When a person experiences trauma, their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. Natural healing processes become impaired and a single traumatic event develops into chronic trauma. EMDR helps people heal from trauma symptoms by harnessing and restoring the brain’s natural healing processes.
The efficacy of EMDR is backed by a large body of clinical research and it is recognised by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, NICE, as an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, developmental trauma disorder and other trauma disorders.
EMDR protocols desensitise traumatic memory, allowing the brain to reprocess its meaning. This allows clients to naturally find a positive, adaptive comprehension of events, leading to a safe emotional and physical resolution.
EMDR functions differently from regular psychotherapy and counselling and offers the possibility of direct trauma resolution. Typically, EMDR is both effective and quick because long-term retrospective analysis is not necessary. Clients often process and resolve traumatic memories with a minimum of discussion. EMDR has transformed thousands of lives and been proven effective in a wide range of trials and studies worldwide.
Increasingly, studies and research show that specifically designed yoga practice can help manage the symptoms and effects of trauma in a healthy way, reducing dependency on drugs and other coping mechanisms. It has also proven a valuable tool for clients dealing with chronic pain and depression.
Our designed practice, addresses directly the dissociation so often connected with all forms of trauma. It supports emotional self-regulation and mood stabilisation, creating a pathway for clients to more easily come to terms with traumatic memories, reintegrate and move on with life.
Our approach is trauma-informed and a safe place for clients. The power resides within the individual, rather than the facilitator. By focusing on feelings within the body to inform choice-making, our yoga practice allows participants to restore their connection of mind and body and gradually develop a sense of agency that is often diminished as a result of trauma.
Mindfulness is an integrative, mind-body based approach that helps people better manage thoughts and feelings and improve mental health. It is widely used in a range of health care contexts. It is recommended by NICE as a preventative practice for people with recurrent depression.
Mindfulness has been shown to affect how the brain works and even its structure. People undertaking mindfulness training have shown increased activity in the area of the brain associated with positive emotion – the pre-frontal cortex – which is generally less active in people who are anxious or depressed.
Mindfulness practice helps in building a way of life that supports all forms of recovery, including, addiction, depression and trauma recovery through grounding and stabilisation as well as developing greater awareness of personal triggers and habitual reactions. It can change our relationship to discomfort, learning to recognise challenging emotional and physical experiences and responding to them positively.
Biofeedback is a drug-free and talk-free method to improve mental health. Heart Rate Variability Training is an effective programme that enables clients to influence heart rhythms. The heart is a primary generator of rhythm in the body, influencing brain processes that control the nervous system, cognitive functioning and levels of emotion. More coherent heart rhythms facilitate brain function, improving focus, creativity, intuition and higher-level decision-making. Heart Rate Variability Training has proven effective for clients with trauma related conditions and chronic anxiety where talk therapy and drugs have not worked as well as hoped.
In the past decade, following high-resolution observational studies using next-generation sequencing technologies, microbiome and metabolite profiling, gut microbiota has become closely associated with mental health.
The gut-brain axis refers to the physical and chemical connections between these organs. Millions of nerves and neurons run between a person’s gut and brain. Through this connection, neurotransmitters, chemicals and toxic biproducts produced in the gut and by gut bacteria can affect the blood-brain barrier and the brain itself. We are also learning how closely connected our biomes are and are now even understanding the presence of a brain biome. By supporting these ecosystems, improving gut health and modifying the bacterial balance within, it is possible to affect and improve mood and general mental health.
A growing body of research has found that a person’s genetic blueprint can play a role in increasing or decreasing their risk of developing various mental health conditions. A series of gene variants have been associated with alterations in neurotransmitter production and metabolism and presence of one, or many, of these variants can suggest a predisposition to certain mental health disorders. Whilst genetic testing is not diagnostic for mental health conditions and only highlights predisposition, such testing allows for personalised and effective support plans to be developed, improving a person’s brain and neurotransmitter function, and therefore mental health overall.