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Aquatic Healing for Trauma

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Aquatic Healing for Trauma

New understanding of PTSD and the aquatic work of members Diane Tegtmeier and Inika Spence, indicate the potential application of aquatic therapy in healing trauma. This Group has been created to explore and promote that.

Members: 23
Latest Activity: Dec 18, 2012

Remember when sharing examples from your own experience to protect the confidentiality of those involved. See this earlier post for more.

Discussion Forum

Harbin Healers presented at USABP Conference (Oct. 2010)

Started by Sara Firman (Sulis) Nov 1, 2010.

Aquatic Healing for Trauma

Started by Garlena Rumsey Jul 6, 2010.

Comment Wall

Comment by Laura Srygley on February 13, 2009 at 11:01pm
Thank you for a very insightful and thorough article.

I would also like to point to the work of Dr. Robert Scaer, (http://www.traumasoma.com/) who wrote, The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation and Disease. He points out the connection between trauma and many physical disorders: fibromyalgia, migraines, whiplash syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome to name just a few. His description of how this works in the brain and nervous system is fascinating. The potential impact we could have as aquatic bodyworkers if we learn how to work with trauma is immense.

I have a background in childbirth education (and aquatic bodywork) and have witnessed many at home and in hospital births. I have for a long time been interested and concerned about the effect of the treatment of mother and infant during and immediately following a birth. I think so many infants are traumatized right from the very beginning of life, and these traumas leave scars which affect us in so many unknown ways. There is much to be learned and gained from the study of trauma, because in some way or another it affects all of us.

I think the power of presence that we learn as a core principle of aquatic bodywork can have a far reaching impact if we could bring it into the medical profession!
Comment by Sara Firman (Sulis) on February 17, 2009 at 10:02am
Here is a link to a blog entry on Inika's page giving the current schedule for trainings with Inika and Diane.
Comment by Sara Firman (Sulis) on February 18, 2009 at 9:09am
Certificate In Nature, Trauma & the Soul

An interesting training covering trauma - the description is valuable even if you are not in a position to consider the course. Here is an extract which is pertinent to aquatic bodywork since this is a modality that often brings to the surface repressed or suppressed traumas:

Humans are an aspect of the unfoldment of a Universe that is filled with powerful, sometimes overwhelming experiences, often called trauma. These experiences range from childhood wounds, to natural upheavals, to current relationships, to war, and to cultural conflicts. Nature herself utilizes these overwhelming experiences to lead us to unique facets of our souls and thus our true identity. In order to draw on these vast resources we have to learn to journey into the heart of the Sacred Core within Nature. The journey is not easy because our culture estranges us from Nature's heartbeat and points us in the direction of mistaken identity.

By trauma we mean any human experience that overwhelms the operating ego to the extent that the ego seeks to protect and control by repressing the experience. Almost every individual has these experiences tucked away in the shadows of the psyche and the body. These repressed traumas seek entry into the aware ego. When they are denied, they call attention to themselves through a variety of physical, emotional, and spiritual symptoms. Second and third degree traumas often cause more upheaval than first degree traumas as they enter the aware ego.
Comment by Diane Tegtmeier on March 3, 2009 at 12:41am
Hi, everyone. No time now to add much to what's already been said in this space. Just wanted you to know that I'm on board. Will share a comment from a 1st time client last week—1st time for aquatic bodywork and session with me. She said she was amazed how the safety she felt being held in water allowed tension from trauma experienced in her teens to surface. She thought she'd already "taken care of that" in talk therapy years ago and didn't realize how much the increasingly chronic tension in her belly was related to that old trauma. She wanted to know where she could get more of this therapy near her home and it just so happened I could refer her to one of the women who took our introductory course in Healing Trauma in Water. I'm so glad I knew someone near her that I trusted would hold her in loving presence again.
Comment by Marcelo Roque on March 7, 2009 at 11:22am
This side in aquati terapy is very god. maybe this is the direction.
Comment by Christian Muller on March 23, 2009 at 11:05pm
I am glad this group exists. The water warm water and close human contact are great resource for melting some of the energetic trauma "crystals" that most of us carry inside. Water forms and breaks its hydrogen bonds one trillion times a second, so the premier teacher for un-crystallizing and re-forming our energetic matrix, is the water.
Comment by Diane Tegtmeier on March 24, 2009 at 2:33pm
That's an interesting perspective, Christian. I've perceived trauma held in the body as an energetic pattern. When we meet the pattern and match it's frequency, a shift can occur. Your perception of a trauma crystal responding to the crystalline water molecule helps us understand the importance of the intention healing partners bring into the water. Thank you for your comment.
Comment by Christian Muller on March 24, 2009 at 3:10pm
Yes, and an energetic held pattern in the body could be viewed as "crystallized" energy, like a snowflake that is frozen in a pattern and then melts back into water when the conditions are right. Peter Levine 's notion of the "freezing" of energy that occurs in an overwhelming or traumatic situation concurs with this view.
Comment by Inika on March 24, 2009 at 7:44pm
I like that idea Christian. I often think about those people who walk down the steps and into the pool and then when they get in my arms, their legs, hips etc are completely rigid and crystalline. Could this be trauma held in the joints? When I talked to a client about it and we did another session he experienced a breakthrough from numbness to intense scary sensation. He felt the freezing/numbness was "protecting" him from the sensation that was scary.

I would like to carry this analogy further: I'm thinking about the fight/flight when the freeze has thawed or maybe wasn't there, a client's body is moving in a bilateral, unilateral or some other pattern that could be fight/flight. Often my experience of this is a crystallized pattern or archetype, movements not entirely smooth, more rachetted like a machine or caught in the movement. Then, sometimes, there is resolution and the movement becomes fluid and slows.

I just took a workshop with Peter Levine and he talked about archetypes and how just a hand movement or head movement is an archetype of the particular person. I got really excited because we see archetypes all the time in AB. What was the name you came up with Diane? Aquashamanism? Healing Dance is rife with creating spatial mandalas using the body and when the body creates it's own "body mudra" then the wisdom of the body healing itself becomes the leader of the session. (I love this stuff!)
Comment by Christian Muller on March 24, 2009 at 8:15pm
I like that "there is a resolution and the movement becomes fluid and slows". This is a perfect description of thawing or the reemergence of the fluids. Peter used to talk about the incident in which a group of kids were kidnapped and held hostage for an extended period of time. Upon their successful capture they were all significantly traumatized with the exception of one kid, the one who was active in formulating an escape plan, that eventually worked. So the fight/flight or active response seems to be critical for successful trauma resolution. We can "play dead" like the opossum to keep a low profile until the threat has passed, but this strategy seems to take over and becomes entrenched as a dissociative pattern.

The great thing about the water is that it is a safe and fluid container for heightening activation or arousal while providing an sensual environment that encompasses the body in the womb of fluid beingness.

I recently contacted the General at Ft. Carson, in Colorado Springs. This is a base that has a lot of returning Iraqi vets who have been having some devastating PTSD and violent incidents upon their return. I proposed that I teach the vets how to do some aquatic bodywork and aquatic trauma renegotiation with each other. I did get a call back from a care provider that said if I get all the insurance and the proper references I could do work with the vets one on one. I haven't followed up yet, I have so much else going on!

I like the body mudra concept. That is a good portion of the work I do, starting off with technique and moves and then getting to a place where the body begins its own energetic unwinding. Then my task is to find ways to support and encourage the natural somatic unfoldment.

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