Fire Services, Police, Coast Guard, Paramedics, Medical Services, Search and Rescue, Mountain Guides, and Park Services all play a critical role in our communities and the welfare of our wilderness adventures. Individuals act with courage in these often risky professions, and put our well-being and safety at the forefront of their protocols. At times these individuals put themselves in life threatening situations which can lead to traumatic memory recall and spiral into post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Trauma is the great masquerader and participant in many maladies and dis-eases that afflict sufferers. It can perhaps be conjectured that unresolved trauma is responsible for a majority of the illnesses of modern mankind.

—Peter A. Levine, PhD | Founder of Somatic Experiencing

Is This You?

Do you feel overwhelmed or completely frozen from the daily duties and responsibilities of your job? Have you seen too many horrific accidents while trying to save people’s lives? Do you suffer from anxiety, lack of emotions, frozen shoulder, pain, addictions, profound sadness, aggression, insomnia, nightmares, headaches or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Do you have problems holding a job or building and maintaining relationships? Have you ever self medicated with marijuana, alcohol, prescription drugs, sports, sex or food? Do you live with survivors’ guilt? Have you ever contemplated suicide? Do you not know what to do or you’ve tried standard therapy or group sessions but feel that they are a waste of time?

It takes courage to seek professional help and admit help is actually needed. It takes courage to tell your story and like who you are in the process. This is where I can help – together we will help you discover the journey back to good health. It is not a quick and easy formula and it never has been. With curious minds and eyes we will learn how your body needs to heal to be free of pain, improve your ability to sleep and claim your life back.

Avalanche Survivors

It is a nightmare to feel the slope start to move underneath your skis, to watch or get engulfed in the clouds of snow and snow pack surge as it mounts in speed and descends the mountain, destroying everything in its path.

Have you been swept down a slope with snow and debris as you struggled to stay on the surface? Dragged or fallen in to a crevasse? Have you been partially or fully buried? Did you walk away unscathed with no broken bones? Have you experienced a near death experience – been unconscious or resuscitated back to life?

Maybe you have witnessed an avalanche and were a rescuer searching to locate friends, family or clients who were buried, as the clock was ticking to dig them up? Have you lost friends in avalanches? Do you live every day with survivors’ guilt or guides’ remorse?

Most of society associates Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with war, but it is just as persistent in other aspects of life including backcountry adventures and avalanches. According to a study published in a German medical journal in 2002, 28 percent of survivors suffer from PTSD after an avalanche. Those who were completed buried were 41 percent more prone to PTSD, and experienced symptoms including compulsive memories, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, nausea and feelings of guilt.

Somatic Experience can begin to help heal your past experiences with avalanches, and for that matter, any traumatic life event. These traumatic events take a toll on our mind and bodies whether we are willing to admit it or seek professional help. It is paramount to begin to release what has been lingering and accumulating in your nervous system and body before it compounds into PTSD.

Dropping in I feel the snow under my skis, make one turn, a second turn and think to myself, “wow the snow feels a little different.” That uneasy feeling in your stomach when it doesn’t feel quite right. But at this point I am committed and there is no turning back. In the corner of my eye I can see the rest of the group way below me on the slope. I make one more turn and a split second later the snow starts to move. A small crack in the snow suddenly propagates into a raging river, a fluid mass moving downhill.

As the snow moves under my feet it catches me off balance, knocks me over and my skis pop off. I’m swimming down the slope and fighting to stay on the surface. I lose my conception of what is up and what is down, a sense of total loss of control as I get tumbled inside this surging cascade. Suddenly it starts to slow down, and before I know it everything comes to a complete stop, and it becomes really dark and quiet.

Beneath the snow everything is still. Everything is frozen and the pressure from the snow is intense. It is pushing me from all directions; every limb of my body is getting squeezed. I am unable to wiggle even a finger; a surreal feeling. The only sound I can hear is my own breathing. It’s fast and shallow as I’m gasping for air. My stomach is turning and panic is starting to creep in as I realize what just happened. I’m trapped underneath the snow with no way of getting out.

“You make three turns and everything starts to move. What do you sense?” I’m sitting in a chair with Verdell across from me and I can feel how my body stiffens up. My head is pushed up against the headrest. My legs, arms, hands, feet, back, neck –everything is tensed up. My body is frozen. As we go back and replay the event step by step, my body starts to respond to the emotions rushing through.

Click here to read the full story

Emelie Stenberg, Revelstoke, BC

Have you experienced a very traumatic event or near death experience? Are you an emergency/rescue worker experiencing signs of PTSD? Book your free consultation now and find out what to expect from this kind of transformational therapy.

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