I Manifested Physical Pain by Facing Deep Emotional Pain
You may have been hearing more and more about the power your mind has to affect your physical body, and my latest experiments made this clear to me. Scroll down to read how I healed myself.
In past pieces I’ve written, I’ve shared what I learned about the gut-brain connection. The microbiome generates neurotransmitters, and there is a nerve, called the vagus nerve, that connects the stomach to the brain.
The literal, physical connection. Therefore, your gut (AKA your stomach and intestines) can dictate your emotions, cravings, many things based on what bacteria is inhabiting there. Bacteria live symbiotically inside of us, in fact, more of our DNA comes from the bacteria cells rather than actual human cells.
So if the bacteria is the kind that likes to feed on pizza and sweets, that’s the kind that will grow and take over. It mostly like is candida, a pretty common bacteria that is responsible for yeast infections, stomach upset, oral problems like bad breath, and a lot more.
Everything that happens to your body is a result of your actions and your awareness.
If you feed candida, you are helping it grow physically inside of your body. And if you fixate on pain, you similarly amplify it and give it more power. Then your body will send more energy and cells and blood to that pain. If it doesn’t have the right tools to heal it, that will allow the pain to physiologically grow inside of you.
I believe that everything emotional is linked to something physical.
This is the whole principle underlying the Seven Chakras as well as organs being emotional centers in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
My latest quest was working on my throat chakra. I come from a culture of suppression. When I used to cry, my parents would immediately say “don’t cry.” Emotions were not encouraged. I now recognize that it goes beyond my parents. It’s the way they were treated growing up, and probably how their parents were treated too. It’s ancestral.
The throat chakra is linked to healing as well as communication and expressing your voice (and much more).
Coming from the background I came from, it was no wonder that this chakra would be particularly blocked for me. The way it physically manifested was that I would eat. A lot. (Check out this article on emotional eating)
It makes sense to me.
When you’re unable to express your voice and let things out, you need something available to your mouth to let that energy flow.
But instead of letting things out, eating puts more in. I have learned that eating can heal you or kill you (The Magic Pill documentary shares good scientific correlated data as well as human anecdotal experiences on this)
I hit an extreme with this.
I started to even realize that I would eat to suppress my emotions and stuff my face with carbs every time I was sad, and yet I couldn’t help myself in those moments. Meanwhile, I was learning more and more to feel my body, thanks to massage school and just diving into the healing and wellness world.
These two things, complemented with the idea of pain giving something more power (basically awareness), made me start to feel the detriment I was doing to my body.
And it wasn’t just that one instance. It was the build up of years of pain and suppression, and even generations of it from my ancestors that ran through my veins.
I had a lot of cleansing to do.
While I was physically feeling all this going on in my body, concentrated around my throat and mouth, I was also hitting a breaking point with my parents.
I was trying to clearly communicate with them, using all the mental tools I have developed throughout my life to attempt at expressing my feelings and speaking my truth. Because of their culture and history, I was misheard and not understood. It came to a point where I didn’t speak to my mom for 3 days on family vacation, and even tried more communication and kindness then and had an explosive conversation with my father, that ended poorly with me saying I had to cut ties with them temporarily, for the sake of healing.
In the end, my parents turned around. They had been unable to empathize with me and see my perspective despite me working so hard to always speak my truth and say exactly what I felt. They were unable to separate their own perspective and biases and see from mine.
And finally, I think the threat of my not speaking to them for an extended period of time was too much for them to bear, and we had a tearful moment at the airport where my mom apologized profusely, and broke the mutual us-not-speaking to each other which had gone on for 5 days at that point.
This is healing. This is progress.
It took getting to an extreme point, which I now believe is what it takes for any true, impactful change to occur. And of course, there will always be relapses. I will be gentle and understanding to them, while still prioritizing myself.
With how much I spoke up and unburied things that were deep, even bringing up pain I was still holding onto from high school when I used to live with my parents, it was no wonder that it physically manifested.
The emotional pain was beginning to heal, and it was time for the physical pain that accompanied it to heal as well.
There was definitely a delay here; I felt amazing and sound emotionally and spiritually, proud of myself for speaking up and defending myself even to my parents. But physically, my condition seemed to be getting worse. I have let my physical pain get bad before, and have used it as learning experiences.
This felt like next level pain. And the problem was also that I feel. So hard. I wish I could shut it off sometimes, but ultimately I know it is a blessing. It’s part of the healing quest.
To be fully honest, I felt like I would die at times. I would go to sleep and not know if I would wake up the next morning.
But the next morning, I would feel better and brighter. This gave me faith in my body, that it knows what to do to repair itself. If I just trust and let it and somehow manage to shut off that awareness.
Sleep is the ultimate healer.
How I Healed Myself
- Water Fast.
Things were pretty bad, so I needed to completely cleanse. I could feel the inflammation in my body and feel the ways it was manifesting. Still, my mind was sound and happy. I had repaired things with my parents, I was enjoying the company with my sister and friends, and blessed to experience an amazing vacation to Peru.
Focusing on the positive took attention away from pain. That is the power of gratitude. By lifting that burden, you are physically helping your body too. Your body’s cells will go to where your mind tells them to, if you allow your mind to speak up over your body. And that could be negative or positive, like amplifying pain or distracting and appreciating instead.
This is what Louise Hay, a vaginal cancer survivor’s book called “You Can Heal Your Life” is all about. She said it was no wonder she got vaginal cancer since she was raped and molested as a child.
The emotional connecting to the physical.
My water fast helped immensely.
There are great studies on healing cancer and pretty much any illnesses with water fasting. Check out Alan Goldhamer’s work. Basically, you stop feeding whatever the source of the inflammation is (basically all health problems are inflammation, and different diagnoses are different locations and degrees of that inflammation in the body) and allow your body to use the resources it already has to tackle the problem.
The ketogenic diet works on this principle. I have done this before too, as a tool to cleanse, and it is definitely not a sustainable diet for me. I could see how it would work for others for longer periods, who have more to cleanse physically.
I only water fasted for about a day and a half. But in that time, I also rested and did used my body awareness power to my advantage, visualizing and directing healing power. I could feel the bones and muscles (since I have studied anatomy in depth) that were misaligned and pulled out of place thanks to the inflammation, and I would will my body to re-absorb them.
I also did take in proper electrolytes, about 1/2 tsp of baking soda mixed with apple cider vinegar in water each day. Otherwise, you could flush out all the sodium your body has through the water.
Disclaimer: This is my personal experience. If you attempt at doing anything similar, please do intensive research and feel confident because you understand what you are doing to your body. Or go to a specialist (Alan Goldhamer’s True North Health Center specializes in supervised fasts)
One thing I did allow myself to have during my water fast was a special cacao mixture that I made for a special group of friends. The cacao was brought back from my recent vacation to Peru, and I mixed it with water, coconut oil, turmeric, maca, cinnamon, a bit of vanilla extract and black pepper.
Cacao is a spiritually and physically healing medicine that has been used for generations in South America.
This also complemented my healing, plus all the foods that were put in had their own minerals and nutrients that would help my body fight the good fight, as well as anti-inflammatory superheroes (we all know that about turmeric by now).
I can tell now that my body has healed greatly.
There were 2 days when I wasn’t sure if I would make it, and I felt like I was looking death in the eye. I feel grateful that those are behind me.
There is definitely still work to do, because healing is very gradual. It has been built up by years of pain, so it can’t be undone in just 2 days.
While I was water fasting, I was also generally more sedentary, perhaps taking 2 30-minute walks a day at most just to get blood pumping and flowing throughout. I would also re-arrange my body into positions, like trying to do headstands or something, to allow healing blood to flow to my head. Blood carries oxygen to specific body parts and helps you to heal.
Besides that, I would be resting and lying down, allowing my body to do its healing work.
3. Ease back into eating, and eat only nourishing healing foods.
Now, I am incorporating a daily intermittent fast of about 16 hours as I ease my way back into eating. When I do eat, I stick to a diet of healthy fats, cooked vegetables, and bone broths. Things that help my body repair and restrengthen.
I will walk away from this experience, feeling more emotionally and spiritually sound, and rest assured knowing that my physical body will follow.
I understand more about emotional eating and the culmination of it, that there is certainly a breaking point.
But I know that everything in life happens exactly as it is meant to happen. I was meant to experience all this. I was meant to survive and thrive and share what I learned with the world.
Now, to continue my quest of healing myself, the world, and everything in between…
It’s time to activate.