Anxiety had become George’s way of life for over five years, but it was his rising blood pressure and heart palpitations that brought the 46 year old to IMI. Recognising George’s health issues were interconnected, our naturopath identified and treated the various lifestyle factors that were affecting George’s health. She also referred him to IMI Osteopath and Kinesiologist Jodi Waugh.
Unbeknown to George, his anxiety was an underlying cause of his physical symptoms. Physical and emotional wellbeing are contingent upon each other, Jodi explains. “Anxiety triggers consistent responses in the physical body: when you feel anxious, your stomach naturally contracts and shifts higher beneath the diaphragm and base of the heart. This explains why you may lose your appetite or experience stomach ‘butterflies’,” she says.
In a short-term state of anxiety, stomach contractions and the slight inflation of the lungs as you hold your breath cause the heart to contract harder and faster. This pumps circulation around the body, which can help in moments when you need to think and act on our feet.
“But in a chronic state of anxiety, the stomach takes energy from the heart and structurally restricts the space that the heart expands into. Longer term, contractions of the stomach can apply anatomical tension to the heart, which can contribute to palpitations and arrhythmias,” she says.
After reviewing George’s medical history, Jodi used a series of osteopathic manipulations and mobilisations to treat his heart, lungs, thorax, diaphragm and stomach. Osteopathy is known to stabilise the autonomic nervous system – the primary system in control of our fight-or-flight response. It plays a key role in regulating heart rate and blood pressure.
Anxiety had triggered George’s heart palpitations, but what had triggered his severe anxiety?
Kinesiology – a non-invasive therapy – is based on the premise that any problems arising within the meridians will eventually be reflected in the body. The body is a truth detector and though muscle testing, kinesiologists can identify blockages and inbuilt belief systems from the way the body does or doesn’t push back.
“Meridians run all over the body. Each one is associated with an organ and stores a consistent group of emotions. For example, the liver meridian stores emotions related to frustration, anger or repressed feelings. The kidney and bladder meridian store emotions related to fear or being stuck somehow in life,” Jodi explains.
Using a combination of muscle testing linked with meridian to investigate where the energetic imbalances existed in his body, Jodi uncovered stored emotions from a number of similar incidences in his life primarily affecting the kidney and stomach meridians.
Through the kinesiology process and gentle corrections to align related parts of the spine and autonomic nervous system, George was able to achieve energetic balance and flow again. Additionally Jodi gave George a ‘forgiveness process’ as homework. “It’s a seven-step process to energetically separate yourself from events in the past or even in some cases present-day situations that are having an effect. The kinesiology and forgiveness process both help to release stores of emotion or attachment to states of victimisation, so that you can fully claim responsibility for your own health and happiness in the present and – faced with a stimulus or trigger in the present moment – feel a response that is proportional and appropriate,” she says.
As George completed the process, he felt an immense weight lifting from his chest. His palpitations have disappeared and he no longer relies on medication prescribed by his cardiologist. Naturally – like any of us – he feels anxious in certain situations, but that disproportionate, overwhelming sensation that once paralysed him has gone. He now recovers easily from stressful situations and, with a new sense of control, has rediscovered his usual optimism and zest for life.
Jodi shares advice that you can immediately put to use when dealing with stress or anxiety:
“Take time each day to sit quietly, close your eyes and replay the events of the day in your mind. Watch the recent memories play out and ask yourself what did I feel and where did I feel it in my body? When you detect an emotional tension in the body feel into it, give it your full attention and allow it to fade away naturally. This starts the natural processing of events and can make you feel more in control of your emotions.”