Chronic health symptoms, as I mentioned at the end of my last post, are a different ball game…albeit similar. This kind of pattern sees the body-mind-social system cycling back and forth between the sympathetic and parasympathetic i.e. from stress to restoration to stress to restoration to stress etc.
Let’s think about this for a moment…🤔
If we’re experiencing some symptoms and then they disappear or change for a few days, weeks or months and then reappear…why is that? What has happened to create this looping pattern?
Well, it’s the exact same process I’ve described in the last few posts, in the nine points and phases of the biological healing process (as shown in above graphic)…except with chronic recurring symptoms, we’re never fully resolving the original stress trigger (the traumatic event, also known as a UDIN – because it’s usually Unexpected, Dramatic, you feel Isolated and have No strategy) and therefore, in every way, we oscillate between the sympathetic and the parasympathetic, each time that button, that still open unresolved emotional hurt, is re-pushed, is re-wounded, as shown in the graphic below.
There are usually two or more aspects which are contributing to this pattern repeatedly occurring e.g. the original stress trigger (which will be how you emotionally and cognitively responded in that moment of unexpected stress), plus it could be an environmental aspect, such as pollen being present when you were triggered (so you may have recurring hayfever); or it may be a social aspect, such as a specific food was there at the time of the trigger (so you may have a food allergy); or it could be another social-environmental aspect, such as a specific place, like work, where you are always put down by your manager (so you always get lower back pain).
In the past, these recurring cycles were left with the ‘cause unknown’ question mark over them ❓by medics and medical manuals. We didn’t fully realise what was happening in the body-mind-social space. We didn’t really fully acknowledge that these elements were all connected.
We do know now though and I can’t imagine working without this knowledge in my practice…and those I have the privilege to work with express similar sentiments when they understand what’s truly happening within them. It’s empowering and gives you back your power and control over outcomes, rather than feeling helpless and at the mercy of your symptoms. It gives you options.
This is what you will learn when you embrace this knowledge. And embrace it or not, it’s biological science. It’s real. It’s happening in all of us. So we can take it and be informed. Or we can choose to ignore it.
Day one. Or one day. We can all choose when to begin.
You will learn what phase your symptoms are in; which of the six root causes require rebalancing and what steps you can take, which are workable and sustainable for you, towards your health and wellness goals.
We learn to appreciate that our symptoms aren’t random anymore. We can spot cycles and patterns…and with this knowledge, we can utilise appropriate methods to support where we’re at in this time and space and to ultimately help us reach our health and wellness goals, living a life we love and thrive in.
When would now be a good time for you to begin your own journey to health and wellness again?
Get in touch now, if you would like to know more and how you can begin to help yourself.
So…if we’ve got these symptoms and we’re not broken…what’s going on?
As I said in my previous post, from the meta (big-picture) perspective, your body is starting to repair. Restoration, repair and regeneration produces a lot of these symptoms, viewed as being sick/unwell/ill.
The first part of this restorative phase will produce different symptoms, depending on the body tissue impacted by the organ-mind-brain connection, which has been triggered in us, based on our perception of the situation. It’s all a very subjective experience. No two people come to have their apparently similar symptoms or the same diagnosis from the same trigger.
What is a common aspect though, is your autonomic nervous system has been activated with parasympathetic activity i.e. your symptoms of exhaustion, sleepiness, tiredness is the body asking to rest and repair…BUT often we don’t give it enough of this restorative time because we push ourselves to continue working, doing, pushing and pushing to keep going going going.
So we end up treating and managing symptoms, trying to counter-balance the symptoms with medications etc.
Don’t get me wrong…there can be a very valid reason to take medication because there is a place for all forms of healing. It’s knowing what to do to fully support ourselves when we are properly informed of what is truly going on within our mind-body system, which makes the difference as to what is the best form of action and treatment to take and follow at any given time, however. This will vary for everyone, even if you do have the same diagnosis. No two people are the same, therefore, it also makes sense that a one-size-fits-all approach to healing also needs to be individually tailored.
Once we are triggered into the restorative, regenerative phase (as described in the last post at step 4), the first part of this restorative phase (5) often sees swelling/oedema, increased inflammation and viral or bacterial or fungal activity (what these will be all depends on which brain relay has been triggered, as well as which organ/organ tissue is involved from that brain relay. This is determined by our subjective view of the world…i.e. our thoughts, values, beliefs and emotions).
Our thoughts and emotions in this rest and digest parasympathetic phase tend to feel more like brain fog/fuzzy thinking because we feel so tired and fatigued.
The emotions from the sympathetic stress phase (e.g. anger or ruminating thinking) are almost not there or are at least lessened in some way, shape or form.
These initial restorative phase symptoms may typically last approximately 3-7 days (though this varies depending on the length of the stress/sympathetic phase). What then occurs is described as a healing peak (6) i.e. it’s a short burst of sympathetic nervous system activity, which mostly goes unnoticed, the exceptions being when more serious health challenges are present and then the healing peak will be evident e.g seizures, strong palpitations.
Following the healing peak, however, in a normal biological cycle and process, we move into the second phase of the restorative (parasympathetic) phase (7) and our body begins to normalise again…moving towards homeostasis (balance and harmony within mind and body) once more.
Our appetite usually returns and we feel a little better too. Our body will be excreting a lot of toxins now as well, or tissue it no longer requires from the repair phase, so we detox quite heavily in this part of the biological process, as our body shifts more into normalisation again e.g. increased urination may also be a detox symptom.
Subsequently, after a few days of this detoxing, where we’ll feel increasingly better, in most general cases, we’ll reach that auto-regulation phase (8) and feel normal once more…”I’ve recovered”.
Most of us have experienced this general biological cycle and process, where we then carry on with the regular day-night cycle of general health and sympathetic-parasympathetic autonomic nervous system functioning.
In most cases (excluding long term/chronic symptoms) we feel as good as before, sometimes stronger than before. Chronic health issues are a whole other subject, which I’ll come to in another post.
If you have any questions about how this applies to you, do get in touch. And if you would like to know how a meta-health analysis could help and support your health and wellbeing, please do find out more about how I work and what I can do to support your aspirations and goals.
Only you can steer the ship of your health and wellness. When would be a good time to take back your power and own your path to wellbeing again?
The next principles to understand are the points and phases of this biological process because symptoms are a natural response to stressors (emotions, beliefs, lifestyle, environment etc). When we can acknowledge, appreciate and fully understand this, we’re in a more empowered position to support ourselves (as opposed to feeling powerless by a symptom and/or diagnosis). We can decipher where we are in the healing process and establish more accurately what will support our passage to balanced health and wellness again.
Awareness is the key to unlock your inner sense of power and management over what’s happening within your body (rather than “I’m sick & weak”). Your body is going through a natural biological process and response to stress (or stresses)…you’re not broken. Your body is doing its best to support you to resolve the stress and return your whole self to health, balance and vitality again.
It’s believed there are nine main points/phases of the natural biological process. We’ll look at the first four here.
Tuning into your own symptoms, whatever, wherever they may be (because this applies to EVERY symptom experienced)…let’s work out where you are in the process…
Contrary to what is commonly believed, most, or at least many symptoms appear in the regenerative (restorative, parasympathetic) phase of the process e.g. inflammation, feeling hot and sick, bacterial infections and apparent viral infections. How can this be?
Usually (point 1), we have the normal day-night activity (work during the day; rest and repair at night). This is the normal sympathetic (day) & parasympathetic (night) sequence of the autonomic nervous system. It’s the natural cycle of being human.
However, a part of being human is we experience things which trigger us into a stress response (point 2).
No one is excluded from this. However, we all respond to stress triggers according to our own subjective view and perspective, our beliefs and values basically and how we’re conditioned in the world we live in. This is why and how we all have different symptoms (e.g. some get cancer, some arthritis, some heart issues, some diabetes, others skin challenges, or digestive issues etc). To get really specific, we’d need to look at your individual circumstances. I’ll give you the basic principles here though.
So consider yourself…
Prior to your symptoms, something happened. It may have been a conversation or someone said something or you saw something. Whatever it was… suddenly…BOOM!!!… we feel extraordinarily stressed… And we are pushed into a heightened state of arousal in our sympathetic nervous system i.e. increased stress (point 3).
We physically feel more stressed and a specific organ tissue will have been activated in correlation to your perception of the stress trigger e.g. high blood pressure or loss of vision if it’s your retina or loss of hearing if it’s your ears or your digestive tract could be triggered, so you then have constipation or if in your stomach there could be ulceration and thus sensitivity.
Our mind will show emotions such as anger, upset, sadness, anxiety. Our thoughts will race and repeat over and over. And if you were to look at brain CT scans this stress will show up in the brain too. Mind-Body-Social-Brain…it’s all connected.
The stress phase can last for minutes or days, weeks, months or longer. we are triggered into the regenerative (restorative, parasympathetic activity) phase eventually though. We somehow (again depending on us as individuals) switch into this part of the biological process and the shift is usually felt quite obviously e.g. we go from feeling amped with stress to then feeling utter exhaustion and a sense of “coming down with something…I’m getting sick”. You feel hot, swollen, inflamed, tired, fuzzy thinking, to name just a few signs.
The interesting paradigm we’ve been thinking up until now is that we believe this is when we’re getting sick because we have all these obvious symptoms, oftentimes rather severe. However, from the big-picture (meta) perspective, this is actually the body starting to repair, restore and regenerate… which produces a lot of the symptoms we’ve been conditioned into believing is us getting sick, going downhill, breaking up.
It’s time for change – it’s time for the new biology to be talked about. So let’s start the conversation.
Your health is all about your perspective…your personal view of the world and how your biology responds to what you experience.
Most of the time, we’re busy managing our symptoms (acute or chronic) – dealing with the pain, the thoughts, the emotions, the rash, the inflammation, the growth, the fill in the blank.
Even though symptoms may be reoccurring over and over, we still tend to just spend time managing them each time they arise, often never questioning the health professional, such as our GP, about what could be causing things. We just do the same thing, over and over again.
What if we looked further and explored the root cause of these symptoms? What if we started to ask questions about why our body is presenting these symptoms? What if we explored why our biology is behaving the way it is, be it acute or chronic?
What could this uncover and help us understand so that we could approach our health and wellbeing in a more empowering and sustained way?
This is the essence of Meta-Health, Meta-Consciousness. It’s about the art and science of root cause analysis of physical and mental symptoms and understanding what’s triggered the body to respond the way it is, for each individual person. It comes from New German Medicine, researched and developed by Dr Hamer.
This is the new paradigm of health and wellness which people like Bruce Lipton, Gabor Maté, Kelly Brogan, Sayer Ji and Bessel van der Kolk are talking about. It’s what I’ve been talking about for years now too. It’s the new biology and it’s what I knew was out there from my late teens when I was told I had an autoimmune disorder. What utter rubbish and the medical answer for ‘we actually don’t know what’s causing this, so we’ll label it autoimmune‘.
The fact is, the body doesn’t attack itself…rather, it’s a biological defence response, because the body is doing its best to help us stay safe and survive in what it perceives to be a threat to our survival. And this is what I’ll be sharing more of…so watch this space.
It’s taken me some time to write a post like this. I feared ridicule and judgement from people who I considered to be more of an authority in one way or another. I lacked the confidence to share what I know from my own learning experience because I don’t have a medical degree and I’m not a scientist.
However, I am a woman. I have a brain. I have intuition. And I know when I know. You just have that feeling. And nothing, nothing can deny the power of this feeling when it surges through you. I’ve also learnt a lot in my time on this planet. I’ve studied hard and continue to do so, I’ve read and continue to read a lot and I know from experience what I know now.
We all have mental health.
That chatter in my head has stopped me speaking out before now. The impostor syndrome. The lack of confidence because of past negative experiences. The lack of support from supposed loved ones who say “hi, how are you?” but behind your back chatter about what you’re doing as if you’ve gone nuts because you don’t fit into their paradigm of what is apparently normal. People who take the mickey out of what you do…making jokes about it, making fun of it like you’re some sort of clown in the circus.
I’m not a clown in a circus. I’m a human being just like you. I have feelings…I have thoughts…I have emotions and these all have an impact on my physiology and how my biology responds, in any given moment, just like they do with all of us. This mind-body response is what creates symptoms. And it’s real…even if you can’t see the symptoms.
That’s your world view
Just because I practice meditation and use tools like EFT and yoga, spend a lot of time in nature and eat what many have judged me for and said is a rabbit’s diet, doesn’t mean I’m some sort of freak. I don’t drink alcohol either and was once told I’m not a member of my own family because of this.
The thing is, and what most people are missing in this is, I live the life I lead because I started life with a whole flipping string of symptoms. And these symptoms have fuelled me on to get to the root cause of why I started life this way and why many symptoms plagued me for many years…and some still do.
What people see or choose to see in me is someone who is happy and smiles a lot…who bounces around like Tigger and is always here, there and everywhere, apparently living a carefree life without a ‘normal’ 9-5 job. What you don’t know is I’ve struggled with a low sense of self-worth for a long time. I struggled with some symptoms that left me feeling so dark, I wouldn’t go out for days and days at a time because of how I felt and looked and the fact my skin was cracked and bleeding. I’ve been in so much pain at times that I’ve been reduced to using crutches and wheelchairs. You don’t see this though because most of us hide away when challenged like this. And woe-betide if we complain about something which can’t be seen or isn’t visible like #endometriosis for example.
Endometriosis is said to be one of the most common causes of pelvic pain and infertility in women according to endometriosis.org – the global forum for news and information. In the news section of their website, they state that “Scientists are now closer to understanding pain mechanisms in endometriosis. Scientists at the University of Warwick and the University of Edinburgh in the UK have shown that immune cells called macrophages could play a key role in the generation of pain in endometriosis”.
Looking at the dis-ease process of endometriosis from a meta-perspective
It’s great that research is being done at this micro-level in an attempt to get to the root cause of what’s underlying these debilitating symptoms in what is estimated to be affecting “176 million women worldwide regardless of their ethnic and social background”. However, has anyone stopped to look at, explore and research the bigger picture of what’s going on for these millions of women prior to the onset of their symptoms? For example, what stresses may have been happening for them? What emotions and thoughts may be present and on-going? How do they perceive their home, work and/or social lives? And what’s their lifestyle like, including diet, exercise and vitality?
These aspects all play a key role in understanding what is happening in anyone with the onset of symptoms, be it endometriosis or any number of other diagnoses. So let’s look at this more closely for endometriosis.
The biology – the development and function of the ovaries
As we know, the ovaries are positioned on the right and left side of the uterus, which they attach to via cord-like ligaments. During the monthly menses, an egg, formed from primordial germ cells, grows into a tiny follicle. At the time of ovulation, the follicle bursts open, so the ovum can be released and travel from an ovary through the fallopian tube to potentially meet a sperm for fertilisation. If this stage was successful, approximately six days later, the fertilised egg or blastocyst implants in the uterine cavity. The corpus luteum, a progesterone-producing cell cluster in the ovaries, facilitates pregnancy. The ovarian tissue contains interstitial cells, which produce estrogen and small quantities of testosterone. Estrogen plays a significant role in a woman’s sex drive and readiness to mate. In embryology terms, the ovaries originate from the new mesoderm and are therefore controlled from the cerebral medulla, which is part of the new brain in brain development.
Every organ and organ tissue in the body is biologically connected to one of the brain layers…and each of these brain layers has an overall biological conflict theme, as discovered by Dr Hamer, who first developed what is now known as Meta-Health (also known as Meta-Consciousness or Lifestyle Prescriptions).
The biological conflict related to the ovaries is a loss conflict which is connected to the loss of a loved one. A perceived fear of losing a loved one can also trigger the conflict. This same stress can also be related to the loss of a beloved pet. Ruminating self-blame after a relationship break-down or the death of someone close can keep the conflict active. Women also experience loss conflicts after miscarriages or the unwanted termination of a pregnancy. A loss conflict can also be set in motion because of an argument, disloyalty, or unfaithfulness of a partner or friend.
This sense of loss can also be passed down the ancestral line as well, due to cellular memory e.g. the egg which became you was inside your mother, when she was in utero. Therefore, if your grandmother experienced a loss while pregnant with your Mum, this memory can pass on into your cells too. This is what is commonly thought to be hereditary or genetic type symptoms. Only about 1% of symptoms fall under this umbrella however, as proven by cell biologist, Bruce Lipton. The rest are down to the passing on of ancestral trauma, beliefs and patterns, all of which have the potential for healing.
The stress phase of the biological process in the ovaries
When we experience something, which to us as an individual feels unexpected, dramatic, isolating and we don’t have a strategy to deal with it at that moment, we are pushed into stress…also known as the sympathetic phase in biological terms. Biologically, therefore, the ovarian organ tissue of a woman who perceives a situation as stressful and feels this sense of loss will respond by necrosis (cell loss) in the ovary. As a result, because of the reduction of estrogen-producing cells the estrogen level decreases. Furthermore, depending on how intense the conflict is felt and lasts for, (i.e. how long the woman remains in the stress phase, impacted by this trauma) can result in irregular periods, absence of menstruation altogether, or infertility until the stress is released and the conflict is resolved for the individual. If this stress is felt before menstruation has started, (e.g. in a younger girl), it can delay the start of the menstrual cycle. The felt loss of an unconceived child can also lead to long-term infertility.
The restoration phase of the biological process in the ovaries – part 1
Following the full resolution of something which we perceived as stressfulI, biologically, we move into the para-sympathetic phase of the healing process. Therefore, in the ovaries, if and when the stress has been fully resolved, the tissue loss which happened in the sympathetic phase is restored with new cells, assisted by bacteria such as streptococcus in an ideal scenario. Though counter-intuitive to our conditioned minds of what constitutes healing, symptoms experienced are pain caused by the swelling. This is usually diagnosed as inflammation or an infection of the ovaries and called adnexitis (the same term is used for inflammation in the fallopian tubes).
Again, counter-intuitive to our western conditioned medical understanding of what is normal, a special characteristic regarding the healing of the ovaries is the development of an ovarian cyst. Now, this is where it’s important to understand the biological process – provided there aren’t any relapses i.e. reminders of the original stress, which push us back into the sympathetic phase and interrupt the parasympathetic restorative healing phase, the process takes – like a pregnancy – nine months to complete. The cyst formation occurs in several steps.
In the first half of the parasympathetic phase, a fluid-filled capsule or cyst forms at the site of the original cell-loss (necrosis). Coupled with water retention, (which can be exacerbated by a separate, yet related stress conflict associated with feelings such as isolation, abandonment and existence and activates in the kidney collecting tubules), an ovarian cyst can become quite sizable because the water retention is especially stored in the healing area. Large cyst(s) cause considerable pain, particularly during menstruation, and heavy menstrual bleeding. What is termed polycystic ovaries (PCO) actually relates to multiple loss conflicts resulting in many cysts forming over time.
With regards the continued parasympathetic phase of the biological process with the now-formed cyst, (provided this process isn’t interrupted by retriggers into stress again), in order to restore the cell loss that occurred during the stress/sympathetic phase, ovarian cells start to increase rapidly in number inside the cyst. During this stage, the cyst attaches itself to neighboring tissue for blood supply. NB: attaching to tissue nearby also stabilizes the cyst. Detected during this period, the growth can be diagnosed, in modern medical terms, as an invasive or infiltrating ovarian cancer and wrongly assumed to metastasize to nearby organs. Based on the basic laws of biology however, the new ovarian cells cannot be regarded as cancer cells because the cell increase is actually in truth, a restorative, rebuilding process.
Restoration phase – part 2
At the mid-point of this restorative parasympathetic phase, we reach what is called a healing peak, which temporairly pushes the body back into a state of stress, which may include symtoms such as restlessness, nausea, heightened blood pressure, raised pulse, cold sweats, shivers. The biological purpose of this temporary sympathetic surge is to quickly eliminate the edema which developed both on the organ and in the correlating brain relay in the first part of the restorative phase. After this healing peak, we experience a urinary phase, where the body expels the excess fluid. NB: The excess fluid cannot be completly expelled if there is still an active stress conflict related to feeling isolated/abandoned OR if there are still retriggers (often unconscious) of the loss conflict. This remaining water retention will stay present until all conflicts have been fully resolved.
Following the hopefully successful release of most fluid from the cyst, in part two of the restorative phase, the cyst then becomes hard, separates from the tissue it had attached to and, supplied with blood vessels, integrates itself completely into the hormone-producing function of the ovaries. This is completly natural and part of the biological process and purpose. To explain further, the boost of estrogen provided by the cyst makes the woman who’s felt this loss more attractive again, while at the same time, enhancing her readiness to mate, which biologically, elevates her into an ideal position to make up for the loss and become pregnant again. It’s the nature-nurture process.
Interruptions to the biological process
Sometimes the internal pressure, if a cyst is rather liquid, can become too intense, causing the cyst to burst. There could be a few causes for this to happen, such as the extra water retention due to the other active conflict related to feelings of isolation; a punch to the stomach; an accident; an investigative puncture, or premature surgery can cause the cyst to burst.
Following the burst, the fluid moves into the abdominal cavity, and the now loose ovarian cells attach themselves to the abdominal wall or an organ such as the bladder or rectum (in these circumstances, the cyst development takes place outside the ovary). This is what is termed endometriosis. According to modern medicine, endometriosis is a growth of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus.
However, through the scienific research which was carried out by Dr. Hamer, who examined brain CT scans of women with these symptoms, every scan highlighted that each woman with endometriosis showed the moment of conflict stress wasn’t in the brainstem layer of the brain, which controls the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus) but instead it was in the cerebral medulla, i.e. the area of the brain which controls the ovaries. Furthermore, this also clarifies why endometriosis increases a woman’s estrogen level – an aspect which has apparently been unexplainable before now.
So to conclude, without going into further biological explainations and rabbit holes, this post is not about blaming or shaming anyone into anything. It’s to explain a simple natural biological process, which women go through when we experience what to us feels like a loss – it’s stressful, feels unexpected, dramatic, isolating and we don’t have a strategy to deal with the shock in that moment.
It’s to explain the side of endometriosis which may not have been explained to you before now. It’s to give you some sense of power and strength that something can be done to support you to complete your natural healing cycle in all aspects of your life related to your endo-experience and find an end to your debilitating symtoms. It’s to offer you a sense of understanding that your body is not working against you for one second – on the contrary, in any given moment your magnificent body is always working to keep you safe and survive, constantly adapting to the changing environment it finds itself in and adjusting to this, to support you to keep going.
We have been fed this inaccurate paradigm in modern medicine that pain, swelling, inflammation etc equals something going wrong in our body…whereas it’s often present in an attempt to help protect us from something which has been stressful for us…and the symptoms women experience in endometriosis are actually a natural part of a biological healing cycle…which is doing its best to complete.
If you have any questions about this related to your own endo-journey and how a meta-health analysis could suport you, do get in touch, where I will do my best to support you.
Many of us haven’t heard of epigenetics…the science-based study of genes from non-traditional or commonly understood gene expression.
Bruce Lipton, whom I’ve mentioned in my posts before, is a pioneering cell biologist, who’s proved scientifically that literally, thoughts become things if we give them enough energy and power…and these thoughts can and do get passed down across and through the generations.
Another school of thought, which recognises patterns of behaviour which can and do get passed down through the generations is morphic resonance. This theory, developed by biologist Rupert Sheldrake, suggests that it ‘is a process whereby self-organising systems inherit a memory from previous similar systems. In its most general formulation, morphic resonance means that the so-called laws of nature are more like habits.”
So that said, do you realise you inherit emotional/mental DNA too? e.g. beliefs, vows and conditioning passed down through your ancestral line.
Now, consider this…when your Mum was in utero, the egg which became you was forming in your Mum while she was growing inside her Mother.
Therefore, some of the deep-held beliefs, thought patterns and emotions your Grandmother may have had, can and do get passed down through epigenetic gene patterning. PLUS your grandmother may have picked these up from her grandmother and so on and so forth.
So you can now begin to understand how and why we see behaviour and symptoms in our children’s children’s children, which were like and experienced by our great-great-grandparents and beyond.
Our DNA contains blueprints for everything about us both physically, emotionally, mentally and intellectually.
The most exciting thing is, a high percentage of this blueprint can be changed through Meta-Health analysis and Matrix Reimprinting using EFT because we’ve now learnt how to more easily find the root cause of inherited emotions, behaviours and beliefs. Therefore, using these tools, we can release the unwanted stuff and reprogramme the subconscious mind with more empowering and positive beliefs, vows and patterns.
What then occurs is a change in the way your biology and physiology responds, due to the change in your emotions and beliefs. We then begin to see individuals completing a healing cycle, which was originally considered chronic for life.
On one side of my family heart issues have been prevalent…on the other side, arthritis and other such muscular-skeletal issues. And ‘that runs in the family’ or ‘it’s hereditary’ has been thrown around like it’s something we’re all destined to experience like it’s a ball we have no choice but to catch and endure.
I can tell you from personal experience however, that there is something which can be done about these supposed hereditary symptoms from a mind-body-social perspective, which can and does change your DNA and thus help you and generations to come to live vastly different and more fulfilling lives.
I’ve personally experienced two occasions, where I was told my symptoms are hereditary…this is what is going to happen to you, because of your genes…and each time, I have defied the general consensus of modern medicine and overcome what was given to me as a medical life sentence. I basically said to myself each time, “That may be true for some people, but it is not true for me” and I went about healing myself so that what I was given as a long-term prognosis was not going to be my reality.
So…is your baggage actually all yours…?
And if it isn’t, when would now be a good time to start letting that excess baggage go…?
Day one? Or one day?
Book an appointment with me now, to find out how I can support you on your healing journey to achieve your health and wellness aspirations.
In this fourth post about the main contributing factors to our health and wellness, I’d like to talk about stress and how it works in our body and mind.
We all experience stress to a greater or lesser degree. No one is immune to it throughout life. The main difference in how stress impacts and affects us as individuals, is how we respond and ultimately process stress, which we experience in our everyday lives.
A certain amount of stress is actually beneficial to our overall health and wellbeing at times, giving us a boost or surge of energy, motivation and inspiration, to help us get through something like a deadline at work or a test. However, prolonged chronic stress can create more serious health challenges, including having an impact on the cardiovascular, immune, neuroendocrine and central nervous systems.
Further to this, as you may recall from my previous post about how emotions impact our health…prolonged stress can impact these emotional responses as well, bringing about a debilitating sense of self in both physical and psychological ways. While we can all generally manage some simple stress triggers, by tapping into our bodies natural ability to cope, prolonged chronic stress can and does have serious implications upon our overall wellbeing in the long term, if left unchecked.
Stress is our natural inbuilt response to an experience, which to us as an individual, felt threatening or challenging in that moment, either physically and/or psychologically. Our hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and autonomic nervous system are the major aspects of our body, which react to stress, which we, as individuals, feel is threatening, by activating the fight-flight-freeze-fawn response via our sympathetic nervous system – the part of our body, which pushes our entire system into stress, in an effort to keep us safe and survive the threat, be it real or perceived.
The body and some of its major systems may remain in this state of sympathetic activity for some time if we do not or cannot switch off the stress trigger. This is when we see chronic symptoms begin to manifest. However, when we are able to reduce or eliminate the root cause which triggered our stress response in the first place, the parasympathetic nervous system then takes over, moving, calling, guiding our body into a recovery phase, which may include feeling more tired, hot and hungry than what is considered normal. This is simply a natural response and symptomatic of the body regenerating itself, in an attempt to return to a state of homeostasis…i.e. balanced health and wellness again.
How does stress work in the body though…?
It isn’t new knowledge that traditional, long-standing, ancient paradigms of health and healing all acknowledge the mind-body-social-spiritual connection and the way in which different types of emotion and mental imbalances take root in different parts of the body. Indian Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese medicine are two of the more well-known disciplines, which explore these connections, as well as other ethnic-based traditions found in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
The foundational beliefs of these traditional disciplines (which have been successfully used for over 2500 years) are that every organ and tissue in our body correlates with the same vibration or energy of specific emotions, which we may feel at any given time. Therefore, it stands to reason, that every symptom, be it physical or mental, which creates an imbalance in our body, putting it into a state of dis-ease, develops from an emotional stress trigger, which is connected with a specific organ or tissue, creating a block or disruption in the normal flow, for optimal functioning to happen.
A domino-type effect can then begin to occur if symptoms are not dealt with in the immediate moments, days and weeks following a stress trigger. This is when we see symptoms changing from being acute (short-term) to chronic (long-term). This can potentially add further stress to the mental and emotional psyche of the individual, thus multiplying the overall stress on the mind-body…and a whole myriad of other symptoms can begin to grow and emerge, feeling like it’s spiralling out of our control.
Big ‘T’ traumas such as earthquakes, major accidents, fires, floods and divorce can all cause incredible stress and left unchecked, can contribute to existing symptoms, as well as manifest new ones. Small ‘t’ traumas can equally contribute to existing symptoms and because they’re small, we often ignore the significance of them. However, like a slow dripping tap, over time, they too can contribute to chronic symptoms.
Stress, be it a big ‘T’ or little ‘t’, is something, which to the individual, felt unexpected, dramatic and isolating and you had no strategy at that moment to deal with and handle what was happening. We call this a UDIN. It’s a very subjective experience…therefore no two people respond the same way and thus, no two people came to have their symptoms from the same stress trigger.
These events or stress triggers can begin when we’re children and become conditioned responses, such as a comment or look we received from a parent, teacher or bullying in the playground and they can also happen as adults, with major events such as those described above.
Whatever the original trigger for the UDIN moment, because we’re all subjective individuals, with our own conditioning and background, the pattern and process our own biological programming will follow through it’s sympathetic and parasympathetic phases will depend on how we’ve perceived the UDIN. For example, a child who’s told she can’t play football because she’s a girl may take this personally and feel devalued, thus impacting her muscular-skeletal system. Whereas another child given the same comment may feel like their territory is being invaded, thus impacting their bladder.
The key point to remember is that stress does not come from just one source, such as a major event like an earthquake. It can be cumulative over time as well, such as that condemning comment from a parent or teacher…which is then reignited by a boss or spouse later in life and so it goes on and on and on, thus reopening the old unhealed wound again and again and again and keeping the body in a fight-flight-freeze cycle of stress, whenever that button is pushed.
These conditioned responses form beliefs and over time, we become entwined in an unconscious cycle of stress, whereby specific organs will react with the corresponding brain relay and related emotions are all retriggered. This on-going cycle ultimately forms symptoms, which can and do become chronic. Knowing the root cause of these life-long response patterns, as well as the big T events, can help us detect where symptoms have stemmed from and inform us in a more specific and individual way to create a plan for changing patterns, behaviours and emotions. This ultimately allows the body to complete its own natural process of healing, through this deeper understanding and empowerment of us as individuals.
There is a lot we can do on our own to take back our power and reduce stress in our lives. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Learn to meditate to quieten your mind. InsightTimer is a fantastic free app with loads of guided meditations to get you started. I would advise beginning with guided meditations until you know you feel 100% comfortable with a silent practice. Seek out a certified teacher for more specific guidance and disciplines. After many years of exploring and trying out different styles and approaches, I now personally practice Transcendental Meditation (TM), which has been a life-changing addition to my daily self-care routine, since I began practicing it several years ago.
Spend time in nature. Research now shows us that time in nature is very healing for our overall wellbeing. The Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, which loosely translates as forest bathing, has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. The beach is also a very powerful space to de-stress from those daily grinds. Simply kicking leaves in the park or getting outside can be all it takes though, to change your state of being. So get outside and breath in some of those positive vibes.
Move your body. Whatever your ability, movement will help. Find what works for you and commit to it. The best movement activity for you is the one you do regularly…so experiment and try some things out. There is so much to choose from these days, from high-energy HIIT classes to slow motion yoga and everything in-between. So find the one which gives you that high and go for it. You’ve nothing to lose except the stress you don’t want anyway.
Journalling. For those who like words…writing things down can help. I’ve been a journaler for many years and when I am consistent, it helps heaps. One resource which I found helpful was the simple morning pages practice described in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
Find your tribe. Community and a sense of belonging are so important to us as humans, in order for us to thrive. With the age of technology, many of us find that we’re a lot more isolated however, even with the social media platforms of our day. So I’d encourage you to seek out your face-to-face tribe so that you have people who are on the same page as you, who cheer you on when you need that extra support, motivation and inspiration. We don’t always get this from our biological family…so I like to see these groups of people who form our community as our soul family…they get you and accept you for who you are, no matter what.
Where possible, eliminate the stress triggers, which you can control yourself. And set boundaries, which support you to maintain a stress-free space for yourself.
Breathe. So often when we are in stress, we actually forget to breathe normally. So take the time to sit and take some slow deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, while placing your hands on your heart. You will soon notice yourself calming down and feeling a sense of peace again. The Heart Math Institute continues to do extensive research on how some simple breathing with your hands on your heart can help with more balanced heart coherence. See their website for some free resources.
And if all this seems a bit too much to manage on your own, then you can also book a discovery call to see how working with me can help and support you on your journey towards balanced health and wellness again.
“It is not that stress kills us, it is our reaction to it”