In her newly revised classic, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, Dr. Christiane Northrup explores the mind-body connection and how emotional well-being relates to physical health. She covers women’s health topics holistically from head to toe and from the inside out. Get a sneak peak below and enter your comments for a chance to win a copy of the book!
How to Heal Energy Leaks: Heading Off Physical Illness in a Healthy Way
To stay or become healthy, it is useful for each of us to notice where we are leaking our energy. A good time to do this is when you go to bed each night. To begin the process of healing your energy leaks, simply notice who or what you are thinking about, worrying about, or obsessing about. What thoughts, emotions, events, or people keep coming into your mind? Are there any emotions or thoughts over which you are obsessing? See whom you’re holding resentments against.
When you find these areas, you must call your spirit back. One way to do this is by using your will and your power of intent to call back the parts of you that are caught in past or present situations that don’t serve your highest good. It is helpful to do this out loud. Simply state, “Spirit, come back here—I need you with me.” As you’re calling your spirit back, it also helps to affirm your spiritual connection verbally. Repeat the following affirmation (or something similar), really feeling the truth of it: “I am always being divinely guided toward my highest good on all levels. Divine love now dissolves everything that is not on my divinely designed path.” The split-off parts of yourself are not used to this calling, but eventually they will respond to your efforts and your energy will return.
Most of the blockages in our vibrational systems are emotional in nature. It’s helpful to think of your vibrational system as being like a stream of water flowing along. As long as this energy flow is healthy and you are feeling good about yourself, there’s much less risk of disease. Environmental toxins, dietary fat, and excess sugar or alcohol (to name a few) usually don’t manifest in disease unless other factors have already set up the pattern of blockage in the body’s energy system in the first place. [footnote 1: I am talking about common patterns here. Some illnesses are mysterious—almost archetypal—and don’t fit the personal patterns I describe in this section.]
Environmental or dietary risk factors can be likened to debris carried along in the body’s energy flow. This debris stays afloat unless there is a felled tree or other blockage to the water flowing in the stream. When there is, the debris collects in the branches of the felled tree and accumulates. Over time, similar accumulations in the body’s energy flow can result in physical illness. In fact, scientific research has associated a failure of the flow of information between cells with the induction of cancer in those cells. A physical barrier of any kind that blocks communication between cells is a carcinogenic influence. [footnote 2: D. B. Clayson, Chemical Carcinogenesis (London: Churchill Publishers, 1962).] The fat and connective tissue that form a fibroid, for example, do so only when the energy flow around and through the uterus is already blocked in some way.
Our emotions are often stuck at the childhood level, when we were not allowed to experience them fully. Clinical psychologist Doris E. Cohen explains that the child part of us actually takes over our adult nervous system, recreating the same unhealed fears we were unable to fully work through as children. The purpose of this is to bring healing into the unhealed places. An example would be a woman who, at the age of three, was abandoned by her father. Whenever she begins a new relationship, she begins to feel a sense of impending doom—the work of her inner three-year-old. And then she ends up sabotaging the relationship and repeating her abandonment. Nothing changes until she catches herself engaging in this repetition and learns how to comfort the frightened child within her who has been unconsciously running the show.
In this culture, which teaches us to split our adult intellectual knowledge from our emotional reality and needs, one can have a Ph.D. from Harvard but an emotional body that is only two years old. The emotions of a frightened or angry two-year-old, if unexpressed and unacknowledged, become energetically stuck in childish patterns. Emotions that are expressed, felt, and named, on the other hand, simply flow through our energy system, leaving no residual unfinished business. Once stuck emotions are expressed and released, we must also acknowledge that we are no longer children. It’s time to put our adult selves in the driver’s seat of our lives.
We do not have to wait to develop cancer or other diseases in order to get the message that we need to change our vibrational point of attraction and begin creating health. None of us is completely free from the fear, anger, and stress that come and go as part of normal life. When these emotions become intense enough to affect our psychological and emotional well-being on a regular basis, we are heading for physical illness unless we resolve them in a healthy way. When our daily unresolved pain, anger, and frustration rob our bodies of vital health-producing energy, it is essential to bring healing and understanding into our daily thoughts, emotions, and actions.
Here is a crucial point: It is completely possible for a woman to go through her entire life free from physical illness even though she was abused, beaten, or neglected as a child. Early childhood problems do not necessarily cause energy disturbances and physical illness. Often these problems occur only after a woman begins to develop as an individual and form her own identity and opinions separate from those of her family and her tribe. From this vantage point, she often realizes that what happened to her as a child was not acceptable. However, she is realizing this from the perspective of a mature individual, not of the child she was then.
Hurts and wounds from a woman’s past do not become potentially devastating to her, physically or emotionally, until she gets the idea that what happened to her in the past was wrong, that it shouldn’t have happened, and that she was abused purposely and consciously by her family members. No one should be abused in any way. And anyone who was abused was entitled to better. No one would disagree with this. But very few of us had idyllic, pain-free childhoods. Abuse is remarkably common in part because the human race hasn’t had much experience with allowing positive energy and joy into our lives for very long. We have a central nervous system that, for centuries, has been wired to expect and react to conflict—which we are also masters at creating until we recognize this pattern and change it. That’s where our power lies, always.
Regardless of what has happened to us in childhood, it’s our job to feel, transform, and heal our wounds. To thrive, we must become sources of health and healing so that we can break the chains of pain that run in our families. Part of thriving is avoiding toxic blame and resentment that goes on for years. Energy disturbance and subsequent illness result from past abuse only if a woman is unable to work through her emotional and psychological pain with forgiveness and understanding for herself and others—even for those who caused the abuse.
Forgiveness doesn’t preclude anger, however. Feeling rage and anger from past violations is a necessary first step toward healing. Anger mobilizes and energizes us to make long-overdue, life-enhancing changes. It’s far preferable to the stasis of depression. The key is to feel that anger and then move on. Anger and blame are a necessary stop on the road of life, but they make a lousy destination. The longer we stay in this mode, searching for a perpetrator to blame for what happened to us—be it men, our mothers, the government, or doctors—the more our bodies are energetically depleted. I’ve learned how to recognize the poisonous effects of righteous indignation in my own body. Getting stuck in this energy for a long time becomes self-destructive.
Our early family life clearly has a profound influence on our character and health. Nevertheless, our bodies and minds are self-renewing. Writing a new script for ourselves changes our biology. We can decide to heal ourselves and move on.
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Adapted with permission from Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, Bantam, 2010.
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.
© Christiane Northrup, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
To learn more about Dr. Northrup, go to www.drnorthrup.com.