Holistic wellness professional, Jacqui Ellis, of Deep Connexions, discusses an example where a young boy’s behaviour could be traced back to trauma at his birth
We all have one thing in common – we all have a birth story. The time from conception through to our first nine months of life can leave the most profound imprints upon us. These ‘maps’ of experiential residue can become stored in our body as somatic memories – physical patterns, energies, sensations and emotions that can become trapped within the body’s cells after experiencing an overwhelming or traumatic event – that can then influence and hinder the way we live our lives going forwards.
The above may mean you find yourself or witness your child struggling to complete everyday tasks; or overreacting to everyday situations – it just does not make sense. It is as if something gets triggered and you or your child get stuck in another time. This can also have a ripple effect on others in the energetic field. It is as if a pebble has been thrown into the pond.
As a holistic wellness professional trained in Biodynamic Cranio Sacral Therapy and Sound therapy and certified as a Reflex Integration/Neuro Developmental Practitioner, I focus on resolving early developmental trauma. Working with all ages, I empower my clients to make the connections that join up the dots, helping them to understand how their earliest experiences may be draining their life energy, preventing them from moving forward and achieving their potential.
I never really know what will happen in a therapy session. I just go with the flow and weave my knowledge through the process. My role is to create a safe, non-judgemental space for individuals to be visible, witnessed and acknowledged as they share their deepest wounds. It is this that facilitates deep transformational healing.
A few weeks ago, I was working with a Year 6 lad who finds the school environment difficult. He struggles to write and commit his thoughts to paper, to sit still and focus, becoming easily triggered and angry. He prefers to be up and about, active.
Part way through the Developmental Diagnostic Assessment, he had a huge reaction when tested for the Spinal Galant (a reflex that should be present at birth and transformed by approximately two to three months of age, the continued presence of which is associated with difficulty sitting still and paying attention). He immediately ran to the sofa, curled up into a ball and became extremely upset. He began shouting at his mother, saying it really hurt, asking her what she was doing to him and that it felt like she was ‘trying to kill him’! We were witnessing a very extreme reaction in the present moment.
Watching her son’s reaction triggered mum’s own body memory of trying to birth him and her own sense of overwhelm at the time. It had been a difficult experience which she had hidden away and bottled up for nearly ten years.
Working to hold space for them both, we tracked the sensations they felt in their bodies, enabling both to express and release old emotions and movement patterns that had been trapped for a long time. The session ended with the son curled in his mum’s lap holding her gaze… The mum later explained that this had been the very first time they had held each other’s gaze and connected in that way – a truly magical moment of attachment.
So, what had happened?
This child had presented back to back at birth – his spine against mum’s spine. The sensation of testing for the reflex on his lower back had triggered his somatic body memory of trying to birth; of feeling totally enclosed, trapped, terrified that he would not survive – how he had felt alone, frustrated and angry. No wonder it is difficult for him to sit still and focus!
He has now started the Developmental Movement Programme – a series of prescribed daily exercises designed to mature immaturities in the central nervous system. We will also continue to work with Cranio Sacral Therapy as the need arises too.