Is trauma stored in the body?

Yes. It’s not just that trauma is stored in the mind, or even that it affects the mind—it’s that trauma manifests physically in our cells.

When we experience trauma, our bodies react to protect us by releasing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones help us fight or flee from danger, or even freeze or go numb as a way to protect vital organs, but they also change our body chemistry and fundamentally alter how we function.

Trauma can lead to shifts in brain structure and function, changes in hormone levels, shifts in immune system activity and inflammation levels, and more.