July 21, 2021

E89 How I Healed My Body from Trauma and CPTSD Coach

In this episode, I talked about my journey, inhaling the trauma in my body, and how does your body releases the pain and suffering during the things that are you have been through.

Learn more at https://www.ThinkUnbrokenPodcast.com

In this episode, I talked about my journey, inhaling the trauma in my body, and how does your body releases the pain and suffering during the things that are you have been through.

Learn more at https://www.ThinkUnbrokenPodcast.com

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Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well. Wherever you are in the world. I really hope that you enjoyed Monday's episode with Melanie Weller. Such an incredible conversation about the body and the way that it stores trauma and the way that you can release it, if you have not listened to that episode, I highly recommend that you do because there was just such a tremendous amount of value in there.

And it got me thinking as we were having the conversation about my own journey, inhaling the trauma in my body, so I haven't really talked about this, I haven't doubt deep into it, but I want to go into this today and talk about killing my own body in this journey because the truth about it is, it's such a big part of healing. If you've ever read, “Van Der Kolk” Book, ‘The body keeps the score’ then you know that your trauma can be stored in your body. When I read his book for the first time I was blown away and then when I got into some of the courses at a teaches and working with him, I learned so much more and it was mind-boggling to me, but it made sense, and the reason that it made sensors because I think about this often, why would your body not store those traumas, think about this, your mind, your memory stores that pain your psyche stores, those things that happen to you, that’s how we get triggers, that's how we get flashbacks, but so does your body? Your have this moment where somebody might touch you on the arm at freaks you out and like whoa, whoa, whoa, right? That's your body's automatic response to threats. And so it makes perfect sense to me that our bodies would want to keep in store and hold onto those traumatic experiences because it's a defensive mechanism. It's so much about if your body is storing it, then you can always be prepared and then you're effectively always in fight or flight your over in the sympathetic nervous system.

Now, the other part of it too, is that your body needs to release these things. How does your body release trauma? How does your body release the pain and suffering during the things that are you have been through? And I think so much of it is about getting to this position and into these places in your life, in which you can further connect your brain and your body. If I rewind, and I go back in time and I think about the start of my healing journey, a lot of it was mental, and the deeper that I got into the mental healing, the deeper that, I got into the emotional healing, the more that I recognize, I also needed to get into the physical healing. And I've talked about before and that one point in my life, I was 350 pounds smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, drinking myself to sleep, my body was intoxicated, I was full of poison, I was full of pain, I was full of suffering. And today, I still have some things that I have to do work on, but I would say this if I looked at my physical body ten years ago, versus today, it's literally day and night. And the reason why is because I've had to do a lot of work to make it better to heal it, to make my body function as a normal body should. And I'll be honest with you, it comes to this concept to talk about a lot of time, effort, energy, and money, and I had to put all those things into healing myself.

And let's talk about it from a few different aspects, from a time perspective. I think you have to be tremendously patient when you're starting to do the work on your body. It's been trapped in there, it's tight, your vagus nerve is probably all screwed up, you got hip pain, shoulders hurt, your neck hurts, all of those things.

And when it starts with that, I think to mount the fact that on a long enough timeline, you can get to a place of what I would call sustainability, I don't know, and I'm not a doctor, so please keep that in mind. I don't know that my body will ever get back to a hundred percent because I've been experiencing pain and trauma since I was 4 years old, that's a lot, right? Decade's worth of pain and suffering. And so, when I go into this, I'm always thinking about how can I get it to be just a little bit better? So, the same thing as mindset, can I get my body 1% better and I'm not talking about six-pack abs, I'm not talking about running marathons, I'm not talking about that David Goggins lifestyle, shout out, David, but I am talking about, can I freely move my body throughout the course of the day without tremendous pain.

A couple of things, I've never really dived into is that I actually have a couple of autoimmune diseases, one is called pots ‘Postural Tachycardia’, basically, this is something that happens to a lot of tall people and it's where your heart does not pump blood fast enough throughout your extremities and so you can be prompted or you could faint often and I was having his fainting spells for a while and then I grew up with asthma, I've broken all the fingers on both of my hands and my thumbs had a couple of ankle surgeries and torn tendons, and messed up knee, which is why I couldn't get into the military and the list goes on and on my body's been through a lot of suffering. And then as an adult, it was looking at these things and trying to no longer just put a salve on them, right to put a band-aid on them, but to instead try to not only become more functional, but to be able to freely exist within this body day-to-day, that was kind of the goal.

Can I get to the place in my life, where I don't have constant pain? In this is big, I don't think and I'll be honest I haven't even talked about this enough, there's been a period as a time in my life where I've been in tremendous, physical pain, just because of holding on and storing that that trauma so tightly. And then that allows those releases, I would say this, I'm probably calling it, 94% - 94% of where I believe that I could be. So I'm always trying to get better at being closer than not drinking so many knots, not staying up all night and having red bulls, and waking up and meditating stretching the whole nine, right? That's a huge part of this journey.

And so initially, however, it started with, can I just move and that movement started with yoga. And I will tell you this, yoga as a spiritual practice is really beautiful, but as a healing practice, I think it's even better, and the reason why I say this is because, throughout the course of doing yoga in my life, my brain and body connection has become closer and closer, like, if I don't do yoga for multiple weeks at a time, I feel the impact and not only the way that I'm thinking, but also in the way that my body is moving, because if you think about this, how often are we really pausing? How often are we really stopping? And so at the beginning of this journey, I looked at hot yoga because I grew up wrestling and so we were always in the scorching hot rooms, hundred and five degrees with 70% humidity, you just be dripping, sweat all the time. It was a little dangerous back then, I know that a lot of laws have been put in place to protect kids who are wrestling and playing high-intensity sports even in football which I played also. And so that's awesome, and part of me was like, oh, if I can get back to that kind of lifestyle, where my mom's hot room sweating out, the toxins every day, maybe that'll be beneficial. And one of the most incredible things that happened throughout my experience in the beginning of doing yoga was I started to feel inside of myself, I don't have a better way to phrase this, I think, like, if you go and you practice yoga or meditation, you know, a little bit about what I'm talking about and I would feel like I was connected, I feel like I understood myself had a deeper level than I did before I got into the studio versus after and the deeper that I got in the yoga practice, the more I would fill these releases and sometimes honest, I'd finish a class, whether it was 60 minutes or 90 minutes, and I'd be laying on the ground drenched in sweat and just overwhelmed with emotion because those were honestly, some of the first periods of time in which I was just focused entirely on myself and in that became a lot of healing because I was able to notice things about my body, the pain, and the ankle, or a torn hamstring, or, oh, messed up MCL or messed up shoulder, whatever it was And I would care for it.

Here's what's really fascinating about this, as a child going through, and having a lot of these traumatic experiences when it came to the medical care side of it that never happened. No one ever took me rarely if ever took me to the doctor.

I mean, at one point I'd rolled my ankle so bad, I had to have two surgeries and I went three days, four days walking on it before I finally convinced my mother who a teacher at school had to call to take me to the hospital, turns out and needed some surgeries. And I was in this cast for weeks and then I heard it again and it's a whole long drama, right? But being in yoga allowed me to sit and think and listen to my body, go! oh, you know what, the shoulder is not feeling great today, so I'm not going to do this, I'm not going to do that. The other part of this release happened that because I was so cognizant of my body and relaxed. I know that yoga can be a strenuous activity, especially depending on what kind of class should run, but if I would go to these Yen classes or be sound Bowl healing classes and in them, go through these flows and get to the mat at the end and just be overwhelmed. And one of my friends, great, great, great friends, who I highly recommend you check out “Cole Chance” has a program called “Cole Chance Yoga” and she was a huge factor in this journey for me, six, seven years ago because I started finding her on YouTube and I just felt really connected the let me tell you something about the universe. It's so small, I moved to Bali a few years ago I've mentioned this to you guys and I'm in a Toastmasters speaking meeting and we're just kind of like chatting with folks and I bumped into this person, I was like, oh, you look really familiar, who are you? And it turns out it was her talk about a small world and we've connected and become friends for years now, since that moment.

And so yoga was this beautiful jump-off point and I think it's a great place if you just starting this journey to go to a yoga class or pull it up. Go check out, “Cole's chance Yoga” YouTube channel, or subscribe to yoga class or something, right? Just start there, and the reason why I say start there is because I think the greatest benefit and healing your body is starting with connecting your mind.

Now, I did yoga, I do yoga, it's a part of my life, but there are other factors that really needed to be discussed and I didn't understand initially how to tap into them, because I also in this journey, I have this thing called ‘sibo’, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, that came from antibiotics. When I was a kid, I got, I had asthma really bad, I had migraines, I had the worst migraines and I used to have to like take this nasal spray, put it up to my nose, it tasted like poison, it was horrendous and it has to lay on the ground with a cold rag on my eyes, dead silent, no light. My mother also had migraines and so did my grandmother, and so did what I know and I can never confirm that my father did as well. And so perhaps that's in our DNA, perhaps that's a part of, you know, the growth journey is that when you start to grow up, you have these things that in your body want to come out. And I can pinpoint now, especially with Van Der Kolk’s us work, looking at an understanding, of course, I had migraines, look at all the stress I was under. So one of the big parts that I jumped into here was going to the doctor and this sounds crazy because a lot of us have medical trauma. I know, I do like going to the doctor when I got my finger cut off from my mother, having all these surgeries in and out constantly having asthma ending up in the emergency room having these migraines, by the time I was a teenager, I would just deal with being sick, I would just deal with not going the doctor, and I got used to not having that care because my mom would stop taking me. A lot of times, I'd have to call my grandmother who had come from the other side of town to pick me up to take me to the doctor, and in that one of the things that happen that kind of like creating this precursor to not taking care of myself as an adult. So if I were sick, I wouldn't go to the doctor, if I need something wrong with my tooth, I wouldn't go to the dentist, if there was something on my stomach, I wouldn't do whatever it took to get healthy. And that, oh my God! It costs so much problem. If in this whole journey, I could go back and do one thing, I would have figured out what was wrong with my body, before maybe during I don't want to say before because I don't know, I can't go back in time, but I would have spent more effort, time, energy and money, and healing my body. And the reason that I would have done that is that you cannot function in pain. I can't function in pain and, you know, thank God for CBD. You guys know I'm a huge proponent of it. I've been thinking about making one specifically for myself and so I'm working on that, that's another conversation for another day. But CBD, being such an important Catalyst and just not being in pain all day long, but I had to go to the doctor and I had to get my mind around what it meant to eat better and take care of my physical well-being and take care of hurt shoulder or hurt me or whatever it was. And also this is the important part of following my intuition around going to doctors because the truth is a lot of doctors I would call the majority that I've ever seen in my life just one throw a prescription at it and that to me, never felt like it worked.

So I had to get into naturopathic medicine and going and getting into herbs and really deep into things like acupuncture, even though I hate needles as I would sit there, I get, I'm actually getting like a little clammy handed right now, just thinking about it. Even just acupuncture those needles would freak me out, but I would force myself to go do it because of the medicinal benefits of it. And the deeper I got into that, the more I started researching, like, how do you really start to get the stress out of the body? Because, of course, there's journaling, and meditation, and therapy, and talk therapy, and those things really, really help but there was still more. And so I got into this thing called “myofascial release”. And myofascial is basically what intertwines and interconnects, the musculature of your body, kind of like think about envision a spider web and that fascia and again I'm not a doctor, go research each this on your own, but I'm just talking about me, that faster for me was so tight, especially around my SOS if you go and do research in the SOS is what connects the leg to the torso, basically, it runs up from mid-thigh up to the hip up into the Torso. And as you guys may know, I used to be a certified personal trainer and nutritionist. I did that. So I could understand the body and never coached anybody in that realm, but I did that because I wanted to learn and understand it.

And so my cell would be so tight and I would go to this myofascial release and they would move and manipulate my fascia around the muscles, and it was when I say excruciating like I honestly believe that it's the closest thing to legal torture that you can do and it was so painful, but so healing, because by the time I would leave these sessions, I would feel so much better and then I got into deep tissue massage, recognizing my muscles would be stuck, I'd be super inflamed and part of that stuckness. Now, I understand was around my diet and nutrition, right? Because I still wasn't like deeply understanding the food that I was putting into my body. And when you think about this, I know it sounds crazy but you're eating what the food you are eating ate. And so I had to get really serious about what I was eating, whether it was dark, leafy greens, or broccoli, or kale or you'll grass-fed meats, staying away from poor-quality foods, which I would come to discover is incredibly expensive, which that again, is another conversation for another day really pisses me off, but you have to think about the food that you're putting in your body and the way that it creates inflammation. And so I was getting into things like rolfing, deep tissue, massage acupuncture, and also I would go and do things like; ‘Oh my gosh! I just totally drew a blank, Oh my God! What is that called? Like, even Reiki and so I would go and do this. Just even these mental and emotional therapies and movements and then I got into sound bowl healing and I'll say this, I think that there's always room to experiment and try things, I've tried everything. You know, there's an episode, I don't know early on 20, 30 episodes in where I talk about my experience with plant medicines and Psilocybin and how impactful that has been in the journey and LSD and mushrooms like I really am a proponent of these things because in moderation and when proctored correctly with a doctor and I'm not one of those are very powerful tools and so the deeper I got into the bodywork and strengthening it. Let's talk about this for a second. You know, you hear this all the time like sitting is the new smoking, while I was sitting and I was smoking. So boom! Double whammy! I had to start moving my body frequently, I had to start lifting, lifting weights, lifting heavy weights, running shedding the excess pounds, getting into the best physical shape possible, and the more I took care of my body, the more I saw a correlation between my mind working better.

And look, I come from overweight family obesity runs in my family, my mother had diabetes, my grandmother had diabetes other people in my family probably have it too. And I'm going to say this and I'm going to piss people off. I don't care. I believe that if you want to heal your body, you got to lose weight. If you are overweight, you've got to lose weight and I'm body positive, this is not shaming. I'm just talking about from my perspective when I was 350 pounds versus today, I'm at like, 220 or 221, which is still a little higher than I'd like to be I was miserable, I was so sick, I was so much pain, I was so inflamed, I was so just everything hurt all the damn time and because of that when you go and look at some of the research initiatives around the survey the advance childhood experiences survey and study, they were trying to find a cause to obesity.

They were just Dr. Filetti whole thing started with her, he was helping people and the obesity clinic. And I've talked about, I've done episodes on this one dive deep today, but there is a correlation between abuse and obesity. There's no question about it, and so if you have to, so you must heal your body in order to heal your mind. I'm telling you right now, you will never feel better than you feel when you move your body, you need the endorphins, you need the dopamine, you need it all right? And just simply stepping into physical movement, can play such a huge role in this healing journey and I think if you are not, you're making a huge misstep, you can only do so much with the mind without the body and you can only do so much with the body without the mind, they really need to be in synchronicity, they really need to be together on this journey. And so as I step deeper into it and I had to be patient. This is the other part of it and that patients and I talked about patients all the time. I have a hypothesis and I don't know that there's a way to prove it but I believe that it takes yours on the healthy as it did to get unhealthy, but to get healthy, you have to do all the things, right. And I'm not saying you have to be a damn bodybuilder or take supplements or any of those things, but I do think that you need to take into consideration everything that you're doing with your body.

When we come from trauma, we're dissociated, right? And dissociate our brain and our body isn't connected, this is why sometimes you get hurt, you won't notice for a while or you'll be on autopilot and you'll do a thing and be like, why did I just do that? Because you're disconnected. That's where I think yoga and meditation and journaling play a huge role but then there's the part of it where you're trying to get your body to move in ways that you never have. You're going to get hurt, I got hurt, may I hope you don't get hurt, but I got hurt a lot because I try to do these things I've never done before without doing all the lead-up and all the work. And so, being a stubborn person who honestly learns the hard way, which still holds true, even though I have a growth mindset, I'm trying to learn all the time when it comes to, like sports and wanting to be fit and proficient in something, sometimes I’ll overdo it. And so all of us those to say, listen to your body more, really tap in and dive into what it needs and honor that we talk about Grace a lot here, right? And I think if you can step into it a little bit more grace, give yourself some patients and then show up for yourself and you will heal your body in time.

One thing I want to talk about is money when it comes to this because I think it's really important to, is a lot to heal my body, especially in money and we're talking tens of thousands of dollars. Like, every penny I had like a there was a five six-year stretch where I just stayed broke and I do still to an extent because I have coaches and I pay for programs and I'm always trying to learn. I have a fitness coach, right? I even have a voice coach because that's a part of my body too, and, you know, I'm doing podcasts and do interviews all time I need to take care of it.

And so when you're in this and you're trying to go through and figure out where to start, I mean, I'm always thinking about how do you start at this that the easiest first step and that's maybe it's buying an online course for seven dollars or, you know, buying that other book or hiring somebody because there are coaches and personal trainers who are extremely reasonable. I mean, my first personal trainer I think I paid that dude like 30 dollars a session, 40 dollars a session and I saw a lot of a benefit and this was back in a little town called can be Indiana with a population of I don't know, 2,000 people or something. It was weird, this and long story but you know, you can find that person, you can find the person to help, you can find the person or people to be on your team to help you go to the next level.

And as I think about the journey and being where I am today, again, I don't know that I'll ever be a hundred percent healthy. I think he kind of hit that 30, 35, 40-year-old mark and it's just like you're maintaining, you're trying to build muscle, you're trying to grow physical, fitness, and health. And so, I'm always saying about just flexibility moving, stretching, lifting, building musculature, and trying to take care of myself. There's a lot of aspects to it, and I think in a short episode like this, I can't go as in-depth as I'd like to, but I will say this, if you go back and listen to Melanie's conversation that she and I had in the last episode of the podcast and you listen to this, the biggest takeaway that I want you to have from this two conversations is that you can have a healthy functioning body but you need support and you have to take care of and that may mean going to physical therapy or hiring a coach or reading the book. You're going to have to invest time, effort, energy, or money into these things so that you can create and cultivate change in your life. And I get it, it's not easy, and a lot of times, we don't know where to start, and there's a lot of misconceptions about what it means to get into physical shape. Again, I don't think you have to have a six-pack. Can you be sure if you want to get put in a lot of work, it's especially around diet. But what I'm thinking about, can you move freely within this body? Can you release the trauma by getting your brain and your body connected? And again, that's going to involve therapy and yoga, maybe Reiki for you right now, there are so many different things, maybe it's going to involve journaling and meditation, it's going to be really about diet. If I could say, I'm gonna give you another takeaway actually, and I'm going to wrap this up for the day, I want you to think about your diet, I want you to think about what you're putting in your body, and if you don't eat meat, if you do eat meat, doesn't matter, it doesn't matter to me. That's not my point. My point is thinking about what you're putting into it and identifying where you, what is causing you inflammation because not only does inflammation causes pain in the body but it causes things like brain fog. And if I go back to when I was like, on this crazy sugar diet on the brain fog was unbelievable, like I would do things of like what is going on the panic attacks, unbelievable, the stress, the anxiety unbelief, the depression, Oh my God! Don't even get me started, but I looked at that and I started cleaning up my diet, I started rebuilding my gut floor, especially after having sibo and taking things like vitamins, and probiotics and somebody I know will message me and ask, I'm going to preface this again I am not a doctor, do not take medical advice from me, I do not want to get sued plus, if you sue me, you're not gonna get anything anyway, and so vitamins, let me tell you what I do. I do amino acids, right? I do collagen, a huge part of my day is collagen, just and there's grass-fed collagen. I only do grass-fed everything because it's so important. I do vitamin D fish oil, also, this is going to sound weird to you if you don't do this, but I'm telling you it's amazing. I'll do a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, just straight up in some water. I know sounds ridiculous, but when you understand that the brain functions on fat and not carbs are sugar, and you need fats in order to really create cognizant thoughts, olive oils, phenomenal avocado oil phenomenal. I stay away from gross oils, I don't mess with grape seed, I don't mess with, you know, canola oil, Crisco. Let me tell you this so, oh my God! My grandmother, cooked, everything in Crisco, everything if you have Crisco in your house, you need to throw it, the fuck away right now because you're poisoning yourself. And so, anyway, back to the vitamins. So, vitamin D amino, I take ancestral, I'm not sponsored by any of these guys. So please know that, nobody sponsors think Unbroken but think Unbroken. And you guys, the amazing Unbroken Nation, I take ancestral, it is a breakdown of organs, animal organs, and a dry powder form, I hate liver, I have tried to eat it. I've tried to grind it up into other foods, I've tried it, every way you can, the science shows that liver is one of the best organ meats that you can eat. I just cannot palette it, I've tried, I've tried, and I get it fixed mindset. I know, pot calling the kettle black over here, I've tried it every way I even thought about putting it into like a smoothie one time. And so it's not the bioavailability from my understanding still holds true and encapsulated freeze-dried form. So I get animal organs that way which has been very beneficial. Again, you go find out what works for you, then take a daily multivitamin. And so really, it's just maintenance things. I try to be ahead of the curb. If I'm super enflamed, I'll do turmeric and Q Kerman which is very rare, that'll happen, I am gluten-free. So because of that, I have to be cautious, but if I do have some gluten and I get inflamed, I'll go take some turmeric and cumin, and course attend or course eaten. However, you say it and those are amazing, amazing, amazing for inflammation and if you have allergies, and so that's kind of the rundown because if I take these vitamins, along with the diet, they are supplements. Keep this in mind, there are some supplemental they are to help you if you can't get all of your nutrition and you know, truth be told I'm trying to get better, always trying to be better about my nutrition, my vitamin intake things like that, especially water take a lot of electrolytes, a lot of Himalayan saltwater. I came along the Himalayan saltwater, so every morning I'll put a couple of dabs of salt in my water, which is salty and is a little bit gross, but it definitely helps with electrolyte balance. So all this is to say that there are so many different things that you can do stepping into and healing your body. I'm giving you a couple of recommendations of some books that I really enjoy around this. This one is called the “Plant Paradox, Dr. Gundry”, which was an incredible book. There are incredible books on Paleo, there's an awesome nutrition book by Dave Asprey that I really love. I'm trying to get that guy on the show so if anybody knows or has a connection, please let me know. But there's so much, I think healing your body, just like healing your mind, starts with education, starts with learning and trying different things because you may find some things just don't work for you while other things do, and I will say this, I'm certainly not the end-all, be-all in this, just sharing some insights to my life, to my daily.

So the other part of this is my daily kind of regimen, you know, water is huge. I have a cup of coffee in the morning diets huge, I'm always thinking about what I'm eating, I ate the same thing, kind of every day, lots of eggs, lots and lots, and lots of eggs, carrots. Try to keep it whole foods on the occasional cheat because I love tortilla, chips, and salsa, it's like my go-to popcorn, those are, my go-to is, like, those are my cheats for sure. But lots of whole foods, lots of grass-fed meats, a lot of and no antibiotic foods and just trying to daily put in nourishing food. Also do coconut and oat milk yogurt with berries, because berries are super important but I try to keep the sugar low.

So that's a deep dive kind of into today, the day with me. If you guys have more questions, please obviously reach out to me, Michael, ThinkUnbrokenPodcast.com.

Hopefully, this wasn't all over the place but I just had to do a brain dump after the conversation with Melanie to create some value around what I do and healing my body and in this journey. If you have any questions, let me know.

Thank you so much for listening.

As usual my friends,

Please like, subscribe, comment, share, tell a friend.

And until next time.

My friend, Be Unbroken.

-I'll see you.



Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.