Everyone knows the cliché about holding emotions in our bodies. The most common one is, “I carry my stress in my shoulders”. What if I told you that emotions tied with a physical, mental, or spiritual trauma can remain in the visceral body? This can be from both acute (that one firefight in Mosul) or chronic (the day in day out life during a deployment with a horrible commander) events. I have noticed with my clients that unless properly addressed and freed, this stuck energy can manifest into a multitude of issues. I am a CranioSacral Therapist (using Upledger techniques). I believe that all bodies can heal as designed. I am also an Army veteran with two combat tours. I cannot tell the stories of my clients, but I can tell you mine. I can tell you why I do what I do now with such passion and hope to improve the lives of those affected by PTSD. TRAUMA AND THE BODY When a trauma or emotional event occurs, it stimulates the release of cortisol, i.e. adrenaline, causing a chain reaction to recruit the fight, flight, or freeze response (in women, it is considered tend & befriend) in our bodies. This surge can be life-saving by enhancing the senses to focus, aim, and fire at the right moment or providing a surge in power to carry a wounded comrade from danger. But, what happens when the fight is over? Wild animals have been observed “shaking it off” after surviving an attack from a predator. Edward Tick, Ph.D, author of War and the Soul: Healing our Nation’s Veterans from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, mentions a soldier’s need to cleanse and purify the body after returning from war. Like recovering equipment upon redeployment, our bodies must be cleaned out or the emotions can remain stuck and build up. During a deployment, our bodies are constantly on guard. This puts tremendous stress on the adrenal glands as they are the main cortisol-producer in the body. Any additional stress from home or simply missing family just compounds the stress hormones. Chronic stress and/or a singular traumatic event can take a huge toll on the body. This can manifest into a variety of symptoms I have witnessed from the psychological (anxiety, depression, hyper-vigilance, irritability), physiological (panic attacks, hormone imbalance, adrenal fatigue, autoimmune diseases, insomnia), and physical (chronic aches & pains, fatigue, reduced libido, headaches, asthma, allergies, and even heartburn) realms. That’s right. That lingering energy can run your body down and affect it for years if left unresolved. According to Peter Levine in his book, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, “post-traumatic stress symptoms are, fundamentally, incomplete physiological responses suspended in fear.” The body literally needs...