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  • Ashley, Healthy Move

What is "trauma", anyway?

There is a lot of discussion currently around about identifying and healing "trauma" - but what does that mean?


The truth is, it can mean multiple things. A big, scary thing that happened, or stubbing your toe and not taking the time to actually process it. Most of the time when we hear this word, it is referring to the emotional response to a terrible incident. We now know through research and imaging that trauma is actually an emotional response that gets "stuck" in your brain and/or body, and it looks different in each person because how we emotionally respond to anything is unique to us.


When the "thing" gets stuck, your brain puts it in a capsule to protect you. A "save it for later" skill, if you will. When that capsule remains, your brain takes other experiences and puts it in the capsule. Over time, this affects our fight or flight response in ways that are completely subconscious and often not identifiable. Brainspotting can be viewed as a way to pause so that your brain can sort through the "stuck stuff" and move it out of your limbic system. It's about bypassing the "adulting" brain, and allows for the faster subcortical region to do what it does best - heal you.

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