Expert Profile - Aimie Apigian
Dr. Aimie Apigian, MD
Functional Medicine Physician
Dr. Aimie Apigian’s Bio:
Dr. Aimie is a Double Board-Certified Medical Physician in both Preventive and Addiction Medicine and holds Double Masters Degrees in Biochemistry and in Public Health. She is the leading medical expert on addressing stored trauma in the body through her signature model and methodology, The Biology of Trauma™: a new lens that courageously up levels the old methods of trauma work and medicine by reverse-engineering trauma’s effects on the nervous system and body on a cellular level. Dr. Aimie specializes in trauma, attachment, and addictions after having personal experience in foster parenting, adopting, and then having her own health issues that were a result of childhood and life experiences. In addition to her medical studies which have included Functional Medicine Certification, she has sought out trauma therapy training since 2015.
A three-time Summit Host, Dr. Aimie founded a Nonprofit called Family Challenge Camps, and developed and ran weekend intensives for families with children who have experienced attachment trauma. She is currently the founder and CEO of Trauma Healing Accelerated, where she bridges the two worlds of Functional Medicine and Trauma Therapy with a mission to help adults accelerate the healing journey by addressing The Biology of Trauma™ that keeps stored trauma stuck in the body, mind, and spirit. Her Providers’ Certification Course teaches providers to do the same for their clients.
What life events or challenges that you have experienced (could be minor, could be major) whether you have experienced them directly or via someone close to you, have had any type of impact on your desire to have a practice focus on patients with mental health challenges?
Ever since I was a teenager, I remember being drawn to helping kids who seem to be hurting inside. I really was able to take action on this when I started foster parenting in my mid-20s, while during medical school. They placed four-year-old Miguel with me and he really changed my life. It opened me up to understanding the critical role of attachment and neurodevelopment, on our health, and all of our behaviors and decisions. It actually really showed me my own insecurities that I had just always seen as my personality and became aware that my own nervous system was wired for surviving, and that I could change that.
When and why did you decide to actually focus on working with patients dealing with mental health issues?
I actually went into a general surgery residency after medical school. I did take one year off after medical school to be a stay-at-home mom, with Miguel, hoping that this time and the tools that I had since learned would be helpful in helping him develop a secure attachment with me. I then went into surgery and a few years into my general surgery residency experienced a health crash that opened my eyes even more to the effects that my own childhood had had on my health, even though I had never seen my childhood as traumatic. It was at this point that I decided to change my career focus to attachment, trauma, and addictions and have never looked back. It has become the most meaningful thing for me to experience the miracles of applied tools to address stored trauma in the body and its effect on our biology.
What methods or practices do you utilize to help individuals get/feel better?
I address the Biology of Trauma as a way to accelerate the healing journey. There are consequences to one’s biology as a result of life experiences as our body adapts to our life. When those experiences have been overwhelming, it creates a very predictable pattern in biology that then becomes a reason for people to get stuck in their healing journey. They continue to live with the effects of trauma and those are both emotional, mental, and physical health effects. By addressing what is happening on the cellular level, I am able to support the body towards healing and actually provide what the body needs to heal itself. I do this through a combination of functional medicine, neuroscience principles, and somatic trauma therapies, including Somatic Experiencing, neuro affective touch, and my way of applying somatic work to internal family systems. I work with clients online, leading them through both experiential journeys and applied knowledge modules, giving them the knowledge and tools to shift things on a cellular level for themselves or the clients that they work with. I start by leading everyone through a 21-day journey into their nervous system and the journey just goes on from there! The Biology of Trauma modules that I teach, as part of the certification course for providers, can be taken by individuals who want to take charge of their own trauma and those are eight modules, that explore all aspects of the biology that both predispose us to trauma, and then is a consequence of trauma and keeps us stuck.