I recently came across Emily Dickinson's poem, After great pain, a formal feeling comes (372), and I was struck by how beautifully she captures the way the body and psyche can become "formal," "stiff," and "mechanical" after trauma. Wood, stone, lead, and ice images convey the lack of flow and feeling.
As the poem suggests, blocks from trauma distort our experience and perceptions, prevent us from being fully present, and can inhibit our health and well-being.
What can we do about it? As much as we might wish, we can't avoid pain and trauma--it's an inevitable part of the human experience. However, the simple and enjoyable practice of "shaking" -- included in many meditative traditions such as Qigong and Kundalini Yoga -- helps keep the experiences from accumulating in our field and creating clogs and blocks.
I first learned about this practice from Dr. Ann Marie Chiasson, who calls it "Shaking the Bones." She explains the theory and demonstrates the practice in this short video. Try it for a few minutes this evening and see what comes up. It is a great daily practice and very quickly can make a difference when you're feeling a lack of flow and vitality.