Healing Your Body With Your Thoughts
Louise Hay was one of the most interesting people to put forth the concept that every illness is a manifestation of unresolved emotional thoughts and experiences. In fact, she stated that, "for every effect in our lives, there is a thought pattern that precedes and maintains it. Our consistent thinking patterns create our experiences. Therefore, by changing our thinking patterns, we can change our experiences." Many other healing philosophers have also examined this idea, and it seems to be the consensus that four emotions particularly are responsible for most of the disease processes in our body: Criticism, Anger, Guilt and Resentment. If you think of an emotional experience such as anger, there are certain body postures, breathing patterns, facial expressions and gestures that represent anger. Since the body does store every physical experience as a muscle memory, then it will do the same for anger. The strength of the experience determines how deeply the experience will be held in our memory. The pieces of the experience are also stored in various areas: breathing patterns are stored in the muscles of respiration, thought patterns are stored chemically within our nervous system, our posture, gestures and body movements of the experience are stored in our muscles and even our glands will remember the stress of the experience.
These deeply embedded memories can then change the natural functioning of a particular area of our bodies, particularly if the experience is repeated over and over again, as in the case of physical or emotional abuse. It can literally change the way we look, act and think as we move through our daily lives. This is a core issue with the beginning of body disease. Think of disease as dis-ease, not being comfortable with something. The body can’t be relaxed and comfortable with the storage of these experiences, and so many philosophies and therapies have developed to enable us to release these experiences from our structures and our minds; to allow our bodies to function as they did before the experience.
If we don’t release these issues, then blockages will form causing restrictions to circulation, lymph, nutrition, oxygen and toxic buildup. The areas that are experiencing the symptoms will point out what emotional experiences are being trapped in those areas. For instance if someone is "galling", we are obviously relating them to the function of the gall bladder. So if they are "galling" to us, our gall bladder will store those emotions if they are not expressed and resolved in a timely manner. The longer emotions remain in our bodies, the more changes our body will experience in trying to accommodate these difficult feelings. Also, each negative emotion that is stored in our bodies makes us more susceptible to infection, imbalance, disease and death.
Most types of emotional-oriented bodywork focus on the storage of memory patterns from traumas and emotional crisis that have locked down areas of muscles and limited body movement and the ability to heal. In order for the body to fully discharge the pent-up energy from these blocked areas, we must both physically release the tissue of the area and also acknowledge and work through the attached emotional issues.
One great technique is Myofascial Release Therapy which allows for the gradual dissipation of physical problems while releasing the emotional restrictions underneath. In her book Heal Your Body, Louise Hay gave quite a comprehensive listing of disease conditions of the body and the probable emotional causes that begin the process of dysfunction. So if chronic pain or disease are affecting your daily life, then stop for a moment and think about what the area that is affected makes you feel. After all, it is better to be a spring that doesn’t get too tightly wound, or it can give you a nasty snap!