I consider the emotions to be the highest form of the psycho-physical body and the gateway to the spirit. Emotional discord works through the organs to cause dysfunction, pain and long-term serious illness in the physical body.
In the last many years there has been a wellspring of growth in a concept of mind-body medicine. Most of us who deal with problems of chronic sickness find that the body and mind affecting each other an inescapable reality. Ultimately, long-term chronic problems are somehow related to the psycho-physical body. Our eventual sickness or dis-ease are, in all likelihood, emanations of central core issues on emotional and spiritual levels.
Some Case Examples
I have recorded countless numbers of cases where the patient's inability to heal is related to some aspect of the body-mind. I have had a patient with an intractably sore arm that was only able to be resolved anywhere. When we were able to diffuse the fear that taking on a supervisory position at her job that she was being forced into, wasn’t going to cause her cancer to come back, her arm got better.
There was another patient who would develop a tightly pronated ankle. This would happen whenever she entered into discussion with her psychologist concerning an abusive stepfather. When she came in for acupuncture on the ankle, we treated her for the stepfather instead. Her ankle problem went away and never came back.
Long-Term Emotional Connections
Of course, usually, the relationship is a lot more subtle and far-reaching. The connection is not always instantly relatable to a single injury with a single association. Long-term digestive problems are often related to gripping emotional problems. We must always consider dealing with worries or a lack of confidence concerning the patient’s position in the world around them. These could relate to issues like ulcers, gastritis, colitis or Crohn’s disease. I always have to do emotional work when I treat these bowel diseases.
I have resolved to never take on another case of chronic fatigue unless that patient is willing to open themselves up. There is always a Pandora’s box of emotional fears and adjustments that block their energetic window to the world. Depressions can be recurrent because of long-term frustrations or feelings of emotional inadequacy. These have so much to do with the flow or acquisition of the energetic physical forces that we need to feel complete. Moreover, these emotions can be constant stressors in our daily lives. They push us increasingly toward stress-related diseases like diabetes and diseases of aging; heart disease, dementia etc.
Chinese Medicine, Always the Body-Mind
In Chinese medicine, we have never considered the body and mind as separated entities. Each of our organs has a direct connection to certain emotional forces. This is always part of a prime consideration in setting up a treatment program for any of our patients. When we help resolve the problems with the organ, the underlying emotional maelstrom can be ameliorated as well. If the underlying emotional wound remains persistent, we can find ourselves treating them for the same dis-ease pathology time and time again.
Treating the body through the Mind?
When energies become chronically balled up greater sicknesses can occur. Today we are seeing more and more clinics devoted to treating debilitating diseases like cancer and multiple sclerosis through an almost strictly emotional or psycho-physical approach. Why? Well, points of strong emotional consequences in our lives have as much impact in the matrix of our being, as strong physical responses. If these things are resolvable at the time they may be inconsequential, but we may just pocket them away in our psychophysical selves, or in effect bury them.
Let’s say you were falsely accused of stealing. Thereafter, you may feel that others don’t trust you. So you overcompensate with overt and constant reassurances to others that you are doing nothing wrong. However, you can’t quite get over the fear that they feel a distrust toward you. This sets up a certain edginess within you. A stress like this can be be working at you like a grain of sand in an oyster. As your body works on this fear or irritant it grows just like the pearl does. It would be nice if this pearl were a good thing. But it may later represent a sickness or a growth, a physical problem, perhaps even a cancer. All these festering sores can eventually have more serious consequences down the line in our lives.
The Embedded Message
We work on embedded messages with patients through emotional allergy work. We often find a group of emotional syntaxes that largely govern their interrelationship with the people around them. A common example I often use is one passed down from generation to generation: “Can’t you do anything right?!” It may only be something that comes out in those overwhelming moments of frustration that the parent is going through. However, depending on how strong the emotional impulse is felt or its frequency of use, the child may have embedded the message that: “I can’t do things right.”
My parent, the omniscient reflection of myself, has decided that it is so and so it must be. Nonetheless, the child may extrapolate this to mean that they are incapable, or that if they try anything it is doomed to failure. Then, depending on a whole lot of other things, the child may respond in kind in a lot of ways.
Affected Child, Reactive Adult
The child moving into adulthood may be overwhelmed with this fatalistic message that they are incapable of succeeding at anything. They may complete this picture of self by creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of let’s say, sex, drugs and rock and roll. In some way or another, they are saying that there is really no use in trying, because of their inevitable sense of failure. Most of us, however, live out our lives trying to deny the embedded message. In everything we do we are trying to prove that we can do things right or competently. We may become perfectionists and worry that what we do is not going to be approved of. Lots of us may procrastinate horribly in fear that what we do is ever going to be good enough. Worse yet, we may find ourselves needing approval for everything we do. We may even end up treating bosses and other authority figures in our lives as that extrinsic bastion of approval that we need to even begin to accept ourselves.
The Eventual Result
Basically, the underlying problem is that every effort is made with a certain unconscious stress. Thousands of years of Chinese medicine tells us that if the stress reacts as a fear it may be affecting the kidneys. If the emotion is a grief it may affect the lungs, guilt, the intestines, anger or frustration the Liver, and worry or over thinking, the stomach or pancreas. If it is just a general affectation of the spirit, it will affect the heart. Is it the lifestyle that causes the problem or the style of your life that led you to choose that lifestyle? When it ends up in heart disease, it may be too late to begin to ask the question. Of course, the meanderings of the subconscious are not so easy to pin down to one clear association. However, prolonged stress always has some level of consequences.
What we do
There isn’t going to be time or space in this article to drag you through the complete allergy elimination process. When we go in for psychological counseling, the counselor tries to get the patient to elucidate over a period of session their own harsh realizations. These will hopefully eventuate in an emotional crisis point or gestalt. This shocking discovery may equate to the melding or our subconscious and conscious minds. Hopefully, this will awaken us to a startling emotional discovery that, to some extent, has been governing our lives and our emotions. From there, we have to work our way through the acknowledged reality of that crisis point or embedded message to wrest it back from subconscious control.
In the NAET emotional allergy work that we do, we are able to not only shortcut this process but deal with the subconscious reality on an energetic level. This has been a very powerful aspect of my practice. It allows me to get the patient out of the psychophysical cycle that blocks their healing on many levels. On the part of the patient, reckoning with embedded messages of their past is a very brave undertaking. But ultimately, it is a very necessary aspect of the real and complete healing process.