Why Traumas Can Haunt and Sabotage Your Health for Years

emotional trauma, traumatic memoriesEmotional memories of traumatic life events are stored in a particularly robust way by your brain, making effective treatment very difficult. Researchers have now successfully tracked down the molecular bases of these strong, persistent memories.

It has long been known that emotional memories of both a positive and a negative kind make strong impressions on your brain, and consequently have a very large effect on your behavior.

A research group has shown that the enzyme calcineurin and the gene regulation factor Zif268 decisively determine the intensity of emotional memories. For the first time, this has enabled the regulatory processes at the synapse, which are important for emotional memories, to be linked to the processes in the cell nucleus.

Researchers found that although traumatic memories can be overcome slowly through intensive training, they are not replaced. Negative memories, they say, need to be actively replaced by positive memories.

While the research has no clinical applications at present, it could eventually lead to an understanding of the mechanisms underlying psychological traumas or brain diseases related to memory problems.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Any traumatic experience has the potential to linger in your mind for a lifetime. Once there, these memories can cause you to withdraw from others, feel helpless, have flashbacks … in other words they can completely control and overtake your life.

Call it post-traumatic stress disorder, extreme stress, or simply human nature. It really doesn’t matter. What matters is that you realize sooner rather than later that you need to work at healing your emotional scars just as you need to work at healing your physical body.

And perhaps even more so.

You see, you can have the perfect diet, the perfect exercise schedule and an ideal life; but if you have lingering unresolved emotional conflicts, you can still become very sick.

You’ve heard the phrase “you are what you eat”? Well I’d like to add to that: “you are also a product of how you address your life’s conflicts.”

Your Emotions Can Make or Break Your Health

Your physical health is a direct manifestation of the various conflicts you’ve faced throughout your lifetime, along with your reaction to them.

There is a substantial body of knowledge that supports this contention.

Some of the best examples of this view include Dr. Geerd Hamer and Bruce Lipton. Their work has taken the widespread notion that your emotions influence your health (even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 85 percent of diseases have an emotional element) to a much higher, more specific level.

A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine also supported this view when it found a strong relationship between the number of childhood traumas and the number of health risk factors for leading causes of death in adults. In particular, they found a significant relationship between the number of childhood trauma exposures and the following disease conditions:
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Chronic bronchitis or emphysema
  • History of hepatitis or jaundice
  • Skeletal fractures
  • Poor self-rated health
Dr. Hamer’s German New Medicine actually takes this finding a step further. He found that most disease originates from an unexpected shock experience. This could run the gamut from witnessing a murder to being abused as a child or losing your home to a fire. It could also stem from infidelity, divorce, getting laid off … just about any situation that causes you trauma and shock.

Now if you ignore this trauma, it will fester in your body and it will most likely lead to disease. The longer you let something like this linger, the more severe, and harder to overcome, the physical illness becomes.

You May Not Know You’ve Been Traumatized

Sometimes a conflict is so extreme that it is obvious that you’ve been emotionally impacted immediately. But, oftentimes, you may have no idea.

And this presents a challenge. How do you “actively replace your negative memories with positive ones,” as the above researchers suggest, if you don’t even realize your emotions have at some point been negatively impacted?

Well, let me give you a suggestion. Assume that they have been. Most all of us have been through some tough times, and those times need to be addressed. So please do learn how to use tools like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and use them on a regular basis.

If you feel generally happy, great! Use EFT as an “insurance policy” that will help you to identify any buried pain and deal with the day-to-day stress we all face. If you’ve been through a trauma and are noticeably struggling with it, I highly recommend you seek out a trained professional to help you use EFT to effectively resolve your pain.

Just don’t wait. Dr. Hamer wisely recommends you “deal with, and resolve your emotional traumas as quickly as possible! Don’t let them linger and fester.” And I completely agree.

As you begin to Take Control of Your Health, make sure that includes your emotional health. Take control of your emotional health so that any skeletons in your closet are forced to get out into the open … and finally disappear.