Are ‘Stuck’ Emotions Causing You Pain?

By Rachel Dhanjal, Kinesiologist. Have you got Neck or Back Pain? I certainly know exactly how that feels.

Did you know that one in five Australians experience chronic pain almost everyday, and that the way you respond to stress in your life can be a major contributor to the pain you are feeling? Yes, that is right.

As a Kinesiologist, it is my job to identify stress holding patterns in the body and help them to be released. What I find more often than not is that pain in the body on some level is contributed to old stuck emotions that haven’t been dealt with. I first came across this idea from the work of Dr Candace B Pert, author of Molecules of Emotion, she writes about how unprocessed emotions in the body actually become stuck affecting a person’s entire system.

This idea further became evident through my studies as a Kinesiologist and in my clinical practice.

“My neck pain is completely gone, she exclaims.” Melissa came to see me because she had suffered from intense neck pain for over 2 years without any other long term relief from other modalities. Throughout the session we identified that she had been holding onto guilt and fear around her current job role. “I took this new job role on because of the pay increase it provided me, but I have plans to leave this job mid-year and I feel guilty for taking this job offer in the first place,” she tells me.

The stuck emotions of guilt and fear were replayed every time she went back to work, increasing the intensity of pain she felt in her neck everyday to the point it became unbearable. We released these emotions which were affecting her posterior neck extensors, and upper trapezius muscles and much to her relief after two sessions the pain had completely gone away.

Why do emotions get stuck in the body?

Any e-motion (energy in motion) that we don’t fully experience and process can get trapped in the body.

Have you ever allowed an event, action by another person, or situation out of your control to push you over the edge into frustration or anger? Have you suppressed it or judged it as an unsuitable emotion and released in undesirable ways; often towards the people closest to you, like your partner or kids? Feelings carry a charge of energy and often we try to hold in this energy and choose to not express how we are feeling.

All emotions want a “voice” and to be acknowledged, and if they aren’t then unfortunately they won’t go away. For a lot of us we haven’t learned how to feel our emotions, or how to deal with them in positive, healthy ways. Over many years this can turn into chronic pain causing the body to posturally distort itself, or cause a myriad of other physical symptoms like panic attacks, digestive complaints, or poor immune function.

How to release Stuck Emotions

  • Physically relax your body for five or ten minutes doing progressive muscle relaxation (consciously relaxing each muscle in your body), meditation or deep belly breathing to slow down your mind.
  • Ask yourself, “What am I feeling right now?”
  • Tune in to that place in your body where you feel emotional sensations such as anger, fear or sadness.
  • Recognize what these emotions are and name them. Say to yourself “I am feeling angry, hurt, sad, or fear.”
  • Do not analyse or judge them but become an observer. Notice how this emotion feels in your body.
  • Once you get a sense of what this feeling is, ask yourself the following questions: where is this feeling in my body? What is the shape of this feeling? If I have to give a colour to this feeling what would it be? Giving a concrete form to a feeling, makes it easier to identify them and let go of them. It is then important to express them appropriately in good communication.

Expressing your feelings:

  • Talk out your feelings by sharing it with someone you trust and feel safe with.
  • Write it out by journaling about it, or venting it out in a written manner.
  • Paint or draw how you are feeling. Sometimes communicating how you are feeling can be challenging, and drawing or painting can be a wonderful way to release the emotional energetic charge. This is a particularly great one for kids too.

Rachel is our newest member at Perth Natural Medical Centre and is currently offering $20 off initial consults for March. For further information on Rachel and her background visit her website at


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