achieve emotional well being it is important to understand where
feelings come from and how they relate to the body and mind. With
this knowledge you can engender emotional health in the body/mind
recently had the privilege of spending two evenings at a lecture
by Dr. Candace Pert. She has written the intriguing book titled
Molecules of Emotion. In her book she documents her work in the
discovery that peptides are the biochemical basis for emotion in
the body. Peptides are chains of amino acids. These chains can be
as small as three amino acids in length, or as long as 100, wherein
they become polypeptides. A peptide chain longer than 200 is a protein.
Protein is the basis for all life.
her research at the NIH, Dr. Pert discovered that peptides reside
not only in the brain, but all over the body. They are the informational
substances that allow the brain to communicate with the body in
the effort to maintain homeostasis. The ability of peptides to bind
with the different receptor sites on each cell determines the health
of that cell.
Pert gives the following example in her book, "The same principle
functions in the psychosomatic network, which is analogous to a
boat sailing along as the result of a series of feedback loops.
Cells are constantly signaling other cells through the release of
neuropeptides, which bind with receptors. The signaled cells, like
the helmsman or the sail trimmer, respond by making physiologic
changes. These changes then feed back information to the peptide-secreting
cells, telling them how much less or how much more of a peptide
to produce. This is how both the body and the sailboat move forward,
through a series of rapid feedback loops. A system is healthy -
or 'whole', a word that shares its origins with the word 'health'
- when these feedback loops are rapid and unimpeded, whether they
are occurring between peptides and receptors or between the helmsman
and his tiller.
" What is also evident is that the mind is in control of the body.
When we speak of mind we are also including emotions, as the feeling
expression of the mind. Everyone has had the experience of feeling
embarrassment and consequently blushing. Or, feeling intense fear
and the heart begins to pound, the stomach tightens and the bladder
becomes excited. Sexual arousal in the mind results in marked changes
to the body. These are all common knowledge and experience. Therefore,
the question of whether the mind is the precursor to the health
of the body has long been obvious to anyone paying attention. This
is our first clue that the body is not only controlled by the mind,
but is also heavily influenced by the emotions.
are important because it is how we feel about who we are and what
we are doing that determines the success or failure of our efforts.
The emotions are the bridge between the mind and the body. If you
have little confidence in your problem solving abilities, your attempts
to find the solution to even the simplest puzzles will be thwarted.
If you are impulsive and don't have the patience, an emotional attitude,
to apply prolonged concentration to an idea or project, your results
will be as shallow as your focus.
all have the ability to enhance our emotional self-image and well
being. Dr. Pert's book not only reveals the scientific basis for
how emotions are created and distributed throughout the body, but
she gives a number of ways that old emotional baggage from the past
can be released from the body/mind network. Emotions that have been
suppressed do not just disappear into the ethers. They collect in
the body. When emotions of fear, anger, lack or pain are held in
the body they impede the ability for the affected organs to do their
job efficiently. Science now knows that the receptors sites on the
cells for particular peptides are disrupted or close down altogether.
Since the body is a network of interconnected physical expression,
any organ system that has been compromised will weaken the entire
system, and reduce mental clarity.
or anger actually creates certain peptide chains that are reintroduced
into the living cells of the body through repeated DNA replication.
Allopathic medicine is finally conceding that there are particular
diseases that may be created through stress. Stress of certain organs,
i.e. the stomach subjected to constant anxiety, fear or anger will
impair the stomach lining creating an environment conducive to ulcers.
There is a good deal of empirical evidence now that many cancers
are stress related and the emotions that constrict the effected
organs have weakened and deteriorated the bodily tissue, resulting
in mutated cellular growth. Some prestigious hospitals are adding
yoga, meditation and specific emotional release therapies to their
cancer patient's survival regimes, with great success.
the creative mind any emotional residues from the past need to be
released from the body. There are a number of very good techniques
for doing this. The following are all methods that I use to accomplish
this. One or several could be right for you, it is your decision
which works best for you.
is one of the best, for it stretches all the body structures,
relaxes the internal organs and releases stress, while allowing
for focused concentration on the well being of the body. Circulation
is increased, tension released and the entire organism relaxed
Reich pioneered the idea that emotions were held in the body and
with the help of Alexander Lowen developed the method called Bioenergetics.
This consists of certain exercises in combination with vocalizations
that release trapped emotions in the body thus, relieving organic
Keeping a dream journal is another excellent way to see what emotional
residues are being held in your body that have been locked away
in the subconscious. I have always been a lucid dreamer and remember
my dreams every morning. Spending a small amount of time each
morning when dreams are fresh will give you great insight into
what emotional attitudes are still held in the subconscious mind,
therefore having an impact on the physical body. Dreams are also
a wonderful way reenact situations that are fearful, painful or
demoralizing, allowing the mind to respond in a new way. Anyone
can be taught to dream lucidly. This means becoming conscious
during the dreaming process and making decisions about the outcome
of dreaming scenarios. Once this is learned you can bring new
responses to old habit patterns as played out in the dream.
Meditation is a time honored method of learning to recognize emotional
weaknesses in the body and release them. Whatever method you chose
allows you to still the babbling personality and listen to the
deeper self. Becoming conscious of your emotions in a detached
way allows you to release them and adopt new emotional patterns
is an excellent tool for reducing stress and negative emotions,
adding clarity to the mind. Norman Cousins documented the healing
effects of humor in his book Anatomy of an Illness. Very good
book to read for understanding how potent humor can be in the
healing of the mind and body. Laughter truly is the best medicine.
is the result of meditation and humor. The eastern philosophies
have long promoted detachment as a method of observing our world
and ourselves. Cultivating the ability to become a neutral observer
of your own feelings, how they effect the body, how they effect
your moods, and how they benefit or harm you, will eventually
give rise to releasing them as addictive behaviors. Observing
your daily thought patterns for repeated attitudes in a nonjudgmental
approach can show you what angers, lacks and fears you are holding
that have no real basis in your current daily experience.
emotions are negative or suppressed, the creative urge is either
quelled or distorted. If you choose to express your full creative
potential, learning to effectively release trapped emotional stress
is imperative. The joy that results in unimpeded creative expression
or creative problem solving is worth the effort expended to create
emotional well being in the body and mind. The body and mind aren't
separate, they are extensions of one another, interconnected and
interdependent. Emotions are the bridge that weaves the energetic
forces together, and the resulting pattern can be one of joy and
appreciation for life. Clarity of mind, perfect health, and freedom
of spirit is the pristine reward of emotional well being.