By Dr. Andrea Wick
EBS Health Columnist

One of the topics I am most passionate about in my practice is how emotions affect the physical body. Almost everyone agrees that stress can shorten the life span. There is also more awareness that over-working and constant stress can manifest into a health problem. You may know of people who have had a massive heart attack, have chronic stomach issues or suffer from anxiety, due to stress.

I believe that if we don’t manage stress, and learn how to change our lives to decrease it, our physical pain will not subside. For example, suppose someone experiences a traumatic event, such as a car accident, divorce or death in the family. After the traumatic event they develop blood sugar problems or maybe even diabetes.

The brain and the immune system are interconnected. A psychological trauma can directly affect the immune system, specifically by triggering an autoimmune response, a condition where the body attacks itself. Type I diabetes is caused by the immune system attacking insulin-producing cells. Then the body no longer produces insulin, which is important in controlling blood sugar.

From my applied kinesiology training I have learned that every organ correlates with an emotion. The pancreas is related to the emotion of feeling “lack of control over events.” The pancreas “controls” blood sugar. If life suddenly feels out of control it can directly impact the blood sugar.

If someone is complaining of constant indigestion or the formation of ulcers, the stomach is associated with “worry, nervousness and over concern.” The heart is related to “lack of emotion,” and suppressing the emotions—which can literally cause the heart to explode, according to the Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock.

Many times emotions start to affect the physical body due to programmed belief systems that were ingrained in us as children, or from a past experience that was so stressful the only way we knew how to deal with it was to suppress it.

For example, someone might always be worried about not having enough money—but in actuality may have more than enough—because of an experience they had in the past. It could be that their parents were always concerned about money, or struggled with employment in the past. This rolls over into a belief system that the next generation inherits. It’s an environmental factor that forms our conscious reality.

There are many different ways to clear emotions including adopting a meditation practice, yoga, emotional clearing techniques, homeopathic remedies, counseling, reiki, and countless more. In this country we do not pay enough attention to the health of the emotional and mental body, and in my opinion, it’s the most important! I encourage you to adopt a practice today that works best for you.

Dr. Andrea Wick is a chiropractor and applied kinesiologist. She graduated from Life University in Marietta, Georgia, and now practices in Big Sky. She has a passion for holistic health care and being active in the outdoors. Her practice, Healing Hands Chiropractic, is located in the Meadow Village Center. Visit drandreawick.com to learn more.