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The healing powers of tears

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What is it about emotional tears that is so special? A biochemist will tell you that there are three kinds of tears: those required for normal lubrication, those caused by irritants, and tears brought about by strong positive or negative emotions. The latter have a different chemical make-up than those for lubrication or removing of irritants. Emotional tears are composed of more protein-based hormones, such as prolactin, adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), and leucine encephalin, a natural pain killer, and stimulate the production of endorphins , other natural pain killers. This is why people often feel better after crying.

Dr. William Frey at the Ramsey Medical Center in Minneapolis found that emotional tears shed these hormones and also dissolve toxins that accumulate during stress. For example, crying 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. Researchers concluded that chemicals built up by the body during stress were removed by tears, which actually lowered stress. Suppressing tears increases stress levels, and contributes to diseases aggravated by stress, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, and peptic ulcers.

Thus, we shouldn't feel ashamed to cry. Holding back tears is physically and psychologically unhealthy. If we suppress our feelings, we will become ill and depressed. Dr. Judith Orloff, author of Emotional Freedom, is a big proponent of crying. She told a patient who apologized for crying on her carpet, “Your tears blessed my floor. There is nothing to apologize for.”

Beyond the biochemistry and psychology of emotional tears, there is a spiritual aspect that some masters have commented on in their teachings. The Bulgarian master, Peter Deunov, told his disciples that they should save the tears of joy from a spiritual experience in a tiny vial because these tears contain the essence of the spiritual experience and had miraculous healing power. Other tears, such as tears of grief or repentance, can purify the soul but should be released into the ground like the rain of a storm.

Tears of compassion have been given a magical healing quality by fiction writers. The healing power of tears is an archetypal theme in many fairy tales such as The Snow Queen, Beauty and the Beast, and Rapunzel, in which tears of compassion save the life of the hero, cures him of blindness, or frees him from enchantment.

So the next time you feel like crying, don't suppress it but let the tears flow. Like a garden that is watered regularly, your body and mind will be vibrant and healthy, and your soul will feel blessed. If you would like to cry now, watch the video that will change your life.

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