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Do you suffer chronic pain, migraines and headaches, gastro-intestinal issues or chronic fatigue? These are just a few medical issues, from a long list, that sufferers can endure, and while often they are the result of a direct medical cause, sometimes these problems are exacerbated and even caused by our emotional, physiological and psychological responses to anxiety, stress and trauma in our lives.

Pick a hand, ball it into a fist as tight as you can and hold that arm out straight, away from your body. Hold it like that for as long as you can… keep holding, tight… whew! Was that exhausting? Now you can imagine how your body feels after doing that for 12 or more hours a day! I often use this simple technique to underscore the debilitating effects anxiety, stress and trauma can have on your body while they’re beating up your psyche.

There is a great book called The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. and I believe the central message of his work is essential to understanding, and getting relief from, many of our common ailments.

In my work as a clinical therapist, I strive to help clients contend with the trauma they have suffered and reduce their anxiety and stress as a first step on their path to better health so they can put away their boxing gloves.