The ACE Study
Have you heard about the ACE study? I am fond of any research that has implications for making treatment more successful. This one seems to show what many therapists and counselors have already observed: The more trauma an individual has in early life, the more medical conditions he or she is likely to have. This study was huge. It was done by Kaiser Permenente in California and it was a questionnaire that was given to every patient that came to their primary care physician. The sample size was larger than most research in the field and the findings were very clear. Individuals were asked if they had any early life traumas listed on the questionaire. They were items such as abuse (all kinds), loss of a parent (by any means), having a parent with an addiction, etc. They found a direct correlation to the number of traumas (see Do I Have Trauma) that an individual experienced and the number of medical issues experienced. Yes, trauma and the body are connected!
You see, our minds and our bodies are CONNECTED. Often our minds are able to put things on the back burner, or not think about certain things, but our bodies remember. The trauma never goes away unless it is addressed and re-processed. It is stored not only in our brains but in our body memory as well. It would make sense, then, that these difficult experiences over time would have a significant impact on the body- a disease or an addiction. Many people know this intuitively, but the beauty of this study is that we now have scientific data that backs this up.
If you have had difficult experiences in your life, please find a licensed, qualified therapist that you can talk to about them. Better yet, find an EMDR therapist to help you work through these things and you can improve your mind and body health. For more about EMDR, go to: What About EMDR or EMDR Trauma Therapy.
To read more about the study, go to: www.acestudy.org