This is the first in a 4-part series on my journey through dynamic healing work.
The last 3 Saturdays have been a major challenge for me. My sister, the instructor, has been taking me through some exercises that are difficult (to say the least). She has asked a lot more of me then I’ve ever been asked before. I’ve found myself in places I’ve never been.
As we’ve been learning and teaching self-defense, we found that it’s more than just learning to protect yourself from potential harm. We discovered it to be an incredible therapeutic tool for those who’ve suffered trauma of some kind. PTSD is a real thing. I can say from personal experience it does not go away. Left untreated, it will cause severe mental and emotional illness.
When your being has been exposed to some kind of traumatic event, whether one or multiple times, it will store everything — the imagery, the feelings, the fear, the anger, and whatever else the trauma causes. Leaving the resulting PTSD untreated will cause ongoing mental and emotional illness. It can possibly cause addiction. It can also manifest through physical illness. Living in denial doesn’t make it stop or get rid of it.
Using self-defense as a therapeutic tool is a surprising thing. You don’t expect emotional issues to come up while you’re learning to kick, punch, and do life saving techniques. But they do. It really seems inevitable. It’s hard to deny what’s happening. But if you’ve been harmed in some way, felt powerless, or been exposed to ongoing abuse, there is a very good chance you will find yourself confronted with the resulting pain and emotions.
For me personally, as I have suffered multiple traumas (mostly in my childhood, teen years, and early adulthood), it has been a very rough road to say the least. I have had extensive therapy, both formal and informal, over the years. Therapy has helped me dislodge, uproot, and fight through the pain and anguish the trauma created. I’m thankful for everyone who has helped me over the years.
But the work I did in those 3 self-defense classes was long overdue. It was a process in a certain order. Things had to progress in a certain way to get to important points in each session. I’m thankful for the process.
For those who don’t know, we are a Christian, spiritually-based business. We want to help those who are hurting and broken. We believe God will help the broken, the traumatized, and the hurting. He came to help and heal. The work we do is important to help those who need it.
But it takes work. At times, a lot of work. And the work is uncomfortable. It’s probably one of the toughest things I have ever done. But I highly recommend it. If you want to work through the difficult things and find your way through healing, it’s a way to go. I feel so much freer now than I ever have. It’s short but intense work. As you allow God into your mind and heart, He can do some amazing things. I’ll be writing more specifically what happened in those sessions in 3 more articles in this series.
If I were to give someone advice about using self-defense as a therapeutic tool, I would say trust the process. Give yourself over to the idea and let it happen. It’s not easy at all. It’s very tough. But nothing worth doing is ever easy. You may very well find yourself able to do things you never thought you were capable of. I would say take it one step at a time and do not be too hard on yourself. There is no pass or fail. If you trust this process, you may very well find yourself in the midst of some amazing healing.