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  • Writer's pictureReuben Berger

Shaking off Trauma

Updated: May 12

I have explored a great deal of modalities to help a person heal from Trauma.

More recently I discovered the power of shaking which is something that the natural world seems to instinctively know about as seen in this example of a Polar Bear shaking off a traumatic experience.

The cold plunge is another powerful healing modality helping to heal the fight or flight trauma response that can get embedded deep within a person. Othership, is a place in Toronto that has created the perfect setting to experience this truly profound healing modality.

Apparently in the psychiatric institutions they used to used cold water immersion to cure depression before they began using shock treatment which I am sure only makes a person's condition worse. Often, the cold plunge will cause one to shiver which causes the body to shake which is likely one of the reasons the cold plunge can help to cure a person of the effects of trauma.

If you live in Toronto, I'd highly recommend a journey to Othership where you can experience the cold plunge in a lovely setting with a warm sauna filled with essential oil infused air. Having a guide makes all the difference.

From their website: Othership is a space for transformation. Explore the sauna to sweat, ice baths to drop-in and a commons to be yourself with others. Embark on a shared journey to regulate yourself and your emotions, in a world that can't be regulated, and expect to shift your state in more ways than one.

Ice baths may assist in resolution of trauma by modulating cortisol levels and promoting shivering. Both are related to resolution of PTSD.

I know of a lovely man who cured his depression over some time by going daily to a spa where he could do a cold plunge.

Perhaps Taylor Swift had the right idea when she wrote a song called 'Shake it off'.

"You can't transform trauma without involving your body. I know this, as I've tried and failed. You must address trauma responses that are stuck in your body."

~ Amanda Ann Gregory from her article, 'Shake it off ~ how to get trauma out of your body'

She says, "Wild animals live extremely stressful lives, but rarely do they experience psychological trauma. How is this possible? One answer might be that they physically shake."

She goes on to say, "Why don’t humans involuntarily shake after experiencing a life-threatening event? They do, but it’s complicated. You might shake after a car accident and wait for the shaking to pass. According to this perspective, allowing yourself to naturally shake it out would be the best option. However, humans are often encouraged not to shake. You might try to stop shaking after the car accident due to embarrassment or being told by others to “breathe and calm down” when you actually might just need to shake for a bit. You might even be given medication to stop you from shaking. So, involuntary shaking in humans can be complicated and even discouraged."

You can read the full article:

She says, "You can shake specific parts of your body on your own. Try to identify parts of your body where trauma might be stuck ~ your stuck points. The most common stuck points that I come across as a trauma psychotherapist are:

  • Chest

  • Stomach

  • Lower and Upper Back

  • Shoulders

  • Neck

  • Jaw/Fasical Muscles

  • Head

Your stuck points are likely to be the areas where you experience pain, muscle tension, illness, numbness, frequent injuries, or disconnection. Intentionally shake your stuck points multiple times a day. When shaking, imagine that you are trying to release energy or sensations that are trapped in your body. You may try exaggerated shaking in order to feel an effect."

She mentioned specific ways to release trauma like Tension and Trauma releasing exercises (TRE's).

Rebounding is another amazing way to help release trauma. Dr. Peter Levine has been researching this for years. He says that rebounding is a way to very

gently, in a playful way, bring people back a little more to their bodies.

In this video he says, "After trauma, the body has become the enemy. This approach allows people to come back to their body. The key in healing trauma is not to relive the trauma experience but to create new experiences in the body that contradict those feelings of overwhelming helplessness that happens in trauma so it's having new experiences.

These Bellicon Rebounders are the best ones that I have seen on the market.

Years ago I discovered an interesting technology ~ vibrating machines that you can stand on. A friend of mine had a top of the line one called the Power Plate Pro 7. As I have been researching the power of shaking to release trauma, I wondered if these remarkable machines could assist a person in helping them release trauma.

Happy shaking, bouncing and being trauma free.

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