Monthly Archives: August 2018

Wounds

Grieving – How time does not heal wounds

Grief is an emotion which is not only attributed to someone dying.  In fact it is associated with any change and adjustment, particularly those of a major and/or emotional nature.

When a person is experiencing grief typically those around them (friends, family, associates) are unsure of how to brooch the topic, uncertain of what to say, or what do.   One statement which is typically used is that “time heals all wounds”.

However after working with many clients and seeing close friends experience grief I disagree with this popular adage.  To believe that time does not heal your wounds.  Rose Kennedy was quoted:  “It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens, but it is never gone.”

Molecules of Emotion

Dr Candace Pert PhD, neuropharmacologist, stated:   “A feeling sparked in our mind-or body-will translate as a peptide being released somewhere.  [Organs, tissues, skin, muscle and endocrine glands],  they all have peptide receptors on them and can access and store emotional information. This means the emotional memory is stored in many places in the body, not just or even primarily, in the brain. You can access emotional memory anywhere in the peptide/receptor network, in any number of ways. I think unexpressed emotions are literally lodged in the body.  The real true emotions that need to be expressed are in the body, trying to move up and be expressed and thereby integrated, made whole, and healed.”

Time can either do one of two things;

  1. push the painful emotions and memories down to keep them at bay so they are not fresh in your conscious mind; or
  2. gives you the opportunity to discover techniques which makes it easier to navigate your wounds, grief and pain.

Which means those who are electing for option 1 (above) will simply store the emotions, replaying and duplicating their grief within the coding of their cells.   Such information /  wounding festers waiting for the “right” opportunity to bubble to the surface, which typically is at an inopportune moment.

Ultimately allowing time to heal the wound is a dis-empowering and unhealthy option.  The emotions need to be expressed in order to be released.  In having awareness of what the emotion is, we can name the emotion and therefore explore the emotion.  This is how we move forward.

Navigating Grief

There are various techniques (see below) which can help a person to navigate grief.  Yet the first step is understanding the stages of grief.  Through her extensive research Elizabeth Kúbler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist and pioneer in near-death studies,  determined the Five Stages of Grief, which are:

Denial

Denial is a conscious or unconscious to not being willing to accept the situation where the person can isolate themselves due to their refusal of the situation.  It can be due to their disbelief that the situation is happening and tends to be a defence mechanism which is masking the person’s shock of the situation.

Anger

A person will use anger as an emotion to deflect from their vulnerability of the situation and it can manifest in various ways.  They can be angry at themselves, at those close to them or those who were involved in the situation.  Endeavouring to be non-judgement with those in this stage of grief and remaining detached can assist both, all, parties.

Bargaining

This is where the person yearns for what has been lost and is categorised by the “if only” or “what if” statements. It’s where we want the situation to return to what we knew it to be, to be able to go back in time and do something different so a positive outcome happens.  Guilt is often an emotion experienced in this stage, as the person thinks of what they could have done and feel guilty for not having done it.

Depression

Here the person is preparing to bid farewell and is an indicator that the person has begun to accept the reality of the situation.  It can be described as acceptance with emotional attachment and it is natural for the person to experience feelings of sadness and regret, fear and uncertainty.

Acceptance

Usually this stage is marked by a calmness and acknowledgement of the situation, recognising that this is their reality and thus now living with the permanence of the change.  The person has re-adjusted to life as they now know it and are allowing themselves to make new connections and to enjoy life again.

Grief is a very personal thing and everyone grieves differently.  The stages do not necessary occur in a specific order, nor is there a time limit or potency set for each stage.  Also it is possible for a person to experience a stage more than once.

Tools for navigation grief

Kinesiology

Being a kinesiologist, I think it natural for this to be my number one suggestion for moving through grief.  The main reason being because it’s NOT a one size fits all solution.  Rather a kinesiology session is personalised to the individual as a kinesiologist uses the client’s own innate wisdom as to what is needed to shift and move through their grief.

Via muscle testing, a kinesiologist seeks the underlying emotion which is causing the imbalance or blockage of energy flow.  Therefore sometimes it actually isn’t the emotion that you logically think it is.  As mentioned previously when you can name the emotion (correctly)  you are able to explore and process through it.

More information can be found about kinesiology via:  What is Kinesiology?

Write & Burn

Scientific evidence shows that when a person writes they are accessing both aspects of their brain.  The physical act of writing accesses our analytical and rational left brain as well as engages our creative, intuitive, feeling right brain.

By engaging both hemispheres we increase our innovation, meaning we are able to transform and transcend situations.   James Pennebaker, a professor at the University of Texas undertook over forty years of research as to how journalling helped the individual to process significant emotional experiences.  His researched demonstrated that by spending 20 minutes per day journalling participants experienced significant improvements physically and mentally.

Unlike journalling, the concept of writing and burning is that whatever you are about to write you will not be keeping.  What I like about this is that when we know we aren’t going to keep it , and thus no one will ever see what we have written, we tend to get more honest on the page.

In addition to this the act of burning the page/s is symbolic and ritualistic.  It takes the written page and transforms it into ash, something the earth can re-cycle for a positive purpose.

Make time for Silence

Research shows that silence has many positive benefits.  Silence can be meditation however is not limited to that.  Silence can simply be spending time on your own without distractions.

Benefits of silence is:

It helps the hippocampus to grow new brain cells.  The hippocampus is an important part of the Lymbic system and is involved in the formation, organisation and storage of memories.  It is also involved with learning and the formation of emotions.

Silence works to balance our left and right brains, which results in whole brain synchronisation.  Thus neither our emotions or logic overwhelm the other.  This assists the brain in the sorting of information, enabling us to gather and process information.

The positive impact to important body and brain chemicals.  Such as  Melatonin; known as the “sleep molecule”.  It is known to is known to inhibit cancer, strengthen the immune system and slow down the ageing process.

Serotonin; known as the  “happy” neurotransmitter because it has a profound impact on our moods.  It is also thought to help regulate mood and social behaviour, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory, and sexual desire and function.

GABA;  is known as the “calm chemical” as it helps to control fear and anxiety.  It sends chemical messages throughout the brain and the nervous system and plays an important role in behaviour, perception, awareness, comprehension as well as how the body response to stress.

DHEA;  which is known as the “longevity molecule” as it counteracts cortisol.   It also helps lower depression, sadness and irritability.  It helps increase our ability to deal with stress and reduces worrying.  It also helps increase motivation and energy levels.

Endorphins;  the “natural high” hormone.  As they interact with the opiate receptors in the brain to reduce our perception of pain, similar to how morphine and codeine work.

Growth Hormone which sustains our tissues and organs, helping keeping them “youthful”.

Cortisol, which is one of the major stress hormones, is reduced.  Too much can wears down the body (and brain).  Destroying healthy muscle and bone, blocking the creation of good hormones.  It can create anxiety, depression, increased blood pressure, brain fog, insomnia and inflammation.

 

If after trying these techniques you are still struggling with processing through your grief then consider scheduling an appointment for kinesiology.  You can book an appointment with us via:  http://www.theinnersageaustralia.com/appointments/

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