A Little Story
Have you ever heard that the aloe vera plant can be helpful in reducing the pain of a burn or even healing it? Then rubbed it on a your scalded skin for a few minutes, had nothing helpful happen, and tossed the idea out with the plant and chocked it up to some old myth?
That was me. Until David (my husband) and I moved in together and I saw him slice open a leaf one day to apply to a burn. He rubbed the gel constantly and consistently on his finger for a few HOURS until the pain was gone.
Table of Contents
- A Little Story
- The Trauma Mind Body Super Conference
- You Bought The Talks: We Donated
- 5 General Topic Areas
- Additional Speakers
So I tried it when I accidentally knocked the standing hot iron onto my forearm and it took me a moment, looking at it in surprise, before I even felt the pain. By then the extra seconds had lead to a nasty, deep, white hot burn.
I’ve spent an entire night with my hand in a bucket of water after an oil burn in the past just to keep the pain manageable. This time I applied the aloe.
First, placing it on the burn alleviated the pain immediately. And instead of simply thinking it was all wishful thinking that such relief could continue, I kept at it for the rest of the day. By the time I went to bed, the pain was entirely gone. The relief continued and the wound healed fast over the next few days, leaving only a small scar.
This is what it’s like to work with and heal our trauma wounds.
It seems too good to be true. It seems like too small of a bandaid for something as severe as a chronic physical illness or the effects of mulitgenerational trauma or historical trauma that have altered our lives, our communities, our planet.
Healing trauma tends to take time. And perseverance. It may be a life long process for many of us.
Sometimes we have all we need within our reach (books, webinars, online courses, poetry, yoga practices, meditation). Often, it’s so challenging that we need help – whether it’s to teach us a few tips, show us how to love ourselves because someone is showing us they love us, support us so we don’t have to do it alone as we’ve learned to do in the past, or show us that we can trust the process and that it’s important to give it the time it needs.
Healing trauma can help us heal our fear and guilt, grief and rage, as as our brain fuzz and immobility. It can reduce flare ups or shorten their duration or help us prevent them. It can remind us that these symptoms are natural, intelligent responses rather than “who we are.”
Here’s where you can learn more.
The Trauma Mind Body Super Conference
Free Online Summit
Over 90 talks
for working DIRECTLY with trauma
working with and healing trauma INDIRECTLY
(yoga, mindfulness, meditation, functional medicine, Qi Gong).
This online conference took steps to provide more diversity among speakers than has been common in summits.
The summit aired July 2020 but it looks like you can still register for free.
Includes free talks by by Gabor Mate and by the co-founders of the conference Alex Howard, who recovered from ME/CFS and Nikki Gratrix, a functional medicine practitioner with a focus on nutrition. Together Alex and Nikki co-founded an organization that facilitates health and healing for people with chronic fatigue syndrome and also conducts research with the profits.
You Bought The Talks: We Donated
When you bought the series of talks from the summit so you could listen at your own pace (learn more when you register), I received 50% of the proceeds. I donated to colleague Nkem Ndefo’s Lumos Transforms training for people and organizations to become trauma-informed. 837 of you purchased the talks and Chronic Illness Trauma Studies donated $2318.38 to Lumos in September 2020.
The proceeds are helping to underwrite part of a trauma-informed certification training for 2 women to complete trauma-informed certification training. I’ve since been in touch and both are already deeply involved in trauma-informed work and education in their communities. Nkem wrote me to say:
These two women from Africa are super keen to certify. Both have established themselves in their work in South Africa and Kenya respectively. They are actively fundraising, but are fearful that they won’t be able to raise adequate funds.
You can visit Lumos Transforms’ Events Page for ongoing webinars and more.
My Talk: “Healing The Freeze Response”
I had an engaging conversation with Alex Howard (co host of the summit, who himself recovered from chronic fatigue and has created centers supporting others with ME/CFS to heal using tools and tips such as those offered at the conference). The talks are applicable to anyone with any kind of chronic illness and other effects of trauma.
My talk includes a discussion of freeze and the cell danger response, amidst a variety of other topics.
Tips for Healing Freeze
- Working with freeze – slower, gentler, and how the act of “doing” can trigger more freeze
- How many of us may have underlying fight/flight – and parts of us that want to do something NOW
- 5 types of events that can trigger the cell danger response and onset of chronic illness
- The Journal of the American Medical Association article on the traumatizing and out dated view that “It’s all in your head” – and how this is a silent epidemic that is eroding trust in doctors
- My aha moment when I first began to think trauma might be a risk factor for chronic illness
- and how it took me a year to id my first trigger of a flare
- The difference between stress and trauma
- The freeze response, the intelligence underneath it – and how it interrupts what is happening to lead some of us to get stuck in states of fight, flight, freeze or some combination of these in chronic illness
- How and why understanding trauma can help make sense of symptoms and offer hope and tools for healing
Other Talks at the Trauma Mind Body Super Conference
With more than 90 speakers it can be a little overwhelming to figure out who to listen to. Here are some I recommend (unfortunately I don’t know which day they will be presenting).
Nkem Ndefo of Lumos Transforms
Nkem Ndefo is the founder of Lumos Transforms and creator of The Resilience Toolkit. I first learned of her work in a talk she gave about how they train organizations to become trauma informed, which is a multi-year process that covers the depth and breadth of working with our own trauma so we can grow into more capacity to better work with others and in the care and services we provide. Among her many “hats,” Nkem is a registered nurse and nurse midwife, trained in Tension/Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) and an advisor to Trauma Informed Los Angeles.
Nkem’s Talk: Building Capacity for Healing Racial Trauma
- A new definition for racism
- Why defensiveness shuts down learning
- Practical wisdom for healing racial trauma
Nkem is also cofacilitating a panel of speakers on shorcomings and what is needed to heal racism with Alex Howard, co-host of the Conference. I’ve just listened to it and the process actively engages Repair, which you can feel as something gets woven into the process during the conversations as the panelists speak. It touched something in me that got through a certain level of freeze I was not aware I had around the feeling of being part of Community.
Donate to Lumos Transforms
Lumos Transforms holds free and low cost education and webinars to support resilience and stress management. You’ll find dates and times on their facebook page. Many sessions are free, they also offer scholarships for their paid programs. You can donate here.
Victor Lee Lewis and Social Justice
Victor is a somatically based trauma therapist and founder of Radical Resilience Institute with a focus on personal healing and social justice.
He uses Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT aka “Tapping”) and I first saw him in the documentary Wrestling Ghosts where he works with Kim, a young mom healing developmental trauma (aka Adverse Childhood Relationship Experiences or “ACREs”) and ACEs. He is one of the most informed and skillful trauma therapists I know. He also shares his story of healing an important traumatic event using EFT on his website.
The Color of Fear
- How to support a dialogue about race
- What white people need to understand about race
- Practical tools to heal racial trauma
Jonice Webb on Childhood Emotional Neglect
Dr. Jonice Webb has coined the term childhood emotional neglect (CEN), which involves one of the topics you as ask about the most as readers of my blog: developmental trauma and what I refer to as adverse childhood relationship experiences (ACREs).
I’ve heard her speak in a podcast and found her calm, informed, confident style to be a great source of support. She also has many concrete tips for healing this complex type of trauma. You’ll find her books and more info on her website.
The Crucial Impact of Childhood Emotional Neglect
- The silent epidemic of childhood emotional neglect and the psychological impact
- The common symptoms of childhood emotional neglect
- The steps required for healing
Alex Howard (Co Host of the Summit, Recovered from Chronic Fatigue)
Alex developed sudden onset of chronic fatigue when he was 16 years old and found his way to health over many years through trial and error. He shares his story at his Optimum Health Clinic that he cofounded with Nikki. He also talks about his journey in an interview with Dan Nueffer, who himself recovered from ME/CFS and wrote about the nervous system perspectives he used for healing in his book CFS Unravelled, which I share in my books and resources page. Alex’s talk includes the emotional perspectives and emphasizes how it’s not a psychological illness. His talk is:
Discover your emotional style
- Learn about the safety cycle and how we hide from our emotions
- Find out how to identify your emotional style
- Discover what a healthy relationship with your emotions looks like
5 General Topic Areas
- Mind and Body
- Brain, Nervous System, Somatic
- Functional Medicine
- Energetic Approaches (energy medicine)
- Social and Developmental
- Supporting resilience for Covid
- Daily yoga videos
- Inspirational healing stories
- Guided meditations
- Functional Medicine
- Tips for increasing immune system resilience
- Case study reviews
- Filmed therapy sessions bringing theories to life
- Gabor Mate
- Diane Heller (DARE – developmental trauma)
- Carolyn Myss
- Ken Wilbur
- Carla Atherton (Healing emotional root causes of illness)
- Stephen Porges (Polyvagal Theory)
- Arielle Schwartz (Complex PTSD and EMDR)
- Peter Levine (Somatic Experiencing)
- Valerie Mason-John (The trauma of black bodies)
- Christianne Northrup
- James Oschman (Energy Medicine)
- Qigong Master Mingtong Gu
- Judith Orlaff
- Joe Dispenza
- Thomas Hubl (Collective and Community Trauma)
- Havening Techniques
- Jacob Teitelbaum (Chronic Fatigue)
- Elisa Song
- Irene Lyon
- Patricia Fennell (the 4 phases of chronic illness)
- Larry Heller
- Bessel van der Kolk
- Karine Bell
- and many many more