The Individual as Both Matter & Energy
Although not as esoteric in its approach, an increasing number of scientific studies are beginning to explore this connection, this interplay, between energy and matter where the interactions between the roles of the observer, energy, spirituality, emotions, vibrations, and matter (i.e. the physical body) is being seriously investigated (see more information here, here and here). Quantum physics and our understanding of the universe has opened up a vastly different way of looking at the world whereby it is an accepted fact that everything is made up of energy (see a detailed explanation here). And, not only is everything energy, everything also interacts, influences, impedes and engages with everything else to the extent that, in relation to health, some studies suggest that allotropic medicine, through the role of the observer, can even induce disease as a result of prevailing attitudes and views (see several great articles here and here).
Yet, despite this ever-increasing body of evidence showing that more than just the body is involved in the development, management and healing of disease, this knowledge has for the most part, been ignored by orthodox allotropic medicine in both clinical studies as well as during the development of a treatment plan. In some instance, the efficacy and value of these alternative and holistic forms of energy healing is even touted as being unsafe or nothing more than a money making scheme (for an example see this). This, despite scientific, peer reviewed research studies showing a demonstrable and very specific, very definite connection between body, mind, and spirit whereby an imbalance within any of these elements of the human being, can lead to disease within the physical body. And yet, orthodox approaches to disease management and health still do not consider any of these therapies as being a viable, complimentary forms of treatment and continue to completely ignore the non-physical elements of the human being when drawing up a treatment plan. Would it not be much wiser to have an approach health and wellness in a holistic manner? Would it not be much more effective to treat, especially terminal, life-threatening and complex diseases such as cancer and heart disease on all level whereby the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical aspects of the individual is considered, treated, and healed? And is it not cheaper to prevent disease in the first place by creating an equilibrium, an optimal state of homeostasis within this body-emotion-mind-spirit system in order to create a permanent state of well-being and health?
Within the field of traditional and energy healing, the individual is considered to comprise of several layers of energy or ethereal “bodies". In other words, it is generally accepted that above the physical body, right above the skin's surface, there exists an energetic field. This human energy field is divided into etheric layers where each of these layers are three dimensional in nature and envelops the physical body in a bubble of energy. These energy bodies range from a layer directly above the skin called the aura (and is also most easily perceived by the human eye), through to the emotional body, mental body, and spiritual body.
The aura is considered to relate to the physical body and vitality and is linked to the physical state and health of the person. Many healers and sensitives can “see” or sense the aura and can often perceive disease and bodily distress within it.
Right above the aura is the emotional body which contains the energy imprint left by both positive and negative emotions experienced by the individual. In other words, if the person experiences emotions such as joy, love and gratitude, the energy body caries the higher vibrations of these emotions leading to a general state of well-being within the emotional energy body. In contrast, if the individual experiences lower frequency emotions such as hate, anger and sadness, the emotional body carries that vibrational imprint. The emotional body and aura/physical body interact with each other through an exchange of energies between these two ethereal bodies. This exchange influences the general states of both energy bodies whereby emotions can manifest within the body and vice versa.
The next ethereal body is that of the mental body and is associated with thought, perceptions and the interpretation of event and experiences. As with the emotional body thoughts and perceptions are carried in the mental body. As the energy of the mental body surrounds that of the emotional body, there is a transfer of energy between these two layers as they interface with one another, thereby intensifying the relationship between thoughts and feelings.
The last energy body is that of the spiritual body and is often referred to as the “Higher Self”. This is the spiritual aspect of the individual where all knowledge and guides the person on their path of true purpose, that feels in harmony with all life. This energy body governs all other ethereal elements of the ethereal and can effect change on all levels. Therefore, in healing the spirit body, all other aspects, tangible and non-tangible, can be healed.
Although the idea that emotions can be expressed in the biology of the brain and body has been around since the 1930’s, it is only recently that medical research and technology have allowed researchers to see and measure these effects. For example, recently developed, powerful new imaging techniques showed that there is a definite link between cortical and anatomical substrates and emotion. Similarly, findings from neurochemistry not only implicates neurotransmitters in the regulation and management of certain physical systems such as pain, but has also shown that these chemicals play an integral part in the experience and perception of emotions. Moreover, this new field of research has now also been able to demonstrate and verify a direct link between the immune system and that of the neuroendocrine system (read more about it here).
Some of the most critical findings from the field of neuroimmunomodulation (NIM) demonstrates that: 1) a link exists between the nervous system, immune system and the production of antibodies; 2) transmitter sites for neurochemicals are present on immune cells; and 3) an interruption of the communication between these transmitters, transmitter sites and cells leads to disease.
The first and second of these discoveries form the foundation for the NIM model in so far as there being a definite cause-and-effect interaction between cortical structures that directly influence the production of antibodies in the spleen and lymph nodes. In other words, if certain parts of the brain are either stimulated or inhibited by for instance the release of certain chemicals when experiencing different types of emotions, the body is either able or unable to make antibodies. So, feeling positive emotions such as joy, love, and gratitude releases dopamine which in turn increases the body’s ability to effectively regulate the immune system and produce an adequate supply of antibodies. In contrast, if the body is in a constant state of stress, anxiety, and depression, serotonin is depleted which, in turn, erode the body’s ability to effectively react to inflammation and disease causing agents (for a further information on this system, see this and this). The culmination of this research however, is the proof that interruptions of this system and a disruption of the communications on a genetic, surgical, or pharmacological basis, lead to an increased susceptibility to chronic and inflammatory diseases such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis (see here, here, here and here).
The opposite also holds in that too much responsiveness of these systems leads to enhanced susceptibility to infection. These findings rigorously demonstrate that "cross-talk" between the immune and neuroendocrine systems not only exists but that it is of vital importance to the understanding of how emotions influence the onset, course, and remission of disease.
More often than not, patients who have been diagnosed with a chronic and often life-threatening disease such as cancer, not only have to adjust to the implications of living with such a disease, but the actual diagnosis itself can lead to a myriad of distressing and negative emotions. Most people not only have to deal with the trauma of undergoing the extremely damaging, painful and toxic orthodox allotropic treatment regimes, but also have to deal with the severe side effects of these treatments. In addition, the patient ends up grieving the loss of health, the distress of facing death, the constant worry and concern for loved ones that must watch this happen to them, as well as the feelings of futility and lack of hope if a state of remission is not yet in sight. This often leads to an overwhelming sense of stress, anxiety, fear and depression, in addition to the patient having to deal with the physical and emotional trauma that accompanies the diagnosis and treatment. As shown earlier, these emotions are detrimental to the body’s ability to heal and stay healthy. This often leads to a negative cycle where disease and emotions feed upon each other – the worse you feel, the worse you get, the worse you get, the worse you feel… and so on and so forth. In short, all of this impedes the ability to get well…
So, what does this mean in lay terms? In short, it means that emotional states can, and does affect the state of homeostasis within the physical body. It also means that by regulating emotions, the immune response, the general well-being of the physical body and the body’s ability to stave off disease can be regulated. So, what are the alternatives? How can one overcome this seemingly downward spiral disease and negative emotion?
Holistic therapies are often sought out by those with chronic and/or terminal illnesses such as cancer for a variety of reason. Some patients just want to feel better whilst others are disillusioned with orthodox allotropic medical treatments and are seeking alternative cures. Whatever the reasons may be, the following are the most commonly reported reasons for patients turning to alternative and holistic therapies:
- People report that it aids in a feeling of general well-being
- There is a reduction in the symptoms of allotropic treatments
- Helps the patient to feel more in control of the disease and the situation
- A lot of people want to move away from toxic forms of treatment to more natural and non-toxic forms
- Some patients seek the comfort of talking to someone, being touched and the personal interaction that accompanies these forms of therapy
- Often these therapies provide hope to individuals and helps them in staying positive
- These therapies aim at boosting the immune system and helps body to heal itself
- And lastly, as mentioned before, some people are looking for alternative cures, often after being disillusioned by orthodox allotropic medical treatments
There is a myriad of holistic therapies that treat various aspects of the individual. These range from transpersonal psychology and hypnosis that work in on the spiritual, mental and emotional aspects of the individual, to reiki that aims at balancing and healing the person on an energetic level, to nutrition and massage that focus on the physical aspects of the patient.
Transpersonal psychology is a school of psychology that integrates the spiritual and transcendent aspects of the human experience in the context of modern psychology through the exploration of concepts such as the spiritual self, the self beyond the ego, peak experiences (i.e., a moment accompanied by a euphoric mental state), mystical experiences, systemic trance, spiritual crisis, spiritual evolution, altered states of consciousness, spiritual exercises and other sublime and / or unusually rich experiences of life. The discipline tries to describe spiritual experiences and integrate it into the context of modern psychological theory and to formulate a new theory to include these experiences.
What is Transpersonal Therapy?
In Transpersonal Therapy the importance of the presence of the spirit, soul and heart is stressed within a therapeutic context and it is assumed that only this is able to bring healing. In this philosophy, life is seen as a journey of inner discovery and development, where the ego and the Higher Self need to work together in the strive for integration. Dream work, imagery, visualisation, meditation, alternative forms of consciousness and the use of symbols are the tools utilised during this journey. Occasional peak experiences and "mystic moments" that spontaneously arise, helps the individual to experience the unity of all life. In those moments, time stands still, all barriers are dissolved, and there is an understanding that, once and for all and despite appearances, everything is exactly as it should be within the cosmic order of things.
How Can Transpersonal Therapy Help?
When diagnosed with a life-threatening illness such as cancer, the patient is suddenly pushed into a narrow, stark, body-oriented, existence, where all attention and care are focused on the body and its symptoms. The diagnosis itself unleashes terror and a sense of helplessness. Transpersonal Therapy is an antidote to this "disease-oriented" chaos in which the person is caught up in. Through the use of transpersonal therapeutic methods, the individual’s perspectives must be changed, broadened and deepened. Meaning needs to be found within this life changing event. As it is the apparent meaninglessness and sense of futility of being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness that is so hard to bear it is often asked "Why me?". The sense of the seeming injustice of being removed from one's normal existence for no obvious reason is tangible and indelible for the patient. Therefore, to find meaning and reason is the first step towards healing and the person is guided to asking a more meaningful question: "What is my life trying to tell me through the diagnosis of this disease?"
HYPNOTHERAPY & REGRESSION THERAPY
Hypnosis is a quick and easy way to gain direct access to the subconscious mind. With hypnosis, you change your subconscious - your deepest inner thought processes, thus creating a supportive, powerful and energetic movement which occurs in the direction of the goal you want to achieve. Hypnosis is a pleasant process which creates a calm and relaxed state of mind and body. Thereby conscious thoughts get sublimated, whereby everything simply observed. Yet there is also direct access to the subconscious with an increased susceptibility to suggestions that enable us to experience images and thoughts as real. In this state of mind called hypnosis, there is the possibility to shape subconscious thoughts, beliefs and emotions that are undesirable into something that is desirable.
Regression is a form of hypnotherapy which encompasses the exploration and reliving of past experiences responsible for current problems and issues being experienced by the individual. These experiences sometimes include forgotten emotional wounds that never healed or repetitive, semi-conscious beliefs that are constantly activated in the subconscious. Such programs, or "traits", can only change if we understand how they were created and why we continue to adhere to them.
What is Hypnotherapy & Regression Therapy?
Hypnotherapy is a method that is used in hypnosis to link subconscious thoughts to that of the conscious in order to achieve a therapeutic change. Hypnotherapy is used for example in the treatment of disorders such as anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders and behavioural control. Hypnotherapy can also help with physical ailments and pain management. In addition, hypnotherapy can bring about an overall improvement in the psyche which not only fixes the main complaint(s), but also restores the whole well-being of the individual. This positive effect can be permanent and do not have to decrease over time.
In Regression therapy, the act of "reliving" is used not only to recall and process forgotten, ignored or repressed experiences, emotions and events, but also to (re)activate positive feelings, dormant talents and personal resources. Thereby, the person gets insight into how current emotions, thoughts and perceptions got their roots in experiences from the past. In this way, the origin of unwanted thoughts, perceptions and emotions can be discovered and thus, processed. Clients often find their problems to stem from past trauma or from their childhood experiences. Some may even experience their birth or the prenatal period in the womb whilst still others recall past lives or experience the influence of deceased relatives on their current situation. Spiritual experiences are also not uncommon.
How Can Hypnotherapy & Regression Therapy Help?
Negative and harmful experiences from the past, whether it be from recent events (for instance the trauma of being diagnosed with cancer, the pain and distress caused by the treatments themselves or even other non-cancer related traumas), childhood trauma or even traumatic events from past lives, can cause a person to suffer from emotional stress and anxiety. From a vast body of research, it has been proven that there is a definite link between emotional stress, anxiety and cancer (read more about it here and here).
Hypnotherapy can help in several ways. The most important reasons why people with cancer use hypnotherapy is to relax and to cope better with the symptoms that comes with orthodox allotropic treatments. Hypnotherapy help the individual to feel more in control over his/her circumstances as well as help with pain management and to reduce nausea associated with chemotherapy. In addition, hypnotherapy also help with the reduction of depression, anxiety and stress while increasing a feeling of well-being. Similarly, as with hypnotherapy, during regression therapy, emotional wounds, traumas and negative experiences from the past, causing stress and anxiety, can be processed and removed. Due to the reduction of the symptoms of stress and anxiety, the body can heal itself easier.
Although difficult to define, there is a generally considered to be non-physical and ubiquitous energy that gives life to every living organism. For thousands of years we were aware of, and familiar with, this energy. Reiki is one aspect of this energy and is the gift of vitality and self-preservation encoded into the genetic makeup of all beings. Reiki is the higher self that is connected to the universal energy that breaths its life energy into all living beings. All living beings are thus connected. Reiki as the healer is a form of "hands-on" healing, with its origins in India and the East.
Wat is Reiki Therapy?
Reiki is holistic. Regular contact with Reiki brings the physical, emotional, spiritual and esoteric bodies of the recipient into balance while activating, balancing and energising the chakra system. In addition, Reiki helps with the prevention and healing of diseases and disorders by working on the mind and body by stimulating the recipient’s own natural healing abilities. The blocked emotional and physical elements that lead to diseases and disorders will be erased thereby be removed.
How Can Reiki Help?
Reiki creates positive mental, emotional and physical experiences and changes in the person receiving a Reiki treatment. Reiki activates, energises and balances the chakra system and removes energy blockages which aids in increasing the vibrational frequency of the body. In addition, Reiki heals emotional wounds, helps to change negative conditioning and behaviours and helps to reduce the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. Reiki also relieves pain, detoxifies the body, accelerates the natural healing of wounds and gradually removes chronic health issues. In short, Reiki improves health and helps prevent disease by working on a holistic level whilst giving the body the opportunity to heal itself.
Disclaimer: This is a personal weblog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not necessarily those of Praktijk Holistica. In addition, my thoughts and opinions change from time to time…I consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind. This weblog is intended to provide a semi-permanent point in time, a snapshot and manifestation of the various opinions, thoughts, feelings and interpretations of experiences that are running around my brain at any given moment in time. As such, any thoughts and opinions expressed within older posts may not be the same, nor maybe even similar, to those I may hold today. Oh, and by the way, I am not sponsored or paid by anyone for anything on here.