Category: Health Yourself Hits: 1703
Learning to release trauma before we pass it on to the next generation
PTSD is a whole-body tragedy, an integral human event of enormous proportions with massive repercussions. ― Susan Pease Banitt
Intergenerational Trauma is the idea that serious trauma can affect the children and grandchildren of those who had the first-hand experience, due to living with a person suffering from PTSD and the challenges that can bring. What’s new is – thanks to the emerging field of epigenetics – science is discovering that trauma is being passed down to future generations through more than simply learned behaviors.
One widely reported example is of holocaust survivors passing the effects of trauma to children and grandchildren. It seems that trauma or its effects are being passed down through our genes, and it has enormous consequences for us as a species.
What are we Passing on our Children?
The single most dangerous idea I learned in school is that the genes you get from your parents are passed on to your children, and nothing you do in your life changes them. Thankfully, however, the findings of the new scientific field of epigenetics is starting to change this dangerous attitude. We do indeed pass on the exact same chromosomes from parent to child, however, the quality they are in when we receive them can be improved or diminished according to what happens to us, and the choices we make, during our lifetime.
The reason why it’s dangerous for us to believe otherwise is that it has lead to entire generations of people believing that their choices concerning their own body and the environment affecting it have no detrimental effect on the genes of future generations. In short, it has the potential to see us devolve, simply out of ignorance. Fortunately, as awareness of epigenetics spreads, it’s helping people understand that how we live our lives can change the quality of our own genes for the better and those we pass on to our offspring.
What Is Epigenetics?
We all know the image of a DNA double helix. Imagine now that each of the thirteen rungs in the spiral ladder that makes a chromosome is not simply a rung, but a binary, amino acid ‘on/off’ switch. You may have received an exact same chromosome that your mother or your father carried, but this chromosome has been changing according to the way you’ve been living your life. Some rungs in the ladder are off where they were once on and vice versa. Your genes are responding to the environment like you are, because like you are, they are alive.
Our DNA exists at the heart of our cells and provide the instructions for new cells to be created. Therefore, better quality DNA equals better quality instructions for cells to be created and in turn, a happier, healthier body. On the other hand, continued degradation of the epigenetic structure of our genes could be leading to lowering of immunity and fertility and increased susceptibility to cellular mutation.
When Emotional Trauma Becomes Overwhelming
In simple terms, trauma occurs when we reach a point where we can’t cope. We are overwhelmed and we don’t have the tools or skills to find our way through. We find ourselves in a state where our sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive and we can get stuck in fight or flight mode for far longer than our body is designed to be. Sustaining this state of high alert causes depletion and disruption of the normal functions of our system. In our culture, we refer to acute cases of this as PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder.
Thanks to this diagnosis, we have this somewhat arbitrary boundary which almost says that the truly traumatized people are on one side and the rest of us are on the other. The reality is that the boundary between those who suffer from PTSD and everyone else was invented, created, made up by the human mind, with little regard for the fact that trauma is carried within us all in varying degrees. Each of us is on a sliding scale that goes all the way up to and past the line that tips a person to being diagnosed with PTSD.
The kind of trauma we all carry can include the smallest things, like the time we were laughed at for not knowing the answer to a question or other seemingly insignificant things, such as being teased as a child. It can include any moments of pain and tragedy that have occurred throughout our life, but by far the biggest factor of whether the pain remains with us as trauma is whether it was overwhelming and whether it continued to be overwhelming.
According to transpersonal psychologists, when the trauma is so overwhelming that our only defense mechanism is to avoid feeling it, then we continue to carry it until someday, we have the courage and strength to finally feel all of it and come to emotional completion, though the physical event may have ended long ago. A number of problems can prevent this: a person may not feel like they are in a safe enough environment, or not supported enough to go into the vulnerability of feeling their old pain in order to release it. The person may struggle with being re-traumatised by going back into the memory of what happened.
Releasing Our Trauma So It Doesn’t Get Passed On
For some people, it’s enough to explain to them that they simply need to accept and allow the feelings of pain and discomfort to exist, instead of trying to hide them, avoid them or push them away. As soon as a person judges and labels their inner pain as something bad or something they don’t want or don’t like, they are inadvertently and unwittingly grabbing and holding their pain and preventing it from leaving.
Allowing the pain to flow, instead of trying to stop it from happening, is how we allow it to leave us and be released, however, there is considerable risk of re-traumatization. In my opinion, this occurs when a person wakes up their old pain and trauma to try to release it, but then instead of accepting and thereby allow it to flow out of them, they contract around it with their judgment that this is something they don’t want. So they experience the pain again but do so without actually releasing it.
For those at the extreme end of the trauma scale known as PTSD, these experiences of past pain and trauma, coming up in order to be released, are uninvited and involuntary. During these bouts, which can be triggered by anything that remotely resembles the original trauma or nothing at all, re-traumatisation is occurring repeatedly and compounding the problem.
What Happens When We Can’t Release Our Old Pain and Trauma?
If a person experiences trauma and they are never able to come to emotional completion, because it is simply too overwhelming, the environmental influence of those events on the body, through immense amounts of stress hormones, signal to the genes that the environment is hostile and unsafe. This has an effect on the epigenetic quality of the genes. The epigenetic structure of the genes changes and therefore genes in this state can then be passed to subsequent generations.
The worst examples of intergenerational trauma occur when a generation is born carrying the trauma of their parents, and the parents and children are still living in circumstances that are traumatic. In some cases, this can go on for generations, particularly in cases of ongoing war, colonialization, and genocide. Prof. Judy Atkinson speaks about her work helping entire indigenous communities heal from transgenerational trauma in her book Trauma Trails, and the traditional approach she works with can be found in the following Uplift article. Techniques such as breathwork and vipassana have been successful in releasing trauma, as well as severe cases of PTSD being healed through psychedelic means, such as MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, or ceremonial use of Ayahuasca.
Evolving – Not Devolving – As A Species
I like to think that the epigenetic structure of our DNA can be like either a rock or a crystal. The molecules in a rock can be identical to those found in a crystal, with the only difference being that the molecules in a rock are jumbled, whereas those in a crystal are more aligned, allowing light to pass through. In the same way, perhaps there are more jumbled, and more aligned states that those amino acid ‘on/off’ switches in our DNA can find themselves in. The good news is that if our epigenetic structure can become relatively jumbled due to challenging and painful environmental factors, they may also become more aligned as we make healthier decisions about exposing ourselves to less environmental contaminants and, if possible, less emotional contaminants, like stress and trauma.
My personal theory about life is that the reality we live in is a rigged game; that all paths lead to learning and growth. The less gentle path may be for the quality of our DNA to degrade, perhaps increasing the likelihood that a) those that can’t adapt fast enough don’t survive, as well as b) sudden mutation jumping us to a different sub-branch of the evolutionary tree. The more gentle path to evolution may be by bringing our epigenetic code into higher states of alignment by healing our past pain and trauma and perhaps even healing the trauma that was passed to us from our ancestors. The only question that remains is: what kind of species do we wish to be?
ॐ Namasté - Blessings!
© 2008-2018 crystalwind.ca. All rights reserved.
Archive: MORE Health Yourself Articles!
- 2018 (7)
- March (1)
- February (2)
- January (4)
- 2017 (84)
- December (2)
- November (2)
- October (6)
- • Global Disease Study Reveals Poor Diet Is A Factor That Causes One In Five Deaths!
- • Reset Your Nervous System With 50 Deep Breaths
- • The Most Potent Plant Source Of Vitamin'C'
- • If You Wake Up At The Same Time Every Night, This What It Means
- • 6 Things Fit and Healthy People Do Differently
- • Meditation Literally Rebuilds Your Brain’s Gray Matter In 8 Weeks ~ Harvard MRI Study
- September (2)
- August (5)
- • The Japanese Practice Of Forest Bathing Is Scientifically Proven To Be Good For You
- • Scientists Have Discovered a Way to Destroy Cancer Tumors Using Nothing but Sound Waves
- • Study Exposes the Harmful Effects of Energy Drinks on the Heart
- • The Healing Properties And Benefits Of Aloe Vera
- • A Daily Walk Can Change Your Mind And Body
- July (13)
- • Canada’s Surprising New Proposed Health Guide Favors Plant-Based Foods and Ignores Industry Input
- • Stress - It’s Not in Your Head, it’s in Your Nervous System
- • Spiritual Meaning And Causes of Epilepsy (Seizure Disorder)
- • Holistic Healing – 6 Approaches to Try
- • Mass Protests Against Mandatory Vaccination Law In Italy
- • 31 Powerful Herbs and Supplements for Treating and Preventing Cancer Naturally
- • Applied Epigenetics: The Art and Science of DNA Activation, Healing and Repair
- • Would YOU choose to live forever?
- • Nine Major Diseases Linked To Meat Consumption
- • 3 Ways To Treat A Stomach Ulcer Naturally
- • Cure for AIDS? Bee Venom Destroys HIV Cells, Finds Washington University Study
- • Find Out Here What Baking Soda Can Do To Heal You - Baking Soda Is Truly Amazing!
- • Cancer Is A Fungus That Can Be Treated With Baking Soda! Italian Doctor Shocks The World
- June (8)
- • One Simple Step To Influence Your DNA
- • Gut Health - This Doctor’s Take Might Surprise You!
- • Live Free, Be Well
- • The Plant Of Immortality Can Cure Over 50 Different Diseases!
- • How to Live To Be 100
- • Hooray! Another Reason To Masturbate
- • Add 1 Spoon Of Honey In Water While Washing Your Face In Morning To Look Younger
- • Can Your Brain Learn To Respond To A Placebo?
- May (10)
- • Heal Yourself By Talking To Your Body
- • High & Low Blood Pressure | Atherosclerosis – Spiritual Meaning And Causes
- • My Eyes Changed Colour After Eating Raw Vegan For 6 Years
- • Distance Energy Healing - How Does it Work, How Long Does it Take & More
- • Eye Disorders - Glaucoma | Myopia | Strabismus – Spiritual Meaning And Causes + Prevention
- • Drink Glass Of Water At 6:00 AM! People All Over The World Are Doing This Now!
- • The Health Benefits Of Rubbing A Certain Finger For 60 Seconds - Japanese Healing Method
- • Pineapple Water Will Detoxify Your Body, Help You Lose Weight, And Reduce Joint Swelling And Pain
- • Grapefruit and Rosemary Water - For Weight Loss And Detox!
- • New Study Proves Meditation Can Keep Brains Young
- April (2)
- March (12)
- • Scientists Can Now Reverse DNA Aging in Mice!
- • 6 Signs That Energy is Being Released from the Body
- • Can Trauma be Passed on through our DNA?
- • The Healing Power of Serotonin
- • Scientists Find Blood From Vegans Is 8 Times More Protective Against Cancer
- • Inflammation Will Make You Age Faster. Here's Exactly What To Do About It
- • How to Spring Clean the Energy of Your Home
- • This Plant Makes Cancer Cells Disintegrate Within 48 Hours
- • Diet Responsible For 45 Percent of All Deaths From Heart Disease and Diabetes
- • 10 Relaxing Exercises for Your Eyes That Will Improve Your Eyesight
- • THIS Is What Happens To Your Body When You Chant “OM”…
- • How to Never Get Sick Again
- February (8)
- • Does Inhaling Pink Salt Really Clear Your Lungs?
- • This Body Part Predicts If You Will Die Of A Heart Attack
- • 5 Moves You Can Do At Home To Strengthen Your Core
- • One Tablespoon Of This Can Clean Out Your Bowels In Just 2 minutes!
- • Is African Marula Oil The Secret To Anti-Aging?
- • How A Greater Purpose In Life Protects Your Memory and Other Thinking Skills
- • Kegel Exercises For Bladder Control
- • Does Having Meaning In Your Life Keep You Healthy?
- January (14)
- • Lunar Beauty Rituals: Caring For Your Body Using the Cycles of the Moon
- • This Evening Trick Will Whiten Your Teeth By Morning
- • Clean Your Body From Parasites And Return To Your Normal Weight With These 2 Ingredients That You Always Have In Your House!
- • Lose Weight Just By Pressing This Point Near Your Ear
- • The Healing Power of the Akashic Records
- • Turmeric: 4 Benefits in Treating Depression
- • 7 Reasons To Do A Kidney Cleanse And What To Juice And Eat For A Good Flush
- • 4 TBSP. A DAY AND CANCER IS GONE: Russian Scientist Reveals The Most Powerful Homemade Remedy
- • Why People Who Take Naps Are More Productive: The Costanza Effect
- • Yes, You Can Manipulate Your Metabolism To Lose Weight. Here's How
- • This One Mineral Reduces Oxidative Stress, Repairs DNA, And Leads To Mechanisms Which Extend Life
- • Every Day Checklist for a Healthier Bod
- • Why You Can No Longer Ignore The Most Potent Way To Transform Your Health
- • Beginning Workplace Wellness in the New Year
- 2016 (51)
- December (4)
- November (5)
- August (3)
- July (1)
- June (1)
- May (4)
- April (2)
- March (7)
- • The Disturbing Facts Regarding The Refined Sugar Diet
- • Sungazing : NASA Confirms Super Human Abilities Received..
- • The Energetic Side Effects of Daylight Savings Time
- • Hand Reflexology : Press The Points For Wherever You Have Pain
- • Stop Using These 5 White Poisons
- • 82 Percent of Patients Managed to Avoid Root Canals Using These Ancient Medicinal Herbs
- • This New Toothpaste Now Puts Dentists Out Of Work
- February (15)
- • 5 Reasons Grounding Will Improve Your Health And Change Your Life
- • Theta Healing Technique – How Does It Work?
- • Apple Cider Vinegar: A Weight Loss Weapon
- • When Your Body Is Too Acidic, Learn To Quickly Alkalize It!
- • Grow Back Your Receding Gums In No Time With The Help Of These Natural Remedies
- • This Is Why You Should Be Sleeping On Your Left Side
- • Revisiting Masaru Emoto — The Nikki Owen ‘Apple Experiments’
- • The Many Ways Chronic Stress Makes You Sick
- • Sacred Sex: Is The Sex You Have As Safe As You Think It Is?
- • How To REVERSE AGING!
- • Conditioning Your Mind To Heal Your Body
- • Oil Pulling: Not Just for Oral Health?
- • 10 Benefits of Organic Coconut Oil
- • The Health Benefits of Olive Oil
- • How To Make Alkaline Water In Order To Fight Fatigue, Digestive Issues And Cancer
- January (9)
- • Train Your Brain to Fall Asleep in Just 60 Seconds With This Simple Method
- • Baking Soda: Home Remedies and Old Wives Cures
- • 3 Energy Medicine Techniques That Changed My Life
- • Learn To Detox From Sugar In Just 10 Days
- • Amazing Home Remedy: Stops Cancer and Heals the Whole Body
- • Study Finds Muscle and Strength Can Be Maintained Using Just Your Mind
- • Ancient Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique Provides Instant Drug-Free Anxiety Relief
- • This Slimming Detox Drink Relieves Bloating, Jump-Starts Weight Loss And Burns Fat Like Crazy!
- • How To Stop A Migraine Instantly
- 2015 (33)
- December (5)
- November (4)
- • The Impact Of Coffee On Your Adrenal Glands
- • Every Body Part Is In The Palm Of Your Hand – Press The Points For Wherever You Have Pain
- • The Real Truth About Cavities - Use this Magical Tooth Powder to Reverse Cavities Naturally
- • Put This Mixture Under The Tongue Before Sleep And Never Wake Up Tired
- October (4)
- September (1)
- August (3)
- July (1)
- June (2)
- May (4)
- March (2)
- February (4)
- January (3)
- 2014 (39)
- December (3)
- November (4)
- October (1)
- September (3)
- August (1)
- June (1)
- May (3)
- March (5)
- February (13)
- • When All Else Fails To Heal You
- • Could Tree Bark Keep You Alive?
- • More Americans Are Saying “No” to Water Fluoridation While Toxic Fluorinated Pesticides Are Still Allowed
- • Could Your Health Issues Be Due To an Imbalance of Your Body’s QI Ambassador?
- • Top Vegetarian Foods for Naturally Beautiful, Healthy Skin
- • 10 Anti Aging Ingredients in Skincare Products
- • 2 Real Life Examples of Mistletoe Wiping out Cancer
- • 6 Toxic Products to Eliminate in Your Home
- • 7 Ways That Love Is Good For Your Health
- • Orgone and Indoor Plants
- • 5 Things Healthy People Do Every Day Before Work
- • Fun Facts About Hugging
- • How To Solve 9 Sleep Problems
- January (5)
- 2013 (32)
- November (3)
- October (5)
- September (2)
- August (3)
- July (2)
- June (2)
- May (8)
- • Fifty Shades of Pink
- • Benefits of Relaxation
- • 4 Ways to Support the Largest Organ of Detoxification: The Skin
- • Science: Sunlight Could Reduce Death Rate From All Causes
- • Can Compassion Beat Botox in the Anti Ageing Stakes?
- • Did You Know: Natural Cancer Treatments are Hidden from You – But Why?
- • Three Super-easy, Super-convenient Ways To Prevent Cavities Naturally
- • Four Ways To Rid Your Body of Fluoride's Negative Effects
- April (2)
- March (1)
- February (2)
- January (2)
- 2012 (7)
- December (2)
- November (4)
- October (1)