By Shannon McRae, Ph.D., Well Being Journal, Vol. 23, No. 6.
Since childhood, I have had the intuitive ability to perceive health and disease processes taking place in the physical and emotional systems of others. Through the study of anatomy and psychology, I honed this ability as an adult and developed a medical intuitive psychology practice to help others heal. I have found over the years that people usually have a certain sense of what is causing their illnesses. Often, all someone needs to stop a disease process is to have another person, such as myself, confirm that they see the probable cause of the illness and make themselves available to help with the healing process.
The majority of my clients present cases where unresolved emotions have led to physical ills. When they begin to talk with me, I perceive the specific disease processes taking place in their lives. I ask certain questions to focus their attention, and they then tend to notice their core issue, opening the way for resolution to occur.
Often, emotional problems arise due to the habit of trying to please others or to live according to rules or conditions set by someone else. Each of us, however, has our own emotional guidance system. When something feels good to us, that feeling serves as guidance to go forward with clarity and happiness. However, our minds often jump in the way with objections such as: “My friend doesn’t like that,” or “My spouse would rather do this,” or “I have to focus on work in order to keep my job.” If we forgo what feels good to us and choose to be guided by what we think others are feeling, we become less happy, perhaps following fearful projections of our mind rather than the desires of our heart. This is one way we depart from the coherence of our heart’s knowing, or emotional alignment, and begin to develop emotional blockages. Then forgiveness becomes necessary as a powerful healing tool.
Epigenetic Factors: Thoughts and Emotions
Our thoughts and emotions—as well as foods, chemicals, electromagnetic energy, healing energy, and many other factors—affect our body’s trillions of cells. Such influences as these are called epigenetic factors because they act to turn various genes on or off, leading to either greater or lesser health and well-being.
Forgiveness is a powerful epigenetic factor. My perspective is that it alone could heal the majority of ills caused by emotional difficulties. Most of my clients would be far better off if they engaged in more intentional positive thinking, and the best way to achieve this is to take more time for oneself to just be—to contemplate or meditate and practice self-forgiveness. In this way, you allow yourself to listen to your heart. The heart is more than an organ; it’s also a magnetic field of intelligence that communicates to the whole body.
As I described in the cancer healing case in the previous issue, coherence for the whole body comes from the heart and leads to emotional stability, but this process is compromised if there are unresolved emotions. Forgiveness clears emotional blocks, which stops resistance to the full natural flow of well-being that can lead to healing.
This viewpoint is supported by new scientific findings. Biologist Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., explains that signals from our environment constantly affect our cells. “In the last decade,” he writes, “epigenetic research has established that DNA blueprints passed down through genes are not set in concrete at birth. Genes are not destiny! Environmental influences, including nutrition, stress, and emotions, can modify those genes without changing their basic blueprint.”
Healing the Heart
One of my clients is a cardiac nurse who developed atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm sometimes associated with dizziness, palpitations, chest pain, lack of energy, and fainting. The main causes in her case were the stresses related to her job and personal life. She turned to me to learn how she could stop the atrial fibrillation and overcome the constant fatigue and fear that the fibrillation would continue to recur. I saw intuitively that her heart was under a lot of stress and that it was fibrillating to try to get her to understand that she needed more rest and better nutrition.
I could tell she was living in a great deal more fear about her heart than she was saying. Her stress, her fatigue, and her fear were constantly sending messages to her genes via messenger molecules in her body, and the result was atrial fibrillation. I counseled with her about proper nutrition and supplements that could nourish her cells and help her sleep better. I also suggested that she decrease her exercise routine so her body would get enough rest to repair itself.
The bottom line was that she needed to jumpstart the healing process by forgiving herself for the stresses she brought into her body. When there is coherence in the heart, such as when forgiveness clears emotions, there is more clarity in the mind. This coherence creates openness—in her case, an open doorway to creating changes in her life, such as slowing down, that would allow the natural flow of health. Each of us has a natural flow that we recognize as a feeling of ease and peace as we move along in our lives. When this natural flow is unimpeded, certain hormones and neurotransmitters, such as endorphins, signal, or turn on, genes that support health—and stress hormones decrease.
Candace Pert, Ph.D., wrote extensively about what she called the “molecules of emotion” in her book of the same title; these are molecules that are transmitted by the brain and nervous system and correlate to our thoughts and emotions. The membranes of our cells are constantly reading and reacting to these signals. Our cells then send intracellular signals to our genes, which then generate different proteins accordingly.
In working with the client mentioned above, part of my job was to instruct her how to take better care of her body so that she could reduce her stress levels and send health-promoting messages to her genes. By eating better foods and taking certain nutritional supplements, she would support her body, and by not exercising so strenuously, she would stop the extra stress on her heart. She was the type of person who wanted always to get right in the middle of whatever action was taking place, but she didn’t realize the stress it caused her. She needed to see that she could delegate some of her responsibilities to others, and she needed to forgive herself for the past patterns of overwork and overreaction that had stressed her, so that she could move on to a new way of living that was healthier for her body.
She did a lot of forgiveness work, and after several months of working together, I could see that it was paying off. Each week, I saw improvement. She took my suggestion to take the supplement magnesium, which helps the heart relaxation cycle. She also learned to delegate certain jobs instead of doing all the busy work. We work together, every two to three weeks now, instead of once or twice a week, and now her heart is in rhythm.
The work you do for yourself—whether it’s managing your stress, keeping a nutritive diet, engaging in forgiveness of self and others, or using any other healing modality—sets up your personal environment, which delivers signals to your cells. Two of the modalities I work with regularly, forgiveness and healing energy, send positive signals to the cells, which then deliver these signals to chromosomes that accordingly influence regulatory proteins and affect genes in a positive way.