How many news accounts of the Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting did you watch? How many times did your brain see the story as you were listening to the scene by scene reports? Your brain does not know the difference between what is real and what is imagined. Cortisol, a steroid hormone, is released in response to day-to-day activity when waking up in the morning and exercising.  It is also released when we stop to see students run from their school building as armed law enforcement run toward the school on a video clip.


This trauma invades your body. You may hold your breath, feel your body tighten and feel weak. I remember the night I arrived home to flashing lights as my son, Reed was being wheeled into the arms of an ambulance. I inhaled sharply seeing his sheet draped body on a gurney.  My diaphragm froze. It was many years before the trauma in my diaphragm was released with the gentle listening touch of a certified Rubenfeld Synergist. I could finally breath fully. Until then the world breathed me as a victim. My life was limited to living in the vortex of grief. This Method truly saved my life. I now facilitate the release of body trauma as a certified Synergist when I touch my clients, they tell their story and the emotions of the events are released into my hands.


Just yesterday trauma held for thirty-four years in the low back of my client was released into my hands. As a young child, this person had not been allowed to grieve the passing of her father. The grief remained protected by armor until Gentle Listening Touch created the awareness and safety for its release.


Notice right now what happens to you when you re-wind the scenes and imagine hearing about this school shooting for the first time?


What happens to your breath? Are you breathing slowly and deeply? Is it hard for you to take a breath? How does your stomach feel? Tight? Or Relaxed?


What is happening in your shoulders? Do you stand up straight or hunch in to protect your heart? Is there a place of tightness in your body? Can you feel your feet firmly beneath you or is there a disconnect between your head and your body?


Is there a real life traumatic event that is still stuck in your body? Is the trauma of that event affecting the quality of your breath, your connection to your world or resulting in an ache or pain in your body?


Two simple strategies will return you to your body.


  1. Exhale forcefully like a lion. Then inhale through your nose counting silently. Hold your breath for the same number of counts and then exhale through rounded lips twice as long. For example: Breathe in counting silently 1,2,3,4,5. Hold your breath as you count silently 1,2,3,4,5. Then exhale through your rounded lips 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.  This engages the parasympathetic nervous system which is calming.



  1. Sit down and notice a place that is tight in your body. Rub your hands together until you feel warmth between them. Close your eyes and gently float one of your hands to rest on that tight place. Notice with curiosity what happens to that place by just listening with touch. It may soften or shift. Just hang out there.  By making contact with your body you are communicating with it using Gentle Listening Touch. This is an aspect of the Rubenfeld Synergy Method ®. To learn where to find a Synergist to facilitate the release of trauma in your body go to

If you’re struggling with the emotional process of grief...

I want to share a free gift with you that can help you recognize the physical, cognitive and emotional reactions you may be experiencing. You’ll also take away prompts to use daily along your journey.

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