Today we’re talking about how the way that we process emotions has a physical effect on our bodies. Feel free to give this page link to your clients, to increase their own understanding.
I’ll start with an excerpt from my book Pathway to Heaven on Earth, that talks in a very simplified way about how the emotions get buried in the body from the human point of view. A similar process happens for horses and other animals, with dramatic effects on their physical bodies too.
It’s recognized by alternative therapies and even by many doctors that our emotions are the cause of much very real, very physical illness. But it’s not the emotions themselves that make us sick, but how we deal with them.
HOW do emotions make us sick?
This is an oversimplification, but it will do for our purposes here.
The front part of the brain is where all the really positive action takes place – where we can change our old ways of “doing” emotions. That’s where we become kind of intellectually aware that we are feeling an emotion and we can open ourselves to the question “What do we need to know or do about this feeling?” Clearly horses are not going to be able to ask themselves that question. (But we can put our Reiki hands on and support them to be Present, to slow down and allow their understanding to flow and thus Release whatever is behind their stress and tension.)
The limbic system, roughly in the middle, is where we feel the emotions, that’s where we feel the pain, the hurt, the anger, the anxiety, the terror, the grief, all the big stuff.
When we ignore these emotions or try not to feel them or when we’ve become so overloaded with intense emotions that we’ve gone numb, then they get shifted to the back of the brain – where we can “do” the emotion physically. That’s where we do our tantrums, slam the door, kick the cat (I’m kidding), throw the dinner at the husband (I’m not kidding), punch someone’s lights out (hopefully not, because that sort of behavior comes back at us!)
This back part of the brain is an auto pilot survival reaction place where we can also use physical effort to release the emotion. We can run until we are so tired that we drop, we can use a punching bag, we can use music and dance to release emotions instead of burying them.
Artists can paint from this super connected place in the brain, musicians can play their music from this part of the brain – there’s all kinds of wonderful creative ways that people can Release emotions.
If we don’t deal with it physically, then the brain pushes the emotion down to be stored in the body, it buries it. This is an ingenious mechanism – it clears the brain for the next lot of emotions, otherwise we’d go mad with all these emotions swirling around in our head at the same time.
It is the result of the brain burying our emotions in our body that makes us sick.
This burying of emotions in the body is an ingenious way of stopping us from going mad – and it’s to be appreciated.
However, the stress and tension stored when it’s accumulated to be a big issue, can be the source of serious and often life threatening and very real, physical illness. Everything from cancers and arthritis, to simple aches and pains are involved.
Almost all illnesses, if not actually caused by buried emotions, are made worse by buried emotions.
And the worst part about these buried emotions is that when we feel the same emotion some time in the future, the old feelings that we didn’t do anything about in the past, come welling back up, often HUGELY INTENSIFYING what we’re feeling about the current situation – making it bigger, stronger and more uncontrollable.
Emotions buried are cumulative, i.e. each “little” one is added on top of the last one until you have a giant that can be made up of small things.
It makes more sense when we realize that our emotions are messages from our inner guidance system, from our soul if you will. If we don’t get the first gentle message, then our inner guidance system sends the message louder and louder, bigger and bigger until the emotion is so intense that we simply have to do something about it or burst!
Each of the ancient civilizations, scattered all over the world, describe the same emotions as being attached to the same organs. (There’s some validation if you need it! 🙂 )
For example, they all talk about feeling unloved as affecting the heart (we’re all familiar with that one), anger as affecting the liver (even in modern English expression we describe someone angry as having “shit on the liver”) kidneys are affected by fear, the bladder is affected by terror (wet yourself with terror), the pancreas is affected by our experience (or non experience more to the point) of the sweetness of life, the spleen is about rage (there’s that expression “vent their spleen” when you describe someone who is really hopping mad or angry, resentment (many long pushed down angers) into the gallbladder and depression into the lungs.
An interesting note: Horses don’t have a proper gall bladder, just this little tiny appendage stuck on the liver. It’s enough to give them a gall bladder meridian but is it coincidence that horses are the most forgiving animals on the planet and they don’t have a gall bladder to hold resentment in?
Here are some of the relationships of emotions and muscles with horses, that blow me away with the possibilities for healing that they bring:
The psoas muscle – a big muscle in the pelvis whose tension gives a horse those raised back vertebrae behind the saddle (L1 to L5) – the psoas muscle is a kidney muscle and kidneys are where a horse (or human) buries fear when they are unable to act on it to keep themselves safe.
Thus, the damage to the vertebra L1 to L5 that is caused by the stored tension and contraction of the psoas, can be RELEASED by helping a horse to feel safe – THAT’s where The Seventh Key to Happiness comes in – with it’s simple technique of feeling the Not Quite Right, backing off, and waiting for The Chew no matter how long that takes.
And you can “fix” those muscles, cause those bones to go back into place until the cows come home, but if we don’t address the basic cause – the horses need to feel safe – then we cannot have a permanent fix of the problem.
Conversely, if we DO address the original cause – the horse’s need to feel safe, the possibilities for healing expand exponentially.
The upper trapezius, the muscle that is withered away in front of the wither in some horses who have a corresponding big muscle underneath the neck – the upper trapezius is also a kidney muscle and thus is also affected by the horse being unable to use their fear as the message it is, unable to keep themselves feeling safe.
And you have to realize that this is about their FEELINGS, not about their literal safety. If a horse FEELS fear, whether that is a valid fear to us or not – then that fear will be stored if we do any actions that force them to feel unsafe and eventually the subsequent muscular – skeletal weakness will result.
The bladder meridian muscles are responsible both for the stability and action of the hock and one of them is involved in enabling a horse to round up into self carriage and then collection. The bladder is where we store terror. Thus horses who have stored terror – where they were unable to make themselves safe in these extreme circumstances – they have trouble lifting their backs properly and can’t use their hind end as the postural powerhouse that it is designed to be.
Is this all starting to fall into place now?
Horses who have had tension or stress around eating or other stomach problems, are going to have trouble with their neck flexing and extending muscles and with their shoulders and withers.
The liver is where we store anger and the big chest muscle that ends up running underneath the girth and can make a horse very touchy to girth up and get on – that is a liver muscle.
For those who are interested, here is a list of meridians and the muscles that are attached to each of the major meridians.
This whole subject gives us a new insight into our horse’s braces and their stuck spots and their resistances and their muscular skeletal problems, hey?
Back to our Reiki
Emotional stress (buried emotions that we were unable to act on) produces physical tension and that tension affects our posture (which is the way we move) and the way we move puts physical stress on joints and bones that creates even more physical problems – arthritis is just one example. This knowledge is not necessary to the practice of your Reiki itself – you simply use the symbols that you are drawn to in any given healing session and set the Reiki energy running.
However, if every session you do helps a client to understand their emotions and their connection to others just a bit more each time – THAT is giving them a tool for on going healing and long term healthy living.
When we are drawn to use our Reiki symbols and the healing energy on a particular part of the body that is experiencing physical symptoms – when someone understands and thus releases some old emotional stresses and even trauma – when their body comes back into good posture, with a cascade of effects through posture and muscles and joints – they are creating a healing opportunity for achieving results often considered impossible by modern medicine.
It’s a bit like teaching someone HOW to fish, rather than just giving them a fish, if you get my meaning.
You can skip on ahead to the next lesson which expands on this topic and what each of the emotions means or you can wait for your next email. 🙂
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