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Posts Tagged ‘allergies’

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

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

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

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

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

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF INSOMNIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT IF….INSOMNIA IS CAUSED BY SOMETHING ELSE?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RESTLESS SLEEP

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

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

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

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

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

WHEN RELAXING IS UNRELAXING

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

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

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

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

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

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS THAT ARE KNOWN TO DISRUPT SLEEP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CORTISOL OVERLOAD

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

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

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

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

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

CORTISOL IMPACTS THE LIVER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Liver Meridian Gallbladder meridian

THE ADRENAL GLANDS AND SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE PINEAL GLAND AND SLEEP

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

Some Autonomic Nervous System Disturbances

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

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

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

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

“When Seasonal Affective Disorder (often called S.A.D.) occurs, the Soul needs adjustment since the Body is not storing enough light (energy). Food represents trapped sunlight and nourishes the Body as oxygen is delivered. Removing both emotional and physical toxins, strengthening cells with Essential Fatty Acids as well as getting the proper nutrients can resolve this issue. Light supports vision, and without vision it supports old habits plus closed off beliefs. Positive affirmations are a great way to dispel habits and beliefs.” Symptoms: the Language of the Soul: A Gift of Transformation ~ Susan Marion MacDonald

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

WHY IS SLEEP SO POWERFUL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

REM AND NREM SLEEP

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

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

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

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

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

“BODY SCANNING

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

PART II ~ INSOMNIA ~ RULES FOR BETTER SLEEP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUPPLEMENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Valerian – an effective stress reducer and sedative

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

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

Links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To be continued….

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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“I have ADD. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been messy, disorganized, talk too fast and write way too fast. I’m always anxious and can’t sit still; I start something then move onto something else so quickly, I can’t focus on the first thing to get it done. I used to cheat at school…the only thing that saved me was my creative abilities…I was put in every music/art class my high school offered. My focus is incredible when I’m doing what I love but doing stuff I don’t like or don’t want to do is a nightmare and that causes many problems. I have so many unfinished projects. (College student)

“My son has ADHD and is totally addicted, obsessed and consumed with video games. The strangest thing is, they help tremendously to calm him down and he notices the fine detail and frames better than me.” (Father of child with ADHD)

“People will be talking to me and my head or my mind will suddenly travel and drift off into outer space..then I’m come back and try to catch-up and listen but then my thoughts or day-dreams take me off to somewhere else…I doze off at the oddest moments (Andy with ADD)

Not that long ago there was little support or information available to help us understand learning and mental disorders.   Those afflicted with learning and mental disorders were basically on their own causing them to feel more and more pessimistic and withdrawn. Their families and those around them were in denial and they would blame themselves repeatedly on what looked like failures in their lives. Society told them to get on with their lives and pull themselves together yet they didn’t know how. To anyone on the outside, it appeared they weren’t in control of themselves.

It wasn’t until the beginning of the 21st century that mental disorders came out of the closet and were considered a ‘real illness’. Actors/actresses and authors admitted and openly discussed their stories of mood disorders and treatments; it was a true relief from those who suffered from inexplicable sensitivities and dramatic mood swings.

Every aspect of the way you live will influence the mind/body system and the thousands of neurons in the brain. The brain and body work as a mind/body connection–especially when the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) are in balance or in sync together. From the food we eat, to everyday stresses, to the chemical pollutants that get into our bodies, all these affect our behavior, causing nerve fibres to become tangled in our brains.

 “From a bodymind perspective every illness has a psycho/emotional connection; some are simply more obvious than others. There is no clear separation between what is happening in the mind and what is happening in the body. Both the physical problems that arise and the mental battles that rage within have the same importance.

 Mental and emotional disorders are real, and they are not necessarily cured by medical intervention. Anti-depressants are not a cure. Most of the therapies available aim to normalize according to society’s idea of what normal is, although more holistic and sympathetic systems are now emerging that treat the person, recognizing that each of us is a unique individual with specific needs.” YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro

Why are more and more children being classified with this disorder? Many of the children labeled as ADD/ADHD are diagnosed through their behavior and not measured through neurological testing. So any child who doesn’t follow the basic law of standards and rules by a school are diagnosed with some kind of learning disorder. In many cases children are being labeled with ADHD when, in fact, they are simply normal kids who are particularly bright and have a need to explore the subjects he or she are passionate about and that will stimulate and build their willingness to learn. Some children suffer from dyxpraxia; which is basically a problem in knowing what to do and how to go about doing it.

INDIGO CHILDREN

“Indigo Children are children who are brilliant and creative yet unconventional. Many of them are psychic, highly emotionally sensitive, or highly physically sensitive. Some of them have attention deficit disorder or learning disabilities. Some of them are angry or nonconformist, while others are exceptionally tolerant and compassionate. Indigo Children can be spiritually advanced beyond their years. Your Indigo child may have some but not all of these attributes. The main thing to know about Indigo Children is they don’t fit into a mold. They’re different, and they are here to change the world.” ~The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Indigo Children ~ by Wendy H. Chapman, Carolyn Flynn

I hummed and hawed about adding the indigo children. What actually changed my mind was the color ‘indigo’ itself; a color not only difficult to describe but difficult to perceive as well.   Its inky blackness is unstable; an elusive color—known to dissolve boundaries; it seduces and liberates or overwhelms the mind. Indigo exists between purple and blue; sometimes almost black and ‘always’ with a hew of red. It’s associated with the 6th chakra (3rd eye) which is in the region of the brain, eyes, ears, nose, pineal and pituitary glands.

(Too much of the color indigo can decrease the function of the thyroid gland affecting one’s thoughts, speech as well as fatigue, muscles aches and weakness. This is discussed later on in this blog.)

“The health issues related to the sixth emotional centre span from ailments of the brain, eyes and ears to broader themes of learning and developmental problems. As with the other emotional centers, if we are discussing a part of the body, the illness is often caused by certain thoughts and behavior patterns. However, when discussing the larger themes, the thoughts and behaviors do not stand as the cause; they are merely a factor that exacerbates certain tendencies, such as ADHD or dyslexia.….

 People who struggle with health in the sixth emotional center have an imbalance in how they see and learn from the world. Some are rooted in the earthly realm, with no connection to the greater universe, and others are totally connected to the mystical realm without a foot on the earthly plane. Finding a way to balance the input of both these realms when facing life’s ups and downs bring health in the sixth emotional center.” All is Well: Heal your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition ~ Louise L. Hay, Mona Lisa Schulz

Something I’ve noticed with ADHD individuals in regard to the chakras, is at times the 3rd chakra (yellow) and the 2nd chakra (orange) can pulsate causing them to feel irritable, unsettled and anxious. When these chakras fluctuate between overactive and underactive, we become unbalanced and absorb way too much information from our environment.   This causes tension and stress to buildup, causing irrational thoughts and hyperactivity.

Physically this can cause intense headaches and affect the whole digestive process from the stomach, liver, spleen, kidneys, right into the intestines. When our stomachs can’t digest new ideas and experiences not only food is poorly absorbed in our system but our thoughts and feelings as well. When the stomach is rigid or tense we are resisting or holding onto things that should normally pass through our bodies. Indigestion can reflect on the skin causing blemishes, eczema, and psoriasis, which metaphysically, are caused by confusing thought patterns, frustration and the inability to make our needs understood.

MY SON IS ADHD

My oldest son was diagnosed with ADHD in grade school, and I know for a fact, he took great pleasure in defying anything that had to do with rules or tasks that weren’t creative. In preschool he’d roll around on the floor, often rolling up to the teacher and try to tickle her toes. When it was reading time, all the kids would sit in a circle except Jason who’d constantly fidget and rock his body to and fro or comically march around the room, creating havoc. At home, he wasn’t as hyper at school but always seemed to crave some kind of movement.   Health-wise he suffered from multiple earaches as a child and as a teen struggled with psoriasis and acne.

ADD/ADHD’ers are sensitive, hyper, impulsive, inattentive, extremely bright and highly animated adults and kids; they’re always on the move and have trouble sitting still.   It can be hard to prove some children display ADHD tendencies because all kids display some ADHD behaviors. ADD/ADHD people don’t understand linear time, their thinking is scattered; they have trouble establishing priorities and organizing their lives; they can drive everyone around them crazy.

“It’s..understandable that people might think children with ADHD have brains that process faster than their peers. However…people with ADHD actually suffer from an increased amount of slow brain waves, as evidenced by electroencephalograms (EEGs) (American Psychiatric Association 2013). These slow waves are the “sleepy” theta waves that are seen in ultimate relaxation or stage-two sleep. “This means they are producing theta slow waves (4-8Hz) when they should be producing beta fast waves (12-21Hz),”…this disorder is “related to ‘under arousal’ of the frontal and prefrontal brain systems that regulate attention and impulse control. Children who demonstrate symptoms of ADHD often show smaller and/or slower than normal physiological reactions to stimuli,” and this shows that their brains operate at lower levels of excitement…

 … such children can tend to seek stimulation from their external environment, which can present as hyperactivity and/or impulsivity… This is why it seems as though children with ADHD need to get their energy out in a very excessive manner! They appear almost like energy junkies. They gravitate toward activities that produce emotional and sensory stimulation, which seem to be more action-oriented, offering immediate rewards. Things such as “loud music, colorful toys, big motion outside activities, action-packed video games, and so forth offer the right stimulation” (Managing your ADHD Child 2000-2011).” Toddlers & ADHD: Relief for Parents, A Guide for Clinicians and Teachers ~ Donna Mac LCPC

When Jason was being tested for ADHD, I was learning and obtaining my license to drive school bus part-time. Interestingly, when I was given my bus schedule for the new school year in September, the children on my routes were all Special Needs. Each child was to be independently driven to their appropriate school to avoid becoming overexcited by other children on the bus. The parents to these children were astounding! They were such compassionate, spiritual souls—eagerly sharing what they’d learned about alternative medicines and information to help me understand their children and my own son. As I digested all the information, I realized that I had been trying to mould my son into the type of child that I wanted instead of accepting the child that I had been given. For the first time in my life I was looking at the “problem” from his perspective and found out that my attempts to “change him for the better” must have appeared to him as if I was rejecting him; trying to change him into something that he was not. Jason was teaching Me!

I discovered different aspects to my son’s character that I never knew existed because I was reacting and too focused on his behavioral problems. I received a great deal of inspiration when I thought all avenues had been exhausted. It is such an amazing feeling to receive help from people who understood, and took the trouble to offer such kind and helpful advice. Hopefully we can share the same kind of energy.

 “The child labeled with ADD is given medication to keep him calm, but no one seems to know why he’s hyperactive, and some adults never even ask the question. The reality may be that he’s just not interested in what this world is teaching him. These oft-gifted and highly misunderstood children already know much of what’s being taught and seek challenges elsewhere. The fact that children labeled with ADD can focus on anything at all should tell you this label is false. That the youngster may not want to pay attention in school but can focus on a video game for hours should tell you it’s the subject matter, not the child that needs to be addressed.” Healing with Source: A Spiritual Guide to Mind-Body Medicine ~ Dave Markowitz

I’ve noticed ADD/ADHD’ers are the first to react to what is happening to them at the moment. They are affected by what’s happening in their environment and especially when something’s off. It’s as if they were born with extreme sensitivities, making them aware of all kinds of subtle messages from outside and inside; many of them are empathic, psychic and very sensitive to their environment. This also means they are easily overwhelmed by touch and clothing against their skin. My son would cry when his shoes felt too tight, or his socks seemed lumpy. He’d scream and yell, at home or at school, until he yanked them off and hurled them away. He hated baths, wouldn’t wear hats or mittens even when it was freezing outside. Getting him to eat was also very difficult—he used to hide his food in his cheeks like a chipmunk.

You can’t be a traditional parent, to ADD/ADHD’ers and you can’t educate them in the traditional way….these kids and adults are very creative and relate best to activities/courses that allow them to explore their creativity. You won’t find an ADHD’er behind the desk doing accounting or talking business on the phone. These special people are the performers, actors, musicians, writers, teachers, photographers and designers of our world. They have unique visual perceptions and often see energies others don’t usually see. They are tuned into something that most of us only get glimpses of—they are tuned into a higher spiritual vibration.

“The ADD/ADHD patient compensates for the increased theta production with hyperactivity. For example, have you ever driven down a road late at night and found yourself becoming sleepy? What do you do? Open the window, turn up the volume on the radio [and sing loudly], or tap the dashboard? You make yourself hyperactive to stay awake! The ADD/ADHD patient that is producing too many slow waves is in a perpetual state of fogginess and is constantly trying to stay awake—hence the hyperactivity” (Brain and Body Solutions n.d.). This is what student with ADHD do in school—they fidget, wiggle, shift body position, and tap their pencils in an attempt to stay focused and awake, which are observations I make on a daily basis at the therapeutic day school where I work. Toddlers & ADHD ~ Donna Mac, LCPC

ADD/ADHD And The BRAIN

“A variety of factors mold your brain and determine how you ultimately pay attention. If your mother was stressed when pregnant with you, especially in the first trimester, her elevated androgen levels would have altered how your right and left brain perceive the world. In addition to an increased risk of dyslexia, you’re less likely to develop the traditional focused attention. You atypical attention style is likely to give you exaggerated empathetic and intuitive gifts and possibily creative and artistic skills. If a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, however, all attention pathways in the fetal brain become disordered. Alcohol not only damages the developing corpus callosum, the connection between the right and left brain, but also injures developing white-matter nerve pathways involved in every aspect of attention. Children and adults with fetal alcohol syndrome suffer the most severe forms of attention deficit disorder, with profound hyperactivity so disabling that they have trouble functioning in the world.” The New Feminine Brain ~ Mona Lisa Schulz

The brain is what helps us 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 most subtlest change, can have a major impact on our feelings, thoughts and action.

The right brain, left brain look very similar and share much of the work in thinking. However, each side has special tasks. The left side of the brain enables us to figure out problems logically, to speak and write, to understand science and numbers. The right side is your creative side—this is where your vivid imagination and artistic ability comes from and your love for music.

“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

Neurotransmitters

A neurotransmitter is a brain chemical specifically for communication to happen 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.

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. Both stress and poor diet can cause acetycholine to decline.

Dopamine is the brains revitalizer. It controls energy release, energy consumption, drive and excitement about new ideas. It also keeps us alert and vigilant, controlling the release of the hormones norepinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol for the fight/flight response. When dopamine levels are low, these control circuits are sluggish, slow to respond, and less effective. (Many ADHD kids are low in iron and iron is needed to make dopamine.)

Dopamine levels are affected by serotonin, norepinephine and GABA. For example higher levels of serotonin have been known to decrease the level of dopamine. If there isn’t enough dopamine, it’s more difficult for people to feel creative, happy, calm and objective.

GABA works to stop excess nerve signals and keeps the brain from getting out of control. It controls the brain’s rhythm of thinking, talking and hearing and calms and quiets the brain. With ADD/ADHD children and adults GABA levels are low causing them to feel hyper, anxious, and lethargic.

Serotonin is the brains’ mood rejuvenator but too much can cause depression and too little causes us to be impulsive, aggressive, anxious, restless, and compulsive.

Everyday our neuropeptides try to work hard to keep us functioning at a peak performance but chemicals, food coloring, 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.

“Due to the nature of this disorder, what a child with ADHD actually needs is more stimulation within his brain, so he doesn’t need to gain that stimulation from the environment around him. Have you ever noticed a child with ADHD jumping on a coffee table when he is at an age where he is well aware this is not acceptable behavior? He is trying to self-stimulate through this type of inappropriate movement, to get his brain to a baseline level of arousal. Another common misconception of ADHD is “this child just has to learn he isn’t supposed to jump on tables.” However ADHD is not a disorder of inability to learn; it’s a disorder of an inability to self-regulate. Therefore, he has learned he isn’t supposed to do this. All toddlers obviously crave movement, and movement is crucial for proper brain development. However, there is a normal range and an excessive range for movement in toddlerhood.” Toddlers & ADHD ~ Donna Mac, LCPC

The Left and Right Hemisphere of the Brain

Seen from above, the human brain is divided in two parts and looks similar to two halves of a walnut—these two halves are called the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere. The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and the right hemisphere controls the left. Signals from your sense organs cross over before they enter your brain, going to the opposite hemispheres.

“Those who have suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, commonly called a ‘stroke’, provide clear examples of how this kind of cross-over operates. A stroke in the right hemisphere of the brain will affect victims on the left side of the body. Thus, they can lose control over the muscles in the left hand, left leg, and the left side of the face (including that side of the tongue and mouth). A stroke to the left part of the brain will similarly affect the right side of the body.” Psycholinguistics: Language, Mind and World ~ By Danny D. Steinbert, Hiroshi Nagata, David P. Aline

For the last two hundred years or so, scientists discovered that language and language related capabilities are mainly located in the left hemisphere of most people—approximately 98 percent of right-handers and about two-thirds of left-handers. Because speaking and talking are vitally important in our world, scientists called the left hemisphere dominant and the right side ‘less evolved’ or ‘minor’ and ‘less advanced’ than the left.

It’s only been recently that neuroscience began to understand we have a double brain with two ways of knowing. These two hemispheres (right brain, left brain), perceive reality in their own way and though separate, are joined by a ‘boomerang-shaped band of fibers’ or bridge called the corpus callosum which allows the left brain and right brain to process and relay information between each other.

Children and adults with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and autism have a smaller corpus callosum, which means that they have more difficulty processing outside stimuli. They are easily distracted and alarmed with constant new stimuli bombarding them. This is why most children and adults with ADD function better in classes with fewer children.

THE MEDULLA OBLONGATA AND THE SENSES

At the base of your brain stem is what’s called the Medulla Oblongata. This area at the back of the neck feeds nerve energy to our five senses. When our nerve energy becomes depleted, it’s unable to reach our ears, eyes, throat or mouth. We need our senses to function in the world…every move we make, every bite we eat, every object we touch produces a sensation.

Our senses also tell us when something in our environment doesn’t feel right; the hypothalamus in the brain is what turns the stress switch on and we immediately prepare ourselves for the fight or flight response. When our senses let us know all is well, we relax, feel safe and look for much of the same…if we’re bored we look for something that stimulates us higher.

To do their job well, all the senses have to work together. Together they nourish the brain with many sensations urging us to develop more to improve physically, mentally and emotionally.

But many adults and children who suffer from learning disabilities or some kind of mental illness struggle with the basic ordinary sensations; for some reason their sensitive systems become overloaded and overwhelmed very quickly. It’s difficult for them to know what they feel inside—when this happens, they can become disoriented, confused and lose touch with themselves—this affects their behavior, the way they react, move, learn and relate to others. It also affects how they feel about themselves. Because their central nervous systems have trouble processing through the five senses, they have a hard time functioning in daily life. They look ok on the outside and have a superior intelligence but may be awkward, fearful and withdrawn, or hostile and aggressive. Many adults and children with attention deficit disorder, asperger’s, autism, bi-polar, tourette’s syndrome, and schizophrenia often suffer from low self-esteem and self worth because of their unique condition. Unaware teachers, peers and/or parents may even ridicule them.

“According to the Louise Hay affirmation theory, the health of the sixth emotional center—the brain, eyes, and ears—involves a capacity to be receptive to information and a flexibility to think and reason your way out of situations.

The brain is like a computer, receiving information, processing it, and then carrying out the proper function. Information travels from every part of our body to the brain and from the brain to the body’ however, the brain can be sidetracked in its job by its emotional components such as fear, anger, and inflexibility. All is Well: Heal your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition ~ Louise L. Hay, Mona Lisa Schulz

TOXIC BRAIN SYNDROME

“Of all the body’s systems and processes, the endocrine system is the most susceptible to daily stresses such as thoughts, emotions, environmental factors, nutrition and pollutants. An imbalance in this system can interfere with our ability to sustain health and some of the symptoms can manifest as depression, mood swings, weight or sleep issues, lethargy, low self-esteem, fuzzy brain, loss of libido, headaches, allergies, fatigue, and general aches and pains.” YOUR PERSONAL TUNING FORK: The Endocrine System ~ Deborah Bates

For many children where there seems to be no specific learning disability, there is a condition called toxic brain syndrome which is caused by environmental and dietary toxins, food additives, processed foods, and drugs, and poor nutrition. Food colorings and a preservative called ‘sodium benzoate is know to affect the nervous, immune and hormonal systems, causing hyperactivity in adults and children.

ALLERGIES AND CANDIDA CAN CAUSE LEARNING PROBLEMS

If you suspect you or your child suffer from allergies, talk to your health professional about natural healing alternative. More information about allergies and candida can be found here and here.

When you have an allergic reaction, your body releases histamine into your system, which is the cause of most of your symptoms. Allergies are a symptom of an overloading of toxins in the body, expressed through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat as well as the skin.

Allergies and chemical sensitivities may be responsible for some learning problems, as they allow cytokines to enter the bloodstream and affect normal brain function. Cytokines play a key role in cellular messaging, talking to cells how they should act or react to certain situations. Cytokines, are produced by the cells of the nervous system, and the cells of the immune system, binding to sites in the brain, causing changing in areas such as sleep, attention and mood. Recently there has been speculation that immune system problems may trigger the development ADD/ADHD symptoms.

“Inside the brain, histamine plays an important role in all sorts of reactions [including allergies]. In the hypothalamus, histamine stimulates the release of the important neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Another role of brain histamine is to counterbalance dopamine in that area of the brain that filters incoming sensory information. With too little histamine, dopamine levels can be elevated. The result of having too little histamine can be thought disorders like paranoia, or hallucinations that feel as if your mind is playing tricks on you. You may see or hear things abnormally, and your ears may ring. You will probably make grandiose plans but never have the energy to carry them out….

When histamine levels are abnormally high, there is a tendency to hyperactivity, depression, aggressiveness, compulsive behavior and a racing brain. You may grow obsessive about sex, cry easily, have abnormal fears and contemplate suicide.” 7 Weeks to Emotional Healing ~ Joan Mathews Larson, Ph.D

Your intestinal tract naturally contains small amounts of Candida 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 most often paired together.

Candida becomes a problem when food in the intestines ferments instead of digesting. This overgrowth can penetrate the intestinal lining and find its way into the circulatory/blood system. Some people refer to this as “leaky gut”. 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. Sometimes the immune system can’t determine the foreign substance and in its confusion to obliterate it, starts attacking the body—this is called an autoimmune disease—the self attacking self.

One of the most common mental complaints of candida is brain fog or difficulty concentrating. Psychological symptoms can cause a variety of symptoms such as: depression, angry outbursts, mood swings, obsessive compulsive behavior (OCB), panic attacks, paranoia, personality changes and even schizophrenic behavior. When candida is treated successfully, the psychological symptoms dissipate as well.

IMMUNIZATIONS/VACCINATIONS

This is such a controversial subject that I honestly don’t have enough knowledge about. I’ve suggested some sites for you to read and increase your awareness about it.

http://www.mercola.com/article/vaccines/neurological_damage.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpPW0lV0WbU

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/75333.php

http://gizmodo.com/5885757/vaccines-dont-cause-autism-please-vaccinate-your-children

ADHD And HYPOTHYROIDISM

In the section on Indigo Children, we touched on the fact that too much of the color, indigo (6th chakra) depresses the performance of the thyroid. The third eye also known as the pineal gland lies deep in the brain and has no direct access to light. Instead it ‘sees’ through our eyes and the amount of light registered on the pineal through the eyes determines the production of melatonin. Melatonin helps to regulates the breakdown of T4 (thyroxine) into the more energetic form, T3 for the thyroid.

“Thyroxine (T4), the main thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid is a small molecule that contains four iodine atoms. In the cells of many organs (including the brain), a well-regulated process causes thyroxine to lose iodine, generating the much more potent thyroid hormone T3. In the brain, probably more so than in any other organ, T3 rather than T4 appears to be the critical form of the hormone that regulates cell functions. Because the amount of T3 present in the brain must remain in an optimal range to keep the mind functioning properly, fluctuations in the crucial process of converting T4 to T3 will inevitably affect the mind.” The Thyroid Solution: A Revolutionary Mind-Body Program for Regaining your ~ Ridha Arem

Melatonin affects our mood, menstrual cycles, estrogen levels, sperm levels and ovulation. When too much of this hormone is in our system, especially during daylight hours, we can suffer mental confusion and depression, skin problems and many other health complications.   People suffering from depression also tend to have large amounts of cortisol, a hormone produced from the adrenal glands, in their bloodstream. Too much cortisol suppresses the thyroid and immune system, resulting in lethargy, irritability, overeating, low self-esteem and mood changes.

Stress, illness and poor diet can easily affect the thyroid gland. The thyroid uses foods such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats and minerals as fuel. This gland coverts food into energy, not only controlling the body’s growth and temperature, it also controls every cell in the body as well. Your skin, complexion and even your outward appearance is affected by the thyroid. It’s the engine of your body and when it goes into low gear, the whole body is affected.

“The thyroid system is one of the body’s most rightly and precisely regulated systems, Minute changes in the way thyroid hormone is delivered to or dispersed in the brain can have drastic effects on mood, emotions, attention and thinking. A problem with the delivery of T3 can cause disorders ranging from depression to attention deficit in people with normally functioning thyroids. Neuroscientists are teaching us the wide range of ways in which T3 regulates brain function and the brain chemistry syndromes that are likely to result from the alteration of the thyroid hormone levels in the brains of people with normally functioning thyroid glands…..

In patients suffering from generalized resistance to thyroid hormone, thyroid hormone levels could affect other chemical transmitters such as noradrenaline, which is considered to be one of the culprits in ADHD. In such patients, the behavioral symptoms, such as distractibility and restlessness, may improve the T3 treatment. Thyroid hormone treatment could be used alone or in conjunction with other medications to regulate the noradrenaline levels in the brain. The Thyroid Solution: A Revolutionary Mind-Body Program for Regaining your ~ Ridha Arem

Sometimes a genetic defect can cause the thyroid hormone to work less efficiently in the brain, pituitary, and other organs.   Although tests show thyroid levels normal, the brain may actually be deficient in the hormone causing attention deficit disorders. Talk to your doctor about this and he or she will be able to do further tests to determine this.

“To address the thought patterns underlying ADHD, Louise suggests the affirmation “Life loves me. I love myself just the way I am. I am free to create a joyous life that works for me. All is well in my world.” But she also recommends you use other affirmations that address some of the common traits of the disorder. For example, the hyperactivity associated with ADHD is often accompanied by thought patterns that include feeing pressured and frantic. So if you tend to be hyperactive or unfocused, you may need a calming affirmation so you can let go of the anxiousness and worry. A good general affirmation is “I am safe. All pressure dissolves. I AM good enough.” Stuttering, a behavior that can be associated with dyslexia, may develop from insecurity and a lack of self-expression. If you stutter, slow down and remind yourself that you have the strength and confidence to articulate your needs with the affirmation “I am free to speak up for myself. I am now secure in my own expression. I communicate only with love.” Asperger’s is often associated with depression, so if you suffer from this, you can use the affirmation “I now go Beyond other people’s fears and limitations. I create my life.” All is Well: Heal your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition ~ Louise L. Hay, Mona Lisa Schulz

TESTOSTERONE

 “Testosterone levels influence attention and definitely are associated with impulsivity. Men traditionally have higher testosterone levels and are more impulsive. Women traditionally have lower testosterone levels and are less impulsive. This difference in testosterone and impulsivity may explain why men and boys are more likely to have ADHD (attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity and impulsivity) whereas girls and women are likely to have a more “dreamlike” or “spacey” type of ADD.

 At menopause, however, the brain’s attention circuits change. With a decrease in estrogen and an increase in testosterone, women are more impulsive, more hyperactive, and less attentive. These changes make some women feel as if their brain is turning into a “fuzzbull.”   Menopausal women with ADD may become even more inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive. Many women also become more emotionally porous—they hear their intuitions more than ever and may be distracted by the pain in others’ lives at this time. Men, who go through a “testepause”, have decreasing testosterone levels and a relative increase in estrogen, so their attention may actually become more acute.” The New Feminine Brain: How Women Can Develop their Inner Strengths, Genius ~ by Mona Lisa Schulz

HEALING ADD/ADHD NATURALLY

The best thing I can advise you is to do everything you can to learn about ADD/ADHD and work together with your health professional. Doctors only have so much time to work with each patient; we have to become our own advocate in the art of healing.

What follows are guidelines only. Healing can happen by applying a do-it-yourself approach—you’ll have to research and experiment with a variety of herbs, supplements and energy work to find what works for you.

Reiki, Quantum Healing, Therapeutic Touch, EFT, are all wonderful healing therapies to explore.  They help to relax and ground the body in present time. My son soaked up Reiki energy like a sponge and enjoyed Therapeutic Touch.

“If your child has some of the outward symptoms of essential fat deficiency – rough dry patches on the skin, cracked lips, dull or dry hair, soft or brittle nails, and excessive thirst – it is fair to say that this could be an underlying factor in learning difficulties they might be experiencing, such as concentration or visual problems, mood swings, disturbed sleep patterns and in some cases behavioural problems. This is because dyslexia, dyspraxia, learning difficulties and ADHD all involve poor nerve cell communications in the brain, and essential fats are crucial in keeping neurons talking to each other.” http://www.easyreadsystem.com/news/nutrition-dyslexia-what-works/

I looked at giving Jason a serotonin supplement Tryptophan (5-HTP) which improves both mood and sleep or even SAMe but wasn’t sure at his young age, the amount to give him. Reading up on serotonin, I learnt that when our bodies crave it, we have an insatiable desire for foods that are sweet or starchy (chips, cookies, cake, pastries, cereal). Also, that serotonin hunger can only be satisfied by eating high-carbohydrates.   I found out that eating too many protein foods without carbohydrates inhibit serotonin from entering the brain.   In fact too much fat in the diet competes with serotonin too! Needless to say, we began changing our food consumption to include carbohydrate-rich snacks and carbohydrate-rich dinners; these include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, rice and legumes.

Factory produced foods (refined carbohydrates) are not carbohydrate-rich and lack essential nutrients the body needs to survive.   When we eat too many of these foods the body will crave for its nutritional requirements which often leads to excess eating and hyperactivity.

When my son was diagnosed with ADHD, I looked into the pros and cons of medication and decided not to put him on *Ritalin or Adderall. Many of the parents I’ve come to know with special needs children, recommended Efamol, Omega 3, vitamin B6 and magnesium. B6 and magnesium help to increase GABA as well as prevent the loss of dopamine from the brain.   I noticed a slight change in his nature after several weeks and by three months a tremendous improvement.

 “I know a lot of people don’t agree with medicating their children, but if my kids didn’t their meds they literally wouldn’t have an education because of there behavior and lack of concentration. We have had all the food allergy tests done; we’ve tried the reward system and the star charts that were recommended but they didn’t help a bit. Using Ritalin helped our children immensely and if all efforts fail, we’d highly recommend it.” (Sue K., mother of two)

Ritalin is a form of “speed”, acting similarly to cocaine or amphetamines—though Ritalin is supposed to “work” for several hours in 60-75% of children.   Side effects include a loss of several inches in height, poor appetite, insomnia, tics and personality changes. In spite of using Ritalin, two thirds of children with ADHD carry it into their adulthood.

Simple breathing exercises, focusing on the breath can be helpful for the anxiety that sometimes accompanies ADHD. It will also help to let go of any tension and create more relaxed body language. My son and I would make a game of this at bedtime, counting as we breathed in 1-2-3-4-5 and breathing out 1-2-3-4-5. It was hard at first but if you stick with it for at least 10 minutes, you’ll noticed your breathing will become more rhythmic and helps to release the tensions through the body.

There is also an exercise called cross-crawling (when you raise an arm and the opposing leg together and then repeat the other side – a bit like marching) which stimulates connections in the brain.

Another good idea is to try the mind gym type games, these encourage stimulating parts of the brain that lay latent and increase the brain’s capacity.

A meditation class might be something to try,and a Tai Chi class would be particularly helpful If you have difficulties with spatial awareness and balance.

The other thing Jason needed was exercise, which as indicated above, helps to boost the neurotransmitters in the brain. Walking outdoors strengthens and tones the muscles and also reinforces our feelings of being part of the oneness of creation. The patterns of nature also speak very deeply to our souls.

All children love music; playing a musical instrument is another good way to stimulate the brain. Jason took to the piano like bees take to honey. In high school, the teachers worked with him and he now creates his own music and has his Grade 10 in piano.

There is hope for everyone with ADD/ADHD. My son graduated with honors from high school and is now in University. If he can do it, you can do it too.

BBC ~ ADHD drugs have no benefit http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/11_november/12//adhd.shtml

Indigo, Crystal and Rainbow Children http://www.angeltherapy.com/article1.php

ADHD Gifted and Creative  http://innerself.com/Parenting/hartmann_2135.htm

Each child requires an individualized approach. Indigos want very much to be seen for the unique individuals theyare—cookie-cuter solutions don’t work with them.

The sound learning centre for developmental problems http://www.thesoundlearningcentre.co.uk/treatment/development-programme/

Fascinating video with Dr. Daniel G. Aman, who has written many books on ADD ~ he believes brain imaging important – treatment should be individual ~ One treatment does not fit everybody! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXFyUNEXJp0&app=desktop

And his website ‘Healing the 7 types of ADD

http://www.elevatedexistence.com/blog/2014/01/04/dr-daniel-amen-healing-the-7-types-of-add/

“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/

Essential Oils – Essential Blends (www.essentialblends.com) has a formula especially for ADD/ADHD to help calm some brain areas and stimulate others. The blend is a mixture of tangerine, cardamon, lavender, sweet almond and jojoba.

ADHD Facts and Statistics  http://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/facts-statistics-infographic#3  

Stay tuned for the next topic… Asperger’s Syndrome

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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“Overweight – Guilt, shame, suppressed emotions, Carrying others’ problems and burdens. Trying to cover your vulnerability, hurt, or abuse from the past. Not feeling good enough. Feeling stuck. Punishing yourself with food. Trying to push people away or keep them at a distance. Not allowing your true beauty and essence to shine through. Keeping the weight as protection. Constant procrastination.” ~ Inna Segel The Secret Language of Your Body: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness

”I diet and I diet and I’m not losing weight”

“I know I have an addiction to food. I’m what you call an emotional eater and struggle with added on weight. I find myself eating, even when I’m not even hungry,”

“For me, food is an attempt to ease my stress or anxiety. It’s also become a source of comfort as it doesn’t fight back or disagree with me, thus it gives me a temporary gain of feeling empowered…but unfortunately in the long run, I gain increased weight only.”

“As a child, I was put on a diet, dieting meant something was different about me, I wasn’t good enough. When I was told I needed to lose weight (another not good enough), every meal I ate was different from the rest of the family. I felt I was being singled-out , punished, a misfit…..”

“Why do I wolf down sticky pastries and chocolate cake when I’m not even hungry?”

Like most of you, I’ve had my weight problems and I’ve had to watch what I eat. A lot of the time I just couldn’t say no to dessert. Why is it, we simply can’t resist eating candy, cake, cookies, or anything that’s sweet? Why do we have such an insatiable craving for carbohydrates?

Hunger begins in the limbic part of the brain which operates through the endocrine system and the autonomic nervous system.  This is the area that plays a key role in regulating food intake and body weight.  When the body is low in blood sugar or glucose, the liver sends signals to the hypothalamus, a small but important gland at the base of your brain.  It’s also the hypothalamus that triggers those hunger cravings that can drive you crazy and make you feel light-headed and irritable.

“Compulsive and addictive behaviors such as overeating, compulsive exercise, gambling, spending, workaholism, relationship addiction, and drug and alcohol abuse are born of intense craving for nurturing, affection, connection and personal power. Under the surface of compulsive behaviors lies an insecure, frightened and angry individual crying out in loneliness, isolation, helplessness, fear and anger. Compulsive behaviors represent an attempt at survival, security, satisfaction identity and safety. The compulsions become replacement for nurturing; the means to diminish anxiety and insecurity, and experience brief pleasure and gratification; the means to repress anger and hostility; and an avenue to find temporary security. Compulsive behaviors represent the paradox of both an overwhelming desire for connectedness and a fear of intimacy and conflict. The spending, hoarding, sex, compulsive work, etc., reflect an effort to protect oneself against overwhelming feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and fear of abandonment should emotions held in check be released. Good and Mad: Transform Anger Using Mind, Body, Soul and Humor ~ By Jane Middelton-Moz, Lisa Tener, Peaco Todd

How many times have you eaten to…..

1) to stuff your anger, rage, despair

2) to numb and comfort yourself

3) to run away or escape from feelings of perceived restrictions

4) to reward yourself after feelings of powerlessness

5) to run away from feelings of loss and deprivation.

 “Overeating has always meant a need for protection. When you feel insecure or frightened, you pad yourself with a layer of safety. Weight has nothing to do with food. Most of you spend a lifetime being angry at yourselves for being fat. What a waste of energy. Instead, realize there is something going on in your life that is making you feel unsafe and insecure. It could be your work, your spouse, your sexuality, or your life in general. If you are overweight, put the food/weight issue aside and work on the pattern that says, “I need protection because I’m insecure. 

It’s amazing how our cells respond to our mental patterns. When the need for protection is gone, or when we start feeling secure, the fat will melt off. I have noticed in my own life that when I am not feeling safe, I will gain some weight. When my life is going so fast, and I’m doing so much, and I’m spreading myself all over the place, I feel a need for protection, a need for security. So I say, “Okay, Louise, it’s time to work on safety. I want you to really know that you are safe, and it’s okay, and you can do all this stuff, and you can be at all these places, and you can have all that is happening right now, and you are safe, and I love you.” The Power Is Within You ~ Louise L. Hay

The physical body is a reflection of your thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and emotions, so what you think on, you gradually grow to become. Deep within your muscles, organs and tissues are your memories of past experiences, unexpressed traumas, shocks and despair. The heaviness of these burdens coupled with your own beliefs and judgments, often show up as protective layers of fat carried around in certain tissues of your physical body. Any hurts or misunderstandings that aren’t addressed suppress our energy, causing our bodies to become overweight or ill.

Some of the major causes of overeating is depression, stress, holding back hurts and the fear of not being loved. Whenever we experience these unpleasant emotions our body’s start losing energy….this is when we unconsciously feel the need to replace that lost energy with food. Unfortunately, under stress, we don’t eat wisely, (grabbing for something sweet and starchy) and end up losing more energy processing the food, which creates an even lower energy cycle.

“Food represents mother, love, affection, security, survival and reward. We replace our need or desire for any one of these with food as a way of filling the emptiness within. We use food instead of affection and love, especially at times of loss, separation or death. We also get it to ease financial or material tensions. Eating sweet food is a way of feeding ourselves the sweetness we crave, of temporarily giving to ourselves the sweetness or reward that we may feel nobody else is giving us. Conversely, in expressing our need for nourishment we may also stop eating thereby reducing or shrinking our need for affection to a level that makes no demands at all In this way obesity and anorexia are actually expressing a similar state; that of not loving self and therefore needing outside reinforcement and affirmation, but not receiving that affirmation enough to satisfy the demand. The reaction that state is simply expressing in opposing ways: obesity indicates a loss of personal control, while anorexia implies a highly exaggerated attempt at control.

 All this is dealt with in the stomach. Hence the longings, unfulfilled desires, worldly pressures and external conflicts are first assimilated. Little wonder that they can cause so much upset such as indigestion, ulcers or acidity. How often do we hear someone say that something is ‘eating away’ at him, and then we also find that he has a stomach ulcer. The stomach modifies and breaks down the food and renders it capable of being absorbed, before sending it further down. Food can spend many hours passing through the stomach, so it is not surprising to find that thoughts and feelings can also sit in here for a long time, creating nausea and tension. A rigidly tense stomach area can indicate a resistance to allowing issues to pass through, a holding on to reality in an attempt to prevent inevitable moves and changes. DEB SHAPIRO body/mind workbook

CASE STUDY

 “Our earliest experience of food and safety, and our first encounter with the lunar principle after birth, is mother’s breast. Although the Moon is really inside us, we first meet it exteriorized in the person who has given birth to us, feeds us and protects us. If mother goes away, then the dark of the Moon has come, and we are overcome with terror of the abyss of extinction. “ Liz Greene The Illuminaries

When Sandy came to see me she was a single mother, thirty-nine years old, just over five feet tall and weighing approximately 150 pounds. She knew there were strong psychological forces from her childhood that were playing a part in her overeating. Although she had gone for psychotherapy, it had not succeeded in resolving her problem. The diets she’d tried and groups she joined had helped her to lose some weight but in the end, all her weight returned and then some.

Sandy said she frequently used food or sweets as a source of comfort; during the nights she would toss and turn, questioning why and how she let herself go…going over it again and again until she felt her head would explode. As her anxiety grew, she not only gained weight in her hips and mid-section, she also started experiencing pain in the right side of her stomach…Sandy later discovered the pain was an inflammation of her duodenum (the beginning of an ulcer). Her brain that had been carrying the stress of overeating had discharged part of it into duodenum. In return the duodenum bombarded her brain will painful information, disturbing her sleep.

Every person has a ‘weak link’ an organ or body part that is more vulnerable than the others and this particular body part becomes the main target when the brain or mind becomes overwhelmed or burdened and needs to rid of its excess stress. In Sandy’s case, her ‘weak link’ was her stomach and attached duodenum. The stomach and duodenum represent the Self in relation to others—the stomach reacts to our social life—the duodenum more emotionally intense reactions, which is actually closer to our inner self.

During our first Reiki session, I slowly scanned Sandy’s energy, which felt as if it was tangled in knots and very sticky. Her energy was withdrawn and it really felt as if Sandy was afraid of being touched. It is our senses that give us information we need to function in the world…every move we make, every bite we eat, everything we touch creates a sensation in us. The main task of the body’s central nervous system is to integrate the senses. No one part of the central nervous system works alone. messages are constantly going back and forth from one place to another so that touch can aid vision, vision can aid balance, balance can aid body awareness, body awareness can aid movement, movement can aid learning and so on. But when we are sense-deprived we aren’t getting enough stimulation from the outside.

Your aura is a live communication system, sensing and receiving information around you; it registers the intentions of your thoughts, moods and actions. When we energetically, physically withdraw or avoid being touched, our brains are affected too and can’t tell us how things ‘feel’. We can have trouble analyzing, interpreting and storing sensory memory; we become confused and less confident. Unconsciously, we keep our energy to the back of our body, blocking our own perceptions and our awareness.

At the base of your brain stem is what’s called the Medulla Oblongata. This area at the back of the neck feeds nerve energy to our five senses. When our nerve energy becomes depleted, it’s unable to reach our ears, eyes, throat or mouth. Our five senses are literally starved and react by creating sensory complications (coughing, difficulty swallowing, post nasal drip, acid reflux, eye problems, etc.). Also, when our body system is drained of energy and power, to compensate the loss, it will steal it from our eyes, ear, nose, throat and mouth.

I asked Sandy if she suffered more than most from respiratory illnesses, which she answered with a definite yes. I also wondered if she suffered from allergies and indeed she did. Allergic reactions can affect our heart, stomach, bowels, skin, and nervous system….in fact they can disrupt every bodily system. When we suffer from allergies, lung infections or even the common cold, affect our nutrition, thereby reducing oxygen to our tissues. Low oxygen equals low energy and low energy equals low metabolism and low metabolism can affect our weight.

Alternative healers are not allowed to diagnosis, so I suggested Sandy go to her doctor and ask for a full blood test. I ‘suspected’ she may have low thyroid and/or possibly suffered from hypoglycemia or low sugar. Sandy had mentioned she loved eating sweets of all kinds throughout the day. When we eat high levels of sugar, our blood sugar spikes, then within a half-an-hour, plunges steeply to an all time low. To understand how hypoglycemia develops we need to know how our glucose metabolism works. Our bodies convert all foods to glucose but when too much sugar floods the bloodstream, the pancreas is alerted to send extra insulin to counteract the overload. If you frequently eat a lot of snacks and starches, your overzealous pancreas may start pouring insulin too much too fast. When this happens the sudden drop in sugar can cause a variety of symptoms such as: headaches, anxiety, irritability, tiredness, dizziness, confusion, and even lack of coordination. Of course what we usually do, is reach out for more sugar….a vicious cycle of high/low energy. This certainly seemed what Sandy was going through.

(The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system located at the base of the throat. It sends hormonal messages to every cell in your body, maintaining body temperature, heart rate, muscle contraction and metabolic rate (the rate at which food is converted into energy).

“The incidence of poor thyroid function in modern society appears to be quite high. Some researchers have estimated that up to 40 percent of the population suffers from at least mild dysfunction of the thyroid, and they believe this problem is part of the reason so many people are over-weight. This estimate is considered too high by most orthodox physicians, but many doctors of integrative medicine agree that low-grade thyroid dysfunction is relatively common. One reason for poor thyroid function is insufficient intake of the minerals zinc and selenium. Another is reduced blood flow to the thyroid.” Meditation As Medicine: Activate the Power of Your Natural Healing Force ~ Dharma Singh Khalsa, Cameron Stauth

See more on the thyroid here….

When the Reiki session was over, my sense was that from a very young age, Sandra had been left on her own with little support or emotional nurturing…deep inside was unexpressed pain, anger, and feelings of abandonment. Sandy’s body was definitely under stress. I told her that the body responds to stress by secreting epinephrine and slowing down digestion. Fats, sugars and hormones are released in the body, cholesterol rises, blood pressure rises, heartbeat accelerates, muscle tension increases and more.

“Where you store your fat says a lot of your hormonal state.  Take a look at the following Hormone Body-Fat Map to see a clearer picture of the relationship between your hormonal imbalances and fat stores.” Quote and Picture from “THE HORMONE DIET” ~ by Natasha Turner, N.D.

Fat Storage sites

Too much epinephrine can cause nutritional deficiencies because it depletes potassium, phosphorus, amino acids, magnesium and calcium. And when the body’s under stress it doesn’t absorb nutrients as well, especially B vitamins and electrolytes which are essential to the body.

People who have been deprived of security and love, especially during their childhood, often have a blockage in their 1st chakra, this can manifest later in life as diabetes, hypoglycemia or overweight.

“A deficient first chakra is contracted, vacant, weak, sloppy or unformed. This is usually recognizable by simply looking at the body. Contraction pulls inward, as if the person were trying to make himself as small as possible…If the contraction pulls away from the ground, the first chakra becomes empty, vacant and the person may be totally out of touch with feeling in this area. If a person’s energy is very disorganized the first chakra will be weak and disappear at the slightest challenge….There is also a kind of deficiency that may appear in either a thin body or with a large, overweight one (which would seem like excess) where the body is very loose and unformed. Since the first chakra is about solidity, the unformed body has a hard time solidifying itself or holding its shape, ground or basic structure. There is poor muscle tone, circulation, color and boundary formation. This is a state that is undernourished and undercharged.” EASTERN BODY WESTERN MIND ~ by Anodea Judith

The next time I saw Sandy, she told me her blood test did show a low thyroid. Although she didn’t mention hypoglycemia, I suspected it too was a possibility. Just a week on Synthyroid had helped to change her disposition and she looked more relaxed, refreshed and her energy patterns were healthier and less tense.

Wanting to know more about her metabolic state, Sandy and I talked about metabolism, which refers to the way your body processes and utilizes the food you eat.

 WHAT IS THE METABOLIC SYSTEM

Most of the food you eat is digested then converted into energy through the process of metabolism. This process involves a complex network of hormones and enzymes that not only convert food to fuel but also affect how efficiently we burn that fuel.

“Your liver is responsible for burning most of the fat in your body. If it is healthy, it pumps out excess fat through bile and helps you keep a healthy weight. However, if your liver is not healthy, it can cause your body to hold on to fat and cause other health problems. You can damage your liver by drinking too much alcohol, taking antibiotics or painkillers for long periods, taking oral synthetic hormone replacement drugs, being exposed to chemicals including pesticides, having a viral infection of liver (such as hepatitis C and B, autoimmune hepatitis, hemochromatosis, or primary biliary cirrhosis), or eating an unhealthful diet high in fat. 

If you suspect liver problems, or if you are obsess, ask your doctor to perform blood tests that will measure liver enzymes. Elevated enzymes may indicate inflammation and damage to the liver cells and their membranes. Luckily, liver cells are very resilient, and you can restore their health by following your doctor’s recommendations, which may include changing your eating habits so you’re on a proper diet.” 365 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR Metabolism ~ by Racel Laferriere, MS, RD

If your metabolism is a fast burner, it’s most likely dominated by the adrenal system and the thyroid gland. Both the adrenals and thyroid are dominated by the sympathetic nervous system, which is part of the autonomic system that controls your basic bodily functions such as heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, hormonal balance and of course your metabolism.

If your metabolism is slow, it’s dominated by the parathyroid gland and the pancreas, which are in turn dominated by the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic system is involved in slowing heart rate, decreasing oxygen supply, metabolism and energy. Both the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems work together to keep your energy at an even keel and balanced.

WHAT”S YOUR METABOLIC TYPE

“Slow Burners release energy too slowly to maintain adequate health. This is analogous to a woodstove whose fire is too small to heat the room. In a stove, when combustion is incomplete, there is a buildup of creosote in the stovepipe. This metaphor is appropriate for the slow burner’s body. Sodium and potassium act as solvents in the body by holding minerals in solution in the bloodstream. When sodium and potassium levels are low, calcium and magnesium fall out of solution and begin to build up in the tissues, eventually leading to arteriosclerosis and/or arthritic conditions. To improve the health status and energy levels of a slow oxidizer, the metabolic furnace (i.e., oxidation rate) must be increased. The extremely slow oxidizer is continually exhausted because of a diminished ability to use glucose (blood sugar) for energy production at a cellular level. 

Fast Burners release energy too quickly. To go back to the woodstove analogy, the fast burner is a stove that is burning too hot, overheating the room (the body) and quickly running out of fuel (glucose). While it feels better to be in fast oxidation because of the high energy released, the expense is to the tissues of the fast burner’s body: The mineral reserves are being exhausted. 

Mixed Burners have an erratic energy pattern sometimes too slow, sometimes too fast. This is due to a loss of balance between the thyroid and adrenal glands. It is an interim state, generally moving toward fast or slow oxidation.” BALANCE, Your Personal Prescription for Supermetabolism, Renewed Vitality, Maximum Health, Instant Rejuvenation ~ Oz Garcia

To become aware of how foods affect you, learn more about what happens to the foods you take into your body. Some food is digested and turned into fuel for the body or new tissue. Some is excreted while some have no nutritional affects and remain in the body. These useless foods usually become fatty deposits and may linger as toxic material lodged in or around the cells of your body. These toxins exhaust/sap your vitality, fog your mind and emotions and cause disease and premature aging.

A simple metabolic questionnaire http://www.doctoroz.com/quiz/quiz-what-your-metabolism-type

ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS

Artificial sweeteners are on the rise but they play havoc with the body’s metabolism and frustrate it to no end.  When the body tastes something sweet, it begins the natural preparation of digesting carbohydrates, but with artificial sweeteners it can’t find them!  When this happens, the body has to compensate somehow and look for carbs elsewhere….it may excessively absorb carbohydrates found in the intestines which forces the body to produce extra insulin which then causes our blood sugar to go too low, resulting in hypoglycemia.  This insulin and blood sugar roller coaster causes the hypothalamus to panic which leads to more carb cravings and more sweets.  It’s an endless cycle that if not managed, can lead to weight gain and progressive obesity.

DIETS DON”T WORK

“To have a renewed body, you must be willing to have new perceptions that give rise to new solutions. “ ~ Deepak Chopra

Have you ever walked into a bookstore or library and noticed the amazing amount of books on health and fitness? There are hundreds of diet and nutrition books available on the market but there are non-superior than the rhythm and wisdom of your own body. When it comes to finding our own personal, optimum diet, we need to take into consideration that each of our nutritional requirements are unique because of our history, metabolism and energy needs. So there is some truth in saying your metabolism is programmed through your genetic information and other various external and internal forces.

Genetically our bodies are engineered for gaining weight and not for weight loss. Many of us blame our lack of willpower for not staying on a diet plan but historians and scientists have proven that for most of the time us humans have been around, there was no steady source of food. Sometimes there was plenty to eat and other times there was none. In order to survive, people’s bodies had to adjust to these conditions of feast or famine. When food was scarce, metabolism would slow down to preserve energy, and when there was plenty, it would speed up.

Dieting places the body in the famine or starvation mode, which is why metabolism slows down when people go on strict diets. When they begin to give into cravings, metabolism speeds up—at least while they’re young. Up until the age of 30, the body can adapt to metabolic changes brought on by dieting and then quitting, but after that it becomes less flexible. With added age, metabolism slows down and stays down. To make matters worse, the weight lost is usually muscle, but the weight gained tends to be more fat then lean body mass. Fat burns fewer calories than lean tissue, with the results that the next time you diet, the pounds will be more difficult to shed.

EXERCISE

If you are planning to add exercise to your program it should be designed for ‘you’ rather than what’s trending right now. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve never been one for conventional exercises…remembering at school, I did everything I could to avoid them!

Exercise should have a lot of variety to it…look around and see what appeals to you; look for an exercise that will leave you feeling good and not sore or exhausted. You don’t have to go to the gym to work out, you could find and combine two or three fun things to do, such as dancing, swimming or even jogging. The important thing is to pick a program and stay with it. The important thing is that you listen to and observe ‘who you are’ and what ‘you need’ at this time in your life and development. Getting in shape is not about the pursuit of perfection…it means making your best effort in whatever you do. Stressing and worrying will only deplete your happy-mood chemicals and deplete glucose levels in your brain. Think long term and don’t go for the quick fix. Just take it day by day. The key word is ‘gradual’.

LEARNING FROM YOUR EATING PATTERNS

I encouraged Sandy to buy a journal and over the next two or three weeks, watch what she ate and how and when she ate to see what more she could learn from that information. I told her not to judge or grudge herself…”all you’re doing is observing and noticing, nothing more. Most of all, drop any feelings of guilt you have about eating “wrongly”: It’s better to eat the “wrong” thing and enjoy it then feel guilty and self-rejecting about it. In fact, it’s probably better than eating the “right” thing with feelings of resentment, longing, or tension. No matter what, feel good about yourself. Food is not your enemy. So many people feel guilty about eating it, or they fear that one bite will lead to a binge. Don’t ever feel deprived, you can enjoy food, as long as you put your eating habits in order and you’ll feel more energetic.

Learning to develop a sensitivity to your own body’s needs is a very gradual process. The body is a creature of habit and preferences, urging/prompting you to buy and eat its most favorite foods. For example it may make you crave for something sweet, when what your body really needs is protein. Often too, we misinterpret the body’s need for water as a hunger sign and eat unnecessary calories when all we really need is a glass of water.

See yourself going through a typical day and visualize all the times that you stopped to take any form of food or drink, whether it was a meal or snack. Consciously recall each time, how you were feeling, what you were thinking and doing before, during and after the meal, snack or drink. Notice particularly whether you were calm and relaxed, tense, tired, emotional, hungry, bored, or whatever. Write down or draw each of those food events as you recall them. (For example: “At 11 a.m., ate a doughnut and drank coffee—needed a break from work.

Try this little exercise….

Sit quietly and close your eyes. Then without directing or judging your thoughts allow them to flow through your mind in relation to your connection with food and eating. Simply let the thoughts happen and write them down in brief words or phrases or even draw them. Close your eyes again and allow more to come. Do this for about five minutes.

Begin to look for habit patterns that are possibly governing your eating. Be honest, but accepting, do not judge what you see as good or bad—simply acknowledge the patterns for what they are.

How often do you eat when you’re really hungry and how often do you eat from habit, a desire or the pleasure of taste. How often do you eat to combat boredom, to console yourself or take away or dissipate negative emotions such as fear, anger or depression.

How often do you eat slowly, peacefully and in a quietly relaxed surrounding? How often do you eat on the run, hurriedly, with tension or anger, while discussing or arguing, while reading, listening to the radio, or watching TV, or involved in some other activity?

How often do you really taste and enjoy what you eat, how often do you find you’ve eaten a whole meal almost without noticing?

How often do you stop when you know you’ve had enough, and how often do you go on eating because it tastes so good, because you don’t want to go back to what you need to do after eating, or because you have nothing else to do?

How often do you feel alert and pleasantly satisfied after a meal and how often do you feel uncomfortably full, have indigestion or feel sleepy and dull?

How often do you eat healthy, nutritious live foods and how often do you junk out on artificial, processed, sweet, carbohydrate or nutritionless foods.

Go over all that you’ve written and try to see a pattern in your eating. Are there specific times of day, days of the week, or situations where you see yourself eating less than at other times?

EATING WITH AWARENESS

Eating with awareness means slowing down and devoting your full attention during a meal, to the actual process of eating, so you can achieve maximum health benefits and enjoyment.

Eat only when you’re hungry. Even if you eat more than someone else, it will benefit you as long as you are hungry. If you don’t seem to getting much enjoyment out of it or not satisfied with the food available, either you aren’t really hungry or you’re eating more than your body requires. When you are hungry, the simplest food tastes most delicious.

After eating you should feel relaxed and alert. If you feel tired or sluggish you know you’ve eaten too much. When you eat less, you’re body will protest and may experience hunger at first…this initial discomfort is caused from getting to know true hunger,…when you’re body knows true hunger, then eating will become an exquisite pleasure and natural fulfillment of the body.

Eat regularly at specific times. Plan each meal and eat enough that will leave you hungry for your next meal. In that way, you will eat only when you’re hungry and will eat regularly as well.

Focus all your attention on what is happening in your mouth as you chew. A significant part of the digestive process begins with enzymes secreted in the mouth. If you do not chew properly, you are bypassing an important stage of the digestive process and forcing your stomach to worker harder than intended…chronic indigestion, gas, and constipation could result.

Avoid eating when you’re angry, excited, tense, depressed, sick, hurried or tired. Wait until your mind becomes calm and your natural hunger returns. The hunger you experience when tense is not true hunger; it’s mentally induced hunger, designed to provide an outlet for your nerves and anxieties.

Always eat in a pleasant soothing atmosphere. Make your meals colorful and attractive from many food forces. Begin your meal with the gift of gratitude that comes to you from food. A prayerful attitude relaxes you, prepares your digestive system to assimilate the food you eat and to draw more energy from your food.

When eating, simply eat! Avoid distractions such as the computer, talking, reading, listening to the radio or watching tv. All these will divert your attention from the awareness of chewing and tasting your food. When you talk or wondering what to say/write, you’re body must work harder to get the maximum benefit from the food.

Make eating an act of meditation, of reverence for your body and your inner self. Be fully aware of what is occurring in your body. Visualize your digestive system and feel that the food is being converted into vital energy for the sustenance of your body, mind and spirit.

If you overeat, accept yourself. You probably will overeat at times and that’s natural. Learning to be aware of your eating habits will happen gradually.  Don’t get discouraged, you’ll eventually become the best adviser for your own energy and bodily systems

“Weight is only the outer effect of a fear that is inside you. When you look in the mirror and see the fat person staring back, remember that you are looking at the result of your old thinking. When you start to change your thinking, you are planting a seed for what will become true for you. What you choose to think today will create your new figure tomorrow. One of the best books on releasing excess weight is The Only Diet There Is by Sondra Ray. It’s all about dieting from negative thinking. She shows you step by step how to do it.”  ~ Louise L. Hay

Link between intestinal flora (bacteria) and obesity  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130828131932.htm

http://chriskresser.com/thyroid-blood-sugar-metabolic-syndrome

http://www.endocrineweb.com/endocrinology/overview-adrenal-glands

More links to come…..

Stay tuned for Part II…..

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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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INTRODUCING THE SEVEN ENDOCRINE GLANDS AND THEIR FUNCTIONS

“During the course of our research into the role of the chakras in health and disease, over 200 cases were observed clairvoyantly, and in a large number of these the disease was found to be related to the endocrine glands…..

Studies of the etheric chakras showed that whenever there were severe abnormalities in their colors, rhythm, direction of movement, brightness, form, elasticity and texture, this indicated a serious condition, probably resulting in the development of the disease, either in the endocrine glands related to that center or in that part of the body to which the center provides energy.” The Chakras and the Human Energy Fields by Shafica Karagulla, Dora Van Gelder Kunz

It is no secret that the endocrine glands have an intimate connection with the chakra system. The seven chakras or centers of energy have been seen as whirling cone-shaped vortices, which receive and distribute vital energy (lifeforce/prana) throughout the physical body. Each chakra also corresponds to a different endocrine gland and these glands govern specific parts of the physical body and areas of psychological and spiritual development. We know from the previous articles in this blog, on the subtle anatomy that the physical body has an aura of subtle fields known as the etheric, astral (mental/emotional) and causal bodies. We also know that damage to one or more of the subtle bodies through physical or emotional trauma can filter down from the aura to the etheric and physical level, creating a wide range of physical and mental ailments. All four levels of being, (etheric, astral, causal and physical body) are supposed to work together, encouraging and supporting each other.

More and more, science is proving what the mystics and ancient healers have been trying to tell us: there is no separation between the etheric system, endocrine system, nervous system, blood system and immune system; they all interact together at many levels. Each one spins a web of connectors not only to each other but to every other being and with the universe as well. Throughout our lives we learn by trial and error about our own physical presence on this earth and the effect that our presence has with others.

“The importance of this glandular system cannot be over-estimated. It is a replica in miniature of the septenary constitution of the universe and the medium of expression and the instrument of contact for the seven ray forces, the seven Spirits before the Throne of God. Around this at present unrecognized truth the medicine and the healing methods of the future civilization will be built.” Alice Bailey, Esoteric Healing

The day you were born, your spirit descended into matter, ready to face a new set of circumstance, or circumstances similar to those of a previous life, if the lesson had not been learned. At the moment of your birth, your body chemistry was set, directly related to the position of the planets at that point in time. The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, (main controller of the endocrine system) react to your thoughts, emotions and knowledge (placement of the planets, houses), that let the other glands know what the brain is planning and wanting the body to do. These special glands also have a thinking capacity all their own, you could say, that our endocrine system is an amazing group of different beings, each with their own history and experience, each with their own attitude, emotions and responses. With no exception, these glands are united by a very strong bond and linked by a shared history, each reacting to the other by way of the nervous system (mediated by neuropeptides, neurotransmitters and neurohormones). They are constantly eavesdropping on your thoughts and feelings and listening to the conversation you are having with yourself—every second of your life!

If you are familiar with the many Edgar Cayce readings, (the sleeping prophet) he stated the endocrine glands are repositories of past life memories emotionally charged and repressed. As we become more aware of ourselves, through dreams, meditation, self-healing, astrology, etc., these past memories come to the surface, appearing as symbols, giving us clues to hidden parts of our personality and to emotional problems/illnesses we are experiencing in this lifetime.

The endocrine system is made of glands situated throughout the body that secrete hormones or chemical messengers directly into the bloodstream. Circulating around the body in the blood, they continually bathe our tissues, stimulating changes in body cells. Each hormone has a variety of different effects, depending on the cells they are acting upon. Each gland and its chemical function has a part to play in the whole and with its own personality, character and agenda. The endocrine glands contain hidden aspects of yourself, which at times we all have had trouble seeing or accepting.

“Hormones are essentially tiny chemical messengers that spark communication processes throughout your body. They play an enormous role in influencing almost every aspect of your well-being, including your thoughts and feelings. Whether you feel the need to sleep, warm up, cool down, eat jelly beans, grab a coffee or have a quickie, your desires and actions can be traced back to your hormonal activity.” Dr. Natasha Turner

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.

The most powerful chemicals created in the body come from the endocrine glands. This highly complex and sophisticated system is…. “controlled by the nervous system through the hypothalamus. This structure at the base of the forebrain has intimate connections with the pea-sized pituitary gland, to which it is adjacent. The pituitary gland releases a great variety of hormones that fan out within the body, stimulating actions in the other endocrine glands. In this sense, the pituitary is known as the master gland of the endocrine system, although the hypothalamus is the real power behind the throne”. Wayne Weiten

THE PITUITARY is a pea-sized gland that hangs like a little round bag from the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls emotion and appetite. Though the pituitary is tiny in size, it plays a major role in the functioning of your whole bodily system. It is constantly influenced by the higher centres of the brain, which give us our senses, memory, creativity and thought. It governs the lower base of the brain, the ears, nose, left eye, medulla and nervous system. Its color is indigo and its note on the musical scale is “A” .

Astrologically, the planets I associate with the pituitary is Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter, for its wisdom and intuition and Saturn for its intelligence and reason. This idea seems to works well with the 6th chakra, known as the Ajna or ‘Third Eye, which when opened represents telepathy and knowing. This chakra is depicted with two indigo lotus petals, one representing the ego self and the other, the spiritual self. It is at this centre that the masculine and feminine energies merge, initiating a spiritual awakening. The pituitary points to the earth and is our connection between spirit and earth, it is the ‘meeting place’ of both body and mind.

The pituitary produces nine hormones of its own and regulates our sexual characteristics, growth, blood pressure, fertility, metabolism and numerous other activities. It takes its orders from the hypothalamus, stimulating the other 6 endocrine glands (pineal, thymus, thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, and sex glands) through the autonomic nervous system to produce their hormones. (The autonomic nervous system is a part of the nervous system that is ‘not’ under our conscious control—it is responsible for certain functions such as heart rate, breathing and muscular contractions of the internal organs)

An unbalanced pituitary can affect the performance of the pineal, thyroid, thymus, adrenals, ovaries, and testes glands, causing one’s whole life to be affected. When our brain is thrown badly out of balance from a hormonal imbalance, everything can go out of control. We’re going to do an extensive study on the endocrine system and the emotional/physical effects they have on the body. We’ll look at weight gain (obesity), Cushing’s disease, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), depression, bi-polar, prostrate problems, asthma, allergies, insomnia, diabetes, heart problems, cancer, Cushing’s disease, etc., but first we need to know and understand the performance of each one and how they work together.

Our hormones are constantly rising and falling, caught up in the fluctuations of the earth’s natural cycles (spring, summer, fall, winter) and, our own fluctuating thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes about ourselves. The PINEAL GLAND (so-called because it looks like a pine cone), is associated with the crown chakra or ‘third eye’ (clairvoyance, vision) which is related to our personal understanding of the universe and spirituality. It responds to light. This light not only reflects our vital energy, it also reflects the Light of wisdom, compassion, healing and understanding. When the pineal is active and healthy, we become sensitive to the higher frequencies of light and subtle energy bodies.

The pineal gland is situated just above the ears and adjacent to the eyes, at the center of the brain. Esoterically, the pituitary gland points to the earth; the pineal gland points upward to spirit. This endocrine gland responds positively to the musical note ‘B’, the color violet and associated with the planet Neptune. The reason I chose Neptune is because of its association with empathy, inspiration and insight, bliss, romance, spiritual yearning and even hallucinations, loss of identity and mental confusion. Both Neptune and the pineal gland are associated with dreams and with the chemical known as melatonin.

During the day, the pineal gland releases the hormone serotonin and at night the hormone melatonin. Serotonin keeps us awake during the day, it influences our appetite, boosts our energy levels and makes us feel relaxed and good about ourselves. If serotonin levels are low, you’ll find yourself craving for sweets or constantly wanting to binge on foods. We tend to eat to make ourselves feel better…and it works because the more carbohydrates we eat, our serotonin levels go up! The problem is, the more weight we put on, the more serotonin it takes to elevate our mood.

Low levels of serotonin have been linked to such conditions as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel, overeating, bulimia, obsessive-compulsive behavior, autism, PMS, migraine headaches, schizophrenia and even erratic behavior.

Melatonin is secreted when darkness falls. It makes us drowsy, calm and ready for sleep. Production of this hormone usually occurs while you’re sleeping. If you sleep with a light on or light floods into your room, it can effect the production of melatonin. Melatonin also works with the growth hormone from the pituitary gland. As you sleep and your body cools, growth hormone is released into the bloodstream, repairing tissue, skin, bone and muscle, preparing you for a new day.

But too much melatonin (usually winter months or in areas with little sun) can affect our personality, sexual and reproductive functions as well as our appetite. It has been associated with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is known to create symptoms of lethargy, irritability, overeating, low self-esteem and mood changes…it’s where we just want to sleep all day.

Melatonin is mainly found in the brain, skin, heart and genitals. It can affect mood swings, menstrual cycles, estrogen levels, sperm levels and ovulation. When too much of this hormone is in our system, during daylight hours, we can suffer mental confusion and depression, insomnia, nightmares, skin problems, fertility problems and many other health complications. People suffering from these ailments tend to have large amounts of cortisol, a hormone produced from the adrenal glands, in their bloodstream. Too much cortisol has toxic effects to the billions of nerve cells in the brain, particularly the hippocampus.

“The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is particularly vulnerable to stress and stress hormones. Some researchers have reported that high cortisol levels are linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease…..While cortisol levels fluctuate throughout the day, they often soar when a person is faced with a stressful situation. Studies have shown this stress also affects memory….[for instance] people taking cortisone pills which change into cortisol in the body were not good at remembering a list of words as people taking placebo pills.” The Encyclopedia of Alzheimer’s Disease by Carol Turkington, Deborah R. Mitchell

The pineal gland is a biological clock and is highly sensitive to the solar activity of the Sun as well as the Moon’s phases. Our bodies operate on a 24 hour clock, regulated by sunlight, which controls the day/night levels of serotonin and melatonin. As we know, melatonin is important in regard to the health of our immune system as well as the healing process, which takes place while we sleep. Melatonin declines as we age. This is possibly because the pineal gland slowly withers and calcifies as we grow old. Taking melatonin supplements can help but too much can cause some negative side affects, interfering with the natural rhythms of the body. Meditation, yoga, tai chi, breath work and other spiritual practices not only help to regulate the serotonin/melatonin balance, they also help us to understand there is a life force, an energy that flows through us. They also help us to develop our spiritual sight and keep the pineal gland and endocrine system healthy and strong.

From the endocrine glands in the brain (hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal) we move down to the THYROID GLAND located in front of the neck below the adam’s apple, larynx or voice box. Its two sides look very much like the wings of a butterfly. This endocrine gland responds to the musical note ‘G’, the color blue and sits in the 5th or throat chakra. The throat chakra rules the arms, hands, throat, mouth, voice, lungs, cervical vertebrae and respiratory system. Not only does this chakra govern communication, willpower, truthfulness and creativity, it provides a link or bridge between the spirit and personality. If you suffer from sore throats, dental problems, speech impediments and the inability to express yourself creatively, this chakra may be imbalanced. A weak or overpowering voice, problems listening to others and hearing and speaking the truth are indications this chakra is blocked too. The neck is the link between the mind and body.

“The throat center is the organ specifically of the creative WORD. It registers the intention or creative purpose of the soul, transmitted to it by the inflow of energy from the ajna center; the fusion of the two energies, thus brought about, will lead to some type of creative activity. This is the higher correspondence to the creativity of the sacral center. In that center the negative and the positive creative energies are embodied in the separate male and female organisms and are brought into relation in an act of creation, consciously undertaken, though as yet without much definite purpose.

The dense physical externalization of this center is the thyroid gland. This gland is regarded as of supreme importance in the well-being of the average human being of today. Its purpose is to guard health, to balance the bodily equilibrium in certain important aspects of the physical nature, and it symbolizes [155] the third aspect of intelligence and of substance impregnated with mind. It is in reality connected with the Holy Ghost, or the third divine aspect in manifestation, “over-shadowing” (as the Bible expresses it), the Mother, the Virgin Mary. The para-thyroids are symbolic of Mary and Joseph and the relation they hold to the over-shadowing Holy Ghost. It will eventually be determined that there is a close physiological relation existing between the thyroid gland and the pineal gland, and between the para-thyroids and the two lobes of the pituitary body, thus bringing into one related system the entire area of the throat and of the head.” Esoteric Healing by Alice Bailey

The thyroid gland is one of the most sensitive organs in the body producing hormones that control the metabolic processes in all the cells of the body. These hormones have an impact on your energy, muscle strength, growth and development, and nervous system.

“This gland is not only involved in keeping our hormones aligned, it also keeps all the organs in the body balanced and running smoothly. It also regulates our metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature.

An illness in the body could indicate a thyroid problem. Also, if your autoimmune system is out of whack this can also be the thyroid. Hormone failure can also indicate problems with the thyroid, adrenals and ovaries. Thyroid dysfunction is NOT something to ignore. If you suspect a problem, please check it out before more harm is done.”

I wrote this in a previous article called Zooming in on the Thyroid. Clicking on the link https://ravenstarshealingroom.wordpress.com/2009/07/11/zooming-in-on-the-thyroid/ will guide you to this article and help to understand how the thyroid works and the different illnesses caused when it is out of balance (e.g., hyperthyroid, hypothyroid, weight problems, ADD/ADHD, high cholesterol, tonsillitis, speech problems such as struttering, goiter, dwarfism and problems with excess estrogen, etc.)

Another link on the thyroid in this blog is here https://ravenstarshealingroom.wordpress.com/2009/07/11/emotionally-psychologically-and-spiritually-decoding-the-thyroid/

Stress, illness and poor diet can easily affect the thyroid gland. The thyroid uses foods such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats and minerals as fuel. This gland coverts food into energy, not only controling the body’s growth and temperature, it also controls every cell in the body as well. Your skin, complexion and even your outward appearance is affected by the thyroid. It’s the engine of your body and when it goes into low gear, the whole body is affected.

The astrological planet I’ve associated with the thyroid is Mercury. The reason I chose Mercury is because of the 5th chakra’s involvement with mental development. It’s also related to thoughts and belief patterns you use in when communicating, your indentity and your creativity. Mercury in the positive sense is about flexibility and adaptability to understand a variety of different options and reaction to change. In mythology Mercury was known as the quicksliver mind; he was imaginative, communicative and as Carl Jung said, able to get one in touch with his or her creative gifts. Mercury also had the ability to touch the unconscious and spirit as well. Clarivoyance and telepathy can be developed in this area.

We now move to the PARATHYROID GLANDS, four very tiny small shaped discs embedded in the back of the thyroid gland with one behind each of the upper and lower poles of the ‘thyroid wings’. Interestingly, the parathyroid glands and the pancreas (organ and a gland) are not controlled by the pituitary, they act independentally, which means they are not influenced by any ‘outside’ stimulus. The parathyroid glands, like the thyroid respond to the musical note ‘G’ and are situated at the 5th or throat chakra area. Right now I’ve associated Mercury with the parathyroid glands. The reason being, Mercury is the planet that controls your metabolism. If your metabolism is high, your bodily system is dominated by the adrenal system and the thyroid. If your metabolism is slow, it’s dominated by the parathyroid gland and the pancreas and the sedating hormone calcitonin. When the parathyroids are active, the heart rate slows down, decreasing oxygen supplies, metabolism and energy.

“Your parathyroids support your pancreas, liver and ovaries and are regulated to calm down your thyroid.” Pamela Levin

From the above statement we begin to understand that the parathyroid and thyroid actually work in opposition to each other, for example, in color healing orange stimulates the thyroid gland but depresses the parathyroid glands….indigo stimulates the parathyroids and works as a depressant for the thyroid. But when these two are balanced like a see-saw or teeter totter affect, they work together to make sure the calcium levels in your blood are balanced.

The parathyroid glands also affect one’s mental development and polarity in the body. The parathryoid glands secrete parathormone (parathyroid hormone, PTH) that controls the body’s calcium levels in the blood, which are important for healthy bones and teeth and proper brain function. When calcium levels drop, the parathyroids go into action by secreting parathormone. Parathormone signals the kidneys not to flush calcium out in the urine. If there is too much calcium in the blood it can affect our nerves, cause hand spasms (tetany) in some people, or even depression, tiredness and irritability. Sometimes the cause is just from taking too many calcium supplements, other times it can be caused by a much larger issue. The parathyroids are often overlooked by doctors. The parathyroids out of whack can cause body weakness, nausea, constipation, thirst and even possibly kidney stones. Since alternative healers are not allowed to diagnose, we usually recommend a client see their doctor and have blood tests done on his or her hormone levels.

Below the thyroid and situated just above the heart sits the THYMUS GLAND. The thymus gland’s main function is to produce hormones that guard against infection and keep your immune system strong. This gland reaches its maximum size in early childhood and begins to shrink as we mature in age.

The thymus gland can indicate the all around condition of the endocrine system and is related as well to how rapidly we age. Even though it does shrink as we mature it continues to produce hormones against the many viruses, bacterias, parasites that invade our system. In fact, as you’ve been reading this article, you body has already created around four million new immune cells and hundreds of thousands of antibodies which are now coursing through your bloodstream. Even if you are a healthy person, there may be thousands of viruses in your blood and only a few of these are known by scientists and doctors.

It’s only been recently this gland has been explored more. One reason is that it was thought to be only involved in the growth process and the development of immunity in childhood. Now there is more research being done on this gland which has been given the name, ‘the throne of immunity’. It has also been called the ‘gateway to the chakras’ and other endocrine glands because of the intense interchange of energy between the etheric system and the physical body.

“The thymus gland produces T-cells, which deal with bacteria, viruses, parasites, cancers, allergies, and release the T-cells into the blood system. It also produces specific hormones that help deal with infection and immunity. When excessive stress or trauma cause an increase in hormones released by the adrenal glands, these in turn inhibt the production of the thymus hormones, leaving you more susceptible to infection and illness.

The thymus is also known as the seat of fire because of its close connection to the heart. For instance, when you are in love, feel confident or have an open and positive frame of mind, you will find it quite hard to get ill, as your T-cell count will be high. Conversely, when you feel depressed, lonely, or sad, your T-cell count drops and you can catch cold or get ill quite easily.” Deb Shapiro

Our immune system is not totally controlled by the brain and pituitary gland. It is a sensory organ as well, transmitting chemical messages about bacteria, viruses, harmful chemicals, dead tissue, dust and even cancer cells which spontaneously arise every day in everybody and must be disposed of.

The word thymus in Greek means soul or personality, which fits well, atrologically, with the brilliant clear light of the Sun, the ‘core’ of your self-expression and personal identity. The thymus gland responds to the Musical Note F.

The PANCREAS lies behind the stomach and secretes digestive enzymes to break down carbohydrates, fat, proteins and acids. It produces insulin to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy needed for daily life. Our brains run best when the amount of glucose (digested sugar) in the blood is balanced with the amount of oxygen. It is the pancreas’ job to produce insulin in order to escort this glucose into cells where it can be ‘burned’ and use as fuel for energy. Insulin also helps the muscles and other tissues to obtain the sugar needed for their activity. Too much sugar, can damage its ability to function.

“…..sugar depletes the body of specific nutrients including B complex vitamins, magnesium, chromium and other minerals. Ingested sugar destroys the germ killing capacities of the white blood cells for approximately four hours.” Dr. Jacqueline Krohn, The Whole Way to Allergy Relief and Prevention

Sugar isn’t all bad. The body, genetically and evolutionarily was designed to crave sweets….the main reason for this is because it doesn’t or hasn’t the ablity to manufacture vitamin C. In the study of primitive man, we learnt they not only hunted animals but gathered berries and fruits as well. Fruits and berries gave them the fuel they needed for energy as well as vitamin C and also the fibers present in fruit. But in our day and age, we consume sugar in hundreds of different forms (e.g., cereals, snacks, cakes, juice, ice-cream, carbonated drinks) and too much sugar can cause the body to go into crisis mode.

When we consume sugar, insulin is released from the pancreas, usually a small amount is all that’s needed to do the job. Under normal circumstances, our sugar levels flunctuate all the time, but when we eat a sugar loaded meal or snack, the pancreas panics and overreacts, producing large amounts of insulin. We still get that sudden burst of energy but the high insulin production drops it just as quickly lowering our sugar levels to below average, creating a condition called hypoglycemia. If there’s too much insulin in the blood, it can cause a condition called hyperinsulinemia. This condition can lead to problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes.

Insulin also influences the sodium levels in our body and too much can cause us to retain water causing our bodies to swell. An excess of insulin in men can cause their testerone levels to be converted to the feminine hormone estrogen which increases fatty deposits in the abdomen and breasts…this is caused by an enzyme called aromatase which is stored in the body’s fat cells. It can also cause hair loss and affect their sex drive. In woman, too much insulin and the same enzyme, aromatase can cause their estrogen levels to covert to testosterone. This too increases fat stored in the abdomen as well as their breasts to sag and shrink; acne, and abnormal hair growth is also possible, especially in the facial area.

“The need to be loved is a secret hunger for the Pancreas. Eating is a social act that has deep emotional meanings. Early in life food somehow got mixed up with love and caring — we started eating because we felt undernourished and/or didn’t get enough nurturing. There are also some of us who eat to feed the hungers caused by stress or loneliness. All this has an impact on our pancreas, affecting our energy, our attitudes and blocking our metabolism.

The Pancreas is also extremely vulnerable to intense emotions and feelings caused by a reaction to an outer event. In fact both the spleen and pancreas react to serious events that can affect us for life. These two organs absorb most of our severe shocks.”

This is quoted from another article I wrote on this blog called https://ravenstarshealingroom.wordpress.com/2009/10/11/diabetes-balancing-the-sweetness-in-your-life/ Reading this may help to understand the metaphysical and physical aspects of the pancreas. The pancreas is connected to the third chakra or solar plexus, responds to the musical note ‘E’ and is associasted with the planet Venus.

“…….Venus represents what you like and dislike. Venus’ cycle comes into play in our astrological chart around 10 months of age. After a lifestyle of the ‘same stuff’ , we start wanting something else.

Venus also represents your sense of ’taste’ what you like and don’t like, and taste is also tied into early memories of what’s nice and not nice, what’s beautiful and not beautiful as well as our Self Worth and Personal Values.”

This is a previous article I wrote on Venus…. https://ravenstarshealingroom.wordpress.com/2009/11/28/how-venus-influences-your-life/

The ADRENAL GLANDS are two small, somewhat flat glands, located at the top oc each kidney in the lower mid-back of your body. The adrenal cortex or outer part of the adrenal gland, is essential for life, producing the hormones adrenaline, cortisol and even sex hormones. These hormones help to balance the levels of salt and potassium in the body, maintain proper blood pressure and keep the kidneys working well.

If we were to take a closer view, the right adrenal gland can look triangular in shape, the left one often crescent shaped. The triangle symbolizes fire, the masculine principle and the Trinity, which represent your aspirations, potentials and truths. The crescent Moon represents the feminine principle and the continual cycle of changes, movement and renewal. Together the adrenals represent the energetic balance of your inner and outer life as well as your emotions. Without the adrenals we would die. They are our strength to continue to push on even when the odds are against us. Unfortunately the stress levels in our lives can takes it toll on these two little glands and buildup up to a danger point causing burnout and a wide range of neurological and physical ailments. Continual high adrenaline levels raise the blood pressure to dangerous levels, which in turn can damage the heart. We’ve already read about cortisol and the dangers it can cause to the hippocampus, causing such illness such as Alzheimer’s.

Bodily stress can come from anywhere, it can be triggered physically, biologically, chemically, psychologically or when the body feels threatened.

“Physiologically, emotions are themselves electrical, chemical and hormonal discharges of the human nervous system. Emotions influence—and are influenced by—the functioning of our major organs, the integrity of our immune defences and the workings of the many circulating biological substances that govern the body’s physical states. When emotions are repressed……this inhibition disarms the body’s defences against illness. Repression—dissociating emotions from awareness and relegating them to the unconscious realm—disorganizes and confuses our physiological defences so that in some people these defences go awry, becoming the destroyers of health rather than its protector.” WHEN THE BODY SAYS NO by Gabor Mate, M.D.

Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS is a motor neuron disease, a stress related illness that causes the nerves that control muscle movement to gradually die. My friend’s mother passed away recently from this terrible disease. I’d like to look at this disease with you, down the road, and its metaphysical causes in reference to the above statement.

In Part 1 of the Endocrine System, we talked of the HYPOTHALAMUS and its close ties with the parasympathetic and the sympathatic systems. It is the nerve fibers of the sympathetic system that ends in the ADRENAL GLANDS. In fact the energy producing systems of the body are the adrenal, thyroid glands, the parathyroid glands and the pancreas. Both the adrenal system and the thyroid gland are dominated by the sympathetic nervous system, which is part of the autonomic nervous system, which we discussed earlier. We know this system controls our heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, hormonal balance and metabolism. The sympathetic nervous is associated with two hormone stimulants, adrenaline (also known as epinephrine and closely related to norepinephrine) and cortisol. Adrenaline and cortisol are released to bring you to a heatened state of awareness….when they think there is a threat to the body, they sound the alarm! When this happens the sympathetic nervous system stimulates the release of sugar/glucose from the liver, to get your blood pressure up. Your digestive system literally comes to a halt so that all your energy can diverted to the muscles, which become tense and prepared for action. With your nerves on edge, you’re ready to respond to the fight or flight reflex.

“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

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 muscle tension, stiffness, eating disorders, depression, heart palpitations, excessive sweating and even 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.

Exercising, dance, massage, yoga, breathwork, reiki and healing all help to relax the muscles and allow the blood and oxygen levels to return to normal.

Sometimes our most negative emotions such as anger and fear will be extracted by the kidneys causing urinary tract infections and problems with the bladder.

I think most astrologers agree the planet Mars is what rules the adrenal glands. Mars governs our creative force and power, it wants to act on something and respond. Mars is a definite expression of our creativity added with passion, strength and confidence. It is a planet that is self-reliant, brave, instinctual, erotic and willful. Mars is definitely passionate but not exactly tender or always aware of another person’s feelings. The problem with this planet’s warrior-like energy is its impulsiveness. It can get carried away and make hasty decisions and later on regret its actions. The adrenals respond to the musical note ‘C’ on the music scale.

The GONADS or SEX GLANDS (reproductive glands) are among the most subtle and power chemicals in nature. Scientists are still trying to get a handle on how these glands affect the whole human brain-body system. Although scientists are skeptical of the sex glands and the so-called kundalini energy, they can’t deny that male and female energies become heightened, balanced and attuned during orgasm. And although the word sex makes us think of sexual intercourse, the act itself is only a tiny portion of what is known to be sexual. Its energy infuses life and influences everything we do.

“Sexual energy underlies every act of individual expression. It is a creative force, the influence of which extends far beyond sexual activity to include thought, feeling, behavior, dress. Sexual energy informs art, music, fashion, even architecture and automotive design. It is an all-pervading force.” Christopher S. Kilham

Unfortunately, when our sexual energy is blocked or not flowing well, it affects our entire system. Not recognizing or transforming or lifting up this energy can interfere with the body’s naturally healing process and block spiritual development as well. To generate this energy can only be done by the power of one’s will and through intense concentration. Life itself is an array of sensual experiences, if only we would realize our inner potential, we could also actualize our dreams.

Men and women who suffer from hormonal problems most likely suffer from too much or to little testosterone and too much or too little estrogen. Testosterone like estrogen is obtained from a substance called cholesterol (surprised, I was too). We all need cholesterol in our blood to produce DHEA, adrenal and sex hormones. In some cases doctors have worked so hard to reduce a person’s cholesterol, it has interfered with their hormone function and their immunity.

“Many people who take cholesterol lowering medication experience a reduction in their libido; this makes sense as their body is less able to produce sex hormones. Low levels of sex hormones may also contribute to erectile dysfunction and aggravate the symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as tender, aching muscles…..People with low cholesterol die earlier than those with normal to high levels, and they seem to have higher rates of cancer” Cholesterol, The Real Truth by Sandra Cabot and Margaret Jasinska

But there is also twist in all this, as the liver eliminates toxic estrogens in the form of cholesterol, which can damage the liver. High estrogen levels can also affect the gallbladder and slow down the excretion of bile. In woman this can make them more susceptible to gallbaldder stones than men.

If you are a male with high amounts of testosterone, this too could compromise your immune system, which means you may not be well protected from viruses and bacteria that invade your body. High testosterone levels have also been known to cause narrowing or hardening of the arteries or heart disease and problems with your prostrate. Men are also suffering from too estrogen in their system. The testicles are supposed to produce testosterone and a very small amount of estrogen. But with more animals being fed estrogen-like hormones there is more estrogen being found in a man’s blood. Too much estrogen can affect the muscular system of the body, making them flabbier than usual. High levels of estrogen in men, can also cause weight gain, breast growth, love handles around the waist, headaches, mood swings, hypertension, cancer, diabetes and autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer’s etc…

Low testosterone can also cause heart disease, dry skin, fatigue, loss of muscle tone (especially in the arms and legs), depression, problems making decisions, impotency, sleep apnea, loss of bone density, etc…

In women, estrogen is produced by the ovaries and also in smaller quantities from the adrenal glands and the placenta. Estrogen levels rise each month as a woman begins to ovulate, stimuated by hormones from the pituitary. Progesterone rises after ovulation in hopes of fertilizing the egg and if fertilization doesn’t occur, it falls dramatically and then menstruation begins, caused from the shedding of the uterine lining. Then all this build up again as a woman’s hormone cycle begins again. Many of us woman have suffered from the emotional roller coaster of our hormonal cycles. The dramatic flunctuations of estrogen and progesterone can cause, headaches, cramps, water retention and bloating, swollen breasts, acne, fatique, insomnia, joint pain, as well as overwhelming feelings, moods and depression. All these along with emotional stress have been given the name Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS.

And if that isn’t enough to contend with, we also have to contend with menopause, which causes hot flashes, loss of sexual desire, painful sex as well as vaginal and urinary infections. There is also a link with menopause and heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Both the ovaries and the testes are dependant on and sensitive to the hormones secreted from the hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal and adrenal glands. The hypothalamus communicates with the pituitary and the pineal gland that has been said to control our biological clock. These glands send signals to the body to begin puberty, fertility cycles and sexual arousal. But sometimes certain kinds of stress can make the uterus and ovaries react, having a sudden affect on the pituitary gland’s hormonal production and cause a woman’s menstrual cycle to go completely out of whack.

The gonads or sex glands sit in the 2nd or sacral chakra, but we should add the 1st chakra to them as well. The musical note is ‘D’ and the planet I assocate with this area is Pluto. Pluto represents the subconscious, the underworld, excretion, reproduction, chemical processes, regeneration, cellular change and tissue destruction.

Most of the people I’ve seen in the years have been concerned with weight gain, fatigue, lack of energy, headaches, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), depression, lack of interest in sex and feelings of being run down. In healing, I’ve been trained in a variety of alternative healings, however Reiki is most definitely at the top of the list and can be used with all types of healing applications. I’ve trained many nurses and massage therapists who find Reiki enhances their healing and intuitive abilities. As well, astrologers, naturopaths, psychics, tarot readers, yoga instructors and many more have found this ancient practice an asset to themselves and their clients. A healthy energy flow enhances and influences our health, affecting everyone and everything around us.

In Reiki, the hand positions are related to the locations of the chakras and the endocrine glands. Reiki energy has an accumulating effect in the endocrine glands, which helps to keep our immune system in top-working order. When enough energy has accumulated, then the chemical reactions of the glands push the immune system into different cycles of the healing process.

When a person has had a long-term imbalance, there is usually not enough energy to trigger the immune system, the “condition” seems stuck, which can have an impact on our health. But, when additional energy is introduced, then the immune system can draw upon it, kicking the body’s defense mechanism into a higher level of healing, breaking up the trapped energy and allowing the body to regain its balance. By doing the specific hand positions with Reiki a practitioner can give the fastest “charge” to the glands that are responsible for maintaining ‘health’, and accelerating the healing process.

I tried my best to explain the endocrine glands in a simple but concise way to help you to recognize these ‘tiny beings’ are an essential part of your health and nature. Out of your own life experiences these glands have documented your habits, attitudes, perceptions, traumas, challenges, feelings, thoughts, memories, and unresolved issues or situations to make you aware of what’s getting in the way of your health and progress. Pain and suffering cannot be avoided no matter how much we try. Pain is a built-in warning mechanism, a wake-up call, telling us something in our lives need to change. It is my and your responsibility to learn what our bodies are trying to teach us so we can avoid illness and continue evolving.

Now that we have studied the endocrine system from the top to the bottom, let’s approach them again in a metaphysical way and study each illness independantly affected by their imbalance. This way we can understand and take the positive steps needed to physically, nutrtionally and psychologically empower and heal ourselves.

Great links….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Z1zsR9lFM&feature=related

http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/body_basics/endocrine.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrMi4GikWwQ

http://www.livestrong.com/stimulate-pituitary-gland/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k-UKR2vGsk

 

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“I learned about psychosomatic diseases and arthritis in particular from personal experience. For a number of years I was under psychoanalysis, a process by which the emotional deprivations of early childhood can be overcome and some degree of emotional maturity attained. Though I had rarely been sick before, this period I had so many psychosomatic illnesses – migraine headaches, sinus “infections,” “hay fever,” skin rashes, emotionally induced colds, arthritis, digestive distrubances, and many others – that my unconscious mind seemed determined to teach me there were causes of illness aside from poor nutrition. Each bout of sickness, however, lasted only a day or two.

When a kindly woman analyst took the role of loving mother to me, mentioned that I was angry because my mother had died, I felt her remark utterly ridiculous. Yet the day she told she was going to Europe, I developed severe arthritis; my jaws became acutely sore and every joint in both hands grew red, swollen, and excruciatingly painful. She helped me understand that the impending separation had unconsciously reminded me of being taken away from my ill mother when I was ten days old, an experience which, relived later under hypnosis to allow further understanding had been a horrifying one. I learned that a tiny baby’s emotions are raw and violent and that its reaction to suffering is animalistic and primative anger; and I was overcome with an intense desire to bite and claw. Next I learned that the emotion I as child had wanted to express but could not had to be expressed before the psychosomatic illness would clear up. My arthritis disappeared as soon as I expressed these emotions by biting on chewing gum and caramel corn and by clawing the eyes out of imaginary enemies and faces made with finger paints on foolscap…..

The unconscious mind – the mind of the child within us – purposely induces many psychosomatic illnesses to prevent the expression of negative emotions which would keep us from being loved. To the small child’s way of thinking, it is better to become immobile or to produce arthritis in one’s self, than to allow bottled-up anger to explode.” Let’s Get Well ~ By Adelle Davis

WHAT IS ARTHRITIS

“ARTHRITIS is a dis-ease that comes from a constant pattern of criticism.  First of all, criticism of the self, and then criticism of other people.  Arthritic people often attract a lot of criticism because it is their pattern to criticize.  They are cursed with “perfectionism,” the need to be perfect at all times in every situation. ”  YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE ~ Louise Hay 

Before we look at the metaphysical causes, let’s look at what arthritis is.

Arthritis is a chronic degenerative disease that is sweeping across North America at an alarming rate. Well over three million people suffer from this disease and a large percentage of them are woman and children.

Arthritis is characterized by inflammation of the joints accompanied with stiffness and pain. The primary cause of inflammation is from a buildup of toxins within the body fluids and tissues.  Arthritis can escalate to severe degeneration of the joints, crippling and immoblizing movement.

There are many different kinds of arthritis based on the various symtoms and causes. The four common forms of arthritis: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms where cartilage and tissue deteriorates and hardens, sometimes creating painful bone spurs (a bony growth on normal bone).  It affects the weight bearing joints, including the hips, knees, feet, fingers and spine.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the joints.  The first areas usually affected are the feet and hands…it can affect the wrist and fingers joints close to the palm as well as joints in the jaw, neck, shoulders, elbows, hips knees, ankles and toes. Fatigue may also be a symptom of anemia which often accompanies rheumatoid arthritis. The joint pain and stiffness may also cause fever, loss of appetite and weight.

Gout can be caused by a severe acute pain or tenderness in a joint and often afflicts the big toe.  Other areas affected can be the knees, ankles, feet, hands, wrists and fingers.  As it progresses, the affected joints become inflamed, red, swollen, hot and extremely sensitive to touch.  Gout was once known as the “rich man’s disease” as it’s been associated with rich food and alcohol.  But in truth, it affects us all.

Other disorders of the joints and connective tissue include: lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, Reiter’s syndrome, and ankylosing spondylitis.

“ARTHRITIS – Holding onto anger and resentment from the past. Carrying guilt, remorse and shame. Difficulty in forgiving self and others. Complaining about life. Worrying, but not wanting to make changes. Feeling stuck and limited. THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF YOUR BODY: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness ~ Inna Segal”

WHAT CAUSES ARTHRITIS

If you asked this question to a medical doctor, he’d probably say it’s hereditary combined with an unhealthy lifestyle.  If your work for example requires alot of heavy lifting, this may have created a great deal of  stress (wear and tear) on your weight-bearing joints (knees, wrists, hips, etc.)

I believe that doctors are aware arthritis can be caused by an allergic reaction to foods…the problem is, they don’t always tell us.  Some of the foods we eat all the time (e.g., sugar, caffeine, processed foods, alcohol, potatoes, tomatoes, animal fats, etc.) are the ones to which we could be allergic to.  Fats and carbohydrates known to ferment in the body, create an environment that invites Candida albicans, unhealthy bacteria, fungal and parasite growth.  Even toxic substances in the environment such as pesticides, artificial colorings and preservatives in foods, and chlorine and fluoride in the water can affect the joints, entering by way of the bloodstream triggering an arthritic reaction.

Why do allergies affect the joints in some people and not in others?  Because different people have different areas of weakness. The joints, muscles and ligaments in the body share nerve centers with different organs in the body….so an irritation in a certain organ can cause a problem in a certain joint.   Even emotional shocks and trauma such as fear, tension, stress, frustration, anger, and guilt all transit through the brain.  The brain incapable of holding all this information, passes it on to a certain organ.  When that organ becomes ‘chronically’ congested or weakened, it sends warning signals through the body via the nervous system. The problem is, we were either too busy or worried, upset, to pay attention to its warning signs.

In alternative healing, we look at the body energetically.  When an illness or dis-ease strikes,  something has caused a tremendous drain on the body’s energy reserves and immune system.    The body’s own natural defences have broken down, opening itself to an  invasion of  toxins, viruses and bacteria, assaulting its system.    Why?

Many of us don’t realize that every thought, word and action we say and do in life is transmitted via the etheric and nervous system to every organ, cell and molecule of the body.  In less than a second your energy system starts working towards your choices and actions.  If these are not congruent with your beliefs, goals and values, the result will be a physical or chemical imbalance in the body.

We are all motivated at a subconscious level to stay on the path of our purpose.   When we deviate or refrain from this path, for whatever reason, our inner being starts working against us, alerting us to look inside ourselves and at what we are avoiding, denying or resisting.  If we refuse to listen, we become anxious, stressed and plagued with fear and confusion.  When we deny what we feel, we feel trapped and become ungrounded.  Life feels chaotic.

With Arthritis we are torn at which direction to take.   The area most afflicted in the energy body is our liver and gallbladder meridan.  It is the energy of the liver that plans our next step and the direction we need to go in.    It also houses family guilt and the concerns of our most deepest self.  Guilt can make us very dependant upon another where every decision cannot be made without consulting our mentor or judge.  It’s as if we don’t trust our own creative expression; perhaps as a child we weren’t allowed to make our own decisions.  Now as an adult it’s difficult to constructively solve our problems.  We feel like a flop as a human being and we start bingeing out on food and alcohol for comfort.  But all that does is make us more stressed out and irritable.  The liver becomes congested and unable to detox the body.  Our digestive system becomes upset, the work of the intestines slow down, sapping our energy.

The gallbladder, located on the undersurface of the liver can get irritable and angry when things go screwy.  It is the first organ to react (anxiously or angrily) when we change our habits or surrounded by negative energy.

If the liver and gallbladder are out of balance so too are our body and emotions.  we experience extreme mood swings like withdrawing, then acting angrily. slamming doors. yelling, or even tracking mud in the house.

With arthritis the cartilage that covers the ends of the bone has a high water content (emotion) as well as a gel-like protein called collagen.  If there is an imbalance between these two, the joints become stressed, inflamed or damaged.  It’s as if the outer world and our inner world are a reflection of each other. And if this is true then our inner world is the main source of everything that happens to us in the outer world.

Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. “Overview Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

http://www.edgarcayce.org/are/holistic_health/data/prrart3.html

ARTHRITIS AND THE INTESTINAL TRACT

“A majority of arthritis patients have some degree of abnormal digestive function, such as indigestion and constipation, and leaky gut syndrome is also common. Common causes of leaky gut syndrome include a diet high in fried foods, processed foods, inorganic meat products, and simple carbohydrates as well as excessive alcohol intake. Inronically, medications such as NSAIDS often used to relieve symptoms of discomfort assoicated with arthritis, also cause severe leaky gut. Toxins, viruses, candida, and parasite infetation are sometime implicated as well.” An Alternative Medicine Guide to Arthritis ~ By Ellen Kamhi, Eugene R. Zampieron

It is quite possible that a compromised intestinal tract is where arthritis begins.   If the filtration of the bowel wall is damaged, then improper proteins, fats, or sugars can begin to enter the circulation, causing toxins that would normally pass through the intestines to seep through the intestinal walls, entering the lymphatic system and invading the blood stream. The immune system, initially dispatched to get rid of the invaders somehow, instead starts destroying healthy tissue in the body.  The attack can target any areas, including the joints, (rheumatoid arthritis) the thyroid gland, nerve cells (multiple sclerosis) and other organs of the body. These toxins can also increase cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood  elevating platelet count and making the blood look more like tar instead of a liquid. Body fluids can only handle so many toxins before the lymphatic system and arteries becomes clogged.  When this happens the body is at risk of gaining excess weight, developing heart disease or a stroke and even quite possibly cancer.

We know autoimmune diseases target different areas of the body, but the genes that affect the immune response are the same.  In fact many autoimmune diseases have the same inflammatory molecules (cytokines) and immune cells that cause damage.  So autoimmune diseases and the genes involved can run in families but may react against different organs and joints. Therefore, if autoimmune diseases run in your family, your sister could be troubled by hypothyroidism and you may be troubled by arthritis … all caused by the same gene.  But we can’t just blame the genes, stress, anger, trauma, depression, repressed memories, loneliness, etc., can put such a strain on the immune system that it’s unable to protect the body from outside invaders.

If interested in reading more about this  ~ Leaky gut is explained here 

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF ARTHRITIS

Arthritis; represents ‘oozing resentments’. You are so angry your joints become inflamed. Who or what is it that you resent so much? Louise Hay suggests this comes from feeling unloved.”
From: Compassionate Dragon Healing http://www.compassionatedragon.com/metaphysics5.html

I have not found the above statement to be totally true.  There are so many other factors involved, you just can’t narrow it down to resentments and anger. For example, the hands are known to become rigid and deformed from arthritis .. metaphysically it looks as if the fingers are being pulled back out of shape. In fact it’s the body pulling back – it’s trying to tell you to pull back or withdraw from something – if you resist, severely enough, the body will withdraw emotional energies from what you are doing or are involved in.  You will lose your grip.

Let’s look at what other healers, medical intuitives have to say…….

“Arthritis: The joints give us free and graceful movement, so arthritis is connected to our innermost feelings about the movement we are taking, what we are doing within that movement, or the direction we are going in. There may also be a sensation of the energy pulling back from moving forward, maybe out of fear of the movement, or because we would really rather be doing something or going somewhere different. This state also indicates self-criticism (stiffness), lack of self-worth, fear, anger (inflammation) and bitterness (pain). There can be a sense of being tied down, restricted, restrained and confined; also a developing inability to bend, to be mentally flexible or to be able to surrender. This can reflect a lack of self-trust as well as a hardening attitude towards life. These feelings are about ourselves, but rather than being acknowledged inwardly they are usually projected outwardly towards others. The part of the body being afflicted with arthritis indicates further information; see also entries on the specific joint and side of the body, Joints, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. ”  Deb Shapiro: Your Body Speaks Your Mind 

Daniel Condron’s “Permanent Healing”… “Arthritis (see also joints):
Mental Attitude: Restrictions placed upon Self. Release the past and come to terms with anger.
Suggestions for Improvement: push beyond the limitations you have imagined for your Self. Know what you want and don’t take no for an answer.

Joints (see also Arthritis, Elbow, Knee):
Mental Attitude: Mental restriction
Suggestions for Improvement: Eliminate for six months from your life and vocabulary: “I can’t, I won’t, I shouldn’t, I couldn’t, and I haven’t.” Replace them with I can, I will, I want to, I am able.”

Caroline Myss: “The Creation of Health”………….Energy Analysis of Rheumatoid Arthritis: This illness is generated by a combination of chronic anger and resentment. Specifically, these emotions are generated because a person feels controlled by the emotional and/or psychological needs of someone with whom they are closely involved. Usually, the patient perceives the controlling source as a person who is emotionally very dependent, and, for that reason, the patient feels unable to challenge the imbalanced emotional dynamics of the relationship. In one sense, the patient often feels as though he or she is being held in emotional bondage with no alternative available for emotional release other than to internalize it. The patient perceives that his or her own movements are being restricted due to the demands of another person.”

Hmm, okay so with Caroline Myss, we’re back to anger and resentment with however, more of an explanation of how these emotions are generated.

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS (Added July 30, 2014)

“This is where the immune system starts attacking itself, attacking the collagen, which is the connective tissue in the joints, as if it were an invading antigen. It is known that this state worsens when we experience extra stress or tension. Rheumatoid arthritis indicates a deep self-dislike, perhaps due to shame or guilt; an inbred sense of worthlessness or self-criticism; as well as long-held anger, bitterness and stiff attitudes. We are attacking our own selves and the result is painful and limited mobility in moving or expressing ourselves freely.  The joints are our means for fluid and graceful expression, so swelling and soreness here indicate a real difficulty in expressing that fluidity of movement in what we are doing and the direction we are going in.  The rheumatoid arthritic personality is one that exhibits unassertive and inhibited behavior, is self-sacrificing, and unable to express strong emotions. That lack of expression then manifests physically as lack of mobility; it turns against itself and find expression in being inwardly critical and bitter. The BODYMIND Workbook ~ Debbie Shapiro

“The degree of seriousness is relative to the degree of emotional, mental and spiritual blockage. Generally, if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, you are very self-critical; you have difficulty doing what you enjoy and asking others for help. Although you seem amenable enough, you let resentment build up while you wait for others to figure out telepathically what you need. You may even have thoughts of vengeance when others don’t figure it out. Just as this disease is paralyzing physically, it also indicates emotional paralysis.

Pay attention to the location of your symptoms. If the inflammation is in your hands, for example, you need to examine your attitude while working with your hands. Do you need help with work you are doing? Then say so. ~ Your Body’s Telling You Love Yourself ~ Lise Bourbeau

Everyone loved Jonie, a sweet elderly woman afflicted by rheumatoid arthritis. Her hands were gnarled, her spine looked twisted and she lived in constant pain. Why did this dear woman who spent her life caring for others and an avid church goer, suffer so much.

Although most healers won’t say the ‘actual’ cause of rheumatoid arthritis, they have said these clients ‘appear’ placid and gentle when first meeting them. Yet as the healing or reading takes place, there always seems to be, below these people’s awareness, anger, which he or she ‘learned’ to repress early in life.

Jonie would never ever tell anyone a lie, but as a child, she learned to lie to herself about her true feelings. She grew up in a rigid religious atmosphere and learned that to express herself forcefully was sinful. So she grew never expressing herself and believed she had no hostility. Her knowledge of the spiritual world was extensive but her awareness of her emotions were almost nonexistent. She had learned to repress or deny her hostility,  but the inner conflict was always there gnarling at her soul, creating anxiety, which caused a metabolic imbalance and in time a crippling illness. (Rheumatoid arthritis may begin with swelling and morning stiffness..it takes a while for symptoms to accumulate)

Not only arthritis but many other physical disabilities occur from anxiety .. born out of our refusal to be honest with our emotions.  Simply being aware of our inner conflict won’t always achieve healing.  We first need to beware of the basic cause; second, we need to accept these emotions as valid and real at a feeling level and third, we need to ‘talk out’ our feelings in a proper setting. When we keep our emotions inside, Rheumatoid arthritis in later stages, can affect the chest and lung area, causing pain on taking deep breaths or feeling breathless…rheumatoid nodules have been seen on lung tissue itself, not just the lining.  If your joints are swollen and red, and you feel pain when the joints are moved, it’s important to get diagnosed and start treatment quickly.

BODY/MIND

It has also been proven that our emotional and psychological states can influence the onset of an illness and more and more practicioners are looking at the body/mind together instead of separate. The question is how do we discover the cause and find the cure?

CASE STUDY # ONE

Fiona was forty-five years old when she came to the clinic for healing. She suffered from arthritis in her neck, hands and hip area. When we met, I extended my arm and hand to greet hers, it was met with a weak and weary handshake.  I noticed Fiona’s wrist was very swollen and her hand cold to touch. At that moment a vision filled my awareness with painful images and emotional experiences. I wasn’t prepared for its onslaught and my body started to sweat, breathe heavily and react with a racing heartbeat and nauseous stomach. I wasn’t able to move, ….all this happened in seconds!

As I let go of Fiona’s hand, my body was trembling, weak and emotional. Thankfully I knew this reaction was from feeling and sensing Fiona’s energy. Silently thanking the information, I shook my hands, letting the emotions/feelings go. This is a must is you’re interested in healing or you’ll become too emotionally involved and won’t be able to help another.

Unconsciously, there was alot going on beneath the surface of Fiona’s guarded facade that inhibited and weakened her life force. When she spoke, her voice was timid, soft spoken and each sentence trailed into silence. Physically, there was extra padding around her hips, forming a hard protective shell around her sexual and creative area.

I saw a similar pattern to her energy and the energy of the couple in a former article in this blog called Spiritual Addiction = Self Destruction. Fiona had silenced the voice of her own body….she had closed the door to her own sensuality and closed down her own passion. Why?

From the many quick images I had seen earlier through touching her hand, I wondered if Fiona’s husband had been unfaithful to her? Was Fiona feeling deeply betrayed, hurt, angry? I didn’t present this until Fiona was comfortable and had let down her guard a little. When I did speak of the visual I saw earlier, Fiona sighed and fell silent for a moment, her face marked with sadness. She told me it was true, her husband had been unfaithful, making her feel old, fat, small and ugly. It had been a very dark time for her in which she felt life had very little meaning and joy. Although the affair was short-lived, Fiona feared losing her husband. She was too afraid to try facing life alone. So, instead, she gave in to his every whim, suppressing her own emotions and feelings.

“I don’t know why I’m doing this” said Fiona a short-time later, “I knew I’d never trust him again”.

When I scanned her body, another image I’d seen came forward, it was like a nightmare, very unsettling. It was an image of her in a bathtub. Her face was above water but her body was immersed in what looked like an eroding acid bath, bubbling and eating away at her body. Her facial area was untouched, her body a tangled mess of skin and bone. I kept this image to myself until I understood it and found a way to express it. It symbolically meant something but I wasn’t sure what at the time?!?!?

It wasn’t until I actually started the Reiki treatment that the realization of the above image spoke to me. I’m not sure if it was Fiona’s inner self, my intuition, my guides or inner wisdom who led me to it, but it was a Eureka!! a sudden realization that soared through my body and mind. Fiona was supposed to be going through a major transformation and she was doing everything in her power to stop it!

(When we are not in touch with our ‘need’ to change, others, close members (family, husbands, friends) will unconsciously ‘force’ this change by acting as ‘agents of disruption“!)  Oh my gawd, that was it! I kept this to myself for the time being…..until I felt Fiona was ready to believe and accept it.

From my Reiki III manual…..

“The symptoms of dis-ease is also the symbol of spiritual separation and this is directly linked to resisting change in one’s life, emotions and/or thinking. When we refuse to change, the immune system of the body breaks down, the lymphatic system becomes blocked and conjested causing swelling as well as joint aches and mind confusion. But, to detox the body faster than it can acknowledge what’s actually going on, could overtax and cause the whole bodily system to shut down.”

The first Reiki treatment for Fiona, was the basic hands-on-healing, without the use of the emotional symbol Sei Hei Ki. This would be applied later, once Fiona was willing to go through her pain, not avoid it!

SUMMARY OF FIRST TREATMENT

When we don’t do what makes us happy, we eventually become angry and resentful.  This sentence certainly fits with the three different metaphysical causes of arthritis.  Fiona wasn’t displaying anger but it was definitely gurgling and bubbling deep inside.  Instead she repressed her anger and frustration and poured out all her energy to being a submissive, obedient wife.  Usually sexual betrayal creates volatile angry feelings.  There certainly was a high voltage of energy wanting to come out but instead it was sizzling inside her.  It created an acidic bath that was having a corrosive effect on her body.  

Fiona was full of theories and excuses why she couldn’t do what she wanted to do…….Fiona was a ‘victim of love’.   Victims of love deny themselves the very things they know would make them happy.  They put others needs before their own and this was what Fiona was doing.  And it always left her feeling drained and lethargic with empty hands and heart.  It seemed her arthritis had come about from resisting, holding, tightening and compressing.  This was an analysis of our first visit and I recorded my thoughts and feelings along with the findings. 

 The next visit, if Fiona chose to come back, would begin loosening and releasing the past so Fiona could reclaim her life-force.  It wouldn’t be easy.  First the anger of rage grief and jealousy had to come out.  Then a long process of carefully listening inside for guidance and groping forward in the dark, one step at a time.  If I had told her this on her first session, I probably would have never seen her again. 

Not only was Fiona  in deep physical pain, she also suffered from migraines and her body was starting to go into premature menopause.   There was alot of work to be done and Reiki alone wouldn’t do it.     

Great site

http://www.arthritisgoaway.com/

 THE SECOND AND SUBSEQUENT VISITS  to be continued in part two

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“Fibromyalgia (FM) means pain in the soft fibrous tissues in the body.  It is a newly recognized illness featuring widespread chronic pain, stiffness, tenderness, deep fatigue, and sleep disturbance.  It can come and go and is of indeterminate length.  The exhaustion may be so draining that it can make it hard to function, eith mentally or physically, and there appears to be abnormal sensory processing, which increases the pain experienced.  There also appears to be a strong connection to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)–some experts say the two are simply variations of the same thing–as FM also has a possible post-viral cause and the two illnesses share many of the same symptoms……As with CFS, this illness implies a loss of purpose or direction and a loss of spirit.  It is as if the desire to participate and enter into life has drained away, leaving you without intention or motivation.” Deb Shapiro YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND

Chronic Fatigue (CFS) is a relatively new disorder, its characteristics often overlap with fibromyalgia,(FM) which is why I combined them together. In fact, FM, CFS and hypothyroidism are all autoimmune diseases and share similar symptoms. And there are a multitude of symptoms to these dis-eases which include, muscle pain, sleeplessness, fatigue, gastrointestional upsets, allergies, headaches, etc. That is why a multi-faceted approach is necessary in improving both CFS and FM. Discovered in the mid 1990’s, CFS and FM affected young and old alike. They both can be very disabling, disempowering and brutal dis-eases.

(A large group of people suffering from CFS and FM, also have low blood pressure. Many who find themselves reaching for foods high in salt, have noted they feel better.) Fibromyalgia and low blood pressure can be related to a lack of self, lack of self esteem, lack of competency, lack of self acceptance, deep feelings of separation, guilt, feeling trapped, alienated, relying on people’s feedbacks, being and feeling criticized by others, and suppressing the emotions.

When my doctor told me I had Fibromyalgia two years ago, I was shell shocked. It had to be something else, something I could easily conquer. Why even many of my friends called me a ‘health nut’ so how could this be possible? In fact, to me, it was impossible. I was in denial for a whole year and during that year, the fibromyalgia got worse. I learned the more I resisted it, the worse it got.

First, I thought it was my thyroid, after all I do suffer from hypothyroidism and take Levothyroxine 0.075. Maybe I needed a higher dose. However, my tests came back revealing I was taking the right amount. (more on this later)

Still ignoring the prognosis, the symptoms of fibromyalgia escalated. Weather fluctuations and the seasons increased it. I suffered fatigue, depression, joint and muscle pain, especially in the neck and shoulder area. In fact, my shoulders felt like they were climbing around my ears! I held a lot of tension in the jaw area, causing my lips and even my eyes to start drooping. There were times at work, I could hardly keep my eyes open. In fact, every system of my body seemed to be under attack. This dis-ease screamed to be acknowledged. But still I hid it from myself and others. It wasn’t until FM almost stopped me in my tracks, did I finally stop resisting the pain, turn around and embrace it. This was when I started observing it, looking at situations, past and present, which might have triggered or caused it to flare up again.

“CFS usually develops as a result of being disconnected from our emotions. Emotions are the energy that bridges the mind with the body. When we disconnect from this energy, we experience a lessening of life energy, which can eventually lead to chronic fatigue and/or depression.

This is a pattern that usually begins in childhood. At home and in society, many receive the message that it’s not okay to express certain feelings, such as sadness or anger. Women are especially taught it’s not okay to express anger or sexual feelings,. We suppress or “depress” the so-called unacceptable feelings inside us. We become cut off from our emotional energy and are left with a general feeling of fatigue and disconnection from life. As a result, we very often feel we’re “running on empty,” so to speak.

It’s important to know at least 80% of all autoimmune dis-ease occurs in women. Somewhere very deep within our bodies, there’s some kind of destructive message that needs to be revealed and transformed. To break free of this pattern, it’s helpful to establish a safe environment to reconnect with our feeling processes and begin to safely release stored anger, sadness, and other suppressed emotions. It’s highly recommended and important to contact a qualified professional as you go through this process.

Affirm: It is safe to express all that is within me. I love, honor, and accept all aspects of who and what I am. As a result, I am energized, expressed, and filled with joy!”  Louise Hay

We discussed Chiron and the Sixth House earlier in my blog. It just so happens, my Chiron IS placed in my Sixth House. Only when I admitted to having a problem, was Chiron released and awakened. And when he did, it was as if he took me to T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland and the Fisher King’s realm. By gosh, I realized there was a resemblance to the Fisher King and Chiron. To restore the wasteland, the Fisher’s King’s wound had to be healed. The wound that would not heal was a direct result of severing some kind of connection crucial to one’s well-being. Wow! I discovered the King did not heal until an innocent young man (or woman), the ‘Fool’ entered the scene. I realized the Fool was to be a new element, a new perspective that needed to be learned in my journey of healing. A journey deep within myself and my own inner core. And Chiron took me there.

Have I healed this dis-ease? Ohh how I wish! There are times it grips and crushes me like a vice. The pain is all consuming. Chiron, his knowledge and wisdom was on my side, provided I was prepared to look at myself, squarely in the ‘eye’. I was driven by a new sense of vision, a purpose. A new sense of growth and change. This is my story and hopefully it will help others to ease their discomfort. Here is what I discovered.

Chronic stress, viruses, allergies and hormonal imbalances have been linked with CFS and FM. Other symptoms are, aching, weak muscles, swollen lymph glands, joint pain, headache and sore throat. Psychological symptoms include, confusion, depression, impaired memory or concentration, excessive sleeping, appetite loss or gain and stress.

With CFS and FM, not only do our bodies and nervous system react to stress by secreting hormones and enzymes, they continue sending stress signals to the brain which reacts by sending more stress hormones throughout our bodies. When this happens our muscles are unable to relax, we are in, what is called a fight or flight mode. The adrenal glands continually pump out epinephrine, the tension buildup accumulates, our pulse races and our bodies become locked in a fixed position.

2006 was a very stressful year for me. My father passed away, a relationship I was in, dissolved, and the relationship to my own family buckled. And I was laid off from my job. Financially, spiritually, physically, I felt disabled. Although all this was happening in my life, I didn’t see it! I found myself strapped in a tangled web of pain and frustration.

At first, I tried different kinds of herbal medicines. Malic acid, L-Glutamine (amino acid), magnesium, Epson salt baths, Lecithin, antioxidants, and painkillers to name a few. They did help, but only minimally. Why weren’t these working? My doctor prescribed a drug for depression called Venlafaxine….all it seemed to do was make me more depressed and sleepy! I realized the cycle of pain killers and antidepressants were a recipe for more complications. I had to go deeper.

Looking back at the traumas in my life was like a breakthrough for me. As a Reiki practitioner and teacher, I’ve always helped others but somewhere down the line excluded myself. Now it was my turn.

When everything in my life was falling apart, I tried to hold myself together; I isolated myself and grieved alone. The stress this put on my body and muscles became a constant pain. My immune system faltered, which decreased my ability to fight viruses, like the common cold and flu. I also realized I was what many consider a high achiever. I didn’t see this as first. I thought high achievers were top aggressive performers, who like athletes in professional sports were ranked as the elite in their sport. Not so. A high achiever can be someone who continually pushes to do their best and beyond the call of duty. This, in itself creates stress in our lives as we try to stay ahead of the competition. The competition not being another business, but other people within the business. Being image conscious and self conscious, I never thought my work was ‘good enough’. I kept trying harder and harder. The more I pushed the more my FMS developed.

Catherine Northrup in her book Women’s Body, Women’s Wisdom, mentions only a snippit about fibromyalgia but definitely worth mentioning.

‘When you experience a bodily sensation such as back pain, ‘a gut reaction’, a headache or abdominal pain, pay attention to it and see if you can pinpoint the emotional situation that may have triggered it.’ ‘…other related conditions such as neck pain and fibromyalgia, all of which he (Dr. John Sarno), refers to as TMS – tension myositis syndrome. He notes that the personality of those who tend to get this syndrome is characterised by being highly conscientious, responsible and perfectionistic.”

Bingo!

Alternative healing and spiritual psychology helped me to begin the study of my own body, mind, and soul. I focused on any emotional or energy disturbances in my chakras or energy bodies. I used different forms of divination to find new ways to establish a balance within myself. I bought the book Fibromyalgia for Dummies (by Roland Staud, M.D.) and read countless topics on CFS and FM on the internet. I learned to heal and start letting go of my past childhood traumas; which were enveloped in an internal battle of fear and control as well as a resistance to change.

If you have questions or comments on my blog, please leave a message. If you’d like to address an illness, let me know, and we’ll share our thoughts together.

To be continued…….

Suggested readings:
Healing Back Pain, The Mind-Body Connection by Dr. John E. Sarno
http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Back-Pain-Mind-Body-Connection/dp/0446392308

Fibromyalgia for Dummies, by Dr. Roland Staub

Metaphysical causes of Fibromyalgia
http://www.compassionatedragon.com/metaphysics5.html

Lack of Vitamin D Linked to Pain – Fibromyalgia News
http://www.immunesupport.com/library/showarticle.cfm/ID/5324/

Fibromyaliga Herbs
http://www.herbal-supplements-guide.com/fibromyalgia-herbs.html

Check out The Chakra Test! There are 56 questions to which you can answer ‘Definitely to ‘Not At All’. It even has a graph showing the activity of each chakra. If you’re honest with the answers, the results are amazing.
http://www.eclecticenergies.com/chakras/chakratest.php

**This ‘letter’ has been circulating the web lately and although I’m not sure where this originated from, it descriptively explains to others and ourselves the many symptoms aggravated by FM and CFS.

So many FM  and CFS sufferers have been told that all they do is whine and complain….so we learn to suffer in silence.  This letter speaks volumes.

A friend of mine keeps hers on the fridge, while another made copies to give to close family and friends.  If it helps, pass it around.

A LETTER TO THE HEALTHY WORLD
FROM THE LAND OF CHRONIC PAIN AND FATIGUE

If you were born with healthy genes, you may know me but you don’t understand me. I was not as lucky as you. I inherited the predisposition to chronic pain, fatigue and forgetfulness.

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia (FMS) after months, years or even decades of mysterious physical and emotional problems.

Because you didn’t know how sick I was, you called me lazy, a malingerer, or simply ridiculous. If you have the time to read on, I would like to help you understand how different I am from you

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT FIBROMYALGIA

1. FMS is not the newest fad disease. In fact, it isn’t a disease at all, and it isn’t even new. In 1815, a surgeon at the University of Edenburgh, William Balfour, described fibromyalgia. Over the years, it has been known as chronic rheumatism, myalgia and fibrositis. Unlike diseases, syndromes do not have a known cause, but they do have a specific set of signs and symptoms which, unfortunately for the patient, take place together. Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are also syndromes.

2. The many physical and emotional problems associated with FMS are not psychological in origin. This is not an “all in your head” disorder. In 1987, the American Medical Association recognized FMS as a true physical illness and major cause of disability.

3. Syndromes strike life-long athletes as viciously as they do couch potatoes. They can be disabling and depressing, interfering with even the simplest activities of daily life.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ME

1. My pain –
My pain is not your pain. It is not caused by inflammation. Taking your arthritis medication will not help me. I can not work my pain out or shake it off. It is not even a pain that stays put. Today it is in my shoulder, but tomorrow it may be in my foot or gone. My pain is believed to be caused by improper signals sent to the brain, possibly due to sleep disorders. It is not well understood, but it is real.

2. My fatigue –
I am not merely tired. I am often in a severe state of exhaustion. I may want to participate in physical activities, but I can’t. Please do not take this personally. If you saw me shopping in the mall yesterday, but I can’t help you with yard work today, it isn’t because I don’t want to. I am, most likely, paying the price for stressing my muscles beyond their capability.

3. My forgetfulness –
Those of us who suffer from it call it fibrofog. I may not remember your name, but I do remember you. I may not remember what I promised to do for you, even though you told me just seconds ago. My problem has nothing to do with my age but may be related to sleep deprivation. I do not have a selective memory. On some days, I just don’t have any short-term memory at all.

4. My clumsiness –
If I step on your toes or run into you five times in a crowd, I am not purposely targeting you. I do not have the muscle control for that. If you are behind me on the stairs, please be patient. These days, I take life and stairwells one step at a time.

5. My sensitivities –
I just can’t stand it! “It” could be any number of things: bright sunlight, loud or high-pitched noises, odors. FMS has been called the “aggravating everything disorder.” So don’t make me open the drapes or listen to your child scream. I really can’t stand it.

6. My intolerance –
I can’t stand heat, either. Or humidity. If I am a man, I sweat…profusely. If I am a lady, I perspire. Both are equally embarrassing, so please don’t feel compelled to point this shortcoming out to me. I know. And don’t be surprised if I shake uncontrollably when it’s cold. I don’t tolerate cold, either. My internal thermostat is broken, and nobody knows how to fix it.

7. My depression –
Yes, there are days when I would rather stay in bed or in the house. I have lost count of how many of Dr. Kevorkian’s patients suffered from FMS as well as other related illnesses. Severe, unrelenting pain can cause depression. Your sincere concern and understanding can pull me back from the brink. Your snide remarks can tip me over the edge.

8. My stress –
My body does not handle stress well. If I have to give up my job, work part time, or handle my responsibilities from home, I’m not lazy. Everyday stresses make my symptoms worse and can incapacitate me completely.

9. My weight – I may be fat or I may be skinny. Either way, it is not by choice. My body is not your body. My appestat is broken, and nobody can tell me how to fix it.

10. My need for therapy –
If I get a massage every week, don’t envy me. My massage is not your massage. Consider how a massage would feel if that charley horse you had in your leg last week was all over your body. Massaging it out was very painful, but it had to be done. My body is knot-filled. If I can stand the pain, regular massage can help, at least temporarily.

11. My good days –
If you see me smiling and functioning normally, don’t assume I am well. I suffer from a chronic pain and fatigue illness with no cure. I can have my good days or weeks or even months. In fact, the good days are what keep me going.

12. My uniqueness –
Even those who suffer from FMS are not alike. That means I may not have all of the problems mentioned above. I do have pain above and below the waist and on both sides of my body which has lasted for a very long time. I may have migraines or hip pain or shoulder pain or knee pain, but I do not have exactly the same pain as anyone else.

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