Trauma Therapy seems to be most effective when Mind-body therapies( or somatic therapies) are used because they influence the area of the brain where fear is held, the amygdala.
Some of the Trauma Therapies are somatic therapies are EMDR, Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT, Somatic Experiencing or SE.
Here is a presentation I did at Sovereign Healthcare in Culver City titled Somatic Therapy Techniques to Relieve Anxiety and the Effects of Trauma. This is a long video but what it says is that the really effective therapies to treat trauma use this back and forth motion or pendulation ( as it is called in Somatic experiencing) while focusing on the body as a common theme.
Even though we don’t know exactly why EMDR works so well to desensitize trauma, we believe that the back and forth motion and juxtaposition of negative vs positive feelings , memories and sensations is part of what causes the shift in how a person perceives a memory.
In Faster EFT which is a newer form of Emotional Freedom Techniques, Robert G. Smith explains how alternating the “bad trance” and then the “good trance” cause the emotion around it to “collapse”. It uses a cadence to do this
I have developed this idea into another way to use these principles. From a session I had with a client where we walked on the beach I noticed this same release of tension and painful emotions happening before we even talked about them. She told me that as we were walking her emotions started to lift and she felt so much relief from the burden she had been feeling for the last week.
I realized that walking is this same back-and-forth movement and then there was the back-and- forth movement of the waves as we walked at the water’s edge were very therapeutic. I’m going to incorporate more of this into my practice.
Not to mention that I love being at the beach anyway:)