Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Waking the Tiger
In 2003 I was working with Sarah Soltau a Rolfer in Santa Barbara, one day she suggested I should see someone in Los Angeles, she thought could really help me. By this time in my life I didn't even give it a second thought, nor did I care it was a 90 minute drive one way, so I called Raja Selvam the next day and made an appointment not really knowing what he exactly does. When I first met him he recognized me right away, I thought theirs nine million people in this city, I only know a few you must be mistaken, then he said do you know a women named Kelly from Bikram's teacher training, sure enough I do, and then I remembered Kelly had introduced us at the Teacher training party in 2000, Kelly came up to me, saying something like "you really need to meet my friend Raja", introducing him and shaking his hand. Imagine that, it still amazes me, two women, three years apart directing me to Raja Selvam.
After my first session with Raja my body started to really shake and shiver all over, and I knew from the begging I was really on to something! After a few more sessions Raja started explaining the therapy and that I was going to have to start feeling some of the pain I had stored in my nervous system from the trauma I had experienced. At first I told Raja that their is way too much pain in my body, that I am afraid to feel any of that pain as their is just too way much. Raja reassured me we would take little bits at a time.
Somatic Experiencing is a new technique that release traumatic energy from the body. Peter A Levine is the founder who wrote an excellent book on the subject called Waking the Tiger, he describes post traumatic stress disorder like this. You are hiking in the woods enjoying nature, the sunshine, the birds, the plants and suddenly you hear a rattlesnake, all of your attention narrows to the snake, you have tunnel vision on the snake and have forgotten everything else, you have become hypervigilant. Hypervilgilant people are keyed to a state of intense alertness at all times. This is how people with post traumatic stress disorder go through life with a nervous system stuck in hyperarousal. This hyperarousal manifests itself in the body with many different symptoms such as constriction, insomnia, constipation, panic attacks or a freezing state. Somatic Experiencing releases the energy trapped in your nervous system by having a therapist help you track the energy and slowly release it by letting the body shake and shiver witch is nature's way of releasing the traumatic energy, ever watch a nature show and see a gazelle escape a predator and what is does after the attack, It's able to shake all the adrenalin and trauma out of it's system, it's automatic for them, humans are much different some people are able to naturally release the energy and some need outside help, that's why some war veteran's have post traumatic stress and some don't.
When you have Post traumatic stress disorder you get fixated on things easily, when I started working with Raja and read the book Waking the Tiger, I learned what cause's PTSD and what the symptons were. I started to fixated on the amount of trauma I have had, that my parents probably have PTSD, my grandparents probably had PTSD, that the egg and sperm the created me had PTSD. Raja was able to convince me verbally and non verbally no matter how much trauma my body has been through even if it was prenatal, before I was born, that all humans bodies have the wisdom for perfect health, it just takes some time, patience and knowledgeable therapists. I have had allot of physical and mental trauma over the years and it helped me tremendously.
Here is the trauma healing website:http:www.traumahealing.com/
Here is a interview with Raja on Somtic Expercening, Click here
Here is Raja Selvam's number in L.A. 301-306-1462.