Choosing the Most Effective Interventions for Healing Sexual Trauma

Choosing the Most Effective Interventions for Healing Sexual Trauma

During the thirty years that I have been in practice, I have observed and worked with thousands of people in group settings and individually addressing a wide range of psychological and physiological issues. Sexual trauma is by far one of the most insidious and devastating forms of traumatic experience.

People tell me about the various healing modalities they are making use of such as EMDR (Eye Movement Reprocessing and Desensitization), acupuncture, body work, herbal and dietary approaches, etc. All of these approaches have a positive impact in that they help to facilitate the healing process, but they only go so far.

I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to train with one of the last surviving traditional doctors (medicine men) among the Kiowa Indian tribe. I started developing the ability to observe the various processes taking place in people’s bodies and minds as a result of the intensive training. I have been making these observations on a daily basis for many years now. I see the changes taking place as a result of the healing modalities people chose to work with. I also see what is not changing or healing. My greatest concern arises from the fact that the vast majority of people never fully heal from the sexual trauma.

Nourishing the physical body with a Macrobiotic, Ayurvedic diet, other healthy food choices and ancient traditional medicine can help to mitigate the emotional, biochemical and other aspects of physical imbalance. These approaches can help to take the edge off by creating a greater sense of balance and stability, but they do not heal the actual trauma.

Acupuncture harmonizes and nourishes the body’s internal organs by encouraging the life force to flow to the various internal organs through the meridians. But it doesn’t facilitate the processing of the emotions or healing of the trauma.

Therapeutic massage can have a balancing effect on the body’s organs and systems. It moves the unprocessed emotion, stagnant life force and physical toxins trapped in various parts of the body. It can also bring a lot of emotion and memories to the surface that cannot be fully processed when a person doesn’t have the resources needed to do so.

Psychotherapy can provide an intellectual understanding of why people who have been sexually abused suffer so terribly. A good therapist can listen and validate one’s suffering. They can offer strategies to help one cope more effectively with their emotions and the challenges of everyday life. People can go through years of psychotherapy and come out with a greater intellectual understanding and yet they often remain deeply traumatized. They continue to suffer the hypervigilance, flashbacks and other intrusive symptoms because they’re not processing or healing the trauma.

I’ve looked into the bodies and minds of individuals suffering as a result of being sexually abused that were doing EMDR. I could see a lot of the traumatic content breaking up, but then there was this void. Their bodies and minds didn’t have the capacity to build the new infrastructure needed to replace the old traumatic structures that were breaking apart as a result of the EMDR sessions. People I’ve observed that have only done EMDR still had that very raw edge about them. They weren’t able to process much of the traumatic emotional content that was being dislodged. EMDR can be highly beneficial to those who have suffering sexual and other forms of trauma. But it needs to be done in conjunction with other modalities that will mitigate any physiological reactions and facilitate the processing of any traumatic or other emotional content that surfaces.

I first began to work to facilitate the healing of individuals who had experienced sexual trauma when I was in my late twenties. There is no one healing modality by itself that will heal sexual trauma. It’s important to combine a number of different practices and healing modalities. I encourage the people I work with to do other healing modalities in conjunction with the individual healing sessions. I’m always monitoring the changes within people’s bodies whenever I work with them. I can distinguish the changes resulting from other practices or modalities. And I can see the changes that are specific to the individual healing sessions that I’m facilitating.

Sexual trauma can be especially devastating. The body-mind of a child or adolescent does not possess the resources that would enable them to fully process these kinds of traumatic experiences. The trauma and subsequent emotions are stored within the body where they incubate over time. That causes profound changes in the biochemistry and neurostructure of the brain.

To compound matters even further, past traumas and the highly charged emotional content stored within the body causes us to attract people and experiences that retraumatize us. And that reinforces or adds to old wounds while creating new ones.

The chakras and layers of the aura help to maintain the structure and functions of the body’s internal organs and systems. The chakras and aura of people that have experienced sexual trauma often have a very dissonant quality. That dissonance contributes to their feelings of emotional overwhelm and instability. On one hand there are all of these overwhelmingly intense emotions. Matters are further compounded by the fact that they do not possess the faculties that would enable them to process what they’re feeling. This dissonance has a hugely adverse effect upon all the internal organs and systems. And that accounts for many of the digestive, reproductive, hormonal and other physiological issues that adult survivors of sexual trauma experience.

The body-mind is in many ways like the hard drive of a computer. It stores the impressions of our life experiences and all of the subsequent emotions that we are not able to process. Our emotions make up a whole bandwidth of our consciousness. Part of our consciousness holds on to the highly charged emotions that we experience in response to sexual and other forms of trauma.

The highly charged intrusive emotions resulting from sexual trauma that are stored in the body stagnate, becoming very toxic. This intrusive emotional content can sometimes feel like a pervasive heat or infection within the body. A number of the people I have spoken with and that I have worked with individually have told me they feel sick and emotionally overwhelmed much of the time. They often feel anxious, upset and have a harsh and raw emotional edge.

Healing from sexual trauma can be a long and arduous process. Some will experience diarrhea or nausea after the initial healing sessions as the body goes through a cleansing process. The healing process becomes much easier over time as the body is cleansed of toxicity, the backlog of emotional residue is digested and the infrastructure is built that provides strength and stability.

Some individuals become very resistant to the healing process when difficult emotions surface or if they experience any physical discomfort as the body cleanses itself of toxicity. Resistance to experiencing one’s feelings can be so strong that it prevents some people from ever healing. It is often the case that people who are not able to work through this resistance will continue to carry the debilitating traumatic wounds for the remainder of their lives.

I experienced a great deal of resistance to the overwhelmingly painful emotions that I felt when the traumas of my own childhood and adolescence surfaced during my mid-twenties. My resistance to the uncomfortable and painful emotions left parts of me in a state of internal paralysis and that was preventing me from healing. I had to teach myself to let down all resistance and experience the full range of feeling and physical sensations so that the deep emotional wounds could heal.

I feel tremendous concern for those I work with that have suffered as a result of past traumatic experiences because I know all too well the consequences of not healing these wounds. Healing the traumas of my past and facilitating healing in many others has given me a sense of what is possible. I spend a great deal of time connecting the dots for the people I work with by explaining the healing process taking place. I keep encouraging them to take that next step and the next and the next because I know with absolute certainty that the work we’re doing will facilitate the healing of the sexual abuse trauma.

Native Americans and people of other indigenous cultures did not have access to the modern medical interventions that we rely upon today. It was common for people to go through intensive practices such as the vision quest, a traditional native healing practice that involves going out alone to fast for four days and nights alone in the mountains without food or water. It was during the vision quest that they received various gifts or powers such as those that facilitated healing within the body and mind. Those who received the special gifts or powers allowed other forces or beings to work through them to facilitate healing that would not have otherwise been possible. My mentor Horace passed on portions of his own healing gifts to me during the time of my apprenticeship. Since that time I have gone on numerous vision quests in order to further develop in my capacity as a healer.

I can see and feel the presence working through me during the individual healing sessions gradually transforming the traumatic and other highly charged and stagnant emotional content stored within the body in such a way that they can be digested and then integrated. The wounded parts of self can then heal and become a functional part of an individual.

The presence working through me during the individual sessions facilitates a massive restructuring within the body and mind. They dismantled the old dissonant structures in the subtle bodies consisting of the chakras and layers of the aura. New infrastructure is built that facilitates the healthy functioning of the body’s internal organs and systems. A lot of corrective work is being done to effect changes within the brain’s biochemical makeup and neurostructure. Repair and regenerative work also takes place within the internal organs.

Consistency is crucial to healing because there’s a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done to heal the body — mind of an individual who has suffered as a result of being sexually abused. It can some instances take up to a few years of intensive work to heal sexual trauma. I usually recommend that the sessions be done at two week intervals. The healing process can be accelerated by doing sessions on a weekly basis. Although some people who are highly sensitive may initially have to space the sessions out to once a month, because it takes them that long to process everything that happens as a result of the healing sessions.

People that have not had the opportunity to experience the healing interventions practiced by Native Americans and other indigenous peoples have no point of reference for the process I’m describing. Many people are not willing to do something they’re unfamiliar with unless someone they know and trust recommends it to them. That’s really unfortunate because many people who have experienced sexual trauma will not heal without this form of healing intervention.

I initially flailed in the dark and at times felt incapacitated when the traumas of my childhood and adolescence began to surface during my mid-twenties. I suffered to such an extent that I was willing to try any intervention that held promise, including those mentioned at the beginning of this chapter. I had to at least try out the different practices and healing modalities to find what I needed to facilitate my healing. I got the best results by combining the various practices, modalities and other resources that proved to be most effective. The assistance I received from a number of gifted healers that worked with me and the vision quest are by far the most powerful. I would have never healed without the intervention of the gifted healers that worked with me and the many vision quests that I’ve gone on.

I’m able to see the whole process of transformation that I’m describing in this article taking place in stages in people’s bodies. I have watched many of the people that I’ve worked with undergo a profound transformation as a result of the individual healing sessions. Their whole presence changed for the better as they grew calmer and their life force becomes much cleaner and more vital. I can see these individuals developing new resources and capabilities, becoming more highly functional and getting to a place where they feel at peace and truly enjoy their lives.

©Copyright 2017 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. Call (913) 927-4281 to learn more or to schedule an individual session.

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