Emotional healing Techniques: We cannot Heal Physically without Healing Emotionally

Many of us go through life experiencing a whole host of traumatic things.  When we are young, there is an especially hard time dealing with any sort of trauma, whether it be abuse, the death of a loved one, constant bullying, or anything else that can impact our life.  Childhood trauma itself is linked to so many chronic illnesses (source), but in our society this never really gets addressed. Either the child goes through general therapy sessions that really don’t help the situation or they outright get ignored and told to just move on with their life.

I’ve often read that children lack the ability to even emotionally heal from the traumas they deal with as kids. I really believe this because I have personally gone through many traumas as a child, and I remember never truly understanding why things were happening to me or what to do about them. We are just not mature enough to process the emotions that we go through. Because of this, our health can suffer because most will start to repress these emotions. And we can actually STORE these emotions in the body! Generational trauma is also something else to continue- pain can travel through generations until someone is ready to deal with it.

But when it comes to health, we are all individuals. Because of this biochemical individuality, not everyone will do well with the same form of healing. Here is a big list of healing modalities – do what speaks to YOU!

Some great ways to help HEAL trauma

Mineral Balancing

It wasn’t until I learned about minerals that I started learning about how events in our childhood could influence our health. In HTMA and mineral balancing science, it is well known that traumatic situations (especially long term and unresolved) can wreak havoc on the body.  We start to get into that cycle of fight-or-flight that we cannot break out of and we burn through sodium, potassium, and many other minerals like crazy.  Eventually, these minerals start to tank and we are left in physical burnout that can lead to illnesses such as fibromyalgia, thyroid disorders, adrenal fatigue, autoimmune illnesses, and more. The trauma creates a stressful situation in the body and uses up our nutrients, which leads to a state of illness. This can be something that happens directly after an incident or something that takes decades to build up. (source).  Also, many of these minerals that we can become deficient in can lead to addictions as well, which further messes with our health and mineral balance.

Addressing your mineral imbalances can help to physically strengthen the body, which in turn will help you when you are ready to heal emotional trauma. Many people with severe adrenal exhaustion have reported that they attempted emotional healing techniques when they were still very physically weak and it ended up making them crash further. Depending on where you are in your health journey, you could be one that needs to work on building up physical strength first or you might need to start addressing the emotional before the physical side will even budge. 

There are many HTMA patterns that are common with those with prolonged trauma.  The most common thing we see is a calcium shell, where calcium can start to build up to extremely high levels (usually as it approaches 200 and above- normal levels are between 40-50). This can create a sort of defense mechanism, so the person dealing with chronic stress will be in an almost numb, apathetic state to help protect them from feeling all of the things they should be feeling during stress.  Those with calcium shells eventually feel this shell crack when they begin to heal, and they might have bouts of time where they experience the emotions that they used to hold in.


Homeopathy is energy medicine and works deep to heal the whole body at once.  This means physical AND emotional issues can get healed. 


EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.  This is a “psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. ” (source)


Emotional Freedom technique is not new, but it has been garnering a lot of attention over the last few years in the natural health field. This method uses meridian tapping to harness your body’s energy to heal itself.  Many people swear by this method.  Doing EFT on your own can help too, but some only notice the benefit if they speak with a practitioner. YouTube has plenty of how-to videos too!

Retraining your mindset

For some people, it really is “mind over matter”.  Creating a healing mantra can help immensely. Something easy you can remember and repeat to yourself several times a day or just when things are getting rough is good.  Mine used to be, “I am happy, healthy, and whole.”  When we are constantly thinking about our pain or stress, it really can KEEP us in that physical state of illness.  In order to heal, we have to start thinking positive about everything: our situations, our bodies, the people in our life, and how we think (even if we don’t share our thoughts).  Sometimes we are the ones responsible for breaking the chain of negative thinking!

Myofascial Release Therapy

Myofascial Release is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion.

Check out more here.

Other Ideas:

  • Art Therapy
  • Music Therapy
  • Talk therapy
  • Just making friends can be a helper, especially if you have become a bit withdrawn because of chronic illness
  • Dr. Caroline Leaf’s Brain Detox
  • Breathing methods like Buteyko
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Write a letter to your abusers, even if you never send it. Some even write something up and then destroy it!
  • Flower Essences
  • Cranial Sacral Therapy
  • Reiki
  • Acupuncture
  • Books like “Your Body Speaks your Mind“, “The Healing Codes

Just know that you are not alone in your healing.  There are plenty of people in your life that will help if you give them the chance (hopefully!).

Whatever method you choose to heal, I hope that you all find your peace <3

What’s the Link Between Trauma and Dissociation?

Dissociation is one of the ways your brain protects you. It doesn’t want you to relive a traumatic experience, so it takes steps to conceal what happened.

Most people in life experience loss and heartbreak. However, not everyone understands what it means to experience trauma.

When you’ve lived through a traumatic experience, everything you once knew can be turned upside down. Trauma can shake you to the core and disconnect you from reality.

Trauma can make you doubt your worth and question your identity. It can also destroy your spiritual beliefs and faith in humanity.

This emotional and physical state of shock alerts the brain to leap into action. But if trauma-related dissociation is meant to help you, when does it become something that needs treatment?

What is dissociation?

Dissociation is an escape. It’s an involuntary detachment from reality, often experienced as a disconnect from your sense of self, thoughts, and memory.

Dissociation usually occurs due to trauma, such as:

  • abuse
  • sexual assault
  • a natural disaster
  • an accident
  • military combat

The link between trauma and dissociation

Trauma is, by definition, an overwhelming emotional response to a horrific event. Dissociation can be a critical part of your survival instinct during trauma. When a horrific event happens, your nervous system kicks in to protect you from mental and physical pain.

“Dissociation is part of the fight-or-flight response, which is an involuntary survival network that helps protect us from threats or danger,” says Sabina Mauro, PsyD, who specializes in treating patients living with trauma in Yardley, Pennsylvania.

“During traumatic experiences, the fight-or-flight is activated in order to protect the individual.” “If fight-or-flight is not a viable option or if fight-or-flight becomes inactive due to the body feeling overwhelmed, the freeze response is activated.”

According to Mauro, it’s during the “freeze response” that you can experience disconnect. Because there aren’t any other options available, you essentially sever contact between your brain and body in order to survive the experience. This is a similar survival response to a mouse “playing dead” when caught by a cat to increase its chances of getting out of there alive.

While dissociation is a helpful strategy at the time, it can also arise long after the trauma is over, causing problems in your daily life. Dissociation might occur when you encounter a situation or object that reminds your nervous system — consciously or subconsciously — of the trauma.

Trauma can actually change the structure and function of the brain, so it’s no wonder that we feel strong mental and physical sensations related to it.

When you dissociate, you may feel disconnected from yourself and from the world around you. You might feel like you are separate from your body, or you might feel like the world around you isn’t real.

Signs and symptoms that you are dissociating include:

  • feeling disconnected from your body, like an “out-of-body experience”
  • feeling separate from the world around you
  • feeling numb or experiencing emotional detachment
  • lacking a sense of identity, or a sense of who you are
  • forgetting certain events or personal information
  • feeling little physical pain
  • having clear, different identities, as in dissociative identity disorder

Importantly, everyone’s experience of dissociation is different. The key is to find out what it feels like for you so that you can notice it when it arises.

It’s often helpful to do this with a mental health professional. Parts of your brain “shut down” during dissociation, so it can be difficult to notice when it’s happening. A therapist can help you recognize the signs that you’re dissociating or that an episode is coming on, so that you can take steps to keep yourself safe.

Two forms of dissociation are:

  • Depersonalization. This feels as if you’re watching yourself as an actor in a movie. You may feel as though you’re having an out-of-body experience, floating around your actual body.
  • Derealization. This feels like the people and things around you are unreal — almost as if you’re in a dream. Sounds may be distorted, or the world may look “unnatural” in some way.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately 75% of people experience an episode of depersonalization or derealization at least once in their lives, and only 2% experience chronic episodes linked to dissociative disorders.

While many people may experience dissociation, often related to past trauma, the symptoms don’t always meet the criteria for a mental health disorder.

Episodes of dissociation vary in length; they might last a few hours or days, or they could last much longer, into weeks or months. If you learned to dissociate from a young age, dissociation may be a common experience as an adult, and it might be the main way that you cope with stress. This may signal a dissociative disorder.

As dissociation is the body’s response to extreme stress, research from 2014 suggests it can be present, in some form, in almost all psychiatric disorders. This includes anxiety disorders, panic disorder, and depression.

Below, we look at some mental health conditions that commonly involve dissociation.

Dissociative disorders

If you’re experiencing chronic episodes of dissociation, you may meet the criteria of diagnosis for one of the three types of dissociative disorders:

  • Depersonalization/derealization disorder (DPDR). With DPDR you frequently feel as though you’re watching your actions and thoughts from an outside perspective.
  • Dissociative identity disorder (DID). If you have DID, you may feel as though you have different selves or that you don’t always have control over your different parts. You may wonder which persona inside you is the “real” you.
  • Dissociative amnesia. Dissociate amnesia often involves memory loss around a traumatic event. You may completely forget the trauma, or you may block out things that remind you of the trauma during a regular day. You might forget things like chores, work deadlines, or to pick your dog up from the vet.

If trauma-related dissociation is holding you back in your daily life, help is available. Treatment options exist for all forms of dissociative disorders.

Borderline personality disorder

Dissociation is often a component of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Many people with BPD have a history of early life trauma.

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and its newer counterpart complex PTSD, both commonly involve dissociation.

Since PTSD is a fear-based diagnosis, dissociation can occur during trauma-related triggers as a way to cope with the physical sensations that occurred at the time of the trauma.

Healing from trauma

When you’re living with trauma-related dissociation, you may not know how to start the healing process. The first step is to acknowledge and accept that dissociation is happening.

“Accepting and recognizing when we dissociate is the first step, but it can be challenging,” Privitera says. “Notice what you are feeling that you may be wanting to avoid, consciously and unconsciously.”

Trauma-focused therapy can be especially helpful. This means working with a therapist who understands trauma and the way it affects your body and mind. Therapy will help you develop coping skills that will aid you in exploring emotions and memories related to trauma while preventing retraumatization.

Various therapies can help you deal with the mental and physical effects of trauma, including:

  • psychodynamic therapy
  • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), especially cognitive processing therapy
  • dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • support groups
  • somatic therapy

How to cope with dissociation

After you and your mental health professional decide on a treatment plan that suits your needs, there are additional strategies that may help you manage symptoms of dissociation.

Grounding techniques

Privitera says that when you notice you’re dissociating in the moment, you can then begin to
utilize grounding techniques.

Grounding involves connecting with your surroundings. You can do this by putting your hands under running water and noticing the sensations that arise, or touching a familiar object and describing its properties. Is it cold or warm? Smooth or rough?

“For most individuals, simply noticing your feet on the floor or your breath won’t be that helpful, regardless of what Instagram alleges,” she cautions. “I suggest to clients that they practice something less abstract and a bit more challenging.”

She recommends that, for some people, a mental-based approach can help. “Math is an excellent tool for coping with dissociation. Practice your times tables; start at 100 and count backward by 7s or 4s or 5s.”

She also suggests seeing how many countries you can name or finding four blue objects and two round objects in your current space.


Mindfulness is becoming a valuable resource for mental well-being.

Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment. While there are many ways to train this ability, one straightforward method involves focusing on your breath coming in and going out.

“Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can be used to cope with dissociation,” Mauro notes. “In traumatized survivors, the body is unable to recognize that the trauma no longer exists. As such, the body is constantly in stress mode.”

Because the body isn’t capable of understanding time during dissociation (e.g., differentiating past from present), mindfulness can teach your body to be present in the moment.

By teaching your body to be present in the moment, the body recognizes the trauma is not currently happening, and it doesn’t need to be in ongoing survival mode.

Breathing routines

While mindfulness can keep you in the moment, breathing routines can help deescalate severe moments of dissociation that result in anxiety or stress. There are a variety of methods to try.

Mauro explains, “Deep breathing strategies can also teach the body to calm down the fight-or-flight response.”

She adds, by calming down your survival network, dissociation is less likely to occur as you’re able to learn to tolerate any physical sensations, negative emotions, and painful memories associated with the trauma.

Trauma-related dissociation may spare you some memories from past events, but it can severely impact your daily life.

Help exists in the form of treatments such as trauma-focused therapy and grounding techniques. You can start healing from trauma while developing skills to manage symptoms of dissociation.

Trauma is treatable and support is available. You can use the American Psychological Association’s Psychologist Locator to find a therapist who is familiar with trauma. You can also look up support groups near you.

If you’d like to learn more about how trauma affects the mind and body, including dissociation and dissociative disorders, the following books are a good place to start:

Remember, you’re never alone. Many other people have experienced trauma. They understand how trauma-related dissociation can take control over your life, and they are there to help.

Suicide prevention

If you’re considering self-harm or suicide, you’re not alone. Help is available right now: