January 24, 2017

How Do Your Emotions Reflect Your Health?

By Dr. Scott Saunders

Sam was in my office today with a completely emotionless face.  He said he had a pain on his finger and pointed to a bump on the distal joint of his index finger.  These joints aren’t usually painful, but he indicated it hurt to bend his finger and press on it.  I got a syringe with cortisone and put an injection in it as he looked away.

We then talked about his all-over pain.  I asked him why he had so much inflammation and he stated matter-of-factly in a monotone voice,“It’s probably the alcohol.”  Everything changed at that moment because he then asked for medication to calm his nerves so he wouldn’t feel the need to drink.

He had tried so many things that are supposed to help alcoholism, but without any success.  “I’m at the end of my rope…”  He almost broke down and cried, but trying very hard not to show emotion he gathered himself and said, “This is the only thing in my life I have wanted to do and have not been able.”

Not being able to deal with your own emotions is guaranteed to negatively affect your health!  The only way Sam can deal with his feelings of sadness, depression and loneliness is to suppress them with alcohol.  Like so many, he isn’t even really aware of why he feels the way he does, he just wants the feeling to go away.  Again, many, many people turn to alcohol because alcohol works!  This has been the “drug of choice” for all emotional problems that plague people since the beginning of time.  Now we have other options for handling our emotions and improving our health.

In fact, the majority of drugs prescribed by doctors are not for physical problems, but rather emotional ones. Many people do not see or understand things on an emotional level.  Because people don’t know why they feel the way they do, these drugs are prescribed to help people feel better and control their emotions:

  • Tranquilizers
  • Antidepressants
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Morphine
  • Pain pills
  • Sleeping pills

But because most people don’t know how to understand and deal with their feelings, they are unable to connect with others.  This produces feelings of:

  • Fear
  • Separation
  • Loneliness
  • Isolation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

In trying to escape such feelings, people become physically unhealthy as a result. Like Sam who feels the need to keep drinking alcohol, there are many ways people use chemical means to feel better.  Dealing with your feelings in this way produces multiple negative effects.  This is huge in that it affects nearly every person in the world.


As a society in general, we consider that those drugs prescribed by a doctor are somehow better than those we can buy without a prescription.  However, we must consider that when we use chemicals for emotional reasons, we prevent our own growth.

For example, children who are emotionally immature often have trouble in school. Then, a teacher or doctor may recommend a drug to treat ADD.  The use of the drug stimulates receptors, but doesn’t improve the functioning of the brain. Thus, these children most often become adults with ADD, never having grown up in any other way.  Thus, they are likely to continue to require and become addicted to chemical or other support for their emotions.

Chronic Pain

Most pain is emotional.  The ground-breaking work by John Sarno, MD, a rehabilitation specialist, has shown that most

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Are Your Emotions Making You Sick?

By Amanda Box, N.D.

Sue walked into my office without an appointment.  Her face looked frazzled.  She apologized for not calling beforehand, but said she was desperate.  She said she felt extremely ill and that regular doctors were ignoring her cries for help.  She was just sure that if I gave her some vitamins and a good diet to follow that it would make her sickness all right.  But, I knew better.

whole health mind body spirit

I didn’t have time to have an actual consult with her, but I had a suspicion that there was something else going on – something much deeper than just her physical symptoms.  I started asking questions and quickly found out that I wasn’t the one she needed to be talking to.

Many times, my clients are surprised when I start asking questions about their childhood, their marriage and the stress in their life.  Most think that since they came in with physical symptoms, that I should be asking questions that only deal only with their physical body.

I explain to them,

“Health isn’t just what we eat and drink or how our body feels. It is what we think about and if we have a spiritual connection with God.

Our health is WHOLE HEALTH: Mind, Body and Spirit.  If one is not balanced, the others are affected. Click to tweet.

Sue had major emotional issues that were leading to her inability to sleep and also had feelings of depression.  She admitted to me that there had been trauma in her childhood, that she had had an abortion 20 years ago and that she had thoughts of hurting herself.

The look in her eyes spoke so much to me.

I said to her, “Sue, I can put you on an excellent diet plan and some supplements to help you sleep.  But, I honestly don’t think they will do much.  You see, you need emotional and spiritual healing.  Unfortunately, I am not equipped to give you what you need in this area, but I can refer you to someone who can help you walk through this.  Then, when you feel peace in your mind and spirit, we will work on that diet plan.”

I handed her the number of my friend who is a professional counselor who deals with both the mind and spirit.  Then I assured her she would get better and that I would be praying for her.

There have been many other times when I had to make that judgment call and refer my client to a counselor.  Because I understand the power of the mind and what it can do to our bodies, I feel like I would be cheating them if I didn’t refer them for more emotional and spiritual help.

If one is filled with anger or fear, no supplement or food plan is going to fix that!  It might take the edge off, but the root issue is still there.

Natural medicine is about getting to the root of the problem, and that root is not always physical.

A More Excellent Way

My mother in law gave me a book several years ago called, “A More Excellent Way.”  It is a book written about the emotional roots of diseases and has bible scriptures that tie into each one.  When I started flipping through the book, it illuminated the emotion-diesease connection I had feared addressing because people might think I was crazy.  I don’t agree with everything the author says, but I have begun to see much of the same in my clients.

I started using what I had learned in the book for my consults.  I remember the first time I worked up the guts to go after an emotional root to an ailment.

I had a mom call me because her son had eczema that was not clearing up.  She had spent months using all kinds of natural supplements and a clean diet.  I asked her, “Does he struggle with fear?  And did you happen to deal with fear while you were pregnant or when he was a baby?”  She replied, “Why yes!  I almost miscarried him in the womb and I feared the whole pregnancy that he wouldn’t make it! And he is a very fearful kid!”

I found the root!  The book was right when it connected skin issues like eczema with fear!  Does that mean fear is the sole cause of eczema?  No, it can have physical causes as well like food allergies or parasites.

But, when someone struggles with an issue that doesn’t clear up with the correct supplements and the right diet, an emotion very well may be the culprit.  I have seen it over and over again, now with eczema and with several other ailments.

There are plenty of other books out there that talk about the emotional roots of disease. Eastern medicine has known about your emotional quotient and health relationship for centuries!  Slowly but surely we are catching up here in the West.  Doctors now understand how stress can affect us physically.  The medical world is now admitting that 70-80% of diseases are rooted in stress!  That would mean they originated in the mind, right?

Thirty years ago, the majority of doctors didn’t understand the great impact of stress on the body. This acknowledgement is a great step in the right direction. However, it is disappointing to me when doctors prescribe a pill for emotional distress when the patient may need professional help.  I have had clients who have been on drugs, such as Prozac, for 20 years!!  These drugs are for short-term use.  Long-term use can cause chemical imbalances in the brain! These pharmaceutical drugs typically cover up the problem and don’t address the root of the emotional imbalance.

Are Emotions Making You Sick?

Now, I want you to think for a minute.

  • Think about the physical issues that you may deal with, whether it is heart disease, diabetes, or even fibromyalgia.
  • Have you tried everything natural you can think of with no avail?
  • Do you eat right but your blood pressure still stays elevated?

Now, look deep inside yourself.

  • Do you struggle with anger?
  • Or, do you harbor feelings of worry, fear or anxiety?

You may say, “Well I have a right to feel that way! You don’t know what has happened in my life!”  You’re probably right.  You do have every right to feel the way you feel.

But would you consider letting go of those emotions if you knew you would feel better and your sickness might disappear?

Listed below are some of the more common emotion-sickness connections.  Read through these and see if any of them resonate with you.  If they do, it may be time to seek some emotional and spiritual help to bring you freedom from what is truly making you sick.

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Are You a Hungry Bipolar Bear?

Anger and Agitation Can Be Signs Of Bipolar Disorder

We all know that lethargy, daunting feelings of defeat, thoughts of suicide, and a keen unwillingness to go on with life can all take you – a perfectly good person – and leave you feeling empty, a fragile shell of who you once were or hope to be.

We call this manic depression or bipolar disorder – and it can be much more than just anxiety and sadness.

Intense anger is also a nasty by-product of this debilitating disease.

Depression can “drop the gates” and allow you to get irritated more easily and downright mad when things don’t go your way. Some examples of depression and induced anger can be:


If you have 3 or more of the mania symptoms below most of the day, nearly every day, for one week or longer, you may be having a manic episode of bipolar disorder:Excessive happiness, sudden changes from joy to hostility, less need for sleep, talkativeness, distractibility, racing thoughts, high sex drive, making unattainable plans, show poor judgement, grandiosity, reckless behavior.

  • When daily tasks prove harder than you thought…or when items you use every day don’t work the way they should.
  • Something as simple as refitting the canister in your vacuum cleaner after emptying it – if it doesn’t snap right into place as it should, you may grimace, grit your teeth, and shout obscenities in your head or even aloud (Yes, this one is from personal experience!).
  • A link to an internet page might not load as fast as it should, your email might not refresh and you miss an important message, a seemingly harmless storm could cause a power surge that leaves you without electricity and any of these could set you off.
  • And how about a relationship issue? A friend, loved one, or colleague might say or do something that under normal circumstances wouldn’t be worth a scowl but when you’re depressed, it commands as much negative attention as you can muster. You harp on the action or words until you go nuts with anger.

Sound familiar?

Explosive behavior in folks with bipolar disorder is very common, especially in children, tweens and teens.

What Causes the Fury-Fueled Conniptions?

The root cause of depression-induced hissy fits differs from person to person.  A few common causes are:

  • Lack of sleep.
    Depression can and does affect your sleep patterns. You may find it difficult to saw the wood no matter how tired you might be. Lying awake with too much on your mind and an internal dialogue that won’t quit can ruin your slumber. Sleep deprivation is responsible for all sorts of maladies in all of us and anger is a big one.
  • No more pleasure in things.
    If you can’t seem to take pleasure in the things you should or did in the past, you may find your level of tolerance for others and certain situations hits the ground with an annoying thud. Because your mind is tricking you into thinking your life isn’t worth the birth certificate it’s printed on, it’s perfectly logical to understand why you can’t enjoy the things that make for a healthy, rich living experience.
  • Inability to focus on work, family or friends.
    They say you don’t know what you got till it’s gone. It can be very frustrating to lose your desire to do a good job at work, take a picnic with friends and family, or even sit down to watch a good movie. It’s especially irritating when you were able to do these things before you became depressed.

If any of this rings a bell for you, or if you know someone who shows the signs, stick around. You’re going to discover how to beat it without using dangerous pills to alter your natural chemistry.

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