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LARYNGITIS usually means you are so angry you cannot speak. The throat also represents the creative flow in the body. This is where we express our creativity; and when our creativity is stifled and frustrated, we often have throat problems. We all know many people who live their whole lives for others. They never once get to do what they want to do. They are always pleasing mothers/ fathers/ spouses/lovers/bosses.

TONSILLITIS and THYROID problems are just frustrated creativity not being able to do what you want to do. The energy centre in the throat, the fifth chakra, is the place in the body where change takes place. When we are resisting change or are in the middle of change or are trying to change, we often have a lot of activity in our throats. Notice when you cough, or when someone else coughs. What has just been said? What are we reacting to? Is it resistance and stubbornness, or is it the process of change taking place?

THE ARMS represent our ability and capacity to embrace the experiences of life. The upper arms have to do with our capacity, and the lower arms have to do with our abilities. We store old motions in our joints, and the elbows represent our flexibility in hanging directions. Are you flexible about a changing direction in your life, or are old emotions keeping you stuck in one spot?

THE HANDS grasp, hands hold, hands clench. We let things slip through our fingers. Sometimes we hold on too long. Tightly grasping a relationship only has the partner run away in desperation. Tightly clenched hands cannot take in anything new. Shaking the hands freely from the wrists gives a feeling of looseness and openness.

THE BACK represents our support system. Problems with the back usually mean we feel we are not being supported. The upper back has to do with feeling the lack of emotional support. The middle back has to do with guilt. All that stuff that is in back of us. Are you afraid to see what is back there, or are you hiding what is back there? Do you feel stabbed in the back? Do you feel real "burnt out"? Are your finances in a mess, or do you worry about them excessively? Then your lower back may be bothering you.

THE LUNGS represent our capacity to take in and give out life. Problems with the lungs usually mean we are afraid to take in life, or perhaps we feel we do not have the right to live fully.

THE BREASTS represent the mothering principle. When there are problems with the breasts, it usually means we are over-mothering” a person, a place, a thing, or an experience.

Part of the mothering process is to allow the child to grow up. We need to know when to take our hands off, when to turn over the reins and let them be. Being overprotective does not prepare the other person to handle his or her own experience. Sometimes our “overbearing" attitudes literally cut off nourishment in a situation.

If cancer is involved, then there is also deep resentment.

THE HEART, of course, represents love, while our blood represents joy. Our hearts lovingly pump joy throughout our bodies. When we deny ourselves joy and love, the heart shrivels and becomes cold. As a result, the blood gets sluggish and we creep our way to ANAEMIA, ANGINA, and HEART ATTACKS.

THE STOMACH digests all the new ideas and experiences we have. What or who can't you stomach? What gets you in the gut? When there are stomach problems, it usually means we don't know how to assimilate the new experience. We are afraid.

ULCERS are no more than fear; tremendous fear of "not being good enough." We fear not being good enough for a parent, fear not being good enough for a boss. We can't stomach who we are. We rip our guts apart trying to please others. No matter how important our job is, our inner self-esteem is very low. We are afraid they will find out about us. Love is the answer here. People who love and approve of themselves never have ulcers

THE GENITALS represent the most feminine part of a woman, her femininity, or the most masculine part of a man, his masculinity; our masculine principle or our feminine principle.

When we do not feel comfortable with being either a man or a woman, when we reject our sexuality, when we reject our bodies as dirty or sinful, then we often have problems in the genital area.

THE ANUS is as beautiful as any other part of the body. Without our anus we would have no way to release what the body no longer needs, and we would die very quickly. Every part of our body and every function of our body is perfect and normal, natural and beautiful.

MOST BLADDER problems come from being "pissed off," usually at a partner. Something makes us angry that has to do with our femininity or our masculinity. Women have more bladder problems than men because they are more prone to hide their hurt.

VAGINITIS again usually involves feeling romantically hurt by a partner.

MEN’S PROSTATE problems have a lot to do with self-worth and also believing that as he gets older he becomes less of a man.

IMPOTENCE adds fear and sometimes is even related to spite against a previous mate.

FRIGIDITY comes from fear or a belief that it is wrong to enjoy the body. It also comes from self-disgust, and an insensitive partner can intensify it.

VENEREAL DISEASE is almost always sexual guilt. It comes from a feeling, often subconscious, that it is lot right to express ourselves sexually.

THE COLON represents our ability to let go, to release that which we no longer need. The body, being in the perfect rhythm and flow of life needs a balance of intake, assimilation, and elimination. It is only our fears that block the releasing of the old.

OUR LEGS carry us forward in life. Leg problems often indicate fear of moving forward or a reluctance to move forward in a certain direction.

KNEES, like the neck, have to do with flexibility; only they express bending and pride, ego and stubbornness. Often when moving forward, we are fearful of bending; and we become in flexible. This stiffens the joints. We want to move forward, but we do not want to change our ways. This is why knees take so long to heal; our ego is involved.

OUR SKIN represents our individuality. Skin problems usually mean we feel our individuality is being threatened somehow. We feel that others have power over us. We are thin-skinned. Things get under our skin, we feel skinned alive, our nerves are right under our skin.

ACCIDENTS are no accident. Accidents are expressions of anger. They indicate built-up frustrations at not feeling the freedom to speak up for one's self. Accidents also indicate rebellion against authority. We get so mad we want to hit people, and instead, we get hit

When we are angry at ourselves, when we feel guilty, when we feel the need for punishment, an accident is a marvellous way of taking care of that

It seems as though any accident is not our fault, that we are helpless victims of a quirk of fate. An accident allows us to turn to others for sympathy and attention. We get our wounds bathed and attended too. We often get bed rest, sometimes for an extended period of time. And we get pain.

ANOREXIA-BULIMIA is denying the self-life, an extreme form of self-hatred. Food is nourishment on the most basic level. Why would you deny yourself nourishment? Why do you want to die? What is going on in your life that is so awful that you want to get out completely?

ARTHRITIS is a disease that comes from a constant pattern of criticism. First of all, criticism of the self and then criticism of other people. Arthritic people often attract a lot of criticism because it is their pattern to criticise. They are cursed with "perfectionism," the need to be perfect at all times in every situation.

ASTHMA we call "smother love." There is a feeling that you do not have the right to breathe for yourself Asthmatic children often have "overdeveloped consciences." They take on guilt feelings for whatever seems wrong in their environment. They feel "unworthy," therefore guilty, and in need of self-punishment. Geographic cures sometimes work with asthma, especially if the family does not go along. Usually, asthmatic children will "outgrow" their disease. This really means they go away to school, get married, or leave home somehow, and the disease dissolves. Oftentimes, later in life, an experience will happen that pushes an old button within them, and they have another attack. When that happens they are not really responding to the current circumstance, but rather to what used to go on in their childhood.

CANCER is a disease caused by deep resentment held for a long time until it literally eats away at the body. Something happens in childhood that destroys the sense of trust. This experience is never forgotten; and the individual lives with a sense of self-pity, finding it hard to develop and maintain long-term, meaningful relationships, because of that belief system, life seems to be a series of disappointments. People with cancer are also very self-critical.

OVERWEIGHT represents a need for protection. We seek protection from hurts, slights, criticism, abuse, sexuality, and sexual advances; from a fear of life in general and also specifically. Take your choice.

PAIN of any sort to me, is an indication of guilt. Guilt always seeks punishment, and punishment creates pain. Chronic pain comes from chronic guilt, often so deeply buried that we are not even aware of it anymore.

STIFFNESS in the body represents stiffness in the mind. Fear makes us cling to old ways, and we find it difficult to be flexible. If we believe there is "only one way" to do something, we often find ourselves becoming stiff.

SURGERY has its place. It is good for broken bones and accidents and for conditions beyond the abilities of a beginner to dissolve. It may be easier under these conditions to have the operation and concentrate all the mental healing work on seeing that the condition is not recreated.

More and more each day there are many wonderful people in the medical profession who are truly dedicated to helping humanity. More and more doctors are turning to holistic ways of healing, treating the whole person.

The Medical View

Psychosomatic Illness

A common misconception about psychosomatic disorders and illnesses is that they do not really exist, but are merely imagined by the patient. On the contrary, psychosomatic disorders are actually illnesses caused by physiological changes which occur as a result of the mental state we are in. To better explain this, one must actually define the word itself. In breaking down the word "psychosomatic", it means "psych" (dealing with the mind) and somatic (dealing with the body).

Chemical Responses, Real Changes.

Psychosomatic disorders are sometimes referred to as "psycho physiological disorders" which means disorders which are caused by physical and chemical responses to triggers from the brain. In other words, people suffering from psychosomatic illnesses are not imagining their illness. In most cases, psychosomatic illness is a result of the body's response to a stressor or chronic anxiety. When exposed to stress, fear, shock, or general anxiety, the body goes through certain physiological changes which affect it's function. Every creature is equipped with these self-survival functions. In today's complex society, the stressors may come and go, or linger for extended amounts of time. However, the primitive responses were quite beneficial to self-survival.

Fight or Flight or ?

It is perhaps easier to understand psychosomatic illnesses by looking back to the primitive responses of the body. In more primitive situations, the stressor was quickly eliminated. The battle was won, or the person escaped. This is often called, "fight or flight". For example, if a person of ancient times were confronted with a bear, the body would prepare itself with a variety of changes. These changes are usually caused by a release of adrenaline. Digestion speeds up, and it is thought that this response is actually to "lighten the load" to prepare for running quickly. The heart rate increases, which allows the cardiac output (amount of blood the heart circulates) to increase. The respiratory rate increases to accommodate the possibility of having to run or to fight. As the situation worsens, or becomes more fear/anxiety provoking, circulation changes to direct blood flow to the organs which need it the most. These are the brain, kidneys, liver and heart. This is why when people are shocked about an event and feel faint they often report that their fingers are tingling just prior to fainting. The tingling fingers are a result of the shift of blood flow. These are the most evident changes which occur when confronted with stress or danger. There are more, but the primary effects of the body's release of adrenaline are usually the cause of many psychosomatic illnesses.

How it Works in Today's World

Unfortunately, society today is not so simple. Stress can continue for weeks, months, even years. Unless a person can divert the physical energy and reroute the anxiety, continued anxiety will usually result in some form of illness.

The following are a few common illnesses which can either be brought on by or aggravated by general anxiety or stress.

Ulcers - Though the actual cause of peptic ulcers is not clear, they can be complicated or even initiated by living with chronic stress, anxiety, unresolved guilt, or fear. The "fight or flight" response which speeds up digestion causes the stomach to produce more acid. This increase in gastric juices and acid can cause irritations in the stomach lining which lead to peptic or duodenal ulcers. A lifestyle maintained to deal with today's stressors including excessive caffeine intake and irregular eating habits also contributes to this illness. This is one example of an illness which could be viewed as psychosomatic but is very much real and does require treatment.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Like peptic and duodenal ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome is complicated by the increase of digestive activity and production of enzymes and acids which can result in irritation and cramping. Like peptic and duodenal ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome is also complicated by lifestyle and diet.

Migraine and Tension Headaches - Migraine headaches are thought to be caused by vascular changes in the brain. These changes cause acute, severe pain on one or both sides of the head and are often precipitated by visual disturbances and dizziness. Often migraine headaches are set off by noise, stress, fear, or anxiety. Though these are not the only causes or triggers for migraines, it is known that these environmental conditions may play a role in their onset. Like other psychosomatic disorders and illnesses, migraine headaches are not imagined. The pain is real, and there are available treatments. One of the main treatments for migraine headaches is to remove the individual from noise and excess light. Many migraine sufferers report that closing themselves in a dark, quiet room is the only way to cope with the pain. Psychotherapy can help reduce the incidence of migraines for certain patients.

Asthma - Asthma is a chronic illness which is not primarily caused by anxiety or stress, but asthma attacks are frequently brought on by stress. This may be due to a number of things occurring in the body during the "fight or flight" response but with asthma, the lungs tighten and make the person more anxious which increases the symptoms more. Asthma attacks are often brought on by stress or fear, though this happens more often in younger patients.

The list of illnesses and disorders complicated or caused by psycho physiological responses could be endless. The main thing to remember is that the basic responses that the human body goes through when faced with perceived danger can bring about illness. In our busy world, we still feel stress and anxiety. We still have deadlines to meet, rules to follow, and many other worries. We do, however, have some degree of control over how these things affect us. Knowing what physical changes are brought about by stress allows us to control the impact of life changes, losses, fears, and anxiety. Exercise, diversional activities such as hobbies, regular diet and rest, and support from others can change the amount of symptoms or illness a particular stressor causes.

What Causes Psychosomatic Illness?

Studies today show that many psychosomatic illnesses are brought on by childhood trauma, abandonment, and abuse. Counselling and psychotherapy are often very effective ways of dealing with these causes of the illness. Studies are also being done to show the efficacy of acupuncture and hypnosis as treatments for psychosomatic illnesses.

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On this page:  

An Alternative View of Illness      The Medical View - Psychosomatic Illness

You may find something helpful on this page, otherwise consulting a qualified counsellor could allow you to explore the aspects of your life which you may need to change to find the fulfilment and well being you deserve.

An Alternative View of Illness

Although there is only a small amount of medical evidence, many counselors, psychotherapists and doctors have noticed a link between our emotional state and the illnesses from which we suffer. Most people will have heard of the term psychosomatic illness, which is discussed further down this page, and now some practitioners have come to believe that we create every so-called "illness" in our body.

This is their thinking which I have also come to hold as an important way of looking at illness. The body, like everything else in life, is a mirror of our inner thoughts and beliefs. The body is always talking to us, if we will only take the time to listen. Every cell within the body responds to every single thought you think and every word you speak.

Continuous modes of thinking and speaking produce body behaviours and postures and eases or dis-eases. The person who has a permanently scowling face did not produce that by having joyous, loving thoughts. Older people's faces and bodies show so clearly a lifetime of thinking patterns. You can see the joy in some and the hardness of thought in others.

Louise L. Hay in her 1984 book “You can heal your life” (see reference book page) suggests the following:

THE HEAD represents us. It is what we show the world. It is how we are usually recognized. When something is wrong in the head area, it usually means we feel something is very wrong with us.

THE HAIR represents strength. When we are tense and afraid, we often create those bands of steel that originate in the shoulder muscles and come up over the top of the head and sometimes even down around the eyes. The hair shaft grows up through the hair follicle. When there is a lot of tension in the scalp, the hair shaft can be squeezed so tightly that the hair can no longer breathe, and it dies and falls out. Tension is not being strong. Tension is weakness. Being relaxed and centred and peaceful is really being strong and secure. It would be good for us to relax our bodies more, and many of us need to relax our scalps too.

THE EARS represent the capacity to hear. When there are problems with the ears, it usually means something is going on you do not want to hear. An earache would indicate that there is anger about what is heard. Earaches are common with children. They often have to listen to stuff going on in the household they really don't want to hear. Household rules often forbid a child's expression of anger, and the child's inability to change things creates an earache.

Deafness represents longstanding refusal to listen to someone. Notice that when one partner has a hearing impairment the other partner often talks and talks and talks.

THE EYES represent the capacity to see. When there are problems with the eyes, it usually means there is something we do not want to see, either about ourselves or about life, past, present or future.

HEADACHES come from invalidating the self. The next time you get a headache, stop and ask yourself where and how you have just made yourself wrong. Forgive yourself, let it go, and the headache will dissolve back into the nothingness from whence it came. Migraine headaches are created by people who want to be perfect and who create a lot of pressure on themselves.

SINUS problems, felt right in the face and so close to the nose, represent being irritated by someone in your life, someone who is close to you. You might even feel they are bearing down on you. We forget that we create the situations, and then we give our power away by blaming the other person for our frustration. No person, no place, and no thing has any power over us, for we are the only thinkers in our mind. We create our experiences, our reality, and everyone in it.

THE NECK AND THROAT are fascinating because so much "stuff" goes on there. The neck represents the ability to be flexible in our thinking, to see the other side of a question, and to see another person's viewpoint. When there are problems with the neck, it usually means we are being stubborn about our own concept of a situation.

THE THROAT represents our ability to "speak up" for ourselves, to "ask for what we want," to say, "I am," etc. When we have throat problems, it usually means we do not feel we have the right to do these things. We feel inadequate to stand up for ourselves.

1996 Mindscape Limited

Designed By David Lloyd-Hoare Bsc(Hons) MBACP(Accred) INLPTA

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