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Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
June, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 06
Releasing Emotions Trapped in the Tissues
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
It's well-known in the world of CranioSacral Therapy that emotions trapped in body tissues can lead to pain and other ailments. I discovered this several decades ago when I was a professor and clinical researcher at Michigan State University (MSU), yet the concept is far older still.For centuries, people of Asia, the Middle East, the Baltic regions and numerous island nations have recognized the symptoms of trapped emotions and have practiced various forms of release.
In this day and age, it's more critical than ever for hands-on practitioners to understand the options for releasing trapped emotions. Emotions have a powerful effect on our psyches, as well as our bodies. Positive emotions generate a sense of lightness and ease of movement. They can manifest as a desire to run, sing, smile and even dance. Negative emotions also generate body responses. They cause our shoulders to slump, our muscles to contract and our blood pressure to rise.
The negative emotions that become lodged in the tissues are the culprit in many cases of emotion-generated ailments. Emotions are designed to move through the body. When someone tells you a joke, your natural tendency is to laugh. The feeling it generates eventually moves through your body and out via the diaphragm and vocal chords. In the same way, if you stub your toe, you might experience a flash of anger and then curse or pound your fists into a pillow. These are all natural responses that allow emotions to effectively move through and then out of your body.
It gets fascinating when you look at the differences between the life cycles of positive emotions versus their negative counterparts. Emotions such as joy, humor and empowerment move freely through our bodies. We enjoy, even encourage their presence, so they can travel unimpeded through our bodies and efficiently complete their life cycle.
Negative emotions aren't as welcome as positive emotions. When we experience sadness, anger, resentment, loneliness or sorrow, we feel it deeply. And because it hurts, we sometimes suppress those parts of ourselves to keep the pain from intensifying or spreading. Imbalances often occur when we resist an emotion and its natural path through the body. Resistance can cause an emotion to lock into body tissue, eventually leading to physical ailments.
Locating Trapped Emotions
As therapists who work hands-on with clients, we regularly see cases in which traditional medicine has been ineffective in providing relief from common impairments. Trapped emotions often are the underlying cause. We can locate the emotions when we encounter areas of the body so tight that the energy flow, fluid flow and craniosacral motion are all restricted.
These restricted flow patterns indicate an imbalance that the body needs help dealing with. Often, simply placing your hands there begins a natural process that releases the emotion. Other CranioSacral techniques also can cause the emotion to regain movement along its natural trajectory out of the body.
Intellectually, we also might be curious to learn which emotion has created the disharmony. There certainly are times when an emotion will manifest or even declare itself. But what we are seeking is the release of the held emotion, not its identity. We are not psychoanalysts; we are body-based therapists. Our goal is to assist the body in its own natural self-corrective capabilities so it can regain its full health and function.
There are a variety of ways to release trapped emotions: acupuncture, journaling, talk therapy or even exercise. But the most reliable method I know of is SomatoEmotional Release (SER), an approach I developed along with biophysicist Zvi Karni at MSU. SER was designed specifically to release trapped emotions and allow the physical ailments that often accompany them to resolve naturally. The powerful results often include improved body functioning, loss of pain, greater mobility and more enjoyment of life.
Understanding the Full Range of Responses
The release of painful or hurtful emotions can cause clients to react in many different ways. They might burst into tears, curl into a fetal position, curse, shake, laugh uncontrollably or even strike the massage table.
When you're well-versed in SER, you'll understand that these outbursts are merely components of an emotional release. You'll also learn ways to guide your clients through releases without their needing to have these reactions. After all, the purpose of an emotional release is not to get your clients in touch with their feelings. Rather, it's to guide them to a natural state that allows the emotions trapped within them to dissipate on their own.
Frequently, releasing emotions also provides the client with important bursts of insight. You might never learn what the emotions were, but your clients may gain a profound understanding of their affliction, what caused it, and what it means to them personally. This can be invaluable information that serves them well as they continue to progress through their lives.
While releasing emotions is a highly rewarding aspect of hands-on therapy, it's not recommended for beginning therapists or for those who prefer to suspend their own thought processes while working on clients. However, if you are a therapist who wants to grow and gain a better understanding of stubborn afflictions, I highly encourage you to learn more about SomatoEmotional Release.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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