Healing from Within: The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and Emotionally Charged Events (ECE on Chronic Illness and Pathways to Wellness

By Selemani Said Jawa - May 29, 2024
Healing from Within: The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and Emotionally Charged Events (ECE on Chronic Illness and Pathways to Wellness

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and Emotionally Charged Events (ECE) are increasingly recognised as significant factors in the development of chronic illnesses. These experiences can have profound and long-lasting effects on physical and mental health. Understanding and addressing these underlying causes is crucial for long-term health transformation and wellness. This article explores the connections between ACE, ECE, and chronic diseases and discusses the importance of healing these experiences to promote overall well-being.

The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) refer to traumatic events occurring before the age of 18. These include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction such as substance abuse, mental illness, or domestic violence. The landmark study by Felitti and colleagues in 1998 revealed a strong correlation between ACEs and the development of chronic health conditions, mental health disorders, and negative health behaviours.

The ACE study demonstrated that individuals with higher ACE scores are more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Furthermore, people who have experienced ACE in their lives are associated with an increased risk of mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. It is thought that prolonged stress responses, alterations in brain development, and impaired immune function, which are common culprits of ACE, are the contributing factors to the increased risk of chronic diseases.

Emotionally Charged Events (ECE) and Their Health Consequences

Emotionally Charged Events (ECE) are significant life events that provoke strong emotional responses. These can occur at any point in life and include experiences such as the death of a loved one, divorce, job loss, severe illness and abuse. While ECEs are not limited to childhood, their impact can be just as profound and enduring.

Research indicates that ECEs can trigger chronic stress responses, leading to the dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is important in regulating your body’s response to stress and maintaining balance and subsequent health issues. Chronic stress from ECEs can result in elevated cortisol (stress hormone) levels, which have been linked to a range of health problems, including hypertension, metabolic disorders, and autoimmune diseases. Additionally, ECEs can exacerbate existing health conditions, further complicating the path to recovery.

How Do ACE and ECE Contribute to Chronic Disease?

The effects of ACEs and ECEs on our health are complex and multifaceted. Chronic stress resulting from these experiences can lead to persistent activation of the stress response system, which includes the release of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. This chronic activation can impair the immune system, increase inflammation, and alter brain structures involved in emotion regulation and cognitive function.

For example, elevated cortisol levels can contribute to insulin resistance, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Chronic inflammation, driven by stress-induced immune system dysregulation, is a known risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune disorders, and certain types of cancers. Moreover, structural changes in the brain, such as reduced hippocampal volume, which are common in people who have experienced ACEs and ECEs, have been linked to cognitive decline and increased vulnerability to psychiatric disorders.

Healing ACE and ECE: A Foundation for Long-Term Health

Addressing and healing the impacts of ACEs and ECEs is critical for achieving long-term health and wellness. Trauma-informed care and therapeutic interventions play a vital role in this process. Approaches such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) have been shown to mitigate the effects of trauma and reduce symptoms of chronic stress.

Furthermore, building resilience through supportive relationships, community engagement, and healthy lifestyle practices can enhance recovery and promote overall well-being. Resilience factors, including social support, self-efficacy, and adaptive coping strategies, can buffer the negative effects of ACEs and ECEs and improve health outcomes.

At Furaha Mastery, we understand that healing from within starts with addressing emotional wounds from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Emotionally Charged Events (ECEs). While traditional techniques are essential, they can often take a long time to show effects. To better support our clients, we have developed methods combining highly effective psychotherapy techniques and personal development to accelerate results, often from the very first session. Our approach is crafted from extensive studies in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), Naturopathy, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Body Movements, Positive Psychology, Hypnosis, and Timeline Therapy. These techniques alleviate symptoms and help individuals live free from the burdens of chronic diseases and other challenging health conditions.

A story of deep healing from emotional wounds

Sara, a 49-year-old client from Singapore, exemplifies the profound impact of addressing ACEs and ECEs. She shares:

"Brother Suleyman (SJ) has helped me in my healing process to deal with the past trauma of having had an apathetic, indifferent, self-consuming, and abusive mother and an absent father who had serious flaws as well. The lack or absence of proper upbringing, nurturance, and love resulted in a series of traumatizing social experiences, all of which produced scars and wounds that never healed throughout the years.

When people say that 'time heals everything,' that has not been the case for me. On the contrary, these wounds festered, and I was fixated on past events. I saw and heard things through the 'filter of my wounds' and often misread people's kindness and good intentions, projecting my own darkness onto their words and actions.

Everyone encounters nasty people, but for me, without proper life skills, support, or loving-kindness from my parents, I could not handle humiliation in all its forms. I carried those episodes and my own too many abused episodes to heart, storing them deep within so much that they rotted in my inner being, pouring toxins into my flesh and blood to be replayed over and over again, fueling my anger and rage. The overall result was low self-worth and low self-esteem, which devolved into a vicious cycle of self-loathing.

By the all-encompassing Mercy and Compassion of Allah, He, in His infinite Wisdom, brought Brother Suleyman (SJ) to this part of the world as an extension of His Rahmah (mercy). Brother Suleyman guided me back to past timelines to untangle the knots of past traumas.

There have been many sent by the all-Merciful and the all-Compassionate, and each has left a lasting positive impact on this wounded self. However, like a jigsaw puzzle where each piece has its own designated place, the one piece to help complete the healing came in the form of Brother Suleyman, Masha Allah! Alhamdulillah, through him, HE has helped me find closure."

Sara's story highlights the importance of a comprehensive approach to healing that addresses deep-seated emotional wounds. Her journey with SJ, our coach who crafts all the techniques at Furaha Mastery, illustrates how our methods can facilitate significant breakthroughs and long-term healing. Now, she is not just living; she is thriving. You, too, can achieve this. You have to book your first session with us, and we will tell you how to do it.


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and Emotionally Charged Events (ECE) are central to the development of many chronic illnesses. The physiological and psychological impact of these experiences underscores the importance of addressing them in the pursuit of long-term health and wellness. Healing from ACEs and ECEs through trauma-informed care, therapeutic interventions, and resilience-building practices offers a promising path to transformation and improved health outcomes. By recognizing and treating the root causes of chronic diseases, individuals can embark on a journey towards lasting wellness and vitality.

Further Readings:

Black, P. H., & Garbutt, L. D. (2002). Stress, inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 52(1), 1-23.

Danese, A., & McEwen, B. S. (2012). Adverse childhood experiences, allostasis, allostatic load, and age-related disease. Physiology & Behaviour, 106(1), 29-39.

Felitti, V. J., Anda, R. F., Nordenberg, D., Williamson, D. F., Spitz, A. M., Edwards, V., ... & Marks, J. S. (1998). Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 14(4), 245-258.

Hofmann, S. G., Asnaani, A., Vonk, I. J., Sawyer, A. T., & Fang, A. (2012). The efficacy of cognitive behavioural therapy: A review of meta-analyses. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 36(5), 427–440.

Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: Past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 144-156.

McEwen, B. S. (2007). Physiology and neurobiology of stress and adaptation: Central role of the brain. Physiological Reviews, 87(3), 873-904.

Miller, G. E., Chen, E., & Zhou, E. S. (2007). If it goes up, must it come down? Chronic stress and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis in humans. Psychological Bulletin, 133(1), 25–45.

Rutter, M. (1985). Resilience in the face of adversity: Protective factors and resistance to psychiatric disorder. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 147(6), 598–611.

Shapiro, F. (2014). Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, third edition: Basic principles, protocols, and procedures. Guilford Publications.

Shonkoff, J. P., Boyce, W. T., & McEwen, B. S. (2012). Neuroscience, molecular biology, and the childhood roots of health disparities: Building a new framework for health promotion and disease prevention. JAMA, 301(21), 2252-2259.

Teicher, M. H., Samson, J. A., Anderson, C. M., & Ohashi, K. (2016). The effects of childhood maltreatment on brain structure, function and connectivity. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 17(10), 652-666.