Self Check:

Are you suffering from trauma? Trauma can be experienced from verbal, physical, or sexual abuse. We often think of trauma from sudden experiences like falls, car accidents, fights, or other dramatic events. Infants may be traumatized by difficulties at childbirth. Women may experience trauma with childbirth and unexpected difficulties with bodily changes, and loss of function. Military service is recognized as inherently life and safety-stressing, so as to have the effects linger after exposure to conflict, as in PTSD. First responders such as police, paramedic and firefighters may experience trauma in the line of duty, which may entail life threatening situations, or exposure to social conflict and crime. Read More...

Our Primal Body:

Our brains are programmed for survival, and safety seeking, so we have primal mechanisms that help us to react to dangers, to threats to our safety and well being. This is the sympathetic nervous system, our protector. In response to a stressor, either physical or mental, the heart rate speeds up, blood pressure rises, and we become on alert for danger and threats. But with sympathetic nervous over-activation from prolonged or intense trauma, we may be stuck in the primal reactions once danger has passed, in physiologic processes involving the entire system. Initially termed the "fight or flight response", we now recognize we may "freeze" to protect ourselves. We may state, "I'm ok" while holding rigid and breathing shallowly. Also we may be stuck in excess activity to soothe the body such as compelling interest in fornication, and or feeding. Drug and alcohol addictions are frequently developed in individuals seeking self calming, soothing, and escape from the monster of chronic unresolved stress. Consider if you have signs of unresolved trauma in your life. Chronic anxiety, depression, anger, sleep difficulties, and other mood imbalances are increased in individuals that have experienced significant trauma. Chronic pain is often associated with a history of trauma, and unresolved pain is on ongoing health challenge. Read More...

Trauma Recovery Toolkits:

Trauma recovery is a process that is multidisciplinary and it can have profound improvement in an individual's sense of wellness, health, and well-being. Trauma recovery starts with an individual, and often-social groups, such as the military health system care system, recognizing the presence of unresolved trauma. Trauma recovery entails a plan, a daily practice, a guide, or coach, or therapist, and the encouragement towards hope and resiliency. The best results are produced with a caring practitioner, and social support system. Successful programs may include mindfulness/meditation, walking meditation, yoga, exercise and massage therapy, sound/color therapy, acupuncture, aromatherapy, hypnosis, individual/group-cognitive behavioral therapy, and nutritional approaches. At CTS we have therapists that can provide mind-body spirit care with Medical Yoga, Pilates, and training in breathing exercises, and direction to healing resources such as sleep hygiene, stress management and trauma resolution. Also locally in San Diego, veterans may participate in horseback riding, kayaking, and other activities such as pet care and training. With current overloads in our veterans health care system, some are offered only pharmaceutical approaches. Read More...

Daily Practices for Trauma Recovery:
  • Journaling thought and feelings and goals.
  • Add one new healthy food item per week.
  • Attend individual or group therapy.
  • Take a yoga class that suits your style.
  • Make a place in your home or room a sanctuary, including an item from nature such as a shell, aromatherapy, and plan for sleep hygiene.
  • Listen to a 10 min mindfulness guide such as self-compassion.
  • Play with self guiding your breath on a breathing app.
  • Social: Walk with a friend, meet a friend for tea, call someone and video chat or facetime if possible.
  • Sample a meditation/mindfulness class.
  • Practice gratitude daily.
  • Nurture a mind body spirit connection with inspirational readings and time in nature.
Maureen Mason, MS PT, WCS, CCI, PYT
Stress has an amazing array of effects on the body, from increasing our chances of developing Type II diabetes to tension headaches from tight neck and back muscles. Evolution has hard-wired us for a 'fight or flight' response to stress which increases our heart and breathing rate, shunts blood to muscles in our arms and legs and away from our digestive organs, and causes our liver to increase our blood sugar. After the environmental stress is removed, our nervous system should revert back to our 'resting and digesting' response mode. Back in the day, we were able to respond to a stressful situation (like running away from a woolly mammoth) and then return to our stress-free lives (searching for nuts and berries, discovering fire, painting rhinos on the walls of caves). In the 21st century, stress never completely goes away. Between our jobs, our families, world news and Southern California traffic, our brains have a hard time down-shifting from 'fight or flight' to 'rest and digest'. A regular meditation practice can make that shift easier.

The benefits of a regular meditation practice are numerous and well-documented. Meditation has been shown to decrease depression, improve immunity and focus, decrease chronic pain, and even increase gray matter concentration in the brain! The most significant results have been linked to a regular meditation practice; try meditating for 10 minutes every day for 30 days.

You don't have to start 'OM'-ing, drinking green juice and wearing prayer beads. Meditation can be done anywhere, although a quiet room is ideal. Try sitting quietly in a comfortable position. Set a timer for 10 minutes. You can put on quiet music or aromatherapy, if that's your thing. Close your eyes and start to notice your breath. Where is your breath in your body? Are you breathing with your chest, or your belly? Are you breathing quickly or slowly? How does your body feel, in this position? Now that you've checked in with your body, begin to check in with your mind. Is your mind racing back to grocery lists, or what a co-worker said earlier? Do you feel like you are watching a movie of all your thoughts? This is perfectly common and normal. As you meditate more, it will become easier to quiet your mind and watch thoughts pass, like clouds in the sky, without getting involved in them.

At first, 10 minutes will feel like a lifetime. After a few days or weeks of practice, 10 minutes will fly-by and you might be ready to increase the time you spend meditating.

There are even maps to make meditation easier! "Headspace" offers a collection of hundreds of 10-minute guided meditations that you can listen to anywhere, any time. Other meditation apps include "Calm," "Omvana," and "The Mindfulness App."

Here are some great resources for anyone thinking about starting a meditation practice.
Elizabeth Delozier, PT, DPT
RSVP for Sex in OUR City - Dinner, Discussion and Giveaways!
Elizabeth Leeds, DPT joins Dr. Irwin Goldstein in hosting a (for women only) dinner seminar to discuss: First FDA-approved pill for women with low libido (Addyi)
  • Birth control - what you need to know
  • Latest advances in hormone replacement therapy
  • Menopause issues, answers and updates
  • How to spice things up in the bedroom
    ... and much more!
This event will be held in the Alvarado Hospital West Tower Conference Room:
6645 Alvarado Road, San Diego 92120
The dinner event is free, but seating is very limited. Pre-registration required by calling (800) 258-2723 or register online at the link below.