(NaturalNews) Whenever an episode of lower back pain strikes, we question, "What brought this on?" Our mind wanders to the physical things we have done over the last few days, which many times are not out of the ordinary, and in fact, frankly innocent sounding when that sharp, shooting pain starts when bending over to pick up our keys or the bathroom wastebasket. Surely, our lower back is not so weak that picking up a trivial object would inflict such pain and injury. "Okay, well, it must have been the way I was sleeping," is a common story that many people share about their episodes of lower back pain. Could there be something we are overlooking that is making our lower backs so angry?
The link with our emotional body
Rarely do we make the connection that our current emotional state or years of accumulated negative emotions may be triggering our lower back pain, sending us into a tailspin. What is the link, and what can we do to determine if our emotions are behind our lower back pain?
Taking a deeper look at this association, we must understand how emotions affect our bodies. Any time we experience an emotion, whether it is positive or negative, our nervous system processes this feeling with associated past experiences. Our mind then evaluates this emotion, categorizes it as either fight/flight or business as usual, and triggers the alarm if it senses a need for survival. This survival response activates the body to assume a posture of defense physiology. Much of this processing is occurring at the subconscious level in various parts of our brains including the amygdala, the hippocampus, the cerebellum and the hypothalamus. It is not necessary to know all of these neuroanatomical locations your brain has already made a response to before you are consciously aware of it. Each emotion also drives a unique signature of hormones and neurotransmitters to be produced. Positive emotions typically create a blend of health enhancing chemicals, while negative emotions create a blend of disease promoting chemicals.
Survival activation and deactivation
This survival, or defense response, is perfectly designed to be activated for short bursts of time. The problem arises when our mental and emotional state triggers this response for weeks, months or years at a time. When the body is in defense physiology, muscles tighten up, heart rate and blood pressure increase, cortisol increases in chronic situations, immune function decreases, blood sugar is unstable, digestion slows down, and blood is diverted from our core to our extremities. Prolonged defense physiology sets the stage for all types of "mysterious" pain, ailments, and chronic, life-threatening conditions. Plug in these facts and discover the perfect storm for an "angry" back flare-up.
Other assessments of the body in chronic defense physiology include classic signs such as breathing with the shoulders instead of through the abdomen, shoulders elevated to the ears when "relaxed," and dilated pupils. Heart rate variability (HRV), a technologically advanced non-invasive assessment of heart rhythm performed by both natural and conventional healthcare providers, can be measured to determine output of the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for triggering the fight or flight response. Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique (B.E.S.T.), performed by natural healthcare providers, is a technique used to identify a body in defense physiology due to emotional stress. The aberrant emotional pattern can be determined, neutralized, and "updated." This allows the nervous system to disengage the inappropriately timed defense response, letting the body return to a natural state of self-healing.
Sources for this article include Morter, M.T. (1997). Dynamic Health: Using Your Own Beliefs, Thoughts and Memory to Create a Healthy Body. BEST Research. ISBN-10:0944994091.
Pert, Candace. (1999), Molecules Of Emotion: The Science Between Mind-Body MedicineScribner ISBN 0-684-84634-9
Sarno, John E. (2006).The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders. Harper Paperbacks.ISBN0-06-085178-3.
About the author: Kelly Pepper, D.C., is a mother of six, an avid reader, eclectic cook, home manager, and untiring sleuth to natural living. She gathers her experience to share with children of all ages. She is currently working on a wellness book series for children ages 4-7. She and her husband own Affinity Health Professionals www.affinityhealthprofessionals.com.