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Love and honor yourself. Healing is a lifestlye.

Holistic healthcare is healthcare that honors the power of the individual to heal by acknowledging that our bodies are walking biographies of our past experience; that our well-being is rooted in the interconnection of our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual body.  These attributes comprise our ability to feel alive, balanced and whole. 


Our healthcare models are evolving overtime as well. We know so much more about trauma and how our experiences in life and the choices we make shape our overall health. Many practitioners, doctors, and mental health providers are acknowledging that our physical health is directly related to our mental, emotional and social health or mindsets. We are interconnected beings, both inside and out. 


As a healthcare practitioner, I believe many of our historical and current approaches to health do not always work for those of us from traumatic backgrounds and marginalized identities. This is in part because our current social attitudes around health in the United States continue to leave us feeling disempowered in regard to our own health and healing, stating in so many ways: “there’s something wrong” or “something to fix” versus acknowledging the many factors that attribute to one’s health, even outside one’s physical body. 


Many times, we are left feeling like a victim to our life rather than an active participant. Often, the body and brain become the enemy, versus our best friend. The powerlessness we perceive is largely due to, policies, pharmacology, brain-disease models, diagnoses and even the language we use to describe our inner workings, trauma and health. 


Holistic health encompasses the act of acknowledging the entirety of one's being and recognizing the body's inherent wisdom as an integrated and unified entity, rather than isolating it into separate parts. It involves embracing the profound influence of the heart, gut, mind, and the external environment and appreciating their interconnectedness.


Mental body: thoughts, attitudes, perceptions, self-identity

Emotional body: overall feeling of yourself and your life day to day, dictating your mood and energy aura

Physical body: physical health and states; sensations

Spiritual body: faith, self-esteem, intuition

Social body: community, relationships, energy of others, social structures and mindsets


Just like physical wounds that we most certainly attune to, our emotional wounds deserve and need the same remedies to heal. Much like physical injuries, there is rarely just one solution to mend a wound. For a minor cut, maybe a simple band aid will do the trick to cease bleeding and facilitate healing. However, with more complex physical wounds, there will likely be multiple solutions to healing. If the wound is deep, we need time, space and consistent treatment to heal. Our emotional/mental injuries and processes are no different! 


When it comes to the body, you are what you think and you are what you do just as much as you are what you eat. The substances and energies that enter our body and energy sphere undergo translation and flow throughout our physical being, transforming from mere matter into substantial mass. The interconnectedness of physical, mental and emotional energies constitutes our holistic well-being and forms the foundation of our entire bodily state.


Health is about balance, balancing one’s energy, creating well-being and embodiment. 

Embodiment is being “of the body, integrated and whole.” Or in other words, being empowered, making choices in each and every moment and aspect of your life that are aligned with your truth, desires, needs and identity, and honoring both yourself and others. 


The good news is that you are not alone and you can help yourself heal with the love and support around you. We have so many resources available now that honor the wisdom and power of you and your body! Embrace yourself and who you are, because there’s no one like you, and the universe must see you through.


What is it anyway and how does it actually help?

Why do you make the choices you do? I mean every single choice you make, to how you treat yourself, how you think of yourself and the world, to what you choose to eat for dinner, to what relationships you choose, your career, or what type of people you surround yourself with. Every choice, just consider for one moment. Do you ever feel like you "know" something, such as that you are not a "bad person", but for whatever reason you still "feel" like one? 

Typically our mindsets (made up of emotional and mental energy) impact every choice we make. Our mindsets can be limiting, such as "I am not enough, or I am not doing enough" or empowering, such as "I am worthy of love and happiness". Our mindsets dictate the voice inside your head, which can be very critical and rigid, or light, positive, or somewhere in between. If we have unresolved stuff from out past or our present day life, this will create internal conflict, such as knowing one thing, feeling another and behaving in another way. 

If you are someone who has gone through a plethora of negative or traumatic experiences, EMDR therapy is a an approach to healing that will allow you space to really heal from this terrible things that have happened to you. 

Did you know that most of our choices are dictated by subconscious energy? This is where getting to know ourselves on deeper levels and resolving our past life comes in! 

EMDR therapy is an integrative process that includes working with mental and emotional energy, mind, body and heart, to release negative energy from the past that are controlling your present life (or daily choices) and limits you from seeing a future worth living or living your truth! Or you're living in "survival mode", feeling like that's all you deal with every day, depressed one day, and anxious the next. 

EMDR therapy helps you to get in your body, and dissociate less. To be more mindful of yourself, your reactions and your whole sense of self outside of shame, guilt or betrayal. This is done by incorporating Bi-lateral Stimulation into a therapeutic practice and taking a deeper look into memories that have shaped your sense of self. 


Did you know our eyes move back and forth during REM sleep? It's the brain's natural way of processing. How marvelous and what a gift to the human experience of healing!

There are only so many words that can exemplify the profound and deep impact using Bilateral stimulation (BLS) through EMDR therapy in an intentional way can have on one's life, alongside integrative approaches like mindfulness practices. It is simply transformative and allows one to step into their core, or true, self outside of traumatic experiences. Or who you thought you were, or what you internalized growing up. 

Bilateral stimulation in EMDR therapy includes using eye-movement, audio or tactile (tapping) to help one create dual awareness, meaning being in the present while putting one foot into a past or recent past experience. This allows somebody to release, let go of and understand past experiences to bring insight to one's present day life, and how to "shed" limiting belief patterns to find balance. 

Watch the video and check out more below to learn more!


EMDR, the Proven Trauma Therapy with the Power to Heal
by Deborah Korn & Michael Baldwin

Clear, informative, hopeful, and empowering, Every Memory Deserves Respect is the first step toward transformative healing and recovery.

Get the Book


Here are some helpful tips to plug into your life or consider for yourself: 

1 - Trust the process, yourself, and the wisdom of your body. We are told in so many ways often that you or your body is not enough. Listen to yourself. Trust your timing. Only you can truly say who you are and what your needs and life path require. I always say healing is cyclical and not linear at all. Life has ups and downs, trust that the downs carve out space for gratitude, authenticity and joy.


2 - Judgement/criticism and repression always increase distress, so remember that all your emotions are valid and it is healthy to acknowledge, release and move through them. Don’t beat yourself up or minimize your feelings. They come from somewhere, though emotions don’t always mean your “truth”. Feelings are feelings and come from many avenues. Make space for them, and gently get to know yourself and what you feel is true for you. This includes working through all the painful feelings first. Feelings live in your body, so getting to know how we feel means first getting in your body. As adults we can learn to create space for our feelings in a safe way so we don’t have to rely on emotional repression anymore!


3 - Try not to judge or criticize any part of you including your thoughts or mental patterns, choices you’ve made and certainly any emotions you have. This stuff comes up and again, it doesn’t have to mean anything about you. Thoughts come from many places, and sometimes those thoughts aren’t even our own! Consider thoughts information and we can decide what thoughts to lean into and which thoughts to let go of.


4 - To replace negative thought patterns, or limiting beliefs, switch to positive thought patterns, or affirmations, even if you don’t believe them. Thoughts are power and our mindsets are everything to making change and feeling more empowered. Write some affirmations on your wall, or notebook, practice them in your head. It works!


5 - Compassion is the GOAL and paramount for all parts of you and your life experiences, no matter what. We tap into your heart’s power. Compassion is necessary, and even when you don’t feel it, with some help from others, a therapist or within your own activities with others you can find that compassion offers so much space for so many more enriching experiences. 


6 - Your brain, body and authentic self want nothing more than to heal and be alive. Of course our bodies don’t want to stay in distress. Going back to point 1. Our bodies provide us with valuable information we can utilize and implement. 


7 - Lead with your core and heart and allow your mind to receive. I believe in every individual’s intuitive abilities and core self that has been present since the day you were born. Learn to trust your gut and intuition again. Likely childhood experiences, or your upbringing caused you to lose taste of it. But your intuition is your greatest strength. Lean into you, feel you!


8 - Find balance. Work on practices that are true to you to integrate into your daily life that support your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. Such as physical exercise or movement, meditation/prayer, journaling, body scans, therapy of all sorts, trauma therapy if necessary, acupuncture, massage, appropriate diet for you, play and fun time, just sitting, walking in nature, walking/stretching, visualizations, alone time, social time with loved ones, and so much more. Find what works for you and your body!


In the present-day context, how is trauma understood from a holistic perspective?

Trauma stifles one’s ability to know: 

Who am I?

What do I believe in?

What do I stand for?

What is my purpose (or what do I want to create)?

How do I want to be in this physical world without sacrificing my sense of self, truth or purpose? 


Over time if we have unresolved stuff from our past, our personality, actions, attitude and emotions are shaped by limiting belief patterns, such as “I am not enough”, “I am broken person”, “there’s something wrong with me”, “I cannot trust myself” or “I am powerless to change.” This is subconscious energy that infiltrates our conscious world.  It affects what we believe about ourselves and the world; our whole reality!  


If negative energy remains unresolved and our experiences are not adequately processed, it can have a significant impact on our emotional well-being, mental functioning and physical health. This impact can manifest as imbalances, distress, pain, disease, discomfort or dissonance. Our attachment styles developed during our upbringing, as well as the conditions and resources available in our environment, play a major role in shaping this outcome.


Reflecting on your own upbringing, what did you learn about yourself? How did you understand and experience feelings and emotions? What were your observations about the world around you and the people in it? How did you come to understand your own identity?


Furthermore, what did you learn about the societal expectations and definitions of being a man, a woman, or transgender? Consider for a moment negative messages you have received about your gender experiences?


Our human experiences and environment shape our sense of security, safety, self and the ability to make choices and take ownership of our lives. 


Socio cultural mindsets and systems are sources of trauma. Some examples include racism, toxic masculinity, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ostracization, religious trauma and institutionalization just to name a few. 


Experiences & Mindsets

When we go through hard things whether that be very disturbing or negative experiences in life and stay mentally/emotionally stuck there, this results in mental/emotional/physical distress as an adult for many people that do not take care of that "unfinished business" or how one may be out of alignment with present day choices. Read below to see some examples of trauma in today's world. It's never just one event or one thing because everyone perceives and reacts differently in face of pain, or in one's ability to "bounce back" from experiences.


Emotional/physical neglect, abuse and abandonment. 

Attachment and attunement, which includes a sense of belonging, are the most significant factors indicative of one’s health and well-being across the lifetime. Emotional neglect is by far the most dismissed or unrecognized source of imbalance in adulthood or chronic levels of anxiety and depression. 


Collective ideologies around gender norms and expectations based on biological sex significantly impact parent-child relationships. This has a profound influence on a child’s socio-emotional development.


From historical and current social practices, media, language, policies, structures, systems, societal attitudes and group belief systems that devalue and disempower groups of people based on a perceived social identity/group membership. Some examples over the lifetime include racism, white supremacy, sexism, toxic masculinity, homophobia, transphobia, standards of beauty or religious harm.

Collective mindsets and around gender norms and expectations based on biological sex significantly impact policies, social structures and systems that directly impact one's socio-emotional development over the lifetime based on if someone.


Negative sexual experiences in a single event or over the course of the lifetime that damage one’s sense of self, health and perception of bodily autonomy. Sexual trauma is one of the most undermined sources of distress in our society as a whole due to the paradoxical messages and mindsets of sex, gender and sexuality in our society. Examples of sources of sexual trauma include, sexual repression, religious sexual trauma, sexual abuse and issues of betrayal related to negative sexual experiences.

Collective ideologies around gender and sexuality based on biological sex and heteronormativity significantly impact how we deal with sexual harm as a society and thus individuals.


“A soul, spirit, or consciousness that has been disembodied, or otherwise lacks physical form.”

I define as when one goes through life feeling trapped and disembodied in a core part of self, such as core gender identity. This can manifest as a feeling of disgust or dis-ease in regard to one’s self and body, and lead to fear of being both perceived and misperceived. Disembodiment trauma is the result of not feeling safe, seen and heard in an authentic way of being from birth on mental, emotional and social levels. 

One of the most significant influences on feeling disembodied or on disembodiment is social ostracization (or a lack of belonging, a lack of a tribe or family, a lack of community, a lack of social status or political rights, a lack of belonging in one’s nation).

Disembodiment comes from the fragmentation of self, one who “performs” to the world, and the denial and/or protection of an authentic “hidden” self, such as authentic identity or emotions. The purpose is for protecting one’s self so that one can survive and stay safe. 

The brain and body protect us until the moment we are safe and secure enough to take action. We will only gain consciousness when we are able to do something with that information; this facilitates embodiment. The stifling nature of disembodiment as it relates to one’s conscious awareness of oneself will continue to drive distress, sometimes increasing until one acts in alignment with one’s truth and is one’s authentic self in the world. This includes attuning to one's bodily needs: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

Components of Disembodiment Trauma: 

1 - From an entrapped core or deeper self. Core gender is a part of one’s core self.

2 - Wounded sense of self rooted in shame, betrayal, guilt, a sense of feeling like something is wrong.

3 - Lack of ownership of one's self and body. This causes a sense of powerlessness and living in defensive states due to repressed emotional experiences and authentic ways of being.

4 - Impending doom or feeling an endless sense of dread, fear or paranoia. This is usually rooted in a lack of trust in one’s self, life or body with the limiting belief that “I’m not worthy of living a happy/stable life.” 

For trans experiences, being misgendered (misperceived) means being deeply misunderstood and unseen. It induces significant distress due to its capacity to evoke disembodied states, creating a sense of “I cannot be myself and be loved/safe,”  “I don’t know who I am,” and “there’s something wrong with me (my body).”

Disembodiment comes from the fragmentation of self, one who “performs” to the world, and the denial and/or protection of an authentic “hidden” self, such as authentic identity or emotions. The purpose is for protecting one’s self so that one can survive and stay safe. 

The brain and body protect us until the moment we are safe and secure enough to take action. We will only gain consciousness when we are able to do something with that information; this facilitates embodiment. The stifling nature of disembodiment as it relates to one’s conscious awareness of oneself will continue to drive distress, sometimes increasing until one acts in alignment with one’s truth and is one’s authentic self in the world. This includes attuning to one's bodily needs: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

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