moved to heal
movement for healing & resilience


I'm Esther, and I offer movement for healing & resilience online, locally in Addison County, Vermont, and on the Moved to Heal podcast.
Moved to Heal is both an offering of movement for healing & resilience and an intention to explore healing through movement. I am a certified facilitator of Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, an evidence-backed intervention for complex trauma. I created this website as an introduction to TCTSY and trauma, and welcome questions or feedback anytime. 

How can movement heal trauma?

Trauma can disrupt a person’s sense of self and agency in their body. TCTSY has the potential to help folks who’ve experienced trauma gradually move into some harmony with their bodies –however they define that. TCTSY can help practitioners build skills of self-care (self-regulation) that give them the agency to continue healing. Adverse experiences and trauma can disrupt the development of self-regulation skills, making even “normal” life management a challenge. Body-based self-regulation skills are necessary for children and adults to move with ease through life. TCTSY is one evidence-based, cost-effective intervention for building movement-based self/body regulation skills –and healing some of the effects of trauma.

It's worth noting that while this may be one way in which TCTSY has helped folks, facilitators offer the practice without agenda. We don't expect or look for a certain outcome, but rather offer TCTSY as an opportunity to practice making choices. 

healing is possible

  • With yoga, I reclaimed my body. That is a gift because I so hated my body. Or I claimed it, not reclaimed because I was so young. I claimed it. It was a long process to consider myself not an outline. … I think yoga helped define me. Just inhabiting my own skin is a major step forward. It allows me to be in my life now— like be attentive as I'm driving, to be present with my family, like in lots of different ways. 

    I think the practice of being more in tune with my body and being able to develop some tools to control my internal energy and the calmness that can come is significant.
  • I spent my whole life trying to do good to prove that I wasn't just bad. And now, I don't. It's not something that I have to prove. It's just who I am. I am who I am, and I'm generally a really good person. Things feel more connected. I'm more real. I feel less like I have to put one face on for the outside world and that's not really who I am. I feel more authentic than I think I ever have. My not being able to get into my own skin was something that I did early on just to survive, and I just carried it forward. And now…I can recognize I don't need to do that. It brings an appreciation that if you haven't been there you couldn't possibly imagine.

    The okayness is from within.
  • When you are abused you feel small, even smaller than you are. … 
    That was my experience as a child. I wanted to be small and invisible if possible. I wanted not to be seen, and I constricted.… I'd say the sense of being able to open up in this way physically [in yoga], as simple as it sounds, especially the upper part of my body--heart, lungs, diaphragm, shoulders-- all the parts that I had scrunched down, that seemed to make a difference. It allowed an overall expansion. … People are noticing it clearly. I have been invited to do more things. People seem interested in me in a different way. There is something that has changed because people are coming closer to me. I am able to tolerate that better. I am reaching out more in ways that I couldn't have done.
  • I was listening to the instructor and trying to turn inward and really feel what I was supposed to be feeling and holding the poses. Then all of the sudden, it was really scary. There were a few times that I had body memories to the point where I yelled out in class. It's like a flashback, but you don't have any thoughts or visions that go along with it. So your body-- it's like having a flashback and only having half the story. It made me realize how out of my body I've been all these years and how not attached [I was].
  • Beforehand I'd be more focused on everyone else's needs, like my work, my family, what not, and I kind of forgot about taking care of myself. So I think with the yoga it kind of forced me to spend that hour or so, you know with myself, centering myself, and then even afterwards since I'd be more calm, I'd be more outgoing, and doing other things, and just generally trying to treat myself better.
experiences with TCTSY shared by research study participants

moved to heal

Offering Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga in Addison County and online
copyright © 2024 esther m palmer