Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Physician, Heal Thyself (Not Ron Paul)

Mind/Body Healing

As with any illness or disorder of the body, full healing can only be effected when the emotional and mental components are also addressed. Anger, fear and anxiety are emotions that are typically stored and expressed in the gut. This is clearly evidenced in our language - how often have you heard expressions like, 'his guts were churning with anxiety', or, 'the bile rose in her throat whenever she thought about what he'd done', or, 'her stomach clenched in fear'. In fact, what do people do when faced with extreme violence or fear? They often urinate or defecate uncontrollably.

Any bodywork therapies that utilize somato-emotional release will be very healing to people with IBS. Somato(body)-emotional release is based on the premise that emotional trauma is actually stored in the physical tissues of the body - not just in the mind or soul. When you release the event, or memory, or feeling at this level, the catharsis is particularly effective and healing. Therapies like craniosacral, acupuncture, reiki and other forms of energy healing can all facilitate somato-emotional release. It's best to look for a therapist that specifically lists somato-emotional release as part of their practice. Choose your practitioner the same way you'd choose a counselor, make sure it's someone with legitimate qualifications that you feel comfortable and safe with.

I once went to a craniosacral therapist who specialized in somato-emotional release. We started first with my neck and he began by just holding it as I lay on my back (fully clothed). Then, as I relaxed, he slowly began to rotate my head gently to the left and up a bit. Much to my surprise, I immediately experienced a technicolor memory of being beaten as a child. Even more surprising, I re-experienced the fear and anger I had felt then and tears began streaming down my face. When he sensed the emotion was getting a bit much for me, he gently moved my head back to its former position and the memory, the feelings, and the tears disappeared instantly! I was back to the jolly self I walked in there as. I lay there laughing over how bizarre that was and wiped the tears away. He waited for me to relax again and then moved my head back to the same position and immediately I was back in the memory crying away again. He continued this process until I had worked through the memory and released it. Then he moved on to work with other parts of my body.

A friend of mine would experience visions and feel as though she left her body during certain acupuncture sessions. Another friend re-experienced and released a memory of childhood sexual abuse when the craniosacral therapist began working on her arm. You wouldn't think a sexual abuse memory would be stored in someone's arm, but the memory began with her being forcefully grabbed at the elbow and marched up the stairs, so that's where her body stored it. Another woman I know feels distinctly linked with her inner child whenever her energy healer works on her colon. She cries throughout the session and sometimes for a while afterwards, but for the next few days experiences no symptoms of bowel distress whatsoever. Going beyond the psychological, talk-therapy approach and into the body itself can be a very profound and deeply healing experience. Meditation, in whichever form you prefer, is also beneficial. Different people have different ways of meditating and you don't have to sympathize with Eastern philosophies to be able to meditate. Many people feel a walk through the woods, or along the beach, communing with nature soothes their soul and quiets their mind. If you're a Christian, the next time you're praying, stop talking to God/Jesus and just listen. Spend 15 minutes or so simply being open and let God speak to you. Don't worry if you don't hear/feel/sense anything right away, be persistent and it will come.

The inside of a person often has to be healed before other illnesses can be fixed. Dr. Ron Paul, a respected M.D. is running for President to try and heal the ills of the USA. He is all about healing. His heart and gut is on the right place. I feel it in my 'gut'. Spread the word, he's the only candidate that can save us.

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