I’ve been thinking quite a bit about trauma healing lately. When a reader reached out, I knew it was the right time to write about it.
The other day this reader, a business colleague of my husband’s, emailed to tell him that she loves my website.
While a fan of my recipes, she told us she was especially into my healthy living tips.
She named my Five Point Healing Program for dealing with MS and other health issues as her favorite.
This business colleague also noted a part of my healing plan she was struggling with.
It’s probably the one that most of us with health challenges wrestle with. Can you guess what it is –boundaries.
Setting boundaries is something many of us struggle with, but when you add in medical challenges, this friction becomes unmeasurable.
If you’re dealing with health issues, you are dealing with excess stress.
As I stated over a decade ago, this makes implementing healthy and healing boundaries critical:
An adjacent component to my Five Point Healing Plan is Practicing Positivity which I’ve written about extensively.
Sometimes, though it’s just not possible to be positive.
I often say that healing is not linear, it happens in little bursts where we go forward and backward, so it’s important that we are gentle with ourselves and minimize stress.
MS is a disease of the nervous system, so for me, and others with autoimmune disorders, reducing stress is absolutely critical when it comes to the healing process.
Some of our stress may be imprinted from the past. That’s where the term ACEs comes in.
Are you wondering what is ACEs meaning? The answer is Adverse Childhood Experiences.
For those of you dealing with severe health issues like I am, it’s likely you have not a high ACE score, but a very high ACE score.
This is all the more reason to avoid people who are aggressive (especially those who are passive-aggressive) and to shelter your nervous system from those who have a negative impact upon you.
Side note: this is critical regardless of what the other person’s intention may be.
Did you know that by calculating your ACE score you and can “quantify” your trauma?
It’s not quite that simple but still, taking the ACE test can be a good wake-up call.
In 1995, Kaiser Permanente and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) launched the first wave of the ACE study.
This study collected data from more than 17,000 people.
The ACEs study is one of the largest investigations into childhood abuse and neglect, as well as household challenges, and their subsequent impact upon later life health and well being.1
According to Prevent Childhood Abuse America, “The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study assesses the effects of child abuse and related adverse childhood experiences as a public health problem.”
Those of us with high ACE scores are even more sensitive to negative experiences and interactions.
Why? Because we’ve had so much exposure to them, and were not given the protection a child needs.
You can take this quiz to find out your ACE score.
According to the website ACEs Too High.
The CDC’s ACE Study uncovered a stunning link between childhood trauma and the chronic diseases people develop as adults.
This includes heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes and many autoimmune diseases, as well as depression,
I have an ACE score just north of five. This makes sense when we look at the diagnoses I’ve received:
According to my dear friend, Donna Jackson Nakazawa, author of the book, Childhood Disrupted people with higher ACE scores have poorer health outcomes.
Talk therapy may or may not be helpful for addressing ACEs, as part of the problem with trauma is that it is lodged in the limbic system and is frequently activated, repeated, and re-experienced when verbalized.
A good trauma psychologist will know how to address trauma with minimal activation.
Sometimes programs like Dynamic Neural Retraining System work for trauma. In other cases, it may not work.
I highly recommend investigating it by checking out the book, Wired for Healing, by Annie Hopper.
Addressing trauma is an intense process. Ideally, the trauma has stopped occurring when you work on healing it.
Opening yourself up to healing, while in the middle of repeated trauma activation may be more challenging.
Again, just another reason to distance yourself from stressful people, places, and things.
Here is one of my favorite trauma healing quotes:
“It is ok if all you did today was breathe.”
And here are several other trauma healing quotes.
Have you taken the ACE quiz? If you have, how did you fare?
Does your score correlate to your adult physical and mental health outcomes? Leave a comment and let me know.