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How to Heal Trauma by the Simple Act of Walking

March 11, 2018 in Blogs

By Thom Hartmann, Park Street Press

There are five steps for a successful walking therapy session.

Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from the book Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being by Thom Hartmann (Park Street Press, 2006), available for purchase from Inner Traditions • Bear & CompanyAmazon and IndieBound. Reprinted with permission. In the book, Hartmann explains how walking allows people to heal from emotional trauma. When we walk, we engage both sides of the body, simultaneously activating both the left and right sides of the brain. Hartmann explains that both hemispheres of the brain join forces to break up the brain patterning of a traumatic experience that has become “stuck” in the brain through the bilateral therapy of walking. Below, Hartmann explains how to use the therapeutic power of walking to “Walk Your Blues Away.”

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

There are five steps to correctly performing a Walking Your Blues Away session. They are:

  • Define the issue.
  • Bring up the story.
  • Walk with the issue.
  • Notice how the issue changes.
  • Anchor the new state.

I will go into detail on each of the steps for you now.

Define the issue

Before going for your walk, consider the issues that are still hanging around in your life that you feel are unresolved. This could range from past traumas, hurts, angers, or embarrassments to relationship issues with people you no longer have access to (including people who have died).

Don’t worry that an issue might be too complex or something that happened over a long time. Many issues are multidimensional. What happens is that when the core issue is resolved, it rapidly begins the process of unwinding or “cleaning up” the peripheral associated issues.

Similarly, if you pick an issue that you may think is, itself, part of something larger, you’ll notice after you’ve worked with it that the larger issue will also begin to resolve.

There’s no specific right or wrong issue to work with. If you can think of it, visualize it, and get a feeling from it, then you can walk and work …read more


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