“Emotions are energy in motion. If they are not expressed, the energy is repressed. As energy it has to go somewhere. Emotional energy moves us as does all energy…To deny emotion is to deny the ground and vital energy of our life.” - John Bradshaw.
Anxiety, Mental Illness/Bi-Polar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Depression, Stress, Trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Addiction, Sexual/Physical Abuse, Self Esteem, Loss/Grief.
Our Emotional Body
Even though we don’t remember every detail of our life experience, our bodies do, our body has an undefinable memory.
Emotions connect you to the Spiritual body and the emotional body creates the physical template. Believed my many, all illness starts in the emotional field, our ancestors had big emotional blocks or issues, alternated the genetic material and got passed down the line.
All emotion is energy, any emotionally charged event, trauma or occurrence in your lifetime leaves an energetic impression in your body, this is stored on a physical, mental and emotional plane. The importance of healing from those experiences is helpful because sometime down the road when another mental or emotional charged event occurs, the body goes into a flight or fight response, resulting in the same symptoms and agonizing affects as the first trauma or emotionally charged event. Except it gets harder, each experience becomes more difficult until healing starts to evolve. The body can break down its ability to handle stress.
The three most active areas of the body involve emotion, they are:
1) Heart; The heart is all about relationships, love and balance, blocks can easily start there. Physically speaking, the heart area is where someone would feel anxiety or panic attacks. This is a power center is called the Heart Chakra.
2) Solar Plexus; (The Ego) Located at the sternum. Panic, fear based feelings and anxiety live here. This Solar Plexus is a very strong ‘power center’ it is all about you your identity, who you are, self-esteem and confidence.
3) The Belly; The Sacral area is the highest emotional center of your body, your gut feelings, feelings of love, happiness and intuition. This is also the location where depression lives, 80% of the Serotonin levels in the body are located here.
Childhood stress such as fear, grief, worry or traumatic events could cause a multitude of symptoms described as anxiety or Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Could excessive worry as a child create a pattern of holding and releasing tension? Could the inability to express ones self stifle the emotions and create a loss of self? If anxiety is focused in the heart area of the body, fear is also a contributing factor to the state of anxiety and panic. Fear is what destabilizes the self. Perhaps perpetuating debilitating “stress, let go, stress again” cycle contributes to the emotional overload which may cause some anxieties. The thyroid gland, plays in important role in our growth and energy distribution in the body. When energy is suppressed, such as emotion- the expression is also suppressed, to speak, to cry, to scream, to unravel thoughts that are emotions, that need to be expressed. The thyroid gland levers between the heart and the throat- the primary location of where anxiety and panic attacks the body as a response to fear.
People who have survived a severe childhood trauma, may experience anxiety presently and later in their life, while others not at all or perhaps addiction or narcissistic personality. Fear, is a key element but also a feeling of ‘over -whelm’ with life, triggers the autonomic nervous system into the ‘fight or flight’.
I believe that unresolved emotions from the past, or unresolved grief can be part of the cause, as much as chronic anxiety can be debilitating, some anxiety is clinical, a normal part of being human and experiencing change or excitement.
A key to healing chronic anxiety is: Begin a relationship with inner yourself, pay more attention to your body and its responses to emotional or stressful situations. As anxiety is most commonly felt in the heart area, it is also the emotional center, responsible for relationships, giving out love and taking it in. The heart center can strengthen but not until the foundation of the self is established, this is your root, where your feet sit firmly upon the earth. This is where fear- can destabilize the body, as trauma does. Up from the root (chakra) the emotional body lives (the belly), the digestive, the sexual organs and intuitive gut feelings. Above this is where we define our ‘self’. When we are truly self defined, confidence, self-esteem are healthy, balanced and strong. The heart center pivots above the self. Until self love is mastered. Building a foundation for yourself to stand on is a key element to emotional and mental health.
Mental Illness, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia
Working through the energy field in mental illness sufferers, grounds sporadic energy patterns, motivates, creates balance in the emotions, increases confidence, diminishes negative self harming thoughts, helps treat clinical depression, increases clarity and calmness and energy in the body. In addition it brings about a more healthy outlook and realistic thoughts that bring progress to one’s own journey and ability to create and organize their own progress.
Mental Illness sufferers often have con-current disorders, self-soothing tendencies and prone to addiction. They are still searching for the ‘norm’ in how they feel. Prescribed medications, give a more numbed out feeling, stabilizing them but still leave them grasping to find a balance in their energy which they are very perceptive to. Energy healing balances energy in the entire body, results have shown, a greater sense of grounding(feeling balanced), more connection to the ground they walk on and much less sporadic thoughts and chaos in the mind. This work compliments medication and ultimately provides a re-connect with the ‘spirit of the self’. A kind of ‘soul healing’.
Bi-Polar Disorder is of a more serious nature where a number of ‘states’ are involved such as: Mania, Hypo-mania, Mixed State and Depression. Most commonly known as a chemical imbalance, chemical meaning hormone. People can self manage Bi-Polar through diet and their close self-observance. Some people express themselves as being devoid of emotion, emotionless, or when an emotional event occurs, their response to it is nil. The feeling of, loss of energy, apathy or agitation, worthlessness and guilt, inability to decide, suicidal thoughts, sleep problems, weight loss or weight gain are also associated with Bi-polar Disorder. These are difficult emotions to be feeling day to day, which is why medication serves its purpose in more severe cases, but some may want to look back at the emotional origin of why the disorder.
In a notable documented treatment, a client with Bi-Polar Disorder responded, all of her sporadic thoughts had been filed in what was a vision of an ‘Etheric’ filing cabinet. She said, “Each thought went into its place, there were all these drawers in a filing cabinet, each though flew out of my head and put away, into an open drawer, each drawer closed, in the end, all thoughts sorted and filed”. She came away from the treatment with a much more organized mind and sense of renewal and balance.
Schizophrenia is often used as a broad term for labeling mental illness but without a definitive cause. Looking into the histories of women who have been diagnosed as borderlines or schizophrenics, Dr. Van Der Kolk, found the women had all been severely and chronically sexually abused as children and adults. What is clearly noted is their physiological housekeeping systems had been messed up by trauma.
Depression is part of being human. Research shows that 80% of Serotonin is located in the belly. The belly is the most emotional area of the body. Eating disorders are extremely common, because of emotional issues, from present, past or genes. Depression surfaces for a multitude of reasons, conflicting emotions, unclear beliefs, low self-esteem, loss of a job, loss of identity, feeling hurt, unresolved emotions from past wounding, childhood trauma or betrayal to name a few.
Depression calls for a time to delve deep into yourself. Depression is everything to do with emotions, not the brain. The Pituitary gland manufactures and distributes hormones (chemicals) throughout the endocrine system. The thyroid and parathyroid gland located above the heart and in the lower neck- stores and distribute hormones. The thyroid plays an active part in the distribution of energy throughout the body.
There are effective ways of healing, Its starts from the inside. Happiness is an inside job. Spend some time, to figure out why you are depressed. Writing emotions and feelings down is a effective way of figuring out where your triggers and upsets are. Fear, over-whelm, panic, anger, sadness, guilt or shame are serious emotions, we have thousands of emotions. Healing yourself is a commitment. The loss of motivation in the body and in the mind targets your movement, your digestion, your weight, your energy, your expression and your sleep cycles.
In Energy Healing Treatments, Clients experience they are not devoid of energy. The client becomes aware that there is something bigger than just the physical, mental and emotional aspects of themselves and their body. This is the healing force of energy, the universal life force that permeates each life force. Most people who experience depression, are more sensitive to their bodies and realize this is not a life long issue and can be healed.
Would you like to be more focused and less distracted? Having a hard time shutting your brain off? Most people have an overactive mind and have lost the ability to find peace and stillness within it. It takes practice but can be accomplished.
Daily stress, and past or present physical injury are intrinsically linked to imbalances in the mind or body and can manifest in the inability to think broadly and creatively. If your occupation is to think a lot and think creatively, clearing stuck energy in the body could be what is needed to get back in the game. Treatments have been shown to exercise the pineal gland. The Pineal gland, also known as the 3rd eye in the Theosophy tradition, a small endocrine gland in the vertebrate brain, it’s function is to produce the hormone serotonin and affects the modulation the sleep/wake cycles and seasonal function. The third eye is the gate that leads to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness. This is also a power center in the body that can be exercised to create spiritual enlightenment, clarity and expansion.
“Doctor Van Der Kolk, is a famous researcher of trauma, he understood that perhaps the most damaging aspect of trauma wasn’t necessarily the awfulness of it, but the feeling of powerlessness of the face of it, the experience of being unable to escape or fight or have any impact on what was happening.The experience of physical helplessness is at the core of trauma. If you have been raped and abused for years as a child and adult, your entire organism and personality has been organized around your trauma. If they have PTSD, the way they act is understandable, they’re not just people trying to make your life miserable, they are people trying to survive.”
Physiologically, trauma to the body upsets ‘homeostasis’ and affects the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Subdivided from this system are the sympathetic (SNS) and the parasympathetic (PNS) systems. The autonomic division (ANS) maintains internal balance, this the overall umbrella of the system. The SNS prepares the body for action while the PNS helps return the body to rest. When trauma affects the body, the relationship between the SNS and PNS is compromised and causes an imbalance. The nervous system gets triggered and the whole homeostasis of the body gets misaligned. This is barely noticed in day-to-day life, the affects can run acutely long term. Energetically I notice the difference in someone who has been traumatized and those who have not. Trauma can be shown throughout the body by energy, mannerisms, or the way someone holds them self. Most people that are in substance abuse recovery have been traumatized at some point of their life or their safety has been threatened, thwarting them into a state of ‘fight or flight’ response a well known response to feeling a loss of safety.
Practicing meditation, yoga and mindful activities assist the body in keeping a more natural balanced state, creating less emotional highs and lows. Trauma affects the body and the mind and is stored energetically, it causes immense fear, powerlessness, it can be life threatening – car accidents, rape, abduction, sexual abuse, physical abuse or losing a partner, parent, family member or child to sudden death can affect your body and mind in ways you never imagined.
Everything that happens to the body carries an energetic vibration- it leaves an imprint in the body. In most cases when another emotional event re-surfaces, if emotional healing was not sufficiently exercised, handling a second or third traumatizing event can cripple the stability of the emotions. Surprisingly, through energy work, trauma can be released quickly in some cases and in others its more involved. Much of it depends on the individual and where they are in their healing and ability to forgive. Specific trauma’s can be released, there are many applications, techniques and methods to help people release trauma. As a energy medicine practitioner, the body stores all emotions related to the trauma.
According to Dr. Gabor Mate (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts): “The nervous system is deeply influenced by emotions. Many times I’ve seen that niggling health issues carry childhood trauma behind them, also the way people carry themselves, with protection or barriers to block out further emotional pain. Not until we recognize that some trauma can be associated with injuries, chronic pain or chronic soreness, will then the injury will begin to heal, with no re-injury in the future. If ever you are overly stressed, previously injured areas of the body will highlight with pain.”
The complexities of trauma could take us farther than we may ever know. For those who have endured repetitive episodes of physical, emotional or verbal abuse/trauma, or come from a history of Mental Illness, the energetic experience and the affects it has on the body can be held in the energy field for a long time. There may always be a sense of emotional difficulties that may arise from time to time, interfering with the healthiness of relationships. The act of forgiveness to perpetrators of the abuse is great healing in itself, but not an easy one. If we change the way we look at things, we change the experience and its affect on us.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been highly disregarded but more in 2011 its becoming more recognized, finally. Because its wounds are not self-evident. Both PTSD and mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) – concussion – are among the signature injuries of veterans of war, coupled with the MTBI injuries sustained by sports. What was being talked about more in 2010 is the bewildering array of symptoms that can lead to lifelong conditions and have no definitive cure. If you are open to natural healing therapies such as energy medicine, I know there is hope.
What is known in any post trauma, severe or acute, emotional disturbances are common, sleep disorders, mood swings or misguided energy, bouts of depression, difficulty concentrating, unable to work, sexual dysfunction and emotional strain on relationships.
Relating to the Chakra system, trauma is stored in the entire body because of its affect on the total nervous system. Trauma is all encompassing affecting all the senses, sight, smell, hearing and feeling the memory of the event. This takes an affect on the emotional, mental and physical self, destabilizing the root Chakra, the foundation of the body located at the perineum, this is where fear lives. I believe the trauma is very much emotional and the life cycle or central point of which it emanates from is the sacral Chakra. ( I refer to this as the brains of the body). Sudden death or visuals of horrifying images can cause post traumatic affects on the body long after the trauma has happened. These memories are stored in the brain, in the Amagdala but become transferred into the body and held in the emotional area of the Sacrum.
In healing sessions, clients remarked experiencing images of beautiful pleasing vivid color, meaningful imagery and calming subliminal messages from the psyche. These are the waves that comfort and calm the mixed energy associated with the past trauma and facilitate healing tissue in the brain, naturally.
“The uniqueness of this work, stimulates the brain to produces its own natural sequence of color therapy which is a fascinating finding in the world of energy medicine. It further shows us the bodies natural ability to heal, finding other pathways to create a healing response.”
As Gabor Mate states,“First comes the trauma, then the addiction, then mental illness”. I find the complexities of working with people with addictions very compelling and insightful. In treating people in recovery from alcohol and/or street drug or pharmaceutical-addiction, I have noticed that these clients are exceptionally energy-sensitive and their bodies will tune in readily to the vibrations of energy work.
Many people adapt to self-medicating to curve stress, exhaustion or just to relax. Plain and simple, what we are creating within ourselves from our own habit forming rituals is the duality or separation of the body and the mind. Understandably so, in our western ways, until we realize we can control our thoughts and soothe ourselves by feeling our emotions.
When treating the affects that drugs have had on the body, working with ‘energy ‘ helps counter-balance the affects of the hardship that addiction has had on the body and the mind. It actually helps clear the effects of years of numbing the trauma and emotions that you don’t want to feel.
In reference to Gabor Mate’s book, ‘In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts’, he refers to the “Orbital Frontal Cortex (OFC), the central part of the brain system that regulates how we process our emotions and how we react to them, this area participates in substance abuse dependence in a number of ways.” What I have noticed in clients that have experienced severe trauma and in substance abuse recovery, particularly this area of the brain is accentuated. The experience usually consists of vivid colors and imagery seen in the 6th Chakra ( the OFC). Imagery and colors are healing, the body naturally produces these vibrations through the energy system.
Gabor Mate talks about the OFC-particularly on the right side of the brain-it has a unique influence on social and emotional behavior’s, including attachment and (love) relationships. Our emotional brain is unerring, reliable guide to life. When impaired or confused, as it is often in the complex and stressed circumstances prevailing in our “civilized” society, the emotional brain leads us to nothing but trouble. Addiction is one of its chief dysfunctions.
People in recovery find the spiritual work of energy a great part of their recovery, because it opens them up to themselves, in a way that drugs never did, or the thought was, ” Wow, I’ve been taking drugs all this time to get to this feeling, I had no idea, we can do this without drugs”. Clients, discover a new relationship to their body and they realize a greater power resides within that restores their sense of self, to further their healing journey.
Sexual abuse is one of the most traumatizing and damaging experiences one can endure. Its an act of violation, no consent and an invasion of privacy to ones own sacred self. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is common after surviving the abuse, causing mental, emotional and physical health issues such as; anxiety, panic attacks, feeling of overwhelm, guilt, shame, negative self-talk, sexual dysfunction, difficulty reproducing or with intimacy and drug and alcohol abuse.
There are many complexities involved when working in the energy field of sexual abuse survivors. A more prominent finding, a build-up of anger in the body. Commonly, some fight the perpetrator at the time of abuse. Anger is a strong emotion that remains in the survivor’s body, in many cases held in different limbs where they were bound or could fight back at the abuser.
The first and second Chakra’s within the paradigm of the seven power centers of the energy system of the body are characteristic of ; 1) Root Chakra: Stabilization, foundation, roots, security and fear. (like the carpet being pulled from beneath your feet). 2) Sacral Chakra: Reproductive system, highly emotional area, intuition, immunity, digestive, emotions. When working with the clients, depending on the length of time the body has been holding the energy of abuse, in those cases it can be difficult to get energy moving again. The blockages that are created in the body especially in the Sacral area, can be quite difficult to get moving, for the client it can feel like sludge or hardened clay. Digestive issues, emotional and reproductive, intimacy and sex are largely affected. Some desensitize themselves from their body. When trauma of this caliber happens there is a mixture of emotions created, the survivor may feel; anger, rage, depression, desensitized and deep sadness or loathing. With the aftermath of the assault, a feeling of ‘loss of control’ could stay with the survivor.
At any level of physical abuse, it compromises the sense of ‘self’, the power of the individual and the development of the ego. This is where we feel ‘hurt’ or take things personally.
The most worked on area of the body self-esteem, confidence and sense of ‘self’. Over the course of our lives from 6 to 76 years old, we may feel fluctuations in our emotions and wonder how we are perceived by others. Self-esteem can take a blow, with a job loss that has self-identified you for years, an experience like this can enable depression, eating disorders or experience sleep disturbances. The area of the body that commands self-identity, core beliefs, confidence, worth, will and largely the ‘sense of self’, is located at the solar plexus, known as the 3rd Chakra in the Chakra system of the body. Through the energy field we can help strengthen this power center. This is a power center because it holds the ‘I’ in identity, the personality, and the entire development of who we are as individuals in our lives.
In treatments the center must be cleared of all negative emotions that may roam within it. Then, it needs to be nourished with good positive reinforcement that instills a more solid construction of the self.
A weak or underdeveloped 3rd Chakra, carries feelings of being inadequate, incompetent or not worthy, all of these feelings can harbor anger and resentment. The common feelings that arise in a person with low self esteem are: feelings of emptiness, a void within or lack of fulfillment. Guardians or parents of children who enforce negativity, criticism or verbal abuse, often causes a development of low self-esteem or a low self-worth. Healthy self-esteem is the armor that protects us from substance abuse, depression and unhealthy relationships.
Losing someone you love is always a painful experience. Losing a child is the most traumatic experience a parent can go through. Whether it is your parent, your sibling or your partner or friend, the emotional process of losing someone close to us, places us in a state of numbness, a fog or feeling scattered. Our whole energy system is out of equilibrium, a distinctive feeling of separation between the mind, body and spirit ensues. Because, our emotions garner a large part of our human experience, when we experience death some of the emotions involved are: Anger, Guilt, Relief, Depression, Sadness and physical pain. The process of our emotions can out live us, some choose not to process at all. The sensitivities of our emotions and our relationship with them, have a lot to do with how we our process death. As for surviving any emotional experience and especially grief involves work. The way death affects us, can be mysterious and different for everyone. Making sense of the emotional physiological response it has on our bodies, is a key figure in understanding the process of releasing these emotional energies that can heavily burden us.
When we work with the emotional field, we help bring back the sense of self and, unwind emotional energy of pain, anger and sadness that has attached to our organs. In time these emotions will wear off, but being functional in today’s world, sometimes a little help is needed.
“Emotion is the chief source of all becoming conscious. There can be no transforming of darkness into light and apathy into movement without emotion”- C.G. JUNG