Dr. Nichole Cain, ND
Michael had worked with some of the best psychotherapists, tried dozens of prescription medications, and has changed his diet, and lifestyle. He even began to go to yoga classes and meditate daily. However, despite all his efforts, Michael still suffered. Every day he woke up saturated with anxiety, and went to sleep under a blanket of sadness. His dreams were riddled with troubling thoughts about his difficult work environment, and his relationships were beginning to suffer. As a last resort, Michael sat down and started to do research to see if there were others suffering the way that he was. This is when Michael found homeopathy and Naturopathic medicine. Upon beginning his journey into the root causes of his symptoms, Michael discovered that there was not only a reason, for how he felt, but an effective treatment for it as well.
Michael, not unlike the millions of Americans that walk our streets, suffered from trauma. Trauma can exist in a multitude of forms. There are the major traumas that we all know can have devastating effects on a person’s wellness, like car accidents, tragedies, and near death experiences. These are called about we call “Big T Traumas.” But there are also “Little t Traumas,” which are those more subtle but often equally/more damaging experiences that people go through in their day-to-day lives. Whether it is being in a negative work environment, psychological neglect by a loved one, parental strife/divorce, or the loss of a job, “Little t Traumas” can have a fairly big impact.
All trauma causes changes in the brain. The longer, or more chronic the traumatic stressor, the more changes occur in the brain thusly compounding symptoms1,2,3,4. Moreover, experiences of trauma are widely varied depending on the area of the brain that is affected. While changes in the cortex may result in issues with emotional regulation, judgment, the fear response, empathy insight and more, trauma causing changes in the brain stem may result in alterations in blood pressure, the heart rate, temperature, etc.4
An example of such changes is often referred to as “state memory.” In state memory, one can have a physical reaction when exposed to something that “reminds” them, or their body (subconsciously), for that matter, of an incredibly stressful moment. For example, if someone has been in a car accident that involved hearing a car horn followed by screeching tires, then, in the future, upon hearing a car horn in a safe driving situation their heart beat is likely to increase in rate, they may even begin sweating, eyes dilate, and muscles clench. When a “state memory” is activated, a person’s body will respond as though they were back at that moment of the initial traumatic experience.
As a result of brain changes due to both large and small traumas, people may develop a variety of symptoms including, but not limited to: Anxiety, depression, weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension5. Coincidentally the aforementioned symptoms and issues are among the top medical issues Americans are suffering with today.
For example, if a person suffers from high blood pressure that is “unexplainable” and they happened to have experienced trauma in the past, whether large or small, their blood pressure elevations may be due to changes in their brainstem.
The implications of the newest research and information regarding trauma are profound. As a result, “unexplained” hypertension may have an explanation after all. Those whose depression persists despite months of excellent talk therapy or pharmacological prescriptions may be able to find healing by assessing roots of changes in the brain through trauma analysis. If not properly addressed, these brain changes may become more fixed and rigid and cause additional or prolonged debilitating symptoms.
In short: If you have symptoms, it is essential to reflect on your life and your past and present experiences as part of your investigation. One of the fundamental principles of Naturopathic medicine is “tolle causam” which refers to finding the cause, or the root cause. Treating the root cause often means treating trauma.
Michael, in the story above found Naturopathic Medicine, and by going back to the roots of medicine to find the “tolle causam” of his symptoms, he was able to uncover the traumas that precipitated his symptoms. His individual treatment was primarily comprised of individually prescribed homeopathic medicines in conjunction with EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy with a trained specialist. With time, Michael began to finally experience relief. The anxiety lifted, the depression disappeared, and he felt more like himself again.
Treat the trauma, and reach the skies of happiness, health, and wellness… naturally.
Dr. Cain specializes in the integrative treatment of mental health, and is among the most highly trained homeopathic doctors in the United States. She graduated from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM), where she also did a residency in internal medicine. She currently has a private practice in Scottsdale, Arizona, and teaches in the psychology department at SCNM. Dr. Cain has a Master’s in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (CSOPP). She also studied psychobiology and psychoneuroimmunology at Luther College. She is a board member of Arizona Naturopathic Medical Association, and is a co-founder of the not-for-profit organization Homeopathic Medicine for Mental Health.