Dr John Sarno, a rehabilitation specialist in the U.S., was a pioneer in understanding the link between emotions and pain syndromes. He theorised that unconscious emotions are the root cause of chronic pain and fatigue. Sarno believes that pain is a response mediated by the Autonomic Nervous System as part of a whole mind-body attempt to manage our unconscious material. In other words, our brains are so sophisticated we can unconsciously choose to manifest physical conditions, rather than face our dark, murky emotional underworld! Apparently several people who worked with Sarno were cured of their physical symptoms just by knowing that. He recommended body centred psychotherapy to assist the healing.
Clearly there is more and more scientific evidence of the link between our minds and our bodies. Somatic psychotherapy, by assisting clients to access and release blocked emotions and the accompanying physical armouring in the body can be profoundly healing for a range of chronic conditions, as it is actually addressing the root of the problem. Some of these conditions may include chronic pain, Migraines, Fibromyalgia, Repetitive Strain Injury, some forms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and some forms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
A new orientation in recent years is increasing evidence on the gut-brain connection. There is a lot of growing evidence that the impact of diet (especially gluten and sugar) and stress endemic of our modern lifestyle is implicated in multiple physical and psychological health conditions. These include depression, anxiety, CFS, IBS, Fibromyalgia, Autism Spectrum Disorders and food intolerances. Studies into the ‘Microbiome” which refers to the health and diversity of bacteria living in our gut is central to this new field of investigation. In my interest in looking after a client’s psychological well-being there are many factors that may need to be addressed.