Distinction between High Stress and Trauma per Dr.
Professor Franz Ruppert:
High stress is a highly mobilized state with the reaction of ‘fight or flight’. This is easily understandable in the sense that in order to fight or run away in the face of threat we do need enormous amounts of energy, so the psychophysical system secretes strong energizing chemicals to support this reaction. High stress is just that; not the daily stress of life, but the stress of an extremely stressful situation; we can think of it as the highest stress we can manage as a limited psychophysical being.
Trauma on the other hand is a state of collapse, of resignation, an extremely low-energy state where the psychophysical organism has shut off all energizing secretions in order to maintain as best it can it’s existence. It comes into play when the high stress strategy fails; fight or flight has not been possible, and the person is completely and utterly helpless.
“The aim [of the Feldenkrais Method] is a person that is organized to move with minimum effort and maximum efficiency, not through muscular strength, but through increased consciousness of how movement works.”
-Moshe Feldenkrais, PhD
Dr. Esther Thelen, author of Dynamic Systems Approach to Human Development, former cognitive psychology chair of Indiana University, showed in her laboratory that the key to creating something new, to developmental process, is multicausality. She showed that developing organisms are complex systems composed of very many individual elements embedded within, and open to, a complex environment. And in her analyses of the development of walking, she gave us a clear-and fully worked out- example of how multicausality is at the core of developmental change. Children stand up to walk as the coordinated product of many interacting subsystems, including trunk control, muscle mass, motivation, and balance.
Walking occurs without an executive agent or a program. Rather the coherence is generated in the relationship between the organic components and the constraints and opportunities of the environment. In a truly elegant series of experiments, she showed how she could make the coordinated limb movements we call ‘walking’ come and go in babies by putting them on treadmills, by providing trunk control, and by giving them ankle weights. Dr.Thelen taught that self-organization means that no single element has causal priority. I studied with Dr Thelen in her first Feldenkrais training facilitated by the late Mark Reese.
Moving with the breath, affirming what’s working, bridging connections, supporting the intelligence of the nervous system’s potential to continue to self regulate to achieve the highest level of functioning it allows itself to actualize at any given moment.
Feldenkrais, Neurosensorimotor reflex integration, and Identity oriented Psychotrauma Theory trained.