One of the most misunderstood words in healthcare is “psychosomatic.” It is derived from the Greek words “psykhe” (mind) and “soma” (body). Its literal definition is “relating to a physical illness or other condition caused or aggravated by a mental factor such as internal conflict or stress.” (Spoiler: This is the case with all physical illnesses and conditions.)
The conventional usage of this word in western medicine implies that the mind and body are independent entities. If you complain to a doctor about symptoms and he/she cannot find a specific “cause” in the body that clearly explains those symptoms, then you might be told your symptoms are psychosomatic. (This is especially true if you are experiencing emotional distress along with physical symptoms.) What is actually being communicated with this diagnosis is that your symptoms are only in your mind, and by virtue of being only in the mind, they are, in essence, not real. It is very easy for people to walk away from this having internalized the idea that they are detached from reality in some way.
The problem with this is that the body and mind are not independent entities. The body is, in fact, constantly being created by the mind. This isn’t true in just some vague, mystical sense. Even hard science is now demonstrating this to be true. (The book “Mind to Matter” by Dawson Church is an excellent summary of this science.) Because the body is an expression of the mind, not independent of it, we can then say the following:
- If you are experiencing something, it is real.
- All pain and disease is, technically, psychosomatic. That is, there is nothing happening in the body that is just happening in the body.
- Everything happening in the body is an expression of something that is, first and foremost, happening in the mind, both consciously and subconsciously.
- The fact that we are experiencing symptoms in the body that cannot be explained by looking at the body does not make us crazy, damaged, psychotic, mentally ill, or anything of the sort. It makes us human.
- If we truly want to embrace long-term physical health, we must look at the contents of the mind (thoughts and emotions) and explore how they are showing up in the body.
Exploring the mind-body connection, even for those who understand and accept that it exists, can be very difficult for many people. Thankfully, using a neurological assessment strategy that combines elements of Applied Kinesiology, Chinese Medicine, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and other techniques, we can actually help clients map out exactly how past traumas, experiences, thoughts, and emotions are showing up in the body via the meridian and organ systems. Once these items have been mapped out, simple somatic processing techniques can then be used to clear these items from the nervous system. The client is then able to use this “map” and processing procedure on their own without the help of the therapist to continue supporting the healing process.
If you have a sense that your physical symptoms are in some way related to stress or your emotional state, that your symptoms worsen in the presence of certain non-physical triggers, or you simply wish to explore if/how your mental state is creating difficulty in your nervous system and physical body, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.