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Psychosomatics

Psychosomatics: stress, negative emotions and their impact on health

Did you know that almost 80% of all diseases known to modern medicine are caused by prolonged exposure to various negative emotions? And such illnesses are called PSYCHOSOMATIC! They cannot be treated with pills and you need a competent medical psychologist to correct them.

Emotions (from Latin emoveo - to shock, to excite) are subjective reactions of humans and higher animals to any external and internal stimuli. Emotions accompany all processes of human activity and can be caused by situations or events that exist only in our imagination.

 Scientists from different countries, studying the influence of emotions on human health, have come to very interesting conclusions. Thus, a famous English neurophysiologist Charles Sherrington, a Nobel Prize winner, has established the following pattern: the first emotional experience occurs, followed by vegetative and somatic changes in the body.

 Interesting are the results of a study by Finnish scientists that was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences (http://www.pnas.org/), where the scientists point out that in a survey of 773 respondents, they asked people to indicate what makes them feel certain emotionally charged material.

The researchers point out that this experiment allowed them to create a real map of human body emotions. Survey participants were first shown a set of certain words, stories, movies, and expressions, and then asked to mark on a computer-simulated human body figure the areas where they felt any changes. People were asked to mark the areas where they felt stronger in red, those where they felt less in yellow, and those where they felt duller in blue. The result was a map of human emotions responding to various stimuli.

Scientists say that those people who felt shame, for example, colored their cheeks yellow, and those who felt disgusted colored their abdominal area red. The state of depression makes human limbs less susceptible to external stimuli (blue), and the emotion of sadness is concentrated, according to the chart, in the eye area.

Even though Finnish and Taiwanese respondents, i.e. representatives of two very different cultural groups, took part in the survey, almost all participants made the same maps of human emotions. 

  • Interesting is the correspondence between subjects' diagnoses and their emotion maps. For example, kidney problems were present in those subjects who had feelings of fear and insecurity.
  • Bronchopulmonary system diagnoses were in subjects prone to frequent bouts of sadness and grief.
  • Cardiovascular diagnoses were found in the group of subjects prone to depression. And liver disease diagnoses were found in the group of subjects prone to frequent anger and resentment.
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How do negative emotions cause physical illness?

Any negative emotion that a person experiences for a long time creates strong arousal in the cerebral cortex. This excitement dominates all activities. Feelings take on a sharply pronounced negative coloring. Impulses through the autonomic nervous system go to the heart, and it increases its activity, to the vessels, and they increase their tone, to the muscles, and they acquire the ability to develop more force in contraction.

But that's not all. Nutrients are necessary for the increased activity of the muscular system. Therefore, the activity of the endocrine glands changes: the production of adrenaline and noradrenaline increases, the adrenal cortex many times increases the production and release into the blood of hormones called glucocorticoids. This creates a vicious circle. This or that negative emotion causes hormonal (and other) shifts. An excess of adrenaline, adrenocorticotropic (ACTH) hormone, and glucocorticoids keeps this emotion (fear, anxiety, anger) from freeing the mind. Normally this circle is quickly eliminated - the self-regulation systems kick in. 

But if negative emotions exist and persist for a long time, it becomes difficult to return to normality. Regulatory mechanisms "breakdown" occurs, vascular and other systems get an additional load, work on unbearable modes. And then there are psychosomatic illnesses, with which people turn to doctors.

Earlier it was thought that only seven diseases could have a psychological basis. 

These included and still include:

  • essential hypertension (persistently high blood pressure),
  • thyrotoxicosis (excess thyroid hormones),
  • neurodermatitis (severe skin itching), 
  • bronchial asthma (chronic inflammation of the airways),
  • some forms of rheumatoid arthritis (chronic inflammation of the joints),
  • ulcerative nonspecific colitis (inflammation of the mucosa of the large intestine),
  • ulcer disease (partial destruction of the gastric mucosa)

There has been an opinion that a painful condition is considered psychosomatic if it is caused by a clear cause of a psychological nature. Suffering after a catastrophe and the loss of loved ones, severe stress, and psychological abuse are taken into account by almost all doctors when making a medical diagnosis.

 Practice shows that even not so strong and prolonged external psychological influences can cause physical illnesses. The list of illnesses that can be caused by psychological causes is constantly growing. Below you see a list of the most common diseases that may have a psychosomatic nature. This list is not definitive and practically any disease, under certain conditions, can arise under the influence of experiences or insufficient development of one or another quality of personality.

Approximate list of psychosomatic diseases

The list of diseases of a psychosomatic nature is very large and varied, but it is possible to group them in this way:

  • Respiratory diseases (hyperventilation syndrome, bronchial asthma);
  • Cardiovascular diseases (coronary heart disease, vegetative-vascular dystonia, essential hypertension, myocardial infarction, cardiophobic neurosis, heart rhythm disorder);
  • Psychosomatic eating behavior (anorexia nervosa, obesity, bulimia);
  • Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (duodenal and stomach ulcers, emotional diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.);
  • Skin diseases (skin itching, urticaria, atopic neurodermatitis, etc.);
  • Endocrinological diseases (hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus);
  • Gynecological diseases (dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, functional sterility, etc.).
  • Psycho-vegetative syndromes;
  • Diseases related to the functioning of the musculoskeletal system (rheumatic diseases);
  • Malignant neoplasms;
  • Headache (migraine);
  • Depression; 
  • Infectious diseases;
  • Oncology.

Doctors prescribe the necessary examinations based on the person's complaints. After the procedures, the patient has been prescribed a set of medications, which lead to relief - but bring only temporary relief, and the disease returns after a short time.

The incessant suffering causes a person to rush from one doctor to another. Often inconsistent treatment exacerbates and complicates the disease, turning it into a chronic one. The patient feels like he is trapped in a vicious circle from which there is no way out. Most doctors are afraid to show their incompetence and would rather prescribe new medications, painful procedures, showing active help to the patient, than send him to a clinical psychologist for help. Few truly knowledgeable and experienced professionals can suggest that the illness has psychosomatic causes.

 The root of the problem is that psychosomatic diseases develop over a long time and begin their destructive effect unnoticed. A person is nervous, worried, sad, irritated, feels insecure, and experiences a lot of other emotions. Often subconsciously he feels that all this undermines his health, but those around him are usually skeptical about such assumptions. A headache, after a quarrel, is perceived by many as a trick, an attempt to cause pity, to draw attention to oneself. This is the case, but it is not a conscious trick of a cunning person, but an attempt of the body to reach the consciousness, to warn about the impending serious problem. Relieving symptoms, in this case, is like turning off the phone so that you don't hear your friend calling for help. In this case, the person, of course, does not know what is happening, but events continue to unfold. And, as a rule, the development is much more rapid than if the call for help is heard and the person tries to keep the situation under control, to cope with it. When the cause is not eliminated, the illness returns and produces even more distressing and serious symptoms than before.

A qualified medical psychologist and the Virtual Health Scanner psychological testing program can help you hear and understand your body's signals.

The Virtual Health Scanner identifies your set of destructive emotions, feelings, and personality traits. In other words, the scanner determines the current configuration of the brain's inter-neuronal connections built up by that set. Based on the decoding of the color test the Virtual Health Scanner creates a personalized correction module, which you simply view on your monitor screen 2 times a day for 20-25 minutes.

During the viewing of the personalized color correction sessions occur: 

  • correction of the current configuration of the brain's inter-neuronal connections from destructive to constructive, which will result in a decrease in the experience of destructive emotions and feelings in everyday life, i.e. your emotional background will begin to change from negative to positive; 
  • improving the psycho-emotional state of the user,
  • the effects of stress are relieved, 
  • the manifestations of negative traits in a person's character are eliminated. 

Due to this, additional resources of self-regulation are activated in the body and the body starts to heal itself, which manifests itself in the reduction or disappearance of disease symptoms.

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Psychosomatics: Counseling
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