We forget that on a cellular level, emotions are cascades of hormones, ones that feel good(such as serotonin) and ones that cause us to move into action(such as adrenaline, which is necessary in short spurts in times of danger, but detrimental when chronically experienced on a long term basis).
The mother and child share the same circulatory system when the child is in utero. Therefore, if the mother is experiencing elation, joy and comfort, then the child will also experience these emotions, and their perception of the world will be one where the world feels safe and welcoming. If the mother is experiencing chronic stress, the child's brain is perceiving these same stresses and having the same stress reactions as the mother. The perception of these children is more likely to be that the world is an unsafe and scary place. Even low grade stress can have the same effect.
When a child is born, they have all of the parts of the brain they will need for life. What happens is that the different parts go through sequential steps of elaboration(a process by which a specific part of the brain goes through a "growth spurt"). A study was done on expectant mothers and it was found that the children born to mothers who experienced more stress during their pregnancy, tended to have a more well developed backbrain(the area of the brain concerned with survival and taking action, such as running, away from the source of danger) and a less developed forebrain(the part of the brain concerned with rational thinking, personality, etc.).
In my work, I often work with both the children as well as the adults because a lot of the blocks that the children have, have an origin in one or more of the parents. So it is possible to clear an emotional/physical/psychological block from a child, but if the block is on and active in the parent, then it can very easily be activated again. Imagine the child like the oil in a car, and the parent the filter. You can take your car in to have the oil changed, but if you don't have your filter also changed, then the clean oil goes through the dirty filter and impacts the performance of the whole car as a system. This is not to say that a shift in the child will not produce a change in the family dynamics. That is not the case at all, but it's more holistic and the changes "hold" better when there are more aspects of a block that are addressed.
I see it over and over again in my sessions, where a parent clears a block and then the child makes a shift. I have seen this effect in my own family, where my own blocks being cleared begins to make a shift in the machinery of my family. I had one of those very clear experiences today with a new client.
He is an adorable little guy who came with mom, and when we began working, he immediately became tired(kids are very sensitive to any changes in their parents' energy shifts). When kids who come to me say they are tired, I see it as their systems relaxing and because they are not used to functioning at that place, it feels like tiredness, when in fact it is relaxation. He laid on the couch as I worked with mom, and at different points he would come and lay on mom while she was working. When the body feels relaxed and safe enough, it is common that the emotions that the child(or the parent) has tucked away because it's is "inappropriate" or "not nice" come out. This can only happen when the child feels safe enough, so I feel honored when this happens. This particular child today laid on the couch and crossed his arms and legs and out of the blue said very loudly, "I am so angry that I am not doing anything that you ask me to do!" and I told him, "Okay. You're allowed to feel angry. We all have times when we feel angry and that is normal. It's just no fun when you feel angry ALL THE TIME." and went back to working with mom. Kids sometimes are unbalanced by this response because they are so used to being told to "be happy " or "get over it because it's not nice to be angry". He looked at me but I was focused on mom. I was doing an emotional release technique with her to "help him" and told her, "you may feel some emotions come up for you too. This is just what needs to come up to be cleared" and she stated, "I feel like what's coming up for me was all the times he had to go to therapy/sports/events where his body really didn't feel like it because it was too hard, and he still had to go." There was some emotion around this for mom as well. And I reassured her that even if it's after the fact, it's great if it can be released to make space. After mom had the realization and emotional clearing, he sat up and smiled and started talking about other things.
Sometimes a large cathartic release is not necessary. If there is an acknowledgment of the block or sadness or anger, it is cleared and then the pathways are opened up. The air is clearer.
The mom noticed this shift too. It's amazing.
I think the future of health is to embrace all of the emotions as necessary and not hide or repress them in an effort to......what? I don't know. Not cause discomfort for others? Not appear like a "bad boy/girl"?
I am constantly amazed and awed by the power of acknowledgment and honoring of all emotions and the healing power of that.