“When you’re healing a trauma, you’re healing it for your entire genetic family”
Dr. Veronica Anderson, Host, Functional Medicine Specialist and Medical Intuitive interviews Niki Gratrix to learn how to heal emotional trauma and chronic illness.
Have you experienced a tragic event in your life? Internationally renowned award-winning nutritional therapist and coach Niki Gratrix co-founded one of the largest complementary and alternative health clinics in the UK with patients in 35 countries around the world. In August 2015, she hosted the largest ever online summit interviewing 29 world-leading experts on overcoming fatigue with over 30,000 attendees. Today she is the Clinical Director of SuperCharged, a division of NES Health.
In this episode, Niki talks about the effects of adversity in childhood and the increase chance of developing an illness. She also speaks on how trauma can be inherited through generations, healing spiritually emotional issues and exploring solutions. Listen to the end for questions to ask yourself when defining your personality and ways to find additional methods when healing emotional trauma.
Listen to episode 18on iTunes here or subscribe on your favorite podcast app.
18: Show Notes
Dr. Veronica Anderson’s Links
Donna Jackson Nakazawa – https://drveronica.com/childhooddisrupted
03:46 – Niki’s background
07:07 – Fibromyalgia
08:40 – Emotional states in Cancer
11:45 – Can adversity in childhood increase your chance of death?
15:30 – Inheritance trauma soulmate
22:15 – Healing spiritually emotion issues
27:00 – Exploring solutions
27:30 – Knowing your personality: Questions to ask yourself
29:50 – 7 steps to healing emotional trauma
Female VO: Welcome to the Wellness Revolution Podcast, the radio show all about wellness in your mind, body, spirit, personal growth, sex, and relationships. Stay tuned for weekly interviews featuring guests that have achieved physical, mental, and spiritual health in their lives.
If you’d like to have access to our entire back catalog visit drveronica.com for instant access. Here’s your host, Dr. Veronica.
Dr. Veronica: Another episode of the Wellness Revolution, you know me, I’m Dr. Veronica. I want to introduce to you a wonderful woman today. And we’re going to talk about healing emotional trauma. Let me just give you a little bit of background.
When I was an eye surgeon, and you know I started my life as an eye surgeon, I got to a point in my practice where I felt that every other person had been sexually abused. There’s something about me where people just feel confident in telling me some of their deep secrets. So I’m doing eye exams and chatting with people and I would find out just all types of information about their life.
Sexual abuse is one of those issues I heard about time and time again and I just started to get really paranoid about it. I started to ask, “Have I been sexually abused?” No, I have not been sexually abused, and I feel blessed that that is the case, but a lot of people have and a lot of people have gone through it but a lot of people are struggling with it still and have had physical health issues as a result of this emotional trauma that happens on the go.
Today we’re going to talk about this really delicate subject because in order to get rid of the spiritual legacy of sexual abuse or any type of trauma and abuse you have to talk about it. You have to bring it to light because the truth heals, your voice about this heals.
I would like to introduce to you Niki Gratrix from the UK but now living in California. She’s what I call one of my soul sisters doing intuitive work. But also a nutritionist, does one of the standard stuff that you guys can grasp really easily. But I’m telling you where we all get these real results in helping people is not just putting the spiritual part together, not just the physical part together but putting them both together and helping people see more clearly. Here I am, eye surgeon originally. I used to operate on people’s eyes like you’re a microscope.
Now, as a clairvoyant eye surgeon may help people see clearly. So here’s another woman I introduce to you. Niki welcome to the Wellness Revolution.
Niki: Thank you so much for having me. What a stunning story that you have. It speaks volumes. It’s so simple some of the things we’re going to talk about as well, so such an important topic. I’m talking about emotional trauma, adversity in childhood and how that’s so connected to what happens to us health wise in adulthood.
Dr. Veronica: First I want you to just give us a little bit of your let’s say the background that people like to grasp on to. Every time I do an interview my fax machine rings. You guys are used to listening to this. But anyway, give me a little bit about your background.
Niki: Originally I co-founded a large clinic in London in the UK. I trained as a clinical nutritionist. I actually have a career in banking and finance before that in London. It’s totally unrelated. And then I realized I was totally in a wrong career. We trained a clinical nutritionist.
At the time my business partner and life partner had been very sick with chronic fatigue for seven years. He just recovered. We met and we both realized, A, we wanted to start a clinic together. And, B, it’s that illness range of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, kind of burnout adrenal fatigue, that entire spectrum of illnesses, we wanted to specialize in that but we realized right at the beginning we needed a psychology division and we needed a nutrition division.
Because just doing physical stuff, whether that was functional medicine, functional nutritional things that I took care, it wasn’t going to be enough to address this kind of illness related to chronic fatigue. I kind of got a bit of baptism of fire where I saw what goes on emotionally, how people feel psychologically directly feeds into that physical expression as well.
So I got to kind of study upfront for five years. We became a very big clinic. We have patients in 35 different countries. And we even got published a pilot study in the British Medical Journal open because we had so many clients and so on. I know at the time we’re actually filling a hole in the UK at the time and there was a lot of suffering going on with that illness. And a lot of unmet needs, conventional medicine, having no clue, not taking a systems biology approach, a functional sort of things, and totally ignoring potentially psychology side, basically telling people we were making up.
It was after that that I then spread my awareness outside of just chronic fatigue and I really started to study the research behind psychoneuroimmunology and the link between emotional well-being and physical well-being. And what actually happens in childhood has so much impact. It’s the most underexposed risk factor of all chronic complex illness today.
And so the type of work that you do Dr. Veronica, I just want to say, it’s so important. I’ll share some of the statistics around, probably what people don’t realize how important to address and look at the subjective state of the patient, your internal state and who you’ve been as a person, who you are in the world, why you do the things that you do. If we don’t explore that it’s missing half the picture. That was how my background got into this subject anyway.
Chronic fatigue syndrome, I call it the poster child of looking adversity in childhood. Because if you have adverse childhood events you have a 600% increased risk of chronic fatigue syndrome in adulthood, and that’s in PubMed studies.
Dr. Veronica: Wow. It’s so huge.
Niki: It’s the highest risk of all of them. I’ll ask back to you in a second but I can actually go into more details, show you, and explain to you what are the risk factors for different types of chronic complex illness if you have adversity in childhood. And we can define what we mean by adversity as well.
Dr. Veronica: Yes. But let me just ask about another common disease state that people have. What’s going on with fibromyalgia?
Niki: It’s so much related to unresolved emotional trauma. Sixty percent of women with fibromyalgia report sexual abuse in childhood. It doesn’t have to just be sexual abuse, the kind of adversity that’s going to affect our epigenetic expression can come from a whole range of different things. But definitely a large or proportion of that is emotional abuse. It can be physical abuse, it could be parents separating or divorce. But with fibromyalgia it is literally 60% of the women who have been assessed, and more women get fibromyalgia than men happen to report sexual abuse.
And if you like you could almost see… intuitively and emotionally speaking fibromyalgia is like stuffed energy, it’s stuffed, unresolved, unfazed emotional trauma which is emotional pain expressing as physical pain. Because the body is kind of like a hologram and it’s almost mirroring what’s going on emotionally at the subconscious level. It’s another one, I call it the poster child illness for unresolved emotional trauma. Anybody… should look at it.
Dr. Veronica: The big C, cancer, cancer is one of those ones. And when we talk about this I want the audience to understand that we’re not blaming the victim at all. This is about understanding the genesis and how diseases get turned on and off, how emotional states turn on and off. And so what it means if it got turned on there’s a way to turn it off was first you have to understand the trigger.
Let’s talk about cancer because people just feel that I have cancer because I have a rare gene, or I have breasts, or ovaries, or I was exposed to this toxin that was physical. I have mesothelioma because I was exposed to asbestos. I have the BRCA gene so I have breast cancer, ovarian cancer. Address trauma and emotional states in regard to cancer.
Niki: This one is another big link between emotional trauma in childhood. And it can happen in adulthood. Emotional trauma is a contributing factor. And normally you’re going to see all of these things like there usually has to be present a toxin. And if there is emotional trauma present as well then you’re kind of getting the recipe for a much increased propensity to develop cancer.
For example we have cancer cells that develop in the body all the time because we’re faced with toxins. But the body has a way of dealing with that. There are repair mechanisms. The body has its own repair mechanisms and these are apoptosis to kill off cells that have become infected and so on.
Usually the DNA in the cancer could be triggered by a toxin. But switches off the body’s ability to repair that is unresolved emotional trauma. Because it actually changes the epigenetic expression of a stress response and this thing called the HPA Axis, the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis which will actually modulate how the body responds to repairs and renew cells. When you get both you get the toxin that’s creating DNA mutation and then you switch off the body’s natural repair mechanisms, then you develop the cancer.
And also in terms of prevalence it’s been so underexposed about emotional trauma and the psychological aspect which contribute to it. We’re talking about unconscious trauma that usually means the person has become disconnected and disassociated from the trauma. So you could never say it’s somebody’s fault that they’ve got some psychological thing and they cause their own cancer. It’s happening at an unconscious level. Usually it happens at a young age. And it actually changes the way that our genes are expressing.
When we have a trauma in childhood for example the body does not heal, it conceals. And time doesn’t heal it conceals. I will share one of the studies. There was a major study that was started by the CDC and Kaiser Permanente in the mid-1990s where they were looking at masses of lumps of people like 17,500 people responded to a survey where they measured adverse childhood events, the number of them that they had, and then they correlated it with risk onset of diseases in adulthood. And essentially they found that you have a massive increased risk of seven out of the top ten causes of death if you have adversity in childhood.
Speaking specifically to cancer for example, if you had just four adverse childhood events, they defined ten for the purposes of the study. If you had four for example you had two and a half times the risk of cancer in adulthood. If you had eight ACES, we abbreviate adverse childhood events as ACES, if you had eight of them you had a threefold increased risk of lung cancer, and three and a half times the risk of heart disease as well by the way.
Other statistics around four ACES just for other types of illnesses so people can compare, risk of adult-onset depression four and a half times higher. Diabetes, 1.6 times higher, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder is 2.5 times higher. As I mentioned, six fold increase of chronic fatigue syndrome, if you had just two ACES you have a 70% to 100% increased risk of autoimmunity in adulthood. And Alzheimer’s with four ACES is a 400% increased risk.
This is data. When the researchers did this original research and they found these unbelievable statistics it triggered off a whole set of latest studies that have become the ACES studies. And they interviewed researchers, the researchers cried when they saw the results because they realized they’ve uncovered a hidden crisis and an epidemic. And that’s where we are and this is why I talk about ACES as much as I can to get the message out there.
Dr. Veronica: Wow. These adverse child events, you mentioned autoimmune disease. What about break it out a little bit more. One of the common autoimmune diseases that a lot of us see are thyroid problems especially Hashimoto’s. Is there any statistics on that in adverse childhood events?
Niki: Absolutely. Things like your Th1 dominant autoimmune conditions, that’s like type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and so on. You have a 70% increased risk with two ACES. For Th2 dominant autoimmune conditions that’s more on the thyroiditis I believe and that type of thing, it’s 100% increased risk.
The correlation of autoimmune onset in adulthood for women and ACES is strongly linked to smoking and lung cancer. And people don’t know that. It’s a real statistic. The statistics also show as women we are at increased risk of abuse in childhood. So we’re more likely to be abused in childhood. And it’s interesting to wonder if there’s a correlation between these autoimmune diseases, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome, they are female dominant illnesses like two-thirds to three-quarters of people are women with those illnesses. The last undiscovered country, our internal subjective state and what’s going on with this emotionally is translated. Our childhood biography becomes our adult biology.
Dr. Veronica: Let’s just switch a little bit, we have these adverse childhood events. And if we move it over a lot towards the spiritual realm, and it depends on how people feel about their spiritual life, and whether it exists, and what’s right and what’s wrong. So I’m going in the territory that some of you may say, “Whoa, don’t go there. I don’t believe like that.”
For me as a medical intuitive and a seer I can see information in past lives and between lives. I’m not talking about what has happened here. And a lot of times there have been agreements made for some of these events to happen. How will you take into account information like that? Do you believe that? Do you ever talk to people about that?
People could say, “How could I agree to being an abused child? Or how I could I agree to be an abuser?” Because there’s agreements on both sides. We all have our soul groups. People think of soul mates as some person you’re really in love with. But you have a group of people or souls that you travel lives through to learn particular lessons. And so your illnesses and your injuries are part of how you really learn lessons. They really can help you leap forward.
And so some of these traumas, I know a lot of people who have had major trauma in their lives and they’re doing wonderful things to benefit the world. Talk to people a little bit about some of those soul agreements they may have never heard this before we’re in that unchartered territory that a lot of people like to say, “I don’t believe in that. It’s here and now and that’s it.” But keep listening. Go ahead Niki.
It’s very interesting because I often talk about the kind of intergenerationally inherited trauma. And I’m using that technical term but actually I’m talking about that is past life. So we’re reincarnating into our ancestral bloodlines. And we know that even the science shows that it’s totally a real thing. For example third generation survivors of the holocaust victims have the same physiological and psychological expression as their grandparents in the holocaust. We know that trauma is inherited.
And I have many patients, for example when I was working with fibromyalgia patients who they had the same trauma expression and took on the same illness as their mother. And they say to people, “Why did I do that? Why would I do that?” And usually it’s this intuitive empath types, the helper types, they’re usually women and they’re caring. They’re loving and they take on to heal it. Because the mother they love their families so they take it into their own body to heal it for the family member. This is the thing about being a loving human being, there’s a whole subset of patients that actually take on these illnesses in their own body to heal it for the family that they love for example.
I think also in terms of past life certainly events that happen to us, the trauma from previous lives most certainly can stay in our own energy field and then cause epigenetic changes in this physical lifetime that would lead on to illnesses. Because I say all the time to people, I get people to look at adversity in childhood, look into it. Did anything happen? And they’ll sometimes come back to me and say, “No, I had a great childhood. There’s nothing there.” And then I say to them, “Okay, what about your parents or grandparents, anybody who is in a war?” How many of our relatives have been in war or famine situations as well. And that’s also been proven, it goes down more than two or three generations, the impact of that biologically.
Dr. Veronica: There’s a verse in bible about curses going to the seventh generation. And you look at that and you read, “What does that mean? Curses go to the seventh generation?” I feel like I’m very blessed in that I had a wonderful childhood. And as far as I know there hasn’t been any abuse or anything like that. And I think that’s probably why relatively I’m so physically healthy.
However, when I look at some of the issues in my extended family, and I’m not saying I’m immune to all these different things. I see promiscuity, I see violence, I see sexual abuse. There seems to be a conspiracy of silence about it that nobody wants to really talk about and address it. And so it continues to go on and on and people act like it’s just not there. And so the people who have been the victims feel like they’re the bad ones and therefore it continues to go on because you don’t break whatever…
Niki: Exactly. It’s so tragic because it’s like a double wounding, the original trauma and then the trauma of it being then concealed if you like. It’s tremendously important. I think there’s nobody that’s not affected by this. And the interesting thing is, and this is kind of the most fascinating thing. Probably the majority of everybody who has some trauma that’s maybe manifested into a physical in this lifetime, it’s actually not theirs. It’s not caused by this lifetime.
Not only is the original trauma not theirs in the sense that it wasn’t created in this lifetime, it may have been past life. Or it was passed down from the family member and they took it into their body. It’s kind of not their trauma but it’s their responsibility. It becomes their responsibility to have to face it and do the healing. So they’re like the designated healer should they choose to be.
But the other thing that people don’t realize is when you’re healing a trauma you’re healing it for your entire genetic family. You’re clearing it with your entire ancestral lineage. That’s an amazing thing. And people deserve a huge hug and love for taking on something like that.
Dr. Veronica: Let’s talk about that a little bit more because people want to say, “What do I do to get out of this situation? It’s all around me.” What do you say, people are taking on healing. What are types of activities, rituals that people can do to actually start healing these spiritual and emotional issues that are causing these really deep seated health problems?
Niki: Step one has to be awareness. Step one is literally some people may not have considered it before. Some people may be vaguely thought, “I wonder if this could be impacting me.” Step one is literally explore. And that might mean taking on an adventure of your own childhood adversity and actually noting that, start to think about it. Talk to your parents if that’s appropriate. Even extended family, about finding out if you don’t ask you may never find out things that have happened that you would never have otherwise known if you didn’t ask.
Explore also is things like you could go and see a medical intuitive, based on someone like yourself. You could go and do an energy scan and have an energetic scan done that will do also that kind of work. You can also explore it in ways of where if you start suspecting that there is something and then you wonder if it may have impacted you, there are books now. There’s a book called Childhood Disrupted by Donna Jackson Nakazawa where you can start to look at other patient stories. She covers patient stories in there about what happens emotionally in childhood unfolded into affecting somebody’s behavior, affected their identity level, and affected their beliefs. And all of those things lead to either destructive health patterns.
It often leads to what I call… If people have been traumatized and you’re the victim, I recently heard self-love deficit disorder. I was like, “That’s spot on. Self-love deficit disorder.” When we’ve been victimized in childhood and it’s gone unacknowledged, unseen, unspoken about, and it’s even perhaps shunted into our unconscious awareness it causes developmental arrest in certain areas like developing healthy self-esteem, like developing confidence, like developing healthy boundaries.
When we’re traumatized we can either do the fight response and kind of become a bit of a narcissist in adulthood, or we can go in flight response and become chronically anxious for our whole lives. A lot of us become what’s the called the fawning response which means when this thing happens to us which essentially abandonment in childhood by. It was a caregiver or it was some situation that caused us to feel total lack of, like abandoned as a childhood will do what the fawning response is, we’ll people please our way back to being… “Okay, if I’m just emulate and I’m good enough and I’m perfect enough I will become acceptable and I’ll be okay.”
All those types of responses have massive implications. It leads to chronic overachieving, chronic under self-care. It happens hugely in the fibromyalgic chronic fatigue group where people don’t take care of themselves enough and they become chronically burnt-out, they’re in chronic stress. Chronic stress is going to lead to every kind of illness risk, heart disease, cancer… We know that chronic stress does that.
Other ways that we can be affected, subtle ways that the identity level can cause us to… our intentions are sabotaged, our best intentions for health are sabotaged. For example a lot of people know that the Kaiser Permanente CDC study actually started in an obesity clinic at Kaiser Permanente.
Dr. Veronica: Oh boy, yes.
Niki: Yeah, this is it. And they were getting a high dropout rate. So the clinic was doing really well but then they were getting 55% drop out rate. It was Dr. [Unintelligible 00:26:54] who said, I’m going to investigate. And he found out by mistake by interviewing the people about why are you dropping out. And it just so happened they reported a high level of sexual abuse in childhood.
One woman summed it up when she said the extra weight on my body is a form of protection against unwanted male attention. This is another way. It comes in many forms. What happens to us in childhood it affects our identity and who we become. The women who were losing weight were actually getting panic attacks and anxiety as the weight was coming off. Because that healthy thing we were doing with our diet was actually making us feel fundamentally threatened that somehow we’re going to bring on this catastrophe that happened to us in childhood.
How can me as a nutritionist, when I’m dealing with obesity clients I cannot just consider educating them on what to eat. I need to know why they do what they do. Another thing that people can do to explore this is look back on events that happened and ask yourself and explore did it change you, did you notice destructive health patterns that happened after this event happened? Was there more than one event? Was anybody around that you could speak to? Because if there was it reduces the impact of it.
There’s even things like, “I don’t know if you’re aware Dr. Veronica of the Enneagram personality typing system. I talk about the Enneagram a lot. This is a great tool. It’s just a tool for self-exploration. We found for example that achievers, perfectionists, helpers, and anxiety types, that’s four of the nine personality types in the Enneagram system were particularly prone to all the burnout-related illnesses.
Nobody’s done a mass mapping yet of which Enneagram type tends to get different types of illnesses. But that exploration like do the personality typing testing, enneagraminstitute.com, just go to that website. It’s completely free. Go and start checking out… Like people often explored who they are, why they do things in their life, and how they’re interacting with other people. And I love that system because unlike other personality systems it’s not typing people by external behavior, like what people do, it’s typing by why people do things. It’s who people are at their core. It’s a very spiritual system as well.
There’s so many other things we could talk about as well. The other thing…
Dr. Veronica: I think you’re going to say, “Okay, we’re getting to the end of our time and we’re going to have to do another interview.” I could sit here and listen. You’re giving so much great information. I love about the Enneagram. I think that people also have to understand that when we’re talking about the spirit we’re not talking about a particular religion at all. This is not a religious system. Everybody has a spirit. We’re talking about your aura, your spirit, there’s your physical self and then there’s all these layers outside yourself that extend and touch everything else in the whole universe.
This is Einstein stuff, this is Einstein theory. This is the type of information that Einstein was working on that we don’t realize exactly what it was when he was wandering around and talking about E=mc2. This is the type of information that he was talking about that was outside of what physically see with our eyes. Some of us can see it. Sometimes I can see people’s auras. Sometimes if I look really hard I can see things about people. I back from it because going through somebody’s energy that might is challenging.
Niki, about a minute of where we can find you. I know you have a gift that people can get that can help them. Tell us about that.
Niki: It’s great. I glad we can share this because we could’ve talked for hours. People can get tons of information. On my website I have a free eBook, and it’s called The Seven Steps to Healing Emotional Trauma and Building Resilience. Literally that free book, all you do is opt-in. There’s no cost or anything. It’s completely free. You can read more about adversity in childhood, the mechanisms about how that turns into biology. And then literally the seven steps to recovery.
I have at least seven steps. We only covered one really which was awareness. There are at least five other things that people could do. The good news is it’s reversible. You can change the epigenetic expression of things that happened to you in childhood. There’s enormous amounts of help out there.
What’s lacking most is the awareness of just connecting things that are happening to us emotionally, spiritually, we just don’t realize that. Half the battle is getting people connected back to that. Because ultimately connecting back to your soul self, trauma causes a disconnect from the soul self. And when you don’t have the interconnection to source you feel totally abandoned and empty.
That’s where all the addictive behaviors come from, whether it’s addiction to work, drugs, food, attention, or chronic relationships that always fail because we’re not connected to source within. The healing of that is connect back to source within and connect back to this and you’ll find that you will not even attract things like energy vampires, which is a whole other topic. Energy vampires are the people who are the traumatizers. There’s tons of information and I encourage people to download the book.
Dr. Veronica: We got to talk about these energy vampires some other time. Niki, what’s your website?
Niki: It’s nikigratrix.com. The books are on there. I even have a tab at the top called Ace Score. No opt-in even required, tab at the top, Ace Score. If you want to just go and do their own A School, like what’s my Ace Score. It’s based on the original research. People can just tot that up and start their journey.
Dr. Veronica: Thank you so much. You heal that childhood trauma you could heal for generations what’s going on. So it’s important for people to grasp all these information. Niki, thank you so much for your work and thank you for being on the Wellness Revolution.
Niki: Thank you so much for having me. And thank you so much for the work you do.
Female VO: Thank you for listening to the Wellness Revolution Podcast. If you want to hear more on how to bring wellness into your life visit drveronica.com. See you all next week. Take care.
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Dr. Veronica Anderson is an MD, Functional Medicine practitioner, Homeopath. and Medical Intuitive. As a national speaker and designer of the Functional Fix and Rejuvenation Journey programs, she helps people who feel like their doctors have failed them. She advocates science-based natural, holistic, and complementary treatments to address the root cause of disease. Dr. Veronica is a highly-sought guest on national television and syndicated radio and hosts her own radio show, Wellness for the REAL World, on FOX Sports 920 AM “the Jersey” on Mondays at 7:00 pm ET.