Mana Salon + Spa Owner, Gabrielle Caldwell, experienced a significant moment while sitting in a Sunlighten sauna at Pure Sweat Sauna Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. While her life appeared beautiful on the outside, she was experiencing a lengthy, unexplained depression. Her search for that “something” to give her some relief led Gabrielle to look into some unconventional methods. That is how she came across some somatic modalities that focused on addressing the emotions trapped in the body.
“I started to learn about cellular memory and how trauma and emotions get stored in our cells. I was fascinated. Something about this was speaking to me deeply. As I began my journey to process my own stuck emotions on a cellular level, what I experienced changed my world.”
Wrapped in the warm embrace of the deeply peaceful sanctuary of Pure Sweat’s beautiful Sunlighten sauna, Gabrielle’s body absorbed the healing infrared waves into her body. With the gentle increase of her heartbeat and blood flowing through her body, the stirring of good mind-helping hormones, and life-generating energy pouring into her body, something broke free. Her body and mind finally relaxed and opened up to carry out the bound-up energy of grief. Tears and anguish erupted from deep within and poured out in a powerful release.
With all the work she’d done in somatic therapy, she believes the refuge of the sauna gave her mind and body the perfect environment to aid this miraculous emotional detox that had kept her bound for so many years.
“The circumstances of my life remained the same, but the way I FELT was 1,000 times better!”
She wanted to know how this was possible.
Gabrielle became curious about the science behind these changes and sought to understand. Her healing journey inspired us to delve deeper into the connection between emotions, somatic therapy, and emotional well-being:
Emotions have an impact on the physical body because they contain energy that can create disruption, or a feeling of being “stuck.” Emotional detox means helping facilitate the release so that you can return to a healthy flow state.
To understand this connection between the mind and body means beginning with the idea that the body is more than a biological machine.
Albert Einstein revolutionized our understanding of the universe by proposing that everything is composed of energy. Every organ, plant, essential oil, and emotion has its own unique energetic frequency. These frequencies describe the high or low vibration associated with a particular emotion. From the science of quantum mechanics as well as newer studies of the brain and how it works, more experts believe the mind-body is a complex energy network where spirit, body, and energy intersect.1
There are many schools of thought about how emotions are created.3 In energy medicine, practitioners are trained to use known subtle energy fields to therapeutically assess and treat energetic imbalances, bringing the body's systems back to homeostasis (balance).4 Neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf explains in her book, Clean Up Your Mental Mess, the thoughts we have and choose to accept will alter the structure of our brains in a positive or negative direction which impacts the energy flow in our bodies, the neurotransmitters and chemicals.
A well-functioning emotional experience involves a series of steps, including a stimulus, the creation of thoughts, which have physical form in the neurons of our brains2,3, communication between the subconscious mind and body, and the generation of specific frequencies by organs or glands. However, when emotions are not properly processed, they can become trapped within us. Trapped emotions emit negative frequencies, which can affect our overall well-being. They can interfere with the natural frequencies in our bodies, leading to physical or emotional issues, and a need to “detoxify” or clear out those stuck emotions.
Stored emotions, thoughts, and beliefs are forms of energy that can significantly impact our health. Anxiety, for example, can lead to acidosis (a buildup of acid in the blood), which is associated with various diseases. Undealt with emotions have been shown to cause disease, while their release allows the body to begin healing. By clearing trapped emotions, we create space for other bodily systems to function optimally.
A trapped emotion occurs when an emotion is not properly processed. This emotional energy is actually estimated to be about the size of a clenched fist. When activated (triggered) or discovered, that size may expand.
Trapped emotions, because they keep a negative frequency radiating through our body, keep us feeling that emotion a little bit, all the time. It's why, if we have a trapped emotion of anger, we are more quick to feel angry, even in circumstances that don't warrant that emotion. Essentially, you are always living with that emotion because of its vibration.
It is the energy of this emotion that can then “interfere” with the natural frequency that exists in your body and begin to manifest as some form of physical or emotional issue.
Traditional therapies may focus on discussing challenges, learning coping skills, or analyzing psychodynamic relationships. These approaches can fall short when it comes to addressing body-based issues. Somatic therapy has gained recognition in recent years due to groundbreaking research that reveals our bodies store memories, experiences, and emotions on a cellular level. Somatic therapy encourages us to allow our bodies to naturally process emotions and energy, promoting a sense of vitality and joy.
Have you ever experienced a sense of unease or discomfort in your body, even in the absence of apparent anxious thoughts? This phenomenon, often referred to as "body anxiety," is a clear indication that our bodies carry their own wisdom and can communicate with us independent of our conscious mind. Your body's signals may be triggered by past experiences or environmental factors, alerting you to potential danger or reminding you of unresolved emotions.
Cultivating a deeper connection with your body and its sensations forms the foundation of somatic therapy. By becoming aware of areas of tension, constriction, and the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that promote calm and safety, you can initiate profound changes on a cellular level.
Like Gabrielle’s experience, many of our customers have expressed similar feelings of emotional release and feeling “lighter” or “in the flow” after their Sunlighten sessions. For many, infrared sauna can be a remarkable tool for supporting mental and emotional healing. They provide a relaxing environment that helps us connect with our bodies and emotions. When paired with somatic therapy, infrared saunas become even more effective in facilitating the release of old stagnant emotions and traumas from the body. Somatic modalities, such as energy work using tuning forks, essential oils, and aligning the body's frequency, can be applied during sauna sessions to enhance the emotional detoxification process.
Gabrielle suggests when you enter a Sunlighten sauna, consciously connect with how you're feeling. Allow your body to relax and let go of tension. As sensations and emotions arise, resist the urge to stop or suppress them. Instead, allow them to flow and pass through you. This exercise may require practice, but it becomes easier over time. The Sunlighten sauna's warm and soothing environment helps create a calm and relaxed state, making it an ideal setting for energy treatments and emotional healing.
Emotional well-being is a vital aspect of our overall health. Pairing Sunlighten saunas with somatic therapy offers a powerful approach to emotional detoxification. By recognizing emotions as energy and allowing our bodies to naturally process them, we create space for healing and restoration. Sunlighten saunas provide a supportive environment for this process, promoting relaxation and enhancing the effectiveness of somatic therapy. Incorporating chromotherapy and sound vibration therapy further amplifies the benefits, allowing us to experience greater ease, clarity, and joy in our lives. Prioritizing emotional well-being is a gift we can give ourselves, leading to a more fulfilling and balanced life.