A.C.E – Adverse Child events and Pain

I am back from the A.C.E. conference. How wonderful to meet a large group of individuals from all walks of life eager to help people in pain – physical and mental. I left the conference with a feeling of great hope.

If you have forgotten what A.C.E.s are – check out Step I and see the links to A.C.E.s

Adverse child events affect physical and mental health. The higher your a.c.e. score the more likely you are to have many different kinds of illnesses, including chronic pain, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, respiratory illnesses, and many more. 

Unfortunately trauma can be transferred genetically. Epigenetics teaches us that trauma is passed through generations, switching on genes that switch on inflammatory proteins in the body that wreak havoc on our bodies.  These genes can also be switched on if a mother, pregnant in her third trimester, experiences significant trauma – physical or emotional. So how do we treat this?

It is a difficult task. Intellectually we can think and feel that past traumas no longer affect us. Even spiritually we can have let go, forgiven those who have hurt us. But the body keeps the score. Bessel van der Kolk taught us this in his book by that name. Deep inside our brain, far away from our thinking brain, inaccessible to us, is the limbic system.

The limbic system is the part of the brain that we are not usually aware of. To treat trauma we need to work on this part of the brain. This is pretty darn complicated. One way to manage this ourselves is to calm the limbic system through rigorous daily activities that soothe this brain center. This is very hard to do when you have chronic pain, but it is possible. Start slowly and gently, adjusting the exercises in the daily program to suit your body’s needs. Do them twice a day.

Learn to breathe. Practice this technique until it is second nature.  

Another technique is a mindfulness technique shown below. 

There are more mindfulness techniques about half way down the page of Stress Anxiety PTSD in the sidebar, second from the bottom. 

If you have high ace scores, anything scoring 4 or more, try to find a therapist who manages complex PTSD. 

Good Luck


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