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

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

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

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

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

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

How can you reclaim your balance and dignity?”

YOUR BODY SPEAKS  YOUR MIND ~ by Deb Shapiro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KIDNEY/BLADDER MERIDIANS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE LIVER/GALL BLADDER MERIDIAN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Acupressure points for knees and meridians

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

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

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

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

LOW SELF-ESTEEM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CASE STUDY ONE

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

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

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

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

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

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

CASE STUDY TWO

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

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

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

CASE STUDY THREE

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

This article is still under construction  …

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

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

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

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

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root chakra sciatica nerve

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

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

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

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

Piriformis syndrome

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gallbladder and Liver Meridians

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

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

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

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

CHILDHOOD TRAUMA

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

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

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

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

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

EMOTIONAL PAIN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE ROOT CHAKRA

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

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

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

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

THE SACRAL CHAKRA

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

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

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

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

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

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

CASE STUDY

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

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

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

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

THE HEALING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LINKS

Sciatica Nerve Pain & Supplements

6 Natural Ways to Relieve Sciatica

Herbal Supplement for Sciatica

Sciatic Nerve Pain

Mona Lisa Schulz – Common Cause of Lower Back Pain

Lower Body Meridians

Acupressure Points to Relieve Hip Back Pain

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migraine-ohh

THE CAUSE OF MIGRAINES/HEADACHES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

METAPHYSICAL CAUSE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE GUT-BRAIN LINK

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

“The GALLBLADDER is a small sac in which bile secreted by the liver is stored until needed for the process of fat digestion. Problems in this area indicate we are trying to digest things too quickly or are not digesting what we have experienced; we are not learning our lessons. Such problems as gallstones can indicate we are holding onto hard thoughts and bitter experiences rather than moving past them. We are holding onto the past and allowing it to fill our life, rather than moving forward with joy and anticipation for the future. “ THE HEALERS MANUAL ~ by Ted Andrews

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

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

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

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

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

THE BRAIN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MIGRAINES AND THE ADRENALS

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

Chronic anxiety and worry is closely associated with migraines and is associated with perfectionism. Perfectionists are very hard on themselves and others, demanding the best at all times. They find fault in almost everything they do—they’re appearance, their homes, relationships, children, clothes, cars—they can frustrate us to no end with their constant bickering and never-ending insistence that everything has to be perfect.

Perfectionists suffer from a lack of safety, never letting their guard down because if not, all hell will break loose. Their insecurities come from believing they always have to be in charge. Many perfectionists grew up too early, playing part of an absent parent or an out-of-control one—addictions such as drug abuse, alcoholism, gambling and even sex addition showed how their world was chaotic and out of control. It’s no wonder perfectionists move out at an early age and look for a place of their own—where attention to detail and keeping everything in its place is exactly as it’s supposed to be arranged. The problem with perfectionism is, their need to control is in the power-seat instead of their spirit—when they suddenly have a life-altering decision, the controls are at the helm of their personality, which could lead them down the wrong path.

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

PAST LIVES of MIGRAINE/HEADACHE SUFFERERS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FIGHT OR FLIGHT – WHAT ARE YOUR HIDDEN STRESS PATTERNS

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

HOW TO TRANSFORM TENSE REACTIONS INTO A RELAXED RESPONSE

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

Begin to observe yourself on a day to day basis so that you are able to see when tension is approaching from a distance or catch it happening. Then accept it! If you fight it or try to suppress it or get angry at yourself for reacting to it, you’ll get more tense and lose more energy. Just recognize and allow yourself to feel the symptoms in your body.

As tension happpens, consciously begin to relax by breathing more slowly and deeply. Your emotions are intimately connected to your breathing patterns—by changing your pattern, you will quickly be able to change any train of thought, even a stressful one. A change in breathing also changes the physical responses that go with emotional or mental tensions, such as tightness in the neck, head, abdomen or shoulders.

The beauty of it is that deep breathing can be practiced anywhere without anyone even noticing—at work, while traveling, or in a situation of confrontation. So when you feel your body beginning to experience tension, immediately begin to take long, deep, regular breaths.

The natural way of breathing when relaxed is deeply and steadily—just watch a sleeping child or an animal at rest. As you breath more deeply you will feel refreshing because you are taking in more energy/oxygen/prana. You will also feel calmer and more objective and able to deal with the situation more efficiently.

Recognize whether you are experiencing a fight response or a flight response, and see if you can change your thinking/attitude about the situation.

Recognize what you want from the situation and are not getting, and see if you can drop that desire. Accept what is actually happening, rather than trying to fight mentally and emotionally for what you want to have happen.

Examine your daily routine to see if you are creating physical situations that predispose you to experience stress or tension. For example, you will be more likely to feel tension if any of the following are true: you are overtired from lack of sleep; you have overeaten or eaten the wrong kinds of food or too late at night; you have taken too many stimulants, such as coffee, alcohol, or cigarettes; you habitually overwork; you don’t get enough play and recreation; or you don’t get enough fresh air and exercise.

See where you can make changes—small ones, one at a time. Don’t take on too much! Just regulate your sleep, for instance, or try walking instead of driving once in a while to get more fresh air and exercise.

Incorporate some specific physical and mental techniques into your daily schedule, such as yoga, walking, meditation, or sports. Also take time out to lie down and relax deeply once a day for fifteen to twenty minutes. ♥

LINKS

Do Gallbladder Problems Cause Migraines

Adrenal Insufficieny

7 Common Migraine Triggers

Migraines Result of Childhood Trauma

Migraines Linked to Changes in Brain

Dealing With Rage

Migraine Vitamins and Supplements

Homeopathic Medicine for Migraines

 

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low back muscles

Picture compliments of 

“The low back is the base and root of our activity in the world. When we experience a loss of support or feel that challenges or responsibilities are too great, we simply “can’t stand it.” Rage, frustration, humiliation, or depression may be held in the low back which is neurologically and psychologically associated with our “gut” feelings and deeper, suppressed instincts. The lower back carries the most weight, and expresses the extend of burden or load we bear, or if we feel overwhelmed or hopeless.

The ability to adapt, withstand or face up to stress or perceived onslaughts is expressed in the back; e.g., being spineless, having one’s back against the wall, getting ones back up, oh my aching back.” ~ Asa Hershoff N.D., D.C.

The gut is one of the primary filtration systems of the body, when its plumbing, electrical and drainage system aren’t working quite right, the body starts absorbing toxins, clogging the system. When the gut can no longer protect us, autoimmune problems can be triggered by a network of cellular communications and through our lymph nodes. Constipation, diarrhea, bloating, poor motility, and trapped gas can all lead to obesity, high cholesterol, diverticulitis, pancreatic problems and more. Toxic buildups are stored in the fat cells of the body…if these toxins leak into the fluids of the body, which includes the blood, they can cause fatigue, body aches, thyroid, heart and brain problems, as well as depression.

Most back pains are 10 times more painful than any other muscle strain in the body.  The reason for this… the back muscles are designed to ‘protect’ and ‘defend’ the spinal column.  Also, the back muscles are closely connected to the Central Nervous System (CNS) that transmits pain messages to your brain—muscle pain is an early warning that your spine might be in trouble.  When we are tense, our back muscles can go into spasm, causing excruciating pain that can last for weeks, months, even years.

The spine is generally flexible and quite resilient and when properly aligned is able to learn from and integrate a variety of life experiences.  These experiences either stressful or ecstatic are able to flow easily through the awareness of the body/mind as long as there is no disruption, which could knock the vertebrae(s) off course. But when we experience a stressful or traumatic/shocking event, the spine’s shock-absorber’s become inflexible from the shock, causing the muscles, ligaments and tendons of your back and abdomen to work harder to keep you upright.

“It would appear that most cases of chronic back pain are actually caused not by spinal problems, but by muscle tension and spasm. This is not to be dismissed: It is extremely painful. Such muscle tension is caused by emotional tension, and the deeper the emotional tension is explored the more the story behind the pain is revealed. It may be a story of anger, fear, exhaustion, of trying to prove something to someone, of denial, of a lack of forgiveness—whatever it is, it is in the back because it is well hidden there. But it also hurts.” Your Body Speaks Your Mind: Understanding How Your Emotions and Thoughts ~ Deb Shapiro

The backside of the body reflects private and unconscious elements of your life. The back becomes the storehouse for everything you don’t want to deal with or don’t want other people to see. Hidden or unexpressed feelings become frozen in the structure of your body. That means a lot of negative emotions becomes stored along your spine and in the backs of your legs. Most of your powerful emotions such as anger and fear are stored in your back and it is these emotions that pull your body out of balance.

Trying to distance and suppress your feelings only aggravates the problem..as you are still continuing to carry the past, which continues to grow heavier and heavier.If you’ve been protecting yourself all these years and defending yourself from real or imagined dangers, you are living in a constant state of alertness.  As well, you learnt to take protective steps to feel safe….this has been known to create an unsteadiness from the lower back, hips, and right down to the feet. The pelvis represents our inner direction and our deepest feelings and thoughts…it’s about our personal movement. Our 1st (root) chakra basically connects us to the earth as well as our survival instincts. Excessive tightness in the hips and buttocks may reflect a person’s need to ‘hold on’ in order to survive.

“Sacrum – Feeling unsupported, carrying unresolved family issues, holding on to childhood anger and resentment. Experiencing a lack of confidence and belief in self. Feeling uncomfortable in your body and in your life. Carry guild resentment and shame. Physical: Hip bones, buttocks, sacro-iliac conditions, spinal curvatures.” THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF YOUR BODY ~ Inna Segel

“Although seemingly soft and spongy, the buttock or gluteal muscles are often the most clenched and tense muscles in the body, for it is here that you can hide any tension or nervousness you may be feeling by literally sitting on it.  Although that tension is hidden from view, its effect will be felt throughout the body.  Consistently tight gluteals will throw off your posture causing spinal distortion and backache and then they can affect the functioning of your bowels….

Just for a moment, right now, check your muscles in your backside. Are they relaxed? Or are they clenched tight? If so, consciously relax them and notice the difference in your attitude.

  • What are you sitting on, repressing or holding down?
  • What energy is being held in  your backside?
  • Are you sitting on feelings of insecurity?
  • Are you sitting on a need for support and comfort?”

YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ by Deb Shapiro

THE SECOND (SACRAL) Chakra

“Sensations and feelings contribute to emotions, another aspect of the second chakra. Emotion – from the Latin e, meaning out, and movere, to move – is the moving of prana through the tissues of the body. Emotions are the result of feelings stored up in the body. For example, you may have a feeling of irritation at something, but if that feeling is repeatedly stored in your tissues, it can become the emotion of anger. I like to think of sensations as the words, feelings as the sentences, and emotions as the story that emerges.

When you repress emotion, you restrict the body’s natural movements. You become rigid, creating the opposite of the second chakra’s watery flow, inhibiting flexibility. Therefore, developing flexibility in your body may require willingness to feel old emotions that are stored in your body. ” Anodea Judith’s Chakra Yoga ~ by Anodea Judith

The lower back is associated with the 2nd chakra which is associated with the hips, sacrum, lower back, genitals, womb, bladder and kidneys. This chakra is about sensuality, sexuality, emotions, intimacy, and desire. All watery things have to do with this chakra: circulation, urination, menstruation, orgasm, tears. Water flows, moves and changes and a healthy second chakra allows us to do so.  It is also this chakra where, as a child, we were supported and reassured  from our parents.

Your aggressive nature might have caused you some anxious moments while you were growing up, when you had to confine yourself to the limits imposed by your parents. They may have considered you too big for your britches then, or simply reckless and immature. Your need to demonstrate your independence might have alienated you from them. Your subsequent development made you realize that you had to act when you felt that it was appropriate, knowing that ‘he who hesitates is lost’. Even now, you aren’t easily dissuaded by people who say that your plans won’t work, and you always manage to prove them wrong.

If we didn’t get the support we needed as a child.. it can affect the areas of the lower back and knees. See the kidney meridian runs along at the back of the knee as does the bladder, liver and spleen.  Inflammation is caused by a buildup of fluid.. the area of the skin very sensitive to be touched.  When a large amount of the 2nd chakra energy is released through exercising, it can make us sensitive to energies in the environment and from other people too.  It can also make us feel young, happy and bright!

When the 2nd chakra is balanced and healthy, we can be emotionally fluid, allowing ourselves to feel freely and without guilt. When it is excessive, we are overly emotional, have poor boundaries between ourselves and others, and are prone to obsessive attachments. When the 2nd chakra is deficient we tend toward emotional numbness, rigidity, and fear of pleasure.

PSOAS MUSCLES (major contributors to low back pain)

Buried deep within the core of your body, the psoas (pronounced “so-as”) affects every facet of your life, from your physical well-being to who you feel yourself to be and how you relate to the world. Acting as a bridge between the lower trunk and legs, the psoas is critical for keeping the spine aligned, allowing the joints to freely rotate and giving the muscles a full range of motion. The abdominal muscle, are surrounded by a complex network of nerve ganglia which lies approximately at the level of the psoas and the diaphragm. If the psoas is constricted for whatever reason, it will press on the nerves in the abdominal area. Constriction of the diaphragm may shorten the psoas, and tightness in the psoas may restrict the ability of the diaphragm to move freely. Any constriction in the the diaphragm will prevent full body breathing, a process which massages the internal organs and promotes strength and vitality.

Whether you suffer from a sore back or anxiety, from knee strain or exhaustion, there’s a good chance that a constricted psoas muscle might be contributing to your problem. When the psoas muscles go into spasm, they pull down on the shoulder and create an actual physical imbalance… you actually may feel yourself leaning over more to one-side.  Metaphysically the psoas muscles can indicate complex traumas and unresolved ‘unconscious’ issues from early childhood.  People with chronically tight psoas muscles have cut off their deeper feelings altogether, exerting rigid control over themselves as a way of defending themselves against these raw emotions. And yet there is always the sense of some imminent danger.  For some people, their whole life is built around suppressing what’s down there, and in this respect they are dominated by those very things they are trying to keep at bay. Finding the self is like Peeling an onion – layer upon layer has to be removed to reach the core. This is similar to the deep-sea diver who plunges into the depths of the personal unconscious bringing hidden complexes to light so that they can be examined worked on and hopefully transmuted.

Since the home sphere is where most people feel the most vulnerable, they may attempt to manipulate and, control those around them so that nobody slips up and detonates their inner time-bomb. Obviously, this does not lend itself to the most relaxed of home atmospheres, in which there are probably many unwritten rules about what is or isn’t allowed to be said or done.

“The kidneys are actually situated behind the psoas, while the intestines and reproductive organs lie in front of it. When the psoas is tight and constricted, the lumbar curve becomes exaggerated, causing the abdominal organs to fall forward against the abdominal muscles, which were not designed to carry this weight. …When displaced, the intestines are unable to absorb nutrients, eliminate waste, and the sexual reproductive functions could be impaired. The problem as well, is that no matter how many sit-ups you do they won’t be able to support the constricted psoas pushing the abdominal cavity forward.” Yoga Journal ~ By Donna Farhi

Healing the psoas can help to improve your overall structure,  and bring to light, old traumas and fears (physical tension) locked in the body.  In regard to the fight or flight response, the psoas have been known to curl you into a fetal ball to protect the front of the body, or prepare your back and leg muscles to spring into action. Because the psoas is so intimately involved in physical and emotional reactions, a chronically tightened psoas continually signals the body that you’re in danger, eventually exhausting the adrenal glands and depleting the immune system.

One on each side of the spine, each working independently yet harmoniously, the psoas attaches to the side and toward the front of the 12th thoracic vertebra and each lumbar vertebrae. Moving though the pelvis without attaching to the bone, the psoas inserts along with the iliacus muscle in a common tendon at the top of the femur.

The psoas’ main function is to act as a hip flexor….without it walking or running would be impossible. These muscles also contribution to the outer rotation of the hips. When the psoas is so tight, they can’t release, causing the legs to turn outward during intense back-bending, which can pinch the muscles and nerves of the lower back.

The major aorta that carries the blood from the heart run very close to the psoas muscles and it has been thought that an imbalance in the psoas may affect blood circulation throughout the upper and lower extremities. Many people feel a flush of heat down the legs and up into the chest when the psoas releases. So the deep muscles of the psoas can affect circulation, respiration, nerve impulses as well as organ function. And we still haven’t considered the effect the psoas have on the musculoskeletal system.

In addition the psoas also forms a supportive shelf for the vital organs wjithin the abdominal core. In walking, a healthy psoas moves freely and joins with a released diaphragm to continuously massage the spine as well as the organs, blood vessels, and nerves of the trunk. Working as a hydraulic pump, a freely moving psoas stimulates the flow of fluids throughout the body. And a released, flowing psoas combined with a stable weight-bearing pelvis, contributes to the sensations of feeling grounded and centered.

 

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM (CNS)

Have you ever wondered with the body’s amazing ability to renew itself, why we have, or seem to have the same or similar back problems throughout most of our lives?  The answer lies in the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS coordinates our consciousness with billions of neurons (individual nerve cells) that are sent to the brain to be interpreted.  Messages are then sent back to move the countless muscle fibers through the body.  This is why most of our back pain begins with problems in the muscles because they are directly connected to the nerves that transmit pain messages to your brain AND many back problems are made worse by stress or tension in the mind.

The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord. The brain carries out most of the ‘computing’ in the nervous system and communicates with the rest of the body through the large bundle of nerves called the spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is the intricate network of nerves that carries information between the CNS and the rest of the body.  Thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves carry sensory and motor messages to and from the spinal cord. Together these nerves keep your entire body in communication with the brain.

“The nervous system maintains our body’s inner environment and regulates the digestion of food and the amount of carbon dioxide in our blood without our awareness…..

By acting as a conduit for the expression of Universal Consciousness (our innate wisdom), the nervous system establishes who we are and how we deal with the world. What our body feels—not necessarily what we are conscious of—actually changes the way we perceive the world. If the nervous system is stuck in one perspective, the messages it will send and receive will be stuck in that perspective as well. In other words, when the nervous system has not been able to recover from the trauma of past events—whether physical, emotional, or chemical—our emotional reality is also stuck…..The combined effect of various stress and the inability of the nervous system to deal with them produces a subluxation (interference) of the spine….This interference disrupts the nervous system’s natural ability to assemble and sort out neurological instructions.  Like a computer, if the input (messages to the system) is distorted in anyway, then the output (messages from the nervous system to each body cell) will also be distorted. Emotional trauma, accidents or breathing polluted air are challenges to a compromised nervous system.” The 12 STAGES of HEALING ~ by Donald M. Epstein D.C.

There is a deep and powerful connection between the mind and back—to begin understanding the cause of your back pain, begin the healing process.   The more rigid, tight and unyielding the mind, the more rigid, tight and unyielding the physical body (tight shoulders, neck, chest, abdomen, hips hamstrings, psoas, ankles, etc… ).

TRAUMA RELEASING EXERCISES (TRE)

Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) “TRE® is a simple and quick set of movements that turn on our body’s natural rebalancing process—providing an immediate experience of relaxation. By releasing everything from everyday stress to deeply held physical tension and trauma, TRE® frees us up to meet life’s challenges with greater skill and ease. Best of all, our bodies do the work; we get relief without needing to process or retell our story.” Tension Release Exercises

A client of mine (J.S) has a friend who is a trauma counsellor which was originally designed for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)… specifically for soldiers who had returned from war. “It takes you through a series of movements.. then you end up in a position that releases the psoas, which is described as being a muscle that holds emotion (hence trauma release exercises to target it).”

TRE relieves the accumulation of everyday muscle tension as well as past traumas Trauma Release video

Another video on TRE

EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE (EFT)

Emotional Freedom Techniques – EFT – also known as Meridian Tapping – is a very effective healing method, that is known to eliminate past trauma and abuse, anxiety, fears, and phobias, negative emotions and beliefs, self-judgement, physical and emotional pain, bad habits, migraines, and often helps to heal physical injuries and illnesses.

“BATTLE TAP is an easy-to-learn self-help tool that is designed for armed public service professionals who are experiencing emotional or psychological distress. It’s based on Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), an emerging intervention that uses acupressure-point tapping, re-exposure, and cognitive scripts to rapidly resolve undesired emotions and memories.”  http://www.battletap.org/home.aspx

Web-page on … What is EFT Tapping

This is a great site demonstrating EFT techniques  http://eft.mercola.com/

 

HEALING LOWER BACK PAIN

“Muscles absorb and respond to tensions and feelings.  If they do not relax sufficiently following stress, then the tension accumulates and causes deeper, long-lasting damage. If this continues over a period of time, the muscles become set and fixed in this restricted form. This is where you “hold” issues, emotions and trauma.  Frozen anger, fear, or grief creates a kind of body armour, which further blocks and holds back feelings, locking the musculature into fixed positions…

The muscles enable all the bodily systems to function, such as circulation, digestion, breathing, and nerve impulses.  Their freedom of movement is essential for optimum health. When the muscles are restricted…your energy will be unable to flow smoothly…Stress release and emotional expression are therefore essential for muscle ease. Exercise is also vital–it not only releases muscular tension but psycho/emotional tension as well.” YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro

 

to be continued….

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Weakness at the front of the shoulders can cause tight or tense muscles in the back.

Weakness at the front of the shoulders can cause tight or tense muscles in the back.

The Scapular muscle diagram is compliments of http://www.ehealthstar.com/anatomy/shoulder-blade-scapula

Metaphysical cause of Shoulder Pain

Pain or tightness in the shoulder area often reflects a person’s overall emotional and physical state. A stressful lifestyle, emotional strain, physical injuries, and fatigue can contribute to constriction and pain in the shoulders. When we experience people’s actions and behaviors toward us as aggressive or controlling, it makes us feel powerless, angry, resentful or out of control. If negative emotions are not released, they can become toxic to the entire system, leading to all sorts of complications.

“Stiffness in the area of the shoulder blades usually reveals you are going in the wrong direction in life, or you are doing something in life that isn’t serving your highest purpose. This is actually a positive and predictive pain, showing that you either need to make an adjustment in your life direction or that an important change is about to come into your life and you will have to adjust to align yourself to this new change or direction. This may involve letting go of some old ways of thinking and behaving and adapting to newer, higher ways of thinking and behaving. The change will take place when you become aligned, at which point the energy between the spleen and small intestine meridians will flow freely, removing the blockage between the two. It is the blockage of energy between the two meridians, found in the area of the shoulder blades, that causes the feeling of resistance and lack of mobility.” Emotion and Healing in the Energy Body ~ Robert Henderson

Shoulder pain is quite a complex multifaceted pain as there are six meridians moving through this area. The six *meridians are: the lung, large intestine, pericardium, triple heater, small intestine, and heart meridian. These six different types contain a mixture of emotional, mental, and behavioural energies, which manifest as different types of physical pain. These energies cause rigidness, and a sense of heaviness and stagnation in the muscles surrounding the lines of these meridians. This stagnated energy is like a wall protecting hurtful feelings, but can also force us into isolation and separation. Separation from life causes depression, anger, and the inability to forgive a painful past—this could cause hardness and tightness in the rotator cuff and surrounding muscles.

(*The meridians are pathways or networks in which the Chi and blood of the human body are circulated, nourishing skin, muscles, tendons and bones. The meridians pertain to the internal organs of the body, forming a lattice network and linking the tissues and organs into a whole. Externally the twelve meridians connect with the skin, joints, limbs and other superficial tissues of the body. Normal functioning of the various organs ensures a form of balance can be maintained.)

When we feel run down from the way we’re living, we often underestimate our ability to cope with so many responsibilities; we overburden ourselves.  This results in feeling anxious, stress and tired, taking a toll on our upper back and shoulders. Shoulder pain can also be caused by being too set in our ways, rebelling against change and resisting new possibilities and perspectives.  When we resist, we tense our upper body as a means of trying to maintain control. Wanting to control things, people, and events, often results in chronic tension of the hands, arms, and shoulders. Also, negative self-talk and berating oneself causes tightness in the body, especially the shoulders, trapezius, sides of the neck, below the rib cage and the solar plexus.

Stiffness in the shoulders can also mean we are unable to see our options clearly, we are frustrated by our personal limitations and tormented by either indecision or of making the wrong decision.  This creates a tremendous feeling of stiffness and pressure and the desire to escape from deciding.

Pain at the bottom edge of the scapula is caused by taking on, but not releasing the woes of others. In relationships it is the pain of giving yourself to someone who doesn’t love or care about you. It can symbolize emotional sadness from living a life that shouldn’t have turned out the way it did. You cringe at problems and love to complain how others are making your life difficult but rarely take personal responsibility or do anything to change it. On a spiritual level, There is a tendency to ignore the callings of your own spirit due to a lack of trust.

With frozen shoulder, you may literally feel frozen and trapped in your current circumstances. This can make you feel helpless and disempowered especially with authority figures.

“It is time to establish your limitations and personal needs and take on your shoulders only what corresponds to what you want for yourself. Take care of yourself as if you were someone you cared about. Understand that you alone put pressure on yourself; others will respect your needs when you learn to respect them yourself. Allow yourself to be flexible, embrace anyone or anything you want, and let go of your belief to the heart. The consequences will be harsh.” YOUR BODY IS TELLING YOU: LOVE YOURSELF ~ Lise Bourbeau

UPPER ARM PAIN

Your upper arm is composed of the humerus, a thick bone surrounded by dense layers of muscle that enable you to life heavy objects.  Your forearm is composed of the radius and ulna. The hands and arms are pathways for many nerves and meridian channels.

“In general, the upper arms, along with the elbows, forearms, wrists, and hands, are energetic extensions of the heart. Their condition is mirrored in the condition of the heart. If the heart is weak or closed, they will be weak or closed to. Similarly, the condition of the energy in the arms, reflects back to the heart. Thus if there are blocks in energy in the arms, elbows, forearms, wrists, and hands the heart becomes blocked too. For the heart to be free, the upper arms, elbows, forearms, wrists, and hands need to be free. Pain in the upper arms, elbows, forearms, wrists, and hands reveal a blockage in the energy flowing from the heart. This is the root of all arm pain. Arm pain indicates your heart is in pain.” Emotion and Healing in the Energy Body ~ Robert Henderson

Shoulder Meridians

SI = Small Intestine; St = Stomach; LI = Liver; GB = Gall Bladder; TH = Triple Warmer

Four meridians run through the arms and are attributed to the heart (heart, small intestine, triple heater and pericardium meridian) This is why the arms, in general, are intimately connected to our emotions and actively express our inner feelings.

Our upper arms are used to express strength, power and confidence. Powerful upper arms express strength and power; they help us to defend and block; and to protect our heart and our inner organs from being hurt.

Sometimes it is necessary to exert ourselves with assertion and aggression but many people are afraid of asserting themselves because to do so allows powerful feelings to surge through them. Thus, out of fear, many of us withdraw from letting this energy flow forward, repressing our powerful feelings. We have dissociated ourselves from ourselves and from actively reaching out and grasping hold of life. The problem with this is it causes anger at others for not seeing our needs and anger at ourselves for our inability to assert our desires.

Long-held resentments, anger, bitterness, fear, guilt, etc., all play a role in debilitating our energy in the upper arms. Instead of letting our heart energy flow forward, we withdraw and hold it back. Also, some men and women overdevelop these muscles, which metaphysically can symbolize, resistance of expressing their heartfelt energy.

Upper arm pain, metaphysically, means our personal power, and self-esteem is somehow being restricted.  These issues could involve feelings of inadequacy, lack of ‘emotional intimacy’, and difficulty expressing/releasing emotions. People with painful upper arms could suffer from passive-aggressive tendencies, indicating that whatever they try to suppress and control due to fear, shame, guilt, etc., will eventually find their way to the surface.

THORACIC/SHOULDER AREA

The 12 vertebrae of the thoracic spine curve outward, strategically placed between the two inward curves of the neck and back. Together, the upper and lower ends of the thoracic spine are subject to stress as is the center of this curving area. The thoracic spine is an intrinsic part of the rib ‘cage’ aptly named as the housing for the lungs and heart, both as protection and for deep breathing in and out.

Just above the thoracic spine is the cervical vertebrae C6 and C7.  Metaphysically these also apply to a stiff neck, shoulder pain, frozen shoulder and elbow issues….

“C6 – Feeling overwhelmed by worries, anxieties and stresses. Rather than dealing with your own issues, meddling in other people’s lives to fix their problems and take attention away from yours. Resisting life, feeling stuck, afraid to let go of old fears and change…

C7 – Feeling tired, uninspired, drained, emotionally wound up, mentally unclear. Immobilized by negativity, lack and fear of the future. Feeling numb and disconnected from your own truth and sense of power. On the physical level: thyroid problems, colds, shoulder pain…” The Secret Language of Your Body ~Inna Segal

Many occupations are known to create and reinforce shoulder tensions. Typing, working at a desk, or working at a machine or computer can cause shoulder tension. When you slump your breathing gets shallow and tensions develop. The shoulders are the repository for much of our tension and stress. Eventually the tension becomes chronic, contributing to fatigue, and this also affects other parts of the body. Chronic shoulder tension can inhibit the circulation to the arms and legs, causing cold hands and feet.

The thoracic spine is an integral part of shoulder function. This is the part of the back that stresses from spinal posture and movement and neurological tension felt in the heart and lungs. Long periods of working bent over and poor posture add even more to the problem. Besides severe shoulder and rib strains the thoracic spine tends towards rigidity, with a loss of flexibility and the development of excess forward or sideways curves (scoliosis) The upper back is a frequent area for muscular spasm and nagging pain; it often radiates to front of the body mimicking heart or lung conditions.  Ribs are attached, via cartilage to the breastbone, these attachments are subject to stiffness, soreness or inflammation (costochondritis).

“Upper back: This area is behind the heart, so expresses the back side of the heart energy: anger, resentment, resistance, to loving expression, fear or rejection of love. This can be seen in the dowager’s hump an accumulated mass of tissue that can be formed by repressed and frustrated mind states. This part of the back is also a part of the shoulders, so the energy expressed here is connected to our confusion and inability to be doing what we really want to. This is the first stage after conception, so here lies our uncertain purpose, our thwarted ambition, our unfulfilled longing to do or be something different. Pain here is to do with the load we are carrying but not acknowledging openly, the hidden load of repressed and negative feelings. Acne in this area is repressed anger or irritation trying to find release. Often this is because we have become separated from who we really are and what our deeper feelings are. Here also we will experience resentment towards someone who is a ‘pain in the back’; or we will want to turn our back on someone, thereby turning our heart away from them.” The Bodymind Workbook ~ Debbie Shapiro

The shoulders are quite resourceful in willingly moving and overcoming obstacles, even in the face of adversity. Their appearance appears ‘broad enough’ to carry the whole body confidently; it’s just when things become too overwhelming, from too many responsibilities that the shoulders hunch in defiance and start to complain. When the shoulders become defiant, the thoracic muscles contract from shouldering too much. The upper back is where memories of hurt feelings, along with those of fear, guilt, shame and emotional confusion are stored; it’s also where lost desires are deeply buried.

The more we keep our feelings and struggles to ourselves, the more tense and rigid the shoulders will become. How many of you with shoulder pain are doing what you really want to do in your lives? Are you really free to express yourself; are you coming from a space of loving and caring? Are you with someone who you’d love to hug with all your might? Do you really want to participate in life, or is fear holding you back and causing you to procrastinate? Are you afraid to be yourself, to act freely, to do what you want? Do you pull back, withdrawing or holding back personal ideas as a way of avoiding a confrontation? Are you worried about what others may think?  All this mental tension and/or guilt and fear cause inflammation to your shoulders. The muscles then change, twist and turn to accommodate these misshapen emotions. With hunched shoulders, you may feel overburdened by the weight of life’s problems, or from the guilt from past actions. Or do your shoulders immediately become rigid with fear and anxiety; made worse by uncertainty and insecurity.

Shoulders held back, pushing the chest out front tend to stiffen from determined stance. So does leaning forward, frantically trying to get a point across and even sticking ones’ neck out in another’s face. You have to stop belittling yourself and trying to control your world.  The more you do this, the more your thinking will become distorted and jumbled .. when this happens you’ll have trouble making decisions or taking action.

“From the spine across the shoulders and down to the hands is our doing centre: how we feel about what we are doing, about what is being done to us, about our capability to handle our lives. This area also represents our desire to express ourselves: through the use of our hands we can express our innermost artistic and creative energies; through our arms and hands we can share our love and giving energy from the heart; through caressing, touching and holding we can reach out, pull in or push away.

The shoulders express this on the inner levels – specifically our deeply personal feelings about what we are doing, or what is being done to us. How many of us are really doing what we want to done? And how often are we in real conflict about what we should be doing. It is here that we carry our burdens, begrudgingly doing something even if we don’t really want to, or holding on to guilt and negative emotions from the past to do something we have already done.  A ‘cold shoulder’ can be an emotional cold we are experiencing within ourselves towards someone or something, or it may be a cold shoulder being directed towards us from someone else.

The arms move this doing energy outwards, from our inner feelings and desires to their expression in the world. The elbows give flexibility and grace to this flow of energy, adding the necessary effort to ensure manifestation. The wrists move it out further. A conflict in the wrist can indicate there is something we should be or want to be doing but are not; for some reason, we are holding back from that final expression” Deb Shapiro ~The BodyMind Workbook

Pain specifically indicates the pain of not opening your heart.  We accumulate everything that has happened to us or things we have done that have prevented or blocked our hearts from opening.  For example, blaming others-usually our parents-for our own condition in life. By blaming our parents, we are not forgiving them. By not forgiving them, we are not loving them. Which means we don’t love us, which prevents our hearts from opening.

Upper arm pain is often complex, multilayered intense pain, as the energy that is causing the discomfort runs through six meridians in the upper arm. The lung, large intestine, pericardium, triple heater, small in test time, and heart meridians. The types of subtle mental energy running through these meridians can be a mixture of the emotional, mental, and behavioural energies, and could manifest as different types of physical pain emotional energies running through these meridians are usually whole energies, such as loneliness, sadness about life, or the experience of having to live in a loveless marriage. These energies cause contraction, coldness, and heaviness in the muscles surrounding the running of these meridians. Other emotional energies such as hatred for life or anger and apparent or spouse who has never loved you, cause hardness and tightness in the muscles. When the pain of life hurts you to the core of your very being, the accumulated energies can work themselves into these humorous bone itself can be quite intense. Mental and behavioural energies running through the six meridians that blocked the heart from opening the energies of on forgiving this, the need to inflict pain on someone who has hurts you, the need to build a wall of protection around yourself against an unloving parent or spouse, or blaming others for your own circumstances. These energies cause hardness and tightness in the muscles surrounding the running of these meridians. One specific behavioural energy, the one you use it in the holding on to your painful past, causes compression, pain, and weakness in the triceps, to which runs the large in test time Meridian, the energetic function of which is to let go of the past. Impression in the triceps causes the arm to weaken when you try to raise it above your head.

Opening the heart, whether through Reiki (and other forms of healing), yoga, myofascial release, therapeutic massage, etc., will help the meridians in the upper arm to open. If you felt unloved as child and struggle with love now, opening the meridians may cause intense pain at first but will then trigger a release of pain from other areas of the body. Where you’ll notice most of your pain is attached to might be: the deltoid muscles, the rotator cuff, the bottom of the scapula, between the shoulder blades, fronts of the fourth chakra, the back of the fourth chakra. If you are at stage of beginning spiritual counselling, massage or yoga practice you may find that you are not only releasing hurtful energies from your own past but also from the past of your parents.

Meridians and Heart Center

Emotionally, the heart will only open after the lung, large intestine, pericardium, triple heater, small intestine, and heart meridians have opened energetically. This process takes time, patience, understanding, and forgiveness. When the heart meridian opens, it releases an enormous amount of heat and warmth running along the inside of the upper and lower arm, through the wrist, and out through the centre of the hand. It is a wonderful energy.

DIAPHRAGM BREATHING

When we’re stressed, our muscles contract causing the blood in our system to stop flowing properly, disconnecting our upper and lower energies of the body. The muscle responsible for connecting our upper and lower chakras is a large dome shaped muscle called the diaphragm, which is directly under the lungs. When we take a deep breath, the diaphragm stretches out to allow air into the lungs. As you exhale, the diaphragm curves inwards and upwards to help force all the unwanted air out of the lungs. The diaphragm is one of the most under-used muscles of the body, reason being, most of us breathe from the upper part of the chest, instead of letting the diaphragm do its work.

Many of us when stressed become chest breathers.  What happens when we do this, we tighten our abdominal muscles creating a mild form of hyperventilation (discharging too much carbon dioxide from the blood).  This causes the heart to work harder.

Many of the restrictions in your breath come from muscles tightened in a holding pattern.  Our old tensions and pains cause us to move our muscles less.  They become taut when we feel disappointed or disillusioned or betrayed, deflated or defeated. Diaphragmatic breathing eases the process of letting go, of releasing unnecessary emotional attachments so life can flow more easily.

If you can do 15 minutes of conscious breathing each day, in just a few weeks your breathing will shift permanently into your lower abdomen.  The deeper you breathe into the center of your body, the more you’re whole body will participate in the process, restoring balance to your whole system.   You’ll feel calm and energized as this new energy breaks up old habits and patterns and flows freely, through your body.

SHOULDER ROLLS

  • stand with your feet slightly apart and your arms at your sides.
  • breathe in and draw both shoulders back and upward toward your ears as high as you can without forcing or straining.
  • as you exhale, roll your shoulders down and forward to the starting position.
  • as you do this gentle movement slowly and smoothly, relax your shoulders, feeling the tension being released from the muscles.
  • repeat up to 10 times, 3 – 5 times a day (from the excellent book HEALING BACK PAIN NATURALLY by Art Brownstein M.D.)

SHOULDER SHRUG AND DROP

 

 

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neck muscles front

“If you are one of the millions of people who suffer pain, stiffness, arthritis, whiplash, slipped disks, and other neck problems, you have probably tried the gamut of treatments, including surgery, chiropractic, acupuncture, traction, yoga, or medications for pain. Any or all of these may offer temporary relief but probably won’t provide a permanent cure. So what is the prescription for better and more balanced communication and lasting relief from painful neck problems……In addition to medicine and behavioral changes, you must identify and change the negative thoughts that are triggering your health problems. In Louise’s affirmation theory, the healthy neck and cervical spine represents flexibility and the ability to see both sides of the conversation. But turn this concept on its head by introducing an unbending mind-set or bullheadedness and health turns to illness and disease—in this case, a stiff or painful neck.” ALL IS WELL ~ Louise L. Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz, M.D. Ph.D.

“Tight muscles creating an armor in the upper back are often loaded with rage that was initially aimed at ourselves but then get projected outwards toward others. This can be seen in what is known as the ‘dowager’s hump’, a formation of soft tissue that builds in the upper back, most often in older women. It would appear to represent a collection of angry, and resentful thoughts that grow without the means for expression as the years pass; it manifests as we get older and as our reason or purpose for living loses impetus.” The BodyMind Workbook ~ Debbie Shapiro

“If we are having neck and shoulder problems, we need to question ourselves. Are we being too inflexible in our thoughts? Are we being too rigid? Are we afraid to see what’s on the other side of us or behind us? Are we taking too much responsibility on our shoulders? Are we taking on responsibility that is not ours. Do we refuse to see other’s point of view or perspective? Do we allow other’s refusal to see our perspective affect us. The Healer’s Manual ~ Ted Andrews

“Pain and stiffness in the neck denote inflexibility in thinking. You may be in a situation that you feel you can’t control as you wish. You may feel someone or something around you has become a pain in the neck. Perhaps you are uncomfortable with what you feel is going on behind your back. Whatever the issue you pretend it does not bother you, but in fact you feel as if stuck in an emotional roller coaster. ~ Lise Bourbeau ~ Your Body’s Telling You: Love Yourself!

The neck tilts, nods and turns and supports the heaveyweight of the head and protects the spinal cord as well. The brain’s messages and major blood vessels travel through the neck to the body, and so too, do the major meridians travel through this area.  To put it simply, the meridians are energy pathways that supply our physical and subtle bodies with vital energy—meridians are known to run under the skin; where they come close to surface is known as acupuncture/acupressure points.

“If you think of the meridians as an energy transportation system, a complex traffic network, you have a concrete model of how meridian energies interact. When a freeway becomes congested, it may be necessary to divert some of the traffic into another highway. An off-ramp may need to be cleared or widened. If a highway or meridian becomes backed up with too much energy, as occurs in the hubbub of life, a bottleneck forms. And the resources needed to support the community or the body [neck] are also blocked. It becomes difficult to provide food and remove waste products. Likewise, if a highway is damaged in an earthquake, even the critical support services that form the community’s “immune system” – like police, fire, and ambulance units – cannot function properly.” ENERGY MEDICINE ~ Donna Eden

Neck Meridians

“The 6th chakra..coordinates the harmonious cooperation of all the cells, organs and function systems of the body, as well as attuning the person’s way of living in the outer world with his or her plan in life and the constructive, harmonious interplay of the various personality aspects…..In addition, this creates a balancing effect on the stomach meridian, which runs from the area of the solar plexus over the chest, neck, and face through the eyes and shifts the activity of the brain more to the front section…Through the better functioning of the stomach meridian, problems can be processed more effectively and creative solutions for difficulties on all levels can be found and translated into reality. The resistance to stress is improved and self-perfection indirectly strengthened.  According to..Traditional Chinese Medicine, without a well-funcitoning stomach meridian, no healing reaction can be triggered.” The Spirit of Reiki ~ Walter Lubeck

At the base of the brain is a complex of nerves that impart special energy to the ears, eyes, nose, mouth and sensory nervous system.  It’s here that energy feeds your five senses, and when they don’t receive normal amounts of nerve energy the muscles can develop painful spasms which then restrict neck movements, causing strained ligaments that radiate pain to your head.

“The neck is a marvellous combination of yielding nonresistance, since it is able to turn in every direction.  In good health it is strong, flexible and bends easily… When one has health problems in the area of the neck he is fighting, resisting, rebelling against someone or some circumstance of life, and has probably become intolerant.” Catherine Ponder

Constant tension in the neck area will block the voice and breath; in a stressful or fearful situation the shoulders lift creating a hunch-back effect which exerts pressure on the back of the neck, making it impossible to breath properly.  This tension in the throat has also been associated with abdominal tightness which then produces a sensation of nausea.  At this point we complain to the doctor or therapist about being unable to swallow and unable to breathe properly.

“If the spine is in its correction position, up and flexible in its support, then shoulders should hang down and slight back without tension. Habits that infiltrate the should are a result of holding, placing bracing or lifting against a force trying naturally to find its ease. In other words, we consistently go against the shoulders’ natural drift downwards by hunching them in a different direction. Even as you sit there reading, becoming more and more engrossed in the activity and engaged with the words and thought, stop and notice how much tension has started to overtake your shoulders and upper chest. This is the slow drifting tide of tension we have to fight against. In order to keep this area free of contraction continual release and monitoring are necessary. Even the slightest unease in thought or gesture can make the tightness return so we must put ourselves on constant reminder to release here throughout the day. The Right to Speak: Working with the Voice ~ Patsy Rodenburg

ANATOMY OF THE NECK

The neck actually consists of seven loosely joined cervical vertebrae at the top of the spine. The spine is near the center of the neck, not at the back as many of us imagine. This neck section of the spinal column is wrapped in dozens of muscles that contract and relax every time you move your head or alter the alignment of your spine or skull. These muscles have a tricky job on balancing what looks like a wobbling pumpkin on a broom stick.

“The head should naturally balance on top of the spine, its weight economically distributed. If you balance or juggle a heavy object on top of a pole you will instantly see how even the smallest shift will topple the object. Our head don’t drop off but a series of muscles in the neck and shoulders have to work overtime to compensate for any misalignment we are suffering.” The Right to Speak: Working with the Voice ~ Patsy Rodenburg

Neck Muscles Back

The most vulnerable neck muscle is the trapezius. It runs from the base of the skull down the back of the neck, where it fans out to the shoulder blades and spine. The head can weigh up to 20 lbs and carrying your head too far forward strains this muscle, which most of us do working at a desk, typing and looking at the computer screen.

Wearing high heels also strains the trapezius as the heels tilt a woman’s legs forward, thrusting her buttocks back. To compensate, the chest neck and head are forced to tilt forward.  And this also means the trapezius must strain to hold the head in place.

The other major neck muscle is the sternomastoid. To find it, turn your head toward your shoulder and run  your hand along the protruding muscle that extends from the base of the skull just below the ear down the front of the neck to your collarbone. The sternomastoid supports the neck to the side and front, whereas the trapezius controls front and back. If you brace your shoulder against a heavy shoulder bag, strain while lugging a suite case of scrunch up to hold your cell phone, you’re tensing both the trapezius and sternomastoid.

Are you short-sighted, as this can push the head forward straining the trapezius–and an aggressive attitude towards the world can push the head forward too.

Mental stress can create or compound neck pain. If you are depressed or angry, your muscles may tense without you even knowing. The longer the tension holds, the more likely the muscle will harden into a painful knot.

The key to breaking the spasm-pain cycle is to relax the muscle and increase circulation.  Breathing exercises, a hot bath or heating pain might help as well as gentle massage and simple exercises.

ANOTHER METAPHYSICAL PERSPECTIVE

Metaphorically, of the many people I’ve treated for neck tension, 60% of the problem had to do with low self-esteem.  Deep down inside they didn’t feel worthy of love and struggled with feelings of unworthiness. For many people, this low self-esteem had been caused from childhood fears of feeling unwanted, ignored,  rejected or even problems going through the birth canal. (The neck represents the in-taking, the beginning of life. It is here that we swallow the reality that forms the essence of our life).  Unknowingly, this affects a person both physically and emotionally, causing a fear of never quite measuring up. Many with neck problems, have a tendency to process information more deeply and become overwhelmed by criticisms, rejections, losses, betrayals and deaths.  Unfortunately this makes them even more vulnerable to attack and control from the outside and much of their life is spend in devising ways of protecting themselves so that what’s deep inside their core isn’t discovered; they struggle with an inner feeling of shame.

Many people with afflictions to their neck love to look after others.  Their ambition is to help others and often do this to their own detriment. The parents, you see, had invested all their energy in making their child dependent (which encourages sickness and weaknesses of all kinds) so the child would enjoy it when his or her pet is sick because s/he could look after it.

When in very early life, our creative self-expression is repressed and we are not encouraged to make our own choices, we find ourselves living someone else’s dreams, ideas or expectations.  Unaware of an alternative, we experience frustration, tension and even depression;  we feel restless, anxious or even guilty because we’re unable to get ourselves to do what we really want to do. When this happens we find ways to reduce our stress by eating sweets and pastries or opening a pint of ice-cream or a quart of beer and kill hours surfing the internet or watching TV. What we’ve done is repressed our feelings and diverted them into some form of ‘habitual pattern’. The longer this tension holds, the more likely the muscle(s) will spasm or harden into a painful knot.  The more we suppress our hopes and desires the more we wither on the inside; we also become dependent on others to tell us what  we want and where we wish to go.  If we fail to speak out for ourselves, our suppressions can actually cripple us.

It is true that anxiety, jealousy, anger, creates stress that tends to strike the muscles in the upper back and neck.   Stiffness in the neck can cause the cervical bones to go out of alignment by restricting the circulation and nerve energy, which may eventually result in rheumatism and/or cervical problems. The neck is one of our most vulnerable areas and when stressed could indicate an inability to express what we’re feeling, blocking off our communication. The neck is considered by many spiritual disciplines as the gateway or bridge to the spiritual world through which the breath must pass.

Anger can also come from a habit of reacting angrily instead of listening with patience and compassion.  And these fiery outbursts of energy create a lot of acid in the body. The constant release of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol can sear the body in a way that is similar to acid searing metal. Even hours after the output of these chemicals, they still remain high in the body, elevating blood sugar levels, causing damage to the muscular system, decalcifying our bones and thinning our skin. This is when toxic emotions become deadly emotions.

When we are under stress, the thyroid gland has to work harder, pumping out more of its hormones.  The thyroid controls our ‘basic’ metabolism, cardiac rhythm, and manages our ability to adapt. If stress continues, the thyroid won’t be able to continue its increased level of production and may begin to fail.  When this happens, the immune system becomes confused and starts producing antibodies against the thyroid.  As the thyroid falters, metabolism slows, causing mood swings, emotional outbursts,  irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, aches and pains in joints and muscles, and muscle weakness and coordination problems.

If you’d like to more about the metaphysics of the thyroid, EMOTIONALLY, PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY DECODING THE THYROID

Problems in the neck area can also be caused by restrictive breathing.  The muscles that lift the rib when we breathe deeply into the abdomen are the sternocleidomastoid muscles and the upper trapezius muscles on the back of the neck – shallow breathing can result in neck strain and chronic neck tension – and – the most common cause of headaches is neck tension, especially the excessive pull on the base of the skull where the upper trapezius attaches.

If you have any structural problems with your back, spine, neck or overall posture, this will restrict the nerve supply to your organs and digestive system; the result of this is poor digestion which can lead to toxic buildup of food materials in your intestines.  From this, you might develop food sensitivities as the healthy food becomes toxic.

THE THROAT CHAKRA

“Expressing our feelings is the function of the Throat Chakra. People who are not prepared to deal with emotional energy often have problems with their throat, mouth, teeth, and ears. When we limit the flow of energy by blocking our expression, there is insufficient energy to feed these areas of the body, and energy has a difficult time reaching the higher centers of the mind. If there are energy leaks in the Throat Chakra because of suppression, negative energy will stay bound in the body and form the musculature and character style of the person. Energy will never rise up to the higher mind, to be expressed as thoughts, opinions or insights. This can produce engorgement of the tissues, rigidity of the bones and other congestive problems. The more we feel free to express ourselves, the more internal regulation we have for our mental and emotional functions. Energy wants to be able to flow in and through us”  LIFE CHANGES With the Energy of the Chakras ~ Amika Wauters

When Alyssa came to visit me and other practitioners in the clinic, she was suffering from a condition known as cervical spondlyosis.

(Cervical spondylosis, also known as cervical osteoarthritis, is a disorder where the bones in the neck and the discs start degenerating. Anatomically, degeneration in the bones and discs of the neck are usually the result of wear and tear as we grow older.  What happens, is, the discs lose  their elasticity causing them to become more brittle. Along with the degeneration of disks, bony outgrowths may also form on the vertebrae which are called osteophytes. All these degenerative changes in the cervical spine cause compression and pressure on the spinal nerves that come out of the spinal cord producing symptoms of Cervical Spondylosis. The symptoms of cervical spondylosis are:  – pain and stiffness in the neck which is usually progressive in nature; pain and numbness that radiates to the hands and fingers;  headache that starts from the neck and extend to the back of head; loss of balance and vertigo (sensation of spinning or whirling with loss of balance).

No matter the temperature outside, Alyssa always, always wore turtle-neck tops or scarves right up to her chin.  She spoke in whispers as if afraid to speak out and  found myself leaning in more to hear what she was saying. The fifth chakra is associated with our ability to communicate and express ourselves. When the fifth chakra is balanced, we feel we have the right to speak and be heard; we communicate clearly and can express ourselves creatively. When the fifth chakra energy is deficient, there is a tendency to protect our throat, to be silent and to fear self-expression.

“Most people are not prepared to express the depth of their feelings. They chose safety rather than honesty. Their Throat Chakras then become congested with energy that eventually becomes stagnant..” LIFE CHANGES With the Energy of the Chakras ~ Ambika Wauters

At the base of the brain is the Medulla Oblongata. This area at the back of the neck feeds nerve energy to our five senses. When we have no desire, no will, our nerve energy becomes depleted, it never reaches our ears, eyes, throat or mouth. Our five senses are literally starved and react by creating a physical problem. When we are drained of energy, of power, our body steals it from our eyes, ears, nose, throat and mouth.

(Solar Plexus 3rd Chakra)

During Alyssa’s Reiki treatment, her mind/body spoke of her being intensely self-critical and, very much  like a harping parent trying to redo herself over and over again (Solar Plexus 3rd chakra). This not only creates a crises and personally overhauls the personality; it also creates changes in friends and our surrounding environment. Alyssa said, she had no idea how to stop picking on herself. This self-destruct, self-punishment cycling was creating her bones to landslide, down to the pits, the bottom…in a devastating momentum. Alyssa hadn’t realized how big her self-criticism was.  After the treatment she also realized all the struggles with losing jobs, her home, lifestyle, everything was her continually trying to start over and over again .. ‘trying’ to be ‘totally’ someone else.  This tendency to ‘change’ also made Alyssa vulnerable, giving her power to others and leaving her insecure and bewildered.

The 3rd chakra is the center of self-esteem or the lack there-of; it’s the chakra of how we’ feel about ourselves;  it registers every memory you have of being criticized and what you define as being attractive.  Everybody’s approval you need is in this part of the body and how you react to people and situation in regard to your sense of self. For example, if you picture being attractive, anorexic, and permanently looking 24, or any other component of being attractive, your spirit will leave your solar plexus and temporarily plug into images surrounding the social mind that says, unless I accomplish that image, I’m not attractive.  This is similar to what Alyssa’s energy was plugged into.  In the past, she so desperately needed someone’s approval she started remodelling  everything about her ‘self’.  This may seem a little thing but it’s really a Huge thing because you’re saying to that person, “I agree with you, I’m not good enough the way I am, so I’ll let you remodel me.” So little by little you begin to negotiate your sense of self to please the other person.

When we are disempowered or held back by a dominating figure, we usually hold in our feelings of pain and humiliation.  As said before, holding in negative emotions short circuits our nervous system, depleting our energy, circulation and digestive system. The energies of the solar plexus center affect the digestive system, the pancreas, the liver and gall bladder, the diaphragm, and the middle back.  The diaphragm is also very important in the role of speaking. It allows us to express our deepest feelings inside.  It helps us to connect to our power, our sexuality, our passion, our creativity and higher spiritual values. It begins at our 2nd chakra, the seat of our emotions.  This area records all our repressed as well as passionate feelings.

The diaphragm is a muscle shaped like an inverted bowl that separates the chest casvity from the abdomen.  As you breathe in this muscle stretches out to allow air into the lungs.  As you breathe out, the diaphragm curves inwards and upwards to help force all the stale air out. The human body is designed to exhale 70 percent of its toxins through breathing. Only a small percentage of toxins are released through sweat, and the elimination of waste products from the body.

The scalene muscles attach to the sides of the neck vertebrae as well as the top two ribs. The scalene help stabilize, flex and rotate the neck; their main job is to raise the upper two ribs on each side when you inhale. The scalene muscles work extremely hard when your breathing is stressed or if your coughing and sneezing.

In upper chest breathing, the diaphragm is unable to expand and contract as it should, this overtaxes and shortens the scalene muscles and the trapezius in the neck.  Shortened muscles in the neck causes undue stress on the

THE SACRAL (2nd) CHAKRA

Why you make the choices you make stem from your core beliefs and feelings about your inner power or lack thereof. Second chakra imbalances affect your mental and emotional perceptions and  your motivations for making life decisions. This chakra keeps energetic messages of your development as a child. So in truth, this is where the inner child originates from.  If the inner child is misplaced, due to trauma, it is usually found either in the base or solar plexus area.

Parts of the body controlled by the 2nd chakra are the sexual organs, large intestine, lower vertebrae, pelvis, appendix, bladder and hip area.

The base chakra gives us stability, the 2nd or sacral chakra gives us movement.  Without water, the earth would be infertile.  Picture a beautiful waterfall flowing majestically down a mountain.  Look closely at the rock formation and see how the water has gently carved, molded and smoothed the face of the stone.  Together earth and water create a potent connection.  This helps us to see that the sacral chakra also has to do with our bodily fluids, blood circulation, hydration and elimination.  It is also linked to the lympathic system which takes us to the 5th or throat chakra.

When the Root (1st chakra) and sacral chakra are balanced there’s a harmony between the body/mind. If the 2nd chakra is blocked or never properly developed, our mental health can be affected.  We may lack common-sense and be immature about personal relationships. We may exhibit an urge to control other people and react childishly, like having a temper tantrum to get our own way.

It is not unusual for people with traumatic childhood’s to have blockages in their first 3 chakras. Problems with their health may show in the muscles and nervous system, eczema, ulcers, kidney and structural (bone) problems.  These 3 energy centers are the basis for the framework of the body.

BEGINNING THE PROCESS OF HEALING

I’ve written of the Three A’s before which are so vital in the process of healing, have added them again.

THE THREE A’s

Awareness, Acceptance, Adjustment

“The formula is simple.  Take your greatest victory as your ceiling and your worst defeat becomes the place where your foundation will be built.  Once that’s in place you’ve got a frame which you will fill with joy and sorrow.  From your center will come the creative force of your being, your truth and your instincts.  It is from this place that everything else evolves.” Linda Joyce

AWARENESS – To make changes to our world, we first need to know where we are before we can decide how to get where we want to go.  If you got lost driving to my house, you’d call and ask for directions.  To help you get here, my first question to you would be “Where are you now.”  Awareness is about asking yourself….”Where am I now”; it always determines your next move.

ACCEPTANCE – Awareness and acceptance are intertwined.  By learning to accept freely and uncritically where we are at this moment, we begin to allow our unconscious to release more knowledge about ourselves.  The process of acceptance is one of acknowledging to ourselves that we are in fact perfect—it is where we are supposed to be right now.

Mentally fighting our current situation with judgements such as “I should be better” drains our energy and self-esteem.  Without acceptance of where we are, there is no possibility of moving in a direction of our choice or of every enjoying ourselves fully.

For example, until some acknowledges and accept a current situation of being overweight, he or she cannot choose the goal of thinness and enjoy the process of moving toward it.

ADJUSTMENT – Once we are aware and accept where we are, can we go on to make the changes in our habits that we’d like to make and bring us to a greater state of health.

The keys to the stage of Adjustment are patience and moderation.  Often we go too fast and become discouraged when we can’t change everything overnight, or else we think that the changes needed are so great that we’ll never be able to make them and discourage ourselves before we start.

Giving a voice to your independent point of view, will attract appreciation and love for the person you truly are. If you surround yourself with people of who you really resonate with, you experience the joy of knowing that you are valued for being there in the present moment with them. When you trust your own perceptions and act on them to create an inner equilibrium, you add the peacefulness of your presence to the situation.

When you go to your deep self and then express the balance and stability that is there, you silently invite others to go to that place within themselves. The power of your harmony impels others to go to their depths also if they wish to relate to you; in this way, through claiming your centre, you create harmony.

**

We can only build truly satisfying connections by first developing a secure relationship with ourselves; we need to accept and validate our feelings and needs and be willing to assert ourselves, even it breaks the peace as this actually creates a deeper and more authentic contact. We also need to apply this to our own bodies when we notice pain or discord.  We need to go within and listen and discover how we’re using our personal energy and power…which also involves our sense of self-esteem and self-expression. It’s also learning about the cause and effects of our choices and how we wield our own power.

As you learn to consciously observe the transformation process, you will watch yourself repeating a lot of old patterns long after you seemingly know better.  Spiritually and intellectually, you realize there is another way, but emotionally you are still clinging to the old habits.  This is a difficult time.  Try to be patient and compassionate with yourself.  When you recognize the futility of an old pattern so clearly, it’s about to change!  A short time later, you will suddenly begin to respond differently, in a more positive way.

ASSIGNMENT ~ FEELINGS LOG

This is a simple but significant assignment I gave to Alyssa and have shared with most of my clients;… for the next few days pay attention to your feelings and write a description in a journal or notebook just for this exercise.  You’re going to find out what makes you feel good and what makes you feel sad, what irritates you, what frightens you, what makes you nervous, and what you avoid. All you have to do is write what happened immediately after the feelings … “I stepped out in the rain and felt happy … or .. walked into a room and felt uneasy”

This is not a feeling’s journey, it’s like a log without editorializing…

You see we all have the habit of trying to hide our feelings from ourselves. We automatically deny uncomfortable feelings and try to turn them into comfortable ones … it’s not easy to catch yourself doing that.

And if the event that triggered the feelings seems too small to have mattered, your active brain is going to go looking for something fancier and overlook the right event, so this project will be a bit difficult at first  .. very similar to another meditation on this blog.. Counting Your Thoughts Visualization

Actually logging your feelings is making you accept yourself, and respect yourself, a whole lot more than a hundred affirmations saying “My feelings are all right” or “I’m a good person” The very act of noting something means you accept it.

What if you only really want good feelings .. “I just want to be happy and find my passion” .. well we know that doesn’t work.

We can all remember a time when we felt good, positive, bold, but we also remember times we felt rotten, for weeks and just couldn’t get rolling.  There is a way to get through the bad feelings fast but squashing them won’t do it.

To work with feelings, you must use feelings.

If you’re feeling hurt, you probably need to cry. If you’re scared you might need to run for safety. If you’re angry then you need to speak out about the injustices done.  And though we were trained to control our feelings in public and to think before we act .. it doesn’t mean we should make this a habit in our personal lives.

If you’re not alone with your feelings, don’t swallow them ,, just postpone them for a moment and go somewhere private to express them. Cry, tremble, shake your fists, curse the injustices.  Do whatever the feeling seems to want you to do. Go ahead and groan or heave heartbreaking sighs in the bathroom. Snarl and punch your palm in the coat closet. Shiver and admit you were scared to death. I know it’s hard because we’ve learnt to keep all those feelings in but just a few minutes of expressing your feelings will radically lower their intensity and give them a chance to transform themselves the natural way .. just like a thundershower clears away dark clouds.

Unexpressed feelings are toxic. That’s why nature gave us the tools of expression–to discharge the toxins that have built up inside. Expressing our feelings is the only natural way to turn a bad feeling into a good one. When you’re alone, drop the facade we’ve been conditioned to wear and let the fear and hurt and anger burst out or you’ll carry them around with you for days, until they leak into scenes of your life where they don’t belong and wreak havoc.

Trying to pretend to feel better doesn’t work, same as the same affirmation said over and over again… the mind is so creative it eventually resents the dullness of the repetition. Whenever I try to repeat an affirmation over and over my subconscious rebels because there is a defiant child in all of us that doesn’t always want to do the right thing lol!

This exercise isn’t about silencing or arguing with our thoughts; it’s about listening and acknowledging them so we can begin making gradual changes to our internal critical self-talk

Do you feel tense, , To rectify this, learn to stop yourself  for a moment and notice where your thoughts are.  Are they in the present, past or future or directed towards a person or thing?

**

When Alyssa returned a week later, she couldn’t believe the many voices and images inside her head that put her down or said horrible things about her. It made her aware of how negatively she talked to herself and that this needed to change in order to feel differently.  I also told Alyssa, our thoughts are part of where we scatter our attention, our power; they are made of old beliefs, experiences, feelings, fears and hopes all collected in a jumbling pattern; in a way they are alive and conscious, depending on how much power we give them.

Images we hold in regard to our past (childhood) as well as present time, influences not only unhealthy situations but can arise in the form of unhappy experiences as well as mental or physical illness.

For her 2nd Reiki treatment, I asked Alyssa to again listen to the critiques inside her head but this time, try and identify from whom these inner voices came (mother, father, siblings, colleague, teacher, partner, etc.) and if she could locate where she felt them resonating in her body.  As the healing began, I asked Alyssa to illuminate and bring into focus the buried images/feelings she’d written down. With the hand placements of Reiki  we worked together to bring the hurtful images/feelings out of hiding. Rather than zapping them out of existence, we surrounded and immersed them in light, where they began to lose their strength and destructive power. This would need to be reinforced again, and again, but each time, the critiques-within would lose more of their power.

I recommended Alyssa talk to the dietician in the clinic and consider other healing tools, such as Yoga, Tai Chi, EFT and massage. I also gave her meditations to help with her self-esteem.

The most important element to self healing is the ability to be present with your Self.  You cannot begin if you are preoccupied with the past or living in the expectations of future times.  All these do is scatter your ability to focus and  leave you powerless.

Being in the present  will begin the process of releasing powerful emotions that have been masked or blocked.  It means courageously looking back and inward on a pain originally based on a fear…..an often painful process  we all try desperately to avoid.  AND  when we avoid pain, we experience frustration, anger and exhaustion…..our bodies only get sicker.

Taking care of yourself requires discipline and focus……it takes a lot of courage to nourish and respectfully pay attention to YOU.

**

MEDITATION ~ FREEING YOUR BODY  The Self-Esteem Companion  ~  Matthew McKay Ph.D., Patrick Fanning, Carole Honeychurch, Catherine Sutker

People experience emotions in their bodies as well as their minds.  Do you ever get “gut feelings” about things? Have you every been very angry and felt your stomach clenching? Or Experienced sadness as a heaviness in the chest?

Even chronic feelings of low self-esteem can manifest in your body. You may feel the hollowness of failure in your stomach, the pressure of self-blame on your heart, or the pain of shame in your throat. You have a painful hunch of shoulders from a fear of rejection.

The following exercise can help free your body of feelings connected to low self-esteem. You may want to voice-record the exercises for repeated use.

The first step is to relax your body and mind. Sit or lie down in a quiet place, close your eyes and begin to breathe slowly and deeply. Mentally check in with your body, scanning your muscles for signs of tension. If you find any tense areas, take a belly-breath and release the tightness as you exhale. Remember to scan your whole body—your face, chest, back, arms, stomach, pelvis, and legs.

When you feel physically relaxed, try to quiet your mind. Clear out the random thoughts that dart in and out, and concentrate on a sense of stillness. If thoughts intrude, simplet let them come and watch them go, always returning your focus to the quietness of your mind. Now you’re ready to begin the visualization to clear your body of emotion-based pain.

Visualize the negative feelings that lie in your body. Give them a shape and a color. Make them as ugly and weird as you want. They could look like an anvil, a sword, a sack of potatoes, or an empty cave. Take some deep breaths. With each breath, see those feelings move out of your body and away from you. Watch the anvil leave your stomach or the choking fingers let go of your throat. You are floating past the bad feelings now. They are out of your body, and you are drifting away from them. They get farther and farther away from you. Keep fcuisng on your brahting as the negative feelings move farther away, first becoming a distant speck, the finally disappearing altogether.

Say to yourself: “These are feelings from the past. They come up whenever a situation arises that challenges me. I will survive them, floating past until until my body is free from all of the pain.”

In your imagination, step outside of yourself. Now you can see how bad you’ve felt. You can see how  you struggle with these negative feelings in your torso and limbs. See your face, the position of your body.  Imagine the location of any remaining negative feelings as a red glow in your body. It will fade in a while. Take deep breaths as you watch the red glow diminish. Imagine the bad feelings passing as the glow gradually fades away. If you wish, you can turn the red light into a neutral or relaxing color–pale blue or another gentle pastel. When you are ready, go back inside yourself.

Finally, envision a mental picture of yourself days or even years from now when these bad feelings are long gone. See yourself standing straight and tall, head up, confident, and relaxed. As you bring your awareness back to a more relaxed present moment, remember that you can do this exercise whenever your body is experiencing tension or pain from emotional stress.

BREATHE

Breathing is the most natural thing in the world. It is at the very center of our physical lives. It is instinctive and involuntary and yet how often do we let it work naturally? Most people most of the time are unconsciously hindering the full extent of their breath. Look at the breathing of a young child, and you will see the whole system working effortlessly. All the movement is centred in the middle of the body. This is because that child has not had time to learn any bad habits that can interfere with the natural process.

Now take a moment to observe yourself. Is your head freely balanced on the top of the spine, or is it held tightly in position? Is your jaw or throat tense? Are your shoulders braced up toward your ears or slumped forward? Is the upper chest caving in or being pulled up? Is your stomach relaxed? How free are your knees and feet?

All these little details, habits born from experience, can affect your breathing, making it inefficient. If your posture is bad, for example, the muscles that create the changes in the body that lead to the intake and outflow of breath are restricted in their natural movement, and the lungs cannot expand to their full potential. This can result in breathing only in our upper ribs, a habit we get used to and accept as normal.

Also, the breath and emotions are interrelated. When you are angry, you might hold your breath, or, if you are particularly nervous or stressed, your breathing might become very short and shallow. Most people only use their lungs to their maximum potential when they laugh or cry deeply –laughter and crying both leave behind a feeling of relaxation, a release of emotional tension. Think of how tired and cleansed you feel after a bout of wholehearted laughter, or relief you feel after a deep sigh. If you have ever had a massage, you will have noticed that as your muscles relax, your breathing deepens and slows.

Try is little exercise, it will allow you to feel how deeply you can breathe.

Stand upright with your feet apart. Cross your arms in front of you, and rest the palms of your hands on your shoulders. It should look as if you were giving yourself a hug.

In this position, relax your arms and shoulders. There should be no unnecessary tension in the upper body. Drop your head forward, bending from the waist. Breathe all the way out, and then slowly, naturally allow a big breath in. You will be aware of your ribs opening in your back, and it should feel like the breath will be moving right down your spine.

Repeat a few times. Drop your arms, and then return to an upright position, slowly–if you stand up too quickly you may become dizzy.

Great Links

Trapezius muscle release (youtube)

Easy trapezius stretch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jiq1WbdfkE

http://www.oneworldhealing.net/chakra-healing/vishuddha/

http://www.pharrah13.com/Chakra.html

http://www.holisticwebs.com/sound/thymus.html

http://www.inner-truth.net/healing/chakras/throatchakra.html

http://self-healingsecrets.com/1486/metaphysical-meaning-behind-back-and-neck-pain/

http://www.pharrah13.com/Chakra.html

http://www.holisticwebs.com/sound/thymus.html

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EMOTIONAL BURDENS ARE A MAJOR CAUSE OF BACK PROBLEMS

“The object of anxiety is within ourselves. When we fail to consciously recognize our Natural and Sacred Anxiety they reappear wearing bizarre disguises and we fight these phantoms, monsters of our own creation. Yet we usually have no idea that we have done this; our habits of suppression have become so automatic that we are no longer aware of them. Thus we have the strange sensation that we are fighting ourselves, and when we are feeling from our self, there is no-where to run and nowhere to hide” Finding Serenity in the Age of Anxiety ~ Robert Gerzon

Your  body is a graphic expression of everything it has ever experienced; every event, every emotion and every stress and pain is locked within its bodily system.  Alternative healers and therapists have learned through years of experience to interpret the body’s visual clues that reveal a person’s pattern of feeling, thinking and acting; using this knowledge helps to  release tensions embedded as ‘residue of symptoms’ in our cells.

Most people don’t realize that within our bodies is a freely circulating giant plumbing system (lymphatic system) that continuously flows up to 10-15 litres of essential fluids at any one time. In healthy undamaged tissue, food is brought into muscles and waste is taken out through this process. In damaged tightened tissue however, contracted areas literally can’t release their waste, almost like a constipation effect, which blocks the exit of waste products.  As these waste products accumulate, nerves that are located in the muscle become irritated. These nerves then send pain signals to the brain, causing both physical and emotional discomfort. Overtime, the tightening of muscle fibres and accumulation of wastes form little ‘balls’ which you can actually feel when you press on tight muscles.

A build up of waste products is not all that happens when muscles tighten. Your body’s main information highway, the Center Nervous System (CNS – which is comprised of your brain and spinal chord), is also negatively affected. When muscles tighten, irritated nerve fibres feed back into the CNS continuously, signaling to it that something is wrong—causing a ‘white noise type of effect.

If you’ve ever tried to listen to a song on the radio through bad static you know how frustrating background noise can be. Your nervous system goes through the same thing as it tries to transmit information over a background of irritated nerve signals that distort its messages.

“It seems that the muscles and organs also have the capacity to trigger memories of our emotional reactions to specific events. Consequently, if we find ourselves experiencing something that’s similar and has a familiar emotional charge to it, we’ll sense it in specific parts of the body. For example, we might experience right shoulder tension every time we find ourselves feeling responsible for carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders, or we might have jaw discomfort every time we’re in a verbally contentious situation.

The body and knows and tells us through the muscles. They’ll freeze up, contract, and spasm as if altering the brain that something is up. And while anatomists can’t prove these sensory impulses to the brain via the nerves are actually emotions, they can show that what they evoke is the source of how experience emotions. To support their findings, they use the examples of how strong negative emotions are gut-wrenching, how they can freeze us in our tracks if we’re about to put ourselves in harm’s way, how anger changes the functioning of the heart, and how love makes the knees weak and the palms sweaty. “ Healing Happens With Your Help ~ Carol Ritberger

Muscles enable us to move, and contribute to our shape, as well as helping us to breathe, digest food, circulate blood, and perform many other bodily functions. There are two main types: the skeletal muscles that you can move voluntarily, and the involuntary muscles, like those of the heart, which move automatically.  Each end of a skeletal muscle is attached to a bone on either side of joint.

Complexes, traumas and unresolved issues from our early childhood often  seethe below the level of our consciousness. Almost all unresolved negative patterns and attitudes have a tendency to be pushed to the ‘back’ of the body; it’s the dumping ground, the place where all feelings and experiences that have caused us pain or confusion are buried.  For some of us, our whole life is built around suppressing what is back there—the longer issues of our past aren’t acknowledged—the more damage and wear-and tear they have on the skeletal and muscular part of the body.

In the upcoming articles on this bog, we’re going to explore the many metaphysical causes of back pain and muscle tension and several healing tools and techniques of healing them.  It is only a beginning point to give you your own direction. It has to be up to you to understand and become aware of gathering your own data, understanding it and applying it to your life.

PART ONE OF THIS SERIES

In Part One of Metaphysically Understanding Back Pain, we’re going to begin this series with the neck, ‘the point of connection’ between the head and trunk.

Tight muscles creating an armor in the upper back are often loaded with rage that was initially aimed at ourselves but then get projected outwards toward others. This can be seen in what is known as the ‘dowager’s hump’, a formation of soft tissue that builds in the upper back, most often in older women. It would appear to represent a collection of angry, and resentful thoughts that grow without the means for expression as the years pass; it manifests as we get older and as our reason or purpose for living loses impetus.” The BodyMind Workbook ~ Debbie Shapiro

Following Part One, we’ll discuss the fascia, which your muscles and organs are enfolded in—combined the fascia and muscle tissue (myofascia) define the contour of the body—together they form the structure and movement in the body. When your stressed or ‘uptight’, gastric juices increase, blood vessels go into spasm, particularly the coronary vessels of the heart. Muscles clench and contract, especially the back muscles, your fascia twists, turns, tightens and thickens causing muscular pain.  The muscles in fact appear to be held in a grip of fear.

The bones of your back speak metaphorically too, and there is a very close relationship between back pain and the nerves in and around your spine.  The brain’s electrical system is all about nerves and a cable system that conveys messages around the body.  The spine’s electrical system includes  the myelin sheaths.  These insulated nerve fibres protect messages as they pass to and from the brain without getting jumbled, weakened or lost. It also helps maintain healthy connections between different parts of the brain, which is vital to process information in a multi-faceted way.

We’ll journey through the 33 vertebrae in the five sections or regions of the spine. You have seven vertebrae in your neck or cervical region; twelve in the mid-back, known as the thoracic or dorsal region; (these are the vertebrae attached to your ribs) and five vertebrae (largest of all) in the low back or lumbar region—two other ‘immobile’ sections are the sacrum and the coccyx. The entire package amounts to a mechanism that can bend and twist, turn and squirm, shake and wiggle and do just about anything else within the range of human motion. But just as easily it can stiffen up, resist, hold itself rigid, causing  nerve irritation, muscle tightness, fatigue, muddled thinking, anxiety disorders, chronic stress, insomnia, etc..

The mind/body connection is about turning inward and preparing yourself for reflecting or mirroring on the story of your life. Hopefully this metaphysical series on understanding back pain will act as catalyst to move you into deeper levels of inner awareness. The metaphysical explanations and various techniques and imageries may help you to see real connections between the physical and spiritual world and discover deeper meanings of our emotions and their connection to illness and pain.

Be patient with your healing and respect the fact that true healing takes time. If you’ve been in pain for a while, it will probably take you 25% of that time, to work on all aspects of your problem to generate significant lasting healing change.

“Much of what creates a great athlete, as well as a great meditator, is the ability to become acutely conscious of the simple actions that most people perform unconsciously. In Medical Meditation, these actions include not just breathing, but also postures and movement. Advanced meditators are just as conscious of their movements and postures as they are of their breathing and their state of mind.” The Healing Elements of Medical Meditation ~ Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. and Cameron Stauth

to be continued…..

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