The End of Trauma

 

 

« Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving ». Albert Einstein

 

But when we have lost our balance, reacting allows us to get up at any time,

to get back on our feet and lead our life again. Even many years later.

 

What is the reaction? That’s the question.

 

 

THERE IS NO LIFE WITHOUT INTERCHANGE 

 

 

Le Geste Réactif/ Reactive Motions® is a novel therapeutic approach unlike any other.

 

This new therapy represents a considerable progress in the management of painful and disabling physical and mental manifestations that persist long after trauma. 

 

It is essential in the 21st century to finally bring together physical and psychological approaches in a synergy of common sense because the only reality is that body and psyche are a single fully integrated entity. 

 

Le Geste Réactif/Reactive Motions®, by its systemic preventive and therapeutic actions, is the reference of this new therapeutic impulse. 

 

It intensely and simultaneouslyactivates the different components of our individuality. This systemic method has been developed from a fundamental principle: “ there is no life without interchange ”.

 

Our biological activities, our emotions, our gestures, our thoughts, our memories

form a coherent set of intertwined vital exchanges.

 

These exchanges are carried out thanks to constant interactions with our environment.

 

Our psychological activity is inseparable from our biological and physical activities.

 

Understanding our psychic activity requires understanding the modalities of our biological and physical activities.

 

Our exchanges are the key to our existence, our vital balance, our autonomy, our health, our wellbeing.

 

If an exchange is not healthy to the balance of our body, our instinct for conservation moves us from a state of wakefulness to a state of alert, immediately triggering body reflexes to protect our existence from danger, and to restore our vital balance. 

 

 

Under certain conditions, quite often, our self-preservation instinct remains blocked on the alert mode. The resulting stress load disrupts our body. This is called post-traumatic stress disorder. Obstructed by our own survival mechanisms, we struggle, oscillating between frozen and restless states. Some authors have thought that this was a "death impulse". It is in fact the result of a drive whose mechanisms have jammed. 

 

 

Our body is still waiting for a solution, like a compressed coil that needs to spring in order to find a state of equilibrium. The energy destined to support our reaction to stress or trauma becomes stagnant. Body and psyche are thus both disturbed.

 

 

Then the body spasm becomes painful: we somatize and feel bad emotions. The mind interprets the frozen body state as a feeling of helplessness. These physical and psychological pains echo each other and worsen. We develop compensatory behaviours that only aggravate physical and psychological imbalances such as addictions, hyperactivity or on the contrary procrastination, violence, idealism, desire for power, excessive control...  We are suffocating in our own survival loop !

 

 

Le Geste Réactif/Reactive Motions® has the particularity of acting directly on our defense mechanisms by using the same neurological pathways that empower them. This method makes it possible to close the survival reaction, even decades later after the initial stress or trauma event, while respecting the specificity of each individual. Physical and mental pain disappear quickly, sometimes instantaneously, as do compensatory impulsive behaviours.  Autonomy, health and well-being states can finally be restored.

 

 

 

WE CAN'T PLAY AROUND WITH OUR SELF-PRESERVATION INSTINCT

 

 

Our self-preservation instinct refers to both recurring functions (regulation of nutrition, breathing, heart rate, wakefulness and sleep cycles, etc.) and occasional impulsive reactions to ward off any danger that would compromise our integrity or wellbeing.

 

 

In the event of physical and psychological shocks, our first reaction is to close off, to freeze us on our current mind and body states. We then either spontaneously emerge from this withdrawal, react and heal our wounds, or we remain deeply frozen, despite showing appearances to the contrary that sometimes deceive all external observers. Insidiously, painful spasms and contractions invade our body when irrational impulses and obsessive thoughts tame our mind. 

 

 

How can we reasonably manage this spontaneous and powerful reaction?

 

 

Under no circumstances will our survival instinct go off with simple gentle words: they are physical reactions beyond our mental control. Have you ever tried to reason with someone in panic fear, even if only in the face of a spider? In such contexts, words alone are useless. Imagine what perils we would risk if by our very thought  we could remove all our fears, therefore loosing our defensive reflexes! Natural physiological mechanisms have evolved to block this dangerous eventuality: the neurological pathways of thoughts and those of body reflexes are different. A reflex develops 100 times faster than a thought. This is very fortunate, because otherwise we would all be dead! 

 

 

There are multiple therapeutic approaches that attempt to take care of the body, the psyche alone or in combinations. Their large number testifies to their complementarity, but also to the difficulty of unlocking interlocked blockages in the body and mind, particularly after a trauma.

 

 

Some verbal therapies, such as behavioural and cognitive therapies, can identify, understand and predict situations that trigger inappropriate behaviour. However, these therapies take a long time and uncertain in their outcomes because they are based on a principle of consciousdeconditioning/reconditioning of behaviours locked by an instinct of conservation.

 

 

Relaxation and meditation methods attempt to fight against our inappropriate behaviours. However, their benefits are limited to a certain context. If during a deep meditation a danger occurs (even a burn), the meditative state would immediately give way to bodily defensive reflexes. Similarly, our vivid memories unexpectedly catch up with us when, through a resonance effect, they echo a similar current situation. What can the mind and education really do in the face of the vividness of an organism alert?

 

 

Traditionally placing our minds at the top of our existence, led us to believe that our thinking and verbal language would have the ability to control our emotions, and this has remained the fundamental tenet of many therapies until now. However this is like trying to cut off a fire alarm by the force of the mind alone. Our life is manifested and realized above all by movements, which support our exchanges. Common sense is thus to first remove the alert by reacting physically, then talk about it, not the reverse as is commonly practised.

 

 

The language of our instinct for conservation is that of the animal - certainly human - that we are, that is to say a natural physiological reflex. Is the hand removed from the fire after discussion or reflection? Do we dive into the water thinking about cutting our breath? Do we breathe 15,000 times a day by controlling each breathing movement? The clear answer is no, as it would be totally useless and prevent us from conducting many of our daily activities. All our reflexes work instantly before any conscious mental elaboration takes place. The memory of a blocked survival reflex is founded on the same principle. Our past is only present when it triggers an emotion. We are always shaped by all our previously lived moments.

 

When a reflex reaction blocks our life, there is only one other reflex reaction that can unblock it.

 

 

TO REDISCOVER THE DESIRE TO LIVE, THE DESIRE TO LOVE

 

 

Le Geste Réactif/Reactive Motions® has been designed, developed and tested by combining multiple data sources  from physiology, neurosciences, anthropology, philosophy, sociology and relativistic physics.

 

The Geste Réactif/Reactive Motions® is a common sense gesture in total adequacy with our physiology. Its mode of action highlights four fundamental points:

 

 

- We live by what we love. Love is the essential condition for our autonomy and self-determination. 

 

- Our existence contains the sum of everything we have experienced. Thus, what we experience at each moment depends intimately on how we have lived in the past.

 

- An event considered dangerous can freeze us, altering our ability to adapt. This leads to violent compensation, with changes in our biology and behaviour.

    

- This phenomenon may be reversible, under certain conditions.

 

 

Man lives by what he loves. Just as the verb organizes the sentence, love orchestrates our life and balances humanity. To live without love destroys us. There are many well known examples described across various cultures, scientific and biomedical disciplines. However, little is known about the phenomena that trigger this reversal. In all cases, our survival mechanisms are altered. Blocked on alert, our body remains hyper vigilant. We are suffocating in our survival loop. Strange paradox isn’t it ?. What else can we do but fight or give up? This is how we are tempted to adopt multiple compensation strategies. The worst course of actions can then develop: violence, addictions, suffering, depression, idealism become the norm of our life oscillating between frozen and agitated states.

 

 

Let's transpose: would it only be possible to continue our journey correctly, crushing both the accelerator and the brake permanently, with an inflated airbag under the eyes? No, arriving at the right destination requires coherent movements and an unobstructed view of our healthy path.

 

Our life develops between the infinitely large and the infinitely small, in tune with the rhythm of days and nights, inspiration and exhalation, hunger and satiety, and so on. Imbued with dualities, we live at the crossroads of extremes. Neither too much nor too little : this is the moderate balance that leads us to love our life, others, everything. Water flows from a spring when it is neither ice nor steam. Such is life.

 

 

Love guides our choices. This word and verb begins its career modestly with a qualitative appreciation of the smallest exchange to nourish our being. It leads to fullness, to fulfillment. Its absence leads to emptiness, or to too many dark counterproductive compensations. 

 

 

When our lives carry the weight of what we have missed, they curl up, choke, sink. That is the whole meaning of Paul Valéry's sentence:

 

 

        " The truest thing about an individual, and the most true about himself, is his ability, which his story reveals only in uncertain form. “

 

 

This is the whole meaning of Le Geste Réactif/Reactive Motions®: to close our uncertain memories, to rediscover the reactive fluidity of our body and the course of our healthy life.

 

Then, everything becomes possible again, for the good of each and everyone of us.

 

 

 

 

Bertrand Boutron 

Vice President of EISBM eisbm.org

European Institute for Systems Biology & Medicine

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LE GESTE RÉACTIF

 

Green String Network 

Nairobi, KENYA, 16th March 2019

 

Bertrand BOUTRON

Author of the method

 

 

 

 

 

1/ Trauma, a difficult victory to live with 

 

 

There are words whose meaning seems so obvious that we sometimes forget what they mean. Trauma is one of them. It means both the trigger and what this trigger triggers. I’m talking as a therapist. The story remains. A person who is traumatized can get healed bearing in mind that :  

 

Trauma is not a failure. 

Trauma is not a story. 

Trauma is not an isolated psychological or physical injury.

 

 

Trauma refers to a biological, physiological, psychological and behavioural dysfunctional state. It is triggered in a dangerous way, and done once or on a repeated time.. For the individual, it is  a consequence of a physical and mental alert once the danger has passed.

 

They involve physiological process. These are reflexes. They constitute what is called the instinct of self-preservation. Emotions and pain are the conscious expression of these reflexes, showing biological and physiological disturbances. 

 

These reflex and mental manifestations modify the individual's behaviour.

 

 Analogically speaking, it’s like burning again once the fire is extinguished.  

 

Why isn’t trauma a failure? 

 

A trauma is not a failure but a victory. It happens only once it has survived its trigger   It is the unpleasant consequence of the success. 

 

Same for disruptions to the organism , which would give them a definitive character. It is possible to heal them.

 

The main definition of an organism is self-organization. It produces mobility.  It is a mobile system open to its environment. It sets up  internal and external exchanges in constant interaction with the latter. It is made and developediny absorbing and metabolizing a choice of elements drawn from the outside. Self-organization means mobility, interactivity, reactivity, adaptation. Autonomy corresponds to a reactive physical and mental capacity. Self-determination is the ability to make choices, to organize thoughts, gestures, actions, up  to the extent of its physiology.

 

Trauma affects the ability of biological self-organization, thus autonomy and individual self-determination. 

 

Why isn’t trauma a story?

 

Trauma will never be   a story, but a particular reaction of a person to the dangerous event. The story is only narrative.. Trauma is a pathology.

 

A traumatized person frequently assimilates himself/herself to the story that triggered his/her troubles. The story, whatever it is, is nothing in itself. It is not f traumatic. It becomes traumatic because of its consequences on people

 

This distinction is important. Assimilating oneself to the history of the trauma reinforces the feeling and maintain an unstable state. The story relates to.a completely closed event. But if the person refers to this event,, she will be absorbed and frozen into it  and won’t be healed yet . If the person dissociate himself/herself from their story he/she will realize she/he is alive. Living means being mobile, having the ability to react, heal, adapt.

 

Being healed from trauma means to be untied from the story and its triggers..  It is never to forget. You can remember without being absorbed by memories. You are getting back autonomy and self-determination.

 

Why is trauma not only psychological or physical damage?

 

As individuals, we can speak of two worlds, the biological world and the cognitive world..  They are, in constant link with our material and social environment each in their own way.. These two worlds are intimately intertwined to form only one. However their language and logic are different. 

 

In our biological world, we do not know where we were born, who is our family,, where we live, etc. From memories, it produces other memories. Our plasticity is related e to our life, up to certain thresholds. These thresholds show the body's tolerance limit. They define a relatively stable state that allows the development of our existence (this is what we call homeostasis).Its quality expresses  itself to our consciousness. We feel well when we experiment our constant biological world be maintained, otherwise we feel uneasy. The logic of our biological world is impulsive. It concerns the maintenance of our existence and its transmission.

 

Our cognitive world knows nothing of the multiple biological interactions that animate us. It works in an analogical, dialogical and logical way: it refers to lived experiences, compares them to others, elaborates and invents things from these experiences. It leads to choice, and self-determination. 

 

The ability to choose is immediately inhibited in case of alert.. Body reflex manifestations become a priority. 

 

In summary:

 

Our biological activities, our emotions, our gestures, our thoughts, our memories form a coherent set of intertwined vital exchanges.

 

These exchanges are carried out thanks to constant interactions with our environment.

 

Our psychological activity is inseparable from our biological and physical activities.

 

To understand our mental activity we need to understand the modalities of our biological and physical activities.

 

 

Talking about psychological trauma or physical trauma is a misjudgement. It means isolating what you can’t separate. Whatever the triggering event and the apparent symptoms are, a traumatized person is always physically and morally affected, with varying proportions depending on the trigger nature

 

Healing from trauma means simultaneously mobilizing all the components of the individual. In order to simultaneously stimulate all the functions of an individual, it is necessary to use the fastest entry route. It is undoubtedly that of the reflex. Indeed, on the neuro-physiologically basis, it is about a hundred times faster than their thought. This reaction will also affect the cognitive functions.

 

Le Geste Réactif achieves this positive integration. This is a retroactive emerging phenomenon: a reflex reaction is associated with symptoms, which disables the reflex cause of the symptoms.