All Wound Up and Wounded – Some Thoughts on Psychological Healing

It may be of some surprise that the word ‘wound’ is used to represent a cut, hurt, abrasion or more serious injury AND that same word can mean tied up tightly, coiled up, bunnydirectories or bound as in “I was all wound up with stress.” We tend not to think of being wound up and stressed as an injury, or wound. However, on a psychological level, that is exactly what it is. In today’s jargon, the word ‘trauma’ is used, and aptly so. Trauma is Greek in origin and translates into English as ‘wound’ – as in hurt or injury. When we speak of trauma, we are talking about being all wound up with woundedness. It’s easy to get wounded in this world, both physically and psychologically. It happens to us all. Even positive experiences such as falling in love can wind us up and promote symptoms of trauma as suggested by the title of Elvis Presley’s classic rock ‘n roll song “All Shook Up.” In the song, Presley outlines some of the behaviors felt when shook up with love such as

“…I’m itching like a man on a fuzzy tree

My friends say I’m actin’ wild as a bug…”


“…My hands are shaky and my knees are weak

I can’t seem to stand on my own two feet…”


“…My tongue gets tied when I try to speak

My insides shake like a leaf on a tree…”

Behavioral symptoms like that, taken out of context, could point to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

It’s almost impossible to arrive at early adulthood without having been shook up, or wounded, which are, essentially, traumatic experiences. Any number of psychological and emotional ‘shake ups,” or traumas, occur during childhood and adolescence from punishment to rejection to ridicule to embarrassment and more. Severe trauma such as being in an auto accident, critical illness, violence (as a victim or a witness), abuse, neglect and rape, can create significant psychological and emotional injury, or woundedness, the ramifications of which can spread over decades of one’s life. Even the process of being born into this world, the experience of transitioning from the warm womb to the bright and often cold world, the shock of separation from the umbilical chord, the first searing breath, can be traumatic. It would appear that we are all wounded, all wound up, all traumatized, to some degree. As such, the concept of healing becomes important to just about everybody. For more info please visit these sites:-

A lot of healing is actually repair and restoration. The body has a remarkable inborn repair process to deal with injuries such as cuts and abrasions, sprains and breaks. One hardly has to do anything but clean it and bandage it; the body does the rest automatically. Even in more serious wounds, once it is dressed, the body’s internal repair process takes over. Significant damage to parts of the body, or the brain itself, has shown remarkable abilities to restore some functions, often through adaptations of existing structures and functions. Such is not necessarily the case with psychological and emotional repair due to the freedoms of individual choice. And, in fact, individual choice can actually hinder both bodily and emotional healing. For example, when a cut on the skin is in the repair process, it itches; scratching it does not help. Yet, one often finds themselves scratching at it, and working against the natural repair process. Emotional healing or repair often requires time alone to feel the hurt, to cry…And yet, one may choose to ‘party hearty’ and cover up the pain, which is not restorative or healing.

An essential ingredient of psychological and emotional healing can best be described with the analogy of obedience training of a pet dog. If you are not familiar with obedience training, the purpose is to train the dog ‘to heel.’ For the purposes of this analogy, let’s use ‘heal’ instead of ‘heel.’ The sound is the same, and there is actually a symbolic relationship between the two as the heel is considered a vulnerable area (i.e., Achilles heel), and one, consequently, prone to being healed.


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