Additional Information about Components of the Recovery
balance to the autonomic nervous system
This is accomplished by establishing a precise but effortless
rhythmic movement of the diaphragm through relaxed breathing. This stimulates the right vagus nerve where it passes
through the esophageal hiatus, which appears to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. The rhythm that works is
three to four seconds on the inhale and three to four seconds on the exhale without pause or breath holding.
Resolving physical patterns of tension that
This is accomplished by pointing out patterns of tension that arise when a person is resisting
emotion and describing how to restore the body to a neutral position.
Create conditions where painful
emotions can be experienced without resistance
Practitioners briefly experience similar emotions to those who
are suffering from PTSD during the treatment process. If the practitioner resists that emotion, the person suffering
from PTSD will do the same and symptoms will persist or worsen. To be effective, helpers must be able to fully experience
painful emotions without muscle tension or breath holding. (This only lasts seconds because focus is shifted to the needs
of the person in recovery.) Explaining the nature of emotion and describing them as universal human experiences facilitates
Developing control over thoughts and memories
Since talking and/or thinking
about past trauma stimulates new emotion, it is very important to develop the skills and awareness that allow one to experience
emotion without dwelling on it. Repeatedly labeling all such emotional experiences as “a normal response to past
trauma” breaks patterns of thinking that tend to perpetuate emotional suffering. Regular practice of techniques
such as “thought focusing” and meditation are very helpful in this process.
Videos on Diaphragmatic Breathing, Resolving
Problems with Natural Rhythmic Breathing, Grounding, Identifying
Common Patterns of Tension, How to Clear your Mind, Meditation,
Understanding Emotion, Depression, and Understanding PTSD found under the Links to Videos for Online Stress Management at LCC describe these processes in detail.