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Inflammation As A Result Of Trauma

Veronica is a Holistic Trauma Specialist. She is a qualified BodyTalk Practitioner, qualified TRE Provider and utilises quantum field talk therapy to help her clients address and understand trauma, and how it manifests in their body (physically, mentally and emotionally).

Executive Contributor Veronica di Muro Merchak

Do you know that your body has a physical defense mechanism when it perceives a situation is mentally and emotionally unsafe? That is correct, your body, in all its wisdom can react to an emotionally unsafe situation by physically protecting itself, the same way it would protect itself from a pathogen, bacteria or cut. Our body’s interaction with the environment is incredible and here we delve into understanding how a traumatic trigger, a prolonged stressful environment, a person you distrust or a generally uneasy situation can create mild to chronic inflammation in the body.

An injured hand of a man in a blue shirt

What is inflammation?

Let’s start with the definition of inflammation. Inflammation is a normal bodily reaction to foreign or harmful stimuli. It is part of the body’s defense mechanism in that the immune system identifies injuries (for example, an insect bite or a wound from standing on a dirty nail) as well as the presence of pathogens (such as viruses, bacteria, etc.). The aim of inflammation is to give the body the right environment so it can remove the source of harmful stimuli (such as germs) so it can heal. How does inflammation do this? In the following ways:

  1. White blood cells rush to the area to rid the body of dirt and germs so they are removed from the body and no longer cause a threat or spread

  2. Fever. An elevated body temperature supports the immune system and is beneficial in reducing the viral load and shortening the length of the illness

  3. Fatigue. Your body needs to rest as it fights infection

  4. A swelling of the area that has been affected. This is a response to heal the living tissue that was potentially damaged. This swelling and overall puffiness in one’s body is particularly common with inflammation as a trauma response.

Your nervous system is constantly scanning the environment for potential threats; and this is especially true for people who have experienced deeper trauma or trauma from early childhood. Their entire systems have been hard wired to actively search out danger cues, 24/7. And although not all threats are physical, the body always responds.

Inflammation is communication

Your body is trying to keep you safe, it is designed to do so. Inflammation is a tool it uses to do this. Once we view inflammation as tool that is used to protect us, we can view it as a means of communication, what is is trying to protect us from? Here we are able to go deeper into understanding of what our specific body finds threatening and how we hold it in our cellular memory.

Cellular memory refers to “memories” that are stored in cells outside of the brain cells. The nervous system cells can be likened to the muscle memory of bodybuilders or professional athletes. In practice, this affects how our body internalizes external stimuli and, thus, how we experience the outer world, as well as how we feel inside our body.

Trauma and inflammation

We have all experienced a stressful situation to some degree or another, the loss of a loved one, a car accident, a natural disaster, mental/emotional/physical abuse and so forth. What creates the trauma is the inability to defend oneself in these situations, or the helplessness around the event. Thus trauma is not the event itself, but the reaction to the event and as a result the body’s memory thereof. We can see here how cellular memory occurs as a result of trauma.

When we are triggered by something that reminds us of a past trauma our body relives that trauma (as it were happening now) and we have (in the present) an emotionally charged reaction to that stimuli. The reaction to trauma is to immediately keep oneself safe. How does the body do that? It inflames.

Stress is well known for its damage to our health. It reduces our immune system, spikes our cortisol and adrenaline levels and causes a host of other issues in our body. When we are in a chronically stressful situation in which we cannot fight or flight our way out of; we experience trauma. Our body stores the following:

Memory and energy

1. Memory

The body stores the incident that resulted in the bodily trauma. As mentioned the incident itself is not the sole trauma it is the bodily absorption of the incident and the individual’s helplessness around the situation that sits in the cellular memory. While the mind may suppress the mental memory of the incident (again a self protecting mechanism in chronically traumatic cases) the body will not forget. The body is constantly self protecting and this is expressed via inflammation.

2. Energy

When our body is unable to react to a traumatic incident, like a child who is unable to run away from his/her abuser, our body stores the energy of this. Energy is absorbed and released by the body, the impact of the traumatic event thus remains in the cells and the body, energetically. Our bodies are made up of energy centers and energy pathways, the shock of trauma disrupts how these energy centers’ operate and vibrate as well as how the energy pathways move energy through the body.

So in addition to the constant stress, always on guard nervous system, cellular memory that is constantly running like a program in the background, we have an energy system that is affected too. These energy centers and pathways, when working well and as designed; assist the physical body in it’s functions, and bring vitality to the individual. The shock of the trauma is absorbed by the energy system and over time this breaks down.

Isolated to chronic inflammation

When trauma has been with us for a long period of time, it becomes deeply rooted within our body and cells we may experience chronic inflammation, as the body is continuously sending out inflammatory cells. This can become one’s constant state of being. This is often he results as an overall reaction to trauma as it sits in the nervous system and affects the entire body.

On the other hand, we may have a body part or organ that is in a state of inflammation. Depending on the situation, a body part or organ (they all have their own consciousness and energetic frequency) may have undergone a trauma and so the inflammation is isolated to a specific area. Two examples are as follows:

  1. An emergency surgery in which an organ had to be removed. Such as a hysterectomy. 20 years later, the body has healed the best it could. However, there is constant or intermittent inflammation in the area; this is because the uterus and potentially the surrounding areas underwent a trauma, and that trauma has not been dealt with. This is especially true in the case of an emergency operation, or as a result of an illness (such as cancer) as the situation surrounding the surgery was traumatic in itself. Also, bear in mind that although an organ is removed, the energy and the consciousness of that removed organ may still be there.

  2. Chronic inflammation in the pelvic area as a result of sexual abuse. Years later, the area still heats up and is tender, even though the individual may have healed physically. This is also a very common cause of spontaneous inflammation when the individual experiences a trigger that reminds them of that incident.

Trauma triggers inflammation

Because our nervous system is constantly scanning the environment, we may experience what is termed trauma triggers. Let’s go back to the example of sexual abuse, a woman was sexually assaulted by a man with a certain scent or cologne. Years later, that lady could walk into her place of work and meet her new colleague, who has the same cologne and stance as her perpetrator; this will trigger the memory (whether she is conscious of this or not) of her assault, and the body will respond. If she is around him often enough her body may flare up, heat up with a fever and swell as she inflames. What has occurred is that her body detected a threatening situation via a traumatic memory and it responded by protecting itself.

Remember, inflammation is a self-protective means to defend itself against harmful stimuli.

Trauma is a process that involves slowly peeling back layers. Although a trauma response is certainly useful at the time in that the body’s reaction kept you safe in the given situation, those same responses that have remained in the psyche, energy system, and body of the individual will, over time, present issues. Dealing with trauma is not easy, but understanding on a deeper level what impact it had on your specific body, what your cells are holding onto and how to move through that will empower you. With a deeper knowledge of what is, you can slowly and steadily start rewiring your body’s hologram and rewriting your life’s narrative. This will cause a change in your frequency, from a cellular level to your overall complex allowing you to move forward.

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Veronica di Muro Merchak, Holistic Trauma Specialist

Veronica has a unique approach to trauma as Holistic Trauma Specialist. She combines her personal experience, her academic qualifications, her professional experience, and her in depth intuitive understanding of people to help them navigate their individual situations. An important focus of hers, is to empower her clients so they understand how trauma was received by their individual body and above all; how it is possible to move forward, in an unapologetic and gracefully powerful way.



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