Illness As Energy Disturbance
In Chinese medicine, it’s believed that illness begins with energy disturbance. If this disturbance continues, chronic disease can develop. This system of medicine has no separate category for “emotional illness”. Rather, emotional illness represents an energetic weakness in the nervous system. (1)
In order to react properly to our life experiences (the very definition of good emotional health), the entire brain must freely share information (energy). Our nervous system processes information, in two sequential steps: first, through the low-road and then, through the high-road sensory networks of the brain. Trauma creates an energy disturbance between these networks. When an experience is traumatic, important information gets blocked from the high road. When someone is struggling with any of the anxiety disorders, chronic anger, emotional withdrawal, and depression., it’s because that person’s high brain (the neocortex) does not know what the low brain (the brainstem, lymbic system, and basal ganglia) is doing. “What we have here is a failure to communicate !”
Because a natural process has been blocked, the blocked signals from the low brain chronically press toward consciousness…toward the high brain….striving for connection.
Because this information is painful, our nervous system keeps pushing it back down. This chronic tug of war is experienced as suffering and depression.
In order to heal emotional disorders, the tug of war must be defeated. The use of psychotropic medications only aids the pushing down of the pain signals. While this can prevent our distress signals from reaching awareness, it does nothing to stop the chronic activation of the distress signals. Additionally, it may produce the side effect of flattening out our pleasant feelings. It is not enough to apply behavior modification techniques. Because the newly learned behaviors will always be struggling with the primitive, survival-related body signals. Medication and behavior modification can do nothing to modify the distress signals themselves, which are the cause of the emotional problem. Since the cause of our emotional problems is the energy blockage, a safe way to help bring the blocked trauma-related information into the high road of sensory processing is what is needed. Effective primal therapy accomplishes this.
Once the high brain gains access to low brain traumatic information, it can begin to control (shut off) these chronically activated artifacts of our past traumas. This is an automatic process and represents “understanding” on the neuronal level. This understanding can be experienced, subjectively, as a sense of feeling more comfortable in our own skins. And it can be objectively measured using before and after (therapy) stress testing.
(1) The Complete System Of Self-Healing, Dr. Stephen T. Chang. Ch. 5.