This article looks at what is stomach cancer through a psychological and energetic lens and provides insight into the kinds of stresses that may have led to the condition. It offers questions for introspection, that can contribute to recovery. Let’s go through everything about stomach cancer.
So what about stomach cancer? Cancer is a disease that eats away at us from the inside. But can worrying cause cancer? Several experts – Ruhdiger Dahlke and Lousie Hay to name a few – maintain that cancer is caused by deep hurt, long-standing resentment, or carrying grief or hatred. In the same way, there are certain psychological correlations associated with stomach cancer.
What about stomach cancer and the symbolic role of the stomach?
In the landmark book, The Healing Power of Illness, the stomach is described as an organ that has two distinct qualities based on its functions – it receives/ contains and digests food. The book also talks about stomach cancer and explores whether worrying can cause cancer.
- Receiving and containing are feminine qualities. This is akin to water. When we throw a stone at water, the water receives and contains the stone easily.
- Digestion is a masculine quality. The acid is similar to fire, aggressively breaking down the food into smaller parts.
- To explore this idea further, the Chinese yin-yang symbol shows how both qualities are necessary. We need the feminine and the masculine to play their roles and keep us in balance.
The psychological significance of the stomach
- Psychologically speaking, the stomach will be in full health when we are open and willing to experience life fully. The ‘gut’ is also the place where unexpressed feelings are stored, so being able to acknowledge and process emotions is also vital to the stomach’s health.
- Perhaps the most important aspect to consider in stomach conditions is our ability to deal with anger. The acid of the stomach becomes more aggressive – and even corrosive – when we “swallow” our anger, become unwilling to enter into conflicts, and direct our feelings inwards, towards ourselves.
- Problems of the stomach can also arise when one is unable to surrender one’s ego, or when we are unwilling to accept other points of view.
The 3rd chakra connection
Interestingly, these observations also have a direct correlation in the yogic chakra system, which looks at health from an energetic perspective. The body’s 3rd chakra is considered to be the home of our ego. It is located behind the solar plexus, and supplies prana or life energy to the stomach and surrounding organs.
Caroline Myss, in her seminal work, Anatomy of the Spirit, adds that the 3rd chakra is also strongly related to self-respect, which is compromised if we break promises that we make to ourselves. From this standpoint, personal honesty and integrity are keys to keeping the 3rd chakra in full health.
- What aspect of life am I unable or unwilling to “swallow” ? Is something “eating me up” inside?
- How well do I handle my feelings: expressing rather than suppressing them?
- How do I cope with anger/ resentment: what are my safety-valves?
- Am I delibrately avoiding conflicts ? Which ones?
- Am I critical of others? How often do I blame others to protect myself?
- Can I admit it when I am wrong? How do I take feedback from other people?
- Do I respect myself and my commitments?
- Who/ what do I need to forgive, including in myself?
Share your answers with us, as much as you feel comfortable to. Sharing is a great way of acknowledging and letting go of trapped emotions.
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