I’ve written before (in a blog I’ll share below) about my recent decision to install a far infra red sauna in my home and its key role, I feel, in a recovery plan that is dealing with the kind of chronic, bewildering, often inexplicable pain that manifests as fibromyalgia and myofascial syndrome. Its a decision I don’t regret – at all – and it feels like a huge portion of the significant headway I’ve been making this year in my physical fitness, and also the way I manage pain episodes, is down to my access to this kind of sauna.
My instinct as to ‘how this works’ has reached a new place since I started the treatment and last weekend amply demonstrated my theory in action. Some very old emotions bubbled up in me that had me feeling really upset and overwhelmed; this then (inevitably) rocked my boat physically so the day after felt like a very bad hangover – after all, its virtually the same thing; a truck load of very free-range toxins suddenly released in the body. That evening, I went for a long sauna and noticed I sweated even more than usual as though, courtesy of all the recent drama, my body had a whole new layer of old stuff it was ready and eager to release (and this is how ’emotional upset’ can be such a blessing if you just allow it to happen…and don’t try to slam the lid on all those emotions once again, after the event). I made sure to self-massage all my tender points, my feet and hands, neck head and face plus anywhere else I could reach while I was in there, then showered it all off and slept like a baby.
The next day felt like I had jelly-legged flu yet I was prepared to surrender to it and let it lead the way. I drank lots of water, took non-negotiable breaks between activities where I just stopped what I was doing and set myself up in comfort with a heat pad, aromatherapy and soothing music, then I went for a walk in the sunshine, ate whatever I craved whenever I did (which was much more often than usual) and took the whole day very gently indeed.
It was on that walk that an understanding really crystallised in me that had been forming for some time. We all (I mean ALL) store emotions in our bodies, its where muscle pain and myofascial stiffness comes from, its where energy blockages and cancers start to form and an understanding (or at least appreciation…) of this is just starting to penetrate conventional medicine. Our deepest fears, repetitious paranoias, un-dealt-with traumas and prevailing sadnesses bury themselves in the cells of our bodies; my whole recovery process has been testament to that. One of the most extraordinary therapies ‘out there’ is myofascial therapy because with the release of myofascial blockage or distortion comes the release of all the old emotional baggage it has been harbouring; testament to the fact the body most certainly has memory.
I recently shared this familiar (to me) yet extraordinary (when its the first time) experience with someone who went for a session of this therapy on my recommendation. They had a mystery issue going on near one of their psoas muscles, causing pain, distortion, restricted movement and a great deal of concern; yet I immediately sensed it was a myofascial distortion caused by a pocket of emotions that had surfaced from a deeper level to gain their attention, thus asking to be released (the psoas, which are the two trunk-like muscles that run through our very core, are great at harbouring our deepest emotions: see the article below). He had been doing a lot of yoga lately, which can bring buried things up to the surface so beautifully (especially around the psoas), so I suggested that that he go to see my therapist Sue. During that session he “cried like a baby, for no apparent reason”, then laughed hysterically and was all smiles and full of joy on the way home – in fact, he was astounded at the rainbow effect it had. The next few days brought waves of joy, anger, hilarity, questioning everything and resolving it all again before it all settled down anew. In just one more session of myofascial therapy, his mystery ailment was sorted – and I can testify to the same kinds of leap in my own recovery using this method. This is the way our miraculous bodies work; they hold clutter for as long as we seem to be content with storing it all away in there but as soon as we are ready for the release, the result can be instantaneous!
Water holds emotion or, if you prefer, vibration – as demonstrated by the life work of Japanese scientist Dr Masaru Emoto. Words, music and intentions represent themselves in the crystalline shapes that water takes on in their presence, with the water holding strikingly different patterns according to the energetic message being conveyed in its vicinity. In fact, water becomes that messenger, delivering the vibration of the love, fear, hatred, anger…to wherever the water travels on to. If that destination is our body…well, you get the idea.
What comes to mind is that if the water in our body stores the vibration of the thoughts we have long after we have had them, how likely is it that the cells of our body, which now hold these repetitious-thought-patterns-held-in-water, begin to be in-formed by the water’s message; that is, taking their form ‘blueprint’, as it were, from the the messages the water holds. If our thoughts are constantly negative, fearful, angry, self-depreciating and so on, this has the potential to express through our cells or actually, given time, as our cells (which are around 70% water); and so, in essence, our cells become a library of all the thoughts we have ever had. In a body seriously out of balance, the library has become a specialist in this thought form or that (whichever vibe we hold most consistently); with a huge sprawling collection of messages on the theme of, say, abandonment issues or money fears, lack of self-worth, low confidence, disappointment, suspicion, anger or bitterness, all those defunct belief systems we learned as children…and on and on. Certain parts of the body seem to be the chosen landing point of particular types of negative emotion, storing it all up into particular health issues. The myofascia is like a blanket storage-point; a generalist that is arguably a ‘safer’ place to store all this negative stuff than the vital organs or, say, breast tissue but it is also the most restrictive place to carpark them, resulting in very widespread pain and restriction as the fascia becomes a hard and immovable straight-jacket across the whole of the body.
Of course, we eliminate water from our bodies every day but on a hand-to-mouth ‘use it then replenish’ system where a steady, plodding equilibrium is maintained (ideal when body and mind health is optimised) but with little scope for a breakthrough to occur (when the system is no longer running optimally). This results in a status quo where the potential for evolution is missed and where the polite hand-over point between water going in and water going out fails to break the pattern of old-stored emotion and pain. The replenished water is like the day shift taking over from the night shift; it simply takes over the position and job title of its predecessor by following the same instructions as before, continuing to hold onto whatever defunct patterns of behaviour they were expressing without even questioning them. Of course, the more new water we flood our body with the better as this pushes through a newer vibe so quickly that the methodical cellular handover process is thrown into disarray; there’s less time for old patterns to reassert themselves so the continuum is broken. We all know how much better we feel when we drink much more water than usual and, armed with this new understanding, super-charging this water with our gratitude as we drink can make a massive difference; so take a moment to focus on the water you are about to drink and infuse it with the healing power of love!
Here’s where the sauna – or anything that makes us sweat – comes in; the process of water-loss through sweat goes deep (especially using a far infrared sauna), opening up pockets of stored moisture in tissue and organs that otherwise go unchallenged. By forcing this deep-storage moisture – and the old coding it carries – out, it invites us to start over with the new water that we take in, stimulating a great thirst and generating the perfect hand-over situation; one where the stuck messages that no longer serve our health can be eliminated too, which presents as an opportunity for a complete cellular system-reboot. The more often we avail ourselves of this sweating process, the more our body seems to trust the process and succumb to it, freely releasing moisture in the understanding that this is no drought occurring but, rather, the signal that wonderful new water, carrying a great new vibe (assuming you’re doing the inner work with your thoughts and intentions…) is already on its way. In short, the you that is here right now gets to make an immediate imprint at the cellular level, rather than the you that was around months or even years ago – think about that and how significant it is to any healing process!
As the body learns to trusts and release, surrendering all these old messages like someone handing over their old arsenal of weaponry (a therapy in itself), marking a rebirth into a lifestyle that is no longer about stagnation and stuck-points, a momentum begins to build and great healing becomes possible. Its the way a fever works, after all, and this is hardly new science; indigenous tribes and ancient folk have long understood the huge benefits of the sweat lodge…its just that, like so much else, we forgot. To remember these intrinsic things is to have the most potent healing modalities at your own fingertips and then to heal, on every level.
For the record far infrared saunas have a multitude of health claims to their name: relief of joint and muscle pain, increased blood circulation, help in the removal of cellulite (makes sense as cellulite is just stored-up toxic waste), great skin cleansing properties, heavy metal detoxification, an antidote to electromagnetic stress, helps to cure infections and even improves libido. I can put a tick next to most of these and add another couple. As far as flare-ups of the emotional or more overtly physical variety are concerned, diving into the sauna helps me to process much more swiftly through any of these episodes than ever before; sometimes meaning an episode that lasts a day or two rather than weeks. Another great plus point is the weight loss that has come with doing this regularly – not that I was trying to lose weight but its a great bonus – and my instincts tell me my shifting body mass is all to do with the releasing of a layer of protection and deep storage that simply isn’t needed any more; my body is quite literally letting go of its old baggage – through sweat but without effort. What’s not to like, I ask myself; and if you have access to far infrared (which is being installed in clinics and health centres all over the place these days or it can be installed cheaply and easily at home), it might be worth a try to see how you respond.
Reaching the Far Side (my earlier post about sauna and detox health benefits
This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern or questions relating to the suitability of treatments referred to, he or she should seek professional medical advice.