Your body records every physical and emotional trauma you’ve ever had, and carries it as pain and disease – even long after you’ve forgotten all about it.
Every disease that has ever been named, and even those that don’t have a name yet, has someone who has healed from it, so there is hope for you, too. Often there are many layers to the healing process from something as complex as a chronic disease, and suppressed emotions and past traumas may play a more profound role than we realize.
I have had a mild scoliosis most of my life, and have been fortunate to be in the care of very competent chiropractors who have helped me successfully manage my condition. In 2014, when I visited a new chiropractor, who specialized in releasing soft tissue and treating scar tissue, I was not at all prepared for what would ensue.
Several weeks after I started the seemingly benign treatment, I started having what I thought was a neurologic type of pain. I was black and blue for weeks after my treatment, but I was told that was normal. But my entire right calf and foot felt like pins and needles, with other strange sensations I’ve never felt in my entire life, and I knew this couldn’t be right.
I sought the help of a chiropractor who specialized in neurology, and he felt the nerve pain came from a Baker’s cyst on the back of my knee. He recommended an ozone injection to the area, and having had such positive experiences with ozone treatment for dental issues, I readily agreed. I was not prepared for the explosive pain in my knee, that culminated in feeling like I had a severe Charley Horse. He reassured me the pain was normal and would dissipate in a few days.
Well, the pain got worse instead of better, and after several months, my cortisol levels were through the roof and I was developing a roll of fat around my middle! My leg was stiff, with shooting pains up into my thigh. As time went on, my whole body started compensating and my left side became stiff and my hypermobile joints began feeling arthritic.
I tried everything, from stem cell treatments to specialized laser therapy. The battery of tests ordered by everyone from anesthesiologists to chiropractors all came back completely normal, with no explanation for my unrelenting pain. Then the silver lining in this dark cloud came, and I learned I had adhesions, most likely from early car accidents, sprained ankles, poor posture, and falls I had undergone all my life. And the trauma from the ozone being injected created a whole layer of “frozen” tissue about 8 inches long in my leg!
Your Body Remembers When…
I am happy to report that I found healing and no longer experience chronic pain from that injury. This experience opened my eyes to how much our bodies store for us. Those adhesions formed when they were needed, but once they no longer served a purpose, my body couldn’t break them down without help.
A similar thing happens with emotional traumas as well. When we are in a situation where we have to protect ourselves for long periods of time, or there’s a trauma that happens, we can’t be vulnerable and explore the emotions that are created through these experiences. So, our bodies store these suppressed emotions inside our cells, and they are expressed later as pain and disease if they aren’t ever dealt with and explored.
I recently dove deeper into this subject and read the classic by Gabor Mate, MD, When The Body Says No. Dr. Mate is a holocaust survivor and is intimately acquainted with the knowledge that we store our emotions in our bodies. His experience and research has shown him that emotions are inseparable from our health and physiology, and these hidden stressors are connected to our diseases and health issues.
Another great read on this subject comes from Louise Hay. She healed her cancer naturally in just 6 months with a program she created herself of affirmations, visualization, nutrition, cleansing, and psychotherapy. She wrote You Can Heal Your Life to explain how our beliefs and ideas about ourselves are often the cause of our emotional and physical illnesses and how changing our thinking helps heal our bodies.
Your Body Feels Emotion
Your body knows every trauma it has experienced and it will not forget any suppressed emotions.
Every culture has common phrases that show us emotions have a profound effect on our physical health. In ours, we say we have “butterflies in our stomach” or “my heart was pounding out of my chest” when we feel fear. We’re familiar with tension causing headaches, and on the positive side, we’ve experienced how passionate emotions and visual stimuli lead to sexual arousal.
Our beliefs also come together with physical sensations to create experiences. I learned through my experience that pain is a combination of the physical sensations you experience, the emotions you feel, and what the pain means to you. Physiologically, emotional suffering and physical pain share similarities in their neural pathways. They are both perceived as threats and activate the sympathetic nervous system, known as the “fight or flight” response.
When emotions stay suppressed and tensions run high, we shift into sympathetic dominance, where cortisol levels run high and our normal hormone balance is disrupted. This is the reason why I developed belly fat when the pain in my leg became chronic. One study showed that over time, chronic physiological stress changes not only our hormone balance, but also suppresses the immune system, and contributes to the development and progression of heart disease and even cancer.
Mapping Out Your Emotions
Both Dr. Mate and Louise Hay have mapped emotions and common ways of thinking that are associated with certain areas of our bodies. For instance, Dr. Mate found fear affects the health of our kidneys, grief affects our lungs, bitterness settles in the gallbladder, and worry affects the health of the spleen. Louise Hay goes into detail about the mindsets and common thoughts behind these emotions and which symptoms they are associated with. For example, allergies are associated with denying your own power.
Science has also mapped out where our bodies store our emotions. This in-depth study created the topographical map below, which I find fascinating.
Look at the profound difference between depression and happiness. Isn’t that amazing?
Detoxing Your Emotions
Regardless of what the experts say, it’s important to know how your own body reacts to your emotions. Start noticing how your body feels when an unpleasant emotion arises. Whether you choose to talk about them with a trusted friend or therapist, journal them, meditate on them, or work them out through yoga, tai chi, hypnotherapy, biofeedback, or other practices, it’s vital to your success to release the backlog of stored emotions and avoid toxic buildup in the future.
My go-to solution is Bach Flower Remedies. For me, they’re like psychotherapy in a bottle. As Dr. Bach himself wrote in his classic book Heal Thyself, “The prevention and cure of disease can be found by discovering the wrong within ourselves and eradicating this fault by the earnest development of the virtue that will destroy it; not by fighting the wrong, but by bringing in such a flood of its opposing virtue that it will be swept from our natures.” I personally have found centaury (for boundary issues and over-giving), walnut (for cutting ties to the past), impatiens (for lack of patience and irritability), and rock rose (for being hard on yourself) to be the most helpful remedies for me and my clients.
It’s so important to learn how to let go of these emotions and detoxify them at the cellular level. Keep in mind that as you start eliminating toxins from your food, water, and air, and begin detoxing your body, all those stuffed emotions in your cells, tissues, and organs may begin to surface for release and transformation. When we don’t let them go, they’re sure to resurface later as a new physical health problem.
Stay tuned for the final part of this series, as we delve into issues like hidden dental infections causing autoimmune diseases, and how to detox and rebuild from these environmental assaults on our health.