Healing The Digestive System Through Trauma Release Work

detox emotions trauma Aug 24, 2022


Fight, Flight & Freeze… And How To Navigate Each Response

If every child was taught this information in school, we'd be living in a very different world


I was called to the fruit path during a 10-day silent retreat in the north of Costa Rica.

On day 6, slowly feeling like I was going crazy, my mind being so far from silent… I sat down by the river and received clear guidance to finish the rest of the retreat on fruit, as a pathway to dive into my emotional body. After years of failed attempts on anti-candida diets (cutting out the simple sugars from fruit) inviting fruit into my body for nourishment and detoxification purposes felt like a breath of fresh air.


I spent the following four years eating a fruit-based diet and found the mucus-free way of living to be incredibly supportive for the chronic digestive issues, skin issues, hormonal imbalance and blood sugar instabilities I had been battling for several years.


After a handful of years on the mucus-free protocol, which I had assumed had solved all of my health problems… Life guided me into the deeper layers of my healing journey. A memory surfaced, sent to my conscious awareness directly from my 3-year-old self. She was now ready to show me the deepest layers of what had been “hard to digest” all these years.


As I begun to embark on a deep sexual trauma healing journey, my digestive system froze, which reminded me of the twenty years of constipation, bloating and stomach pain I had experienced my entire childhood and pre-adolescent life.


I went down my checklist and did ALL the things. 


Lemon enemas, Triphala, colonics, beetroot juice, more fibrous salads in the evening, more cleansing, soups only… but nothing worked.


Eventually I was guided into a HUGE nervous system reset. It seemed the more I understood my “triggers” and what my body was trying to show me… and the more I consciously worked with them… the more my bowels started to loosen up and heal.


Instead of fruit, enemas and Triphala being the fuel to strengthen peristalsis and have healthy bowel movements, I discovered that deep, conscious emotional release work and parts integration therapy became the strongest medicine for a healthy digestive system and regularly moving bowels.





Having healthy, regular bowel movements is an area many of us struggle with, especially women. 


Our body holds for intelligent reasons, and the first step is to NEVER make ourselves wrong for experiencing poor digestion or constipation. There is a fragment of our consciousness (also known as a part of self) that is moving through something rather intense and she/he needs your patience, presence and love.


We all unconsciously learned a strategy when we were younger to grip and hold from within. This is partially because the freeze response (which we will speak about shortly) where a younger version of self is frozen in time because his or her nervous system was not developed enough to handle what was showing up for them in that moment.


The other part as to why we hold is because we all have our fair share of experiences that program us to believe we are too much or not enough. We will say the wrong thing, we will do the wrong thing, we will essentially be our bright-eyed, innocent, erotic, playful and cheeky self... but because an adult has shut down those qualities within themselves is naturally triggered by us, we are told to not be that way as it's inappropriate. 

We internalize this and tell ourselves... “If I am my authentic self, love is going to be taken away from me.

When our eros is not moving freely through our body, our Prana stagnates and our energy body becomes blocked (and so do our bowels).

There are many ways to get the energy in your body moving again like connecting with your authentic self, dancing, moving, shaking, and releasing emotions… but those are useless until we understand how to consciously navigate our triggers.


We all experience our own unique version of nervous system shut down. The three most distinct categories are fight, flight and freeze. Learning how to work with them consciously helps to reprogram our nervous system.


Given the nervous system is predominantly located in the spine and the GI tract and the spine are the tree trunk of the body, we cannot have an unhealthy nervous system without it having a huge effect on our digestive system and peristalsis movement. 

At the higher and less severe end of the “nervous system ladder” is the day-to-day stress we are all familiar with. When we go beyond stress into overwhelm we’ll see an expression of either FIGHT or FLIGHT, depending on your inner child’s intelligent coping strategy.



The Fight Response

To fight is to become defensive and somewhat angry because your inner child feels as though their safety is being threatened. The fight response supports your younger self in the moment of the trigger because your trauma likely surrounds a memory (or many memories) where you felt incredibly disempowered, vulnerable or “weak” which creates a lot of anger that is stored in the liver. This is typical for those who have experienced sexual trauma.


The Flight Response

The next most common response to a nervous system activation is the flight response. This is the sudden desire to flee physically or energetically. Fleeing psychically could look like, any time you have a breakdown in your partnership your mind starts telling you to leave them and be alone or find someone else to be with. It could also look like, if something challenging is arising in your life you cope by looking for travel or relocation destinations and live in a disconnected/dreamy space. 

The flight response on an energetic level would look like leaving your body and entering into a disassociated state. This nervous system response supports our younger self because when an experience has triggered a previous memory, it has become too much for your younger self to stay in the body and in the present moment and work through the trigger with maturity and love. Fleeing gives a sense of "I am free," offers a sense of control or empowerment... and these feelings provide some level of safety.


The Freeze Response

The freeze response is further down the nervous system trigger response, closer to what we could call “a dorsal nervous system response” which is where you’ve gone into a nervous system collapse due to perceived danger.

The stimuli from whatever situation you are in is triggering memory for your younger parts which is so overwhelming, you freeze.

The freeze response is the hardest to work within the moment because less of our adult self is online which makes navigating the trigger extremely challenging. Although, working with our trauma recovery is more effective the deeper we are in the activation.

If we can manage to soothe ourselves in a dorsal response and bring ourselves out of the freeze, we’ll get 10 x the amount of healing. 



You can think about your nervous system responses as if they are on a ladder. The deeper the trigger (further you are to FREEZE) the more points you get for finding some kind of regulation in that response.

If you can manage to bring 0.01% of your adult self back online during a trigger... you are growing physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually in ways you could never truly imagine. 



I hope you can now see through reading this article... that each time you've gone into fight, flight or freeze... each of these nervous system responses was the best you could do in that moment with how resourced you were feeling from within.


Our inner adult understands that there are healthier ways of coping in unmanageable situations.


The first step is to bring love and understanding to the little one inside that in the moment, still feels very little, despite you being in an adult body.


Working with these triggers consciously helps us to clear old energies from our nervous system which is one of the fastest ways I have found to heal the digestive system. If the nervous system is under stress, the digestive organs will be too.


In fight, learn how to move the fiery emotions through your body consciously with breath, movement and sound. The combinations of those three will bring you into your body and help the energy to move. Try to avoid projecting the energy onto another person or into your external reality. Honour the child within and let them know you are here, holding them in whatever is arising.


In flight, do your best to stay in your body and in the present moment. Notice yourself drifting off into your mind or making exit plan to leave your job, relationship or location in the moment of a trigger. Going into that space doesn't enable you to process the energy. Ground your energy into mother earth and resource the inner child who is feeling unsafe by listening to their needs.


During a freeze response, notice you are frozen. Call upon your Higher Self to guide you to whatever part is frozen in a time/space dimension within your subconscious.  Whatever you see or feel first, trust it. 


Now ask… Where are they? What is happening? What are they feeling? What do they need? Slowly find a way to retrieve the answers to these questions and you'll notice yourself coming out of freeze which supports you to integrate this part of self.


I invite you to learn how to navigate your triggers consciously and notice the effects on your body. You'll notice your emotions have a profound impact on your overall health.


If this information resonates inside of your body and you are ready to start a full journey of recovery... I recommend Your Next Level which is a mucus-expelling healing protocol that also intertwines spirituality, nervous system healing, subconscious re-wiring and emotional release work.

In that program... we leave no stone unturned.

For deeper support whilst you move through that program, book in a 1:1 with myself (90-minute Theta Healing to clear blocks and early traumas from your body).

Other practitioners who are my most highly recommended therapists are listed below.


Tori — Somatic Experiencing & Complex Trauma Recovery ($80 USD / 60-minute session) website here

Emily — Theta Healing & Soul Alignment ($140 USD / 90-minute session) website here



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