The terror and isolation at the core of trauma literally reshape both the brain and body. New insights into our survival instincts explain why traumatised people experience extreme anxiety and rage, and how trauma affects their capacity to concentrate, to remember, to form trusting relationships, and to feel safe in their own bodies.
Our unhealthy modern lifestyle is now proven to be the driving force behind the epidemic levels of chronic disease. At home and work we are under constant pressure and stress. We often eat on the go without consideration for giving our body the nutrition it needs. A sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity and exercise is a major health risk. Many of us are also sacrificing quality sleep and relaxation, and smoking or drinking to manage stress.
Everything we have been conditioned to believe about the nature of reality is now being challenged by quantum physics. In the classical Newtonian physics model, all things were considered solid, and energy could be explained as a force to move objects or to change the physical state of matter. This mechanistic universe was believed to operate according to predetermined laws where humanity had little influence over outcomes.
Although most people are familiar with Sigmund Freud, few have heard of his student in psychiatry, Wilhelm Reich. While Freud founded psychoanalysis as a method for gaining insight into unconscious processes in behaviour, Reich worked in a uniquely different way with his patients, focusing more on the body and non-verbal responses as a direct route to the unconscious. Reich discovered the relationship between body processes and emotional functioning, that the body and mind are really one, and that the body holds a frozen history of our life experiences.
Many of us have been in an unhappy relationship, feeling stuck in life, and left wondering why it all just seems too hard. This happened to Dhana McKeown, mother of two boys and contract consultant to the government.
The latest research in neuroscience and epigenetics has converged to revolutionise the way we view health and treat illness. The many studies demonstrating our ability to change our brain and genes, and repair damage to them, constitute irrefutable proof that what we believe, how we feel, and how we live has a real and lasting impact on our health. The paradigm is shifting to the bio-psycho-social model which recognises that health is an integration of mind, body and environmental factors.
Groundbreaking research in neuroscience is creating a paradigm shift where the overemphasis in our society on left-brain rational, logical, and analytical functions is now shifting to right-brain emotional and social circuits as being the key to mental health. This is why all therapists and clinicians are informing themselves about brain and attachment development, emotion and stress regulation, the autonomic nervous system, and mind-body interactions.