The Body Remembers

It is very common for people who’ve experienced trauma to have “somatic” illnesses. Pains they often can’t explain, a fast heart rate, high blood pressure, arthritis, food intolerance, fibromayalagia, celiac , severe allergies, digestive issues and the list goes on.
Many of these issues show up even before someone starts dealing with their trauma. The body begins to wear down to a point where the trauma can’t be held at bay or ignored any longer.
For most of my life my heart rate has been incredibly high. Even with medications to bring it down, it goes out of control for seemingly no reason. Arthritis, severe allergies and terrible pains that seem to have no cause just show up almost daily.
For the past 3 days, I’ve had terrible pain in my lower belly but I know there is no physical reason. It has happened before and it will happen again. I’ve been checked out head to toe and there is nothing physically there to cause this pain. So why does it happen?
Is my body just cranky? Did I do something to hurt myself? A strain? I really don’t believe so.
Some people may not agree with me but I believe that the body remembers trauma. Even when we don’t think about it or pay attention to a particular trauma, I believe that our body does. It holds that stress, fear and pain then it needs to find a way out so we get pains that seem to have no apparent cause.
I might even go a step further and say that these pains are actually worse when the trauma is left unprocessed.
I have a lot of friends who’ve experienced trauma and I honestly can’t name one that doesn’t have at least one serious physical health issue to add to their psychological diagnoses. Are they all just unlucky or have their bodies found a physical way to express what their minds have tried to forget? I believe it is the latter.
I can’t be completely alone on this one. Whomever made this chart seems to agree.
So how do we begin to heal from the physical ailments? I truly believe that the secret is found in dealing with our psychological traumas. Being open about them with the right person or people (compassionate therapists, close family or understanding friends).
As we really deal with these memories and find our way through healing from them, our physical symptoms can lessen. I am not going to say you can be 100%. That depends on so many factors but I do know from my own experience that after my stay in hospital and unearthing many of my traumas that my allergies are not as bad, my digestive symptoms happen about once or twice a week rather than every day and even my arthritis has let up ever so slightly.Ā  It’s nothing to write home about just yet but it’s a start.
I hope with being more open, my heart might even slow down a bit. It feels like it’s running away from something all the time. That constant state of alert.
I have faith that one day, we can all begin to turn the tide and start to become healthier once again. We all deserve that no matter where you are now or what you are dealing with.
Have a great day everyone. Be healthy.

12 responses to “The Body Remembers

  1. I totally agree with you and have no doubt in my mind that our bodies remember traumas our conscious minds have forgotten about. I also get physical symptoms that can’t be explained and also things like bruises that just seem to appear. In therapy sessions physical pain has appeared out of nowhere and it usually seems to be tied in with someone internally who has a memory they need to share. By the way, i’ve tried emailing you but my email got returned saying delivery failed. If you would still like to stay in email contact my email address is – xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, and I totally agree with you. I can think of so many examples in my own life and of those I love. When my son’s OCD was severe, his heart rate was really high. The docs thought it was medication related, but it wasn’t. It finally resolved after he recovered from severe OCD.

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  3. Here are some I have thought of: stomach pain–swallowing hurt, holding it in; mouth pain–fear of speaking out; Thanks for posting!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I 100% agree with you. When I was in massage school we learned about “unwinding.” This can happen when the body starts releasing tension- usually connected to trauma. I’ve seen this happen in myself and in many others during my time as an MT. I once listened to someone recount their abuse and as she spoke her body twisted and turned and I don’t even think she was aware of it, but it was one of the most heartbreaking, and yet incredible things I’d ever seen. I believe she was healing something physically as she spoke.
    I also have the high heart rate for no clear reason and it does not respond well to meds either. And I’m convinced my Ulcerative Colitis is connected to being assaulted years ago and the effect that had on my body. In fact, my first hospitalization occurred 15 years to the exact date of the assault. Too much of a coincidence I think.
    I’m sorry, I could probably go on about this topic all day, but I won’t šŸ™‚ I love your posts- they are so informative and they all seem to speak so loudly to me! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you! it is nice to hear an account of someone that worked with massage because you woudl know a ton about how people hold their pain. Your insight is really appreciated.
    I am sorry to hear of your assault and your health issues. I do hope that you are finding some healing with both. x x x


  6. You know, I think you are right Heather. Being in a constant state of tension is bound to make conditions like arthritis, high blood pressure and migraine worse. It’s a vicious circle really, because coping with illness creates yet more stress and tension – being unable to work, money worries. Factor in unresolved trauma and emotional issues….. : (


  7. I agree with you. Definitely. The body does remember. It has to be true. Even our therapist said so to me and she’s a specialist in trauma and dissociation. XX


  8. Hi, glad I found your blog šŸ™‚ I definitely believe my body remembers everything I have lived through. My recovery from trauma incorporates bodywork through hands on healing (whether massage, accupuncture, chiropractic, etc) as well as exercise. I need to keep active to release tension. I also really have benefitted from gentle yoga and breathing in yogic tradition. While I see and feel the connection between emotions and mental thoughts, I am triggered when others suggest a pain could be psychosomatic. this comes from having very real body distress being neglected as a youngster and I got worse and suffered. now I constantly fear I will not be believed. But I realize I am the main person that needs to believe me. Thanks for being open with your journey on your blog. Visit mine if you have a chance, I deal with similar issues. Be well, peace.


    • Thank you so much for your thoughts. I also feel very triggered when pain is suggested to be psychosomatic for the same reasons that you mentioned.
      Just so you know, not being believed is huge for me too but I am not as far along as you in accepting when people don’t.
      I will most certainly check out your blog today! šŸ™‚


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