Why do we think we have moved on from a traumatic event and yet re-act exactly the same way we first did again and again when we know in our conscious mind we have moved on from it? Why can this affect the way we learn?
These questions come up all the time in my clinic so I will try to answer them for you here. Firstly I will explain the way our Amygdala works.
It is an ancient part of the reptilian brain. It looks after the fundamental needs of survival and maintenance. Its basic ruling emotions are love, hate, fear, lust, and contentment.
It regulates emotion and plays a role in guiding emotion-related behaviors. Its major role is protecting us – the centre for flight fright fight. This part of the brain has been built upon through evolution and we now have the intellectual capacity for complex rational thought.
However when under emotional stress – facing a trauma (as perceived by the individual) feeling frightened or threatened the reptilian part of our brain takes over.
We can no longer think logically or use our problem solving abilities. Instead we may show rage and anger, fear, or freezing. This is termed loss of brain integration.
This happens for our survival. It worked wonders when we had to run from dinosaurs. No time for logically thought when under attack! And this is how we still behave. This does not always serve us so well.
Running from a snake is one thing but running every time you are faced with confrontation with say, a loved one or your boss is not going to solve the problem. This is why we may keep behaving and reacting in ways that no longer serve us.
It is often associated to childhood trauma. Again this is a personnel thing. Something one child may perceive as very traumatic another child might not even blink at.
Because of this and because it is at such a deep subconscious level it is often impossible to detect or resolve. Here is an example of what I am talking about.
A young child aged 4 looks forward to her dad coming home from work and runs to him when he walks in. Dad has a stressful job and just wants to sit down in peace so shouts at his daughter to leave him alone.
The little girl cries, dad feels bad says sorry and gives her a hug and a kiss. This happens often.
When the child grows up she cannot understand why every time a male gets cross with her…her boss shouts at her or her boyfriend gets angry during an argument she bursts in to tears.
“She might ask herself “why can’t I just stand up for myself and articulate what I want to say? Why can’t I respond like an adult instead of just crying?”.
Her Amygdala sees this as the same situation as with her dad when she was 4. Her brain knows she survived and got what she wanted – love and comfort because she cried.
Her conditioned response is to cry “this is how you survived before so this will ensure you survive again” this response overrides all logical thought.
It can also show as a loss of ability to perform certain mental functions such as reading, spelling or math’s, in the case of learning disabilities, or more generally, difficulties such as finding our way in a crowded street.
Making effective decisions when under stress, feeling comfortable at a party or forming and articulating our thoughts and dreams and controlling our general emotional states.
Luckily our brain is always working away at trying to resolve this and keep us keep us in balance. Ways our brain tries to resolve this problems are by crying, shouting, laughing, talking to friends, sleeping or excising and meditation.
However this does not always work. In this case kinesiology can often help. Using muscle testing it is possible to locate the area where the brain is not integrated and using among other things, acupressure techniques can aid it to reconnect and became synchronized again.
We will all have suffered some kind of trauma so we can all benefit from this technique. The extent of loss of brain integration depends on the extent of the trauma and for how long it was suffered. Because out brains are most vulnerable in childhood this is mostly when these issues occur. We then build on these beliefs as we grow up.
If you have any further questions or would like a kinesiology session with me Please visit my website.
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