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neck muscles front

“If you are one of the millions of people who suffer pain, stiffness, arthritis, whiplash, slipped disks, and other neck problems, you have probably tried the gamut of treatments, including surgery, chiropractic, acupuncture, traction, yoga, or medications for pain. Any or all of these may offer temporary relief but probably won’t provide a permanent cure. So what is the prescription for better and more balanced communication and lasting relief from painful neck problems……In addition to medicine and behavioral changes, you must identify and change the negative thoughts that are triggering your health problems. In Louise’s affirmation theory, the healthy neck and cervical spine represents flexibility and the ability to see both sides of the conversation. But turn this concept on its head by introducing an unbending mind-set or bullheadedness and health turns to illness and disease—in this case, a stiff or painful neck.” ALL IS WELL ~ Louise L. Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz, M.D. Ph.D.

“Tight muscles creating an armor in the upper back are often loaded with rage that was initially aimed at ourselves but then get projected outwards toward others. This can be seen in what is known as the ‘dowager’s hump’, a formation of soft tissue that builds in the upper back, most often in older women. It would appear to represent a collection of angry, and resentful thoughts that grow without the means for expression as the years pass; it manifests as we get older and as our reason or purpose for living loses impetus.” The BodyMind Workbook ~ Debbie Shapiro

“If we are having neck and shoulder problems, we need to question ourselves. Are we being too inflexible in our thoughts? Are we being too rigid? Are we afraid to see what’s on the other side of us or behind us? Are we taking too much responsibility on our shoulders? Are we taking on responsibility that is not ours. Do we refuse to see other’s point of view or perspective? Do we allow other’s refusal to see our perspective affect us. The Healer’s Manual ~ Ted Andrews

“Pain and stiffness in the neck denote inflexibility in thinking. You may be in a situation that you feel you can’t control as you wish. You may feel someone or something around you has become a pain in the neck. Perhaps you are uncomfortable with what you feel is going on behind your back. Whatever the issue you pretend it does not bother you, but in fact you feel as if stuck in an emotional roller coaster. ~ Lise Bourbeau ~ Your Body’s Telling You: Love Yourself!

The neck tilts, nods and turns and supports the heaveyweight of the head and protects the spinal cord as well. The brain’s messages and major blood vessels travel through the neck to the body, and so too, do the major meridians travel through this area.  To put it simply, the meridians are energy pathways that supply our physical and subtle bodies with vital energy—meridians are known to run under the skin; where they come close to surface is known as acupuncture/acupressure points.

“If you think of the meridians as an energy transportation system, a complex traffic network, you have a concrete model of how meridian energies interact. When a freeway becomes congested, it may be necessary to divert some of the traffic into another highway. An off-ramp may need to be cleared or widened. If a highway or meridian becomes backed up with too much energy, as occurs in the hubbub of life, a bottleneck forms. And the resources needed to support the community or the body [neck] are also blocked. It becomes difficult to provide food and remove waste products. Likewise, if a highway is damaged in an earthquake, even the critical support services that form the community’s “immune system” – like police, fire, and ambulance units – cannot function properly.” ENERGY MEDICINE ~ Donna Eden

Neck Meridians

“The 6th chakra..coordinates the harmonious cooperation of all the cells, organs and function systems of the body, as well as attuning the person’s way of living in the outer world with his or her plan in life and the constructive, harmonious interplay of the various personality aspects…..In addition, this creates a balancing effect on the stomach meridian, which runs from the area of the solar plexus over the chest, neck, and face through the eyes and shifts the activity of the brain more to the front section…Through the better functioning of the stomach meridian, problems can be processed more effectively and creative solutions for difficulties on all levels can be found and translated into reality. The resistance to stress is improved and self-perfection indirectly strengthened.  According to..Traditional Chinese Medicine, without a well-funcitoning stomach meridian, no healing reaction can be triggered.” The Spirit of Reiki ~ Walter Lubeck

At the base of the brain is a complex of nerves that impart special energy to the ears, eyes, nose, mouth and sensory nervous system.  It’s here that energy feeds your five senses, and when they don’t receive normal amounts of nerve energy the muscles can develop painful spasms which then restrict neck movements, causing strained ligaments that radiate pain to your head.

“The neck is a marvellous combination of yielding nonresistance, since it is able to turn in every direction.  In good health it is strong, flexible and bends easily… When one has health problems in the area of the neck he is fighting, resisting, rebelling against someone or some circumstance of life, and has probably become intolerant.” Catherine Ponder

Constant tension in the neck area will block the voice and breath; in a stressful or fearful situation the shoulders lift creating a hunch-back effect which exerts pressure on the back of the neck, making it impossible to breath properly.  This tension in the throat has also been associated with abdominal tightness which then produces a sensation of nausea.  At this point we complain to the doctor or therapist about being unable to swallow and unable to breathe properly.

“If the spine is in its correction position, up and flexible in its support, then shoulders should hang down and slight back without tension. Habits that infiltrate the should are a result of holding, placing bracing or lifting against a force trying naturally to find its ease. In other words, we consistently go against the shoulders’ natural drift downwards by hunching them in a different direction. Even as you sit there reading, becoming more and more engrossed in the activity and engaged with the words and thought, stop and notice how much tension has started to overtake your shoulders and upper chest. This is the slow drifting tide of tension we have to fight against. In order to keep this area free of contraction continual release and monitoring are necessary. Even the slightest unease in thought or gesture can make the tightness return so we must put ourselves on constant reminder to release here throughout the day. The Right to Speak: Working with the Voice ~ Patsy Rodenburg

ANATOMY OF THE NECK

The neck actually consists of seven loosely joined cervical vertebrae at the top of the spine. The spine is near the center of the neck, not at the back as many of us imagine. This neck section of the spinal column is wrapped in dozens of muscles that contract and relax every time you move your head or alter the alignment of your spine or skull. These muscles have a tricky job on balancing what looks like a wobbling pumpkin on a broom stick.

“The head should naturally balance on top of the spine, its weight economically distributed. If you balance or juggle a heavy object on top of a pole you will instantly see how even the smallest shift will topple the object. Our head don’t drop off but a series of muscles in the neck and shoulders have to work overtime to compensate for any misalignment we are suffering.” The Right to Speak: Working with the Voice ~ Patsy Rodenburg

Neck Muscles Back

The most vulnerable neck muscle is the trapezius. It runs from the base of the skull down the back of the neck, where it fans out to the shoulder blades and spine. The head can weigh up to 20 lbs and carrying your head too far forward strains this muscle, which most of us do working at a desk, typing and looking at the computer screen.

Wearing high heels also strains the trapezius as the heels tilt a woman’s legs forward, thrusting her buttocks back. To compensate, the chest neck and head are forced to tilt forward.  And this also means the trapezius must strain to hold the head in place.

The other major neck muscle is the sternomastoid. To find it, turn your head toward your shoulder and run  your hand along the protruding muscle that extends from the base of the skull just below the ear down the front of the neck to your collarbone. The sternomastoid supports the neck to the side and front, whereas the trapezius controls front and back. If you brace your shoulder against a heavy shoulder bag, strain while lugging a suite case of scrunch up to hold your cell phone, you’re tensing both the trapezius and sternomastoid.

Are you short-sighted, as this can push the head forward straining the trapezius–and an aggressive attitude towards the world can push the head forward too.

Mental stress can create or compound neck pain. If you are depressed or angry, your muscles may tense without you even knowing. The longer the tension holds, the more likely the muscle will harden into a painful knot.

The key to breaking the spasm-pain cycle is to relax the muscle and increase circulation.  Breathing exercises, a hot bath or heating pain might help as well as gentle massage and simple exercises.

ANOTHER METAPHYSICAL PERSPECTIVE

Metaphorically, of the many people I’ve treated for neck tension, 60% of the problem had to do with low self-esteem.  Deep down inside they didn’t feel worthy of love and struggled with feelings of unworthiness. For many people, this low self-esteem had been caused from childhood fears of feeling unwanted, ignored,  rejected or even problems going through the birth canal. (The neck represents the in-taking, the beginning of life. It is here that we swallow the reality that forms the essence of our life).  Unknowingly, this affects a person both physically and emotionally, causing a fear of never quite measuring up. Many with neck problems, have a tendency to process information more deeply and become overwhelmed by criticisms, rejections, losses, betrayals and deaths.  Unfortunately this makes them even more vulnerable to attack and control from the outside and much of their life is spend in devising ways of protecting themselves so that what’s deep inside their core isn’t discovered; they struggle with an inner feeling of shame.

Many people with afflictions to their neck love to look after others.  Their ambition is to help others and often do this to their own detriment. The parents, you see, had invested all their energy in making their child dependent (which encourages sickness and weaknesses of all kinds) so the child would enjoy it when his or her pet is sick because s/he could look after it.

When in very early life, our creative self-expression is repressed and we are not encouraged to make our own choices, we find ourselves living someone else’s dreams, ideas or expectations.  Unaware of an alternative, we experience frustration, tension and even depression;  we feel restless, anxious or even guilty because we’re unable to get ourselves to do what we really want to do. When this happens we find ways to reduce our stress by eating sweets and pastries or opening a pint of ice-cream or a quart of beer and kill hours surfing the internet or watching TV. What we’ve done is repressed our feelings and diverted them into some form of ‘habitual pattern’. The longer this tension holds, the more likely the muscle(s) will spasm or harden into a painful knot.  The more we suppress our hopes and desires the more we wither on the inside; we also become dependent on others to tell us what  we want and where we wish to go.  If we fail to speak out for ourselves, our suppressions can actually cripple us.

It is true that anxiety, jealousy, anger, creates stress that tends to strike the muscles in the upper back and neck.   Stiffness in the neck can cause the cervical bones to go out of alignment by restricting the circulation and nerve energy, which may eventually result in rheumatism and/or cervical problems. The neck is one of our most vulnerable areas and when stressed could indicate an inability to express what we’re feeling, blocking off our communication. The neck is considered by many spiritual disciplines as the gateway or bridge to the spiritual world through which the breath must pass.

Anger can also come from a habit of reacting angrily instead of listening with patience and compassion.  And these fiery outbursts of energy create a lot of acid in the body. The constant release of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol can sear the body in a way that is similar to acid searing metal. Even hours after the output of these chemicals, they still remain high in the body, elevating blood sugar levels, causing damage to the muscular system, decalcifying our bones and thinning our skin. This is when toxic emotions become deadly emotions.

When we are under stress, the thyroid gland has to work harder, pumping out more of its hormones.  The thyroid controls our ‘basic’ metabolism, cardiac rhythm, and manages our ability to adapt. If stress continues, the thyroid won’t be able to continue its increased level of production and may begin to fail.  When this happens, the immune system becomes confused and starts producing antibodies against the thyroid.  As the thyroid falters, metabolism slows, causing mood swings, emotional outbursts,  irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, aches and pains in joints and muscles, and muscle weakness and coordination problems.

If you’d like to more about the metaphysics of the thyroid, EMOTIONALLY, PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY DECODING THE THYROID

Problems in the neck area can also be caused by restrictive breathing.  The muscles that lift the rib when we breathe deeply into the abdomen are the sternocleidomastoid muscles and the upper trapezius muscles on the back of the neck – shallow breathing can result in neck strain and chronic neck tension – and – the most common cause of headaches is neck tension, especially the excessive pull on the base of the skull where the upper trapezius attaches.

If you have any structural problems with your back, spine, neck or overall posture, this will restrict the nerve supply to your organs and digestive system; the result of this is poor digestion which can lead to toxic buildup of food materials in your intestines.  From this, you might develop food sensitivities as the healthy food becomes toxic.

THE THROAT CHAKRA

“Expressing our feelings is the function of the Throat Chakra. People who are not prepared to deal with emotional energy often have problems with their throat, mouth, teeth, and ears. When we limit the flow of energy by blocking our expression, there is insufficient energy to feed these areas of the body, and energy has a difficult time reaching the higher centers of the mind. If there are energy leaks in the Throat Chakra because of suppression, negative energy will stay bound in the body and form the musculature and character style of the person. Energy will never rise up to the higher mind, to be expressed as thoughts, opinions or insights. This can produce engorgement of the tissues, rigidity of the bones and other congestive problems. The more we feel free to express ourselves, the more internal regulation we have for our mental and emotional functions. Energy wants to be able to flow in and through us”  LIFE CHANGES With the Energy of the Chakras ~ Amika Wauters

When Alyssa came to visit me and other practitioners in the clinic, she was suffering from a condition known as cervical spondlyosis.

(Cervical spondylosis, also known as cervical osteoarthritis, is a disorder where the bones in the neck and the discs start degenerating. Anatomically, degeneration in the bones and discs of the neck are usually the result of wear and tear as we grow older.  What happens, is, the discs lose  their elasticity causing them to become more brittle. Along with the degeneration of disks, bony outgrowths may also form on the vertebrae which are called osteophytes. All these degenerative changes in the cervical spine cause compression and pressure on the spinal nerves that come out of the spinal cord producing symptoms of Cervical Spondylosis. The symptoms of cervical spondylosis are:  – pain and stiffness in the neck which is usually progressive in nature; pain and numbness that radiates to the hands and fingers;  headache that starts from the neck and extend to the back of head; loss of balance and vertigo (sensation of spinning or whirling with loss of balance).

No matter the temperature outside, Alyssa always, always wore turtle-neck tops or scarves right up to her chin.  She spoke in whispers as if afraid to speak out and  found myself leaning in more to hear what she was saying. The fifth chakra is associated with our ability to communicate and express ourselves. When the fifth chakra is balanced, we feel we have the right to speak and be heard; we communicate clearly and can express ourselves creatively. When the fifth chakra energy is deficient, there is a tendency to protect our throat, to be silent and to fear self-expression.

“Most people are not prepared to express the depth of their feelings. They chose safety rather than honesty. Their Throat Chakras then become congested with energy that eventually becomes stagnant..” LIFE CHANGES With the Energy of the Chakras ~ Ambika Wauters

At the base of the brain is the Medulla Oblongata. This area at the back of the neck feeds nerve energy to our five senses. When we have no desire, no will, our nerve energy becomes depleted, it never reaches our ears, eyes, throat or mouth. Our five senses are literally starved and react by creating a physical problem. When we are drained of energy, of power, our body steals it from our eyes, ears, nose, throat and mouth.

(Solar Plexus 3rd Chakra)

During Alyssa’s Reiki treatment, her mind/body spoke of her being intensely self-critical and, very much  like a harping parent trying to redo herself over and over again (Solar Plexus 3rd chakra). This not only creates a crises and personally overhauls the personality; it also creates changes in friends and our surrounding environment. Alyssa said, she had no idea how to stop picking on herself. This self-destruct, self-punishment cycling was creating her bones to landslide, down to the pits, the bottom…in a devastating momentum. Alyssa hadn’t realized how big her self-criticism was.  After the treatment she also realized all the struggles with losing jobs, her home, lifestyle, everything was her continually trying to start over and over again .. ‘trying’ to be ‘totally’ someone else.  This tendency to ‘change’ also made Alyssa vulnerable, giving her power to others and leaving her insecure and bewildered.

The 3rd chakra is the center of self-esteem or the lack there-of; it’s the chakra of how we’ feel about ourselves;  it registers every memory you have of being criticized and what you define as being attractive.  Everybody’s approval you need is in this part of the body and how you react to people and situation in regard to your sense of self. For example, if you picture being attractive, anorexic, and permanently looking 24, or any other component of being attractive, your spirit will leave your solar plexus and temporarily plug into images surrounding the social mind that says, unless I accomplish that image, I’m not attractive.  This is similar to what Alyssa’s energy was plugged into.  In the past, she so desperately needed someone’s approval she started remodelling  everything about her ‘self’.  This may seem a little thing but it’s really a Huge thing because you’re saying to that person, “I agree with you, I’m not good enough the way I am, so I’ll let you remodel me.” So little by little you begin to negotiate your sense of self to please the other person.

When we are disempowered or held back by a dominating figure, we usually hold in our feelings of pain and humiliation.  As said before, holding in negative emotions short circuits our nervous system, depleting our energy, circulation and digestive system. The energies of the solar plexus center affect the digestive system, the pancreas, the liver and gall bladder, the diaphragm, and the middle back.  The diaphragm is also very important in the role of speaking. It allows us to express our deepest feelings inside.  It helps us to connect to our power, our sexuality, our passion, our creativity and higher spiritual values. It begins at our 2nd chakra, the seat of our emotions.  This area records all our repressed as well as passionate feelings.

The diaphragm is a muscle shaped like an inverted bowl that separates the chest casvity from the abdomen.  As you breathe in this muscle stretches out to allow air into the lungs.  As you breathe out, the diaphragm curves inwards and upwards to help force all the stale air out. The human body is designed to exhale 70 percent of its toxins through breathing. Only a small percentage of toxins are released through sweat, and the elimination of waste products from the body.

The scalene muscles attach to the sides of the neck vertebrae as well as the top two ribs. The scalene help stabilize, flex and rotate the neck; their main job is to raise the upper two ribs on each side when you inhale. The scalene muscles work extremely hard when your breathing is stressed or if your coughing and sneezing.

In upper chest breathing, the diaphragm is unable to expand and contract as it should, this overtaxes and shortens the scalene muscles and the trapezius in the neck.  Shortened muscles in the neck causes undue stress on the

THE SACRAL (2nd) CHAKRA

Why you make the choices you make stem from your core beliefs and feelings about your inner power or lack thereof. Second chakra imbalances affect your mental and emotional perceptions and  your motivations for making life decisions. This chakra keeps energetic messages of your development as a child. So in truth, this is where the inner child originates from.  If the inner child is misplaced, due to trauma, it is usually found either in the base or solar plexus area.

Parts of the body controlled by the 2nd chakra are the sexual organs, large intestine, lower vertebrae, pelvis, appendix, bladder and hip area.

The base chakra gives us stability, the 2nd or sacral chakra gives us movement.  Without water, the earth would be infertile.  Picture a beautiful waterfall flowing majestically down a mountain.  Look closely at the rock formation and see how the water has gently carved, molded and smoothed the face of the stone.  Together earth and water create a potent connection.  This helps us to see that the sacral chakra also has to do with our bodily fluids, blood circulation, hydration and elimination.  It is also linked to the lympathic system which takes us to the 5th or throat chakra.

When the Root (1st chakra) and sacral chakra are balanced there’s a harmony between the body/mind. If the 2nd chakra is blocked or never properly developed, our mental health can be affected.  We may lack common-sense and be immature about personal relationships. We may exhibit an urge to control other people and react childishly, like having a temper tantrum to get our own way.

It is not unusual for people with traumatic childhood’s to have blockages in their first 3 chakras. Problems with their health may show in the muscles and nervous system, eczema, ulcers, kidney and structural (bone) problems.  These 3 energy centers are the basis for the framework of the body.

BEGINNING THE PROCESS OF HEALING

I’ve written of the Three A’s before which are so vital in the process of healing, have added them again.

THE THREE A’s

Awareness, Acceptance, Adjustment

“The formula is simple.  Take your greatest victory as your ceiling and your worst defeat becomes the place where your foundation will be built.  Once that’s in place you’ve got a frame which you will fill with joy and sorrow.  From your center will come the creative force of your being, your truth and your instincts.  It is from this place that everything else evolves.” Linda Joyce

AWARENESS – To make changes to our world, we first need to know where we are before we can decide how to get where we want to go.  If you got lost driving to my house, you’d call and ask for directions.  To help you get here, my first question to you would be “Where are you now.”  Awareness is about asking yourself….”Where am I now”; it always determines your next move.

ACCEPTANCE – Awareness and acceptance are intertwined.  By learning to accept freely and uncritically where we are at this moment, we begin to allow our unconscious to release more knowledge about ourselves.  The process of acceptance is one of acknowledging to ourselves that we are in fact perfect—it is where we are supposed to be right now.

Mentally fighting our current situation with judgements such as “I should be better” drains our energy and self-esteem.  Without acceptance of where we are, there is no possibility of moving in a direction of our choice or of every enjoying ourselves fully.

For example, until some acknowledges and accept a current situation of being overweight, he or she cannot choose the goal of thinness and enjoy the process of moving toward it.

ADJUSTMENT – Once we are aware and accept where we are, can we go on to make the changes in our habits that we’d like to make and bring us to a greater state of health.

The keys to the stage of Adjustment are patience and moderation.  Often we go too fast and become discouraged when we can’t change everything overnight, or else we think that the changes needed are so great that we’ll never be able to make them and discourage ourselves before we start.

Giving a voice to your independent point of view, will attract appreciation and love for the person you truly are. If you surround yourself with people of who you really resonate with, you experience the joy of knowing that you are valued for being there in the present moment with them. When you trust your own perceptions and act on them to create an inner equilibrium, you add the peacefulness of your presence to the situation.

When you go to your deep self and then express the balance and stability that is there, you silently invite others to go to that place within themselves. The power of your harmony impels others to go to their depths also if they wish to relate to you; in this way, through claiming your centre, you create harmony.

**

We can only build truly satisfying connections by first developing a secure relationship with ourselves; we need to accept and validate our feelings and needs and be willing to assert ourselves, even it breaks the peace as this actually creates a deeper and more authentic contact. We also need to apply this to our own bodies when we notice pain or discord.  We need to go within and listen and discover how we’re using our personal energy and power…which also involves our sense of self-esteem and self-expression. It’s also learning about the cause and effects of our choices and how we wield our own power.

As you learn to consciously observe the transformation process, you will watch yourself repeating a lot of old patterns long after you seemingly know better.  Spiritually and intellectually, you realize there is another way, but emotionally you are still clinging to the old habits.  This is a difficult time.  Try to be patient and compassionate with yourself.  When you recognize the futility of an old pattern so clearly, it’s about to change!  A short time later, you will suddenly begin to respond differently, in a more positive way.

ASSIGNMENT ~ FEELINGS LOG

This is a simple but significant assignment I gave to Alyssa and have shared with most of my clients;… for the next few days pay attention to your feelings and write a description in a journal or notebook just for this exercise.  You’re going to find out what makes you feel good and what makes you feel sad, what irritates you, what frightens you, what makes you nervous, and what you avoid. All you have to do is write what happened immediately after the feelings … “I stepped out in the rain and felt happy … or .. walked into a room and felt uneasy”

This is not a feeling’s journey, it’s like a log without editorializing…

You see we all have the habit of trying to hide our feelings from ourselves. We automatically deny uncomfortable feelings and try to turn them into comfortable ones … it’s not easy to catch yourself doing that.

And if the event that triggered the feelings seems too small to have mattered, your active brain is going to go looking for something fancier and overlook the right event, so this project will be a bit difficult at first  .. very similar to another meditation on this blog.. Counting Your Thoughts Visualization

Actually logging your feelings is making you accept yourself, and respect yourself, a whole lot more than a hundred affirmations saying “My feelings are all right” or “I’m a good person” The very act of noting something means you accept it.

What if you only really want good feelings .. “I just want to be happy and find my passion” .. well we know that doesn’t work.

We can all remember a time when we felt good, positive, bold, but we also remember times we felt rotten, for weeks and just couldn’t get rolling.  There is a way to get through the bad feelings fast but squashing them won’t do it.

To work with feelings, you must use feelings.

If you’re feeling hurt, you probably need to cry. If you’re scared you might need to run for safety. If you’re angry then you need to speak out about the injustices done.  And though we were trained to control our feelings in public and to think before we act .. it doesn’t mean we should make this a habit in our personal lives.

If you’re not alone with your feelings, don’t swallow them ,, just postpone them for a moment and go somewhere private to express them. Cry, tremble, shake your fists, curse the injustices.  Do whatever the feeling seems to want you to do. Go ahead and groan or heave heartbreaking sighs in the bathroom. Snarl and punch your palm in the coat closet. Shiver and admit you were scared to death. I know it’s hard because we’ve learnt to keep all those feelings in but just a few minutes of expressing your feelings will radically lower their intensity and give them a chance to transform themselves the natural way .. just like a thundershower clears away dark clouds.

Unexpressed feelings are toxic. That’s why nature gave us the tools of expression–to discharge the toxins that have built up inside. Expressing our feelings is the only natural way to turn a bad feeling into a good one. When you’re alone, drop the facade we’ve been conditioned to wear and let the fear and hurt and anger burst out or you’ll carry them around with you for days, until they leak into scenes of your life where they don’t belong and wreak havoc.

Trying to pretend to feel better doesn’t work, same as the same affirmation said over and over again… the mind is so creative it eventually resents the dullness of the repetition. Whenever I try to repeat an affirmation over and over my subconscious rebels because there is a defiant child in all of us that doesn’t always want to do the right thing lol!

This exercise isn’t about silencing or arguing with our thoughts; it’s about listening and acknowledging them so we can begin making gradual changes to our internal critical self-talk

Do you feel tense, , To rectify this, learn to stop yourself  for a moment and notice where your thoughts are.  Are they in the present, past or future or directed towards a person or thing?

**

When Alyssa returned a week later, she couldn’t believe the many voices and images inside her head that put her down or said horrible things about her. It made her aware of how negatively she talked to herself and that this needed to change in order to feel differently.  I also told Alyssa, our thoughts are part of where we scatter our attention, our power; they are made of old beliefs, experiences, feelings, fears and hopes all collected in a jumbling pattern; in a way they are alive and conscious, depending on how much power we give them.

Images we hold in regard to our past (childhood) as well as present time, influences not only unhealthy situations but can arise in the form of unhappy experiences as well as mental or physical illness.

For her 2nd Reiki treatment, I asked Alyssa to again listen to the critiques inside her head but this time, try and identify from whom these inner voices came (mother, father, siblings, colleague, teacher, partner, etc.) and if she could locate where she felt them resonating in her body.  As the healing began, I asked Alyssa to illuminate and bring into focus the buried images/feelings she’d written down. With the hand placements of Reiki  we worked together to bring the hurtful images/feelings out of hiding. Rather than zapping them out of existence, we surrounded and immersed them in light, where they began to lose their strength and destructive power. This would need to be reinforced again, and again, but each time, the critiques-within would lose more of their power.

I recommended Alyssa talk to the dietician in the clinic and consider other healing tools, such as Yoga, Tai Chi, EFT and massage. I also gave her meditations to help with her self-esteem.

The most important element to self healing is the ability to be present with your Self.  You cannot begin if you are preoccupied with the past or living in the expectations of future times.  All these do is scatter your ability to focus and  leave you powerless.

Being in the present  will begin the process of releasing powerful emotions that have been masked or blocked.  It means courageously looking back and inward on a pain originally based on a fear…..an often painful process  we all try desperately to avoid.  AND  when we avoid pain, we experience frustration, anger and exhaustion…..our bodies only get sicker.

Taking care of yourself requires discipline and focus……it takes a lot of courage to nourish and respectfully pay attention to YOU.

**

MEDITATION ~ FREEING YOUR BODY  The Self-Esteem Companion  ~  Matthew McKay Ph.D., Patrick Fanning, Carole Honeychurch, Catherine Sutker

People experience emotions in their bodies as well as their minds.  Do you ever get “gut feelings” about things? Have you every been very angry and felt your stomach clenching? Or Experienced sadness as a heaviness in the chest?

Even chronic feelings of low self-esteem can manifest in your body. You may feel the hollowness of failure in your stomach, the pressure of self-blame on your heart, or the pain of shame in your throat. You have a painful hunch of shoulders from a fear of rejection.

The following exercise can help free your body of feelings connected to low self-esteem. You may want to voice-record the exercises for repeated use.

The first step is to relax your body and mind. Sit or lie down in a quiet place, close your eyes and begin to breathe slowly and deeply. Mentally check in with your body, scanning your muscles for signs of tension. If you find any tense areas, take a belly-breath and release the tightness as you exhale. Remember to scan your whole body—your face, chest, back, arms, stomach, pelvis, and legs.

When you feel physically relaxed, try to quiet your mind. Clear out the random thoughts that dart in and out, and concentrate on a sense of stillness. If thoughts intrude, simplet let them come and watch them go, always returning your focus to the quietness of your mind. Now you’re ready to begin the visualization to clear your body of emotion-based pain.

Visualize the negative feelings that lie in your body. Give them a shape and a color. Make them as ugly and weird as you want. They could look like an anvil, a sword, a sack of potatoes, or an empty cave. Take some deep breaths. With each breath, see those feelings move out of your body and away from you. Watch the anvil leave your stomach or the choking fingers let go of your throat. You are floating past the bad feelings now. They are out of your body, and you are drifting away from them. They get farther and farther away from you. Keep fcuisng on your brahting as the negative feelings move farther away, first becoming a distant speck, the finally disappearing altogether.

Say to yourself: “These are feelings from the past. They come up whenever a situation arises that challenges me. I will survive them, floating past until until my body is free from all of the pain.”

In your imagination, step outside of yourself. Now you can see how bad you’ve felt. You can see how  you struggle with these negative feelings in your torso and limbs. See your face, the position of your body.  Imagine the location of any remaining negative feelings as a red glow in your body. It will fade in a while. Take deep breaths as you watch the red glow diminish. Imagine the bad feelings passing as the glow gradually fades away. If you wish, you can turn the red light into a neutral or relaxing color–pale blue or another gentle pastel. When you are ready, go back inside yourself.

Finally, envision a mental picture of yourself days or even years from now when these bad feelings are long gone. See yourself standing straight and tall, head up, confident, and relaxed. As you bring your awareness back to a more relaxed present moment, remember that you can do this exercise whenever your body is experiencing tension or pain from emotional stress.

BREATHE

Breathing is the most natural thing in the world. It is at the very center of our physical lives. It is instinctive and involuntary and yet how often do we let it work naturally? Most people most of the time are unconsciously hindering the full extent of their breath. Look at the breathing of a young child, and you will see the whole system working effortlessly. All the movement is centred in the middle of the body. This is because that child has not had time to learn any bad habits that can interfere with the natural process.

Now take a moment to observe yourself. Is your head freely balanced on the top of the spine, or is it held tightly in position? Is your jaw or throat tense? Are your shoulders braced up toward your ears or slumped forward? Is the upper chest caving in or being pulled up? Is your stomach relaxed? How free are your knees and feet?

All these little details, habits born from experience, can affect your breathing, making it inefficient. If your posture is bad, for example, the muscles that create the changes in the body that lead to the intake and outflow of breath are restricted in their natural movement, and the lungs cannot expand to their full potential. This can result in breathing only in our upper ribs, a habit we get used to and accept as normal.

Also, the breath and emotions are interrelated. When you are angry, you might hold your breath, or, if you are particularly nervous or stressed, your breathing might become very short and shallow. Most people only use their lungs to their maximum potential when they laugh or cry deeply –laughter and crying both leave behind a feeling of relaxation, a release of emotional tension. Think of how tired and cleansed you feel after a bout of wholehearted laughter, or relief you feel after a deep sigh. If you have ever had a massage, you will have noticed that as your muscles relax, your breathing deepens and slows.

Try is little exercise, it will allow you to feel how deeply you can breathe.

Stand upright with your feet apart. Cross your arms in front of you, and rest the palms of your hands on your shoulders. It should look as if you were giving yourself a hug.

In this position, relax your arms and shoulders. There should be no unnecessary tension in the upper body. Drop your head forward, bending from the waist. Breathe all the way out, and then slowly, naturally allow a big breath in. You will be aware of your ribs opening in your back, and it should feel like the breath will be moving right down your spine.

Repeat a few times. Drop your arms, and then return to an upright position, slowly–if you stand up too quickly you may become dizzy.

Great Links

Trapezius muscle release (youtube)

Easy trapezius stretch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jiq1WbdfkE

http://www.oneworldhealing.net/chakra-healing/vishuddha/

http://www.pharrah13.com/Chakra.html

http://www.holisticwebs.com/sound/thymus.html

http://www.inner-truth.net/healing/chakras/throatchakra.html

http://self-healingsecrets.com/1486/metaphysical-meaning-behind-back-and-neck-pain/

http://www.pharrah13.com/Chakra.html

http://www.holisticwebs.com/sound/thymus.html

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

EMOTIONAL BURDENS ARE A MAJOR CAUSE OF BACK PROBLEMS

“The object of anxiety is within ourselves. When we fail to consciously recognize our Natural and Sacred Anxiety they reappear wearing bizarre disguises and we fight these phantoms, monsters of our own creation. Yet we usually have no idea that we have done this; our habits of suppression have become so automatic that we are no longer aware of them. Thus we have the strange sensation that we are fighting ourselves, and when we are feeling from our self, there is no-where to run and nowhere to hide” Finding Serenity in the Age of Anxiety ~ Robert Gerzon

Your  body is a graphic expression of everything it has ever experienced; every event, every emotion and every stress and pain is locked within its bodily system.  Alternative healers and therapists have learned through years of experience to interpret the body’s visual clues that reveal a person’s pattern of feeling, thinking and acting; using this knowledge helps to  release tensions embedded as ‘residue of symptoms’ in our cells.

Most people don’t realize that within our bodies is a freely circulating giant plumbing system (lymphatic system) that continuously flows up to 10-15 litres of essential fluids at any one time. In healthy undamaged tissue, food is brought into muscles and waste is taken out through this process. In damaged tightened tissue however, contracted areas literally can’t release their waste, almost like a constipation effect, which blocks the exit of waste products.  As these waste products accumulate, nerves that are located in the muscle become irritated. These nerves then send pain signals to the brain, causing both physical and emotional discomfort. Overtime, the tightening of muscle fibres and accumulation of wastes form little ‘balls’ which you can actually feel when you press on tight muscles.

A build up of waste products is not all that happens when muscles tighten. Your body’s main information highway, the Center Nervous System (CNS – which is comprised of your brain and spinal chord), is also negatively affected. When muscles tighten, irritated nerve fibres feed back into the CNS continuously, signaling to it that something is wrong—causing a ‘white noise type of effect.

If you’ve ever tried to listen to a song on the radio through bad static you know how frustrating background noise can be. Your nervous system goes through the same thing as it tries to transmit information over a background of irritated nerve signals that distort its messages.

“It seems that the muscles and organs also have the capacity to trigger memories of our emotional reactions to specific events. Consequently, if we find ourselves experiencing something that’s similar and has a familiar emotional charge to it, we’ll sense it in specific parts of the body. For example, we might experience right shoulder tension every time we find ourselves feeling responsible for carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders, or we might have jaw discomfort every time we’re in a verbally contentious situation.

The body and knows and tells us through the muscles. They’ll freeze up, contract, and spasm as if altering the brain that something is up. And while anatomists can’t prove these sensory impulses to the brain via the nerves are actually emotions, they can show that what they evoke is the source of how experience emotions. To support their findings, they use the examples of how strong negative emotions are gut-wrenching, how they can freeze us in our tracks if we’re about to put ourselves in harm’s way, how anger changes the functioning of the heart, and how love makes the knees weak and the palms sweaty. “ Healing Happens With Your Help ~ Carol Ritberger

Muscles enable us to move, and contribute to our shape, as well as helping us to breathe, digest food, circulate blood, and perform many other bodily functions. There are two main types: the skeletal muscles that you can move voluntarily, and the involuntary muscles, like those of the heart, which move automatically.  Each end of a skeletal muscle is attached to a bone on either side of joint.

Complexes, traumas and unresolved issues from our early childhood often  seethe below the level of our consciousness. Almost all unresolved negative patterns and attitudes have a tendency to be pushed to the ‘back’ of the body; it’s the dumping ground, the place where all feelings and experiences that have caused us pain or confusion are buried.  For some of us, our whole life is built around suppressing what is back there—the longer issues of our past aren’t acknowledged—the more damage and wear-and tear they have on the skeletal and muscular part of the body.

In the upcoming articles on this bog, we’re going to explore the many metaphysical causes of back pain and muscle tension and several healing tools and techniques of healing them.  It is only a beginning point to give you your own direction. It has to be up to you to understand and become aware of gathering your own data, understanding it and applying it to your life.

PART ONE OF THIS SERIES

In Part One of Metaphysically Understanding Back Pain, we’re going to begin this series with the neck, ‘the point of connection’ between the head and trunk.

Tight muscles creating an armor in the upper back are often loaded with rage that was initially aimed at ourselves but then get projected outwards toward others. This can be seen in what is known as the ‘dowager’s hump’, a formation of soft tissue that builds in the upper back, most often in older women. It would appear to represent a collection of angry, and resentful thoughts that grow without the means for expression as the years pass; it manifests as we get older and as our reason or purpose for living loses impetus.” The BodyMind Workbook ~ Debbie Shapiro

Following Part One, we’ll discuss the fascia, which your muscles and organs are enfolded in—combined the fascia and muscle tissue (myofascia) define the contour of the body—together they form the structure and movement in the body. When your stressed or ‘uptight’, gastric juices increase, blood vessels go into spasm, particularly the coronary vessels of the heart. Muscles clench and contract, especially the back muscles, your fascia twists, turns, tightens and thickens causing muscular pain.  The muscles in fact appear to be held in a grip of fear.

The bones of your back speak metaphorically too, and there is a very close relationship between back pain and the nerves in and around your spine.  The brain’s electrical system is all about nerves and a cable system that conveys messages around the body.  The spine’s electrical system includes  the myelin sheaths.  These insulated nerve fibres protect messages as they pass to and from the brain without getting jumbled, weakened or lost. It also helps maintain healthy connections between different parts of the brain, which is vital to process information in a multi-faceted way.

We’ll journey through the 33 vertebrae in the five sections or regions of the spine. You have seven vertebrae in your neck or cervical region; twelve in the mid-back, known as the thoracic or dorsal region; (these are the vertebrae attached to your ribs) and five vertebrae (largest of all) in the low back or lumbar region—two other ‘immobile’ sections are the sacrum and the coccyx. The entire package amounts to a mechanism that can bend and twist, turn and squirm, shake and wiggle and do just about anything else within the range of human motion. But just as easily it can stiffen up, resist, hold itself rigid, causing  nerve irritation, muscle tightness, fatigue, muddled thinking, anxiety disorders, chronic stress, insomnia, etc..

The mind/body connection is about turning inward and preparing yourself for reflecting or mirroring on the story of your life. Hopefully this metaphysical series on understanding back pain will act as catalyst to move you into deeper levels of inner awareness. The metaphysical explanations and various techniques and imageries may help you to see real connections between the physical and spiritual world and discover deeper meanings of our emotions and their connection to illness and pain.

Be patient with your healing and respect the fact that true healing takes time. If you’ve been in pain for a while, it will probably take you 25% of that time, to work on all aspects of your problem to generate significant lasting healing change.

“Much of what creates a great athlete, as well as a great meditator, is the ability to become acutely conscious of the simple actions that most people perform unconsciously. In Medical Meditation, these actions include not just breathing, but also postures and movement. Advanced meditators are just as conscious of their movements and postures as they are of their breathing and their state of mind.” The Healing Elements of Medical Meditation ~ Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. and Cameron Stauth

to be continued…..

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

You know what it’s like. You go to bed, tired and yet you lie there for hour upon hour, tossing and turning, trying desperately to go to sleep. The more you try to go to sleep the more sleep evades. When you finally drop off, it seems like only minutes before the alarm clock wakens you to face another day. Many of us are trapped on this merry-go-round of lack of sleep and mind/body exhaustion. The harder we try the more anxious we become. 

OR…maybe falling asleep when you go to bed isn’t the problem. The problem is, you’re always waking up like clockwork between 1:00 am and 3:00 am every morning. We may not realize it, but our bodies have many duties to perform while we are sleeping—between 1:00 and 3:00 am is when the liver rejuvenates itself—to do so, it needs glycogen. Glycogen is stored within the muscles and liver as a form of glucose; its role is to increase blood sugar levels in the body when they drop. Therefore, it’s possible waking up at 3:00 am every morning is an indicator of low blood sugar, which causes our cortisol levels to spike.

 (As blood sugar drops it’s the liver’s job to make glucagon, a substance that triggers the breakdown of ‘complex carbohydrates’ glycogen into glucose or blood sugar.   The glucose then streams out into the blood, raising the sugar level again. If a person’s blood sugar is unstable, leading towards hypoglycemia then psychologically there’s a problem with the liver, such as a loss of stamina fatigue and quick to anger. Frustration, anger, resentment, emotional turmoil and repressed emotions can all lead to the stagnation of chi or life-force energy, when this happens our blood circulation is affected and can cause us to suddenly wake-up from a deep sleep.) More on the liver later in the article…

“Have you just lost your job? Has your rent increased unexpectedly? Have you lost a loved one. Has your reputation been tarnished? Did you think you’d be further along in life by now? If so you are probably blaming yourself for not being more in control! Any and all of these so-called setbacks teach us that we cannot control the change in our lives, we can only control how we handle that change.” When Life Changes Or You Wish It Would ~ Carol Adrienne

How well you sleep affects how you feel both physically and mentally—sleep affects how you behave, how well you handle the ordinary stress of life, how well you can get along with other people, and how happy and productive you are. If you are waking up feeling deprived of sleep and drag through the day in an irritable fog, then you have a sleep problem—regardless of the number of hours you spend in bed with your eyes closed.

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF INSOMNIA

Major life changes can cause insomnia, such as the loss of a job, financial setback, serious illness, divorce or the death of someone dear.   All these come at a time when we must face certain pain or self-concepts we’ve pushed down into our subconscious.   When we have suffered defeat, setbacks and other losses we are called to deal with painful unresolved personal issues. We are forced to confront our fears about ourselves—fears that have been ignored and rejected. Shame or fear has so much power our former self has little value at the moment.

“Insomnia (long-term)—Inability to relax. Feeling unsafe and unable to let go. Worrying, playing things over in your mind, dissecting situations. Feeling scattered, fearful, anxious, on guard. Harboring feelings of guilt and resentment.” The Secret Language of Physical Ailments ~ Inna Segal

Most people who suffer from sleeplessness have tremendous energy but they frit it all away in a hyperactive kind of way. When tensions accumulate, chronic insomniacs work harder to repress their growing emotional pain and anxiety. In a sense they’re trying to distract themselves so their attention stays occupied—the problem is they pump out more and more energy, becoming more anxious—in a frustrating way.   Most insomniacs are gifted and intelligent but they do not stay with something long enough as they get bored easily and move on to something new. Without much sleep, concentration and focus become increasingly difficult for them and all those great ideas they’ve thought of aren’t always followed through.

Excess touches every area of their lives, including measures to protect their health, which is very important to them. The problem is, they will try everything in their pursuit to happiness—unfortunately this throws the pendulum the other way—they become unhappier—which causes more anxiety. The more anxious they become, the more they lose energy; the lower their energy the more they experience fear and the cycle starts all over again. Anxiety and tension is a downward spiral fueled by fear and lacks conscious understanding.

“Insomnia is defined as chronic sleeplessness, or sleep deficient in either quantity or quality. Psychological studies have proven that insomniacs are generally emotional and anxiety-ridden. If you suffer from frequent insomnia, your sleeplessness probably reflects restlessness in your waking life. You are trying to stay awake so that you will resolve the issues that are preoccupying you. Once you understand that sleep brings comfort and solutions, you will find you are determined to settle the unrest in your life.” Your Body’s Telling You: Love Yourself ~ Lise Bourbeau

We all have our little quirks of habits and behaviors that we know we’d be better off without. We all wish we had more self-control, but when thoughts spin out of control, and become so intense, they take over, against our will. When logic can’t get a grip on something, we go into a tizzy and when this happens our intuitive side is unable to grab the attention of our conscious or unconscious minds.

I’ve noticed many insomniacs become deeply upset over people’s lack of awareness and consideration. They become disturbed by actions that dishonor or destroy life: actions that cause harm to animals, people, and the planet. According to many insomniacs, there should not be war, violence, poverty or starvation on the planet. People should not be hurting or killing one another and some feel the world is dark and hostile. For this reason, they become reclusive, while others become angry, frustrated or turn to drugs or alcohol which causes them to become even more lost, confused, depressed and sleepless.

 “Insomnia is associated with feelings of fear and guilt and not trusting the process of life. If you have trouble with insomnia coupled with anxiety, you can calm your nerves and sleep better with the affirmation “I lovingly release the day and slip into peaceful sleep, knowing tomorrow will take of itself.” All is Well, Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition ~ Louise Hay, Mona Lisa Schulz

Some insomniacs tend to be quiet and shy on the outside while a great deal of inner processing is mentally going on inside. They’re afraid to open up to others and enjoy their privacy (doing intellectual pursuits such as reading, studying, learning) and withdraw from crowds and social settings. But they know on a deep level, they need to mingle with people. They just don’t know how.

WHAT IF….INSOMNIA IS CAUSED BY SOMETHING ELSE?

When suffering chronic insomnia, what else could be going on that we aren’t aware of? Of course if we’ve been so stressed out for most of the day, it’s natural if we’ve found no other outlet to get rid of this excess energy it will still be there when we try to fall asleep. And of course anxiety so extreme will make us more tense and angry about not getting sleep. Anxiety appears in 100’s of disguises and the more tense and angry we get, the more cortisol our body will produce.

If the body is tired, the energy we get from food will not be absorbed or circulated in the tissues properly. Although it is true that the nervous systems relies upon the breakdown of glucose for energy, its ability to function properly will also affected by the kinds of foods (fuel) being utilized in other tissues of the body. Hormones, like the rest of our bodies are created from the food we eat. In order to create all the hormones we need, we have to get enough of the nutrients they’re actually composed, and to make the necessary enzymes to affect the production, metabolism and functioning of our hormones. We can’t do that as well if we’re sleep deprived.

The hormones we’re concerned about in regard to insomnia, is stress hormones that cause too much of an inflammatory response to the body—increasing heart rate, constricting blood vessels and diverting blood blow from the stomach and digestive tract. These stress hormones, in particular cortisol, are secreted from the adrenal glands when we are frightened or in pain but can also occur when we’ve been highly stimulated by ‘too much of a good thing”. Too much stress can cause disease but it can also be caused by disease which means stress is not just psychologically based.

When we are under an enormous amount of stress it also weakens our mental processes. When we are under stress, cortisol levels rise and testosterone levels decrease in both men and women. DHEA, a hormone critical for brain and immune function is also suppressed under great stress. You can have your DHEA levels tested and if low, you can supplement with DHEA, as well as 5HTP and this should improve your sleep quality and protect the brain from excess cortisol, mental clarity and energy returned.

Hypothyroidism and hormonal changes that come with PMS and menopause are strong factors that induce brain fog in women. Children and adults who have experienced injuries to the head and neck can also experience symptoms of brain fog. Poor diet, hypoglycemia, metabolic deficiencies and infections also have a significant role in brain fog.

Calcium is essential for the relaxation of nerve tissue, whereas magnesium is very important in the normal function of the brain, spinal cord, and all the nerves. Our average daily intake of magnesium appears to be only half the adult requirement. Many don’t know that alcohol causes a high loss of magnesium, nervousness resulting from this is a common symptom among social drinkers. Magnesium deficiencies are also produced by meals made of ‘enriched’ white bread, macaroni, spaghetti, noodles, tapioca, sugar, honey and hydrogenated fats…this can cause insomnia as these foods cause a cortisol overload making us feel high strung and unable to sleep.

“The idea that stress is completely psychological is not scientifically accurate and it ignores the significant role of internal inflammation as a cause of imbalance in our stress-hormone levels. You see, the hormone that our body secretes in times of stress is the same hormone it uses to resolve inflammation. This hormone, called cortisol, is secreted by our adrenal glands. The irony in this is that taking anti-inflammatory medications – your average everyday painkillers – causes intestinal-tract inflammation by inhibiting the enzymes necessary for the intestinal tract to replenish and repair itself, and eventually can lead to chronic inflammation. The overuse of antibiotics can also cause intestinal-tract damage, and the average, imbalanced American diet of processed foods, fast foods, caffeine, and alcohol also contributes to intestinal-tract inflammation as well as systemic inflammation in our bodies.” THE STRESS EFFECT ~ Richard Weinstein, D.C.

Since every aspect of our lifestyle can affect every aspect of our lives’ for instance the food we eat, the stresses and chemical pollutants that get in our bodies, we need to look at any unusual mental and emotional reactions in regard to a person’s health:

  • 1) Food intolerances can strongly affect our emotions
  • 2) Airborne chemicals can affect the body’s tissues, such as: pollutants, drugs, allergies or infections;
  • 3) Stress creates a erratic nervous system or brain;
  • 4) Lack of sufficient sleep will deprive us of the body’s ability to repair tissue, necessary to restore the cells’ normal ability to create energy.

 “The connective tissue of the body undergoes a daily repair process that occurs while we are sleeping. A consistent pattern of insomnia inhibits the ability of these tissues to heal, and the likelihood of achieving joint stability is greatly reduced. And not only is it the connective tissue of joints that are of concern, but…also the intestinal-tract lining and other tissues of the body that are not repaired if we are not sleeping.” THE STRESS EFFECT ~ Richard Weinstein, D.C.

RESTLESS SLEEP

Whenever we feel trapped in a situation, we may either lie awake night at night, churning with anger or anxiety or sleep 12 hours a day without ever feeling rest. Do you feel pressured, impatient, waiting for things to get better? Or are you bursting with ideas and wanting to do everything yesterday.   When you lie down does it feel like your body is rushing out of control? Do you suffer from weather/time changes, depression or anxiety, external noises, extremes in temperature, emotional or physical pain? Then chances are, you may suffer from a restless sleep or wake in the early hours and can’t get back to sleep.

I don’t think there is a human on this planet that hasn’t suffered from insomnia in one way or another. It could be those nights when you had to sleep alone, or the neighbors dog keeps barking; too many dreams or nightmares created a restless sleep and of course jet lag and problems sleeping in a different bed.

Approximately one out of three people will report having some problem falling asleep, and because most of us have insomnia in times of stress, sleeplessness is usually known to be “in the mind.” When your conscious mind is full of fear, worry, and anxiety, negative emotions that lay repressed are released in your subconscious mind. They flood the conscious mind with a sense of panic, foreboding and despair—their purpose—to instill fear.

“Fear is anxiety, nervousness, a sense of inadequacy, fidgeting, experiencing terror. You have fears that you can prop up with logic, like fear of losing your job, losing your property, embarrassing yourself in front of others, or fear of harm coming to the people, animals, landscape, and things you love. You can provide reasons why these fears are valid and people understand. Yet sometimes your fear doesn’t have any reason. It comes out of nowhere. It just hits you.

 The function of fear is to frighten you. That’s its job. When it does its job, you lose your strength. You lose a sense of humor and playfulness. There is no lightness or joy in your system anymore. Your inner posture crumbles. You feel you don’t have the resources you need and you can’t improvise.” Awake Mind, Open Heart ~ Cynthia Kneen

WHEN RELAXING IS UNRELAXING

Some of us get tense when we try to relax. Just the thought of letting go makes us restless, uptight or upset to the point of crying. Are you so intent on maintaining control that you can’t relax?

 “Sleep is a natural process, and “trying” will have no positive effect. Trying will probably aggravate the insomnia, because the harder you try and the less successful you are, the more frustrating the whole enterprise becomes.

 There’s a very profound reason for this: Trying is not the way nature functions. The Earth doesn’t try to go around the sun, nor does the seed try to sprout into a sapling. Nature functions with effortless ease, invariably taking the path of least resistance. This is the principle of least action and maximum efficiency, and it’s the one to use when we want to fall asleep.

 There, the attitude you should adopt once you’ve gotten into bed is that which I call “not minding.” The key to achieving this frame of mind is a total lack of self-consciousness. In other words, don’t watch yourself, don’t monitor yourself, don’t become a commentator on your dilemma, and above all, don’t keep looking at the clock.

 Instead, just rest comfortably, not minding, and use this attitude as a way of placing yourself in nature’s hands. Simply lie in bed with your eyes closed, not mind whether you’re awake or asleep. The mere act of remaining motionless with your eyes closed, even if you’re feeling anxious or restless, actually provides the body with significant benefits.” Restful Sleep: The complete Mind/Body Program for Overcoming Insomnia

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS THAT ARE KNOWN TO DISRUPT SLEEP

Most people with an autoimmune disease have hyperactive rather than low immune function. This would explain why many have stuffy noses, multiple allergies and unpredictable reactions to prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs, and symptoms that change rapidly over time.

Other culprits include, caffeine, alcohol, and medications as well as erratic hours—a fast paced social life or frequent job-shift changes. A few insomniacs are simply five or six hour sleepers, but constant stress and worrying can easily raise it to eight hours a night.

Insomnia can be caused from physical ailments such as allergies, anemia, apnea, body pain (e.g., chronic fatigue, diabetes, arthritis, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, lupus, etc.), bruxism (grinding teeth) headaches, IBS, hypoglycemia, hyper/hypothyroidism, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, menstrual pain, etc…. Taking sleeping pills may actually aggravate some of these disorders, particularly sleep apnea a potentially life-threatening interruption in sleeping.

Of the many sleep-disturbing problems, there is a condition known as “Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) If you sleep alone or with someone who sleeps soundly, you may not know that you have it, and may need to have a session in a sleep lab to determine if you have OSA or not.

When we sleep not only do our muscles relax but so do those of the throat. As the throat muscles relax, the air passages narrow. If they narrow enough so that the walls touch, air passing through will cause the walls to vibrate. Snoring usually results but in some people the narrowing is so extensive that the airway walls collapse completely. No air can get through, so the sleep returns to a higher level of sleep; muscle tone increases, the airway opens, and the sleeper, draws a breath. But for some this is a scary experience as they feel a choking sensation and try to inhale but their throat is closed up.

People with OSA breath intermittently when they sleep and that is why they sleep so lightly and hardly ever experience deeper sleep. As a result, they suffer from sleep deprivation and are exhausted during the day. If you think you have it, you should contact your doctor as OSA is very treatable.

Sometimes autoimmune diseases, are hyperactive rather than a low immune function. This would explain why these people can’t sleep as many suffer from stuffy noses, multiple allergies and unpredictable reactions to prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs, and symptoms that change rapidly over time.

CORTISOL OVERLOAD

 “There is a daily cyclical rise and fall of cortisol levels that govern our wakefulness throughout the day and night. Cortisol is excitatory; it arouses us and wakes us up. Blood levels of cortisol have been shown to increase between 50 and 160 percent within thirty minutes of waking; that produces the powerful jolt of arousal needed to wake us up and get us moving in the morning. Then cortisol levels decline as the day wears on and reach their lowest point in the evening, allowing us to rest, relax and sleep.”The Insomnia Solution: The Natural, Drug-Free Way to a Good Night’s Sleep ~ Michael Krugman

Whenever our blood sugars drop below normal, (hypoglycemia) the body reacts by sending the stress alarm off. When this happens, the hypothalamus, in the brain, signals the nervous system to send you sugar—fast! Your sympathetic nervous system goes into high gear. Cortisol, is secreted by the adrenal glands which are located atop the kidneys. When cortisol peaks, it brings you to a higher state of awareness and when it does that, while you’re sleeping, it’s going to wake you up!

Is insomnia emotionally based or could there be other chemical or physical problems within the body causing your sleeplessness. Cortisol imbalances have been linked to obesity, diabetes, depression, heart disease, insomnia, autoimmune diseases like chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid disorders, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and even osteoporosis. Cortisol also causes an array of symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, fatigue, mental confusion, irritability, nervousness, poor concentration, muscle aches, heart palpitations, sweating, and a whole lot more.

The body is governed by a highly complex network of endocrine glands and energy fields; these energy fields working together as one unique powerful system affecting us spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.   So in truth the potential for breakdown is limitless. Everything that affects the body affects the mind and everything that affects the mind, affects the body.

Many health ailments that crop up later in our lives usually have to do with painful memory patterns programmed in our cells that make our bodies tense and in an up-tight survival mode—unable to stay in the present our minds jump back and forth between the past and the future, forcing adrenaline to start racing through our bodies. Under this intense stress, our bodies release ten times the amount of norepinephrine (cortisol) and epinephrine (adrenaline). These two stress hormones deeply affect our sleep quality; causing our minds, like virtual hurricanes, to spin out of control. For some insomniacs the culprit could be a compromised immune system (autoimmune disease) or other factors such as a car accident or some kind of emotional trauma that’s upset the body clock.

CORTISOL IMPACTS THE LIVER

Cortisol does have a huge impact on the liver, which has an important role in regulating blood sugars and removing toxic substances from your bloodstream. If the liver can’t function at its best, it gets weary and tired. Not only is it the breeding ground for negative thoughts and feelings, it physically affects the blood, the immune system and your ability to fight infections.

“The functioning of the liver is very involved in addiction behavior, whether the addiction be to food, alcohol or drugs, as it is the liver that removes toxins from the blood and deals with th excess fat and sugar intake.   The emotional tension that gives rise to the need for release through an addiction is felt here, as this tension may be based on anger and resent (towards the world, or towards specific individuals). Often the toxins are ingested through the addiction as a way of hiding from those toxins already in our system: hate, frustration, rage, incompetence, self-dislike, hurt, greed and a need for power. By taking in external toxins we do not have to admit to, or face up to, what is already inside us.

 The liver is closely connected to the third chakra, that which focuses on power and self identity. By transforming these qualities we are able to rise above them to the highest levels.   But it can be just as easy to become a victim of these energies as it can be difficult to transform them. The liver then reflects the anger and confusion experienced in trying to find ourselves and our purpose.” Deb Shapiro The BodyMind Workbook

The liver, the largest organ in the body, is responsible for up to 500 different vital functions. Not only does it govern the secretion of bile, the formation of blood, and the production of heat, it provides muscle fuel (glycogen), processes dietary fats and manufactures vitamin A. The liver also creates and stores amino acids, proteins, fats and cholesterol, which are used in the creation of hormones. It also

deals with detoxification; so important is this process that if caffeine or certain drugs were injected into ‘exit’ vessels leading to the heart, we would be dead within minutes. Inject them into the ‘entrance’ vessels of the liver, and the ‘sting’ is extracted within six to ten seconds—the time it takes for the blood to pass through the organ. The liver is the only organ that has the ability to regenerate itself, so it is appropriate that it’s known as the organ of Spring, which is all about rebirth and new life.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) The liver meridian starts at the big toe and travels up the leg, circles the sexual organs and enters the lower abdomen…it then connects with the liver and gallbladder, moves up the lungs, curves around the mouth and then branches out to each eye. “If you consistently wake up between 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., this may indicate liver toxicity or a congested liver, as these are the hours when the liver is most active”. FAT LOSS REVOLUTION ~ Paula Owens … also many woman wake up sweating during this time due to menopausal symptoms.

The liver represents our deeper self and emotions. It’s involved with family affairs; our health and it takes part in every battle, especially excessive ones. When it is affected, our whole body becomes congested and sensitive. Do you suffer shoulder pain?   The liver is linked, especially to the right shoulder via the nervous system…it’s also linked to the elbow. This is one of the ways it communicates to us through the body.

The liver is known as the receptor of family guilt and the concerns of our deeper self. Depending on our genes and poor eating habits the liver will set off specific attitudes and emotional reactions. It houses all our memories, emotions, pitfalls, death of loved ones, illnesses, etc.,   It can cause doubt and uncertainty about our life and lean us more to the past then to the future. It affects our self esteem and the ground we stand on.

The gallbladder meridian starts at the outer corner of the eye, goes to the ear, runs back and forth over the scalp and then down the length of the body where it zig-zags at the hip, continues down the outside of the leg and ends between the fourth and fifth toes. The gallbladder meridian time is between 11:00 pm and 1:00 A.M., if balanced, we sleep soundly and undisturbed; unbalanced, we may suffer indigestion, migraines, tinnitus, hip, back or joint pain.

The gallbladder meridian is geared towards action. It gives to the body, flexibility, coordination and balance (see how it zig zags at the hip).   This meridian runs down the sides of the body so that whenever we lift one foot of the ground in walking and running, it supports the other side so we aren’t off balance. It also keeps the hips level, strengthens the shoulders and supports the sideways bending of the neck. The gallbladder meridian is one of the most powerful meridians in the body. .

I’ve included pictures of the gallbladder and liver meridians to help you see and understand how they both move within the body. Both of these meridians run down the sides of the body and the two sides reflect our ability to choose which way to turn. The liver energy gives us our ability to choose the direction we want to go and then to plan our action. Once the choice has been made, gallbladder energy gives us the capacity to carry it through. When the liver and gallbladder are in harmony, plans are made and followed through without much drama or fuss. But when the liver is unbalanced there may be lots of talk about plans without any action ever taken. Or we are so linear in our approach , there’s no room to be spontaneous or to think or plan ahead.

Pictures are from THE COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO REFLEXOLOGY ~ Inge Dougans

Liver Meridian Gallbladder meridian

THE ADRENAL GLANDS AND SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM

The adrenal system and the thyroid gland are dominated by the sympathetic nervous system, which is part of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls our basic bodily functions like heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, hormonal balance and metabolism. The sympathetic nervous system is associated with stimulating hormones such as adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol (norepinephrine).   When this nervous system becomes active, the heart rate elevates, the heart rate increases as well as our circulation, oxygen supply, metabolism and energy. The sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive when we feel threatened or feel we are really in danger, such as being confronted by a mugger on a dark street.

Many people with adrenal fatigue try to keep their energy levels up by eating junk food and refined sugars to give them a jolt. Others try to boost their energy by exercising to give them a temporary energy surge which helps to release endorphins. But what goes up must come down and this energy roller coaster just makes adrenal imbalance worse. Cortisol and insulin levels are intertwined—when cortisol rises, so does insulin and leptin and a whole cascade of hormones we’re just beginning to understand. The excessive stimulation of the HPA axis and cortisol production can artificially keep insulin levels high, causing weight gain and insulin resistance. Once cells are conditioned to be insulin or leptin resistant, it takes a big shift to restore metabolic balance.

The increase in cortisol released from the adrenal glands causes food cravings, especially for high-fat, high-sugar, high-carbohydrate foods such as cookies, candy, chips, and ice cream. Even though these foods act as a temporary mood “boost,” they in turn feed a vicious cycle, causing additional blood sugar problems, leading to swings in energy and blood sugar, which fuels the stress-cortisol release cycle. Eventually by stimulating excess insulin release, the body is driven to become more insulin resistant, and with more insulin resistance, more fat is stored than the body needs.

The parasympathetic nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system too and is associated with the body’s basic needs for, sleeping, relaxing, food absorption, sex and body repair. As we get older the parasympathetic nervous system weakens, leaving it harder for us to relax and get a good night’s sleep. One reason for this is the aggressive defense system of the hypothalamus located in the limbic brain. Known as the ‘seat of emotions’ the hypothalamus reads your emotional reactions to everything, real or imagined as an emotional war zone, especially when it believes your survival is being threatened. It communicates through thousands of nerve fibers to the master gland of the endocrine system, the pituitary. The pituitary reacts by telling the sympathetic nervous system to be on high alert. Your nerves on edge, you’re ready to respond to the fight/flight reflex.

When we wake up in the morning our sympathetic nervous system sends just enough cortisol to waken us and keep us awake. Most of us rush around like crazy to zoom out the door to get to work. If we could take a little time to be more loving to ourselves, e.g., showering longer, washing, shaving longer, lovingly combing our hair, meditating, walking in nature, etc. this stimulates a positive relaxing mood by activating the hormone’s dopamine and oxytocin in the brain. Release of oxytocin has a feedback effect…the more we take in and enjoy what’s around us, the more we’ll have enough ‘happy’ oxytocin in our blood for the whole day.   The more intense the emotional output of oxytocin in our blood, the longer and deeper it lasts, helping us to cope with the stresses of the day.

“Insomnia is the chronic inability to fall asleep or remain asleep for an adequate length of time (Dorland, 2003) There are three types of insomnia, conditioned insomnia, insomnia associated with clinical disorders, and circadian insomnia (Schenck, 2003). Conditioned insomnia is psychophysiological and arises from an episode of acute situational insomnia triggered by pain, illness, medication, stress, travel, or bereavement. The individual with conditioned insomnia associated the bed with not sleeping and becomes hyperaroused at night at a time when he/she would ordinarily feel relaxed and sleepy. Insomnia associated with clinical disorders is very common in psychiatric, particularly mood and anxiety disorders. Medical disorders and treatment most commonly associated with insomnia include asthma, chronic obstructive pulomary disease, congestive heart disease, gastroesophageal reflux, rheumatologic or other pain-related disorders, hyperthyroidism, renal disease, and neurodegenerative disorders (Schenck, 2003). Circadian rhythm sleep disorders result from a mismatch between the edogenous sleep and alertness rhythm and the desired (or required) time for sleep and wake (Schenck 2003).

THE PINEAL GLAND AND SLEEP

The pineal gland, within the brain is pea-sized, shaped like a pine cone and located in the center of the skull, between the ears and between the eyebrows. This endocrine gland secretes two important hormones, (melatonin and serotonin) through the body via the autonomic nervous system; it affects our metabolism, emotions, and moods of elation or depression. Serotonin and melatonin, govern our energy levels, mental activity, sleep patterns, hallucinations and dreams.

Some Autonomic Nervous System Disturbances

  • – breathing problems
  • – poor circulation
  • – palpitations
  • – bladder symptoms
  • – intestinal symptoms
  • – dizziness
  • – nausea
  • – vertigo (balance problems
  • – low blood pressure
  • – rapid heartbeat

The pineal gland is a biological clock and is highly sensitive to the phases of the Moon and even sunspot activity. The body operates on a 24 hour clock regulated by the sun controlling the release of and as darkness approaches the release of melatonin to make us feel drowsy, calm and sleepy. The release of melatonin is essential to keep our immune system strong; hence the healing process through sleep, whereas a lack of melatonin weakens the immune system and leads to deficiencies.

If we are deprived of light for a length of time, it can cause our biorhythms to change to a 25 hour cycle and coincide with the cycles of the moon instead of the sun. When a person is subjected to a permanently light environment their serotonin secretions will intensify to the point where they may become hyperactive, overly stressed and emotionally overwrought. The pineal gland naturally secretes serotonin when we’re eating and if we are tired or depressed, we can easily and readily consume 500 or more calories a day.   Hyperactivity and depression can also affect other endocrine glands and the whole immune system. Other releases of seratonin that can affect our sleep is the contraction of the intestinal muscles, over-excitement – butterflies in the stomach or the ‘gut’ reaction we often feel when scared or overwhelmed.

In periods of daylight the pineal gland’s release of serotonin and cortisol boosts our energy levels, intensifies emotions and induces a feeling of vitality. (We produce more cortisol in the summer than in winter months). During the autumn and winter periods we are more likely to feel ill, depressed or easily catch colds or the flu because of a lack of sunlight. People who live in darker countries far away from the equator are more prone to depressive illnesses and suicide. Between 6 and 10 percent of the North American population suffer season affective disorder (SAD)…..most SAD patients will respond to light treatment, however, a person subjected to extremely long periods of either lightness or darkness can become disoriented and manic.

“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

The brain is in charge of the endocrine glands and too much light or dark can affect our biological rhythms, our mood swings, stress levels, and reproductive cycles.

WHY IS SLEEP SO POWERFUL

There is no hard or fast rule concerning the amount of sleep one should have – provided that sleep, when it comes, is deep and undisturbed. You won’t be able to relax if you lie there watching the hands of the clock and worry there’s only a few hours left before it’s time to get up.

Getting quality sleep in a dark environment allows your body to release the hormone melatonin that once secreted, lowers body temperature by 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit. This cooling allows the body to release its greatest concentration of growth hormone known as HGH, which helps to strengthen our bodies and repairs damaged tissue. HGH is only secreted during deep sleep—deep sleep activates the parasympathetic system (our ability to rest and digest) which helps to rebalance our system. giving the parasympathetic system—our ability to ‘rest and digest’ a chance to increase until it peaks which governs our ability to ‘rest and digest’ a chance to assert itself. In this way sleep moderates the effects of stress and switches the body into self-healing mode.

Sleep also prepares the brain to release endorphins and neuropetides to all the nerves, blood vessels, the heart, the lungs, the gastrointestinal tract, and all the other organs. HGH also instructs the body to burn stored fat but if we don’t get enough of this hormone, the body produces high levels of cortisol which is linked to more weight around the belly as well as a decreased metabolism.

What happens when we go to sleep? After about fifteen to thirty minutes we reach a stage of semi-consciousness (hypnagogic) which occurs between sleep and waking. Most of us think we’re still awake because we can think and hear noises but we are actually in a state of early sleep. Some people in the semi-conscious state have described seeing images of light flashes, sparks, geometric forms, faces, and even whole scenes. The experiences are vivid enough to seem real but most people reporting to have them, know the images came to them internally.

After a few more minutes from the semi-conscious state, we shift to a deeper sleep, our brain waves get slower and slower until after about 90 minutes, dreaming becomes possible. Then our bodies jerk mildly and our eyelids flutter.

The transformation that sleep brings to the body are quite obvious. We breathe more slowly, our eyeballs turn up and out, our fingers grow cold and our toes warm. Blood pressure falls rapidly and is lowest about three hours after the onset of sleep. Believe it or not, we actually change positions from 20 to 60 times during the night without even knowing it and every 90 minutes or so we may return to a semi conscious state for a brief while. Then slowly (unless something like an alarm clock disturbs the process) our sleep becomes lighter, Consciousness, flickers, fails again, flickers….and then we are awake.

Awakening, we’ll stretch and most likely yawn to inhale extra oxygen to lower the carbon dioxide in the body—this is usually because in sleep   we haven’t used our muscles. We might still feel tired, especially if our adrenalin is low;

REM AND NREM SLEEP

There are two types of sleep: REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-dreaming sleep). Most dreams occur during REM sleep in the dreamtime stage, in which the cerebral cortex is active, muscle activity is inhibited, breathing and heartbeat are irregular and body temperature is less controlled.   During NREM sleep, the cerebral cortex is less active, muscles can move and fewer dreams are reported.

Our eyes move when we dream, as though we were looking around. As mentioned, our muscles move during REM sleep, make us almost paralyzed. If we move at all our movements look more like twitches rather than actual motions. Most of us have seen this behavior in our pets, whose dream states are very much like our own.

REM and NREM sleep alternate in cycles. Normally REM sleep occurs about every 90 minutes. Dream cycles are shorter during the night and longer toward dawn. You probably dream every night, but you don’t remember a dream unless you wake up from it. If you go right on sleeping, your dreams are forgotten. REM or dreaming sleep is the deepest stage and is important for the consolidation of memory and learning, as well as for sorting and storing information in the brain. It is generally thought that we need about 25 percent of our sleep to be in REM and the remainder in NREM. The lighter NREM sleep is important because it is only after a certain amount of nondreaming that we pass into REM sleep.   Without NREM sleep dreaming can’t occur.

“Since light, NREM Sleep is so important and since we can often think we are awake when in fact semiconscious, it is important not to force ourselves into full wakefulness during these periods of nondreaming sleep. Many people get out of bed, go to the bathroom, eat a snack, or watch TV–thinking they can’t sleep–when they were actually in a light sleep. But getting up usually brings them to a state of of real wakefulness. If instead they would just lie still and relax, realizing they were experiencing an important part of the sleep cycle, they would soon go back into a deep sleep again…

…If, out of frustration, we force ourselves to true wakefulness during these times, sleep will almost certainly be gone for the rest of the night. Our adrenalin arousal will see to that!” The Hidden Link Between Adrenalin and Stress ~ Dr. Archibald D. Hart

“BODY SCANNING

Close your eyes. Starting with your toes and moving up your body, ask yourself “Where am I tense?” Whenever you discover a tense area, exaggerate it slightly so you can become even more aware of it. Be aware of the muscles in your body that are tense. Then, for example, say to yourself “I am tensing my neck muscles .. I am hurting myself.. I am creating tension in my body.” Note that all muscular tension is self-produced. At this pint, be aware of any life situation that may be causing the tension in your body and think what you could do to change that.” The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook ~ Martha David, Ph.D., Elisabeth Robbins Eshelman, MSW, Matthew McKay, Ph.D

PART II ~ INSOMNIA ~ RULES FOR BETTER SLEEP

Many of us don’t need 8 hours sleep and yet some of us need more.  When we’re wanting to develop good sleep habits, the first thing you need to know is just how much you sleep you really need.  After 6 or 7 hours of sleep can you function through the day?  Are your energy levels still good in the afternoon or are you gravitating towards a coffee or sugar to keep yourself awake. Try to notice how much sleep makes you feel alive and with the ability to function at your best.

To help improve your sleep, try to go to bed and get up at the same every day.  Building a regular sleep routine will become automatic and a good habit to instil your own body’s inner clock.

Turning down the lights earlier in the evening, helps the brain to produce a very important hormone for sleep, called melatonin. Dimming of the lights messages the body that darkness is approaching and makes us sleepy, preparing us for sleep; this also helps to lower adrenaline levels. As mentioned earlier, The release of melatonin is essential to keep our immune system healthy, hence the healing process through sleep, whereas a lack of melatonin weakens the immune system and leads to deficiencies.

Create a comfortable, quiet, uncluttered dark room for sleeping.  Anything in your energy field affects the quality of your sleep, so resist the temptation to stash junk under your bed. Also stale energy hands around dirty laundry, so never keep a laundry basket in the bedroom and be sure to change the bedsheets at least once a week to keep your energy vital and fresh.

If you have a computer in your bedroom there are downloadable programs that tunes out the screen of your computer/tablet at night so their light aren’t in the range that tells the brain it’s wake up time.

Eating a bit of protein as a snack may help you sleep through the night. Bananas may be your choice as they are starchy and rich in melatonin.

“One of food’s best sleeping pills is something sweet or starchy…if falling asleep or staying asleep is a problem, try eating an ounce of so of sweet (pure honey) or starchy stuff (bananas, oatmeal) a half an hour before going to bed. ~Jean Carper ~ Food Your Miracle Medicine

Avoid drinking alcohol, caffeine, or eating spicy or greasy foods before going to sleep.  All these make us more tense and adrenally aroused, interfering with our normal sleep patterns.

Do not force yourself to sleep.  Falling asleep is a natural process and forcing sleep only frustrates you further and causes more adrenalin to be pumped into your body.

You should have a quiet place for sleep.  If you live in a noisy environment, like in the down-town core, you may want to invest in a set of earplugs.  They’re easy to use and effectively shut out the noise. You’ll also sleep deeper and more peaceful if your brain doesn’t have to block out background noises.

Exercise regularly, just not before going to bed.  Exercise helps to release a surplus of adrenaline, release muscular tension, ventilate the lungs and helps to slow down the body that helps us to sleep.

Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Make your bedroom sleep friendly. Keep the noise down. Keep your room cool. Make sure your bed is comfortable. Create relaxing bedtime rituals like reading a book, taking a warm bath, listening to soft music or make simple preparations for the next day.

Use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualizing a peaceful restful place.  Practice mind-control relaxation by listening to a soothing CD playing in the background to help you relax.

Find ways to get back to sleep. Stay out of your head. Focus on the feelings and sensations in your body. Make relaxation your goal, not sleep. Do quiet, non-stimulating activities such as reading a book, but keep the lights dim. Don’t let your mind worry or start brainstorming about tomorrow.  If something pops in your mind, keep a small note-pad by your bed and make a brief note of it to get it off your mind.

SUPPLEMENTS

5-HTP (Tryptophan) is an essential amino acid able to ‘manufacture serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to lift depression and is very useful for people who have a difficult time staying asleep through the night.  Bananas are a good source L-tryptophan and simple carbohydrates. L-tryptophan is an amino acid, and it gets converted to 5HTP in the brain, which again gets converted to serotonin (a calming neurotransmitter) which again gets converted to melatonin (which is the natural controller of hormonal rythms in the body, especially sleep). A night-time dose to help you sleep through the night is between 50 to 200 mg. 5-HTP has been found to be safe up to 300 mg.

Tryptophan converts to niacin before finally becoming serotonin.  If your body is deficient in niacin, it can cause nervous disorders, such as: depression, mental dullness, confusion, forgetfulness, disorientation, hallucination, insomnia, and nausea.

Taurine is another calming amino acid that helps to suppress the release of excitatory neurotransmitters like norepinephrine. Taurine acts like a light tranquillizer throughout the whole body.  It is found in large amounts in the central nervous system and the heart.  Taurine is vital to the proper utilization of sodium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, and has a protective effect upon the brain.

When we are under an enormous amount of stress it also weakens our mental processes.  When we are under stress, cortisol levels rise and testosterone levels decrease in both men and women. DHEA, a hormone critical for brain and immune function is also suppressed under great stress.  You can have your DHEA levels tested and if low, you can supplement with DHEA, as well as 5HTP and this should improve your sleep quality and protect the brain from excess cortisol, mental clarity and energy returned.

insomnia can be caused by a lack of thiamine which works with the nervous system.  When there is a lack of thiamine, it can indicate mental attitudes and inflexible attitudes as well has worrying, nervousness, tension and the inability to relax.  A thiamine deficiency may also lower the amount of hydrochloric acid in the stomach—when this happens food is only semi-digested so that when bile is poured into the duodenum it cannot properly break down the fats.

Chamomile – a member of the daisy family, tea made from this herb has a mild sedative affect.

Kava Kava – relieves anxiety and stress ~ should not be taken long-term as it may cause allergic reactions, visual disturbance and liver toxicity.

St. John’s Wort – treats mild to moderate depression. Side effects include weight gain and sensitivity to light.  This herb increases serotonin levels in the brain and should not be taken with SSRIs (Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, etc.)

Valerian – an effective stress reducer and sedative

Hops – this herb is a distant relative to marijuana and is a good remedy for anxiety and insomnia.  Some companies combine hops with valerian root as the two herbs synergistically work together.

Passion Flower – is known to reduce anxiety, insomnia and high blood pressure.

Links

http://www.hydroholistic.com/blog/cleansing/10-reasons-to-do-a-liver-gallbladder-flush/

http://www.drjustingallantnd.com/2/post/2014/02/why-do-i-wake-up-between-1am-and-3am.html

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757?linkId=12970216

http://www.rejuvinstitute.com/why-do-i-always-wake-up-at-3am#.VTOFOSFVikp

http://www.vitalitymagazine.com/article/kicking-the-sugar-habit/

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/carbohydrates_and_the_glycaemic_index?open

Spring cleaning (Liver and Gallbladder)  http://www.treatrootcause.com/spring-clean-your-acupuncture-meridians/

Nourishing the liver  http://nourishedmagazine.com.au/blog/articles/nourishing-the-liver

Herbs and natural remedies for insomnia http://www.christopherhobbs.com/library/articles-on-herbs-and-health/herbs-and-natural-remedies-for-insomnia/

Treat insomnia with Herbs http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/08/23/is-this-one-of-natures-simple-answer-to-sleepless-nights.aspx

Natural Cures by Dr. Weil http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02037/sleep-aid

14 Naturally Remedies for Insomnia http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/conditionsitoq/a/Insomnia.htm

To be continued….

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

Psoriasis is believed to be an autoimmune disorder, caused by too many ‘excited’ T-cells being produced in the skin. T cells perform many tasks in the body, including recognizing and destroying different antigens in the body. All this is done to keep the blood clean and free of debris. Normally these are cleared from the body as the blood flows through the liver.  In fact, our bodies house several organs (intestines, kidneys, liver, lungs, skin) that help detoxify and remove harmful toxins.  When these get backed up they interfere with the body’s main plumbing system, the lymphatic system.

“The lymphatic system includes lymph vessels and nodes, thymus gland, tonsils and spleen. It’s really a network of tubing that drains waste products from tissues, produces disease-fighting white blood cells (lymphocytes) and antibodies, and carries the bulk of the body’s waste from the cells to the final elimination organs. Experts call the lymphatic system a secondary circulatory system, because it assists the bloodstream with millions of tiny ducts that collect tissue fluid not needed by the capillaries or skin and returns it to the heart for recirculation, because special filtering lymph nodes remove infective organisms, so your lymph system is also a key to your body’s immune defenses. 

Liver health is a key to lymphatic health. The liver produces the majority of lymph, and lymph a major route for nutrients from  the liver. The integrity of the lymph system is dependent on immune cells in the liver that filter out harmful bacteria and destructive yeasts .….. The valves of the lymph system move the waste-filled fluids to be flushed and filtered. But since there is no pump as there is with the heart, lymph circulation depends solely upon our breathing and muscle movement. Physical exercise and diaphragmatic deep breathing are critical to lymph cleansing and to healthy immune response.” Linda Page ~ Detoxification: Programs to Cleanse, Purify & Renew

The normal life expectancy of an average skin cell is approximately 28 days (curiously this coincides with the cycle of the Moon) but with psoriasis sufferers their immune system is so hyperactive, that cytokines cause the skin cells to produce way too quickly, maturing in as little as three to six days before shedding off the surface of the skin. As all this is happening, a good deal energy has been diverted from other parts of the body to focus on the skin.  This may be why certain areas of the body are comprised—psoriasis has been linked with candida, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, and high cholesterol—all inflammatory conditions.

WHAT IS PSORIASIS

Psoriasis (Heat in the Blood) is a chronic, inflammatory disease that can take on the colors of fire-engine red, pale pink or even purplish.  Reproducing ten times faster than normal skin, it appears as red scaly patches of skin topped by silvery scales that appear on different parts of the body such as the elbow, knees, scalp, back and other places too.  In the beginning patches may be small then increase in size and number.   Some food triggers for psoriasis are: alcohol, tobacco, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, hot peppers and excessive coffee.

Psoriasis is sometimes combined with arthritis, especially rheumatoid which has been referred to as psoriatic arthritis, but there are many other kinds of psoriasis—the most common is plaque psoriasis which we mentioned in the previous paragraph—other forms are:.

a)Guttate (dot like (teardrop) lesions) sometimes occurs after strep throat
b)Pustular (pustules over inflamed skin – localized, affecting palms of hands, soles of feet)
c) Inverse (intense inflammation and little scaling in body folds)
d) Erythrodermic (intense sloughing and inflammation of the skin)

“… psoriasis is an indication that you are uncomfortable in your own skin and have a desire to turn over a new leaf. You don’t feel recognized or acknowledged for who you really are and suffer from a degree of identity disorder wanting to take on a personality other than your own. You are having difficulty accepting who you are in this life. The message your body is sending you is that you need to love and accept yourself in all your humanness, with all the flaws, weaknesses, and fears as well as talents, abilities and tremendous potential you were given. Let go of your fear of rejection and stop being ashamed of yourself. Your Body is Telling You: Love Yourself ~ Lise Bourbeau

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory, hypersensitive, painful rash. Treatment involves detoxifying the internal organs, such as the liver, pancreas and intestines but also healing repressed emotions of pain, grief and unresolved trauma for a lasting cure. Known as a chronic nervous system infection, psoriasis thrives on chronic frustration and disappointment that becomes agitated and irritated when things aren’t going our way. Fearing that everything will fall apart, individuals with psoriasis experience rage over the loss of support and money. They’re anxious and nervous about life and relationships. When they’re afraid or feel they’re being attacked, their ‘startle reflex’ kicks in and they fight back with the exact same aggression they were confronted with.  Many times there’s a feeling of being taken advantage of and that others suck them dry of energy; they feel unplugged from their spiritual nature.

When psoriasis individuals are overwhelmed they’ll isolate themselves, and turn on themselves when they don’t meet their own expectations. They become judgmental and self-critical to the point of creating self-destructive behavior. They’re desperate to prove that they can succeed and manifest their dreams – and that they can do it without the help of anyone else, which is a real paradox because they want others to be there to help and support them.

“Constant interruptions and continuous phone calls, creates more tension in me than for many people I know.  Tension creates anxiety and anxiety creates tension..the problem for me is I have work to do and can’t find time to do it..all those constant interruptions…this was my rationalization but honestly I was avoiding the basic issue.  The real problem…I was feeling guilty and self-critical whenever I couldn’t accomplish my work. …This happened the other day, I planned my work for the day and wouldn’t you know it, nothing but interruptions ..the buzzer went, the phone kept ringing…staff popped in with something that couldn’t wait…my irritation mounted .. I had only accomplished a tiny percentage of the work I had given myself. Then someone walked in that I had totally forgotten I was to see and when she walked in I looked anxiously at all the unfinished work on my desk. I was friendly on the surface but below was an undercurrent of frustration…I knew she was aware of this, I saw it reflected in her expression and body language…..

Examining my feelings later, I felt guilt at not completing my tasks and guilt for not being able to cope with all the continuous interruptions…my god I was rationalizing my anxiety…when inwardly it was a sense of failure…. then I remembered as a child only being accepted when I performed my tasks well…if I wasn’t in constant motion…I felt guilty…my parents anxiety was transmitted to me.  Now I found that I could only accept myself ‘if’ I finished my tasks on time.  I felt guilty and inadequate when I didn’t…there was no parent criticizing…it was the parent within…my guilt wasn’t ‘real guilt’ it was ‘false guilt’ conditioned from childhood… This inner processing was very healing for me.” (Psoriasis sufferer ~ Tom Mettsley)

Skin is soft tissue, reflecting our attitudes, behaviors, experiences and hidden mental problems; it has to do with—how we think others see us, and—how we see ourselves. Irritation and criticism with ourselves can result in our skin breaking out..expressing our inner state of confusion.

For Mitch who was mentioned in the previous article, Bipolar Part III  he had a father who was abusive and an alcoholic—and a mother who cleaned endlessly or was overly involved in the community—she was escaping to avoid her husband and family.  When Mitch lived at home he was constantly on hyper-alert from the cruel humiliations of his father, he experienced intense emotional up and downs and handled his anxiety by using drugs, alcohol and being overly busy.  Alcohol paralyzes the higher brain centers where judgment takes place and lessens anxiety temporarily. At twelve years of age Mitch was diagnosed with manic depression and a sufferer of psoriasis.

Although Mitch’s astrological chart had the potential for strength, confidence and a strong will, he tended to be indecisive, perhaps even timid, especially at times of stress.  He concealed his strengths and weaknesses and was hurt by many who didn’t understand him.  When deeply hurt he lashed out with a vengeance—having out-and-out screaming fights—forcing others to fight back and a few times arrested by the law.   Fighting was a structure he was lost in; it gave him a false feeling of being strong and real, rather than being whoever he was.  Mitch was afraid to take the risk of connecting and becoming vulnerable to another. He had to be in charge of his relationships with another. He’d aggressively fight to win and if he did, Mitch said he felt terrible afterwards and felt it colliding with a sense of shame. He said he couldn’t stand being used or manipulated.  Mitch was an alcoholic and a drug-user by the age of 12 and left home at the tender age of 15; he’s only 18 now.

“Psoriasis is like a volcano erupting from the pressure of unseen forces just below the surface of a person’s life. The body is releasing fear, frustration, anger and other toxic emotions. The painful, itchy psoriasis flare-up is a strong signal of rebellion against the level of stress the person is experiencing.” Deadly Emotions ~ Don Colbert

People who have suppressed their feelings are out of touch with them and weren’t permitted to express them as child.  Where they grew up they were probably like Mitch, scared, terrorized, and on hyper-alert all the time. I asked Mitch to look at how he might be mimicking both his mother and father—like raising his voice and scaring the wits out of people—or like his mom, running away from his problems. Psoriasis can lead to low self-confidence and low self-esteem. It can cause feelings of fear, embarrassment, anger, depression, and guilt. What they need to realize is that the present is not the past and that they are not likely to be in any danger with the people they relate to or in a relationship with. Some form of meditation or breath awareness is beneficial for people with psoriasis or who are overly emotional.

What can cause or make psoriasis worse? Stress, hormone imbalance, allergic reactions, toxic substances, the food you eat, and vitamin, mineral, and nutrient deficiencies. Stress makes your psoriasis worse by depleting vitamins and minerals that are essential to your health. It weakens your digestive system by reducing the amount of digestive enzymes you make, making it harder for your stomach and intestines to properly digest the food you eat. Stress also weakens your adrenal glands, which among other duties, control inflammation. Long-term stress overworks the adrenals until they shut you down from exhaustion.

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.

PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS

Article(s) on the Metaphysical causes of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are here

“Psoriasis can also cause psoriatic arthritis, which affects and resembles swollen, painful joints, much like that of rheumatoid arthritis.

Both psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis are chronic diseases that get worse over time, but you may have periods when your symptoms improve or go into remission alternating with times when symptoms become worse.

Psoriatic arthritis can affect joints on just one side or on both sides of your body. The signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis often resemble those of rheumatoid arthritis. Both diseases cause joints to become painful, swollen and warm to the touch.

However, psoriatic arthritis is more likely to also cause:

Swollen fingers and toes. Psoriatic arthritis can cause a painful, sausage-like swelling of your fingers and toes. You may also develop swelling and deformities in your hands and feet before having significant joint symptoms.

Foot pain. Psoriatic arthritis can also cause pain at the points where tendons and ligaments attach to your bones — especially at the back of your heel (Achilles tendinitis) or in the sole of your foot (plantar fasciitis).

Lower back pain. Some people develop a condition called spondylitis as a result of psoriatic arthritis. Spondylitis mainly causes inflammation of the joints between the vertebrae of your spine and in the joints between your spine and pelvis (sacroiliitis). ”  http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriatic-arthritis/basics/symptoms/con-20015006

THE THIRD LUNG

The skin, is the body of the soul; Traditional Chinese Medicine refers the skin as the ‘third lung’ and the skin’s condition is seen as a reflection of the health of the lungs.  Metaphysically, it is said that people who suffer from eczema and psoriasis are ‘weeping through their skin’.  With skin problems, some sadness needs expressing—a sadness for whatever reason has been held in and silenced—this holding in manifests itself in painful or irritating rashes. You could say psoriasis is a cluster of attitudes of defensiveness, criticism, resentment, suspicion, fear, worry and the like.  I say a cluster of attitudes because some cases of psoriasis can be seen huddled together like aphids. These tiny insects breed and suck up energy at a breathtaking pace.  This becomes an area where we become defensive and very touchy.

When we are holding onto something that should be let go, we become defensive and rigid wherever we go.  Defensiveness hardens into our character, protecting us when we feel threatened by others. When this defense mechanism is alerted, we either recoil, crawling into our shells at the first sign of trouble, or our anger rapidly boils to the surface and simmers there. Psoriasis and other skin problems can become a crutch to hide behind when painful and difficult situations arise that you don’t want or don’t know how to meet head-on. It’s quite possible you’re afraid of being controlled and caught off guard.

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.

“If your body becomes overrun by toxic substances, your skin will become inflamed and your skin cells will reproduce too fast, leaving behind the pile of silvery scales characteristic of psoriasis. This can happen when your liver isn’t doing its job properly, when you don’t digest your food properly, when you get an infection, and when you have a food allergy. Toxic substances in your intestines enter your blood stream through the intestinal wall. Some substances that can do this and hurt you are Candida albicans (a yeast-like fungus), bacterial protein breakdown products, allergic reaction byproducts, and free radicals.” The Psoriasis Cure ~ Lisa LeVan

The skin, similar to the lungs, breathes, exhales toxins through perspiration and inhales sunlight and nutrients from the air. If the lungs are healthy, the skin has less work to do; if the lungs are weak and Metal energy is deficient, the skin must work harder to eliminate excess toxins. Weak lungs = poor circulation = poor skin because the blood supply is struggling to circulate to the skin.  Your circulation brings nutrients to the cells and also helps in flushing away toxins and other waste materials.

The lung meridian has an intimate relationship between breath, pulse, blood and energy. It controls the skin, which is the largest organ of elimination, therefore poor skin is an indicator of weak lungs. Just as the lungs exhale carbon dioxide the skin exudes toxins and wastes through the pores. This meridian is linked to the nose and sense of smell so a clogged or runny nose will indicate a lung condition. It also controls the autonomic nervous system.

When you suppress your feelings of sadness, grief, anger and pain, you also suppress the love and joy along with them.  Emotions stuffed deep in the unconscious but still acting through the autonomic nervous system cause the endocrine glands to falter weakening the resistance of the lymphatic system as well as the suppression of the elimination system, causing a backup of toxins in the body

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) derived its name from the fact that it operates without any conscious control or thought (breathing, digestion, heart rate).  It affects every gland and organ in the body.  Learning to control the autonomic nervous system through meditation and/or biofeedback creates a finely tuned communication system between our mind and our higher self

One of the issues that everyone faces when clearing up their emotional debris is how to let go of the situation and the beliefs surrounding it.  To do this we have to understand the ‘mind’ and the mind isn’t just in the brain but in every part of the body.  It is constantly recording stimuli and input and experience.  The mind is the seat of all our beliefs, perceptions, experiences, memories and aspirations.  It is the most powerful tool we have in our possession and also the most difficult one to control.  A portion of the mind, is also connected to the autonomic nervous system which is always active, even while asleep, giving us the gift of life by keeping our organs and systems working together, by controlling our circulatory system, breathing, heart-rate, blood pressure, etc.   The autonomic is also the domain of your unconscious mind, your dreams and all your memories of present and past lives.

When you breathe in, not only do you inhale air into the lungs but at the same time blood is pumped through every tissue of the body. Deep slow breathing is, therefore, a powerful driving force in the body’s circulation. The heart is the pump that propels blood into the arterial area, while the lungs act as a suction pump on the circulation.

STRESS

“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 constant release of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol can sear the body in a way that is similar to acid searing metal. Even hours after the output of these chemicals, they still remain high in the body, elevating blood sugar levels, causing damage to the immune system, decalcifying our bones and thinning our skin. Long term emotional stress can reach chronic levels with the production of these hormones.  This is when toxic emotions become deadly emotions. This powerful ongoing infusion of chemicals injures tissues and organs, resulting in many different autoimmune dis-eases.

Prolonged and untreated stress can increase our risk of getting sick.  When we are under stress, the thyroid works harder, pumping out more of its hormones.  If the stress continues, the thyroid will be unable to maintain its increased level of production and may begin to fail.  When this happens, the immune system becomes confused and starts producing antibodies against the thyroid.  As the thyroid falters, metabolism slows.  When metabolism slows we start eating the wrong kind of carbohydrates that cause the Candida already in your system to multiply and spread.

CANDIDA AND LEAKY GUT

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.

When different areas of the intestinal tract become irritated, inflamed or breached, we can suffer from an array of symptoms such as: constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, indigestion, gas, bloating and cramps, and these are usually caused by a leaky gut which further causes allergies, anemia, fatigue, weight loss, arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, muscle pain and more. Symptoms can persist for years with people bouncing from doctor to doctor without ever being properly diagnosed. While these diseases have different names, they have one thing in common—a leaky gut.

“A leaky gut is a condition in which the small intestine wall become inflamed and breached with tiny pinholes that leak putrid food particles into the blood stream. Your immune system builds antibodies to the proteins in this fecal matter and your body attacks these proteins as if they were foreighn germs. Thatis why it is called an auto-immune disease, because your immune system becomes confused between its own protein and foreign protein. It goes on to attack protein in other parts of the body such as between the joints, causing rheumatoid arthritis. The bone and muscle pain of fibromyalgia and lupus is also attributed to the spread of toxins through a leaky gut. As the cascade of inflammatory reactions spreads to the lungs, it results in asthma. These poisons infiltrate the blood and lymph and overload the liver’s ability to detoxify them. Some of this overload emties into the skin, manifesting as psoriasis or excema. Other dry skin problems result from the malabsorption of essential fats and B-vitamins. Other dry skin problems result from the malabsorption of essential fats and B-vitamins. Anemia and other nutrient deficiencies develop because of the impaired assimilation, in spite of all those supplements you take” Better Nutrition Magazine ~ by Steve Meyerowitz

All the physical and chemical changes in the body happen through a process called metabolism, which is basically defined as the way your body processes and changes the food you eat into energy.  For metabolism to work properly your blood needs a sufficient amount of oxygen, glucose and certain nutrients.  If your metabolism is sluggish, your cells will have problems receiving the nutrients they need to function.

If you suffer from leaky gut, probiotic bacteria (lactobacillus and bifidobacteria) can be significant in reducing the occurrence of Candidiasis and also stop it from reoccurring.  These bacteria help in the absorption of vitamins, detox carcinogens and support the immune system. Leaky gut can also reduce certain minerals from being absorbed into the body such as magnesium (enzyme response), zinc (hair loss), copper (high cholesterol, osteoarthritis) and calcium (osteoporosis). Taking a good multi-vitamin with Omega 3 or evening primose oil will help absorption of the vitamins/minerals in the body.

There are plenty of herbs one can take for candida, one of the best is said to be Oregano oil, which is very antiseptic and kills candida as well as parasites.  It’s quite aggressive on the internal mucus membranes, esophagus, stomach, intestines and colon which is why it should always be diluted with some oil, milk or honey and part of your meal. In Greek, oregano means ‘Mountain Joy’ and it has shown to have the highest levels of the antioxidants, polyphenols carvacrol, rosmarinic acid and thymol. You can even put oil of oregano and even oil of rosemary in your daily salad dressing.    On average 1-3 drops is enough, anymore and you could end up with abdominal pain.  Some say it’s best to take this essential oil on a short term basis, 5-7 days, stop, and if necessary start again.

A full article on the metaphysical causes of Candiasis is here

MOLDS IN FOODS AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Molds are important to add here as they are absorbed, inhaled and eaten, producing substances that are toxic to the nerves and particularly to the central nervous system.  Molds produce antibiotics which are actually released in the immediate environment, and as we know with Candida, antibiotics look to kill competing bacteria—even the good ones. It’s important to know that these fungi’s are capable of damaging the body’s nerves and tissue cells as well as mild to severe mental and physical changes in a person.

A person can become sensitized when a foreign substance enters the body through inhalation, ingestion, injection or absorption through the skin. Imagine, a tiny piece of skin about the size of a quarter contains 3 feet of blood vessels, 12 feet of nerves, 25 nerve cells, 100 sweat glands, and more than 3,000,000 cells; phew, that’s quite a complex team working 24/7.

METAPHYSICALLY HEALING PSORIASIS

“The key to healing lies in the unconscious.  If we can become aware of the memories stored in our bodies and bring them to mind, we can gain a different, nonrational understanding of how the past influences the present and our conscious minds and actions.  We can do it if we learn to tap into what I call the intuition network, to help us envision and create healthier lives, instead of allowing old memories and patterns of behavior to continue re-creating painful experiences.” Mona Lisa Schulz

Balance is not something we were born with, it is learned through experiences. Life is a blend of happiness and sadness, of good and bad times. Many of our issues and challenges in life, especially relationships come from our misunderstanding of ‘love’ and a lack of love for ourselves. When this happens we have a tendency to fold our arms over our chest or stiffly hold them at our sides……we feel awkward and self-conscious afraid to let go and share our vulnerabilities to others. It also prevents us from revealing our strengths.

“When there is chaos between family members, there is an increased risk of hair loss (alopecia) not to mention psoriasis and other skin problems.

So as you can see, having solid external relationships is essential to our health. Science backs if up by showing that “social integration” – wide social networks and social support – creates stronger immune systems. In fact, studies show that more and better relationships mean more and better white blood cells, which help us resist infections and protect us from a wide variety of health perils, including arthritis, depression and the worsening of symptoms of conditions like tuberculosis. Social interaction also decreases the amount of medication people need and accelerates their recovery from illness. .” ALL IS WELL ~ Louise L. Hay and Mona Lisa Sculz

Usually, when we have problems with the skin, we need to look at the liver and gall bladder and their meridians. What we’re looking at is old debris that has cluttered and accumulated in the system. Inner frustrations also clog the ‘system’ and the intake of excess foods and alcohol will tax the liver. Stress definitely has something to do with it along with psychological disappointments and letdowns. If the system becomes sluggish the person usually feels tired and when we’re tired we eat for energy and usually with all the wrong foods.

Also, if one has been undergoing deep self-examination it can leave them feeling extremely sensitive about virtually everything.

Sometimes when we are on a spiritual journey we feel an inner restlessness arising – as if it wants to burst free from our physical frame! Our bodies on the other hand want to protect that which is struggling and fight hard to adjust to the fire of this awakening spirit.

“The breath carries oxygen throughout the bloodstream, and it also carries prana or spiritual energy, which is the esoteric correlation to oxygen.  Prana energizes the physical body through a network of meridians—the fine channels that are components of the silver cord or the thread of life—by sending energy through the etheric or spiritual network.  The force currents along these lines are linked with each other, and with the nervous system of man.  They enter the body through the spleen.” Jeanne Avery 

The skin really is the body of the soul.  It is actually one of the richest sources of all the hormones found in the body.  When we stimulate the skin we can cause a shower of healing chemicals into our blood stream.  One of the most important of these are growth factors or growth hormones.  By simply stimulating the skin we can produce these growth factors or hormones right into our blood stream.  Like the other organs, the skin is also the seat of emotions.  When we are deeply moved we say we were deeply touched.  We describe situations as sticky, ticklish or prickly, all these have to do with sensations in our body.  Therefore the experience of touch or sensation linked to a thought is really what an emotion is.  Once again, we can influence emotions, feelings and desires through our skin as a result of the release of these hormones.

“Psycho/emotionally your skin is your boundary, the meeting place between you and the outer world. Therefore, skin issues often arise when someone or something has cross that boundary and “gets under your skin,” or where communication is making your “skin crawl.”

Are you feeling invaded, trespassed upon, or have you gone beyond your limitations and reached out too far?
Or perhaps you are limiting yourself too much, holding back inside while putting up a protective cover?
Are your boundaries being penetrated against your wishes?
What and who is getting under your skin?
Are you trying to break free of restrictions being imposed on you?
Is a fear of intimacy making you resist touching and feeling?”  YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro

Once we take back the responsibility for what we are feeling, we experience a tremendous power in our lives. We no long feel like a victim or bystander; we no longer give others the power to decide how we experience our lives. Also, the others in our lives will be more open to us when they see that we no longer blame them for what we are feeling, and they will be more willing to assume responsibility for their own feelings.

BELLY BREATHING

Breathing is essential to life and when you breathe properly, it can help you clear your mind and reach higher states of awareness. Belly breathing can help you relax ay time you are tense. When you feel anxious about something, just close your eyes and take 5 to 10 deep breaths. Deep breathing can also energize you, when you’re feeling tired or drained or if you’ve been breathing from the chest. Retrain your body to breathe properly, from your diaphragm or belly.

Life flat on the floor or on your bed. Take a few deep breaths and feel yourself relax. Place one hand on your abdomen. Take a deep breath through your nose. As you inhale, let your abdomen push your hand out.

As you exhale, feel your hand go down. Do this 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath. Breathing this way may feel strange to you at first, but with practice you’ll become accustomed to it. Try to do belly breathing every day. A good time to do this is when you get into bed at night—when you first wake up in the morning—and any time you want to relax.
Deep abdominal breathing and exercise are all ways to support lymphatic circulation. Every time we contract a muscle, the muscle rubs against numerous lymph vessels, stimulating them to contract. This is another reason exercise is so good for us!

JUMP AND SHAKE

“EXERCISE: While all exercise stimulates the lymph, jumping on the rebounder is the best. If you do not have room for a rebounder, a jump-and-shake exercise works just as well. With feet slightly apart, you jump just a little and then shake the body. It is similar to dancing in African tribes that bob-and-shake type of dance.

The bounce and shake routine gets your heart pumping and your body moving so that your metabolism starts working. Follow the following steps to do the bounce and shake:

• Standing with knees slightly bent, feet comfortably apart, bounce up and down easily without lifting heels off the ground

• As you bounce, let your arms hang, relaxed, by your side. Shake your hands

• Nod your head up and down in a comfortable range of motion, 2 to 4 inches

• As you nod back and look up, breathe in through your nose to the count of 5, and then exhale to the count of 5 as you lower your head

• During the first minute, breathe through your nose; During the second minute make a noise originating from the base of your throat – like snoring; Then breathe in through your nose, and out through puckered lips, as if blowing out a birthday candle

• Stop bouncing and shaking. Take a moment to feel the vibrations you have created throughout your body. http://www.lynnkoiner.com/astrology-articles/the-lymphatic-system-from-elaine-hruska

BECOME AWARE OF YOUR POSTURE AND RELAX

Whenever you become aware of the position of your body, you immediately relax and experience a flow of energy because you’re listening and communicating with your body and its surroundings.

CHANGE YOUR POSTURE – CHANGE YOUR MOOD

Our posture expresses how we’re feeling, correcting it will change the way you feel.

*COLOR HEALING

 “…lie or sit, and close your eyes, imagine you hold a laser bream made of different colors in your hands. Visualize moving this light on any area of your skin that is irritated, dry, swollen, itchy or spotty. Observe the light changing color according to the part of the body the laser is treating. For example, if the skin is red, the laser may change to blue to counteract the redness. If the skin is dry, the laser may change to pink to regenerate the area; or if the skin is swollen, orange rays are great to calm the swelling. And if the skin is itchy, yellow rays can help to soothe it. Focus on letting go of all anger, frustration, self-criticism, irritation, and dislike of yourself.

Say: “Divine Healing Intelligence, please release all irritation, anger, frustration, criticism, invalidation, and insecurity I carry in my skin, as well as all points of view, all patterns, and the positive and negative that contribute to this condition.” Repeat the word “CLEAR” until you feel a shift occur.

In your mind’s eye, observe your skin beginning to clear, becoming radiant, lustrous, glowing, and soft. How does it feel to have this new skin? Allow yourself to take lone deep breaths and enjoy your renewed skin.” The Secret Language of Your Body ~ Inna Segel

*Suggestion: When I took a Chromotherapy (color-healing) course, blue was the color of all over-heated conditions in the body that needed cooling.  It’s also a color for the imbalance of yeast, bacteria or fungus in your system. It heals problems with the skin, the reproductive system, the eyes and chest.  Violet moves through the etheric and subtle bodies, helping to remove old and worn out patterns of behavior.

Youtube ~ Louise Hay ~ Healing Skin Problems – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKXISPDqPvA

NATURAL REMEDIES FOR PSORIASIS

Holistic healing is about natural remedies and treatments along with wholesome foods, exercise, sunshine, fresh air, positive thinking, the love of work, and a balanced lifestyle. Below are some ideas to help with psoriasis. I’m sure there’s many, many more out there.

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.

B complex vitamins help support blood lymphocytes – helps promote anti-bodies and T-cells distribution and immune cell activity.

(leaky gut and candida disrupts the metabolism of vitamin B6 and EFAs – you can get extra B vitamins through a good mutli-vitamin.  B6 is needed by the body to produce serotonin, hence its ability to ward off depression.

Carotenoids – precursor to vitamin A – increases immune activity – kills cancer cells – protects cell membrane fats from oxidation and damage

Zinc is a mineral that stimulates the immune system and promotes T-cell function

Selenium helps build your immune system and keep it healthy – your body uses selenium to help white blood cells to clear viruses and bacteria from your body.

Magnesium deficiency stimulates the release of inflammatory cytokines. Regular use helps regulate the immune system and protect it against infection – it reduces the risk of autoimmune diseases caused by an overactive immune system.  (Magnesium should be taken with a B vitamin as together they help the liver. Like zinc, magnesium is easier for your body to absorb and use if it is bound to an amino acid.)

Omega 3 (fish oil, flax seed, evening primrose oil, borage, blackcurrant seed oil  help to reduce inflammation and the absorption of nutrients. They promote strong cell membranes in your gastrointestinal tract – boosts the immune system and helps slow the aging process

Chlorella is an excellent “whole Food’ you can buy at any health store.  It’s rich in chlorophyll, which helps detox the body and gives a boost in energy and improves the immune system. It comes in powder or capsules

The integrity of the lymph system is dependent on immune cells in the liver that filter out harmful bacteria and destructive yeasts.

Milk Thistle is a powerful liver regenerator. People with damaged livers can regenerate tissue with Milk Thistle. I take these herbs in the form of tinctures but they can be taken in any form.

Dandelion Root supports the liver, pancreas, kidneys and spleen. It has diuretic and purifying properties.

Yellow Dock is a blood purifier that also helps the liver and gall bladder and is also high in iron.

Each of us has to take responsibility to explore and educate ourselves about our own health.  Doctors can help in the process but really and truly you must do the work.  We have to nurture ourselves, respect the body and its processes and help them to function at their best, as they were intended by the law of Nature.

Metaphysical causes of rheumatoid arthritis  http://self-healingsecrets.com/1033/the-energy-behind-rheumatoid-arthritis/

Super site on psoriasis re: homeopathic and a list of medicines and how they work.  http://www.askdrshah.com/app/psoriasis/psoriasis-medicines.aspx

Dr. Andrew Weil – Psoriasis http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03161/Psoriasis.html

Psoriatic arthritis http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2196539-overview

Great youtube presentation on Magnesium deficiency https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wtUn1gWgaw

The five major types of psoriasis https://www.psoriasis.com/psoriasis-types.aspx

Psoriasis of the nails – deep pitting of the nails http://dermnetnz.org/scaly/psoriatic-arthritis.html

http://dermnetnz.org/scaly/erythrodermic-psoriasis.html

hooked-on-nails.com/naildisorders.

http://dermnetnz.org/scaly/genital-psoriasis.html

https://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases_And_Conditions/Psoriatic_Arthritis/

http://wakeup-world.com/2012/12/23/top-10-probiotic-foods-to-add-to-your-diet/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psN1DORYYV0 Listening to Shame

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

“We are whole as well as unique, and each aspect of our lives–the emotional, mental and spiritual as well as the physical–is rich and complex and deeply connected to the others. Each of us is brought up in a particular family at a given time and in a specific place. Each of us is a member of a socioeconomic and ethnic group.

 ….Understanding all the dimensions of a life is crucial to understanding each person and his or her illnesses. Addressing them may make possible a successful treatment that a more narrow approach would dismiss or ignore.” MANIFESTO FOR A NEW MEDICINE ~ James S. Gordon, M.D.

When a person contacts me for a distant healing, we create a time when he or she can join in at the same time—this moment of meeting is also arranged at a soul level—a moment of sacred synchronicity. Asking a client to join in frequently allows them to sense the energies in all kinds of ways and they can also give you feedback about their healing experience. All that a practitioner needs is the name and birth date of the subject and the place where they reside now. Inviting the healing process begins at the spiritual level addressing imbalances at present time … this spiritual connection helps to pick up a range of messages coming from different parts of a person’s body. Many times, after the client and I have discussed the healing, we may also focus on his or her astrological chart to gain a greater understanding to their current issues. 90% of the time, the client is eager to have an astrological point of view that provides a reflection of his or hers own ‘inner nature’.

Many people, often as the result of a life crisis or through a gradually increasing interest, feel a pressing need to get in touch with their Self and to discover, in their own unique way, their nature and place in the universe.   In the search for a method to be used as self-development they turn to sources of inspiration from ancient times—one such system is astrology. Carl Jung, saw the human psyche as a rich tapestry of forces and interactions—he used astrology to access aspects of the human personality which still lay below the surface.

Carl Jung used astrology to reveal the psychological characteristics, patterns, and dynamics of his clients. In a letter to a prominent astrologer (Dr. B.V. Raman of India) he wrote, “As I am a psychologist, I am chiefly interested in the particular light the horoscope sheds on certain complications in a person’s character. In cases of difficult psychological diagnosis, I usually cast a horoscope in order to have a further point of view from an entirely different angle. I must say that I very often found that astrological data elucidated certain points which I otherwise would have been unable to understand.”

Your natal chart is like a fingerprint, there’s none other like it in the world. Wherever you are in the world you’ll react in the same way and respond in the same; why .. because .. you are you.

The type of astrology we’re going to look is called astropsychology (individual astrology). When doing a chart, what we’re looking for is a pattern, a repetitive pattern in your behavior—the way you take information in and the way you send information out—it will show, how you respond to any environment. Astropsychology is about self-awareness, self acceptance and eventually leading to better ways of knowing yourself, of knowing what you’re doing, understanding why you act in certain ways and then disciplining yourself with higher awareness to overcome imprinted beliefs and behaviors. It’s about balancing our energies and discovering our natural abilities and merging them with our knowledge to manifest in our lives day in and day out. We are responsible for our own actions as others are responsible for theirs.   Astrology is about stripping ourselves of our outer masks (superficialities) and exposing our true inner nature. And it’s about now, it’s about change happening now, for as you will discover you have ultimate control over your chart.

Manic Depression/Bipolar people are truly gifted with many wonderful attributes that have been masked by their symptoms. Their bodies are increasingly sensitive to things the mind cannot know—physically they feel their depressions and anxieties—even when hidden under the guise of good humor and a couple of stiff drinks. Social pressures at home, at work and at school can intensify this disorder, creating other conditions such as Diabetes, Thyroid disorders, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and many more.

“Creativity is closely associated with bipolar disorder. This condition is unique. Many famous historical figures and artists have had this. Yet they have led a full life and contributed so much to the society and world at large. See, you have a gift. People with bipolar disorder are very very sensitive. Much more than ordinary people. They are able to experience emotions in a very deep and intense way. It gives them a very different perspective of the world. It is not that they lose touch with reality. But the feelings of extreme intensity are manifested in creative things. They pour their emotions into either writing or whatever field they have chosen” ~ Preeti Shenoy, Life is What You Make It

We know from the previous articles on manic depression that the brain of a person with bipolar does not move dopamine and other chemicals of the brain in the same way that the brain of someone without bipolar does. A lack of dopamine may explain the drug addiction and thrill-seeking behavior of most people with bipolar. However, I do believe everyone can sculpt a fulfilling life out of what they’ve been born with, but it will take a lot of hard work and willpower to change old habits developed in response to bipolar symptoms.   Being realistic about the great stress it has on your life and in your relationships is important but also doubly important is being hopeful and optimistic. Medications can help find your own balance point as you see bipolar in fresh ways. And all medications should be tried under the direction and observation of your doctor whom you told of your medical history.

When the harder aspects of astrology are accepted as the flip side of the very positive aspects of a natal chart, a balance can be achieved. So often astrologer’s have found a person’s greatest talents arose directly out of their most challenging aspects. Yet many astrology books will describe squares or oppositions as indicating a person’s greatest faults or weaknesses, whereas trines and sextiles shown a person’s talents or virtues.

“The energies expressed by planets in square to one another are often compulsive, too forceful, and often rooted in feelings of resentment or vulnerability. Obviously, these circumstances tend to bring out the less pleasant qualities of the energies involved. The energies represented by planets in square aspect can be very dynamic and productive – rather like an athlete who can objectively accomplish more because in training he must constantly work with a handicap … like running uphill, but they are not comfortable – either for the person who owns them, or for the people who have to deal with him.” http://www.enchantedspirit.org/Astrology/Definitions/Square.php

The first step in breaking habits is to become our own spectators. Paying attention to our facial expressions, gestures, tics, and posture can help us to see ourselves more clearly so we can begin to change certain performances of our personality. We need to learn to test ourselves too, to see where we hold strengths and weaknesses and continually improve on the weaknesses or use our strengths to counter balance them.

“In the Yoga Vasishtha, the Goddess of Wisdom explains, “Consciousness, mind, and space: These are not different things. Each of these is all pervading. This true intelligence inside you, the awareness buried beneath the everyday rambling of your mind, pervades all space. All living things are connected through this network of intelligence. It is the basis of telepathy, precognition, spiritual healing, astrology, and other occult powers.

This intelligence is perfectly tranquil, which is why people with agitated minds are unable to tap into it. There is a part of your mind which swells within this Divine Intelligence. Yogis call it the confined body. It is everywhere, and its powers are unlimited. It is the Supreme Divine Awareness Itself.” Yoga Journal May – June 1996

THE ASTROLOGICAL NATAL CHART

The astrological natal chart reflects both our light and dark shadows, our strengths as well as aspects of ourselves that need healing. It’s a way of being able to ‘observe the self’ and understanding a deeper meaning of the life journey, particularly our painful life experiences. Awareness of certain energies at work within ourselves gives us the opportunity to shift out away from our typical knee-jerk reactive mode.   The most practical perspective that will help you understand astrology in general is that everything works in polarities.

“Astrology is neither a perfected science nor solely an art form created by the intuitive faculties of the various people who practice it. Astrology combines certain elements of science, art, and intuition and as such it is a unique field of study. Astrology is a diagnostic tool which has been given to Man so that he may begin to understand his roots in infinity and the higher laws of creation which govern him. Astrology, therefore, is not an end unto itself. On the contrary, it is a beginning, for the planets and stars are but giant, symbolic bodies through which the complicated truths of the Universe may be expressed.” Alan Okin’s Complete Astrology ~ Alan Okin

The process of becoming aware and learning/discovering what’s best in us takes courage, as we are being readied to meet oneself. We all come with our own unique history; bringing our own particular strengths and weaknesses, performances and abilities. For most of us, we often find ourselves playing a role, just showing a part of ourselves and keeping other parts hidden. As we gain control of our abilities and interactions with the spiritual side of life, we are able to co-create, give form and manifest results in our physical world.

We are all familiar with some aspects of ourselves that are resistant to change, even if we feel quite aware about what we would like to do. If you encounter resistance, don’t berate or judge yourself, relax, sit down and take the time to explore your chart and find out why certain aspects are there.

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. We’re going to look at the astrological chart of a person diagnosed with manic depression who blamed his parents for the ‘screw-ups’ in his life. “My parents haven’t any idea what they’ve done to me, I don’t know who I am, I haven’t any self-esteem and it’s ‘all’ their fault”.

Our identity stems from our family and if that is removed, it often leaves us hanging emotionally. I mean—think about it—our family is our foundation, our home. There’s no question that what a person has been through can impact how they feel about themselves. It alters the way we look and deal with the world; bitterness can lead to depression and a lack of motivation. Instead of dealing with our anger and sad feelings, we tend to blame our screw-ups on those closest to us .. our parents.

In astrology, the ascendant, rising sign or 1st house represents our appearance, the physical body, and its overall health and vitality. Your body image has been influenced and shaped by your parents and people who influenced your family and the environment/society you lived in as a child. You could say it’s the landscape of your body, formed by the foods available to your parents at the time. It’s also based on the genetic makeup of your early ancestors and the food they ate, especially if from a different land. It’s also been called the mask we wear when relating with other people. Planets that aspect the rising sign can alter the flow of energy, positively or negatively throughout the body.

The sun and moon reflects the energies that were going on between our parents at the time of our conception. The relationship between the luminaries in the natal chart also plays a significant role in our behaviors, attitudes and beliefs as well as our relationship with others.

Anger, blame, guilt, fear and all other negative emotions when not acknowledged and released weaken your natural resistance to disease and aging.   They clog up your cells, slow down your metabolism and wear out your heart. Where we’ve been hurt, abused, abandoned or betrayed .. any of these wounded feelings can settle in your arteries, joints, throat, eyes, brain or digestive track.

CASE STUDY #1

Mitch astro

The name and date of birth of the following person has been changed to protect his identity.

The natal chart we’re looking at is a young man named Mitch, born in 1997 and diagnosed bipolar at the age of 12. At this tender age, Mitch was already heavily into drugs and in trouble with the law .. as you can tell by his birth date, he’s only heading towards his 18th year.   Here’s a short overview of his chart…

SUN IN CANCER

In Cancer, we enter the world of emotions and feelings as well as needs, intuition and our ability to bond with another human being. Cancer’s Moon has been said to represent the wounded inner child, since it holds the sensitive part of us that is vulnerable, dependent and needy.

“In Gemini, the soul was urged to move out of its self perceptions and embrace its universal self, the one that knows it is connected to all things.   If this did not occur, then the phase of Cancer will be difficult. The self beomces imprisoned in itself and indifferent to others. Spirit provides warmth, compassion and understanding; when it’s missing, reality appears distorted. Emotional needs become “black holes,” and nothing in the material world is enough to make the soul feel secure.   The dark feelings of the Cancer find relief in humor and in an interest in society and all its frivolities. Cancers are either the king and queens of superfluous behavior or courageous navigators of the truth and the unknown.” The Day We Were Born ~ Linda Joyce

For most of us it is much harder to express our feelings than to opinions, facts or theories. If you listen to people’s conversations, they are either describing things, events or people or exchanging ideas and/or opinions about something. Very rarely do we hear things about personal feelings, because talking about feelings is risky. Feedback is the risk of learning something about yourself you didn’t know before (or did, but didn’t want to know) And there’s also the risk of being misunderstood or not accepted. Yet, are these worthwhile risks to learn more about ourselves.

Mitch told me he often bottles up his feelings, especially around his friends and mother but ends up losing his temper at someone else, causing a reaction he was afraid would happen in the first place.

“Cancers struggle with mood swings, and their obsessive behavior demands they learn emotional control. Constantly battling frustration, they seek stability in their environment. It’s why they like antiques, tradition and the past. It gives them a feeling of connectedness and belonging. They are prone to collecting and easily fall into habits. They’d rather repeat an experience any day than try something new. They can easily get stuck in a rut. A mate can help here. Often Cancers are attracted to partners who bring the change they themselves are afraid to initiate.

 All Cancers deal with fear. It’s the neck brace that keeps them rigid. They also struggle to contain emotional tension, beginning in childhood.” The Day You Were Born ~ Linda Joyce

I told Mitch that from Aries through Cancer, we experience the elements of Fire (Aries), Earth (Taurus), Air (Gemini) and Water (Cancer). Water has no taste, no shape or color; water ‘needs’ other materials ‘to be observed’. Pour water into a container and suddenly it takes shape. Flavor it with something and it has taste. So feelings and emotions are only seen by something outside of us, causing internal ripples.

SUN SQUARE SATURN IN 4th HOUSE

“…When Saturn is shadowing the Sun in the natal chart, for the Sun describes the ego and sense of self-worth. In the final analysis, the individual feels a lack of acknowledgment for who he really is and usually goes through life feeling unrecognized no matter how much acclaim comes his way. The sadness that sets in is like putting shade over a bright light. The sun describes not only the ego and sense of self-worth but the real essence of soul quality. If a person is denied by others often enough, he quite naturally begins to deny himself and his existence. He feels unimportant, and may be motivated to get the acknowledgment he craves and feels he deserves in a variety of ways, sometimes by being lured on by the reward or ego stroking he hopes to receive for a job well done. His diligence is rarely acknowledged fully, however, as he was programmed for lack of acknowledgment at that all-important time of birth.” ASTROLOGY AND YOUR PAST LIVES ~ Jeanne Avery

Child abuse and feeling deprived has created a huge chip on Mitch’s shoulders; he feels rejected and betrayed by life and trusts no one. He has such a great fear of being controlled by others that any restriction causes Mitch to fight back with a fighting rage. The root and deep scar of his sorrow is a sense of emotional abandonment from his alcoholic father. All his stuffed-down feelings have kept him moving to avoid feeling. He couldn’t turn to his mother for help who cleaned endlessly and was overly involved in the community; she went out of her way to help others to avoid her pain.

Mitch left home at the tender age of 15; he realized too that he was like his mother, running and keeping his life in high gear to avoid facing his real feelings of loss and emotional intimacy.

I told Mitch to see his constant running as a form of addiction.   We will see with other aspects that he was into drugs and alcoholism but not all forms of addiction are physical.   Addictions can represent desires, attachments, demands, expectations, emotional programming, anything that keeps us in the past instead of the here and now. Addictions disempower you by making you worried, anxious, resentful, uptight, afraid, angry, bored or any other obsessive thought pattern that prevents you from taking responsibility for your life.

Mitch told me “Then I guess you’d say I’m addicted to cutting. When I’m feeling down about myself I hurt myself by cutting my arms all up. I would rather feel physical pain then the emotional hurt that I have in my life”. Overall he felt anger, sorry, hurt and frustrated; instead of talking about it, he hurt himself.

I told Mitch that cutting make take his mind off his problems but that wouldn’t make them go away. Self-mutilation is connected to low self-esteem. Think about it. It makes sense .. Mitch cuts himself with words like “you’re worthless: or you’re not going to amount to anything.”

At some point, I told Mitch, you will decide that your “background” isn’t going to stand in your way any longer. You’re young and your wounds are fresh; it’s your fear of emotional pain that makes you so sensitive and hell-bent it won’t happen again. But this energy you’re feeling radiates from you to others—they know on a deeper level what you’re thinking and feeling—they act in accord. People’s reactions to you. are from what you’re projecting—energy put out into the world comes back to us like a boomerang.

To come into balance we have to embrace our polar opposite and for you that’s Capricorn. Capricorn is about responsibility, it’s showing you that you alone are the creator of your experiences, that no one else can cause you to feel what you feel in any situation. As mentioned in the summary Mitch needs to share himself with others; once he does his problems will begin to dissolve.

“The wonderful light that each person is needs a distinct darkness to define it. The darkness providing your balance and cosmic equilibrium is now only a vague shadow. By witnessing true darkness, the opposite of the goodness that you are, your spirit will become more clearly defined. You will become more fully aware of when darkness or negativity has come into your life, and you will be able to acknowledge it, change it, or leave the situations, instead of simply becoming entangled or lost in the darkness.

ASCENDANT SQUARE NEPTUNE – SUN IN CANCER OPPOSITE NEPTUNE – MERCURY OPPOSITE NEPTUNE

Before you get to know someone, their ascendant or rising sign will probably make a much bigger impression on you than their sun sign. The rising sign will play a big part in the way someone dresses, looks, and the way they carry themselves. Your Ascendant/Rising Sign also represents your general outlook on life.   It is the lens through which you view the world.

“A person does not have to be behind bars to be a prisoner. People can be prisoners of their own concepts and ideas. They can be slaves to their own selves.” – Maharaji

Mitch felt he had little worth, he felt depreciated by others and felt cheated and stepped on. At school he was bullied quite possibly because he didn’t feel so great about himself. To defend himself he hid behind a wall of distrust and put others down to elevate himself. He sank into terrible feelings of loneliness and isolation, cutting himself and turning to drugs and alcohol.

“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

When I scanned Mitch’s energy field during our distant healing session, his aura was like a wall of steel not wanting or letting anything through. Mitch had gone through many trials in his young life, including physical abuse, abandonment by an alcoholic father and trying to cope with a learning disability. His strong feelings had never been talked about or dealt with. They were buried. The more we conversed over email and skype, the more I realized how great the tension was between him and his parents. Mitch left home at 15 years old and lived on the streets for almost a year.

(Any type of armor around the body represents all a person’s accumulated feelings and repressed rage that’s never been processed. Mitch had only one planet in water (Sun in Cancer in 4th house)—he was definitely not comfortable in the world of feelings, or expressing himself well—another reason why his wall was created. But this form of protected armor was causing tissue inflammation and muscle pain in his body.)

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 anxiety. Anxiety coupled with cortisol has been known to cause unexplained heart palpitations, a nervous stomach, road rage and short temperedness.

“The Ascendant also represents the body and with Neptune in conflict, we could by physically below par – mostly due to our uncertainty. When we are going through a difficult patch we may need to sleep on our problems, and we can suffer from tiredness without obvious physical cause. Creative talents can be wonderfully stimulated if we take up artistic or mystical pursuits.”   ‘Aspects and Personality’ by Karen Hamaker-Zondag

Cancer is a cardinal sign and for many a Cancer business is the strongest creative outlet in the horoscope. But Cancer is looking for fulfillment for the Moon, for something that is nurturing to do, for people who need help.

MOON in LIBRA CONJUNCT MARS – TRINE URANUS and NEPTUNE

The moon is normally associated with home, family life, one’s mother, motherhood, bonding with others and habits and behaviors. Anatomically the moon represents the stomach, which emphasizes a direct link between what we eat and how we feel. It also provides clues to what may be “eating” at us. Cancers tend to eat when their inner child has been deprived; emotionally starved, neglected or abandoned. Each of us responds to the Moon’s cycle in our own unique manner and through its regular rhythm, it can provide us with clues to the direction our unconscious is taking.

“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.)” Denise Lin and Meadlow Lin ~ The Mystic Cookbook

“We who have Moon in Libra crave the experience of beauty and peace; we seek to co-operate with others, to please, and to establish one-to-one relationships which are mutually gratifying. We also find satisfaction in using our minds, particularly our powers of objectivity and synthesis. A parent who valued us highly, and enjoyed pleasing us; who encouraged our aesthetic and intellectual development, and who was willing and able to appreciate our points of view… may have helped us to become attuned to the constructive dimensions of our Libran Moon.

 If, however, our Moon is in difficult aspect, or if its trines or sextiles suggest a parent who was only superficially available to us, we may be attempting to gain from a partner what we were never able to experience from our parents. We may become overly dependent upon others, seeking to win their favor by being indispensable and satisfying their every desire. We may also be inclined to avoid confronting our anger and pain, suppressing emotions because we fear any threat to our relationships which might force us to acknowledge our separateness and aloneness. These patterns may have been influenced by a parent figure who placed too much emphasis upon appearance or surface harmony, who was unable to tolerate discord, or who led us to believe that relationship always means subordinating oneself to another. Such a mother or father may have brought many unfulfilled needs into parenting, expecting us to compensate for deficiencies he or she experienced in childhood or marriage.

 Although our Libra Moons suggest that our emotional fulfillment requires co-operative relationships with others, we can only build truly satisfying connections by first developing a secure relationship with ourselves, accepting as valid our own feelings and needs, and being willing to assert ourselves, even when it means experiencing temporary discord for the sake of deeper and more authentic contact. We need to apply our openmindedness and our capacity to identify with many points of view in relation to both ourselves and others – to listen to and affirm each of our internal personalities, willingly entering into disharmony and imbalance when necessary in order to create the more enduring harmony and balance which is so vital to us. At the same time, we need to honor our Libran need for beauty and peace, creating environments and relationships which, whenever possible, soothe and uplift us.” ~ Tracy Marks

The moon in astrology represents the mother, your first bond with life and your early experiences of how she loved, protected and cared for you.   The Moon represents how we were emotionally held and provided a place of safety so we could explore and express our feelings, no matter what they were. The Moon in Libra is a bit uncomfortable because the Moon is feminine and Libra is Masculine—the Moon is emotional—Libra is logical.

When I asked Mitch to describe his mother he said point-blank “a people pleaser”. He said his mom couldn’t say no to anyone and it would really tie her in knots when she couldn’t help someone.   “She gave the appearance that everything in her life was ok, even when her problems were obvious .. at home she could be critical fuzzy and demanding.. but she allowed herelf to be used, especially my father. My dad was an alcoholic and mom would go about her days avoiding it, ‘keeping up appearances’ with friends and family. She was well read and had an enormous library of music and books but kept a blind-eye to what was happening in her life. Mom even had a tendency to turn her problems into jokes; this way no one could confront or question her lack of insight into her financial and marital problems. Some of her best friends were lost because they saw through her façade … they couldn’t understand why she didn’t want help or to help herself. When I ran away from home she was deeply hurt but probably knew deep down inside it was best for me to leave the abuse of my father”.

When we turned the tables and looked at what the Moon in Libra meant Mitch, he had to laugh, “my mom wanted to be friends with everyone, where here I am fighting everyone like a raving maniac! I’m afraid of my emotions because their so intense”. Where my mom wouldn’t make a scene, scream or put anyone down I’m totally the opposite. Mom didn’t realize the shame I had about our family and it only grew worse because she wouldn’t talk about it.”

With the Moon conjunct Mars we tend to react without thinking and may impulsively, angrily leap into action. Coupled with Uranus, even though a trine, indicates spurts of little shocks that come like a bolt out of the blue.   With these aspect comes great sensitivity and intuitive abilities as well as erratic mood changes—Mars and Uranus with the every-changing Moon may appear to others as unpredictable or unreliable, lacking in commitment and responsibility.

“Every time they revert to Moon behavior, or, in other words, to a search for peace and safety, Uranus springs into action, and the planet, although intervening harmoniously, does tend to make them restless and impulsive. In breaking free they may also want to be unconventional, and interests may include astrology or esotericism, subjects which lie outside the present scientific world-picture. Of course, by no means everyone with strong Uranus aspects will become an astrologer, but they will probably be interested in something pioneering – say some innovative branch of technology like radar.

 

Once they have found an interest, then they can throw themselves into it heart and soul. They become absorbed in each new bright idea. Not all of these are likely to be usable, but that’s not important; what matters is that the idea interests them intensely, and they have scant patience with the comments or criticisms of others. These people always give full rein to individuality and act according to what they think at the time. Possibly they shall bring about reforms in society, but these attitudes can also isolate them. Not for nothing is Uranus called an eccentric, solitary planet; and Uranians feel compelled to push themselves forward in order to express their individuality although, incidentally, they would be scandalized at the suggestion that they were being egotistic or self-centred.” Karen Hamaker-Zondag ~ Aspects and Personality

NEPTUNE CONJUNCT *MIDHEAVEN – SQUARE ASCENDANT – SQUARE CHIRON – CONJUNCT URANUS

*The MidHeaven (10th house) represents our direction in life, what we strive to achieve, what we are reaching up for …

 Some people with the aspect, Neptune conjunct Midheaven (MC) suffer from identity problems most probably caused by parents who already decided what ‘they want’ for their child. As a result the child can grow up wondering who they are and what their role might be in life. This is why Mitch has become so super-sensitive to what others think and say. When we talked of his parents, he said he hated them and had even told them this to their face. Was it true? No, I think he was using these harsh words as a verb weapon to get my and their attention. He wrote more than once, “I haven’t done anything wrong, it’s all ‘their’ fault’. He also wrote “I’ve always felt like I was born in the wrong family, like what I wanted, what I cared about was completely opposite of my parents.”

The 4th house, Imum Coecli (IC) represents our heritage, our home and family’. The Moon is the ruler of this house (Cancer) representing our upbringing, the mother and our needs, instincts, and subconscious urges. The Sun rules this house in Mitch’s chart, it indicates one’s ego, vitality, pride and leadership. The Sun, not well aspected in Mitch’s chart showed he didn’t think much of himself or his sense of self-worth and that most of his upbringing was from his mother.   Insecure, she didn’t reflect his sense of self-worth and he lacked a healthy ego that affected his feelings about himself. With Sun square Saturn in the 4th house, the mother was deeply insecure herself … you see Mitch’s dad was an alcoholic and abandoned or was absent most of Mitch’s life.

Excellent article on the 4th house  http://www.astro.com/astrology/in_dgfourthhouse_e.htm

With Neptune conjunct Midheaven (10th house), Mitch needs to find a job in a quiet, low-stress environment that allows him to daydream, fantasize and create. With this aspect he is likely to dedicate a great deal of his time and energy to his chosen career because it will provide him with a tremendous sense of fulfillment, something he couldn’t match in other areas of his life. He also needs to develop some outside interests and form some personal relationships; this will keep him balanced.

Sometimes the 10th house is related to the father, who in Mitch’s case was withdrawn in a world of disillusion. His father could have shown Mitch all the negative attributes of Neptune: alcoholism, drug-addiction, chronic mental or physical illness, weak character, or all of the above. Mitch needs to examine his beliefs about why his father was in his life instead of avoiding the issue. When he does this he’ll discover, understand and appreciate his Neptunian gifts. (Mitch is being counseled as we speak.)

Mitch has a wonderful imaginative talent and loves painting mythological creatures and anything to do with the  fantasy world. He’s written poetry that is truly alive with deeply felt emotions and feelings.  Just as we need sleep, he needs to escape to a dream world of magical spirits and whimsical creatures; it helps him relax and to transform his visions into works of art. It is very probable Mitch is here to inspire us to our sense of wonder and to learn how to free our imagination.

Mitch and I talked about him taking an art workshop, or creative writing, which would bring his talents out and could also be an effective counselling tool.  We also explored meditation, some which are located on this blog.

URANUS ~ BREATHE

“Uranus is the first of the higher octave planets. It describes a quality of electric energy that is very high in vibration. …

Uranus also describes healing, enlightenment and mental brilliance ~ for a person it show one who is a humanitarian, individual and unique. Special and unusual situations occur when Uranus is stimulated in our chart. They can lead to new awareness as a result of breaking up old patterns. A person who has Uranus strong in their chart can be rebellious, high-strung and nervous. At times the electrical energy in our bodies is so strong it can cause physical conditions such as bronchitis, allergies, asthma, etc.. So you could say the body’s on overload, and we need to let off all that excess steam within our own system so we don’t damage our health.

Uranus rules the breathing mechanism as well as indicating the nervous system, tension may produce shallow breathing or a general lack of oxygen in the system. The meridians in the body may be reversed. (Meridians are the lines that connect acumpuncture points in the body.) Reversed meridians may lead to what appear to be learning disabiities. Actually the individual may learn so rapidly and be so far ahead of the norm that he tends to jam his own circuits by trying to slow down or cnform to the methods of others. This is especially true if there are difficult aspects to Mercury or to the ruler of the third house of communications. In extreme situations, those difficult aspects may indicate a potential for dyslexia as a result of those reversed meridians.” Astrology and Your Past Lives ~ Jeanne Avery 

We contract or hold-in our breath, when we’re tense or protecting ourselves from something or someone in our environment. Usually when we feel safe, the body relaxes; the breathing slows down and drops farther into the belly, becoming deeper and more nurturing.   But if we continue to tense up this area, our breathing becomes shallower and the body’s back and neck will have to compensate for it. With the lungs imbalanced, the neck will be forced to crane forward, having to physically carry the weight of the head rather than allowing it to balance naturally on the spine. The neck pulled forward causes undue strain in many of the muscles in the shoulder and back area.

When working on Mitch’s energy body, his breathing appeared shorter, shallower and more in the chest than in the belly. The muscle that is responsible for controlling the lungs is the diaphragm (ruled by Uranus). This is a large dome-shaped muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen.   It lies directly under the lungs and when we breathe in the muscle stretches out to let air into the lungs.   As you exhale, the diaphragm curves inwards and upwards to force all the unwanted air out of our lungs. The diaphragm is one of the most under-used muscles in the human body.

“Uranus represents the need for independence and originality; it crashes through forms and restraints and helps develop individuality on the basis of inwardly desired change. Neptune on the other hand, represents the desire to experience what lies beyond individuality itself. Hence it stands for a need to disassociate and blur things, to idealize and perfect them. But there is a danger of the individual mind becoming chaotic and losing itself in the collective. When the two factors come together, as they do here, we get a highly idealistic personality displaying an impersonal attitude every now and then.” Aspects and Personaltiy ~ Karen Hamaker-Zondag

A lack of life-energy (chi) can cause the entire body to experience health problems and cause the entire body to slowly deteriorate. I suspected Mitch had a skin condition and called him on it. Mitch said he suffers from a skin condition called psoriasis.

Psoriasis is an immune disorder said to originate in the intestinal tract. (Mitch’s 6th house in Virgo rules the intestinal tract and this area of the body is where he’s most affected). Those familiar with leaky-gut syndrome know that toxic substances that normally pass through the intestines are instead seeped through the walls, entering the lymphatic system and invading the blood stream. The liver and kidneys attempt to filter out these toxins but when the liver becomes overloaded the skin comes to the rescue to help eliminate them. Psoriasis, then, is an overproduction of skin cells that cause a pileup of dead cells, thickening the skin with raised red patches.   Metaphysically this is a mental issue of patterns and attitudes that are already dead and finished with but haven’t yet been released.

Mars in the 6th house can get quite a deal of angry and impatient when our ordinary day-to-day life isn’t going as planned. Fuming over what was, burns up a lot of reserved energy, burning out the adrenals and feeling quite anxious. Again with Mitch we see an accumulation of repressed rage and suppressed feelings that never got processed. Interestingly, in the aura, these appear as dark red spots that can be quite explosive when disturbed.

“Each feeling contains atomic particles, and the feelings which are denied contain particles which spin at a greater force than normal because their natural movement has been suppressed. This greater intensity of spin creates the color, red. When there is a large accumulation of these particles, the energy can no longer be contained, which results in an explosive force which you perceive as violence. This may express itself as a tantrum, as abrasive behavior, belligerence, insult, physical abuse, rape, or even murder. ‘Seeing red’ is an actual phenomenon.” Color and Crystals ~ Joy Gardener

SUMMARY OF MITCH’S HEALING/CHART

There was a lot of personal information discussed with Mitch that wasn’t explained here.   In regard to astrology, For instance, I showed him all the retrogrades (R’s) in his chart, which means that from the earth, these planets (Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) appear to be moving backwards. Because Mitch had so many of them, it means he has to figure a lot of things out for himself, to go within and discover his truths. Once he is able to get himself sorted out, then he’d feel more comfortable interacting with the world.

“Escapism, daydreaming, and fantasies attract, and you may retreat into an ideal and perfect inner world where all is good. This is the conflict between illusions and external reality which reflects the interplay between the Virgoan dream of perfection and the Piscean dream of idealism. A misapplication of these impair your ability to deal with the real world”. North Node In Virgo ~ Paul Hayden

We also talked in great length about aspects to the Moon, Mars, Chiron and the North Node which are all placed in his sixth house. Mitch really wants to push his way through life and once back on track, make up for lost time in his past. It could mean he may have to do a lot of physical work but will have to watch his health. When Mitch was young he had a tendency to run high fevers when run down.

This quote summarizes Mitch’s repressed rage..

“Although it is not like Ares, if he did hold in his anger, he would probably suffer regularly from headaches or more generally turn his aggression against the body. (With the planet Mars in the 6th, feelings and impulses register very strongly in the body and must find some sort of expression if it is not going to short-circuit and blow a fuse.)” Howard Sasportas

With an Aries rising, Mars, Chiron and North Node all in his 6th house Mitch has a great combination of air (intellect) and earth (practicality) to live the way he wants and where he wants. The solution, he has a lot of work to do on himself; Virgo is associated with exercise, health foods, healing and natural products, an area he needs to explore.   Virgo is always striving to learn; this sign needs some form of study to stimulate the mind and Mitch is thinking of going through a graphic arts class sponsored through a government funded program and he’s really interested in exploring the artistic field, especially fantasy art.

“Integration only comes to this individual through service. Must come out of his shell and work. Has been isolated through self-undoing in the past. Either enforced seclusion, or restrictions due to lack of compassion in the past, has made it easy to retreat this time. Fulfilment comes to this individual through serving others and losing the sense of separateness. Humility, the last virtue to be attained, can be the keynote of hits life if the individual is willing to serve others with no concern about the self. In order for any of us to become something, we have to be willing to be nothing. This is the message of the sixth house.” ~ Isabel Hickey

The main thing Mitch and I worked on was for him to be less aggressive and more “assertive”. The key to being assertive is using the “I” statement.   When someone says “I feel frustrated” we open to what they have to say. People are usually more willing to listen to an “I” statement—and—being assertive builds our self-esteem—it’s validating our feelings and opinions. I also told him being assertive wasn’t going to change people; they still may be verbally abusive; but if he made it his goal to stick up for his opinion, even though they spoke the same way, it was a victory for him.

Important aspects such as Chiron opposite Saturn cannot be denied and applied so strongly in Mitch’s chart.   This is what I wrote him …   Chiron opposite Saturn emphasizes the need to strip away old, outmoded forms of self-expression. We’re challenged to become aware of our woundedness in the areas of thoughts, perceptions and communication. This means playing around with ideas, thoughts and words: what ideas do you have that might move you beyond your current situation? Try out some of these ideas and experiment; have fun with them. For instance do you often feel you’re not heard by other people? Perhaps you could learn more effective ways of communicating or choose to be better a better listener. Are you intimated by what others expect of you, losing touch with your own ideas and opinions? Maybe you could learn how to consciously redefine yourself at regular intervals. Be receptive to feedback from trusted friends, but choose what is right for you in the end. Try not to react to what others are saying but take it in as food for thought. If you’re tempted to react or get angry, let that anger spur you into action for your own self-development.

Mitch has been in spiritual counselling for about six months now.  He’s also seeing a naturopath who gives freely of her time to teach him of the respective foods and supplements he should be taking. Definitely 3000 mg. Omega 3 daily, was at the top of the list along with a Candida diet and moderate exercise. L-Glutamine and N-acetyl glucosamine are excellent for rebuilding the stomach wall.  Mitch was also told to try a homeopathic medicine called Kapli Sulphate, a cell salt for Virgo which neutralizes the acidity in the blood.

Mitch is on Depakote and Seroquel for his bipolar, but Seroquel has been causing him muscular spasms and is presently being weaned off of them.

I promised him the next article on this blog will be an in-depth study into Psoriasis ….

Links to follow …

Excellent article “What a Shaman Sees in a Mental Hospital”  themindunleashed.org/2014/08/shaman-sees-mental-hospital.html

http://www.truenode.org/north-node-by-house/north-node-in-6th-house/

Neptune conjunct Midheaven ~ “Any planet conjunct one of the four angles is significant, and when that planet is the outer planet symbolizing spirituality, sensitivity, idealism, the arts, illusion, delusion, surrender and personal sacrifice, it is very significant indeed. Born when Neptune was as high in the sky as it could be on the day of your birth, your career will probably be related to the arts, film, medicine, service, and/or the ocean. Who, what, and how you profess yourself to be will have a deeply sensitive and spiritualized tone. You may be denied some of the natural ego gratification or public acclaim many seek in a career. With other contributing influences you could even serve as a psychic or a sensitive. You have a natural sense of what the public wants and dreams, and can project images of the desirable or the ideal in an enchanting and spellbinding manner.”

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

“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/

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