Do you know your amygdala (the part of your brain that generates negative emotions) has been shown to cause and also cure physical symptoms? Incredible and probably not believable by many. But just because you may not believe it, doesn’t mean it’s not true. We have the neuroscience now to prove what the pioneering Dr. Sarno said years ago, that emotions cause all sorts of real physical symptoms in the body. What I would add is that many chronic physical symptoms are actually emotions themselves!
From the neuroscience data we currently have, here’s what we know (in the words of these authors in the articles linked above)
‘Optogenetic and pharmacological manipulations have linked amygdala activity changes causally to pain-like behaviors. A unifying view is that amygdala (central nucleus) activation can generate or facilitate pain-like behaviors under normal conditions in the absence of any tissue pathology, whereas deactivation inhibits certain behaviors in acute and chronic pain models.’
‘Recent evidence from preclinical and clinical studies further suggests that differences in amygdala activity and connectivity may predict vulnerability or resilience to pain.’
‘It seems that the brain may have an ‘off switch’ for pain. Researchers at Duke University have found a small area of the brain in mice that can control the animals’ sense of pain.’
The ‘switch’ is located in the amygdala, an area of the brain more often considered the home of negative emotions and responses, like the fight or flight response, or general feelings of anxiety. Mice have a relatively larger central amygdala than humans, but the team says the system for controlling pain is likely to be similar.’
I’m so thankful for this research as it really validates what I have experienced myself at various times, read about from Dr. Sarno, and then saw in many many patients working as a physical therapist for over 20 years. That pain and physical symptoms are not always purely physical issues. The very same physical symptoms can be emotional and produced by your amygdala. This is why it is so important to learn about emotions and how they may be causing or contributing to your physical symptoms.
Reach out for coaching support if you want to learn more about this and how it may relate to your physical issue. In the meantime check out this video below explaining more about emotions and their relationship to physical symptoms.