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Trauma Release Body-Mind Processing

by Louis A Gross BSEE(more info)

listed in bodywork, originally published in issue 86 - March 2003


Trauma Release Body-Mind Processing is a set of very well established, school trained methods that remove upsetting emotional energy and chronic tension that gets stuck in our bodies during traumatic events. These can include childhood or adult abuse, loss of a loved one, auto and other serious accidents, natural disasters, financial debacles, upsetting divorces, muggings, rapes, shootings and times of war. It also includes traumas at birth and even what happened to mother and foetus during the pre-natal period. It is a well-developed system with a successful track record, which permanently removes the residues of specific traumatic events, or a series of events, from the body, along with their accompanying thoughts, emotions and flashbacks. It creates much quicker and more satisfying improvements in psychological well-being and personal development than bodywork or psychological methods alone.

The embedded energies include the thoughts, feelings, speech and actions of ourselves, and of all the people around us during those specific traumatic events. At the time, it is as if we were a sponge and sopped up all the energy from the area surrounding us.

Patient receives treatment

The result is that stressful energy and tension actually gets stuck in the tissues of our bodies and is even more significant than the mental memories we usually consider with regard to trauma. These are physical things stuck inside us, so they 'keep alive' the same discomforts, emotional upsets, and negative feelings and thoughts we had during the actual event. The actual event is over, but we carry the energetic 'imprint' of a lot of the energy that was generated in that event. This means that our 'baggage' is not so much mentally psychological, but rather, something foreign we picked up that continues to pollute and restrict us until we use special techniques to dissolve it out of our bodies.

Therefore, the effects of our traumas can go on for days, weeks and even years after the original incidents are over. In fact, these energies and behaviours 'transfer' themselves onto other people and events in our lives, and that causes problems for us, and in our relationships. It can even keep drawing the same kinds of problematic people into our life. It isn't that 'we' are mentally doing it, as we're usually taught in psychology. We might become mentally aware that we are repeating some of the same old behaviour, even that we're hooked on it, but what is really happening is that the energies themselves are very strong and sometimes they are running our lives.

This is one of the major reasons people continue to suffer or 'fall off a recovery programme', even though they're getting good counselling and psychotherapy. The problem is that 'the episodes' are still happening for the person, inside themself, at the same time as the therapy is trying to help him or her recover and develop new behaviours. When the tense energy residue is removed, psychological therapy, NLP and other behavioural improvement methods usually work better. People are even more open to getting better and their body-mind systems incorporate the improvements better.

Most, and often all, the negative phobias, upsets and fears that had been operating from those events literally go away. Most people can then see the details of what happened more clearly, yet the emotional charge is gone and they no longer get upset about it. Even flashbacks and daily suicidal thoughts have permanently gone away. And many people even start drawing better people and circumstances into their lives. They usually become more open, understanding, compassionate and reasonable. Studies have shown that physiology, metabolism and the actual frequencies of the tissues are healthier.

What Are The Methods and What Do They Do?

My system of Trauma Release Body-Mind Processing combines three of the most well-established and successful methods to simultaneously remove both accumulated physical tension and traumatic emotional energy out of the body. These are physiologist Ida P. Rolf's Structural Integration Method of Connective Tissue Manipulation, psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich's body oriented psychological therapy and psychotherapist Morris Netherton's method of past traumatic event release techniques. Each method has been in use for 30-60 years. I also employ some energy and movement techniques, and offer nutritional and self-awareness meditative instruction.

The removal is mostly non-traumatic, often very relaxing, and the person remains conscious and alert. Whatever is removed no longer exists and that amount of significant improvement lasts forever.

By combining these three principle methods, I've found that there is a much better resolution, in much faster time, than by using any one or two methods alone.

And while I cannot do the hands-on bodywork at a distance, I still have great success giving just Reichian-Netherton-Energy Work sessions on the phone. I also have the person do special 'bodywork' stretching and emotional release movement processes before and during the sessions. And people can get the bodywork or deep massage in their local areas, which helps a lot. (I have a booklet about how to do that.)

Sometimes, there is so much chronic or recent traumatic energy coming out of the body that a number of hours processing can be done right away with only the Reichian-Netherton-stretching phone sessions.

Specific events, with their on-going chaos, are often easy to clear up. One 19-year-old totally recovered from a week old shooting incident in just 11/2 hours while I sat across the room and coached him. In three hours by phone, a 40-year-old massage therapist removed about two inches deep of traumatic 'overwhelm' coming out of her body from abusive childhood incidents. She was immediately much calmer and clearer.

Of course, ife long patterns take many more hours to clear up. A social worker - nurse/distance runner took 25 hours to remove years of physically imbedded tightness, cleared up unfinished business of childhood, and said she had become much more loving, compassionate and self-confident in her work. Significantly, abusive childhoods take the most time simply because there's so much material that has got pressed inside the person. But lasting improvements start happening in the first hour and the person gets increasingly much better from each session, and in phases, as they do 10, 20 and 30 hours.

Besides people coming to me in our local area, I have often arranged one, two or even four week visits in which I do the whole set of methods, add life direction counselling, teach and practise yoga, stretching and meditation, and also do both Body-Mind or just physical or stress release bodywork treatments for their family members and friends.

Structural Integration Bodywork

Surrounding and going through all our muscles, and underneath all our skin is a fibrous, putty-like tissue called fascia. Fascia is the soft connective tissue of the body that fills in spaces and holds things together. In all our muscles, the fascia wraps up the muscle fibres and then connects the muscles to our bones through the tendons. When we work out athletically, the fibres in the fascia get pushed closer and closer together and that restricts our muscles' lengths to move and our joints' flexibility and range of motion. We then have reduced physical abilities and reduced emotional expressiveness. Bodywork alone makes vast improvements here in just a few hours.

Fascia has two significant features pertinent to Trauma Release. First, the fibres bunch-up if they're pushed together from our own tense physical and emotional contraction, and from blows received, falls and scar tissue from surgeries. From then on, this shortened tissue, which forms wrappings around and through all our muscles, holds the muscles in a shortened form. We are then shaped in the constricted form of our past events.

Second, the fascia's collagen fibres also absorb and store the energies of our traumatic events and ongoing stress, even for years and decades after the actual events themselves, much in the same way as magnetic tapes and CD's do. We also absorb emotional energies into other areas of our bodies. So our contracted shape also includes the negative energies of other people who harmed us, as well as the emotions we ourselves generated.

Thus, besides now carrying the embedded emotional trauma, we also end up looking and feeling physically the way our stress created us.

Structural Integration Bodywork manipulations restore the fuller, physical shape, and in the process, push on the collagen fibres, which causes them to release their negative energies. We thereby erase some of the tapes and reorganize the physical structure into a healthier psychological one as well as a healthier and more capable physical one.

This is a cumulative process. We become increasingly better; we are simultaneously becoming larger and more mature than our negative issues, while the size of the tension and emotional trauma actually gets smaller. This, in itself, is a big improvement over verbal, hypnotic and emotional release therapies alone because, with these, the person is trying to access material and process it out with the same less capable physical state of being.

Reichian Body-Oriented Psychological Methods

Wilhelm Reich MD, a student of Sigmund Freud MD (who was known as the 'Father of Psychoanalysis'), was an Austrian psychiatrist who eventually came to the United States to practise and teach. He found that the location of the subconscious mind that Freud talked about, was located in the body as chronically tight muscles combined with held in emotional energies.

The chronic tightness is the form our bodies grow into when we have been restricted or hurt and have pulled in to protect ourselves. Also embedded are the fears and the emotions of disappointment, abandonment, repression, hopelessness and even sorrow and guilt. We develop these forms, with their locked-in energies, during various time frames of our lives, but particularly create them during the difficult experiences of childhood, from birth to age seven, as we grow up through our basic stages of psychological development.

To be psychologically healthy, we must have acceptance, our needs being met, we must not being manipulated or abusively controlled, have close relations that allow for individual freedom and experience mutual commitment and acknowledgment. But we all get blocks at some of these stages. Our muscles are chronically held partially tight and, right in the muscle area, we have the emotional charge of the incidents that define the pattern of our blocks. We run into specific instances and long-term patterns where these parts of our relationships were dysfunctional in the past and became physically fixated as uncompleted activities in the world.

Besides helping us to remove specific trauma, even from adult incidents, Reich's method works to clear up these lifelong restrictions in personal development. And what actually happens, when the restrictions are removed, is that most people 'catch up' with these areas in their adult lives relatively quickly.

Reich's body technique uses deep breathing to push to consciousness the emotional energies from within the body's inner emotional energy system, and from the specific muscles as well. The person is also encouraged to increase the muscle's tension or intensify the urge to hit, cry or move that was held back during the original, restricting episodes. The muscles are allowed to make the full movements that had been incomplete. This will break apart the restricted muscular tension and release the held in emotional energy from the past.

However, Reich, although being a medical doctor, didn't know that we could spread and re-lengthen the fascial part of the muscles, and that in itself would both remove a lot of the emotional charge and chronic muscular tension.

So the Reichian techniques and understanding can be combined with Structural Integration Bodywork or what I call my 'Bodywork - Fascial Stretching'. It is then much easier and faster to free the tense muscles that were holding in all these feelings. The freer musculature also enables us to express the deeper inner emotions much more fully and more completely, with a lot less trauma and strain to 'us' than in standard Reichian methods alone.

This energetic release improves the actual structural change from just the bodywork, too, because it removes energies that just don't come out with the hands-on or stretching alone. Further, the old contracting energies keep us re-tightening even after we've done the fascial connective tissue manipulations or stretched. So when we remove them along with re-lengthening the old fascial shape, we get a much longer lasting improvement as well as a more thorough and satisfying one.

We can now go a very big step further by adding the Netherton "Accessing" and Release methods.

Netherton's Trauma Release Methods

Los Angeles psychotherapist, Morris Netherton PhD, developed a system to access and release the unconscious energies in the body, very precisely, using pictures and other information, without hypnosis, and more completely than hypnosis. The technique greatly increases the thoroughness and ease of the Reichian techniques and adds other psychological improvements.

What we do is focus on what we're experiencing while we're upset about a current situation; the emotional feelings, body sensations, mental thoughts and verbal words that are going on. When we do this, the content of those energies, or stored 'videotapes', comes to our conscious minds. We can then find the past, more serious, yet similar experiences that are activated by events in current life. This energy can then be expressed out of our bodies by saying the words that define the things all the people in those episodes were saying, feeling and doing. We express those statements as if they were each person speaking right now.

We go through the episodes line-by-line and scene-by-scene. The person processes the energies out of the body by verbally expressing each action in a present tense statement, as if the person in the scene was an actor on a stage.

As we express what the energies in each episode are saying, every activity and spoken statement of what happened then dissolves out of the body. For instance, we tighten up as we did during the trauma and we simultaneously say the sentences of the people harming us. This removes that whole picture frame. Or, we feel the tension in our chest and say the words of what the sorrow in there wants to say. As we proceed, we get in contact with the next point in the experience and with the deeper layers of emotion of all the parties involved.

In addition, because Netherton's technique releases the energies by having us actually say the sentences 'the energies' are 'saying', we get to remove our unconscious, limiting 'belief systems' at the very same time we are removing the emotional charge. The statements of the past experiences' energies 'report' what that experience is like, and what it meant to us at the time. But once the words got stored inside us, they become filters and unconscious commands that interpret similar current events as if they are the old event. That keeps us stuck in the same old patterns.

Further, as we are going through the Netherton process and are releasing old trauma, we simultaneously get to see the exact causes of our patterns. We get to see the embedded statements of our traumas from the past that have been repeating themselves in our own behaviours and statements. And we see how the embedded scenario of the old circumstances causes our whole pattern of repeating events.

This is different from most verbal psychotherapy in which we talk 'about what happened. In that method, we use our reasoning, conscious minds to reflect upon the experiences and to analyse our behaviours. This is an important step, but one that cannot remove the material.

In the Netherton method, we are not describing and we are not making affirmations. We are allowing the old, trapped experiences themselves to be completed by letting the energies say now what they wanted to say then. We bring to consciousness what other people said and did to us and also complete their emotional expression. This ends the experiences by completing and dissolving away all their energies.

Specific adult traumas are easily removed with the Netherton method combined with bodywork and Reichian techniques. In just one to four hours, I have helped people get over shootings, natural disasters, serious accidents, war battles, rapes, bad divorces and the traumatic loss of a parent or child. After the processing, they remembered the incidents very clearly but these had to become 'in the past' for them so they no longer hindered their going forward with their current lives. They also became happier, lighter and mentally clearer.

People always get a certain amount of permanent relief when the adult traumas are removed. But we also often find that the emotional patterns associated with those experiences are linked to traumatic and stressful childhood, infancy, birth and pre-natal experiences. When these are connected to, and also released in the session, the emotional clearing is more complete and the person feels even more deeply relaxed and 'normal'.

So we do really have a 'stack' of 'videotapes', from different time frames, each one expressing the same pattern of emotions and tension. We are obviously not trying to correct past circumstances, but rather, we are removing a particular energy pattern that uses each circumstance in our lives to re-manifest its negative energies. What we do is remove the major episodes, or movie remakes, of the related circumstances, and that both dissolves away the emotional charge and the belief system 'sentences'. We no longer have these 'things', that have been telling us, unconsciously, that the world is still the same way as were our past stressful traumas.

The Netherton process thus takes Reich's understanding back further and enables us to clear more completely the amount of stuck energy related to our issue. Our chronically tight muscles and embedded trauma start getting formed even before birth. While we cannot mentally remember the actual episodes from these early times, their energies are still located in our bodies. By using the Netherton method, we can access and release all their energies, too. The words that our mother felt, thought and said while we were inside her are actually very significant elements that set up many of our patterns. With Netherton, we can even remove belief statements put into us by other people when we have been unconscious, such as during operations.

Note that with this unravelling, we don't have to remove everything that ever happened to us, and we don't have to spend a lot of time analysing our whole childhood. We just have to remove the 'most significant events'. And many times, that's only the specific event that we're conscious of.


  1. Althia Jeffrey said..

    I am looking for a treatment that I can use to help releive the tension in my mind resulting from a traumatic experience that I encountered on the job. I have since retired but my blood pressure is controlled with 3 different medications . My goal is to reduce the medication down to one

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About Louis A Gross BSEE

Louis A. Gross, BSEE has been a Certified Master Level Postural Integrator and Netherton style Body-Mind therapist since 1985. He is the Director of The Institute for Enhanced Performance and has over 2000 hours experience in Bodywork, Body-Mind Therapy, Energy Healing and Nutritional Education since 1982 and over 30 years intensive spiritual and meditation practice. The author is an electronics engineer who once worked on the space shuttle programme and now does 'People Engineering'. He combines his broad and in-depth knowledge with a loving, understanding heart, deep intuitive skills and 20 years professional hands-on and verbal experience. Specialities include correction of chronic back and other pains and deep tightness, significant athletic and professional business performance improvements, seniors' mobility and flexibility improvements, psychological trauma and negative pattern removal and personal and interpersonal development. He can be reached on Tel: 001 310-299-5873;;

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