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Archive for the ‘metaphysical’ Category

This article is still under construction and should be finished soon…

“Knees are like shock absorbers, taking the strain between the weight of the body above and the ups and downs of the terrain below. Knees are major weight carriers, so if that weight becomes too heavy the knees may show the strain. This weight may not be physical; psycho/emotional weight can be just as heavy.

Water in the knee indicates a holding of emotional energy, particularly a resistance to surrender, or there may be too much emotion to cope with and the weight is being carried in the knees.

An inflamed knee indicates that something or someone is making you feel irritated or angry, and you will not give in.

A dislocated knee shows a resistance to giving way. The knee can no longer take the pressure so it collapses and you are unable to maintain your standing. To dislocate is to lose.

What ground have you lost and what do you need to do to regain it?

How can you reclaim your balance and dignity?”

YOUR BODY SPEAKS  YOUR MIND ~ by Deb Shapiro

Of the many different emails I receive from individuals daily, a good portion of these messages are desperate pleas to metaphysically understand chronic pain/stress of the knees, hips and upper/lower spine. Several of these individuals now face the prospect of rehabilitation, surgery or both, and have admitted they ignored their knee pain until it became almost crippling. Much of the musculoskeletal system resembles familiar things like hinges, balls and sockets, and even levers and pulleys.  But fixing them is more complicated than adding WD40 or exchanging/removing old parts.

From reading Deb Shapiro’s metaphysical understanding of knee pain, we’ve discovered just how complex joints are, with their ability to flex, move and interact with the world. To help propel us forward the knee (for example) is restricted in moving only in one direction, working like a hinge, with a slight rotation. Also, the knee doesn’t have a deep socket, like the hip to hold our bones in place, instead the ends of the thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia) slide around each other held in place by 12 muscles, tendons and 10 ligaments.

“Syndromes and injuries associated with the knee include bursitis, gout, tendinitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and avascular necrosis as well as sport-related ligament tears, bone avulsion, ligament, sprain, patellar dislocation, meniscal tears, ruptured tendons, fractures. IT band syndrome and patellofemoral syndrome. Many of these injuries and syndromes can be treated with physical therapy. Knee replacement should only be considered when the knee condition is significantly advanced or severely painful such that no other form of treatment provides relief and the degree of impairment affects the quality of life.” Pilates for Hip and Knee Syndromes and Arthroplasties ~ by Beth A. Kaplanek, Brett Levine, William L. Jaffe

Improper shoes are often the culprit in knee pain. A shoe must have sturdy sides to properly support and align the foot, ankle, knee and hip. I’ve known a number of people who resolved serious knee pain and knee dysfunction with a change in footwear or a visit an orthopedic shoe store.

“Many aches and pains in the lower legs, the back and even the shoulders can be traced to issues in the feet. The feet touch the ground, they are our foundation.  If our foundation is weak problems may arise in the rest of the body. If the foundation of a house is out of alignment, the walls will be crooked and might crack.  If the feet are misaligned or if the body is off center, it will be difficult to find a centered pose.” THE NEW RULES OF POSTURE ~ By Mary Bond

Metaphysically, joints carry unresolved pain and trauma from the past; they can be stuffed with angry (crystalized) emotions caused from childhood feelings of rejection and low self-worth.  Early experiences of love may not have been freely given but withheld as a form of punishment…the child felt abandoned/neglected, overly controlled and restricted. He or she may have reacted (and may still be reacting) to this treatment with feelings of anger and frustration and physically acting these feelings out.

“KNEES, like the neck, have to do with flexibility; only they express bending and pride, ego and stubbornness. Often when moving forward, we are fearful of bending and we become inflexible. This stiffens the joints. We want to move forward, but we do not want to change our ways. This is why knees take so long to heal; our ego is involved. The knees take a long time because we get our pride and our self-righteousness involved.

The next time you have a knee problem, ask yourself where you are being self-righteous, where you are refusing to bend. Drop the stubbornness and let go. Life is flow, life is movement; and to be comfortable, we must be flexible and move with it. A willow tree bends and sways and flows with the wind and is always graceful and at ease with life. YOU CAN HEAL  YOUR LIFE ~ by Louise L. Hay

Children who are restricted, exposed to physical violence or violent tempers, feel restless, insecure and become inflexible from the shock; they can overreact (temper-tantrums) strongly to changes/stressful events or they run away—splitting when things become too emotional or intense.

“By misconstruing the musculoskeletal system as exclusively involved with posture and locomotion, we have failed to appreciate its central respiratory, circulatory and metabolic roles. Thus, when a middle-aged man says, “I don’t walk much anymore because my knees hurt,” we regard the statement as meaning…he will have to cut down on his caloric intake to avoid gaining weight. What’s happening, though, is that his systems are beginning to shut down, which impedes and weakens his internal systems and organs. His complaints slowly escalate from “I can’t walk because of my knees,” to “I’ve lost my appetite,” My stomach hurts,” “I can’t sleep at night,” “I feel dizzy,” “I have high blood pressure,” and so on.  These are all effects of motion starvation.” PAIN FREE – A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain ~ by Pete Egoscue with Roger Gittines

The musculoskeletal system executes all our acts of will, expresses our conscious and unconscious habits, breathes air into the lungs, articulates our emotional expressions and implements all thoughts. The musculoskeletal system enables us to achieve external balance, to twist, bend, turn upside down, to be still or active and to accomplish all cleansing and breathing exercises. The nervous system and musculoskeletal form a neuro-musculoskeletal system that unifies all aspects of our actions and activities.

The musculoskeletal system does more than move the body, it also serves as a movable container and protects our internal organs.

“Bones and connective tissue form our skeletons, but we also have an energetic cytoskeleton that runs through our fascia, where the wiring of our secondary nervous system is. This energy field connect back to the heart and its strong electromagnetic field. And every energy meridian you have running along your fascia is connected to a major organ system. When you work with your muscles, fascia, and connective tissue to affect the energy flow along that meridian, you bring energy and health into the corresponding organ system. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), bone health is governed by the kidneys, where chi is stored. The kidneys keep your blood clean and your bone marrow healthy and flowing. When your fascial tissue is well hydrated and you do stretches related to the kidney meridian, it helps keep your bones healthy. “ Christiane Northrup

KIDNEY/BLADDER MERIDIANS

The kidney meridian and the kidneys themselves, represents the water element.  Emotionally the water element relates to self confidence, courage and vitality. The kidneys are also the ‘creator of power’ of your skills and abilities and the repository of knowledge.  This is the yin aspect of wisdom, while the bladder, yang, represents the utilization of resources that are stored in the kidneys to help support your progress through life. A water imbalance can make you feel tired, lack self-confidence, feel fearful, lack energy and vitality. Also, the movement of water is felt inward and experienced low down in the body, affecting the low back, pelvis and legs.

The kidneys are associated with life, depth, flow, power and purification. Water is essentially known as the source of life; it governs the deeper structures, e.g., tissues and bones (including marrow) and the spinal cord. Water has the ability to reach back to our deepest past, its movement and flow allows water to cleanse and flush away and prevent stagnation. When our kidneys are out of balance, the Will takes over and doesn’t know when to stop. So we tend to work and work, and push and push until we’re exhausted and even then we will drive ourselves harder, using up all the reserves of the body.

The kidneys have a direct influence on urination and they also control all fluids in the body.  They also rule the bones, have a direct influence on our growth and development as well as our sexual organs, our fertility, our aging (longevity, premature aging) and with the central nervous system. have a connection with our growth and development; our aging.

The kidney meridian point(s)  K27, are located where the two collarbones meet near the neck area.  K27 is the last point of the kidney meridian, and tapping it allows you to breathe more deeply; it relieves anxiety, exhaustion, a scattered-mind (reverses the flow of energy) and supports the immune system.

Flushing Kidney, Liver and Spleen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJhzKe1trp8

The bladder meridian is known to rule the nervous system. It is connected to all the organs and brings energy to fuel the brain. It is the longest meridian of the body, going from the top of the head, down the back and legs and off the toes.

A bladder imbalance is usually because of overwork or stress – and – this intense feeling of having to meet deadlines are the same tension and urgency to the need to empty the bladder. So getting up during the night is a sense of relief when we can finally let go and allow our whole body to relax … this is exactly the kind of release we have difficulty with when we have a bladder imbalance. If it’s constantly out of balance then fatigue becomes chronic. Also fear is an emotion of the water element which manifest more as tension, anxiety and restlessness.

On a psychological level, the bladder meridian is where we conceal (hide) from ourselves and others, old wounds, fears, jealousy and guilt.   In fact any unwanted baggage that’ we can’t let go of is pushed to our back, affecting our energy levels and exhausting us.

Problems with the bladder meridian can cause headaches, sinus pain, back pain, knee pain, neck pain … unable to complete things, due to lack of energy, being inflexible and fearful.

Bladder meridian https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9MALPOoi40

THE LIVER/GALL BLADDER MERIDIAN

The Solar Plexus is a major contributor to our energy, it houses a lot of organs, in particular the stomach, liver, pancreas, and gall bladder. Interestingly, the stomach, liver and gallbladder meridians all flow around and by the knee (the quadricep muscles) which are the largest, heaviest and most powerful muscles in the body.

When the stomach, liver or gallbladder aren’t working as they should, they can cause painful knots in the quads and thigh muscles. These will then pull on the knee. It can also affect a muscle called the sartorius which is the longest muscle in the body. The sartorius doesn’t send pain to the knees but it can make the inner knees so hypersensitive to ‘pressure’ that it’s uncomfortable to lie on your side with your knees together.  Tight sartorius muscles can also compress the nerves in the thigh area, also affecting the knees. When the meridians are blocked or not flowing as they should, especially from the solar plexus area, there’s a lot of unexpressed emotions here…hurt pride, anger, fear, loss and rejection and all these start to accumulate and cause intense irritation and frustration.

There are pressure points which you’ll find below, for both the quads and sartorius and other muscles in the thigh and tibia area.

The meridian of the gall-bladder begins at the eyes and since both the gall bladder and liver rules the tendons and elasticity of the muscles .. it enables us to make the connection between our perception and our physical response in order to make decisons and carry them out.  Poor vision and poor muscular coordination may make us clumsy and accident prone. Weak tendons and poorly circulated joints make make us inactive physically and susceptible to injury and arthritis as well.

The liver makes long-term plans, where the gall-bladder makes moment-to-moment decisions.  The decision-making of the gall-bladder needs to involve the ability to take risks as well as the determination to stand by the decisions we’ve made. When the gall bladder is deficient, there is timidity, hesitation and a reluctance to take risks.

The gall bladder can even go off balance when we’re under great stress and anxious about something .. say a job interview or driving test. When this happens and the gall bladder overreacts, our bowels become spastic, we feel weak in the knees with little confidence in ourselves. Weak tendons and poorly circulated joints make make us inactive physically and susceptible to injury and arthritis as well.

The liver deals with family troubles and our ability to think, make decisions and plans without having to explain to others. When we depend on others to make decisions for us, this weakens our self-esteem and our liver/gall bladder.  Many times there are hidden emotional feelings that we’ve conveniently tucked away and believed they were gone.  But they are still there and they’re still affecting you.

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

Acupressure points for knees and meridians

http://www.herbalshop.com/Acupressure/Acupressure_43.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srbiCyv90k8

Quadricep muscle acupressure points http://www.ask.com/youtube?qsrc=1&o=6635&l=sem&q=acupressure+points+quadriceps

Sartorius points..this video is short but shows you the points. This area can make the knee hypersensitive…massaging on this points in a circular fashion will ease up the energy and the meridians too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlHFFqyBOI0

LOW SELF-ESTEEM

At the heart of self-esteem lies core beliefs about yourself, reflections of your identity as well as truths/expressions about yourself. Conclusions you have about yourself are based on your experiences in life and messages you received from others (parents, siblings, relationships) about the kind of person you are.

To the degree we doubt our worthiness, we limit or sabotage our efforts, and undermine our relationships, finances and/or health. If you suffer from low self-esteem, speaking out is difficult and you may have such a strong fear of failure that you likely avoid many challenges and opportunities coming your way.

It’s possible you didn’t have the security and bonding of a normal parent-child relationship. Were you raised by authoritative parents who stressed overachievement and set unrealistic goals?  A child raised by parents like these may feel anxious when he or she fails at some task and will be tempted to put off such tasks in the future.  This may have resulted in feelings of low self-worth, where you constantly drag yourself down by pointing out your flaws, failures and shrugging off compliments by others.

Those with low self-esteem often come across a cold (stuck-up) or distant to others, when in fact, they’re sad. Sad about their self-imposed isolation, sad about their personal goals and desires which lay unfulfilled, and sad about their loss of passion which looks forever lost.

If there is no downward push through the legs and no upward transfer of force into the torso, the spinal muscles and upper body will have to overwork to compensate for the lack of power communicated from the base.

The brain must be externally stimulated if it is to move skeletal muscle.  Lack of stimulus means our bodies have lost the ability to cope with the physical demands of our life.  When we get sluggish and stiff we start to hurt…our knees and feet turn outward, our shoulders become rounded, and/or our hips become misaligned.

“If a person lost would conclude that after all he is not lost, he is not beside himself, but standing in his own shoes, on the very spot where he is, and that for the time being he will live there’ but the places that have known him, they are lost …… how much anxiety and danger would vanish”. Henry David Thoreau

You cannot change who you are.  Developing a strong self-esteem is not a matter of making yourself into something you’re not.  It’s a matter of allowing and accepting yourself as you are, right here and now! The only risk in all this is to get to know yourself more fully and in new and different ways.  When we get to know our ‘true-selves’ we discover there never was anything wrong with us and that ‘we have everything we need, inside us’ to live a creative and fulfilling life.

CASE STUDY ONE

One woman I treated for knee tendonitis/rheumatoid arthritis, moved 7 times in 3 years. Anne (not her real name) a freelance reporter,  put way too many miles on her hips and knees, ignoring the danger signs and ‘playing down the pain’.  When at a movie, she had to know where the EXIT door was at all times. Having to continually make ‘abrupt fresh starts, she wasn’t able to build long-lasting attachments to people, places or experiences—instead she was constantly having to try and make new friends all over again.

All this took a toll on Anne’s physical body (hypertension, panic attacks, digestive problems, headaches) and especially her knees which were crumbling under the pressure.  Anne’s body was warning her, she needed a healing regime to help her slow down and come to terms with and transcend her childhood wounds. She also needed to learn to slowdown, relax and learn to rely more on her intuition.

“It really hurts when I look at my situation” … “I’ve wasted so much time and been so hard on myself” .. “I so want to feel secure and settle down, especially now as I’m approaching 40s…..”  In Anne’s case, the slightest threat or fear of ‘imprisonment’ caused her to look for the fastest escape route.

When we aren’t able to express our feelings or fears, we don’t feel safe or secure.  When we don’t feel safe, we either withdraw or get angry.  This is where I think Anne’s anger came from. Either way, our anxieties grow and our self-expression shrinks because we can only say and behave what is allowed to be seen.

Every person has a unique story and often these stories are heartbreaking. Anne came to clinic where I was working because she knew her body and her life were totally out of her control. She felt overwhelmed by fears and worries, overwhelmed by anger and guilt—deeply lacking in self-confidence and self-esteem—beaten down by physical and psychological abuse.

“Your body is providing a painful reminder that you are not as flexible as you believe. Remember that your body will warn you of things you are not conscious of. You don’t have to fear losing control by bending to the will of others or accepting knew ideas. Allow yourself the flexibility to see things from another perspective. You have misinterpreted bending to mean “on your knees in submission.” You may have some latent fear of being too flexible related to one of your parents. Address this and realize that you are distinctly different from either of them and, although the apple may not fall far from the tree, your life is your own. It doesn’t hurt, however, to be a little flexible and accept some help once in awhile from those who care. … Allow yourself the flexibility to see things from another perspective .. you have misinterpreted bending to mean “on your knees in submission’….. Misalignment of the knees indicates difficulty standing up straight and in moving in a straightforward direction toward goals or future endeavors.  Your Body is Telling You: Love Yourself! ~ Lise Bourbeau

CASE STUDY TWO

Another client, Tony (not his real name) with serious knee problems (one knee replacement), said .. “I’ve found throughout my life, when trying to assert myself, I was either punished for it or failed miserably with it.

When we experience limitations and restrictions in our lives, these are often created by unresolved emotional patterns and attachments to the past.  Serious knee damage can be caused by intense emotions and brisk impulses that are not spontaneous but have a stiff forced quality to them….most likely caused from doing the opposite of what an individual wants to do. Tony was brought up with ‘everything in life doesn’t come easily’, and that strict control over every area of his life was the only way to succeed in life. Order in his life is serious business. When his knees ‘buckle under pressure’ because something didn’t go as planned, he cruelly snaps at other people while harshly criticizing himself for being lazy and irresponsible.

Tony’s wounds have to do with issues of self-esteem and self-worth, and his use of power in the world. No doubt he has had his personal power stymied, or highjacked, or squashed by others – usually people of significance in your life, such as parents, teachers, older siblings, etc. There’s an actual split between his tightly controlled rational mind and his repressed drives and feelings. He’s caught in a conflict between what he’d love to do and what he ought to and must do….Tony constantly finds himself being forced into a mould created by his parents when he was just a child. Because of this, he doesn’t trust his own judgements and has trouble trusting others and following through with his plans. Physically this creates problems with his feet, ankles, legs and knees.  He also suffers from restless leg syndrome.

CASE STUDY THREE

Carley, was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in her knees and joints when just ten years old—now she’s in her mid thirties. At the age of seven, her parents were called to work in a different country, leaving Carley with her elderly grandmother.  It was just after her parents left that Carly started experiencing severe pain in her lower extremities and spent a good part of her young life in hospital. to be continued…

This article is still under construction  …

Chinese foot reflexology – knees http://www.chinesefootreflexology.com/knees/

Emotional issues linked to knee pain https://www.healing-affirmations.com/20-emotional-issues-directly-linked-to-knee-pain/

Kidney Meridian http://www.natural-health-zone.com/kidney-meridian.html

Liver and Gall bladder Meridians http://www.5elements.com/docs/elements/wood.html

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root chakra sciatica nerve

The sciatic nerves are the body’s two largest nerves in the human body, extending from the lower region of the spine (lumbar area), crossing the buttocks, thighs, down each leg to the soles of the feet and big toes.  Sciatic pain can be caused by osteoarthritis, a herniated/ruptured disk, pinched nerve or slipped disk.  When its nerve fibers become inflamed, pinched or irritated, the pain is brutal!  Striking/stabbing/burning pain can felt anywhere along the path of the nerve causing great distress. Most sciatic pain occurs down one side of the body, but it has also been known to affect both legs.

“The metaphor of sciatica is being frozen with fear around manifestation. Struggles with time and money and a fear around survival are significant contributors. A person is usually overburden and feels like they’re carrying the weight of the world on their back and have nobody to help carry the load or to support them. There is deep-seated resentment, survival anxiety, loss of direction, and avoidance to do what they know they need to do. A person is hypercritical, overburdened, overwhelmed, overextended, and overly independent. They don’t ask for help or want help, but get disgusted when no one helps them. Another metaphor for sciatica is a dog chasing its tail, visualize it going in circles and not sure which way to go.

Associated emotions: Resentment, frustration, anger, disappointment, and loneliness” Healing Happens with Your Help:  ~ Carol Ritberger

Another cause of sciatica is ‘piriformis syndrome’.  The sciatic nerve passes through the piriformis muscle (in the buttocks), which can spasm and entrap the nerve.  Physically it is commonly caused by overuse and oversitting and is seen in people with low-movement jobs like office workers and truck drivers.

Piriformis syndrome

“The piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the buttocks and referring pain along the course of the sciatic nerve. This referred pain, called “sciatica”, often goes down the back of the thigh and/or into the lower back. Patients generally complain of pain deep in the buttocks, which is made worse by sitting, climbing stairs, or performing squats. The piriformis muscle assists in abducting and laterally rotating the thigh. In other words, while balancing on the left foot, move the right leg directly sideways away from the body and rotate the right leg so that the toes point towards the ceiling. This is the action of the right piriformis muscle.”   http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/piri.html

“Nerves have to do with communication and sensitivity. Sciatica implies that there are emotional issues affecting the back and legs, and that these are deep, inner issues. These may be issues to do with being able to stand up for yourself. Perhaps something is happening that you cannot take anymore, and it is making you want to go in a different direction. Or perhaps you desperately need more support and cannot cope with everything on your own any longer.

Sciatica may indicate doubt or fear about where you are going and your ability to cope with what lies ahead.

Are you concerned about where you are going and what is going to happen?

What inner emotional pain are you sitting on or holding back? Is someone or something restricting your freedom to move?

Are there financial or emotional issues putting pressure on you or weighing you down.” YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro

If you grew up in an emotionally tense environment, areas of the body that keep your feet firmly planted on the earth will be affected.  These can show up as problems with the lower back (lumbar, sacral), pelvis, rectum, hips, legs and feet.

The hips and buttocks are the foundation of our physical being: the movement of the hip joint is crucial to our survival – whether in running away from danger, kicking an attacker, or moving in the sexual/reproductive act. Sciatic sufferers can display a lot of rage and anger when they are overly sensitized from being judged critically, verbally abused or punished. In fact they may often punish themselves because they’re afraid of trusting their own judgement.

When the hips are out of alignment so too are the liver and gallbladder meridians .. these two meridians help us to move forward to begin motioning towards something.  Unbalanced, they can metaphysically be caused by feeling angry/hurt inside, feeling used, unappreciated, let down, alienated. Who or what are you carrying on your hips? What are you taking responsibility for? Who is it you are supporting when you should be supporting yourself? Are you feeling insecure about something? Do you feel controlled by someone?

(Other people’s thought forms, projections and hooks can be attached to highly charged areas in your energy field and influence your actions and perceptions. Highly charged areas in your field are where you’ve not integrated emotional issues, like, poor self-esteem, pain, fear, anger and so forth….. any part of you that works against your higher path and purpose can become a receptor site for lower energy.)

The liver and gallbladder meridians run down the sides of the body and reflecting our ability to choose which way to turn. An unbalanced gall bladder is associated with being either indecisive, or over-decisive, perhaps impatience, or possibly too much thought interfering in one’s decision making. When under stress, the gallbladder causes a disorderly flow of ideas, your head may spin with dizzying ideas; or talking nonstop about all the ideas and possibilities.

Gallbladder and Liver Meridians

“In fact anything that makes us anxious (all unconscious) will tend to make us angry as well. You’re trying to do a good job; you hope it turns out well (anxious) but you’re also resentful of the problems with which you must contend, like other people and their needs.

“…..an important source of anger and resentment, of which we are usually unaware, stems from our sense of responsibility to those who are close to us, like parents, spouses and children. Though we love them, they may burden us in many ways and the resultant anger is internalized.” Healing Back Pain – The Mind-Body Connection  ~ John Sarno

John Sarno in his book “Healing Back Pain” shows many examples of unconscious anger. One in particular talks of a young father with a first born that’s a non-sleeper.  “He not only loses sleep, but his wife is pretty much tied up with baby around the clock. He has to pitch induring his free time, their social life is much curtailed and what was a long honeymoon efore baby came is now a grind. He develops back pain because he’s mad at the baby (ridiculous), and angry at his wife because she can no longer minister his emotional and physical needs as she had before (absurd). And to make matters worse he has become a part time nursemaid and cook.  But he doesn’t know about any of these feelings—they are deeply buried in his unconscious and to make sure they stay their het get back pain—TMS”.

In Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) the body is seen as circuits of energy. The mind and emotions are closely related to health and dis-ease. When we look at the seven emotions – joy, anger, melancholy, brooding, sorrow fear and shock – an excess of joy can damage the heart, anger can damage the liver, melancholy the kidneys, brooding and sorrow the spleen and fear and shock to the kidney.

CHILDHOOD TRAUMA

What we don’t often recognize when our problems stress us out is that, we are locked in old patterns—old beliefs, old ways of thinking and doing things, old wounds, old memories—that unconsciously undermine our conscious desire to be free of suffering.  We are at the mercy of our past history. These deeply imprinted patterns and beliefs slow down our every move.  We feel off balance, reacting out of habit and fear, and rarely in control.

Fears create a lack of confidence and when we lack confidence we are affected by other people’s moods .. kind of like a leaf flying helplessly in a storm. When we have a low self-worth it prevents us from using our imagination and to find a creative outlet.  Fear also causes us to hold back and repress our emotions which can cause problems in relationships.

Past wounds that don’t heal, deplete and waste our energy. We just keep going around in circles with no escape in sight. Always with the same message, always eliciting the same reaction, every waiting to spring out at us. These reactions are an intrinsic part of  your survival mechanism…your physical emergency response. If you were severely traumatized in the past, you may overreact or underreact to situations and relationships for much of your life.

It’s possible your mother may have been deeply troubled, psychologically or perhaps physically unavailable; whatever your situation, her negative responses to your needs and feelings, led you to believe that you had no right to have feelings. The hurt or trauma you experienced then may have resulted in a deep-seated decision never to make yourself vulnerable again. “I’d rather die than need you.”

Often sciatica signifies an inability to bond with the mother, though a deep inner bond with her exists. This bond exists because you need to hold on to her physically, mainly due to not being nurtured and loved by her.  If your mother didn’t respond to your nonverbal (and verbal) signals, you learned to distrust closeness to other people and failed to develop a healthy degree of trust. Trust is about moving beyond your comfort zone.  With sciatica we are afraid of diving into our feelings and needs because we associate them with attachment to home and family.

EMOTIONAL PAIN

Most sciatic sufferers don’t know how to show their true feelings to others. They may have tried as children and found their words hushed or misunderstood. No matter how loving or caring their parents were, they couldn’t have possibly met all their needs. Sometimes our parents didn’t understand what we needed because our own needs were so different from what they needed when they were children.  Sometimes our parents are unable to give us what we need because they didn’t get their own needs met.

When we aren’t able to express our true feelings or fears, we don’t feel safe or secure.  When we don’t feel safe, we either withdraw or get angry.  Either way, our anxieties grow and our self-expression shrinks because we can only access behaviors that are allowed to be seen. We’re unable to be who we are, so we become a characterization of what we think we should be.  If you had to compensate your feelings/emotions to meet the expectations of your parents, teachers or friends, etc… your feelings/emotions might have become sealed in your sacral/hip area for a long time.

Many sciatic sufferers see themselves as chameleons, adapting to the likes and dislikes of the people around them. Most of them fear that their needs and feelings will upset or anger other people. Being uncomfortable with their own feelings, they are also unable to tolerate anybody else’s feelings. As you become familiar with your own needs and feelings, you will learn how to be comfortable with other people’s feelings as well.

As long as you are focused on outer solutions—you won’t be able to address the inner pain that drives you away from yourself in the first place. The process of recovery leads you inward to learn who you really are and what you really need.

If you do not care for yourself or listen to and trust your own feelings, you can easily become dependent on others. If you do not trust the messages of your body due to a past traumatic experience, your body becomes numb and shuts off. A wounded heart has a limited capacity to trust and be open to infinite possibilities. Emotional numbness can create codependent relationships; dependency occurs when we lack self esteem or harbor a poor body image.

Sciatic pain can either make you reclusive, shy and retreating in nature OR it can cause you to become aggressive, overbearing and deceitful. When you get angry and really ticked off, you attract people who want to talk about the same problems you’re going through. This is where you have to pay attention to the conversations you’re having every week with others.  How do they embrace your own issues?  Were you able to see solutions to your/their problem. These are also your issues and we all have to embrace our stuff.

“Sciatica may be experienced if you are insecure about your future or have an unconscious fear of lack of material abundance. I emphasize unconscious because, in my observation, sciatica is especially common in those who are materially and financially comfortable, but would have a difficult time if that were lost. ….Sciatica. therefore, is located in the body at the level of having.  You are probably not consciously aware of your fear of lack because you don’t think of yourself as attached to materials things……attachment makes you feel guilty because you believe it is not spiritual…..guilt however, impedes your progress and prevent you from taking a leap…..

If you are experiencing sciatica, your body is giving you a signal your way of thinking is a pain and is causing you distress; it’s really getting on your nerves. Pain always indicates guilt; therefore what are you punishing yourself for? What do you feel guilty about?”  YOUR BODY IS TELLING YOU: LOVE YOURSELF! ~ By Lise Bourbeau.

Louise Hay in her book “Heal Your Body, describes sciatica  as “being hypocritical”, not being straight with yourself. She continues to say, “A sciatic issue also relates to ‘fear of money’ and the future”.

“If you suffer from lower-back or hip pain, it’s time to look at your relationship both with yourself and with the people around you. Honestly assess your life and make some changes. Do you get support from your family that you’re not getting elsewhere? Notice where you are getting support and openly acknowledge it and have gratitude for it. Do you tend to always blame others when things go wrong? Try to see the whole picture and see whether you are doing something that might be contributing to the problem. Do you feel out of control when it comes to finances? Look closely at any financial downfall and try to pinpoint where things shifted from good to bad.” All is Well, Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations and Intuition ~ Louise Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz

THE ROOT CHAKRA

“The Sanskrit name for this chakra is Muladhara, which means “root support.” The sciatic nerve, traveling from the sacral plexus down through the legs, is the largest peripheral nerve in the body (about as thick as your thumb) and functions much like a root for the nervous system. (See Figure 2.1, page 61) The feet and legs, which provide locomotion, enable us to perform tasks necessary to obtain life sustenance from the earth and its environment. Our legs touch the ground below us and connect our nervous system with the earth, our first chakra development. We respond then, kinesthetically to gravity—the basic underlying force of the earth—constantly pulling us downward. This force keeps us connected to our planet, rooted in material existence.” Wheels of Life ~ by Anodea Judith

The root chakra’s is linked with the earth’s energy.  Its main function is to build the basic foundation of our identities; it’s here, we build a place called home—it’s a sense of belonging—a vital system that cannot be constructed without an identity.  The root chakra is largely driven through our instincts and premonitions which  help to build our personal and physical identities which are built from our conditions, upbringings and education.

Early in the healing process, many people have no idea who they really are and what their truth is. Not only have they used addictions and other distractions to hide their true feelings; they have also spent much of their time focusing on other people’s feelings and needs.  Of course, there’s nothing wrong with caring or being concerned about other people.  However, if it is at your own expense, it’s not only unhealthy for you, it’s unhealthy for the person for whom you are sacrificing yourself.

You are not responsible for everyone you care about.  If your life is overwhelmed by responsibility, then it’s time to stop doing everything and let someone else share the load.  Some have said that it’s almost like the bottom has to drop out of your world before you can grasp the significance of this stuff. Listen to your sciatic nerve, what is it trying to tell you? If old wounds surface, it means that the situation you are in now is draining your energy, and will continue to drain your energy until you acknowledge the emotional triggers.  That’s really what your sciatic pain wants, to be acknowledged.

THE SACRAL CHAKRA

The sacral or 2nd chakra is connected to the sense of taste, the element of water and the lymphatic glands.  It’s affected by our emotional mood swings and what we love in the sense of our “tastes for life” (fashions, money, relationships, creativity, sexuality).

The 2nd chakra interacts well with the 1st.  The 1st chakra connects us with the element of earth, while the 2nd connects us to the element of water.  Earth offers stability, water brings a sense of movement.  Water is also linked to the moon, it connects with time, and tide, fertility, menstruation and ovulation in women and the production of semen in men.

Sexuality (sacral chakra) holds our greatest pain and denial.  Every shred of unfinished business and all our emotional issues will keep reappearing until we get in touch with how our body is feeling.  When we open the floodgate of our emotions they will turn our lives upside down.  Anything not in harmony with our Self will come up to be processed and healed.  All your fixed thoughts and ideas will come loose and you will feel as if you are shifting through time.  It will feel as if you are being crushed as your past and future collide. However, this will also free-up an enormous amount of energy opening you to your creative juices and your joy.

Visualize a water fall over a rocky terrain, imagine looking closer and see how the water has slowly created (carved)  the bed-rock of the earth into an expression of beauty; it looks alive, full of the “life-force” created from the power of fluid and motion.  Without water the earth would “dry up” become sluggish, infertile, and lifeless; our bodies need water to stay healthy, young and productive.

Therefore water needs the earth to hold and “restrain” its emotional desire to “shape and control the world around it”. This means that the 2nd chakra relates to issues of power in the outer world and your need to control, people, events, and the way things happen.

In relationships, we look for someone who will validate, protect and connect with us on an intimate level.  But if we suffer from low self-worth and unable to stand up for our rights, we’ll keep finding relationships that constantly reopen our wounds or traumas.

CASE STUDY

Physically, sciatica means pain from a compressed or pinched sciatic nerve which can be felt in the back of the thigh, down the back of the leg, on the outside of the calf, on the side of the foot and in the heel.

Wayne contacted me, via email, because he had been suffering on and off from sciatic pain in his left leg (deep buttock/hip socket) area and lumbar for about 5 years.  Each time the sciatica returned, he tried different forms of physical therapy, chiropractor, therapeutic massage, daily stretching as well as anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen and naproxen sodium) all to no avail.

Two weeks ago, he again developed sciatica in his left leg that was so intense he couldn’t bend over to put on his socks or shoes and he couldn’t walk because of the pain. An MRI revealed he had bone spurs, two intervertebral disks that had herniated and the doctor scheduled him for surgery in May. Wayne didn’t want surgery.  He had recently read my blog on the metaphysics of lower back pain and decided to contact me.

Wayne gave me a quick run-down of his history and after sending emails back and forth, we scheduled a time that both of us could connect energetically at a distance.  Healing this way, allows a client to actively participate in the healing, either by relaxing, or meditating.  The vibration of a client’s name, birth-date and country they live in, creates a spiritual link and as they relax, I scan, listen and make notes of the symbols and messages the client’s body/mind shares with me….. distant Reiki is then gently sent to areas (chakra/endocrine glands/organs) where the body needs it most.

THE HEALING

The hypothalamus in our brains sees everything as world war III so when a memory (young or old) is remembered, our bodies respond to the chemicals  .. so the body is the one that suffers the pain of being fired, of losing a promotion or being rejected/abandoned by a parent.  The body doesn’t have a clue if the event is currently happening or happened fifteen years ago. Just thinking about previous emotional hurts can cause the body to respond as if those hurts are occurring in that every moment.

Remembering emotional hurts causing the muscles to tighten and clamp down upon the adrenals, causing a huge output of adrenaline/cortisone as well as the sexual hormones.  With too much adrenaline, the feeling one gets is of ‘being wired’, electrified—adrenaline interferes with the brains neurotransmitters, leaving you feeling scattered, irritable, confused—physically, the body’s getting ready to fight/flight or freeze.

This is what was happening to Wayne. Fear, anxiety and mistrust was having such an adverse effect on his insides, that his aura and body was instinctively pulling in to protect itself, causing his lower back muscles to contract and clamp down on his sciatic nerve, causing reduced mobility and depriving his cells of oxygen and life-force energies.  When this happens toxic thoughts and emotions become trapped inside the body, creating a form of  ‘muscular armor’ in an attempt to feel safer and less vulnerable, but it takes its toll on the adrenals and the body’s natural fluidness.  When this happens the fascia tightens and becomes brittle.

Wanting to know why Wayne suffered sciatic pain to his left hip and leg, I posed this question to his mind/body/soul. The left side of the body is linked with the feminine aspect, which is about receiving, being and the inner self. When the left side is unbalanced or blocked it creates a feeling of unrest or a disconnection from the truth about ourselves.  Wayne had literally cut himself off  from his life-force and the left side of his body was telling him to stop denying this feelings.

When we disconnect from the truth of ourselves, we are cutting ourselves off from our very life force, and we are in fact weaker, less … But in the beginning, it is simply the inner self saying, “No more denying these feelings!

Wayne’s mind/body spoke of feeling dissatisfied and confused about the self.  Filled with self-doubt he always feels he has to be more.With the right side having to compensate for the left, there is delusions about oneself and one’s motives. This can cause a person to cling to a fantasy about their own identity.  After the healing I asked Wayne if his father was estranged from him in some way. He told me his father was seldom at home due to his work in the mines, so essentially Wayne felt abandoned by his dad. The lack of a father, or authority figure, creates poor boundaries in a child and lack of what is normal in the reality of his life. The lack of life-rules can be very disorienting for a child, who will take great pains to hide the real self.

Hurting deep inside becomes a stumbling block, you can’t move forward and you can’t move backward.  You hang on to what is ‘familiar’ refusing to let go of a stagnating job, a person or situation that no longer fulfills you.  But you stay because it offers you some sort of security from the constantly changing world. Childhood traumatic events, which are so common, at any young age—jeopardize trust and faith—causing the exuberant wonder of a child’s spirit to falter.

When Wayne and I first made contact and I asked him to write about his life.  He had written a wonderful story, painting a picture that his life was great……except he forgot to mention his father was absent for most of his childhood, that his parents divorced when he was seven and he suffered the loss of his brother five years ago from an accidental drowning. Wayne realized his life was incomplete and that he was seeing only one side of his life; this was why his sciatica kept coming back. He was determined to explore the reality of his life and get to know his inner self.

To heal, we have to make a choice to willingly explore the pain, to put forth the effort to grow or we’ll stay a victim of the pain. But once, we begin to understand it, we can start to grow from it and begin making new choices for ourselves…better choices…choices that allow us to heal.  As we push through the pain and really examine it, we can ask ourselves, “Why is my sciatica resurfacing again and again”? “What thoughts are keeping my sciatica alive? Why did I choose to experience this”?  Relax your body/mind and allow your soul/spirit a chance to speak. ♥

LINKS

Sciatica Nerve Pain & Supplements

6 Natural Ways to Relieve Sciatica

Herbal Supplement for Sciatica

Sciatic Nerve Pain

Mona Lisa Schulz – Common Cause of Lower Back Pain

Lower Body Meridians

Acupressure Points to Relieve Hip Back Pain

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migraine-ohh

THE CAUSE OF MIGRAINES/HEADACHES

The main cause of headaches are fatigue, emotional disorders, insomnia and allergies. Most headache pains come from the lining of the brain, cranial nerves, or the nerves of the upper neck. 90 percent of headaches are tension headaches which come from muscle tension and contraction.  Tension headaches could also be caused by improper ventilation, anxiety, depression, overwork, or worry. This type of headache is usually felt in the large muscles of the neck and at the base of the shoulders and is brought on my muscle spasms in the neck and head.

Tension headaches metaphorically mirror the opposing tensions  in our own life, a time when we become more out of touch with our intuition and the ability to reason clearly. Our inner order is quickly spinning out of order, creating a high level of nervousness and confusion..which often leads to impulsive reactions. We start going in circles, unable to make up our minds if we should go with the desire of others or assert our own individuality – this confusion causes us to start arguing at everyone.

“sometimes I am strictly in mind/knowledge/intelligence and not in my heart/intuition. Or I will seek the intelligence of others instead of going within myself. Could that be the cause of my migraines?” (Maria S., former client) Yes, yes, and yes! 

Migraines and cluster headaches are known as vascular headaches, caused by the dilation of the blood vessels.  Migraines are usually accompanied by nausea; sometimes the vision is affected (fuzzy colored lights, numbness in the body, hyper-sensitivity on the skin as well as unpleasant odors. Migraine headaches usually represent some form of anger; triggers for these attacks include PMS (premenstrual syndrome) drugs, fatigue, stress, birth control pills and fasting.

Classical migraines or sometimes called, ‘the aura’ of the migraine can cause rapid changes in mood. Sometimes memory or speech may be affected and even hallucinations can result. “If I suffered an attack at night, I knew it to be the worst possible luck, as it would continue its rampage well into the morning and the rest of the day.”

Diet (certain foods) trigger headaches, especially those suffering with migraines. Foods that can trigger these attacks include: white rice, white sugar, pastries, ice-cream, cheese, chocolate, alcohol, (MSG) monosodium glutamate), caffeine, food additives and dyes, processed meats and nuts.

Cluster headaches, which often occur in males, produce severe, short pain attacks over one eye. These attacks can occur many times a day over a period of several months. These headaches usually involve an allergy symptom; for example, nasal congestion or a watery, teary eye. Refusing to see the truth or not wanting to see what’s ahead can cause migraines affecting the eyes.  This is also directly linked with not listening to the inner voice within, and fearing one’s intuition (6th chakra, 3rd eye).

People with HYPOGLYCEMIA are also prone to migraines, due to low blood sugar in their bodies.  If you eat a lot of carbohydrates or sugar, after eating, your pancreas will release too much insulin into your bloodstream; this signals the liver to turn it into fat, leaving  you with little blood sugar to supply the brain and other organs for the energy they need. The more blood sugar levels ‘bottom out’ the more this triggers headaches, weakness, shakiness, irritability and loss of motivation.

CONSTIPATION can cause headaches, especially from the overabundance of refined foods in our diets and less fiber foods. Other symptoms that can accompany constipation are, nausea and lightheadedness.

People who suffer from depression have also suffered from constipation and the meds used for depression usually worsen constipation.   And, because constipation seems to occur in people with a compulsive migraines, emotions and depression are important to look at. It is also known that when stool sits in our intestines for a long time, this becomes a toxic cocktail for the body, because the toxins in the stool are absorbed into the blood which then circulates throughout your system.

We are learning more and more that the body talks to us through physical sensations, perceptions, moods, gut feelings and intuition. These emotions are the body’s way of decoding and processing ‘energy information’.

This is why I usually ask the following questions when first conversing with a client suffering from migraines:

How long do your headaches usually last?
Are they worse before, during or after the menstrual period?
Are you constipated?
Do you have problems with indigestion?
Do you have neck or back problems or experience feelings of dizziness or blackouts?
Do you suffer from cold hands or feet.

We’ll go into this in more detail later…..

METAPHYSICAL CAUSE

“Migraine Headaches:  Migraines are usually caused by a lack of oxygen reaching the brain.  This can be seen as the life-giving energy being withdrawn from our control centre, so we do not have to deal with the commands, but can ignore our reality and the demands made on us.  This is often caused by a frustration of unfulfilled plans, an overload of information and an inability to integrate it, leading to repressed rage.  There is also a sense of something that has to be achieved or done, that is being asked of us, and the fear or resistance connected with begin able to fulfill that demand.  A goal has to be reached, and the thought if it creates pain. What needs to be looked at here is why there is a desire to avoid demands in the first place. Is it due to a very introverted personality?  Or is it because there is a deep feeling of incompetence, a feel that has been reinforced by not being loved unconditionally?  Is it because demands are being made that we feel unable to live up to?  A migraine is also a way of take time out, and of getting extra love and attention.  This is especially so with children who may be lacking in love, or who are having the attention they need replaced with sweet foods (sugar can be a physical trigger factor for a migraine).” The BodyMind Workbook ~ Deb Shapiro

Many people I’ve worked with who suffer migraines,  doubt their own worth and power and feel that ‘all power’ is outside of their control.  This ‘fear’ causes them to back away from being hurt, dominated or even crushed by their opponent. (“I’ve actually pushed people away, at the beginning of the a relationship, so I don’t have to deal with them walking out on me later.” (Abby, a client) Feeling this way, they may not attempt many things they could otherwise do. This form of extreme ‘self-blocking’, is very hard on the physical body because many times the anger and irritability these individuals feel (but don’t express) is turned against themselves. This can shut down the body’s immune system triggering a migraine attack which is often linked with depression, unexpressed anger, frustration and letdowns.

Most migraine sufferers learned at a very tender age to ‘instinctively’ hesitate/hold back their spontaneous spirit mainly due to insecurities about themselves. In some cases, migraines have been linked to past lives as well as a reluctance to be born, causing a very difficult labor for both mother and child. The soul for some reason, had a  form of stage fright, and suddenly decided, it wasn’t ready to be born.

Migraine – Control, pressure, seriousness, perfectionism. Over-committing yourself. Great need for love and approval. Ignoring your own needs. Putting other people before yourself. Extreme worry, guilt and anxiety. Conflict with self and other people. Self-punishment. Feeling angry and annoyed with others. Saying, ‘You are giving me a headache.’” THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF YOUR BODY: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness ~ Inna Segal

Self-inhibiting: The personalities of most migraine sufferers (I’ve seen) appear to look light, chipper and even seem to, not have a care in the world.  Most healers/psychologists can see through this superficiality  right away; what they’re doing, is trying to distract others from noticing/detecting  their lonely (unlovable) and easily hurt persona. They don’t want others to see how awkward they feel inside their skin so they try very hard to gain approval (people pleasers) from anybody and everybody. This becomes their best defence against personal attack.

These people have had to continually meet up against many forms of authoritative people – from father to boss to even their own rigid ‘inner authority’.  In their childhood years they most likely attracted at least one parent whose authority was fear-provoking causing feelings of inadequacy due to being deprived, ignored, not held or comforted enough. This can cause a person to become too sensitive to criticism, rejection, or neglect from others (this can be real or imagined). And again, they were probably affected by adult power and its abuse. At least one parents (daddy?) wielded authoritarian control, or at least a general strictness, when they were much too young in age. Whatever the scenario, they learned to become vulnerable to the coldness, indifference, or a lack of sympathy from others – especially from authority figures during their young adult years (e.g., coach, teacher, doctor, therapist,  business mentor, employer, etc..)

Is it possible they felt like ugly ducklings growing up? What if they had a lot going for them, but couldn’t get past the stigma of their appearance. Self-criticism regarding their looks can become a huge roadblock. Feeling unattractive can leave us feeling awkward and undesirable when making physical / sexual contact with others. Some of us may even downplay our physical attributes and shun direct attention from admirers. Why even praise and compliments makes them feel uneasy. Their fear of disapproval can force them to appear guarded in their appearance…they become skillful at covering up their wounds…yet on the surface they appear aloof and independent. This guise can often work well in the professional arena, where we appear to have it all together as a self-made person. But we also need to review ourselves and determine whether or not we physically give off the (mis)impression that we are cool, composed, and a tad too unfriendly to get to know well. Maybe some of us, really are this way all the time, but the rest of us can be someone quite different deep inside. It is our self-uncertainty that makes us mistrust the intentions of others. We must learn that we live in a world that is not seeking to put us down or demean us, and that there are supportive people out there who can bolster our identity in life-affirming ways.

Once people attempt to go beyond our sometimes chilly façade – which can be intimidating at first encounter – they might just discover that we have a lot of depth. We give thoughtful consideration to others, and want the same in return. However, we do seem to have a hard time allowing people to penetrate our personality. Those barricades we psychologically construct around us work against us by further increasing our sense of isolation. They will need to be broken down by the power of intimate relationships but first, they need to stop pushing people away.  In most cases, they fear being taken advantage of, and this fear causes them to lash out and react defensively against others.

The key to much of this is learning is not to become so guarded and suspicious to others and stay flexible in their attitudes and assumptions about life. They need to continuously bathe their consciousness with a sense of hope and faith, believing that it’s never too late to start new beginnings, which are well-defined, with a sense of individuality. That way they can cope with whatever life presents to them. They can have a lasting feeling of inner security and the satisfying sense that their life is truly significant.

“HEADACHES ~ The head …has a direct link with the I AM. If you have a headache (especially on the top of the head), it means that you hit yourself over the head with belittling I AM’s. You accuse yourself of not being this or that and especially of not being intelligent enough; you ask a lot of yourself. ..”

“MIGRAINES ~ Migraines can occur when  you feel guilty for daring to question those who influence you. You may not even be fully conscious of what it is you truly desire, to the point of living in someone else’s shadow. How often do you find yourself saying, “I can’t get what I want”? If you suffer from migraines, take a look at your sexual relationship. You most likely are having difficulties in that area also, because you are out of touch with your power to create your life, which is reflected in the sexual organs.” YOUR BODY IS TELLING YOU: LOVE YOURSELF ~ Lise Bourbeau

THE GUT-BRAIN LINK

Connecting with our inner power (spirit) means that we need to ‘feel’ our sensory inputs (gut instincts). This means to be aware of the subtle feelings that warn us of those things that are not right, or are excitingly good, or that we need to pay attention to.  It’s those gut feelings (butterflies in stomach), the hairs that rise at the back of your neck, the sense of a chill in a room where an argument has taken place, the warmth of love and laughter, or mischief at work. All those things that flow through us in an instant and are so easily overlooked or second-guessed are the cues the solar plexus uses to get our attention.
The Solar plexus is also connected to the Sympathetic System, which is a network of nerve fibres, ganglia and plexus. As we have learned, the 3rd chakra is or acts as a mirror/reflection of our most delicate and secret emotions. It is also the place where everything external enters through first and then gets chanelled to the other chakras. It is known as our Power center.
In Chinese and other alternative medicines, negative and unresolved emotions are seen as the cause of a host of physical and emotional ailments. The digestive organs in the Solar Plexus region (stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and some say the kidney and spleen) are continually challenged to judge and digest all our food and emotions. In fact, the body’s health counts on this area to supply it with the proper materials to help build bones, muscles, nerves and replace and rebuild surrounding tissue.
SOLAR PLEXUS ~ THE GALL BLADDER ORGAN/MERIDIAN

“The GALLBLADDER is a small sac in which bile secreted by the liver is stored until needed for the process of fat digestion. Problems in this area 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 gallstones can indicate we are holding onto hard thoughts and bitter experiences rather than moving past them. We are holding onto the past and allowing it to fill our life, rather than moving forward with joy and anticipation for the future. “ THE HEALERS MANUAL ~ by Ted Andrews

The gall bladder meridian is one of the longest meridians that travels almost through the entire body. This meridian begins at the outside corner of the eye on the face, then weaves its way up into the skull covering a large area on both sides of the head. Imagine holding the sides of your head with both hands; this is similar to the pattern and area covered by this meridian. This meridian continues flowing down both sides of the body in a zigzag fashion, supporting the stomach in the front of the body and the bladder at the back.

The gallbladders role or responsibility is to help distribution Liver Chi in the abdominal area—the function of both the liver and gall bladder is breaking down fats for digestion. The *liver is also known to remove toxins from the blood. If it fails to do so, the stomach, spleen, intestines and lungs will lose power and stagnate. In Chinese medicine, the liver and gall bladder organs, along with their meridians help to clear our energy to prepare for new growth and creativity. When energy flows smoothly along these meridian lines, we are alert and able to make clear decisions. However, if they’re unable to work properly, we wind up fearing the future and staying within our comfort zone and lost in our past.

“Anger is the emotion associated with the liver and gall bladder meridians. When we become angry and either hold on to it as resentment or continually explode with anger inappropriately, we are more prone to having issues with these organs and meridians. And conversely, if you are experiencing problems with your liver or gall bladder, you may find yourself either easily angered or, the opposite, collapsing and turning the anger in on yourself, feeling inadequate and humiliated.” Elemental Moves: Simple Yoga and Qigong Practices Inspired by Nature ~ Lori Furbush

Now we begin to see that the gallbladder and surrounding organs main objective is to digest, assimilate, and analyze the constant barrage of ‘noise’ coming from our conscious and unconscious mind as well as our relation to others and the environment. But when unresolved emotions are not digested and begin accumulating, the solar plexus cannot do its work properly. It becomes and congested and bogged down. All organs in our body originate in the energy of the gallbladder, transporting impure or foreign matter. The gallbladder transports only ‘pure’ liquids.

(*The liver meridian rules the tendons and eyes and when congested or deficient, the tendons will lose their elasticity and easily tear, becoming inflamed or lose weakness in the surrounding muscles. The eyes can be affected in many ways, especially in regard to migraines (visual abnormalities, forehead and eye pain), cataracts, glaucoma, dry eye, near or far-sightedness, etc. … all reflecting or mirroring the condition of the liver in the solar plexus region)

THE BRAIN

Let’s look at the brain for a moment.  The left brain is the gas pedal of the brain. It initiates a thought, an action or a word. It gets us started where the right brain is the brake. It stops the action or thought or movement or word so we can stop and move on to other things.  The left controls the immune system and also the body’s automatic functions.
The right brain specializes in nonverbal communication, which includes reading another’s body posture, facial expression or tone of voice .. it’s also the ability to empathize with another person. Most people describe emotions as an internal feeling, a change inside their bodies. For example, the heart rate increases as does blood pressure and release certain chemicals. But these physiological changes are exactly the same for each emotion so where did we learn to process sadness, anger, excitement, happiness.  Usually around the 3rd month of our lives. This non-verbal communication was picked up by our parents, especially the mother .. we started to mimic facial and body movements by our caregiver’s tone of voice. This results in trigger changes in our stomach and intestines and to different patterns of muscular contractions. So once we are able to ready our own emotions, we start to develop the ability to read these ‘same’ emotions in other people.  We do this using a special network of cells called ‘mirror neurons’ .  Isn’t that fascinating??  Well hopefully you’ve enjoyed this little bit of information.
BUT we are all naturally driven by social acceptance .. so we are ‘reinforced’ to continue doing the right thing and avoid the wrong thing.  But which is right or wrong?
We can’t discern this by the right or left brain until we learn to look ‘inside’ (inner self) and take the time to weigh what’s good or bad for us. Throughout our lives we’ve created perceptions of ourselves based on the words and actions of others .. especially our parents.

The brain is involved with our ability to think and reason, of absorbing facts and solving complex problems. It rules our emotions, relationships, metabolism, hormones and nerves as while as maintaining bodily functions such as digestion, movement, coordination and sexuality.

When you are reacting to a stressfully critical moment, the brain quickly decides to shut down or divert energy away from digestive process. When unresolved emotions are not digested and begin accumulating, the solar plexus cannot do its work properly. It becomes and congested and bogged down.

“People who tend to have digestive tract-related issues are generally focused on getting more, more, more of everything. Excess is stimulating and we thrive on adrenaline because it makes us feel bigger than we actually are, so these people search for this rush. They work too much, party too much, and simply keep going and doing until it nearly kills them. They amass power and material wealth in an effort to fill a void in their souls. So while it may look like these folks have everything figured out, this constant hunger is born from a low sense of self-worth. They have yet to find contentment and joy in who they are. Their lives are all about appearance, and they search for bigger , better cars and houses, believing that this will make them feel bigger and better, pumping up their self-esteem.”All is Well ~ Louise L. Hay & Mona Lisa Schulz 

Under stress, there is an abnormal drop in Serotonin in the brain (as well as other hormones/neurotransmitters) which can cause the blood vessels in the skull to constrict, affecting the neck and shoulders as well. The trigeminal nerve, the largest nerve in the skull, branches out to parts of the face, creating an array of sensations felt differently from person to person.

(Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit electrical signals from one nerve cell to another and ultimately controls behaviors, thoughts and feelings. Three neurotransmitters, serotonin and  norepineprhine and dopamine have been associated with headaches, migraines, insomnia,depression, bi-polar, agoraphobic, etc…)

“Imbalances in brain chemistry have a large range of effects on emotions, behavior, and brain circulation. Migraine, depression, and insomnia, all have similar neurotransmitter mechanisms of low serotonin and norepinephrine levels. Insomnia and depression are often associated with migraines. Serotonin and norepinephrine are the two main neurotransmitters needed in the brain. When the brain is low in serotonin and norepinephrine, the individual experiences depression and insomnia. When the level of serotonin is low and the level of norepinephrine is high, the individual may experience mania. Neurotransmitter levels can be diminished by allergic reactions, inflammation, poor absorption of nutrients into the brain, poor metabolism of nutrients in the brain, a lack of nutrients in the brain, chemicals reactions, stress and other factors listed. Norepinephrine levels can skyrocket from the use of stimulants and over-the-counter medications such as, pseudoephedrine. Many people, especially children have poor diets resulting from high toxin levels and low nutrient levels, which can lead to low serotonin levels in the brain. Low levels of serotonin and low levels of norepinephrine can cause depression. Consequently, they will experience depression and fatigue and pursue stimulants such as coffee and soft drinks containing high amounts of caffeine. The caffeine causes an increase in cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine levels in the brain. When there are low serotonin and high norepinephrine levels in the brain, an individual may exhibit manic behavior and when high enough, violence. This is the biochemical foundation of the bipolar syndrome.”  http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/guidebook-for-preventing-migraine-headaches-depression-insomnia-and-bipolar-syndrome/

MIGRAINES AND THE ADRENALS

When we sense danger, the autonomic nervous system signals the body to release the hormone adrenaline in the blood stream, providing instant energy to the heart, lungs, and muscles to adapt and adjust for the fight/flight response.

Chronic anxiety and worry is closely associated with migraines 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 believing they always have to be in charge. Many perfectionists grew up too early, playing part of an absent parent or an out-of-control one—addictions such as drug abuse, alcoholism, gambling and even sex addition showed how their world was chaotic and out of control. It’s no wonder perfectionists move out at an early age and look for a place of their own—where attention to detail and keeping everything in its place is exactly as it’s supposed to be arranged. The problem with perfectionism is, their need to control is in the power-seat instead of their spirit—when they suddenly have a life-altering decision, the controls are at the helm of their personality, which could lead them down the wrong path.

Perfectionists need to loosen their standards, leave the past and move into unfamiliar ground—they need to let go of their fear and move into the unknown. They have to stop manipulating others and their world where they feel they’re in control. They need to practice gratitude to help them relax and be happy with life as it is. Once they know what beliefs and behaviors keep them stuck, they have a greater sense of adventure, trust and enjoyment. They let go of fear and self-doubt and with motivation regain a zest for life.

PAST LIVES of MIGRAINE/HEADACHE SUFFERERS

“Migraine headaches, chronic back and neck problems and stomach disorders can be traced to past life deaths in which the person was clubbed in the head, guillotined, hanged or shot or speared in the same place of the body. Physical ailments could also be the consequence of dying while in the grip of strong emotions-anger, guilt sadness or fear.  These unresolved feelings kept the memory alive and showed up as physical symptoms in a later life. Once the trauma was reexperienced under hypnosis, though and the emotions process, the physical reminder of the past life experience cleared up and the symptoms disappeared.

Feelings of guilt that originated in another lifetime can afflict a person not as guilt in this life but as a physical symptom – the eczema – on the same spot where the bullet had pierced his wrist in the past life. Once revisited (the past life) and emotions processed, the eczema disappeared.” Healing Your Past Lives: Exploring the Many Lives of the Soul ~ by Roger J. Woolger

In Denise Linn’s book “Past Lives, Present Miracles, she talks of ‘health challenges carried forward from earlier lives”. Linn covers a small section on health issues and talks of a woman’s past life, where she was so distraught from being banished by her tribe for adultery, “she threw herself over a cliff and died from a head injury. “In her present life, every time that she’d had a single thought of having an affair, she was overcome with a debilitating migraine headache.  She had subconsciously equated adultery with dying of a head injury; so in her present life, even the thought of an affair would activate severe pain in her head.”

During a Reiki treatment many of my clients have slowly regressed to unresolved ‘childhood’ experiences hidden within their cellular tissue.  Many healing modalities have the ability to release/transmute/uncover traumas from the past that most of us have been carrying in our minds and bodies.  In most cases, a liberation from the past, can help clear, calm and  physically energize the body to speed-up healing. However, to have a client regress to their ‘past-lives’is not something most healers have had the benefit to witness or heal.  I, myself, have only seen a select few.

Clients who regressed to being severely wounded in past-lives, found themselves being healed by ‘many hands'(the practitioner surrounded and supported by several spirit helpers) during a Reiki/healing treatment.  At that time they received various forms of healing such as cleaning/healing a wound and/or strengthening an area of the subtle body.

A friend of mind suffered gruelling migraines that kept her in bed for days.  We worked together to help her discover the origins of her headaches; no matter how many Reiki sessions we had, the migraines persisted.  We even looked at her astrological natal chart as well as numerology and still we had no intuitive hits.  It was when Lisa decided to see a past-lives practitioner,  that she discovered the major cause of her headaches.  She regressed to the 1800’s where she was shot in the head and killed in while in the army.  As Lisa descended further into her past-lives, there were glimpses of several past-lives, where again and again her soul was holding onto traumatic deaths involving several head injuries.  Two weeks later, her migraines had completely cleared up.

“When the causes of chronic migraines are uncovered, the soul breathes a sigh of relief and says to itself, “Oh, so that’s from the past? Okay, I’ll let it go.” Sometimes all the soul needs is that gentle reminder to put the past where it belongs, and that, of course, is in the past.” Chronic Migraines – Memories of Past Life Trauma

FIGHT OR FLIGHT – WHAT ARE YOUR HIDDEN STRESS PATTERNS

Beginning to work on the Self, we need to begin to examine who we are and take responsibility for our actions. We learn to challenge our faults by exploring our feelings about our fears, our egos, our envy of what others have or can do with their gifts and abilities. We begin to recognize by setting aside these traits in our personality and developing our own skills we become the best we can be. A ‘sense of integrity’ develops and as it does our intent shifts from the “me first” to the things we can do to serve the Higher Good and the “we” becomes important. Our intent is our will in action and by doing the best we can (at whatever level we can do it) we find growth begins to take place and we are developing an impeccable work ethic along with our spiritual ethics. Our Inner Spirit will react with negative sensations when we are doing something wrong. “Warning! Warning! Warning!”, it shouts. Are you listening to that voice? If you do it becomes louder, and if you trust it once you’ll trust it again and again as the validations prove themselves.

HOW TO TRANSFORM TENSE REACTIONS INTO A RELAXED RESPONSE

Becoming aware of what causes you to experience tension (where, when, why) is the key to keeping your migraines at bay. Something as simple as posture can cause tension in the upper part of the body. If we carry our bodies improperly or sit, stand  or walk incorrectly, our muscles will tense up. Although headaches can have a definite physical cause, our mental attitude toward ourselves and our surroundings can be a major component of our migraines.

Begin to observe yourself on a day to day basis so that you are able to see when tension 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.

As tension happpens, 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 neck, head, 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 tension, 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 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.

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 yoga, walking, meditation, or sports. Also take time out to lie down and relax deeply once a day for fifteen to twenty minutes. ♥

LINKS

Do Gallbladder Problems Cause Migraines

Adrenal Insufficieny

7 Common Migraine Triggers

Migraines Result of Childhood Trauma

Migraines Linked to Changes in Brain

Dealing With Rage

Migraine Vitamins and Supplements

Homeopathic Medicine for Migraines

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LITHIUM AND THE BRAIN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEUROTRANSMITTERS

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

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

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

And from another source…..

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

THE LIMBIC BRAIN

LIMBIC SYSTEM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HYPOTHALAMUS AND PITUITARY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For further information on the pituitary and endocrine glands go here

THE PINEAL GLAND

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

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

THE SEAT OF ALL PASSION – THE AMYGDALA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Amygdala and Hypersexuality

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

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

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

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

THE HIPPOCAMPUS

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

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

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

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

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

THALAMUS

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

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

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCING PART III ~ Bipolar

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

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

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

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

To be continued….

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

Great Links….

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

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

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

Bipolar Disorder and Highly Sensitive People    mentalhealthtalk.info/bipolar_hsp

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

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WHAT IS CANDIDA

“Fifty years ago doctors identified Candida albicans as a frequent cause of vagina, mouth, throat and gastrointestinal tract infections. Now it’s well know to affect all body parts, organs, tissues and cells. Research physicians suspect Candida as a complication in acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), a contributor to early death in various forms of cancer, a source of infertility in some women, and a mischief-maker in other medical tragedies such as multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, schizophrenia, and arthritis. On rare occasions yeast overgrowth results in pneumonia, meningitis, and similar devastating body invasions.” The Yeast Syndrome: How to Help Your Doctor Identify and Treat the Real Cause… ~By John Parks Trowbridge, M.D., Morton Valker, D.P.M.

No matter what we do, we’ll never rid our bodies of Candida. Candida albicans occurs naturally in nature, in the soil, on vegetables and fruits and in small quantities in our mouths, intestines and in a woman’s vagina. When in balance with the other 400 species of friendly bacteria in our gut, Candida can live harmlessly in our bodies. Candida loves living in warm, moist areas of the body and especially where there’s an ample supply of food for it to feast on. When your body is healthy, Candida can’t penetrate your defenses, but if an overgrowth of Candida starts running rampant in the intestines, the medical term is called Candidiasis. Metaphysically, candida feeds on what is not digested by someone – life energy is easily frittered away. Candida issues can point to deeper emotional ones, sometimes rooted in connection to the site of the candida infection itself. We’ll be looking at this later on in the article.

The intestines are the longest organ in the body, and also your main filtration system. It is thought that about 80% of your immune function is in your gut and a lot of that is governed by how the bacteria are able to function—there are 10 times more bacteria than there are cells in our bodies! The intestines main job is to absorb what is useful to your body, but if it’s plumbing, electrical and drainage system is compromised, the body will start absorbing toxins, and clogging the system (kind of like dirty oil in a car). When your pipes are clogged, proteins, fats, and/or sugars can enter your circulation triggering inflammation and a defensive immune system.

 Medically, we are told candidiasis, is caused from an improper diet, which is known to upset the bacterial balance in the intestinal. A bacterial imbalance means you aren’t digesting carbs properly and, undigested carbs become food for ‘bad bacteria’. Bad bacteria produces acidic toxins irritating the lining of the digestive system, when this happens your body secretes mucus into the intestines. With too much mucus, enzymes from the pancreas can’t breakdown the food, giving it more time to ferment in your gut. Just one teaspoon of undigested carbs and sugars can produce approximately 50 millimetres of gas in the intestine. Toxins and gases can damage the intestinal lining, making us more susceptible to the condition known as ‘leaky gut’.

“The intestinal tract tries to protect itself from the constant exposure to toxic substances like drugs, environmental chemicals, food additives, refined carbohydrates (white flour acts like glue in the intestines), and heavy metals by creating mucus on the intestinal wall. As mucus builds up on the lining, toxins, yeasts, and parasites stick to it, until it becomes “putrefactive debris.” This prevents the proper assimilation of nutrients and contributes to toxins entering the bloodstream”. Juicing, Fasting and Detoxing for Life ~ By John Calbom MA, Cherie Calbom MS

When the intestines become clogged we can suffer from constipation, diarrhea, bloating, trapped gas, skin problems, cellulite, asthma, headaches or vaginitis. All these can be caused from candiasis or an imbalance of the yeast Candida albicans. Toxic buildups are stored in the fat cells of the body…if these toxins leak into the fluids of the body, which includes the blood, they can cause an array of problems as suggested above. As well, antibiotics and cortisone, and hormonal supplements such as birth control pills can upset the delicate balance in the intestinal area, killing off many of the friendly bacteria. If the candida multiplies out of control it can mutate into a fungus breaking through the tissues into the bloodstream, where it can create havoc with our emotions and any part of the body.

So far, nearly one hundred Candida toxins have been identified; two of the most known are carbon monoxide and acetylaldehyde (part of the formaldehyde family), which are known to suppress the T-cells of the immune system, known as the bodies ‘killer cells’. Candida toxins also cause histamine to be released, which has a major role in asthma and allergic reactions.  Candida also produces alcohol in the system and for some people infected with it, they appear to others as drunk or mentally confused .. without ever taking a drink.

Red blood cell flexibility is also affected when acetylaldehyde is in the system, decreasing the rate at which red blood cells can carry oxygen to the tissues.  If the brain is oxygen deprived, the central nervous will be affected causing: mood swings, behavioral changes, headaches, hyperactivity, paranoia, insomnia and list goes on.

(Inside the brain, histamine plays an important role in stimulating the release of neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. When too much histamine is released in the brain we can suffer from ADHD symptoms, depression, aggressiveness, compulsive disorders and a ‘racing brain’. Similar to bipolar or manic depression you could become obsessive about sex, cry easily, have abnormal fears and even contemplate suicide. Too little histamine can cause disorders like chronic fatigue, paranoia, hallucinations and depression.)

“The Candida cells excrete a chemical that shrinks the cells of the intestinal wall, and as these cells continue to wither away, the intestinal tract further degrades, becomes more inflamed, and leaks even more toxins into the blood stream.

So now you have a Candida infection, and the yeast is living off the carbohydrates you are eating, which results in a further imbalance in your blood-sugar levels. Remember that an elevated level of cortisol will inhibit your cells’ sensitivity to insulin and your ability to store glucose for energy; now the Candida is living off your glucose-producing foods before you can even use them, and your energy level is dropping because your muscles and brain are starved for the glucose that fuels them. Your sugar cravings are increasing; you are consuming lots of junk food that is high in calories; and you are probably gaining more weight….

Prolonged periods of elevated cortisol levels can destroy immune cells, rob these cells of the chemicals that are necessary for them to function properly, and even shrink the thymus gland that is making these immune-system cells. Add this to the fact that your poor immune system is already overburdened by dealing with the toxins leaking out of your intestinal tract. The Stress Effect: Discover the Connection Between Stress and Illness ~ By Richard Weinstein

Candiasis affects the immune system, nervous system and endocrine system as they are all connected. It can cause fatigue, allergies, thrush, vaginal, bladder, prostate and other infections plus body aches, thyroid, mood disorders and depression. It has become a major health problem because of being misdiagnosed and mistreated in the past—Candida has now reached nearly epidemic proportions, affecting both men and women.

“Problems related to [the endocrine] glands and organs include low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), diabetes, and obesity, all of which are increasing at alarming proportions in the United States [and the world]. Hypothyroidism is rampant, especially among women. And the ailment most common across the board with males and females is adrenal exhaustion, where the adrenals output chronically high cortisol levels, resulting in fatigue, low immunity, anxiety, insomnia, and weight gain.” The Candida Cure: The 90-Day Program to Beat Candida and Restore Vibrant Health ~ by Ann Boroch

Women who think they may have candidiasis could suffer from extreme hormonal shifts due to estrogen imbalance. The amount of estrogen released into the body is regulated by the liver and the bacteria in the intestinal tract. The liver sends excess estrogen through the gallbladder duct to the small intestines, where the normal bacteria break it down. If you lack the bacteria to destroy excess estrogen and you have intestinal leakage, the estrogen will be reabsorbed and can end up in lymph-node sites such as the breasts, ovaries and uterus. This could contribute to endometriosis, fibroid tumors, estrogen-sensitive cancers, PMS and monthly pre-menstrual migraines.

“The presence of a vaginal infection indicates regret (regarding past sexual behavior) and a desire to express innocence and purity. Note that infection always represents repressed anger.” The Body is Telling You: Love Yourself! ~ Lise Bourbeau

Diabetic women experience more vaginal infections, because the excess sugar in their blood is a ripe environment to attract yeast infections. Also, women can “catch” fungal yeast infections from their partner as Candida has been found in male seminal fluids, which can reinfect women during sexual intercourse.

CANDIDIASIS SYMPTOMS

“Feeling lousy, without reason, being irritable or easily angered;

Craving yeasty foods (bread, alcohol, fermented cheeses) and sweets

Eating these foods may provide temporary relief, but this may be followed by a worsening of symptoms,

Abdominal pains;

Premenstrual syndrome, menstrual irregularities, and pain;

Symptoms resembling hypoglycemia (fatigue, sharp hunger spells, weakness, trembling, drowsiness, cold sweats, dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, palpitations, rapid pulse, and irritability);

Vaginal infections and local discomfort during intercourse;

Prostatitis or impotence;

Loss of libido;

Persistent fungus infections of the feet crotch, toenails, or skin;

Fatigue that is worsened when exposed to molds (basements, gardening); and

Heightened sensitivity to tobacco smoke, perfumes and other chemicals.

Treatment may involve avoidance of foods that promote yeast growth – which are often the very foods that are craved; avoidance (to a reasonable extend) of antibiotics; taking the anti-yeast (prescription) drug nystatin; eating yogurt; taking capsules of lactobacilli to replace the normal flora that are killed of by antibiotics; drinking special herbal teas (taheebo, la pacho, pau d’arco); and having cleansing enemals (Trowbridge/Walker). How Can I Heal What Hurts: Wholistic Healing and Bioenergies ~ Daniel J Benor

Skin conditions such as psoriasis, seborrhea, rosacea, toenail fungal are usually associated with Candida and food allergies. It’s been advised not to eat  Nightshade foods, such as: tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers (all peppers). These foods can cause the thinning of the intestinal lining allowing toxins to leak out affecting the skin.

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF CANDIDIASIS

“Candida is a yeast-like fungus that can occur in warm, damp areas, such as the mouth, intestines, bladder, or vagina. Normally this fungus lives in balance in the body, but such balance can easily be broken, whether by excessive stress, antibiotics, or birth control pills, that can weaken the immune system. Due to these factors increasing in our lives, so the cases of candida have also increased. Candida has been named the cause of numerous ailments, from depression to be behavioural problems, as the fungus is said to be able to move into different organs and systems in the body. Doctors disagree on this, and more medical research is needed. As Candida can grow for many years without any obvious effects, it is not always easy to diagnose.

Candida in the digestive system suggests you are being psycho/emotionally invaded by someone or something, and feel out of control. It also impies that your normal living environment has become upset or out of balance, allowing other energies to enter and make themselves at home.

Are you feeling particularly insecure?

Is something eating away inside you?

Are you out of contact with your inner strength and resilience?

What is needed to regain your stability?” Deb Shapiro ~ YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND

People susceptible to candiasis have a tendency to deny or play down their emotions, struggling against how they actually feel. All this creates a stranglehold or a clinging to keep their inner turmoil from coming out into the open. Others may not see through your façade at first, at least not until they get to know you. Friends may come and go because they get the feeling you don’t want to help yourself. They see you as not feeling confident about who you are. You may look really sad to them or really angry at the world. It also seems as if you’re holding back from being honest with yourself. But that’s further from the truth, isn’t it? They don’t understand how much pain and sadness is buried inside you and as result you’ve built walls so no more sadness could come in. But shutting yourself off is not giving you the chance to experience true friendship. You are in fact pushing people away.

This is really interesting because of all the organs in the body, the intestines have a great need to protect and be protected. It could be we didn’t feel welcomed into the world or felt our parents didn’t nurture us properly. When we feel that way, we feel out of place, unwanted and the rage within is so strong we can’t allow ourselves to express. In fact our need for security can be so strong we can lie to protect ourselves or lie to protect someone or to cover something up. When we hold or distort the truth, it can haunt us, especially if we’re afraid the other person might find out. Every time we lie, we have to stumble over our own thoughts and feeling about it, creating our limitations and obstacles.

The intestines house a long muscle that automatically moves when full, but when we are nervous, tense and irritated this muscle is unable to move and becomes contracted. Not only can this contraction affect our breathing (diaphragm), it also affects blood circulation as well as the lymph system, making it difficult for our bodies to absorb minerals and trace elements. Without these essential nutrients we can experience hypoglycemia, heart palpitations, trembling and higher amounts of perspiration. We may experiences numbness in the hands and feet, cramps in and spasms in the stomach and severe back pain.

 “People who have candida are often very frustrated and angry and may feel scattered in their personal and professional lives. Since they are basically untrusting, they are often very demanding in relationships. They are great takers, but not very good givers. Early in life, they learned that they could not trust people who were close to them. Now, they cannot trust themselves…..

 Candidiasis is a state of inner imbalance, not a germ, but, a dis-ease. Candida albicans is a strain of yeasts commonly found in the gastrointestinal and genito-urinary areas of the body. It is generally harmless, but when resistance and immunity are low, the yeast is able to multiply rapidly, feeding on sugars and carbohydrates in these tracts. It releases toxins into the bloodstream, and causes far-reaching problems. Stress and lack of rest aggravate this condition in a body that is already out of balance.”” ~ Louise L. Hay

Whether they’re conscious of it or not, people who are susceptible to Candida have experienced a profound betrayal in love; they have a very hard time trusting anyone or anything. As young children they might not have been told or understood the concept of death and so felt betrayed by the death of a parent, a pet or someone they loved dearly. They also feel betrayed by the person who never told them their love of their live was dying. Suffering both loss and betrayal, a person’s trust in life itself is shattered.

Breaches of trust can happen when the basic care we expect from our parents is withdrawn or withheld. Children unconsciously develop a sense that life itself cannot be trusted when protection isn’t given or nourishment is withheld. As adults, they feel as if they were fools to have ever trusted in the first place. That’s why as adults, they will protect themselves at all costs from ever being in a vulnerable place again.

 “This disorder occurs mainly in people who have been psychologically, emotionally, and physically over-active and are in serious need of stabilizing their lives. …candidiasis corresponds to issues regarding the creation of a stabilized living situation, specifically what is known as the “nesting bug”. The stress emerging from the unfulfilled desire to lay down roots and establish a home and family is directly connected to this virus.” Caroline Myss ~ The Creation of Health

Usually when we have difficulty stabilizing our lives, it may be because we grew up in the midst of an out-of-control parent…one who was either an alcoholic, a drug addict, a gambler or a manic depressive. As a consequence our childhood was out of control, suffering a profound lack of safety. Like a person suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) the child can never let down their guard, believing that if they do, all hell will break loose. They’re continually stressed, wearing themselves out worrying about what could possibly go wrong.

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

 “Candida—Self-doubt. Feeling scattered, hazy, frazzled, stressed, trapped. Frustrated with your partner, blaming your partner or someone close to you. Feeling angry that you aren’t getting what you want but not wanting to change or to take action … Blocking the energy flow in your life. Holding on to grief and sadness from the past”. Inna Segel

Candida can be missed and misdiagnosed, because it is often masked as another problem such as anxiety, depression, anger, relationship problems, etc. Unknown to us there is another driving force behind what is happening to us. Candidiasis once unleashed is determined to survive…all its energy is directed toward getting what it wants to hold its self-image together. It will keep the relationship with you going as long as this yeast/fungi gets what it wants. This ultimately works against you to get the kind of help you need to turn this disease around. When the stress of trying to keep yourself together fails, the Candida can overwhelmingly cause you to fall into deep apathy and depression. You may regress to earlier parts of your life, replaying over and over your childhood wounds.

People who have trust issues have had to adapt to the betrayals they experienced as a child—children unconsciously develop a sense that life can’t be trusted—especially when protection isn’t given or nourishment is withheld. As adults we keep replaying over and over the stories of when we weren’t able to express our needs or even hope our secrets will be fulfilled. To cover up our feelings, we convince ourselves we’d be better off alone and do our best not to rely on anyone. Now we’re walled off in a world of emotional anguish in exactly the same way our parents raised us.

In order to escape the sorrow of our past, we tend to seek refuge in our imagination—we live in tomorrow, filled with hopes and desires for the future. The more we desire for this kind of future, the more we become dissatisfied with today. This dissatisfaction creates more tension and stress in the body and causes us to feel even more insecure. To fight insecurity we resist anything that forces us to sit in silence or remain still. Restless we could resort to drinking, smoking, over-eating, sex and drugs. To relax, we join in competitive games and sports but it doesn’t help us because our continual thoughts and attitudes are still stuck in the past.

Depleted energy can cause depression, loneliness and fear. If we keep pushing ourselves beyond what the body can endure, we can suffer from an endless of physical, mental and emotional disorders such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, insomnia, stomach ulcers, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity and candiasis.

“You hold onto the hurt, the anger, the resentment, because you fear that if you could let it go effortlessly, then whoever caused the pain in the first place, would be getting away with it too easily.

By holding on, you might still be searching for closure, and needing an apology from someone, again, or for the first time. You want to arrive at the moment with all the baggage in hand, to make sure they understand all the weight you have been carrying around. Seeking validation for your suffering, acknowledgment, and to be reassured, yes, indeed, you really were hurt.

The only problem here is that you will never be free of the hurt, anger, or pain so long as you are waiting for that grand moment to come. The perpetrator has a backstage pass into your mind anytime. You’re open 24/7. It’s like being free on a very very long chain. You can move in any direction you want in a circle, and stretch pretty far, but at any given moment, be snapped back to that time and place, and the one snapping you back is the very person who hurt you, and you are the one that gave them permission to be there.

 You gave control of your happiness to someone else.

 Does it affect the other person if you are wallowing in misery, crying your eyes out reliving the moment, staring at the cars going by on the road losing hours of your time? Nope!” ABRAHAM HICKS

Candida can strike at times after we have suffered a great loss, it could from a a childhood trauma, a job loss, a physical injury or even a debilitating illness. Having lost our own power we strike out at those we love, our family, our partner, even our children. Instead of seeing a relationship as give and take or sharing our feelings, we see it as a competition as ‘who’s going to win’.

“When I get angry and act against my better judgment, it’s not just because I’m protecting myself…..it’s also about who I wasn’t able to be as a child and teenager. Learning to pay attention to my own behaviors and habits, I’ve recognized anger as an ongoing pattern for me. It all seems to come from ignoring my intuition and even my emotional and sexual boundaries to please others. But of course no matter how hard I try the relationship ends and I scold myself ‘again’ for sabotaging my worth for pleasing others. In fact it’s really embarrassing after it’s all over that I probably wouldn’t have even dated that person if I had listened to my intuition.” (email from Ruth B)

FINDING INNER BALANCE

 “The value of words is often underestimated.Like smudges on a pair of spectacles, they have the ability to blur everything you do not make crystal clear. Listen with great care to what is being said and choose your own words as if they were diamonds” Sally Brompton

“Trust or mistrust is the basic element of your first chakra program, which is a foundation for all the other programs that follow. Trust enables the body to unfold from its cramped position, allows security and calm, and encourages connection, bonding, and exploration. With trust the survival instinct is satisfied and there is a sense of emotional well-being. If you are confident that the world is a friendly space, you have the sense that you will live. Without trust, your survival feels constantly threatened, and because there is nothing you can do to meet the threat, the anxiety is unbearable.” Eastern Body Western Mind ~ Anodea Smith

The right to survive is the most important aspect of the first chakra. Food, clothing, shelter, heat, medical help and physical contact are among the necessities of the base chakra. It represents our roots, our foundation and again our survival. The main purpose of this chakra is as Anodea Smith importantly pointed out, to help or guide the other chakras or energy centers, when they need it. If this chakra is strong, then your body will be healthy, strong and give you strength to move about your day. The key words to this chakra is ‘to root’, to keep you in touch with the ground. The body is the home of our soul and the foundation for our lives on the earth plane. Thanks to our body we can see and understand everything that’s happening within us. When we are sick or in trouble our body is the first to let us know. What we don’t understand will be expressed through our bodies in the form of aches and pains, stiff joints and sore muscles. The lesson to learn here is to be in contact with and respect our bodies and our root center.

In her book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”, Dr. Susan Jeffers wisely says, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.” In other words, if we don’t learn to break old habits programmed in our psyche we will never be free of our unconscious drives and habits. Old ideas and habits are anything that bind you to the past, anything that bogs you down in an emotional quagmire, anything that prevents you moving to the next stage of life, anything that causes you pain.

Your own body is the greatest health book you will ever read. When the body/mind is aware and more flexible to our inner energies, we learn not only to hear how to nurture and take care of ourselves, we’re also able to let go of old perspectives, memories, information and patterns. When your nervous system is free of all your chatter and interfering thoughts then you’ll be able hear your body’s own inner requests for self-healing and self-care.

The Second Chakra

I’ve discussed the 2nd chakra in different articles on my blog, you might find them helpful or interesting to you…

TECHNIQUES IN BREAKING THROUGH MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL BEHAVIORS here

“Part 2 – METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF PROSTATE PROBLEMS” here

BREATHING IS THE KEY TO AWARENESS here

The 2nd chakra builds upon and blends with the root chakra.  It represents sexual balance, emotional expression, intuition, cooperation, relationships, patience and attention to detail.  If we were nurtured and cared for as a child, then the gift of the sacral center is the ability to feel your feelings, make decisions, express who you are and reach for your dreams.  But if the ground of our root chakra suffered from breaches of trust and betrayals as a child, we’ll always create a distance between ourselves and the person(s) we love.

“On the level of physical perception, your second chakra automatically evaluates any situation according to how it affects your survival. Are you physically safe? Are there any financial implications? Is your power in this situation threatened by someone bigger, stronger, richer, sexier? A part of you instinctively assesses each moment of your life for its potential threat to your survival. Even if you enter a room full of loving friends and family, for example, your brain and body still scan the room and the energy around you for any impending physical dangers or negative attitudes. You also automatically scan for any threat to people you love. Hoften have you felt, on running into a friend or family member or thinking of someone that you “knew” something was wrong, even though you could not identify it?” Sacred Contracts ~ Caroline Myss

I’ve noticed that people with 2nd chakra issues suffer from passive-aggressive behaviors.  We can gravitate from being extremely over-sensitive, shy and self-depreciating to extremely controlling, sarcastic, demeaning and spiteful. What we don’t realize is that our thoughts and words affect how we feel about ourselves, even if we aren’t aware of it on a conscious level.  Loving another is an inner and outer process, and although we all have deep feelings and intense experiences, the present doesn’t represent the past and the person who we are with at moment represents no threat to us.

 “Passive aggressive behavior is when you express your anger, but it’s not directed at the person you are mad at. You might use sarcastic humor, slam doors, or kick the dog. You are aggressive in that you actively express your anger, but you are passive because your anger is directed at the source of your anger.”  Stuck: How to Mend and Move on from Broken Relationships ~ F. Remy Diederich

Are you a pot thrower?  Do you scream and scare people out of their wits just to get your point across that you’re angry?

AWARENESS EXERCISE

Write down the names of the people who you’ve recently reacted angrily or sarcastically to.  Then write down why you think these persons created this reaction in you.  In what way would you like this person to be different then the way they are?

Choose a specific situation in the recent past you remember fighting back with the same aggression you were confronted with.  What were the elements in the situation that caused you to react and to feel the emotions you did.  How would you have liked the situation to be different?

Look back at what you wrote in your first answer.  See if you can write down at least 3 good points about each person and three useful things you also learned about yourself from interacting with them.

Look over what you wrote regarding a specific situation. Reflect on it for a moment, close your eyes and write down what you see, and what you learned from the situation. Use this introspective moment to help you notice what upsets you and see how to change them.

TREATING CANDIDA

“According to Healthy Healing, an alternative healing reference by naturopathic doctor Linda Rector-page, Candidiasis is a state of inner imbalance, not a germ, but, or dis-ease. Candida albicans is a strain of yeasts commonly found in the gastrointestinal and genito-urinary areas of the body. It is generally harmless, but when resistance and immunity are low, the yeast is able to multiply rapidly, feeding on sugars and carbohydrates in these tracts. It releases toxins into the bloodstream, and causes far-reaching problems. Stress and lack of rest aggravate this condition in a body that is already out of balance.” Healthy Healing is an excellent book that I highly recommend, along with its companion book, Cooking for Healthy Healing”. Life! ~by Louise L. Hay

Definitely get yourself some high potency probiotics (acidophilius) and take it 20 minutes before breakfast or on an empty stomach. Also buy some glutamine, it acts as a gut barrier and helps to prevent ‘leaky gut’ or candida from moving through your gut wall.

Many people today cannot tolerate lactose but in yogurt the lactose is removed during fermentation.  Yogurt in your diet will raise the natural killer T-cells and helps to block carcinogens (cancer causing agents) from developing.

Other herbs and food groups to try…

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

Onions and garlic have been used for centuries for their antibiotic like qualities, known to fight bacteria, viruses and intestinal parasites.

Green plants (cereal grasses, like barley and wheat grass. plus parsley, kale, collards, dandelion greens, watercress, romaine lettuce, cabbage, kelp and other seaweeds have exceptional value in the treatment of candida.

In Chinese Medicine it is said that ‘cold and dampness’ slows the body’s circulation (chi) and weakens the spleen; when this happens, the energy we get from food isn’t absorbed as well or circulated to our tissues. It is suggested to cut down on cold and raw foods, especially when you have Candida, until it’s under control. What you want is to heat and dry your digestive organs.  Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, parsley, cardamon and pepper are known as ‘warm’ herbs you can add to your favorite foods.

To treat candida, nutritionists recommend eliminating sugar, artificial sweeteners, breads, pastries, cookies, yeasts, dairy products, fruit, tea, coffee, vinegars and tobacco, for about three months. In three months the immune system has the ability to rehabilitate itself and a strong immune system can keep the candida population in check. If you can afford it, I highly recommend seeing a naturopathic or qualified nutritionist to help you.

This section of the blog is still being continued….

Great Links

Caprylic acid found in goat’s milk and coconut oil has shown to be  effective for alleviating candida in the gut. http://www.thecandidadiet.com/caprylicacid.htm

Excellent site “The Candida Diet Protocol  http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/candida-diet-protocol.html

“We must choose foods that improve colon cleansing and retard Gut Dysbiosis, Candida, and fungus infections, so the body is not robbed of essential nutrients. We need “Sour Power” foods (grapefruit, sour cherry, apricot), along with those that contain healing sulphur (garlic, onions, mustard, curry, ginger, apricot, eggs, asafoetida), and foods rich in lymph and mood-supporting serotonin and zinc (turkey, lamb, flaxseed, sunflower seed, fish oil, bitter chocolate).  We also need high fiber gluten-free grains (quinoa, psyllium, flax, oats, wild rice). Also beneficial are low glycemic index vegetables (asparagus, broccoli, cucumber, swiss chard), high antiparasitic foods (zucchini, garlic, pumpkin seed), and peroxidase-rich foods (horseradish, parsnips, pears) that support the restoration of endocrine and immune recovery. In addition, sufferers of gut dysbiosis should avoid refined wheat, MSG, chicken, canola oil, and hydrogenated fats such as margarine. –  http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/be-good-to-your-guts/

Candida Diets Part VII Probiotics http://candidaplan.com/blog/766/candida-diets-part-vii-probiotics/

Six Natural Ways to Beat Candida  http://aguidetoahealthierlife.blogspot.ca/2012/03/six-natural-ways-to-beat-candida.html

My Journey With Candida http://www.myjourneywithcandida.com/2012/01/what-is-candida-and-how-candida.html?spref=tw

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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PART III HEALING DEPRESSION/ALLERGIES NATURALLY

Since we haven’t discussed allergies on this blog, I thought we’d devote part of this article on the symptoms and metaphysical causes of allergies first—then discover how allergens cause depression and—what we can do to heal them.

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF ALLERGIES

Allergists have said, that once we become sensitized to an allergen it’s quite possible we could start reacting to other things that normally wouldn’t bother us. As I thought about this, allergic sensitivities do seem to create a similar reaction when we are under any kind of emotional stress—one stressor can lower our resistance to others—causing us to become irritated, pre-occupied, over-controlling or withdrawn. So perhaps once the body reaches a certain allergen stress point, it too becomes unpredictable and starts over-reacting to substances we breathe in and/or eat in our environment.

The body never becomes ill without a reason.  We all have our weak spots or vulnerable areas,  and when we are stressed by life or relationships, the body reacts, creating certain types of symptoms.  Allergies are a symptom; whatever you are allergic to, milk, perfume, dust, dander, pollen, peanuts etc., these are considered triggers but not the underlying cause of an allergy.  Something has locked horns with your immune system causing it to become hyper and confused.  In a frantic attempt to protect the body, it starts sending out antibodies against every possible irritant it can find.  The problem is, this continual attack on unknown offenders causes the immune system to spread itself so thin that it weakens from all the fighting and collapses from exhaustion.  Metaphysical causes of allergies have been noted as: withheld feelings, low self-esteem, self-rejection, grief, lack of trust, lack of support, lack of self-love, resentment, anger/rage, powerlessness.

 “Stress often begins with how you think. And how you think determines how you feel—both emotionally and sometimes physically as well.  When your thoughts create strong emotions—whether positive or negative—your brain releases hormones that spread the emotional news to every system of the body.  Called neuropeptides, these hormones are informational molecules that telegraph messages to any cell in the body that has receptors for them.  Neuroscientist Dr. Candace Pert has been in the forefront of demonstrating that emotions are a powerful link between mind and body through these informational molecules.  Neuropeptides make their way into the bloodstream, where they are distributed throughout the body, binding to surface receptors on a multitude of diverse cells.  In the twinkling of an eye, then, an emotion that begins in the brain can trigger subtle and complex cellular responses through the body.  In turn, neuropeptides manufactured by the immune system, or by different organs, can also affect the brain and emotional state.” Minding the Body, Mending the Mind ~ Joan Borysenko

Neuropeptides are as Candace Pert has pointed out, ‘mediators of the mind-body connection’.  And the mind-body connection is mediated by our emotions.  Healthy emotions says Joan Borysenko have to do with open-heartedness.  We are supposed to express what we’re feeling to another, but many of us hold back due to fears of being controlled, hurt, criticized, or ridiculed.  Holding back our thoughts and feelings creates a great deal of physical and psychological stress on the body, on a deeper level, a spiritual crisis.

Inna Segel tells us…..

 “Allergies—Feeling annoyed and aggravated by other people. Giving away your power. Blaming people and events for your negative reactions. Obsession with people who have hurt you. Difficulty forgiving and seeing the blessing in this hurt. Allowing yourself to be controlled or manipulated by others, then punishing them by withholding love and kindness. Not knowing how to create boundaries with others.” Inna Segel ~ The Secret Language of Your Body: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness

AND Deb Shapiro….

 “The Physical reaction is one of defence and resistance, so the psycho/emotional cause of allergies will be connected to an inner need to withdraw, to put up resistances, not to enter fully into a situation.  As most allergens are a part of daily life, it suggests a fear of participation, intimacy responsibility or accountability.  It is as if the external world has become an enemy, something to be resisted.  Exploring what you are really afraid of, or what you are trying to avoid, will help you realize that the allergy is a symptom of something more ingrained. DEB SHAPIRO ~ Your Body Speaks Your Mind

Louise Hay….

 “Who are you allergic to?  Denying your own power.

The World is safe and friendly. I am safe. I am at peace with life.”

I think another good question regarding allergies would be “who or what are we reacting so strongly against” or “over-reacting towards”. Is there someone in your life that provokes strong reactions in you?  Someone you find difficult or irritating?  If no one comes to mind, then think about all the people in your family.  This usually gets people laughing lol.  But whoever or whatever the circumstance, someone/something is eating and draining your energy—they tire and wire you—they key you up!

The Greek word allergy means “abnormal response.”  Allergies occur when a substance normally harmless produces an abnormal response in the body.

Do you know what triggered your allergy begin?  Let’s imagine that as a child you had a horrible fight with your mother while you were eating a hamburger.  You may have cried for hours, feeling hurt, betrayed or rejected—during that time you ‘consumed the experience’ and developed a severe stomachache.  Now, years later, every time you eat a hamburger or meat, you feel a tremendous pressure erupting in your gut—you either develop hives, swell up or get very sick.  More than likely, the reason for this is an old (protective) reactive response.  What’s happened is your body has shut down so you won’t cause your mother to be upset. But wait, your mother isn’t around you as much anymore and most likely no one is going to be angry with you around a hamburger, so you can let go of this protective response.

 “Once you feel hurt, many of you become protective and closed, wanting to be certain you are not going to be hurt again.  From now on, whenever people are doing something that upsets or hurts you, see it as an opportunity to learn to love them rather than protect yourself.  Send love to your feelings of hurt.  Realize that others’ behaviors that hurt you are coming from their fear of being hurt themselves, not from their intent to harm you. Sanaya Roman ~ Spiritual Growth

You may not know all the triggers that cause an allergic response but your body does.  Ask yourself, ‘why are my allergies reacting this way’ and ‘what pattern(s) within me are they triggering’?  If you can take a few minutes to stop and feel where you’ve emotionally shutdown, you usually will feel a pain, a numbness or discomfort in some specific part of your body.  Describe how it feels to your self…look at the color, heat, shape and texture…

A great meditation from this blog (Body Wisdom)

 ENERGY ANATOMY

stress chart 001

Usually when we become sick, there is a short circuit or burn-out that begins in our astral field or aura, which then spreads rapidly into the mental, emotional and physical bodies. Most healers and spiritual people will tell you that your astral field surrounding your body contains several levels of higher and lower states of energy.  The aura too contains a number of levels of energies or chakras that at each level gently merges with the one above it.  The most common number of chakras are seven, the first being the root and located at or near the base of the spine and points downwards to the earth. Each chakra is related to a gland or several glands and should be seen as a subtle addition to the body’s endocrine system.   When healing is done via the chakras, the endocrine glands receive this healing energy as well.

More information on auras here  and astral here

All life begins as part of a family unit (1st Chakra) as children we don’t exist as a separate person, not yet, we are an extension of or part of a tribal unit.  In those early years, we identified ourselves as to how others saw us–how we attempted to get our childhood needs met—and how our mothers and/or fathers responded or ignored to those needs. This is the chakra that records and takes on your family’s attitudes towards religion, ethnic and racial groups as well your parents strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, superstitions and fears. It is here that we learn that the world is a safe or dangerous place, full of good things or riddled with poverty.

“The health of the first emotional center depends on your feeling safe in the world. If you don’t have the support of family and friends that you need to thrive, you will see this insecurity manifest in your blood, immune system, bones, joints, and skin.  The key to enjoying health in this center is balancing your own needs with those of the meaningful social groups in your life.  Family and friends, work, and an organization to which you are devoted all take up time and energy.  But they are also meant to give back, in the form of friendship, safety, and security; they should provide a sense of belonging.  These are all reasons human beings seek out other people and groups.  However, the needs of the group should never be allowed to overshadow your own needs—particularly your health.

When you are not getting what you need from relationships or activities on which you spend considerable time, your body and mind will start to tell you.  At first the signs may be as simple as fatigue, skin rashes, or joint pain.  Mild problems in the first emotional center can serve as an early-warning system, letting you know when you have gone off track. Ignoring your body’s warning could lead to a world of hurt: chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis (A, B, or C), mononucleosis, Lyme disease, allergies, rashes, psoriasis, joint pain, and autoimmune disorders like lupus all stem from an imbalance in the first emotional center…..Feeling hopeless and helpless will show up in your blood. Feeling completely alone and outcast from your family will bring illness to your immune system. And being unable to set boundaries with those around you will show up in skin ailments. Louise L. Hay and Mona Lisa Shulz ~ All is Well: Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition

One of the most basic understandings of the first chakra is hearing and heeding the inner needs of the body—such as the need to eat, drink, sleep, rest or eliminate, via the nervous system.  Our bodies also tell us when their tired, hunger, thirsty, tense, frightened or in pain.  This chakra rules the physical body which is your first responsibility—to take care of your bodily needs by listening to its inner guidance—and to do this you need to have a deep respect and love for yourself. If you’re always putting yourself down, calling yourself names or demanding more than you’re body can cope with, your body is going to start to break down.

THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

“Chronic patterns of self-hate, guilt, and self-criticism raise the body’s stress levels and weaken the immune system” Louise Hay

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

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

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

Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system to a substance (known as an allergen) which in most cases isn’t bothersome to most people. But when the immune system mistakenly believes it is being invaded, it produces Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to that allergen in an attempt to protect the body, These antibodies then cause certain cells to release chemicals into the bloodstream that are known as immune suppressants.

When it comes to fighting disease your immune system is your primary defense system—it is located throughout the body and can usually identify harmful substances and whip them in the butt.  The immune system consists of the thymus gland, spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes, adrenals, appendix, bone marrow, lymphoid tissue, white blood cells, mast cells, antibodies, complement proteins (complement proteins cause blood vessels to dilate, causing swelling, heat and pain,) and many chemical mediators (chemical mediators are messengers that act on blood vessels, inflammatory cells or other cells to create an inflammatory response).

Our immune system weakens when our white blood cells are reacting and fighting against a foreign substance in the body, that it believes is a threat.  These cells release irritating substances like histamines, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins in an attempt to attack the allergen.  This flood of chemicals causes an inflammation response, which creates many symptoms such as runny eyes and nose, wheezing and sneezing, itching, and twitching, and digestive distress.

Lymphocytes are major defenders of the body and billions of these tiny cells patrol the bloodstream looking for and destroying invading viruses, bacteria, parasites and other foreign substances. But sometimes the immune system gets a bit confused and for reasons unknown misreads harmless substances such as dust, pollen and food by-products and attacks them.

Different allergies create different symptoms, and in some rare cases, severe reactions called anaphylaxis. Peanuts are one of the most common allergens known to cause anaphylaxis. Signs of anaphylaxis include swelling of the tongue, lips, and throat, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, and in rare cases, loss of consciousness.

Food allergies may also be the cause of many illnesses, such as, arthritis, depression, gall bladder disease, headaches/migraines, Crohn’s disease, acne, fibromyalgia, eczema and more. Allergies aren’t the cause of every disease but they do play an integral role in the ‘development’ of disease.  If you or your doctor have no idea of the cause of your health problems or symptoms, you should consider looking at the possibility of allergies.

CANDIDA ALBICANS (CANDIDIASIS)

Your intestinal tract naturally contains small amounts of this yeast.  But in some cases because of anti-biotics, birth control pills or a high carbohydrate diet, this can cause an overgrowth of the candida yeast, causing candidiasis.  Candidiasis and allergies are so closely linked, they are sometimes paired together. This yeast or fungus overgrowth suppresses the immune system and has been linked to food allergies, migraines, vaginitis, irritable syndrome, indigestion, asthma and many more symptoms.

“As many as 90 percent or more of Americans and Canadians may be suffering the effects of these microscopic “critters,” considered also to be a type of parasite.  An overabundance of yeast in the body can produce minor or major side effects, such as: anxiety, allergies, asthma, acne, bloating, cystitis, chemical sensitivities, coughs, cramps, constipation, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), confusion, trouble concentrating, depression, diarrhea, emotional problems, eczema, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, food cravings and sensitivies, gas, gas-indigestion, intestinal pain, irrational fears, lethargy, low self-esteem, memory loss or poor memory, migraines, sore muscles, naurea, panic, puffiness, PMS, psoriasis, quick anger, rash, sexual problems, skin infections, stiffness, sleep disturbance, sinus pressure, sore throat, thrush, vaginal yeast infections, and/or weight gain.” COMPLETE CANDIDA YEAST GUIDEBOOK ~ Jeanne Marie Martin with Zoltan P. Rona, M.D.

Poor digestion and low acid levels in the stomach is one way Candidiasis is spread.  What happens is if there isn’t enough hydrochloric acid in the stomach to digest foods properly, they won’t get ‘sterilized’ or eliminated before entering the intestines.  Candidiasis has been known to cause ‘leaky gut’ syndrome.  What happens with ‘leaky gut’, is undigested food particles (partially digested proteins, fats and bacteria) pass through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream.  The body/immune system in an attempt to protect itself attacks these foreign substances and therefore launches an allergic response.  An allergic response causes inflammation, swelling, heat, redness or tenderness as the body attempts to heal itself from the allergen.  In other words these are normal ways the body works to take care of itself but in the process it can make you feel miserable.

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

(We’re going to donate a whole article on Candidiasis once we’ve completed Part IV on depression).

HISTAMINES, CYTOKINES CAN CAUSE DEPRESSION

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

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

“The gastrointestinal tract is not only a digestive organ, but also an immune organ is a surprise to many people.  In fact more are unaware that the gastrointestinal tract is the largest immune organ in the body.  The gut provides immunological surveillance signals at the mucosa-lumen interface of the digestive tract. The cells of the immune system and the epithelial cells that line the intestinal wall communicate information regarding colonizing bacteria.  As we currently understand it, interactions of gut bacterial floral with epithelial and immune cells regulate immune development.  Furthermore, normal gut bacteria acquired in infancy are likely to be the most important determinants of allergies and diseases of chronic inflammation later in life.  As a result we need to assure that healthy gut flora is acquired early in life so that the immune system matures properly in order to avoid passing down a life-time of allergic and inflammatory diseases to our children.”  Bacteria for Breakfast: Probiotics for Good Health ~ By PhD, RPh Kelly Dowhower Karpa

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

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

“Cytokines are small molecules found in miniscule concentrations in our blood stream, that affect the behavior of others cells, especially, cells of the gut and immune system.  It appears that the immune system—especially allergic and inflammatory components of the immune system—rely heavily on signals from cytokines.  Cytokines are divided into several different families which are sometimes referred to as interleukins, interferons or tumor necrosis factors.  There are [thirty-five] different types of cytokines and their names get very confusing…….

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

SELF-DIAGNOSIS

“There are several ways to check for food allergies on one’s own. One is with the Coca test, based on Dr. Coca’s observation that a person’s pulse rate increases after eating a food to which he or she is allergic.  The test consists of taking your pulse before eating, and every 30 minutes thereafter, for up to two hours.  Normally the average person’s pulse is between 70 and 80 beats per minute.  After eating a food to which one is allgeric, however, the pulse can increase significantly, to a count that’s 20 or even 30, beats above the normal level.

After effective diagnostic measure that has been self-administered is the elimination test.  Here, suspected allergy-producing foods are eliminated from the diet for four days.  Every fifth day, one of the foods is added back in to see if an allergic reaction occurs.  So, if, for example, wheat is eliminated, on the fifth day a bowel of cracked wheat can be eaten. (Bread should not be used for this purpose because the person might be reacting to the yeast, sugar or addictives.)” Gary Null Ph.D.

http://www.myhealthmaven.com/diy/health-tests-at-home/coca-pulse-test/

Although the pulse can be felt at many spots on the body, the best place to read it is at the wrist an inch and a half above the base of the thumb.  When counting your pulse it’s best to have a clock or watch with a second hand close by.  To pick up the pulse wait until the second hand reaches 12 and then start counting until the second hand returns to 12 again.  Once you get proficient at it, you can count for 15 seconds and multiply it by 4.

“The pulse has been almost totally neglected as an indicator of ill health.  Yet this simplest of all the methods of examination is the key to some of the deepest mysteries of man’s existence–the key with which he may emancipate himself from ill health.” Arthur F. Coca, M.D. ~THE PULSE TEST

HEALING ALLERGIES NATURALLY

What each us need to avoid or add into our diet varies with our own health needs as well as our age, lifestyle and individual metabolism.  The strategy is for everyone to choose a mixed diet, but to concentrate on foods that are rich in nutrients.  Sometimes it’s impossible to get enough of certain ‘essential’ nutrients and many of us do benefit from using herbal remedies and supplements—but these need to be understood and balanced.  Before trying any supplement, check with your doctor or nutritional advisor.  Some supplements may interact with the medication or other supplements you are taking now. Most health stores are knowledgeable in the benefits and cautions of most herbs and supplements and the internet is rich in information.

These are just a few ideas to help get your allergies under control.  Please bear in mind that natural therapies and supplements work gradually and steadily and usually take longer to work than drugs obtained by your doctor.  It may take up to six or eight weeks before you notice any improvement. Stop taking any remedy that makes you feel ill or isn’t working.

PROBIOTICS – Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria help in digestion and vitamin absorption and a great detox for substances that are carcinogenic or cancer-causing. They also support the immune system. Continued use of probiotics with the addition of vitamin D have been found to reduce airway inflammation, increase peak airflow and decrease symptoms of allergy.

Many children have been found to be deficient in vitamin D which has been associated with poor lung function and poorer response to inhaled medications.

DHEA repairs and maintains tissue, controls allergic reactions and symptoms and balances the immune system.  This hormone is secreted by the adrenal glands then converted into several other hormones in the body.  DHEA is available in a capsule, liquid and spray form.  A low dose of 5 mg is usually recommended and then increased slowly.  For those living in Canada government restriction prevent the purchase of DHEA over the counter.

ANTIDEPRESSANTS

Vitamin B12 and folic acid have been effective in raising mood.

Patients on antidepressants supplemented with B complex vitamins have been known to improve more than those on antidepressants who did not supplement with them. Vitamin B6 is needed by the body to produce serotonin.

SAM-e – S-adenosyl-L-methionine, is an amino acid that is thought to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine. It’s a super antidepressant.

5-HTP, L-Tryptophan and Melatonin – 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) and L-Tryptophan are amino acids that are used by the body to make serotonin. They are helpful in the synthesis of melatonin, a hormone involved in healthy sleep. These supplements are super when having to wean off prescription antidepressants. As the dosage of the antidepressant is gradually reduced, one can slowly substitute 5-HTP or L-Tryptophan to help reduce the withdrawal reactions that are apparent with most antidepressants.

L-Tyrosine L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that the body uses to manufacture dopamine. It also uses L-Tyrosine to make thyroid hormone. It can be a very effective antidepressant for almost everyone. One of the ways to boost L-Tyrosine levels is to supplement with vitamin C, which helps the body manufacture it in greater amounts.

Omega-3 fatty acids – Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil, flax seed, evening primrose, borage, blackcurrant seed oil) help to reduce inflammation and the absorption of nutrients.  It’s also known as a great brain food.  All brains would benefit from optimal levels of DHA and EPA. Depression is one of many common conditions that could benefit from omega-3 fatty acids. They influence something called the cytokine system in the brain. These cytokines are known as interleukin-1 -2 and -6, interferon-gamma, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. They can directly and indirectly influence the severity of depression.

Rhodiola rosea – This is an excellent herbal remedy for both anxiety and depression – Athletes have used this remedy for better stamina and higher energy. Check with your health care provider or health store as to how much you should take and if it can be increased gradually.

Valerian helps to calm the nerves and anxieties – it is especially recommended for nervous problems caused from emotional stress or pain.

VITAMINS AND MINERALS

Vitamin A increase the immune response and builds resistance to infection.

B Vitamins increase antibody response – B6 maintains a healthy immune and nervous system – more than 50 enzymatic reactions depend on vitamin B6

Selenium is another potent antioxidant and is important in detoxifying the body of environmental toxins.

Vitamin C stimulates adrenaline function and is essential to the immune system.

Vitamin E in conjunction with selenium and vitamin C is a potent immune protector.  It increases resistance to infection and reduces damage caused by stress.

Zinc boosts the thymus gland and is crucial for normal growth, cell division and tissue repair – without it, the immune system couldn’t do its job.  There are over 300 enzyme systems in the body that require zinc to do their job.  Zinc deficiency can cause a reduction in T-cells, natural killer cells and thymic hormone.

Magnesium is immune enhancing and essential to metabolism.  It’s main function is to activate enzymes, especially those related to energy production. Magnesium deficiencies have shown an increase of cytokines (inflammation) in the body.

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant – it’s most plentiful in sun-ripened tomatoes, watermelon, guava, and pink grapefruit.

Garlic is a natural antibiotic helping to ward off all kinds of infections. It is known to lower cholesterol, kill bacteria, boost the immune system and lower blood sugar levels.

TEA TREE OIL is an antifungal, anti-yeast and antiviral agent.  It can be taken both topically and internally.  It has many antimicrobial activities and used in the treatment of many different skin conditions, especially those associated with fungi or Candida.

HERBS

Tumeric or Curcumin is a potent antiflammatory and affects the production of both prostaglandins and leukotrienes which help to reduce pain. It is most effective in the treatment of Fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme found in the fruit and stem of the pineapple plant.  It helps to reduce swelling and works great in reducing arthritic pain.

Devil’s Claw reduces both pain and inflammation.

Eyebright – Stimulates the liver and cleans the blood. This herb can be used topically and internally – it reduces inflammation and is very helpful with people who have eye allergies such as conjunctivitis and blepharitis.

Stinging Nettle is great for itchy red eyes and works to reduce inflammation

Marigold helps to relieve nasal congestion, sneezing as well as itchy watery eyes.

Ginkgo biloka is great for hay fever sufferers, helps improve blood circulation and oxygen flow.  It can also help people with asthma.  Check with your doctor before taking this or any supplement.

Fresh thyme, nettles and fenugreek help clear the lungs of mucus

EXERCISE boosts metabolism and improves circulation bringing more oxygen and mood enhancing endorphins to the brain.  It has been proven that exercise can help alleviate depression, reduce cholesterol, glucose and other chemicals involved in your physical and mental health.

Optimized Diet – Good nutrition has become difficult in our day and age due to chemicals used in farming and to the food processing industry.  Also our food and environment is becoming increasingly polluted adding to our allergies and health problems.

While there is no single diet that’s for all those suffering from allergies and depression, avoiding sugar, alcohol and refined carbohydrates will help many.

GREAT LINKS

*WARNING: Anaphylactic shock can be a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.due to the collapse of the respiratory and circulatory system. If you are prone to highly allergic reactions, it is important to wear a medical bracelet and medical information in your wallet.  If you use an EpiPen, keep it close to your person and inform all those you are with, that should you go into an anaphylactic shock to use the EpiPen and make sure you receive immediate first aid treatment and sent to an emergency centre for observation.

A patient in anaphylactic shock should lie on their side to avoid choking (tongue can block airways) and if they need to vomit. If the person stops breathing, mouth to mouth resuscitation should be performed immediately.*

The Effects of Anaphylaxis on the Body http://www.healthline.com/health/anaphylaxis/effects-on-body

Chemical mediators http://people.upei.ca/hanna/Inflam7/Inflam-L7-2012.pdf Complement proteins http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/immunesystem/immunecells/Pages/complementSystem.aspx

Is raw food for you?

http://www.healyourlife.com/author-jenny-ross-and-doreen-virtue/2009/10/lifeshelp/get-healthy/is-raw-food-for-you

Great links on cytokines

Dr. Andrew Weil, Depression and Inflammation http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/depression-and-inflammation_b_1071714.html

Interview with Dr. Andrew Weil http://ttbook.org/book/transcript/transcript-andrew-weil-doctors-recipe-happiness

Healthy Food Pyramid http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02995/Dr-Weil-Anti-Inflammatory-Food-Pyramid.html

What is inflammation http://www.marksdailyapple.com/what-is-inflammation/#axzz28CD3qHK2

Great blog regarding allergies http://www.healyourlife.com/author-dr-darren-r-weissman/2009/11/wisdom/personal-growth/sticks-and-stones

Allergies, natural solutions http://www.naturopathic.org/content.asp?contentid=36

Natural Allergy Remedies http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/allergies-allergy

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“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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