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Reflexology for Trauma and PTSD


Reflexology is not a cure all for trauma or PTSD. It is, however, a REALLY GOOD therapy to help you in your quest to release yourself from the symptoms you live with. My name is Chris and I pride myself on ensuring that my garden studio is a safe, welcoming space that is full of light and views of the garden. Everyone of my clients is treated with respect, understanding, a listening ear and kindness. I understand that trying a new therapy that might sound a little 'hocus pocus' can be a big step, but you will be in safe hands and you won't regret trying it.


What is Trauma?

Trauma can be experienced by us all, from children in utero to those at the end of their lives and everyone in between. Trauma results from a single incident or a repeated behaviour or experience over a period of time or exposure to varied and many traumatic events.


How does it affect us?

Trauma affects everyone differently and for different amounts of time. It manifests in many ways that trigger a multitude of emotions, affect the way we behave and cope in our lives, it affects both your body and mind. However, your reaction to trauma it is NOT related to how strong you are.


What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events. Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating

difficult. These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person's day-to-day life. (www.NHS.co.uk 2022)


What happens to us when we experience Trauma?


The perception of threat activates the sympathetic nervous system and triggers an acute stress response that prepares the body to fight or flight. These responses are evolutionary adaptations to increase chances of survival in threatening situations.

When faced with a traumatic event, our bodies react by preparing us to respond. This is an automatic survival mechanism and we have no control over it.

You might have heard of ‘fight or flight’, but there is a wider range of reactions.

  • Fight – fighting, being defensive, protesting

  • Flight – running away, escaping

  • Freeze – being unable to move or make decisions

  • Fawn – trying to please or win over someone hurting you

  • Flop – becoming overwhelmed and unresponsive, feeling disconnected from your body (dissociating), sometimes even fainting

Physically, you might notice your heart beating faster, thoughts racing, breathing becoming quicker and shallower, sight becoming sharper, nausea, cold hands, shaking or dizziness. These all prepare your body to react to danger but can be uncomfortable or frightening if you don’t know why they’re happening.

Your body will usually return to normal within half an hour of the event.

However, sometimes these feelings continue long after the trauma is over. Our bodies and minds get stuck in this danger mode even when the threat has passed. You may find yourself reliving the event through flashbacks or nightmares, feel constantly on edge, angry, guilty or upset, have panic attacks, feel numb or distant from others or have problems sleeping.

Trauma can make you more vulnerable to developing mental health problems. It can also directly cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some people misuse alcohol, drugs, or self-harm to cope with difficult memories and emotions.


Getting support


It’s never too late to get help with the effects of trauma, no matter how long ago it occurred.


There are different types of treatment available for trauma. The right one for you will depend on your symptoms and how they affect you. Speak to your GP to find out what help is available. Some services are starting to follow a trauma-informed approach, which means they should create a space where you feel safe and empowered and won’t be re-traumatised. (mentalhealth.org.uk 2023)


Reflexology for trauma and PTSD

Reflexology is great for people who have experienced Trauma and whom may have PTSD. This is because of its ability to take care of the body, mind and soul – all equally important parts injured by trauma.


Reflexology is commonly done on the feet and this enables the client to simply remove shoes and socks and have their feet touched at a comfortable distance, so as not to feel encroached, yet with the ability to look directly at the Reflexologist. The gentle, human touch within a safe, comfortable and understanding environment is often enough for the client to be able to relax, openly talk and over a period of time release some of the trauma that they are living with.


The clinical benefits of Reflexology on Mental Health are well documented. It has the ability to improve a person’s sense of wellbeing, improves sleep, reduces anxiety, and may reduce the need for pain medications. Every organ and system of the human body is mapped out on our feet and a qualified Reflexologist is able to skilfully use their understanding to work the relevant area and reflexes to provide a tailored treatment for each client.


If you are living with the effects of Trauma or know someone who is, please get in touch for a no obligation chat. I understand how big a step this might be, but know you are in safe hands.


Chris









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