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How trauma affects our posture

I’m not sure how many people are actively thinking about their posture unless they are exercising, and even then I'm not sure how many people really give their posture and alignment much attention.

In 2018 I became absolutely obsessed with my posture after realising for the first time that I was completely crooked and didn’t feel balanced in both sides of my body. Somehow, I had never really paid that much attention to it before.

Five years later, still as deeply obsessed, I have spent hours observing and studying my body as well as everybody else's and have found a deeply profound comprehension of just how much trauma can affect our posture and health.

Up until my late 20s the main emotion I felt towards my body was one of disgust, I absolutely hated my body. Standing in front of the mirror was never a pleasant affair, all I could think of was how fat I was and how my clothes never seemed to fit right. Because of not wanting to spend time looking at my body, it is only in recent years that I understood this was due to years of unprocessed trauma, endless negative self-talk, and poor posture.

I came across a study by Dr Masaru Emoto that demonstrated how the molecular structure of water was affected when exposed to different words, thoughts, intentions, emotions. and music. In essence, he found that exposing the water to loving, benevolent and positive human intentions created beautiful and aesthetic molecular formations whereas when exposed to fearful and negative intentions, the formations were distorted and deformed. He also showed how exposing toxic or polluted water to prayer and positive intentions could alter and restore the geometric formations found in clean, healthy water.

Being made up of over 70% water, you can imagine the impact our negative self-talk has on our body and health. In the reverse, speaking to ourselves kindly and lovingly can also have a huge impact on our overall health.

As I began looking deeper into this concept, I began paying more attention to my internal self-dialogue and questioning what had led me to feel so much disgust, hatred and self-loathing? The answer that came - the consistent trauma I had experienced in childhood which had led me to believe that I was unlovable and not enough.

The more time I spent contemplating this and observing my body, I discovered that the mind and body are deeply interconnected and whatever we experience in the mind will be experienced in the body as it is the physical manifestation of our mind.

I soon realised how my emotions were also connected to my mind and body and how years of negative self-talk, suppressed emotions and unprocessed trauma had taken me out of alignment and affected my posture. I understood that while the mind can ignore and suppress what we don’t want to feel or see, the body holds everything and stores all the negative thoughts, intentions and experiences it has been exposed to. I later learnt that this negative information is stored predominantly in our joints, fascia, lymphatic and nervous system.

The more I observed, I noticed how the body also attempts to suppress painful or unpleasant thoughts or experiences by rewiring neural activity in the brain to dissociate with feeling the parts of our body storing this negative information to avoid feeling pain or discomfort. Essentially, we dissociate both our mind and body when we don’t have the tools to process trauma or negative emotions.

By dissociating with various parts of our body, we stop the natural flow of energy, breath and circulation in our body. Overtime, this distorts the correct functioning of the joints, muscles, organs and eventually skeletal structure. Weakness, tension or pain in any of these areas can lead to posture imbalances, and as a result more health issues and complications.

The body is an extremely advanced piece of machinery that was built in absolute perfection, but we forget that the body is made up of the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual body. Even the smallest imbalance in one of these areas can wreak havoc over the whole system if left unattended. This is why it is imperative to look at all aspects of the body when dealing with trauma; even when no physical trauma is experienced, if it is not dealt with mentally and emotionally, it will be stored in the body.


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