Do feelings actually affect our immune system? What role does childhood trauma play in a person’s wellness in the present? Is there a healthy, safe way to release blocked emotional energy as one detoxifies? The new science of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) presents a model for health that takes our feeling state to the forefront of importance in answering these questions.
The bottom line is that emotions change body chemistry. Norman Cousins of Anatomy of An Illness fame discovered the healing effect of laughter. Conversely, long term emotional depression “depresses” the immune system. Even more remarkably, a person’s tears of joy actually differ chemically from his own tears of sorrow!
But it is the unexpressed, unfelt, unconscious feelings kept within the body that eventually take their toll on the very body system wherein they are stuffed. Disease is often the body’s pantomime of its emotional state. The “Type A Personality,” for instance, classically described as over-achiever and workaholic, and classically related to heart disease, inevitably involves the confusion of love with material security. The heart then “attacks” as a wake-up call to make that distinction. People with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (EBV) inevitably have many years behind them of a fight-or-flight stress response perpetually switched on. This inner burnout sets the stage for their bodies to become a suitable host to the EB virus.
Arthur Janov of Primal Therapy fame, declares that our ability to split and/or shut off from our feelings is the uniquely human survival adaptation to an overwhelming world. On a personal level, splitting off from feelings is a protective mechanism that enables us to cope with pain. Yet this blockage of feeling in the body itself yields pain, and deserves to be treated.
It is often the unhealthy choices and feeling shut-downs that we made as children, when issues of survival were most relevant, that set up the predisposition and patterns for present-day illnesses. PNI has unlocked the mystery of this memory storage capacity of body tissue: amino acid chains called neuropeptides contain biochemically encoded memories of every experience we’ve ever had, and make for a perfect body memory. The unfelt past is present, locked in the tissue of the body.
When we engage in a physical detoxification program and highly nitrify our cells with a living food diet, we accelerate our body’s natural urge to free itself of emotional baggage and re-integrate disconnected free-floating feelings in the subconscious of the psyche. During detox, along with physical cleansing, the emotional process intensifies.
Thanks to PNI, the role of emotional healing as a central component of a comprehensive wellness program is finally appreciated. Thanks to PNI, a practical method of facilitating this healing has been developed.
Andy Roman, RN, LMT, is a health consultant at Hippocrates, offering private Centropic Integration sessions, which apply PNI principles.
Vol 10 Issue 3 page 1