A client of mine recently forwarded me an email she had received from Asthma UK regarding the large amount of people missing key medicine checks for their Asthma. It set me off thinking about the huge number of people in the UK who have Asthma and no real answers as to both why they have it and why, according to clinical medicine, there is no cure. According to Asthma UK, at present, 5.4 million people in the UK are receiving treatment for Asthma, and 1.1 million of those are children.
Most explanations of Asthma claim that it is caused by allergens and irritants and many triggers are listed, including: the weather, smoking, pollen, pet dander, exercise and emotional stress. What most explanations fail to answer is why each individual seems to react to different triggers and at different points in their life.
Meta-Health can provide an understanding and identifies the specific bio-psycho-social meaning, the emotional connection and the intelligent process behind a symptom.
The Biology of Asthma
In order to identify the specific emotional meaning behind asthma, it is important to understand the biological function of the relevant organs.
Asthma occurs when the bronchial muscles narrow, which causes shortness of breath, spasms, coughing, wheezing and tightness in the chest. The bronchial mucosa can also become inflamed and swollen and phlegm can build up, which further exacerbates the breathing difficulties.
The bronchial muscles expand and contract to allow greater or lesser air inhalation. When a person feels fearful or threatened, the natural, biological response is expansion: to breathe deeper and draw more oxygen into the body, enabling them to fight or flee.
The bronchial mucosa, which is the lining of the airways, can also thin down during the stress response, creating more space in the bronchial passage. This bronchial dilation and the opening of the airways is a meaningful process that eventually results in the symptoms of Asthma.
Where Does Asthma Begin?
Asthma is an emotional response to fear, specifically a sensory feeling of being threatened, attacked, criticised or hurt by other people. Therefore Asthma usually starts with a specific life situation, in which the individual feels fearful or threatened, in some way. There have been many examples of Asthma being traced back to bullying. The on-going fear of being physically or verbally attacked leads to anxiety about being in a particular territory, such as school, or work.
The mental and emotional aspects of Asthma involve stress about social interaction and confrontation and a hyper-vigilance around certain people or certain groups of people. In terms of behaviour, these feelings can result in defensiveness, submissive withdrawal or aggressive, over confident behaviour.
Asthma as a Two Phase Process
Meta-Health can demonstrate how Asthma is part of a meaningful two-phase process, which is driven by the autonomic sympathetic-parasympathetic cycle.
The Stress Phase (Phase 1)
As discussed earlier, the cycle begins with a stressful life event that is connected to feelings of fear, feeling threatened or needing to defend ourselves or escape. These intense emotions initiate a sympathetic nervous system response. During this response the individual experience general symptoms such as, a faster heart rate, higher blood pressure, cold extremities and tension. During this phase, the bronchi will dilate and breathing will feel easier. This response allows more air in to the lungs and allows the individual to deal with the threatening stimulus more effectively.
The Regeneration Phase (Phase 2)
Once the person no longer feels threatened or fearful and can begin to relax, they switch over into parasympathetic regeneration, this is the body’s recovery period. Typical signs that you have gone into regeneration include a slower heart rate, lower blood pressure, higher temperature and tiredness. With Asthma, specifically, the bronchi constrict and breathing feels more laboured. Traditionally, people would see these symptoms as the problem, but they are actually part of the natural healing and re-balancing process. People often note that their Asthma symptoms are worse at night; this is because your body naturally drops deeper into parasympathetic regeneration at night.
The Healing Crisis
The healing crisis is midway through the parasympathetic regeneration phase and is where the Asthma attack would occur. The healing crisis is a temporary return to a sympathetic state at the same time as acute Asthma symptoms. There are two reasons for the healing crisis.
1. Biologically, it is a test to determine, whether or not the organ is ready to complete the healing cycle.
2. Emotionally, it is a chance to re-visit the emotions from the stress phase, and a chance to try and resolve them.
The term ‘crisis’ is of Greek origin and means ‘turning point in a disease’. With Asthma, the Asthma attack is the most critical point in the healing cycle and a chance to resolve the fear behind the issue.
Overcoming fear and resolving the underlying issue
With Asthma, one of the biggest challenges is that the symptoms themselves can trigger fear and prolong the issue. Overcoming this fear and learning to trust your own body can be very difficult, but is a vital part of the healing process.
Every time you complete the two phase cycle you are partly resolving the issue, in order to be free from Asthma, you have to fully resolve the issue. Through the use of Meta-Medicine, Meta-Kinetics and EFT, I truly believe that lasting change is possible.
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