Animals Mirror Our Emotions – Science Meets Energy Medicine.
These striking similarities in behaviour and personalities were more common than uncommon, therefore I knew a connection existed beyond mere coincidence. I witnessed that somehow, as a pair, they were influencing each other’s behaviour. Over time, the mirroring of personality and emotions became more pronounced. I decided to explore this phenomenon through Kinesiology, and was amazing at how energetically entwined we are with our animals.
As an Animal Kinesiologist, I initially worked on energetic, emotional, and physical stresses in animals alone. Typically, these imbalances would show up as changes in behaviour, or the manifestation of physical dis-ease within the body. It wasn’t until much later that I started to incorporate the animal’s caregiver in the sessions, working with both of them together. As soon as I started to do this, my results sky-rocketed, resolving the animal’s issues quicker, and at a deeper level. The caregivers also remarked on the positive changes they felt, and how the sessions deepened the bond they felt with their animal. This made me curious as to what I had uncovered, and I was encouraged to explore the science behind these results, discovering why addressing the connection between an animal and their caregiver is so impactful.
The concept of our animals mirroring our emotions is still considered too ‘out there’ for the pragmatists of this world, but research scientists are now proving this concept, and finally confirming what animal caregivers have known for years – our animals mirror our emotions.
The reasons for this are ironically related back to the convenient denial of our own emotions.
Discounting the complexity of animal emotions has been the justification of many acts of cruelty towards animals, therefore perhaps refusing to accept these scientific discoveries has more to do with avoiding coming to terms with the wrongfulness of our treatment of animals, than celebrating the advancement of our connection with the animal world. Are we ready to accept our part in acts of cruelty? Do we have the emotional capacity to reconcile internally the pain and suffering we have been a part of? Perhaps rejecting the evidence and turning a blind eye prevents our emotional remorse at the expense of animal suffering.
Perhaps we stifle our emotions by choosing to stifle and ignore the emotional capacity of animals?
Just as emotions affect the behaviour of animals, so too does it affect the lens through which scientists view animal behaviour. De Waal contemplated that we deny the complexities of animal emotions in the same way we hide from ourselves and our emotions. Some scientists still resist in embracing and acknowledging animals as our family, because in acknowledging the full range of animal emotions, we must also accept that those emotions exist within ourselves.
An increasing number of animal researchers now contend that we are hiding from ourselves when we deny the humanity of animals, and the animality of humans. Science is now changing the way we understand ourselves as we embrace the emotional complexity of other creatures. De Waal states:
“Anyone who wants to make the case that a tickled ape, who almost chokes on his hoarse giggles, must be in a different state of mind from a tickled child has his work cut out for him.”
In a research paper published in Scientific Reports, Ann-Sofie Sundman and her colleagues, outlined the synchronisation of long-term stress in dogs and their owners. It had previously been known that acute stress was highly contagious amongst humans and other species, but the long term effects (as would be observed by pets and their caregivers) had never been quantified. Until now..
“Since the personality of the owners was significantly related to the cortisol levels of their dogs, we suggest that it is the dogs that mirror the stress levels of their owners rather than the owners responding to the stress of their dogs.”
These experiments explained perfectly why I was seeing such a boost in results by treating the animal and the owner simultaneously. In order to release the emotional stress from the animal, I had to release it from the owners too to prevent the animal mirroring the problem over and over.