Dr. Amy Bader, ND
Hello, ladies! I recently gave a lecture about naturopathic medicine to a wonderful group of people, one of whom asked an excellent question about chronic tonsillitis. As I heard myself address her question, I realized the importance of the answer (AND, what a weirdo of a doctor I am!) What I explained to the group that day is this: When we experience a repeated or ongoing infection or inflammation… an “–itis” of some sort, we need to think deeply about the cause. It is often more complex than we might realize. Many patients come to my naturopathic practice seeking help with these types of chronic infections and inflammatory problems. It wasn’t until I read You Can Heal Your Life by the brilliant Louise Hay, that I was effective in treating them. The reason? I was completely overlooking a common root cause… ANGER.
Suppressed emotions are powerful, and, none more powerful than anger. As women, we are discouraged from expressing anger… Apparently, it’s not “lady-like”! SO, when we have a legitimate reason to be perturbed, we are trained by our culture to feel guilty and stuff it. And some of us are SO repressed, we may not even be conscious of the fact we are mad. The rub? If we suppress an emotion like anger and allow it to fester, it WILL find a way to express itself. Unfortunately, this route of expression often involves a fair amount of discomfort! Here’s why: If anger is not vented at the appropriate target, it will have no choice but to attack YOU. Is your bladder, throat, vagina, sinus, or other part of your body constantly under attack? If so, they have become your emotional outlet. TIME TO REROUTE.
Take an assessment of your body. Are you experiencing chronic pain, inflammation, or infection in an area? Is your throat always sore? Do you have chronic yeast or urinary tract infections? If so, ask yourself if you are angry. Be honest with yourself. You might not think you are angry, but your throat, vagina, bladder, or other parts of your body might be telling you otherwise. Time to acknowledge it. Lastly… THANK your body for bringing this to your attention! It’s wisdom runs deep.
Let’s get into the psyche and clean out the cobwebs using healthy, non-destructive methods. Here are a few ways to let go of those damaging emotions… Writing is an excellent way to express feelings—there’s something powerful about spilling words out onto a piece of paper. Perhaps making them tangible provides a feeling of validity. So, journal about your anger. I have written a symbolic “Dear John” letter a time or two and found it incredibly helpful! Write it out, then burn or rip it up. If that technique doesn’t resonate with you, try one of these: Talk to a friend. Break or smash something. (Be safe! NOBODY wants to lose an eye!) Punch a pillow. And, an oldie but goodie, get yourself alone in a room and SCREAM! Get it out! (You MIGHT want to warn the neighbors.) It is surprising how difficult this is for most of us, so it just might take a little practice.
If you feel your emotions are very deep and you are not able to resolve them on your own, get professional help. Homeopathy, counseling, hypnosis and EMDR are just a few of the tools available to help you process deeply suppressed emotions. Don’t be shy. Naturopathic doctors and other professionals are here to help you reach a higher level of health and wellbeing.
I can’t impress upon you enough how important personal expression is. As a doctor, I see the result of repressed anger EVERYDAY in my practice. This is a huge cause of illness. As Buddha said “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Do NOT hold the poison… let it go. And, if you need help with forgiveness, be sure to reread Assignment #3 in my article Power Up.
Take care of your (whole)self,
Amy Bader ND is a doctor, teacher, speaker, writer and entrepreneur. She is a graduate of the National College of Natural Medicine, where she is now an adjunct clinical faculty member training naturopathic medical students. She has private practices in Northern California and Portland, Oregon, where she lives with her beautiful daughter. She has a passion for treating patients with chronic diseases using clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, biotherapeutic drainage, and homeopathy. She has a particular interest in working with patients who want to lose weight and feel comfortable in their bodies.
Dr. Bader has been interviewed as an expert in natural medicine and natural healthcare for radio, newspapers, magazines and television. She has been a contributing expert columnist for a large online health resource website. Dr. Bader was a founding co-director of NCNM’s Integrative Skin Care Clinic. She is a member of the Advisory Counsel for Kamedis, a bio-herbal skin care company, and is a trainer for Radiancy, maker of LHE phototherapy systems.