The Feelings that Heal

By Cyndi Dale
[Energy Work]

There are three bodily centers that manage emotions. Understanding the difference between these three emotional centers—where they are, what they do, and what they specialize in—will greatly boost your effectiveness as a bodyworker.

Emotions and Health
Before exploring the three main emotional centers, however, I want to consider the relationship between emotions and physical health. There are actually hundreds of studies examining the effects of negative and positive emotions on a person’s health. For instance, detrimental emotions can result in irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, and chronic pain. The fact that at least 15–30 percent of patients with chronic pain are also affected by posttraumatic stress disorder, or unhealed trauma, shows the severity of the problems resulting from stressful emotions.1
As well, anxiety is frequently implicated in heart disease, chronic respiratory disorders, asthma, and gastrointestinal conditions, in addition to frequent light-headedness, nausea, diarrhea, and frequent urination.2 Not only that, negative emotions, or at least the repression of them, are believed to turn healthy genes into cancerous genes, depending on other factors, such as diet and environment.3

The Body’s Energy Centers
As stated, there are three main energy centers implicated in hazardous emotions. The most well-known areas are the head, the brain, and the gut brain. These centers are independent, but also interact.
The brain, part of the central nervous system, has long been known as a source of the chemicals that construct emotions. It also stores many of the memories that direct our emotional interpretations. One of the brain’s most important actors is the amygdala, a gland in the limbic system. The limbic system determines our survival-based fight, flight, and freeze reactions to internal and external stimulation.
More specifically, the various neurons within the amygdala decide if we’ll react negatively or positively to an event. Are we going to be scared at the sight of a stranger or delighted to meet a new friend? When our brain can’t accurately assign the correct meaning to a situation, the result can be a mental illness or other challenges.4
The brain also regulates our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The former is excitatory and energizes us. The latter is relaxing and inspires calm. Severe, chronic, or intermittent trauma turns on the sympathetic nervous system. Unless the resulting emotions are compassionately processed, the amygdala remains in a panic state. So do we. Over time, the overstimulation exhausts us. Depression can ensue. The distress leads to tension, pain, and the types of disorders that show up in your practice.5
How do you know if a client is experiencing a brain-based emotional challenge? It’s difficult to tell, but they are often based in misperceptions and “stinking thinking,” as my dad used to say. The brain is a mental organ and often responds to changes of mind, which occur through a rewriting of beliefs. Psychiatrists can also administer drugs that balance the brain’s biochemistry.

The Role of the Gut Brain
Another major emotional center is the “gut brain,” more formally known as the enteric nervous system. Also known as the “second brain,” the gut brain is located in the belly area. This system is a collection of neurological tissue and employs about 30 neurotransmitters and 100 million neurons to regulate digestive processes and also mood and emotions.
The role played by the neurotransmitters in the gut brain is astounding. For example, about 95 percent of the serotonin (a mood regulator) in the body exists in the enteric nervous system; the rest is produced by the brain. Too much serotonin in the gut can cause conditions such as anxiety and even osteoporosis and multiple sclerosis.6
How do you know if you’re dealing with gut emotions rather than head emotions? Gut emotions trouble the stomach. Literally. I’ve found that the strongest and most easily triggered emotions usually lie in the gut and don’t clear unless felt and expressed, often through therapeutic modalities such as age regression or the replay of a traumatic situation. Clients with gut-based emotional issues might also need to make lifestyle changes, particularly diet alterations.
Case in point: trillions of microbes live in the gut. Certain foods feed the unhealthy microbes, causing everything from lethargy to anxiety. Moreover, the types of microbes that create emotional disturbances in the gut can also travel to the brain. One such pathway is the vagus nerve, which carries bacteria, other types of microbes, and chemical and hormonal information from the gut to the brain, and vice versa. In fact, about 90 percent of the fibers in this nerve serve this function. This microbial journeying has been linked to physical and emotional imbalances, and even Alzheimer’s disease.7

The Energetic Heart
We’ve painted a complicated picture for healers seeking to unlock the emotional issues that create client discomfort. While it’s helpful to acknowledge the emotional issues and solutions that emerge from the head and gut brains, the good news is that there is a more elegant method. It involves working through the energetic heart, which is a combination of the physical and subtle heart.
Through both physical and subtle perspectives, the heart is an extremely powerful determiner of health in the body, both emotionally and physically. The physical heart contains about 40,000 neurons, which are similar to those in the brain. In fact, these neurons enable the heart to function like its own brain. As such, the heart produces a vast number of emotion-creating hormones such as oxytocin, which enables bonding.
On the emotional level, negative emotions, such as anger and frustration, give rise to uneven heart rhythms, causing distress and disease. Positive emotions, on the other hand, formulate a coherent heart rhythm and bring about wellness in the body and mind.8
I believe that the power of the heart to impact emotional and biological change is far greater than that held within the rest of the body. Compared to the brain, the heart’s electrical field is 60 times more potent and its magnetic component is 5,000 times stronger. The heart also sends a lot more information to the brain than vice versa, and its ability to provide coherence in the body is king.9 But the heart processes more than measurable energies. It is also the body’s most powerful subtle energy region.
Subtle energy is harder to measure than physical energy, but its effects are apparent. It is identical to quantum energy, which can transcend time and space, and is the basis for intuitive flashes, paranormal phenomena, and spiritual interactions. Our ancestors have always known that the heart can read people, situations, and even the future. Now science is agreeing, with recent research revealing that while both the brain and the heart can sense future happenings, the heart receives this information sooner. As well, its field creates a social bond with people near and far, inviting empathy and connectivity.10
Specific quantum, or subtle, particles called phonons, which dwell in the heart, are also largely responsible for the spread of positive or negative information throughout the body. Phonons organize in a crystal-like lattice. Every time the heart beats, phonons spread the sounds held within the heart throughout the body. Positive sounds, such as those packaged as mantras, uplifting emotions, and positive affirmations, generate health and well-being. Negative sounds, such as those generated by self-loathing or criticism, create emotional and physical imbalance. The phonons imprint on the blood’s lipids through the pressure waves generated by the heartbeat, and thus the entire body “hears” what the energetic heart has to say.11

Body, Mind, Soul, Spirit
I’ve demonstrated that the energetic heart, a composite of the physical and subtle heart, can produce or respond to emotions in ways that are beneficial or injurious. Given the impact of the energetic heart, it would be logical for bodyworkers to search for a way to constructively employ this heart for processing emotions. Fortunately, it’s actually easy to do, whether you’re working with yourself or a client. You’ve only to focus spiritually on the energetic heart when concentrating on feelings.
What do I mean by “focusing spiritually?” There are four aspects of a being: body, mind, soul, and spirit. The body, mind, and soul selves are the parts of the being that seek to understand love. In general, however, these aspects don’t “get” it yet. Damaged and injured by life experiences, misguided beliefs, and emotional confusion, the body, mind, and soul are survival-oriented. This means their perceptions are fear-based.
The body-self runs the gut brain. The mind-self regulates the head brain. The soul flips between both of these, sometimes making good emotional decisions and other times, messing things up. The spirit is a horse of a different color. It only perceives situations through the lens of love.
 The spirit knows that it is always connected to the Divine. Because of this, it will only produce or interpret emotions through the lenses of love. It will perceive all situations with mercy and grace, using emotions to heal and uplift, never deny or decry. And when the spirit is enabled to operate emotionally through the energetic heart, which is located in the center of the chest, it can bring about miracles. While the gut brain is busily churning the stomach, the energetic heart can be ushering in love and bonding.12 While the head brain is mixing up thoughts, the energetic heart can be sharing spiritual truths.
I’m not saying that it’s bad to feel fear, anger, sadness, or any other so-called “negative” emotions. There are five feeling constellations (anger, fear, disgust, sadness, joy). From a spiritual point of view, each feeling generates a vital message. Anger, for instance, tells us to set boundaries. Only our spirit, however, can correctly highlight and interpret the emotion applicable to a given situation. Only our spirit can keep us connected to the Divine while we’re feeling our feelings. Only our spirit will ensure that our phonons are distributing helpful, not harmful, sounds through our body.

Facilitating the Spirit’s Reaction
How do you assist a client with correctly receiving, analyzing, and interpreting their spirit’s reactions to a situation? The following steps, employed through the energetic heart, will help.
Select a Focus
Help your client focus on a need, which might involve a pain, memory, or unmet goal.
Breathe Into the Heart
Ask the client to center in their heart and to then breathe deeply. Now, request that they let only their spirit or highest self help them feel the feelings associated with the subject.
Share the Emotions
Let the client state aloud any and all feelings, whether deemed positive or negative, then decide which emotion is predominant.
Label and Interpret
Using the following outline, assist the client with figuring out the message that their emotion is sharing from a spirit point of view.
A. Anger reveals the need to establish a boundary, thereby increasing personal power.
B. Fear indicates lack of security and shows what to do to become safe.
C. Disgust insists that something or someone is unhealthy. Getting rid of the toxic food, habit, person, or other ingredient is purifying.
D. Sadness indicates an inability to perceive love in a situation. Following the “flow” of sadness leads to new ways to give or receive love.
E. Joy says, “Yes! I want more!” Focusing on joy brings more joy.
Distribute the Spirit’s Feelings
Ask your client to focus on their heartbeat and breath while their spirit distributes the emotion, as well as the healing, needed throughout their body.
The distributed feeling will unlock and cleanse other emotions and also lead to further insights or the need for action. Ask the client to decide if there are any other steps they must take toward further healing.

Years ago, Emily Dickinson wrote, “The heart wants what it wants, or else it does not care.” And essentially, it wants to share love, the greatest healing power of all.

Cyndi Dale is accepting a limited number of students for her apprenticeship program February 22–October 28, 2018: “Develop Your Magical, Mysterious, and Miraculous Spiritual Gifts.” Massage & Bodywork readers can use code CDABMP to receive $250 off an individual registration price.
For more information, visit

1. Susanne Babbel, “The Connections Between Emotional Stress, Trauma, and Physical Pain,” Psychology Today, April 8, 2010, accessed November 2017,
2. “Anxiety and Physical Illness,” Harvard Health Publishing, last updated June 6, 2017, accessed November 2017,
3. Christina Sarich, “New Proof That Our Emotions Cause Physical Pain & How to Change Them,” Collective Evolution, June 30, 2015, accessed November 2017,
4. Anne Trafton, “How the Brain Processes Emotions,” MIT News, March 31, 2016, accessed November 2017,
5. Babbel, “The Connections Between Emotional Stress, Trauma, and Physical Pain.”
6. Adam Hadhazy, “Think Twice: How the Gut’s ‘Second Brain’ Influences Mood and Well-Being,” Scientific American, February 12, 2010, accessed November 2017,; “The Brain in Your Belly,” The Best Brain Possible, September 8, 2014, accessed November 2017,
7. Hadhazy, “Think Twice.”
8. “The Heart-Brain Connection,” HeartMath Institute, accessed November 2017,
9. Rollin McCraty, Raymond Trevor Bradley, and Dana Tomasino, “The Heart Has Its Own ‘Brain’ and Consciousness,” in5D, January 10, 2015, accessed November 2017,
10. Ibid.
11. Jay Kshatri, “Sound Healing … More Than Just a Good Vibration,” Think Smarter World, July 15, 2015, accessed November 2017,
12. Raluca, “How Intuition Works,” Intuition Ways Blog, February 18, 2016, accessed November 2017,

Cyndi Dale is an internationally renowned author, speaker, and intuitive consultant. Her popular books include The Subtle Body Coloring Book: Learn Energetic Anatomy (Sounds True, 2017), Subtle Energy Techniques (Llewellyn Publications, 2017), Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Chakras (Llewellyn Publications, 2016), The Intuition Guidebook: How To Safely and Wisely Use Your Sixth Sense (Deeper Well Publishing, 2011), Energetic Boundaries: How to Stay Protected and Connected in Work, Love, and Life (Sounds True, 2011), The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy (Sounds True, 2009), and The Complete Book of Chakra Healing (Llewellyn Publications, 2009), as well as nearly 20 additional books. To learn more about Dale and her products, services, and classes, please visit