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Are traditional talking therapies a thing of the past?

Trauma growth specialist, addiction counsellor and floatation expert Vivian McKinnon looks at how neuroscience is offering alternative approaches with some incredible results


Vivian McKinnon practising Heavening

Vivian McKinnon practising Heavening

Vivian McKinnon practising Heavening

When it comes to mental health, few people consider the impact on the body but both are intrinsically linked.

When we experience an event, we give it meaning based on our prior experiences and are forever comparing information available to us now to what has happened in our past.

This process gives us personal meaning and is simultaneously stored, not just in the mind but in the body too.

When faced with overwhelm or situations in which we feel trapped and vulnerable, the part of the brain that stores information can temporarily shut off putting us into fight or flight mode to ensure survival.

Trauma then, is not so much an event, rather what happens inside us in response to that event. When we are confronted with a present-day situation that triggers past experiences, it is felt both mentally and physically.

There will always be a place for traditional talking therapies but lots of research and developments have taken place in the last 20-years into the somatic or bodily impact of our experiences. Being curious about the messages our body sends us can lead to great healing.

Psychosensory therapies such as the Havening Technique are approaches that tap into the body’s senses using sight, touch, sound to affect immediate changes in emotional and physical wellbeing.

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This can sometimes involve some talking therapy too but mostly relies on sensory input to change the way the body and mind processes difficult emotions and feelings.

Touch therapy applied by the practitioner to the client’s face, arms and hands has been discovered to quickly and effectively change the brain’s neuropathways (electric circuits if you like) allowing the whole system to release trapped emotions and both mental and physical pain.

The approach generally begins with a gentle therapeutic inquiry into past events but ultimately there is no need to recall, remember or even talk about what happened. Within even one session, healing can be effective and quick acting.

Brain Spotting is another fantastic approach where the practitioner asks the client to keep their gaze or focus trained on an identified ‘trigger.’ By paying mindful attention to what is rising within the system, this can gently and effectively release stored emotion and bring an end to unresolved trauma and unwanted symptoms.

I usually follow these techniques with floatation therapy. Floatation involves the multiple healing and restorative benefits to be gained from relaxing in a cabin filled with 25cms of body temperature water infused with a half a tonne of Epsom salt allowing the mind and body the time and space to recharge, reset and reconnect.

But don’t just take my word for it, research confirms just how good it is at easing the symptoms of a weary body and mind.

Find out more about Vivian’s work and latest therapeutic techniques on the attached link https://hydro-ease.co.uk/

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