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holistic Spiritual Healing

The Body (Part 5)

© Daniel J. Benor MD

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Wholistic Spiritual Healing by Daniel J. Benor MD. View all columns in series

Yoga and other bodymind therapies such as the Alexander Technique , Bioenergetics , Feldenkrais and Rubenfeld therapies can bring about emotional releases. In some of these therapies there can be manual pressure by the therapist on the body, as in massage, but in many instances the therapy relies on the client placing her body in particular positions that temporarily increase tensions and then release them. Emotional releases may occur during these exercises, as memories associated with body tensions are activated.

Bioenergy healing may also bring about such releases, as in the veteran with backache described above. Healers may hold their hands very lightly touching the body, or may hold their hands several inches away from the body during treatments. During healing it is not a rare experience to have emotional releases occur. Healers suggest that the bioenergy body can hold memories just like the physical body can . Elmer Green coined the term energy cyst for these memories which appear to be stored in the bioenergy field. Therapists practicing many forms of bioenergy healing have reported such releases, including Barbara Brennan Healers, Carniosacral Therapy, Healing Touch, Qigong, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch and others.

Aromatherapy relies on the odors of various oils to produce particular effects. For instance, lavender is used to soothe and calm; lemongrass and rosemary to uplift and refresh; and orange is soporific . While it is unclear how odors produce these effects, we have in this sensory stimulation of the body a variety of therapeutic effects.

Homeopathy introduces substances into the body that produce physical and psychological effects which resonate with the properties of various chemicals.

The blending of symptom, substance, and symbol is beautifully illustrated by Edward Whitmont, a Jungian psychiatrist. Whitmont describes a man of about 40 who had acne, whom I call "Henry." A single, strong dose of calcium carbonate (extracted from oyster shells), C1,000 was given. This produced temporary spasms of his finger muscles, similar to tetany symptoms which would be typical from parathyroid gland dysfunction. These spasms evoked memories in Henry from his childhood, when his mother taped his fingers to his bedside in a way that resembled their position during the spasms from the homeopathic calcium carbonate. His mother had done this to prevent him from masturbating. Vivid memories arose in Henry of his anger and shame from this experience. As a child he had completely repressed these memories in his unconscious mind. This somehow translated itself into his skin condition and a boisterous personality. With the release of these memories came a release of the spasms in his fingers. This also furthered his progress in psychotherapy.

Whitmont explains that every remedy has its particular spectrum of effects, its personality. When a person has a cluster of physical and psychological symptoms and personality traits that match those of a remedy, then that remedy can bring about a clearing of those symptoms and may also alter the accompanying personality traits. The art and challenge of the practice of homeopathy is to ask the right questions in order to identify the relevant symptom clusters. Without asking about specific symptoms, many of which would not be at all obvious or likely to be reported spontaneously, the best remedy might easily be missed.

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About The Author
Daniel J. Benor, M.D. - wholistic psychiatric psychotherapist including bodymind approaches, spiritual awareness and healing in his practice. Author of Healing Research, Volumes I-IV, he is a Founding Diplomate of the American Board of Holistic Medicine, Coordinator for the Council for Healing, a non-profit organization that promotes awareness of spiritual healing, and editor of......more
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