Removing Trauma from the Body

Emotional Resolution is about balancing your feelings by addressing the emotions that are embedded in our bodies, replaying when triggered by similar situations, enlarging the scope of the current circumstances and keeping us in a seemingly endless cycle of drama and pain.

Neuroscientist and trauma researcher, Bessel van der Kolk, MD has spent his career studying how children and adults adapt to traumatic experiences. He has some very interesting things to say about how trauma affects our bodies and compensating behaviors.

“The trauma caused by childhood neglect, sexual or domestic abuse and war wreaks havoc in our bodies” — Bessel van der Kolk in The Body Keeps the Score

He says that we commonly think that trauma is a story about the past, but in fact, trauma makes changes to our brain, so that the person sees and experiences the world differently than other human beings. Research shows that “it is almost impossible to become a drug addict/alcoholic without having a prior history of childhood trauma.” Addiction is the result of these people desperately trying to manage unbearable physical sensations.

Peter Levine, PhD has also spent a career working with trauma. He developed a body-awareness approach to healing trauma called Somatic Experiencing (SE). SE focuses on the physiological responses that occur when someone experiences or remembers an overwhelming or traumatic event, in his or her body, rather than only through the thoughts or emotions connected to it. His method is to allow and encourage the body’s sensations, trapped by the trauma, to discharge using a number of “resources” to ground the person in the present moment, that reinforce the client’s inherent capacity to self-regulate.

“The bodies of traumatized people portray “snapshots” of their unsuccessful attempts to defend themselves in the face of threat and injury. Trauma is a highly activated incomplete biological response to threat, frozen in time… Traumatized people are not suffering from a disease in the normal sense of the word- they have become stuck in an aroused state. It is difficult, if not impossible, to function normally under these circumstances.” — Peter A. Levine


I find it affirming, and corroborating, that these two world renowned and respected experts in the field of trauma research both agree that unprocessed emotions are trapped in the body. And that the best path to recovery is by working to release the frozen emotions from the body.

Connecting Trauma and Chronic Pain

In my own work, I’ve found that my clients who are struggling with the repercussions of trauma have issue on two fronts: Emotional and Physical. Often times they are in traditional therapy of some kind, but find it hard to make headway because of chronic body pain.

Traumatic emotions are buried in the body and resurface as pain and named disorders when left unresolved over long periods of time.

Bowen Technique is a system of gentle bodywork, that brings equilibrium to fascia (connective tissue) tension in the body. It is very relaxing and stimulates the body’s nervous systems to re-balance, prompting a healing response on structural and energetic levels Short answer: it feels really good and takes the pain away.

When pain is first and foremost in a person’s mind, it is very difficult to work on anything else, even if “anything else” is critical to relieving emotional pain, which is also critical to recovery. I’ve found that applying Bowen to chronic pain is a necessary first step. When the body calms down, after a session or two of Bowen, clients find their traditional therapy much more productive. They can remember, focus and do the work with out the distracting onslaught of pain.

Adding an Emotional Resolution (EmRes) session before Bowen is a powerful advantage. Emotional Resolution is a simple method of releasing buried emotions, regardless of the circumstances around their internment. The client recalls an emotional situation of note, and the practitioner guides them thru a protocol of physical sensory awareness which releases the triggered emotion that is buried in the body. Immediately afterwards the clients receives a Bowen session to help the body finish processing the emotion release and do the primary work of balancing the fascia to release and ignite a healing response.

The combination of Emotional Resolution and Bowen is amazing. There is a synergy and reciprocity between the two disciplines that coordinate responses between physical and emotional bodies. They literally talk the language of the limbic system that is holding the emotions, the body memories, in stasis and provides portals for their discharge and release.

Emotion work and Body work, individually, can be an asset to any recovery process. But together in the same session, they have produced headway and breakthroughs in my clients. These cases reinforce my enthusiasm and desire to champion this work. It’s so important to those of us that need it.

Are you ready to release your buried trauma and chronic body pain?

Book your Emotional Resolution and Bowen Session today


Video with Bessel van der Kolk

Youtube with Peter Levine

What is your Emotional Temperature?

How do you feel when you wake up in the morning?

By noon what is your mood?

When your work day is done, what emotions are swirling?

Do you drop off to sleep gently? Is your sleep restful?

A large part of having good emotional intelligence is the capability to recognize our own emotions, identify the different feelings and use this information to guide thinking and behavior, to manage our reactions and adapt to the situations we find ourselves in.

But, most of wander around in a blur of feelings that we don’t know how to control or where they came from apart from the immediate event. And often, our most distressing times are over-the-top responses, soaring much larger than the current reason calls for. And these events repeat with a disheartening frequency, even if the exact cause is “different”.

It can be overwhelming and frustrating.  How do we get past it? When is our breakthrough?


EmRes – Emotional Resolution is a natural process that we are born with.  Sometimes the resolution process gets interrupted and the emotions that are active or in-flight do not get metabolized.  When the same emotion is triggered at a later time, even years later, the original unresolved emotions will activate and flood the current situation, prompting reactions and drama that are in excess.

Good new! We don’t have to know anything about the event or trauma that caused the original block.

In an EmRes session, a current troublesome situation is relived by describing the current situation and briefly telling the story enough to get the event firmly in mind.  Then the lymbic system in the brain is activated to completely digest the emotion(s) that were flaring.  Once emotion’s physical sensation blueprint is gone, the emotional block is expired as well.

Once complete, future emotional situations of a similar nature will not cause the “resolved” emotion to swirl into another emotional storm. In fact, each individual emotional resolution will quell most or all situations that have a similar emotional root.  In other words, an EmRes session for anxiety using one situation can resolve the unnatural anxiety felt in many, if not all, of your situations.

EmRes is new to the US. Almost no one has heard about it. But, the response of people that have tried EmRes is almost universally positive. They(we) are amazed at how transformative the EmRes process can be.

People stuck in the grips of grief, fear, anger and frustration have found their breakthrough. Lives have been changed for the better.

It can happen for you too!

Book an appointment, in the clinic or on the phone,  to relieve your pain and stress at Shining Light Energy Works
Schedule online: SLEW-Online Scheduling
We look forward to working with you!

Fascia, Fascia, Fascia

It seems that I can’t see it or hear it often enough: Fascia is amazing.  It holds us together.  It is our body’s silent communication system, more rapid FasciaImbalancesthan nerves. It transports fluid between muscle, organ and circulatory tissues, keeping them supple.  It collects fluid around damaged tissue like a bandage.  Think of healthy fascia as a series of fine net stockings or cobwebs that surrounds every fiber, bundle of fibers, groups of bundled fibers, tissue groups, organs, separating body compartments in large sheets or diaphragms, supporting and holding everything in it’s place. It’s everywhere.  It’s pervasive.

Fascia can be physically damaged by injury or as a byproduct of some medical procedures, just like any other tissue. Fascia also reacts to our emotions by contracting over the trauma that is energetically held in the body like a bandage.

“Damaged” fascia is not the fluid flexible net of fibers that functions fully.  Injured fascia is tense, jumbled and convoluted, like a fisherman’s net that has gotten balled up and tangled.  Over time these areas, will become tightened, knotted and kinked, stiffening into armor like hardness.

In this compromised condition, fascia can not transport fluid nor relay messages as is normally found.  The tissue is it supports become dry and brittle and incommunicado from the rest of the body.

Injured fascia can cause severe, disabling, chronic muscle pain.  It affect not only the tissue that is armored, but all muscles and tissues that have to work differently because of this restriction.

Click here for another great video explaining why fascia is important

When there is a restriction in one area of the body, there will be compensation on the other side of the body in a diagonal direction. That “overworked” area will cause another area, diagonally across the body to compensate.

Pretty soon there is a zigzag of stressed body areas. So often what hurts is not the originating point of the problem.  Neck injuries can become hip and leg issues and vice versa.  Ankle issues can show up in the shoulders. So what needs help the most? Where it hurts now or the original injury?

Bowen to the rescue!

Bowen works with fascia as it’s target.  When skin, muscles and tendons are moved, the fascia they are connected to moves.  If gently and methodically done, the fascia will again separate into it’s beautiful web-like structures. The armor will soften, the tissues are hydrated and the information highway is connected again.

On the other hand, tissue and it’s associate fascia is moved  quickly, hard and fast–it resists and stays in it’s armored state.  Remember the corn-starch and water experiment?  If you handle it with too much force, it resembles a solid brick.  But if you handle it slowly, it feels more like sand or liquid.  The same is true of fascia–the slower and gentler the better.

In my opinion, almost all all chronic pain announces an underlying fascia issue.  The longer the pain has been in place, the more compensating patterns have been erected. And the more hardened armor, locking it into place will be present.

A series of Bowen session will unwind these patterns. By gently manipulating fasical sheets through their connections to other tissues, the elasticity is returned.  Relaxed fascia loosens it’s grip on muscles, organs and other tissue allowing the communication and fluids to flow at more appropriate levels.   Oh, what a relief!