The Somatic Approach to Healing Trauma
What is Trauma?
Disembodiment and Disconnection:
Levels of Trauma
Symptoms of Trauma
Somatic Symptoms of Trauma
Cognitive Symptoms of Trauma
Digging Deeper: Understanding the "Red Zone"
Let’s take a look at the workings of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). This system is in charge of self-regulation, which is organ and metabolic function and homeostasis. The ANS regulates our moods and energy level. It is an electrical system, always attempting to return to an energy-efficient, balanced state called homeostasis.
Our Range of Resilience is our current capacity for doing our life. When we are operating within our Range of Resilience (Green Zone), our day is balanced with periods of arousal or activity, followed by periods of rest or relaxation, and then repeat. When we ignore our need for a break (rest or relaxation) or additional stressors present themselves, we may find ourselves entering into a state of hyper-arousal (Fight or Flight Mode). We may experience the signals or symptoms illustrated in the Red Zone.
Since the ANS is an energy conserving system, what goes up, must come down. Therefore, even short periods of intense arousal (Red Zone) will likely be followed by signs and symptoms of Hypo-Arousal (Blue Zone). This state of ‘freeze’ or numbness may last a long time, hours or even days, as you might imagine a mammal in hibernation. The goal is to help ourselves lead a more balanced life in the Green Zone or at least be able to effectively care for ourselves when we find ourselves in the Red or Blue Zone.