantly discussed here. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201507/trauma-and-the-freeze-response-good-bad-or-both
This article mentions that sometimes the freeze response makes us shut down or suppress feelings because we are overwhelmed at the time of the trauma. This is especially relevant with small children. But the physical mechanisms associated with ‘freeze’ are involuntary and very often, though the sufferer may have talked out the problem, they are still experiencing the same reactions, physically.
I look at it this way – Your survival brain is not your personality. It is you on red alert under serious life threatening danger where primitive responses take over. Your whole physiology and psychology adapts to the situation and if it is traumatic enough, the body can get stuck in ‘protection mode’.
The amygdala – the survival brain’s emotional center, remains vigilant at all times to danger.
And the brain – in order to make sense of the present and of future decisions, is constantly scanning past events in order to figure out each circumstance. So if the past events hold threatening unresolved memories – then they can create a loop that the daily reminders keep feeding into. Very often these are totally subconscious – which is why people get anxiety seemingly out of nowhere.
So what can Tony Galvin do to balance out post traumatic stress?
Kinesiology and other therapies offer a unique approach. The treatments I use target the primitive reflexes – which lock in the body’s fight or flight response. The following reflexes in particular are often found in association with traumatic events – Fear paralysis reflex and Moro reflex. By balancing out these reflexes the body can come back to feeling safe and relaxed again.
You can book an appointment to see Tony Galvin on this website. If you’d like to discuss a treatment plan please contact 0877876361. I look forward to hearing from you.