When life hands you super sour lemons how do you respond?

Trauma is described as an exceptionally disturbing event; and can be due to repeated negative experiences (hospitalizations, illnesses, abuse, etc..), acute loss of a loved one, a birth that didn’t go as planned, a natural disaster, sudden change in home/security, or any event that leaves you feeling powerless and defeated.  Experiencing a trauma (physical or emotional) impacts us in every way, and everyone's trauma is different.  The experience is different, our support network is different, our perceptions and reactions are different.    

What I experienced escaping the wildfires was very different than our loss from Irma.  If you want to hear more about my personal experience with trauma and my story head to the website for Joy Story.  

Symptoms you may experience after a trauma include increased heart rate or palpitations, chest tightness, increased blood pressure and blood sugars, anger, rage, agitation, increased startle reflex (jumpiness).

Unaddressed trauma can lead to chronic physical problems such as compromised immunity, aches and pains, depression and anxiety, addition, numbness, chronic fatigue.

Despite the type of trauma experienced, physical implications are real.  This is due to increased release of our bodies fight or flight hormones such as cortisol, corticosteroids, and leptin.  Our sympathetic system (fight or flight) is always on and our parasympathetic (rest and digest - and recover) system doesn’t get a chance to work.  

We may not even value or recognize the trauma we experience.  Unfortunately, many people these days are insecure, scared, and alone when dealing with these experiences.  Unaddressed trauma can also lead to negative behavioral and emotional pathways that become chronic after 6 weeks. After 6 weeks additional work is needed to “reset” those pathways.  

Following are the tools I utilize to support my body and work through it.  Remember, trauma often changes us.  We don't get to "get over it" and be the person we were before. Rather, our goal is that we move through the experience and it ultimately makes us stronger, more empathetic, and more true to self rather than causing us to withdraw and be numb.  As always you can find this "protocol" (just my word for a generalized health plan) in our library under "protocols".  Just log in here Catch our full video with explanations on our IGTV or FB page and feel free to drop you questions below or in a message!  

Acute trauma:

  1. Deep breathing practice:  4x4x4 breathing stimulates the limbic system and resets/ reduces the stress hormones. 
    1. Complete every morning while praying/meditating, every evening before bed, and as needed during the day.  
    2. Drop Valor, Release, or Believe in your hand and cup over nose and mouth prior to each breath.
  2. Gratitude Practice (can start when stabilized, but see my video as to how this changed everything for me after we lost all worlds things due to Hurricane Irma)
    1. List (out loud or on paper) 3-5 gratitudes which are things, character strengths, people, or places you are thankful for.
    2. Complete every morning to reset perception and improve how you interact with others and challenges.
    3. Utilize as needed throughout day to shift mindset and thought processes.  I use this with my kids when they whine or complain and still practice this daily.
  3. Immune Support: Trauma taxes our immune systems tremendously.  Support it. See my video or protocol on the hub (website) for more information.
    1. Ningxia is a favorite and has kept me healthy through years of difficulty.  Power packed with multiple types of antioxidants, including clove, it will help deter the negative affects of stress.  Take daily.
    2. Aminowise is an excellent choice also as it contains, zinc, trace minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids.  
    3. Short term Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and Immupro are powerhouses for our bodies, helping to promote good cellular function at times of increased need.
  4. Oil Support:
    1. Valor on jaw line and wrists twice a day and as needed for grounding and surety.
    2. Joy or Believe diffused or dropped on wrists and rubbed over heart.
    3. Stress Away daily on wrists and chest/neck.
    4. Bedtime:  Trauma Life or Rutavala or T-Away on back of neck at least every night before bed.  Valor on jaw line.  Believe, Lavender, and Joy or Orange in diffuser.
    5. As needed:  Peace and calming throughout day and before bed as needed to calm anxieties and encourage deep breathing.

6 weeks after trauma:  If trauma persists or has gone unaddressed complete the above suggestions PLUS:

  1. Rub release over liver and add a drop to whatever diffuser combination you are running.
  2. Consider EFT (tapping) to reset emotional responses to stimuli or difficult situations.
  3. Consider AFT with a therapist to help you move THROUGH and PROCESS the emotions, opening your mind to knew perspectives and processes and releasing the stress from your body.
  4. Physical release:  trauma takes a physical toll on our bodies.  Consider yoga, pilates, chiropractic care, Rolfing to help realign your body, improve blood flow and waste elimination, decrease any pains and discomforts, and improve awareness.
  5. Supplements:  Chronic release of stress hormones can deplete our endocrine and adrenal systems.  (Or up regulate them)
    1. If you have trouble getting up, feel fatigued constantly, struggle to find the joy and energy try Powergize every night for 2-4 weeks.  
    2. If you have faster heart beats, are jumpy, and have a racing mind consider cortistop for 2 weeks or less.

Consistent use of the essential oils and incorporation of these healthy habits will reset the pathways your body learns and will allow your nervous, immune, endocrine systems to function normally again and you to feel like your best self again.  

What to expect when you support intentionally work through a traumatic situation:

  • Better quality sleep
  • Less mood swings, anxiety, depression, irritability, and overwhelming fatigue
  • Positivity
  • Improved mindset and ability approach to challenges, difficult people, and opportunity.
  • More functional and productive days

AS ALWAYS: If you plan to start new supplements discuss it with your physician first!

Resources & References:


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Amber N Osborne, CRNA, APRN, MSN


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