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Archive for the ‘Chakras’ Category

“Menopause is not just the end of fertility and childbearing years that are so often seen as a women’s prime. It is the time for a woman to take charge of her health and make the changes that will carry her through her second prime of life”. Bernadine Healy, M.D. Former Director, National Institutes of Health

As mothers, we can’t live and breathe for our partners, our children, we can’t tie ourselves to another person’s shadow; our accomplishments are supposed to be our own. Menopause is about using our common sense, to follow our hunches and follow our own dreams. We have to let go the need to rescue or change anyone and keep our needs up front.

The women’s body is, if we’d only stop and listen, a great teacher that spiritually leads us through a series of powerful initiations—menstruation, pregnancy, birth, and menopause—which transforms us in dramatic ways. Menopause is a natural part of life and can act as a catalyst to support our hunger and longing to explore our inner world and to listen to the quiet voice of our soul. It is an individualized process for each woman. Menopause reconnects us to our passions and emotions, you know those neglected and forsaken ones we ignored while nurturing and taking care of those who depended on us…our families.

“Christiane Northrup describes menopause as a change from an alternating current of wisdom to a direct current. In menopause, instead of an ebb and flow of intuition, you now have a constant flow. In that light, it’s not surprising that many cultures regard older women as wise women and celebrate the ‘wisdom of the crone.’ These women possess not only the wisdom of age and experience but also the wisdom of intuition. And they’re not afraid to use it and act on it. It’s a widely observed fact that many women, after menopause become much more forthright and assertive than they were in their youth. Joan Borysenko put it bluntly: in menopause, she writes, “Women get mouthy.” This occurs because there’s a falling-away of the inhibitions that kept women from shooting arrows indiscriminately the way men do. This change may be a result of increased androgen production. The women who were more tentative in their youth, waiting a long time before even shooting at a target and thereby missing a lot of opportunities, in later life often assume more male patterns of processing. After menopause, they’re more likely to see, shoot, and then score, as men did earlier in life.

All this should really give women something to cheer about and celebrate as they ender the age of menopause and beyond. Menopause is not a dead-end journey into decline and oblivion; it’s an opportunity to tap fully into the intuition network and avail themselves fruitfully of all the wealth of insight and information that network has to offer. Mona Lisa Schulz, Awakening Intuition
If menopause is supposed to be a normal natural event and a time of regeneration and celebration, why have some women suffered a barrage of psychological and physiological conditions and in some cases even become suicidal? Is there a link between estrogen deficiency and mental illness? Could it also be a woman’s reluctance to adjust to change?

“The menopausal transition is actually a profound developmental stage in which unfinished business from the past comes up once again for resolution and healing, so that we can free ourselves from the outmoded beliefs and behaviors of our past. All the issues that weren’t resolved during puberty and early adulthood — such as body image, relationships, vocation, fear of aging, and self-esteem issues — now arise once more to be healed and completed…”
Christiane Northrup ~The Wisdom of Menopause ~ http://www.drnorthrup.com/womenshealth/healthcenter/topic_details.php?topic_id=111

“I didn’t adjust well at all, at first” said Jill, a former client and now good friend, “menopause was supposed to be a time for ‘me’, especially after giving away most of my life to my husband, parents, even my children; but I was vividly upset and overwhelmed by it all. I found it excruciatingly difficult to create healthy boundaries, let alone do any creative work and follow my dreams. Menopause literally knocked me down…it was disruptive and explosive as were my crazy hormones and emotions.

When I moved from the perimenopausal stage to my menopausal years my mind went back to my younger days, my twenties, when I was passionate about life, full of ambition, with visions of becoming someone. Menopause was quite shocking and confrontational…it was crude and direct, daring and challenging me to live my life differently. But I didn’t understand it at first and found myself with tears running down my face, grieving and paining for what seemed lost time. I looked in the mirror at the wrinkles around our eyes, the gray flowing through my hair and smoothed gobs of moisturizing lotion into my dry skin to feel better.

Oh don’t get me wrong, being a mother to my two children has been my greatest joy, but they have a life of their own now…menopause felt ruthless and fierce as it forced me, no challenged me to look deep within myself. For the first time in my entire life, even though I’m married, I felt very much alone”.

When we’ve allowed a major portion of our energy to be focused somewhere other than present time, we have to do something to refocus it. We have to stop obsessing about the past or future event—release it—and call our energy back to the present.

“After menopause, especially if this coincides with children leaving home, a woman can believe her reason for being has gone, and there is no impulse to create a new direction, or to find a new purpose.

Do you feel a loss of purpose now that the potential for motherhood is over?

Do you feel you have lost your womanhood or femininity?

Have you lost your dreams and longings?

Have you found a direction for yourself, that is just for you, and not related to being a mother or wife?

The strength of your bones is at stake, as is the strength of your core feelings, your inner purpose for being. The bones are connected to spirit, so you need to raise your spirit to bring it into action, rather than let it fade away.

What can you do to bring more vibrancy and spirit into your life?”
Deb Shapiro ~Your Body Speaks Your Mind

Many women in their menopausal years, start to experience sensations and changes in their body: thyroid problems, hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, confusion, irregular periods, vaginal dryness, insomnia and heart palpitations. Hot flashes cause sudden blushing of the whole face, which is so darn embarrassing when in a meeting with the boss or being with a large group. It feels like everyone’s watching as it’s happening! And the mood swings are embarrassing too as we try to cope with our out-of-control hormones. Doctors and gynecologists were eager in the past to prescribe hormonal treatments (HRT) and women took it eagerly because advertisements promised it would prevent wrinkles and hair loss and keep them young forever. But HRT also caused side-affects and weight gain which added to a woman’s already insecurity.

A very interesting site on HRT “While HRT can ease symptoms of menopause, there are also some health risks to consider” See more at: http://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/hrt-effects-on-body#sthash.TQXOfYzW.dpuf

With Jill and other women like her, I found that some women have a very strong sensitivity to the declining levels of estrogen in their blood. In fact perimenopausal, which is before menopause, can cause quite a fluctuation in our hormone levels and our very sensitive endocrine system to react wildly.

“When menopause comes it is often seen as an ending to our femininity, an ending to our purpose for being here as a woman, and therefore a loss of direction and fulfillment. It is a highly emotional time (Hence its direct relationship to blood), particularly to do with our feelings of whether we are still lovable and desirable. Many women can become severely depressed at this time, just as men may do when they retire and find they have nothing to do any more – a time known as the male menopause. There is a deep need to find the woman inside, not the one that is just a fertile body but the one that goes beyond procreative abilities; to find a deeper purpose for being here, in other words to find our spiritual direction for ourselves. Menopause like retirement can be a time for discovering freedom, individuality, tremendous change and challenge. It can also be a rebirth”. The BodyMind Workbook, Deb Shapiro

Great article: Perimenopause: A Time of Personal Empowerment
http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/perimenopause-a-time-of-personal-empowerment/

MENOPAUSE THE END OF THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE

To try and understand the menstrual cycle we need to turn to the endocrine system that governs and regulates it by a complex of interacted hormones: Luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estrogen and progesterone and are divided into three unique phases: follicular, ovulatory and luteal. The follicular phase usually starts from day 1 after menstruation to about day 11, the ovulation phase from day 12 to approximately day 14 and the luteal phase from approximately day 15 to 28. The whole menstrual cycle is like a well-choreographed dance, with each phase relying on a specific and extremely delicate hormonal balance. But this delicate balance becomes unhinged when the menopausal years strike. Menopause usually begins between the ages of 47 and 56 but the perimenopausal years, which means ‘around menopause’ can start in the mid-thirties; this usually varies from woman to woman. It is at this time the production of estrogen and progesterone begins to decline.

When estrogen levels strike an all time low, the brain and in particular the hypothalamus, has no way of knowing the menstrual cycle is no longer necessary. Confused, the brains’ neurotransmitters keeps initiating the process of pumping FSH and LH into the bloodstream. (There are a lot of receptors for estrogen, progesterone and androgens throughout the brain) In the perimenopausal women her LH and FSH can rise higher than her fertile years…all due to the fact that the pituitary and hypothalamus are alert and aware of the lower levels of estrogen in the body.

So, in perimenopause and menopause your estrogen levels rise higher than they’ve ever been but they’re also constantly fluctuating up and down like a yo-yo. Estrogen and progesterone are supposed to be balanced but in our menopausal years, progesterone can dip to all time low. This can affect the adrenals and the hormone they create called cortisol. When this happens we can actually suffer premenstrual symptoms (PMS): like fighting the strong desire to nod off, craving for sweets, muscle aches and pains, headaches, breast tenderness, uncomfortable bloating, depression and emotional problems. Unfortunately when a woman complains to her doctor of these symptoms, she’s given an estrogen patch, pill or cream, which only makes all of her symptoms worse!

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

Usually the first sign of menopause is irregular periods caused by hormone fluctuation, inconsistent ovulation and decreased levels of estrogen. With lower levels of estrogen, the luteal phase of the menstrual period is shortened. The luteal phase usually occurs around 15-28 days of the regular menstrual period. FSH and LH are generally at their lowest levels at this time but increase during menopause and FSH more so in an effort to continue ovarian production. The brain has no way of knowing the ovaries egg production has come to a stand-still. The increase levels of FSH in perimenopausal women and menopausal women is probably the cause of hot flashes, which tend to increase the production of estrogen. As estrogen levels drop back to normal, so too do the hot flashes.

There are three main types of estrogen: estrone, estriol and estradiol, and they each have a different role in the body. Estradiol is by far the strongest. Estrone is one that seems to promote breast cancer, and estriol is the weakest, appearing to protect users from breast cancer.
http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/hormones-for-healthy-menopause/

Hormonal fluctuations, imbalances and lower levels of progesterone to estrogen can cause us to feel panicky, anxious and even depressed.

Before we get into the thyroid, there’s one more organ in the body that I’d like to address….the liver. The liver is an amazing organ, weighing a little heavier than the brain, that works 24/7 synthesizing and detoxifying the body. Hormonal problems can occur when the liver isn’t functioning normally—that’s because it’s here that the hormones are assembled and then broken down to be excreted from the body. When the liver is overcome by toxins from the environment, food, stress and other factors it doesn’t work as happily as it should. When it gets bogged down, every organ in the body can be affected—it can cause skin problems, cellulite, abdominal bloating, indigestion, high blood pressure, fatigue, mood swings and depression.

The liver is one of the main factors in the formation of sexual hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. It also produces up to a quart of bile a day. Bile production is one of the most important jobs of the liver. Bile works a bit like detergent, emulsifying the fat content in our food and changing it to fuel—the fat is changed into very fine droplets so that it can easily blend with the water in the intestines. Bile is made of water, cholesterol and bile salts—its job is to absorb digested fats, cholesterol (both HDL and LDL), and vitamins A, D E and K. If your bile is thicker than normal, you could become constipated. And if you don’t empty your bowels regularly, the estrogen your liver had excreted out of the body, could be reabsorbed in your system…causing an estrogen overload in the body. Bile salts act as a deodorizer for our excretement—if when you go to washroom and the smell is offensive…it’s possible the liver isn’t working as well as it should.

Don’t panic when you hear the word cholesterol. Cholesterol is one of the most vital substances in every cell of your body. Doctors aren’t as eager now to offer cholesterol-lowering drugs because studies done, show cholesterol-lowering drugs can increase the risk of cancer and other illnesses as well as increase in anxiety and mental illness.

Menopause creates a lot of anger and resentment in many women. Anger and resentment are the two keywords used by Traditional Chinese Medicine and healers to describe a unbalanced liver and gallbladder. Whether we like it or not, menopause tells us our youth is over. If we try to avoid it all we do is create more stress in our lives and stuck energy or congestion in the body. Menopause is a time to look at parts of us we’ve ignored or kept hidden…we have to look at the emotions we don’t like so much in ourselves and reconnect with the good and the bad to recreate ourselves into a more authentic being. When we do, we’ll touch upon areas in our live we’ve been out of touch with and integrate them into our personality.

“Problems with the liver often reflect strong negative emotions that have not been dealt with by the individual….Deep anger and chronic fault-finding—with self and others—can help weaken liver function. Are we trying to deceive ourselves about something negative in our life? Are we refusing to clean up an aspect of our life? Are we exposed to constant complaining and criticism? Do we have feelings of “I never do anything right”? Are we refusing to clean up the past and move on? Are we wallowing in self-pity and hatred? Are we not doing what we can to help ourselves? Are we refusing to take the initiative (after all, the liver strongly affects overall metabolism)?

Problems in this area [gallbladder] can indicate we are trying to digest things too quickly or are not digesting what we have experienced; we are not learning our lessons. Such problems as gallst ones can indicate we are holding onto hard thoughts and bitter experiences rather than moving past them. We are holdng onto the past and allowing it to fill our life, rather than moving forward with joy and anticipation to the future.” THE HEALER”S MANUAL – A Beginner’s Guide to Vibrational Therapies ~ Ted Andrews

One of the best foods to improve the liver and keep the bile flowing is beets. Beets can also help to reduce the forming of gallstones. Dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes, cabbage and brussel sprouts help in the metabolism of estrogen. A supplement called milk thistle is great for the liver and can be found in your local health food store. Garlic together with ginger root has been known to be a great liver flush or cleanser for the body. And a high-fiber diet will keep your cholesterol and blood sugar levels balanced and your bowels working properly.

Great article on the liver http://heartspring.net/detoxification_liver_diet.html

HORMONAL FLUCTUATIONS AND THE THYROID

“Before women go through menopause, they have higher levels of estrogen and progesterone in their bodies. But there are other factors at play as well. These hormone levels, combined with a brain style that more constantly mixes emotion with language, lead to a tendency toward self-reflection. Women who have not yet gone through menopause innately tend to be less aggressive and impulsive in their communication, meaning they are more likely to not say what they really think in an effort to preserve relationships and family ties. This communication style often settles a tense situation but it doesn’t necessarily address the personal needs of the woman involved, which can lead to thyroid problems at a young age. Woman’s communication styles—and their incidence of thyroid problems is higher than the number of men or younger women. As women enter into menopause, the ratio of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone shifts, with the first two falling the last one rising. At this point women become more impulsive and less reflective, and this new communication style often creates new problems within their relationships and family. Then, their incidence of thyroid disorders escalates. Women are then biologically predisposed to assert themselves by reacting, moving, and expressing more after menopause. Whether it is a matter of not stating what you need or ineffectively expressing your desires, the inability to communicate well leads to thyroid problems. If you can’t assert yourself effectively and you feel hopelessly stifled or are constantly getting in arguments, you are at an increased risk for thyroid problems.

Other studies have tied a subdued personality and an inability to speak up for yourself to thyroid disease. Specifically, people who have had a history of past trauma and often struggle with power dynamics in their later relationships tend to have problems with the thyroid. The experiences of their past conditioned them to be submissive, overly compliant and unable to assert themselves. They don’t “have a say” in their own lives and lack a drive for independence and self-sufficiency.” All Is Well: Heal Your Body With Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition ~Louise L. Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz

The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland located in the front part of the throat at the base of the neck just over the trachea or windpipe. It is the main gland that controls your body’s metabolic rate and its energy; that is the rate cells burn food calories for energy. (The thyroid controls the growth, temperature, and function of every cell in your body) In one full year the thyroid will probably produce only about one teaspoon of hormones but this tiny little amount has a lot to do with your energy levels.

When ‘some’ women hit the perimenopausal and menopausal years their thyroid’s energy production for some reason slows down. When the thyroid becomes sluggish, so too does our metabolism and energy, resulting in many different symptoms such as fatigue, poor digestion, constipation, depression, muscle aches, heart palpitations, forgetfulness, dry skin, etc. This happened to myself, even though I ate well and exercised regularly, I really felt down in the dumps and constantly tired. As well, I was having heart palpitations that not only drove me crazy, they frightened and exhausted me. I actually wrote about my story in an article on my blog https://ravenstarshealingroom.wordpress.com/2009/07/11/zooming-in-on-the-thyroid/  Also take a look at https://ravenstarshealingroom.wordpress.com/2009/07/11/emotionally-psychologically-and-spiritually-decoding-the-thyroid/

It really has surprised me that even now with more doctors informed about low thyroid in the perimenopausal/menopausal years that many women and men are not tested or misdiagnosed. Many tests results for TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) come back within the normal range even though the person(s) have all the symptoms of an underactive thyroid. As well, many people aren’t even given a blood test to check their TSH levels and instead put on antidepressants or in some cases birth control pills. One woman that came to clinic, said her doctor didn’t take her symptoms seriously and told her to exercise more. Wtf?

“…hypothyroidism increases cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart disease…older women with subclinical hypothyroidism are nearly twice as likely as women without the condition to have heart attacks and were 70 percent more likely to have hardened aortas—the body’s main artery—than those of normal hormone activity.

Heart disease is not only the only disturbing consequence of untreated hypothyroidism. According to Richard Shames, M.D., author of Thyroid Power, thyroid malfunction has been linked to such disorders as fibromyalgia, eczema, infertility, attention deficit disorder, phobias, loss of ambition, panic attacks, depression, and other mental illnesses”. The Hormone Survival Guide for PERIMENOPAUSE, Nisha Jackson, Ph.D.

If you think I’m trying to scare you, well in a way I am. Many of us women have a ‘knowing’ something’s not quite right but don’t refute the diagnosis of our doctors. If you feel something’s amiss, get a second opinion!

If you’ve been under constant high-stress, high-pressure situations then your adrenaline is constantly rushing to give you energy. Your sympathetic nervous system is ‘on’ constantly, working overtime and causing your metabolism to go sky high. Whether the stress is positive or netavie, the body has the same response. The problem with this is that your parasympathetic nervous can’t do its job of calming you down. This can have adverse affects on your immune and cardiovascular system as well as your emotions. When this happens the sympathetic nervous system works overtime causing your adrenals to pump and secrete more adrenaline and cortisol. You can tell this is happening…you can feel your heart pounding in your chest. Too much cortisol is also associated with obesity, high blood pressure and insulin resistance which runs you the risk of diabetes. It has been noted that 80 percent of all illnesses are caused by stress-related disorders. These can range from migraine headaches to high blood pressure, ulcers, arthritis, asthma, eczema and as we know heart disease.

The more adrenaline produced in the body, the more the body needs progesterone and unfortunately during the perimenopause/menopause years we are more deficit in this hormone. In fact, stress can lead to estrogen dominance and deplete our progesterone even more.

We are constantly evolving and changing….change is an upward cyclical movement; life is a circle that returns to the beginning and moves on and on into a spiral. The source is endless…the only thing we can honestly say about life is that things are going to change. Will you welcome change as new opportunity or will you resist change with a vengeance? I’ve found no one to explain menopause as well as Abraham channeled by Ester Hicks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1kz-DAC8BM Abraham believes menopause is economically driven.

Adapting to change takes awareness, honesty, acceptance and patience. It is our lack of awareness of our bodies natural processes that set us up with a constant chain reaction of stress. It is interesting how fear distorts our true feelings which causes self-rejection and the rejection of others. Look at change as an opportunity to look upon yourself and others with patience trust and love….it is true, we create our life experiences by our attitudes.

MENOPAUSE AND THE KUNDALINI/CHAKRAS

A wonderful book by Susan Weed called “In The Menopausal Years: The Wise Woman Way” she mentions ‘hot flashes’ are ‘kundalini training sessions and not classified as a dis-ease or syndrome.

“Kundalini is the root of all spiritual experience…Kundalini is a special kind of energy known in many cultures, including Tibetan, Indian, Sumerian, Chinese, Irish, Aztec, and Greece. Kundalini is said to be hot, fast, powerful and large. It exists within the earth, within all life, and within each person. Psychoanalyst, Carl G Jung called Kundalini “anima”. Kundalini is usually represented as a serpent coiled at the base of the spine, but women’s mystery stories locate it in the uterus—or the area where the uterus was, if a hysterectomy has occurred. During both puberty and menopause, a woman’s kundalini is difficult to control and may cause a number of symptoms.

East Indian yogis, spend lifetimes learning to activate, or wake up, their kundalini. This is also called “achieving enlightenment”. When they succeed, a surge of super-heated energy goes up the spine, through the nerves, dilating blood vessels, and fueling itself with hormones. As kundalini continues to travel up the spine, it changes the functioning of the endocrine, cardiovascular and nervous systems. Not just in yogis, but in any woman who allows herself to become aware of it. Menopause is a kind of enlightenment. Hot flashes are kundalini training sessions.” Susan Weed

The yogis see menopause as a time of celebration of a time of deepening wisdom and insight. Released from our childbearing years, menopause is supposed to give us more freedom and to focus more on ourselves, to go after our passions and develop our spiritual awareness. Unfortunately the physical problems we encounter with menopause makes it harder to imagine or see it as a blessing.

As Susan Weed, noted above, ‘hot flashes are kundalini training’. Sometimes though, these hot flashes cause the kundalini to rise faster than it should, creating a variety of unpleasant symptoms, such as: rushed heat, electric current, emotional or physical release, inner sounds, visions, creepy feelings under the skin, and hallucinations, out of body experiences and even possibly fainting. All these sensations can be frightening and if a women is unaware of the cause can cause a mental breakdown. The kundalini needs strength to deal with it but not brute force but the strength of inner peace and belief in your fullest essence.

The kundalini is a current that moves you, it rouses, awakens, expands and brightens your energy. The clearer your energy the easier it is for others to find and gravitate towards you, to support, assist and help you and for you in turn to guide others.

Most doctors, psychologists and gynecologists do not recognize the kundalini phenomenon and will suppress it with drugs.

Clearing each chakra, is a safe way to start the kundalini process. As each chakra is clear of obstructing energy, each of the centers will be able to hold the rising energy comfortably. As the chakras open, we gain better health, emotional balance, and vitality, and as the energy rises naturally, our psychic abilities open and develop as well.

This is an abbreviation of the ‘Seven main Chakras’,

1st Chakra or Root – Survival, vitality, life force, self-preservation, instincts, success, grounding stability courage patience
Bodily Systems – Kidneys, adrenal glands, spinal column, bladder, colon, skeletal system, blood circulation
Imbalance – Insecurity, fear, self-centered, violence, greed, anger, tensions in spine, constipation, loss or failure.
Color – Red
Musical Note C
Healing Herbs: dandelion root, yellow dock, burdock, skullcap, peony, dianthus, wild lettuce, meadowsweet

2nd Chakra or Sacral – life-force, procreation, assimilation of food, sexuality, giving and receiving, feelings, desire and health
Bodily Systems – ovaries, testicles, prostate, genitals, spleen, womb, bladder, intestines, menstruation
Imbalance – mood swings, self-rejection, low esteem, addictive behavior, jealousy, envy, anger, blame, resentment, materialism
Color – Orange
Musical Note D
Healing Plants – calendula, pennyroyal, oregano, lady’s mantle, licorice, turkey rhubarb, wormwood, butterfly weed

3rd Chakra or Solar Plexus – personal power, authority, energy, self-control, warmth, humour, laughter
Bodily Systems – stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, nervous system, muscles, mucous, toxicity, calcium and lime deposits
Imbalance – ego, anger, overblown ego, appetite, insecurity, introvert, taking on too much, hate, fear, digestive problems, negative thinking, power and control
Color – Yellow
Musical Note E
Healing Plants – yarrow, borage, sage, skullcap, astragalus, lemon balm, chamomile, spilanthes, fennel, Echinacea pallida, winter onions, ginger,

4th Chakra or Heart – love, unconditional love, forgiveness, compassion, understanding, balance, acceptance, peace, openness, harmony
Bodily Systems – respiratory system (heart, lungs), immune system, circulation, liver, breasts, nerves
Imbalance – lack of self-love and acceptance, emotional instability, out of balance, heart problems, circulation problems, guilt, self-pity
Color Green
Musical Note F
Healing Plants – cinnamon leaf, hyssop, rosemary, juniperberry, spikenard,

5th Chakra or Throat – communication, speech, sound, creative expression, integrity, truth, knowledge, wisdom, sleep, gentleness, kindness, relaxation
Bodily Systems – thyroid and hormones, throat, chest, lungs
Imbalance, sluggish metabolism, weight problems, unable to express oneself, suppression, weak willpower, lack of trust
Color – Blue
Musical Note G
Healing Plants, red clover, blue vervain, hyssop, elecampane, lovage, lamb’s ears, thyme, coltsfoot, bells of Ireland

6th Chakra or Third Eye – higher self, inner calm, and oneness, bliss, spirituality, sense of wholeness
Bodily Systems – pituitary gland, left eye, nose, ears, mental health, sinuses, autonomous nervous system, cranium fluid, hypothalamus
Imbalance: eye problems, severe headaches, nightmares, insomnia, fear lack of concentration, conflict, doubts
Color, Indigo blue, purple
Musical Note A
Healing Plants: eyebright, rue, feverfew, mugwort, clary sage, gotu kola

7th chakra or Crown – higher self, inner calm and oneness, bliss, spirituality, sense of wholeness
Bodily Systems – pineal gland, cerebral cortex, central nervous system, right eye, upper brain
Imbalance: loneliness, lack of vision, confusion, depression, alienation
Color: violet, white, gold, silver
Musical Note: B
Healing Plants: Marjoram, Melissa or balm, eucalyptus, caraway, nutmeg, angelica, bergamot oil,

Meditation by Doreen Virtue – The Lightworker’s Way http://www.mysticfamiliar.com/archive/healingcircle/ar_hc_cleansing_your_chakras6.htm

Chakra Cleansing Meditation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEgLw6bTtxs

All Chakras Balancing Meditation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4GtPb3Y3vQ

A great site on the chakras http://www.pharrah13.com/Chakra.html

ENERGY MEDICINE

“It is not “all in your mind”; it is all in your energies. The emotions of menopause reside in the chemistries of our bodies, and they are powerful. At the same time, massive, cataclysmic shifts are retooling your body from a baby-making machine to an independence you never before could have imagined. While nothing is going to stop you from going through this tumultuous process, energy medicine can deeply support you during the transition and help you come out of it healthier, happier and more independent. By becoming adept at balancing your energies, you are better able to navigate your way into the gifts of menopause: empowerment, self reliance and freedom from the compulsion to cater to others needs or agendas for you.” Donna Eden ~Energy Medicine for Woman

Energy medicine incorporates alternative and holistic medicines. It’s interesting to note that in Chinese Medicine, the word Menopause means ‘Second Spring’. Second Spring is about accepting the fact that we age and change.

“Embracing a Second Spring requires our acceptance of aging and change. In our culture, we must contend with a great fear of death and aging that expresses itself in reverence for the fountain of youth. But in most Asian countries, many women do not suffer in menopause. This is partly explained by differences in diet and lifestyle, but I believe the main difference is that age is respected and valued in these cultures. This, of course, does not mean that at menopause one cannot be energetic, beautiful and vibrant. Rather, it is possible to be all these things at any age. Chinese Medicine celebrates the natural stages of our lives, including menopause, and offers techniques for a smooth transition.

Many of the discomforts that women experience in perimenopause are an expression of imbalances that have already existed in their bodies for years, sometimes decades.

For women who enter menopause after a hysterectomy, chemotherapy, or some other medical intervention, the symptoms can be more dramatic. Balancing the body with Chinese Medicine is also recommended in this case. Every situation is unique, as every woman’s experience is unique.” Dawn Aarons http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/second-spring/

Estrogen foods – all soy products are natural plant estrogens, others are wheat germ, alfalfa, sesame and sunflower seeds, chickpeas, red beans, greens peas, yams, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, beets, cabbage, carrots, apples, cherries, plums, garlic and parsley.

HERBAL RECOMMENDIES FOR MENOPAUSE
Basil, dill, evening primrose oil, wood betony, dong quai, vitex, black and blue cohosh, wild Mexican yam, red clover, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, St. John’s Wort, yellow dock, stinging nettle, cranberry, marshmallow root, uva ursi, vervain, motherwort, false unicorn root, licorice root, coriander, cumin

AROMATHERAPY
Geranium, rose, sage, chamomile, cypress, fennel, jasmine, neroli, eucalyptus, lavender, ylang ylang

VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS
Multivitamin and mineral supplement with whole foods and enzymes, Vitamin C, E B12, B complex, niacin, bioflavonoids, calcium, magnesium, boron, silica, manganese, potassium

Alternative healing, self-healing and meditation help to awaken the body to its highest potential. Healing creates a harmonious interaction with all parts of you; body, mind and spirit. Healing through Reiki, massage, Quantum Touch, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and many other alternative therapies will not make your menopause go away. But it will help you to feel less tense and open up your inner energy and relieve you of the many fears associated with aging.

I’ve touched on as many topics as I can that are relevant to the changes in a woman’s body. There are so many other symptoms to look at that to cover them would be difficult and very challenging. There are many really great websites, articles and books out there to keep you uptodate with the changes you’ve felt. Just as the earth’s flowing life force shifts, so does yours. As you adapt to the natural changes in your body, you will project those feelings to others…and in so doing, this will affect other women, in a postiive way, going through the same thing.

Mary Shomon on about.com, regarding the thyroid
http://thyroid.about.com/od/thyroidbasicsthyroid101/u/symptomsdiagnosis.htm

A great article on perimenopause and menopause http://www.womentowomen.com/menopause/perimenopause.aspx?id=1&campaignno=perimenopause&adgroup=ag10info&keywords=what+is+peri+menopause

Many woman suffer from digestive problems at midlife http://www.drnorthrup.com/womenshealth/healthcenter/topic_details.php?topic_id=91

“The energy of healing: Thought forms http://spheresoflight.com.au/index.php?page=energy_healing

http://www.tarot.com/astrology/midlife-crisis#.UUCTReOwPzs.twitter

Re Where you invested your energy today.
http://www.myss.com/library/practice/evening.asp

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“Healing is primarily a spiritual process proceeding from within outward, from the spiritual center to the circumference of the physical body.”Eric Butterworth

Life is so fast paced, we hardly notice feeling run down and stressed—we think of it as a normal state until the effects catch up to us in the form of a break down, illness or physical pain. Usually this cycle begins with an upset, which then leads to stress. Stress is usually caused by change, a change we don’t want or feel we can’t handle—this causes emotional discomfort, which causes spiritual pain and then dis-ease.

We go to the doctor, purchase expensive medicines only to find they create more havoc in our lives. What doctors don’t know is how some drugs (e.g. for depression), affects the brain. Science is re-discovering what our great grandmothers knew years ago…..that our state of mind affects our health. Depression plays a role in many different illnesses and it is also known to diminish the immune response. It really is time doctors paid closer attention to the feelings and perceptions of their patients as well as how they consider their health, their disease and the status of their illness.

Also, scientists have discovered nerve fibers seem to influence the immune system. If you were to dissect the spleen for example, you would find something surrounding the blood vessels. If you were to study this closer and look at all the other organs of the immune system you’d discover nerve fibers going into each one and forming a direct connection with the immune system cells! Do the nerves control some aspect of the immune response? Yes they do!

Chakras and Meridians

For each illness, we’ll be covering the chakras and then the meridians which are affected. This entry isn’t as yet complete. I’ll be updating it daily until completed.

Our body is composed not only of physical elements such as muscles, bones, nerves arteries, organs, glands, etc.; it is also enveloped by an energy field that surrounds and protects us from bacteria and germs as well as from pollutants in the environment. This subtle energy is a template or mirror of the physical system which is composed of energy centers emanating from the spine, and surrounding the physical body. Anything that affects the body must pass through this protective shield first—which enters through our awareness via our intuition, thoughts and emotions. The energy bodies have energy centers or chakras or ‘wheels of light’ which look like spinning discs that allow Chi, Prana, the Lifeforce to circulate through the body, mind, emotions and spirit. Each chakra also has its own tone and color. These centers then feed twelve channels which flow like rivers or streams, carrying Prana energy throughout the physical body, to nourish and assist it in balancing the body’s systems and functions.

In Chinese medicine, the body is made up of circuits of energy called Meridians. Twelve channels are directly connected with the body’s internal organs, while two channels deal with important circulatory functions. When energy becomes imbalanced or stagnated, our vitality drops and discomfort and sickness may occur. These meridians just happen to run close to the nerves and arteries of the body—in fact it interpenetrates our physical system. This proves that the aura (electromagnetic field) of the body does exist and can also reflect health and illness. Bright colors are indicative of a healthy body whereas muddy colors can indicate an illness or an impending health problem. The invention of Kirlian photography allowed scientists to see the aura was not just one’s vivid imagination—it really does exist! The aura is an outward expression and reflection of what’s happening energetically and physically in the body—through the chakras, meridians and etheric system.

A friend of mine who is an acupuncturist told me there are 365 known acupoints along the meridian channels. One of Sue’s in-class assignments was to paint iodine dots to recognize these points on another student’s body—and likewise the other student did the same to her. I had visions of a class of naked bodies and told Sue what I imagined. She laughed and said they all wore bathing suits under their clothes that day—bathing suits that could stained by the iodine. We burst into laughter at the thought of this spectacle! After recovering from our hearty laugh, Sue mentioned that energy tends to stagnate along these specific points…..when this happens these acupoints become sensitive to pressure. Most healers, whatever profession, have gifted hands that act like a magnet, attracted to areas a patient didn’t even know were sore.

The body is laced an incredible electrical system that interpenetrates the body, the immune system and lymph glands and nodes as well as our Spirit.

“The lymph glands are a part of our immune system as they help purify the blood, keeping it healthy and strong. They also “clean up” garbage in the body (such as dead cells in the blood) for removal. Their relationship to the blood implies that the lymph glands are intimately connected to keeping us in an even emotional state, constantly purfiying our emotions. Swollen glands or blocked lymph nodes can therefore imply an emotional blocking or a denial of emotions, leaving us unprotected and vulnerable to invading poisons, or to the effect of poisonous feelings.” (Debbie Shapiro The BodyMind Workbook).

Chakras are not solid objects. You cannot physically see or hold them in your hands—but, you can ‘feel’ them and each of us feels them slightly different—kind of like an electrical current felt humming through a set of wires. Some people have been known to ‘see’ the chakras and aura of the body.

In CFS and FM, I found and others agree that the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th chakras are affected. The 1st, chakra is the structure that builds your house or physical body. This is the base or center that supports all the other six chakras. The 1st chakra is connected to one’s identity, your ancestors, your family, the earth, to physical survival, grounding, in the Now, etc.. I believe the immune system is also part of this chakra as well as muscle, bones and the circulatory system. It can be compromised by stress, depression, grief and loneliness—there’s a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. When there is a low sense of Self, we’re looking at the 3rd chakra and repressed feelings the 2nd. These unexpressed emotions and feelings become 5th chakra issues which eventually upset our body chemistry.

The Chakra Test

Did any of you do the Chakra Test posted earlier? http://www.eclecticenergies.com/chakras/chakratest.php

My friend Jenny was kind of enough to comment her findings. I did the Chakra test as well. Our tests were very similar, so I thought I’d post Jenny’s and look at them in relation to the chakras. .

Root: under-active (13%)Sacral: open (63%)Navel: over-active (75%)Heart: open (50%)Throat: over-active (75%)Third Eye: open (56%)Crown: open (44%)

The areas where Jenny and I slightly differed were the Navel and Crown. My Navel (3rd Chakra) was open (25%) and the Crown (62%).

The three lower chakras, 1, 2, 3, govern self-consciousness, survival and will, the 4th or heart chakra is the bridge that connects our physical and spiritual awareness—chakras 5, 6, 7.

In relation to CFS and FM, the Root or 1st chakra is under-active or disconnected from its Base. This chakra is the foundation for the entire chakra system—it acts much like an anchor plunged deep within the earth. Damage to this chakra can be caused by hurtful memories, trauma, loss or pain which becomes imprinted or stored in the bones, joints and immune system. Uprootedness can also be caused by losing someone dear to us or if we are alienated from the family.

The main job of the base chakra is to help a person cope with his or her environment. This takes the form of survival, fight or flight, or mastery over one’s physical condition in life. The color of this chakra is Red, Brown and Mauve. Of all the chakra colors it’s vibration is the lowest, while the crown or 7th chakra vibrates the highest.

Did you know most intuitive people tend to get Fibromyalgia or pains in the back and neck? Psychics can see events that could happen in a person’s life. If these events are detrimental to the client, they will with great intensity try to change a person’s course in life, based on what their intuition is telling them. The sheer pressure of the Will’s force can create a pain in the neck. The neck is 5th chakra issues and is about saying the right thing at the right time and to the right person.

For example, an intuitive tarot reader is called upon when we need them to focus on dispelling illusions, or looking at a situation in its skeletal form. To make things clear and understandable, this person has to use a lot of their own energy to separate, distinguish and express the meaning of the cards. If the tarot reader tries to rescue, change and convince someone’s fate, the effort required to try and get through to them will drain precious energy in the intuitive’s neck. It’s like you see the person’s potential but they don’t! We end up hitting our heads against a brick wall which can cause neck problems, headaches, ear problems (tinnitus, vertigo, dizzyness), etc. So when we try to force our will and way on someone else, (I’m right, you’re wrong) we suffer neck problems.

The back has been known to be a guidance system when something isn’t right in our lives. Also, the upper chakras may be more predominant than the lower, which leaves less support for and care towards physical needs.

“Without awareness of bodily feeling and attitude, a person becomes split into a disembodied spirit and a disenchanted body.” Alexander Lowen

This is something I have struggled with for a long time. It became common practice to direct my energy away from the onslaught of my family. It was my way of escaping when physically I couldn’t get away. Now I no longer fear persecution, but I still find myself escaping at times when I should be listening. And I’ve had to ask people to repeat what they were saying, because I was in another world when they were speaking.

This takes us to the 7th chakra, and as indicated mine is open around 62%. This is almost at an over-active state. When the 1st chakra and 7th chakra act as a pair and in a somewhat balanced way, we find ourselves searching for a deeper meaning to life. We turn towards spiritual philosophies to widen our understanding so we can explore and verify our perceptions with greater care.

With my 7th so open, I’m more in my head then in my body, ignoring or denying the signals my body struggles to point out. To give you a visual, imagine a helium filled balloon for someone’s head—there is definitely a lack of earth and an overpowering desire to just float away. This denial can over-burden and strain the whole system which eventually succumbs to pain and complete exhaustion. We lose vital energy and power. It also can affect the skeletal system and the teeth.

The body doesn’t get sick without reason. When we choose to ignore it or something stressful going on in our lives, the body will produce symptoms. What we need to do is understand the weak areas of our body and the symbolic message it’s trying to send us. Also, the medicines, herbs and natural products you’re taking right now, are they good for your body?

Kinesiology is a technique in muscle testing. Applied kinesiology shows us there is a direct relationship between certain organs and muscles in the body. For instance the hamstring muscle is connected to the large intestine and the quadriceps muscle to the small intestine. So when we have an intestinal flue, we experience weakness in the legs.

To do try this test, grab something that you know is detrimental to the body. This test requires two people. Hold the tomato with one hand in front of your stomach area or solar plexus (3rd chakra) and extend your other arm straight out in front of your body, palm down. The other person also stands by your side and holds his or her arm out in front of their body. They then place their wrist above yours and applies pressure down as you apply pressure up. There should be a balanced pressure. If what is being held to your stomach is not good for your health, your arm will be weak and will not be able to maintain the outstretched position.

Now try something that you think is good for your health and do the same test. If this product is beneficial for you, your arm will maintain strong and you’ll easily resist the pressure of the other person.

I found a couple of interesting sites on Kinesiology http://www.advancedliving.com/muscletest.ivnu

Energy testing yourself http://feelingfree.net/awareness/selftest.htm

I’m also learning to stop what I’m doing for a moment and do a quick body check. Asking the body how it feels, allows us to listen in on the emotions and feelings at the moment. As we learned earlier, we become ‘aware’ of our bodily sensations. This leads us to the 2nd chakra and the Element Water. Water gives us a sense of movement. This chakra relates to emotions, intimacy, movement, creative energy, money, sexuality and power.

The Earth’s constant motion moves in conjunction with the four seasons, day and night, time and tide. Earth is but a small dot in the universe yet, an integral part of an incredible planetary system in which predictable cycles are a common denominator. But it is the emotional cycles of human life – how people feel – that changes trends with the masses, creates wars, laws, creativity, economic and ecological shifts, and evolution itself.

Feelings are constantly being triggered inside us but we are not always aware of them. At some point we become weighed down by all the unaddressed and unexpressed emotions—we become depressed or unhappy without actually knowing why. Movement of the water stagnates—our bodies fill up with toxins affecting our muscles, moods and clouding our minds. We may have a tendency to hold water, or experience problems in relation to elimination. Our 3rd chakra, loses enthusiasm, our adrenalines burned out.

When we fear losing control with our finances, relationships, jobs, sexuality, the 2nd chakra becomes disempowered. Not only does our creativity become stifled and we suffer from mood swings—we feel stuck, powerless, seeing no way out of a situation.

When I started this section of my blog, I was very serious in accomplishing this at a certain date and time. What happened was I got myself into a tizzy about getting it done. And the more I stressed about it, the more it bogged me down and slowed my progress. What happened was my FM hit with a vengeance. This increased my sense of powerlessness and loss of creativity. This also crumbles a sense of Self Worth (3rd chakra). The Fibromyalgia forced me to let go, to stop feeling the urge to hang on so tightly. For three days I was in excruciating pain. But in the process a new energy entered my life—new input of how to create this section which became of great value to me. I saw I was trying to create and do it ‘my way’—which stopped me in my tracks. FM not only slowed down my mobility but also helped me tune into spiritual guidance and what others could also offer me.

The 2nd chakra is also about being with others who are willing to invest time, knowledge and energy together. When this happens our lives burst wide open. My FM subsided albeit slowly—but the gift it gave me was allowing Spirit and others in, accepting what they had to offer.

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. The chakra of Willpower and Self Expression. The thyroid and parathyroid sit here.

Quoted from…. http://www.parathyroid.com/parathyroid-function.htm

“The sole purpose of the parathyroid glands is to control calcium within the blood in a very tight range between 8.8 and 10.2. In doing so, parathyroids also control how much calcium is in the bones, and therefore, how strong and dense the bones are. Although the parathyroid glands are located next to (and sometimes inside) the thyroid gland, they have no related function. The thyroid gland regulates the body’s metabolism and has no effect on calcium levels while parathyroid glands regulate calcium levels and have no effect on metabolism. Calcium is the element that allows the normal conduction of electrical currents along nerves–its how our nervous system works and how one nerve ‘talks’ to the next. Our entire brain works by fluxes of calcium into and out of the nerve cells. Calcium is also the primary element which causes muscles to contract.”

The parathyroid function is to release a hormone into the blood which balances the level of calcuim released from the bones into the blood stream! So why does parathyroidism occur more in women who are no longer in their child bearing years or in the throws of menopause? When this particular area is not functioning well, calcium may begin building in the blood. Not only does it adhere to the blood vessels and main arteries of the body, it can cause mental confusion as well.

AND, researchers are looking at this as well as inflammation and an overactive immune system in the study of Alzheimer’s disease. An over active immune system can cause inflammation in our central nervous system and the destruction of neurons which trasmit and receive signals in the brain.

This lack of balance is connected to the 5th Chakra, which in my assumption could be the cause of osteoporosis as well. This afflicts both men and women. All different ranges of blues, from light to dark affect the throat chakra. A healing stone recommended for the throat chakra is a deep lapis lazuli blue. This chakra is connected not only to listening but through speaking as well as being Heard.

The first three chakras, red, orange and yellow, are warm active colors. We are attracted to them because they seem to move toward us. Where blue, indigo and violet are cool expanding colors. In stead of moving towards, they move away from us. And interestingly enough red, orange and yellow when ‘hot’ have a tendency to irritate green, blue, indigo and violet. But that’s not all, to reduce the intensity of a color, we add its complimentary. The complimentary color for Red is Green. Orange’s complimentary is Blue, Yellow’s complimentary is Violet! If these colors irritate each other how do we get them to work together? Hmmm…

Hot could be considered negative emotions such as hatred, anger or fear. If we could see it in action, we’d see the hot colors, red, yellow and orange wrapping themselves around us and strangling our movment.

I also think these energies are more at odds with each other when we tend to rebel or feel being pushed into a mould that doesn’t fit us. Instead of conforming to the dictates of my parents and their standards of living, I rebelled. Instead of finding a common ground, we fought tooth and nail constantly! Until I gave up that is. No matter how hard I tried, I didn’t have a voice in my household. What I felt or thought had no meaning…..at least that’s what I thought.

The third chakra is known as the emotional body, the area through which emotions located in the aura, such as fear and anger, enter the body. When we have so many fears within us, we cannot hear our own inner guidance talking to us, wanting to guide us and show us the way.

The Solar Plexus (3rd chakra) reacts to our social life. It reacts on a physical level to a situation we are going through at home, at work, social gatherings etc. I truly believe this chakra could have a book of its own, it’s so complex. Most illnesses begin with the emotional body which indicates the third chakra is affected. Its color is Yellow.

Yellow corresponds to warmth, sunlight, happiness and joy. Yellow people are very intuitive, lovable and generous. Many yellow personalities are often found with their heads in the clouds. On the negative side this color creates nervousness and self-consciousness.

“The positive aspect of Yellow is expansion; the negative aspect is regression.”
Dr. Bruce Copen

Depression can be caused by a lose of self respect. The third chakra IS about the Self–its about caring for oneself and for others–its about self-esteem and fear of rejection. When we are overly sensitive to criticism, illness can manifest in the abdomen, stomach, upper intestines, liver, gallbladder, kidney, pancreas, adrenal glands, spleen and middle spine. Phew! That’s quite a list!

Traditionally, the spleen and kidneys have been attributed to the 3rd chakra. Yet the kidneys in Chinese medicine are akin to the Element Water, (2nd chakra?) and the Spleen is attributed to the Element Earth (1st chakra?). The Spleen is also part of the immune system (1st chakra) which filters wastes from the blood as well as foreign substances and infuses the blood with new immune cells. In the Webster dictionary, the word spleen is described as anger, resentment, ill humor and malice, to name a few. It is said to be the seat of anger, agitation and melancholy in the body. The spleen distributes energy in the body and can be affected adversely by feelings of bitterness, critical thoughts and ‘fixed’ regrets.

In traditional Chinese medicine as well as Reiki, the cause of illness is considered to be an imbalance between the interactions of Yin and Yang. How we go about our day to day activities are the foundation (1st chakra) of our health. When I went to visit a friend who is proficient in acupuncture and shiatsu, Sue explained which meridians in regard to CFS and FM seemed congested and stifled with negative energy. She told me in most CFS and FM symptoms, the immune system, adrenals, lymph glands, kidneys and liver are very sluggish. She said these organs of the body are not able to work well enough to eliminate the toxins in our system.

Sue asked if I was suffering from night and days sweats, which I replied yes and considered this to be premenopausal symptoms. She told me these sweats were probably caused from energy stagnation in the kidney area as well as the liver and spleen and could easily mimic other symptoms . Well I’ll be, I thought! I asked Sue what treatment she’d offer to patients suffering from CFS and FM. First of all she told me each person with these symptoms is different and individualized treatment was necessary. That’s fair I thought. In Reiki, a patient is treated in much a similar fashion.

The five Reiki symbols are the five levels of mind that lead to enlightenement. They also represent the five elements, five colors and five forms. When joined together hese symbols form a mandala or geometric shape of a multifaceted diamond. They are also connected to the five elements, earth, water, fire, air and spirit and may also be compared to the five points of the pentacle and to the chakras. And we will see these elements in a different light in relation to the meridians.

“All things manifest their potencies and their qualities by means of color. There is a tremendous power in color repulsions and color affinities. From these facts an exact materia medica can be constructed. The seven different colors in sunlight are each composed of a different style and number of vibrations and each has special properties and chemical powers. Everything possesses finer positive and a coarser negative principle.
Edwin D. Babbitt, The Principles of Light and Color

The Earth is considered the Mother of all the Elements. All LIFE that we know springs from and is generated from Her womb. Through a form of alchemy, Earth blends and reunites the four elements metal, wood, water and fire, through a process of transformation draws them back into the earth and simmered gently in her cauldron until each element is purified. But if the fire is too hot, the elements will lose their integrity, their potency and dissolve into ashes.

In Chinese Philosophy each element corresponds to a particular organ. The Earth corresponds to the spleen, metal to the lungs, water to the kidneys, wood to the liver, and fire to the heart. The five elements interact with each other in three distinct ways: producing, overcoming and threatening. Within this cycle, wood burns to make fire, the ashes seep into the earth, which become mined metals, which when melted become water (liquid) which nourishes trees and plants. But in this life cycle is also death or destruction. Without destruction life could not exist. There will always be a balance of creation and destruction. So within this constant change, wood is cut down by metal, fire is extinguished by water, earth is penetrated by wood, metal is melted by fire and the flow of water is either contained or cut off by earth.

In climate changes, wind corresponds to wood, heat to fire, dampness to earth, dryness to metal and cold to water. Their corresponding emotions (sympathy, sadness, joy, anger, fear) blend together raising our spirits and encouraging kindness, gentleness, rightousness, respectfulness and humor. The formula of the five elements combined into ONE involves the mixing of the Yin and Yang to allow our bodies to join together in harmony and beauty.

The sacral center or 2nd chakra is the Creative Womb in both women and men and considered the area of incubation and gestation. This area can create another human being, a plan, idea or project. It corresponds to the color orange.

“The effect of Orange upon the mentality is to aid the assimilation of new ideas, to induce mental enlightenment with a sense of freedom from limitations.”
Roland Hunt

When we feel powerless, hurt, angry, jealous, resentful, etc., energy is depleted from our muscles and leads to a breakdown in circulation as well as our digestive and eliminative areas. Thoughts of bitterness and rage can shrivel our cells, harden our veins and arteries and ‘congest’ the flow of fluid throughout the body. This also creates nervousness and organic disorders.

Something I would like to clarify, is that the aura that emanates from the body does not come from the color of the chakras. The aura actually results from the vibration of cells in your physical body. So when your body is tense, stressed, ill, depressed or run down, your aura will reveal the higher or lower rate of cell vibration in certain areas. Everything you say, think and do, triggers am emotional response from within. This also means that everything you eat, digest, assimlate, circulate and eliminate creates a vibratory response within your cells. What the chakras do is monitor and regulate the flow of energy within the aura. They also act as a filter to protect us from negative external influences. But since the introduction of technology, our bodies have become surrounded by artifical man made energies……computers, televisions, microwaves, cell phones, electric blankets, radios, etc, bombarding and distorting and fluctuating our energetic field. Not only that, our hormone levels and immune system becomes stressed to the max and become suspectible to infection and dis-ease.

How do we cope with these unnatural rhythms and create balance within the body?

There are many natural healing techniques that work on the energy body as well as the physical. Exercise, deep breathing, Qigong, Tai Chi, yoga, gardening, as well as meditation strengthen the energy field. Acupuncture, homeopathy, flower essences, Crystal healing, Massage, Therapeutic Touch, , Aromatherapy, Naturopathy, Reiki, Sound therapy, Color therapy and many more all work at balancing the energy flow of the body.

An individualized approach to healing will require you to make some changes in respect to your eating haibts, lifestyle, environment as well as relationships. Each individual is unique so harmony must be brought forth from within. Imagine it as trying to steady thousands of tiny balancing scales at once. Quite a feat isn’t it? It is about becoming aware, listening to your intuition and learning and discovering the ‘key’ to restore the natural rhythms of the body/mind connection.

“It is easy to keep oneself in a holding pattern, claiming that one does not know what to do next. But that is rarely true. When we are in a holding pattern, it is because we know exactly what we should do next, but we are terrified to act on it…change is frightening, and waiting for that feeling of safety to come along before one makes a move only results in more internal torment because the only way to acquire that feeling of security is to enter the whirlwind of change and come out the other end, feeling alive again.”
Caroline Myss – Why People Don’t Heal And How They Can

THE HIGH PRIESTESS

(Tarot card from The Cosmic Tarot – created by Norbert Losche


The High Priestess represents your deepest inner wisdom. She sits in the temple of your subsconscious, nonjudgementally contemplating and observing all your memories, feelings, inner tides of hormones and instincts and sensory data. This vast awareness flows through HER before emerging into your physical experience. But she only speaks through metaphors appearing in dream symbols, memory images, emotions, and bodily reactions.

To understand her message you must look carefully at the symbolic meanings of these messages or sit in quite meditation, enter her temple and ask for advice. Beware, the High Priestess does not like to be confined and will rebel against it. You cannot capture her, she must give herself to you.

When you embody her energy, others sense in you the power of mystery and inner-feminine wisdom. You feel yourself to be a vessel of untold knowledge, influenced by lunar tides and cycles of inner knowing, more potent than linear reasoning.

GOING WITHIN

“The practice of quiet is an exercise……in surrender and willingness, a new discipline of letting go. Each time we sit quietly, the silence takes us as far as we can go at the moment toward the loosening of preconceived images of ourselves….yet….it is risky to view silence as a means to any kind of end. To shackle it with such expectations is to disrupt its natural quality from the outset and to enter instead into the confounding area of success and failure, of achievement and grasping.”
Gerald May

In this day and age, meditation has changed dramatically from when I was introduced to it. I’m not going to tell you, you need to take 30 minutes of your time to ‘still the mind’, but I am going to tell you that focusing your attention inward and becoming aware of the presence of your body, will allow you to access words feelings and experiences long forgotten. All these are recorded in the most minute detail and will be allowed to surface once you can break the barrier of consciousness that holds back your freedom of expression.

Meditation is about staying empty so we can become full. It allows us to be ourselves without judgement or criticism. It allows us to see our own view on things.

When we close our eyes, there is silence, images and thoughts that appear to be within the mind. In our mind’s eye we see memories of past events, imagine future situations, daydreams of what may be or might have been, dreams of happenings beyond space and time.

In order to relax we have to know what tension and relaxation feel like. Most people know when their muscles are really tense but they do not feel they can relax their muscles at will. Tension, pain, and illness are bodily words. The body is the voicebox of the unconscious. Bodily sensations are the language of the unconscious. To give the label ‘symptoms’ to pain and tension is to invalidate their signals. Pain is giving you important news about your life situation. They may well be the most important message you will ever hear. When you try to shut your pain out, you may well be forcing it to shout more loudly to get your attention.

There are millions of meditations that are accessible on the web. I’d like to share what has helped me when my FM is literally attacking my body.

A DEEPER AWARENESS

When I am plagued with FM striking my body, ‘for no good reason’ I allow it to tell and retell its story of any traumas or hurts that may have injured it of late or in the past. I pay attention to what it needs for nourishment, for rest, for exercise, for touch. Sometimes I am surprised at the intensity of its needs. I ask myself ‘what has kept me from meeting those needs’.

The Exercise

Write down any injuries or illnesses of late…or any part of your body that has been a discomfort to you….a headache, a persistent pain, a dull ache, or some part of your body that you know is ill. Let them come to you in whatever order.

After you have completed the list, redo it in order of their importance. Look at what lessons each one has taught you or what you still need to learn…..perhaps because the wound is still fresh and frightening.

Having a deeper awareness of your body, you are ready to have a dialogue with it regarding your priortized list of illness and injury.

Sitting quietly and eyes closed turn your attention inward and become aware of the presence of your body as a person, a person with a story to tell, a person with needs fears and hopes. As you feel the presence of your body as a person grow stronger within you, you may be aware of an image of your body taking shape within your imagination; perhaps in the form of a person who bears the marks of many wounds on his or her body or in the form of a wise old man or woman. (my preference is the wise one, although there are times the wounded one appears as well). You may want to give the person a name in order that communication flows more smoothy. If not, simply be aware of the body you ‘see’ within you.

With eyes still closed let the presence of your body as a person grow stronger. When you feel ready, greet the person who is your body and listen to what your body has to say about the wounds your body has suffered over the years. Go back to each trauma you listed to refresh your body/memory and ask about their meaning and what they mean or have taught you.

Listen to what your body needs from you in the future. Let the communication between you and your body flow freely, recording both what you say and what your body-self says, your pen simply recording what is there without censoring or interpreting. When the feelings stop flowing, the dialogue between you and your body is complete for this period of time.

Everytime you experience this form of communication you will discover a little more about yourself and your life. You will discover more about your difficulties and deepen your awareess of your body/mind. I have found doing this exercise makes me feel more centered and makes my life just a little more simpler and less confusing.

This meditaion is about taking responsibility for what you do and can allow you to act and be more honest and much more effective.

THE SECOND MEDITATION

This is a very ‘personal’ meditation I created for fibromyalgia pain. This is not a meditation where you lie, sit or stand. This form of meditation, you move around. You can dance, walk, listen while you’re in the bath, doing the dishes….it’s totally up to you.

I recorded this visual technique on a voice recorder with music in the background. This way, the words and my body flow together in harmony without any pauses or restrictions. What is written here, I read over and over until I had created a 15 minute subliminal message that talks directly to the conscious and subconscious mind.

If you like it, you are welcome to print and tape or modify to your own liking.

AN ENERGIZING SPELL

I visualize myself standing under a starlit sky
watching as the stars start to whirl and dance around me
vibrating and tingling a pleasant energizing something in the air
Something that contains expectancy and excitement
It exudes a sensuous magnetic energy.

I can feel the magic as it pulses and hums around and through my body
Hmmm a sparkling supply of magical energy

Sensing this energy as dancing microdots of sparkling colors
Traveling all through and down into my body
Massaging and energizing as it goes
Buzzing with energy
Becoming pure sparkling radiant sensuous energy
Letting it work its magic deep inside my body

Yes vibrating tingling light moving all the way to the tips of my fingers and to the ends of my toes
Cleansing, healing and revitalizing every cell and organ in my body
Moving all the way to the bone, strengthening and revitalizing
Shaping a magnetic aura of vibrant tingling energy all around me

My aura is filled with vibrant glowing energy
Illuminating everything it touches with its exquisite brightness,
And vibrating color –
My body is bathed in a light that has never been seen before
Glowing, dancing and sparkling, stunning energy
Rinsing away stress, tension, tightness and pain.

I radiate warmth
I radiate love
I radiate the beauty within me
Yes healing magic weaves around me
I am relaxed
I am beautiful,

Know that this spell will create a magical magnetic field around me
Oh wide ruling powers
Thank you for the sparkling healing energy,
And Mark well what I have done here
So Let It Be

(Next…..A Reiki treatment)

Fibromyalgia Meditation
http://www.fibromyalgia-symptoms.org/fibromyalgia_meditation.html

Great sites with online meditations
http://meditation.org.au/
http://www.freemeditations.com/

Easy and simple meditations
http://www.meditationcenter.com/index.html

The Body Mirror System of Healing (The Chakras)
http://www.healer.ch/bmsarticle.html

Chakras Diagram with explanation
http://www.myss.com/library/chakras/

Kinesiology
http://www.advancedliving.com/muscletest.ivnu

Great site on Chakras and healing
http://www.drlwilson.com/Articles/chakras.htm
http://www.drlwilson.com/read%20articles.htm

Osteoporosis
http://drlwilson.com/Articles/OSTEOPOROSIS.htm

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“Both CFS and FM make you stop, whether with exhaustion or pain or both.  If you have either of these illnesses, there is little doubt you will spend some time resting.  This is an important factor in your bodymind understanding.  A large number of people affected by these types of illnesses—and there are many variations—are high-flyers already climbing their career ladders.  If so, you may well be stressed, and this will certainly strain the immune system.  But it may also be that you are going in a direction that is not true to your inner nature—as if you are going against the grain or against your spirit.  And then you get stopped.” Deb Shapiro YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND

Do you think you have chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia? The only reason I ask is because hypothyroidism can be missed with these illnesses. In Fibromyalgia for Dummies, Dr. Staub mentions that a low thyroid function leads to fatigue and also causes painful and aching muscles. I experienced this a few years back when I became premenopausal. I also had trouble maintaining my body temperature, my skin became dry and I suffered from heart palpitations. Also high estrogen levels can affect the thyroid. To get a proper diagnosis, I highly recommend taking a thyroid blood test. By the way, some auto immune disorders can be yeast related too.

Maybe, like me, you have both! But if it is just your thyroid, taking a synthyroid drug will diminish a lot of the above symptoms. When I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, within a week of taking the medication I felt a lot better. Hypothyroidism has also been known to mimic menopause. With fibromyalgia, there is unfortunately no quick cure. Not yet, anyways.

I consider myself a very spiritual person. As I look at all the different patterns of my life emerging, I’m starting to see that spirituality was initially a form of escape. It was a form of disassociation and a defense from avoiding some of the more painful experiences in my life. Having a spiritual consciousness does not make you immune to dis-ease. This was a huge lesson for me to understand. What spirituality does do however is provide you with certain tools to understand and work with an illness. I’ve also learned that spiritual development is about learning to treat the whole self with love, respect and attention. It means giving the body the things it needs to be healthy.

One of the greatest tools that continually helps me on my journey is astrology. It has taught me to dive into my emotions and feelings. It has shown me emotions are an essential source of personal power. On a physical level it says ‘there’s a real world out there, and you’re in it’. Astrology helps us to find our own individuality and compass in life. North, East, West and South = NEWS! It’s definable and measurable and it never lies. It helps us to nurture and understand ourselves and evolve to higher levels of understanding. When this happens the healing process begins.

Accepting an illness means we have to do something about it. It makes us stop and take notice of something gone wrong that needs our attention. If we don’t we tend to feel powerless to face the challenges ahead. Instead we face whatever happens, happens….we become a ‘victim’ instead of empowering and healing ourselves. We cannot run away or try to suppress it….pain is real and there are times we have to learn to live with it. The pain itself will teach us what to do, that’s if we ‘listen’ and stay mindful of it. Accepting what is, takes time and patience to initiate.

Our body and spirit goes through many cycles of cooperating and compromising. When this happens, there is less tension. Our bodies and our health is in a constant flux of change. It’s up to us to continually work at keeping it balanced. To heal, we must turn back the tide and use our own initiative, will and spirit to get well. Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Hypothyroidism are all auto immune diseases. This literally means your body is under attack from itself!! It’s as if our body and soul are at war with each other. So how do we find peace within ourselves?

When I learnt Reiki, I discovered there were three levels to each initiation. Reiki I, represents the body, Reiki II, the mind/emotions, Reiki III the Spirit. Learning and understanding what FM was, took me through three different `stages.

From my Reiki I Manual…

The Reiki attunement awakens our abilities to feel, hear, touch, smell and live again. It takes us back into our bodies and jolts us back to life. A body that reawakens and allows the spirit to feel grounded and connected within a solid structure. Our body is our best friend and lifetime companion. Yet it really is an automated machine that willingly obeys and acts out our every thought, feeling, word and desire. Reiki rebuilds the energetic system of the body. It reconnects our emotions to our spirit and our spirit to our body, helping us to rebuild a stronger foundation and a healthier body.

Anatomically, the 1st Chakra relates to physical body support. The 2nd Chakra represents our emotions. We’ll be covering the chakras and their meanings shortly.

The First Initiation – The Body

This was when I started looking seriously at my diet and my intake of processed foods, alcohol, caffeine and sugar. Sugar, I discovered really aggravated my FM. I try to avoid sugar, especially at night and carbonated beverages as well as juices.

In the morning, I haven’t been able to give up my first cup of coffee. Ohh, that’s a must! If I need more of the ‘taste’ of coffee, a decaffeinated works just as well. And besides, too much caffeine definitely stimulates our nervous system and exhausts our adrenal glands. These are the glands of emotion and help us to survive through sudden emergencies, releasing energy and vitality into our body. Without them we’d surely die.

Also, I mentioned about salts in the previous post and I have found myself craving for chips, salted nuts, pretzels, etc. So it does seem, my blood pressure must dip at certain times when FM strikes and knocks me down. I’ve also craved dark chocolate and have discovered dark chocolate is actually good for CFS and FM, as it work as an antioxidant as well as an anti inflammatory. The darker the chocolate the better! Oh and not the whole bar (aw sucks)…..a piece a day is sufficient.

Three meals a day is good practice and also increasing your fiber intake. Fiber can actually cleanse the body by absorbing toxins and moving them out of our system…re the bowels.

Foods and cleansers that contain preservatives and chemicals are also known to magnify FM symptoms. Even wheat, corn, soya, dairy products and citrus fruits can aggravate FM. Also, be aware of artificial sweeteners, sulfites, MSG and food coloring. These are toxic!!

Magnesium is essential for muscle and tissue and requires calcium for proper assimilation. Magnesium cannot be stored in the body for long periods and therefore we need to supplement our diet regularly with it. Magnesium is an alkaline mineral.

Special note: Drinking too much milk can lead to a magnesium deficiency! Milk contains high amounts of Calciferol (synthetic Vit D) which actually withdraws magnesium out of our bloodstream. Also, if you’re taking a Vitamin D supplement, make sure its coming from a natural source.

“Theories suggest that the root cause of fibromyalgia is an imbalance somewhere in the body. For example, people with fibromyalgia generally have low levels of serotonin the hormone known as the pain messenger. A deficiency of magnesium, which can cause achy joints, has also linked to the condition. There is also belief that people with fibromyalgia have high levels of toxins in the blood.” Debora Yost



Read the labels of everything you buy and notice how you feel when you eat certain foods. I learned that a high intake of protein lowers our calcium and magnesium in the body. I also discovered carbohydrates enhance them. By observing what we eat, brings our body into balance. Once the needs of our body are met, then its ‘whole’ can be addressed.

CFS and FM symptoms can also be minimized by mild exercise. Even when you just want to curl up in a ball, find a way to get up and keep moving. Don’t fall into self pity, believe me, it only makes it worse. Also, muscles that aren’t used, tend to lose their stretch and eventually shorten. Stretching exercises are great in putting elasticity back into our muscles.

Don’t get discouraged if you can’t do an exercise all the way. You will. Don’t strain or rush. I had to train myself to work slowly and smoothly without jerking or bouncing. Slowly you can build from a 10 or 15 minute workout to a half an hour. Take your time. Most of us with FM and CFS have a tendency to ‘over extend’ ourselves, I know I do. Now we’re learning to nurture ourselves and pace our movements.

Have you looked into practices such as tai chi, Qi chong, water aerobics, walking or yoga. Natural endorphins are released during exercise and help with pain relief. It also keeps our joints limber. Physical exercise also pushes fluid through our lymph system which helps to move waste through our bodies.

Posture is very important. I’ve become aware of slumping as well as jutting my head forward, especially at my desk at work. Being a dispatcher for a busy courier company, I don’t always have time to do a regular ‘body check’. The problem is, when the phone calls quieten down, this is when I really start to notice how I’m sitting and of course feeling my pain.

My greatest tension is in the neck area. This is where I’m learning to to be aware of and break old physical habits, like jamming the phone between my neck and shoulders and trying to do several tasks at once. I’ve also noticed when putting my mascara on in the morning, I have a tendency to tilt my neck back, which overstretches the muscles in the front and compresses the vertebrae in my neck.

The most vulnerable neck muscle is the trapezius http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trapezius_muscle it runs from the base of the skull down the back of the where where it fans out to the shoulders blades and spine. This is a nasty one for me!

Also look at the sternomastoid. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sternocleidomastoid_muscle ohh when tense, this is the muscle that can also affect the face, ears and jaw. It supports the neck to the side and front where the trapezius controls the front and back. Schrunching our heads and neck to the telephone strains and tenses both these muscles. Also mental stress, depression and anger can tense these muscles up without us even noticing.

Another major symptom these muscles can create when stiff/tense is the feeling of being off balance and feeling dizzy…..they have also been the cause of unexplained fainting.  The sternomastoid when affected can send pain deep into the ear and to the eye and the sinuses.  This muscle can make your teeth hurt and the root of your tongue hurt.  Sometimes it can cause a chronic cough or sore throat, I’ve met many people with FM who have had these symptoms and yet their doctor flatly refused to believe muscle tension was the cause.

The inner ear acts as a guidance system for focussing and tracking of the eyes.  The sternomastoid when extremely taut or overstretched can affect the inner ear as well as the eyes, causing blurred or double vision.

Where do you hold tension in the body? What muscles feel tense and taut? Make a note of the areas and then search wikipedia or other informative sites. Learn how the muscles in your body work.

“The muscles enable all the bodily systems to function, such as circulation, digestion, breathing and nerve impulses.  Their freedom of movment is essential for optimum health.  When the muscles are restricted, whether through tension, tightness, or lack of tone, your energy will be unable to flow smoothly, and you may suffer from related problems.  Stress release and emotional expression are therefore essential for muscle ease.  Exercise is also vital–it not only releases muscular tension but psycho/emotional tension as well.” Deb Shaprio YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND

Vitamin A and E as well as essential fatty acids and a good calcium/magnesium supplement could help your CFS and FM. Your body will guide you to what works and what doesn’t. What works for someone else, might not work for you. As mentioned earlier, CFS and FM is a multi symptom disorder; to treat it we need a multi faceted approach.

Barley greens are ten times richer in calcium than milk. I was astonished to learn that. To absorb magnesium in our bodies we need calcium, phosphorus, vitamins B6, C and D as well as a normal intake of protein. For my body size I require about 50 grams of protein a day.

I found this really great site http://www.immunesupport.com/understanding_cfids/ It also has chat rooms and newsletters on FM and CFS.

Reiki, acupuncture, ‘light’ massage, therapeutic touch, homeopathic medicines as well as reflexology all help to minimize the pain of CFS and FM. Shiatsu (pressure points) is also good in helping to move blocked and toxic energy.

I’ve found aromatherapy oils, chamomile, lavender and sage help to soothe the muscles. They’re great in the bath or add a drop to your favorite body lotion. Epson salt baths help to draw out pain from our aching muscles.

There are a lot of great sites on natural herbs and vitamins to use to relieve the symptoms or pain of CFS and FM. Part 3 of Chronic Fatique and Fibromyalgia addresses how healing is related to the mind. It explores our emotions as well as the body/mind connection. Exploring the complexities of the Self, starts setting us apart from everyone else.

CFS and FM seem to be an internal battle; to heal we need to STOP and listen to our internal struggles, our judgements and how our belief system thinks our life should be. We need to look at our habits and routines; as well as put aside what we think other people expect of us and tap into and identify with our true nature.

Do you think FM and CFS could also be related to our high-tech world? Is this a form of disconnection from the rhythms of Nature. Have we allowed our bodies to become immobilized, tense and frozen.?

Technology has allowed us to expand our minds, our self expression and group awareness. Its invisible webbing urging us towards greater connectedness. But…..

“We tend to think of the rational as a higher order,
but it is the emotional that marks our lives”
Merle Shane

Scientists link processed foods to autoimmune disorder http://www.trueactivist.com/scientists-officially-link-processed-foods-to-autoimmune-disease/

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