It’s difficult to avoid trauma. From car accidents to assaults to childhood concussions, our traumas seem to follow us closely. We are often able to recount the incident in such detail that the depth of emotion feels less like a memory and more like a current state. Going as far as remembering what we wore, where we were, what smells were in the air, it can feel like it was just yesterday. This is good news for police reports, bad news for our brains function.
For decades it has been assumed that we must persevere through trauma. But what most people don’t know is how deeply trauma gets locked in the body and how that affects our functionality. Trauma get locked up so deep that as we’re moving throughout our lives, if we recreate the posture we suffered the trauma in, it can trigger traumatic relapses. For example, if you’ve recently been in a car accident, even if you’ve been driving for 15 years, getting back behind the wheel often feels scary, emotional, and unfamiliar. You’ll clutch the steering wheel, tense your shoulders and constantly check the mirror in which you saw the approaching car. Despite years of safe driving, your brain rewired in an instant leaving you with the pain of reliving your trauma at any given moment.
Fortunately, just as we have the ability to create trauma snapshots, we have the resilience to undo them by safely activating the exact posture in which the trauma occurred. This is simple but not easy. The brain is a brilliant magician at disappearing acts. Once traumatized, your brain will protect you, at all costs, from reliving that posture. Unfortunately those costs often include pain, avoidance of movement, lack of coordination and consistent heightened threat levels. On top of that, often you will forget how to move certain ways or lose trains of thought.
Smart Move Movement Optimization (MO) sessions address your trauma snapshots to release and remap your brain. Looking at the photo above you’ll see a woman taking a bad fall from her bike. Based on her position, we could make a good estimation that she might from now on:
- Fear getting off on the right side side of her bike
- Fear turning right
- Fear riding too closely to another person
- Never race again
- Ride far more cautiously than before
- Experience or relive the feeling of falling off and hitting the ground at random times
From the Smart Move perspective, to recover entirely from this trauma she would need to focus on:
- Her right vestibular (inner ear) function
- Horizontal vision training with distances near and far
- Peripheral vision training to reduce proximal threat
- Remapping proprioception on her right side
- Sport speed remapping of right side bike handling
Trauma snapshots can change our lives forever if we let them. Learning from accidents is one thing, inducing psychological suffering from reliving them is another thing entirely. If you want to learn more about the peculiar ways your body holds trauma, contact Smart Move to receive an in-depth consultation of your brain function.
Kiera Lucich is a neural integration specialist based in Salt Lake City, Utah. She’s the owner of Smart Move Wellness, a brain-based wellness company dedicated to educating and training people to heal chronic and trauma-associated pain. For more information visit smartmovewellness.com.