"My life's work, and it has been my lifetime, of over 45 years at work in developing an approach for the healing of trauma. And this approach really helps people come back to their bodies, because after trauma the body has become the enemy. The sensations and the feelings remind the person of the trauma and that it's gonna happen again.
The key in healing trauma is not to relive the trauma experienced, but to create new experiences in the body that contradict those feelings of overwhelming helplessness that happened in trauma. So it’s having new experiences really is what it's about.
And that's where I became interested in the work with the bellicon® rebounder because it's a way to, very gently and in a playful way, begin to bring people back a little bit more and more to their bodies. So I use it as part of a treatment but I also recommend it for a number of my students to use it in teaching and clients use it at home as a way of again finding a peaceful vibrant way to reconnect with themselves - in a physical way.
The smooth movements are the key
The smooth movements are the key, because if it's something that's hard - like the trampolines that have springs - what happens is that it really jars the person. But that's what trauma does: it shakes the person, it shakes them out of their body. So you want something that gradually brings them back into their body. And that's where the elastic technology, that you have developed, is very valuable. It really allows this gentle reconnection, and you don't get that if you have the springs, it's more like more like getting a "Schleudertrauma"(whiplash injury).
Many of the people we work with also have "Schleudertrauma", and that's another area where it's very useful because again if they're in the car, somebody hits from behind, the whole body locks up, because the body is protecting itself from being hit again.
So again with the bellicon® you can create a movement that uses similar muscles, similar neuromuscular connections but in a different way, in a way where you get flow, then it neutralizes in a way the shock that you get from being hit in the car, from the "Schleudertrauma".
It works much, much better than most antidepressant medications
I do a lot of work with people who have depression. With depression you have to help the person get their energy level up. But only a small amount at a time because if they go up too quickly they get frightened. So it's a way of building a capacity for the person to increase their vital energy. In a way it works much, much better than most antidepressant medications (not that you don't sometimes need to use those as well).
And as I said with trauma, the main use is to give people back the gift of their bodies. And maybe that's the best way to say it: It is the gift of our embodied self and our capacity to be whole within our bodies. I call that "embodied awareness" or "embodied mindfulness".
(Transcription of the video interview above)
Dr. Peter A. Levine, PhD in medical biophysics and trauma expert