It's pretty well known at this point that your own experiences (especially traumatic and stressful ones) can alter your physical biology. In fact, an estimated 75-90% of all doctor visits are for stress-related issues.
What we're now finding in up and coming research is that parental trauma -- also referred to as ancestral trauma or generational trauma -- can be passed down to our kids through a chemical mark on your genes. Refer back to a previous blog, When Emotions Get Physical, for how we hold this energy in our bodies.
I came across this study a few years ago, and honestly, I haven't stopped thinking about it since...
Dr. Rachel Yehuda, Director of the Traumatic Stress Studies Division at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, conducted a 2015 study on the children of 40 Holocaust survivors. She found that they had epigenetic changes to a gene linked to their levels of cortisol, a hormone involved in the stress response. She also found a distinctive pattern of DNA methylation, another epigenetic marker.
The study concluded that both parents and unborn children were affected on a genetic level.
Some experts say that you carry trauma for 8 generations before you. Think of all of the trauma your ancestors experienced in the last few hundred years! Without ever having a chance to release, this energy is stored and builds in your system (and your kid's, and their kid's, etc.).
Recent data from the CDC:
It is my belief that this unresolved trauma is a huge factor in the really shitty numbers we're seeing concerning our kids, present day:
1 in 5 children have mental health issues
A 43% increase was observed in ADHD
An increase of 37% in teenage depression has been observed
A 200% increase in the suicide rate among children aged 10 to 14 has been observed.
Does this mean we've already totally screwed up our children before they're even born?! Not exactly. What it does mean is that we have some work to do, people!
We NEED to go deeper in our own healing work.
We need stronger foundations at home.
We need to do better with our OWN emotional skills.
We need to learn to be PRESENT for our own sanity and well-being, let alone that of our children.
Living consciously, enjoying your life, and having meaningful relationships can be like learning a foreign language -- but IT'S POSSIBLE.
You don't just need SKILLS, you need others to hold the space for you while you heal and grow. This is exactly why my new program Reiki Like a Mother was born (pun intended).
When you work on yourself and heal, you're making an impact on all who have come before you and all of the generations to come. It's powerful!
So, next time you feel guilty over taking time for yourself, or spending time, money, energy on your own well-being, remember that it's LITERALLY for the greater good!
If you're overwhelmed with where to begin, and you want to get started somewhere for yourself and/or your kids, start by booking a single session with me. All of my clients feel immediate relief and gain clarity on where they need to heal.