ACE Study
The Unified Theory of Everything Human is a comprehensive model of human evolution and development. From the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ACE study, to the Center On The Developing Child at Harvard University, it is becoming alarmingly clear that both physiological and psychological health and disease, whether we thrive or remain stuck in life and even our search for purpose, meaning and spiritual quests, has more to do with our early childhood environment including intergenerational toxic stress effects on the brain than anyone could imagine. 

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being.  The study's researchers came up with an ACE Score to explain a person's risk for chronic diseases.
Pain Syndrome
Many Autoimmune Diseases
High Blood Pressure
Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
Illicit Drug Use
Liver Disease
Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Health Related Quality of Life

Early Initiation of Smoking
Early Initiation of Sexual Activity
Multiple Sexual Partners
Adolescent Pregnancy
Unintended Pregnancies
Risk for Intimate Partner Violence
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Suicide Attempts

Find Your ACE Score

ACE Score Questionnaire   

Click on the links to take the questionnaires
The ACE Pyramid
The ACE Pyramid represents the conceptual framework for the study. During the time period of the 1980s and early 1990s information about risk factors for disease had been widely researched and merged into public education and prevention programs. However, it was also clear that risk factors, such as smoking, alcohol abuse, and sexual behaviors for many common diseases were not randomly distributed in the population. In fact, it was known that risk factors for many chronic diseases tended to cluster, that is, persons who had one risk factor tended to have one or more other risk factors too.
ACE Pyramid
Because of this knowledge, the ACE Study was designed to assess what we considered to be “scientific gaps” about the origins of risk factors. These gaps are depicted as the two arrows linking Adverse Childhood Experiences to risk factors that lead to the health and social consequences higher up the pyramid. Specifically, the study was designed to provide data that would help answer the question: “If risk factors for disease, disability, and early mortality are not randomly distributed, what influences precede the adoption or development of them?” 
By providing information to answer this question, we hoped to provide scientific information that would be useful for developing new and more effective prevention programs.

The ACE Study takes a whole life perspective, as indicated on the orange arrow leading from conception to death. By working within this framework, the ACE Study began to progressively uncover how adverse childhood experiences (ACE) are strongly related to development and prevalence of risk factors for disease and health and social well-being throughout the lifespan.
You get one point for each type of trauma. The higher your ACE score, the higher your risk of health and social problems.
ACE Study
By the way, lest you think that the ACE Study was yet another involving inner-city poor people of color, take note: The study’s participants were 17,000 mostly white, middle and upper-middle class college-educated San Diegans with good jobs and great health care – they all belonged to the Kaiser Permanente health maintenance organization.
Here are some specific graphic examples of how increasing ACE scores increase the risk of some diseases, social and emotional problems. 
The graphs are from The Hidden Epidemic: The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease
by Drs Vincent Felitti and Robert Anda, co-founders of the ACE Study.
What is the ACE Study?
Did you know  statistics show a score of 4 or more on the ACE Score highly increases your susceptibility to disease including:
Hover your mouse over the slides to stop scrolling
The study is an ongoing collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Kaiser Permanente's Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego.

Click here to take the ACE Score Questionnaire.
The ACE Study uses the ACE Score which is used to assess the total amount of stress during childhood and has demonstrated that as your ACE Score increases, so does the risk of disease, social and emotional problems.
When children are overloaded with stress hormones, they’re in flight, fright or freeze mode.

They can’t learn in school. They often have difficulty trusting adults or developing healthy relationships with peers (i.e., they become loners).

To relieve their anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, and/or inability to focus, they turn to easily available biochemical solutions — nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamine — or activities in which they can escape their problems — high-risk sports, proliferation of sex partners, and work/over-achievement. (e.g. Nicotine reduces anger, increases focus and relieves depression. Alcohol relieves stress.)

Using drugs or overeating or engaging in risky behavior leads to consequences as a direct result of this behavior.
~   CDC - Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study   

~   The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study - SCAA   

~   Adverse Childhood Experiences and Their Relationship to Adult Health and Well Being   
     Slide Presentation by Vincent J Felitti, MD and Robert F Anda, MD  

~   ACE Score Affects the Physical Mind and Body by Don Shetterly​  
The ACE Study (Adverse Childhood Experiences) findings suggest that certain childhood experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States.
For example, smoking can lead to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or lung cancer. Overeating can lead to obesity and diabetes. In addition, there is increasing research that shows that severe and chronic stress leads to bodily systems producing an inflammatory response that leads to disease.
(Of course, other types of trauma exist that could contribute to an ACE score, so it is conceivable that people could have ACE scores higher than 10; however, the ACE Study measured only 10 types.)
What is the ACE Score?
Click here to find your ACE Score.
Unified Therapy™ can help unlock these traumatic and stressful experiences out of the body, brain and nervous system where most of these experiences are stored and buried.

Rather than using biochemical solutions or engaging in patterns of high risk behavior to temporarily escape problems, we all have an amazing built-in, biological healing reflex that once engaged, has the potential to take stress and trauma out of the body and promote healing of many health conditions such as trauma, anxiety and chronic pain syndromes.  See it in action here.

Amazingly, the systemic changes that are experienced on the inside can also be documented on the outside on film and internally measured with scientific equipment as well.

To view examples of this, visit our Client Sessions page.

Please take a moment to check out your ACE Score to see if you could be susceptible to these conditions.

"Traumatic symptoms are not caused by the "triggering" event itself. They stem from the frozen residue of energy that has not been resolved or discharged."
 ~ Peter Levine, PhD
Infant Stress Linked to Teen Brain Changes
The effects of a baby’s rough start can linger. An early stressful environment during a baby girl’s first year was associated with altered brain behavior and signs of anxiety in her late teens, scientists report online November 11 in Nature Neuroscience.  Read more...
ACE Study
How Trauma Affects a Child's Brain
May 25, 2012 By Ruth Buczynski, PhD
President, NICABM

We know that trauma affects the brain at any age, but when a child endures trauma, the result is profoundly tragic – it sets in motion a pattern of changes in the brain that can be devastating in adult life.

Let's take a look at the four ways early life trauma can affect the brain.

How Can Unified Therapy™ Help?
The future of any society depends on its ability to foster the healthy development of the next generation. Extensive research on the biology of stress now shows that healthy development can be derailed by excessive or prolonged activation of stress response systems in the body (especially the brain), with damaging effects on learning, behavior, and health across the lifespan.

Toxic Stress - The Facts
~ Center on the Developing Child - Harvard University 
ACE Study
Learning how to cope with adversity is an important part of healthy child development. When we are threatened, our bodies prepare us to respond by increasing our heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormones, such as cortisol. When a young child’s stress response systems are activated within an environment of supportive relationships with adults, these physiological effects are buffered and brought back down to baseline. The result is the development of healthy stress response systems. However, if the stress response is extreme and long-lasting, and buffering relationships are unavailable to the child, the result can be damaged, weakened systems and brain architecture, with lifelong repercussions.
... read more

Dr. Jeffrey Brenner: “I believe ACE scores should become a vital sign, as important as height, weight, and blood pressure.”
This video looks at the relationship between ACEs and hospital emergency rooms.
Dr. Jeffrey Brenner is founder and executive director of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, and a 2013 MacArthur Foundation genius award winner. He did groundbreaking work in Camden, N.J., by using data to identify people who were hospital emergency room “frequent fliers”. He found that between their trips to the ER, little or nothing was done to help them improve their health.
~  ACE Study and Unified Therapy™ 
~   What Is the ACE Study?   
~   How Can Unified Therapy™ Help?  
~   What is the ACE Score?     
~   Find Your ACE Score     

~   ACE Score Graphs     
​~   The ACE Pyramid    
On This Page ~ Quick Links
Can Family Secrets Make You Sick?
~ By Laura Starecheski, NPR News
  All Things Considered, March 2, 2015
Few doctors - and few patients - realize how profoundly early abuse, neglect, and other childhood traumas can damage an adult's physical health.

In the 1980s, Dr Vincent Felitti, now director of the California Institute of Preventive Medicine in San Diego, discovered something potentially revolutionary about the ripple effects of child sexual abuse. He discovered it while trying to solve a very different health problem: helping severely obese people lose weight.

Click here to read the article.
ACE Study
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Integrative Bodywork, Inc by Jim Fazio, LMT, CSI, UTP
People who experienced trauma in childhood have an increased risk of 7 out of 10 of the top ten causes of death and a 20-year reduction in lifespan. How does emotional trauma and early life stress change our biology over a lifetime? It turns out that emotional trauma has an effect on three major areas: our behaviour, biochemistry, and our beliefs, all of which lead to diseases and health conditions in later life. 
​ more
Healing Emotional Trauma
Part 1: How Does Our Childhood Biography Become Our Biology?
~ Niki Gratrix
Healing EMotional Trauma
A groundbreaking book showing the link between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and adult illnesses such as heart disease, autoimmune disease, and cancer—Childhood Disrupted also explains how to cope with these emotional traumas and even heal from them.

People who experienced trauma in childhood have an increased risk of 7 out of 10 of the top ten causes of death and a 20-year reduction in lifespan. How does emotional trauma and early life stress change our biology over a lifetime? It turns out that emotional trauma has an effect on three major areas: our behaviour, biochemistry, and our beliefs, all of which lead to diseases and health conditions in later life. 

Activating the Brain~Body Connection for Healing
Promote Health and Wellness, Not Disease and Illness
Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope
There has also been an important groundbreaking film created about ACEs, called, "Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope."

The exciting news is that finally, after all these years, the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on health and disease is making its way into our collective consciousness and is starting to generate the interest and attention that it deserves.
I find all of this extremely encouraging!  I intend to continue doing my part to bring awareness to this critical piece of the healing puzzle and advocate for the inclusion of addressing and healing Adverse Childhood Experiences, Stress and Trauma in all of our healing practices.

~ Jim
Resilience video
Trauma, Brain and Relationship: Helping Children Heal
A powerful documentary featuring Bryan Post, Bruce Perry, MD, Daniel Siegel, MD, Marti Glenn, PhD and other renowned experts in the field of childhood trauma, and attachment and bonding. 

This is a great way to share this new understanding of how trauma effects the development of the mind body system, and how it affects children's behaviors and social relationships. 

Originally produced by Santa Barbara Graduate Institute.

Read more about Silent ACEs by Niki Gratrix.
4083 South US Highway 1, Suite 102
Rockledge, Florida 32955
Listen to NPR - 8:16 minutes
Maria Fabrizio for NPR