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The Liver and Gut in the Biology of Trauma

 

 

"Trauma can be caused by an overwhelmingly negative event that causes a lasting impact on the victim's mental and emotional stability. While many sources of trauma are physically violent in nature, others are psychological."

Ameet Aggarwal, ND The contents of this presentation are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This presentation does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

BIOLOGY OF TRAUMA

Welcome to the Biology of Trauma Summit. I am here with Doctor Ameet, and he is someone who comes very highly recommended from a number of my colleagues. So I'm very excited to have him here today. He is actually someone who's been voted top number 43, innovative and naturopathic clinician in the world and you are going to see why. He has this awesome combination of psychotherapy and medicine, and has authored a book. And he is going to be talking to us today liver and gut, mind, body, medicine connection.

And something that I really love about how he sees the world and sees our body is that, every symptom, every condition, every disease has both a physical and an emotional component. You can't separate them. And so,

Even if someone is presenting primarily with a physical symptom, we're still going to be looking at the emotional connection underneath that

So, We're going to dive deep into the liver and gut, the emotions, the adrenal glands. So stay tuned I guess.

How does trauma actually affect the body?

There's multiple ways. And, we'll start with the basics first. So
trauma or adverse childhood experiences, ACEs, are anything overwhelming
for your nervous system. Moreover, it causes you to have fear or anger or a fight or flight
response as well as a freeze response. So people just freeze inside. That's the
nervous system just locking down. And in the fight, flight or freeze response,
what happens is, your adrenal glands are triggered to make adrenaline and
cortisol. And over time now with trauma, as well as daily stresses, your
adrenal glands are constantly pushed to exhaustion.

And even if you're an adult now and you've had childhood trauma and you
haven't resolved it, that trauma is sitting in your nervous system. It's
perpetually stimulating your adrenal glands to be on guard, to have a certain
view of the world, to feel unsafe, to have this body armor that we're always
making sure we're looking okay or we're looking strong. Or even we're looking
like very needy because sometimes that's also a game we play to get what we
want. All that uses energy from the adrenal system. And that's unresolved
trauma.

So, you combine that with the daily stresses of financial issues, marital issues
late nights, bright lights outside your room. So you're not going into a deep
sleep. This combined effect burns you up faster than if you didn't have trauma
and you were just faced with daily stresses. So, when you go into adrenal
burnout, what happens is then your adrenal glands don't produce cortisol and
adrenaline and they don't produce cortisol in a nice circadian rhythm. You get
a cortisol imbalance.

And that then begins to suppress thyroid hormones, serotonin, dopamine,
melatonin, GABA, or brain chemicals, as well as your thyroid hormone,
leading to anxiety, depression, OCD, feeling of overwhelm, unable to cope with
things, breaking down in tears easily when life feels stressful. That's all
adrenal burnout due to trauma combined with daily stresses. And the daily
stresses feel more overwhelming to people who have been traumatized because
those daily stresses actually trigger the unresolved wounds that we all carry
within us.

So if you've been wounded as a child and you face an aggressive boss, then
you will feel more overwhelmed and more vulnerable and have a stronger
response than somebody who had a healthier or safer upbringing. So your
nervous system is already fragile when you've gone through trauma.

"One of the frustrating things from the experience of people who've been through trauma is that it lends itself to more trauma."


Is trauma really only limited to people who experienced a significant event? 

SPECTRUM OF TRAUMA:

"Everyone is carrying some form of trauma, whether it's their own
or ancestral trauma."

And trauma doesn't have to be something very harsh, like sexual abuse or
violence or seeing your parents fighting. Moreover, it could be your mom going away for
a month or two and you're left with your grandparents. And your bond with
your mom is usually very strong. That's the giver of life. And when she's
absent.

And so some parents don't realize by leaving their kid abandoned or even I've had, who were in an incubator for too long and there was no sense of bonding with the mom. And so they become averse to touch or being held for too long because of that fear of abandonment again. So they're quite like, I don't like to be touched. And when you hold onto these
people for long enough, suddenly they soften and then they break down and
they let the love in.

So a lot of people are carrying trauma, whether it's violent trauma
or abandonment trauma and blocking out love, blocking off feeling another
person's real compassion for them. Because they’ve had to survive on their
own and make it through life on their own, in their own minds.

Trauma and the gut: interactions between a stressful experience

When you burn out your adrenal glands and your cortisol levels are imbalanced, the thyroid hormone gets affected and other cytokines and chemicals get affected in your body. So when you have a cortisol imbalance, generally you have more weight gain, blood sugar imbalances
leading to diabetes, obesity, et cetera. Also what happens is, when you have a
cortisol imbalance, your thyroid hormone, the active form T3 diminishes. The
T4 to T3 conversion doesn't happen so well.

And T3 is needed for your intestinal cells to be healthy. So your gut has a nice
lining there. It's like a barrier that keeps all the toxins out of your blood. And
over time, with antibiotic use, poor diet, et cetera, the good bacteria in your
gut get killed off. Moreover, this lining gets damaged and you get holes in there and
then toxins leak in the bloodstream causing inflammation everywhere, leading
cause for asthma, eczema, arthritis, et cetera. Now, apart from poor diets, like
too much gluten, too much dairy, too much alcohol and too many antibiotics,
which destroys the lining.

Cortisol imbalances, leading to a T3 reduction, also causes a leaky gut.
Meaning more toxins flow into the bloodstream causing a worsening of
physical symptoms. And that's why when people are stressed, you'll see that
their eczema might flare-up or their arthritis might fare, because of that
cortisol imbalance and the inflammatory reaction that pursues after.

Trauma Symptoms, Causes, and Effects

"In times of stress, there's a lot that happens in our liver and gut. And in terms of food
sensitivities that a person may have, those are going to be worse in times of
stress than when they're feeling well because that gut lining is more intact.
It's healthy, it's functioning well when they're doing well, when they're in the
parasympathetic state. "

The vagus nerve, which controls many of your organs, it actually sends out chemical signals into your intestines known as cytokines.
And these chemical signals actually affect the bacteria in your gut, as well as
the lining and the environment in there. And when you're stressed, you
breathe differently. And when you breathe differently, your vagus nerve gets
affected and releases the wrong or danger chemicals into your liver and gut
compromising gut function.

And when you breathe very shallow, then your diaphragm doesn't massage
your liver. And your liver and gut is your master organ. It produces bile, it detoxifies
your body, stores vitamins, helps with blood sugar control, cholesterol
management, et cetera. So with chronic stress from daily stress, as well as
unresolved trauma, you go more into shallow breathing and more liver and gut
stagnation. With that, then you have less bile flow, so meaning the
environment in your gut is not as healthy, so you have an imbalance of gut
bacteria.

Number two, you have less lubrication, so more constipation, a lot of people
just pop laxatives instead of healing the liver, big mistake. And then you get
more gas, bloating, heartburn, indigestion, GERD, et cetera. So that's the
connection between the liver and gut, emotions and trauma. The liver is also
the master organ in Chinese medicine for hormones. And so with liver and gut
stagnation due to, let's say, shallow breathing, as well as chronic
inflammation from a leaky gut, as well as from toxins, medications, life, things
in the environment.

Liver stagnation then leads to hormonal imbalance, usually progesterone
deficiency, estrogen excess. But there's a whole range of different variables.
And with that then, people will experience more PMS symptoms, breast
tenderness, gas, bloating, crying sadness, et cetera. And they're put on the
birth control pill, which then depletes your body of B vitamins, destroys the
gut lining, worsens the symptoms. So when you heal inflammation, you
detoxify your liver and gut in the right way, which I covered in the online course and in
my book.

How do you resolve emotional trauma?

You can resolve emotional trauma with certain healing exercises,
psychotherapy, you name it, then the body comes into balance faster. You
need less supplements to manage your symptoms as well. And over time you
will also need less therapy, less medications, less probiotics, you name it.

People coming out of early childhood with this level of stress in their nervous system, for whatever reason, their biology, their physiology to them feels like it's in chaos. They
have usually several different types of symptoms. They feel like they're on fire
everywhere. Lots of inflammation, whether inflammation in their gut, maybe
even some joint stuff, some autoimmune stuff, maybe headaches, migraines.
Things that feel like they could be inflammation in the brain as well. But it
just feels like everything is chaos.

And when they sit down and try to think about what would their steps be
towards healing, it feels very complicated because it feels like there's no
understanding. There's no predictable pattern that has played out in their
biology to create their current symptoms. So just understanding how the
trauma is going to affect each of their different systems in their body and it's
going to be the adrenal glands, the liver and gut, the intestines. It's going to affect
them individually and then as a whole, because like you say, the liver and gut affects
everything else. The adrenal glands affect everything else.

And so it does start to feel like it spirals out of control. And being able to
address that, bring that under control is really going to help everything. And
so I love how you say, it's not just about taking supplements if you are having
mood issues, feeling depressed, feeling anxious. It's not just about taking
supplements and it's not just about going to therapy. It's this combination of
really addressing the biology of what's going on because that just as much
affects the mood as the mood and emotional stuff affects the biology.

Why is important to heal the liver and gut to treat emotional trauma?

To treat people, always focus on healing the pillars of health while doing psychotherapy. So always heal the liver and guts, and the adrenal glands
while releasing emotional trauma. Because also remember, when you have a
leaky gut, the wrong foods, too much inflammation, then that inflammation
stresses your adrenal glands to make cortisol because cortisol manages
inflammation. And that can also cause a brain chemical imbalance.
So some people's anxiety and depression are purely biochemical due to
chronic inflammation and too much toxicity and a progesterone deficiency or
testosterone deficiency, et cetera.

So it's really important, if you want to get the best out of therapy, to also heal the liver and gut, the adrenal system. You'll recover with therapy much faster.

Ancestral trauma and how that affects our body and our biology

Epigenetics would be like the visual clarification or verification of the possibility of ancestral trauma. And there are different schools of belief that explain it in different ways, whether it's the soul or energy fields, et cetera. So I'll try my best to give you a combined explanation, both medical and energetic. So we all belong to a family system. You come from parents and
those parents come from their parents, and so there's a whole lineage before
you. And from the beginning, each of those set of parents is passing down
information and beliefs down, down, down.

So you're born into a system of beliefs, of thoughts, of emotions, feelings, as
well as your physiology, of course, is affected genetically by all your
predecessors. And what we find in family constellation therapy, is that we
have a loyalty to our ancestors and people in our families system. What do I
mean by loyalty? It's like an attachment, an energetic bond to, not only your
parents and grandparents, but also your parents’ siblings and maybe your
great grandparents’ uncles, and aunts and stuff like that.

And what we're finding in family constellations therapy is that, if there's been
some sort of trauma in the family system, whether it's a murder, rape,
abandoned child miscarriage, abortion, you name it, the further generations
that's like us, the living people, can sense this missing piece or this
unresolved trauma. And strangely enough, in order to include that person
who's missing or that event, which hasn’t been acknowledge fully, we will
almost start resembling or representing some of that energy through skin
issues, maybe migraines, stomach pains, depression, along in for death.

And we see that often. If there's a missing child unacknowledged, a child who's
died early miscarried or aborted child, for example, or an early death of a
parent, the children or other people in the family can be quite, either
consciously or unconsciously bonded to that child or to that person. And that
bonding can often manifest as this low energy, chronic depression, often a
desire for death as well, longing to just go now. And you might think it's
depression and you really feel like it's your feelings.

And when you do a good constellation therapy, which I do in different forms,
either online or with people in groups, et cetera. When you do a good therapy,
you actually let go of that energetic bond with people. And you can feel
yourself again, your authentic self, minus the influence or what we call
entanglement with the others. And when you get a sense of who you are
minus all that noise, it's like a breath of fresh air. It's beautiful. Suddenly you
have this vitality, this will do live, your stress levels go down. You have more
clarity about your life, better decision-making skills, everything improves.

And that's what I love about family constellations therapy, is that, it really
treats the root cause. Because you can spend years in therapy and never
realize that your issues are because of a trauma that's happened to one of the
ancestors. Another example of a family constellation intervention is like, I've
had a lot of clients who believe they're the first child in the nuclear family or
the only child or something. And lo and behold, there is a miscarried or
aborted child before them. And they don't know that yet.

And they have symptoms of anxiety overwhelm, they're not sure what's going
on. And then I'll ask them, please go find out about any missing children, your
family system. And when they realize that there is a missing child, in a
constellation setting, I'll get them to imagine their parents in front of them,
then this child before them, and then them in their correct position in their
family system. And it's unbelievable, Aimie. These people need less therapy
over time because something very deep has been resolved.


Suddenly I feel, okay, this is my correct place. I acknowledged something that
was missing or a secret that was not talked about and that was disturbing my
nervous system. But when we're all in truth, and I really understand where I
belong, then I don't have to fight so hard to make up for something that's
missing. And genetically speaking, what they've seen is, if your grandmother
was traumatized, let's say, in the war or the Holocaust or some other trauma
and she's pregnant. First of all, her physiology changes and her ovaries
change and the eggs in her ovary change.

And your mom is born of that physiological change. So your mom's physiology is
already altered. And so that means when you’re born of your mom, your
physiology will be altered as well, based on the traumas that your
grandparents have experienced. Also, they've seen that children born of
survivors of 911, for example, are more prone to anxiety or depression
because their nervous system has been altered. So that's a bit of the energetic
loyalty, soul belonging explanation, plus a bit of biological genetic explanation.

Being able to look back and see what their family history was, secrets that
they didn't know about their family, but that are impacting their body, their
biology, their nervous system. And keeping them stuck without them realizing
it. It's such an unconscious thing. We don't even realize what's underneath
the surface sometimes until we're forced based on our health to go searching
for those.

Bible says,

"The sins of our grandparents go down seven generations and that includes also
the traumas."

We don't know if the limit is seven generations down, but they talk
about it in spiritual books. The passing on of karma or influences down
through the generations. And fortunately or unfortunately these can be
healed. I've had a lot of, I guess, influential politicians sometimes their kids
come in and some of them there's heavy backgrounds there.

There's corruption, there are misdemeanors, everything and the kids are paying
the price and there is resolution, but then I wonder then, who pays the price
then if we do resolve these issues? So it's a bit of a balance

What is necessary for the Mind-Body Medicine approach?

Holding the space and also allowing the person to become
aware of what their narrative is in their minds about their lives. We have a
fixed narrative in our mind, this is the da, da, da, and that things went a
certain way. And that narrative can be quite traumatizing for a person. It
retraumatizes a person. You had this constant rumination of the story we
have and the beliefs we have about ourselves, about the people around us in
our lives.

And by holding the space for a client and allowing them to become aware of
the words they're using. And giving them the option of choosing different
words still as effective, different words that give them a different perspective
without forcing them to change their belief about what happened because
that's insulting their experience. I never try and convince people that it didn't
have. Nothing like that. No. If somebody says, I was really frightened of this
person, I'll ask them to say, try saying, I really wanted to get away from this
person.

They get a sudden paradigm shift just with that, those simple words. And that
frees up some energy in the nervous system and gives a break to the adrenal
glands as well. So this gentle massaging, loving therapy really … Sorry I lost
track of what we were talking about, but that's what really frees up energy in
the nervous system and allows people to be freer. And then you go into how people can strengthen their bodies.

"And this is a recap of what we’ve talked about, where trauma affects really every
system of the body, some more than others directly. The adrenal gland and
the liver, the nervous system, the immune system are the primary ones that are
affected by trauma."

We can see these patterns in someone's biology, very
predictable patterns. And that'll be something that people after the summit
will have an opportunity to go into more, is actually looking at these
predictable patterns on the biology from trauma.

But your point in strengthening the body is that, once you are able to do that,
the therapy process goes much faster. It's almost a way of bringing in
resilience and tolerance to stress that they don't have before. Then now they're
able to both accomplish more in therapy and need less supplements, need less
support of the biology that has been affected by the trauma or emotional
issues.

If that individual cell is not nourished enough, doesn't have the nutrients that
it needs, is struggling for enough energy, it's not going to be making new roads
for you. You really need to build up that ability for it to be neuroplastic, for it
to build new roads and integrate in order for things to really shift well.

Why would you feel depressed if you are inflamed?

You might still remain depressed if you're inflamed because your serotonin levels will not increase despite the therapy you're doing. And most of your serotonin and GABA is made in your gut. So if you have compromised liver and gut function, not enough bile in there and poor growth of good bacteria, you're going to have low neurotransmitters. So you'll
be in this low-grade improvement to therapy, but never really feeling resilient
until you optimize your body and your biology as well.

Developing the protocol for supporting the liver and gut

It is important because even during emotional therapy, you can dip into these
pockets, and more toxins can be released from your tissues during those
times. And then the toxins are circulating and you're experiencing maybe
more fatigue or more anxiety.

And it was just like coming out of a great therapy session, coming out of a
great experience and now you're experiencing these negative symptoms again.
Moreover, there's a couple of different factors for that, but part of that could be just the
biology of what's going on and increase of toxins being released at those
moments. And it's circulating without the liver ability to actually pull those
out of the intestines. There's not enough bile, there's not enough of those
necessary factors in order to actually remove the toxins from your blood and
then from your liver and gut.

And so you're just recirculating toxins. And what a metaphor for sometimes
what we do emotionally too and we’re just ruminating on things, recirculating
toxic thoughts.

And also another reason for chronic depression after trauma release and after therapy sometimes is that, we're in such a fight or flight state that when we release that frenzy, our body shuts down like we're going to resting. And that's where we collapse, but it's a healthy
collapse. So that low-grade energy can actually be a healthier state for us to
rewire and reassess our environment from that open, vulnerable place as well.
Because without realizing we were using so much energy just to survive and
stay alive and alert.

And suddenly when you let go of that, it's like, gosh, I don't have to fight
anymore. It's like, I don't know what to do anymore. It’s a shift of identity. I
don't know how to identify with myself being relaxed and not fighting for my
life and trying to survive. It's actually scary for a lot of people as well.

"Our personality, and yet it's not really our personality. It's
just our nervous system and how it’s stuck sometimes between this collapse.
Sometimes it's even the freeze collapse and overwhelms, and then needing this
big adrenaline to get us out of that collapse into movement, to meet a
deadline, to study for a test, to make a meeting, or whatever it is that we're
doing. And that's the pattern of our nervous system. That's the pattern of our
biology. So that becomes the pattern of our life, is just the collapse and go."

Homeopathy Remedies that can release trauma and help the body regulate much faster

There are certain remedies that can release trauma from the past and help the body regulate
much faster. Because homeopath encompasses the entire person. Therapy
takes a bit of time sometimes for certain people and homeopathy goes deeper.

Some remedies like ignatia is great for heartbreak, for example. Natrum
muriaticum also great remedy for lots of a loved one. Aconite I've used often
when there's terrorist attacks. Not that there's so many terrorist attacks, but
I've treated on two occasions, people who’ve gone through terrorist attacks.
And Aconite has worked really well, as well as something called rescue
remedy.

So these are energetic remedies, homeopathic remedies that shift the trauma
and the vibrations out of the system much faster and help with what you're
talking about, the ability to regulate much faster.

So that the person goes into adrenal burnout less, or we prevent them from
going into adrenal burnout. And their health picks up faster. Moreover,  they don't even
go into even sickness because a lot of people after trauma. they'll get stomach
issues, even vomiting, ulcers because of that fight, flight, freeze response.

So, they’ve internalized fear. They've internalized anger, a lot of rage. They've
suppressed themselves and that's just churning away in their biology. So
homeopathy is amazing for releasing that energetic influence and reestablishing resilience. So thank you for bringing that up as well.

Thank you for reading this. There are also free videos on how to heal your liver and gut, adrenals and emotionally-release exercise. It's on drameet.com. And the book is not Heal
Your, Heal Your Mind. In fact, it's Heal Your Body, Cure Your Mind. And that's all on
the website as well. So you're welcome to watch those three videos and get a
taste of a beautiful, emotional healing exercise that's waiting for you.

 

 

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