Posture, Body Language, Stress, and Trauma

Alexander Technique instructor Imogen Ragone and I discuss “the implications and impact of posture and body language on people dealing with stress and trauma, and what neuroscience is telling us about this.” Imogen dispels “some common myths (and potentially harmful advice) we so often hear about improving our posture” and gives a quick tip “with a different approach that is both more physically comfortable and more sustainable.” View the full series. 

This video was originally broadcast live from Imogen’s Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/CalmConfidentControl/

Find out more about Imogen and her work at: https://imogenragone.com

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If you have PTSD, the mental health system might drive you insane

If you have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Complex PTSD, the so-called “mental health care” system in America might drive you insane.  Like me, you could too easily find yourself in the loony bin just because you’d been traumatized a lot.

Trauma un-informed doctors, therapists, psychologists and others can and do easily harm others without inent or cognition. Some, like the “embedded” psychologist at ChristianaCare Foulk Road Family Medicine, can and do and will cause great harm because they think they are the knowledgeable god-like healer, and you are the weak thing that needs them to fix you.

If you’ve experienced Developmental Trauma/Adverse Childhood Experiences and ask the mainstream medical system to help, you could, like me, spend a week at Cuckoo’s Nest Junior where the system subjects you to more trauma and abuse, without providing any actual help.

I’m thankful I got out of there without more harm than I endured. It was easy to see most people weren’t as lucky because they didn’t have as many resources. Sadly, most don’t know it doesn’t have to be like that. They accept this system is “the way things are” because that’s what their life has taught them. They think this is therapy that this is what’s wrong with them and this “therapy” is going to put them on the right track for a little while. Until they come back through the system and make more money for those poised to reap the profits of human misery.

If you have PTSD and turn to the system for help, you could, like me, become human capital, enslaved to the mental health sausage machine, the psychological house of horrors. You turn to them for help and they smash you down and grind you down and call it “therapy.” I’m here to #MakeItStop 

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“CyCling” with Ease to Down-Regulate Stress and Trauma

Alexander Technique instructor Imogen Ragone and I discuss and practice TheCyCle™ – “a simple yet powerful way to calm your own nervous system and release excess tension from your body.
“In our last video Shay told us about three important coping tools for anyone suffering from stress and trauma. The first one, and possibly the most important, was DOWN-REGULATION. Being able to DOWN-REGULATE is key to interrupting and lowering your stress responses.
“In our fourth conversation, Shay and I discuss TheCyCle™ – a practice she has learned from me which helps her calm her own nervous system. It has become her go-to down-regulation tool. TheCyCle takes only a couple of minutes to do, and you will get the opportunity to learn and experience it for yourself in this video.
“TheCyCle comes directly from the Primal Alexander work of Mio Morales, and I teach it to all my clients. It’s not only a way for you to calm your own nervous system, but also provides a framework in which to practice the type of thinking and awareness that cultivates ease in a way that’s portable and accessible in many situations.” View the full series. 

This video was originally broadcast live from Imogen’s Facebook Page
Find out more about Imogen and her work.You can join Imogen’s BodyIntelligence Community, a free Facebook group.

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Unashamed of my Complex PTSD

A few people have asked my why I talk so much about Complex PTSD, or Developmental Trauma. I am open about my struggles with ​Complex ​PTSD and depression​ in part because I am not ashamed.​​ I have physiological conditions brought on by developmental trauma​, a galaxy of cruel and neglectful things done to me as a child and exacerbated by abusive employers​ and doctors. ​PTSD and depression do not indicate a character flaw​. I did nothing to ask for this, it is not needed for my spiritual development, ​something God gave me because I can handle it​ or as punishment for impiety​​. Nor is it​ ​payback for some ​supposed ​horrible thing I did in ​this or ​a past life. Complex PTSD is the result of disordered attachment combined with ​tr​​a​u​matic experience​ and ​lack of social ​support​. It doesn’t mean I’m deficient. It means I was born into a family with a legacy of intergenerational violence. Complex PTSD does not indicate the sufferer’s deficiency or failure, but that of her early environment.

I wish to help erase the cruel stigma attached to mental health conditions. People with mental health conditions do not deserve ridicule, shame, or abuse. ​We​ deserve extra care​, just like people with broken bones or tumors.​​ ​Healing from childhood trauma takes a great deal of effort, courage, resourcefulness, professional help, and community support. ​

Talking about Complex PTSD/Developmental Trauma helps me and others. Being open helps me a​f​firm through my actions that ​I ​have nothing of which to be ashamed. The kind responses to my distress are part of what helps me heal. ​Talking about it ​also ​helps other​s​ heal. It helps people understand their loved ones with mental health conditions​ and people with mental health conditions to understand they are not alone. Once in a while someone will contact me privately and say something like, ​”​It happened to me, too​.”​ ​Some say my courage encourages them. Occasionally one will ​say they never told anyone before but they’re telling me because I’m the first person they’ve felt safe to tell. Telling one’s truth for the first time is the first big step toward healing.

May all survivors find the support they need to heal.

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“Stress, Trauma, Neuroscience and the Alexander Technique” Facebook Live

In my third Facebook Live talk with my friend and Alexander Technique instructor Imogen Ragone, we discuss the importance of down-regulation, titration, and co-regulation for anyone dealing with stress or trauma. I explain what I’ve learned from my study of neuroscience about the neurobiology of stress and trauma. These three important concepts support recovery and healing, and Alexander Technique and BodyIntelligence have helped me develop them.  View the full series. 

 

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“We are living under a pre-traumatic cloud”

Trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk says that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, “we are living under a pre-traumatic cloud,” in this video from The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine (NICABM), one of my favorite sources of information.

People “may be stuck at home, unable to work, or feeling isolated from dear friends and family. This all can leave people feeling helpless…[with the need to] regain a sense of agency during the pandemic…According to Bessel, there are insights we can draw from trauma therapy that could help…[people] when they’re feeling helpless or reeling from the unpredictability of life during a pandemic.”

 
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“5 Things Anyone Can Do to Build Resilience in the Face of Pandemic Stress and Trauma” Facebook Live with Imogen Ragone

In my second Facebook Live with my friend and Alexander Technique instructor Imogen Ragone, we discuss the difference between stress and trauma (and the similarities), how the Pandemic is affecting us, and 5 things you can do to help build your resilience right now and even come out of the pandemic better off than where you started. View the full series. 

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“Staying off the Trauma Train with Shay Seaborne: PYP 409”

“Staying off the Trauma Train with Shay Seaborne: PYP 409” with Howard Jacobson at Plant Yourself
My first feature-length podcast interview was with Howard Jacobson, gracious host of the Plant Yourself Podcast. It was fun and we covered a great deal. As Howard notes on the podcast page, “we covered the origins of trauma, the mistaken societal beliefs that reinforce trauma and get in the way of healing, and ways of empowering trauma survivors to reconnect with their bodies.” In addition, Howard and I talked about how the pandemic can set off unresolved past issues, and how we can protect ourselves from the most insidious long-term pandemic effect: chronic stress. Click on the link above to listen or go to YouTube below for the video.





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Tapping Into Your Body’s Intelligence to help with Stress and Trauma

Alexander Techinque is my primary go-to tool to relieve stress and take a break from the distress cycle. It is simple, portable, reliable, easily adapted to any lifestyle, and, with practice, can foster profound positive changes. This was my first Facebook Live event, and I so enjoyed this conversation with Imogen Ragone, so there will be more to come!

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When does the trauma stop?

After I experienced medical abuse and neglect last year and the year before, on top of a lifelong pattern of trauma I asked myself, “WHEN DOES IT STOP?” My self replied instantly, “When I make it stop!”

Last fall I decided to teach trauma awareness and prevention to frontline providers because they have the greatest potential to help or harm. I increasingly talked about trauma and Complex PTSD to inform my care providers. I created a 1/3-page trauma-awareness handout I ask to have put in my file when I meet potential new members of my healthcare team. It informs them of my specific needs, the needs of trauma survivors in general, and info about the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study.

I switched to a more holistic medical practice and found my new PCP’s office quite receptive to the idea of trauma awareness for staff. That led to my first online presentation, “Intro to Trauma Awareness,” a 20-minute art-driven Zoom session that seems to have opened the way.  Recently, BrainShapeLLC owner Tamera Siminow invited me to be a guest on her podcast to discuss”Resilience in the Time of Covid-19.”

What does it take to become a trauma-awareness activist-artist? It takes a lifetime of struggle against the ravages of the early-onset neurophysiological disruption greatly ignored by our culture, including the medical community. Making it stop takes immense courage and fortitude. It also takes some luck and unexpected support.

Nobody made the trauma stop for me and I want to help make it stop for myself and others.

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