Doctors and scientists have proven there is a strong link between the mind and the body. What happens with trauma is an excellent example of that connection. Trauma refers to a broad range of experiences that affect the mind and the body in lasting ways. Trauma can include anything from a fall, to an auto accident, to domestic violence, to living with a family member who suffers from a mental illness or substance abuse, or many other situations.
What all those experiences have in common is that they cause the brain to generate excessive amounts of stress hormones, and to respond that way again when facing other threats. Those stress hormones are intended to protect us from danger, but over time, they can have negative effects on our brains and bodies. People who have suffered trauma often stay in a state of constant anxiety. Their brains remain alert, watching for threats. Those hormones can even shorten our life expectancy.
Medical research provides evidence that intentional breath work and movement help those who have been exposed to trauma establish calmness, reduce stress, improve concentration, increase flexibility and strength, improve muscle tone, and enhance balance and coordination.
Yoga is a particularly effective form of mindful exercise. While traditional yoga has its roots in Eastern mysticism, trauma-sensitive yoga is based on neuroscience and what scientists have learned about the mind/body connection. Yoga positions and exercises soothe the nervous system and change the way the brain responds to situations. Yoga helps individuals become aware of how it feels to be safe and secure, and they learn how to move their minds and bodies into a more restful state. That helps help our brains and bodies begin to respond in healthful ways, instead of staying in a constant state of stress.
Care to Change uses mindful exercise to help individuals who are healing from trauma. We can also provide group instruction to help your employees learn how to reduce stress and anxiety, improve strength and mobility, and enhance their overall health. To learn more, contact us today.
Ginger Boyce worked in clinical research before deciding to teach trauma sensitive yoga and movement as a way to help with mental health challenges. To learn more about our trauma sensitive yoga program, click here.