Emotions Effect on Wellness from a Holistic Perspective
Imagine you are sitting at home one day, going about your business, when suddenly you start experiencing heartburn. What would be your first response? The majority of people would think to take an antacid and move on. However, although one may experience relief for a few hours, the calcium carbonate in the antacid did nothing to address the underlying issue behind the heartburn. As a result, the condition may worsen into something more serious such as gastritis or a hiatal hernia. This problem serves as an exemplar to some of the shortcomings behind traditional medicine. Traditional medicine treats symptoms and problems from a specific area of the body by prescribing drugs or recommending surgery. This specialization is often effective in treating a specific condition, but concentrating on only one area can fall short in judging the general wellness of that individual.
Alternative medicine, on the other hand, addresses the larger picture by focusing on the underlying cause behind the issue as well as methods to prevent the issue from ever occurring. Alternative medicine, also known as holistic medicine, pays closer attention to the overall health of the patient by recommending natural but sometimes unorthodox treatments. From a holistic perspective, if a person demonstrates a health issue, then an energy imbalance must be present in the body. The imbalance can be physical, emotional, and even spiritual. To restore balance, the holistic practitioner considers all of the potential determinants such as other health issues, diet, lifestyle, personal problems, and spiritual practices.
An aspect that makes alternative medicine especially unique is its concentration in emotional energy. The influence that emotional states have over the body’s physiological wellness is often trivialized in traditional medicine. However, from a holistic outlook, the general emotional state of the person can often be the root cause behind the issues they may be experiencing. To make analyzing one's emotional state easier, scales of emotional consciousness were created by assigning a frequency (from 0 to 1000) to an emotion along a spectrum logarithmically. The emotions are ranked from negative to positive in ascending order of frequencies. According to many spiritual healing literatures, negative emotions (0 to 150) can disrupt the meridians and chakras in the body. In our body, there are paths that energy can flow through that make up our autonomic nervous system. There are also seven energy centers located along our spine that transmit and receive this energy. These paths are commonly referred to as meridians and the energy centers are known as chakras. If one of our chakras becomes disrupted or damaged, then the energy cannot flow and an imbalance is forged. This would in turn, cause specific physiological consequences depending on which chakra is impaired.
It might seem far fetched to assume that emotions can have an effect on our health to such an extent. If this were all true, then patients would just have to vibrate at a higher emotional frequency to treat themselves instead of using “real” medicine. However, the placebo effect illustrates that thinking can sometimes be just as good as “real” medicine. The mind-body connection was demonstrated when 30% of patients were able to have a positive response when given a sugar pill instead of a prescription drug. All placebos possess neurological underpinnings that have actual effects on the mind and body. There are also many types of placebo responses attributable to different mechanisms – especially those in immune, hormonal, and respiratory processes. However, Analgesia is a placebo response initiated and maintained by changes in emotion.
Positive thinking is of course limited in treating illnesses. In a study by Dr. Bernie Siegel, writer of Love, Medicine, and Miracles, cancer patients were placed in a positive thinking ECaP program. Siegel then measured the cure rates of the patients in the program to those not in the program. Surprisingly, at the end of the study, his research team found that the patients in the program had no statistically different results in cure rates than those not in the camp. Despite this, the idea that positive emotional energy can have healing properties is still not refuted. According Dr. Deepak Chopra, a popular figure in the New Age movement, Siegel’s study doesn’t consider how positive thinking can prevent the disease or treat early stages of that illness. As mentioned before, the prominent goal of alternative medicine is not to rescue dying patients as much as it is to maintain their wellness. Therefore, cure rates is not a strong indicator in measuring the effects of positive emotional energy as much as healing rates – although quantifying healing rate is a difficult task in itself.
There are many cases where traditional medicine may be more preferable than alternative medicine, just as there are cases where alternative medicine may be better than traditional medicine. Usually, holistic medicine is used as a failsafe when all else fails, but, ideally, both perspectives should be considered in one’s life in order to maintain wellness and treat certain conditions. The advancement of modern medicine led people to pay less attention to certain factors of wellness such as emotional energy. According to Dr. David Hawkins, a clinical psychologist who is a strong proponent in holistic methods, he once had a patient who was having a difficult time letting people into her life because of certain childhood traumas. After making breakthroughs with her by utilizing the emotional scale of consciousness, she started to feel better and even ended up going into a long-term relationship. The patient also had a history of heartburn and acid reflux, but she stated that after going into the relationship and having more positive emotions in her life, she no longer felt the symptoms. So, next time you are experiencing heartburn, although it is probably a good idea to take an antacid and see a doctor, it might also be worthwhile to suspect an underlying cause from a holistic perspective.