Biology of Trauma® Podcast
With Dr. Aimie Apigian MD, MS, MPH
Episode 67

Healing Trauma and Chronic Illness Through Connection

(Part 2 of Lessons Learned of The Trauma-Chronic Illness Connection)

“Especially as physicians, trauma awareness was completely lacking. Yet, when you go out and practice and if your eyes are open, you realize that virtually every chronic condition you ever deal with has got a traumatic template to it.”
~ Dr. Gabor Mate

Show Notes: 

Trauma disconnects us from ourselves and others, leading to dysregulation that can drive disease. In this conversation, I explore how repairing that fundamental disconnection is the key to healing chronic conditions and autoimmune disorders with Dr. Gabor Maté.

Results have been remarkable – participants report a 26% decrease in daily physical pain, 28% decrease in digestive issues, and 28% improvement in sleep after just 21 days. Together, Gabor Maté and I emphasize safely “titrating” therapy to avoid overwhelming your system.

Dr. Maté, author of “When the Body Says No,” points out that trauma means being disconnected from yourself as an adaptive survival response, not the external events themselves. “The wound is this disconnection…But it can be repaired.”

He gives examples of people healing autoimmune diseases like lupus by reconnecting with their bodies and becoming their true selves. “In so many cases, whether MS, lupus, arthritis, depression or addiction, people do so much better when guided to deal with traumas and become their true selves.”

The experts discuss how 80% of autoimmune cases occur in women, likely tied to societal pressures for women to suppress themselves. Healing means not just reconnecting within, but changing unhealthy relationship patterns of people-pleasing or suppression.

Ultimately, true health requires living authentically – aligning your nervous system, emotions, relationships and true identity. As Dr. Maté says, “The question is, what kind of suffering would you want? The suffering of being yourself? Or the suffering of not being yourself?”

While trauma in our bodies can feel overwhelming, Dr. Maté and I provide hope. “As long as you’re breathing and conscious, there’s always a connection that can be made, and with connection there’s healing.” The path is practicing daily embodiment and self-attunement to repair the primal disconnection at the root of so much chronic illness.

    Here’s what you will learn:

  • Understanding disconnection as a survival adaptation in response to trauma and its role in the development of chronic illness.
  • Insights into my journey of learning the importance of titration in therapy to avoid overwhelming the nervous system.
  • Exploring why autoimmune disorders disproportionately affect women (80%!), highlighting the connection between emotional suppression and disease manifestation.
  • The transformative potential of changing our relationship with the world to facilitate healing from diseases.
  • Dr. Gabor Maté shares his personal practices for staying connected to his authentic self, emphasizing the significance of the mind-body connection and embodiment in maintaining health.

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Foundational Journey

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Be safely guided step-by-step through the essential process for addressing stored trauma in your body.


By listening to this podcast, you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having.  This entire disclaimer also applies to any guests or contributors to the podcast. Under no circumstances shall Trauma Healing Accelerated, any guests or contributors to The Biology of Trauma® podcast, or any employees, associates, or affiliates of Trauma Healing Accelerated be responsible for damages arising from the use of the podcast.