Updated: Nov 22, 2018
We all know and give lip service to how stress can impact our health. But did you know retrospective studies reveal that emotional stress triggers autoimmune disease in up to 80% of patients!?
Perpetual stress can cause dysfunction in the secretion of the glucocorticoid cortisol, which regulates inflammation in the body, as well as leading to amplification of inflammatory cytokine production.
Have you heard of the adverse childhood event (ACE) studies? These studies were critical in shining a light on the connection between childhood TRAUMA and future development of autoimmune disease.
Compared to people with no ACEs, those with 2 or more ACEs exhibited a 70% increased risk for Th1-mediated autoimmune disease such as Crohns and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. They were also at an 80% increased risk of developing Th2-meditated autoimmune disease such as myasthenia graves, rheumatoid arthritis, sjogren's syndrome, scleroderma and lupus.
When treating chronic illness I also address the emotional/mental/trauma aspect too, something called psychoneuroimmunology, and this is why👆👆! Its also because I have had autoimmune disease, I have been in pain, I have felt like life isn't worth living. I have had the anxiety (something I still struggle with at times), the depression, the acne, IBS, fibromyalgia, joint pain and more.
What I know for sure is that when I started to address my physical ailments by addressing my BELIEF systems, my story, myself talk. When I started to become aware of events in my childhood that caused trauma (I never realised trauma could be something as minor as being dismissed by a primary caregiver when in need!), contributing to my current beliefs, I was able to start reprogramming my subconscious mind... and we operate from our subconscious 95% of our day (kinda crazy right!?). THAT is when I felt the biggest shift in my health, alongside the physical treatment of herbs, nutritional supplements and diet modifications.
So how do we start to heal our trauma and reprogram our subconscious mind? Well there are a number of steps I have used on myself and with patients...
This is key. Once we become aware of our trauma, deflection, defences, inhibitory emotions such as anxiety, shame and guilt we can begin to tap into CORE emotions such as fear, anger, sadness, joy and excitement.
So many of us are out of tune with our core emotions. When I ask patients to tune into the emotion or how it feels - I often hear an intellectual response instead of a feeling. This is an unhealthy tool the subconscious mind uses to avoid pain. The problem with long term avoidance of our pain is we also inhibit our positive emotions like joy and this can lead us down a spiral of anxiety and depression. I teach my patients how to safety feel their emotions without becoming overwhelmed.
Once we are aware and we feel the emotion that has risen up we can take deep conscious breaths to activate our parasympathetic nervous system. The sensation will only remain for a few minutes until it starts to dissipate. We name the core emotions, validating all that arises. This way we stop the pattern of defence (i.e. scrolling Instagram, using sarcasm or changing the subject) and no longer suppress our emotions. Our body is able to heal without storing our trauma and emotions as physical ailments.
I also love to use flower essences in conjunction with this treatment to create a sense of ease around the process of change, I find this to be a fantastic combination.
These are only a few steps I use, I recommend seeing a practitioner that is aware of psychoneuroimmunology, that can help you work through complex issues.
Im curious, does this resonate with your experiences too? Let me know below.
If you would like to chat more about these techniques, I offer a free 20 minute phone chat here.