Trauma and Reflexology
There’s no question we’re living in traumatic times. And each of us reacts in different ways according to our family history, past experience with traumatic events (individual and collective) and even our biological makeup. The good news is that, just as in the lotus flower grows out of the mud, we can also relax, grow and develop from our own muddy and stuck experiences.
Trauma is any experience which the nervous system can’t tolerate and integrate. This difficulty gets fixed and often hidden in the body and therefore not digestible over time. We retain the fight or flight, freeze or collapse response and live from that place. This shuts off essential parts of ourselves through tension patterns and/or disembodiment. Our energy is cut off; everyone experiences this differently. However, it’s important to know that, at the time(s) of the trauma, tension had its own intelligence which was to protect us from the source of the threat. So how do we begin to digest the trauma and restore the energy so we can relax, learn and grow from it?
Trauma informed therapy describes a practitioner who is familiar with and respectful of trauma and the corresponding tension patterns discovered in the body. A skilled and informed therapist can often detect the tension while providing a service that helps to calm, regulate and thereby restore balance.
Trauma Informed Reflexology Offers:
This subtle work includes a mindful, holistic and allowing approach to body tension. The therapist holds everyone’s personal process to help it unlock while supporting the unfolding life within it. Gentle, caring and personalized work on the feet can begin to untangle the tension patterns created by a trauma history, often triggered by present traumas experienced within yourself or through the environment. A holding and relaxing environment that offers a field of safety, support and deep rest is essential so the tensions can more easily be released and integrated.
A reflexology session includes
Grounding, quieting and rooting in the present moment
Reducing body pain and mental tension
An ‘I’m in my body’ experience which feels safe and nurturing
Regulating of body systems through deep relaxation
Establishing a greater equilibrium and resilience to be present with yourself and in the world
The medicine is already within the pain and suffering.
You just have to look deeply and quietly. Then you realize it has been there the whole time.
Saying from the Native American tradition
Cheryl Foster is a trauma informed reflexologist practicing in Tucson, AZ. Through her work on the feet, she carefully assists in tension release at a pace that is comfortable for her clients. She engages the client in a better understanding and clarification of the tension as well as its release. Her own inner work through trauma and its shape in her body and life has guided her on how to hold that space for others.
"Our sincere and heartfelt work on our difficult parts is sacred and precious. We become more deeply conscious and present for ourselves and in the world."
Trauma Informed therapy is different than trauma therapy.
Trauma therapy is specific work by a trained trauma specialist who can help you sort through the layers of the trauma and begin to restore a balanced sense of self. This would include the treatment of PTSD and other more difficult experiences that require specialized protocols than those mentioned above.