Can Stress From Unhealed Trauma Cause Autoimmune Diseases and Chronic Pain? Science Says YES.

Traditional psychotherapeutic approaches to trauma and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) which focus on cognitive “restructuring” and insights too often supply clients with coping skills for their pain instead of healing. Likewise, medical treatments that do not diagnose and heal the cause but instead rely on symptom suppressing medications and treatments that do not also address the mind and spirit do not cure. The connection between chronic stress and excessive cortisol output that is fueled by unhealed trauma is an important physical pre-cursor of autoimmune diseases such as diabetes and arthritis.

When I begin work with a client, either on the phone or in person, the first session includes a spiritually guided, highly accurate written intuitive reading or “scan,” knowing only the client’s name and age. It’s necessary to begin with a scan because body/mind healing cannot manifest without first identifying and healing the deepest root cause(s), which can originate in prior trauma in adulthood, childhood, birth, the womb or a past life. My clients have found keys to healing deep emotional wounds that triggered physical illness including arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, in one or more of these primary sources.

“Jane,” age 49, was referred to me by her psychiatrist, who suspected that her chaotic childhood held the emotional roots of her arthritis, heart disease and depression. Her rheumatologist had her on steroids and other anti-inflammatory drugs, and her psychiatrist had prescribed an anti-depressant and a-nti-anxiety drug cocktail. She also had a heart condition; a broken heart, metaphorically speaking.

While I was doing her scan in another room, I asked Jane to write a “trauma timeline,” which is a chronological account of one’s emotional history, to include traumatic events, including any brushes with death or a perception that one would die, phobias, abuse/victimization, terror, and any of the five main emotional wounds that happened to her or that she witnessed:

The reading revealed themes of abandonment, rejection, betrayal, “deer-in-the-headlights” terror, a broken heart, abuse of her, her siblings and mother by her alcoholic father, a failure of the mother to protect her, and a decision made at about age 7-8 that she must not be good enough to be loved because even God had abandoned her, therefore she must try to be perfect to survive. This is a typical conclusion of trauma seen through a child’s eyes. They think whatever happens to them or in the family is somehow their fault, i.e., “I prayed to God to stop Daddy from hurting me but He didn’t, so I must have deserved it. Even God has abandoned me….”

Jane was literally shaking with rage, resentment and grief as she told me about the abuse she and her siblings suffered at the hands of their father, and resentment of a mother who couldn’t protect her children.

Metaphorical diagnosis:

Jane’s decades of helplessness, terror, overwhelm, pain, sadness, grief, resentment, and grudge-holding produced deep bitterness which can be thought of metaphorically as a “stiffening of the spirit.” Angry words are said to be “inflammatory.” Online message boards prohibit “flaming” which is angry, disrespectful put-downs of others. Metaphorically speaking, anger/rage is hot, red, and burns us and those we direct it at. Think “red, inflamed angry-looking infected wound.” “So angry I was seeing red… steam was coming out of his ears…How dare you! That really burns me up! I’ll never forgive you for that!”

We worked our way through her trauma timeline, neutralizing painful memories with EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique. As the terror, sadness and smoldering resentments released, Jane began to rescue and recover left-behind childhood parts of herself. As we brought more parts of her into the safety of present time, the inflammation began to recede and her pain diminished weekly. At this date Jane is nearly pain-free and off her anti-depressants.

To receive a free five-page copy of common diagnostic metaphors, send an email to and put “Metaphors“ in the subject line.

One comment on “Can Stress From Unhealed Trauma Cause Autoimmune Diseases and Chronic Pain? Science Says YES.

  1. I have a weak immune system and feel sure it’s connected to childhood trauma, based around a negligent mother. I am a highly sensitive person and I’m sure this combination inhibits the development healthy immune system. Combine this with the era of decadence that we are currently in and I think immune’s are confused and ailing!

    I know mine is…and that’s just the tip of the the iceberg…..

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