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   . chronic illness .

... If you want to know how the wind is blowing, look at the sand ...

Chaotic patterns in the sand
reflect an alignment between wind and sand,
mind and body,
and are not evidence of a problem with the sand
or the body.
Rather, such patterns demonstrate the existence of a
windstorm or other natural and extreme change in the weather.

sinus wave curves showing homeostasis

From a somatic psychology perspective, physical symptoms and chronic illness represent the long-term effects of extra-ordinary natural processes. These natural processes have been pushed to the extreme in an intelligent attempt to cope with an equally extreme situation.

When chronic illness and physical symptoms arise, they are telling us of the existence of extreme emotional weather in the recent or distant past.

In terms of mind and body, extreme weather reflects a history of emotionally overwhelming experiences such as trauma and early bonding disruptions. As a result of life-threatening experiences, the nervous system becomes conditioned to perceive its environment as threatening, and responds appropriately to this perception by using equally extreme measures of defense: such as fight, flight, or freeze (see
brain for more on the nervous system and defense strategies).

This is an intelligent response.

The work of somatic psychology involves deactivating the perception of threat, which retrains the nervous system to learn to perceive its environment accurately in order to know the difference between safety and danger today, and danger that is long past.

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© copyright 2004-2019 | Veronique Mead | all rights reserved | learn more on my active blog Chronic Illness Trauma Studies