Monday, 5 November 2012

Finding Your Tears

Therapy and recovery are often accompanied by tears. Some people try to hold back their tears out of fear that if they start crying, they may never stop. Though it may feel that way at the time it is not true ... a bout of tears will eventually come to a natural end.  Those who let go of their control and weep openly will often report feeling better after they cry. There is hard science behind why they do feel better.

During a study at the St Paul Ramsey Medical Center in Minnesota, William Frey found that stress-induced tears actually remove toxic substances from the body. Volunteers were led to cry first from watching sad movies, and then from freshly cut onions. The researchers found that the tears from the movies, called emotional tears, contained far more toxic biological byproducts. Weeping, they concluded, is an excretory process which removes toxic substances that normally build up during emotional stress.

The simple act of crying also reduces the body’s manganese level, a mineral which affects mood and is found in up to 30 times greater concentration in tears than in blood serum. They also found that emotional tears contain 24 per cent higher albumin protein concentration than tears caused by eye irritants.

To put it in perspective, if we take emotional tears and freeze dry them and feed enough of the rendered powder to a lab rat, the level of toxicity in that powder is fatal to the rat.

Tears are therapeutic on two levels; Emotionally they symbolize the acceptance of frustration or sorrow and mark a turning point toward resolution - ‘having a good cry’ or as Dr Gordon Neufeld calls it; "finding your tears". While on a physiological level, they are ridding the body of toxins that without those tears would be reabsorbed into the body and brain.

Aaron D. McClelland, RPC -

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