Trauma & The Body

Trauma & The Body

Trauma can have a profound impact on the body, causing physical symptoms and health issues. Here we will explore how trauma affects the body and what can be done to address these effects.

The Physiology of Trauma

When a person experiences trauma, their body’s stress response is activated, triggering the release of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones prepare the body for a fight or flight response, causing physical changes such as increased heart rate and blood pressure. If the traumatic event is ongoing or repeated, the body can become stuck in this stress response, leading to chronic physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and gastrointestinal issues.

Body Memories

Trauma can also be stored in the body in the form of “body memories.” These are physical sensations or experiences that are linked to the traumatic event, such as muscle tension, pain, or a racing heartbeat. Body memories can be triggered by reminders of the trauma, such as a certain smell or sound, and can cause a person to re-experience the trauma in a physical sense.

Trauma and Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a common physical symptom of trauma, and can manifest in a variety of ways such as headaches, back pain, or fibromyalgia. Trauma can cause changes in the nervous system and pain receptors, leading to heightened sensitivity and an increased risk of developing chronic pain conditions.

Trauma and Health Issues

Trauma can also contribute to a range of health issues, such as cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, and digestive problems. The chronic stress and inflammation caused by trauma can lead to long-term physical health consequences.


Trauma can have a significant impact on the body, causing physical symptoms and health issues. It is important to address these effects through trauma-informed care and holistic approaches to healing. By understanding how trauma affects the body, individuals and healthcare professionals can better support trauma survivors in their journey towards recovery.