What is Cell Memory?

For many years, I was a high school drama teacher.  I still think of myself as one, even though it has been quite awhile since I have had a classroom. After a few years of teaching and watching countless performances and scenes developed by students, it became clear to me that students were telling their personal stories and struggles in the comfort of a “character”. Often, these “stories” repeated themselves scene after scene, almost always unconsciously.


Why does this happen?


Later when I started working with “anti bullying’ workshops and positive communication practices, I saw how students’ behavior did not change from cognitive information.  A child may “know” that it is not okay to hit someone and do it anyways.  As soon as we provide students the opportunities to practice and experience themselves doing the “right” thing, then behaviours begin to change.


Despite our better judgement, our bodies tell the story they know and have a feeling of “home”.


Why does this happen?


This began a long journey for me as I wanted to examine the impact of cell memory on our moral practice, our bodies, our beliefs and our ways of being.


The idea that our memories are stored in the cells of our body is still not universally accepted although the idea is gaining in popularity. Dr. Candace Pert found opiate receptors which are responsible for generating a blissful state, in the limbic system in the brain. She also found the receptor cells throughout the whole body. As a result of further study, it was discovered that Every cell in our body contains thousands of receptor molecules, designed to attach to specific peptides. These peptides carry chemical information to the cell which eventually culminates into the expression of an emotion.


Dr. Pert made the connection that emotions are experienced throughout our whole body, not just our brains.  Her work also suggests that at the cellular level where emotions are instigated, unexpressed emotions are stored. (For a more in depth read you could pick up her book, “The Molecules of Emotion”).

Unexpressed emotions are not random experiences.  They are always attached to an event, a story, and an experience. These stories get “stuck” literally in the cells of our bodies, or even in our energy fields.  Once we become conscious of the story and release its hold on our body, we can move forward.


…everything that happens to us is stored in our bodies and the energy fields surrounding them. Ultimately, health and healing happens only when a body/mind/soul wants, needs, and is ready to face the truth. Even after a lifetime of sup­pression, a body/mind/soul that is willing to release painful secrets can heal itself, a family, even a nation. What ultimately saves us is what we were certain would kill us—the truth.




Whenever I work with a client around cell memory, I am always amazed at how quick the transformation can happen.  Once the client is aware of the old story and the hold it has had on their present experience, the release of the cell memory closely follows. Perhaps the correction shows up at the time the client is ready to release the story.


Energy medicine is one of the best ways I know to release cell memory but I do think that expressive arts and movement in general are excellent ways of managing emotional over and under energy.


If you have any questions about this entry, I would love to hear from you.  Stay tuned for upcoming blog entries that will talk about emotions as information systems and money as a form of energy.

Here is a great blog post by Dr. Marilyn Schlitz that summarizes some of Candace Pert’s work: http://marilynschlitz.com/candace-pert-phd-reflecting-on-a-revolutionary/