By Sangeetha Saran
Yoga is an excellent therapeutic tool in healing traumatic events and memories. Breath control is one of the integral parts of yogic studies. When you forget to breathe, you freeze your memories, feelings, and emotions in your muscles and tissues. Pranayama exercises have been shown by many studies to provide amazing benefits people living with the effects oftrauma.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a very common anxiety disorder people develop when exposed to physical, psychological, emotional or sexual trauma. It is especially common for people who have experienced warfare, sexual assault, and natural disasters. Common symptoms include vivid memories and flashbacks of the experience, sometimes with a detachment from reality.
Yoga has a profound ability to touch and heal us on every level of our being—physical mental, emotional, and spiritual. This is what makes pranayama such an effective and powerful treatment for trauma victims. A combination of pranayama, asanas, and a sense of deep relaxation help to calm the fight-or-flight mechanism within a trauma victim.
By practicing breathing techniques, trauma survivors can lower the levels of adrenaline and cortisone that are distributed throughout the body. Extended breathing exercises cause the body to release serotonin, dopamine, serotonin, and GABA. Proper GABA levels are crucial for survivors to maintain a sense of calm.
Pranayama exercises also offer survivors a renewed sense of self-awareness. When they sense a flashback coming, the centered feeling they have attained from breath work can help forestall these vivid attacks. Pranayama's specific focus on self-acceptance is especially beneficial for sexual assault victims, who often come to hate their own bodies.
In short, yoga's effect on one's physical mental state is incredible. Its magnificent benefits to the entire nervous system will, in turn, affect the rest of the body. These benefits are especially strong for PTSD survivors, who continually struggle to deal with their bodies’ response to stress.
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