Mindful body work, that is to say working with the body, understanding the mind-body emotional biology, the workings in the relationship between thought, feeling, body chemistry and adaptive experience, with the intent to support healing, through writing healthy, stable neurology and endocrine balance through direct experience, exercise, dance, movement, massage, herbs etc.... No drugs, no abstract mentalisation, no medicalisation, no pathologising needed. Just accurate understanding, and caring support. If drugs aree to be used, then at least let it be honest, informed consent, evidence based rather than as a management tool, one that tends to become long term. Such mindful body work processes are more more responsive to each unique case, and they can hand the power, share the respsonsibility to heal with the individual, trusting that self healing, as much as professional expertise.. working together... Using thought and action, movement, breathing, diet etc to rewrite traumatised nueral networks, to allow old hyper alert routes to fall into non-use... combining this with creating a safe environment, and other material support is a proven route towards recovery. Dealing with what's happened, and what is, and looking to the future, at the same time.
It's critical that as part of a future we also deal with societal power dynamics that induce chronic stress... war, poverty, famine, corruption, abuse of power and the power of institutions, and ruling networks are a symptom... it's what happens when nurture is removed from the center of human affairs.
A culture that listens to children, that hears and engages with the heart of the child, that affirms the child's experience of self as her or his own, distinct and yet bonded..
That has to be at the center of treatment and social policy...
The inter-generational situational epi-genetic thread of trauma altered (informed?) behaviour across entire populations is real...
A child can relax into true self, when she or he feels understood, received and cared for.
A child who is 'acting out' is not being heard, nor understood.
If that becomes a pattern, if the child's experience with adults maintains that trajectory, if it is also part of a cultural trauma behaviour pattern that becomes institutionalised, then of course, in that social environment it is clear that some will become bullies, kings, and others will break, many will survive, some will thrive, some will try to hack the system to create personal and familial security, others to give bullies the finger, and then there's the artist.... most will do their very best to live as decently as possible within those constraints.
So I look again at populations, and patterns, and I see that compassion informed by science - close observation, honesty - is merely common sense...
Judith Herman wrote that there were two things about the study of trauma that struck her, because they are so infrequently mentioned in mainstream discourse.
The first was that more study must be done of the vast numbers of people who have lived through trauma, and who have recovered, independent of any professional or institutional assistance. A missing statisitc, and a really critical database.
Natural healing needs to be understood, forensically.
The second was that the study of trauma is necessarily a political enterprise, in that it brings one's attention to the experience of the oppressed.....
I think she was correct, and it may be some time before that insight informs the grass roots - the status quo will seek to co-opt both these areas with whatever tools it has.... Standard practice.
That said the process of healing through understanding the roots of a given problem is underway, has always been and always will - I remember every day that I am really an aboriginal human being, and that my ancestors lived peaceably, and thrived for hundreds of thousands of years... we were a healthy species, and we have been subjected to an unhealthy culture of bullying, and it will pass, and we will return to healthy social behaviour.
When I say 'we' I do not expect myself to see this materialise, and I am happy to work towards it in my own small way, as a participant in life.
There has to be reliable ways to record and analyse mass anecdotal evidence of those who recover, even as it remains silent to the professional and institutional world.
The suggestion of the inaccuracy of self reporting is not enough on it's own to avoid the problem of how to 'measure' or assess that unspoken experience....
There are layers to how trauma 'informs' our biology, to how chronic stress alters our biochemistry and behaviour : the phrase 'trauma informed' reflects greater understanding in this area emerging into the clinical and practice level, and we need to see that understanding disseminated across the grass roots, at pace.
The 19th Century Ruling class, the persistent descendants of the Normans, antd their modern acolytes and rivals are also trauma informed, in that they represent a mass retraumatising institutional pattern that is deliberate, mediated and intentional... and we are trying to heal within the environment dominated by that mnass traumatisation, and that suggests to me that the issue of healing society is a valid exercise, a confrontation with the honest truth and neceesary to advocate for the healing of even he indivodual.
It blows political struggles for power out of the water in terms of being a truly valid human exercise.
Only accurate information that can truly counter the ability of the mainstream to trigger reactions in known vulnerabilities as part of the manipulation of 'opinion' and 'public perception' - when across the grass roots we do understand the wound-trigger-reaction process, the conspiracy theorists, extremists, fundamentalists will all fade into obscurity....
"Do what you love, it's Your Gift to Universe"
Thank you for reading this blog. All we need to do is be really honest, responsive to the evidence we find,and ready to reassess when new evidence emerges. The rest is easy.