What is health trauma?
‘Health trauma’ is distress experienced by someone navigating a chronic health condition, illness, comorbidities, multimorbidities or the after-effects of a life-changing health event like a heart-attack, chronic illness, stroke or traumatic brain injury. While trauma can be physical, it is often emotional and psychological and the psychological effects of changing health can be devastating. Health trauma is not just about what happened during the events which occured, it can also refer to how you are left feeling afterwards.
When we experience trauma, we can become emotionally dysregulated as our anxiety and overwhelm increases. That arousal of emotions triggers our fight or flight mechanism, leading to panic/ fear driven emotions as our sympathetic nervous system becomes activated. When we become overwhelmed by this mechanism, we can often become frozen by it, dissociating, shutting down and feeling hopeless. Left unprocessed, traumas can also reshape our core self and make us unable to function. We might feel a host of emotions, some of which are explained in this diagram:
At Naked Health, we deliver a structured and supportive 6-month coaching program to support the healing and recovery from such a trauma by teaching techniques to stabilize and deactivate that trauma response, whilst working in a multi-disciplinary team of health practitioners to support you in managing your health systems in a better way. A study by Zamanzadeh et al. (2015) found that a lack of medical oversight occurred in the recuperation programmes of many patients worldwide where the long-term focus of rehabilitation programmes was largely medicalised and about getting people back into work with the mental, spiritual, psychological, and social needs of patients largely neglected.
Run by Adele Theron, a highly trained Trauma coach, this coaching approach helps you to pinpoint and project manage the triggers from that traumatic time which continue to live on in your day to day life. Utilising protocols to reduce the body’s inflammatory response, health outcomes are targeted with our medical team to support clients back to health. Whereas therapy focuses on the trauma itself, coaching focuses on strategies and tools to move forward. Coaching is a forward-focused approach which builds healing strategies to deal with those triggers that come up in your day to day life, teaching you to deal with them proactively.
This coaching approach is educational and builds insight, so you can learn how to support yourself to overcome the overwhelm mechanism using a host of techniques you will learn on the program. The program is not designed for people who have acute psychiatric conditions. Those conditions are better supported with medicalised support. If you want to check if the program is a good fit for you, book a Clarity call with someone on our team to talk through if the coaching approach is a good fit for your situation.