Tension, pain, illness, anger and even goosebumps are bodily words. The body is our voicebox of the unconscious. Bodily sensations are also the language of the unconscious.
Discussing the thyroid’s function needs more than looking at a chakra, particularly the 5th. Everything in our bodies is in constant perpetual movement. Everyday we unconsciouly breathe in and out thousands of times….it’s automatic. The medulla oblongata, located above the spinal cord in the neck region aids in our respiration by activating the diaphragm.
The diaphragm moves downward as we breathe in, creating a motion, a wave from the lower thoracic (spine) region into the abdominal and pelvic cavities. If we feel happy, excited, or angry, these emotions create an expansion of energy! Our lungs then come into play expanding outward and then contracting. As they contract our feelings pass through our communication center giving expression to our emotions and thoughts. The whole chakra system lights up and dances to the hum of pulsing, whirling, interconnecting lights. We express ourselves freely and openly…..if angered, we release built up tension.
But if we’re in pain, ill, lethargic or sad, our emotions become suppressed, our bodies contract creating restricted and rigid movements.. Breathing becomes difficult and shallow, our blood suffers from the loss of its normal circulation of oxygen. Our bodies become stressed and toxic. We hold back or conceal our thoughts and feelings. Our attention drifts in and out, stimulated only by sudden sounds which draw us back for a brief moment.
I wrote this on another site….
Our 1st, 2nd and 3rd chakras are located below the diaphragm describing our our physical and basic needs. As we move higher among the chakras above the body’s midline, we enter the thoracic cavity. It is here we begin reaching out and taking in an awareness of our imagination and spiritual nature.
Sun Sign: CANCER Degree: 6 Number: 96 Symbol: IN SPRING GAME BIRDS ARE FEATHERING THEIR NESTS.
On Aeclectic Tarot, for this symbol, I wrote……
The Diaphragm (the most important muscle in breathing)We all have a knowing that our bodies breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. We called this in another thread inspiration (air in) and expiration (carbone dioxide CO2 out) The inspired air passes through our nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, right and left bronchi and finally the aveoli (air sacs) of our lungs. We’ve been looking at these throughout the symbols.It is our red blood cells that, when flowing through our lungs, takes the oxygen breathed in and let’s go of CO2, which in turn we breathe out. All these pathways are interconnected.
But air is not taken in by inspiration alone, the diaphragm (a great dome-shaped muscle that separates the chest from the abdominal cavity) and the chest muscles contract, increasing the size of the chest cavity (thorax) which helps to “reduce the air pressure” in our lungs…which raises the sternum, then the ribs, enlarging our chest cavity. (Still with me?) All these actions help to allow air into our lungs! Phew! A lot of work that takes place in a matter of a few seconds!
When we breathe out, the diaphragm and muscles relax, allowing our chest wall to return to its original position, “pressure increases” and the lungs expel (breathe out). For those who are inspirational speakers, singers, poets’, teachers, the air that passes over the vocal cords causes them to vibrate and produce sounds…..so the diaphragm is very important in the function of speaking. It allows us to express the deepest part of ourselves, (our feelings, our deepest desires, our emotions)
In reflexology, the diaphragm and solar plexus are located in the same area of the foot which is at the top of arch and near the base of the ball of both feet (it separates the ball of the foot from the arch). If we press our thumb in this area (both feet) it helps us to let go of stress, relax, breathe deeply let and maintain a strong connection with the world outside ourselves. www.ofesite.com/health/reflex/chart/
The diaphragm 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. The symbols we’ve been working on here have been focused on our emotions and feelings. This area has recorded all our repressed as well as passionate feelings. When we have been disempowered or controlled through society’s expectations or through a more dominating authority, we hold back feelings of pain, humiliation, as well as resentment and rage. When something outside of us triggers these emotions, we can and have unexpectedly blown up and sometimes in the most inappropriate situations. I know this has happened to me, and I suddenly wonder, where the h**l did that come from? But if we don’t find a way to let go of these repressed feelings, we could experience health issues in these areas.
The game birds are telling us of the limits we have imposed in our own lives. They tell us not to be possessive or hold on to people and things in our life….when we do, it interrupts the flow of natural energy from where the diaphragm sits…..our sacral area.When we are in balance with ourselves, with others and the universe, our heads naturally tilt up and our pelvis tilts down. This can only happen when our lower joints have the freedom of movement to carry not only the weight of our bodies but also our pelvis and the inside edges of our spine. Tension contracts the muscles in our body, affecting not only our movement but our diaphragm as well.
This also feeds quite well into the next body part, the thoracic cavity.
One of the simplest healing techniques that anyone can use is conscious breathing. Breathing is the source of life; without it, we could not survive. When we breath consciously, we take control of this source of our own lives to calm the emotions and strengthen our will. To breath consciously, it is important to learn to breath properly.
Gay Hendricks, wrote a wonderful book called “Conscious Breathing” , here’s what she says in the chapter, The Breath of Life……..
“When the body is under stress it responds with restricted breathing. The breath becomes shorter, shallower and more in the chest than in the belly. When the body is relaxed, breathing slows down and drops farther into the belly, becoming deeper and more nurturing. When I explain this to clients, I contrast relaxed breathing with fight or flight breathing……..When we perceive a threat, several things happen to our breathing all at once. Our belly muscles tighten, or breath shifts up to the chest, and our breathing speeds up. We are poised to run or fight back. The sympathetic branch of our autonomic nervous system is fired up, dripping adrenaline into our bloodstreams and slowing digestion so that the energy can be diverted to our muscles. When we are no longer perceiving a threat, our breathing shifts from the fight or flight pattern to the relaxed pattern. Belly muscles relax, digestion strats again and the breath drops down into the abdomen………All of this can happen in a split second, regardless of whether the threat is a charging rhino or the unexpected midnight creak of a floorboard.”
Anodea Judith, wrote the wonderful book, Eastern Body, Western Mind. In the Fifth Chakra section, she writes….
“As an event impacts us, it impacts us with a vibration. Like (a) guitar string, it is our nature to express what impacts us. When that expression is restricted (by whatever inhibitions we have been forced to accept) we lose our resonance and no longer vibrate the chorus of creation. We become less fully alive, out of step and dissonant………it is easier to block expression than it is reception, easlier to block what comes out of us than what comes in. Therefore a block in the throat chakra is most likely a block in the discharge of energy, creating a situation in which the input exceeds the output. This difference is experienced as stress………
So what blocks us from expressing our truth, our outrage, our creativity or our needs?……..Shame at the core, fear for one’s safety, or simply being out of touch with the core self make us unable to bring the inside of ourselves out to meet the world…….We protect the vulnerable interior self from exposure and possible harm or ridicule……….We do this by tightening the neck and shoulders, by throwing our heads out of alignment with our body, by talking incessantly about anything except what is really bothering us. Some do it by stuffing food down their throats, as if filling the mouth will block the passage and prevent the feelings from pouring out………
Underneath each of these methods is a need to hide. In hiding we keep ourselves in isolation, keep ourselves from intimacy and keep ourselves from evolving. “
What Anodea Judith wrote spoke to Megan (August 9th issue). “When I’m off balance, I can swing from either being excessively shy or too outgoing. When shy, I lack confidence, my willpower weak, which in turn alienates me from my intellect my emotions, body feelings and my creativity. I can’t think straight, words come out wrong or not at all. I’m really concerned with how others see me.”
When the pendulum swings the other way, Alexis (August 9th issue) admits “I can be too outgoing, I don’t think before I speak. I have trouble listening, empathizing or supporting others because I’m too much into me. I either bulldoze my way through life or find myself going around in circles never getting anywhere fast.”
So how can we find the balance between the two?
Conscious breathing helps us to develop a link between conscious and the unconsious, between mind and body, between spirit and soul. It is here we find the deeper part of Self with it owns rhythms and perspectives. Paying attention to our breathing helps us to become aware of the tension points in the body and where there is disharmony. Conscious breathing takes us to a place within our being that touches the Divine Spirit. The medieval mystic Tauler calls this place “the ground of the soul”; Meister Eckhart, “the little castle”; Teresa of Avila “the inner castle”; John of the Cross, “the house at rest in darkness and concealment”; Catherine of Siena, “the interior home of the heart” .
BREATH AND MOVEMENT
When I am very stressed, I find it helpful to combine conscious breathing with simple movement. One of my favorite techniques is to stand up and place my hands side by side at arm length toward the ground, parallel to the ground, palms down. When I inhale, I turn my palms up, and slowly raise my hands, keeping them parallel to the ground. While still inhaling, I bring my hands upwards to the place in my body where I am holding stress and anger. (Usually up to my navel, solar plexus, or heart, though I don’t generally think about from where I need to release, I just do what feels right.) When I stop inhaling, I turn my palms down again, then exhale while slowly moving my hands back down toward the ground. (This is much more simple to do than to explain!) The above exercise serves to ground stress and bring balance and the courage I need. It also strengthens my connection with the earth. Because it can be done so quickly, I often use it when I need to take immediate action yet lack the focus or mind-set. It’s amazing how much this quick, simple technique clears one’s mind! Of course, the more you use it, the more your body will respond to it.
BREATH AND SOUND
Identifying with something outside of us is different than identifying with something inside of us. When we are in touch with our own internal thoughts and feelings, we are much closer to ourselves. Singing, chanting, toning, etc., helps us to identify and become aware of our feelings.
Ever hum a catchy tune then find yourself actually singing the song? Did the words that you sang bring tears to your eyes? Was it because they represented something you’re going through or feeling challenged to come to terms with at the moment? Did they represent a judgement or confrontation? And, did more tears fall and then gradually fewer tears and a feeling of strength and conviction come through. Was it a realization that you had to at some point come to terms with a part of yourself that criticizes, judges and condemns? Or the fear of being critictised or judged? What is important here is the experience itself not the words. The world, and most of our experience, is drowning in words. Get in touch with your own experiencing.
Sit alone quietly and take a little time to get in touch with your body right now. When ready, begin to hum very softly and without intending to do anything but follow your humming, identiy with it, and let it lead you somewhere. Focus your awareness on your humming and let it begin to change by itself…………Just be aware of what it is like and what it does as it changes in tone and volume. Don’t try to change it, just be aware of the qualities and feelings in your humming and see where it leads you. Your humming may drift into a tune that you recognize, and perhaps some words will come to you. Identify with whatever comes to you and become the feelings in the tune and the meanings of the words, to see what you can discover…..
You can also do this with your imagination by visualizing a particular imagined thing or situation…..you create it and its characteristics out of yourself. Let this creation be like a dream…..spontaneous and free of your intention. Let it originate completely from within yourself……don’t try to manipulate or control it…..let it develop spontaneously and you will learn a great deal about yourself. This can also be done with a group who can share their experiences with others and learn from their experiences as well.
The imaginal realm can be a meeting ground between the physiological and the spiritual. It is a powerful connection between body and spirit. Humming and singing can create and produce strong physical sensations that can linger for days later, helping us to understand and learn more about ourselves and others. In some cases it can help us to become aware of something we are resisting. When we resist, we close ourselves off. Humming and singing a particular tune helps us to explore and release what is hidden and bring it out into the light.
Belleruth Naparstek http://www.healthjourneys.com/ wrote the book “STAYING WELL WITH GUIDED IMAGERY” as well guided imagery CD’s, and other books.
On page 86 of the book mentioned above, she does an energy moving imagery where you start by shaking out your body and position yourself by sitting or standing.
“You may want to gently sway back and forth a little with your eyes closed to try to get a sense of where your gravity is.”
Then she asks you relax your eyes and take a few deep breaths, and after each one, breathing out as completely as you can.
“And still again…..this time imagining that you are inhaling a magical supply of healing energy on the in-breath….perhaps seeing it in sparkling microdots of color……or colors……or maybe hearing a sublte hum as it dances into your body…..or perhaps just feeling on the inside the subtle energy moving into you…..”
You continue breathing in and exhaling, feeling this energy dancing into every corner of your being…….
“And again….breathing it in…..and as you exhale, feeling it as it moves toward anyplace that might be a little denser or darker or heavier….drawn toward anyplace that might feel blocked or uncomfortable…..or tight….and sensing it gently around these places…..softening them…..loosening them….massaging and opening them…..
And feeling the heavier places beginning to shift and move….like a logjam beginning to break free…..slowly at first….but then faster and easier….as each new breath helps to move it along….gently and easily…….neither pushing or pulling….just a gentle invitation to float along free.”
Belleruth Naparstek then asks you to open your throat and make a sound with the out breath. It doesn’t matter whether it is loud or soft, high or low, just whatever feels right to you. She says to let the vibration and humming to move through you, releasing painful feelings that are stored in the body and feeling any achy or sore places begin to shift and move….
“And opening your throat and toning again…..maybe this time a little louder or softer….or maybe higher or lower…….feeling the vibration all through your body…..and feeling the sound releasing energy….
And dropping your jaw…..opening your throat….and letting whatever tone that wants to, come out with the exale…..rich and deep and strong…..or soft and subtle and high……..feeling the vibration move through your body…..healing, soothing, and energizing you….from head to toe…..so simple but so powerful….like recharging a battery…..”
Naparstek then asks you to continue to feel the sensation of energies moving through you and how good it feels to connect with yourself. The many exercises in her book(s) are simple and powerful, reconnecting us to the vital force and helping us to know ourselves better. Without judging or criticizing, our hearts open and our human spirit awakens.
It has been said the heart chakra is a meeting place for energies which flow down from our crown or 7th chakra and up from the ground or 1st chakra…..it is the gateway where these energies merge and blend together. The 5th chakra helps us to listen to our bodies and become more attuned to it. It is up to each individual to learn how the body communicates and act on the interpretation. The throat chakra is also about being responsible for your life. This takes us to the next imagery which helps to magnify symptoms of pain and discomfort and truly hear what your body is trying to tell you. This imagery is adapted from a book called “Spiritual Technologies” which unfortunately I couldn’t find on the internet. I had photocopied this from the library (for a group study) and don’t even know who the author is. This was over 10 year ago! If you recognize it, please let me know so I can credit the author.
To get your body into a relaxed and aware mode, stand or sit, feeling the floor beneath you. Focus on the feeling of the solid floor……see it with your feet and feel the solidness beneath you……it goes for miles and miles. (this grounds you)
Sense with your head the space between you and the ceiling then to inifiniteness of the universe.
“Coming back to the room notice the forms, colors and people around you. Pay attention to the sounds inside you…..feel your heart beating….sound the heart sound “HA,” now “HA–HEE,” now “OOO…..” (do this at least three times) if you are standing sit down, close your eyes remaining relaxed and alert.
Take a deep breath and relax. Now turn your attention to your dominant hand, to your right hand if you are right-handed and to your left hand if you are left-handed. Allow a feeling of energy to build in your dominant hand. Continue to focus on your dominant hand. Imagine a dial controlling the intensity of your concentration. The highest reading is ten and you are now at four. As you turn the dial up your attention becomes greater, more intense, more concentrated on your dominant hand. Your concentration is now on 5, and 6 and 7 and 8 and 9 and now 10, the highest intensity of your concentration. Allow the energy to build from your conscious attention.
Now move your attention throughout your body, checking your sensations through your body beginning with the top of your head. Notice first your scalp, the feeling of your hair on your head. Now pay attention to your forehead, experience any tension there. Focus now on your eyelids against your eyes, your nose, your tongue, your lips, your neck, the back of your neck, right shoulder, left shoulder, your back against the chair. Note the sensation in your chest, your breast, your stomach, your lower back, your hips, your genitals, your thighs, your knees your calves, the feel of your feet in your shoes, your right arm, your left arm, your hands in your lap, and back to your dominant hand.
Now move your attention through your body at your own pace. Stop and pay attention to any place where there is special tension or discomfort or lack of ease. Focus on the sensation in this special place or places in your body. Hold your attention there. Hold.
Now become the sensation in that part of your body. Identify yourself with it. Amplify it. If it is tense, allow it to feel even more tense. If there is an ache, let the ache increase. You want to hear the body’s message loud and clear. Amplify it; experience it clearly and unmistakably.
The sensation is your friend and it’s telling you something. Now put some questions to it. It won’t answer verbally. Perhaps when you question a sensation, some images will come to mind, and you’ll have a feeling related to the sensation, or it will connect with something in your life, or you’ll have an intuition.
Now get into the sensation and ask: Why are you feeling like this? What’s your concern? What’s on your mind? If I changed something in my life, would you change your tune?
Amplify the sensation again. And be aware of images that come to mind or connections and feelings related to your life and experience. Amplify and have your radar out for the overtones and what your body is telling you.
Again direct your attention methodically to the sensations throughout your body from head to toe, until again your attention is stopped by a special sensation that summons your detailed attention to the message your body is sending you.
When you are finished, take a deep breath, relax your focus and come back to ordinary consciousness and open your eyes.”
Many people who did this exercise had a visual of different animals answering their questions. Wolves, crabs, elephants, fox, ants, frogs and buffalo are some of the animals people mentioned seeing. It has been said, meeting an animal in this way is a way of encountering our own soul. They call us back to earth, back to our bodies, bringing the parts of ourselves that have felt ignored or forsaken. Animals teach us how to survive in the world.
The mind and body communicate constantly with each other, but most of this communication is on an unconscious level. We need to get beyond the conscious level and examine the images coming from our unconscious mind. The purpose is not to judge them but bring them out into the open.
“I believe we develop our diseases for honorable reasons. It’s our body’s way of telling us that our needs—not just our body’s needs but our emotional needs, too—are not being met and the needs that are fulfilled through our illnesses are important ones.”
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”
Stay tuned to a new topic……