There are many theories that attempt to explain the origin and function of emotions – – this research has only fostered even more intense research. All the theories available seem to agree that cognitive appraisal, bodily symptoms, action tendencies, expression and feelings all categorize our emotions.
Let’s start with cognitive appraisal. I believe we have free choice; we can choose how we interpret every situation. If you have a thought that something is terrible or dangerous from a young age, i.e. insects or animals or even people, then every time you see an insect or animal or type of person, you will cognitively appraise the situation as terrible or dangerous and invoke the emotion associated with fear.
I believe we are all divine beings, and as divine beings, whatever we express we will experience. I also believe that we are born ‘clean sheets’ – – that we learn our attitudes and points of view from our environments, and at such a young age that by now most of our attitudes are subconscious.
Bodily symptoms, arousal of the nervous and glandular systems, i.e., sweat, adrenaline, increased heart rate, breathing and muscular tension, and prolonged emotional states are called moods, and moods wear us out. Massage soothes, rejuvenates and invigorates worn down nervous systems. Massage creates homeostasis, a stable physical environment for our glandular and bodily systems to reboot and rebalance themselves.
Action tendencies, ‘fight or flights’ followed by collapse are symptoms of thoughts followed by emotions. Our bodies are under continuous physical stress, temperature, chemical and physical activity. Our bodies are also under continuous mental stress or worry. Whether the mental stress is real or imagined, our brain can’t tell the difference and physically we respond the same. We are always under mental and physical stress, and when we increase any of these stressors beyond our comfort zone, panic sets in resulting in uncontrollable physical reactions, fight or flight followed by collapse.
We can easily learn to recognize the symptoms of stress and deal with them accordingly before they compound and collectively cause emotional, mental and physical break down. Regular massage is the most natural, holistic and affective way I know of to address stress build up.
Expression, facial, postural or vocal. When we express our emotions and try to poker face a situation, good or bad, the emotional energy lodges in our bodies. Louise Hays book, “You Can Heal Your Life” is an excellent reference that tracks stuck emotional energy through the body. Not expressing positive emotions is just as damaging as prolonged bad moods. I find that Reiki and massage are brilliant for releasing stuck emotional energy. There are amazing therapies available based on the principal that if we physically express emotional energy, i.e. laugh, dance, stand tall and proud, we will invoke the feelings and attributes of the mimicked emotion. Our bodies suffer from stress and bad moods and over time, this affects our posture. I am a soccer coach for the under 12 yr. olds, and I know that dropped chins and shoulders lead to lost games, hence the expression, “chin up” if you’re feeling down. I believe that structural realignment through proper massage techniques has the same reversing affect on chronic cases such as depression.
Feelings are the subjective experience of the individual as a result of an emotion. I believe that emotional energy is contagious, that it has a butterfly affect. I also believe that thinking and feeling are the same word, no difference. If I am thinking from fear I will feel awful, and if I am thinking from love I will feel amazing. Over time, I will see the results in my physical health.
I personally believe that thought comes first and that we have free choice. If I choose to take a positive outlook I will experience vitality and I will appraise every situation in a healthy manner. In other words, I will invoke the emotion of love. I also believe that as a divine being, the emotional energy I radiate – – positive or fearful – – is the energy I manifest with. In short, today I am experiencing the reflections of the attitudes I expressed yesterday. Thinking and feeling are the same word; it’s not the situation that causes the emotion, it is how we choose to view the situation. Emotions cause muscle tension, facial and postural. Relaxed muscles, positive facial expressions and improved posture invoke positive emotional states.
Through my Reiki practice and teaching, I have come to understand that all healing comes from the natural forces within and that healing really is just the return to the expression of self love. If you are ready to experience re-balancing through Reiki massages contact me.
Massage Lifestyle Coach/ Therapist, Reiki Master Teacher ~ Energy Medicine Practitioner. Visit our site for upcoming classes include; European lymph skin massage and a wide range of self care and partner classes. Contact him at: (248) 542-3073 or visit: www.thebalancemassage.com.