In this episode of Connecting Minds we have Dr Aimie Apigian and we talk about how stress and can lead to overwhelm and subsequent trauma that can get imprinted into our nervous systems. Pretty riveting stuff and very relevant to the current stressful environment.
Dr. Aimie is a Board-Certified Preventive Medicine Physician who specializes in trauma, attachment and addiction medicine, and optimizing our nervous system to feel our best and do our best. After throwing herself into finding answers on how to help her foster-adopted son as he struggled with severe emotional and behavioral issues, she started to see how much of trauma is biology, not psychology.
After 6 exhausting years the pieces came together for her son, and as he successfully shifted into feeling loved and understood, she then developed chronic fatigue and autoimmune issues, and discovered her own trauma patterns at the root of it. By what she calls, “biohacking trauma, attachment and the nervous system,” she has found it is possible to rewire the insecure attachment, trauma patterns and accumulated stress that is stored in our bodies.
In addition to running her medical concierge focus on bio-hacking the nervous system, She is the founder and director of Family Challenge Camps, a weekend intensive for families, and is the founder and CEO of Trauma Healing Accelerated, an LLC dedicated to providing education and courses for those wanting to help themselves and/or their children.
She has written a Roadmap to Accelerating the Rewiring of Trauma Patterns, runs the Intentional Parenting for Attachment 3 month program and has created self-guided online courses including the Shift To Calm Aliveness course to get people started with the basics of Somatic Experiencing, a powerful body-based therapy. She loves seeing the change happen that can happen so quickly by working directly with the body and optimizing one’s biology for connection and aliveness.
Links to Dr Aimie’s website and resources:
Shift to Calm Aliveness course: https://traumahealingaccelerated.mykajabi.com/Shift_to_Calm
Bio-Optimize Summit: https://bio-optimizesummit.com/
Trauma Healing Accelerated: https://www.facebook.com/traumahealingaccelerated
Topics discussed on this episode:
- How Aimie’s fostering of a 4-year-old boy, now her son, changed her understanding of our patterns of stress, trauma, and ability to love and get attached to others can lead to various health issues.
- How she helped her son over come fear, insecurity, and fee
- Young children need to feel like their parent is bigger and stronger than they are, and perfectly safe.
- A child needs to feel like the parent is the leader, otherwise they feel like they need to fill that role.
- How the parent feels inside themselves (insecurities, lack of confindence) comes across in body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions (I.e. the state of their nervous system).
- States of the nervous system
- Social engagement / parasympathetic system – fully present and able to engage/connect, fully alive. The state where we thrive and want to be.
- The two survival states.
- Sympathetic / fight-or-flight – When we sense danger or a threat, overrides logic.
- The freeze response. Very common but very misunderstood. When we get overwhelmed, stress is too much / too long.
- It is a protective mechanism but it can cause us to get into a state where we stop caring, numbed.
- For some it can lead to addictions to substances or behaviours, for others to “checking out” (TV is a prime example), being disconnected, zoned out.
- Going from stress to overwhelm is a trauma to the biology.
- A trauma means something has lasting effects, that gets imprinted, stuck.
- Most of us have these patterns in our nervous system…going back and forth between stress and overwhelm.
- How early imprinting in infancy sets the foundation for our ability to trust.
- The importance of the first three years of life in terms of imprinting into a child’s nervous system that the world is a safe place and they are seen, heard, loved.
- We unconsciously pass our nervous system patterns to our children.
- Simply “talking about it” is not going to change the patterns in our nervous system. Not a way to create lasting change.
- Effective body-based trauma therapies.
- How we can support our loved ones when they experience a trauma so that we don’t cause more damage.