Ever caught yourself having an emotional reaction to a situation, and your body doesn't recognize it til moments after it happened?

You're not alone if you said yes. Our body has default ways of responding to situations and they can happen faster than our brain can recognize it. 

In this week's blog post I am going to talk about how emotions are connected deep into the body and have a massive connection in the body itself. I am also going to discuss how that can impact your performance as an athlete, dancer, walker, etc. and what you can do as simple lifestyle changes to alter it!

 

I don't think you can talk about this vital piece of conversation without bringing up Dr. Candace Pert. She is one of the frontier doctors that starting to discover how peptides, chemicals in our bloodstream, organs, and immune system (as well as brain), cause emotional states in the body. Furthermore, they can happen consciously or unconsciously. The conscious part we will get into later. 

 

To Quote Dr. Candace Pert 

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.
— http://candacepert.com/where-do-you-store-your-emotions/

Long story short, chemical responses in the body can store emotions. Unexpressed emotions can get stuck, impacting energetic flow and electrical charge of your tissues. 

How does that affect your bench press or your run you may ask?

Well, simply put, energy and fuel is required to run a marathon or do perform an athletic movement. If we think in terms of fuel and chemical responses required to put these actions into motions, one could theorize if it is not flowing at optimum flow of input and output, actions can be impacted. 

Dr. Candace Pert, in her novel Molecules of Emotion, goes as far as to say that these repressed and unexpressed emotions can lead to cancer states in the body. So to say your unexpressed grief and anger are "Fine" is, to say rather bluntly, utter B.S.

 

Another person you can't not bring into this conversation is Dr. John Upledger

To Quote Dr. Upledger

Joint research efforts by Dr. John Upledger and biophysicist Dr. Zvi Karni led to the discovery that the body often retains (rather than dissipates) physical forces, and often the accompanying emotional energy, triggered by physiological, psychological, emotional or spiritual trauma. As the body heals, it can isolate or wall off, this energy into what is called an “energy cyst”. Although a body can initially adapt to the presence of this “energy cyst”, eventually the body weakens or tires of this accommodation and can develop symptoms of pain, dysfunction or emotional stress in response.
— http://www.innerworks.org/bodywork/somatoemotional-release/

 

Simply put, your stuck emotions can lead to dysfunctions in the body. That ankle pain you may have or that gut issues that isn't going away may manifest itself as a biomechanics problem. However, to say it in a simple and reductionist point of view would be failing to see the big picture. 

Infrared screening of emotions in the body 

 

So what can we do to start impacting these emotions? It's really quite simple. 

 

Acknowledgement. 

With acknowledgement comes the release of these unexpressed emotions. How you choose to do it is entirely up to you. Myself , I like to lift, and practice yoga and meditate. All three have been proven to help with emotional release. 

You may try also dietary changes; I gave up coffee and my anxiety levels went down tremendously and my gut issues ceased to come back. 

You may also try breath work. Conscious breathing exercises alter the parasympathetic response in the body, causing a more relaxed state. 

You may also try collaging. We learn first as babies through movement and vision (pictures). You could try putting these emotions together with photos that have no words on them and that also have no clear edges to them. You'd be surprised by what can get released. 

 

Happy emotion releasing! See what that does for you and your lifting (or your passions). You may be surprised. 

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