Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Protection and Illumination of Illness Pt II

Whenever I read or hear a medical commentator state that it's strange that technologically medicine is so advanced and western societies are very affluent, but yet people are still getting ill, I have a wry smile.

Because most people do not acknowledge the role that illness plays in their lives and why illnesses are created to perform a function, you can bet that they will continue to use it. And we will continuously look for solutions and "cures" when the real answer lies within us.

In the EFT Specialty Series II DVD, a lawyer stated that court cases always made him nervous and on one occasion he actually got a strep infection.

Illness is a high price to pay for not stating your needs and protecting yourself from confrontation.

Coming from a family from which certain members have used illness to get their (hidden, unconscious and therefore unvoiced) needs met, my anecdotal experience suggests that the following two types of people are more prone to create illness:

  1. The Emotionally Unconscious (who doesn't recognize their hidden fears and anxieties) and;
  2. The Highly Sensitive Person (who has trouble articulating their needs openly)

The Emotionally Unconscious

I suspect that this is by far the biggest group. In the West, we are not encouraged to be in touch with our emotions or take emotional responsibility for what we feel. We are encouraged to project onto and blame others for our emotional state however. This lack of self reflection means that illness can be used by the emotionally unconscious to control what others do or to get attention from others.

The Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

Highly Sensitive People often have a very difficult time asserting their needs, in fact they've often been encouraged to downplay their own needs in order to service others. And so are prone to abuse and not feeling safe in the world.

For the HSP, confrontation feels very threatening to their world, where they need to please people in order to feel safe. Boundaries within their family (whether their own family or family of origin) have often been inappropriate and illness provides a way to assert boundaries. It also means that they avoid confrontation.

Highly Sensitive People also take on the anxiety of other family members who cannot process their emotions honestly for themselves, which often leads to illness.

The Positive Aspects of Illness

Illness can be used to illuminate where someone's needs aren't being met. If the repressed feelings are identified and brought to the surface where they can be released, then true healing begins. The soul always seeks to develop and grow and releasing all emotional conflicts allows it do so.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Protection And Illumination Of Illness Pt I

In the EFT Specialty Series II DVD, EFT practitioner Stephen Daniel, who specialises in using EFT amongst other energy therapies for chronic illness said that a client is less likely to heal from a chronic illness if they have a spouse and an intact family.

When I first heard him say that I rewound the DVD back to ensure that I'd heard the right thing. Then I read it in the notes. He says that the family dynamics often reward illness behaviours and all parties are getting something out of the illness. The illness is, at some level, perform a valuable role.

He also mentioned working with a woman who had MS and didn't seem to be getting better. He noticed that her husband was extraordinarily attentive to her and mentioned how impressed he was by that. She replied that he wasn't always this way and it was only after being diagnosed with MS that he'd become so caring.

Holding onto illness

So, is it possible that she is holding onto the illness to ensure her husband's consistent love, caring and attention? Stephen Daniel said that once he said that she had to recognize that she may well have to give up her reliance on the illness to ensure her husband's attention, then she was healed within six months.

Those working in personal development often state that we create our illnesses. This doesn't often go down very well with people who see it as an unjustifiably hard and cruel thing to say. But it is my belief that most illnesses are created by unresolved emotional conflicts. Once this conflicts are brought out in the open and released, the illness has done its job and is now unemployed.

Illness as Protection and Illumination

So illness offers both a protection from looking at the unresolved internal conflicts and it also provides illumination for what is really ailing someone. It depends on how you want to look at it.

Several years ago, I was diagnosed with having an underactive thyroid. The doctor described it as my cells attacking one another. It was an internal civil war. No wonder I felt ill! I didn't realise it at the time but emotionally I was very conflicted and unhappy about where I was in life, but didn't really know where I wanted to be either. I felt trapped and powerless. It took a really stressful time at work for me to crash out and give my body the rest it deserved by leaving London and then going on a round the world trip - something I'd always wanted to do.

This same problem came up again when I was having a stressful time at work at another job. And this time I used diet to counteract the effects (I wasn't on medication for very long - only a few months), which helped.

But looking back now I realise that my body was giving me signs about the work I was doing and that I wasn't honoring myself or my purpose in life. I was feeling angry and resentful (great emotions for being ill by the way) but wasn't really expressing it.

What kind of person has this illness?

The Chinese have a saying, not: "What illness does this person have?", but: "What kind of person has this illness?". Unexpressed and unreleased anger and resentment will find a way out somewhere and the body is the most obvious vehicle, because when we have pain in our body we will treat it. Unfortunately, we tend to think that it is solved externally, when the real answer lies in addressing the unconscious (and sometimes) conscious conflicts that we are living with.

Stephen Daniel says that if the client is living with a very conscious conflict (I want to leave this relationship, but am frightened that I won't be able to financially survive) then it is likely to slow down the healing, if not impede it altogether. The unresolved conflicts have to be addressed first.

In an article titled: "How Emotional Conflicts Block The Flow of Energy" by Dr Reimar Banis says that most patients want to heal, but are unable to locate the emotional conflicts because they are hidden at a level within their energy field and subconscious that they are not aware of. In any case most of us are not encouraged to be emotionally literate and aware.

And the great news is that with persistent use of EFT, you can do just that. I am no longer afraid to look at my more "negative" emotions, because they are trying to tell me something and I can release them using EFT. It is a much healthier alternative than suppressing or judging them and wearing down my immune system. It means taking responsibility for my emotional and mental health and it's a liberation to be able to do so.