I Changed My Mind
When I hear the words ‘inner-child’ I immediately zone out (Ditto when someone starts describing their dreams or telling me directions).
Mum has always been the same. So it was with much reluctance that she started to look at her early emotional life.
‘Do we have to do the inner child stuff today?’ Mum would plead with her therapist.
But the therapist was firm, and Mum knew that in order to free herself from negative emotions and heal her body, she’d have to pay a visit (or two) to her inner child.
Thankfully the visits came via sessions with the remarkable Casey Terry, a motor-bike riding psychologist, reiki master and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner – to name a few of her qualifications.
According to Casey: ‘Unexpressed emotions, unresolved traumas, will try and find a way out. That blocked energy might manifest as anger or grief or it might form into a tumour. I do believe that cancers often come from suppressed energy – in one form or another.’
Dr Roy Martina, author of Emotional Balance recently told me: ‘ According to my 35 years of medical research I can state that all unresolved emotional issues have an impact on our body and can result in the breaking down of the organ-regulatory systems and this eventually leads to chronic disease.’
Dr Lawrence LeShan, author of You Can Fight for Your Life: Emotional Factors In the Treatment of Cancer writes: ‘Frequently, I found, the cancer patient’s own desires and wishes had been …completely repressed… many of the patients expressed the idea that for years they had felt there was no way out of the emotional box they found themselves in.’
LeShan also shares Casey’s belief that these feelings often stem from childhood:
‘The basic emotional pattern of the cancer patient …involves a childhood or adolescence marked by feelings of isolation.’
Unresolved early life traumas – even minor ones – can lead to unexplained anxiety and stress in later life, and there’s now buckets of research linking stress with cancer.
Just last week I came across a study linking extra stress with aggressive breast cancer tumours.
But knowing there’s a connection between disease and emotions is one thing: changing long-held beliefs is quite another.
That’s where Casey comes in: ‘I look for the core disruption in the flow of energy,’ said Casey. ‘The brain stores trauma in the amygdala – the emotional brain – and it keeps running that trauma in the body, like a CD on repeat. That leads to emotional blockages – usually in the tissues, muscles or tendons.’
Using somatic psychotherapy techniques, Casey takes her patients back to the original trauma.
‘It can be really difficult for the client – it might be something that’s been suppressed for thirty years – so often I oscillate between focusing on the trauma and bringing the client back to a secure place. That way the brain and nervous system feels it’s safe to release the emotions.’
If you’ve grown up with a violent parent for instance, the body might want to ‘complete’ the trauma by physically pushing-away: setting a boundary you weren’t able to make as a defenseless child.
‘Every single person who has completed a trauma cycle, goes into a very deep calm place. It’s like the body going ‘Oh, I’m safe now, I can relax’: the trauma stops interfering with person’s energy,’ said Casey.
So how important is that for health?
‘ It can save someone’s life,’ said Casey. ‘If we’re allowed to properly express our emotions my guess is there would be 90% less disease. Unfortunately we’re so programmed not to express our emotions– we’re not given time to grieve, it’s not OK for us to cry, we’re not allowed to be vulnerable.’
I guess that’s one thing about cancer; there’s plenty of opportunity for tears. You’re forced to face your own mortality, accept that death comes to all of us and are reminded that nothing lasts forever…
Without getting all Tree of Life, cancer is basically rife with opportunities for sobbing when you least expect it. But sometimes totally losing it is just what you need.
After all if you can’t let it all out, there’s no room to let it all in.
‘ When people start clearing this stuff they start feeling more alive and more inspired,’ said Casey. ‘ And inspiration, means spirit-in.’
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