The flickering flame – our self-healing bodies

emotion icon

Candace Pert has an intriguing quote “Our bodies are more like a flickering flame than a hunk of meat.” Dr. Pert is the scientist that co-discovered the body’s receptors to morphine, which led to the discovery of endorphin. In “Your Body is Your Subconscious Mind” she discusses that our bodies have hundreds of natural drugs we make with our own cells. So far, every drug that has been tested has a natural counterpart that is made within our bodies. Even more, many of these natural substances are neuropeptides, small protein molecules, that are generated as a result of an emotion or thought. Basically, the research that Dr. Pert and her colleagues have conducted demonstrate the mechanism behind mind-body medicine.

Back to the flickering flame. Research shows that the receptors for these small peptides are found on the surfaces of our cells. When a peptide interacts with a cell receptor it can cause huge changes in how that cell behaves and, by extension how an organ behaves within our bodies. What is really cool is that these receptors to our ‘thought-molecules’ are not just in the brain, but are found throughout our whole body, especially on our immune cells, the white blood cells. White blood cells are responsible for protecting us from germs, but also for getting rid of cells that are beginning to turn cancerous.

Lets think about that. Our thoughts -> create molecules -> that send messages -> to our immune system -> to protect us from the nastiest dis-ease out there. Cool.

What is more, the latest research suggests that having a wide spectrum of emotions are important to health. So it is the variability in our emotional states that can keep us healthy. Feeling emotions fully and completing them is a foundation of many holistic approaches. It seems that covering over our anger or convincing ourselves we are too spiritual to be angry is not a healthy way to approach life. Staying stuck artificially in any one emotion too long is not where we want to be, but instead to live a life of ’emotional integrity’, as Dr. Pert calls it, is the key to our health.

Think of how many thoughts and emotions you have in a day. What if you could let yourself feel them fully without pushing them back down? When you start exploring the layers of emotions, you find that below all of the so called ‘negative emotions’ is a state of pure bliss. We often fear the power of our emotions and think that we might get crushed by them, but the opposite is true. The longer we suppress our emotions the longer we suffer.

There are many techniques to release trapped emotions from the body-mind. One of the simplest and the most powerful is just to breathe. Breathing at at regular pace, or counting the breaths you take, can clear deeply held emotions. Exercise is also amazing for resetting our emotional clocks, particularly if you get a bit breathless when you do it.

I am always in awe of how powerful we are, and I am amazed at how the emerging science is demonstrating how it all works.


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