It occurred to me this week that the message I'm trying to convey about health is really this: be authentic.
Your pants size does not equal healthy.
The amount of exercise you do does not equal healthy.
The food you consume does not equal healthy.
If any of that was the case we wouldn't find perfectly sized (according to who exactly?) people with thyroid disorders. Or athletes with hormone imbalances. Or health nuts with cancer.
In my (very humble) opinion, our health is defined by our mind first, then the body follows. I wonder if the healthiest people in the world are the most joyful. I don't mean surface level either. You know lots of them. Or might even be one of them. The ones who put on the right face for the right people, but their insides are a battleground fraught with limiting beliefs, self defeating thoughts, and more. I mean those who are happy from the inside out. You've seen them...they sort of glow.
I believe the body is it's own intuitive guidance system. I also love this sentiment: feelings buried alive never die. You know why? Because those little suckers right there shape our perceptions, which shape our reality, our actions and wait for it.......our health.
If I use my body to create awareness and go within, without is sure to follow. But the most pressing question I get from clients is this: Where do I start? How do I know what feelings I'm harboring and not addressing? Or when I know them, have no clue what the next step is? All very valid questions. And no one answer defines it for anyone. We each process differently. So my hope is this: to teach you what the body is telling you and give you tools, ideas and different methods that will help you on your path to authentic health.
Let's start with the emotional centers of the body. There are 7 major ones, starting at the base of the spine and ending at the top of the head. Each correspond to a gland and/or organ, an emotion and a concept, just to keep it simple. Here we go.
Base of the spine:
- Family, safety & security, ability to stand up for self, social and familial law & order
- Physical body support, base of spine, legs & bones, feet, rectum & immune system
- Chronic lower back pain, sciatica, varicose veins, depression, immune related disorders
- Giving birth to the idea
Sacral, just below the belly button:
- Blame & guilt, money, sex, power, control, creativity, ethics in relationships
- Large intestine, sexual organs, lower vertebrae, pelvis, appendix, bladder & hip area
- Chronic low back pain, sciatica, ob/gyn problems, pelvic, low back pain, sexual potency, urinary problems
- 'What's in it for me?' 'Do I have enough money to materialize it?'
Solar Plexus, right at the stomach, below the breast area:
- Trust, fear, intimidation, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-respect, care of self & others, sensitivity to criticism, decisions
- Abdomen, stomach, upper intestines, liver, gallbladder, kidney, pancreas, adrenal glands, spleen & middle spine
- Arthritis, gastric ulcers, colon issues, pancreatitis, diabetes, indigestion, eating disorders, liver dysfunction, adrenal dysfunction
- 'Do I have confidence & willpower to materialize it?'
Heart, right over the heart:
- Love & hate, resentment & bitterness, grief & anger, self-centeredness, loneliness, commitment, forgiveness, compassion, hope & trust
- Heart & circulatory system, lungs, shoulders & arms, ribs/breasts, diaphragm, thymus gland
- Congestive heart failure, heart attacks, mitral valve prolapse, asthma, lung cancer, pneumonia, upper back & shoulder, breast cancer
- 'Do I love the idea' 'Am I passionate about it?'
Throat, at the center of the neck and throat area:
- Choice & strength of will, personal expression, following one's dream, addiction, judgment & criticism, faith & knowledge, capacity to make decisions
- Throat, thyroid, trachea, neck vertebrae, mouth, teeth & gums, esophagus, parathyroid, hypothalamus
- Raspy or sore throat, mouth ulcers, gym issues, TMJ, scoliosis, laryngitis, swollen glands, thyroid issues
- You start talking about it
Third Eye, center of the forehead, between and just above the eyes
- Self-evaluation, truth, intellectual abilities, feelings of adequacy, open to the ideas of others, emotional intelligence
- Brain, nervous system, eyes & ears, nose, pineal gland, pituitary gland
- Brain tumor/hemorrhage/stroke, neurological disturbances, blindness, deafness, full spinal difficulties, learning disabilities, seizures
- You become aware of it 'Does the idea resonate with me?'
Crown, just above the head
- Ability to trust life, values, ethics & courage, selflessness, humanitarianism, ability to see the larger pattern, faith, inspiration, spirituality & devotion
- Muscular system, skeletal system, skin
- Chronic exhaustion not linked to a physical disorder, extreme sensitivities to light, sound or other environmental factors, energetic disorders
- Idea reaches the crown and manifestion begins.
It's a long list, but worth noting. These are starting points really. What resonates with you? Do you clench your teeth at night or suffer from TMJ? That's the throat, representing either speaking your truth or swallowing angry words, to summarize the list above. When things aren't what you want them to be, do you have the ability to communicate it - especially to those who need to hear it?
Remember, the body is about balance. You're looking for the middle ground between how you feel, where you fit and what action you need to take. If you've been struggling with a job you seriously dislike and it follows you home to a stressful environment, what are the chances you've got some stuff you need to handle? What works for one may not work for another. I encourage free-flow journaling. Set the timer for 15 minutes. Take a sheet of paper and write at the top: If I could change ONE thing today, what would it be? When you're done, review what you've written and tear it up and get rid of it. Some people like to just trash it, others flush it and others burn it. You're following through with a symbolic act that lets you release that which is keeping you captive. Sometimes you can't change what's in front of you. At least not right away. But you can work within the parameters of your environment. And in getting out the anger and frustration, you can often uncover simple solutions and steps to take that will move you in a better-feeling direction.
I believe these are key aspects to a healthy - and happy life. I'd love to hear your thoughts. And questions. I'll continue to explore each emotional center further over the coming weeks. This is the basis of what I've built my practice on. Connecting these dots is almost magical in a wacky sort of way, one I enjoy and one I hope serves you as well.