Some people find it hard to believe that our emotions can be contributing to our physical pain and find it a strange concept. I do live by the term mind, body and soul and believe that they are connected and therefore emotions do play a role in how your body behaves and how pain is inflicted on the body. If you agree then this blog could be for you and I would recommend reading on!
I believe there are multiple reasons for disease or pain, therefore when I went through the process of healing my gut I felt it was important to connect with my emotions both past and present to see how they could be contributing to my pain.
I want to talk about a lady who helped me on that journey Georgie Oldfield and her company Sirpa. What is Sirpa? Here is an extract on what their approach is and how they look at pain in the body:
“It involves an educational, evidence-based and self-empowering approach to help individuals identify and acknowledge the underlying causes of their pain while also developing nerve pathways that allow a pain free, healthy life. Because the nerve pathways involved in chronic pain are reversible, full recovery is possible, irrespective of the pain’s severity or duration. Our treatment approach focuses on four main areas: Education, Emotions, Behaviour and Lifestyle." https://www.sirpa.org
They believe that over the years the body creates nerve pathways from emotional events that have happened, a bit like how muscle memory works. Eventually these nerve ways build up a strong charge and the ‘muscle memory’ takes place when you are in similar situations or stressful moments as the brain cannot differentiate that it is in fact in a different scenario. All the nerve ways are doing is remembering how you felt in a similar scenario and therefore presenting you with the reaction you had previously, a lot of the time in stressful situations this is the ‘fight or flight’ reaction, and when the body is in that state for long periods of time, it can then create long term side effects, thus creating pain in the body.
The work of Sirpa is evidence based and focuses on releasing those nerve pathways by channelling your emotion in other positive ways, therefore creating new nerve ways in the body and in turn releasing the pain from your body. Their approach in how to do this varies which is stated in the book ‘Chronic Pain, Your Key To Recovery’. One of the main things that I found useful was journaling everyday, it could have been anything from how my day went to ranting about something that had annoyed me. Another approach that helped me tackle more deep rooted issues from the past was writing a letter as if I was going to send it to the person that I felt had an emotional hold on me, and I would not think about what I was saying I would just let all my emotion out on the page good and bad. Once I had written everything I wanted to say to that person and could not say it to their face, I would then burn the letter. This process was very healing for me and gave me closure on many things I had bottled up inside of me for years, that I had not realised until I put pen to paper.
As we are called ‘Gut Chat’ I am going to focus on emotions and how they effect the gut specifically. We have all had that butterfly feeling in our tummy when we are excited or that gut wrenching nervous feeling when we are about to present at a work meeting, right? There is a direct link to what our brain thinks about and how our gut reacts to it. Historically it has been called the gut-brain axis and it has been proven that the gastrointestinal tract reacts to all emotions good and bad. If the brain or gut are out of sync it is normally because one is effecting the other as they are linked both physically and biochemically.
The science behind this is based on the Vagus Nerve. Both our gut and brain are made up of millions, if not billions of neurons (cells). Your nervous system is connected to both the brain and the gut. The largest nerve connecting the gut and brain together is the Vagus nerve and one of the ways the brain and gut connect with one another.
I will cover the gut-brain axis in depth within another blog, but this proves not to ignore your gut feeling, it normally is correct. Your gut is a powerful organ and could be the reason you are feeling out of sorts both mentally and physically.
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