Here they come, the holidays – filled with joy, laughter, warm memories, stress, grief and sadness, frustration, and overall mixed emotions. These feelings can vary from person to person for a myriad of reasons including mismatched expectations, loneliness, family dynamics, memories of loss, and overcommitment.
It’s important for individuals to acknowledge when they are feeling off, practice self-care, and seek support if needed to navigate the holiday period successfully. And by self-care, we challenge you to go beyond just acknowledging when you’re feeling a little down and pampering yourself with a face mask or fancy holiday drink. Go the extra step and really process your (current and past) emotions so that they don’t cause dis-ease in your physical self down the line.
Why focus on your emotions? Not only is it the current “hip” thing to do, emotions are meant to be felt and processed and move through us, but most often they don’t. Many of our smaller, seemingly non traumatic emotions get stuck and can become a trauma when they are experienced over and over without resolution. A great example of this is stress. Continual stress, especially when prolonged and severe, can have trauma-like effects on both mental and physical health. While it might not fit the traditional definition of a traumatic event, chronic stress can lead to similar physiological responses and negative consequences.
Unresolved emotional blockages and repeated emotional experiences that develop into emotional trauma can have profound effects on the body, impacting both mental and physical health. Here are some ways in which emotional trauma may affect the body:
- Activation of Stress Response: Trauma can trigger the body’s stress response, leading to an increase in stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Prolonged activation of the stress response can contribute to various health issues.
- Changes in Brain Function: Trauma may alter the structure and function of the brain, particularly in areas associated with emotions and stress regulation. The amygdala and hippocampus, for example, can be affected. And we all know that when the brain is impacted, many areas of the body may also be impacted.
- Disruption of Nervous System: Trauma can dysregulate the autonomic nervous system, leading to imbalances between the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and digest) branches.
- Impact on Immune System: Chronic stress and blocked emotions can weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to new illnesses, chronic illnesses, and chronic inflammation.
- Physical Symptoms: Emotional trauma can manifest in physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive issues, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances.
- Development of Coping Mechanisms: Individuals may develop maladaptive coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse or unhealthy eating habits, as a way to manage emotional pain.
- Hormonal Imbalances: Prolonged emotional stress may affect hormonal balance, potentially inhibiting weight loss and contributing to rapid weight gain. Can’t seem to shed those pounds no matter what exercise routine you try or food you eat? Hormonal imbalances from stress may be the culprit.
It’s essential to recognize the interconnectedness of mental and physical health. While mainstream recommendations might point to counseling or a mental health focus (e.g. mindfulness practices), releasing the blocked emotions is crucial to healing your body from the inside out. One of the best ways to accomplish this is with Neuroemotional Technique, or NET.
Neuroemotional Technique (NET) is a holistic approach that combines elements of traditional Chinese medicine, neuroscience, and chiropractic care. It aims to address the connection between unresolved emotional experiences and their potential impact on physical health. Practitioners of NET often use muscle testing to identify specific emotions believed to be associated with a person’s health concerns. The technique aims to release emotional blockages and restore balance to the body’s energy system.
The best part: we have multiple practitioners at CHI who have years of experience helping individuals through NET. We have had countless patients who are astounded by the way their bodies and minds feel after treatment. As one patient said, “insert quote/testimonial?”
Get a head start on making the holidays extra special this year by supporting your whole body with NET.