Having worked in brain injury centers, crisis centers and even with clients who wanted to lose weight I geared myself to understanding whether disease and health concerns can actually start in the mind.
I am an avid reader of Louise Hay, a lady who healed cancer though the power of nutrition and the mind. A powerhouse of knowledge she has aided many individuals through the process of healing.
12 years through my experience of working with a variety of clients, mainly as a therapeutic practitioner and neuroscientist, and I can comfortably agree with Louise Hay that our mind can contribute to disease.
My own real and personal encounter with this analogy came about four years ago. Successful and enjoying life (or so I presumed) I came down with a terrible bout of eczema that left me barely able to walk.
It started as a few disks of eczema on my legs and before I knew it it had spread to my arms as well. It became so bad that at one point I could barely walk. My legs became swollen, my skin broken and itchy like I had been attacked by a game of hives. Soon I could no longer wear shorts and skirts and so for four long years I experienced a life that was painful and sore.
As many people would do I took medication prescribed by my doctor. She would wince as she looked at my legs; probably wondering how I had even made it to the surgery. She advised me to coat myself with high strength steroid cream, E45 and emolients.
They seemed to provide me with delight overnight before leaving me with dry, cracked and tender skin. The skin war just seemed to go on. I became less social and even felt feelings of shame.
I was lucky enough to happen upon some great health reading material and with that in hand I began to attempt to heal myself naturally. This only seemed to shift 60 percent of my eczema and I knew that there was another level that I needed to uncover.
One day whilst showering I was itching my irritated skin and felt a sudden relief of feelings of irritation. It was here that my new journey begun. Luckily as a neuroscientist and therapeutic practitioner and a lover of all things biological, emotional and scientific I happened upon the cure of dis-ease by attending to the mind.
You see many of us in this Western world hold onto unspent emotions; emotions as young as when we were a toddler. It became "normal" to suppress emotion. Suppressed emotions can become "subconscious emotions" and can literally "run a show" in the background without our conscious awareness.
Disease is your body's ways of saying that something is wrong. For me my eczema was mirroring subconscious emotions of irritability, annoyance and even shame (my skin literally being hot, red and broken). Emotions (both conscious and subconscious) are mirrored on a biological level. A thought and feeling creates the activation of neuronal pathways and changes in levels of neurotransmitters within the synapses of these neuronal pathways. Activation of pathways are basically part of our body's messenger system including for the release of hormones. So negative emotions and stress can release to glucocorticoids, catecholamines, growth hormone and prolactin.
Prolonged serum levels of hormones can lead tip the body into acidity, affect homeostasis and eventually impact on organs and your body's most recent points.
So, why do different individuals get different diseases? Well the answer is partially due to our genetic makeup. My weakest point of my body is my skin. For someone else it may be their bowels, liver, heart and so forth. Negative and unspent emotions can impact your weakest point and this is why, for better health, it is vital to process and uncover repressed emotions.
Within my eczema journey I became aware of emotions that otherwise were hidden from my sub-conscious mind. I was working in a great place, had a great job, was meeting targets, had been promoted but underneath it all I had not processed subconscious emotions from years past. My skin finally healed when I wiped my slate clean of unspent emotions.
I now dedicate my knowledge to aiding individuals to heal from physical challenges and have resources dedicated to individuals who urgently would like to heal from exhausting and deliberating eczema.
So, can disease start in the mind? Stress and internalized emotions can definitely impact on our health. Our minds can impact our body and so I always say that healing starts in the mind. Couple this with nutritional therapy and exercise to live a peaceful life deserved.