I am happy to announce that I am now a Trauma-Sensitive HeartMath® Certified Practitioner.
"Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always." ― Brad Meltzer
I was hiking with a retired elementary school teacher last year when she mentioned a book, The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk. She caught my attention when she said she wished she had read it while she was still teaching and how a better understanding of trauma could have helped in her interaction with children. She taught both of my children in elementary school and knew of our co-parenting/custody struggles, so I asked, "Do you think my kids have some level of trauma?"
At the height of our custody challenges, both children faced trauma assessments performed by Colorado State University. I remember feeling annoyed at the time- caught in the middle of an impossible situation where the court was at a loss of how to handle our case. "My kids aren't traumatized. They are being manipulated," I said in my head as the CSU team revealed their findings. Why couldn't everyone see what was so clear to everyone "on my side"? The county was unable to determine the best course of action, even though we had a dozen people involved in our case from attorneys to social workers, children's advocates and therapists, monitors, evaluator and a judge. The results from the trauma assessment on both children: they are highly resilient. Maybe it was a lifetime of managing the conflict, maybe it was some yoga and meditation practices scattered throughout, maybe it was having one another to lean on, but it was determined they both had their individual unique set of coping skills.
The space where I was asking this retired teacher/friend was years after these events had passed. My son was living on his own in a studio apartment in Northern California and my daughter would be leaving for college in late summer. We successfully made it though therapy aimed at reversing severe parental alienation 4 years prior. Our relationship was mostly restored; although, I am still unraveling the resulting damage and how/when it shows up in our lives and other relationships.
I started reading The Body Keeps the Score on a plane ride to CA to meet both children for my daughter's birthday. She had been at school for 2 weeks and I didn't make a good departing impression as I was pushing her out of her room to turn it into a biofeedback space in her absence. I knew it, but I didn't know how to undo what I had done. Cleaning out their rooms was my biggest coping strategy. They'd leave for a week or two and I'd clean their room top to bottom. As I quickly read through the pages explaining trauma, it dawned on me...maybe we each have our own trauma from those years of conflict. We experienced the same events, but from much different perspectives.
When I saw HeartMath®'s Trauma Sensitive training, I recognized the calling immediately. How can we expect to help others heal if we are unwilling to recognize and do the work for our own healing? I've said it plenty of times over the years that healers and yoga teachers are some of the most broken people out there; but it is their willingness to carefully open up the wounds through practices and modalities to create profound and lasting healing that allows them to be a beacon of lights to others. As a healer, I am constantly looking through the scope of differing perspectives. My healing is not your healing, but I can take what I have learned through my soul lessons and healing modalities to help nurture other wearied souls.
How is trauma sensitive care implemented into my practice? During a massage, you will feel a hand always placed upon your body as I move around the table, to communicate to you where I am in the room. I start every massage with sound healing to help bring the client into rest/restore of the parasympathetic nervous system. The client is invited to communicate preferences during the entirety of the massage. Too much pressure, or too much pressure too soon, can send a client into fight/flight response- thereby undoing the positive effects of a rejuvenating experience. I end every massage with a tuning fork placed on/near the heart space to bring your awareness to the heart. For biofeedback and energy healing, I have an entire tool box of HeartMath® techniques for emotional self-regulation.
Healing is about brining the darkness into the light and shining the light from within. HeartMath® offers the tools and practices to help you get to the heart.
The Inner Balance Coherence Plus uses heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback to help you access a healthy, high-performance state called “heart coherence,” which balances your mind and emotions. This helps prevent stress and clears your thinking for more effective choices.
If you are interested in learning more about HeartMath®'s technology, such as the Inner Balance™ Coherence sensor, to help train your ability to get into coherence and stay in heart coherence for longer periods of time, please reach out. There are huge savings coming up for the holidays beginning November 16th through December 31st!