Emotions are not often taken into consideration when treating people in chronic pain, anxiety or high levels of stress, nor in any health problems. I BELIEVE THEY SHOULD BE!
Psychology is often an add-on to medications and physical therapy such as physiotherapy and chiropractic, rather than one of the first considerations. My research has shown that if emotions are recognised, major changes can take place, physically and mentally.
A thought or a memory will stay with us for many years. In the same way the associated emotion can also stay with us for many years. Your body and sub-conscious mind will remember your past, even if you think, “I’ve dealt with that” or you say to yourself, “I’ve put that out of my mind”. Those memories are still there.
I believe that emotions affect our health in an almost continuous way – especially with long-term conditions. At times, there may be a psychophysiological (mind and body) reason for the pain (anxiety) that once addressed the body then begins to heal itself.
Among brain scientists there is growing consensus that memory is not stored in a single location in the brain. Instead memories are constructed from pathways in the brain that fire together as patterns throughout the entire body. So in this way an ‘emotional block’ can affect many areas of the body. I have found emotions can be stored in tissue throughout your body.
Here are two sections of the Five Element Emotions chart (devised by Dr Dewe) showing the extensive range of emotions that may arise during a consultation.
I use the kinesiology technique of muscle checking to identify each relevant emotion. Then a nonintrusive method is used to deal with that emotion.
Although emotions do need to be acknowledged or their relevance identified in some way IN MY TREATMENT THERE IS NO EXPECTATION TO TALK ABOUT THESE EMOTIONS OR EVENTS SURROUNDING THEM. Many of my clients rate this ‘counselling without talking’ as the most important part of my treatment and the reason for choosing to bring their problems to me.
These stories illustrate the role of emotions in pain and illness
Stories from Ian Hislop “The Feeling Being” (1987) and from research by Jean Jordan.
- A 58 year old shop manageress developed pain from a gastric ulcer five months after her son was jailed for manslaughter.
- A male, aged 61 years, suffered a myocardial infraction (heart attack) within three months of being made redundant at work.
- Thyrotoxicosis was diagnosed in a 27 year old woman, nine months after giving birth to a Down’s Syndrome baby.
- A waitress, aged 39 years, presented with a twenty month history of painless, intermittent vomiting. The bouts always occurred over a two hour interval, always on the third night of her menstrual period. No other physical symptoms were reported but she noted fatigue, early morning waking and some slight, but definite lowering of mood. The complaint was interpreted by the physician as indicating the probability of a psychological problem related to reproduction.
Further inquiry revealed that the patient had lost a baby at birth eight years before. At the time there had been little grief because her husband had not wanted the child as their financial state had been insufficient to support the child. In the intervening years they had decided against producing a family, and the husband had undergone a vasectomy. Two years before, her sister had given birth to a son and since this time the patient had been repeatedly thinking about the possibility of having another child. She believed however that she had left it too late and there was also the fact of her husband’s vasectomy (which they had been told was reversible). These confusing thoughts were causing conflict, but of even greater significance, the matter had aroused a long dormant, unresolved grief for her lost baby.
The patient found that after revealing this complex history and expressing the related emotions the nocturnal vomiting ceased.
- An 80 year old pensioner suffered bouts of intense back pain, which would last for several days. They dated from the time of her husband’s death ten years before. The symptoms were due not to prolonged grief from which she had long since recovered but to the fact that she was now exposed to everyday trials and tribulations from which her husband had previously protected her. It was to these difficulties that these bouts of pain were closely related.
- During the treatment of a lady age 62, who had been suffering unremitting chronic pain for several years, several issues came to light which were cleared during a kinesiology session. As in the example above there was a baby born and given up to adoption, which no family member knew about as she had been living away from home. There were also two other very interesting events that were an issue. In a pennants interclub golf game an opponent (who should have know better) cheated during a match, and because of this won, 30 years previously. While walking along a beach the lady found a beautiful shell, which she decided to take home, something that went against her belief system and had regretted since.
- A young man who was part of my research – a tradesman who had been suffering with a bad back for many years, and had been seeing many different practitioners – kept coming up with the emotion of ‘disdain self-to-self’ from the beginning of his treatments. He claimed that he had no idea of what it meant. When his fifth appointment came he arrived with a very sore back as he had fallen down a hole at work. During treatment the same emotion of ‘disdain self-to-self’ came up. I insisted that he allowed himself to bring this emotion to mind and with much relaxed, deep breathing the emotion appeared to be cleared. When he got up of the massage table, he spent a good few minutes, moving, stretching and bending to find his back pain. He couldn’t find the pain. It had gone.