Chronic Lyme is Not Just Physical!

How unresolved emotional trauma can inhibit healing

Written by: Ellen Donaldson

In honor of Lyme Awareness Month, and with respect and compassion for so many suffering from chronic Lyme, I’m advocating healing emotional trauma as an essential component for complete healing. 

We know lots of facts about Lyme disease: 

  • Lyme is the fastest growing vector-borne infectious disease in the US
  • It’s been found in every state in America, and around the world
  • Lyme testing is often ineffective and inaccurate
  • The list of symptoms associated is long, varied, confusing and scary 
  • Lyme can affect every system in the body
  • The suffering extends beyond the person with Lyme to the entire family
  • Some medical professionals don’t believe that chronic Lyme exists 

To my mind, beyond the physical, it’s essential that we extend our focus to emotional factors that influence healing, such as trauma, stuck patterns, negative beliefs, perseveration on symptoms. These issues can create a gap between what the Lyme sufferer wants, (healing), and what is received (escalating symptoms). Some practitioners may speak to emotional healing, but not know how to guide their clients to do so. For me, it’s the cornerstone of my practice.

Lyme Complexities

The healing work I do with my clients has led me down many roads of study. For treating the physical symptoms, I’ve learned how:

  • stealth infections like Lyme disease hide in the body
  • co-infections add further complexity to treatment 
  • toxins and inflammation add burden to body systems
  • important the gut is to overall health and immunity

Sometimes, all of these areas need to be addressed before physical recovery happens. Truth is, Lyme clients require an individual treatment plan, not a one size fits all approach.

Supporting Deeper Healing

Beyond the physical treatment strategies, I have observed that there are core self-supportive approaches, applicable to all, upon which other modalities (such as Biomagnetism) can build and work to greater effect. I call this ‘Magnets and More’.

With each client, I pay close attention to unresolved emotions, negative beliefs, and learned behavioral patterns that impact the ability to fully heal. Clients who have any kind of chronic physical issue – infection, pain syndrome, toxicity burden, disease – also usually have some kind of emotional stuckness, often it’s old trauma that is still held in the emotional field and in many cases, repressed into the physical body.

Repressed Trauma – The Issues Are In The Tissues!

Emotional stuckness inhibits the ability to move through chronic illness or pain, becoming a significant roadblock to recovery. The physician and trauma expert Gabor Maté describes it this way:

“Repression – dissociating emotions from awareness and relegating them to the unconscious realm – disorganizes and confuses our physiological defenses so that in some people these defenses go awry, becoming the destroyers of health rather than its protectors.”

Gabor Maté “When the Body Says No, Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection”

Researchers like Bessel Van Der Kolk (“The Body Keeps the Score”) and Peter Levine (“Waking the Tiger”) describe how unresolved trauma is stored in the body and left locked in tissues, cells, muscles, fascia, nerves – significantly impacting their normal function. Being able to “complete the experience” i.e., resolve the held emotions and trauma, often allows the body to marshal its resources to properly heal. Energy healing is a powerful, painless way to complete the experience, releasing the charge, creating neutrality, acceptance and harmony. I use energy healing in every session, with every client.

What You Resist, Persists

In the Lyme world, I have found that resistance to doing the deep inner work repurposes itself into hyperfocus on symptoms, a collapsed and victimized belief that they’ll never get well, and a relentless search for the magic bullet treatment that’s going to make them feel better. 

Some clients with chronic illness have also done some therapeutic work, connecting some of the emotional dots along the way. But connecting the dots is only part of the resolution! Releasing the toxic energy of the story is where healing happens.

Healing Insights

Here are a few insights some of my clients have uncovered that have shifted their experience of themselves, and significantly lightened the burden of their symptoms:

  • how her illness results in remaining financially insolvent as an unconscious response to her alcoholic mother’s failure to support and sustain her 
  • understanding that shame and rage from a sexual assault triggers sciatic pain
  • the link between depression, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and childhood neglect and invalidation 

What does unresolved emotion look like in real-time? For many, symptoms begin to resolve and the client feels better, until a triggering of the unhealed wound causes a resurgence of symptoms. The focus returns to the body, when an integrated approach of treating the symptoms and healing the emotional pain would be more supportive.

A Beautiful Marriage

We cannot divorce our emotional selves from our physical selves, they’re married to one another. When there’s disease in the body, the emotions, wounds, stories that remain held in the energy field contribute to the inability to heal!

We must realize that it is neither necessary nor possible to change past events. Old traumas are examples of bound-up energy and lost lessons. The past doesn’t matter when we learn how to be present; every moment becomes new and creative. We have only to heal our present symptoms and proceed. A healing moment ripples forward and back, out and about.”

Peter Levine, “Waking the Tiger”

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