ADDICTIONS: not loving oneself, running away from self CANCER: deep hurt, grief
ALCOHOLISM: guilt, inadequacy, self-rejection HEADACHES: self-criticism
ANOREXIA: denying the self, fear of rejection LARYNGITIS: fear of speaking up
ANXIETY: distrusting the natural flow of life LIVER PROBLEMS: fear, anger, hatred
ARTHRITIS: feeling unloved, resentful OBESITY: feeling need for emotional protection, insecurity
BACK (upper): lack of emotional support, feeling unloved SHOULDER PROBLEMS: carrying a heavy burden
BACK (lower): financial woes and concerns SLIPPED DISK: feeling unsupported in life
BULIMIA: getting rid of self-hatred THYROID PROBLEMS: humiliation, repression
By Rick Fischer, C.H.H.C., h.T.M.A.P.
(This article is adapted from my authored book The Healing Workbook)
How Your Subconscious Controls
Your Health and Relationships
We are all running on ‘programs’ – messages and patterns we picked up early in life that control us, for good or for bad, as adults. Holding on to hidden negative emotions and patterns can affect us in various aspects of life, from repeated disappointments in relationships and career to serious health concerns. In fact, almost all health concerns can be traced back to some energetic or emotional imbalance. This is why, in order to heal, we need to be introspective and work on our inner selves. All healing begins within.
As Louise Hay addresses in great detail in her bestselling book You Can Heal Your Life, many negative physical health conditions can be traced back to specific unresolved emotional issues. Drawing from her book in this regard, examples of a few common ailments are listed below along with a very simplistic look at some potential underlying emotional issues.
The above causes may or may not resonate with you, at least on the surface. It may however warrant a closer look to see if there might be truth in this or not for you. Regardless of how you view Louise Hay’s findings, there is a definite connection between emotional pain and the manifestation of physical symptoms. Let me give you an example.
Suppose you grew up in a home where mom and dad were always fighting, and the tension in the air was high. Arguments would always come up at the dinner table. Years later you go from doctor to doctor trying to understand why your digestive system is messed up – perhaps you’ve been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Could there be a connection to your childhood? Quite possibly. A relaxing environment during meal time allows for proper digestion. The child in this example grew up in an environment where meal times were never calm, and this began impairing their digestion at an early age. Medically, the diagnosis may be I.B.S., and while diet will certainly be part of the treatment, the issue also needs to be healed emotionally. This applies to many digestive and eating disorders, most of which have an underlying psychological component which needs to be addressed.
We finally have hard scientifically proven evidence of this connection between emotional pain / childhood trauma and physical symptoms, as laid out in the highly praised (and recommended) book "The Impact of Early Life Trauma of Health and Disease: The Hidden Epidemic" by Lanius, Vermetten, and Pain. As excerpted from this book:
"Traumatic events of the earliest years of infancy and childhood are not lost but, like a child's footprints in wet cement,
are often preserved life-long. Time does not heal the wounds that occur in those earliest years; time conceals them.
They are not lost; they are embodied."
"…we contribute to the problem by authenticating as biomedical disease that which is actually the somatic
inscription of life experience on the human body and brain."
In other words, the trauma, the abuse, the abandonment in childhood, these events show up in our diet, in our addictions, and the way we treat ourselves (and often others) as adults. Core beliefs we develop as children dictate the lives we create as adults (I talk about this more in this video interview here). Being starved of love as a child by one or both parents may lead to starving oneself nutritionally as an adult. Abandonment as a child may lead to one not loving oneself as an adult, and this in turn can lead to various ways of self sabotage. Very often when the emotional side is properly addressed and cleared, so too will the health symptoms resolve themselves. The following exercise can help you begin working through this…and then afterward we will move into uncovering and addressing negative "patterns".
Step 1: Answer the following:
Are there any people in your life that bring out the emotion of anger in you? Write down their name(s).
How about hurt? Who in your life hurt you? Write down their name(s).
Next, referring to the people you wrote down above, complete these sentences:
a) I feel most angry when:
b) I feel most frustrated when:
c) I feel most hurt when:
Step 2: Answer the following:
a) What things do I do to myself that make me feel angry?
b) What things do I do to myself that make me feel frustrated?
c) What things have I done to myself to hurt myself (through diet / physical injury / other sabotaging choices)?
Using the above instances to help intensify the emotions, for each emotion (anger, frustration, hurt, etc), close your eyes and try to discover where that emotion resides within your body. Focus your mind inward and let it travel through all the parts of your body. You may discover for example a feeling of pressure in your chest, or warmth in your leg. As you discover where these emotions reside, place your hand on that area and express the emotion out loud by saying “I feel pressure here”, or “It hurts here”.
Next, while keeping your attention focused on the area of negative emotion, for the next 30 seconds on each exhale visualize expelling that emotion.
Finally, imagine you could speak to that person who caused you to feel that negative emotion. What would you say to him or her? It is important to remember that they were not the cause of your negative emotion, but rather it was your response to what they did. If the case involved them intentionally trying to hurt you, then consider viewing that incident as you unintentionally allowing them to do so, and recognize that you will no longer fall into that trap. Speak to them. Release the emotion. Forgive.
Now it's time to examine and begin releasing emotions (perhaps unconscious) that have been reappearing throughout your life and have been sabotaging your greater potential, your optimal health, or especially, relationships. A simple traumatic event in childhood can have long reaching effects in adulthood. There is a child within all of us (our ‘inner child’) that carries with us some of our deepest wounds. As we go through life as adults, we project those wounds (drama) onto the people we bring into our life, hoping to ‘get it right this time’ and to make up for what happened in our past.
Sometimes patterns are imitation patterns - repeating things you've seen or heard. Other times patterns are revenge patterns - acting in certain ways towards oneself or others as a way to make up for pain caused in the past by someone else. We'll begin with a passage from Osho's book "Being In Love" which offers an appropriate explanation of how one lives out patterns. I include this here only for your own contemplation.
"...And children learn the ways of their parents – their nagging, their conflict. Just go on watching yourself. If you are a woman, watch – you may be repeating, almost identically, the ways your mother used to behave. Watch yourself when you are with your boyfriend or your husband: What are you doing? Are you not repeating a pattern? If you are a man, watch: What are you doing? Are you not behaving just like your father? Are you not doing the same nonsense that he used to do? ...People go on repeating; people are imitators. The human being is a monkey. You are repeating your father or your mother, and that has to be dropped...
The first step is, get rid of your parents. And by that I don’t mean any disrespect towards your parents, no.... I mean you have to get rid of your parental voices inside, your program inside, your tapes inside. Efface them... and you will be simply surprised that if you get rid of your parents from the inner being, you become free. For the first time you will be able to feel compassion for your parents, otherwise not; you will remain resentful...
If you want to become a human being and not a machine, get rid of your parents. It is hard work, arduous work; you cannot do it instantly. You will have to be very careful in your behaviour. Watch and see when your mother is there, functioning through you – stop that, move away from it. Do something absolutely new that your mother could not even have imagined. For example, your boyfriend is looking at some other woman with great appreciation in his eyes. Now, watch what you are doing. Are you doing the same as your mother would have done when your father looked at another woman appreciatively? If you do that, you will never know what love is, you will simply be repeating a story. It will be the same act being played by different actors, that’s all; the same rotten act being repeated again and again and again. Don’t be an imitator, get out of it. Do something new. Do something new that your mother [father] could not have conceived of. This newness has to be brought to your being, then your love will start flowing.”
In relationships it’s common for a partner to seek out in their partner what they didn’t receive as children from their parents. This is often seen in women who look for men that resemble their father, either in physical attributes or in the type of person the father was. As explained in Neo-Freudian psychology and as proposed by Carl Jung, the ‘Electra complex’ explains why these women will often look to acquire, in a partner, the father they never had in childhood. In this endeavor however they are subconsciously seeking the ‘emotionally unavailable man’ in the hopes that she can somehow ‘fix’ him. A loving and healthy partner may come along for her, but eventually if she is being subconsciously driven by her Electra complex, she’ll sabotage the relationship because he does not fit who her father was. The same is true for men and women alike. Beginning at birth, the person forms an unconscious image of the opposite sex based on the inputs around the child at the time. As the person grows up, they may subconsciously be seeking out that image, even if consciously they say that’s not what they want. As explained brilliantly in the book Getting The Love You Want by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D, both sexes are seeking to heal in their partner a wound they acquired in childhood. The wound created by a parent will unintentionally be repeated by the partner which then unconsciously triggers old emotions, causing the wounded partner to in some way withdraw. This pattern can often be seen when looking back through one’s history of relationships.
Regardless of where our patterns came from -and we all have patterns in our lives - it’s time – and our duty, to break the cycle! If there is a repeating pattern going on in your life that is causing you pain, or holding you back from what you deserve, it’s your duty to figure out why, and learn the lesson from it, in order for it to stop. Healing can only begin when we bring our hurt out of the shadows, shedding loving light on it.
Step 1: Answer the following:
My repeating pattern (or family cycle) that I want to stop is:
In meditation, through counselling, or with techniques such as past life regression, try to go back into your early life and figure out when this negative pattern (or incident) first might have appeared. What emotions did you take on from someone else at that time? Once you discover the emotions or feelings you took on at this first experience, chances are you’ll recognize that these are still prevalent in your life today.
Step 3: Answer the following:
When was the first time this pattern may have emerged? How old were you?
What emotions were around you that you might have taken on?
Do I love myself fully? If not, why?
What is this pattern or cycle within me or my family costing me and those close to me?
What is it costing my children? What will it cost my children’s children?
How is it hurting me, or those people around me who love me?
Becoming aware of the pattern and recognizing the cost are the first steps. The key to healing from this is to now ensure you replace these negative emotions with what was missing at the time. Work on loving yourself, being your own best friend, feeling worthy and deserving of 'the best', and feeding yourself both healthy messages (and affirmations) as well as a well-rounded nutritionally balanced diet. This brings up yet another area that links body science to programs and patterns - methylation. Methylation, which I discuss in more detail in this article, can have profound implications in one's psychological outlook, attitude, and tendency to revert to unhealthy patterns. One's methylation pattern itself is usually passed down from a parent, often the father, or sometimes even grandparents, and certain traits and behaviours from those ancestors may as a result be subconsciously adopted by the child (or grandchild). Mineral patterns can also bring up past hurts/fears/patterns…but this is another discussion which I get into in this article. In the meantime, you can also explore some more tools for emotional healing here.
“By listening to the story in our mind, we come to understand
the movie of our life. To change the picture on the screen,
we must first adjust the programming within ourselves.
And to be able to see that, we need to first be willing to look.”
~ Rick Fischer
Copyright Integrative Health Coaching. All rights reserved.
All content and articles on this site may not be copied in whole or part without expressed written permission by Integrative Health Coaching.