Neurobiological Understandings of Trauma, the Brain, and Evidence-Based Healing

Trauma is a complex experience that can have profound effects on an individual's well-being. While its manifestations vary from person to person, the neurobiological impact of trauma is significant and worth exploring.

The brain's response to trauma involves several key areas, including the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, thalamus, and hippocampus. To better understand this process, we can look at Paul MacLean's "triune brain" model, which divides the brain into three interconnected systems:

  1. The reptilian brain: Responsible for autonomic functions like breathing and heart rate.
  2. The mammalian brain (limbic system): Involved in memory and emotional responses, including the fight-flight-freeze reaction.
  3. The cerebral cortex: Handles higher-level thinking, planning, and language processing.

When faced with a perceived threat, these systems work together to process sensory information, assess danger, and trigger appropriate responses. In traumatic situations, this process can become overactive or stuck, leading to ongoing stress responses even in safe environments.

While some researchers now favor a more integrated view of brain function, MacLean's model remains a useful framework for understanding trauma responses. Importantly, this neurobiological perspective helps explain why trauma can have such lasting effects and why certain therapies may be effective in addressing these impacts.

At Texas Center for Lifestyle Medicine, we recognize the importance of addressing trauma through a holistic, mind-body approach. Our integrative clinic offers a variety of trauma-informed treatments designed to help reset the nervous system and promote healing. These include:

  • Mind-body medicine groups
  • Tai chi
  • Breathwork
  • Qi gong
  • Meditation
  • One-on-one sessions with our mind-body medicine coach, Geny Moreno

Through these modalities, we aim to help patients process and overcome trauma, restoring balance to their nervous systems and improving overall well-being. By addressing the biological and mental/emotional impacts of trauma, we help you to achieve balance to both your autonomic nervous system function and your mind. Our team is committed to guiding each individual through their unique healing journey, addressing the neurobiological impacts of trauma with compassion and evidence-based practices. Contact us for more information about our Mind-Body Medicine department.



“A Theory Abandoned but Still Compelling.” Yale School of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, 15 Sept. 2008,

O’Sullivan, Kelly. “The Neurobiology of Trauma.” The Neurobiology of Trauma | Danielle Rousseau, 1 Jan. 1968,


“A Theory Abandoned but Still Compelling.” Yale School of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, 15 Sept. 2008,


Center for Mind-Body Medicine:


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.