We are all aware of the three dimensions of fitness or what Gary Gray has termed “3D ology.” The three dimensions lie at the essence of functional training. It is under these three planes of motion that we traditionally condition our clients, and this is where the term three dimensions of function originated.
The 4th Dimension of Fitness
Chip Richards was one of the pioneers in the fitness industry to open the vault and coin the phrase “The 4th dimension of fitness.” This dimension, which sits outside the traditional three-dimensional model of movement, begins to examine the non-physical processes that encompass human health. Further investigation into the “4th dimension of fitness” was explained in Steve Jack’s article “Energy & Health.” This article shows us where fitness professionals have the potential to go! In the opening paragraphs of his article, Steve Jack states, “Our clients expect us to help them achieve optimal health and well being. They demand to grow younger, stronger and to have more energy and vitality. In delivering their wishes, we have evolved our methodologies over the years ... to using multi-planar functional resistance movements, mobilization techniques and organic foods. Very often, we get so caught up with the physical body that we forget to assess, evaluate, investigate or even acknowledge other dimensions that make up health and vitality. Patterns of emotional, psychological and spiritual stress combine in ways that affect the subtle energy systems of the human energy field that in turn begin to affect the human physical body.
Intuitively, we can all recognize that emotional, psychological and spiritual stress play a part in health and indeed physical performance. However, until recently, the Western world has not even given these components consideration in any research. As a consequence, the fitness industry has worked with an “outside in” approach, first starting with the physical movements and hoping that these will cause shifts on the internal landscape that will then cross over to the decisions and subsequent choices people make. However, to be truly effective across all levels in human health and performance, why not approach all dimensions simultaneously by also working inside out?”
The Heart Forgiveness process, which was developed by Dr. Ed Carlson after 25 years of guiding hundreds of people towards optimal health, allows the fitness professional to approach this “4th dimension” from a unique, innovative prospective.
How The Body Reacts To Anger
So why is forgiveness important? As Dr. Ed Carlson says, “Without forgiveness, we hold anger. Anger messes up our own energy, our own lives, our own health, and does nothing to the person with whom we are angry. We are choosing to lock ourselves in a prison of negativity and throw away the key.”
Scientific research showing what happens to the body when we are angry includes:
- The body manufactures masses of high voltage chemicals such as adrenaline, nor-adrenaline and cortisone.
- When these high voltage chemicals build up in the bloodstream, the person becomes a prime candidate for specific illnesses, such as tension-vascular headaches, excessive heart beat, upper cervical issues, hyperactive upper quarter tension, and abdominal pain.
- When the situations are left unchecked, gastric ulcers, gastritis, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can result.
Further research has shown that bottling up anger can lead to many health consequences. Among them are heart disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, hives, acne, psoriasis, peptic ulcer, epilepsy, migraine, Reynaud’s disease and high blood pressure.
Major physical impacts occur with anger including the release of chemicals and hormones, principally adrenaline and nor-adrenaline. Chemicals provide the feeling, that tingle, arousal, excitement and energy. The adrenal hormones act on ALL organs of our body – stimulating the heart, dilating coronary vessels, constricting blood vessels in the intestines, and shutting off digestion. This is why when you are excited, scared, or furious, you don’t want to eat, the “fight or flight” response has taken over!
Forgiveness, at the other end of the continuum creates the “relaxation response,” releasing endorphins – the “blissful” feel good molecules to all parts of our body (See Candace Pert, Molecules of Emotions.)
Serious effects of chronic anger are high blood pressure, headache, heart attack, stroke, and kidney problems. Psychologist Ted Grossbart states: “Anger provides the underlying fuel for skin diseases: eczema, hives, warts, and genital herpes. When people are helped to release their anger, skin disorders improve dramatically.”
The most devastating impacts of anger are on the heart and circulatory system. New England Journal of Medicine states “Mismanaged anger is perhaps the principle factor in predicting cardiovascular disease. The “Type A” personality is increasingly being defined as a person who cannot manager anger….”
A study done by the American Heart Association in 2006, showed that people who cannot keep their tempers under control and who tend to explode in anger during arguments, actually double their risk of heart attack.
Dr. Murray Mittleman, of the Harvard University Medical School, studied 1,623 men and women; found that people who felt moderate or severe anger were 2.3 times more likely to have a heart attack – even when researchers figured in the traditional risk factors of cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and inactivity.
University of Michigan studied 696 married and single adults for 12 years. A questionnaire determined whether they were angry and, if so, how they expressed anger. The ones with the highest blood pressure were those who suppressed anger, expressed anger but then felt guilty, or never protested an unjustified attack. Even more dramatic were their findings on death from high blood pressure: A person with high blood pressure who suppresses anger is FIVE times more likely to die than is a high blood pressure individual without anger.
According to studies, suppressed anger is especially dangerous for women. University of Michigan researchers conducted an 18 year study of 700 people, finding that women who suppress their anger are THREE times more likely to die early of ANY cause than those who expressed anger.
Western Collaborative Group Study followed 3,154 California men, ages 39 – 59, for several years to gather accurate information on heart attack prone behavior. The men most likely to suffer a heart attack were the ones who got angry more than once a week and who lashed out at others when they did get angry.
As you can see, there is a TON of research showing the negative, harmful affects of anger to our health & vitality. So what can we do about it?
The Heart Forgiveness Process
“Forgiveness” for many people lacks effectiveness because they do it only in their head.
When one uses the Heart Forgiveness process outlined in this article, the anger and resentment around the person or issue dissolves completely. The Heart Forgiveness process is based on over 25 years of extensive research and encompasses true, achievable forgiveness from the heart and from every cell of the body. Rather than simply “talking about forgiveness” which typically results in forgiveness from the head, we now have an achievable process for assisting others in true forgiveness from the heart, which leads to complete freedom and release from all anger & negativity.
Heart Forgiveness assists the individual in being in control of their own energy, releasing oppressive “baggage,” and freeing the individual to live more freely and more powerfully out of the complete fullness of their being. This “Tool” of Heart Forgiveness makes forgiveness instantly effective, achievable, and powerful.
Below are some suggestions for bringing True Forgiveness into your own life. (These bullet points can also be discussed with your client before or after the clearing process has been completed.)
- Let go of your unforgiving stance.
- Admit that the events and feelings you are struggling with really happened.
- Admit that the past cannot be undone.
- Don’t expect others to respond to your efforts to forgive.
- Release unrealistic expectations of yourself.
- Accept others for who they are, rather than who you want them to be.
- Set flexible rules of conduct for yourself and others.
- Do your forgiveness from your heart rather than from your head.
Forgiving someone you are angry at or forgiving a situation does not mean:
- You condone what the other person did.
- You want to have a relationship with that person.
- The other person is not “crazy!”
Forgiveness DOES mean that you:
- Are free to use ALL your energy to respond to situations powerfully and creatively.
- Can relate to the pure part in each person (while recognizing they have a “crazy” part)
Freeing & Clearing Process
The following “Freeing & Clearing Process” can be read out loud to your client and should take no longer than 12-15 minutes. Feel free to use this process wherever and whenever you see fit. I have used this at the beginning of exercise sessions as well as at the end of a workout. It is completely up to you how you choose to use this process.
Keep in mind that most people will experience such as release of negative energy that they end up feeling very energetic and “ready to move” after completing the process. Thus, I have had excellent results using this prior to a workout, especially if the client comes in complaining of a situation or person right off the bat. Just ask them if they feel they are angry and then segue into educating them about the new “Process” that they now have to assist them in freeing themselves of the issue. If they express an interest in experiencing the process, have them sit or lie down somewhere that is quite and set their intention to be 100% free of the person or issue that has made them angry. Then, relax, take a deep breath, and begin reading the Freeing & Clearing Process outlined below. The key to allowing the process to be successful is for you to relax, be confident, and enjoy connecting with your client. Most importantly, have fun with the process, and read this from your heart!
“Let your eyes gently close. Enjoy a slow, relaxing breath that carries the peace & relaxation out to every cell in your body, the out breath carrying off any tiredness, tension, and confusion.
Enjoy another slow, relaxing breath, allowing the peace & relaxation out to every cell in your body, the out breath carrying off all tiredness, tension, and confusion.
Now bring your desire to be 100% free of this issue, or this person. Bring that desire into your heart and feel it fill up your whole heart, and bring your attention into your heart. Let your attention fill your whole heart. Be aware of the rhythmic beating of your heart, consistently, powerfully, dependably, minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day, week to week, year to year.
In that power and consistency of your heart, see your heart having lips so that your heart can speak. And see the person in front of you with whom you are offended, with whom you are angry. See your heart talking to the pure part in their heart realizing that everybody is a percent crazy and that everyone has a pure part in the core of their being. See the PURE part in them. See your heart telling their heart that you are really angry with them, that you are hurt, how much they fouled up your life, and messed up your peace. Tell them what a jerk they have been, or any other juicy name you choose to use. Get it all out.
Express to them that you are wiser, you are wiser about managing your own energy and you realize that you have given control away to them, that you have created a prison out of the anger, and that you are now choosing to take the key and open to the door to the prison that you have made and set yourself free, and to regain control of your own energy. See your heart telling their heart that you forgive the pure part in them, and you love the pure part in them, and just feel all the negativity evaporate, and see the light in their heart receiving your forgiveness, receiving your love, and feel your energy and control and power coming back into your heart.
And see your heart telling them that in your wisdom, you choose to forgive them and that you choose to love them. And see your heart moving forward with its arms open and see the pure part in their heart moving forward, and see the two hearts meeting and hugging and feel the love and acceptance flowing from their heart to your heart.
And feel the love and acceptance, and the power flowing from your heart to their heart. And feel the warmth and power and peace in your own heart and wholeness and peace, and release their heart to walk on its own two feet. Smile at them, bless them, and wave to them as they walk off into the distance. And feel the peace and completeness in your own self, so even if you have to deal with craziness, with facts, with issues, that you do it out of the fullness of your energy and the fullness and completeness of your being. Just feel that wholeness and completeness and power expand into your chest, filling up your whole body. Feel that wholeness and completeness and power flow down through your legs and off your feet. That fullness, and wholeness, completeness and power flow down through your arms and off your fingertips and up through your head and out through your scalp, so you are radiating that fullness, wholeness and power in all directions from your body.
And see your heart lighting up, every cell from your heart lighting up from the core of its being, every cell realizing that it’s 100% free again of oppression and see it lighting up with joy and radiating out and smiling and sending a ray of light up to your brain. And see every brain cell in your brain lighting up with joy, radiating out from the core of its tiny being, realizing that it’s 100% free again. And smiling, and see that light and smile expand into your brain, and that light and smile in your heart expand until your heart and brain blend into each other and fill up your whole body and being.
See your emotions, the nonphysical part of yourself, pulverizing any last little bits of junk and debris around this issue into a fine powdery mist and grinding it up even finer. And feel the breeze come along and blow through your emotions, blowing away that fine powdery mist so that your emotions are 100% free and bright, and clear.
Now feel your will, your decision maker, your chooser, intentionally stepping out any last bits of junk and debris, telling that it’s free to dissolve back into the health & wholeness of the universe and see it just disintegrate and disappear. And see your 100% bright, free clear will, and your 100% bright, free clear emotions coming inside your body with your 100% bright, free clear heart, and 100% bright, free clear mind, all on the same team, each one more powerful because of its teammates, synergistic, integrated, whole, and complete, with the whole being the greater than the sum of the parts because of their integration and teammates.
And see the flame spirit in the core of your being, dancing higher and brighter, freed from that bushel basket of baggage removed off it of it, more open to the inflow of life energy, and creativity, and love, and wonder, and joy, and confidence, flowing into you filling up every one of your 50 trillion cells, every vibration of your being, every frequency of your essence, and overflowing out through you in everything that you say and do. Feel that wholeness, and that peace and harmony resonating in every aspect of your body and being.
And if this is something that is long standing, for a minute when you wake up in the morning, and for a minute before you go to sleep at night for the next 7 days, see your heart; clear and bright, talking to their heart, forgiving the pure part in them, and loving them. See your heart hugging their heart and feeling the peace, the warmth, the power, releasing their heart to walk on its own two feet, smiling, waving to them as they walk off into the distance. And feel that wholeness and completeness and peace in your heart and power circulating throughout your whole body to every cell, every vibration, every frequency.
Now take a slow, reminding breath, the in breath reminding you of the inflow of life energy, and power, joy, creativity, peace, and wonder, and the out breath as that overflows out through you into everything that you are, and say, and do. And bring that peace and harmony forward with you as you open your eyes and continue on with the rest of your life, in peace and freedom.”
- Carlson, Ed. Heart Forgiveness Facilitator Training Manual, 2009
- Jack, Steve. Energy & Health. www.ptonthenet.com
- Kornfield, Jack. The Art of Forgiveness, Loving Kindness, and Peace. Bantam Dell, 2002
- Pert, Candace. Molecules of Emotion. London Simon & Schuster, 1998
- Williams, Redford. Anger Kills. HarperPerennal, 1994
- Mittleman, Dr. Murray. http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/1996/11.07/AngerisHostileT.html
- Mittleman, Dr. Murray. http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2006/09.21/01-anger.html