There is exciting research happening in the last decade on neuroscience and the workings of the human brain. We are discovering new ways of understanding how trauma resides within our memories and how it plays out in our everyday life, over and over again, as if the trauma experience is on a painful loop.
Figuring out exactly what happens in our brains when we have a traumatic event has been a universal challenge. The part of the brain we’re interested in here is called the Amygdala, the part that processes our strong emotions like fear, anxiety and anger. It’s kind of like a Department of Homeland Security. It scans all the sensory information that’s coming to us, millions of bits of information through sight, hearing, touch, all of our senses. And it’s scanning that information for a whisper of something that could be dangerous or a real threat that we need to get away from as fast as we can.
It’s remembering threats from the past, and it’s ready to react within less than one tenth of a second. It receives incoming data through the senses and is ready to manifest a flight, fight or freeze reaction to defend ourselves against a potential hazard.
Painful and frightening experiences of the past can show up as stress in our lives which can trigger anxiety (flight), aggression (fight) and helplessness (freeze) or other debilitating problems.
If you can imagine being in a terrifying traumatic event like a very bad car crash for instance, the brain creates a multimedia web image of the whole event. Everything that happened to you, the scene, who was there, the smallest details of the crash, all of those subtle bits of information can become triggers for the traumatic memory to be reactivated in the future.
Can you imagine how your body posture, or muscle tension in your body is feeling after such as event? There are internal stress responses, like rising blood pressure, the release of cortisol and other stress hormones. The body wants to survive, it’s taking action to try and do just that.
An ordinary memory is stored in another part of the brain called the Hippocampus. But this traumatic event we’re talking about, it’s created within seconds by new nerve connections forming in the amygdala. The nerve cells have got this big warehouse full of spare receptors, that they push up to the surface of the cell membrane and they’re locked in place. They’re super glued into the cell membrane with a molecular binary called phosphate. And they’re there for the rest of our lives.
Unless… we receive therapy that helps us to unlock those bonds.
Our brains have the capacity to rapidly delete trauma, to remove the traces from the neuro circuits and the part of the brain where it is stored.
The key to healing is to take a person to a very low frequency of brainwaves called Theta. We take you down to Alpha and then Theta in hypnotherapy. One step lower is into Delta where we sleep, where lots of repair, recovery, rest and consolidation of memories into the cortex takes place.
For the recovery of this mechanism inside the nerve cell, it can sense these low theta frequency brain waves that the client gets to experience, when he or she relaxes into a sitting or lying down position, allowing their breathing to settle calmly. The gentle focus on the past event, helping the client to reframe the meaning and understanding of the event can help reverse the encoding of the trauma, activating the enzymes that dissolve away that phosphate bond. The receptors become free in the cell membrane and are released. Isn’t that just fascinating?
Past trauma and wounding experiences can play out in our lives in many different ways, giving us anxiety and depression, low self-worth, addictions and personality changes (to name a few ways it affects us).
I work with many clients who wish to be freed of past trauma and childhood wounds which affect their everyday lives. I am here to help facilitate the change in you and happy to give you a free discovery call to determine if this is the next step for you.