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Body Cells Carry Emotional Memory

                      By Boris Prilutsky

I found the theory that body cells carry emotional memories to be a true one. During my 38 years of clinical experience, numerous times I have witnessed the emotional reactions of my patients/clients to soft tissue mobilization. To more clearly explain this phenomenon, I would like to share one of my most interesting clinical experiences with you that support the theory of emotional memory being carried body cells.

Over 20 years ago, I treated one of the world-renowned boxers of the time from a shoulder injury. The right shoulder had a severe sprain/strain case with suspicion of possible rotator cuff tear. As with all such cases, after 24 hours of cold application procedures (cold application must be applied no more than 10-15 minutes and must be repeated every two hours) we started intensive massage therapy on the unaffected side in order to awake vasomotor reflex that will express by increasing blood supply to the injured extremities. I began to follow the treatment protocol for the above-mentioned purposes, starting to mobilize all groups of rotator cuff muscles layer by layer, as well as the anterior, posterior, and middle part of the deltoid muscles. As he was receiving the massage therapy, suddenly this big, tough, extremely strong man started crying, vocalizing sounds like that of a little boy. He was confused and expressed his embarrassment at breaking down in tears.

Being familiar with the theory that body cells carry emotional memory, I suggested to him to cry out whatever this emotional memory was. The sport clinical psychologist was informed of the incident. During his evaluation, this professional athlete, with the help of the psychologist, recovered a memory from his deep subconscious of an event that happened to him when he was eight years old.

Briefly, the story was that the boy's grandfather (his mother's father) once interrupted the constant fight between the boy's father and alcoholic mother; his grandfather attacked his father with a hammer. Afterward, the father was delivered in critical condition to the hospital and the grandfather was arrested. During this period of time, the little boy future boxing champion fell, off his bicycle and hurt his left shoulder. Crying, he came to his mom who was screaming into the phone, and asked her to comfort him because of the pain in his shoulder. His mother reacted in anger, and took his pleas as just whining for attention and she hit him with the phone a few times on this painful shoulder. All these years, on a subconscious level, this man carried difficult baggage of these memories of events related to losing the most important people in his life; his grandfather and father; and related to rejection by his mother. This kind of crying, emotional release tremendously helped this athlete to get rid of this subconscious trauma. This heavy emotional baggage was terribly disturbing and robbed him of a lot of happiness all these years, without him even knowing it existed. My experience has taught me that usually these emotional releases happen with people at the time when we perform massage (including deep tissue mobilization) in the inhibitory regime. Please be aware that emotional release may not be expressed by crying. Many clients may report to you that they have trouble sleeping and experience worry, or they may start shaking during the massage. Some of them will report unusual emotional sensitivity. Please explain to your clients that all above-mentioned reactions are very positive reactions and within the next few days of going through these reactions, they will feel a great deal better. Regarding the boxer whose case I presented to you, he later reported to me that he never thought that this subconscious baggage could destroy the quality and happiness of his life so much. He told me that thanks to this innocent massage therapy on the healthy shoulder, he was able to find peace within himself.

It's reasonable to assume that the memory of the emotional experience is stored somewhere in the brain - the system that is specialized in memory handling and remained inaccessible, as many other memories a human being experiencing during the life. But the shoulder cells hold the bookmark or a memory address of where the actual memories of the incident were stored in the brain. Thus by activating the shoulder cell you triggered the process of loading the content of that remote memory in the active memory, causing the aforementioned reaction.

As you can see from this episode, clinical psychology approach alone wouldn't be sufficient, because of the emotional memories carried by the cells of his body. Presently, I receive professional referrals from clinical psychologists.

Dear colleagues, I would like to encourage you to contact clinical psychologists in your neighborhoods and to offer them your services to incorporate massage therapy in their treatments. The Latin word "doctor" means educator. After being involved in many cases,at US it is clear to me that we should educate not only our clients about the power and importance of massage therapy, but also other health care practitioners.

www.medicalmassage-edu.com

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I honestly don't understand what a fetus with developing entire systems has to do with epithelial cells, Stephen.

Stephen Jeffrey said:

Hi Ravesara,

my brain cells may not be as clever as yours, but if a fetus can become a baby, I would not bet against a cells potential to carry memory. No way.......I'll leave that to you:)

Ravensara Travillian said:

I, on the other hand, am saying that with what we know about Neurobiology 101, it is clear that cells do not have the neural machinery to carry memory or emotion.

 

 

As Chris said, it's not nitpicking:

 

It's not silly, and the reason it isn't silly is because a misunderstanding of how the body works has repercussions for how treatment ought to be conducted, how research ought to be conducted, and for the content of educational programs.

 

What *I* think is plain is that:

  • Some people posting on this site don't give a rat's arse about whether they get basic facts right or not for passing along to clients, students, and other practitioners, and
  • Boris is going to continue to try to dictate who can post here by ordering me to "stop", and to hawk his own classes while accusing me of promoting non-existent ones, and neither the moderator nor anyone else (with the notable exceptions of Ty, Chance, and Vlad) is going to stand up against verbal bullying and outright misstatements on this site--that the public can read--and hold people accountable for how they treat others with different opinions.

 



Gary W Addis said:


Sigh. A heartfelt sigh.  Semantics, terminology, diction, jargon, language, lingo, locution, nomenclature, onomastics, phraseology, phrasing, turn of phrase, vocabulary, wordage, verbiage, patois, vernacular-- by whatever label, both you and Raven understand precisely my meaning.  This...nitpicking over a fully understood word illustrates the  problem with your argument.  I think it's plain that readers understand Boris' meaning, even if you do not.


Christopher A. Moyer said:

psychotherapy.  Boris is essentially saying the same thing: that the mind can affect the body, and vice versa.  IOW, semantics.

 

As Raven and I noted before, it would be an issue of semantics - or if you prefer, as I suspect Raven would, an issue of terminology - if that is what Boris had said all along and says.  But it isn't, and the evidence is all over this site, including the title he gave this discussion and the very first sentence of his original post.

If you reject Chris' evidence simply because he has no professional training or experience in massage, then shouldn't you apply the same standard to Candace Pert?

 

Why the double standard?

Noel Norwick said:

Chrisopher - From your webpage: http://www.uwstout.edu/faculty/moyerc/index.cfm  it appears that your focus is on:  "how MT can be used as an effective treatment for reducing anxiety and depression, and how the findings from MT research can improve our understanding of the social, physiological, behavioral, and cognitive processes that influence human emotion."  Therefore, I find it curious that you as a Ph.D. in psychology (a field not generally recognized as a "hard" science) feel qualified to publicly "validate" and "invalidate" clinical massage practice protocols as well as demand that non academics meet your standards for providing bibliographical references supporting their findings and opinions.

Since you clearly feel qualified to challenge experienced clinicians working in fields in which it appears you have no professional training or experience, I wonder if you are prepared to publicly state that Candace B. Pert, Ph.D.'s book "Molecules of Emotion, The science behind mind-body medicine" C 1997, David S. Butler's book "The Sensitive Nervous System" C 2000, and "Trauma and the Body, A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy" edited by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. C 2006 don't meet your standards for reference or support the use of non-scientific language when experienced clinical massage practitioners discuss what can oftentimes be clinically significant cognitive & emotional effects of massage.


please reply.
Boris Prilutsky said:

Raven you said:"This isn't about ego at all, Gary; it's about information and misinformation for students, practitioners, and clients."

my article is the issues that we are arguing. Please offer /pinpoint  misinformation for students, practitioners, and clients."


otherwise just stop confusing members, and stop destructing .
Ravensara Travillian said:

This isn't about ego at all, Gary; it's about information and misinformation for students, practitioners, and clients.

 

If you read the discussion from the beginning, you'll see that sometimes Boris says memory is carried in the cells and sometimes he says it isn't. The times when he says it isn't, he is consistent with what we know about neuroscience, and when he says it is carried in the cells, he doesn't offer any real evidence why we should put aside all we do know about neuroscience, just his say-so.

 

I, on the other hand, am saying that with what we know about Neurobiology 101, it is clear that cells do not have the neural machinery to carry memory or emotion.

 

If a client says it *feels as though* the memory is in the cells, or if Boris explicltly says that his use of the title of this post "Body Cells Carry Emotional Memory" is a metaphor, despite his arguing in other comments for it being literally true, then you can say we're all saying the same thing. I don't deny at all that it can feel that way.

 

But as long as anyone insists that it is literally true, and that we should teach that claim to students, and sell it to clients, then s/he and I are saying the opposite of the same thing.

 

If you are interested in getting in touch with things in a psychological way, go have a look at Boris' attacks on me upthread for telling about my experience, after Steve asked me explicitly to tell about my experience. You may find that explosion most interesting.

Raven you said:"This isn't about ego at all, Gary; it's about information and misinformation for students, practitioners, and clients."

my article is the issues that we are arguing. Please offer /pinpoint  misinformation for students, practitioners, and clients."


otherwise just stop confusing members, and stop destructing .

Ravensara Travillian said:

If you reject Chris' evidence simply because he has no professional training or experience in massage, then shouldn't you apply the same standard to Candace Pert?

 

Why the double standard?

Noel Norwick said:

Chrisopher - From your webpage: http://www.uwstout.edu/faculty/moyerc/index.cfm  it appears that your focus is on:  "how MT can be used as an effective treatment for reducing anxiety and depression, and how the findings from MT research can improve our understanding of the social, physiological, behavioral, and cognitive processes that influence human emotion."  Therefore, I find it curious that you as a Ph.D. in psychology (a field not generally recognized as a "hard" science) feel qualified to publicly "validate" and "invalidate" clinical massage practice protocols as well as demand that non academics meet your standards for providing bibliographical references supporting their findings and opinions.

Since you clearly feel qualified to challenge experienced clinicians working in fields in which it appears you have no professional training or experience, I wonder if you are prepared to publicly state that Candace B. Pert, Ph.D.'s book "Molecules of Emotion, The science behind mind-body medicine" C 1997, David S. Butler's book "The Sensitive Nervous System" C 2000, and "Trauma and the Body, A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy" edited by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. C 2006 don't meet your standards for reference or support the use of non-scientific language when experienced clinical massage practitioners discuss what can oftentimes be clinically significant cognitive & emotional effects of massage.

I have pinpointed several specific points many times in this thread. If you didn't accept my critique before, why should I spend my time doing the same thing again?

 

Especially when you lose your temper and accuse me of dishonesty and destructiveness. That's way over the line, and you know it.

 

If you really are interested, all the points are further back in this thread and you can go back and re-read them. The main problem, though, is going back and forth between cells literally "carrying" or "bookmarking" memory and the metaphorical use of those terms.

 

If you say it "feels like" cells carry memories, or you're using it as a metaphor or an analogy, then no problem. Insisting that it's literally true, however, is an error.

 

If we want to become a healthcare profession, misrepresenting Neurobiology 101 gets us off to a very bad start.



Boris Prilutsky said:


please reply.
Boris Prilutsky said:

Raven you said:"This isn't about ego at all, Gary; it's about information and misinformation for students, practitioners, and clients."

my article is the issues that we are arguing. Please offer /pinpoint  misinformation for students, practitioners, and clients."


otherwise just stop confusing members, and stop destructing .
Ravensara Travillian said:

This isn't about ego at all, Gary; it's about information and misinformation for students, practitioners, and clients.

 

If you read the discussion from the beginning, you'll see that sometimes Boris says memory is carried in the cells and sometimes he says it isn't. The times when he says it isn't, he is consistent with what we know about neuroscience, and when he says it is carried in the cells, he doesn't offer any real evidence why we should put aside all we do know about neuroscience, just his say-so.

 

I, on the other hand, am saying that with what we know about Neurobiology 101, it is clear that cells do not have the neural machinery to carry memory or emotion.

 

If a client says it *feels as though* the memory is in the cells, or if Boris explicltly says that his use of the title of this post "Body Cells Carry Emotional Memory" is a metaphor, despite his arguing in other comments for it being literally true, then you can say we're all saying the same thing. I don't deny at all that it can feel that way.

 

But as long as anyone insists that it is literally true, and that we should teach that claim to students, and sell it to clients, then s/he and I are saying the opposite of the same thing.

 

If you are interested in getting in touch with things in a psychological way, go have a look at Boris' attacks on me upthread for telling about my experience, after Steve asked me explicitly to tell about my experience. You may find that explosion most interesting.

please pinpoint where I am saying:"If you say it "feels like" cells carry memories, or you're using it as a metaphor or an analogy, then no problem. Insisting that it's literally true, however, is an error." Article  still posted.

Ravensara Travillian said:

I have pinpointed several specific points many times in this thread. If you didn't accept my critique before, why should I spend my time doing the same thing again?

 

Especially when you lose your temper and accuse me of dishonesty and destructiveness. That's way over the line, and you know it.

 

If you really are interested, all the points are further back in this thread and you can go back and re-read them. The main problem, though, is going back and forth between cells literally "carrying" or "bookmarking" memory and the metaphorical use of those terms.

 

If you say it "feels like" cells carry memories, or you're using it as a metaphor or an analogy, then no problem. Insisting that it's literally true, however, is an error.

 

If we want to become a healthcare profession, misrepresenting Neurobiology 101 gets us off to a very bad start.



Boris Prilutsky said:


please reply.
Boris Prilutsky said:

Raven you said:"This isn't about ego at all, Gary; it's about information and misinformation for students, practitioners, and clients."

my article is the issues that we are arguing. Please offer /pinpoint  misinformation for students, practitioners, and clients."


otherwise just stop confusing members, and stop destructing .
Ravensara Travillian said:

This isn't about ego at all, Gary; it's about information and misinformation for students, practitioners, and clients.

 

If you read the discussion from the beginning, you'll see that sometimes Boris says memory is carried in the cells and sometimes he says it isn't. The times when he says it isn't, he is consistent with what we know about neuroscience, and when he says it is carried in the cells, he doesn't offer any real evidence why we should put aside all we do know about neuroscience, just his say-so.

 

I, on the other hand, am saying that with what we know about Neurobiology 101, it is clear that cells do not have the neural machinery to carry memory or emotion.

 

If a client says it *feels as though* the memory is in the cells, or if Boris explicltly says that his use of the title of this post "Body Cells Carry Emotional Memory" is a metaphor, despite his arguing in other comments for it being literally true, then you can say we're all saying the same thing. I don't deny at all that it can feel that way.

 

But as long as anyone insists that it is literally true, and that we should teach that claim to students, and sell it to clients, then s/he and I are saying the opposite of the same thing.

 

If you are interested in getting in touch with things in a psychological way, go have a look at Boris' attacks on me upthread for telling about my experience, after Steve asked me explicitly to tell about my experience. You may find that explosion most interesting.

I've already done that many times; if you are really, sincerely, interested, then you can find all of that information earlier in the thread.

Boris Prilutsky said:
please pinpoint where I am saying:"If you say it "feels like" cells carry memories, or you're using it as a metaphor or an analogy, then no problem. Insisting that it's literally true, however, is an error." Article  still posted.

Ravensara Travillian said:

I have pinpointed several specific points many times in this thread. If you didn't accept my critique before, why should I spend my time doing the same thing again?

 

Especially when you lose your temper and accuse me of dishonesty and destructiveness. That's way over the line, and you know it.

 

If you really are interested, all the points are further back in this thread and you can go back and re-read them. The main problem, though, is going back and forth between cells literally "carrying" or "bookmarking" memory and the metaphorical use of those terms.

 

If you say it "feels like" cells carry memories, or you're using it as a metaphor or an analogy, then no problem. Insisting that it's literally true, however, is an error.

 

If we want to become a healthcare profession, misrepresenting Neurobiology 101 gets us off to a very bad start.



Boris Prilutsky said:


please reply.
Boris Prilutsky said:

Raven you said:"This isn't about ego at all, Gary; it's about information and misinformation for students, practitioners, and clients."

my article is the issues that we are arguing. Please offer /pinpoint  misinformation for students, practitioners, and clients."


otherwise just stop confusing members, and stop destructing .
Ravensara Travillian said:

This isn't about ego at all, Gary; it's about information and misinformation for students, practitioners, and clients.

 

If you read the discussion from the beginning, you'll see that sometimes Boris says memory is carried in the cells and sometimes he says it isn't. The times when he says it isn't, he is consistent with what we know about neuroscience, and when he says it is carried in the cells, he doesn't offer any real evidence why we should put aside all we do know about neuroscience, just his say-so.

 

I, on the other hand, am saying that with what we know about Neurobiology 101, it is clear that cells do not have the neural machinery to carry memory or emotion.

 

If a client says it *feels as though* the memory is in the cells, or if Boris explicltly says that his use of the title of this post "Body Cells Carry Emotional Memory" is a metaphor, despite his arguing in other comments for it being literally true, then you can say we're all saying the same thing. I don't deny at all that it can feel that way.

 

But as long as anyone insists that it is literally true, and that we should teach that claim to students, and sell it to clients, then s/he and I are saying the opposite of the same thing.

 

If you are interested in getting in touch with things in a psychological way, go have a look at Boris' attacks on me upthread for telling about my experience, after Steve asked me explicitly to tell about my experience. You may find that explosion most interesting.

The title of the post can be edited by the creator of the post or the administrator.

Why can't *someone* (either the moderator of this site or the creator of the post or one of his colleagues ADVISE HIM TO DO IT to stop this) add the words *feels like they* to the title of the post and the first sentence ?  And then go through the post to see if there are any other areas of ambiguity.

 


 

People need to differentiate between a metaphor and literal meaning.

If somebody comes on here and say they're saying the same thing and *it's obvious to any reader*, that's just your opinion.  This issue could be fixed with some editing a long time ago.

And this sentence as well:

 

But the shoulder cells hold the bookmark or a memory address of where the actual memories of the incident were stored in the brain.

 

The brain doesn't work like a hard disk on a computer, with literal pointers in body cells to hard-coded memory locations on the "disk". It's much more dynamic and complex than that.

 

People need to differentiate between a metaphor and literal meaning.

 

In my opinion, we need more humanities and arts training in massage as well as science and critical thinking. If we understood better how narrative works, we wouldn't constantly fall into traps like confusing metaphor for evidence.

 

In this economic climate, of course, it's probably an impossible dream to expand curricula in that way. But I really would like to see a broad range of disciplines included in massage education, because--as Daniel points out--there is a large artistic component to massage, as well as the science.

 

Understanding narrative, metaphor, and analogy, as well as empirical evidence, would be massively useful skills.


Vlad said:

The title of the post can be edited by the creator of the post or the administrator.

Why can't *someone* (either the moderator of this site or the creator of the post or one of his colleagues ADVISE HIM TO DO IT to stop this) add two words *feels like* to the title of the post and the first sentence ?

 

People need to differentiate between a metaphor and literal meaning. 

Understanding narrative, metaphor, and analogy, as well as empirical evidence, would be massively useful skills.

 

Bingo.  You got it. 

Understanding the concept of fair-mindedness would be another great one to add. 

Raven. You continue to distract discussion on phenomena,  Now I know you doing it intentionally, and this is dishonesty.in this post you offerd the sentence from my article:"

But the shoulder cells hold the bookmark or a memory address of where the actual memories of the incident were stored in the brain."

what you did is to took sentence out of content  to distract important discussion. For your reasons you  have excluded full sentences from my article :


"It's reasonable to assume that the memory of the emotional experience is stored somewhere in the brain - the system that is specialized in memory handling and remained inaccessible, as many other memories a human being experiencing during the life. But the shoulder cells hold the bookmark or a memory address of where the actual memories of the incident were stored in the brain. "


 no one including you knows where this emotional storage is, but no doubt some where in body cells. Please remember

that our brain contained from cells. Many time during this discussions I stated, that no one knows where this storage is but clinical observation in treatment room is absolutely obvious that this phenomenon is exist, and in my strong opinion we have to be aware about this phenomenon,to look for it as well if it will happen in the treatment room to know that this is positive phenomenon, and to advise to our  clients to release it( to cry it out if needed).this is what my original article post was about.

And I believe this information is important for practitioners, students ect.I do believe in the importance of understanding

but in this case it's not applicable, because no one know where this storage is. In this case what we have to understand

is that phenomenon exist,massage  therapy triggering release of negative emotions, to understand the importance of this releases ect.


Ravensara Travillian said:

And this sentence as well:

 

But the shoulder cells hold the bookmark or a memory address of where the actual memories of the incident were stored in the brain.

 

The brain doesn't work like a hard disk on a computer, with literal pointers in body cells to hard-coded memory locations on the "disk". It's much more dynamic and complex than that.

 

People need to differentiate between a metaphor and literal meaning.

 

In my opinion, we need more humanities and arts training in massage as well as science and critical thinking. If we understood better how narrative works, we wouldn't constantly fall into traps like confusing metaphor for evidence.

 

In this economic climate, of course, it's probably an impossible dream to expand curricula in that way. But I really would like to see a broad range of disciplines included in massage education, because--as Daniel points out--there is a large artistic component to massage, as well as the science.

 

Understanding narrative, metaphor, and analogy, as well as empirical evidence, would be massively useful skills.


Vlad said:

The title of the post can be edited by the creator of the post or the administrator.

Why can't *someone* (either the moderator of this site or the creator of the post or one of his colleagues ADVISE HIM TO DO IT to stop this) add two words *feels like* to the title of the post and the first sentence ?

 

People need to differentiate between a metaphor and literal meaning. 

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