I am a fan of Elliott Hulse, the famous YouTuber/Bodybuilder/Wise Sayings guy. Over the years I have learned a great deal from his channel not only about hitting the gym but about living well and rising to the challenges of life. Elliott Hulse is a big proponent of bioenergetic catharsis, a healing modality that aims to help the user release trapped emotions in the body through spontaneous movements. In his now-famous video demonstrating the practice, Elliott appears to lose his mind for 7 minutes, screaming, beating his chest, and yelling obscenities.
When I first saw this video, I was somewhat taken aback. Is this guy totally insane? Like many people in the West, my worldview was founded on the belief that reason was the key to living a good life. I spent the majority of my time managing my intellect and paid little attention to emotions. Emotions were secondary in importance and warranted little space in my everyday expression. Life is a greatest teacher of all, and I learned through experience the definitive role emotions play in all human affairs. And I was surprised to discover that the research and reason available supported this conclusion. While reason is important, emotions are the key to life itself and influence reason in more ways than we can imagine. In this vein, the ancient Proverb of Solomon takes on a new light.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.Proverbs 4:23
I can say confidently that managing emotions is the most important life skill anyone can develop. An individual who cannot manage his emotions is constantly on the verge of a life crisis. On the flip side, an emotionally well-regulated individual has the resources not only to help himself but to inspire strength in those around him.
In modern society, everything we cannot immediately quantify in material terms has little value, and emotions have been a chief victim in this process. We assess success in terms of material production. Society looks upon a high-earning, overworked, and depressed employee more favorably than someone working fewer hours, making less money, but experiencing freedom of the mind and body.
Almost half of Americans are inflicted with some kind of chronic health condition. I have no doubt that the epidemic of chronic pain and dysfunction owes largely to lifestyle and culture. Science continues to illuminate the inextricable link between emotional health and physical health. As the mind goes, so too the body will follow.
If you are like most people I have ever met, you are likely carrying a backlog of negative emotion in your subconscious mind that is dictating your life in ways that are not favorable to you. Taking intentional measures to access these emotions might be better for your health than any prescription your doctor could ever order. Bioenergetic catharsis is one of many techniques you can experiment with in order to free your mind from both the baggage and trauma of the past and the trials and tribulations of the present.
According to Elliott Hulse, he has received hundreds of testimonials from people who have used bioenergetic catharsis to “overcome depression, anxiety, dissociation, low energy, poor self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.” Whether your bioenergetic catharsis ever looks as intense as the video above, it may be a key tool to help you move forward in life. And there is nothing in that to be ashamed of.