Stanley Block

Stanley H. Block M.D.

Come To Your Senses

Healing after Trauma: Your Birthright

Start healing now.

Posted Apr 12, 2011

Man looking at an opposite emotion image
Myths About Healing

Myth One: You are a victim

Myth Two: Your traumatic experience interferes with living a normal life.

Myth Three: Healing is a long and painful process.

Realities About Healing

Reality One: You are no longer a victim

Reality Two: living your life everyday heals you after trauma.

Reality Three: Healing after trauma is you birthright.

What is Preventing Your Healing?

Is it the experience? Is it something inside of you? Were you the helpless victim? Is it something you can't control? Is it just the way the world is?

How Should the World Be?

Try the next exercise to recognize what is preventing your healing.

1. Take a piece of paper and write "How the World Should Be" in the middle of the page and draw an oval around it.
2. Next take 1-2 minutes to jot down around the oval whatever pops into your mind about how your everyday world should be. Work quickly and don't self-edit.
3. When you realize that each item might not be the case in your world right now, jot down what tensions you feel in your body, and where.

This body tension signals that healing is not taking place in your everyday life. Your mind-body disharmony marginalizes your healing power. You are continuing to feel victimized by the world.

Angry World
Feeling Stuck?

If the world is causing your distress, you are truly a victim. Our research in Mind-Body Medicine focuses on what prevents healing from naturally taking place. In the above exercise, each item that has body tension written next to it is called a Requirement. Those Requirements create a picture of how we want ourselves and the world to be. When that picture is violated, your body tenses, making it hard to heal. It is this tension—not the way the world is—that keeps you stuck in the endless loop of victimhood.

Your Birthright Is To Heal

This next exercise begins your healing.

1. Take another piece of paper and write "How the World Should Be" in the center and draw an oval around it.
2. Before you continue writing, "come to your senses." Seat yourself comfortably, listen to the background sounds, experience the pressure on your seat, feel your feet on the floor and feel the pen in your hand. If you have thoughts, gently return to the background sounds and your senses. Take your time. Once you feel settled, start writing whatever comes to mind about the topic. Watch the ink go on the paper, continue to feel the pen in your hand and listen to the background sounds. Write for 1-2 minutes.
3. The world hasn't changed. Are you experiencing your world differently now?

Family everyday activity of eating a meal

Those of you who felt a reduction in body tension and have a calmer mind have found the answer to the question: "What is preventing your healing from taking place?" It is the Requirements that keep you in the past. The past cannot heal the past! Only coming to your senses and living in the present heals.

What You Have Experienced is Mind-Body Bridging

A branch of Mind-Body Medicine called Mind-Body Bridging has a series of tools that when integrated into your life, promotes mental and physical healing after Trauma.

I'd like to hear about your experience with the two exercises.

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Block, S.H., and C.B. Block. 2010. Mind-Body Workbook for PTSD: A 10-Week Program for Healing After Trauma. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications.

Block, S. H., and C. B. Block. 2007. Come to Your Senses: Demystifying the Mind-Body Connection. 2nd
ed. New York: Atria Books/Beyond Words, Publishing.

Block, S. H., S. H. Ho, and Y. Nakamura. 2009. A brain basis for transforming consciousness with Mind-Body Bridging. Paper presented at Toward a Science of Consciousness 2009 conference, June 12, at
Hong Kong Polytechnical University, Hong Kong, China, Abstract 93.

Nakamura, Y., D. L. Lipschitz, R. Landward, R. Kuhn, and G. West. 2011 (forthcoming). Two sessions of sleep focused mind-body bridging improve self-reported symptoms of sleep and PTSD in veterans: A pilot
randomized controlled trial. Journal of Psychosomatic Research.

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