The Centre for Healing Blog


The Release of Survival Stress

belief system consciousness contractions ego integration soma spiritual stress survival Mar 20, 2022
survival stress

Stress contractions accumulate over one's life created by situations where there is perceived threat, whether that be to one's identity or an actual physical threat.

They accumulate within the individual, as well as the collective soma.

This stress gets stored in the muscles, fascia, belly, chest and other areas of the soma. This creates density within the physical structure that can actually shape:
- one's posture
- one's belief systems
- one's sense of self

This also governs the way one moves and engages in the world. The energy of the system is in its contracted or closed state, which in turn gives a specific kind of experience of feeling separate and localised.

That is what some spiritual traditions refer to as ego identification.

The contractions inhibit the body's natural flow of intelligence that heals and regulates the system, eventually showing up as psychosomatic and physical illness.


The governing intelligence becomes concerned with survival, rather than evolution, unification and integration.
The stored stress (contracted energy) in the muscles send a signal up the spinal cord to the brain telling the brain there is threat even though we may be completely safe, this can show up as a subtle restlessness, subtle dissociation and disengagement to chronic anxiety, panic attacks, depression or total shutdown.

This has been an evolutionary stage for humans and necessary for our survival as a species, though at this point has become self destructive.

These incomplete stress responses are what I define trauma as.
The survival adaptations become the thought patterns (narratives) and felt sense of who we are. They obscure our true Self, which is wholeness, presence and unity with all of life.

The ability to be with these contractions and contain the energy within the felt sense, without tipping into a state of overwhelm is the journey of growing in our capacity to integrate and awaken deeper parts of the unconscious, a cleaning out of the survival adaptations that have governed how we move as a species.

As these stress contractions fall away we begin to empty out in a very embodied way.

As I see it there are two movements of this journey, one is an emptying out of all content, all the contracted energy that has accumulated through living in a state of separation. The furiously condensed energy of these density's begin to re-integrate into the nervous system and find a homeostasis.

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More and more our system returns to its natural state of rest and presence.
The emptying out movement is one of releasing, or unwinding all the obscurations we have to our true Self.

Like clouds slowly dissolving into the sky revealing the sun, which was always shining its light behind the clouds.

The energy of what once oriented us and moved us in daily life begins to transmute, like fuel for a fire. Just like a flower bud in its contracted and closed state begins to open and flourish into bloom the energy of trauma begins to transmute and transform and fuels our spiritual unfolding, our evolution.

As these density's integrate and transform there is more and more space for a greater intelligence to step in, the intelligence of creation is more free to move through us and as us.

The energy that was stored in the density is freed up and begins to move, to open and in turn naturally and effortlessly transforms the whole Being.

This is integration and transfiguration.

I see trauma healing as a natural step in evolution, from as a species living in the contracted state of survival into living from a place of unity and wholeness, just like the natural process of a flower bud moving into a state of bloom.

Consciousness evolves via contracting and expanding, both movements are natural and needed. The emptying out of the integration period is followed by a natural blooming which is done by the same intelligence which drives all evolutionary processes.

More and more we feel at one with this intelligence, we taste its fragrance everywhere slowly our body becomes one big sensing organ of the field of aliveness which gives rise to all of life. Everything is an expression of that field, even the stress contractions and survival states.

Integration of trauma is a return journey, returning to the source of life itself, to who we truly are.

Peace & Blessing,
Matt Kay (Co-Creator of Embodied Processing)

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