Wild animals do not often experience trauma. For all the of gruesome if not sometimes cruel acts of nature animals experience on a daily basis, they do not experience trauma like human beings do. Wild animals have a chance to complete the cycle of their trauma, should they experience any because they complete the cycle of fight or flight. Humans, on the other hand do not. Instead, the cycle of physical trauma becomes stuck in the body, necessitating deep physical healing. Domesticated animals on the other hand, like dogs and cats, do experience trauma through abandonment, neglect, and abuse.

Humans can be traumatized by great events or seemingly minute events. In the beginning of trauma research, trauma was a term reserved only for witnessing horrendous acts of war, a struggle endured by soldiers and veterans. Today, it is understood that any level of physical, mental, social, emotional, or verbal abuse can become trauma. Even witnessing violent by second or third party, as in through the news or a friend retelling their traumatic experience, can cause humans to experience the troubling symptoms of trauma, including physical symptoms.

Writing about her research into trauma to help her son, one Huffington Post contributor explains the way fight or flight happens during trauma. “The body has the freeze response and the flop response. This means that if people have ever been attacked but were left unable to fight, they should be free of shame and blame.” Shame and self-blame live in the body as stilled emotional energy fueled by regret, depression, and resentment. “Many survivors of assaults feel that they should have fought back but couldn’t,” the author explains, “The research supports them- they literally could not fight.” The fight or flight or freeze response is instinctual, connected the wildest human roots. Fighting, running, or becoming unable to do anything, is part of that natural instinctual response.

Healing the body aids in trauma recovery by releasing the stale energy, soothing the fight or flight tension, and relaxing the need to be in a defensive mode. Holistic therapy modalities can help this process. Development of simple life skills like healthy eating and physical exercise help the body naturally detox toxic energy while building a neural connection of self-care.


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