The Healing Power of NO

By Endorsed Mind-Body Coach Elaine Jeffy

“A dishonest yes is a no to yourself.”

Byron Katie

How many times have you lied to yourself by saying yes when you truly meant no – and why is that one tiny word so hard for many of us to say?

Let’s take a glimpse into this phenomenon:  We evolved to live in cooperative societies, and for most of human history our lives depended on belonging to a group.  Like hunger or thirst, our need for acceptance evolved as a survival mechanism.  Tribe members shared the workload and protected each other from threats.

Belonging was essential.  “This need is deeply rooted in our evolutionary history and has all sorts of consequences for modern psychological processes.” says C. Nathan DeWall, PhD, psychologist, University of Kentucky.

In fact, scientists have found that social rejection activates many of the same brain regions involved in physical pain (Science, 2003).

In today’s world, when we choose to say yes when we really want to say no, we are engaging in needless mental and emotional conflict. 

This inborn fear of rejection may keep us stuck in subtle self -sabotaging patterns that can interfere with our body’s natural healing mechanisms.

Instead of keeping us safe, the need for approval can actually threaten our health and well-being.

We fear rejection, and the body’s stress response becomes activated leading to elevated blood pressure and heart rate, increased muscle tension and compromised immune function-which over time often lead to chronic illness and pain.

To heal, or become whole,
we must cultivate self- kindness.

About twenty years ago I realized that I was totally invested in the practice of making excuses instead of just saying no. I would always find some half-baked (albeit plausible) story to explain why I “couldn’t” attend a function or serve on a committee, etc. etc.  I was unwilling to risk losing the approval of people I barely knew – and why did I even believe I would be rejected?

I took a slip of paper and wrote “I am tired of making excuses for what I say and do” and kept it in my wallet for years.  This act revealed my budding awareness of how my choices were really out of alignment with my own truth.

Little did I know that this subtle form of self- betrayal was feeding an escalating war within myself culminating in years of chronic pain and anxiety.

I finally learned to lower my unrealistic expectations for myself and others; my body began to relax, relationships become easier, and I experienced greater safety and trust in all areas of life.

When we practice saying no from the place of self- kindness and acceptance, we promote our natural tendencies to heal.

Stay true to yourself.  Say yes to yourself.

Experience the healing power of NO!

Elaine Jeffy

I was trapped in a life of chronic pain and anxiety until I learned that I was not a victim – I was just disconnected from myself and my innate power to heal.

After decades of failed treatments and finally surgery, I discovered the mind-body approach to healing, and it transformed every area of my life!   I was led to become a coach as I yearned to help others unlock their truth and claim their own healing power.  I am a certified Martha Beck Life Coach, Anamsong Endorsed Mind-Body Coach and certified by the Whole Health Medicine Institute in California.

Now I am privileged to help others harness their body’s natural ability to renew, restore and repair itself as they find relief from chronic pain, gain more satisfaction in personal/work/family relationships, and make meaningful changes in their lives!



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You’ve Got To Feel To Heal

by Endorsed Coach, Meryl Feldman

Dr. John Sarno revolutionized the medical field with his radical approaches to healing back pain and other physical ailments.  He coined the term TMS, tension myostitis syndrome, to describe a circulatory constriction in blood vessels that results in pain in the body.  This is also know as Mind-body syndrome. To sum up what Dr. Sarno wrote (“The Mindbody Prescription”) and taught for over 30+ years is that the brain will cut off blood/oxygen flow to different parts of the body in order to distract the individual from recognizing and feeling emotions that they are trying to avoid.

This lack of blood/oxygen flow is the direct cause of pain. In order to get relief from the pain, a person will go running around to different doctors and googling the internet to get answers and diagnosis for help with pain relief, when the healing is within their reach and within their own body.

They just need to feel to heal.

This is not to say AT ALL that the pain is only in the mind.  The pain is real and the symptoms are real. But the healing comes from turning inward, getting honest about one’s emotions – especially anger, fear and sadness and allowing for emotional energy flow.  Sounds good, right?

But how to do this is the question especially when so many of us have the habit of ignoring these emotions or getting stuck in them.

It’s quite simple actually, yet needs to be exercised to get the brain to cease it’s tricky behavior.

Emotions are energy in motion. They show up as physical sensations in the body, starting out very quiet and subtle, almost vibrational. When ignored, they get louder and louder until screaming as a migraine, backache or some other pain or weakness in the body.

The key here is to notice as soon as possible and as often as possible what we are feeling, and this means being honest with ourselves.  This is where the healing begins.

Here’s an example: A friend shows up late again for a lunch date?  Do you ignore that slight irritation you feel in your body and just smile when she/he shows up? Or do you blast them with your anger and risk the friendship?

Neither of these options may be the best choice for your body’s health and for your relationship.

A Mind-body (Somatic) healing approach to the situation is the following: Your friend is late.  Put your attention inward. Wiggle your toes, take a deep breath in and out and NOTICE what physical sensation is happening in your body.

Does your stomach hurt? Is there a lump in your throat, a surge of heat welling up in your chest? Is your breathing shallower? Jaw clenched?

Whatever the physical sensation is, just be aware of it and allow it for ½ a minute or longer. You can even put your hand on that part of your body to keep your focus on it.

Breathe and know that you are safe in being in your body and feeling that emotion.  Keep breathing consciously, allowing that physical sensation to be the center of your attention. An emotion word may also come up for you – anger (irritation, annoyance, rage) or sadness (disappointment, hurt).

That is called letting emotional energy flow. You may notice that the sensation changes and morphs into another physical sensation in another part of your body. You also may want some privacy in doing this.

Great! Even better! Go into a bathroom stall.  Shake your fists around if you’re feeling anger.  Do a silent scream -opening your mouth real loud with no sound coming out (Barbara Sher writes about this). Bow your head, allow tears as well if they want to flow.

No one can see you.

The best part is that you body’s emotional message to you is being heard. The recognized energy flows so it doesn’t get stuck as a neck ache later on.

This is how you are taking care of your health!

And after this very physical allowing of emotional energy, your intuition opens up so that you can choose from a place of higher wisdom the action you want to take with this friend. Perhaps you will decide to say something, but it will most likely be with clarity and consciousness.

Perhaps you’ll just accept that this is your friend and you’ll make adjustments – no more lunch dates or you’ll bring a book, having a clear recognition that this is your friend’s personality and it’s not changing.  Or you’ll say something and end the relationship.

There are so many choices, but most times, because we are afraid of change, we ignore and suppress the emotional message our body is trying to communicate to us. When we choose to  feel, we allow healing.

According to Dr. Sarno, when we give the message to our brain that we are not afraid of our emotions, it won’t try to distract us by constricting blood/oxygen flow and causing pain.  We are freeing ourselves from the suppression – pain cycle and living a more vibrant, healthy life.


Miriam Racquel (Meryl) Feldman is a Somatic Healer and Certified Mind-body and Martha Beck Coach. She is a published writer and speaker based in Chicago. Integrating her knowledge of Kabbalistic Judaism, Somatic Healing, and Coaching, Miriam Racquel empowers women with clarity and peace-of-mind in their relationships, career and health.For more information, visit or email her at

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Dr. Sarno

Legacy of a Legend – Dr. John Sarno

By Endorsed Mind-Body Coach Elaine Jeffy In late 2011 I felt totally lost and discouraged.  It was one year after back surgery, and my agonizing pain and sciatica were raging out of control. My neurosurgeon prescribed physical therapy for pain of “unknown origin.” After all, the surgery had corrected the structural issues that had “caused” my […]

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