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Trauma and Your Body Part 3: Releasing Trauma from Your Body | Cultivate Chiropractic

Trauma doesn’t just exist in our brains, it has a very real presence in our

bodies as well. In this article, the third in a four-part series, we’re taking a look at how to release

trauma from our bodies.

Trauma and Your Body (Part 3): Releasing Trauma from Your Body

Over the last two months, we’ve taken a look at the neurological impact of trauma and the surprising physical symptoms of trauma. If you haven’t checked those out yet, we suggest you go back and read them first, and then come back. Understanding where trauma comes from and how it exists in our lives is helpful as we talk about releasing it.

As you know by now, trauma can manifest not only in our minds but also in our bodies, leaving lasting imprints that impact overall well-being. Whether the trauma is rooted in a single traumatic event or prolonged exposure to stress, finding ways to release trauma from the body is crucial for holistic healing.

If you’ve found yourself stuck in trauma patterns or felt trapped by the physical symptoms of trauma, you’re not alone. We’re here to let you know that you don’t have to stay stuck; there are ways to release the trauma from your body and find harmony again. It’s no secret that we’re enthusiastic advocates for holistic health, so we’ve compiled a list of the most effective holistic health practices for releasing trauma.

As a quick reminder, the information presented here is meant to educate. It is not a substitute for a licensed therapist, medical practitioner, or other mental health professional.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness practices, such as meditation, are incredibly effective in reducing the impact of trauma on the body. By bringing attention to the present moment, individuals can develop a greater awareness of bodily sensations and emotions. Mindfulness allows for a non-judgmental observation of thoughts and feelings, creating a space for healing and acceptance.

A quick scroll through YouTube will bring you to a variety of meditations aimed at helping you heal and release trauma. If we’re being honest, the amount of meditation content available can actually be overwhelming. Where should you start? If you have strong ties to your faith, searching for a faith-based or religious meditation that aligns with your beliefs can be a good jumping off point. It’s important to remember to be selective with what you allow to enter your mind, so take your time choosing your meditation.

Additionally, there are different styles of meditation to consider:

●     Mindfulness Meditation:

○     Focuses on staying present and aware of your current thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.

●     Focused Meditation:

○     Centers on staying present by focusing on a sound or sensory experience.

●     Mantra Meditation:

○     Involves repeating a word, phrase, or sound.

●     Loving-Kindness Meditation:

○     Aims to cultivate feelings of love, compassion, and goodwill towards oneself and others.

While we love to sing the praises of meditation and mindfulness, it is worth noting that for some, meditation can actually make trauma worse. Digging into painful or scary traumatic events is uncomfortable and it can be difficult to stay present. According to, it’s important to follow a trauma-informed meditation practice. Not all types of meditation are equally suited to processing trauma, and it can take some patience to find the right fit.

If you’re not sure where to start, we found a great trauma-informed meditation here.


Have you ever heard the phrase “movement is medicine?” Moving our bodies provides so many benefits outside of the scope of trauma-related solutions, it shouldn’t be surprising that it can be a powerful tool for healing trauma, too. Movement can help release stored emotions, tension, and stress. Here are a few ways to incorporate movement to release trauma.

Yoga and Tai Chi

Yoga is a powerful practice that combines breath control, meditation, and physical postures to promote overall well-being. Incorporating a gentle, trauma-informed yoga practice can help release tension stored in the body. The emphasis on connecting breath with movement can create a sense of safety, fostering the release of stored trauma and promoting physical flexibility. Trauma-sensitive yoga classes or online sessions may be particularly helpful.

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that involves slow, flowing movements to promote relaxation, balance, and mindfulness. Tai Chi can help release tension and create a sense of grounding.


Any form of dance can feel good and bring benefits, but freeform dance is especially effective for releasing trauma. Freeform dance is free-moving and expressive, simply moving to the music without judgement. This can be done in the privacy of your home or in a dance class. Focus on the sensations in your body, allowing the movement to be a form of self-expression.

Trauma Release Exercises

Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) are a set of exercises designed to help release tension, stress, and trauma stored in the body. These exercises induce a self-controlled shaking or trembling response, allowing the body to release stored energy.

Outdoor and Nature Activities

Engaging in physical activities outdoors, such as walking or hiking, can be therapeutic. The combination of movement, fresh air, and natural surroundings can help ground individuals and facilitate the release of tension.

Chiropractic Care

Because of the spine’s connection to the nervous system, there is an undeniable link between physical and emotional wellness. By identifying misalignments (subluxations) in the spine, we can work to restore proper alignment, allowing the nervous system to function optimally. This approach can have a profound impact on releasing stored tension and trauma from the body. Some common ways we can help release trauma are:

Spinal Adjustments

This is probably what comes to mind for most people when they think about chiropractic care. Spinal adjustments involve the gentle manipulation of the spine to correct misalignments. This process helps restore the body's natural alignment, promoting better nerve function and relieving tension. Through targeted adjustments, we can address physical manifestations of trauma, such as chronic pain, headaches, and muscle tightness.

Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, hands-on technique that focuses on the craniosacral system – the membranes and fluid that surround the brain and spinal cord. This therapy aims to release restrictions and enhance the body's ability to self-correct. It can be particularly effective in addressing trauma-related issues, promoting relaxation, and facilitating the release of stored tension.

Soft Tissue Therapy

Soft tissue therapies such as massage, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy are also highly effective treatments for releasing trauma. These techniques target tight muscles and fascia, promoting blood flow and helping the body release physical tension associated with trauma.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Processing

Eye movement desensitization and processing (EMDR) is a therapeutic approach  designed to process traumatic memories. It involves guided eye movements while recalling distressing memories, facilitating the brain's natural ability to process and integrate the trauma. EMDR has been shown to be effective in reducing the physical and emotional impact of traumatic experiences.


Conscious breathwork can be a powerful tool for releasing trauma from the body. Techniques such as deep diaphragmatic breathing, breath retention, and specific pranayama exercises can help regulate the nervous system and release stored tension. Breathwork promotes a sense of calm and allows individuals to access and release emotions held within the body.

Releasing trauma from the body can be a long process that will most likely require more than one approach. Combining a few of the methods outlined above can give you a comprehensive toolkit for healing. Give yourself patience and self-compassion; healing is a journey.

We believe in a whole-body approach to wellness and are dedicated to providing the best care for you and your family. Chiropractic care is just one part of that puzzle, and we have a vast array of other health resources and services to offer. Call us today at 402-372-0166 or visit us online at to learn more.


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