In the lead up to the FHT’s first Virtual Training Congress we have been introducing FHT members to our event speakers. This week we speak to Chris Duquemin from New Vision Therapy, based in Jersey.
In the title of my seminar talk, note that I do not use the words PTSD. For me, to consider Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) a disorder is disrespectful. It is simply the result of overstressing a neurological system. The body responded in the only way it knows how to survive – how can that be a disorder? It’s a natural, human response.
A few years back, my work changed dramatically. That was thanks partly to a phrase I read in Stanley Rosenberg’s excellent book, ‘Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve: Self-Help Exercises for Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, and Autism’. This is a simple, easy to read book that I would highly recommend it to everyone. It simply stated: “The Ventral Vagus nerve controls the top third of the esophagus.” The penny dropped, lightbulbs started to come on inside my head. I did a little more research before deciding to fly to Canada to work with Terrance Kosikar helping veterans and first responders with PTS. I met some amazing people, made new friends for life, and tested my theory on people I had no connection with.
So, what exactly had I uncovered?
I realised that it was not always one traumatic event that led to PTS, but more often than not, a cumulative effect of unresolved traumas that we pick up through our lives. This was the key. It was a snowball effect of musculoskeletal compensatory patterns in the body, each one applying pressure to the central nervous system until the body lost the ability to adapt anymore and got stuck in protective mode. At that point, the body has lost the ability to self-heal, and things like immune system, digestion, respiration and cardiac function do not operate normally. This leads to a breakdown in the chemical balance of the body, and to symptoms like panic attacks, anxiety, depression and ultimately suicidal thoughts – not to mention the physical pain they may also experience. Take that person, put them on a beach in Barbados and they will still feel tense and anxious.
My theory was fundamentally straight forward, but consisted of three different components. Independent, but inter-related, like cogs in a clock, influencing one another.
In my FHT Virtual Congress seminar I will be delving deeper into the three different components that I use to support my clients with PTS. See you there?
Buy your ticket to the FHT Virtual Congress here.
*Ticket prices: FHT student members £25, FHT members £30, non-FHT members £45