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Amygdala/Amygdalae: Part of the Limbic System

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The amygdala is one of two grey matter masses (plural: Amygdalae) located deep within the brain. The word amygdala comes from the Greek word meaning “almond”, and indeed, the amygdalae resemble almond shapes. They are part of the brain’s limbic system responsible for emotional processing and response.

When we encounter a stressful situation, we often experience a “fight-flight-freeze response.” The amygdalae initiate this reaction. They send a distress signal to the hypothalamus which then communicates with the rest of the body. The body then reacts by tensing muscles, increasing pulse rate, and our heightening awareness. And all this happens before our senses have completely taken in information about the situation. It causes us to jump away from an oncoming car before we have time to think about it.

Research demonstrates that the amygdalae perform a primary role in memory processing, emotional reactions and decision making. Subjects with PTSD reveal overactivity of the amygdalae, demonstrating increased anxiety and aggressive behavior. Basically, the mind, emotions and body overreact to situations. Energy healing can help balance and calm the amygdala, as can meditation, prayer, yoga, sufficient good quality sleep, physical and social activities.

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