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The Importance of Emotions in Chronic Disease


I was watching the interview of a university trained herbalist yesterday. As part of the presentation he was explaining his considerations when taking a patient history. It all sounded very familiar as he started listing the aspects that warrant investigation when considering a holistic treatment......Lifestyle.....Diet.......and then he stopped! The silence was deafening as I anticipated his utterance of the last of the holy triad of holistic healing. I have repeated these over and over again for so many years it has become like a religious mantra. When a reference to EMOTIONS was not made..it seemed like the holistic order of things was tipped on its head. Perhaps under the strain of the interview, and being filmed, he forgot to mention it.....Perhaps Emotions is still lying on the editing room floor...waiting to be discarded into a rubbish bin. Over the years of practicing holistic herbal medicine, I have come to acknowledge that there is an emotional aspect in at least 90% of all the cases I treat. Sometimes it is a secondary factor, but in many cases it is the primary consideration in treatment. We cannot separate our emotions from our physical existence. A simple example is to consider how we feel when we are in love...or scared. How does that make us feel physically? What parts of our body are affected? When a negative emotional state becomes unresolved its influence can manifest as chronic disease. Our emotions tie into our nervous system...which in turn feeds every part of the body! If we are to give a truly holistic treatment how can we afford to ignore the important influence they have on health. Although the nerves reach all parts of the body, the effects of unresolved emotional states seem to be most common in diseases of the circulation, digestion and skin. I routinely employ a comprehensive treatment including Bach remedies ( Aspen is shown in the picture) and herbs. However, one of the most potent approaches to resolving emotional conditions is to allow the patient sufficient time to talk about what troubles them. By sharing these feelings it allows them to organize their thoughts and create more self-awareness and the potential to change perspective. Bach flower remedies can be skillfully utilized to help this process along. Over the years I have employed these methods to facilitate the lasting resolution of a number of physical conditions of the systems mentioned. I suppose it is possible to consider diet and lifestyle alone, but where the emotions have a primary influence in a condition I cannot imagine a lasting resolution to any chronic physical condition.

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