In the dead of winter about 10 years ago I went through a number of emotionally trying situations all taking place within a relatively short period of time. My wife tried unsuccessfully to console me. It was a difficult time. We just had a number of things happen in our church that were emotionally painful. Even though logically I could analyze what had happened yet emotions tend to override all logic. These incidents resulted in about two months of illness including high fever, swollen tonsils, sinusitis, and abdominal issues culminating into Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
The spirit, mind, body connection is so evident to me as I live my life but it was not so evident back in those days. When we face emotional stress such as dealing with a difficult person, being fired, losing a job, or an environment of constant conflict this eventually results in different forms of illnesses. Some of these illnesses are acute and some are chronic, possibly not showing up until months or years later.
Is there a solution? Is there hope? Absolutely yes! I remember one time talking with my holistic health care provider and asking him if there was hope for me. He smiled reassuringly and told me that I was going to be healthy and not to concern myself over it. There is hope for you!
The immune system is quite complex and to fully explain it here would be impossible. However, I will attempt to give you some key components so that you can understand some of its basics.
The immune system works from the bone marrow all the way to the outer layer of the skin. Even though the following organs and tissues have other purposes, yet the immune system is supported and operates from these:
The Thymus is located under the breastbone and is at its peak during adolescence.
Produces lymphocytes—T-cells and B-cells and sends them through the lymphatic system to secondary organs.
The lymphatic system runs throughout the entire body and consists of nodes. Many of these are in the chest, neck and head. They are connected to our organs, in particular the spleen, tonsils and thymus.
Here is where many white blood cells reside and are tagged for “specific service”. When our intestines do not function well our immune system loses its potency. Intestines are particularly vulnerable to disturbing emotions.
The spleen is found in the left upper quadrant of our abdomen. Its function primarily is to remove old red blood cells and to hold a reserve of blood in case of hemorrhagic shock. The spleen also synthesizes antibodies and removes certain kinds of bacteria through blood and lymph node circulation.
We have two tonsils, one located on each side of the back of the throat. Tonsils are part of the Lymphatic system and are said to tag white blood cells for certain tasks. Tonsils are the first line of defence.
The liver is located mostly on the right side of the body and primarily sits under the ribs though it does extrudes beyond that. The liver a multi-functioned organ which directly and indirectly effects our immune system. The liver is a mediator of systemic and local innate immune regulation.
What was once considered a useless appendage in our body now is showing its value in helping to maintain a healthy immune system. Some new research indicates that the appendix harbors and protects bacteria (probiotics) that are beneficial in the function of the colon.
Emotional Stress and Illness
Unfortunately mainline medicine (allopathy) treats primarily the symptoms that arise in our bodies. But, there are many physicians who are now asserting that between 80-95% of all ailments reported by patients are the result of unresolved emotional issues, grudges, and emotional stressors. Natural health care practitioners are trained to treat the cause rather than the symptom.
In an earlier blog I wrote about how the spirit affects the mind and body, the mind effects the spirit and the body. In the end the body is affected and will eventually “kick back”! According to biblical teaching all physical illness is the result of spiritual ailment(s). When we are spiritually, mentally, emotionally ill we eventually become physically ill. In acute cases we may suddenly get a virus, or some infection due to an emotional shock or overload of some kind. In chronic disease cases this is due to long held unresolved emotional issues.
In the beginning of this article I wanted to point out that emotional stress could cause sickness in our body because our emotions either support healthy immune function or they shut it down. If we are in a constant state of hyper vigilance (fight or flight) we will unconsciously be constantly suppressing our immune functions and after awhile this will develop into serious illness(es).
I could give you a list of things to do, but there are hundreds of such lists on the Internet and in books. Instead I have a few thoughts to share with you.
It is also important to consider other things such as environmental stressors on our immune system of which we need to be aware so that we can support our body’s health. Such things as wearing suitable clothing when it’s too hot or too cold, drinking clean water, eating properly, exercising, taking proper supplements, etc.
A big mistake I used to make was that I could figure it all out myself, or I could do it all myself and save the money! But, I have discovered that being your own mentor, coach, therapist, physician, or spiritual leader is a disaster in the making! By relying on other qualified people’s help I have saved money, aggravation, time and as a result have gotten light years ahead in self-improvement and empowerment. Investing in yourself should be top priority. Besides, if you won’t nobody will do it for you! Remember, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Loving and supporting yourself will put you in a healthier position to love others more appropriately.
For a quick questionnaire online to help determine your level of emotional stress go to: http://www.carolespiersgroup.co.uk/questionnaire.html
For consultation or therapeutic help you can contact me at (905) 633-7410.