In the middle of my dance career I got a bad concussion. A doctor said I would be fine after two days and the dance company’s physical therapist referred to the doctor’s diagnosis without doing their own assessment. I pushed and pushed myself, unaware of my own habitual work ethic, and one day found myself shaking in a dark, silent room under covers with a sensation like electricity and constant noise that I had never experienced. I couldn’t go outside without extreme fatigue and wincing in the blinding sunlight. I had to wear earplugs everywhere I went. I finally saw a physical therapist who specialized in concussion rehab. At first they were helpful. They did a thorough intake, explained to me what was happening, and I finally felt like I was being taken care of. But after a few weeks, when the computer program they used to assess my recovery said that I was as recovered as I would ever be, my own verbal feedback about persistent sensitivity to light and sound and fatigue were written off.* I was still told to push myself, and doing so sent me into severe regressions; I was back on the floor of a dark and silent room, shaking. I felt like I might as well have been a car part they were fixing.
Eventually I began performing again, still with severe sensitivity to light and sound. I got a second concussion, and this time the bump to my head was tiny. This is where the panic began. This is where the compounded factors from the period after my initial concussion leapt forward, coupled with confusion and distrust in anyone who said they could help me.
Then I found BCST. My sensations were validated and addressed by a woman who had little experience with post-concussion syndrome. I felt more major improvements after one session with her than after all that time spent with PT’s and a neurologist.
After studying BCST, I learned how important integrating the narrative of the trauma with the felt-senses in the body is; I learned that one’s physiological stress-response patterns, usually formed in infancy or early childhood, can play a major role in resilience and recovery as an adult; I learned about the effects of one’s current environment, the embodied response to complex trauma, and so much more about how and why it took me almost three years to fully recover from these accidents. Most importantly, I learned to orient to my body’s inherent intelligence and resilience which was the greatest gift and most helpful tool for my trauma recovery.
What I am now able to offer is that listening, that broad awareness of all the factors that can play into a sustained trauma response. We follow the guidance of the client’s body’s internal wisdom to process and heal. We take time and space to settle into the body’s resilience and health, and from there work with the conditions that arise.
*This physical therapist also began complimenting my appearance and other unprofessional advances.