Is the Body Listening? The Energetic Aspects of Language and Its Impact on Health
Iva Lloyd, BScH, RHN, RPP, ND
Imagine for a moment that the body and mind are connected … that the body responds, at a physiological level, to everything the mind says and thinks, and that a purpose of the body is to mirror and manifest our language and thoughts. How would health and disease be affected? The observation of many practitioners and current research demonstrate that there is no separation between the body and the mind. In fact, the mind not only impacts health, it is the master controller. This article looks at the energetic aspects of language, both spoken and internal, and its impact on and correlation to health and disease.
Layers of Language
There are three layers of language: spoken language, internal mind chatter or thoughts, and unconscious thought. Spoken language is the communication people have with others. Internal mind chatter or thoughts is the communication people have with themselves – what they keep in, their inner communication. Unconscious thought is the foundation, belief system and intention that underlie a person’s thought pattern. Unconscious thought is often expressed through dreams, or is brought more to the surface through meditation. When looking at how language impacts a person’s health, it is important to acknowledge and address all layers of language, looking and listening for the words, the energy they create and the alignment of one’s language between and within the different layers.
The law of attraction and recent books, such as The Secret, focus on how the words that we speak influence what we manifest in our life. When you repeat the phrase, “I am sad” for even a couple of minutes, notice how the body shifts, contracts and mirrors that emotion. Likewise, repeat the phrase, “I am strong and confident,” and observe how your body automatically follows the words by straightening the posture and breathing deeper. Your physiological response is even greater if you say the words (outer expression) and think the words (inner expression). Our bodies are listening all day long. The words that we speak and the thoughts we keep to ourselves all impact our physiology.
Physiological Responses and Thoughts
Research shows that the mind doesn’t separate between an event we observe and an event we experience firsthand. Have you ever watched an IMAX film of a roller coaster, and felt your stomach churn or your heart rate increase as the roller coaster moves up and down in the movie? The understanding of anticipatory anxiety is that a person’s physiology changes in response to their internal mind chatter or thoughts. A person can go into shock by hearing and thinking bad news, regardless of whether or not their thoughts are based on reality. A “good” movie is viewed as one that can make people feel they are there – that is, it elicits the same physiological response one would expect if they were experiencing the event instead of just watching it on a screen.
Increases in heart rate and respiration; dilation or contraction of the pupils; flushing of the skin and increased perspiration; digestive disturbances; and postl changes are obvious physiological responses associated with thoughts. Most of these changes are due to the body being in a hyper-sympathetic mode. Language that is more subtle and repetitive, and everyday language that is spoken, affects health at a deeper level. For example, when people say they “are stuck,” “have no support” “feel suffocated,” “have no control,” “are exhausted” or “don’t have any time to breathe,” the body contracts and the flow of energy is impeded. They may find that their energy is decreased, and there is a change to their health. Internal thoughts determine a person’s expectations. They influence a person’s willingness to make change, explore new adventures and engage or disengage with their external world. When people constantly think they are not good enough, they aren’t loved, that it is not safe to take chances, they will be more contracted. For people whose thoughts reflect how grateful they are about their life, who see situations as new adventures and who like who they are will be more relaxed, and their energy will flow more freely.
Energy is the Framework
Everything is energy. Energy is the common language or framework for understanding every aspect of a person, how all aspects are related and how a person relates to others and the environment. The Traditional Chinese Medicine principles of excess and deficiency, internal and external, and yin and yang; and the principles of the Ayurvedic five elements (ether, air, fire, water, earth) are helpful concepts for understanding the energetics of language.
Words such as “too much,” “overwhelmed” or “excess,” or language that is spoken with intensity, force or loudness, all indicate a state of excess. Excess manifests as intensity, forceful movements, a loud and full voice, heavy breathing, pains that are worse with pressure, or an increase in weight or size. A thick coat on the tongue and a rapid, strong pulse indicate a state of excess. On a structural level, excess can show up as stiffness, heaviness, growths or an increase in size of a particular part of the body, mass or cyst.
Words such as “weakness,” “not strong enough,” “not able“ or “tired,” or language that is soft, weak and irregular indicates a state of deficiency. Deficiency is a lack of energy. It often manifests in a chronic state. As disease progresses, the body becomes more deficient – energy, blood or fluids start to decrease. Signs of a deficiency state include frailty, weakness and loss of strength, weak movements, pale skin, shallow breathing, pain relieved by pressure, spontaneous sweating or incontinence. Deficiency causes a breakdown in tissues, organs, muscles and structure. The tongue will be pale and thin, and the pulse will feel weak.
Language and Body Systems
Internal language is about self and relates to a person’s thoughts and internal mind chatter. It affects a person on a deeper level, and represents more the medial or core aspects of the body, such as the spine, bones, organs and structures located in the center of the body. External language is more about a person’s environment, such as the people, places and events that impact a person. It is reflected more in a person’s spoken language. The external aspect of a person relates to lateral organs, structures and aspects of the body, such as the limbs.
The concept of Yin-Yang is based on the flow of energy between two extremes. It is a continuum without borders or boundaries. Everything can be explained based on its share of Yin-Yang energies at any given point in time. Yin-Yang is an expression of the quality of energy. See Chart 1 for details.
Charts 2 through 5 look at the elemental aspect of a person according to the five elements – ether, air, fire, water and earth.
When looking to understand the energetics of a specific aspect of the body, look at what that body part is used for. For example, the arms, both literally and energetically, are used to give and receive, to nurture and embrace life, and to push and pull. The hips and legs are used to move forward, and to determine direction and the pace of one’s life. When people talk about being unsure of what to do in their life or of the path they are on, you will often find a corresponding physical manifestation.
Understanding the energetics of language is about seeing the link between a person’s words and how their language is being manifested in the body. For example, “no support” indicates a lack of or deficiency in earth, as support is an earth quality. Earth is manifested in the bones, colon, knees, adrenals and blood. The deficiency of earth will show up in different parts of the body, depending on what aspect of a person’s life is lacking support. For example, if a patient’s thoughts were about not having the support to be themselves, it might manifest as weakness in the spine, especially the lumbosacral area, as that aspect of the body holds the essence of self. If the lack of support was in how they were moving forward in life, it might manifest as weakness in the hips or knees. Also, it is naive to expect that thoughts and language are a one-way street. What happens when you rotate your feet internally and fold in your shoulders? Most people will notice that their affect becomes more flat, sad or weak.
The body isn’t only listening, it is filtering and mirroring our thoughts and language. There is an unlimited capacity for language and thoughts, and each aspect of language has a specific energetic pattern. The body and language are one in the same. When the body shifts, language follows; and when language shifts, the body follows. Being able to hear the link between language and health is a wonderful tool for practitioners to better understand the logic of health and disease. It also provides a wonderful way to assist patients in improving their health and impacting their ability to heal, just by changing their language.
Iva Lloyd, BScH, RHN, RPP, ND graduated from CCNM in 2002. She is a Reiki master and registered polarity practitioner, has studied educational kinesiology (Brain Gym), NeuroLinguistic Programming and Runic Energy Archetypes. Dr. Lloyd teaches seminars on the energetics of health and disease, and is the author of Messages From The Body – a Guide to the Energetics of Health. Prior to becoming an ND, she consulted and held senior management positions in both the technology and health care fields. She is the founder of Naturopathic Foundations Health Clinic in Markham, Ontario and chair of the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors.