Journey: Health and Emotions

It’s been a long time since I have written about my “thoughts on the journey” of my own healing. This is primarily because I have arrived at a pretty decent level of healing! While there are still “dusty corners” that need some attending, for the most part my day-to-day operating is what I (and others) would call healthy! 

I’m so encouraged! Of course it feels great to feel great! In general I am pain free and have plenty of energy to last the entire day, even if I spend 10+ hours at work. My mental functioning is the best it’s ever been: I can think through problems well, and my route memory has even improved. I am able to focus on single tasks more easily and completely, instead of jumping around or “multitasking.” My motivation is also fairly strong, although this is one area that I would consider a “dusty corner” still. 

As for the other symptoms I had pre-GAPS diet, including IBS mixed, depression, sensory sensitivities, headaches, migraines, painful periods, tinnitus, easily fatigued with long recovery times, cold all the time, low back pain, stuffy nose and sinuses, geographic tongue, and overall brain fog and poor mental functioning, these rarely, if ever, show up! 

Because the system that is my body is not constantly receiving and answering my body’s signals to me about things that need attention (aka symptoms), it is able to give more time and attention to things that make us happy, productive and healthy! Because I have now detoxed my body significantly and no longer have as much pathogenic gut flora, there are fewer toxins in my body for my liver and other detox organs to deal with.  Because there are now fewer toxins damaging my cells, there is less inflammation overall, resulting in less pain. Because there are now enough cholesterol and fat-soluble vitamins to go around, my hormone system, brain and immune system all have enough building material to operate fully and properly. Because my digestive system is now working better, I am absorbing more nutrients from the food I am eating, which causes my body (especially glands and organs) to work better because they are better fed.

And this is how health works! I knew about this theoretically when I started on the GAPS protocol seven years ago, but it is great to experience it and see that it really is true! And I am writing this in part today to hopefully encourage you in your journey, wherever you are! Keep on! As the body is fed and repaired there is a snowball effect in your progress toward health.

Now don’t get me wrong… I am still on a health journey (we all will be for our whole lives), but the focus of that journey has shifted. I now have the ability to examine aspects of my emotional health with greater energy and focus. And at the same time I enjoy my health and lack of physical symptoms!

It is fascinating how much of our health (or dis-health) is actually determined by our thoughts and emotions. At first I had a hard time with understanding this concept, but then in some book I was reading (sorry, I can’t remember which one) they introduced this concept: it is the “brain” that usually tells our body how to physically react. (By “brain” I mean the centralized intelligence centers (including our “second brain” in the gut), the things inside us that compile information and respond with commands or “thoughts.”)

For example, if we are exposed to an external pathogen like a cold virus, it is our command centers, or “brains”, that receive information about the threat, and organize the body in a coordinated attack. It is your body, not the virus, that causes the runny nose, itchy eyes, sore throat, fever and ultimately a drop in energy. Therefore you can say that it was nothing more than information (or thoughts, if you will) that caused all your cold symptoms.

In the same way, other thoughts and beliefs (or information) that you have will cause your body to react in a certain way. If part of you believes that the world is unsafe, your body will respond appropriately with increased heart rate and alertness, more blood directed to your brain and muscles, and overall being in a sympathetic-dominated state (“fight-or-flight”). This is great for a business presentation or bike race, but when your body lives in this perpetual stress state there will be problems. So you can see that it is incredibly important to know and direct your thoughts, both conscious and subconscious!

Good news! You don’t have to wait until your physical symptoms are gone to start pursuing your emotional health. In fact, some (or many) of your physical symptoms may be tired primarily to a trapped emotion or belief, and until you release or change that, your physical symptom may persist no matter what you do or try. This has certainly been true for me! I started involving “emotional practitioners” in earnest in my health journey about three years into my health journey. This has included a counselor, NET provider, and others trained and aware of the mind-body connection.

Make sense? Does this sound like a next step for you?

Here are some ways you can begin working on your emotional health:

  1. Start getting to know yourself. Being self aware is important and this skill can be honed in many ways. Here are a couple ideas:
    • You could journal about a situation, writing down your emotions and following your train of thought in a non-judgmental way until you have explored all the facets of your response and have a better understanding of the reasons for your particular reaction. 
    • You could check in with your body, especially in a location where you are experiencing pain, and observe and acknowledge every thought and piece of information that comes to mind. Ask “What do you want me to know?,” then just listen. Sometimes pain or tension is simply a messenger your body is using to communicate something to you, and when you acknowledge “Message received,” and validate that it makes sense to you, the pain disappears!
  2. Read a book about this mind-body connection. There are many books on this topic, but a few that I have read or heard about are: The Biology of Belief by Bruce H. Lipton, You Are the One You’ve Been Waiting For by Richard Schwartz, Molecules of Emotion by Deepak Chopra, and Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf. (These links are affiliate links).
  3. Attend one of my classes. They are titled Addressing Emotions: The Next Onion Layer. In this class I present a few different techniques that I utilize on a daily basis to understand and interpret physical and emotional signals. And I share ways for you to start implementing this in your life. I love to share this with you! I also teach a class for parents to better help their children understand their emotions, and how to validate and properly address them. Want to attend? You can find out when the next class is by visiting our Events page on our website.
  4. Set up an appointment with me to do this one-on-one. I have taken dozens of hours of training in a technique called IFS which is designed specifically to help you listen better to the emotional (and physical) signals your body is giving. I am also trained in a couple other approaches that I combine to help you understand what your body is trying to communicate with you. I love helping people do this work, and would love to act as a trail guide for you in this part of your journey!
  5. Finally, practice with patience! Listening and understanding yourself is a skill you can learn, a skill that everyone can learn, but like all skills it takes practice! Be encouraged by small or large victories, and if you didn’t quite understand, be thankful that you are learning! Every time we try something, we learn. And we often learn much more from our “failures” than our “successes.” So each time you try, you win!

I’m glad to be on this journey with you! 

As we travel,


Scroll to Top