How Memories Get Stuck in Our Body
Last weeks blog covered how memories and emotions get stuck in the brain. This week is about how memories and emotions get stuck in our body. 

You’ve heard the term “swallow your feelings” and this is an actual physical response. Very often people who “swallow their feelings” wind up with digestive and gut issues.

Physiological 

First let’s talk about the simple physical  process of how the brain works with the body. We face some situation, this activates (aka triggers) an emotion which in turn activates a physical response but if the cycle is interrupted it gets stuck.

Our brain may have activated our body to have a particular response but that muscle response to the electrical signal of our brain is interrupted. The brain sends a neurological signal to the muscles to take a particular action but that action is incomplete. So that impulse to run or fight gets stuck or trapped in the body. That neurological charge from the brain to the muscle is physically triggered each time that memory is triggered. The memory triggers the physical response again and again. We may not even know it's being triggered.

Trauma gets stuck in the body because of an incomplete physical reaction. Some situation triggers an emotion which in turn triggers our fight/fight response but that action is incomplete. In the situation we either can’t or don't run or fight.

Any Unresolved Memory

A memory does not need to be traumatic to get stuck in the body. Any unresolved or incomplete memory or any situation from the past that just doesn’t feel settled is incomplete. It’s stuck within you somewhere.

The purpose of emotion is to move to physical action. A simple example is we stub our toe and say ouch. It’s a simple process. Physically something happened, we feel pain, the brain acknowledges it and sends a signal to the vocal cords to express the emotion.

This simple process gets stuck if physically you were unable or unprepared to complete an action. Maybe you were unprepared for the conflict and didn’t get to say something you wished you’d said. Maybe it was just a sudden disagreement and you weren’t expecting it so it's incomplete.

Maybe you were running a simple foot race and ran out of energy so you experience some weird, unexplained sensations in your foot because you got stuck and couldn’t run. Maybe you were playing with a friend and something unexpected happened so you braced your shoulders and neck but for some reason the action was incomplete. That physiological response may be stuck in your neck and shoulders.

What To Do

During an Aroma a Freedom Technique (AFT) clearing session a certified practitioner guides you through using your sense of smell to help you make the mind / body / emotion connection. Other processes like EMDR or EFT use that mind / body / emotion connection with sight or touch. Once that connection is active in the brain it can be cleared. Here’s what makes AFT unique:

We have five senses:  sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. Our brain has the ability to ignore and push aside our senses of sight, sound, touch and taste. However, the brain does not have the ability to dismiss or sense of smell. There is no such filter as with our other senses. AFT uses our sense of smell to gently clear the emotional charge and the physiological response stuck in our body.

Learn more about Aroma Freedom Technique here

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