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A body-work approach to trauma

Type: Website

Article or website name: A body-work approach to trauma

Author: Wilkinson, Beverly

Institution: AIPT: Associazione di Integrazione Posturale Transpersonale

Country: Italy

Type: Association

URL: www.integrazioneposturale.it/trauma.htm


Bev Wilkinson, trained in Belgium, is South Africa's Postural Integration Trainer. Here she argues for an integrated, "body-mind" approach to trauma treatment. The natural defence mechanism of the body to any form of violence, is the"flight or fight" syndrome. This pumps adrenalin into the system, resulting in increased circulation, access to protein and glucose, blood-clotting enhancement, pupil dilation, etc. The secondary line of defense includes: the use of the mouth to cry, scream, shout, or just say "NO!"; body reactions, such as perspiration, trembling, or goose pimples; and the relaxation or contraction of muscles. I say "relaxation or contraction" because, contrary to popular belief, as many people relax their muscles in face of danger as tighten them. A healthy response to fear is action through movement, thus using the extra energy produced by the adrenalin. This can take the form of running, hitting out, stamping, crying, laughing, pulling away, etc. The lack of such action leads, in the long term, to physical problems. Becoming paralysed, or "freezing up", and thus not using the available surplus energy, leads to flabby and flaccid muscles; while internal contractive resistance, with no outward expression or movement, results in a rigid and inflexible muscle structure. Whatever form violence takes - battering, rape, a household accident, or the emotional trauma of moving house - the body's response is the same. This is because the body is irrational and is not aware of what is causing the "flight or fight" syndrome. Our minds can interpret the source of a sensation: our bodies can only feel the sensation itself


Author's institution:
Language: English
Country origin: Italy

Entry number: 3367
English version:

Entry source: Courtenay Young
Entered by: Courtenay Young
Entry date: 26 June 2006

Key Phrases: Trauma - postural Integration
References: 5 refs
Other information: