Trauma Healing

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.

Trauma Healing

The other day this reader, a business colleague of my husband’s, emailed to tell him that she loves my website.

Tips to Healthy Living

While a fan of my recipes, she told us she was especially into my healthy living tips.

A Five Point Healing Program for MS

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.

Boundaries Setting

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.

Stress Effects on Body

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:

One of the most important parts of my Five Point Healing Program is to keep interactions as brief as possible with people, places, and things that do not impact me in a positive manner.Elana Puma Snuggle

Practicing Positivity

An adjacent component to my Five Point Healing Plan is Practicing Positivity which I’ve written about extensively.

Healing is Not Linear

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.

Whats Wrong With Me

Stress Reduction

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.

ACEs Meaning

Are you wondering what is ACEs meaning? The answer is Adverse Childhood Experiences.

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.

How to Protect After the Neglect

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.


ACEs Charting

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.

CDC – Kaiser Permanente ACEs Study

In 1995, Kaiser Permanente and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) launched the first wave of the ACE study.

The ACEs 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

Goal of ACEs Study

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.”

ACEs Test for Trauma

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.

ACEs Test Online

You can take this quiz to find out your ACE score.

ACEs Charting

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,

Your ACEs Test Score

I have an ACE score just north of five. This makes sense when we look at the diagnoses I’ve received:

  • Celiac Disease
  • Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease
  • Lumbar Radiculopathy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Osteopenia

According to my dear friend, Donna Jackson Nakazawa, author of the book, Childhood Disrupted people with higher ACE scores have poorer health outcomes.

Trauma Psychologist

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.

Wired for Healing

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.

On Healing Trauma

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.

Trauma Healing Quotes

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.

ACEs and Your Health

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.

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paleo cooking from elana's pantryGluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook


6 responses to “Trauma Healing”

  1. Hi Elana

    Thank you for this post. I have RA and CFS and have followed your blog since I went grain free in 2008. wanted to tell you about the neuroplasticity program The Gupta Program which takes DNRS further with meditation and Internal Family Systems therapy which addresses trauma. Bessel discusses it in his book.

    Best as always

  2. With a score of 7, one would think I would be in dreadful shape. Other than lifelong upper respiratory infections, and persistent orthopedic injuries, I’m trucking along. Thank you so much for the book titles. I’m searching for them immediately. Hard as this Covid time has been, I haven’t been sick this year. I am healing from two herniated discs with emphasis on healing.

    Thanks so much for the post on stress and healing.

    • Janet, thanks for your comment! The ACE score is nurture, genetics is nature which can also play a large role in health outcomes.

      • Beautifully written. Important information. I hope many get to read this. Living with MS for 14 years now and I live the advice you are giving. It has given me the greatest freedom physically and mentally to establish boundaries away from stress (no matter the persons intention) and releasing trauma through therapy and through swimming (breathing and motion combined). Thank you! You are a light!

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