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Is it the physical brought on by the emotional?


                      Is it the physical brought on by the emotional?

As a therapist of 15 years I have treated people from all walks of life, ‘Is the physical brought on by the emotional’ is something I ask myself with every patient I see. Not that I necessarily tell them that but I will listen to their story of why they seek my help and make little notes in my head!

It’s an interesting dilemma especially when the physical discomfort is so acute or chronic depending on its manifestation.

Reflection I find is a really powerful tool that can work for everyone and helps me process my experiences. I once had a patient come and see me for a food intolerance test. He presented me with symptoms of constant headaches, pain in his sinuses, cheek bones aching, stomach issues possibly IBS and always fatigued with his sleep sometimes completely erratic. He had private health care and which afforded him to have lots of tests done, however no problems with stomach or sinuses showed up in any test.

Our conversation during the session enabled me to find out about his diet, which was relatively healthy apart from a lot of coffee, his life style including work and leisure time. On the whole the allergy/food intolerance test showed that some foods were a problem but nothing that really could cause all his apparent symptoms. Aside for the test I ran, I found out that he had a really stressful job which, in all honesty he wasn’t enjoying at all, he didn’t want to be living in England as he was previously based in New York for 6 years and had built a life there when he was suddenly forced to move due to the bank he worked for going bankrupt!

I discussed foods to cut down on, coffee being one and as I am also a homeopath I gave him some remedies to take. I also suggested that he come and have some Cranio-sacral therapy with me, as I thought that this was more an issue to do with how he expressed his stress. I thought his body was expressing his stress physically and that it did not necessarily mean that was something medically wrong. I always advised him that seeking medical advice was necessary to rule out anything sinister was always a good thing, as I’m no doctor!

So we embarked on Cranio-sacral therapy which is a treatment where I listen with my hands to bone movement, tissue movement and fluid movement within the patient’s body to work out where the body is holding onto any restrictions. His first session was amazing. My findings which the patient confirmed experienced tightness in many bones of the head and his fluid tide, being his cranial sacral fluid, was really low therefore I could understand his constant tiredness.

What was completely funny was that he thought that I was giving him a head massage, but when I told him that I was not moving my hands at all and that was his own head moving, he did not believe me! In fact, as we continued with weekly sessions, I had to give him a mirror to prove that I was not moving my hand’s, because the sensations he was experiencing was so strong!

What was discovered was that he was under so much stress that his head, which was causing the most discomfort went into this pattern of behaviour, causing the headaches, cheek bones aching and his sinuses constantly blocked and not draining, especially when his stress was high, which was for him most of the time. What the Cranio-sacral sessions did was change his bodies’ pattern of behaviour, so relieving the pressure in his head when his stress took over.

It really is amazing what our bodies do under stress and after 2 months of medical tests, which all came back as negative, we changed his chronic condition and physical manifestations of stress. But over-all, for him it was about him understanding how his mental stress evoked this physical response and how he needed to have that recognition and not think there was something drastically wrong with him physically.

I think  many of us don’t understand our bodies and it may well be because we spend so much time in our heads, being in mental or emotional state that we forget to check in with our physical selves to see whether or not there is a connection. Most times we don’t understand that connection but it still amazes me how having a couple of sessions of cranio-sacral helps get the patient to comprehend the symbiotic relationship and change how our bodies express trauma physically.


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