I want to briefly present some views on how our thoughts and feelings can affect our bodies.
Some cultures believe anger is held in the liver – when we are angry or have suppressed anger, this can affect our liver which in turn can have a detrimental effect upon our metabolism and our ability to cleanse our system of toxins, whether dietary, environmental or medicinal. The liver also produces bile which aids in digestion – ever had indigestion when you’re angry? Anger can also affect the adrenals and, while this stimulation can be vital in true survival situations, chronic anger – whether suppressed or obvious – can result in adrenal exhaustion. Dr. Bruce Lipton states that we have two systems for defense – one for external threats, which is the HPA axis or the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis, and the other for internal threats, which is our Immune System. However, and this is important to know, they can’t both be active at the same time. So, when we have chronic stress or anger, what happens? Our immune system can’t do its job properly. And these are only a few of the ways in which our mental and emotional state can affect our physical state.
Barring external injuries caused by accidents, the majority of physical symptoms we see or feel are the end result of changes that started on a cellular level as a result of our mental/emotional state. Conventional medicine (also known as Western medicine or Allopathy) likes to name a disease and put it in a nice little box. However, it’s not that simple - and science is finally starting to realize this.
Cells, Genes, Epigenetics, Neuropeptides, Psycho-Neuro-Endocrine-Immunologic Network (PNEI)
~ “The Biology of Belief” by Bruce H. Lipton, Ph. D.
~ “Molecules of Emotion ~ the science behind mind-body medicine” by Candace B. Pert, Ph. D.
Dr. Lipton, a cell biologist, discusses cells, genes, DNA, and epigenetics – which is also being referred to as the New Science or New Biology – plus Lipton touches on Quantum Physics and Einstein. Epigenetics shows that it is our environment, which includes our thoughts, feelings and beliefs, that controls gene activity and not DNA.
Dr. Pert, a neurobiologist, approaches this subject from her own background in neuropeptides and the biochemicals of cells. She says that “the chronic suppression of emotions results in a massive disturbance of the psychosomatic network.”
Both arrive at the same conclusion that our bodies are far more than mechanical systems, and that there is no separation between mind, body and spirit. All are integrated and communicate – there is an energetic sharing of information.
So the exciting news is that Science is finally confirming what many people already knew.
Chakras, Nadis, Meridians, and Subtle Energy Bodies
~ “Vibrational Medicine” by Richard Gerber, M.D.
~ “Anatomy of the Spirit” by Caroline Myss, Ph. D.
~ “Hands of Light” by Barbara Ann Brennan
Many people and cultures – especially Eastern traditions – have believed in the inseparability of mind, body and spirit for thousands of years. There are the Meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Chakras and Nadis of India, and the Subtle Energy Bodies or Aura described by ancient Egyptians just to name a few.
Gerber’s book is a classic and recommended for anyone interested in learning more about the Human Energy Field and Vibrational Medicine. He brings together research, history and current modalities being used in a way that is eye-opening and educational. Gerber shows that we are all “networks of complex energy fields that interface with physical/cellular systems”.
Myss and Brennan both share their own journeys and experiences with subtle energy and vibrational healing via chakras and auras.
In fact, Myss refers to science when she says: “As neurobiologist Dr. Candace Pert has proven, neuropeptides – the chemicals triggered by emotions – are thoughts converted into matter. Our emotions reside physically in our bodies and interact with our cells and tissues. In fact, Dr. Pert can no longer separate the mind from the body, she says, because the same kinds of cells that manufacture and receive emotional chemistry in the brain are present throughout the body.” And energy follows thought. What are emotions but energy-in-motion? Myss states that “The emotions from [our] experiences become encoded in our biological systems and contribute to the formation of our cell tissue, which then generates a quality of energy that reflects those emotions.” or, to sum it up, “Our Biography is our Biology”.
Depression is epidemic …
After noting that a high percentage of respondents to a survey said they were happy with their life, Pert says: “If everyone’s so happy, why is depression at near-epidemic proportions in our society?” It is a “problem of unhealed feeling” – long-term suppression of anger, fear, grief, etc. Pert goes on to discuss the chemical imbalance involved in clinical depression and how the drugs affect the rest of our intricate PNEI Network resulting in a cascade effect. From a slightly different angle, Dr. Lipton also comments on depression by stating how antidepressants seem to work because people believe that they work – he referred to a 2002 article by a psychology professor who reviewed clinical trials and stated that “eighty percent of the effect of antidepressants, as measured in clinical trials, could be attributed to the placebo effect.” So, in effect, 80% of people on antidepressant drugs healed themselves – and they could have done it without the risks involved with drugs that adversely affect the complex PNEI Network!
What all of these authors - as well as those who have written about the specific supportive measures I personally recommend - have in common is that they all believe EACH OF US has the ability to change our own lives AND our health! And positive thoughts, emotions, and attitudes are KEY to growth and wellness – but there’s more to it than that. We need to change our ‘programming’ – we need to provide our minds AND bodies with support. This is the concept of holistic health care ~ we’re building health and wellness.
From the scientific views presented in the books I mentioned as well as elsewhere, we now know that information is energy. From our cells to our organs to our bodies and beyond, we are beings of energy. While it is easier for most of us to see the effects (symptoms and dis-ease) of energy upon our physical bodies, nevertheless, it is the energy we need to work with as well as the physical state.
Emotional Support is VERY Important
Mind, body and spirit are all vast integrated biochemical and energetic communication networks that share information.
An unbalanced, stressed or weak mental/emotional state not only makes us more susceptible to dis-ease by disrupting endocrine function, damaging cells, and impeding optimum function of other systems, it also distracts us from seeing clearly what we need to do to get back on the track to health so that we can enjoy life to the fullest!
We not only need to be positive in our feelings and beliefs – we also need to take personal responsibility for our lives and our choices – past, present and future.
“The work of feminist healers is to integrate our minds and our bodies, ourselves and others, human community and the life of our planet …” ~ Janet L. Surrey [from the introduction to Phyllis Chesler’s book Women and Madness]