In the first part of this series on using essences for trauma I talked about what trauma is and how it affects us, key essences to help us recover from trauma, and shared some of my own experiences of using essences to move on from trauma. Read Part 1 here.
Birth can be deeply traumatic for both mother and child, and it’s something that women have historically kept silent about. Do you know your own birth story? How was that experience for your mother and for you? It’s common for there to be birth complications and physical interventions that are traumatic for mother and child but they’re not always acknowledged. Many women I’ve spoken to still feel traumatised years after giving birth. Yet we normalise this trauma – if we end up with a healthy baby in our arms, what we endured gets put to one side; stored in some wordless part of us as we cope with the reality of looking after a young baby.
And even if the birth goes well physically, I believe it’s still a huge spiritual shock for the incoming soul to transition from womb to world. They leave the warm water home of the womb and arrive into the world, often in harsh brightly lit hospitals.
There can be a type of soul loss that happens at birth where not all aspects of the incarnating soul feel safe to incarnate into earth life. This could be because of the physical environment during labour, or because of emotional impressions absorbed by the soul in utero about how welcome and wanted they are, fear about the world they are coming into or any number of other reasons why they are unable to incarnate fully.
Northern Lady’s Slipper from the Alaskan Essences is effective in the treatment of birth trauma, particularly when there is a sense that the soul has not fully incarnated. It offers a “nurturing energy for the healing of core traumas and wounds that have strongly impacted the physical and energetic structures of the body; helps us allow our bodies to be touched and healed by infinite gentleness.” Buy Northern Lady’s Slipper in the UK here, or internationally here.
Essences can be used to treat any kind of trauma that has been absorbed in utero. The foetus absorbs the mother’s emotional energy as if it was its own. What was going on emotionally for your mother when she was pregnant with you? Was there shame, fear or despair about the pregnancy? Were you planned, wanted and welcomed?
Many people I work with feel ambivalent about being here on earth in a physical body. For one reason or another, parts of the soul don’t feel the sense of safety, belonging and welcome that are esential for embodied aliveness. There are essences which speak directly to this, welcoming us into our earthly existence with love and belonging. In this way, essences can be used to support incarnating souls to fully arrive and feel safe in the world from birth.
The Alaskan Essence “Shooting Star is often indicated for those who have had a difficult birth, and can be a catalyst for the removal of pain and trauma remaining in the body from the birth experience.” Buy Shooting Star in the UK here, or internationally here.
Essences can be used to support mother and baby during pregnancy and birth and if, like my son and I, mother and child are separated for some time because the baby is in special care and/or the mother is ill, essences can help to restore that nurturing bond which was missing in the early days.
Thrift from the LightBringer Essences “supports interdependent relationships which are loving, giving, and well-balanced, and helps create strong family bonds, especially between parent and child from conception onwards.”
If essences were not used at the time of birth, they can still treat birth trauma many years later because they treat the energetic imprint of the trauma regardless of where and when it originated.
Ancestral and Family Trauma
Often the trauma goes even further back than our experiences during birth or in the womb. Many of us carry the legacy of our ancestor’s unhealed trauma, and this can cause problems physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Trauma is defined by an inability to process, release and heal from something shocking so an unintegrated energetic residue remains after the event. If trauma is not healed in the generation where it originally happened, then where is that energy going to go? Your grandfather’s war experiences, your aunt’s suicide, your mother’s depression? These ancestral traumas live on in the soul of the family. It’s now accepted that the effects of trauma are passed down through generations – this is described as ancestral or intergenerational trauma.
The human soul has a natural impulse towards healing so, like a plant reaching for the light, undigested trauma will travel to where it can be transformed. This means it usually gets absorbed by the sensitive people in the family who are most likely to notice and work with it.
Family trauma can be ancestral in nature passed down through the genes, or it can be what’s happened within our families in our own lifetimes. Perhaps it affected us directly or we absorbed the impact of it on an emotional level – abuse, neglect, deaths, divorce, mental illness, suicide and poverty can have strong emotional reverberations for the entire family, and it is the sensitive people who feel it as though it is their own. Fortunately, sensitive people also respond particularly well to essences – noticing the subtlety of their impact on their entire energy system and feeling their sense of balance and connection being restored.
LightBringer Essences Scots Pine combination “connects us with our roots, our path, our ancestors and our grounding. It helps us to settle in to our body and life, finding acceptance and peace with what Is. It helps us to know who we are at the deepest level, putting down roots which claim our space and our right to be. With the essence we can claim the right to regenerate any areas of our personal/familial history or our psyche and energy-system which do not feel owned or fully inhabited by us.”
The Role of Essences in Treating Trauma
“Trauma is not the story of something awful that happened in the past, but the residue of imprints left behind in people’s sensory and hormonal systems.” Bessel van der Kolk
To treat trauma successfully, we need to create a different sensory imprint; restoring trust, safety, presence, vitality, and what Peter Levine calls ‘goodness’.
To recover from trauma, the body needs to learn that it is now safe and able to live in the reality of the present rather than being stuck in the terror and paralysis of what happened in the past.
Essences have an intrinsic vitality, comfort and loving presence that restore these qualities within us.
They can be used immediately in shocking situations to diminish the effects on our sensitive energetic systems. Essences will help you to stay in your body so that you are present, embodied and able to process and integrate what’s happening at the time.
In the moment, essences help you to feel safe and stay present, less likely to check out, collapse or freeze and therefore more likely to respond to a shocking situation appropriately instead of becoming traumatised by it.
Like animals that quickly shake off their fear after they’ve been hunted and get on with their lives again, taking one of these combinations will help you to stay present, engaged and connected. Peter Levine’s research demonstrates that people become stronger and more resilient by successfully navigating events that could have been traumatic if responded to differently. When we have an embodied experience of feeling safe and emotionally well resourced, it develops our emotional resilience. Essences taken in times of crisis or shock help us to develop this quality of emotional resilience that trauma interferes with.
Essences can be used just as effectively long after a traumatic event has happened to address the imprint that’s been left. Essences work in the ‘here and now’ so if you’re feeling numb, dissociated and shutdown, they will help you to awaken and feel once again.
Essences support us to become present so our bodies can have the somatic experience they need to move out of shock, terror and shutdown.
In Steve Johnson’s workshop on using Alaskan Essences for trauma last year, he said that every person who heals from trauma weakens the vibration of trauma on the planet, creating a more resilient, stable and balanced vibration for us all. The collective impact of healing our trauma is huge.
Essences and the Right Side of the Brain
Something that particularly fascinates me is that studies of traumatised people show that the left side of the brain which orders and organises information shuts down, so talking about trauma or trying to make sense of it are not effective in healing from trauma.
In contrast, the right side of the brain is highly activated in trauma – this is where the sensory fragments of the traumatic experience are stored: the smells, sounds, images, colours, feelings and sensations. Successful treatment of trauma requires creating a safe space for these fragmented sensations, feelings, images and other sensory impressions to be integrated into a coherent experience.
To effectively address trauma, it makes sense to go directly to the part of the system where the traumatic imprint is stored and registered – and that’s predominantly in the right side of the brain where essences have a particular affinity.
Essences speak to our creative intuitive right brain most clearly; this is where they have the greatest impact. When I’m making an essence, the impressions of how it works come to me as a series of intuitive sensory downloads rather than logical ordered information. Essences speak to us as fragments, sensations, feelings in the body, emotional responses; as sensory impressions of music, images, lights, colours, smells.
Essences speak to us through our sensing self, directly reaching into the right brain which is where the trauma imprints remain.
In this way, essences go directly to trauma sites within the energy system replacing the painful fragments with different sensory information that is supportive, compassionate and safe.
Essences help us to create a stable container in our fragmented systems so we can become more resilient, present and embodied.
And the other piece that we must not underestimate is the gentle compassionate presence of nature that is embodied in essences. Peter Levine tells a story of being knocked down by a car and the two factors which stopped him being traumatised by the experience. One was the opportunity for his body to somatically process what happened by discharging the energy of the event, and the other was a passer-by who offered her compassionate human presence. In a gentle non-obtrusive way she was stayed present with him, offering kindness and acceptance.
Essences have this same quality of compassionate presence. They carry the intrinsic love and support of nature within them; reminding us that we are loved, we belong, and all is well. They meet us gently and compassionately reminding us that we, too, are part of nature, we are being taken care of, and we have a natural capacity to bounce back and return to centre once again. Essences remind us of our natural animal resilience and reawaken that within us, even if we have been deeply traumatised..
Gabor Mate says “trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside in the absence of an empathetic witness.”
Essences provide us with an empathetic witness to our emotional experience by meeting us with love and presence. And perhaps most powerfully, they help us to activate the empathetic witness within ourselves.
As a result, we find the safe haven within ourselves, able to meet and hold our own emotional experience. Thus soul loss and fragmention are transformed into integration and wholeness and we can begin to live life with restored joy, presence and vitality once again.
I would love to hear about your experience of using essences for trauma, or if you work with trauma and are curious about how to use essences in your work – please leave a comment below.
- Part 1 of this series on Using Essences for Trauma
- Peter Levine, In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness
- Bessel van der Kolk, The Body keeps The Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma
- Webinar: Releasing Emotional Trauma with the Alaskan Essences
- Alaskan Essences – alaskanessences.com or from healthlines.co.uk in the UK.
- LightBringer Essences
- Bach Flower Remedies and a wide range of flower and crystal essences from Crystal Herbs.