Revolutionary Treatment for Trauma
Ongoing studies are being carried out in the field of women’s health, which is exciting. I am hopeful that the psychological community will continue to become more open and curious about this “new 2000 year old revolution,” as a positive addition to the traditional treatment for the broad spectrum of traumatic stress injuries. Many practitioners in the field of psychology are embracing Trauma Sensitive Yoga because they are witnessing its positive effect in the treatment of trauma. They see their clients re-connect their physical body to their mind and witness their patients’ previously blocked channels opening up due to Trauma Sensitive Yoga. Clients who were previously unable to articulate their traumatic experience can now do so, allowing the whole treatment process to move forward.
I am inspired and optimistic about the federal government’s involvement through its funding on research regarding the efficacy of Trauma Sensitive Yoga. One of the big obstacles in this process is the stigma around the word ‘Yoga’. In truth, Trauma Sensitive Yoga is the opposite of traditional yoga. The facilitator’s role is to guide the client. The client is in control, free to make his/her own choices every step of the way. It is not about when, but how. Over time through a process that combines yoga interaction, communication, and collaboration, the yoga facilitator and therapist lead the client to a place of inner strength. This all results from the individual’s work that she/he does on him/herself. This is not from what we do for them, but what they do for themselves. Our clients who have survived trauma learn that their body is not the enemy nor is their body at fault. First, they rediscover the body they may have become numb to. Then they befriend their body by learning how to self-regulate. At the end of it, clients rediscover their true self and their inner wisdom.
The priorities for Trauma Sensitive Yoga facilitators include putting the client first, providing a safe environment, facilitating appropriate types of exercises (not poses), NOT assisting, teaching qualities, supportive language, and the client’s ability and freedom to make choices.
Yoga facilitator training focuses on working on oneself first – practicing the techniques on yourself, before trying to guide someone else. Empathy is when we come from a place of our own inner power and we can use that to focus on serving others. Yoga facilitators are known for doing this. By bringing into focus our own biases and stigmas, we arrive at a place where we have true empathy for the other person. Being around others that have been through a similar situation can be a life changing experience for trauma survivors. Human beings are complex creatures who find incredible comfort in not being alone. By connecting all the pieces, working as a team, and embracing the inner strength within each of us, we can pull through it. We invite our clients to play a key role in their own healing as this is the whole concept behind holistic healing.