How to Release Trauma Trapped In The Body
Updated: Dec 6, 2022
International Trauma-Healing Institute founder Gina Ross has developed a simple process called EmotionAid. Here is a summary of those steps you can use to begin releasing trauma trapped in your body.
First, assess where you are: rate your stress or upset from a low of 1 to a high of 7. If it is high, first practice the following Grounding Steps. Begin by Butterfly Hugging and Tapping– hug yourself and then alternately tap on your arms, from side to side, 25 times. Then take a deep breath. Repeat this until your stress level begins to drop noticeably.
Next, Send Roots into the Ground. Notice your feet or, if your seated, your back, buttocks, and back of your legs in the chair. Now notice your feet or lower body being firmly connected to the floor, then to the ground, like roots going deep into the earth. Take a deep breath. Then gaze about the room and notice objects or textures about the room, remaining connected to your “roots.” Finally, Notice Breathing: Put one hand on your chest and one hand your belly. Now just be with your breath, not trying to change it, but just noticing the rhythm of it. Then make a heart shape with your fingertips and bring awareness to your beating heart.
Now begin to Discharge Sensations and Release Stress.
First, notice your breath and Breathe. Notice any sensations that come up naturally. As you release stress hormones, they will present through sensations like shaking, heat, sweating, yawning, goosebumps, adjusted breath rhythm, and gurgling in the stomach. Be curious about the feelings and be with them, they will naturally discharge. Avoid judgement or critique about what you are feeling & sensing.
Next, briefly review the traumatic event or troubling thoughts that lead to the sensations. As you review, notice the Feelings that come up as you consider what is energetically rising to awareness. It is valuable to proceed with slow and intentional movement to allow the activation of one feeling at a time. Just be with the feeling and give it plenty of time. Then notice the discharge that emerges as you follow the sensations. Know that you can temporarily set aside sensations and emotions that you are not focusing on at the moment.
Then work with the Thoughts. As you notice one thought at a time, observe the sensations that show up with these thoughts. Let go of the judgment or criticism. Just be present and continue to observe what happens as the experience of sensation unfolds, discharging and releasing from the body.
Body scan. Now notice and bring to awareness Resources. A resource is anything that feels strong and calm to you. These can be external (for example, the kind eyes of a good friend) or internal (perhaps the memory of a meaningful moment). As you recall or hold these resources, notice the sensations that show up in your body. Take a few minutes to feel the sense of calm and strength in your body.