Stress and Emotions

The mind-body connection

I was reading a post online today that said, "The cells in your body react to everything your mind says.  Negativity brings down your immune system." (

The quote made me think of a patient of mine who had been the victim of an assault.  She had responded very well to chiropractic care, but I knew that the emotional trauma was going to prevent her from healing completely until it was addressed.  So she came in for a session of Neuro Emotional Technique (NET).

When she came in, her posture was slumped and her eyes were shifty (darting from side to side), she looked pallid and seemed anxious.  She reported feeling a great deal of anger which was affecting her relationships and her ability to focus and sleep.  We walked through the assault step by step, treating as we went (almost frame by frame).  When we first started the treatment, she was literally shaking from what she said was anger and a feeling of lack of control over events, and her jaw was clenched.  As we continued, we discovered that some things that she thought were not important and that she had tried to dismiss on an intellectual level, were actually affecting her on an emotional (and consequently physical) level, and we cleared them as well.  After only 20 minutes, her whole demeanor had changed.  She had color in her face again and was able to comfortably maintain eye contact.  Her jaw was relaxed and her shoulders were no longer slumped--she sat erect, and at the same time was visibly more relaxed.  She said, "This sounds crazy and you probably won't believe me, but I feel so much better. How can that be after just one session? I no longer feel angry."

I did believe her, not only because I see these kind of results all the time, but also because I experienced the changes myself first hand when I went through NET therapy to address my own past emotional trauma which had almost caused me to drop out of chiropractic school even though I had a 4.0 at the time.

Emotions are very powerful things and they affect us on a physical level--they're not just something that happens in our heads!  They affect not only concentration and mood, but our posture, digestion, sleep, immune system, etc..  Some people still try to make an arbitrary distinction between the mind and body as if they are separate entities, and attempt to downplay or even dismiss a mind-body connection.  But in reality, the mind is part of the body, and emotions are stored not just in the limbic system in our brains, but throughout the body as neuropeptides called information substances (see link below: Molecules of Emotion by Candace Pert, PhD).  In fact, the field of psychoneuroimmunology addresses the influence of emotional states on both the nervous and immune systems.

NET is a powerful tool that addressed the mind-body connection and allows us to release these information substances from where they are stuck.  This, in turn, allows the body to let go of the emotional stress it sometimes holds on to unnecessarily despite our rational mind's attempts of trying to talk us out of being upset.  Sometimes our rational Neocortex may be telling us one thing, but our subconscious mammalian brain is on a different page.  This can cause us to get stuck in certain behavior patterns and prevent us from "moving on" no matter how much we journal, meditate, and otherwise try to "just let go."  So if you're feeling stuck, find yourself self-sabotaging, or feel unable to let go of a particular hurt or frustration, I highly suggest you give NET a try.

To schedule an appointment, you can reach me at 512-762-2156 or email me at

For more information on NET:

Is stress making you sick? NET can help!

For more on Psychoneuroimmunology:

Candace Pert's book, Molecules of Emotion is available on Amazon:

Is stress making you sick? N.E.T. can help!

Is stress, anger, or unresolved grief making you sick?

Sadly, 75-90% of all Dr.'s visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. Did you know, for instance, that more heart attacks happen on a Monday morning than any other day? (1) Coincidence?

Most of us living in today's fast-paced world would agree that we suffer, at least occasionally, from stress.  Whether it be from:

  • fighting rush hour traffic
  • a stressful job/co-worker/boss
  • an unexpected lay off
  • the birth of a new baby
  • a difficult divorce
  • the loss of a loved one or pet

What many of us don't realize is that stress affects more than our just our mood--it has a very real physical component that affects our whole body. While in a state of stress, our bodies release a multitude of hormones and neuro-chemicals into our blood stream that travel all over our bodies.  As a result, our blood pressure increases, our heart beats faster, our digestion is impaired, we can't focus, our creativity is decreased, our memory fails us, and often we don't sleep well.  We're in a state called fight or flight (the opposite of rest and digest).

Fight or flight is very useful when you're a caveman and a wild animal is about to attack you.  It's a survival mechanism that gets you out of sticky situations.  But after the danger is over, a healthy nervous system switches back to rest and digest mode and everything should go back to normal.  The problem in today's modern society is that we are constantly bombarded with stressful situations that trigger the fight or flight response.  We might not have to face being eaten by a wild animal, but our mortgage bill might feel just as scary!

What complicates matters is that sometimes we have exaggerated responses to present-day situations because on some level they remind us (consciously or unconsciously) of a similar situation we experienced in the past.  It's like when someone pushes your buttons.  Those "buttons" really have a scientific explanation and are called neuro-emotional complexes (NEC's).

Neuro-emotional complexes form when you are going through a stressful situation and your nervous system thinks it might be a survival advantage to remember how you dealt with it.  Although you may have dealt with the situation poorly, you survived! And that's all the nervous system cares about.  So every time you experience a similar stressful situation in the present, the part of your brain called the limbic system remembers, and you experience all the same emotions you felt that first time on top of what you are feeling now.  So the stress is even more intense!  And most of the time, you find yourself acting in the same way you did that first time, even if you know better or wish you could do it differently.  You feel stuck in a pattern you can't seem to break no matter how much you meditate on it, or journal, or "know better" on a conscious level.

Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) is designed to remove those blocks and release pent-up emotional stress.   NET is not a talk it out therapy. It is not a form of psychology, psychotherapy, or counseling of any type. NET uses muscle testing to discover underlying, often deeply buried physical stress that has an emotional cause and then releases that physical stress, allowing the mind and body to heal.


So what is NET good for? NET can help with a myriad of physical and behavioral stress-related conditions.  These conditions include:

  • headaches
  • joint and body pain
  • digestive problems
  • difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • various organ dysfunctions
  • phobias
  • addictions
  • general anxiety
  • self-sabotaging behaviors, and so much more.

NET can help you regain a sense of peace and tranquility.  It can help quiet your mind of worries so you can concentrate on what you need to get done during the day and so you can fall asleep at night. And it can resolve mysterious body aches that you haven't been able to get rid of no matter what you did, because they actually had an emotional component.  In harmony with the philosophy of Chiropractic, NET removes physical stressors that are acting as barriers to the natural, self-healing ability of the body so that your body can heal itself. 

If you or a loved one are suffering from the emotional and physical strain of stress,  Dr. Rita would love to hear your story and see if NET could help.