by Lawrence Wilson
© January 2019, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is solely the opinion of the author and for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Definition. Psychosomatic symptoms are physical or somatic symptoms that are the result of psychological distress. They are often caused by suppressed emotions or thoughts.
The process of expressing emotions through the body is sometimes called somatization in psychology. This just means that one feels things in the soma or body.
Psychosomatic symptoms are also sometimes called conversion disorders because an emotional trauma is converted into a physical symptom.
Qualities of psychosomatic symptoms. These include:
- a tendency to amplify the symptom. This means that often with psychosomatic symptoms, one panics when the symptoms arise, making the symptoms far worse.
- potential benefits to playing the sick role. The reason for this is that one does not want to feel the psychological pain, and one prefers the physical pain, although this may sound strange. This tends to perpetuate the symptoms.
- denial. Some people cannot imagine that their feelings are causing what are sometimes severe physical symptoms.
Common psychosomatic symptoms include asthma, chest pain and tightness, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, headache, edema, back pain, insomnia, abdominal pain, numbness impotence, weight loss, cough and constipation.
However, many other symptoms can have an emotional component or cause. Some say that all symptoms have an emotional basis. We do not agree with this, however.
WHY DO PSYCHOSOMATIC SYMPTOMS OCCUR?
Our thoughts, feelings and physical body form one system. This means they are closely linked to each other. If one hides or suppresses one’s feelings or thoughts, this causes stress on the entire body system. This can result in nutritional depletion, for example, or it can tense up certain muscles and throw one’s back out of alignment. It might also tense up the arteries and raise the blood pressure. It might tense up the muscles in the neck and cause a headache. It might even cause the prodution of toxins in the intestines that results in cancer formation.
In all these cases, the “cause” of the symptoms is physical at one level, but may be emotional at another level.
This is one reason that development programs always seek to address health and disease on many levels all at once. We just find this is the best way to have success against all sorts of symptoms whose cause may be difficult to assess.
Correspondence. Correspondence is a principle of all fractal and holographic designs, which includes our bodies. It means that one part corresponds to another, often in unusual ways.
Here is an example. A symptom such as chest tightness corresponds to the fourth energy center because that center is located in the middle of the chest, near the heart. The fourth energy center is concerned with friendships, business relationships, and other social matters. If a trauma or emotion has to do with this area of life, one may feel the trauma in this area of the body. To understand the energy centers, read The Centers.
IDENTIFYING PSYCHOSOMATIC SYMPTOMS
This is not often easy. One way is to go to a doctor and rule out physical causes for symptoms. If no physical cause can be found, it is more likely that the symptoms are psychosomatic in nature. Unfortunately, doctors miss many nutritional, structural and other causes for symptoms, so this method is not always helpful.
Another way to identify the emotional cause for physical symptoms is if one can link the appearance of the symptoms with an emotional event or trauma. For example, if one began having headaches just after one’s mother died, it is more likely that the event of the death is contributing or causing one’s headaches.
Another way to identify psychosomatic symptoms is if they come and go unexpectedly in ways that purely physically-caused symptoms would not tend to do.
For example, the author formerly had many stomach problems. He once attended a wedding where food was served that would usually cause problems for him. However, the atmosphere was very relaxed and funny because a flock of ducks next door made a lot of noise the entire time. The author laughed a lot, ate foods that he considered ‘harmful’, yet had no digestive problems that day. It made it clear to him that his mental attitude affected his digestion a lot.
Combinations. A complicating factor in identifying the cause of any symptoms is that the cause can be a combination of physical and emotional causes. This is important because a purely mental solution such as affirmations or prayer will usually not be enough to undo nutritional causes, for example, or mechanical causes for symptoms.
This is why all development programs include therapies that can help the body on many levels.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT PSYCHOSOMATIC SYMPTOMS?
Understanding the concept is important. This helps avoid panic that just amplifies the problem. Relaxing can go a long way to minimizing psychosomatic symptoms.
Affirmations such as saying the 23rd psalm and many others, can help shift one’s thinking and be very helpful.
Expressing emotions in healthy ways such as laughing, crying or even screaming (yes) can sometimes help. To cry you may have to put on a very sad movie or television program and pretend you are extremely sad and make a sad face, in order to cry. This can release a lot of tension and pent up feelings.
If one stays with a development program, psychosomatic symptoms will eventually go away as the underlying issues that cause them resolve.
We don’t recommend symptomatic methods such as energy medicine and machines. These can help in a pinch. However, they make the body yin, which is definitely harmful. If you use them, use a minimum. Do not believe those who say these methods are harmless. In our experience the toxicity is very subtle, but it is real or we would recommend them.
Any books by Louise Hay, such as You Can Heal Your Life. These books are a simple way to understand psychosomatic symptoms and contain affirmations that can help one overcome them.