“This is a good example of factors coming together and combining to create a difficulty. Stomach ulcers are often physically due to a specific virus but invariably occur at the same time when you are very stressed and the reality you are dealing with is becoming corrosive, wearing away at your coping mechanism. You may be taking in too much acidity from others, or your feelings are eating away at you.
Aggravated by digestive juices, ulcers arise when you are under too much pressure, worried by financial or work situations, relationships, guilt or shame. Worry is the key word here—it is almost as if the worry itself is eating you. All of this creates the perfect environment for the virus. The ulcer creates a feeling of being raw and exposed, as if there is nowhere to hide. There may also be repressed aggression, a desire to get revenge or to lash out at someone. There is a deep need to be soothed and nurtured, to return to the safety of being cared for—as seen in having to eat baby foods as a form of treatment.” YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro
Most of us are unaware of the many forces that can interfere with our physical, emotional, nutritional and environmental lives. When these four areas of responsibility are ignored or dismissed, our body/mind/spirit is forced to change through some kind of crisis. Usually our early experiences, especially our childhood are the ones that teach us our greatest lessons and reflect back to us our weaknesses and strengths and desires and potentials.
When I was just in my young teens, (thirteen/fourteen) an ultrasound revealed I had a stomach ulcer (peptic). You’d think the anxiety of high school would do this but it wasn’t school that caused it. In fact, I couldn’t wait to get to school, it was my get-away, a place of freedom, where like a wild horse I galloped free. School was my place of escape, a place to run from myself and from my family.
The radical shifts of emotion and extreme inner tension came from my home—it was a literal war-zone! There were times I was scared out of my wits, especially when a shouting match between my mom and dad had dishes and pots being thrown across the room or my brothers emotional yelling turned into fist-fights and black-eyes and bloody noses. I was the youngest of four, my oldest brother 10 years older and younger brother 8 years older. My father fought with my brothers, especially Len, my second brother. I remember when we moved from our house in Montreal to Toronto, the walls in that home still held the image of human imprints from people being pushed into them.
During that time I was on Zantac, Librium and an antacid, but the burning searing pain that tore through my body never subsided until I quit school and left home at 18 years of age (I failed a grade and was put back a grade when we moved). Through the many years that followed I learned that the present is not the past and that I wasn’t in any kind of danger when people around me critically raised their voices. But, I have learnt to keep my inner antennae on….an extremely helpful, instinctive/intuitive tool and a natural gift from the stomach/solar plexus area.
THE CRUX OF THE PROBLEM
“ULCERS are no more than fear—tremendous fear of “not being good enough.” We fear not being good enough for a parent, we fear not being good enough for a boss. We can’t stomach who we are. We rip our guts apart trying to please others. No matter how important our job is, our inner self-esteem is very low. We are afraid they will find out about us. “ Louise Hay You Can Heal Your Life
When I left home I had trouble expressing myself (personal power) to friends and associates because I was afraid of how they’d react. I was very shy and sensitive, taking any form of criticism really badly. We (stomach people) clam up or won’t stand up for ourselves, out of the fear of being hurt, judged, humiliated, misunderstood and/or misinterpreted. We’re scared others are going to react and rationalize our feelings, or our own fear of being wrong. Another thing we’re afraid of, is being, either emotionally overwhelmed or ignored—we’ve all experienced that feeling when someone just isn’t all there—either there’s a glazed look in their eyes and a restlessness in their body or they look at their watch, spring to their feet and interrupt us.
On the other hand, many of us look to others to boost our self-esteem, hoping they will fill us up with good thoughts and feelings. Unfortunately, looking to others for our happiness and emotional well-being severely limits our freedom and expression. It creates a miscommunication with ourselves (our lack of ability to understand what is really going on inside us). As we seek others approval, we begin to wear masks, to disguise our true feelings and to protect ourselves from being criticized, put down or humiliated by others. We even try to deceive ourselves into thinking we can control, manipulate or alter our future—but the stomach area, the solar plexus/3rd chakra will not accept lies – if we don’t speak our truth our solar plexus tightens by the words we haven’t spoken.
“People have known for ages that many different emotions are related to ulcers. Feeling threatened, for example, causes the brain to signal the stomach to secrete more acid while reducing the blood flow to the lining, thus setting the stage for ulcers. Some scientists have theorized that ulcers are caused by an overgrowth of a bacterium known as Heliobacteria pylori in the stomach. Since, however, all of us have Heliobacteria pylori in our stomachs—just as we all have E.coli in our intestines, and all women have yeast in their vaginas—there must be something about the environment in some people’s stomachs that makes them more susceptible to the bacteria’s overgrowing. Scientists believe that stressful life changes, feelings of threat, and being trapped or restrained can alter some people’s immunity and cause the bacteria to overgrow, setting the stage for ulcers. It’s as if H. pylori is the bearer of bad tidings, but not necessarily the bad news itself.” Mona Lisa Schulz
The stomach area contains bundles of sensitive nerve endings, which also connect and join with, thousands and thousands of nerve endings close to the heart—this explains why hate, passion, fear, anger and many other emotions are felt ‘instantly’, ‘emotionally’ and extremely in this highly nerve center. As we learn and become aware of our emotional sensitivities, the solar plexus and heart area form a bridge connecting us to our higher and lower centers. We discover we can become the conductor/controller of our own emotions and desires without becoming overly involved.
This abdominal area has also been called the seat of your subconscious mind and the subconscious mind holds many memories of the past—some of them painful, bitter and unjust. Sometimes we can get swamped with painful emotions in reaction to something we’re doing at the moment that suddenly reminds us of a past abuse. One minute we’re feeling fine, the next minute we’ve got a knot of fear/shame in the pit of our stomach. Often, these kinds of emotional reactions are amplified by psychic residue dumped on us from our childhood or recent past. Then comes the fear—fear blocks our senses and numbs our perceptions…we can’t feel or read our environment and we can’t read ourselves. We look for hidden meanings of people’s actions—if someone looks at us the wrong way, our energy takes a nosedive. If someone praises us, our energy hits an all time high.
“Third chakra energy is logical rather than artistic, sophisticated rather than child-like, doctrinaire rather than organic, cunning rather than innocent, suspicious rather than trusting, and responsibility-bound rather than flowing. If the second chakra holds the natural child, the third chakra holds the controlling parent. Where the second chakra is more like the right-brain side of identity, the third chakra “thinks” more like the brain’s left hemisphere. Third chakra thought also differs from sixth chakra thought. Sixth chakra thought, though it may be profound, is more detached and cerebral. Third chakra thought is entwined with your identity, your fears, and the needs of your ego.
The energy of the second chakra can be cut off from that of the third chakra, as well as the others above it. There is an energy system between the second and third chakras called the belt flow…the belt flow, which goes around the waist, can become like a huge wall above the second chakra that cuts off the second chakras natural spontaneity, trust, and faith. When this happens, as it frequently does in modern Western cultures, the person may be tormented by merciless self-hatred, a desecration that often originates in the third chakra’s attempts to shape an identity that differs vastly from the natural child of the second chakra. Once the connection between the second and third chakra is opened, energy rises; knowledge about a truer, kinder, gentler self can filter up; and self-condemnation and self-hatred begin to dissolve in that knowledge.” Energy Medicine: Balancing Your Body’s Energies For Optimal Health, Joy and Vitality ~ Donna Eden
“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
From Stress To Tension
What I’m trying to prove is that our bodies are still responding to this ancient fear mechanism that rushes intense energy into us, preparing us for the fight or flight response. But even though our lives have changed regarding the word stress, we are still reacting to the old instinctual unconscious reactions. As a result we aren’t coping so much with stress as we are with ‘tension’. Stress as you’ve read is a natural response, necessary for life. ‘Tension’, is the not-so-good physical and mental repercussions we experience when we haven’t been able to process our stress effectively.
Stress becomes tension when we perceive something unexpected as threatening, when in reality, it is not. We should be living in a society of trust, cooperation, and interacting well with others, yet in our minds we still remember the ‘survival of the fittest’ that still sits in our unconscious. Watch out for those dinosaurs!
When we are criticized for something that we’ve done, we immediately respond with fear and anger as if it were a threat to our very life—our old programming says ‘defend yourself or you’ll die—rather than taking the time to step back and understand what just happened. Instead our hearts start thumping, we become restless and either express ourselves angrily—physically defend ourselves—or repress all that unexpressed energy which then develops as physical tension. We haven’t understood that we’ve set ourselves up to experience ‘tension’ from our own lack of awareness.
Another cause of tension is when we fight something with our mental thoughts that we cannot physically control or change—traffic jams come to mind—very frustrating indeed. How many times have you fumed with rage at not getting home in time or to that all-important meeting and then brought all that fuelled anger home, or to the office with you? When you are really stressed out, you radiate that stressed energy to the people around you through your chakras and auras. Consciously or sub-consciously, these people then transfer a great bulk of this stress energy by being nasty and rude to others. It’s like a merry-go-round.
“Most illness begins with stress-producing thinking as the mind imposes tension on the body. Every thought has a corresponding effect on the body. Recent studies in the growing field of psychosomatic medicine demonstrate that our body’s finely tuned immune system responds also immediately to both positive and negative thoughts and attitudes.
Resistance is like a stone dropped into a calm pond; the emotions are the ripples. Chronic stress begun in the mind, creates emotional turbulence and imposes itself upon the body as stored tension. The tension translates to painful symptoms: headaches or pain in the stomach, lower back or elsewhere. We have all experienced these symptoms with no apparent physical cause”. NO ORDINARY MOMENTS ~ Dan Millman
It does seem that most of our problems come from a lack of wisdom and understanding. Instead of being blinded or tied into our own person viewpoint, we can learn to dissolve tension by changing the way we perceive someone or something. Balancing our emotions with reason sounds easy, but it isn’t. It takes time to learn to control our impulses our instinctive way of responding to life. Instead of being raw and blunt we need to step back and take a higher view of a situation, instead of reigning supreme over others. The solar plexus chakra is the centre of positive and negative emotions—ambition, courage, violence, cruelty–are just some of the many. When a person is very angry, the solar plexus chakra pulsates erratically. This causes the diaphragm to move erratically, resulting in shallow breathing.
“In the early nineteenth century a man named Alexis St. Martin accidentally shot himself in the abdomen. The wound was large, and it never healed. Through a small hole in St. Martin’s abdominal wall, you could clearly see his stomach lining. The famous surgeon William Baumont undertook a study of Martin, to determine what effect the man’s moods would have on his stomach. He observed the lining changing color as a given emotion caused the release of more or less acid in the stomach. Whenever anger caused St. Martin’s face to go red, the stomach lining would also turn red. This was the essence of mind-body (or in this case mind-stomach) medicine. Every emotion St. Martin felt—anxiety, resentment, frustration, anger, happiness—was literally revealed on the video screen of his stomach wall.” Awakening Intuition Mona Lisa Schulz
MORE ENERGETICS OF THE STOMACH/SOLAR PLEXUS
The solar plexus, stomach area, is the place where every memory you’ve ever had of being criticized is registered. No organ of your body is more quickly affected by your moods than your stomach!
“The stomach is the primary organ for storing, diluting, and digesting food. It is our reservoir. It is a symbol of the thoughts, ideas, and inspirations that we learn to digest and assimilate. It is the reservoir from which we can draw to experience the new and open worlds.
Stomach problems often reflect outer problems in digesting life’s experiences. Are we afraid of digesting or experiencing the new? Are we holding on to that which is no longer beneficial or nourishing to us? Do we have fears of not being good enough just as we are? Do we not approve of ourselves? Are we having difficulty assimilating new ideas, concepts, and perspectives, and putting them in motion in our life? The Healer’s Manual ~ Ted Andrews
Your abdomen and pelvis contain many important organs that are critical for your survival. The abdomen consists of the digestive system/gastrointestinal system that is made up of approximately thirty-three feet of plumbing that starts at the mouth and ends at the rectum. (The digestive tract needs that much length to help break down the food’s nutrients and distribute them throughout the body by way of the bloodstream). This system consists of the mouth, pharynx or throat, esophagus, stomach and the small and large intestines. Digestion begins when food or drink enters the mouth; churning, mixing, breaking down, emulsifying and absorbing the nutrients; and, finally, circulating the nutrients through the blood until they reach their final destination. Your tissues and organs are the final-destination where the digested fats, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins are released, helping to keep your body healthy and working properly.
The solar plexus, located at the center of the body (stomach area) is one of the most important chakras because it controls, energizes and affects so many surrounding vital organs; no other organ of the body is so easily disturbed or affected by our emotions than the stomach! This part of your body is also the most important center of the sympathetic nervous system because it is the nerve center that stimulates and reflects your most deepest feelings. Fear, anger, shame, guilt and pain often get stored in the memory cells of the stomach, sitting there for days/months/years until someone, or some outside force awakens them. This area is easily disturbed or imbalanced by negative thoughts and emotions—when these strong impulses are released, they’re sent through the nerves to every part of the body. When strong emotions are released, we have a ‘body flashback’, the cells and muscles of our body temporarily control and produce all kinds of fears and symptoms that we can’t at the time stop.
“The brain and the digestive system work together. Scientists have long known that the brain stimulates the digestive organs through parasympathetic activities such as sight, smell, and taste, which stimulate hunger. Psychological factors also impact hunger and digestion, influencing the movements of the intestine, secretion of digestive enzymes, and other digestive functions. Intense sadness or anger, for example, will set off a chain reaction that stimulates or reduces hunger, perhaps causing weight and digestive problems, and sometimes intestinal illnesses.
On the other hand, the digestive system also influences the brain. For example, long-standing or recurring diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) ulcerative colitis, and other painful diseases affect emotions, behaviors, and daily functioning. This two-way association has been called the brain-gut axis.” The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia Of Your Energetic Anatomy ~ Cyndi Dale
When studying the healing arts, I became fascinated with the many teachings and how the teachers/healers/authors spoke of the depth and complexity of our emotional lives, and, what we could do to heal them. I studied the endocrine system, the body’s nervous system and the chakras. In studying ulcers and other stomach ailments, I’ve learned that virtually every chakra is somehow affected. Why? Because your self esteem, your ego and your personality sits in the 3rd chakra. This is the place of how you feel about yourself and how secure and stable you are in the outside world.
“At the top chakra of the lower triangle of chakras, the third chakra is vitally important in enabling us to survive and succeed in the material world. Even though it sits atop the foundation of the chakra system (the lower three chakras), the third chakra is also in close communication with the higher chakras—particularly the fourth chakra or heart chakra, and the sixth chakra, or third eye”. MEDITATION AS MEDICINE, Activate the Power of Your Natural Healing Force, by Dharma Singh, M.D. Khalsa, Cameron Stauth
I fell in love with Mona Lisa Schulz and her incredible knowledge of the body/mind/spirit dynamics and its intimate connection with the brain….
“A large network of fibers of the autonomic nervous system—which fires the brain without being consciously aware of it—runs from the brain down to the gut, where the nerves actually wrap around the tubelike intestines like a radial belt on a tire and cause them to contract. When you describe something as “gut-wrenching,” that’s exactly what you mean: when you feel an emotion, the fire from the nerves branches down, wraps around your gut, and clenches it.” Awakening Intuition ~ Mona Lisa Schulz
HEALING THE STOMACH/SOLAR PLEXUS/3rd CHAKRA
“I don’t have to be afraid any more. My fear used to be overwhelming, but the things that overwhelmed me are the past. I don’t have to yell. I can be heard when I whisper, if I quietly speak my truth. Love is the opposite of fear; the more I can let go of my fear, the more I can love and be loved”. Daphne Rose Kingma
One of the first things we have to learn in order to heal is to be aware of what we are doing to our body. Most of us are so busy with our lives, we rarely take the time to connect with ourselves and get a sense of what we’re feeling/sensing/being. Healing involves acting consistently to ensure that you are doing everything that you need to do for a healthy life. It’s a time to take responsibility for yourself and let go of others responsibilities that are interfering with your own needs. Realize, this may look to others as a form of selfishness as you get rest, exercise and the good food you need. Stepping back and doing your own self-healing work as well as possibly receiving care from someone else, produces the best overall healing. This healing process literally opens up your body’s energetic channels, your blood flow, digestive system, your breathing, your nervous system and your muscle and joint function. It means learning about yourself, your deep-seated needs and your ‘individuality’.
Putting out the Fire
We all have fears that frightens us—after all that’s fears job—and when we experience its grip, we feel it in the form of butterflies, stomach cramps, heartburn and spasms—we lose power and—we lose our ability to think things through and reason. When we are out of power, we can become stuck, rigid and very critical of the things we don’t understand.
Fear seems to be, as Louise Hay and others have quoted, the main cause for stomach ulcers and stomach ailments. But what is fear anyways? Where does it come from? Well, from what I know of my own fears and from hearing the fears of others, fear has many different faces…..showing up as, anxiety, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, stress and phobias. We could even say that All negative emotions are a derivative of fear. These emotions can express themselves as anger, frustration, embarrassment, denial, grief, shame, jealousy, insecurity, rage, guilt, resentment, stress and worry.
Now all fear isn’t bad. Some fears are useful emotions, protecting us from harm, offering us guidance and forcing us to move quickly into action….e.g., the primitive fight/flight response that signals, protects and saves our lives.
But when we delay in taking action or refuse to face the fear, it depletes our passion for living. It is one of the biggest obstacles we humans have to face and which, if ignored, intensify in strength.
All of us have hurtful memories from the past. Most fears stem from our belief system instilled in us as a child by our parents, teachers, siblings, friends, etc.. In order to protect ourselves from repeating these painful experiences again, we build up our defenses—very often we cling to old habits and patterns because breaking free of old habits can actually feel like we’re dying. Nothing stops us from letting go of these useless patterns but it can take some of us years before we can actually let the old self-die. Symptoms of fear can cause ulcers, nausea, tightness in the chest and back and neck, an uneasy mind, sweating and a rapid heartbeat.
To master our fear we must take it in hand and resist succumbing to its panic—if we give away our power to fear, we become its puppet.
TRANSFORMING FEAR INTO UNDERSTANDING
Meditation can gently steer us away from our thoughts and emotions and put us back in charge of our lives—it helps to restore our relationship with ourselves and put us back on the ground. This is a wonderful awareness/relaxation exercise I received from a wonderful friend many years ago. It teaches you to transform the stresses in your life by changing the way you look at them.
Begin to observe yourself day to day so that you are able to see when fear is approaching from a distance or catch it happening. Then accept it! If you fight it or try to suppress it or get angry at yourself for reacting to it, you’ll get more tense and lose more energy. Just recognize and allow yourself to feel the symptoms in your body.
Fear causes us to tense up, when you feel this happening, consciously begin to relax by breathing more slowly and deeply. Your emotions are intimately connected to your breathing patterns—by changing your pattern, you will quickly be able to change any train of thought, even a stressful one. A change in breathing also changes the physical responses that go with emotional or mental tensions, such as tightness in the abdomen or shoulders.
The beauty of it is that deep breathing can be practiced anywhere without anyone even noticing—at work, while traveling, or in a situation of confrontation. So when you feel your body beginning to experience fear, immediately begin to take long, deep, regular breaths.
The natural way of breathing when relaxed is deeply and steadily—just watch a sleeping child or an animal at rest. As you breath more deeply you will feel refreshing because you are taking in more energy/oxygen/prana. You will also feel calmer and more objective and able to deal with the situation more efficiently.
Recognize whether you are experiencing a fight response or a flight response, and see if you can change your thinking/attitude about the situation.
Recognize what you want from the situation and are not getting, and see if you can drop that desire. Accept what is actually happening, rather than trying to fight mentally and emotionally for what you want to have happen.
Examine your daily routine to see if you are creating physical situations that predispose you to experience fear, stress or tension. For example, you will be more likely to feel tension if any of the following are true: you are overtired from lack of sleep; *you have overeaten or eaten the wrong kinds of food or too late at night; you have taken too many stimulants, such as coffee, alcohol, or cigarettes; you habitually overwork; you don’t get enough play and recreation; or you don’t get enough fresh air and exercise.
(*Try not to eat when you’re angry, excited, tense, depressed, upset, on the run or tired. Wait until your mind becomes calm and your ‘natural’ hunger returns. When your tense the hunger you feel isn’t true hunger…it’s mentally induced hunger, designed as an outlet for your nervousness and anxieties. True hunger arises only when you are relaxed.)
See where you can make changes—small ones, one at a time. Don’t take on too much! Just regulate your sleep, for instance, or try walking instead of driving once in a while to get more fresh air and exercise.
Incorporate some specific physical and mental techniques into your daily schedule, such as walking, meditation, or sports. Also take time out to lie down and relax deeply once a day for fifteen to twenty minutes.
HEALING FOODS AND SUPPLEMENTS
“Not only does your food consist of “energy, frequency, and vibration,” but its energy is also always in motion. Beneath the surface of that red apple on your kitchen counter or the buttered toast on your breakfast table exists a river of energy force fields that swirl into form, dissolve, and coalesce once again. All life is energy, and in every moment, we’re immersed in a great ocean of it. It’s constantly ebbing and flowing in constant, ever-changing currents that pulsate through time and space. In every morsel of food you eat, there’s an infinite, yet patterned, timeless cosmic order of waves of pulsating electrons that spiral in and out of existence, which have a profound impact on your body and on your life.” The Mystic Cookbook – Eat for Enlightenment ~ By Denise Linn and Meadow Linn
The Mystic Cookbook video – how to create a chakra meal and so many more http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOjEccORdW4&feature=youtu.be
More Mystic Cookbook Videos http://www.youtube.com/user/TheMysticCookbook
Glutamine for stomach ulcers http://www.livestrong.com/article/487930-glutamine-for-stomach-ulcers/
Stomach ulcers and probiotics http://www.livestrong.com/article/475443-stomach-ulcers-probiotics/
Fenugreek for stomach ulcers http://www.livestrong.com/article/471095-fenugreek-for-stomach-ulcers/
Tumeric for stomach ulcers http://www.livestrong.com/article/467947-turmeric-for-stomach-ulcers/
All kinds of links re: stomach ulcers http://www.livestrong.com/stomach-ulcers/
Stay tuned for the next upcoming article – Metaphysical Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) where we continue to discuss more metaphysical information on the stomach/solar plexus area.
“The stomach and esophagus come together at the bottom end of our ribcage, beneath our heart…..that’s why when it hurts, we call it heartburn. Heartburn can happen from an attack on our self esteem, a feeling of being trapped, competitiveness, a hostile environment, or anxious and overwhelmed by responsibilities. Chronic anxiety and worry is closely associated with ulcers and is associated with perfectionism. Perfectionists are very hard on themselves and others, demanding the best at all times. They find fault in almost everything they do—they’re appearance, their homes, relationships, children, clothes, cars—they can frustrate us to no end with their constant bickering and never-ending insistence that everything has to be perfect.
Perfectionists suffer from a lack of safety,never letting their guard down because if not, all hell will break loose. Their insecurities come from (to be continued………”)