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.