PART 1: The Bond Between Autoimmune Diseases and Highly Sensitive Persons
Written by Carla M. Sodi
Although the cause of autoimmune disease is unknown, there is a physiological and psychological correlation between Highly Sensitive people and the immune health concerns they may have. Since people who have this trait are easily overwhelmed by their surroundings, the accumulation of toxins, bacteria or virus, chemical irritants, emotional, environmental irritants and daily stress trigger hypersensitivity of the immune system, leaving this group more susceptible to develop a disease that the rest of the population does not have.
THE AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES
Autoimmune diseases affect up to 50 million people only in the United States. Seventy five percent of those affected are women, according to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA). There are as many as 80 types of autoimmune diseases, which manifest a variety of symptoms like fatigue, fever, and general malaise (feeling ill), insomnia, digestive issues, headaches, depression and chronic pain, which makes it very difficult to diagnose a disease. Many autoimmune disorders appear due to emotions that overwhelm the nervous-sensory system. Unresolved emotions have the power to trigger chemical responses in the body, which impact our immune systems.
HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSONS
High sensitivity is a neutral genetic trait; it simply is a specific way to operate in the world, like having hazel eyes or blond hair. Dr. Elaine Aron, coined the name Highly Sensitive Person, to designate the part of the population that presents a nervous system more sensitive to their surroundings; they represent about 15 to 20% of the population. The general population is not aware they may be one of them, and therefore they do not know the special needs they have because of their sensitive nature. If they could be made aware that their brain takes in too much information through their fine-tuned perception system, reacts deeper to the signals sent by the sensory organs, and easily over stimulates, stresses out and becomes over activated, and they are therefore more exposed to develop an alarm response in the body, they could take the positive actions needed to prevent this.
THE BOND BETWEEN THEM
When an external or internal invader stresses the body for the first time, the immune system recognizes not only the stressor itself but also the time, event, physical emotional conditions and surroundings, and develops an energy conflict inside the body. During this beginning stage there are autoimmune responses, but there is no antibody production yet. If this condition is continually present without treatment for a period of time, antibodies can develop a chaotic response against the body. A Highly Sensitive Person, reaches overwhelm faster than others, and has a harder time coping with the stressful situations that trigger the body to attack itself. Headaches, stomach issues, chronic pain, allergies and autoimmune disorders appear due to the extreme perception of the nervous system.
THE USE OF EFT
As we know, EFT is based on the premise that our whole body is a lattice-work of energies. With the use of EFT, clients can feel an almost instant calming effect when feeling overwhelmed, or stressed out. They can train the highly sensitive brain to create boundaries and prevent or manage symptoms and even erase unhealthy thoughts and emotions, and protect them from attacking themselves. It also helps a sensitive person to deal with every little incident, stopping the alarm that triggers the flight-freeze response, which sends a false signal to the immune system to attack the body, allowing a free flow of energy throughout the body that can have positive effects in their physical, emotional and mental well-being.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS
Based on my work with so many clients I noticed there is a strong bond between Highly Sensitive People and autoimmune disorders. A first attempt to find a correlation between High Sensitive People and autoimmune disorders was done through social networks (Facebook); a questionnaire was proposed to two specific groups of people. Participants were selected on whether they were Highly Sensitive (2 groups) or they suffered from any autoimmune disease (4 groups). All were invited to answer the self-test for Highly Sensitive People designed by Elaine Aron, and answer some questions related to autoimmune symptoms or autoimmune diseases. Eighty-three persons participated, mostly women. The results showed that 97% of all the people with an autoimmune disease are Highly Sensitive People and 51% of the highly sensitive, have presented some symptoms or illnesses related to an autoimmune disorder.
Although this survey does not meet the elements of a scientific investigation, it gives us a very important glimpse into the correlation between highly sensitive people and autoimmune disorders. This article attempts to provide some new insights into knowing and understanding such interrelation and becoming more efficient in our practice with EFT when we work with people suffering from an autoimmune disorder or highly sensitive people.