Trauma + The Body Part One: Meditation + Mindfulness

Jun 12, 2023


Trauma + The Body Part One: Meditation + Mindfulness


Trauma can have a profound impact on an individual's mental and physical health, leading to long-lasting effects. Traditional treatment methods often focus on talking through the traumatic event, however for many, talk therapy is insufficient.


Sharing our experiences with another safe, non-judgmental person can certainly be profoundly meaningful and healing. The problem is that our thoughts are not the only aspect of ourselves affected by trauma. Our bodies worked hard to help us to fight, flight, freeze, or fawn. They helped us to regulate again once we found safety. Given the role of our body in responding to adverse experiences, it makes sense that it would also experience lasting effects.


Our nervous systems are designed to prioritize safety and mitigate harm in the context of threat. Once the threat has disappeared, our parasympathetic helps with wound care (emotional or physical) and facilitates the return to homeostasis.


And to be clear, threat can take many forms. Emotional, physical, relational, neglect, and more. Sometimes it can be so subtle that we can be expressing trauma symptoms without knowing what they are or why they are there. One of the most painful and long-lasting forms of trauma are those that occur in the context of relationship.


Our social engagement system the most contemporary aspect of our nervous system and is integral to optimal health in that it helps us seamlessly move between connection and retreat. This is the aspect of our nervous system that establishes, builds, and maintains relationships. Connection is an imperative for all mammals and is both indicator of and facilitator of overarching health.


In the event you are curious, Dr. Stephen Porges, the author of Polyvagal Theory, talks about our social engagement system in this video here:



Sometimes, when we experience a traumatic event or events, our ability to detect threat or safety can be thrown off kilter, impairing our ability to assess or adapt to our environment with ease. Getting our nervous system back online is a crucial step in the healing process.


Including the body in the recovery process is becoming commonplace in the field of mental health. Therapists and trauma coaches alike can support and educate their clients on the benefits of utilizing various interventions outside of talk therapy or coaching to support their healing. Meditation and mindfulness are one of several mind-body activities that has a variety of benefits.


Some benefits of minduflness + meditation include:


  • Increases awareness of state of mind, sensations, and our environment. ***Awareness is a precursor to any kind of change!


  • Emotion regulation/management: trauma can make it feel like our emotions are in charge - and sometimes they are. Meditation/mindfulness can down-regulate the nervous system and calm emotions.


  • Improved relaxation: Many survivors have a difficult time relaxing. Mindfulness/meditation can help with this.


  • Helps focus on the present, which counters trauma's pull towards the past


For more on this topic, here is a link to my blog post on the issue:



As a therapist or trauma coach, understanding the benefits and techniques of incorporating meditation into recovery expands healing options while providing an opportunity to build mastery.



Here is an article on Mediation, Mindfulness, and Mental Health:


Another well-known resource on the topic of trauma and the body is "The Body Keeps the Score" written by Bessel van Der Kolk in 2013.


Meditation and Mindfulness is one of several body-oriented approaches to healing. Stay tuned for additional articles on the topic that will include:


Massage therapy + trauma

Yoga + trauma

Reiki + trauma

Acupunture + trauma


Now is a moment you can never get back. Settle into it if you can.




Are you interested in becoming a Trauma Coach?


Or are you a therapist who:


-thought about integrating coaching into your practice?

-want to gain basic skills in trauma recovery?

-interested in bridging gaps in trauma-informed supports?


Our course may be for you. There are several ways to pursue a certification as a TOP Coach (The Orenda Project).


Retreat-Style Trainings in Italy, Vietnam, or South Africa


Our 100% asynchronous/online course or Self-Study course for those who do not want to pursue certification:

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