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by Dr. Mercola
Your thoughts and emotions, many of which are driven by subconscious beliefs and long-forgotten experiences, are a powerful force that can aid or degenerate your health.
The featured documentary, E-Motion,1 asks, “If your subconscious mind is 1,000 times more powerful than your conscious mind, what controls it?”
The answer to this and other related questions is expounded upon by a number of individuals featured in this film, including Sonia Choquette, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Dr. Bradley Nelson, Don Tolman, and others.
Emotions as Energy in Motion
According to Dr. Nelson, when you feel an emotion, what you’re really sensing is the vibration of a particular energy. Similarly, Tolman suggests thinking of emotion as “energy movement.”
Each emotion has its own vibratory signature, and when intense emotions are felt, they can become trapped in your body, much like a ball of energy.
These “balls of energy” can become lodged just about anywhere in your body, where they can then cause disruptions in your body’s energy system, which underlies your physical system much like an invisible matrix.
Your body is both biochemical and biophysical, and disruptions in your field of energy will eventually result in physical dysfunction. It’s interesting to note that certain emotions are known to be associated with pain in certain regions of your body, even though science cannot give an explanation for why.
For example, those suffering from depression will often experience chest pains, even when there’s nothing physically wrong with their heart. Extreme grief can also have a devastating impact—not for nothing is the saying that someone “died from a broken heart.” In the days after losing a loved one, your risk of suffering a heart attack shoots up by 21 times!
Your Body Is Pure Energy…
Thinking of your body as a conglomerate of densely packed energies rather than material cells will also help you understand that an important factor in the root cause of disease is really inharmonious activity at the energetic, subatomic level.
Stress is one major factor that can produce significant amounts of chaos at this underlying energetic level, which is likely why removing stress has such a positive influence on health.
The American Medical Association (AMA) states 80 percent of all health problems are stress related, and even the conservative Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that 85 percent of all diseases appear to have an emotional element.
The classic definition of stress is “any real or imagined threat, and your body’s response to it.” Research has shown that your body’s natural stress response can have a significant impact on everything from immune function and brain chemistry, to blood sugar levels, hormonal balance, and much more.
For example, researchers2 have found that ruminating on a stressful incident will increase the levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, in your body.
And, as noted in the film, the emotions associated with living in a “state of emergency” all the time—which is what happens when you’re chronically stressed—are anger, aggression, hatred, fear, prejudice, anxiety, insecurity, hopelessness, and other negative states that feed the energetic chaos that manifests as physical pain and disease.
All of these emotions, which we consider to be part of our conscious reality, are derived or produced by stress chemicals.
Now, if your emotions allow you to “see” your conscious mind, where do you look to observe your subconscious mind? Dr. Dispenza says your body is your subconscious mind.
So your subconscious is actually nowhere near as hidden as you might think… Your subconscious is speaking to you loud and clear all the time. To “hear” what it’s saying, all you have to do is notice what’s going on in your body.
The Rise of Mind-Body Medicine
Your body cannot tell the difference between an actual experience that triggers an emotional response, and an emotion fabricated through thought process alone—such as when worrying about something negative that might occur but has not actually happened, or conversely, thinking about something positive and pleasant.
The fact that you can activate your body’s stress response (which produces chemicals that can make you sick) simply by thinking means that you wield tremendous power over your physical state in every moment. Moreover, it means that you can literally manifest disease, or healing, by thinking.
In recent years, there’s been an upwelling of mind-body therapies that take this interrelatedness between your emotions and physical health into account.3 The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is, I believe, among the most effective.
Clinical trials have confirmed that EFT is able to rapidly reduce the emotional impact of memories and incidents that trigger emotional distress. Once the distress is reduced or removed, your body can often rebalance itself and heal more or less automatically.
Studies demonstrating EFT’s effectiveness include the following:
- A critical review published in the American Psychological Association’s (APA) journal Review of General Psychology4 found that EFT “consistently demonstrated strong effect sizes and other positive statistical results that far exceed chance after relatively few treatment sessions.”
- A 2009 study5 of 16 institutionalized adolescent boys with histories of physical or psychological abuse showed substantially decreased intensity of traumatic memories after just ONE session of EFT.
- An EFT study6 involving 30 moderately to severely depressed college students found that depressed students given four 90-minute EFT sessions showed significantly less depression than the control group when evaluated three weeks later.
- A 2013 study published in the Energy Psychology Journal7 confirmed that the benefits from EFT are the result of the tapping process and not a placebo effect.
EFT Can Counter the Physical Effects of Negative Emotions
As discussed in the film, physical pain is more often than not caused by trapped emotions, or trapped energies, in your body. And, by changing how you relate to past experiences, and change your emotions, it can have a direct effect on your pain. The same can be said for virtually all other health problems as well. Once you recognize how your emotional baggage can adversely affect your health and quality of life, it becomes easier to see how strategies such as energy psychology can have such a profound healing effect.
In short, energy psychology techniques such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) allow you to correct the emotional short-circuiting that is causing the physical dysfunction. As explained in the film, by tapping on specific points of your energy meridian system, you effectively disrupt that subconscious, energetically stored program that is directing your body to respond in a certain way.
How to Tap for a More Positive Attitude
EFT, sometimes simply referred to as “tapping,” is a simple process that involves tapping your fingertips on various parts of your head, chest, and hands while thinking about your specific problem and voicing positive affirmations. This combination of tapping the energy meridians and voicing positive affirmations works to clear the “short-circuit”—the emotional block—from your body’s bioenergy system, thus restoring your mind and body’s balance, which is essential for optimal health and the healing of physical disease.
Again, the beauty of EFT is that it can reprogram your body’s reactions to the unavoidable stressors of everyday life, thereby providing a more lasting effect. In the videos below, EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman shows how to tap for stress and anger. As you can see, it’s simple enough that a child can do it. But if you suffer with more severe problems, it would be wise to contact a licensed EFT practitioner,8 as it is an art to really get down into more deeply rooted issues.
Make Stress Management Part of Your Lifestyle
One thing is clear, your emotions matter, and they cannot be ignored in the big scheme of your overall health. So please, take your emotional health seriously. Sleep, exercise, eating properly, addressing your stress and releasing emotional baggage are all part and parcel of a healthy lifestyle. If you’re struggling with difficult emotions, I really recommend giving EFT a try. There are also many other energy psychology tools out there that may offer similar benefits. The key is to find what works for you, and do it consistently to keep your equilibrium. Besides EFT, there are many other helpful stress-management strategies. The following are, I believe, among the most important basics:
- Exercise. Studies have shown that during exercise, tranquilizing chemicals (endorphins) are released in your brain. Exercise is a natural way to bring your body pleasurable relaxation and rejuvenation, and has been shown to help protect against the physical effects of daily stress
- Restorative sleep. You can have the best diet and exercise program possible but if you aren’t sleeping well, your mental health can suffer and it is difficult to make healing progress. You can find 33 tips to help improve your sleep habits here.
- Meditation and/or practicing mindfulness daily
- Schedule time to eat at a leisurely pace, and make sure to maintain optimal gut health by regularly consumingfermented foods, or taking a high-quality probiotic supplement
- Optimize your vitamin D levels. Low levels of vitamin D in your blood have been correlated with increased risk fordepression, so optimizing your vitamin D levels may help by providing you with a stronger foundation for both physical and mental health