How to Reduce Suffering of Anxiety Without Medications.

If we understand that anxiety meds relieve the rumble strip of anxiety by actually blocking the signals the body is giving us because either

A) we are actually in danger and need to slow our roll or that

B) there is some previous emotional conditioning or trauma (big T or little t) that needs to be processed and our autonomic nervous system is doing its job attempting to protect us from something we haven’t down regulated from yet.

Think of it this way, after the super secret mission the agent went on where life and limb were in danger, the agent then goes through a debriefing session where all the details are reviewed, the agent can’t forget those things until he downloads the information. Compare this to the concept of having a trigger (or) online system until we have down regulated the need by processing same. In this same way it can be very helpful for there to be a review (or) exposure to what created the trauma in the first place. The danger here that frequently occurs in many varieties of cognitive therapy is that the individual is actually re-traumatized rehashing the event(s).

This brings to light that there is a way to move carefully through any form of exposure therapy with safety and trust being key initial components. In the theory (ROH) ReOrganizational Healing as well as Human Needs Psychology (Maddens/Robbins) we see a triangle of understanding consisting of Focus or perception; language or behavior; and structure or physiology. The core theory of RoH is that when we are stuck in one of these areas, if we create movement in the other two we will get movement in the one we are stuck in.

New therapies that work with Somatic (of the body) techniques are rewriting the way we think and treat trauma. Here are a few of those therapies: (EFT) Emotional Freedom Technique; (EMDR) Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing; (SRI) Somata Respiratory Integration; (TRE) Trauma Releasing Exercises; and (SE) Somatic Experiencing; as well as Trauma Releasing Yoga; and Myofascial Unwinding.

One of the core understandings here is that we are not just a thought machine (i.e.cognitive) but that we are multidimensional which includes emotions and frequently left out of the equation (sensations). Specifically the sensations that manifest that relate to the (ANS) Autonomic Nervous System’s reactions to unprocessed memories. What has been readily identified is that when we can input a physical stimulus which can include acupressure, bilateral stimulation, movement, breath, and other frequencies of awareness while we examining (exposure) negative cognitions in specific ways, that allows and creates a pathway for the processing of unprocessed memories and therefore down regulation of the (ANS) Autonomic Nervous System. Quite simply stated, when you take the pain out of the body associated with specific mental /emotional health issues it becomes just a story. The Golden Key understanding here is that there are no painful thoughts, only thoughts and narrative (distorted cognitive thoughts) that then send a signal into the body into repeating patterns we call anxiety. Working with anxiety this way instead of cognitive therapy is working with bottom up processing instead of top down processing.

The results have been pretty staggering with studies on all of the above showing individuals no longer meeting the requirements for symptoms of PTSD after treatments and exercises. That is exciting.

 

For more information about somatic techniques visit www.scottaustinmartin.com

About The Author

Scott Martin holds a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and teaches a quarterly Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction class in Tyler, Texas. For more information on developing a mindfulness practice or processing emotional trauma visit www.etsrc.org

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