Where We Store Trauma

Young man with back pain in the red zone highlighted on his neck and lower back

When we think of our emotions and where they are stored, we tend to think of the mind. Interestingly enough, however, our emotions are stored throughout our physical bodies – just as they are expressed and experienced throughout the body. No matter how fulfilling and gratifying our lives have been, we all cling to some painful memories. Undergoing hardship is simply a part of life, and none of us are immune to unpleasant experiences. When we experience pain in the form of loss, disappointment, suffering, or failure, we tend to suppress it and hide it away somewhere deep within our bodies. Later on, after the initial shock of the trauma wears off, we are able to retrieve it, reform it, and release it. If we do not take the steps necessary to doing this, however, our wounds will only continue to fester – potentially causing us great physical pain (even health issues) later on in life.

Trauma in The Physical Body

It might seem a little bit crazy to consider that painful memories are actually encoded into our physical bodies, and yet, there is ample scientific evidence to prove that this is indeed the case. Dr. Candace Pert, a neuropharmacologist who worked at both the Georgetown University Medical Center and the NIH, conducted elaborate research on the subject. She found that our glands, tissues, organs, and cells are all storage places for both emotion and memory. Dr. Pert once stated, “Your body is your subconscious mind. Our physical body can be changed by the emotions we experience.” Parts of our internal bodies such as our muscle, skin, tissues, organs, and endocrine glands come equipped with peptide receptors. A strong feeling that is sparked within our minds will translate as a peptide, which will then be released somewhere into the body. We may believe that emotional memory is stored exclusively in the brain, when in reality, it is not even stored predominantly in the brain. Unexpressed emotions are quite literally lodged throughout the entire physical body.

Working Through Old Emotions

When we undergo a particularly painful experience, it is natural for us to desperately attempt to rid ourselves of the corresponding negative emotions as quickly as we can. In doing so, we may unwittingly shove these emotions deep into ourselves, suppressing them to the best of our ability; denying them, ignoring them, and perhaps eventually forgetting them. In order to complete the process of catharsis, it is important that we allow these old emotions to bubble up. As soon as we acknowledge emotions, they begin to be expressed. To feel our emotions and to understand our emotions means that we are successfully working through our emotions, and we are able to do so by integrating our emotions at higher and higher levels – finally introducing them back into consciousness. When our healing process is interrupted, we are disallowed the opportunity to successfully move on from our past harms. By allowing our old emotions to rise back to the surface, into awareness, we are free to move forward and begin a fulfilling and freeing journey of emotional (and self) exploration. It seems simple enough, no? But how do we effectively move old emotions through the physical body – emotions that we may have spent years of our lives intentionally forgetting?

The main goal of the upcoming Release Workshop at Next Chapter is to do just that – release trauma that we keep unwittingly stored in our physical bodies; trauma that is keeping us sick, stuck, and sorrowful. To learn more information on our Release Workshop or to reserve your spot, please email us at info@nextchapteraddiction.com or call us at 561-563-8407.