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“Compared to bipolar’s magic, reality seems a raw deal. It’s not just the boredom that makes recovery so difficult, it’s the slow dawning pain that comes with sanity – the realization of illness, the humiliating scenes, the blown money and friendships and confidence. Depression seems almost inevitable. The pendulum swings back from transcendence in shards, a bloody, dangerous mess. Crazy high is better than crazy low. So we gamble, dump the pills, and stick it to the control freaks and doctors. They don’t understand, we say. They just don’t get it. They’ll never be artists.” ~ David Lovelace

Creativity does seem to feed off emotional turmoil and often in the works of great poets we can feel the soul’s pain and turmoil. In fact, heightened imaginative powers, depression, insomnia, fatigue, rapid thoughts, inflated self-esteem, panic attacks, rage and intense emotions all swim about in an ocean of ever changing moods of heightened creativity and suicidal tendencies.  It is within this ocean that brilliance is born and fed by the storms raging in many artists’ minds.

“I was diagnosed bipolar 6 years ago. I recently decided to come off my meds. I’ll admit it took me a while to cope with certain situations and learn to focus and concentrate on just taking one day at a time. I’ve learned to cope through eating healthy, exercising and trying to get at least 8 hrs sleep a night. It’s no walk in the park, I’ll tell ya. I have to be very strict with myself and stick to my routines. If I’m feeling low and unmotivated I make myself exercise, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. I’ve learned this removes a buildup of toxins and gets my happy chemicals moving. I take 6000 units of vitamin D daily and a 100 mgs of a B multi-vitamin twice a day. The doctor gives me injections of vitamin B12 once a month to keep my energies up. It’s very common for individuals with mood disorders to have low vitamin B levels. I also keep close contact with my doctor. I don’t think there is a cure for Bi Polar. I do however think it can be managed. For me it always comes back to quality of life or quantity of life. Everyone is different. Medication helped me when I was very unwell. I’ve learned what works for me.” (Matthew B.)

I do believe we need to find a better way of treating manic depression, rather than through high dosages of lithium and antipsychotic drugs. Even uses of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs) and/or stimulants can be linked to the onset of some manic symptoms.  As well, many people on medication for bipolar disorder have complained this kind of treatment has stifled their creative abilities.  Some famous authors suffering from manic depression have said that their suffering is a part of who they are and that without it they couldn’t create. Many turned to drugs and alcohol to counter the effects of their medication or to get relief from their symptoms. In fact people suffering from bipolar disorder are 10 times more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol than most other people because they turned to these substances to help counter the effects of their medication or to get other relief from their symptoms.

We are all born with genetically programmed instincts, which are located in the primitive brain (limbic system).  The limbic system focuses inward on our survival, our emotions and our nurturing needs. When you feel depressed or anxious, these feelings originate from the limbic system but involve the cortex as well, since depression diminishes our insights and judgments as well as our lack of motivation and attention.

What we think, how we feel, what we assimilate into our beings at every stage of life and at every level has a cumulative affect that directly impacts our states of being, influencing our physical hormones, genetic make-up, neural processing etc. And the condition of our states of physical being also affects our states of mind.

Environmental factors also play a significant role. For example, many people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) later develop bipolar disorder. Repetitive traumas suffered throw the body into a constant state of stress and research shows that stress can induce the hippocampus to remodel itself and shrink. Hormones are also involved. Additional considerations involve head and/or neck injuries.

“World champion boxer Frank Bruno was sectioned for 28 days in a psychiatric hospital and diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2003 following his marriage break-up. He describes his behavior in the run up to his breakdown: ‘I got confused and snappy and impatient. I couldn’t, couldn’t, couldn’t function. Losing my wife, seeing my kids less regularly, not eating properly, staying up late, living by myself, getting uptight, wound up, over stupid little things [ … ] It’s like a kettle. I wish I could put a hole in my head and let the steam out.’ “Bipolar Disorder: The Ultimate Guide ~ by Sarah Owen, Amanda Saunders

Although the brain, especially the limbic system is quite complex let’s look at specific areas that are related to our most primitive and potent emotional signals.  It has been proven that the limbic system (emotional reactions and emotional memories) can actually hijack other parts of the brain, especially when so overcome with anger, fear or passion, excitement.  You see the limbic brain jumps in when it proclaims an emergency, even before the neocortex, the thinking brain, has had a chance to reason out what is happening.

“Lithium tweaks many mood-altering chemicals in the brain, and its effects are complicated. Most interesting, lithium seems to reset the body’s circadian rhythm, its inner clock. In normal people, ambient conditions, especially the sun, dictate their humors and determine when they are tuckered out for the day. They’re on a twenty-four-hour cycle. Bipolar people run on cycles independent of the sun. And run and run.” ~ Sam Kean, ~ The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

The brain responds to chemical changes, by adjusting the feelings and thoughts within the physical body. Psychologists have shown us that we can react a whole variety of ways to one single hormone—this mostly depends upon our expectations.  The parts of the brain that are involved in thought, memory and sensations are connected by direct neural pathways with emotional centers—and  with the pituitary gland that controls hormone output.  The pituitary actually suspends from the hypothalamus, which controls emotion, appetite and desire.

There does seem to be a stress loop that connects the adrenal glands, brain, hypothalamus, and pituitary together, which then flows back to the adrenals again, pushing them way out of kilter.  This stress loop also affects the other endocrine glands creating a continual cycle of stress in the body, causing bizarre mood swings, muscle tension, stiffness, eating disorders, depression, heart palpitations, excessive sweating and migraines. Too much cortisol in the blood damages our memories, our learning capabilities and our creativity.  This stress cycle will, if not corrected, eventually affect the immune system.

“If you are suddenly anxious, under threat, or furious about something, your brain via your pituitary gland tells your adrenal glands to pump up production of epinephrine, cortisol and other hormones to put your body into high alert. Once the threat goes away and you “cool off,” the adrenal glands stop their escalation of hormones. However, if your mind ruminates about the anxiety and threatening events, with such thought patterns as “It’s hopeless”; “My life is a disaster”; “things should be different!”, and “This is unfair!” your adrenal glands continue to overproduce cortisol and estrogen. This leads to your pancreas secreting more insulin, and you get symptoms of what is commonly known as “adrenal gland exhaustion.” All is Well ~ Louise L. Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz

Continual high adrenaline (epinephrine) levels cause the repetitive release of insulin increasing carbohydrates to convert to fat in the liver.  Weight gain and obesity add to ill effects to the endocrine system, muscle joints, and digestion, with loss energy and self esteem.  In bipolar people, this is all that is necessary to produce insulin insensitivity and, ultimately diabetes.  These are genuine threats to their health.

“A balance of thyroid hormone in the brain is crucial for maintaining mood stability. If you suffer from a deficit or an excess of thyroid hormone resulting from a dysfunctioning gland, you may even experience clear-cut mood swing disorder. Severe hypothyroidism has even been blamed for causing manic-depression, with poor judgment and hallucinations. Doctors always wonder, however, whether such patients might not have preexisting minor forms of manic-depression, which have become more severe as a result of the thyroid imbalance.

 Hyperthyroidism can also cause mood swings in a person who does not have a preexisting mood disorder. In some people, an overactive thyroid can result in an elated mood called “hypomania” or “mania” depending on whether the elation is moderate (hypomania involves no major behavioral disturbances) or severe (mania is associated with irrational behavior). In some patients, the thyroid condition may not be diagnosed until several years after the onset of the mood swing disorder that it caused  ~ The Thyroid Solution: A Revolutionary Mind-Body Program for Regaining Your Emotional and Physical Health ~ Ridha Arem

LITHIUM AND THE BRAIN

 “Lithium tweaks many mood-altering chemicals in the brain, and its effects are complicated. Most interesting, lithium seems to reset the body’s circadian rhythm, its inner clock. In normal people, ambient conditions, especially the sun, dictate their humors and determine when they are tuckered out for the day. They’re on a twenty-four-hour cycle. Bipolar people run on cycles independent of the sun. And run and run.” ~ Sam Kean, The Disappearing Spoon

The brain is what helps you to make sense of the world, taking in information from your environment and sending messages throughout your body. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch are not only an essential part of our memories, they help to understand the changes happening around us.  But any change in the brain, even the subtlest change, can have a major impact on our feelings, thoughts and action.

Suppose you were given a chemical that blocked the absorption of the vitamin niacin in your central nervous system. The result would be “instant mental illness,” most likely violence, during which you might smash all the furniture, throw it out the window, then run out into the street and attack a total stranger passing by who had stopped to watch the ruckus.

“For some people, use of antidepressant drugs and/or stimulants can be linked to the onset of some manic symptoms. Research has shown that B complex deficiencies commonly occur in 80 percent of bipolar people. Also, many bipolars are anemic, with low levels of B12 and folic acid, and shown a lower uptake of inositol when compared to a control group. So orthomolecular physicians have now paired the use of lithium with the intake of daily B complex vitamins, which work synergistically with lithium. In this way, high lithium doses can be substantially reduced, thus eliminating many devastating side effects.”  ~ Depression-Free Naturally: 7 Weeks to Eliminating Anxiety, Despair, Fatigue And Anger From Your Life ~ Joan Matthews Larson, Ph.D.

Our blood circulates the love of life from the heart throughout our whole body.  When we are anemic, we are deficient in red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues and removes carbon dioxide.  One of the causes of anemia in manic depressives, is excessive blood cell destruction which can be metaphysically explained as ‘losing one’s will to live. When we feel discouraged, hopeless or helpless we lose touch with our needs and desires—we feel as if we’re withering away.

“The messages we unconsciously give our bodies are thus a determining factor in our state of wellness. Messages based on failure, despair and anxiety are ones that present a negative, dying feeling and will cause the body to react by breaking down the defence mechanisms (that is, the immune system) and preparing for death. Even if our worries and fears are imaginary, the message will still translate into physical illness as our bodies feel endangered and threatened”. ~ Debbie Shapiro ~ The BodyMind Workbook 

Research at the National Institute of Mental Health suggests that bipolar people are hypersensitive to acetylcholine, a chemical that carries memory messages in the brain. They found that cholinergic receptors (the chemical hitching posts on cells that receive acetylcholine) are far more numerous in the brains of manic depressives.

(Acetycholine controls the brain’s speed, creativity, self-esteem, criticism, short-term memory, language, sensory impressions and interpretations, speech, reading and thought. It also controls all muscle contractions.)

One substance that blocks acetycholine is lithium, which we all have in low levels. It is one of the best drugs, at the moment, for treating bipolar depression.  But is it the best treatment?

Psychiatric News outlined the widespread difficulties that lithium causes in an article called “Lithium and Memory Loss.” Besides causing memory loss, the high does of lithium needed to stop manic moods are often toxic to the nervous system, causing tremors in many users. And at high levels lithium suppresses thyroid function and can cause hypothyroidism and mental confusion.

“Scientists have gained insight into why lithium salts are effective at treating bipolar disorder in what could lead to more targeted therapies with fewer side-effects.” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120313103922.htm

“I have often asked myself whether, given the choice, I would choose to have manic-depressive illness. If lithium were not available to me, or didn’t work for me, the answer would be a simple no… and it would be an answer laced with terror.

 But lithium does work for me, and therefore I can afford to pose the question. Strangely enough, I think I would choose to have it. It’s complicated…” ~  Kay Redfield Jamison

“Lithium, don’t want to lock me up inside.

Lithium, don’t want to forget how it feels without…

Lithium, I want to stay in love with my sorrow.

Oh, but God, I want to let it go.” ~ – Lyrics from “Lithium” by band EVANESCENCE

NEUROTRANSMITTERS

A neurotransmitter is a brain chemical specifically for communication that happens between brain cells.  It’s incredible that these neurotransmitters can zigzag and flash through the mass of brain neurons at speeds of up to 150 mph carrying your every thought and feelings.  Of the 100 identified, the one’s best known are: acetylcholine, dopamine, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin.

Everyday our neuropeptides try to work hard to keep us functioning at a peak performance but chemicals, food colorings, sugar, trans-fats, food preservatives, traffic fumes, second hand smoke, stress, anxiety and lack of sleep slows them down.  One of the best ways to boost your dopamine is exercise, swimming, biking walking and running. Playing board games and computer games help to replenish dopamine too. Walking in nature enhances GABA, and creative writing (poems, songs) help to restore acetylcholine.  Violent movies and loud ‘hard’ music or angry words decrease the production of acetylcholine.

“[An] exciting safe substance that has a lithium-like effect on the brain is the amino acid taurine, which is a calming inhibitory neruotransmitter that naturally blocks the effect of excitatory transmitters like acetycholine. Manic depressives have very low taurine levels when measured in the lab. A taurine deficiency cuases far greater symptoms in women than mean (hypothyroid, lethargy, and depression), and bipolar disorder is twice as common in women. Science also documents hereditary depression in taurine-deficient persons. Taurine has been successfully substituted for lithium (500 mg. three times daily) and, unlike lithium has no side effects.” Depression-Free Naturally: 7 Weeks to Eliminating Anxiety, Despair, Fatigue And Anger From Your Life ~ Joan Matthews Larson, Ph.D.

And from another source…..

“Taurine is an amino acid made in the liver from cysteine that is known to play a role in the brain by eliciting a calming effect. A deficiency of this amino acid may increase a bipolar patient’s manic episodes. In addition, eighty percent of bipolar sufferers have some vitamin B deficiencies (often accompanied by anemia [46]. The combination of essential vitamin supplements with the body’s natural supply of lithium reduces depressive and manic symptoms of patients suffering from bipolar disorder [47]. ~ Functional Foods: The Connection Between Nutrition, Health and Food Science ~ edited by Leah Coles

THE LIMBIC BRAIN

LIMBIC SYSTEM

The main transportation of the nervous system is the brain.  It is the best organized 3 lbs of matter in the known universe.  Tens of billions of tiny nerve cells transmit electrical signals from the nerves to the brain.  And each nerve cell in the brain is connected to many other cells in the brain and is affected by them.  The whole brain hums actively firing in circuits or loops, round and round like a pinwheel, throwing off sparks of energy on each cycle.  Great masses of nerve cells unite together to create a marvelous orchestra which plays thoughts of truth and beauty, which creates creative imagination.

“How do billions of nerve cells within the brain communicate with each other? One way is through the amazing molecules called chemical messengers or neurotransmitters. These substances are made within each nerve cell and are secreted through the synapse, the space between one cell and the next. The “mood pathways” in the brain that we have been referring to consist of the chemical messenger systems that travel through and innervate the prefrontal-limbic complex”. Women’s Moods ~ Deborah Sichel, M.D., and Jeanne Watson Driscoll, M.s., R.N., C.S.

Carl Sagan on the Brain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SHc67Hep48

When symptoms of depression and anxiety occur, they originate from the limbic brain, but they involve the cortex as well, since severe depression is associated with diminished eyesight, poor judgment, lack of motivation and attention—all functions of the higher levels of brain. As the brain evolved over time, the cortex grew larger and we developed the capacity to control our emotions, hold back our anger and modify the impulses coming from the more primitive part of the brain called the limbic.

The cortex is divided into two halves or hemispheres and each holds a different function—though separate, these two halves are joined by a boomerang-shaped band of fibers’ or bridge call the corpus callosum which allows the left-brain and right-brain to talk to each other.

The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and enables us to figure out problems logically, to speak and write, to understand science and numbers.  The right side of the brain controls your left side of the body and is your creative side—this is where your vivid imagination and artistic ability comes from and your love for music.

“Rich connections also exist between the amygdala in the temporal lob of the brain and the stomach. These connections allow our intense emotions—fear, anxiety, anger and rage, threat, intimidation—to be felt in the stomach and abdomen.  Since the amygdala plays an important role in memory, it can also moderate the degree to which adverse or traumatic experiences can produce changes in the GI system.  In animals the amygdala controls whether the animals feel resilient (powerful) or vulnerable in stress situations.  The more helpless the feeling in the face of threat, restraint, and aggression, the greater the individual’s likelihood of developing ulcers”.   AWAKENING INTUITION Mona Lisa Schulz

We are all born with genetically programmed instincts which are located in what’s called the primitive brain or amygdala which in the fight/flight response showers the body and brain with chemicals, quickly turning the stress button ON.  When we sense danger, the autonomic (instinctual) nervous system signals the body to release the hormone adrenaline into the blood stream, providing instant energy to the hearts, lungs, and muscles.  We are pumped up and ready to fight or run.

“A fundamental assumption in this work is that the brain has multiple memory systems, each devoted to different kinds of memory functions. For traumatic memory, two systems are particularly important. For example, if you return to the scene of an accident, you will be reminded of the accident and will remember where you were going, who you were with, and other details about the experience. These are explicit (conscious) memories mediated by the hippocampus and other aspects of the temporal lobe memory system. In addition, your blood pressure and heart rate may rise, you may begin to sweat, and your muscles may tighten up. These are implicit (unconscious) memories mediated by the amygdala and its neural connections”. Joseph LeDoux

HYPOTHALAMUS AND PITUITARY

The hypothalamus controls the autonomic nervous system, regulating temperature, water metabolism, reproduction, hunger and thirst, and our state of alertness. It’s responsible for turning the stress switch on in the body—stimulating the fight or flight reaction, raising the blood pressure, the heart rate, and breathing rate—it also has centers for emotions: anger, fear, pain, and pleasure.

Connected to the hypothalamus, and continually influencing it are the ‘higher’ centers of the brain which give us our senses, memory, creativity and thought.  So theoretically, our hormone cycles could be controlled by the power of pure thought.

The pituitary gland hangs like a little round bag from the hypothalamus and controls the total balance of hormones in the body. We have come to call it the Master Gland of the body, also known as the ‘seat of the mind’. Its frontal lobe regulates emotional thoughts such as poetry, art and music, and the anterior lobe regulating concrete thought and the analytical mind.  You could say it is our mission control center that continually sends messages to all the other glands in our body and regulates our sexual development.

Hormones, like the rest of our bodies are created from the food we eat. In order to create all the hormones we need in sufficient quantities, we have to get enough of the nutrients they’re composed of and to make enzymes and other substances that affect the production, metabolism and functioning of our hormones.

When we are reacting to either food, or a situation, or a person, or to the weather, we are actually responding to a signal that started from the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland.  The signal may be in the form of comfort or discomfort, but if we could learn how to listen to these signals that are being sent to us, all the time from within us, then, we’d realize that these signals affect our moods, our behavior, our perceptions, our tastes, our habits, our attraction to other people, our appetites, our urges and so on.  Knowing your body/mind, allows you to ‘tune’ into yourself and of course to others. This allows the pituitary to analyze situations before taking action.

When we’re under stress the brain immediately responds by triggering the release of specific hormones from the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal gland areas (HPA axis).  Acute and chronic stress triggers the fight/flight response causing our heart and breathing to increase, and the blood vessels to constrict—adrenaline starts to flow through the body, digestion shuts down as blood is shunted away from the digestive tract and sent to the muscles. Most people after a particularly frightful or angry encounter,feel exhausted. They suddenly feel the need to sleep or pull away from the problem.

During traumatic stress, stress neuropeptides norepinephrine and cortisol disconnect the left-brain “talk” memory systems, but simultaneously turn up the process. The neurotransmitter norepinephrine turns on the domino effect of depression to disease in the body, and acetylcholine turns off the inflammatory cascade.

Elevated levels of adrenaline can also cause an elevation in triglycerides, which are fats in the blood, and elevation of blood sugar…also not good. Elevated levels of adrenaline over time can also cause blood to clot faster (which contributes to plaquing), the thyroid too becomes overly stimulated, and the body produces more cholesterol.

“In the last decade, neurobiologists have reported structural differences in at least two regions of the human brain.  One is the corpus callosum, the mind’s big “telephone” cable, connecting as it does hundreds of millions of neurons between the two hemispheres.  The other is the hypothalamus, the master controller for the integration of many basic behavioral patterns from temperature regulation and appetite to sex drives—involving brain and endocrine functions, Neuroendocrine research also strongly indicates that nervous system differences begin as sex hormones bathe the developing fetus in the womb.  Hormonal differences continuing through childhood—and perhaps even through adult life—affect brain activity and guide performance.  Other studies suggest that men and women may process the same information differently and yet come to the same of similar conclusion.”  Kathryn Phillips

Cortisol stays in the body longer than adrenaline, interferes with digestion and suppresses the immune system allowing tumors if present, to grow faster. Cortisol can create a fearful, threatened feeling that overstimulates our whole system. Unexplained muscle aches, chronic headaches, feeling hopeless or helpless and crying more than usual are signs of chronic overarousal. Anxiety coupled with cortisol has been known to cause unexplained heart palpitations, a nervous stomach, road rage and short temperedness.)

The pituitary happens to sit quite comfortably just above the sphenoid bone, which looks very much like a throne made of wings. Side by side these wings have long been referred to as the ‘Swan’, (although to me they look more like the wings of a bat) and in Grail lore the Swan is symbolic of the fully enlightened being. This is the ultimate realm of consciousness achieved by the medieval Knights of the Swan, such as Perceval and Lohengrin. One of the functions of the sphenoid is to solidify and stabilize our digested memories and patterns with the imagination so that we are able to do what we call visualizing, or inner seeing.

For further information on the pituitary and endocrine glands go here

THE PINEAL GLAND

Resembling a pine cone, the pineal gland, located just above the pituitary gland, secretes the hormone melatonin, a light sensitive hormone known to affect sleep, mood and the reproductive cycle.  Usually levels of this hormone rise at night and subside at dawn. In Part I of this series we learnt that melatonin is associated with Season Affective Disorder (SAD) especially in the darker seasons like Autumn and Winter.

The pineal gland acts in two ways to inhibit the action of the pituitary gland. First, the pituitary gland is responsible for activating adolescence and the beginning of sexuality, and the pineal gland checks the pituitary gland to prevent premature sexual awakening. Second, human thought is regarded as a result of suspended action, and the pineal gland holds back your thoughts from charging recklessly into action. It says whoa slow down and think about the chain of reactions and repercussions caused by the thoughts you want to put into action.   It forces you to submerge (like a submarine whose captain yells dive, dive) deep into your own  subconscious waters, using the perascope to see into your thoughts regarding the surface of your outer reality.  When the external world disappears, we fall back into ourselves, kind of like a falling star or a deep sea diver.  Our whole energy pattern contracts because we’re tuned into our own station.  When we plug into our own broadcast, it magnetizes  “spiritual light” like a beacon stimulating the pineal gland to stand straight up attracting and releasing a tremendous amount of powerful energy!  In order for your desire, good or ill to manifest, the pineal gland must join together with the pituitary to create an eclipse, a conjunction, a merging of these two glands creates an opening  what mystics have called the third eye (a higher form of intelligence)

THE SEAT OF ALL PASSION – THE AMYGDALA

The amygdala’s main role is emotion, including what we call intuition. It plays a major role in dreaming, and religious and spiritual experience, Including telepathy and ESP.

“Our world is only one in a cluster of consecutive worlds, arranged like the layers of an onion. Even though we have been energetically conditioned to perceive solely our world, we still have the capability of entering into those other realms, which are as real, unique, absolute, and engulfing as our own world is.” Carlos Castenadas ~ The Art of Dreaming

In the human brain, the amygdala normally filters out most of reality, yet, when its hyperactivated, you will suddenly be able to experience what is normally filtered out—you will suddenly be able to see and taste sound, you can feel colors, and you can experience realms of reality that are normally suppressed.

When bipolar individuals are manic, passion and enthusiasm for life is not without its dangers.  When the amygdala is in a hyperactive state, manics can be carried along in a reckless pace. When passion veers out of control they experience a highly unrelaxing force that when it overwhelms them, their sense of true passion is lost.

“Then, as time rolls on, my head really speeds up; ideas are moving so fast they’re stumbling over each other and I begin to get this sense of power–power over other people. I begin to feel that what I think and do is of significance to those around me, even to the universe at large. I think of myself as having special insight, as understanding things that others do not, and with a special capacity to lead. I recognize now that these are warning signs.”  ~ Stephan Szabo

The amygdala, an almond-shaped structure in the limbic brain is also the brain’s alerting system to stressful and emotional situations. When triggered by stress or anxiety, it alerts several bodily systems—the gut, skin, heart, muscles, eyes, face, ears, and adrenals to be on the lookout for incoming stimuli.  The amygdala notes threats in the environment and decides whether you should freeze, run or fight for your life.  Imprinted onto the amygdala’s memory are massive fears and traumatic incidents that affected you since your birth (even registering unbearable pain in others).  Many of your fears were instigated by your parents in the very early part of your life ‘before’ you developed your ability to think things through.

The amygdala controls the production of neurotransmitters, *serotonin and norepinephrine—low serotonin levels cause us to be impulsive, aggressive, anxious, restless, and depressed—exhibit compulsive habits including overeating and drug and alcohol abuse.

The more active the amygdala becomes, the more you’ll struggle to keep your emotions steady. You may get mad at people for no reason and replay memories and conversations in your head that happened years ago. It’s like every waking moment of your day is spent muttering about something you have no control over.  The amygdala is like a runaway horse, going where it wants, with you barely hanging on—the more you hold on—the more energized the amygdala becomes.  And the stronger the amygdala—the tighter your muscular system becomes and the more tense the mind.

The Amygdala and Hypersexuality

“When that pure, euphoric filling hits I become hypersexual—sex is a no-no word even to the doctors, but we have to talk about it!!!  When I’m manic, I can literally have sex with anything that moves—and the truth is I really couldn’t care less about the other person—it’s a conquest, a game, that’s thrilling and fun—a game that can last for hours or days!!  My biggest problem with this is—I’m married!!” (Bipolar woman) 

“I take antidepressants which is like a chemical neutering because it takes away all my sexual desires. (Peter T.)

“When hypersexual I keep myself locked up so i don’t do anything stupid or crazy—it’s like i become very promiscuous and then I feel shameful, dirty and filled with regret”(Susan W.)

“Though hypersexuality may present itself as just one aspect in a constellation of problems, it is often the most destructive and challenging part of bipolar disorder—troubling families of young children suffering from juvenile hypersexuality, ruining marriages, generating life-threatening health problems. “The one thing I regret is what I did to my husband,” says Bev, a middle-aged woman from rural Quebec who was diagnosed with bipolar a few years ago. “He was a good man and we would have had a good retirement together.”http://www.bphope.com/Item.aspx/522/opening-the-door-on-hypersexuality

THE HIPPOCAMPUS

“The stress response can also literally poison the brain—because it causes excessive secretion of the adrenal hormone cortisol.  Cortisol is released at about the same time adrenaline is.  However it stays in your system much longer than adrenaline does, and that creates a terrible problem.  Cortisol gives your hippocampus, as well as other parts of your brain, a highly destructive ‘toxic bath’.  It can be so destructive that your brain may never again recover absolutely all of its cognitive function.” Brain Longevity by Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. with Cameron Stauth

 The amygdala adjoins the hippocampus, known as the ‘library of short-term memories’ which converts short term experiences into long term memories and then stores them in other parts of the brain.  (Your hippocampus is active right now as your reading this.)

The brain receives up to ten billion pieces of information per second.  Negative emotional shocks such as fear, tension, stress, frustration, anger and guilt are stored in the brain and sorted in order by a nervous structure called the reticulate ‘substance’ or ‘formation’. Metaphysical causes of the body happen when emotional residue pours into your organs causing pain and discomfort.

 “A fundamental assumption in this work is that the brain has multiple memory systems, each devoted to different kinds of memory functions. For traumatic memory, two systems are particularly important. For example, if you return to the scene of an accident, you will be reminded of the accident and will remember where you were going, who you were with, and other details about the experience. These are explicit (conscious) memories mediated by the hippocampus and other aspects of the temporal lobe memory system. In addition, your blood pressure and heart rate may rise, you may begin to sweat, and your muscles may tighten up. These are implicit (unconscious) memories mediated by the amygdala and its neural connections”. Joseph LeDoux

Repetitive traumas will throw the body into a constant state of anxiety and stress causing the hippocampus to remodel itself and shrink. There are studies out there saying that antidepressants help the hippocampus grow new cells in people with Bipolar, PTSD and other emotional traumas.

THALAMUS

The thalamus is the key relay station or distribution center, transporting incoming information from all parts of the nervous system.  It’s important for processing all sensory data (taste, pain and memory) except smell. “Thalamus” means “couch” in Greek: it is where the cerebral hemispheres sit.

When the thalamus isn’t working as it should, it’s most likely because we are feeling disconnected from our ‘true self’. When we lose touch with our authentic self we feel as if everything in life is piling on top of us.  Life is messy, chaotic and very confusing. This loss of self is an underlying problem with several types of addictive and compulsive disorders such as alcohol and mind alerting drugs.

There is no doubt the earth’s changing energies are intensifying our emotions and feelings. The news tells this to us daily with more and more violent crimes. More antidpressant pills are being taken more than ever. More people are in prison, and more people suffer from serious mental illness than ever before.  I think the root of our problems are literally from anything that upsets the safety of our world—a world that is continually changing.  The earth’s magnetic field has a mutual relationship with both the sun and moon and with all the life forms of the ‘biosphere’ (plants, bacteria, fish insects, mammals).  Although this field is subtle it influences the behavior of every living organism.  We are no exception as we contain an auric field generated by the beating of our hearts and by all our body processes…but our body rhythms respond to fluctuations in the earth’s magnetic field—and our bodies are polarized—the head end negative and the tail or feet positive—similar to a battery.

“Fleeing the raw, wounded places in ourselves because we don’t think we  can handle them is a form of self-abandonment”. John Welwood

If you grew up in a troubled family, more than likely you had to hide your true self to survive and what we call the ‘false self’ dominated most of your life. You soon learned that you could never win the full approval of your parents, no matter how much effort you put forward.  Nothing was ever good enough and you never felt quite accepted and you never learnt to accept yourself either—everything you did was a perfect performance for someone else.  This mask is who we pretended to be in an atmosphere of abuse or neglect from within or, later, outside the family.

I do believe, though, that the ‘child within’ still has needs, and from time to time will peep out or show itself through manic behaviors or violent explosive emotions—often hurting the child or someone else.  If these behaviors continue, they could result later in life as eating disorders, compulsive gambling, religious addiction, workaholism, mental illness and family violence.

INTRODUCING PART III ~ Bipolar

Inside each of us is a variety of subpersonalities (archetypes) (eg., the hero, the victim, the nurturer) that contribute to how we respond to life experiences.

In Part III on Manic Depression we’re going to look at astrological charts of three different people diagnosed with manic depression who’ve worked very hard on  themselves and continue to do so through the aid of self-help groups, books, divination, therapies and frequent visits to their doctors.

We’re going to look at several different aspects, including the association of the moon with one’s home, family life and mother, motherhood and long-term bonds and behaviors.  Anatomically the moon represents the stomach, thus it emphasizes a direct link between what we eat and how we feel. It also provides clues to what may be “eating” at us. Psychology rarely studies the role the moon and how it plays in respect to changing moods or the sensations these give rise to, especially with people with bipolar.  Each of us responds to the moon’s cycle in our own unique way and looking at the moon phases, we can learn from them.

Astrology and numerology are a form of divination containing an internal communication network providing us with clues to our mental, physical, and emotional framework; they help us understand our body’s present state including all its past history. Step by step they point us in the right direction, guiding us through the healing process.

To be continued….

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

Great Links….

This blog takes you to into the heart of a bipolar  https//bruisedbybipolar.wordpress.com

Excellent Lecture on the Limbic System ~ Sex, Hallucinations, Emotions, Memory, PTSD, Amygdala    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7nXiXQb2iM   

What is Lithium   http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?  Section=About_Medications&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=51&ContentID=20820

Bipolar Disorder and Highly Sensitive People    mentalhealthtalk.info/bipolar_hsp

Bipolar Disorder and Brain   http://www.brainexplorer.org/bipolar_disorder/Bipolar_Disorder_Aetiology.shtml

“We must recognize manic depression is a medical illness, not a character weakness. …  Also, we need to make people realize it is a potentially fatal illness. In fact, if left untreated or mistreated, more than 15 percent of those afflicted will take their lives.” Lydia Lewis, Executive Director at National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association

WHAT IS BIPOLAR DISORDER/MANIC DEPRESSIVE

Research studies have indicated that there is a predisposition to bipolar disorder, especially, genetically, when it recurs in families over many years.  Manic Depressive has been linked to the improper functioning of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.  Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit electrical signals from one nerve cell to another and ultimately controls behaviors, thoughts and feelings.  Three neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepineprhine and dopamine have been associated with bipolar and depression.

Bipolar may also manifest following pregnancy/birth, acute stress – sustaining states of hyper-vigilance leading to exhaustion, injury (eg. neck, spinal cord) and/or illness… essentially major life events or internal developments that cause stress for an long periods of time, throwing the hormones into disarray.

“Statistics show that up to 3.2 percent of the population has bipolar disorder. In reality, there are more than 3.2 percent, because 20 to 40 percent of people who have the genetics to develop bipolar disorder never have it exacerbated and so never show symptoms. In twin studies, an identical twin has a 60 to 80 percent chance of having symptoms of bipolar disorder if the twin sibling has developed bipolar symptoms. To extrapolate from this, that must mean that 20 to 40 percent of people with bipolar genetics never have symptoms.

 The latest finding in bipolar genetics is that a single gene accounts for 10 percent of people with bipolar disorder (GRK-3) Three other chromosomal regions are suspected. This means that there may be four different genes for bipolar disorder. We don’t yet know for sure exactly which genes contribute to bipolar disorder, but we know other genes are involved. If there are four genes, then there are at least 16 different possible combinations of bipolar disorder. Some of these genes may be more dominant than others. In the United States, a child only has an 8 percent chance of having bipolar disorder if one parent has it. However, this author has seen families with five children where four have bipolar disorder, and seen families of five kids where none of them do.

 GRK-3 has been found to cause hypersensitivity to dopamine, the major brain chemical involved in bipolar disorder. This affects the dopamine centers in the brain. The use of certain drugs, such as amphetamines, seems to affect the same dopamine centers that are affected by mania, so it’s not surprising that manic behavior is often similar to the behavior of someone who has taken amphetamines. Psychostimulants like amphetamines, meth, and cocaine are thought to increase dopamine release, which can cause mania as well as mimic mania. .” The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Bipolar Disorder ~ Jay Carter, Bobbi Dempsey

BIPOLAR TYPE I

Bipolar Type 1 is what most people think of when they hear the terms “bipolar” or “manic depressive.” Moods alternate between normal, depressed, and manic. The key word here is mania, which can simplistically be thought of as the opposite of depression. According to the DSM-IV, mania is “a distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting at least 1 week,” during which time at least three of the following symptoms have persisted: inflated self-esteem or grandiosity, decreased need for sleep, more talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking, flight of ideas or racing thoughts, distractibility, increase in goal-directed activity (but usually without complete follow-through), unrestrained spending sprees, sexual promiscuity.

Frequently, untreated mania segues into psychosis marked by paranoia or extreme grandiosity (e.g. the person may believe that s/he is Jesus Christ) and results in hospitalization. If left untreated, depressive and manic episodes will come closer and closer together over time, and there will be fewer periods of normal functioning.

BIPOLAR II

Bipolar Type II is characterized by severe depressions alternating with hypomanic episodes. Hypomania is not as severe as mania, and the mood must be irritable or elevated for at least 4 days to qualify for a diagnosis of hypomania. During this time, the person sleeps less, eats less, and feels very creative (though, as with mania, there is usually not much follow-through). The person experiences a lot of chaos in his personal and professional relationships. People often see him as being very unpredictable, though very intelligent. A hypomanic episode is usually followed by a severe depression, and this is usually when the person needs or seeks help.

THE HYPOMANIC SIDE OF BIPOLAR DISORDER

“For 15 years I have suffered from treatment-resistant rapid-cycling Bipolar I Disorder (two weeks normal/hypomanic, two weeks depressed, with manic episodes every few years). I have through my life experiences discovered I am most prolific and intensely creative when I’m in the hypomanic phase of this disorder. I cannot tell how much I absolutely LOVE and live for this part of my mood cycle. But when it comes, I cannot rest, eat or sleep and must be extremely focused/viligant to its powers as it can quickly spiral downward from hypomania to mania then depression. When I hit the mania side of this illness, my creativity becomes incredibly disorganized and what’s created disgusts my intelligence and I fall into a depressive slump. (Michael)

CYCLOTHYMES

“Actor, comedian and writer Stephen Fry was diagnosed with cyclothymia, a form of bipolar disorder, at the age of 37. In a two part documentary for the BBC – The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, first broadcast in 2006 – he talks of the downside of the condition: “I may have looked happy. Inside I was hopelessly depressed. I’m actually kind of sobbing and kind of tear at the walls inside my own brain while my mouth is, you know, wittering away in some amusing fashion’, as well as the upside: ‘I love my condition too. It’s infuriating, I know, but I do get a huge buzz out of the manic side. I rely on it to give my life a sense of adventure, and I think most of the good about me has developed as a result of my mood swings. It’s tormented me all my life with the deepest of depressions while giving me the energy and creativity that perhaps has made my career.’  “Bipolar Disorder: The Ultimate Guide ~ by Sarah Owen, Amanda Saunders

Stephen Fry The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGDl6-lyfMY

“The most extreme cyclothymes are called “rapid cyclers,” with mood changes colliding with each other, from month to month, from day to day, or sometimes even within the same day.  These men and women zigzag between highs and lows so rapidly they often feel as though they are about to die.  They might bounce from euphoria to despair and back again within hours. They are in exquisite pain, out of control, like a race car gone berserk, and sometimes they say that they are afraid of being alone with their episodes because they don’t know what they will be doing next. … Rapid cyclers don’t make plans because they can’t predict their mood even a day head. They are like yo-yos and feel as though they are being helplessly manipulated by some force outside themselves.  Most rapid cyclers have manias or depressions that last about two weeks, they have them from twelve to twenty-four times a year (sometimes with mini-cycles in between) in contrast to other manic-depressives who cycle perhaps four times in twelve months.  Approximately 10 to 15 percent of manic-depressives are rapid cyclers.  And 85 percent of them are women. In fact, the more rapidly the cycle come, the more likely it is that the sufferer will be female.” A Brilliant Madness – Living with Manic Depressive Illness ~ Patty Duke and Gloria Hochman

THE METAPHYSICAL CAUSE OF BIPOLAR

What we know so far is that bipolar disorder or manic-depressive, is a complicated and multifaceted illness that plays heavily on the extreme poles of euphoria and depression.  On the manic side, these individuals are bizarre, eccentric, shocking to others and very entertaining.  They’re wild, outgoing, outspoken and very creative, though they have no idea where these spontaneous inspirations come from. At this level, they embrace life profoundly and really give ‘the rest of us’ the sense they are truly connected with their authentic selves and the world.  They love attention and most definitely love amusing people.

“What’s it like to have bipolar? In the manic phase, you’re supercharged! You get enthused about an idea and you want to do it – now!  Then what do you know another idea jumps into the works before you’ve finished the first one and so you fly to that one, but of course another idea intercepts the second and you just have to follow that one and pretty soon you’re in the grips of a full-blown psychotic mania! At times it does seem as if I’m losing touch with reality. Wild and outspoken I talk too fast for others to understand; I run around in a frenzy, hardly sleep and spend money lavishly; drive recklessly and in my younger days sexually promiscuous.  I also get irritable during these episodes and quickly intolerant of slow-moving people.  Criticized and put down for this blast of manic madness, alarms sound and suddenly brakes slam on my mind; filled with a mixture of negative emotions and attitudes I plummet the depths of a dark void where, even though a man, have been known to cry for hours on end.  (My name is Richard and I have bipolar).

Most manic depressives admit they’ve exhibited some of these exaggerated behaviors..

A grandiose sense of self-importance

Preoccupations with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love

Beliefs that they are special
An insatiable need to be admired.
Have been interpersonally exploitative
Been envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
An arrogant, haughty behavior or attitude

Their artistic form is unique and outlandish. Because of this grandiose and outrageous behavior, bipolar people have the preference of living in large cities where they don’t stand out and aren’t pressured to conform.  They love change—to go beyond the traditional and the familiar. They love to shock people, to shake them from their ordinary, humdrum existence. Laughter and the absurd appeal to them…their strange sense of humor can be interpreted by others as being twisted and eccentric.  When they are in a manic episode they are very outspoken and love being the center of attention.  They love entertaining people, acting, performing and creating outrageous trends.

In the manic phase of bipolar disorder, a woman described the manic phase as a lightning bolt exploding all around her.  “My head seemed to open up, my eyes filled with a golden light, brilliant and dazzling.  I was transfixed, rooted in one spot then suddenly vaulted into an empty space of incredible imaginative powers”.

As an observer, a manic person may appear cheerful or infectious, however it’s important to realize that manic can be dangerous. When people are manic they don’t see the painful or harmful ways of their behavior.  They can run up huge credit card bills, empty savings accounts, make poor decisions and as Richard stated sexually promiscuous. Some people in a manic state become psychotic, delusional, and hear voices they were specially born with special powers to change the world. Wanting to do the right thing and hating to disappoint others (since they are often disappointed themselves) they may turn to self-medication—all types of addiction, whether it be alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and medicines.  The spiritual basis for addiction is said to be the loss of one’s inner center and of conscious relationship to the power of the soul.

“Addiction is a behavior you participate in either consciously or unconsciously that controls the flow of creative life force through your system. And addiction allows you to be irresponsible for a percentage of the energy that runs through you and therefore you are not responsible for its consequences….

 Many addicts come from dysfunctional homes, abusive situations, etc. Self esteem is an issue, but the underlying root issue is usually deeper than that. The addict is attempting to numb themselves against some sort of pain in their psyche that they believe is too much for them to bear. Addiction is a physical, spiritual, and emotional dis-ease….a learned coping mechanism which becomes compulsive over time, which may or may not be complicated by chemical imbalances in their systems.” Caroline Myss

The more the spiritual energies are neglected or denied, the more difficult it will be to find one’s way out again without suffering a major breakdown or fatal crisis.  For the effects of alcohol, tobacco, drugs and medicines can never be entirely removed, they’ve altered the finely tuned system of the pituitary (master gland) and the endocrine glands.

The Pituitary known as the Master Gland of the body has also been called the ‘seat of the mind’. Its frontal lobe regulates emotional thoughts such as poetry, art and music, and the anterior lobe regulating concrete thought and the analytical mind. You could say it is our mission control center that monitors all  the other glands in our body and along with the hypothalamus helps to regulate our sexual development.

Human thought is regarded as a result of suspended action, and the pineal gland holds back your thoughts from charging recklessly into action. It says whoa slow down and think about the chain of reactions and repercussions caused by the thoughts you want to put into action. It forces you to submerge (like a submarine whose captain yells dive, dive) deep into the subconscious waters, using the perascope to see into your thoughts regarding the surface of your outer reality. When the external world disappears, we fall back into ourselves, kind of like a falling star or a deep sea diver. Our whole energy pattern contracts because we’re tuned into our own station. When we plug into our own broadcast, it magnetizes “spiritual light” like a beacon stimulating the pineal gland to stand straight up attracting and releasing a tremendous amount of powerful energy! In order for your desire, good or ill to manifest the pineal gland must join together with the pituitary to create an eclipse, a conjunction, a merging of these two glands and creates an opening what mystics have called the third eye.

“When you feel bad and pretend to feel good, your are in denial. This is a form of resistance and it causes internal conflict. A person who is conflicted usually internalizes feelings which results in physical problems or addictions. Any time you are not true to your feelings, your energy level drops. Any time you deny a feeling, you give it more power. Unresolved feelings continue to recycle and resurface until they are resolved.” Joe Nunziata ~ Spiritual Selling

Addictions affect the levels of testosterone, produced in small amounts by the ovaries and adrenal glands.  A loss of testosterone in men can cause muscle atrophy, fatigue, prostate problems, sexual impotence, breast enlargement, and loss of body hair. Though men produce 50% more testosterone than women, women too need it to provide energy, build muscle, regulate sex drive, strengthen bones and maintain vaginal elasticity and lubrication.   Other hormone deficiencies from addiction can cause headaches, migraines, autoimmune disorders, weight-gain, gallstones, ulcers, heart arthymia, as well as thyroid problems.

Richard has bipolar disorder and suffers from the excruciating pain of kidney stones which are a buildup of negative or conflicting feelings that are too difficult to express.

“Harsh, bitter feelings toward oneself or others will create a hardening of saturated fat in the gallbladder, creating stones. Stones can lodge in a bile duct interacting with nerves, and can cause discomfort or pain in the right shoulder blade and neck area, specifically if the emotional feeling is about feeling burdened. Irritation from gallstones can also affect the pancreas, causing shingles, hypoglycemia, and insulin issues. A stone will interfere with the pituitary gland, thus creating pain in the base of the head, and neck.

 A weak gallbladder can also affect hearing. The kidneys play a role in hearing as well. What does one not want to hear? Sometimes this includes listening to one’s inner self. Shutting out the sounds of laughter, due to a misguided feeling of responsibility.” Symptoms: The Language of the Soul: A Gift of Transformation ~ By Susan Manion MacDonald

Deb Shapiro in her book Your Body Speaks Your Mind says “Issues here are especially connected with relationship, whether imbalances in your relationship with others—particularly with your primary partner—or imbalance of the masculine and feminine energies within yourself.”

THE MANIC LOWS OF BIPOLAR

“If you know someone who’s depressed please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation, depression just is, like the weather.

 Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one the kindest, noblest and best things you will ever do.” ~ Stephen Fry

On the depressive side, manic depressives feel a sudden emptiness and total withdrawal from life, draped from all they know into utter silence.  It’s as if they are imprisoned in a black pit that is too deep and unreachable to the outside. Life stops with a helpless feeling of no point, no purpose, no hope.

 “It feels as if I’m being sucked into a black hole, my lungs violently squeezed as I struggle to breathe”. (Ruth)

Most manic depressives are extremely emotionally sensitive to being hurt by cutting remarks and/or easily pick-up on the distress or hurt emotions felt by others.  This sensitivity borders on and is often accompanied by a psychic openness, the ability to see auras or visions or to know things that are beyond the ordinary—in other words they are incredibly empathic. Sometimes these energies overwhelm them, they become frightened, panicky and disoriented, causing them to sink even further into the confusion and despair.

An excellent, excellent site on empathy and bipolar http://mysilentecho.com/dreamtongue1.htm

“When I’m in the deep dark hole, I can’t see who I really am, I have a distorted image of myself physically and feel unworthy of being loved—even when love is right there, staring me in the face. I have suffered from eating disorders (anorexic) and addictive patterns.  I drink in order to feel powerful but in reality I struggle with inner feelings of shame.” (Bipolar teenager)

“Anorexia .. The cause is the sense of unfulfilled love and affection, the need for emotional nourishment and unconditional acceptance creating an emptiness inside that is demanding satisfaction .. anorexia is the result of starving the emptiness in the hope that it will shrink and therefore demand less, or even go away completely so there is no demand at all. THE BODYMIND Workbook ~ Debbie Shapiro

There are so many variants to this disorder, but a large percentage of manic depressives suffer from a deep and abiding sense of shame—perhaps their parents—poverty—or a series of circumstances beyond their control.  Their emotional wound is a deep sense of guilt and unworthiness which expressed their overgenerousity into adult and the belief nobody could love them.

” Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression – Extreme imbalance, stress, trauma. A possible shock that occurred in childhood, such as a death in the family, divorce, an accident, or seeing a close friend or member of the family endure an incurable illness. Feeling out of place. Wanting to be somewhere that you are not. Feeling controlled and dominated, and wanting to break free. Fear that something bad or dark is living inside you that you have no control over. A lot of internal aggression and frustration that you don’t know how to handle.” ~ The Secret Language of Your Body, The Essential Guide to Heal and Wellness ~ Inna Segal

To get through to someone with bipolar is almost impossible—it’s like trying to get through a double bolted door.  In the manic state they were open and receptive, but in a depressive state they’re like a huge fortress that is totally impenetrable. Manic depressives have to literally hit bottom before they’ll accept advice or help from others.  I think most bipolar people when in the flow of their energy, are free spirited and love to rescue others, but hitting bottom forces them to draw back, then inward, to take care of themselves.

“I have often asked myself whether, given the choice, I would choose to have manic depressive illness … Strangely enough I think I would choose to have it. It’s complicated. Depression is awful beyond words or sounds or images … So why would I want anything to do with this illness? Because I honestly believe that as a result of it I have felt more things, more deeply; had more experiences, more intensely; loved more, and been loved; laughed more often for having cried more often; appreciated more the springs, for all the winters; worn death ‘as close as dungarees’, appreciated it – and life – more; seen the finest and the most terrible in people, and slowly learned the values of caring, loyalty and seeing things through.”  Kay Redfield Jamison ~ An Unquiet Mind.

MELANCHOLY

“Melancholy” in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been called ‘black bile’, but could easily be translated as ‘bad liver’—so we know there is a toxic element to this—whether self-toxicity or environmental.  In TCM, liver imbalance is often indicated with depression.  The liver contains the ‘Ethereal Soul’ which is concerned with mental movement and gives the capacity for dreams, plans, ideas, projects and so forth.  So depression in one scenario is caused by the stagnation of the liver chi. Stagnation = lack of mental movement = stuck in a rut = lacking in vision.

The liver memorizes every element that goes into building our identity, emotions, pitfalls, death of a loved one, failures, illnesses and extremely happy events. When the liver lacks energy, our memories come back to haunt us, affecting our self-esteem and darkening the road we’re traveling on. So a liver imbalance could cause doubt and uncertainty about the future, causing us to lean more toward the past.  It can also cause us to feel tense and aggressive, reacting forcefully and intensely to have our way or get into power trips to compensate for our lack of self-esteem.

The liver and the brain like to exchange their energies. When one of them is lacking energy, it takes it from the other. A bad liver pretty much means feeling blue! Liver dysfunction gives a feeling of being drained, unhappy, unloved, inadequate and lacking drive.

“The stomach is located in close proximity to the spleen. Esoterically, the spleen is the organ connecting spiritual and etheric energy to the physical system. When emotional reactions are out of control, positive energetic links to spiritual vitality are broken. Depression, suicide, and emotionally compulsive behavior cannot exist in the serene and vibrant light of spiritual energy. Ideally, the emotional level must be as calm as a sparkling lake in order to reflect the beauty of life and nature. Anything that separates man from his fellow man is a true sin but it is the separation of man from his spiritual nature that causes the most pain. Compassion for ourselves ultimately leads to compassion for our fellow man. Once this is achieved we can operate on the higher level of soul consciousness. Astrology and Your Health ~ Jeanne Avery

We crave in our diets what we lack physiologically. Often people who crave high carbohydrate foods are seratonin-depleted.  Depression can often be diet related. A poor diet can upset the balance of neurotransmitters (dopamine, seratonin etc.) in the brain. So whatever therapy is used, the diet has to be considered too. There can be many dietary deficiencies, but the most common are selenium, (which can be rectified by Brazil nuts or eggs) and omega-3 essential fatty acids (cod-liver-oil). People, especially smokers or drinkers are often deficient in vitamin C and vitamin B complex, both of which are water soluble and need to be refreshed daily. B complex features in the synthesis of neurotransmitters. More whole foods and less junk foods helps a great deal.

When the brain is undernourished, it’s not just our physical health that suffers. Our state of mind is affected as well. Although we may not always be aware of it, we frequently use food as a mood-altering drug. Those ups and downs of energy caused by too much sugar and refined carbohydrates also cause us to alternate between depression and euphoria. When we get that sugar high, we’re ready for anything. Then as blood sugar levels dissipate, we begin to feel worse and worse. To varying degrees, we get irritable, shaky, nervous, depressed. So we begin to eat like crazy again, gobbling down more sugar and carbs. In extremes of anxiety and depression, we may resort to binge eating in an overzealous attempt to modulate our moods.” THE BALANCE ~ Oz Garcia

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

“The pain is too much

a thousand grim winters

grown in my head

in my ears

the sound of the

coming dead

All seasons, all same

all lliving

all pain

No opiate to lock still

my senses.

Only left, the body locked tenser”. Spike Milligan ~ Poet – St. Lukes Wing, Woodside Hospital (manic depressive)

“Manic Depressive illness, often seasonal, is recurrent by nature, left untreated, individuals with this disease can expect to experience many, and generally worsening episodes of depression and mania. It is important to note, however, that most individuals who have manic-depressive illness are normal most of the time; that is they maintain their reason and their ability to function personally and professionally. Prior to the availability and widespread use of lithium, at least one person in five with manic-depressive illness committed suicide. The overwhelming majority of all adolescents and adults who commit suicide have been determined through postmortem investigations, to have suffered from either bipolar manic-depressive or unipolar depressive illness.” Touched With Fire ~ by Kay Redfield Jamison

SAD is another name of seasonal affective disorder which is a form of mood disorder triggered by the change of seasons or shorter days of fall and winter. Beginning as early as September and lasting through all the winter till spring, SAD victims are unable to adjust their body rhythms to the decrease of daylight causing them to become physiologically and ultimately emotionally distressed and out of sync.

“When Seasonal Affective Disorder (often called S.A.D.) occurs, the Soul needs adjustment since the Body is not storing enough light (energy). Food represents trapped sunlight and nourishes the Body as oxygen is delivered. Removing both emotional and physical toxins, strengthening cells with Essential Fatty Acids as well as getting the proper nutrients can resolve this issue. Light supports vision, and without vision it supports old habits plus closed off beliefs. Positive affirmations are a great way to dispel habits and beliefs.”  Symptoms: the Language of the Soul: A Gift of Transformation ~ Susan Marion MacDonald

“When summer’s coming to an end, I hit an all time low because I know that autumn and winter are just around the corner. Why just thinking of those dark dreary days makes me gloomy and depressed. It was terribly dark the other day and I got so down and mournfully miserable I started crying, without realizing why. I truly fear the long dark days of winter, I don’t want to see anyone—just crawl under the covers and stay there.” (Angie)

Depressive symptoms associated with SAD could be due to a form of biological malfunctioning that occurs as the days get shorter and darker.  Tests have been ongoing with manic-depressives, concentrating on the critical interplay of light, melatonin and other fluctuating rhythms that regulate body chemicals.

“People who suffer from manic depression, or bipolar mood disorder, are troubled by mood swings that careen from euphoria to despondency. There is some evidence that their melatonin levels go along on the roller-coaster ride, peaking during periods of mania and plummeting during periods of depression. In 1979, for example, Alfred A. Lewy, a psychiatrist at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, and his colleagues observed that bipolar patients had elevated melatonin levels when they were manic and reduced levels when they were depressed. Canadian psychiatrists provided further insight by measuring the melatonin levels of one patient in all three phases of the illness. They drew blood samples from the twenty-nine-year-old woman at three separate occasions: when she was manic, when she was depressed and when she was feeling normal. They found she was producing more than twich as much melatonin when she was manic than when she was depressed. When she was symptom free, she had normal amounts of the hormone. In this instance, there was a clear correlation between melatonin levels and mood.” Melatonin ~ By Russel J. Reiter

We have within us a day/night cycle or circadian rhythm that regulates our most major life-sustaining activities, such as sleeping, waking and when we eat.  Imagine for a moment that your body is governed by dozens of ‘internal clocks’ (interrelated cycles), which work together to synchronize us to the world around us.  These Internal rhythms control and coordinate our production of enzymes and hormones, which in turn control hunger, mood, body temperature and energy levels.

The pineal gland is key to maintaining the normal functioning of our internal clocks. This gland actually contains a lens system and color sensing cells, like an eye that seems as if it is looking up toward Heaven with 20/20 vision! The Pineal produces the hormone melatonin, an anti-cancer agent which stimulates the thymus immune system.

“Our brain is designed to move information in space and time—from as far out in the starlit sky as our eyes can see to as far away on earth as our legs can walk, from as far back in real time as our memory can recall to as far forward in psychic time as our plans can project.” Robert Sylwester

In small children there is an extremely sensitive area above the crown of the head where the skull does ot completely close until the child is between seven and nine years of age.  Prior to this, young children often display extreme sensitiveness and awareness, even having clairvoyant experiences that are generally believed to be connected with this “third eye” or pineal gland.

According to esoteric philosophy, one of the healing secrets of the ages this small cone-shaped gland when stimulated, stands upright, permitting the essences of the brain to blend with one’s higher intelligence or higher self.  This, is known to release tremendous power, energy, and wisdom not ordinarily tapped by wo/man and produces amazing results quickly.  These results release the kind of willpower that can move mountains.

THE WARNING SIGNS OF SUICIDE

“Manic-depression [bipolar] distorts moods and thoughts, incites dreadful behaviors, destroys the basis of rational thought, and too often erodes the desire and will to live. It is an illness that is biological in its origins, yet one that feels psychological in the experience of it; an illness that is unique in conferring advantage and pleasure, yet one that brings in its wake almost unendurable suffering and not infrequently suicide. An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness ~ By Kay Redfield Jamison

Do not believe the old myth that people who talk about suicide will not do it. They DO try it and too many succeed in doing it. If someone mentions suicide, sit up and listen! – this is a serious warning sign!

Many people contemplating suicide want more than anything for their depression and emotional pain to end.  They may let others know about their plans, because they’re not sure they want to die and they hope they’ll be rescued.  Talking about suicide isn’t a long term solution but it can help to reduce the feelings of isolation that often follow a suicide attempt and help reduce the immediate risk of suicide until you can seek professional help.

In many cases, a suicidal person will refuse help and resist going to see a professional even when you suggest it.  You must insist!  Don’t worry abut being disloyal or going against his or her wishes.  Suicide is a life-and-death emergency, and you cannot waste time trying to get their consent. You may have to take charge of the situation and get  your loved one help against his orher wishes. Breaking a confidence may feel like you’ve betrayed their trust, but you must do it—it could save their life! If you can’t get them to a hospital, call the police, most police are trained to deal with these kind of emergenices and can help take your loved one to an appropriate place for treatment.  And don’t forget to get help for yourself too.  Coping with a suicidal loved one is very difficult. You cannot cope with it alone; you need support and comfort of others, professional as well as family and friends.

“Suicide warning signs or suicidal thoughts include:

 ·       Talking about suicide — for example, making statements such as “I’m going to kill myself,” “I wish I was dead” or “I wish I hadn’t been born”

·       Getting the means to commit suicide, such as buying a gun or stockpiling pills

·       Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone

·       Having mood swings, such as being emotionally high one day and deeply discouraged the next

·       Being preoccupied with death, dying or violence

·       Feeling trapped or hopeless about a situation

·       Increasing use of alcohol or drugs

·       Changing normal routine, including eating or sleeping patterns

·       Doing risky or self-destructive things, such as using drugs or driving recklessly

·       Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order when there is no other logical explanation for why this is being done

·       Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again

·       Developing personality changes or being severely anxious or agitated, particularly when experiencing some of the warning signs listed above

 Warning signs aren’t always obvious, and they may vary from person to person. Some people make their intentions clear, while others keep suicidal thoughts and feelings secret.” MAYO CLINIC     http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/suicide/basics/symptoms/con-20033954

“I am fortunate that I have not died from my illness, fortunate in having received the best medical care available, and fortunate in having the friends, colleagues, and family that I do.”  Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., An Unquiet Mind

Stay tuned for Part II ~ Breaking The Cycle of Bipolar Disorder,, where we will look at a case study, as well as symptoms of manic depressive caused from the thyroid gland, histamines,- as well as the uses of medications, drugs, vitamins, supplements, diet, alternative healing and so much more.

When we are reacting to either food, or a situation, or a person, or to the weather, we are actually responding to a signal that started from the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland.  The signal may be in the form of comfort or discomfort, but if we could learn how to listen to these signals that are being sent to us, all the time from within us, then, we’d realize that these signals affect our moods, our behavior, our perceptions, our tastes, our habits, our attraction to other people, our appetites, our urges and so on.  Knowing your body/mind, allows you to ‘tune’ into yourself and of course to others. This allows the pituitary to analyze situations before taking action.

LINKS

Bipolar in children http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder-in-children-and-adolescents/index.shtml

http://www.foodforthebrain.org/nutrition-solutions/bipolar-disorder/about-bipolar-disorder-(manic-depression).aspx

http://www.yourfamilyclinic.com/bipolar/bipaper.html

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder-in-adults/index.shtml

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1794

http://www.planetpsych.com/zPsychology_101/gaps_in_understanding.htm

Empathy http://mysilentecho.com/dreamtongue1.htm

http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/rapid-cycling-bipolar-disorder?page=2

Thyroid Depression and Mental Health http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/thyroid-depression-mental-health/

http://www.alternativedepressiontherapy.com/Bipolar-Symptoms.html

Be with the people who are in psychosis and connect with them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4isvbxN-wGo&NR=1

How does Lithium treat Bipolar http://www.askdoctork.com/how-does-lithium-treat-bipolar-disorder-201303304593

Anne Lamott in response to Robin William’s death http://www.chapclark.com/ann-lamott-in-response-to-robin-williams-death/

WHAT IS ASPERGER’S 

“You don’t suffer from Asperger’s, you suffer from other people”   ~ Tony Attwood

“You may feel that people are blocking you from doing what you want to do. Most people want to keep things the same. In this modern world, where everything is changing so rapidly, people make conscious efforts to sustain the familiar and continue with the past. As such, any change in the directions you take may evoke anxiety in others who find it hard to adjust to your new ways, which may not fit their concept of you. Don’t be deterred by this. In fact, when people start questioning you about your new attitudes, take it as a clue that you have begun to move in the new direction you have set for yourself.” Arki Kiev, M.D.

Asperger’s Syndrome was discovered in 1944 by Dr. Hans Asperger, an Austrian pediatrician. Although Asperger’s was discovered so long ago, Dr. Asperger’s papers weren’t translated until decades later [1990’s] and the term ‘Asperger’ Syndrome was coined by Lorna Wing, who was doing her own studies of a group of children who displayed its symptoms. It was after this, that the medical field started to familiarize themselves with Asperger’s and it took years after that to start diagnosing their patients with it.

“People with Asperger’s syndrome, a highly function form of autism often report that they have difficulty recognizing complex mental states like envy and love in others. Rather than relying on their (often faulty) assessment of others’ mental states when a complex social interaction presents itself, they depend on a “library” of carefully stored memories of previous interactions when deciding how to respond. At the same time, though, people with Asperger’s syndrome are also aware of the strategy’s limitations and the computational costs of calculating, through learned contingencies, what others are feeling and thinking. Temple Grandin, an autistic professor of animal behavior, has argued that animals’ responses to social events are likewise guided by memories of previous interactions rather than theories about mental states (Grandin and Johnson 2005). Instead of analyzing beliefs and desires, animals use past performance as a guide to future behavior.

Indeed, there is almost no example of possible mental state attribution in animals that cannot also be interpreted in terms of contingency learning. People often claim that their dog feels guilty when he does something that he “knows” he shouldn’t do, like knock over the garbage container. Dogs certainly acts as if they know they have done something wrong; their Tai Chi slink is a caricature of guilt. But dogs often assume the same guilty postures if another dog, or even a human, tips over the garbage. Rather than experiencing guilt or remorse about their actions, dogs are probably responding on the basis of a learned contingency: when garbage is on the floor, people begin to shout” (Grandin and Johnson 2005) Baboon Metaphysics: The Evolution of a Social Mind ~ by Dorothy Cheney, Robert M Seyfarth

Asperger’s syndrome like ADHD is labeled a neurobiological disorder—the difference between the two is that Asperger’s has been considered a higher function of Autism. Asperger’s individuals have very sensitive, highly reactive nervous systems; they have problems with sensory overload, making it hard to process information coming to them. This is why they can overreact to changes or stressful events, which tend to produce strong physical reactions. Aspies also have a lot of difficulty reading faces or people’s reactions (verbal/nonverbal cues), which are important for social communication. In other words, Aspies have trouble interacting with others—they lack the awareness of knowing they’ve upset someone, causing relationship problems and misunderstandings.

“The whole prospect of dating is frustrating and uncomfortable to me.   When someone close to me is hurting, I don’t know how to cope. I never know how to cope! There’s so many ‘unwritten rules’ and ‘codes of conduct’; what you should and shouldn’t say and do. I’m practical and usually quite reserved; I verbally have trouble expressing my truth, and when I do try, it comes out in confusing negative ways!” Where’s the love in that!” (Asperger’s young adult wanting love without all the restrictions) 

“People don’t understand but I get hurt really easily. I’m extremely sensitive and have a tendency to react without thinking. I can’t control my emotions, it feels like they take over and as much as I’d like to hide them, the power is too great to hold in and they come out in blunt, drastic, and usually dramatic ways. I know this needs reining in but how to do it? (Teen with Asperger’s)

Aspies constantly try to use their heads to navigate through life. Their reactive, emotional states can be so contradictory because they overact to who, what, when where and how? They are extremely vigilant anticipating problems in their environment, particularly with other people. Their need to question, to pay attention to details and problems and know where others stand is their way to defend themselves from real or imagined dangers. This is why they are quickly thrown into a storm of confusion and emotional reactions. They so want to be trusted, yet their trust in others is constantly tested to alleviate their own suspicions.

 “Children and teens with this disorder have problems socializing with other children and adults, are not personable, lack social skills, and have poor eye contact. They are inflexible with their routines; become upset when interrupted; usually ask questions that are out of context, have odd behaviors; and grow obsess with objects, activities, or hobbies. They are often ostracized and rejected by peers and called “weird.” Children with Asperger’s disorder may be irritable and have mood swings and severe temper tantrums…These symptoms may be confused with the mood swings and irritability seen in youth with bipolar disorder.” New Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar Disorder ~ Boris Birmaher, M.D.

Many children with Asperger’s also may suffer from a smorgasbord of symptoms that seem to be at odds with each other. We’re looking at many different neurological disorders such as ADD/ADHD, Bi-polar, Dyspraxia, Tourettes, OCD, etc., making it harder for doctors/psychiatrists/neurologists to correctly diagnose them. Aspie’s can alternate between elation and ecstasy to suddenly becoming irritable and angry that explodes into tantrums or destructive rage. They can’t help themselves because they don’t know what’s happening to them—these moods or panic attacks just hit them. That’s where they need guardians, teachers, doctors and parents to support them physically, emotionally and socially and to help them grow into adolescence and into their adulthood.

 “Sometimes I get really angry at people in my life (parents, siblings, children, co-workers) for no reason and replay over and over memories and conversations in my head that happened yesterday or even years ago. It’s like every waking moment of my day is spent muttering angrily to myself about something and I have no control over it. When this happens, I pretty much hide in my room all day and stay mad.” (Young woman with Asperger’s syndrome)

“Prominent individuals who have forever put their mark on history in their respective field might have had the condition described by Hans Asperger… Maybe one could even speculate that historic progress has quite often been made by people with Autism Spectrum Conditions. The perseverance, drive for perfection, good concrete intelligence, ability to disregard social conventions, and not worry too much about other people’s opinions or critiques, could be seen as advantageous, maybe even a prerequisite for certain forms of new thinking and creativity.” (Gillberg 2001) 

 “Children with Asperger’s Disorder are rarely able to read social cues without specific training. They are seldom able to express empathy, except in a strained intellectual sense, with others in virtually any situation. Their anxiety in social situations can be extreme, especially if something unexpected happens.” Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children And Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger’s, Depression and other Disorders ~ Great Potential Press – edited by James T. Webb

On the positive side, I think Asperger individuals (Aspie’s) have a great talent at keeping tabs on the time, organizing and filing important papers and keeping every receipt in perfect order. They are the great achievers of our world because of their ability to focus on what’s important to them; when inspired by an idea, they’ll marshal all their forces to pursue it.  But gawd forbid if you’re three minutes late for dinner or an important meeting, Aspies have a short fuse when you mess up their schedule that was prepared precisely to the minute.

“From a neuroscience standpoint, people with Asperger’s are extremely reactive due to an enlargement in the amygdala, which along with the hippocampus in the emotional center of the brain and part of the limbic system (Adophs et al. 1995). Limbic dysfunction can account for difficulty in reading faces and judging emotions of other people (Cohen, Klin, and Schultz 1999), which is probably why some people would refer to as a deficit in theory of mind. Heightened reactivity and anxiety are almost certainly a result of the enlarged limbic areas including the hippocampus that, on the positive side, gives those with Asperger’s a tremendous long-term memory and recall.

This constant social anxiety can create a fight-or-flight mode and can cause internalized panic that could lead to making insulting statements..to some extent, that is why people with Asperger Syndrome need to make a concerned effort to try to slow down and logically think things through before expressing themselves. It is a rational way for them to compensate for this deficit. It is a great adaptive function that can serve them well.”Asperger Syndrome and Bullying: Strategies and Solutions ~ By Nick Dubin

Both of my sons have difficulty expressing their emotions in a way that they think everybody else expects them to. Instead of showing empathy by listening or giving me hugs, they show empathy by offering a solution to the problem—and most usually, they’re right!

DAILY OM printed a wonderful article called Laboring under a Label written by Madisyn Taylor…

  “We live in a culture that uses labels as a means of understanding the world and the people living in it. As a result, many of us find ourselves laboring under a label that has a negative connotation. Unless we can find a way to see the good in such a label, we may feel burdened by an idea of ourselves that is not accurate. It is important to remember that almost nothing in this world is all good or all bad, and most everything is a complex mixture of gifts and challenges. In addition, different cultures revere certain qualities over others, but this does not mean that these qualities are inherently good or bad. For example, a culture that elevates outgoing behavior will label an introvert in a negative way, calling them antisocial. In truth, the ability to spend time alone is one that most great artists, mystics, and visionaries share. Owning the positive side of this label can lead us deeper into our gifted visions and fertile imaginations.

  When we look into the lives of any of the great people in history, we always find that they had quirks and eccentricities that earned them less than ideal labels from the societies in which they lived. Many famous artists and musicians were considered to be isolated loners or disruptive troublemakers, or sometimes both, yet these people altered history and contributed to the world an original vision or advances in our understanding of the universe. If we can remember this as we examine our own selves and the labels people use to describe us, we find that there is a bright side to any characterization.

  If you have been labeled, remember that all you have to do to see the positive side is to turn the label around. For example, you may be considered to be overly emotional, and the fact that you are perceived this way may make you feel out of control. But notice, too, the gifts of being able to feel and express your emotions, even in a world that doesn’t always encourage that. You might begin to see yourself as brave and open-hearted enough to stay alive to your feelings. You may also see that there are certain paths and professions in which this is a necessary ability. As you turn your label around, the light of your true nature shines to guide you on your way. http://www.dailyom.com/articles/2014/44326.html

Both my sons have been labeled with the Asperger’s syndrome, each in varying degrees.  They are smart, articulate, persistent, organized and highly focused. They don’t openly share their feelings and inner thoughts and are very uncomfortable around emotional issues and people.  Because they struggle with understanding the physical signs of the body; which by the way is known to contradict ‘verbal’ communication, they frequently withdraw from uncomfortable encounters OR will confront people who appear contradictory.  You want the truth, ask an Aspie!!

Asperger’s often feel isolated and alienated by society. Many times when my sons were growing up and in school they were harshly treated, teased, abused and bullied or taken advantage of by others—especially from those who saw them as ‘odd’—or not as aware or adept as others. This is why Asperger’s prefer to be alone, shrink away from relationships and have only a couple of close friends.

“In working with children who suffer from Asperger’s Disorder, despite their often high intellectual functioning, one must break down every social behavior into its smaller components. For example it may be necessary to physically show the child exactly how close one typically stands when having a conversation, or to specify it is important to look directly at the face of the person with whom you are conversing. Instruction in social skills must be detailed and concrete, and it often must be repeated for several different types of situations due to the difficulty that children with Asperger’s Disorder have with generalizing. Often these children rely on rote memory for the “rules” of social interactions. Sometimes instructions do not help because the child lacks the motivation to improve social skills (lack of insight) and finds the behaviors (such as looking someone in the eyes) very uncomfortable. Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children And Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger’s, Depression and other Disorders ~ Great Potential Press – edited by James T. Webb

 “I’ll let you know right now my opinions are very strong and if we disagree, I will research your arguments into the ground even if these were disputed months or even years ago; this is the kind of stuff I obsess over. To you, it may seem ignorant when I speak but I have this problem of not being able to shut up and I can be extremely blunt with absolutely no empathy of what you’re thinking or feeling or how emotional you’ve become.” (Frank with Asperger’s)

ASPERGER’S GIFTS

Not everything that steps out of line, and thus “abnormal,” must necessarily be “inferior.” ~ Professor Hans Asperger

You’ll find most ‘gifted’ Asperger individuals studying engineering, physics, computer science, genetics, teaching, etc. Most of them are highly intelligent with above average IQ’s. They are exceptionally bright, quick thinkers and learners; they love to learn, read, watch movies, or anything that inspires them to peer deeply into the meaning of life. Their greatest desire in life is to be secure and stable. They love to process any information in an orderly and chronological manner; everything must be meticulously detailed and calculated in a step-by-step orderly manner. Everything in life ‘must’ have a logical and rational explanation—they won’t usually believe in something unless they’ve been shown the evidence or they can prove or discover it themselves. They can be quite blunt and insulting to people, unaware of the amount of force and intensity they use in their interactions—especially to those who have little self-respect or problems with their self-image.

“Prominent individuals who have forever put their mark on history in their respective field might have had the condition described by Hans Asperger… Maybe one could even speculate that historic progress has quite often been made by people with Autism Spectrum Conditions. The perseverance, drive for perfection, good concrete intelligence, ability to disregard social conventions, and not worry too much about other people’s opinions or critiques, could be seen as advantageous, maybe even a prerequisite for certain forms of new thinking and creativity.” (Gillberg 2001, p.134)

Aspie’s enjoy the high feeling they get when they assert themselves in challenging situations. They want to do the impossible to succeed where others have failed or others have said ‘it can’t be done’. If they’re reasonably sure they’ll come out on top, they will take the chance and enjoy the excitement.

Asperger’s people love the intense feeling of joy and contentment.   With emotions such as fear, irritation, disappointment or anger, they will endlessly search, analyzing the problem, until they find a solution. They’ll sit for hours searching the internet, reading books, asking questions.  Sometimes all they need is a shift in perspective to keep them on track. When they choose a solution, they apply it. If it doesn’t work, they’ll keep trying until one does.

TESTING FOR ASPERGER’S

This is an excellent site on diagnosing Asperger’s for an adult or child.

http://www.autism.org.uk/about-autism/all-about-diagnosis/diagnosis-the-process-for-children/diagnosis-what-to-expect.aspx

Have you noticed your child has problems making friends? Skips school whenever possible. Avoids eye contact? Extremely sensitive and easily hurt?   Often misinterprets what you mean or say? Has a deep special interest? Does the same thing over and over again? Panic when he or she has to do or try something new? Finds it hard to interpret gestures like head shaking? Finds empathy hard? Is his/her speech unusually formal? Any evidence of anxiety, depression, or hyper sensitivities to taste, touch, smell? Poor handwriting? Picky eater? Bullied at school and/or easily fooled and conned? Becomes easily confused or overwhelmed? Has your child expressed they must have been misplaced or from another planet? If so it’s ‘possible’ they may have Asperger’s, but you won’t know for sure unless they are properly tested.

I think all children and adults display symptoms of Asperger’s at times, which is why sometimes identifying and treating Asperger’s can be quite a challenge. In this world today, many young people are mislabeled because teachers and doctors don’t have the time or the resources to treat the symptoms and ‘not the person affected by it’.

 “A young child with Asperger’s syndrome often assumes that other people are thinking exactly what he or she is thinking; or the child assumes that other people’s words match their thoughts….each person may have very different thoughts and feelings in the same situation, and that what people say may not always correspond with what they are thinking. The Comic Strip Conversations…from the book “The Complete Guide to Asperger’s syndrome ~ by Tony Attwood

There are a few test sites for adults which I’ll post for you.   Children would need to be referred to social workers and psychologists. Though it was quite some time ago, I do remember some of the tests, where Jason and Brandon were shown picture books with children and adults in different situations. They were asked to ‘read’ their faces and if their expressions were surprised, sad, happy, angry, etc… Both Jason and Brandon scored low points in this test.

Another test I remember Brandon playing, was a game of cars with the social worker who continuously carried on a conversation with him.   Brandon was so absorbed and focused on playing with the cars, he didn’t hear or remember words spoken to him.

Both Brandon and Jason did language and logic tests which were done with a child psychologist.

Some Asperger tests are informing but should not be used as a diagnosis.

http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aqtest.html

http://www.rdos.net/eng/Aspie-quiz.php

 

ASPERGER’S AND HEALTH ISSUES

Aspies have very finely tuned central nervous systems, which cause them to be highly sensitive to environmental stimuli such as noise, fragrances, certain foods, chaos, beauty, and/or pain. All these sensitivities can cause physical reactions in the body, such allergies, nervousness, panic attacks, nausea, migraine headaches, and auto-immune diseases.

“The immune system even under normal circumstances has a marked impact on behavior. Chemicals secreted by the immune system, called cytokines, are known to bind to sites in the brain and cause changes in areas such as sleep, attention, and mood. Recently there has been speculation that immune system problems may trigger the development of autistic symptoms. This system has drawn attention because of:

 1. The unusual patterns of production of immune chemical signals and antibodies observed in individuals with autism.

 2. the recent reported rise in the rates of autism

 3. the suggestion that autism could be related to inoculation procedures and/or inflammatory disease of the intestine

 4. the use of the diet therapies to reduce possible food allergies in autistic children.

 (“Cytokines are small molecules found in miniscule concentrations in our blood stream, that affect the behavior of others cells, especially, cells of the gut and immune system. It appears that the immune system—especially allergic and inflammatory components of the immune system—rely heavily on signals from cytokines.   Cytokines are divided into several different families which are sometimes referred to as interleukins, interferons or tumor necrosis factors. There are [thirty-five] different types of cytokines and their names get very confusing…….” Bacteria for Breakfast: Probiotics for Good Health ~ By PhD, RPh Kelly Dowhower Karpa)

 Research in this area has thus far not produced any major revelations. There is, however, some evidence of reduced immune function as well as overactive immune function in children with autism…analyzing whole blood from autistic children [there was] a significantly higher production of two inflammatory response signaling chemicals–signs of an overactive immune system. It is possible that some symptoms of autism, such as sleep mood and attention problems are reduced after treatment of an infection or removal of allergens from the child’s diet because the activity of the immune system is reduced….

 A serious problem arises when the immune system attacks tissues within the body instead of outside foreign agents’ such a response can lead to autoimmune disease. The term “auto” in from of immune system refers to a response against “self”…Research indicates an increased rate of autoimmune diseases in families of children with autism, the most common being Type 1 Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis (adult form) systemic lupus, and hypothyroidism.” The Development of Autism ! Thomas L. Whitman

CANDIASIS

 “When bacteria are present as part of the gut’s normal flora, the very presence of the bacteria stimulates white blood cells and epithelial cells to secrete cytokines. These cytokines, then, serve as signals to other components of the immune system.   Cytokines can send allergic signals, inflammatory signals, or anti-allergy/anti-inflammatory signals.   The type of signal that is transmitted depends upon the type of bacteria present; different species of bacteria stimulate release of different cytokines. As you are probably beginning to see, the bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract play an important role in determining the actions of the entire immune system…..it is the balance of cytokines that controls initiation of allergies/inflammation, perpetuation of allergies/inflammation or the cessation of allergies/inflammation.” Bacteria for Breakfast: Probiotics for Good Health ~ By PhD, RPh Kelly Dowhower Karpa

There are so many disorders related to candida that I’m sure not to have listed them all. Candida can be the cause of anxiety, multiple sclerosis, OCD, allergies, food intolerances (make one forgetful and super emotional/irritable), migraines, learning disabilities, celiac disease, dyslexia, acne, dyspraxia, epileptic seizures, bipolar disorder, bed wetting, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, psychosis, substance abuse, depression, impaired social skills and perception, eczema, psoriasis, touch and light sensitivity, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, asthma, and lupus. If you’d like to know more about Candida, you can look at it here

MOOD SWINGS

Histamine is a chemical that’s naturally found everywhere in the body and in all foods too. It’s plays an important part in stimulating the hypothalamus to release vital chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and norephinephrine. With too little histamine, dopamine levels are elevated — Dopamine’s a chemical that produces anxiety, stress, nervousness and aggression. When levels of dopamine are elevated, a person may feel insecure, paranoid and/or fearful.

Histamine becomes a problem when its levels sink too low or rise too high.   It can have a bizarre affect on mood swings—an almost Jekyll and Hyde behavior. It can create paranoia, obsessive-compulsive behavior (OCB), tension and depression.   Histamine also acts on the nose, throat, eyes, lungs, skin, and even the gastrointestinal tract, triggering the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Both serotonin and norepinephrine are important chemicals that affect our moods and mental well-being. People with low serotonin levels can suffer from mood swing and anxiety as well as internal anger and depression. These people may gravitate to some sort of an addiction such as alcohol, drugs, overeating, or become workaholics, perfectionists or procrastinators.

Children with Asperger’s also suffer from low serotonin levels causing them to become unfocused and lose memory and concentration. They too may overeat or eat sugary, starchy foods causing an override in their systems; then their insulin kicks in and they suffer from an extreme drop in blood sugar, causing a vicious circle of eating more sugary foods again.

We find out who we are by action. Action makes us and creates our future. It has been said that those suffering from mood swings and even bipolar are not living a life that is in accordance with their own inner nature….they have unfulfilled potential. Their roller-coaster emotions and boundless energies take a dramatic plunge into bleak depression. Many have and can utilize their dramatic abilities and extravagant behaviors to inspire others.

“In its mild state, bipolar disorder allows people to produce very high levels of intense creative output. There is a large body of evidence showing that creative people have a much higher likelihood of developing various mental illnesses, such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, then the general population.” Mind-Body Health and Stress Tolerance ~ by David Jameson

We’ll be discussing bipolar in great length in the next article on this blog.

One of the most important nutritional supplements for neurological problems is essential fatty acids (EFA’s). That’s because our brain is made up of mostly lipids (fats),and EFAs aid in brain development. It is best to get the wild, triple fish oils as well as flaxseed, evening primrose and borage oil. All these have shown to help decrease inflammation and increase feelings of well-being.  Calcium and magnesium are also useful for their calming effect on the nervous system. Grape seed extract is a powerful antioxidant and protects the cells of the brain and body. The dosage depends on the size and age of your child. Follow directions on the labels.

POOR MUSCLE TONE

I’ve included this as a health issue as both my sons suffered with muscle spasms, clumsiness, jerkiness, muscle tension and lack of coordination as children. They frequently fell, tripped or bumped into things and people. Poor muscle tone can interfere with the circulation and lymph flow of the body causing muscle weakness, extreme fatigue, indifference, constipation, and lack of feeling. This can also create problems in the intestines, causing bacteria, gas, leaky gut and candida to grow.

‘Leaky gut’, allows undigested food particles from the intestines into the bloodstream that normally wouldn’t get through—the body sees these particles as invaders and attacks them. If these particles resemble molecules of your own body, then the immune system can start attacking them—as in the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This form of the body attacking the body is quite possibly the most common cause of thyroid problems. The pattern begins with an overproduction of thryoxine and as the ‘attacks’ become more frequent, then the thyroxine levels drop, leaving you hypothyroid.

“Muscles absorb and respond to tensions and feelings.  If they do not relax sufficiently following stress, then the tension accumulates and causes deeper, long-lasting damage. If this continues over a period of time, the muscles become set and fixed in this restricted form. This is where you “hold” issues, emotions and trauma.  Frozen anger, fear, or grief creates a kind of body armour, which further blocks and holds back feelings, locking the musculature into fixed positions…

The muscles enable all the bodily systems to function, such as circulation, digestion, breathing, and nerve impulses.  Their freedom of movement is essential for optimum health. When the muscles are restricted…your energy will be unable to flow smoothly…Stress release and emotional expression are therefore essential for muscle ease. Exercise is also vital–it not only releases muscular tension but psycho/emotional tension as well.” YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro

 ANXIETY AND STRESS

When the brain’s blood supply is redirected for ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ in the body, our logic center or creative center simply shuts down. With the shutdown, the synchronization of brain function is lost and we cannot ‘think’ clearly. Anxiety and stress can also cause a number of physical symptoms such as: high blood pressure and hyper-intense muscles, leading to stiffness, clumsiness and aching limbs and joints.   Increased muscular tension is also an aspect of the flight/fight reflex which is associated with an increase of adrenalin/epinephrine fueled by the adrenalin glands.

The sympathetic nervous system is often referred to as the “fright, fight or flight” system—when these nerves are stimulated it’s usually because something is seen as a danger, epinephrine (adrenaline) is then secreted by the adrenal glands. When epinephrine levels are high in the blood we experience pounding heartbeats, shivering, sweats, trembling legs, dry mouth, and shallow rapid breathing. Mentally we feel completely ‘wound up’ and in some cases anger or the feeling of losing control.

Aspies have a highly reactive sympathetic nervous system When out of power Aspies can become frightened and disoriented and in their effort to orient themselves may turn to addictive substances such as alcohol and drugs. They may berate themselves later because in truth they are extremely health conscious except when taken suddenly off balanced.

When we lack faith in ourselves, we find ourselves repeating patterns and continually living to the beliefs and habits we rigidly rely on and cling to for familiarity.   In this day and age, the pace of change is picking up and many of us, in an effort to control our lives are finding it increasingly overwhelming. No matter how slow or fast, life never stops changing and changes are necessary steps, allowing us to move forward and reshape ourselves.

Our need to do, to succeed, and to accomplish is often a deeper need to feel loved and accepted. Aspies are great achievers; they’re extremely good at focusing what is important to them. These people need to seek and find supportive environments that will honor their brilliant remarkable minds. In turn, Aspies need to devote time to slowing down and observing their reactions/tensions and using them as messages to learn more about themselves.  They also need to realign their values and focus on ways that their goals are not just about them but in helping to improve the quality of other people’s lives.

REALIGNING YOUR VALUES

Aspies don’t always know what feelings their experiencing as they confront certain issues in their lives.  To remain physically relaxed, they need to stretch or do deep breathing throughout the day.  As an Aspie, you need to get plenty of exercise and lots of fresh air.  Disciplines like Karate, Aikido, Tia Chi, Yoga, etc., are excellent in keeping your body balanced.  Observe your tensions and use them as a message from which you can learn more about yourself.

If you feel frustrated, hurt or angry at someone’s response to what you’ve asked or said, don’t jump down their throat…step back in your mind, take a deep breath and examine your motivation for communication.   ask yourself “what is it I wanted from this exchange. How did I expect or want the person to respond? In this way, you learn more about yourself as well as giving the other the opportunity to learn more you and him or her self.

You need to become conscious of your expectations…focus more on the moment-to moment process and less on the end result.  Let TIME be your friend and not a constant opponent that you’re always fighting with.  Get lost in the moment and lift the pressure of your self-imposed deadlines and plan realistically, then do the best you can in each moment.

Concentrate on drawing your self-esteem and sense of identity from all that you are, rather than what you do.  See that what you do is only a partial expression of your energy.

Begin to look at your work in terms of how you can help others. By helping others you are also helping yourself to grow happier, freer and more relaxed and fully alive human being.  This in truth is what we all want.

The effects of these changes of attitude toward your life and work will be profound.  You’ll find yourself being more relaxed, flowing through your day without getting ruffled by the things that used to bother you.  You’ll be less tired with more energy to do the things you want to do.

MEDITATION

Meditation is a technique that will enable the mind and body to become quiet so we can focus our attention on the inner self. Ironically our search inward will ultimately lead us outward, past the self-centered preoccupations of the ego, to an openness with life.   If our entire focus were on ourselves we would eventually reach a dead end. But when we go off in search of our souls, we are going beyond the self, looking for more meaning than the limits of the self can provide. When we go past the ego, we open our perceptions to a greater scheme of things.

If we can learn to trust that a greater power than our own exists, and if we allow ourselves to go past our limitations, we will discover that we are capable of transcending the boundaries of the self and that we have a wealth of resources available to us. By using the power of faith to take us past the immediately obvious, into the realm of beyond, we will find a place where life is constantly in a dynamic state of change and growth and where our imagination is stronger than our will.

Links to follow….

Interview with Temple Grandin on autism http://www.autism-help.org/story-temple-grandin-autism.htm

Children and Asperger’s   http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/brain/asperger.html#a_Treating_Asperger_Syndrome

What does it mean to have Asperger’s Syndrome      http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/aspergers-diary/200804/what-does-it-mean-have-asperger-syndrome

Meditation for Asperger’s  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yvuylRojMg

Excellent article on Asperger’s  http://nymag.com/news/features/autism-spectrum-2012-11/

 

 

 

“I have ADD. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been messy, disorganized, talk too fast and write way too fast. I’m always anxious and can’t sit still; I start something then move onto something else so quickly, I can’t focus on the first thing to get it done. I used to cheat at school…the only thing that saved me was my creative abilities…I was put in every music/art class my high school offered. My focus is incredible when I’m doing what I love but doing stuff I don’t like or don’t want to do is a nightmare and that causes many problems. I have so many unfinished projects. (College student)

“My son has ADHD and is totally addicted, obsessed and consumed with video games. The strangest thing is, they help tremendously to calm him down and he notices the fine detail and frames better than me.” (Father of child with ADHD)

“People will be talking to me and my head or my mind will suddenly travel and drift off into outer space..then I’m come back and try to catch-up and listen but then my thoughts or day-dreams take me off to somewhere else…I doze off at the oddest moments (Andy with ADD)

Not that long ago there was little support or information available to help us understand learning and mental disorders.   Those afflicted with learning and mental disorders were basically on their own causing them to feel more and more pessimistic and withdrawn. Their families and those around them were in denial and they would blame themselves repeatedly on what looked like failures in their lives. Society told them to get on with their lives and pull themselves together yet they didn’t know how. To anyone on the outside, it appeared they weren’t in control of themselves.

It wasn’t until the beginning of the 21st century that mental disorders came out of the closet and were considered a ‘real illness’. Actors/actresses and authors admitted and openly discussed their stories of mood disorders and treatments; it was a true relief from those who suffered from inexplicable sensitivities and dramatic mood swings.

Every aspect of the way you live will influence the mind/body system and the thousands of neurons in the brain. The brain and body work as a mind/body connection–especially when the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) are in balance or in sync together. From the food we eat, to everyday stresses, to the chemical pollutants that get into our bodies, all these affect our behavior, causing nerve fibres to become tangled in our brains.

 “From a bodymind perspective every illness has a psycho/emotional connection; some are simply more obvious than others. There is no clear separation between what is happening in the mind and what is happening in the body. Both the physical problems that arise and the mental battles that rage within have the same importance.

 Mental and emotional disorders are real, and they are not necessarily cured by medical intervention. Anti-depressants are not a cure. Most of the therapies available aim to normalize according to society’s idea of what normal is, although more holistic and sympathetic systems are now emerging that treat the person, recognizing that each of us is a unique individual with specific needs.” YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro

Why are more and more children being classified with this disorder? Many of the children labeled as ADD/ADHD are diagnosed through their behavior and not measured through neurological testing. So any child who doesn’t follow the basic law of standards and rules by a school are diagnosed with some kind of learning disorder. In many cases children are being labeled with ADHD when, in fact, they are simply normal kids who are particularly bright and have a need to explore the subjects he or she are passionate about and that will stimulate and build their willingness to learn. Some children suffer from dyxpraxia; which is basically a problem in knowing what to do and how to go about doing it.

INDIGO CHILDREN

“Indigo Children are children who are brilliant and creative yet unconventional. Many of them are psychic, highly emotionally sensitive, or highly physically sensitive. Some of them have attention deficit disorder or learning disabilities. Some of them are angry or nonconformist, while others are exceptionally tolerant and compassionate. Indigo Children can be spiritually advanced beyond their years. Your Indigo child may have some but not all of these attributes. The main thing to know about Indigo Children is they don’t fit into a mold. They’re different, and they are here to change the world.” ~The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Indigo Children ~ by Wendy H. Chapman, Carolyn Flynn

I hummed and hawed about adding the indigo children. What actually changed my mind was the color ‘indigo’ itself; a color not only difficult to describe but difficult to perceive as well.   Its inky blackness is unstable; an elusive color—known to dissolve boundaries; it seduces and liberates or overwhelms the mind. Indigo exists between purple and blue; sometimes almost black and ‘always’ with a hew of red. It’s associated with the 6th chakra (3rd eye) which is in the region of the brain, eyes, ears, nose, pineal and pituitary glands.

(Too much of the color indigo can decrease the function of the thyroid gland affecting one’s thoughts, speech as well as fatigue, muscles aches and weakness. This is discussed later on in this blog.)

“The health issues related to the sixth emotional centre span from ailments of the brain, eyes and ears to broader themes of learning and developmental problems. As with the other emotional centers, if we are discussing a part of the body, the illness is often caused by certain thoughts and behavior patterns. However, when discussing the larger themes, the thoughts and behaviors do not stand as the cause; they are merely a factor that exacerbates certain tendencies, such as ADHD or dyslexia.….

 People who struggle with health in the sixth emotional center have an imbalance in how they see and learn from the world. Some are rooted in the earthly realm, with no connection to the greater universe, and others are totally connected to the mystical realm without a foot on the earthly plane. Finding a way to balance the input of both these realms when facing life’s ups and downs bring health in the sixth emotional center.” All is Well: Heal your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition ~ Louise L. Hay, Mona Lisa Schulz

Something I’ve noticed with ADHD individuals in regard to the chakras, is at times the 3rd chakra (yellow) and the 2nd chakra (orange) can pulsate causing them to feel irritable, unsettled and anxious. When these chakras fluctuate between overactive and underactive, we become unbalanced and absorb way too much information from our environment.   This causes tension and stress to buildup, causing irrational thoughts and hyperactivity.

Physically this can cause intense headaches and affect the whole digestive process from the stomach, liver, spleen, kidneys, right into the intestines. When our stomachs can’t digest new ideas and experiences not only food is poorly absorbed in our system but our thoughts and feelings as well. When the stomach is rigid or tense we are resisting or holding onto things that should normally pass through our bodies. Indigestion can reflect on the skin causing blemishes, eczema, and psoriasis, which metaphysically, are caused by confusing thought patterns, frustration and the inability to make our needs understood.

MY SON IS ADHD

My oldest son was diagnosed with ADHD in grade school, and I know for a fact, he took great pleasure in defying anything that had to do with rules or tasks that weren’t creative. In preschool he’d roll around on the floor, often rolling up to the teacher and try to tickle her toes. When it was reading time, all the kids would sit in a circle except Jason who’d constantly fidget and rock his body to and fro or comically march around the room, creating havoc. At home, he wasn’t as hyper at school but always seemed to crave some kind of movement.   Health-wise he suffered from multiple earaches as a child and as a teen struggled with psoriasis and acne.

ADD/ADHD’ers are sensitive, hyper, impulsive, inattentive, extremely bright and highly animated adults and kids; they’re always on the move and have trouble sitting still.   It can be hard to prove some children display ADHD tendencies because all kids display some ADHD behaviors. ADD/ADHD people don’t understand linear time, their thinking is scattered; they have trouble establishing priorities and organizing their lives; they can drive everyone around them crazy.

“It’s..understandable that people might think children with ADHD have brains that process faster than their peers. However…people with ADHD actually suffer from an increased amount of slow brain waves, as evidenced by electroencephalograms (EEGs) (American Psychiatric Association 2013). These slow waves are the “sleepy” theta waves that are seen in ultimate relaxation or stage-two sleep. “This means they are producing theta slow waves (4-8Hz) when they should be producing beta fast waves (12-21Hz),”…this disorder is “related to ‘under arousal’ of the frontal and prefrontal brain systems that regulate attention and impulse control. Children who demonstrate symptoms of ADHD often show smaller and/or slower than normal physiological reactions to stimuli,” and this shows that their brains operate at lower levels of excitement…

 … such children can tend to seek stimulation from their external environment, which can present as hyperactivity and/or impulsivity… This is why it seems as though children with ADHD need to get their energy out in a very excessive manner! They appear almost like energy junkies. They gravitate toward activities that produce emotional and sensory stimulation, which seem to be more action-oriented, offering immediate rewards. Things such as “loud music, colorful toys, big motion outside activities, action-packed video games, and so forth offer the right stimulation” (Managing your ADHD Child 2000-2011).” Toddlers & ADHD: Relief for Parents, A Guide for Clinicians and Teachers ~ Donna Mac LCPC

When Jason was being tested for ADHD, I was learning and obtaining my license to drive school bus part-time. Interestingly, when I was given my bus schedule for the new school year in September, the children on my routes were all Special Needs. Each child was to be independently driven to their appropriate school to avoid becoming overexcited by other children on the bus. The parents to these children were astounding! They were such compassionate, spiritual souls—eagerly sharing what they’d learned about alternative medicines and information to help me understand their children and my own son. As I digested all the information, I realized that I had been trying to mould my son into the type of child that I wanted instead of accepting the child that I had been given. For the first time in my life I was looking at the “problem” from his perspective and found out that my attempts to “change him for the better” must have appeared to him as if I was rejecting him; trying to change him into something that he was not. Jason was teaching Me!

I discovered different aspects to my son’s character that I never knew existed because I was reacting and too focused on his behavioral problems. I received a great deal of inspiration when I thought all avenues had been exhausted. It is such an amazing feeling to receive help from people who understood, and took the trouble to offer such kind and helpful advice. Hopefully we can share the same kind of energy.

 “The child labeled with ADD is given medication to keep him calm, but no one seems to know why he’s hyperactive, and some adults never even ask the question. The reality may be that he’s just not interested in what this world is teaching him. These oft-gifted and highly misunderstood children already know much of what’s being taught and seek challenges elsewhere. The fact that children labeled with ADD can focus on anything at all should tell you this label is false. That the youngster may not want to pay attention in school but can focus on a video game for hours should tell you it’s the subject matter, not the child that needs to be addressed.” Healing with Source: A Spiritual Guide to Mind-Body Medicine ~ Dave Markowitz

I’ve noticed ADD/ADHD’ers are the first to react to what is happening to them at the moment. They are affected by what’s happening in their environment and especially when something’s off. It’s as if they were born with extreme sensitivities, making them aware of all kinds of subtle messages from outside and inside; many of them are empathic, psychic and very sensitive to their environment. This also means they are easily overwhelmed by touch and clothing against their skin. My son would cry when his shoes felt too tight, or his socks seemed lumpy. He’d scream and yell, at home or at school, until he yanked them off and hurled them away. He hated baths, wouldn’t wear hats or mittens even when it was freezing outside. Getting him to eat was also very difficult—he used to hide his food in his cheeks like a chipmunk.

You can’t be a traditional parent, to ADD/ADHD’ers and you can’t educate them in the traditional way….these kids and adults are very creative and relate best to activities/courses that allow them to explore their creativity. You won’t find an ADHD’er behind the desk doing accounting or talking business on the phone. These special people are the performers, actors, musicians, writers, teachers, photographers and designers of our world. They have unique visual perceptions and often see energies others don’t usually see. They are tuned into something that most of us only get glimpses of—they are tuned into a higher spiritual vibration.

“The ADD/ADHD patient compensates for the increased theta production with hyperactivity. For example, have you ever driven down a road late at night and found yourself becoming sleepy? What do you do? Open the window, turn up the volume on the radio [and sing loudly], or tap the dashboard? You make yourself hyperactive to stay awake! The ADD/ADHD patient that is producing too many slow waves is in a perpetual state of fogginess and is constantly trying to stay awake—hence the hyperactivity” (Brain and Body Solutions n.d.). This is what student with ADHD do in school—they fidget, wiggle, shift body position, and tap their pencils in an attempt to stay focused and awake, which are observations I make on a daily basis at the therapeutic day school where I work. Toddlers & ADHD ~ Donna Mac, LCPC

ADD/ADHD And The BRAIN

“A variety of factors mold your brain and determine how you ultimately pay attention. If your mother was stressed when pregnant with you, especially in the first trimester, her elevated androgen levels would have altered how your right and left brain perceive the world. In addition to an increased risk of dyslexia, you’re less likely to develop the traditional focused attention. You atypical attention style is likely to give you exaggerated empathetic and intuitive gifts and possibily creative and artistic skills. If a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, however, all attention pathways in the fetal brain become disordered. Alcohol not only damages the developing corpus callosum, the connection between the right and left brain, but also injures developing white-matter nerve pathways involved in every aspect of attention. Children and adults with fetal alcohol syndrome suffer the most severe forms of attention deficit disorder, with profound hyperactivity so disabling that they have trouble functioning in the world.” The New Feminine Brain ~ Mona Lisa Schulz

The brain is what helps us to make sense of the world, taking in information from your environment and sending messages throughout your body. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch are not only an essential part of our memories, they help to understand the changes happening around us. But any change in the brain, even the most subtlest change, can have a major impact on our feelings, thoughts and action.

The right brain, left brain look very similar and share much of the work in thinking. However, each side has special tasks. The left side of the brain enables us to figure out problems logically, to speak and write, to understand science and numbers. The right side is your creative side—this is where your vivid imagination and artistic ability comes from and your love for music.

“In the last decade, neurobiologists have reported structural differences in at least two regions of the human brain.   One is the corpus callosum, the mind’s big “telephone” cable, connecting as it does hundreds of millions of neurons between the two hemispheres. The other is the hypothalamus, the master controller for the integration of many basic behavioral patterns from temperature regulation and appetite to sex drives—involving brain and endocrine functions, Neuroendocrine research also strongly indicates that nervous system differences begin as sex hormones bathe the developing fetus in the womb. Hormonal differences continuing through childhood—and perhaps even through adult life—affect brain activity and guide performance. Other studies suggest that men and women may process the same information differently and yet come to the same of similar conclusion.” Kathryn Phillips

Neurotransmitters

A neurotransmitter is a brain chemical specifically for communication to happen between brain cells. It’s incredible that these neurotransmitters can zigzag and flash through the mass of brain neurons at speeds of up to 150 mph carrying your every thought and feelings. Of the 100 identified, the one’s best known are: acetylcholine, dopamine, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin.

Acetycholine controls the brain’s speed, creativity, self-esteem, criticism, short-term memory, language, sensory impressions and interpretations, speech, reading and thought. It also controls all muscle contractions. Both stress and poor diet can cause acetycholine to decline.

Dopamine is the brains revitalizer. It controls energy release, energy consumption, drive and excitement about new ideas. It also keeps us alert and vigilant, controlling the release of the hormones norepinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol for the fight/flight response. When dopamine levels are low, these control circuits are sluggish, slow to respond, and less effective. (Many ADHD kids are low in iron and iron is needed to make dopamine.)

Dopamine levels are affected by serotonin, norepinephine and GABA. For example higher levels of serotonin have been known to decrease the level of dopamine. If there isn’t enough dopamine, it’s more difficult for people to feel creative, happy, calm and objective.

GABA works to stop excess nerve signals and keeps the brain from getting out of control. It controls the brain’s rhythm of thinking, talking and hearing and calms and quiets the brain. With ADD/ADHD children and adults GABA levels are low causing them to feel hyper, anxious, and lethargic.

Serotonin is the brains’ mood rejuvenator but too much can cause depression and too little causes us to be impulsive, aggressive, anxious, restless, and compulsive.

Everyday our neuropeptides try to work hard to keep us functioning at a peak performance but chemicals, food coloring, sugar, trans-fats, food preservatives, traffic fumes, second hand smoke, stress, anxiety and lack of sleep slows them down. One of the best ways to boost your dopamine is exercise, swimming, biking walking and running. Playing board games and computer games help to replenish dopamine too. Walking in nature enhances GABA, and creative writing (poems, songs) help to restore acetylcholine. Violent movies and loud ‘hard’ music or angry words decrease the production of acetylcholine.

“Due to the nature of this disorder, what a child with ADHD actually needs is more stimulation within his brain, so he doesn’t need to gain that stimulation from the environment around him. Have you ever noticed a child with ADHD jumping on a coffee table when he is at an age where he is well aware this is not acceptable behavior? He is trying to self-stimulate through this type of inappropriate movement, to get his brain to a baseline level of arousal. Another common misconception of ADHD is “this child just has to learn he isn’t supposed to jump on tables.” However ADHD is not a disorder of inability to learn; it’s a disorder of an inability to self-regulate. Therefore, he has learned he isn’t supposed to do this. All toddlers obviously crave movement, and movement is crucial for proper brain development. However, there is a normal range and an excessive range for movement in toddlerhood.” Toddlers & ADHD ~ Donna Mac, LCPC

The Left and Right Hemisphere of the Brain

Seen from above, the human brain is divided in two parts and looks similar to two halves of a walnut—these two halves are called the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere. The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and the right hemisphere controls the left. Signals from your sense organs cross over before they enter your brain, going to the opposite hemispheres.

“Those who have suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, commonly called a ‘stroke’, provide clear examples of how this kind of cross-over operates. A stroke in the right hemisphere of the brain will affect victims on the left side of the body. Thus, they can lose control over the muscles in the left hand, left leg, and the left side of the face (including that side of the tongue and mouth). A stroke to the left part of the brain will similarly affect the right side of the body.” Psycholinguistics: Language, Mind and World ~ By Danny D. Steinbert, Hiroshi Nagata, David P. Aline

For the last two hundred years or so, scientists discovered that language and language related capabilities are mainly located in the left hemisphere of most people—approximately 98 percent of right-handers and about two-thirds of left-handers. Because speaking and talking are vitally important in our world, scientists called the left hemisphere dominant and the right side ‘less evolved’ or ‘minor’ and ‘less advanced’ than the left.

It’s only been recently that neuroscience began to understand we have a double brain with two ways of knowing. These two hemispheres (right brain, left brain), perceive reality in their own way and though separate, are joined by a ‘boomerang-shaped band of fibers’ or bridge called the corpus callosum which allows the left brain and right brain to process and relay information between each other.

Children and adults with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and autism have a smaller corpus callosum, which means that they have more difficulty processing outside stimuli. They are easily distracted and alarmed with constant new stimuli bombarding them. This is why most children and adults with ADD function better in classes with fewer children.

THE MEDULLA OBLONGATA AND THE SENSES

At the base of your brain stem is what’s called the Medulla Oblongata. This area at the back of the neck feeds nerve energy to our five senses. When our nerve energy becomes depleted, it’s unable to reach our ears, eyes, throat or mouth. We need our senses to function in the world…every move we make, every bite we eat, every object we touch produces a sensation.

Our senses also tell us when something in our environment doesn’t feel right; the hypothalamus in the brain is what turns the stress switch on and we immediately prepare ourselves for the fight or flight response. When our senses let us know all is well, we relax, feel safe and look for much of the same…if we’re bored we look for something that stimulates us higher.

To do their job well, all the senses have to work together. Together they nourish the brain with many sensations urging us to develop more to improve physically, mentally and emotionally.

But many adults and children who suffer from learning disabilities or some kind of mental illness struggle with the basic ordinary sensations; for some reason their sensitive systems become overloaded and overwhelmed very quickly. It’s difficult for them to know what they feel inside—when this happens, they can become disoriented, confused and lose touch with themselves—this affects their behavior, the way they react, move, learn and relate to others. It also affects how they feel about themselves. Because their central nervous systems have trouble processing through the five senses, they have a hard time functioning in daily life. They look ok on the outside and have a superior intelligence but may be awkward, fearful and withdrawn, or hostile and aggressive. Many adults and children with attention deficit disorder, asperger’s, autism, bi-polar, tourette’s syndrome, and schizophrenia often suffer from low self-esteem and self worth because of their unique condition. Unaware teachers, peers and/or parents may even ridicule them.

“According to the Louise Hay affirmation theory, the health of the sixth emotional center—the brain, eyes, and ears—involves a capacity to be receptive to information and a flexibility to think and reason your way out of situations.

The brain is like a computer, receiving information, processing it, and then carrying out the proper function. Information travels from every part of our body to the brain and from the brain to the body’ however, the brain can be sidetracked in its job by its emotional components such as fear, anger, and inflexibility. All is Well: Heal your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition ~ Louise L. Hay, Mona Lisa Schulz

TOXIC BRAIN SYNDROME

“Of all the body’s systems and processes, the endocrine system is the most susceptible to daily stresses such as thoughts, emotions, environmental factors, nutrition and pollutants. An imbalance in this system can interfere with our ability to sustain health and some of the symptoms can manifest as depression, mood swings, weight or sleep issues, lethargy, low self-esteem, fuzzy brain, loss of libido, headaches, allergies, fatigue, and general aches and pains.” YOUR PERSONAL TUNING FORK: The Endocrine System ~ Deborah Bates

For many children where there seems to be no specific learning disability, there is a condition called toxic brain syndrome which is caused by environmental and dietary toxins, food additives, processed foods, and drugs, and poor nutrition. Food colorings and a preservative called ‘sodium benzoate is know to affect the nervous, immune and hormonal systems, causing hyperactivity in adults and children.

ALLERGIES AND CANDIDA CAN CAUSE LEARNING PROBLEMS

If you suspect you or your child suffer from allergies, talk to your health professional about natural healing alternative. More information about allergies and candida can be found here and here.

When you have an allergic reaction, your body releases histamine into your system, which is the cause of most of your symptoms. Allergies are a symptom of an overloading of toxins in the body, expressed through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat as well as the skin.

Allergies and chemical sensitivities may be responsible for some learning problems, as they allow cytokines to enter the bloodstream and affect normal brain function. Cytokines play a key role in cellular messaging, talking to cells how they should act or react to certain situations. Cytokines, are produced by the cells of the nervous system, and the cells of the immune system, binding to sites in the brain, causing changing in areas such as sleep, attention and mood. Recently there has been speculation that immune system problems may trigger the development ADD/ADHD symptoms.

“Inside the brain, histamine plays an important role in all sorts of reactions [including allergies]. In the hypothalamus, histamine stimulates the release of the important neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Another role of brain histamine is to counterbalance dopamine in that area of the brain that filters incoming sensory information. With too little histamine, dopamine levels can be elevated. The result of having too little histamine can be thought disorders like paranoia, or hallucinations that feel as if your mind is playing tricks on you. You may see or hear things abnormally, and your ears may ring. You will probably make grandiose plans but never have the energy to carry them out….

When histamine levels are abnormally high, there is a tendency to hyperactivity, depression, aggressiveness, compulsive behavior and a racing brain. You may grow obsessive about sex, cry easily, have abnormal fears and contemplate suicide.” 7 Weeks to Emotional Healing ~ Joan Mathews Larson, Ph.D

Your intestinal tract naturally contains small amounts of Candida yeast. But in some cases because of anti-biotics, birth control pills or a high carbohydrate diet, this can cause an overgrowth of the candida yeast, causing candidiasis.   Candidiasis and allergies are so closely linked, they are most often paired together.

Candida becomes a problem when food in the intestines ferments instead of digesting. This overgrowth can penetrate the intestinal lining and find its way into the circulatory/blood system. Some people refer to this as “leaky gut”. What happens with ‘leaky gut’, is undigested food particles (partially digested proteins, fats and bacteria) pass through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream.   The body/immune system in an attempt to protect itself attacks these foreign substances and therefore launches an allergic response. Sometimes the immune system can’t determine the foreign substance and in its confusion to obliterate it, starts attacking the body—this is called an autoimmune disease—the self attacking self.

One of the most common mental complaints of candida is brain fog or difficulty concentrating. Psychological symptoms can cause a variety of symptoms such as: depression, angry outbursts, mood swings, obsessive compulsive behavior (OCB), panic attacks, paranoia, personality changes and even schizophrenic behavior. When candida is treated successfully, the psychological symptoms dissipate as well.

IMMUNIZATIONS/VACCINATIONS

This is such a controversial subject that I honestly don’t have enough knowledge about. I’ve suggested some sites for you to read and increase your awareness about it.

http://www.mercola.com/article/vaccines/neurological_damage.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpPW0lV0WbU

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/75333.php

http://gizmodo.com/5885757/vaccines-dont-cause-autism-please-vaccinate-your-children

ADHD And HYPOTHYROIDISM

In the section on Indigo Children, we touched on the fact that too much of the color, indigo (6th chakra) depresses the performance of the thyroid. The third eye also known as the pineal gland lies deep in the brain and has no direct access to light. Instead it ‘sees’ through our eyes and the amount of light registered on the pineal through the eyes determines the production of melatonin. Melatonin helps to regulates the breakdown of T4 (thyroxine) into the more energetic form, T3 for the thyroid.

“Thyroxine (T4), the main thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid is a small molecule that contains four iodine atoms. In the cells of many organs (including the brain), a well-regulated process causes thyroxine to lose iodine, generating the much more potent thyroid hormone T3. In the brain, probably more so than in any other organ, T3 rather than T4 appears to be the critical form of the hormone that regulates cell functions. Because the amount of T3 present in the brain must remain in an optimal range to keep the mind functioning properly, fluctuations in the crucial process of converting T4 to T3 will inevitably affect the mind.” The Thyroid Solution: A Revolutionary Mind-Body Program for Regaining your ~ Ridha Arem

Melatonin affects our mood, menstrual cycles, estrogen levels, sperm levels and ovulation. When too much of this hormone is in our system, especially during daylight hours, we can suffer mental confusion and depression, skin problems and many other health complications.   People suffering from depression also tend to have large amounts of cortisol, a hormone produced from the adrenal glands, in their bloodstream. Too much cortisol suppresses the thyroid and immune system, resulting in lethargy, irritability, overeating, low self-esteem and mood changes.

Stress, illness and poor diet can easily affect the thyroid gland. The thyroid uses foods such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats and minerals as fuel. This gland coverts food into energy, not only controlling the body’s growth and temperature, it also controls every cell in the body as well. Your skin, complexion and even your outward appearance is affected by the thyroid. It’s the engine of your body and when it goes into low gear, the whole body is affected.

“The thyroid system is one of the body’s most rightly and precisely regulated systems, Minute changes in the way thyroid hormone is delivered to or dispersed in the brain can have drastic effects on mood, emotions, attention and thinking. A problem with the delivery of T3 can cause disorders ranging from depression to attention deficit in people with normally functioning thyroids. Neuroscientists are teaching us the wide range of ways in which T3 regulates brain function and the brain chemistry syndromes that are likely to result from the alteration of the thyroid hormone levels in the brains of people with normally functioning thyroid glands…..

In patients suffering from generalized resistance to thyroid hormone, thyroid hormone levels could affect other chemical transmitters such as noradrenaline, which is considered to be one of the culprits in ADHD. In such patients, the behavioral symptoms, such as distractibility and restlessness, may improve the T3 treatment. Thyroid hormone treatment could be used alone or in conjunction with other medications to regulate the noradrenaline levels in the brain. The Thyroid Solution: A Revolutionary Mind-Body Program for Regaining your ~ Ridha Arem

Sometimes a genetic defect can cause the thyroid hormone to work less efficiently in the brain, pituitary, and other organs.   Although tests show thyroid levels normal, the brain may actually be deficient in the hormone causing attention deficit disorders. Talk to your doctor about this and he or she will be able to do further tests to determine this.

“To address the thought patterns underlying ADHD, Louise suggests the affirmation “Life loves me. I love myself just the way I am. I am free to create a joyous life that works for me. All is well in my world.” But she also recommends you use other affirmations that address some of the common traits of the disorder. For example, the hyperactivity associated with ADHD is often accompanied by thought patterns that include feeing pressured and frantic. So if you tend to be hyperactive or unfocused, you may need a calming affirmation so you can let go of the anxiousness and worry. A good general affirmation is “I am safe. All pressure dissolves. I AM good enough.” Stuttering, a behavior that can be associated with dyslexia, may develop from insecurity and a lack of self-expression. If you stutter, slow down and remind yourself that you have the strength and confidence to articulate your needs with the affirmation “I am free to speak up for myself. I am now secure in my own expression. I communicate only with love.” Asperger’s is often associated with depression, so if you suffer from this, you can use the affirmation “I now go Beyond other people’s fears and limitations. I create my life.” All is Well: Heal your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition ~ Louise L. Hay, Mona Lisa Schulz

TESTOSTERONE

 “Testosterone levels influence attention and definitely are associated with impulsivity. Men traditionally have higher testosterone levels and are more impulsive. Women traditionally have lower testosterone levels and are less impulsive. This difference in testosterone and impulsivity may explain why men and boys are more likely to have ADHD (attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity and impulsivity) whereas girls and women are likely to have a more “dreamlike” or “spacey” type of ADD.

 At menopause, however, the brain’s attention circuits change. With a decrease in estrogen and an increase in testosterone, women are more impulsive, more hyperactive, and less attentive. These changes make some women feel as if their brain is turning into a “fuzzbull.”   Menopausal women with ADD may become even more inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive. Many women also become more emotionally porous—they hear their intuitions more than ever and may be distracted by the pain in others’ lives at this time. Men, who go through a “testepause”, have decreasing testosterone levels and a relative increase in estrogen, so their attention may actually become more acute.” The New Feminine Brain: How Women Can Develop their Inner Strengths, Genius ~ by Mona Lisa Schulz

HEALING ADD/ADHD NATURALLY

The best thing I can advise you is to do everything you can to learn about ADD/ADHD and work together with your health professional. Doctors only have so much time to work with each patient; we have to become our own advocate in the art of healing.

What follows are guidelines only. Healing can happen by applying a do-it-yourself approach—you’ll have to research and experiment with a variety of herbs, supplements and energy work to find what works for you.

Reiki, Quantum Healing, Therapeutic Touch, EFT, are all wonderful healing therapies to explore.  They help to relax and ground the body in present time. My son soaked up Reiki energy like a sponge and enjoyed Therapeutic Touch.

“If your child has some of the outward symptoms of essential fat deficiency – rough dry patches on the skin, cracked lips, dull or dry hair, soft or brittle nails, and excessive thirst – it is fair to say that this could be an underlying factor in learning difficulties they might be experiencing, such as concentration or visual problems, mood swings, disturbed sleep patterns and in some cases behavioural problems. This is because dyslexia, dyspraxia, learning difficulties and ADHD all involve poor nerve cell communications in the brain, and essential fats are crucial in keeping neurons talking to each other.” http://www.easyreadsystem.com/news/nutrition-dyslexia-what-works/

I looked at giving Jason a serotonin supplement Tryptophan (5-HTP) which improves both mood and sleep or even SAMe but wasn’t sure at his young age, the amount to give him. Reading up on serotonin, I learnt that when our bodies crave it, we have an insatiable desire for foods that are sweet or starchy (chips, cookies, cake, pastries, cereal). Also, that serotonin hunger can only be satisfied by eating high-carbohydrates.   I found out that eating too many protein foods without carbohydrates inhibit serotonin from entering the brain.   In fact too much fat in the diet competes with serotonin too! Needless to say, we began changing our food consumption to include carbohydrate-rich snacks and carbohydrate-rich dinners; these include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, rice and legumes.

Factory produced foods (refined carbohydrates) are not carbohydrate-rich and lack essential nutrients the body needs to survive.   When we eat too many of these foods the body will crave for its nutritional requirements which often leads to excess eating and hyperactivity.

When my son was diagnosed with ADHD, I looked into the pros and cons of medication and decided not to put him on *Ritalin or Adderall. Many of the parents I’ve come to know with special needs children, recommended Efamol, Omega 3, vitamin B6 and magnesium. B6 and magnesium help to increase GABA as well as prevent the loss of dopamine from the brain.   I noticed a slight change in his nature after several weeks and by three months a tremendous improvement.

 “I know a lot of people don’t agree with medicating their children, but if my kids didn’t their meds they literally wouldn’t have an education because of there behavior and lack of concentration. We have had all the food allergy tests done; we’ve tried the reward system and the star charts that were recommended but they didn’t help a bit. Using Ritalin helped our children immensely and if all efforts fail, we’d highly recommend it.” (Sue K., mother of two)

Ritalin is a form of “speed”, acting similarly to cocaine or amphetamines—though Ritalin is supposed to “work” for several hours in 60-75% of children.   Side effects include a loss of several inches in height, poor appetite, insomnia, tics and personality changes. In spite of using Ritalin, two thirds of children with ADHD carry it into their adulthood.

Simple breathing exercises, focusing on the breath can be helpful for the anxiety that sometimes accompanies ADHD. It will also help to let go of any tension and create more relaxed body language. My son and I would make a game of this at bedtime, counting as we breathed in 1-2-3-4-5 and breathing out 1-2-3-4-5. It was hard at first but if you stick with it for at least 10 minutes, you’ll noticed your breathing will become more rhythmic and helps to release the tensions through the body.

There is also an exercise called cross-crawling (when you raise an arm and the opposing leg together and then repeat the other side – a bit like marching) which stimulates connections in the brain.

Another good idea is to try the mind gym type games, these encourage stimulating parts of the brain that lay latent and increase the brain’s capacity.

A meditation class might be something to try,and a Tai Chi class would be particularly helpful If you have difficulties with spatial awareness and balance.

The other thing Jason needed was exercise, which as indicated above, helps to boost the neurotransmitters in the brain. Walking outdoors strengthens and tones the muscles and also reinforces our feelings of being part of the oneness of creation. The patterns of nature also speak very deeply to our souls.

All children love music; playing a musical instrument is another good way to stimulate the brain. Jason took to the piano like bees take to honey. In high school, the teachers worked with him and he now creates his own music and has his Grade 10 in piano.

There is hope for everyone with ADD/ADHD. My son graduated with honors from high school and is now in University. If he can do it, you can do it too.

BBC ~ ADHD drugs have no benefit http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/11_november/12//adhd.shtml

Indigo, Crystal and Rainbow Children http://www.angeltherapy.com/article1.php

ADHD Gifted and Creative  http://innerself.com/Parenting/hartmann_2135.htm

Each child requires an individualized approach. Indigos want very much to be seen for the unique individuals theyare—cookie-cuter solutions don’t work with them.

The sound learning centre for developmental problems http://www.thesoundlearningcentre.co.uk/treatment/development-programme/

Fascinating video with Dr. Daniel G. Aman, who has written many books on ADD ~ he believes brain imaging important – treatment should be individual ~ One treatment does not fit everybody! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXFyUNEXJp0&app=desktop

And his website ‘Healing the 7 types of ADD

http://www.elevatedexistence.com/blog/2014/01/04/dr-daniel-amen-healing-the-7-types-of-add/

“If you have food allergies, the immune cells that line your gastrointestinal tract are hypersensitive. You may have low stomach acid, a pancreas that isn’t working optimally, and, possibly, a congested liver and gallbladder. You may also have an imbalance in your gut flora. The balance of gut bacteria can influence behavior and even cause depression.

According to scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, your gut bacteria communicate with your brain and have a profound impact on making you feel happy or sad. When you are stressed, your body releases lots of stress hormones. When stressed mice were fed a broth containing some Lactobacillus rhamnosus bacteria (a bacteria found in yogurt), they became significantly less anxious and had lower levels of stress hormones in their blood. The researchers determined that the bacteria were somehow communicating via the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is a very important neural two-way highway that connects your brain with all of the organs of your body. The bacteria are able to influence the GABA receptors in the brain that allow you to relax”.

http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/05/26/reduce-allergies-and-find-happiness/

Essential Oils – Essential Blends (www.essentialblends.com) has a formula especially for ADD/ADHD to help calm some brain areas and stimulate others. The blend is a mixture of tangerine, cardamon, lavender, sweet almond and jojoba.

ADHD Facts and Statistics  http://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/facts-statistics-infographic#3  

 

Stay tuned for the next topic… Asperger’s Syndrome

 

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

“I care enough for myself to nourish myself with all the best that Life has to offer. I learn about nutrition because I am a precious being, and I want to take the best care of me that I can. My body is special and different from all other bodies; therefore I learn the things that my body assimilates the best. 

I learn everything I can about food and beverages. I pay attention to what I eat and drink, and I notice if some food or beverage does not seem to agree with me. If I have something to eat and an hour later I fall asleep, I realize that that particular food is not good for my body at this time. I search out the foods that give me good energy.

 I bless all my food with love and gratitude. I am nurtured and nourished. I feel healthy, happy and great.” ~ Louise Hay Newsletter, Issue 6

Stress, emotional upsets, financial losses, menopause, some medications, and smoking withdrawal can also increase your cravings for comfort food. Food, like any other addiction, is a form of self-medicating. So you have to get to the source of what you are trying to numb. Otherwise, you can go from diet to diet and it won’t matter. You may lose weight, but you will gain it back. You have to face what you’re hiding from, why your self-esteem is affected and replace your meals with essential nutrients that naturally balance and boost your metabolism.

Most people think metabolism is about the body’s ability to burn calories and maintain a healthy weight. Although they’re partly right, metabolism is about the transformation of food into fuel and energy that the whole body needs to continue and function. There is an array of different networks that influence your metabolism; each cell in your body (and there are trillions of them) comes in all different sizes and shapes; individual cells make up tissue, tissue forms organs and organs take part in maintaining your bodily system. Your circulatory system, respiratory system, endocrine system, gastro-intestinal tract, liver, musculoskeletal system, elimination system, nervous system all work in concert and contributes to the homeostatic balance or good of the whole body. All these systems and organs need to be comprised of healthy, well-fed cells in order to carry out their individual jobs in a balanced and efficient manner. So, nourishment of your cells begins with the food you eat.

When your needs aren’t been met, they limit the activity of your cells, slowing down the feedback loop between your body’s enormous communication network. These needs can be emotional or physical in nature creating self-doubt, unexplained nervousness, sudden outbursts of anger or weeping and/or melancholy/depression. Not only that, all the mental and emotional baggage we carry ultimately becomes our biology; we end up carrying too much weight in our mid-section or throughout the body.

Your metabolism is intimately linked with your energy field that contains all your character traits, your beliefs about yourself and the world, as well as all your memories, locked-up emotions, hopes, fears and hang-ups. When we refuse to see a problem or don’t want to deal with anything upsetting, it not only blocks our awareness, it represses our digestive system which is the core of our life-energy, intuition and life expectancy. When we are out of power, we repress our inner impulses, we become stuck, rigid and bound up with acute anxiety, suffering either gastrointestinal problems and/or constipation. In search of healing, we try everything from laxatives, antacids, fiber, and enzymes when all we really need is a healthy diet that would help regulate things. To maintain a healthy digestive tract you need to experiment with food and discover what truly nurtures you; intuitively you need to attune with food that will support your entire subtle system.

Food is alive inside you; it’s, not just a lifeless substance you eat to live. Food is bursting with life-giving energy!

“You may be surprised to learn that your food absorbs and transmits consciousness…and the subtle energies in your meals can profoundly influence your entire life. When you take the time to tune in and connect with the vast array of energy fields within your meal, magic happens. Suddenly you’re no longer contained by the confines of your identity and your physical body. You enter into the awareness that you’re not separate from the universe. Each item of food you ingest can be a key that opens doors of perception and connection…..

 Your food is indeed composed of undulating energy fields that can profoundly impact your life. Many people view their physical body as a static biological entity. However, in reality, your body is a vibrating, intelligent force field of energy that’s constantly transforming and renewing itself. When the viable energies of your food interface with the energy flows of your physical form, it allows you to step into a higher level of spiritual frequency. (But only if you understand how to attune to those fields; this is one of the secret recipes for savoring your life.)

Not only does your food consist of “energy, frequency, and vibration,” but its energy is also always in motion. Beneath the surface of that red apple on your kitchen counter or the buttered toast on your breakfast table exists a river of energy force fields that swirl into form, dissolve, and coalesce once again. All life is energy, and in every moment, we’re immersed in a great ocean of it. It’s constantly ebbing and flowing in constant, ever-changing currents that pulsate through time and space. In every morsel of food you eat, there’s an infinite, yet patterned, timeless cosmic order of waves of pulsating electrons that spiral in and out of existence, which have a profound impact on your body and on your life.” Denise Lin and Meadlow Lin ~ The Mystic Cookbook

We all eat to satisfy different needs. If eating is a form of stress therapy for you, you may find it difficult at first to improve your health by eating better. Our lives are constantly going through cycles of joy and despair; if you’re eating to feed an emotional need it’s going to have a greater physiological effect on your body than all the health foods you buy to improve your life. People who are overweight are no strangers to stressful emotions such as hopelessness, despair, anger, guilt, and anxiety. And what’s worse, thoughts can enlarge the problem, causing us to return to rather quickly to our habitual eating patterns. If this happens and you feel upset and guilty about it, it will constantly perpetuate your continual bingeing to geel good about yourself.

There’s no doubt that our physical surroundings influence who we are. This includes our homes, workplace, as well as the people around us—parents, family teachers, friends, lovers, and even strangers. All of these have the power to shape our lives in all kinds of ways, many of them subconscious.

Unfortunately, most of us are bad judges when it comes to evaluating our own appearance. We look at our bodies from every angle then zoom in and see a certain part of our body as abnormal or by seeing ourselves as having the wrong size or shape. We can become so preoccupied with our hair, teeth, size of our nose, or width of our thighs, we don’t see the parts that are attractive to ourselves and others.

Being self-conscious creates a fluctuation in the rhythm and balance of the mind/body communication network; it diminishes our energy and our self-esteem levels to an all time low. Self- consciousness has been linked to problems such as isolation, loneliness, depression, weight issues, hormonal imbalances, and many different health problems. The more we worry about how we look, the more we’ll struggle with difficulties and temptations.

CASE STUDY

James, at age 40, was a successful corporate lawyer who had been overweight since a child. Recently he was diagnosed with Type II diabetes and tipped the scales at 330 lbs. He hated himself and felt bad that he had to squeeze past people in a crowded bus or movie, and each time he felt these bad feelings, he comforted himself with food.

His doctor told him his blood pressure and cholesterol were high—he had to lose at least 120 lbs or face serious medical consequences, but James didn’t think he was able to do it. He’d been trying commercial programs and quick-fix home remedies since he was a teenager. They all worked for a time—then he gained all the weight back and some extra as well. With ten or fifteen extra pounds his love handles had become a spare tire. James was caught on a roller-coaster of on/off diets; not only were his diets sporadic, so too were his weekdays disorganized and hectic; he never actually had a sit down breakfast or lunch but binged on food all day long.

For many people, just getting through the day is harder than losing weight or living longer. Telling people who feel emotionally isolated and spiritually alone that they may live longer if they just quit smoking, change their diet or begin exercising is not all that motivating when they’re constantly feeling depressed or unhappy.

Food not only numbs our pain. When we eat, the body releases a cascade of rewarding brain chemicals (natural opioids) that make us feel better, setting us up with an addictive relationship with food. It has been proven that people who are ‘stress eaters’ have chronically high levels of adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol in their blood. Epinephrine has been called an anxiety hormone because it is known to be called upon when faced with problems or difficulties; cortisol on the other hand is known as the ‘hormone of defeat’ because the adrenals secrete it when we feel overwhelmed or totally discouraged.

 “When stress continues for a long time, and cortisol levels remain high, the body actually resists weight loss. Your body thinks times are hard and you might starve, so it greedily hoards any food you eat and any fat already present on your body. Cortisol also turns adipocytes, young fat cells, into mature fat cells that stick with us forever.

 Cortisol tends to take fat from healthier areas, like your butt and hips, and move it to your abdomen, where cortisol has more receptors. In the process, it turns once-healthy peripheral fat into unhealthy visceral fat that increases inflammation and insulin resistance in the body. This belly fat then leads to more cortisol because it has higher concentrations of a specific enzyme that converts inactive cortisone to active cortisol. The more belly fat you have, the more active cortisol will be converted by these enzymes—yet another vicious cycle created by visceral fat.” Master Your Metabolism ~ Jillian Michaels

Christiane Northrup ~ Abnormal adrenaline and cortisol levels http://www.drnorthrup.com/womenshealth/healthcenter/topic_details.php?topic_id=94

As James and I talked, I had an inkling James may be suffering from adrenal fatigue which can be caused by several different stress factors such as: insomnia, weight gain, depression, hair loss, acne, carbohydrate cravings and lowered immune function. When our adrenals are stressed, we are more susceptible to heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other potentially fatal conditions.

THE TREATMENT

Our bodies tell the story of our lives; they express our fears and aspirations, our deepest secrets and experiences. When reading a body, try to get an overall impression rather than concentrating on a specific area; stay open and let whatever captures your attention. Both James and I felt that his overeating and bingeing had more to do with things inside him than to outside events. Hands-on healing allows us to really become more immersed in ourselves—it relaxes the body allowing us to look non-judgingly at the many patterns that have constructed in our lives; patterns such as our inner parent who prevents us from being more in the present.

When we are not following our true path, our inner-self will use all the tools and skills it has to stop you. If you still don’t listen it will look for other ways to get more and more dramatic. It’s amazing how difficult it is for us to make life changes—we’re reluctant to move forward—fear hurting others and so end up violating our own values. Everything in our system gets all gummed up. When this happens, we use eating, drugs or other mind-altering devices that often result in addictive behavior. But, when an illness strikes or our health is in jeopardy

The value of scanning a person’s aura, is it provides a map or focal area of a person’s physical problems. Then, hands-on-healing works on releasing and relaxing tight areas from tension and blocked or held-in areas. Also with scanning you are gently sending out ripples of positive energy so that when the healing session begins, the client is more and more relaxed, slowly drifting down and deeper towards their inner self.

When I began James treatment, I started at the head position; this helps to balance both hemispheres of the brain, calm the emotions and dissolves a lot of mental thoughts and chatter—it also evens the flow of energy in nerve endings and, brings about well being.

James was struggling with work, he had a good job, the only problem was he either had no energy for it or found it boring or lacked the confidence for it. I got the impression he came to the clinic today, mainly to get permission to quit.

As his body relaxed, I felt that his family history and his mother’s nagging and scolding had a lot to do with his self-esteem, his appearance and weight. As a child his mother fed him less than his brothers and sisters to lose weight but the more she forced this, the more James ‘secretly’ ate. She ridiculed and put him down in front of his friends. As the healing progressed it became clear that James had done the ‘reverse’ of what his mother wanted, so when he binged on food, he was showing her passively and aggressively, ‘you can’t control me, I’m in control of myself’! But in truth he felt powerless. When we feel powerless we get angry. Anger is the emotion we use to protect our boundaries and to show others we want to be treated differently.

When our emotions overwhelm us, we often turn to food to soothe them. Stress is known to create a powerful psychological hunger that never seems to be satisfied no matter how full our stomachs feel. Stress is also the culprit that makes us ignore food that is good for us and instead we grab cookies, candy or ice-cream because we ‘know’ it’s bad.

Now I understood why James ate on the run. Meal time was a tense and stressful time for him; it was a reminder of what he had to endure as a child. Now, being single, he hated having to cook for himself and after all these years hadn’t even tried. “I haven’t been able to find the energy or the motivation to improve my diet, but maybe with alternative therapy there is hope in helping deal with this problem”.

Resting my hands on either side of James collarbone, helps to energize the lymph nodes, vocal chords, thyroid, parathyroid and blood pressure. Energetically, the throat area represents how we express, listen and assert our will out into the world. This area and particularly the thyroid maintain your body temperature, heart rate, muscle contractions and your metabolism, the rate at which food is turned into energy. Chronic fatigue, muscle pain, depression, weight problems and skin problems can be an indication of thyroid problems. I really felt that James may be suffering from thyroid deficiency—especially since low energy was one of his strongest complaints. Another indication of low thyroid is feelings of inadequacy, choking back hurts and swallowing tears. James was definitely displaying these when I first met him. This whole area seemed swallowed up by his past and this past was dulling his senses and keeping him trapped in a holding pattern that was ruining his life.

(The positive attributes of throat area or 5th chakra on an emotional level is about speaking our truth, knowing the truth and acting upon that truth….In a way, what we say, can sometimes determine what the outside world thinks of us. Through our verbal actions we express our true being. Our personality shines outwards for the world to see through spoken communication.)

I noticed treating James’ arms that he had little white bumps on them, known as keratosis pilaris, which possibly indicates a deficiency of essential fatty acids and vitamin A. It’s also another indication that the thyroid’s out of control. Usually problems with the skin has to do with the liver and gall bladder meridians. It’s old debris that has cluttered and accumulated in the system. Inner frustrations can also clog the ‘system’ and overeating and alcohol are known to affect the liver. Stress definitely has an affect on the skin, especially feelings of being disappointed and let-down . If the system becomes sluggish the person usually feels lethargic and really tired. And when we’re tired we eat for energy and usually it’s all the wrong foods so it then becomes a vicious cycle.

Physiologically speaking, hunger begins in the brain when the limbic system determines that the body is low in blood sugar, or glucose. Most of the food you eat is converted into glucose, much of which is converted by the liver into fat for later use. When glucose levels are low, the liver sends signals to the hypothalamus–the small but vital gland at the base of the brain below the thalamus–that blood sugar levels have dipped dramatically. The hypothalamus, in turn triggers stomach contractions or hunger pangs, demanding a fill-up. When nothing happens, nasty growling noises ensue. The hunger cravings can drive you batty, making you feel light-headed and irritable.

In the heart area I noticed James to be a sensitive and child-like person who seemed to get his feelings hurt very easily. Rather than risk being hurt, he had a tendency to stay in his head rather than getting deeply involved with others. Retreating inside his head let him be ‘safe’ or so he thought but also very lonely. I actually felt James was a very sociable kind of person but he didn’t think he could ‘afford’ to fool around or be lighthearted. We talked about this after and I asked James to start a journal and look at any patterns that were preventing him from being more playful in the present. I also suggested he get counseling to

The stomach or solar plexus area was most probably the most out-of-sync area in James whole body. We know that James worked very long hours of detailed mental work. Sometimes doing this kind of work, forces the blood to head and depletes the flow into the stomach and abdominal region. Lack of blood in these areas can cause tension, friction and discomfort here. It can also cause kidney troubles, intestinal problems as well as liver ailments, diabetic conditions hemorrhoids and constipation. All these are caused by holding onto thoughts, feelings, experiences or people that need to be emotionally released.

From a previous article on my blog….

The solar plexus, located at the center of the body (stomach area) is one of the most important chakras because it controls, energizes and affects so many surrounding vital organs; no other organ of the body is so easily disturbed or affected by our emotions than the stomach! This part of your body is also the most important center of the sympathetic nervous system because it is the nerve center that stimulates and reflects your most deepest feelings. Fear, anger, shame, guilt and pain often get stored in the memory cells of the stomach, sitting there for days/months/years until someone, or some outside force awakens them. This area is easily disturbed or imbalanced by negative thoughts and emotions—when these strong impulses are released, they’re sent through the nerves to every part of the body. When strong emotions are released, we have a ‘body flashback’, the cells and muscles of our body temporarily control and produce all kinds of fears and symptoms that we can’t at the time stop. See more here 

There are a pair of hunger hormones secreted by the body–leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is generated by fat cells sending signals to the brain to stop eating when the stomach is full…the trouble is, many people have conditioned or built up a resistance causing their bodies to ignore this internal reminder causing the appetitie supressing leptin levels to drop…making them hungrier.

 “…when leptin signaling doesn’t work, you keep eating because you never feel like you’ve had enough food.

 In addition to the leptin release you get after eating, your body also experiences a leptin surge overnight, while you sleep. This leptin surge boosts your levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone, which helps the thyroid release thyroxine…

 Believe it or not, low levels are not our biggest leptin problem. Researchers are finding that many people who are overweight actually have very high levels of leptin. How could this be? Well, the more fat you have, the more leptin you produce. And similar to what happens in insulin resistance, when the body continually cranks out excess levels of leptin in response to overeating—the receptors for leptin can start to get out or no longer recognize. People with leptin resistance have high levels of circulating leptin, but their receptors cannot accept it, neuropeptide Y never gets shut off, they remain hungry and their metabolism slows down. (This high level of neuropeptide Y also interferes with your T4 activity, further damaging your metabolism.)” Master Your Metabolism ~ Jillian Michaels

Leptin resistance and insulin resistance go hand in hand, but just like with insulin resistance, if you lose a bit of weight, your body will become more sensitive to leptin and it will start acting the way it was intended to—to help you push away from the able and say “Enough!”

The other hormone ghrelin increases the appetite. Released primarily in the stomach, ghrelin levels rise (spike) dramatically before you eat. Research has found that obese persons do not show the rapid fall in ghrelin levels after meals, which in turn may lead to continued food intake and obesity. It spikes again when your stomach feels empty. This is why people who restrict their calories have high levels of ghrelin—the fewer calories they eat, the hungrier they get.

Another interesting tidbit was James’ astrological chart (which I looked at after the treatment). One aspect that stood out strongly to me was the Moon square Pluto—it confirmed we were on the right track.

“Consider the themes of Moon and create from them a sense of struggle for survival, and a propensity to Spartanism (a key tenet of Pluto) the mother therefore might not be especially nurturing. The same can be said for those with Moon in Pluto’s domicile, Scorpio and also his house, the 8th. Very often children with these placements are made to ‘make do’ or suffer some form of privation that sets them apart from others. One friend of mine with a strong Moon-Pluto configuration was always forced to make do with the cheapest school shoes and soccer boots, such that they hurt his feet because they were so cheap and poorly made. His mother saw the cost of good shoes as a waste of money since he would only grow out of them anyway. This seemingly trivial economy belies the normal priorities for a mother at least in the eyes of the child: the mother is supposed to consider the welfare, happiness and comfort of the child as being of paramount importance and yet here is a subtle message that the child is undervalued, not worth the expense and not very well nurtured.

 This lesson is often taken to heart too.

 The Moon-Pluto child might become painfully awkward when attending to their own nurturing as a result. As adults they may develop compulsions about food and dietary issues and this is why Moon-Pluto more than any other contact seems to associate with eating disorders, although in general terms there will invariably be several other supporting factors in the astrology too. “http://chirotic.wordpress.com/2009/02/20/moon-pluto-the-gathering-storm/

All in all the actual Reiki treatment lasted just over an hour. As James slowly woke-up (he fell asleep), I suggested he ask his doctor for a complete blood test that included all vital glands and organs. I explained the energies that were depleted and the visions I saw as the treatment progressed. I told him eating disorders are very common with low self-esteem but bingeing often starts as a way to cope with abuse, upsetting relationships or controlling parents. The possibilities are endless and the root of the problem needs to be uncovered, or his habit of bingeing would continue. I told James he needs to talk about his feelings instead of acting on them. I felt it was extremely important that James talk to his doctor about his bingeing and highly recommended he asked his doctor to recommend a counselor trained in eating disorders.

When asked James if he was happy at his work. He wasn’t at all. So I asked him what he would like to do? ‘Well’, he said rather shyly, ….’I’d like to sell real estate’. ‘Wow”, I said, ‘go for it!. Learning something new will give you the confidence you need and it’ll be a huge change from doing the same type of job over and over again’. He was surprised at my enthusiasm but wasn’t quite sure how it would be accepted by others. I asked James ‘how old are you’? He answered forty and then got the drift of what I was getting at…and replied with a chuckle twelve! He realized he was living back at that age and noticed there were a lot of things in his life that needed changing. When we change, everyone around us also begins to change. After giving it quite alot of thought, James decided to start taking some night school classes in real estate.

I also suggested he learn to cook! We had a dietician in the clinic who was holding a class in a couple of weeks called Food and Mood Eating; it was based on the premise that simple meals could be designed to provide enough carbohydrates to activate the insulin-tryptophan-serotonin connection and enough protein that wouldn’t upset the whole serotonin balance. “Serotonin what” James questioned. I quickly told him low serotonin levels are what give you that nagging need to put something in your mouth, and especially sweet or starchy food. James signed up for the cooking class!

SEROTONIN

Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that controls both emotion and eating. Serotonin keeps us awake during the day, it influences our appetite, boosts our energy levels and makes us feel relaxed and good about ourselves. If serotonin levels are low, you’ll find yourself craving for sweets or constantly wanting to binge on foods. We tend to eat to make ourselves feel better…and it works because the more carbohydrates we eat, our serotonin levels go up! The problem is, the more weight we put on, the more serotonin it takes to elevate our mood. I told James a product called 5-HTP, purchased from any health store is a great way to increase the brain serotonin levels…it’s also effective in treating depression. Also, I told him a natural serotonin booster is laughter—how often do you really laugh?

DIETS

Forget about diets, they don’t work. ..instead of counting calories, carbs or fat, eat natural high-quality food and try to avoid a lot of fat and sugar. The best thing you can do for your body is cut down on red meats, sugar, and fats, and eat more whole grains, vegetables, fruits, leans meats and instead of dairy products, try rice or almond milk instead. Avoid process meats as they help to pack on the pounds and build up the wrong chemicals in your body. Eating the wrong chemicals causes dramatic hormonal shifts wh;ich start to wear down the body’s natural healing process. I know when talking hormones we automatically think of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone but in this case we’re talking about the whole endocrine system.

 “…We have to wake up and realize that every bit we take and every lifestyle choice we make matters. Not just for calories or fat or carbs, but because those bites or choices tell our bodies how to react. With bite after bite, sip after sip, breath after breath—when we pick the wrong foods or surround ourselves with toxic chemicals, each moment of consumption tells our hormones to do things that, consciously, we would never want them to do.

 We have to learn how our modern food supply and toxic world interact with our hormones. We have to understand exactly how they make us overweight and sick. That’s the only way we can set it right again and that is what Master Your Metabolism is all about.” Master Your Metabolism ~ Jullian Michaels

ENZYMES

Enzymes are what makes metabolism happen! That’s why they are so important for digestion. If the body does not have enough oxygen, glucose and nutrients in the blood our metabolism will slow down and we will be more susceptible to illness. Nearly all processed and refined foods have very little enzymes and without these the body isn’t getting enough nutrients. When the body can’t convert the food you eat into energy, it causes a person to eat even more, in an effort to get those ‘essential nutrients’. Most overweight people are enzyme-deficient which is why they continue to feel hungry, even after a large meal. When we understand what the term metabolism means, it’s not how fast you metabolize food but how efficiently you convert food into energy. Every function of your body needs energy, not only to move, run, exercise and speak but also to simply grow hair, breathe, digest our food, fight illness and especially to use our brains.

Sprouted foods like alfalfa, buckwheat and lentil contain a valuable supply of enzymes that are vital for good health. Also fresh fruits and vegetables are vital providers of enzymes too. Raw foods help to cleanse the system but living on salads is not going to give you a lot of vital ‘yang’ energy….so no more than a third of your diet should be raw, except in very hot weather. Avoid ice-cream or any food or drink from the fridge as the cold slows down both the spleen and stomach functions. Unfortunately cooked foods have very little enzyme content.

We all know magnesium is important for the bones and teeth, it’s also helps in absorbing calcium, phosphorous, sodium and potassium as well vitamin B’s, C and E. But what a lot of people don’t know is that magnesium is responsible for more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. It helps in metabolizing carbohydrates, fats and proteins and in the conversion of glucose into energy. The adrenal glands regulate the amount of magnesium with a hormone known as aldosterone. Magnesium cannot be stored in body for long periods of time and therefore we need to eat foods with this mineral in them. Kelp, wheat bran, almonds, wheat germ, cashews, soya beans, walnuts, beetroot greens, spinach, parsley, garlic, bananas, peas, potatoes are some foods rich in magnesium.

MINERALS

Minerals play an important role in regulating the acid/alkaline levels of the body, and, they are a major factor in regard to your metabolism. They are the spark plugs of the body, transmitting vital electrical and magnetic forces (positive/negative charges) which are constantly required to energize the body and keep it running efficiently. There are fourteen essential minerals that are required for the body to work properly and they must be consumed in our diet, as the body is unable to produce them.

(Minerals are converted into organic salts which are dissolved in our bodily fluids (water and blood) and broken up into the form of IONS which are either positively or negatively charged. When these IONS are dissolved in our bodily fluids they conduct an electrical energy which repel and attract one another. The minerals sodium (not salt) and potassium for example are both positively charged while the minerals fluorine and chlorine are negatively charged. The functions of minerals in the body are very complex when we realize the way energy is transferred in the body. These functions are essential for a multitude of body movements, such as relaxation and contraction of your muscles as well as nerve impulses from the spinal cord and brain to all parts of the body.)

As soon as food is eaten, the digestive system begins to separate food into minute particles and compounds, which are then capable of passing through the walls (Epithelium Cells) of the small intestine and then into the bloodstream. The movement these minute food particles, from one side of the intestinal wall to the outerside is known as osmosis. The continuous movement of nutrients can only take place when there are a variety of minerals from the food we eat. Refined and processed foods lack the minerals needed for this, causing waste and impurities to enter the bloodstream. This creates a constant need and search for food to keep the body healthy, which makes us overeat and adding unwanted pounds and health problems.

THE FIVE ELEMENTS

In relation to ancient philosophies, there are five different aspects of energy known as the Five Elements—Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood (Deepak Chopra mentions six). Each of these elements have different qualities of energy And they also have their own particular “flavor”. Fire is known as bitter, Earth is sweet, Metal is pungent, Water is salty and Wood is sour.

 “Traditionally, all foods have six flavors to it. And what happens is, if your taste buds are not experiencing all the 6 tastes each day, then that causes imbalance in the body. After all we have these taste buds for a certain purpose. The six tastes are the following: Sweet, Sour, Salt, Bitter, Pungent, and Astringent.

 It turns out that our taste buds are distributed in a certain manner. For example, the tip of the tongue is highly concentrated for sweet taste, The back of the tongue for bitter taste, sides of the tongue more for receptors of sour taste, the surface of the tongue, more for salty taste….and then the other tastes I mentioned, pungent and astringent…there are few receptors for this, yet each taste is quite characteristic in that both have an affect on the body.” Deepak Chopra, Magical Mind, Magical Body

The five elements or six are different qualities of ‘chi’ energy, which manifest in the universe and also manifest in us, linking us with our environmen, the cycle of the seasons and the hours. The way we respond, physically, and emotionally to outside influences and to the forces of nature depends on the balance of the elements within us. Fire is the element of heat, summer, enthusiasm, and warmth in human relationships. Earth is the element of harvest time, abundance, nourishment, fertility and the mother-child relationship. Metal includes the Western idea of the air element as well as the force of gravity, the minerals within the earth, the patterns of the plants and stars as well as electricity and magnetism. Water is the source of life, the capacity to flow, infinitely yielding yet infinitely powerful, ever-changing and dangerous. It is the most Yin of all the elements. Wood is the most human of the elements. It is the element of Spring, and the creative urge to achieve, which turns to anger when frustrated.

Each of these elements also governs a meridian or organ function in the body as well as a personality or emotion, so that any disturbance in the elements will affect the mind and body in different ways.

FOOD TALKS

We have lost touch with ‘natural living’; most of the foods we eat today are nutritionally imbalanced from chemically processed foods and packaged in the frozen section of your grocer or in tins and bottles.

When you walk into a grocery story, listen and let the food talk to you; you’ll know this is happening as you’ll be magnetically drawn to them. Every time you gravitate to a specific fruit or vegetable, that’s your intuition talking. All positive foods give off an energy an aliveness that attracts you to them. Be aware when you go shopping and you’ll gravitate to all the positive-energy foods. When we are around positive foods, our body resonates with the foods’ light-energy; we become happier, lighter, and definitely hungrier.

“Which vegetables look vibrant? Fresh? Or withered: Also smell them: fragrance is a sign of high energy. Then beyond this, practice intuiting their vibes (useful in reading organic produce, which may not look as blemish free as chemically treated produceI. Does a vegetable emit a glow, an aliveness? Do you feel drawn to it? Lusciously alive food can shoot spotlights of joyful energy toward you that open your heart—especially palpable when you slice these delectable morsels at home, releasing their inner energy.

 In contrast, a dead vegetable seems sad, listless, or lacks attraction, indicators of waning life force. To get a full vibe assessment, also be sure to hold the vegetable. While doing so, cup your palm a few inches above the surface to sense its energy field, just as you do with people. Alive foods emit heat, tingling, even ecstasy. Dead foods feel more like lumps. Then, notice where you’re physically drawn, a magnetic feeling. Your body knows where to go. Don’t force it, but pay attention: Are you pulled toward the watercress? Does okra repel you? An artichoke beckon? Reading energy is initially visual, then feeling which healthy foods attract you. If you keep gravitating to candy bars or other comfort foods, be suspicious…..Also know: anything you buy in packages—pastas, soups, cheeses—have lower energy than fresh, organic food.” Positive Energy: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions For Transforming Fatigue ~ Judith Orloff

 As you walk up and down the isles of your favorite grocer, notice how your body responds to foods that aren’t so energetic. Foods that are farther from their natural state lacks the nutrition your body needs, your intuition will notice this and naturally gravitate to foods that are higher in nutritional value.

EXERCISE, LEARNING FROM EATING PATTERNS and EATING WITH AWARENESS are all located in Part I here

You’ve probably noticed that rich, heavy foods (such as pasta, steak, rich sauces, breads, and pastires and cakes) tend to leave you feeling rather heavy and lethargic—as will alcohol, after the first rush has faded.

Highly spiced foods, coffee, and green/black tea are examples of foods that leave you feeling energetic, though they can make you restless and irritable.

Most fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will leave you feeling balanced, calm, clear-headed and relaxed.

Eating with awareness, you’ll never have a weight problem, ever. When you eat with awareness you enjoy your food more fully; you notice how food affects you and will, most likely, not overeat; you’ll become more aware of your habits; and awareness will help you change that habit. Paying attention you won’t need to overeat that’ll cause you to gain weight and you’ll eat less and enjoy your food more.

Whenever you eat, no matter how much or how little, make a rule you are going to sit down and do that. Don’t eat when you’re standing, don’t eat while you’re driving, don’t eat while your walking, don’t eat while speaking on the phone, etc. .

When you eat while doing something else, liked reading the paper, on the computer or watching tv, then you’re not paying attention to what you’re eating. When you eat unconsciously you’ll find the food almost gone and you hardly even tasted it! Your mind can only focus on one thing at a time. Yes, it can shift back and forth but in practicing awareness your mind should only pay attention to one thing.

MEDITATION IS THE ART OF PAYING ATTENTION

“I would not be happy in a world without chocolate, so I have developed a Haagen-Dazs meditation. When I eat the teaspoon of ice cream, I close my eyes and meditate—on the rich flavor, the cold rush, the wonderful sensations as the ice cream melts on my tongue. I would prefer to have a small spoonful of Deep Chocolate Fuge Haagen-Dazs than a pint of a fake-frozen dessert. It’s exquisitely satisfying. After all, the first bite is always the best and the last bite is the next best—so if you eat only a bit, then it can be heaven, but only if you really pay attention.” EAT MORE, WEIGH LESS ~ Dr. Dean Ornish

Meditation is about appreciating and being aware of everything and everyone around you, it’s also about going quietly within to learn more about yourself and others on a deeper level. Meditation is about letting go of old thoughts and patterns and seeing things in a different perspective. There are countless books and sites on this topic with simple exercises to get you started. Try it out, you’ll enjoy it.

Links – More to Follow

http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/how-stress-can-make-you-fat/

Insulin Resistance   http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/insulin-resistance-the-slippery-slope-to-type-ii-diabetes/

Enzymes   http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/enzymes/

Digestive Enzymes and Cancer   http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/digestive-enzymes-and-the-treatment-of-cancer/

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

“Monsanto is the world’s leading producer of ‘genetically modified’ (GM) seed and one of the most important firms involved in chemical agriculture. The company focuses its business on four key crops, soybeans, corn, wheat and cotton….. 

North American farmers were asked about their experience of GM Corn, soy and canola. The report states that “widespread GM contamination has severely disrupted GM-free production [including organic farming], destroyed trade and undermined the competitiveness of North American agriculture overall”…. 

Farmers indicate that market problems have made them question the future of GM crops. Most farming organizations in Britain, the U.S. and Canada have joined forces to lobby against the release of GM wheat, the next proposed GM crop. ~ Elizabeth Abergel, PhD, 

With the rapid changes in our technological world, food has been dramatically altered with the development of chemical farming and food processing and of course these changes affect our bodies. We have more illnesses afflicting us today than ever before. While we may be living longer than our grandparents, we certainly aren’t healthier.

There are nearly 2,000 different additives that are used by the food industry today and it has been estimated that the average person consumes approximately three to five pounds of these chemical substances each year. The foods we eat today are affecting the way we metabolize food and burn calories…chemically altered foods are affecting our weight, energy levels, and causing disorders such as candida, diabetes and hypoglycemia. They also affect our brains, our feelings, ideas, worries and decisions. Processed foods are also responsible for our food cravings, our yo-yo dieting, obsessive eating, anxiety, foggy thinking, mood swings, premenstrual syndrome PMS, allergies, most autoimmune diseases, chemical sensitivities and recurring infections.

“Eating is a complex behavior. It’s driven not only by hunger but also by the interplay of numerous biological, psychological, emotional, nutritional, social and economic factors. The craving for a cookie, for example, doesn’t just come from the urge to eat something sweet but is meaningful, in that it reflects not just the person’s desire for the treat but also their yearning for love, comfort, belonging, emotional numbing, even social status. ~ Emotional Overeating: Know the Triggers, Heal your Mind, and Never Diet Again ~ Marcia Sirota

Too many of us, young and old are overweight. We are spending billions of dollars in medical care to ease the symptoms of eating too much of the types of food that overstress our bodies. Medicine can only go so far in curing ills. If we are to improve our individual and worldwide physical conditions, we must be aware of how various facets of our lifestyles can contribute to ill health.

There is a huge gap between what we are currently eating to what our bodies were designed to require. With the onslaught of fast-food chains, processed foods, and sugar-glazed doughnuts, obesity has become a world-wide problem. It’s no longer contained in the United States and Canada, but stretches from continent to continent, gripping every major city in the world. More and more, Europe and Asia are munching on Western world appetites of fast foods shifting away from agriculture to watching TV and surfing the internet.

“More than nine million children are obese in the U.S., more than four times the number forty years ago. This is a huge concern, as the more fat cells produced when you are a child, the more likely you will become a fat adult, and the more dangerous it is to your overall health, leading to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Fat is not the only cause of obesity, as a low metabolic rate can create unnecessary weight gain, but in most cases it is our relationship with food and love that is the originating issue.” ~ Deb Shapiro ~ Your Body Speaks Your Mind

The world is becoming over-stimulated with processed food and this is causing major problems of overeating and poor digestion. Even television and Internet are reflecting this with commercials and ads of delicious-looking foods which are almost immediately followed by commercials for antacids and digestive-aids, or the latest fad diet guaranteed to work!

We have over-stimulated our appetites to the point where we can no longer hear the real inner physical needs of our bodies. Every cell in your body is a little individual. It eats, processes what it takes in, eliminates waste and works at what it does best. In order to survive and to function at its highest optimal level, a cell needs to be fed and your body contains approximately 100 trillion of them! These 100 trillion cells are in constant communication with each other—they even communicate with each other at and through the various joints—this is usually where energy flow and information are most often constricted.

“These cellular communications are part of an immense and sophisticated communications network that no human-made telecommunications network can rival. Interestingly, telecommunications experts are closely studying cell communication in efforts to improve service provided by wireless phone networks.

 In a healthy cellular environment, signals easily cross cell membranes, getting to their source. In an unhealthy environment, signals either don’t reach their source or become distorted. Think of it as static on a phone line or dropped calls on your cell phone. Important messages do not reach their destination, preventing important bodily reactions from taking place.”STOP AGING, START LVING ~ Jeannette Graf

When the body’s weak the mind is affected too. We can lapse into negative emotions such as: anger, blame, anxiety, fear, grief and/or worry; these emotions create chemical altering changes in every cell of the body. They create a buildup of toxins and acid that dams up the flow of energy moving through your system. Stressful thoughts also weaken your natural resistance to disease and aging by clogging up your cells, slowing down your metabolism and wearing out your heart.

We are all part of a subtle field of the entire Universe and with a healthy body/mind/spirit, we are able to tune into the earth’s vibrations, sense the life force of other people as well as other living things such as animals, plants and trees.

PROCESSED AND HIGHLY REFINED FOODS

Most of our foods today are factory-produced and for what purpose? Profit! Apart from that these foods have been produced for our own convenience—no need to prepare—just open a can, bottle or carton and voila, instant food. And what’s even better—just swallow and have another if you like—there are plenty where those came from, their on special this week—six for the price of two, what a deal! So hurry hurry, the bargain only lasts till the stock the cleared. We’ve all been subjected to these advertisements that excite us into a buying-spree.

 “High-frequency stress foods are the process foods—such as white sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, excessive read meat, fried foods, refined processed foods, excessive alcohol and caffeine—that cause excessive alarm reactions in your body day after day after day. They accumulate damage and can disturb the functioning of susceptible young brains….” ~The Path to Phenomenal Health ~ Sam Graci

Processed carbohydrate-rich foods are loaded with calories have been labeled Low-Fat or No-Fat but don’t be fooled, they are loaded with calories—rapidly absorbed calories that are having a devastating effect on our insulin levels—raising them through the roof. These foods cause artificial signals and artificial stimulation not only to your genetic makeup but also to your 100 trillion cells. Unfortunately, the only thing really speeding up is the “wear-and-tear” on our bodies, causing extreme stress, excessive fatigue, a foggy mind and cells that are mangled and confused. All this stress is affecting our adrenal function and our sugar levels to rise causing our heart rate and blood pressure to rise.

Have you noticed certain foods like bread, pasta, chips and Chinese food seem to trigger more hunger. And what about hamburgers and fries? We can eat amazingly large amounts and find ourselves nibbling more and more until our systems crash into a sleeping stupor.

“Whole” wheat grain is an excellent source of vitamin E and helpful in blood circulation, healthy heart muscles and protects against the effects of stress, worry, anxiety, cigarette smoking and city pollution. But the vitamin E content is destroyed or extracted during the ‘refinement’ process as wheat germ oil tends to clog-up the machinery. Eating too much refined grains can cause chronic pain and illnesses such as: candida, diabetes, diarrhea, sinus problems, respiratory disorders, loss of hair, poor teeth and skin, obesity, and poor muscular development. When we eat too many of these foods we don’t usually have much appetite for fruits, vegetables, nuts seeds and legumes that are so important to our diet. (Daily use of fresh fruits and vegetables will help to cleanse the body of toxins and protect it from getting ill.)

Your body and the hormones in your body react to how and what you eat. Overeating and poor nutrition has suppressed the immune system, weakening the body’s ability to attack and destroy viruses, bacteria and parasites. Cancer, candida, colitis, Crohns disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and leaky gut syndrome are impacting the world at a dangerous rate. Our body’s are in chaos and that means we are not in control of our lives. How can we express our full potential while we’re struggling to cope with out-of-control digestive-tracts and metabolisms. We each have to tune in to what’s going on inside and learn what we need to do, individually, to live healthy lives.

 “Without a doubt the biggest change in our diets has been our sugar consumption—in the forms of refined white sugar known as sucrose, brown sugar, corn sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, glucose, lactose and maltose. Over the past two centuries, we have literally shocked our bodily systems with outrageous and ever-growing amounts of nutrient-robbing sugar.” Anne Louise Gittleman

IS INSULIN THE CULPRIT

In combination with glucose, there is another special ingredient that’s required to convert glucose into energy—that ingredient is called INSULIN. Insulin is produced by the cells from the pancreas, known as the Islets of Langerhans. As the body requires energy, both glucose and insulin are released into the blood stream and they travel to various muscles, nerves and tissues, to provide the body with a continuous supply of energy.

“We now understand that an addiction to carbohydrates is often a result of an *excess of the hormone insulin. Dr. Judith Rodin of Yale University nicknamed insulin the “hunger hormone” because of its power ability to stimulate appetite. In the past, insulin was most often associated with diabetes, which is how it was first identified, but more current research shows that insulin may indeed be the key hormone in regulating a great deal of what we refer to as “the metabolism”. CARBOHYDRATES ADDICT”S LIFESPAN PROGRAM ~ Dr. Richard F. Heller and Dr. Rachel F. Heller

The first sign of being overweight is carrying around extra body mass. Carrying around extra body weight puts more stress on joints that were not meant to hold extra weight. Being fat causes your heart to have to work harder to pump blood through more fat tissue. The extra mass creates more pressure on the blood vessels and lymphatic system and does not allow them to flow freely. This causes blood pressure to rise and the lymphatic system to stagnate and become toxic.

 In addition to causing physical health problems, being overweight can cause mental problems as well. Mentally, being fat can make people insecure about themselves. Overweight people tend to be full of excuses about their weight. They may jump from diet to diet, pill to pill or one exercise to another, but often lack the will power to stick with anything long enough to see results; therefore they quit trying. I think being overweight can also keep someone from doing the very things that will help them lose weight in the first place. I once had a friend that was overweight. She constantly talked about what she was going to do to lose weight, but she never followed through. It is a shame that talking doesn’t burn a lot of calories because she would have been slim – fast! I bought her a gym membership for her birthday, but she never used it – because, get this – she said she was too overweight and embarrassed to go the gym! Health And Happiness An owner’s manual for the mind and body ~ Sean Donovan

If you tend to put weight on easily, especially around the abdomen, you might be insulin resistance and eating a high carbohydrate diet may be your worst enemy. That’s because our blood sugar level governs the functioning of our entire metabolic system. Years ago, medical researchers discovered a link between obesity and changes to the secretion of the “hunger hormone” called insulin. Insulin ‘calls’ your body to eat. It signals you to roam your cupboards and fridge for starches, snack foods and/or sweets. If you follow these cravings, insulin makes you feel as if these foods give you a happy/content feeling.

To understand insulin’s effect on weight, we need to also see insulin’s role as a storage hormone. The higher your insulin levels are, the more fat you store in your tissues, the more weight you gain because insulin determines how much fat you burn as fuel. Our bodies usually can’t burn all the calories we’ve eaten, especially from processed foods. The excess blood sugar cannot be burned but instead must be converted to triglycerides (fatty acids), and stored in the tissues as fat.

*An excess of insulin in your body is called “hyperinsulinemia” and evidence has shown it may be a major risk factor in Alzheimer’s, heart attacks, diabetes, stroke and cancer.

For thousands of years our ancestors ate foods that slowly released calories in a process we call digestion. Their diet consisted of mainly fish, plant food, grains, fruit, nuts, seed and legumes. These types of foods are slowly absorbed into the bloodstream and easily handled by a tiny spurt of insulin. Unfortunately in this modern age we are eating huge amounts of refined carbohydrates that are creating a rush of easily absorbed sugars in the blood stream. High-glycemic foods like bagels cause an excess of insulin in the bloodstream…although this provides us with a burst of energy, it’s always followed by drastic drop in sugar levels causing fatigue, shakyness, severe mood swings, depleted energy and more cravings and bingeing on starches and sweet things

“When the sugar overload increases the amount of insulin the body, all the organs in the body, including the heart, liver, lungs, and muscles, begin to take in sugar from the blood, leaving less of it available to the brain. Although it seems that sugar will provide the quick energy fix we’re looking for, the opposite is true. Sugar triggers excessive insulin release, and it reduces the amount of fuel the brain needs to function most efficiently….

 (Hypoglycemia causes, low blood sugar, depression, muscle aches, chronic headaches, feeling hopeless or helpless and crying more than usual…

Sugar leads to chromium deficiency. Chromium is a very important trace mineral needed for glucose metabolism and its deficiency can affect behavior.

Sugar also causes copper deficiency, which can lead to abnormal behavior.

Sugar causes high blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are less tolerant than people with normal blood pressure.)

 When the brain is undernourished, it’s not just our physical health that suffers. Our state of mind is affected as well. Although we may not always be aware of it, we frequently use food as a mood-altering drug. Those ups and downs of energy caused by too much sugar and refined carbohydrates also cause us to alternate between depression and euphoria. When we get that sugar high, we’re ready for anything. Then as blood sugar levels dissipate, we begin to feel worse and worse. To varying degrees, we get irritable, shaky, nervous, depressed. So we begin to eat like crazy again, gobbling down more sugar and carbs. In extremes of anxiety and depression, we may resort to binge eating in an overzealous attempt to modulate our moods.” THE BALANCE ~ Oz Garcia

When your bloodstream is too high in sugar, the pancreas is alerted to send a “surge” of insulin directly into your bloodstream causing a dramatic decrease in your blood sugar levels. If blood sugar levels drop too low, the body has to stop the fall, otherwise you could plunge into deep shock and if not corrected, you could die. Hypoglycemia or sugar-shock alerts the adrenals to immediately squirt excessive amounts of adrenaline and cortisol to prevent your blood sugar from going too low—these hormones raise your blood pressure and your heartbeat and tell your liver to turn glycogen in glucose. But the sudden release of adrenaline can cause you to feel shaky, sweaty and weak—you may have had the same effect after drinking caffeine, which produces the same kind of symptoms.

Insulin’s main job is to escort glucose from the bloodstream into the cells where it’s “burned” or used as fuel for energy. Usually only a small amount of it is needed to do the job. We know our bodies turn all foods into glucose, but with refined sugars and flours, too much sugar floods the bloodstream too fast. If you’re a diabetic, it means that your pancreas either secretes little or no insulin, causing sugar to accumulate in the bloodstream. Too much sugar in the blood can cause a host of problems, such as diabetes, stroke, heart problems and kidney disease.

OUR MAIN ENERGY SOURCES – THE THYROID, PANCREAS AND ADRENALS

It is the sensitive nerve fibers of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) that ends in the adrenal glands. The adrenals aren’t the only energy producing system in the body; the thyroid, parathyroid and pancreas are too. Actually, both the adrenal system and the thyroid gland are dominated by the sympathetic nervous system, which is part of the autonomic nervous system, (ANS). The ANS controls your heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, hormonal balance and metabolism. The sympathetic nervous is associated with two hormone stimulants, adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol. Adrenaline and cortisol are released to bring you to a heightened state of awareness….when they think there is a threat to the body, they sound the alarm! When this happens the sympathetic nervous system stimulates the release of sugar/glucose from the liver, to get your blood pressure up. Your digestive system literally comes to a halt so that all your energy can diverted to the muscles and face, which become tense and prepared for action. With your nerves on edge, you’re ready to respond to the fight or flight reflex.

 “An EXCITED nervous system forces your body to produce an excess of the stimulating and stress producing hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which inevitably have an effect on the metabolism. A PASSIVE nervous system, on the other hand, causes the production of calming substances like serotonin, but it also produces lesser amounts of the thyroid hormones that control energy production and metabolism. This is why people with a PASSIVE nervous system have a greater possibility of having hypothyroidism and a slower metabolism.

 The “slower metabolism: and conditions like hypothyroidism are much more common in people with PASSIVE nervous systems. First of all, let be clear that both the EXCITED and PASSIVE nervous systems can cause obesity because they are extreme conditions in which there isn’t a BALANCE. The result of both of these conditions is a hormonal imbalance.” The Power Of Your Metabolism ~ Frank Suarez

THE THYROID CONTROLS BODY TEMPERATURE AND METABOLISM

The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system located at the base of the throat. It sends hormonal messages to every cell in your body, maintaining body temperature, heart rate, muscle contraction and metabolic rate (the rate at which food is converted into energy).

If the bacteria in your gut have been imbalanced for some time, then you may have a bacterial infection in your gastrointestinal lining also known as ‘leaky gut syndrome’. Leaky gut syndrome happens when undigested foods seep into the intestinal walls, allowing minute particles to escape into the bloodstream. The immune system perceives these minute particles as ‘invaders’ and attacks to get rid of them. Sometimes these particles can look similar to the molecules of one’s own body causing the immune system to start attacking them and in so doing turns on itself, destroying healthy cells and tissues. Such is the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis – an autoimmune problem and one of the most common causes of thyroid problems. This is where the immune system attacks the thyroid with antibodies causing the thyroid to swing high and causing hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism but ultimately make you hypothyroid. This results in slowing down your metabolism causing muscle-aches, mood swings, weight gain and even depression.

Overweight people have slower metabolisms and for some reason have shown reduced levels of enzymes and hormones in the body; this results in a decreased breakdown of fat. Without proper enzymes, food cannot be converted into energy; this may cause a person to eat more and more in an effort for the body to obtain the essential active nutrients that are lacking in refined, processed and cooks foods.

 “Many overweight people have a lower-than-average amount of a liver enzyme that produces crotonyl coenzyme A. Without this enzyme, fat is accumulated in the body instead of used. These people may have exhausted their ability to make the enzyme.” Dr. Neil Solomon

 “[Dr. Solomon] found that the overweight paitents were not metabolizing glucose properly, that they had low levels of growth hormones, which helps regulate carbohydrate and fat metabolism, and that some obese people even produce antibodies against their own thyroid hormone, which causes the body to not use it properly.” The Straight Scoop About Dieting: Learn the Truths About Weight-loss Diets ~ Sharon Greene Patton

If you have a thyroid problem than most likely your adrenals may not be working properly either.

STRESS WEIGHT-GAIN AND THE ADRENALS

We have two adrenal glands that sit on top of each of our kidneys and are part of a wider network known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA). The HPA governs different bodily functions such as heart rate, mood, body temperature, thirst and hunger. The adrenal glands are an important part of this system because they produce certain hormones related to metabolism and stress. Adrenaline, (epinephrine) cortisol and DHEA (dhydroepiandrosterone) all help the body’s immediate response to challenges and dangers, by channeling the body’s energy toward the fight/flight response. These three hormones improve oxygen and glucose to the muscles generating mental and physical alertness. Blood and the violent intake of air courses through our bodies similar to the life-threatening situations our ancestors experienced thousands of years ago.

“The human body is well set up for high primal stresses. However, it isn’t very good at coping with small insidious ones such as forgetting where you put your keys, a single mosquito in your room at night, the dripping of a faucet, or the constant whining of a child. It seems that your body has no sense of humor at all.” THE JOY OF STRESS ~ Peter G. Hanson, M.D.

In this day and age many of us become overly stressed from traffic jams, unexpected bills, an angry phone call, a confrontation with someone at work or at home, the kids fighting, etc., All this moves us into a high state of alarm and we stay there for long periods of time. This prolonged adrenaline rush dramatically slows down your metabolism, causing weight gain, affecting your mood, a negative person of the Self. Adrenaline is a stress-related hormone causing the body to have high glucose levels (blood sugar) because it tells the liver to turn a large amount of glycogen (a type of glucose stored in the liver) into glucose.

Cortisol stays longer in the body than adrenaline, interfering with digestion and suppressing the immune system allowing tumors if present to grow faster. High levels of cortisol stimulate an excess of insulin released into the body, leading to swings in energy and blood sugar, causing anxiety, fatigue, hyper/hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and mood swings. It can cause food cravings, especially for high-fat, high sugar, high carbohydrate foods such as a ice-cream, chips and cookies.

Anxiety and depression also prompt the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol. Cortisol prepares the body for an emergency, including telling it to store more fat, especially in the belly where cells have more receptors for cortisol than do superficial fat cells under the skin. Cortisol is like a key in a lock, opening fat cells, allowing fat to be stored. Cortisol also eats away lean muscle mass, which the body needs to burn fat. In addition, high cortisol levels significantly reduce grow hormone output. Prolonged stress has been associated with the aging process and a number of hormonal and digestive diseases.

By living off stimulants such as coffee and cigarettes, a high-sugar diet or stress itself, you increase your risk of upsetting your thyroid balance (which means your metabolism will slow down and you will gain weight) or calcium balance (resulting in arthritis) or of getting problems associated with sex-hormone imbalances and excessive cortisol. These are long-term side effects of prolonged stress, because any body system that is overstimulated will eventually under function.

The outer part of the adrenal gland, the cortex, makes steroid hormones, similar to the ones prescribed by your doctor to stop an inflammation in your body. Cortisol in minute amounts helps the body to metabolize fats, carbohydrates and proteins in the body; cortisol encourages energy production and reduces inflammation. But cortisol is also known as the stress hormone and prolonged stress can have a dramatic impact on the body and the mind. Excess cortisol can undermine our health and set-off a host of different illnesses such as asthma, colitis, high blood pressure, insomnia, ulcers and cancer. High cortisol levels also have a negative impact on the muscles and joints, causing them to break down and weaken. Prolonged cortisol levels can also cause a redistribution of fats….causing weight-gain, particularly in abdominal area (in men we call it the pot-belly). Trauma, strong emotions (rage, fear) and prolonged stress can force your adrenal glands to work overtime.

 “Excess cortisol leads to weight gain in the abdomen and face, increased blood pressure, erratic blood sugar levels, strange hair growth, acne, depression and irritability, bone thinning, muscle weakness, and irregular menstruation.” All is Well: Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition ~ By Louise L. Hay and Mona Lisa Shulz

Cortisol can create a fearful, threatened feeling that over-stimulates our whole system. Unexplained muscle aches, chronic headaches, feeling hopeless or helpless and crying more than usual are signs of chronic overarousal. Anxiety coupled with cortisol has been known to cause unexplained heart palpitations, a nervous stomach, road rage and short temperedness.

“The stress response can also literally poison the brain—because it causes excessive secretion of the adrenal hormone cortisol. Cortisol is released at about the same time adrenaline is. However it stays in your system much longer than adrenaline does, and that creates a terrible problem. Cortisol gives your hippocampus, as well as other parts of your brain, a highly destructive ‘toxic bath’. It can be so destructive that your brain may never again recover absolutely all of its cognitive function.” Brain Longevity by Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. with Cameron Stauth

 

http://authoritynutrition.com/9-ways-that-processed-foods-are-killing-people/

http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/nutrition-101-how-processed-foods-make-us-fat-malnourished-and-sick-06222013

Genetically altered food http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-we-trust-monsanto-with-our-food/

Monsanto pulls out of Europe http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/10186932/Major-GM-food-company-Monsanto-pulls-out-of-Europe.html

High Insulin Levels Stop Weight Loss http://fitnessblackbook.com/dieting_for_fat_loss/high-insulin-levels-stop-fat-loss-and-cause-weight-gain/

http://www.leanitup.com/how-insulin-carbs-and-hfcs-impact-weightloss/

Is stress causing your weight gain http://www.leanitup.com/how-insulin-carbs-and-hfcs-impact-weightloss/

Cortisol http://thyroid.about.com/od/loseweightsuccessfully/a/cortisol.htm

Stay tuned for Part III… DE-STRESS EAT SMART AND BOOST YOUR METABOLISM

Food, like any other addiction, is a form of self-medicating. So you have to get to the source of what you are trying to numb. Otherwise, you can go from diet to diet and it won’t matter. You may lose weight, but you will gain it back. You have to face what you’re hiding from, why your self-esteem is affected and replace your meals with essential nutrients that naturally balance and boost your metabolism.

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

“Overweight – Guilt, shame, suppressed emotions, Carrying others’ problems and burdens. Trying to cover your vulnerability, hurt, or abuse from the past. Not feeling good enough. Feeling stuck. Punishing yourself with food. Trying to push people away or keep them at a distance. Not allowing your true beauty and essence to shine through. Keeping the weight as protection. Constant procrastination.” ~ Inna Segel The Secret Language of Your Body: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness

”I diet and I diet and I’m not losing weight”

“I know I have an addiction to food. I’m what you call an emotional eater and struggle with added on weight. I find myself eating, even when I’m not even hungry,”

“For me, food is an attempt to ease my stress or anxiety. It’s also become a source of comfort as it doesn’t fight back or disagree with me, thus it gives me a temporary gain of feeling empowered…but unfortunately in the long run, I gain increased weight only.”

“As a child, I was put on a diet, dieting meant something was different about me, I wasn’t good enough. When I was told I needed to lose weight (another not good enough), every meal I ate was different from the rest of the family. I felt I was being singled-out , punished, a misfit…..”

“Why do I wolf down sticky pastries and chocolate cake when I’m not even hungry?”

Like most of you, I’ve had my weight problems and I’ve had to watch what I eat. A lot of the time I just couldn’t say no to dessert. Why is it, we simply can’t resist eating candy, cake, cookies, or anything that’s sweet? Why do we have such an insatiable craving for carbohydrates?

Hunger begins in the limbic part of the brain which operates through the endocrine system and the autonomic nervous system.  This is the area that plays a key role in regulating food intake and body weight.  When the body is low in blood sugar or glucose, the liver sends signals to the hypothalamus, a small but important gland at the base of your brain.  It’s also the hypothalamus that triggers those hunger cravings that can drive you crazy and make you feel light-headed and irritable.

“Compulsive and addictive behaviors such as overeating, compulsive exercise, gambling, spending, workaholism, relationship addiction, and drug and alcohol abuse are born of intense craving for nurturing, affection, connection and personal power. Under the surface of compulsive behaviors lies an insecure, frightened and angry individual crying out in loneliness, isolation, helplessness, fear and anger. Compulsive behaviors represent an attempt at survival, security, satisfaction identity and safety. The compulsions become replacement for nurturing; the means to diminish anxiety and insecurity, and experience brief pleasure and gratification; the means to repress anger and hostility; and an avenue to find temporary security. Compulsive behaviors represent the paradox of both an overwhelming desire for connectedness and a fear of intimacy and conflict. The spending, hoarding, sex, compulsive work, etc., reflect an effort to protect oneself against overwhelming feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and fear of abandonment should emotions held in check be released. Good and Mad: Transform Anger Using Mind, Body, Soul and Humor ~ By Jane Middelton-Moz, Lisa Tener, Peaco Todd

How many times have you eaten to…..

1) to stuff your anger, rage, despair

2) to numb and comfort yourself

3) to run away or escape from feelings of perceived restrictions

4) to reward yourself after feelings of powerlessness

5) to run away from feelings of loss and deprivation.

 “Overeating has always meant a need for protection. When you feel insecure or frightened, you pad yourself with a layer of safety. Weight has nothing to do with food. Most of you spend a lifetime being angry at yourselves for being fat. What a waste of energy. Instead, realize there is something going on in your life that is making you feel unsafe and insecure. It could be your work, your spouse, your sexuality, or your life in general. If you are overweight, put the food/weight issue aside and work on the pattern that says, “I need protection because I’m insecure. 

It’s amazing how our cells respond to our mental patterns. When the need for protection is gone, or when we start feeling secure, the fat will melt off. I have noticed in my own life that when I am not feeling safe, I will gain some weight. When my life is going so fast, and I’m doing so much, and I’m spreading myself all over the place, I feel a need for protection, a need for security. So I say, “Okay, Louise, it’s time to work on safety. I want you to really know that you are safe, and it’s okay, and you can do all this stuff, and you can be at all these places, and you can have all that is happening right now, and you are safe, and I love you.” The Power Is Within You ~ Louise L. Hay

The physical body is a reflection of your thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and emotions, so what you think on, you gradually grow to become. Deep within your muscles, organs and tissues are your memories of past experiences, unexpressed traumas, shocks and despair. The heaviness of these burdens coupled with your own beliefs and judgments, often show up as protective layers of fat carried around in certain tissues of your physical body. Any hurts or misunderstandings that aren’t addressed suppress our energy, causing our bodies to become overweight or ill.

Some of the major causes of overeating is depression, stress, holding back hurts and the fear of not being loved. Whenever we experience these unpleasant emotions our body’s start losing energy….this is when we unconsciously feel the need to replace that lost energy with food. Unfortunately, under stress, we don’t eat wisely, (grabbing for something sweet and starchy) and end up losing more energy processing the food, which creates an even lower energy cycle.

“Food represents mother, love, affection, security, survival and reward. We replace our need or desire for any one of these with food as a way of filling the emptiness within. We use food instead of affection and love, especially at times of loss, separation or death. We also get it to ease financial or material tensions. Eating sweet food is a way of feeding ourselves the sweetness we crave, of temporarily giving to ourselves the sweetness or reward that we may feel nobody else is giving us. Conversely, in expressing our need for nourishment we may also stop eating thereby reducing or shrinking our need for affection to a level that makes no demands at all In this way obesity and anorexia are actually expressing a similar state; that of not loving self and therefore needing outside reinforcement and affirmation, but not receiving that affirmation enough to satisfy the demand. The reaction that state is simply expressing in opposing ways: obesity indicates a loss of personal control, while anorexia implies a highly exaggerated attempt at control.

 All this is dealt with in the stomach. Hence the longings, unfulfilled desires, worldly pressures and external conflicts are first assimilated. Little wonder that they can cause so much upset such as indigestion, ulcers or acidity. How often do we hear someone say that something is ‘eating away’ at him, and then we also find that he has a stomach ulcer. The stomach modifies and breaks down the food and renders it capable of being absorbed, before sending it further down. Food can spend many hours passing through the stomach, so it is not surprising to find that thoughts and feelings can also sit in here for a long time, creating nausea and tension. A rigidly tense stomach area can indicate a resistance to allowing issues to pass through, a holding on to reality in an attempt to prevent inevitable moves and changes. DEB SHAPIRO body/mind workbook

CASE STUDY

 “Our earliest experience of food and safety, and our first encounter with the lunar principle after birth, is mother’s breast. Although the Moon is really inside us, we first meet it exteriorized in the person who has given birth to us, feeds us and protects us. If mother goes away, then the dark of the Moon has come, and we are overcome with terror of the abyss of extinction. “ Liz Greene The Illuminaries

When Sandy came to see me she was a single mother, thirty-nine years old, just over five feet tall and weighing approximately 150 pounds. She knew there were strong psychological forces from her childhood that were playing a part in her overeating. Although she had gone for psychotherapy, it had not succeeded in resolving her problem. The diets she’d tried and groups she joined had helped her to lose some weight but in the end, all her weight returned and then some.

Sandy said she frequently used food or sweets as a source of comfort; during the nights she would toss and turn, questioning why and how she let herself go…going over it again and again until she felt her head would explode. As her anxiety grew, she not only gained weight in her hips and mid-section, she also started experiencing pain in the right side of her stomach…Sandy later discovered the pain was an inflammation of her duodenum (the beginning of an ulcer). Her brain that had been carrying the stress of overeating had discharged part of it into duodenum. In return the duodenum bombarded her brain will painful information, disturbing her sleep.

Every person has a ‘weak link’ an organ or body part that is more vulnerable than the others and this particular body part becomes the main target when the brain or mind becomes overwhelmed or burdened and needs to rid of its excess stress. In Sandy’s case, her ‘weak link’ was her stomach and attached duodenum. The stomach and duodenum represent the Self in relation to others—the stomach reacts to our social life—the duodenum more emotionally intense reactions, which is actually closer to our inner self.

During our first Reiki session, I slowly scanned Sandy’s energy, which felt as if it was tangled in knots and very sticky. Her energy was withdrawn and it really felt as if Sandy was afraid of being touched. It is our senses that give us information we need to function in the world…every move we make, every bite we eat, everything we touch creates a sensation in us. The main task of the body’s central nervous system is to integrate the senses. No one part of the central nervous system works alone. messages are constantly going back and forth from one place to another so that touch can aid vision, vision can aid balance, balance can aid body awareness, body awareness can aid movement, movement can aid learning and so on. But when we are sense-deprived we aren’t getting enough stimulation from the outside.

Your aura is a live communication system, sensing and receiving information around you; it registers the intentions of your thoughts, moods and actions. When we energetically, physically withdraw or avoid being touched, our brains are affected too and can’t tell us how things ‘feel’. We can have trouble analyzing, interpreting and storing sensory memory; we become confused and less confident. Unconsciously, we keep our energy to the back of our body, blocking our own perceptions and our awareness.

At the base of your brain stem is what’s called the Medulla Oblongata. This area at the back of the neck feeds nerve energy to our five senses. When our nerve energy becomes depleted, it’s unable to reach our ears, eyes, throat or mouth. Our five senses are literally starved and react by creating sensory complications (coughing, difficulty swallowing, post nasal drip, acid reflux, eye problems, etc.). Also, when our body system is drained of energy and power, to compensate the loss, it will steal it from our eyes, ear, nose, throat and mouth.

I asked Sandy if she suffered more than most from respiratory illnesses, which she answered with a definite yes. I also wondered if she suffered from allergies and indeed she did. Allergic reactions can affect our heart, stomach, bowels, skin, and nervous system….in fact they can disrupt every bodily system. When we suffer from allergies, lung infections or even the common cold, affect our nutrition, thereby reducing oxygen to our tissues. Low oxygen equals low energy and low energy equals low metabolism and low metabolism can affect our weight.

Alternative healers are not allowed to diagnosis, so I suggested Sandy go to her doctor and ask for a full blood test. I ‘suspected’ she may have low thyroid and/or possibly suffered from hypoglycemia or low sugar. Sandy had mentioned she loved eating sweets of all kinds throughout the day. When we eat high levels of sugar, our blood sugar spikes, then within a half-an-hour, plunges steeply to an all time low. To understand how hypoglycemia develops we need to know how our glucose metabolism works. Our bodies convert all foods to glucose but when too much sugar floods the bloodstream, the pancreas is alerted to send extra insulin to counteract the overload. If you frequently eat a lot of snacks and starches, your overzealous pancreas may start pouring insulin too much too fast. When this happens the sudden drop in sugar can cause a variety of symptoms such as: headaches, anxiety, irritability, tiredness, dizziness, confusion, and even lack of coordination. Of course what we usually do, is reach out for more sugar….a vicious cycle of high/low energy. This certainly seemed what Sandy was going through.

(The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system located at the base of the throat. It sends hormonal messages to every cell in your body, maintaining body temperature, heart rate, muscle contraction and metabolic rate (the rate at which food is converted into energy).

“The incidence of poor thyroid function in modern society appears to be quite high. Some researchers have estimated that up to 40 percent of the population suffers from at least mild dysfunction of the thyroid, and they believe this problem is part of the reason so many people are over-weight. This estimate is considered too high by most orthodox physicians, but many doctors of integrative medicine agree that low-grade thyroid dysfunction is relatively common. One reason for poor thyroid function is insufficient intake of the minerals zinc and selenium. Another is reduced blood flow to the thyroid.” Meditation As Medicine: Activate the Power of Your Natural Healing Force ~ Dharma Singh Khalsa, Cameron Stauth

See more on the thyroid here….

When the Reiki session was over, my sense was that from a very young age, Sandra had been left on her own with little support or emotional nurturing…deep inside was unexpressed pain, anger, and feelings of abandonment. Sandy’s body was definitely under stress. I told her that the body responds to stress by secreting epinephrine and slowing down digestion. Fats, sugars and hormones are released in the body, cholesterol rises, blood pressure rises, heartbeat accelerates, muscle tension increases and more.

“Where you store your fat says a lot of your hormonal state.  Take a look at the following Hormone Body-Fat Map to see a clearer picture of the relationship between your hormonal imbalances and fat stores.” Quote and Picture from “THE HORMONE DIET” ~ by Natasha Turner, N.D.

Fat Storage sites

Too much epinephrine can cause nutritional deficiencies because it depletes potassium, phosphorus, amino acids, magnesium and calcium. And when the body’s under stress it doesn’t absorb nutrients as well, especially B vitamins and electrolytes which are essential to the body.

People who have been deprived of security and love, especially during their childhood, often have a blockage in their 1st chakra, this can manifest later in life as diabetes, hypoglycemia or overweight.

“A deficient first chakra is contracted, vacant, weak, sloppy or unformed. This is usually recognizable by simply looking at the body. Contraction pulls inward, as if the person were trying to make himself as small as possible…If the contraction pulls away from the ground, the first chakra becomes empty, vacant and the person may be totally out of touch with feeling in this area. If a person’s energy is very disorganized the first chakra will be weak and disappear at the slightest challenge….There is also a kind of deficiency that may appear in either a thin body or with a large, overweight one (which would seem like excess) where the body is very loose and unformed. Since the first chakra is about solidity, the unformed body has a hard time solidifying itself or holding its shape, ground or basic structure. There is poor muscle tone, circulation, color and boundary formation. This is a state that is undernourished and undercharged.” EASTERN BODY WESTERN MIND ~ by Anodea Judith

The next time I saw Sandy, she told me her blood test did show a low thyroid. Although she didn’t mention hypoglycemia, I suspected it too was a possibility. Just a week on Synthyroid had helped to change her disposition and she looked more relaxed, refreshed and her energy patterns were healthier and less tense.

Wanting to know more about her metabolic state, Sandy and I talked about metabolism, which refers to the way your body processes and utilizes the food you eat.

 WHAT IS THE METABOLIC SYSTEM

Most of the food you eat is digested then converted into energy through the process of metabolism. This process involves a complex network of hormones and enzymes that not only convert food to fuel but also affect how efficiently we burn that fuel.

“Your liver is responsible for burning most of the fat in your body. If it is healthy, it pumps out excess fat through bile and helps you keep a healthy weight. However, if your liver is not healthy, it can cause your body to hold on to fat and cause other health problems. You can damage your liver by drinking too much alcohol, taking antibiotics or painkillers for long periods, taking oral synthetic hormone replacement drugs, being exposed to chemicals including pesticides, having a viral infection of liver (such as hepatitis C and B, autoimmune hepatitis, hemochromatosis, or primary biliary cirrhosis), or eating an unhealthful diet high in fat. 

If you suspect liver problems, or if you are obsess, ask your doctor to perform blood tests that will measure liver enzymes. Elevated enzymes may indicate inflammation and damage to the liver cells and their membranes. Luckily, liver cells are very resilient, and you can restore their health by following your doctor’s recommendations, which may include changing your eating habits so you’re on a proper diet.” 365 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR Metabolism ~ by Racel Laferriere, MS, RD

If your metabolism is a fast burner, it’s most likely dominated by the adrenal system and the thyroid gland. Both the adrenals and thyroid are dominated by the sympathetic nervous system, which is part of the autonomic system that controls your basic bodily functions such as heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, hormonal balance and of course your metabolism.

If your metabolism is slow, it’s dominated by the parathyroid gland and the pancreas, which are in turn dominated by the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic system is involved in slowing heart rate, decreasing oxygen supply, metabolism and energy. Both the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems work together to keep your energy at an even keel and balanced.

WHAT”S YOUR METABOLIC TYPE

“Slow Burners release energy too slowly to maintain adequate health. This is analogous to a woodstove whose fire is too small to heat the room. In a stove, when combustion is incomplete, there is a buildup of creosote in the stovepipe. This metaphor is appropriate for the slow burner’s body. Sodium and potassium act as solvents in the body by holding minerals in solution in the bloodstream. When sodium and potassium levels are low, calcium and magnesium fall out of solution and begin to build up in the tissues, eventually leading to arteriosclerosis and/or arthritic conditions. To improve the health status and energy levels of a slow oxidizer, the metabolic furnace (i.e., oxidation rate) must be increased. The extremely slow oxidizer is continually exhausted because of a diminished ability to use glucose (blood sugar) for energy production at a cellular level. 

Fast Burners release energy too quickly. To go back to the woodstove analogy, the fast burner is a stove that is burning too hot, overheating the room (the body) and quickly running out of fuel (glucose). While it feels better to be in fast oxidation because of the high energy released, the expense is to the tissues of the fast burner’s body: The mineral reserves are being exhausted. 

Mixed Burners have an erratic energy pattern sometimes too slow, sometimes too fast. This is due to a loss of balance between the thyroid and adrenal glands. It is an interim state, generally moving toward fast or slow oxidation.” BALANCE, Your Personal Prescription for Supermetabolism, Renewed Vitality, Maximum Health, Instant Rejuvenation ~ Oz Garcia

To become aware of how foods affect you, learn more about what happens to the foods you take into your body. Some food is digested and turned into fuel for the body or new tissue. Some is excreted while some have no nutritional affects and remain in the body. These useless foods usually become fatty deposits and may linger as toxic material lodged in or around the cells of your body. These toxins exhaust/sap your vitality, fog your mind and emotions and cause disease and premature aging.

A simple metabolic questionnaire http://www.doctoroz.com/quiz/quiz-what-your-metabolism-type

ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS

Artificial sweeteners are on the rise but they play havoc with the body’s metabolism and frustrate it to no end.  When the body tastes something sweet, it begins the natural preparation of digesting carbohydrates, but with artificial sweeteners it can’t find them!  When this happens, the body has to compensate somehow and look for carbs elsewhere….it may excessively absorb carbohydrates found in the intestines which forces the body to produce extra insulin which then causes our blood sugar to go too low, resulting in hypoglycemia.  This insulin and blood sugar roller coaster causes the hypothalamus to panic which leads to more carb cravings and more sweets.  It’s an endless cycle that if not managed, can lead to weight gain and progressive obesity.

DIETS DON”T WORK

“To have a renewed body, you must be willing to have new perceptions that give rise to new solutions. “ ~ Deepak Chopra

Have you ever walked into a bookstore or library and noticed the amazing amount of books on health and fitness? There are hundreds of diet and nutrition books available on the market but there are non-superior than the rhythm and wisdom of your own body. When it comes to finding our own personal, optimum diet, we need to take into consideration that each of our nutritional requirements are unique because of our history, metabolism and energy needs. So there is some truth in saying your metabolism is programmed through your genetic information and other various external and internal forces.

Genetically our bodies are engineered for gaining weight and not for weight loss. Many of us blame our lack of willpower for not staying on a diet plan but historians and scientists have proven that for most of the time us humans have been around, there was no steady source of food. Sometimes there was plenty to eat and other times there was none. In order to survive, people’s bodies had to adjust to these conditions of feast or famine. When food was scarce, metabolism would slow down to preserve energy, and when there was plenty, it would speed up.

Dieting places the body in the famine or starvation mode, which is why metabolism slows down when people go on strict diets. When they begin to give into cravings, metabolism speeds up—at least while they’re young. Up until the age of 30, the body can adapt to metabolic changes brought on by dieting and then quitting, but after that it becomes less flexible. With added age, metabolism slows down and stays down. To make matters worse, the weight lost is usually muscle, but the weight gained tends to be more fat then lean body mass. Fat burns fewer calories than lean tissue, with the results that the next time you diet, the pounds will be more difficult to shed.

EXERCISE

If you are planning to add exercise to your program it should be designed for ‘you’ rather than what’s trending right now. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve never been one for conventional exercises…remembering at school, I did everything I could to avoid them!

Exercise should have a lot of variety to it…look around and see what appeals to you; look for an exercise that will leave you feeling good and not sore or exhausted. You don’t have to go to the gym to work out, you could find and combine two or three fun things to do, such as dancing, swimming or even jogging. The important thing is to pick a program and stay with it. The important thing is that you listen to and observe ‘who you are’ and what ‘you need’ at this time in your life and development. Getting in shape is not about the pursuit of perfection…it means making your best effort in whatever you do. Stressing and worrying will only deplete your happy-mood chemicals and deplete glucose levels in your brain. Think long term and don’t go for the quick fix. Just take it day by day. The key word is ‘gradual’.

LEARNING FROM YOUR EATING PATTERNS

I encouraged Sandy to buy a journal and over the next two or three weeks, watch what she ate and how and when she ate to see what more she could learn from that information. I told her not to judge or grudge herself…”all you’re doing is observing and noticing, nothing more. Most of all, drop any feelings of guilt you have about eating “wrongly”: It’s better to eat the “wrong” thing and enjoy it then feel guilty and self-rejecting about it. In fact, it’s probably better than eating the “right” thing with feelings of resentment, longing, or tension. No matter what, feel good about yourself. Food is not your enemy. So many people feel guilty about eating it, or they fear that one bite will lead to a binge. Don’t ever feel deprived, you can enjoy food, as long as you put your eating habits in order and you’ll feel more energetic.

Learning to develop a sensitivity to your own body’s needs is a very gradual process. The body is a creature of habit and preferences, urging/prompting you to buy and eat its most favorite foods. For example it may make you crave for something sweet, when what your body really needs is protein. Often too, we misinterpret the body’s need for water as a hunger sign and eat unnecessary calories when all we really need is a glass of water.

See yourself going through a typical day and visualize all the times that you stopped to take any form of food or drink, whether it was a meal or snack. Consciously recall each time, how you were feeling, what you were thinking and doing before, during and after the meal, snack or drink. Notice particularly whether you were calm and relaxed, tense, tired, emotional, hungry, bored, or whatever. Write down or draw each of those food events as you recall them. (For example: “At 11 a.m., ate a doughnut and drank coffee—needed a break from work.

Try this little exercise….

Sit quietly and close your eyes. Then without directing or judging your thoughts allow them to flow through your mind in relation to your connection with food and eating. Simply let the thoughts happen and write them down in brief words or phrases or even draw them. Close your eyes again and allow more to come. Do this for about five minutes.

Begin to look for habit patterns that are possibly governing your eating. Be honest, but accepting, do not judge what you see as good or bad—simply acknowledge the patterns for what they are.

How often do you eat when you’re really hungry and how often do you eat from habit, a desire or the pleasure of taste. How often do you eat to combat boredom, to console yourself or take away or dissipate negative emotions such as fear, anger or depression.

How often do you eat slowly, peacefully and in a quietly relaxed surrounding? How often do you eat on the run, hurriedly, with tension or anger, while discussing or arguing, while reading, listening to the radio, or watching TV, or involved in some other activity?

How often do you really taste and enjoy what you eat, how often do you find you’ve eaten a whole meal almost without noticing?

How often do you stop when you know you’ve had enough, and how often do you go on eating because it tastes so good, because you don’t want to go back to what you need to do after eating, or because you have nothing else to do?

How often do you feel alert and pleasantly satisfied after a meal and how often do you feel uncomfortably full, have indigestion or feel sleepy and dull?

How often do you eat healthy, nutritious live foods and how often do you junk out on artificial, processed, sweet, carbohydrate or nutritionless foods.

Go over all that you’ve written and try to see a pattern in your eating. Are there specific times of day, days of the week, or situations where you see yourself eating less than at other times?

EATING WITH AWARENESS

Eating with awareness means slowing down and devoting your full attention during a meal, to the actual process of eating, so you can achieve maximum health benefits and enjoyment.

Eat only when you’re hungry. Even if you eat more than someone else, it will benefit you as long as you are hungry. If you don’t seem to getting much enjoyment out of it or not satisfied with the food available, either you aren’t really hungry or you’re eating more than your body requires. When you are hungry, the simplest food tastes most delicious.

After eating you should feel relaxed and alert. If you feel tired or sluggish you know you’ve eaten too much. When you eat less, you’re body will protest and may experience hunger at first…this initial discomfort is caused from getting to know true hunger,…when you’re body knows true hunger, then eating will become an exquisite pleasure and natural fulfillment of the body.

Eat regularly at specific times. Plan each meal and eat enough that will leave you hungry for your next meal. In that way, you will eat only when you’re hungry and will eat regularly as well.

Focus all your attention on what is happening in your mouth as you chew. A significant part of the digestive process begins with enzymes secreted in the mouth. If you do not chew properly, you are bypassing an important stage of the digestive process and forcing your stomach to worker harder than intended…chronic indigestion, gas, and constipation could result.

Avoid eating when you’re angry, excited, tense, depressed, sick, hurried or tired. Wait until your mind becomes calm and your natural hunger returns. The hunger you experience when tense is not true hunger; it’s mentally induced hunger, designed to provide an outlet for your nerves and anxieties.

Always eat in a pleasant soothing atmosphere. Make your meals colorful and attractive from many food forces. Begin your meal with the gift of gratitude that comes to you from food. A prayerful attitude relaxes you, prepares your digestive system to assimilate the food you eat and to draw more energy from your food.

When eating, simply eat! Avoid distractions such as the computer, talking, reading, listening to the radio or watching tv. All these will divert your attention from the awareness of chewing and tasting your food. When you talk or wondering what to say/write, you’re body must work harder to get the maximum benefit from the food.

Make eating an act of meditation, of reverence for your body and your inner self. Be fully aware of what is occurring in your body. Visualize your digestive system and feel that the food is being converted into vital energy for the sustenance of your body, mind and spirit.

If you overeat, accept yourself. You probably will overeat at times and that’s natural. Learning to be aware of your eating habits will happen gradually.  Don’t get discouraged, you’ll eventually become the best adviser for your own energy and bodily systems

“Weight is only the outer effect of a fear that is inside you. When you look in the mirror and see the fat person staring back, remember that you are looking at the result of your old thinking. When you start to change your thinking, you are planting a seed for what will become true for you. What you choose to think today will create your new figure tomorrow. One of the best books on releasing excess weight is The Only Diet There Is by Sondra Ray. It’s all about dieting from negative thinking. She shows you step by step how to do it.”  ~ Louise L. Hay

Link between intestinal flora (bacteria) and obesity  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130828131932.htm

http://chriskresser.com/thyroid-blood-sugar-metabolic-syndrome

http://www.endocrineweb.com/endocrinology/overview-adrenal-glands

 

More links to come…..

Stay tuned for Part II…..

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