So, a lot of the time we trash ourselves, right?

We aren’t eating right, sleeping right, stressing out about every little thing, spending far too much of our lives looking at screens, and proper exercise hasn’t happened since the early 2000s.  

But there are these times when we actually are living in congruence: what we think, what we say, and what we are doing are all lining up. Less takeout, more cooking. You’re grabbing at least 7 hours of sleep, drinking tons of water, and taking the stairs. You aren’t full-on meditating but getting at least 10-15 minutes of silence to yourself.

Ever notice during these times, at least biologically, things really start to line up. Less exhaustion. That dull ache in your back lessens. Skin looks better.  You feel better: both physically and in your attitude. And people in general get on your nerves less.

That’s because it is all connected:  our life experiences, our bodies, energy and stress. Balance. Congruence. A natural syzygy that keeps us in us in a orbit. Integrated. Aligned.

But what about the stressors over which we have no control? What about experiential stress that was there before we were able to make our own choices?

In this case, we  aren’t  trashing ourselves. These are stressors that were downloaded into our bodies most likely in the first 10 years of our lives.

In our last series, we discussed external and present stressors and their impact on the body. In this next series, we’re unpacking developmental stressors, where they live in our bodies, and how we can heal/unblock them for more a healthier, happier, and more stable body and mind.  


Simply put, we will be focusing on stress during developmental times, stress, trauma, or conditioning that happens to humans between the ages of 0-10. This can include: childhood traumas, cultural, societal, religious conditioning, limited belief systems, restrictive, exhausting patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, physical and emotional injuries, or even lack of attention. These all manifest in the body as a form of stress.

This isn’t new information. Any therapist will tell us the developmental years set the tone for the rest of our lives. We spend lifetimes trying to outrun incidents, relationships, and issues that manifested during early childhood.

But what we may not know is that our body physically stores these stressors and experiences. Without a proper way to release those experiences, they hardwire into the nervous system, become holding patterns. When they become holding patterns they influence all of our thoughts feelings and action, as well as every system of the body:

  • Circulatory system
  • Digestive system
  • Endocrine system
  • Integumentary system/ Exocrine  system
  • Lymphatic system / Immune  system
  • Muscular system
  • Nervous system
  • Renal system / Urinary system /  Excretory system
  • Bioenergy syste

Why is this problematic?

Because of congruence. Because as we said before, everything is connected. Developmental stress that has metastasized into hardwired holding patterns, our brains and bodies create incoherent or disordered states of communication between the above systems. Imagine the game Telephone (I’m aging myself, aren’t I?).  A message is whispered in Adam’s ear, and Adam whispers it to Jen, Jen whispers it to Henry, and so on and so forth. When the last person is whispered the message, the reveal is often radically different than the original message.

This is what happens within our bodies with hardwired holding patterns: miscommunications in signaling in the body and its bioenergy fields. Our body then creates coping mechanisms because of the miscommunicated signals. When the coping strategies become chronic, they become anchored in the body and psyche.

These facts are supported by the  CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study or the ACE.

Children with toxic stress live much of their lives in fight, flight or fright (freeze) mode. They respond to the world as a place of constant danger. With their brains overloaded with stress hormones and unable to function appropriately, they can’t focus on learning. They fall behind in school, are unable to trust adults or peers. They often find solace in food, alcohol, tobacco, methamphetamines, inappropriate sex, high-risk sports, and/or work and over-achievement. They don’t regard these coping methods as problems. Consciously or unconsciously, they use them as solutions to escape from depression, anxiety, anger, fear and shame.

Health conditions also develop from hardwired holding patterns. A similar study done by Kaiser Permanente found that there was a direct link between childhood trauma and adult onset of chronic disease, as well as mental illness, doing time in prison, and work issues, such as absenteeism.

In fact, those with four categories of ACEs had a 240 percent greater risk of hepatitis, were 390 percent more likely to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (emphysema or chronic bronchitis), and a 240 percent higher risk of a sexually-transmitted disease.

The studies go on and on: Liver failure, adult alcoholism, COPD, teen sexual behavior, suicide attempts, chronic depression, and prescription drug use.

All from high ACE scores. All determined by what happens the early years of our lives. Scary stuff. But not impossible to unpack. To take your ACE score and Resilience Score, click here.   


It sounds hopeless, right? If these hardwired holding patterns are there before we can do anything about it, how can we then release them? Recognizing what is hardwired within us and where is the first step to fixing the issue.

Where do you begin?

  1. Awareness: With eyes closed, think about an issue/person/situation that is stressing you out. Then, with deep breathing, see if you can find where you “sense” that. Note that we are looking for the sensation not the feeling. A sensation you will be able to locate in your body where as a feeling is less tangible. Lower back? Neck? Shoulders? An ache in the head? Try to be specific.
  2. Emotions and Sensations: Again, with eyes closed, connect with a negative or positive emotion. Here are some places to start:
    • Safety, security, stability, fear
    • Sexuality, emotions, guilt
    • Power, will, shame
    • Love, relationships, trust, grief
    • Communication, self expression, lies
    • Intuition, creativity
    • Awareness, attachment 
  3. After you take the time to connect with an emotion, check in with your body. Find out what sensation you feel within your body when connected to said emotion. Is it a flutter, a tickle, a tingle, or  numbness, or even pain? Next identify where the sensation is happening. It may help to write down all of this information.

Where these sensations manifest in the body can let us know where the hardwired holding patterns are, what systems are stored there, and where energy is being blocked. This is the beginning of the work.

In the upcoming blogs, we’ll unpack each and every system of the body, its corresponding bio-energy field, and how to release hardwired holding patterns in each area. Stay tuned.


For over 20 years Stacy Berman has been teaching people how to get in shape, eat healthy and create balance. Her extensive training in Tae Kwon Doe, Capoeira, kickboxing and bootcamp drills have led her to a deep understanding of the body and its movements. As a student of the world, she has learned to combine an intense physical practice with movement meditation for an elevated state of health.

Soon after her creating Stacy's Boot Camp, the first boot camp in NYC, Stacy realized food was the foundation for creating a sound mind in a sound body. She threw herself into nutrition with a passion,  became a certified nutrition specialist and worked with thousands of busy New Yorkers to figure out what worked and what didn’t. With feet on the ground practice Stacy created The System by Stacy Berman to help herself, her clients, and the world at large achieve a higher, more meaningful level of health and fitness.

Since creating The System, Stacy has gone on to receive a PhD in Natural Medicine and is presently writing a book Love Yourself Naked: The Science of Self Perception, Spirituality and Weight Loss that combines over twenty years in the health and fitness industries with scientific research to reveal how our thoughts affect the way we feel. Stacy is truly a forerunner in the mind - body holistic health movement with tens of thousands of hours of real life experience.