The concept of “trauma” means something different to everyone. It’s a word that carries an incredibly subjective interpretation. What is extremely traumatic to one, can be belittled, shrugged off and minimized by another, which raises the question, what exactly counts as trauma?
In terms of Reiki, trauma can include everything from a physical injury such as a broken bone or surgical scar, to a deep psychic insult that results in feelings such as loss, grief, anguish or even terror. These represent clear assaults to the integrity of the mind and body, and are easily identifiable as traumatic. But trauma can also arise from seemingly innocuous events, things that result in energetic disturbances that cause distress to the spirit. In Reiki, these are also considered trauma and are treated as such.
Based on my experience working with people, I can say that an initial trauma can be caused in many ways. It can result from a physical injury, a health challenge, physical abuse, shock, sudden change, loss, or from mental/emotional abuse. But there are also other classes of trauma. Vicarious trauma, for example, involves internalizing the experience of another. This is particularly common in the healing profession itself. When a therapist or counsellor connects empathically with a client or patient, they may actually internalize the emotions and experiences, causing them to take on the trauma as if they had experienced it themselves. Another form of trauma is trans-generational trauma. Passed from one generation to the next, this is actually much more common than people realize and they are often surprised to learn, that when left unhealed trauma can be passed down from one generation to the next.
Trauma triggers a constant state of fear which leads to changes in the DNA. These changes are then passed on to our children who inherit fear responses rooted in trauma that they never experienced. It is liberating for people when they recognize this in themselves and are finally able to release it. It gives them the opportunity to connect compassionately with previous generations without being condemned to carry the horrific experiences of the past into their present lives. Letting go becomes much easier.