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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Local Practitioners Provide Trauma and Grief Relief

Apr 30, 2019 12:51PM ● By Gisele M. Siebold

Natural Awakenings South Central asked four local practitioners to explain the therapeutic properties of their specific bodywork and sound treatments that may provide healing benefits for trauma and grief manifesting in physical form: Rachel Benbow, licensed CranioSacral therapist and owner of The Roots of Health; Lana Ryder, sound and energy practitioner and owner of Soundwise Health; Jaque Hanson, massage therapist and owner of Bee Present Wellness LLC; and Carolyn Romako, licensed acupuncturist and owner of Central Penn Acupuncture and Wellness.

“CranioSacral Therapy (CST) meets the body with a light touch, supporting the body’s own innate process of release and healing,” says Benbow. “In cases of trauma, where people may be disconnected from parts or all of their body, CST can safely bring back awareness and connection that might not be possible with modalities like massage, where traumatized areas may guard themselves and resist imposed manipulation.

“Chronic physical pain and dysfunction, frequently defying explanation or treatment from allopathic medicine, may be the result of emotional/psychological trauma. Through a client-led dialogue process, CST enables clients to listen to what their pain and dysfunction are trying to tell them while connecting into the body. As clients process and release their trauma, they often find that not only are they able to better function physically, but they are more resilient emotionally and socially,” she explains.

“Sound therapy helps reduce stress and pain with the vibrational energy from our voices, music and instruments including, but not limited to, metal and crystal singing bowls, tuning forks, gongs and percussion instruments,” says Ryder. “Calming sounds and music activate the parasympathetic nervous system in which we are relaxed and peaceful. Feel-good hormones are produced, taking us out of the dominant “fight-or-flight” sympathetic nervous system.

“The American Psychiatric Association states that 90 percent of physician visits are due to stress. In recent years, modern technology has proven the beneficial effects of sound therapy. The energy signal sent to our cells through calming sounds and frequencies entrains our mind, body and spirit to a more healthy, harmonious state,” she affirms. “A trained sound practitioner is skilled in using the instruments both on the physical body and in the human energy field to assist in the client’s intention for healing.”

“The abdominal and pelvic region can be hot spots for numerous afflictions, including infertility, digestive disorders, food absorption inability, inflammation of reproductive, urinary and sexual organs, emotional and hormonal imbalances and impairment of the immune system,” explains Hanson.

“The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy is an external, non-invasive manipulation that repositions internal organs that have shifted, thereby restricting the flow of blood, lymph, nerve and qi. A comprehensive assessment review of past and present healthcare needs focuses on reproductive and digestive history. Upper and lower abdominal treatments align reproductive and abdominal organs to optimal position, improve circulation to organs, promote vital circulation flow to support the body’s inherent healing ability, and improve alignment of spine, hips and sacrum,” she describes.

“Acupuncture may help people suffering from digestive disorders, pain and insomnia brought on by trauma, which affects our bodies in many ways” says Romanko. “During stressful situations, the body’s sympathetic nervous system gets stuck in overdrive. Acupuncture helps shift the body into the parasympathetic mode, allowing the body to rest, digest and heal. Many studies have found acupuncture to be more effective than medication, and to work well in conjunction with Western treatment. A licensed acupuncturist can effectively treat emotional trauma without knowing the specifics of the events. Patients do not need to fear reliving the trauma during the intake exam.”

She avows, “The practitioner is more concerned with how the symptoms are manifesting in the body. During a treatment, patients often experience emotional and physical releases as the body relaxes, letting go of repressed emotions. Patients can process their treatments alone or have a practitioner or support person in the room.”

The Roots of Health, 3540 N. Progress Ave., Ste. 106, Harrisburg, 717-831-6936,

Soundwise Health, 610-301-4356,

Bee Present Wellness, 309 Third St., New Cumberland,

Central Penn Acupuncture and Wellness, 940 Century Dr., Ste. D, Mechanicsburg, 717-610-4911,

October 2019