Therapies

The body also remembers

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Our body does not lie. He says our troubles, our conflicts, our sufferings. But are these the cause of the disease? How far can our past affect our health? The point on the complex links between the memory of the body and that of the spirit.

Flavia Mazelin Salvi

Gravely ill thirty years ago, Myriam Brousse developed a method called "cellular memory" for her treatment: the patient tells her story to the therapist, who spots her painful experiences and notes. In guided relaxation, he then returns to these episodes, becomes aware of the physical effects of their evocation and relives them emotionally. Delivered from their strong emotional charge, he can then go back to the original event, the one that made, according to Myriam Brousse, a "false fold" in his body. For example, one of her patients who was suffering from emphysema, to the point that the doctors saw no other solution than a lung operation, she discovered, while working with the therapist, that her seizures 'choking were due to the corset that her mother wore in the fifth month of pregnancy to hide it. "Reliving the fetal memory in the fifth month, she was able to free herself thanks to the tears provoked by this physical feeling," says Myriam Brousse, who concludes: "This is the process of healing in the body's memory." Recognized by many, questionable according to some, this method is in any case born of a principle accepted by all: the body is the place where our most intimate story is told. And our health, physical and psychic, is always connected with it.

"It's psychosomatic"

A reality that we summarize with the phrase "it's psychosomatic" to refer to both eczema and cancer. But who knows what it really means? Is it the transformation of a psychological conflict into a physical symptom or a disease whose causes are multiple but in which emotional factors play an important role? Today, medicine is mainly concerned with the second hypothesis: "The human being is a system made of different subsystems," says psychoanalyst and psychosomaticist Jean-Benjamin Stora, "There is no" all psychic "or" all physical " What we do know is that a well-structured psychic apparatus is the equivalent of a strong immune system: it knows how to manage its defenses. "

Our spirit influences our health

For Pierre Marty, one of the pioneers of psychosomatic in France, the less we are in the consciousness of a painful or stressful event (which allows to evacuate his strong emotional charge), the more his impact in the body will be strong.This is called somatization. "This means that the memory of the event remains in the body and manifests itself in physical symptoms," explains Sylvie Cady. For the psychoanalyst and psychosomatician, any test "disrupts our body rhythm, based on the duet" tension-depression. "If it becomes a conflict or impasse for the subject, it can result in a psychosomatic pathology". From the most benign to the most serious. What is certain is that the more we are stuck psychically in a difficult episode (divorce, mourning, dismissal ...) the more our malaise is expressed by physical symptoms. In this case, for psychoanalysis as for neuroscience, the explanation is to be found in our past. "Today we know the importance of the biology of attachment, says Roland Jouvent, professor of psychiatry at the university. Paris-VI We know that the quality of our adult relationships depends on the quality of our first emotional and physical connections, which have influenced our physiology and our biology, which is why we can say that our first experiences determine our emotional heritage. Thus, a great emotional shock not or badly assimilated in early childhood can modify our chemistry towards a tendency towards anxiety and depression, which favor cardiovascular diseases. " But, says Roland Jouvent, "it is not determinism so many other factors intervene, such as the current management of emotions, the quality of the environment, the genetic heritage, etc.". This explains why, from one individual to another, faced with the same traumatic event, the answer will necessarily be singular. "On two women carrying the breast cancer gene, one will develop the disease and the other not, adds Jean-Benjamin Stora, "We have decoded the genome, but not the interrelationships between genes." Proof, according to him, that "the memory of the body, multiple and complex, escapes any univocal grid of reading".

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