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Trauma Recovery

Treatment for the physical & psychological aspects of lower back pain.

If you’re stuck in Fight, Flight or Freeze, EMDR can help you process the underlying traumatic memories which are stuck in your survival brain, holding you in this constantly triggered state. Movement – boxing and running, fulfil the original instruction to fight or flee, calming your nervous system or releasing you from Freeze. Weightlifting and Pilates can help you regulate your nervous system, helping your brain come back into the present moment and know that you are safe.

Calm Sea


Free yourself from the grip of trauma.

Traumatic experience is often stored in the non-verbal, timeless areas of the brain and the body, where language can’t reach. In an EMDR session, you don’t need to talk in detail about an experience (unless you want to). Instead, I ask you to play what you remember in your mind like a film and to freeze it at the worst point. We look at the negative thoughts, emotions and physical feelings you have at that moment, I ask you to bring it all together in your mind and then to follow my fingers from left to right as I move them in front of you. I ask you to let your mind wander and follow your thoughts as you watch what happens. This process stimulates the brain’s memory processing mechanism, allowing it to process or move the memory from the survival brain, (the Amygdala), to the brain’s library, the hippocampus, where it can be remembered, without being relived. More simply, EMDR helps put the part of your mind that still feels trapped in the frightening situation, in contact with the part of your brain which knows you are safe, bringing the frightened part out of danger and into the safe present. It can be an emotionally powerful and intense way of doing therapy, but you will generally feel things intensely but briefly and I will teach you exercises to help you feel calm and regulated, which we will use at the end of a session so you feel safe before you leave.

Healing the Mind & the Body

Treatment for the physical & psychological aspects of lower back pain.

Boxercise: Boxing for Fitness

Boxercise is a boxing-based fitness system which is fantastic for body and mind: it combines aerobic exercise with the complex movements of boxing (punching onto pads and footwork). It will lift your mood, reduce your stress and can even help with trauma: trauma can leave you with troubling emotions held deep in the body, which words cannot reach but boxing can release. People are often left with a feeling of trapped movement after an assault or form of abuse: a feeling of wanting to protect yourself but of being prevented from doing so as you were trapped due to your circumstances or your body went into Freeze at the time of the abuse. The impulse to fight or run can stay with you for years, repeatedly triggered when you feel threatened. Boxercise can be a powerful way to release the tension by safely fulfilling the brain’s instruction to fight. The sessions teach you the eight basic punches, footwork, defensive manoeuvres and how to counter-punch – learning that you can get out of the way of a punch and then counterattack, even in the controlled environment of padwork (Boxercise doesn’t involve actual fighting or sparring), can be an emotionally powerful experience which can build your confidence in responding to challenging situations in life in general.


As with the impulse to fight, the impulse to run can also be trapped in the body if your brain told you to run but then the body froze. Learning to run and especially to sprint is a powerful way to complete the instruction to flee, helping the body feel safe in the present, bringing you out of the state of hyperarousal, freeze or panic: if you have panic attacks, this is your brain sending your body into Flight mode – the increased heart rate, fast shallow breathing and tension in the muscles is your body getting ready to run. Physiologically, running is the best thing to do at this point: your brain will experience your body getting away from danger, which will calm it, allowing you to feel safe. Depending on your preference, we can work on your endurance, technique and cardiovascular fitness to help you run for longer or work on the leg, upper body, core strength and technique to help you sprint. Running is a wonderful form of cardio fitness and great for the mind as it releases serotonin and endorphins, the body’s natural mood raising hormones.


Trauma is like time travel – when you’re triggered, your survival brain, the Amygdala, takes over. This area of the brain doesn’t understand time or place, so it feels like the original trauma is happening again. Trauma survivors, especially survivors of sexual abuse, often feel cut off from their body. The flow of sensory information from the body which usually informs the brain of what’s happening in the real, present environment, somehow doesn’t arrive, so you can feel stuck in the past. Weightlifting counters this as it demands that brain and muscles talk to each other through the nervous system: to lift a weight, the brain sends signals via the nervous system to the particular muscles involved in moving the joint concerned (think the biceps contracting and flexing the elbow to lift a dumbbell in a bicep curl). The feel of the dumbbell in your hand, the weight resisting the curl, the movement of the joint, all creates sensation, which is fed back up into the brain through the nervous system, switching the pre-frontal cortex back on (the area of the brain which understands time and place), so the brain understands you are back in the present, where you are safe. Weightlifting also of course, makes you stronger, again helping you feel safer as your survival brain will feel more confident in your ability to protect yourself. I can teach you to lift mindfully, building the body’s awareness of the movement, increasing the safety effect.

Pilates & Visualisation to relieve chronic lower back pain.

Pilates is a wonderful exercise system for improving core strength, flexibility and posture. You will learn to perform a series of exercises with smooth, controlled, flowing movement and to focus on the movement and how it feels in your body. The smooth, flowing movement calms and relaxes the body, and focusing on the movement signals this state of calm to the brain, allowing it to change its assessment of a situation, from one of threat and danger from the past to safety in the present. 

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