In today’s society, there is an epidemic of trauma-related symptoms for which people are seeking help and lasting solutions. The prevailing remedies such as talk-based therapy and medication are a significant investment of time and financial resources, sometimes producing unwanted side-effects or limited results. People need a simple, affordable, results-based solution for their anxiety, panic attacks, dissociation, flashbacks, and ADD.
Refuge In Rhythm, LLC does not offer therapy and does not sell therapeutic music. It offers in-person and online instruction and training in The Refuge In Rhythm technique™ and the sale of Refuge In Rhythm, LLC rhythmic intervention files for use with the technique.
I created The Refuge In Rhythm Technique™ as a result of searching for a way to heal my own (C)PTSD. My experience included a nine-year battle to full recovery, after a traumatic event led to a six-year state of physical, cognitive, and emotional shutdown, with total amnesia and the inability to walk or speak at will. I knew only that I had two sons and a younger brother. There was no help available to me, no medication or therapy was effective and there was no known path out of The Abyss – the brain’s ultimate self-defense mechanism. That place of nothingness which held me captive and prevented me from physical movement, the ability to think and feel, and from interacting with the world outside of it.
For seven years, I awakened in a state of panic. As I slowly regained physical and cognitive functioning, I began to experience flashbacks, dissociation, and daily panic attacks. At the time, I didn’t understand that by coming out of the Abyss, I was losing my protective mechanism and was experiencing triggers for which I had no coping mechanism. The mental health system offered medication and therapies which either had no effect on my symptoms or put me into flash-back, dissociation, panic or debilitating anxiety, I had no choice but to go it alone in order to find a way to experience life again. I created and fine-tuned The Refuge In Rhythm Technique™ over a few months time between five a.m. and six a.m. each morning as I watched the sunrise and sought self-soothing for the panic attacks I experienced each morning upon waking. Once I learned how to reverse my flashbacks, dissociation, panic attacks and anxiety, my goal was to gain control of The Abyss and to never go back there. I retrained my thought process and became aware of my body’s responses to my environment and then created more techniques in order to acquire complete mastery over my (C)PTSD. I now live a symptom-free and fulfilled life.
During the later years of my self-healing, when I was gradually able to read and retain information again, I began to research PTSD and trauma. It was then that I stumbled across an article written about a Dr. Bruce Perry, and I discovered that there is existing scientific evidence to explain much of what I discovered through following the only resource I had to heal myself- my instinct and intuition and what I believe where my brain’s own clues to healing.
From the beginning of my brain’s shut-down process, I was drawn to and seeking out rhythm in my environment. I felt temporary relief from a continuous state of anxiety and panic when I heard my sons playing ping-pong in the basement and when I listened to videos of pro tennis matches. But the two most significant sources of comfort for me were: A load of wet towels thumping rhythmically in the dryer and the rhythm of the dishwasher’s wash cycle at 4 a.m.
By coincidence or Providence, whichever you believe, I lived next door to a very talented and successful custom guitar designer, whose stepson is a drummer and whose wife is one of my dearest friends. When I asked them if they would help me create a file for what I was doing to reverse my (C)PTSD symptoms, they responded immediately by offering their home recording studio and their talents. I kept the file on my phone as my “medicine” and for variety, I produced three additional files with them, using the same formula. I had no idea that their act of generosity in putting what I explained to them into something tangible, was going to be useful for other people until my son experienced a panic attack after Tommy Jon surgery in eleventh grade. I recognized his symptoms immediately and did the only thing I knew how to do, what I did for myself. My son has not had a single panic attack since. People began to ask me for help and I did, without hesitation. I considered it an honor and still do.
I created Refuge In Rhythm, LLC and Mamas Healing Trauma™ in order to help more people. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I hope to make a small contribution to reversing a tidal wave of the devastating effects of trauma in our society, which ravages victims of all ages, races, classes, and cultures. Refuge In Rhythm, LLC and Mamas Healing Trauma™ are passionate about empowering people so that they are no longer afraid of their symptoms or feel abandoned by a mental health system with no options other than medication and talk-based therapy.
Chrissie now works with drummers, guitarists, and pianists and produces additional audio and video aids to be used with her Refuge In Rhythm techniques.