How to Heal Stress, Pain, and Trauma through The Magic of Movement

The fit flamingo blog

With all my heart, I believe in the power and magic of movement. It brings me to tears to think about the women I get to move and train with. My heart fills to the max in our sessions together because when my clients enter the studio, they let every single wall fall down. They know this is a safe place to feel all the deep scary stuff because they know healing is just around the corner.

Together, we laugh and cry and pour out our hearts to each other because let’s face it, fitness is about so much more than just weight loss and #gains. 

As women, we all have reasons why we do and don’t workout and why we do and don’t eat. 

We carry trauma in our bodies, holding on to the emotional scars that we endured as young girls. We’ve grown up believing that we aren’t enough, that we’re too much, or that we have to protect ourselves because if we don’t, no one else will. We’ve been sexually abused, emotionally traumatized, and made to believe that it's better to stay small. We’ve been cheated on and hurt by people we thought we could trust. We’ve had our hearts broken and we’ve experienced loss and grief. And we blame ourselves for so much of what we’ve been through.

I truly believe that we cannot achieve total body wellness without addressing the emotional, spiritual, and mental components of health while we simultaneously work on the physical. For that reason, I feel called to make my job as a personal trainer about more than just giving you a good workout.

I want to help you connect the dots between your physical and emotional struggles because I have come to learn that emotional pain, sadness, depression, anger, and trauma physically effect our bodies in profound ways. And if we don’t let those emotions and experiences move through us, they will get trapped in our bodies, causing physical pain and dysfunction.

For example, you may notice that in times of stress or conflict, you feel a big weight on your chest. And the moment that issue is resolved, you feel like you can breathe again. An emotional experience created a physical reaction!

Often, we carry baggage with us, holding onto traumatic pain, unkind words that were said to us, and feelings of hurt, betrayal, and disappointment. As we move through life, these emotions manifest physically and weigh us down.

Here’s how we can start to set ourselves free:

01 | Do a body scan.

Bring awareness to how you feel physically.

How do you feel in this moment? Where are you experiencing pain? What is your energy level and mood like? Is it hard for you to catch your breath?

Take a moment to check in with yourself, noticing how you feel throughout your body. First, start by tuning into what you feel in your feet. Then, slowly bring awareness up through your legs, hips, belly, back, chest, arms, hands, neck, jaw, and head. This is called a body scan!

Do you feel heavy, burdened, frantic, weighed down, or deeply saddened?

Maybe you’re experiencing intense pains in you neck and shoulders. Are your knees throbbing? Is your low back always sore? Do your hands and wrists ache constantly? You may even recognize that you get sick quite often (did you know that stress weakens your immune system?).

Every single one of us will interpret our emotions in a different way. But one thing is true for everyone: if we don’t learn how to move through our emotions and experiences, they will get bottled up & trapped and at some point, they will manifest themselves physically.

02 | Turn towards movement.

Practically speaking, movement is a tool that we can use to unlock pain in the body. Mobility flows and functional fitness methods help us release pain, prevent and heal injuries, relieve stress, and enhance overall performance, both inside and outside the gym.

Memories are stored in the brain but emotions are stored in the body. We can only release emotions by expressing them verbally (this is why a “sigh of relief” feels so good!) or by physically moving our bodies around by running, jumping, dancing, hugging, stretching, etc!!

Movement has the tremendous ability to enhance our mood and change our perspective.

Most times, moving is the last thing we want to do when we’re feeling depressed, anxious, or overwhelmed. These emotions make us physically contract. You may notice that when you’re sad, your posture rounds and your head hangs low. Your breath gets shallow and you don’t feel energized enough to do even the simplest of tasks. 

But movement creates space for us to expand.

When we move, we’re able to let go of the heaviness that weighs down on our shoulders. As we engage with our breath, we ground ourselves and allow oxygen to move throughout the entire body and increase blood flow to the brain. We stand up taller, take up more space, and are able to think higher functioning thoughts as our nervous system fires up.

This is the magic of movement.

In my sessions, I strive to create a beautiful and welcoming space where women can feel safe, let down their guard, and learn what it looks like to have a healthy, healing relationship with their body. Healing limiting beliefs, working through emotional pains, and learning how to love ourselves are key components to seeing physical results in the gym.

Our emotional health directly determines our physical health.

Once we acknowledge our emotions, we can learn how to work through them. Movement is an incredible tool for healing stress, unlocking pain, and moving through trauma experienced in the body. When we move, we allow our bodies to release emotions and heal physically.

I hope this post encourages you to add some movement to your day - whether it’s a mobility flow, calming walk outside, restorative at-home yoga session, or sweaty HIIT workout. If you’re in pain, remember that you are not alone. I see you and I’ll be here to help you move through your pain as best as I can.

With love & light,
Your trainer - Madison.

making time to move in sunny California

nature is constantly in motion...

hi hey hello!

I'm Madison Deaton. I'm a wife, personal trainer, business owner, dreamer and doer. I strive to create a safe space where women can gather and feel good in their own skin. Welcome to my world of feel-good fitness. Studio location: Plano, TX.

hi hey hello!

I'm Madison Deaton. I'm a wife, personal trainer, business owner, dreamer and doer. I strive to create a safe space where women can gather and feel good in their own skin. Welcome to my world of feel-good fitness. Studio location: Plano, TX.

@thefitflamingo

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