Complex PTSD

The Prevalence of Complex PTSD

“Post Truamatic Stress, from a neurological standpoint, is not a dis-order. It is a re-ordering of your neural networks and pathways and your sensory pathways, so that you can survive in a really dangerous situation.”
– Janet Seahorn, PhD, author of Tears of a Warrior

When many of us think of PTSD, we often imagine a single, severely traumatic event (war, accident, rape etc.). This event can still have several incidences, but they tend to be put under the one umbrella even though we may need to address the specific components. However, as practitioners, we will more often need to address Complex PTSD also known as C-PTSD. This particular stress disorder generally results from prolonged and repetitive trauma. It frequently involves abuse or abandonment by a family member or caregiver in a situation where the power dynamic is skewed.

Unfortunately, violent and mentally or emotionally abusive relationships are just as prevalent as they have ever been, but they are often kept very hushed and can even go unrecognized by the victims. The following experiences and situations can easily leave a person with C-PTSD symptoms:

  • Physically and mentally abusive relationships from childhood
  • Mentally or emotionally abusive marriages/partnerships (E.g. repeated infidelity)
  • Being bullied at school (leading to child suicide and more gun use in schools)
  • Cyber-bullying
  • Being bullied or abused by parents (alcoholic parents, drug abuse, or parents with mental disorders); being bullied by other children (siblings, school mates)
  • Being gaslighted by a partner or parent
  • Sexual abuse—incest, rape, etc.
  • Environmental—living in a hostile environment (E.g. where there are gangs, etc.)

The profound damage gaslighting causes is only beginning to be acknowledged. If you are unfamiliar with the term gaslighting, it involves psychological manipulation that causes the victim to doubt their own memory, their own perception and their own sanity.

Gaslighting is experienced more among women, but is certainly not limited to them. Although gaslighting is sometimes accompanied by physical abuse, the abuser usually confines their attacks to the psychological realm. They lie pathologically and consistently, in the process deeply convincing themselves that their own distorted reality is truth, the only truth. That truth is lies and lies are the truth is the state of mind the gaslighter projects upon their prey and all those who surround them.

The depths of self-doubt and helplessness catalyzed by gaslighting can feel psychologically paralyzing. The most basic acts of self-preservation are being eroded and the idea of escaping the abuse can appear increasingly impossible.

One of the goals of gaslighting is to draw the other so strongly into their web of lies as to totally convince them “you are the crazy one!”  Another is to ensure the projection takes hold. To this end, they isolate their prey by convincing all who will listen that she or he is “mentally unstable,” “mentally fragile,” “has lost all grasp on reality” or is “crazy.” The more devastating and persistent the attacks are, the stronger the gaslighter’s own psychological wall becomes. To others they can appear powerful and charismatic. To their prey, what was once something endearing and charming is now seen for the façade it is; a wall that feels increasingly isolating. The perpetrator wants their prey to live out for them everything they are unwilling to face within themselves.

Because there is no physical damage as evidence and proof that these abusive attacks have taken place, the effects of gaslighting can be far more long lasting and pervasive than those of overt physical abuse. Consequently, many victims and survivors remain oblivious to the fact that what they are experiencing is Complex PTSD.

To read this brief description of gaslighting is, possibly, to realize that it is a term that not only describes the dynamic within a personal relationship. On the world stages, authoritarians are master gaslighters. From not only a psychological but also a philosophical standpoint, the concept of gaslighting has much to teach us about human nature and its transformation. Wherever there is gaslighting, our Savior/Martyr (or Disabler/Enabler) archetypes are invoking a spell. Because these two archetypes are universal and not individual, whether we are overtly affected by gaslighting or not, there is much we can learn from studying its dynamic. Because gaslighting is, essentially, abuse administered through distortion of the truth, it is very possible more of us are inured to gaslighting than we realize. This makes it equally possible that by shedding a steady light on gaslighting and acknowledging its prevalence, we can break its spell.

Understanding C-PTSD and PTSD in all their guises and in how they affect the Three Brains will be a key component of John’s upcoming supplemental course on stress disorders. We hope you realize how critical this subject is and how important it is to be able to address it in practice.


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BodyTalk incorporates a comprehensive system of non-invasive techniques designed to enable people to live their lives to their potential. It incorporates state-of-the-art science and philosophy to help the body unlearn the habits, beliefs, biochemical pathways and postural patterns that are restricting the healthy functioning of the body-mind complex.

The BodyTalk practitioner does not diagnose disease or perform massage, manipulations, needling/injections. The BodyTalk practitioner does not prescribe diets, herbs, supplements or medications. Clinical experience has shown that once the body’s overall systems are balanced through BodyTalk, clients have exhibited significant improvement in many areas of health.

Double Chin exercises

4 Double Chin Exercises

Fitday Editor

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Double chin exercises can help you tone the muscles of your face and jaw, firm skin along the jaw line and get rid of excess fat to diminish your double chin. While losing weight can often go a long way towards helping to eliminate a double chin, not all people who have a double chin are overweight; sometimes, double chins are genetic. Whatever the cause of your double chin, these exercises can help reduce its size and improve its appearance.

1. The Chin Lift

The chin lift stretches and tones the muscles of the jaw, neck and throat. To perform the chin lift, follow these simple steps:

  • Stand or sit with your spine erect.
  • Tilt your head back until you are looking toward the ceiling.
  • Pucker your lips tightly, as if you wanted to kiss the ceiling.

Try not to engage any other facial muscles while doing this exercise; just use your lips. Hold your lips in a puckered position for a five-count, then release. Repeat the exercise 5 to 10 times in a row.

2. The Neck Roll

The neck roll not only tones and stretches the muscles of your jaw, throat and neck, but also releases tension from your shoulders and can ease neck and shoulder pain. Follow these steps to perform the neck roll as a double-chin exercise:

  • Stand or sit with an erect spine.
  • While inhaling, gently turn your head to one side until your chin touches your shoulder. You should be looking to one side.
  • While exhaling, slowly roll your head downward until your chin is resting on your chest. Remember to keep your spine erect and your shoulders squared.
  • While inhaling, gently lift your head back up until your chin touches the other shoulder. You should be looking to the other side.

Repeat the full neck roll 5 to 10 times.

3. The Jaw Release

The jaw release exercise tones and stretches the muscles of your face. Perform the jaw release exercise as follows:

  • Sit or stand with an erect spine.
  • Inhale deeply through the nose; exhale slowly, while humming with your lips pressed tightly together. While you are inhaling and exhaling, move your jaw as if you were chewing.
  • When you finish your exhale, open your mouth up as wide as you can. Inhale, and exhale from your open mouth with an audible “ahh” sound. Rest the tip of your tongue gently against the backs of your lower teeth to help the jaw relax.

Repeat both steps of this exercise 5 to 10 times.

4. Platysma Exercise

The platysma is the big muscle that runs from your jawline to your shoulder. Exercising it helps keep your chin and throat firm. To strengthen and tone the platysma, follow these steps.

  • Sit or stand with an erect spine.
  • Pull your lips back against your teeth, and turn the corners of your mouth downward.
  • Open your mouth slightly, and activate the muscles of your jaw. Keep your lips pressed firmly against your teeth and the corners of your mouth turned down. The tendons on your neck should stand out.
  • Wiggle your lower jaw up and down 5 to 10 times.

Repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times to tone your platysma.

Testimonial: Root Canal

“Amazing how Bodytalk still surprises me. Terryann facilitated a performance session for a root canal treatment. That is a session to prepare the body mind to any kind of medical intervention and make the most out of it. After the intervention I have no pain, nada, niet, zero. Not even the day after. Not even opening and closing the mouth- after you kept your mouth open for one hour the joints hurt usually, but no, not even that. All I read says pain and discomfort should subside in three to five days. The dentist said to take two Advil AND two Tylenol extra for pain.”