Matters of the heart run deep…

The heart carries the emotional pain of many generations. This may be pain from oppression, suppression, subjugation, injustice, inequality, separation, alienation, racism/racial bias, prejudice, violence, abuse, grief, and loss. It can also be related to childhood experiences as a child growing up (bullying, abuse, witnessing abuse), the backpacks we were given (privilege, oppression), beliefs we were consciously/unconsciously taught as well as community, cultural, and ancestral-transgenerational trauma all affect the core of our being.

Heart Health & Wellbeing: Emotions, Stress, Trauma, Chronic Health Conditions & Impaired Immunity

Unhealed pain can show up as depression, anxiety, anger, feeling numb or disconnected and in other emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual ways that affect our health and interactions. It also acts as an underlying stressor that increases the stress of daily life. This negatively contributes to hormonal and metabolism imbalances, inflammation/physical pain, stress related chronic health conditions (epigenetics/gene expression), weakened immunity, alcohol and substance use/abuse, and addictions.

October 2019, the Center for Disease Control indicated that six in ten adults in the US have a chronic disease and four in ten adults have two or more.

The 10 most common chronic health conditions (2018) and the National Health Impact percentage:

  1. Hypertension, 12.5%
  2. Major Depression, 9%
  3. High Cholesterol, 8.6%
  4. Coronary Artery Disease, 7%
  5. Type 2 Diabetes, 5.5%
  6. Substance Use Disorder, 3.4%
  7. Alcohol Use Disorder, 3.3%
  8. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), 3.3%
  9. Psychotic Disorder, 2.9%
  10. Crohn’s Disease/Ulcerative Colitis, 2.7%

High Risks for BIPOC Communities

Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) are 1.5 to 2.0 times more likely to develop many of the major chronic health conditions. Diabetes, lung diseases, and serious heart conditions have been particularly relevant to COVID-19 risk (Price, J.H., Khubchandani, J., McKinney, M., & Braun, R., 2013).

Generally, chronic stress includes socio-economic, work-life, partner, family, social/community, and environmental/geopathic factors. Oppression, suppression, subjugation, colonization, slavery, genocide, alienation, trauma, grief, and loss compounds chronic stress. Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) experiences related to income disparity, inequality, injustice, prejudice, discrimination, violence, and systemic racism as well as cultural and ancestral-transgenerational trauma add to these stressors. Ongoing reduced sleep, insufficient hydration, and low nutrient dense foods deplete the body’s resources and act as metabolic stressors. A 2020 study by John Hopkins found that chronic stress can weaken immunity, making BIPOC communities more vulnerable to diseases like COVID-19 (and the underlying health conditions that increase the risk of COVID-19).

The research of Drs. Candace Pert and Daniel Amen have shown that emotions create a biochemical response and affect physiological functioning. Dr. Van der Kolk’s research indicated that trauma is not only stored in the neocortex and limbic areas of the brain; but, also in the cells and the RNA/DNA. Unresolved emotional pain and trauma associated with these experiences further increase risks for impaired immunity.

Liberation: Healing in Community

Ancient cultures understood the holistic nature of emotional wounding, pain, and trauma and created interventions to regularly release experiences that would otherwise impact the health of the person and the community. Healing space was regularly created in relationship via ritual and ceremony. Personal lineages, family ancestors were included in the work for healing across past, present, and future generations. This was spiritual; but in the context that the mind, body, and heart-soul are spirit manifest, spirit as form.

Relationship, (i.e., heart to heart, nature) maintained balance and restored the community. Health, wellbeing, and prosperity was dependent on healing relationship. Cultural research by Drs. Eduardo Duran, Faith Parks, Joy DeGruy Leary, Maria Brave Heart and others has laid the foundation for evidence-based, ancestral-indigenous interventions.

A Relationship-Based, Ancestral-Indigenous Approach to Personal & Collective Healing

“Culture is beyond definition and limitation – a concept or a box. It is the living, evolving soul of the people.”

Living Sanctuary provides healing space in a nature/relationship-based, ancestral-indigenous context to help resolve emotional wounding/pain and trauma. These are key contributors to inflammation, chronic health conditions, and impaired immunity. This work is for personal, ancestral, transgenerational, and cultural/historical healing across all people; holding heart and humanity for all beings. Personal and group-based sessions (Zoom) are integrated for self-healing in relationship and community

Contact us to learn more or register for our upcoming Heart Journeys introduction and healing group (Zoom) and BIPOC Healing from Oppression introduction and 4-week life groups (Zoom). The way forward for true change requires healing the heart and personal/transgenerational trauma. This allows for new relationship to resolve the unhealed pain that threatens our humanity, impacting all life and the planet. Let’s heal together!