PETER LEVINE: EXERCISES FOR TRAUMA HEALING
RESTORING OUR OWN SENSE OF SECURITY
– Right hand under the left arm at the side of the heart.
– Left hand on the right shoulder.
– WAIT AND OBSERVE…
Observe what sensation you have in your body, in your hands.
What is happening inside your body. Become aware of your body, which is the container of all our sensations and feelings, everything is in the body. And the container of the body is the outside of our body. Our shoulders, the sides of our thorax. When we can feel our body as a container the emotions and sensations don’t feel so overwhelming. we are being contained.
– Right hand on the forehead
– Left hand on the upper chest
– WAIT AND OBSERVE …
You can do this with your eyes closed or open, as you feel more comfortable.
It is a way to feel what is happening between the hands and the body. Sometimes we feel a flow of energy flow of energy or a change of temperature… It can be five minutes or more, until we feel some kind of change.
Pay attention to what is happening inside your body, gently bring your attention between the two hands, the area inside yourself both hands, the area inside yourself between your head and heart.
Wait until you feel some kind of change, until there is some flow….
– Right hand over the upper part of the chest
– Left hand on the belly
– WAIT AND WATCH…
And again wait until there’s some change, until there’s and sometimes people, if they are unable to sleep or they have fears, they have nightmares. If they do this simple exercise they will fall asleep much more easily.”
When you begin to do this exercise, most of the time the first change occurs with a spontaneous deep breathing, then the breathing may change to a deeper breathing may change to a deeper, slower rhythm and the muscles relax. It may take time to feel a change.
THEORIES ABOUT WHY THESE KINDS OF EXERCISES WORK
1. The human nervous system responds to touch. This healing practice has been used by mankind since ancient times. This could have something to do with electrical currents, or the fact that we are soothed and held in specific ways like babies.
2. This is one of many exercises that forces one to focus on the body,
this shift of attention and awareness is therapeutic.
3. This trains us to use gentleness and self consideration, instead of acting harshly.
It helps us to be gentle, caring, kind and nurturing to ourselves.
SELF-SUPPORT AND SELF EXERCISES
This activity helps us to build a sense of “Self and Self”. And restore one’s identity as a human being. When one finds oneself, it is easier to feel the desire to protect and defend oneself and feel good about it.
We can begin to gain a sense of having emotional boundaries, a sense of what is right and what is wrong.
what is okay and what is not okay emotionally and in relationships.
The access the inner knowing of what we want, “My Personal Truth”.
Once this connection is re-established these feelings will begin to emerge from the Self.
These feelings develop complexity, maturity and expression.
Accessing the will with the development of authenticity.
Exercise to calm fear.
Place one hand on the back of the neck just at the base of the skull, place the other on the solar plexus (just below the rib cage). Learned from a spiritual teacher.
Lower body inclusion. This is for the more flexible: lie on your side and place one hand on your heart and the other on the base of your spine.
Mental container / Mental calm exercise.
Place your hands on either side of your head, as if holding and calming each hemisphere of your brain.
Then place one hand on your forehead and one hand on the back of your head.
Feel how your hands create a container for your thoughts.
Peter Levine also introduces the clapping exercise.
Pat yourself, to point to where your edges are. Feel the sensation
of having boundaries, the place where you end and the rest of the world begins.
Touching the skin all over to get a sense of the boundary brings contingency.
Squeezing different muscles, helps us to remember that the body is the
container and then feel more able to deal with sensations and emotions.