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Posts Tagged ‘anger’

WHAT IS ASPERGER’S 

“You don’t suffer from Asperger’s, you suffer from other people”   ~ Tony Attwood

“You may feel that people are blocking you from doing what you want to do. Most people want to keep things the same. In this modern world, where everything is changing so rapidly, people make conscious efforts to sustain the familiar and continue with the past. As such, any change in the directions you take may evoke anxiety in others who find it hard to adjust to your new ways, which may not fit their concept of you. Don’t be deterred by this. In fact, when people start questioning you about your new attitudes, take it as a clue that you have begun to move in the new direction you have set for yourself.” Arki Kiev, M.D.

Asperger’s Syndrome was discovered in 1944 by Dr. Hans Asperger, an Austrian pediatrician. Although Asperger’s was discovered so long ago, Dr. Asperger’s papers weren’t translated until decades later [1990’s] and the term ‘Asperger’ Syndrome was coined by Lorna Wing, who was doing her own studies of a group of children who displayed its symptoms. It was after this, that the medical field started to familiarize themselves with Asperger’s and it took years after that to start diagnosing their patients with it.

“People with Asperger’s syndrome, a highly function form of autism often report that they have difficulty recognizing complex mental states like envy and love in others. Rather than relying on their (often faulty) assessment of others’ mental states when a complex social interaction presents itself, they depend on a “library” of carefully stored memories of previous interactions when deciding how to respond. At the same time, though, people with Asperger’s syndrome are also aware of the strategy’s limitations and the computational costs of calculating, through learned contingencies, what others are feeling and thinking. Temple Grandin, an autistic professor of animal behavior, has argued that animals’ responses to social events are likewise guided by memories of previous interactions rather than theories about mental states (Grandin and Johnson 2005). Instead of analyzing beliefs and desires, animals use past performance as a guide to future behavior.

Indeed, there is almost no example of possible mental state attribution in animals that cannot also be interpreted in terms of contingency learning. People often claim that their dog feels guilty when he does something that he “knows” he shouldn’t do, like knock over the garbage container. Dogs certainly acts as if they know they have done something wrong; their Tai Chi slink is a caricature of guilt. But dogs often assume the same guilty postures if another dog, or even a human, tips over the garbage. Rather than experiencing guilt or remorse about their actions, dogs are probably responding on the basis of a learned contingency: when garbage is on the floor, people begin to shout” (Grandin and Johnson 2005) Baboon Metaphysics: The Evolution of a Social Mind ~ by Dorothy Cheney, Robert M Seyfarth

Asperger’s syndrome like ADHD is labeled a neurobiological disorder—the difference between the two is that Asperger’s has been considered a higher function of Autism. Asperger’s individuals have very sensitive, highly reactive nervous systems; they have problems with sensory overload, making it hard to process information coming to them. This is why they can overreact to changes or stressful events, which tend to produce strong physical reactions. Aspies also have a lot of difficulty reading faces or people’s reactions (verbal/nonverbal cues), which are important for social communication. In other words, Aspies have trouble interacting with others—they lack the awareness of knowing they’ve upset someone, causing relationship problems and misunderstandings.

“The whole prospect of dating is frustrating and uncomfortable to me.   When someone close to me is hurting, I don’t know how to cope. I never know how to cope! There’s so many ‘unwritten rules’ and ‘codes of conduct’; what you should and shouldn’t say and do. I’m practical and usually quite reserved; I verbally have trouble expressing my truth, and when I do try, it comes out in confusing negative ways!” Where’s the love in that!” (Asperger’s young adult wanting love without all the restrictions) 

“People don’t understand but I get hurt really easily. I’m extremely sensitive and have a tendency to react without thinking. I can’t control my emotions, it feels like they take over and as much as I’d like to hide them, the power is too great to hold in and they come out in blunt, drastic, and usually dramatic ways. I know this needs reining in but how to do it? (Teen with Asperger’s)

Aspies constantly try to use their heads to navigate through life. Their reactive, emotional states can be so contradictory because they overact to who, what, when where and how? They are extremely vigilant anticipating problems in their environment, particularly with other people. Their need to question, to pay attention to details and problems and know where others stand is their way to defend themselves from real or imagined dangers. This is why they are quickly thrown into a storm of confusion and emotional reactions. They so want to be trusted, yet their trust in others is constantly tested to alleviate their own suspicions.

 “Children and teens with this disorder have problems socializing with other children and adults, are not personable, lack social skills, and have poor eye contact. They are inflexible with their routines; become upset when interrupted; usually ask questions that are out of context, have odd behaviors; and grow obsess with objects, activities, or hobbies. They are often ostracized and rejected by peers and called “weird.” Children with Asperger’s disorder may be irritable and have mood swings and severe temper tantrums…These symptoms may be confused with the mood swings and irritability seen in youth with bipolar disorder.” New Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar Disorder ~ Boris Birmaher, M.D.

Many children with Asperger’s also may suffer from a smorgasbord of symptoms that seem to be at odds with each other. We’re looking at many different neurological disorders such as ADD/ADHD, Bi-polar, Dyspraxia, Tourettes, OCD, etc., making it harder for doctors/psychiatrists/neurologists to correctly diagnose them. Aspie’s can alternate between elation and ecstasy to suddenly becoming irritable and angry that explodes into tantrums or destructive rage. They can’t help themselves because they don’t know what’s happening to them—these moods or panic attacks just hit them. That’s where they need guardians, teachers, doctors and parents to support them physically, emotionally and socially and to help them grow into adolescence and into their adulthood.

 “Sometimes I get really angry at people in my life (parents, siblings, children, co-workers) for no reason and replay over and over memories and conversations in my head that happened yesterday or even years ago. It’s like every waking moment of my day is spent muttering angrily to myself about something and I have no control over it. When this happens, I pretty much hide in my room all day and stay mad.” (Young woman with Asperger’s syndrome)

“Prominent individuals who have forever put their mark on history in their respective field might have had the condition described by Hans Asperger… Maybe one could even speculate that historic progress has quite often been made by people with Autism Spectrum Conditions. The perseverance, drive for perfection, good concrete intelligence, ability to disregard social conventions, and not worry too much about other people’s opinions or critiques, could be seen as advantageous, maybe even a prerequisite for certain forms of new thinking and creativity.” (Gillberg 2001) 

 “Children with Asperger’s Disorder are rarely able to read social cues without specific training. They are seldom able to express empathy, except in a strained intellectual sense, with others in virtually any situation. Their anxiety in social situations can be extreme, especially if something unexpected happens.” Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children And Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger’s, Depression and other Disorders ~ Great Potential Press – edited by James T. Webb

On the positive side, I think Asperger individuals (Aspie’s) have a great talent at keeping tabs on the time, organizing and filing important papers and keeping every receipt in perfect order. They are the great achievers of our world because of their ability to focus on what’s important to them; when inspired by an idea, they’ll marshal all their forces to pursue it.  But gawd forbid if you’re three minutes late for dinner or an important meeting, Aspies have a short fuse when you mess up their schedule that was prepared precisely to the minute.

“From a neuroscience standpoint, people with Asperger’s are extremely reactive due to an enlargement in the amygdala, which along with the hippocampus in the emotional center of the brain and part of the limbic system (Adophs et al. 1995). Limbic dysfunction can account for difficulty in reading faces and judging emotions of other people (Cohen, Klin, and Schultz 1999), which is probably why some people would refer to as a deficit in theory of mind. Heightened reactivity and anxiety are almost certainly a result of the enlarged limbic areas including the hippocampus that, on the positive side, gives those with Asperger’s a tremendous long-term memory and recall.

This constant social anxiety can create a fight-or-flight mode and can cause internalized panic that could lead to making insulting statements..to some extent, that is why people with Asperger Syndrome need to make a concerned effort to try to slow down and logically think things through before expressing themselves. It is a rational way for them to compensate for this deficit. It is a great adaptive function that can serve them well.”Asperger Syndrome and Bullying: Strategies and Solutions ~ By Nick Dubin

Both of my sons have difficulty expressing their emotions in a way that they think everybody else expects them to. Instead of showing empathy by listening or giving me hugs, they show empathy by offering a solution to the problem—and most usually, they’re right!

DAILY OM printed a wonderful article called Laboring under a Label written by Madisyn Taylor…

  “We live in a culture that uses labels as a means of understanding the world and the people living in it. As a result, many of us find ourselves laboring under a label that has a negative connotation. Unless we can find a way to see the good in such a label, we may feel burdened by an idea of ourselves that is not accurate. It is important to remember that almost nothing in this world is all good or all bad, and most everything is a complex mixture of gifts and challenges. In addition, different cultures revere certain qualities over others, but this does not mean that these qualities are inherently good or bad. For example, a culture that elevates outgoing behavior will label an introvert in a negative way, calling them antisocial. In truth, the ability to spend time alone is one that most great artists, mystics, and visionaries share. Owning the positive side of this label can lead us deeper into our gifted visions and fertile imaginations.

  When we look into the lives of any of the great people in history, we always find that they had quirks and eccentricities that earned them less than ideal labels from the societies in which they lived. Many famous artists and musicians were considered to be isolated loners or disruptive troublemakers, or sometimes both, yet these people altered history and contributed to the world an original vision or advances in our understanding of the universe. If we can remember this as we examine our own selves and the labels people use to describe us, we find that there is a bright side to any characterization.

  If you have been labeled, remember that all you have to do to see the positive side is to turn the label around. For example, you may be considered to be overly emotional, and the fact that you are perceived this way may make you feel out of control. But notice, too, the gifts of being able to feel and express your emotions, even in a world that doesn’t always encourage that. You might begin to see yourself as brave and open-hearted enough to stay alive to your feelings. You may also see that there are certain paths and professions in which this is a necessary ability. As you turn your label around, the light of your true nature shines to guide you on your way. http://www.dailyom.com/articles/2014/44326.html

Both my sons have been labeled with the Asperger’s syndrome, each in varying degrees.  They are smart, articulate, persistent, organized and highly focused. They don’t openly share their feelings and inner thoughts and are very uncomfortable around emotional issues and people.  Because they struggle with understanding the physical signs of the body; which by the way is known to contradict ‘verbal’ communication, they frequently withdraw from uncomfortable encounters OR will confront people who appear contradictory.  You want the truth, ask an Aspie!!

Asperger’s often feel isolated and alienated by society. Many times when my sons were growing up and in school they were harshly treated, teased, abused and bullied or taken advantage of by others—especially from those who saw them as ‘odd’—or not as aware or adept as others. This is why Asperger’s prefer to be alone, shrink away from relationships and have only a couple of close friends.

“In working with children who suffer from Asperger’s Disorder, despite their often high intellectual functioning, one must break down every social behavior into its smaller components. For example it may be necessary to physically show the child exactly how close one typically stands when having a conversation, or to specify it is important to look directly at the face of the person with whom you are conversing. Instruction in social skills must be detailed and concrete, and it often must be repeated for several different types of situations due to the difficulty that children with Asperger’s Disorder have with generalizing. Often these children rely on rote memory for the “rules” of social interactions. Sometimes instructions do not help because the child lacks the motivation to improve social skills (lack of insight) and finds the behaviors (such as looking someone in the eyes) very uncomfortable. Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children And Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger’s, Depression and other Disorders ~ Great Potential Press – edited by James T. Webb

 “I’ll let you know right now my opinions are very strong and if we disagree, I will research your arguments into the ground even if these were disputed months or even years ago; this is the kind of stuff I obsess over. To you, it may seem ignorant when I speak but I have this problem of not being able to shut up and I can be extremely blunt with absolutely no empathy of what you’re thinking or feeling or how emotional you’ve become.” (Frank with Asperger’s)

ASPERGER’S GIFTS

Not everything that steps out of line, and thus “abnormal,” must necessarily be “inferior.” ~ Professor Hans Asperger

You’ll find most ‘gifted’ Asperger individuals studying engineering, physics, computer science, genetics, teaching, etc. Most of them are highly intelligent with above average IQ’s. They are exceptionally bright, quick thinkers and learners; they love to learn, read, watch movies, or anything that inspires them to peer deeply into the meaning of life. Their greatest desire in life is to be secure and stable. They love to process any information in an orderly and chronological manner; everything must be meticulously detailed and calculated in a step-by-step orderly manner. Everything in life ‘must’ have a logical and rational explanation—they won’t usually believe in something unless they’ve been shown the evidence or they can prove or discover it themselves. They can be quite blunt and insulting to people, unaware of the amount of force and intensity they use in their interactions—especially to those who have little self-respect or problems with their self-image.

“Prominent individuals who have forever put their mark on history in their respective field might have had the condition described by Hans Asperger… Maybe one could even speculate that historic progress has quite often been made by people with Autism Spectrum Conditions. The perseverance, drive for perfection, good concrete intelligence, ability to disregard social conventions, and not worry too much about other people’s opinions or critiques, could be seen as advantageous, maybe even a prerequisite for certain forms of new thinking and creativity.” (Gillberg 2001, p.134)

Aspie’s enjoy the high feeling they get when they assert themselves in challenging situations. They want to do the impossible to succeed where others have failed or others have said ‘it can’t be done’. If they’re reasonably sure they’ll come out on top, they will take the chance and enjoy the excitement.

Asperger’s people love the intense feeling of joy and contentment.   With emotions such as fear, irritation, disappointment or anger, they will endlessly search, analyzing the problem, until they find a solution. They’ll sit for hours searching the internet, reading books, asking questions.  Sometimes all they need is a shift in perspective to keep them on track. When they choose a solution, they apply it. If it doesn’t work, they’ll keep trying until one does.

TESTING FOR ASPERGER’S

This is an excellent site on diagnosing Asperger’s for an adult or child.

http://www.autism.org.uk/about-autism/all-about-diagnosis/diagnosis-the-process-for-children/diagnosis-what-to-expect.aspx

Have you noticed your child has problems making friends? Skips school whenever possible. Avoids eye contact? Extremely sensitive and easily hurt?   Often misinterprets what you mean or say? Has a deep special interest? Does the same thing over and over again? Panic when he or she has to do or try something new? Finds it hard to interpret gestures like head shaking? Finds empathy hard? Is his/her speech unusually formal? Any evidence of anxiety, depression, or hyper sensitivities to taste, touch, smell? Poor handwriting? Picky eater? Bullied at school and/or easily fooled and conned? Becomes easily confused or overwhelmed? Has your child expressed they must have been misplaced or from another planet? If so it’s ‘possible’ they may have Asperger’s, but you won’t know for sure unless they are properly tested.

I think all children and adults display symptoms of Asperger’s at times, which is why sometimes identifying and treating Asperger’s can be quite a challenge. In this world today, many young people are mislabeled because teachers and doctors don’t have the time or the resources to treat the symptoms and ‘not the person affected by it’.

 “A young child with Asperger’s syndrome often assumes that other people are thinking exactly what he or she is thinking; or the child assumes that other people’s words match their thoughts….each person may have very different thoughts and feelings in the same situation, and that what people say may not always correspond with what they are thinking. The Comic Strip Conversations…from the book “The Complete Guide to Asperger’s syndrome ~ by Tony Attwood

There are a few test sites for adults which I’ll post for you.   Children would need to be referred to social workers and psychologists. Though it was quite some time ago, I do remember some of the tests, where Jason and Brandon were shown picture books with children and adults in different situations. They were asked to ‘read’ their faces and if their expressions were surprised, sad, happy, angry, etc… Both Jason and Brandon scored low points in this test.

Another test I remember Brandon playing, was a game of cars with the social worker who continuously carried on a conversation with him.   Brandon was so absorbed and focused on playing with the cars, he didn’t hear or remember words spoken to him.

Both Brandon and Jason did language and logic tests which were done with a child psychologist.

Some Asperger tests are informing but should not be used as a diagnosis.

http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aqtest.html

http://www.rdos.net/eng/Aspie-quiz.php

ASPERGER’S AND HEALTH ISSUES

Aspies have very finely tuned central nervous systems, which cause them to be highly sensitive to environmental stimuli such as noise, fragrances, certain foods, chaos, beauty, and/or pain. All these sensitivities can cause physical reactions in the body, such allergies, nervousness, panic attacks, nausea, migraine headaches, and auto-immune diseases.

“The immune system even under normal circumstances has a marked impact on behavior. Chemicals secreted by the immune system, called cytokines, are known to bind to sites in the brain and cause changes in areas such as sleep, attention, and mood. Recently there has been speculation that immune system problems may trigger the development of autistic symptoms. This system has drawn attention because of:

 1. The unusual patterns of production of immune chemical signals and antibodies observed in individuals with autism.

 2. the recent reported rise in the rates of autism

 3. the suggestion that autism could be related to inoculation procedures and/or inflammatory disease of the intestine

 4. the use of the diet therapies to reduce possible food allergies in autistic children.

 (“Cytokines are small molecules found in miniscule concentrations in our blood stream, that affect the behavior of others cells, especially, cells of the gut and immune system. It appears that the immune system—especially allergic and inflammatory components of the immune system—rely heavily on signals from cytokines.   Cytokines are divided into several different families which are sometimes referred to as interleukins, interferons or tumor necrosis factors. There are [thirty-five] different types of cytokines and their names get very confusing…….” Bacteria for Breakfast: Probiotics for Good Health ~ By PhD, RPh Kelly Dowhower Karpa)

 Research in this area has thus far not produced any major revelations. There is, however, some evidence of reduced immune function as well as overactive immune function in children with autism…analyzing whole blood from autistic children [there was] a significantly higher production of two inflammatory response signaling chemicals–signs of an overactive immune system. It is possible that some symptoms of autism, such as sleep mood and attention problems are reduced after treatment of an infection or removal of allergens from the child’s diet because the activity of the immune system is reduced….

 A serious problem arises when the immune system attacks tissues within the body instead of outside foreign agents’ such a response can lead to autoimmune disease. The term “auto” in from of immune system refers to a response against “self”…Research indicates an increased rate of autoimmune diseases in families of children with autism, the most common being Type 1 Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis (adult form) systemic lupus, and hypothyroidism.” The Development of Autism ! Thomas L. Whitman

CANDIASIS

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

There are so many disorders related to candida that I’m sure not to have listed them all. Candida can be the cause of anxiety, multiple sclerosis, OCD, allergies, food intolerances (make one forgetful and super emotional/irritable), migraines, learning disabilities, celiac disease, dyslexia, acne, dyspraxia, epileptic seizures, bipolar disorder, bed wetting, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, psychosis, substance abuse, depression, impaired social skills and perception, eczema, psoriasis, touch and light sensitivity, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, asthma, and lupus. If you’d like to know more about Candida, you can look at it here

MOOD SWINGS

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

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

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

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

We find out who we are by action. Action makes us and creates our future. It has been said that those suffering from mood swings and even bipolar are not living a life that is in accordance with their own inner nature….they have unfulfilled potential. Their roller-coaster emotions and boundless energies take a dramatic plunge into bleak depression. Many have and can utilize their dramatic abilities and extravagant behaviors to inspire others.

“In its mild state, bipolar disorder allows people to produce very high levels of intense creative output. There is a large body of evidence showing that creative people have a much higher likelihood of developing various mental illnesses, such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, then the general population.” Mind-Body Health and Stress Tolerance ~ by David Jameson

We’ll be discussing bipolar in great length in the next article on this blog.

One of the most important nutritional supplements for neurological problems is essential fatty acids (EFA’s). That’s because our brain is made up of mostly lipids (fats),and EFAs aid in brain development. It is best to get the wild, triple fish oils as well as flaxseed, evening primrose and borage oil. All these have shown to help decrease inflammation and increase feelings of well-being.  Calcium and magnesium are also useful for their calming effect on the nervous system. Grape seed extract is a powerful antioxidant and protects the cells of the brain and body. The dosage depends on the size and age of your child. Follow directions on the labels.

POOR MUSCLE TONE

I’ve included this as a health issue as both my sons suffered with muscle spasms, clumsiness, jerkiness, muscle tension and lack of coordination as children. They frequently fell, tripped or bumped into things and people. Poor muscle tone can interfere with the circulation and lymph flow of the body causing muscle weakness, extreme fatigue, indifference, constipation, and lack of feeling. This can also create problems in the intestines, causing bacteria, gas, leaky gut and candida to grow.

‘Leaky gut’, allows undigested food particles from the intestines into the bloodstream that normally wouldn’t get through—the body sees these particles as invaders and attacks them. If these particles resemble molecules of your own body, then the immune system can start attacking them—as in the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This form of the body attacking the body is quite possibly the most common cause of thyroid problems. The pattern begins with an overproduction of thryoxine and as the ‘attacks’ become more frequent, then the thyroxine levels drop, leaving you hypothyroid.

“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

 ANXIETY AND STRESS

When the brain’s blood supply is redirected for ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ in the body, our logic center or creative center simply shuts down. With the shutdown, the synchronization of brain function is lost and we cannot ‘think’ clearly. Anxiety and stress can also cause a number of physical symptoms such as: high blood pressure and hyper-intense muscles, leading to stiffness, clumsiness and aching limbs and joints.   Increased muscular tension is also an aspect of the flight/fight reflex which is associated with an increase of adrenalin/epinephrine fueled by the adrenalin glands.

The sympathetic nervous system is often referred to as the “fright, fight or flight” system—when these nerves are stimulated it’s usually because something is seen as a danger, epinephrine (adrenaline) is then secreted by the adrenal glands. When epinephrine levels are high in the blood we experience pounding heartbeats, shivering, sweats, trembling legs, dry mouth, and shallow rapid breathing. Mentally we feel completely ‘wound up’ and in some cases anger or the feeling of losing control.

Aspies have a highly reactive sympathetic nervous system When out of power Aspies can become frightened and disoriented and in their effort to orient themselves may turn to addictive substances such as alcohol and drugs. They may berate themselves later because in truth they are extremely health conscious except when taken suddenly off balanced.

When we lack faith in ourselves, we find ourselves repeating patterns and continually living to the beliefs and habits we rigidly rely on and cling to for familiarity.   In this day and age, the pace of change is picking up and many of us, in an effort to control our lives are finding it increasingly overwhelming. No matter how slow or fast, life never stops changing and changes are necessary steps, allowing us to move forward and reshape ourselves.

Our need to do, to succeed, and to accomplish is often a deeper need to feel loved and accepted. Aspies are great achievers; they’re extremely good at focusing what is important to them. These people need to seek and find supportive environments that will honor their brilliant remarkable minds. In turn, Aspies need to devote time to slowing down and observing their reactions/tensions and using them as messages to learn more about themselves.  They also need to realign their values and focus on ways that their goals are not just about them but in helping to improve the quality of other people’s lives.

REALIGNING YOUR VALUES

Aspies don’t always know what feelings their experiencing as they confront certain issues in their lives.  To remain physically relaxed, they need to stretch or do deep breathing throughout the day.  As an Aspie, you need to get plenty of exercise and lots of fresh air.  Disciplines like Karate, Aikido, Tia Chi, Yoga, etc., are excellent in keeping your body balanced.  Observe your tensions and use them as a message from which you can learn more about yourself.

If you feel frustrated, hurt or angry at someone’s response to what you’ve asked or said, don’t jump down their throat…step back in your mind, take a deep breath and examine your motivation for communication.   ask yourself “what is it I wanted from this exchange. How did I expect or want the person to respond? In this way, you learn more about yourself as well as giving the other the opportunity to learn more you and him or her self.

You need to become conscious of your expectations…focus more on the moment-to moment process and less on the end result.  Let TIME be your friend and not a constant opponent that you’re always fighting with.  Get lost in the moment and lift the pressure of your self-imposed deadlines and plan realistically, then do the best you can in each moment.

Concentrate on drawing your self-esteem and sense of identity from all that you are, rather than what you do.  See that what you do is only a partial expression of your energy.

Begin to look at your work in terms of how you can help others. By helping others you are also helping yourself to grow happier, freer and more relaxed and fully alive human being.  This in truth is what we all want.

The effects of these changes of attitude toward your life and work will be profound.  You’ll find yourself being more relaxed, flowing through your day without getting ruffled by the things that used to bother you.  You’ll be less tired with more energy to do the things you want to do.

MEDITATION

Meditation is a technique that will enable the mind and body to become quiet so we can focus our attention on the inner self. Ironically our search inward will ultimately lead us outward, past the self-centered preoccupations of the ego, to an openness with life.   If our entire focus were on ourselves we would eventually reach a dead end. But when we go off in search of our souls, we are going beyond the self, looking for more meaning than the limits of the self can provide. When we go past the ego, we open our perceptions to a greater scheme of things.

If we can learn to trust that a greater power than our own exists, and if we allow ourselves to go past our limitations, we will discover that we are capable of transcending the boundaries of the self and that we have a wealth of resources available to us. By using the power of faith to take us past the immediately obvious, into the realm of beyond, we will find a place where life is constantly in a dynamic state of change and growth and where our imagination is stronger than our will.

Links to follow….

Interview with Temple Grandin on autism http://www.autism-help.org/story-temple-grandin-autism.htm

Children and Asperger’s   http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/brain/asperger.html#a_Treating_Asperger_Syndrome

What does it mean to have Asperger’s Syndrome      http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/aspergers-diary/200804/what-does-it-mean-have-asperger-syndrome

Meditation for Asperger’s  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yvuylRojMg

Excellent article on Asperger’s  http://nymag.com/news/features/autism-spectrum-2012-11/

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Although in Depression Part III, we will be talking of depression and its relation to illness’ of the physical body I’d like to share this particular quote with you now.

“Scientists have also found that suppressed emotions—especially anxiety, depression and anger—play a role in creating hypertension, a hardening of the blood vessels. So what’s the domino effect that takes us from depression to hypertension? Depression causes the brain to release norepinephrine, which stresses the adrenal glands. This in turn causes the adrenal glands to release too much cortisol, which starts a cascade of inflammatory substances called cytokines. These cytokines cause oxygen to become “free radicals” which make any cholesterol in the blood harden and cement onto the arteries, causing them to clog and making blood pressure rise into hypertension range. So there you go. The domino effect of depression to hypertension, emotions moving from the brain to the heart. And it just shows that roadblocks to emotions can cause roadblocks in the flow of blood. A similar inflammatory response is seen in people dealing with chronic frustration.” All Is Well: Heal Your Body With Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition 

Another article on this blog may interest you ENERGETICS AND THE HEART CHAKRA…. here

In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, we often overlook caring for ourselves in ways we know we should.  Instead, we keep going, feeling run down and stressed, accepting it as a ‘normal’ until the effects of prolonged stress catch up to us in the form of a break down, depression, illness or physical pain.

“Depression—pressure to survive. Feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, disappointed, and disillusioned. Wanting someone to save you. Suppressed anger and resentment. Feeling and acting like a victim. Blaming others for what is not working in your life. Feeling unmotivated and uninspired. Can’t be bothered to do anything. Stuck in an old story that’s only getting gloomier.” THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF YOUR BODY: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness ~ Inna Segal 

Everything that has happened in your life happened because of your thoughts.  If you repeatedly tell yourself “I’ll never get ahead”, “I can’t afford that” “I’m stuck in this place forever”, your subconscious will take your word for it and start working to make these thoughts/words happen.

“So when opportunities knock I’m suddenly in conflict with myself, I lack courage, big time and withdraw or can’t make a decision. I find myself in a box of despair and inaction. I can’t move forward or backwards until another opportunity arrives. Then this vicious cycle begins all over again. I get enthused and fired up and when the door is about to open I withdraw and vegetate – stuck in a void until the next opportunity comes along.” (as written from Robin in an email) Thanks Robin! 

Your subconscious mind accepts whatever is impressed upon it or what you consciously believe.  It doesn’t have the capacity to think things out as your conscious mind does and it doesn’t argue with you, it accepts everything, good or bad.  The longer your negative thoughts continue to work on your subconscious mind the sooner they will emerge and take place in your outer life.

Depression, anxiety, frustration, worrying, etc., all of these are energy drainers.  They lower the flow of the life-force (chi) causing our minds and bodies to come almost to a standstill.  A lot of times depression can come from our fretting and worrying about what will happen regarding a problem, rather than the actual problem itself.  The crisis could be something that occurred yesterday or in the distant past that might affect our present or future but with all our fretting, worrying and whining we’re too irrational to figure out our problem.

“In particular, the fact that negative mood connects negative thoughts and memories, *even when these thoughts and memories have nothing else to do with one another*, sets us up for over-thinking. When you are in a bad mood for any reason, your mood activates–literally lights up–these nodes of your brain that hold negative memories from the past and negative ways of thinking. This makes them highly accessible: it’s easier to get there with your conscious thoughts. This is why it is easier to think of negative things when you are in a bad mood than when you are in a good mood. It is also easier to see interconnections between the bad things in your life when you are in a bad mood.” Women Who Think Too Much by Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Ph.D

Changes within ourselves don’t begin at the brain level, they work on a much deeper level—the subconscious. And the subconscious holds within it all our early experiences which have a profound effect on how we present ourselves to the world.

 “I was always puzzled by the fact that people have a great deal of trouble and pain when and if they are forced or feel forced to change a belief or circumstance which they hold dear. I found what I believe is the answer when I read that a Canadian neurosurgeon discovered some truths about the human mind which revealed the intensity of this problem. He conducted some experiments which proved that when a person is forced to change a basic belief or viewpoint, the brain undergoes a series of nervous sensations equivalent to the most agonizing torture.” ~ Sidney Madwed

PATTERNS OF NEGATIVE SELF-TALK

“The subconscious mind has no sense of humor, and it is important for you to know and understand this concept.  You cannot make a joke about yourself and think it doesn’t mean anything.  If it is a put-down about yourself, even if you are trying to be cute or funny about it, the subconscious mind accepts it as true.  I don’t let people tell me put-down jokes in my workshops.” Louise L. Hay The Power is Within You

I still remember, years ago in class, changing after gym class and listening to my classmates feeding into each other’s pattern of self-pity…”Im Fat…” Girl A would say then Girl B would say “no you’re not fat, I am.” Or “I need to lose weight”, “no you don’t, I do” or Girl B would say “I’m going fail the science exam” and Girl A would say “you studied hard, I’m the one whose going fail that exam .” Have you ever heard these comments played out over and over again?  Are they actually helping each other? Have you found yourself in a familiar pattern?  I have.  So why do we put ourselves down so frequently.  Why do we wallow in low self-esteem?  Why can’t we see our strengths, capabilities and the positives of our lives?  Why do we complain about ourselves with the hopes of hearing a positive affirmation in return?  And what if we don’t?  Something I did notice was people would complain about their ‘many imperfections’ hoping desperately to hear (as these girls did) positive affirmations in return.  It’s as if each put the effects their self-esteem in the lap of their friend. The bottom line is, they need to take their self-esteem and put it in their own lap.

Steve (not his real name) “I now see depression as an intense dialog between my life and “me”, and for the longest time I did not listen to my life because I didn’t believe in myself.  I was still listening to all the parents’ voices telling me that I should, I could do this and that to perfect my life; I was a prisoner of old repeating beliefs”.  

Steve spoke of his university days and working part-time as a waiter in a restaurant.  The restaurant manager constantly put Steve down, negatively commenting about his hair, his clothes and his cleaning abilities.  “I’d always cringe when the manager would walk towards me, because I anticipated being ripped to pieces by more negative comments.  I realized later, the manager wanted to make me angry, so I’d blow or worse get fired.  So I kept everything bottled up inside me. That’s when I started hanging around with a bad crowd, drinking and using drugs.  I think it was a way to numb my feelings and to self-medicate myself.  I became extremely arrogant, putting other people down; just like the manager did! I know now this was because of my insecurity, deep down inside I felt depressed, unimportant and unhappy about myself.  I expected to be cheated, stepped on and depreciated by others—the comments I made were really a reflection of how I felt about myself.”

“Your subconscious is your great darkroom.  It’s the secret place where your outer life develops. 

Therefore it isn’t your name, your manner of dress, your parents, your neighborhood, or the automobile you drive that makes you what and who you are.  You are the beliefs taking shape, image by image, light and shadow, there in your subterranean darkroom. In a moral sense, your subconscious is totally neutral, willing to look on ay habit as fitting, whether or not you or the world deems it good or bad.  That is why when we blithely drop negative thoughts into our subconscious, into this darkroom of ours, time and time again, we are so surprised to see these dark thoughts finding expression in our day-to-day experiences and relationships…time and time again.  As a matter of fact, it is rare to find something happening to us that we had no role in creating in this way.” The POWER of Your Subconscious MIND, Joseph Murphy, Ph.D., D.D. 

LET”S TALK ABOUT THE BRAIN…..for just a minute…

“Different chemistries are involved in learning than in unlearning.  When we learn something new, neurons fire together and wire together and a chemical process occurs at the neuronal level called “long-term potentiation,” or LTP, which strengthens the connections between the neurons.  When the brain unlearns associations and disconnects neurons, another chemical process occurs, called “long-term depression,” or LTD (which has nothing to do with a depressed mood state). Unlearning and weakening connections between neurons is just as plastic a process, and just as important, as learning and strengthening them.  If we only strengthened connections, our neuronal networks would get saturated.  Evidence suggests that unlearning existing memories is necessary to make room for new memories in our networks.” Norman Doige, M.D. The Brain that Changes Itself  

I’ve learnt Oxytocin is the chemical or hormone Dr. Doige is talking about in the above quote. Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus and released through the pituitary gland or other parts of the brain.  People who have oxytocin-rich blood are known to be compassionate, confident, happy, curious and eager.  They think positively, feel good about themselves and can handle the many stresses in their life.

“There is some dispute over the idea that oxytocin is solely responsible for this new burst of learning, for changes in our existing attachments or how it might facilitate these changes.  Neuroscientist Jaak Pankseep argues that oxytocin, combination with other brain chemicals, is so overwhelmingly good at reducing our feelings of separation-distress that the pain of losing previous attachments makes less of an impression that it would otherwise.  This lack of distress may also free us to learn new things and from new bonds, which partially reconfiguring our existing relationships. Norman Doige, M.D. The Brain that Changes Itself 

Dr. Norman ‘Shealy’ was the first I heard talk openly about Oxytocin—he created a blend of essential oils called BLISS to help raise oxytocin in the blood–enhancing mood and relieving chronic pain.  I’ve never tried Bliss myself, but if you’re interested there are links at the bottom of this blog for you to look at.

I believe we can each work at raising our own oxytocin levels….

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

LAW OF ATTRACTION

“Many people are often curious about why they keep attracting the same thing over and over again.  They are absolutely certain that they are not sending out anything negative, yet in a specific area of their life, negative experiences keep showing up.  This happens because they are sending a negative vibe non-deliberately simply through their observation of what they are currently getting. 

For example, if you open your wallet and don’t see any money, by observing that you’re not seeing any money there, you are now offering a vibration of lack, fear or some other similar negative vibration.  Although you’re not doing it on purpose, the Law of Attraction is simply responding to your vibration and giving you more of the same.  It doesn’t know what action you are taking that is causing you to generate this negative vibration.  You might be remembering, or pretending, or daydreaming, or in this case just merely observing.” LAW OF ATTRACTION ~ Michael J. Losier 

Every single moment you experience a mood or feeling, you’re sending out from your energy, a negative or positive vibration.  There is a universal energy around you that humbly responds to the energy you’re emitting right at this moment.  This energy does not judge or grudge it simply reacts and gives back the same as what you’re sending out, positive or negative.

“Light” and “Dark”, Positive and Negative are simply judgments of our human minds …so are “good” and “evil”…in fact, they both mean pretty much the same….they each express a like or dislike.  If we were to toss a coin ‘head or tails’, we could not possibly attract the head side of the coin without the tail side coming with it.  Positive/negative, light/dark, good/evil are one piece of the whole..they are needed in relation to each other otherwise neither could function.  There is a pulse in the universe that constantly moves like a ping bong ball. flowing back and forth, slowly at first…then as consciousness and awareness become a part of the process the energy starts moving faster and faster.  This creates tremendous tension between the two opposites until a spark is created and something is created, conceived. We cannot have light/dark male/female without the other, they are magnetically attracted to each other….nothing will get off the ground or seek emotional expression without their cooperation.  On another level, you could see or call this magnetic force as a romantic attraction and attraction is an important ingredient to any creation.

“When you find yourself in a crisis where everything seems at the point of breakdown, avoid reacting aggressively, getting defensive, or trying to combat the problem head-on.  Like being caught in quicksand, the more you struggle, the more you’ll be sucked in.  Surviving difficult challenges depends upon your ability to stay centered, focused, and as calm as possible.  Reacting emotionally to a crisis will only compound the difficulties.  Be firm, yet flexible, and work steadily to resolve the situation.  It may take a good deal of time and energy than you expected but adopting a nondogmatic approach and keeping things in perspective is the solution now….. 

Be as creative as possible and stay very alert while plotting a course through this minefield of difficulties.  Only by deeply trusting in yourself and the power of intuitive guidance can you find a resolution.  Even if you disagree with what others have to say, do not react or argue, but stay open and hear them out.  When a breakthrough seems imminent, remember to stay alert. The real moment of resolution will become apparent in due course; it cannot be forced.” TAO Oracle ~ Ma Deva Padma 

When we dig out old beliefs, losses, pains, promises, hurts, dreams and people who programmed us to see the world as they saw it, we will release expectations and assumptions and discover a huge storehouse, a hidden power of incredible knowledge.  You don’t need to learn this knowledge, you already own it but only you can search for it.

AFFIRMATIONS

“We are quite ignorant of the real power of our habits until we try to give them up.” ~ C. S. Lewis 

I wrote an article on Creating Your Own Affirmations here… 

“When a depression comes on, it replaces anything else that I have going.  Life just stops.  There is no point, no purpose, no hope.  What I hold onto is the passage of time.  Everything passes with time, and in time I’ll be released, seemingly by just having waited it through.  When you’ve been as confined by grief as I have been, you whole body feels as if it’s been played upon by another person.  After an experience like that, you feel like you’ve just recovered from a long illness.  You appreciate some things, like weather and the colors that you want to wear.  You feel privileged to have lived out so much.  Tragedy will set you apart, in some way it will single you out, because you’ve looked at death and survived.” Helen Palmer

Most of us do our best to avoid uncomfortable or painful feelings, especially when others are around and frustratingly say ‘that’s all we hear…just get over it with ya’.  When I avoid awareness of what I am feeling, I also have to avoid how my body is expressing the feeling.  Usually this involves me partially or completely stopping the movement(s) that would normally express my feelings.  If I’m angry and begin to make a fist and tense my arm and shoulders as if to hit, I can only stop this by opposing the movement of that tense muscle.  The tension signals my brain that I need to back-off, or direct my thoughts and feelings elsewhere.

We usually express our feelings and experiences through our body posture and movements.  When we feel joy, our whole body moves—smiling, dancing, singing, etc. In fear, our whole body either becomes frozen and tense or immediately runs away.   With depression, it’s like a black cloud that won’t lift; we may not want to get out of bed, hiding ourselves under the covers, coming out only to go to the bathroom or gravitate towards sugary starchy foods to stimulate our senses, but these foods drain more of our energy and we find ourselves putting on weight.

Have you ever tried uplifting inspirational affirmations, only to become more depressed and frustrated because they seem to say the opposite to what you’re feeling?  Repeatedly saying an affirmation you ‘don’t believe’, will ‘not’ make you believe it—in fact it could create an even greater resistance.  Why? Because, wanting to change what we’ve believed so long to be true, the first thing we hit head-on is our own frustration and doubt.

Affirmations expose us to an intense dialogue or series of arguments that shuttle back and forth within ourselves;  we work with them from several different angles and notice ‘I’m not listening….or is it I don’t believe it myself….or is it I don’t believe in myself?   Steve who we met earlier, struggled with his inner calling…“ affirmations for me, don’t work…I’m constantly hearing all the voices in my past telling me I should be doing this and should be doing that….I’m a prisoner of my past….I’ve actually been looking for a key to a door that has no walls around it.’

“Like most of us, I didn’t always find the pathway easy and smooth because just babbling affirmations didn’t work all the time, and I couldn’t understand why.  I asked myself, “What am I doing wrong?” Immediately, I blamed myself. Was this one more example of me not being good enough?  That was a favorite old belief of mind. 

At the time my teacher, Eric Pace, would look at me and refer to the idea of resentment.  I didn’t have the faintest idea what he was talking about.  Resentment? Me? Surely, I didn’t have any resentments.  After all, I was on my pathway, I was spiritually perfect.  How little I could see myself then!” The POWER is WITHIN YOU ~ Louise L. Hay 

What exactly did Steve mean when he said he was ‘looking for a key to a door that has no walls around it’. When I worked with Steve’s energy, I noticed his toes were curled under and wouldn’t release.  Often when the lower back is in pain and the feet are not able to relax, it’s an indication of not feeling safe or grounded with the world.  In this case it felt Steve was searching and struggling too hard to be different from who he was.  Our need ‘to do’ is often an expression of our deep human need to feel accepted.  Unfortunately, when we work unconsciously to gain love and acceptance from others we always seem to experience tension and fear that we still won’t get accepted (usually a closed door in a dream indicates feelings of rejection).  Basically, I told Steve to stop worrying about ‘what the others might think or say’.  It also felt the ‘aspiring affirmations’ he was saying to himself were way too high and out of his reach (the key?).  They were causing him to feel as if he was coming apart at the seams and they weren’t working on releasing old thought patterns and blocked emotions.  I told him he needed to find a more subtler yet purposeful approach….kind of like watching or feeling the soft slow-opening of a flower.   But to feel that flower unfurl, we need first to ground at the roots.  We need to tap into that deeper level of our being and to our own inner rhythm.

Another thing we talked about was the anxious feeling of getting results…it tends to take us out of the present and we lose the pleasure of that moment.  We need to relax into the moment and not have too many thoughts on the future.  Steve needed to accept that where he was right now, was fine…when we can relax into knowing nothings wrong where we are, we can let go of a big sigh, and just relax.

AN AWARENESS EXERCISE

We all tend to build up an image of how things really are, an image of who and what we are.  This image of ourselves might be somewhat true, but there are always aspects of ourselves that don’t fit this image.  If we hang onto this image tightly, we restrict and deaden ourselves, and we prevent ourselves from discovering the parts of our lives that are unknown and alienated.  If you can let go, even a little of your idea of who you think you are, you have a chance to discover more of what you are actually experiencing at this moment.  It can even be a way of finding new ways of being and discovering things about yourself you may not be aware of.

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.” 

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 judgments 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.

3. 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.

This whole process for both these exercises is like playing a game with our subconscious mind, tricking it to give up its hold on old, habit patterns.

ANOTHER SIMPLE EXERCISE

All you need for this particular exercise is a pen and paper handy to jot down what your senses are showing you…..

Whenever you become aware of your body and its position, you immediately experience relaxation and a flow of energy because you are listening to it more closely than before.  You will become aware of your presence, your form and your communication with your body and your surroundings.  At first you may be restless and feel as though you are thinking thousands of thoughts…don’t worry…if you subconscious is trying to remind of you of things you need to do, write them down , acknowledging you will take care of them afterwards…this will help to relax you.

As you begin any type of visualization or meditation you may notice old or hidden pain rising from your subconscious.  If you find you suddenly feel angry, depressed or frightened, try to gently allow yourself to feel the experience without resistance and let go of trying to make sense of your feelings.

Sit or lie down and find a comfortable position….close your eyes and let go…notice any tension…see if you can release this tension or adjust your body so that you are more comfortable…Focus your attention on your breathing and continue to let go…Become aware of your breathing….feel the air moving through your nose…feel it move down your throat and into your lungs…and notice how your chest and belly expand and contract gently as you breath…now imagine that instead of you breathing air that the air is breathing you.  Imagine that the air is gently moving into your lungs….and then slowly withdrawing…You don’t have to do anything at all because the air is doing the breathing for you….Just experience this for a while…then become aware of any images, thoughts, feeling, memories and jot them down with the pen and paper you have nearby.

In this particular section we’re going to discover where we are now in order to reconnect our selves with the purpose of our lives.  It may be we’ll find ourselves going back to our past but the goal is not to lose ourselves in old memories but to observe and draw them out of our inner being and out into the open.  As you do this exercise record what you visually see, feel, discover and experience. Events of your life may reveal themselves as a flowing and continuous movement like a river moving through many changes and phases.  Or they may not appear in any chronological order..don’t worry about this, just let the images flow and record them as they come to you.  Then again, you may receive a kaleidoscope of disconnected images….again just let it flow.

After you’ve written down what you visualized or felt, heard, etc., choose one that you feel is unclear or unfinished.  It may be in the form of impatience, fear, anger, irritation, guilt, or blame.  Allow yourself to relive the situation in your mind’s eye.  See the person(s) involved and rexperience the thoughts that come.  Let the emotions flow over you, as it were happening now.  In the privacy of your own room, you don’t have to control or hide your feelings, just let them envelop you….sink into them without judgment.

After a few moments notice what’s happening you to physically.  Has your breathing changed?  Do you feel hot or cold? Is any part of your body tense (tight, jaw, clenched fist, tight abdomen, frown?) What are your thoughts?  Are they clear, objective or confused and blurred?

Ask yourself how you feel about the person(s) involved?  Can you clearly see a solution?  What is it you wanted but didn’t get?  Do you know exactly what to do next to remove the stress?  Can you accept what happened or do you need to do something more to remove the stress?  What do you want to do right now to feel better?

Look back at this stressful time and look at yourself physically.  Were you tense, over-tired from work or lack of sleep?  Did you over-eat or eaten foods you know didn’t agree with you?  Did you have coffee, alcohol, cigarettes or other stimulants?  On a regular basis do you get out and enjoy yourself?  Do you get enough air and exercise?

When these answers are clear to you, slowly open your eyes and write them down.  See where you can make changes—small ones—one at a time.  If you need to resolve something with someone, then resolve in your mind you will do it.  Finish it.

In DEPRESSION Part III we’ll be looking at depression and its effects on our health.  We’ll look at ways to combat it, for example,  let look at laughter….

“Good spirits are a vital part of life.  Denying joy is one of the greatest deprivations on this planet.” Norman Cousins 

Have you ever laughed so hard tears of joy run down your face, your belly hurts and your cheeks freeze up.  Studies have shown that laughing is one of nature’s best antidotes for depression and illness.  The physical act of laughing causes an increase in the body’s blood flow and oxygen supply, and gives a workout with the diaphragm giving the stomach and intestines a good massage as well as massaging the heart with its up and down motion.  With laughter our stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline are reduced, blood pressure drops and our anxieties fade as we reactivate and discover the child within us.

Play and movement brings our minds into the moment….like children we make fun out of everything we do…concentrated and absorbed on what we’re doing.  With no roles to play or conflicting attitudes, our bodies and minds relax making us feel in harmony with the world and people around us.  Laughter creates an explosion of goods feelings, positivity and effortless connectedness.   We let go of life and feel in harmony with the world and the people around us…..

Laughing out loud and oxytocin http://lifescapecounseling.com/2010/04/10/laughing-out-loud-and-oxytocin/

Laughter is the best emotional medicine http://www.livestrong.com/article/12141-laughter-best-emotional-medicine/

Working Through Emotional Disorder http://rachelmiller1511.wordpress.com/tag/louise-hay/

How Depressed People Think ~ 17 thought distortions you can avoid http://www.healyourlife.com/author-robert-l-leahy/2010/08/lifeshelp/get-healthy/how-depressed-people-think

The Abraham Hicks Guidance Scale http://mariaerving.com/how-to-use-the-abraham-hicks-emotional-guidance-scale/ 

Emotional stress scale http://www.stress-relief-teacher.com/abraham-hicks.html

Dr. Norman Doige http://www.normandoidge.com/normandoidge.com/MAIN.html

Dr. Norman Doige “The Brain That Changes Itself”  www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3TQopnNXBU

Norman Shealy’s website https://www.normshealy.com/Default.asp

Dr. Norman Shealy, and the Rings of Fire  http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=32580

http://www.acupuncture.com/Conditions/depression.htm

*I’m moving at the end of this month.  With all that’s involved with packing and unpacking, the third article on depression most probably will come out in September, 2013.  However, I will always answer all your emails.

Have a great summer everyone!!!

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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“Christiane Northrup describes the pre-menstrual stage as the time when “inner wisdom,” sensitivity, and awareness to emotions and their messages are most available to work this way. In the course of the menstrual cycle, levels of LH and FSH, the hormones that stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs, are low in the first half of the menstrual cycle. They gradually rise and then peak on day fourteen. Although we don’t know where LH and FSH themselves bond to in the brain, we know that estrogen, which is controlled by them and therefore also increases in midcycle, bonds to the limbic areas of the brain, which plays an important role in intuition. Thus ovulation appears to prime the intuitive network and open up the channels so that women can hear more clearly.” Mona Lisa Schulz “Awakening Intuition”

A couple of months ago, I received an email from a woman, we’ll call Carol, who asked if I’d write about premenstrual syndrome (PMS), especially the metaphysical causes. Carol, age 38, wrote concerning her PMS emotions, worried why she acted like a raving lunatic before her period was due. There were certain days before her period where she was unable to control her dreadful tempers, rages, tearful scenes and irrational behaviors. On really bad days, she’d been known to scream, yell, threaten, slam doors, throw frying pans across the room, cry, sob and/or suffer from depression. Carol told me all these intense emotions were so out of character from her ‘normal’ days. She was frightened by what was happening to her and felt at a loss as how to discuss this with anyone.

It’s no coincidence that Carol’s explosive nature seemed to happen just before her period was due. At this time of the month, we can all become the proverbial bitch lol. Some of us go literally bananas and absolutely crazy in a very fiery dramatic way. Like menstrual blood, women’s anger is red, hot, active and potent, and once a month it has this opportune moment to surface. The deeper the repression the hotter the flames! In fact these flames can get so hot, they can burn everything standing in their way. Oh yeah, I knew exactly what Carol was going through.

“Anger is a reaction. When we feel angry, it is because something in our background or personal value system has been challenged. That something tells us we ought to react by being angry. But anger, like love is a choice, a choice we make on the basis of our subconscious values and attitudes. Thus, we can choose to change it by changing the values that lead us to feel it.” Linda Joyce

When I asked Carol about her physical symptoms with PMS, she wrote back ‘now you sound like my doctor, it’s not my physical symptoms I’m worried about.’ Sometimes, it can be hard to decide whether it’s the physical or psychological symptoms that bother us the most—usually it’s the psychological symptoms that tip the scale.

“PMS is characterized by so many different symptoms, it’s important for us to know which ones are affecting us, psychologically and physically. Our hormones constantly rise and fall throughout our lives; they are an important indicator to how we feel all the time. As well….The effects of the mind, emotions, diet, light, exercise, relationships, heredity, and childhood traumas must all be taken into account when treating PMS.” Christiane Northrup Eastern Body Western Mind

After a few emails back and forth, Carol agreed to take the time to listen to and jot down her physical and emotional PMS symptoms, especially before and just after ovulation. I asked her to add some comments and brief descriptions to each one, noting any tensions, frustration, memories, or feelings she observed at that time. When stressed did she turn to comfort foods or foods high in sugar and carbohydrates? If she did have arguments, or fights with someone, how significant and important were they during this period. Did she recall any dreams during that time? Did one or more standout in her mind that was especially striking or dramatic? Were there any dreams that repeated from times before? I told Carol that persistent dreams had a message she needed to hear. Did she have any inspirations, great ideas before or after ovulation? I asked her not to write too much at this point. Sometimes something we’ve never noticed before can excite us to the point that we want to keep writing on and on. The problem with this, is we lose the momentum of the whole exercise and our attention to it. What we want to do is look at various phases, changes and challenges we encountered during this period.

“Women need to believe in the importance of the issues that come up premenstrually. Even though our bodies and minds may not express these issues and concerns as they would in the first part of our cycle—on our so-called good days—our inner wisdom is clearly asking for our attention…..One husband reported that in the follicular phase of his wife’s cycle, she was great, was always cheery, kept the house in order, and did the cooking. But after ovulation she “let herself go” and talked about wanting to go back to college and get out of the house more. I told him that these issues that arise premenstrually should be treated seriously, and I asked him to consider what his wife’s needs were for her full personal development. I pointed out that her difficult behavior premenstrually was her way of expressing those needs.” Christiane Northrup, Eastern Body Western Mind

Deep inside us, we all carry around inhibiting beliefs, thoughts and attitudes that were instilled in us when we were children. Being very young, we weren’t able to reason things out and were totally at the mercy of our environment and the people in it. More often than not, what we learned about the world and about ourselves conflicted with the natural rhythm of our body/mind and soul. As we grew, we also started to carry around all the people who hurt us, with words, with actions, even those disapproving glances. Fear of not being loved or worse being abandoned we tried to please and pretzel ourselves to what others wanted us to be. We learned to ignore the things that bothered us, carrying on the role of little girl dress-up with the hopes of gaining approval from others. At this point we didn’t even realize our lives were not our own. At least not until puberty approached and our bodies started to change.

“It [PMS] insists that you move into your own rhythm rather than staying within society’s time frame. Living for a few days each month from within your natural rhythm is a powerful correction to the culture’s alienation of nature. PMS drops you deep into your own being, and your own truth explodes forth. Whatever you have been successful at burying or denying to yourself bursts forth at this time of the month. It is a truth serum from which you cannot escape, and if you carve out space for it, as in the native “moon hut” traditions, PMS makes you wiser. If you do not, it can cause you to feel that you are going start raving mad.” Donna Eden, David Feinstein, ENERGY MEDICINE, Balancing your Body’s Energies for Optimal Health Joy And Vitality

Every month whether we like or not we have to go through our own lunar cycle. As Camille Paglia writes “Every month, it is woman’s fate to face the abyss of time and being, the abyss, which is herself.”

Donna Eden tells us that “PMS changes the body’s chemistry to clear or prepare a path for journeying to the domain of our soul.” Journeying is a word used by Shamans of the past and Shamans of today. Although the word was originally used for the Native American Indians and other native belief systems, I feel that anyone who has begun to seek deep within to find their place in the ‘great circle of life’, is a modern shaman. Being a shaman is not about great powers or great respect. Rather, it is a responsibility to ourselves and our world to heal and to teach ourselves and others to be in harmony with all things.

Through the centuries women have become more self-aware and independent, which has given them more control over their lives. No longer are we held back from expressing our talents, strengths and intellect. But this has not come without a cost. Breaking out from the ancient limiting beliefs of being the dependent good wife and mother has affected us physically, emotionally and spiritually. Working outside the home has tested our ability to alternate between being a wife, a mother and a career person. This has created a buildup of pressure causing wear and tear on our female organs. The greater the outer pressure to perform, the more likely bodily messages and needs will be ignored. Not only that, the more we fight to become more independent, the fiercer our struggle with nature becomes. Our female bodies, our monthly cycles are a part of nature. “…[We] alternate between receptive and active during each monthly cycle, like the ebb and flow of the tides.” Vicki Noble

“Before ovulation, the left hemisphere of the brain is in control. Most language function is supposed to be in the left hemisphere.  But studies have shown that the left hemisphere is also chiefly primed to hear mainly positive words, such as “joy,” “happiness,” “love,” and “cheer.” After ovulation, however, the right hemisphere picks up the tempo and cycles into more control, while the left hemisphere goes into more of a down mode.  In women, language can be in both hemispheres, but the language to which the right hemisphere is receptive is negatively charged words.  Women can hear words like “rage”, “anger,” “sadness,” and “depression” more strongly premenstrually than the rest of the time.  All at once in this period, their brain allows them to hear things they don’t usually allow themselves to hear.  That’s intuition at work; it makes us able to acquire information and knowledge that are not usually present in our external environment, knowledge we don’t usually want to see hear or act on.”  Mona Lisa Schultz  Awakening Intuition

And we know these ebbs and flows also correspond with the cycles of the moon as well as the output of our sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone and even a little testosterone) produced by the endocrine glands. Our hormones are what make us uniquely female. And your genetics, body chemistry and life experiences are like no one else’s. Even before you reached your teens, your hormones were already having a major impact on how you felt each day of your life.

“The monthly period is a reminder to women that they are living in a largely masculine-dominated world; so PMT (premenstrual tension) brings up issues to with how we feel about being a woman and our relationship to our femininity. It is often very hard to be a career woman, perhaps to be running a business meeting, and to have a period; the two do not go together easily. We respond to our period with emotional and mental disturbance and reluctance, so something here is disturbing us, making us feel awkward and resentful. Do we resent being a woman: Would we prefer not to be working? What are our deeper feelings about these aspects of womanhood? DEP SHAPIRO The Body/Mind Workbook

It is out of your own life experiences that all seven glands of the endocrine system have documented and filed your habits, attitudes, perceptions, traumas, challenges, feelings, thoughts, memories, and unresolved issues or situations to help you become aware of what’s getting in the way of your health and progress. Pain is a built-in warning mechanism, a wake-up call, telling us something in our lives need to change. It is our responsibility to learn what our bodies are trying to teach us so we can avoid illness and continue evolving.

We all hide repressed fears deep down inside—some of these are unconscious currents that flow from past lives. We all know that when energy is blocked it can stir up trouble. When we repress our needs and feelings these will get lodged somewhere in the body in the form of hidden tensions and unhealthy habits. PMS can affect our entire metabolism and exhaust us. When our hormones become unstable, the body will use every tool at its disposal to re-establish balance.

“Premenstrual Syndrome (P.M.S.) – Anger, confusion, anxiety, fear, self-doubt. Holding back your ideas because you believe they will be rejected. Not being listened to. Frustrated, impatient, annoyed. Feeling trapped, unsafe, blocked, disrespected, unhappy. Holding onto past hurts from men. Feeling inferior. Denying your feminine energy. Wanting to be more masculine, to which you attribute strength and power.”  THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF YOUR BODY: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness ~ Inna Segal

As you can see PMS has many different faces. There is a large percent of women with PMS who psychologically undergo anger, confusion, depression, memory loss, fatigue, and severe changes in mood, and uncontrollable food cravings—especially sweet or starchy foods. Physically the symptoms can produce as many as hundred and fifty or more different symptoms, ranging from breast tenderness, cramping, headaches, acne, restless sleeping, swelling of abdomen, ankles and fingers, bloating and weight gain as much as fourteen pounds! Some woman have an idea of what their symptoms will be on the day they ovulate, experiencing mood and appetite changes that last a few hours but don’t actually form any premenstrual patterns for a few more days.

“All the activities of our sexual body—menstruation, intercourse, conception, pregnancy birth, and menopause—involve streamings and swellings and transformations we have little control over, even though they take place in the very core of our body. At puberty, our breasts grow and angles become curves. Blood streams from our vagina. Our moods soar and plummet, carried on strong, billowing waves of hormones. When we make love to a man, we are penetrated to the core, while a man remains more or less his compact, contained self. In pregnancy and brith, nature takes the ball entirely out of our hands. We swell like balloons. We are nauseated or ravenously hungry. In birth, we crack open like eggs, and that is just the beginning of decades spent in service to our offspring. Then menopause hits, and again, we are buffeted by the winds of hormonal changes. Jalaja Bonheim

In the next segment of this PMS series, we’re going to learn what Carol discovered from listening to her body. We’re going to look at solutions, herbs, supplements, as well as emotional, mental and physical healing. We’re also going to look at changes in appetite and especially those food cravings (one of Carol’s main problems).

Foods that are rich with unusual tastes, colors and textures are really based on pleasurable tastes (past memories) that we wish would repeat in our lives again. When a woman is feeling low, eating sweet starchy foods seems the fastest and easiest way to temporarily relieve the tensions and unpleasant feelings associated with PMS. Unfortunately when we don’t eat wisely, we lose more energy processing the food than gaining from it and thus a low-energy cycle is created.

“Stop feeding your ancient shame, stop telling yourself you are ugly, stop analyzing your physical imperfections. Your body is exactly as nature intended it to be. You genitals are perfect and beautiful. You are worthy of all the love in the world, and your story matters.” Jalaja Bonheim, APHRODITE’S DAUGHTERS

This is such a great song to finish this article, I hope you enjoy it!

Because I am a Queen by India Arie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIZFnkwpL_0

Sometimes I shave my legs and sometimes I don’t Sometimes I comb my hair and sometimes I won’t Depend on how the wed blows I might even paint my toes It really just depends on whatever feels good in my soul I’m not the average girl from your video and I ain’t built like a supermodel But, I Learned to love myself unconditionally Because I am a queen

I’m not the average girl from your video My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes No matter what I’m wearing I will always be India Arie When I look in the mirror the only one there is me Every freckle on my face is where it’s supposed to be And I know our creator didn’t make no mistakes on me My feet, my thighs, my lips, my eyes I’m lovin’ what I see

I’m not the average girl from your video and I ain’t built like a supermodel But, I Learned to love myself unconditionally Because I am a queen I’m not the average girl from your video My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes No matter what I’m wearing I will always be India Arie Am I less of a lady If I don’t wear panty hose? My Mama says a lady ain’t what she wears but what she knows,

But, I’ve drawn a conclusion, it’s all an illusion. Confusions the name of the game A misconception, a vast deception Something’s gotta change Don’t be offended this is all my opinion ain’t nothing that I’m saying law This is a true confession of a life learned lesson I was sent here to share with ya’ll

So get in where you fit in go on and shine Free your mind, nows the time Put your salt on the shelf Go head and love yourself Cuz everything’s gonna be all right I’m not the average girl from your video and I ain’t built like a supermodel But, I Learned to love myself unconditionally Because I am a queen

I’m not the average girl from your video My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes No matter what I’m wearing I will always be India Arie

Keep your fancy drinks and your expensive minks I don’t need that to have a good time Keep your expensive car and your Caviar All I need is my guitar  

Keep your crystal and your pistol I’d rather have a pretty piece of crystal Don’t need your silicone, I prefer my own What God gave me is just fine I’m not the average girl from your video and I ain’t built like a supermodel But, I Learned to love myself unconditionally Because I am a queen  

I’m not the average girl from your video My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes No matter what I’m wearing I will always be India Arie

http://ezinearticles.com/?Eliminate-PMS-Symptoms&id=146090

http://www.pmswarrior.com/the-top-ten-symptoms-of-pms-which-do-you-recognise/

http://www.menstruation.com.au/periodpages/pms.html

http://www.drnorthrup.com/womenshealth/healthcenter/topic_details.php?topic_id=139

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

 

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THE SECOND AND SUBSEQUENT VISITS

“ARTHRITIS – ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE DEFINITION GUIDE, by Zampiern, Kambi and Goldberg:

Rheumatoid Arthritis develops in those with a constant pattern of criticism of themselves and others. It appears in their nature not to express their feelings or to attempt to creatively change the situation that disturbs them – more likely to accept things and have an internal resistance to change.

An Ohio State University research study showed sufferers are likely to be
1) excessively conscientious,
2) fearful of criticism yet critical of themselves and others,
3) frequently depressed and have a poor self-image,
4) they try to be overly nice to others at the expense of their own well being,
5) to be stoic and
6) to conceal their emotions, especially anger.   http://haforum.co.uk/lynnkoiner/conditions/1037.html

When Fiona came back the following week, her energy, her aura felt shut-in, guarded and defensive..  Her eyes were visibly swollen, her face sullen and pale.  What in the world happened?   When I approached and gently touched her shoulder, Fiona broke down sobbing.  Through her tears she spoke of having a fight with her mother earlier in the week, which then carried over and continued with her husband.  Rather than looking at her own thoughts and feelings, needs and desires, Fiona gave up and walked away to avoid anymore confrontation. My eyes searched hers with the question ‘why’ and her quick reply was “my kids were in the house at the time”!

I handed her a tissue box nearby and sat quietly as her emotions spilled out.  As she slowly calmed down her energy field/aura started looking clearer and brighter as she released some of her pain.

BODY SCAN

Before starting the Reiki treatment, I did a complete scan of Fiona’s body, holding my hands about 2 to 3 inches away from her body.  Sometimes my hands raised higher or lower, to sense or get a feel of her energy. When this is done slowly and steadily with a gentle sweeping motion, a practitioner can feel and ‘listen in’ to an array of emotions and feelings (positive and negative) generating from the body.

I’ve found my hands feel more of the subtle changes when my fingers are slightly separated and even more when I move my hands apart. The trick is not to linger in one place too long, just keep it slow and steady and paying attention to the cues your ‘hand chakras’ are picking up.   If you are attracted to a certain area, don’t stop until you’ve assessed the complete energy field of the client.  Then you can go back and recheck and focus more intently.

Some healers start from the toes up to head, others start from the head down.  I like to start with the head, although I don’t think it matters. What is important is the different sensations you may feel (hot, cold, tingly, pressure etc.) emanating from the body.  Keep a note of the energies you feel/sense/intuit or makes notes of them in the client’s file.  Do whatever works for you.  I like to write things down, make quick notes and expand on them after the treatment.  Keeping a log not only helps me to remember, it has helped others who had similar issues.

I had noticed some swelling on the inside back of Fiona’s legs..  This area also felt very ‘hot’! As I sweeped over this area…..an image of a steaming vocano, seemed to indicate  an immobable inner conflict of frustration and anger.  Other areas noted were her fingernails which appeared brittle and dry, swollen eyes, wrists, feet and toes.  All these areas indicated an imbalance in the Meridians, especially the Liver and Spleen.  Other messages or cues were picked up in the Second and Third and Fourth Chakras.

AREAS OF FOCUS

THE SPLEEN CHAKRA

The spleen assimilates and distributes prana (chi, oxygen, life-force)  to all of the meridians.  It’s circulatory system also links to the liver, pancreas and the entire body. One of the necessary colors assimilated by the spleen is magenta-rose (neutral color).  Nerves of the etheric system that do not have enough magenta-rose are sensitive and prone to intense irritability.   After scanning Fiona’s body my hands intuitively wanted to return to the area of  her spleen.  As my hands hovered over this area, I was given the message this organ as well as the pancreas were the ones absorbing most of Fiona’s (shocking) upsets and emotionally charged situations.  I intuitively felt that Fiona had stifled alot of her own life, her own self in order to do what her family and husband wanted her to do.  Her Spleen showed me Fiona was not living the life she wanted!

(For your information, There is a chakra in addition to the main 7, called the alta major, it’s color is Magenta.   This unfamiliar chakra is located at the base of the back of the skull which contains memories and survival patterns from prehistoric time to present (collective unconscious); it also contains knowledge of our creative purpose. 

The atla major alerts us to dangers and contains the contractual agreement (our higher purpose) we made with our inner Self before being born.  It is also our telepathic link to others (interchangeable communication with others), to all knowledge as well as the center of higher truth.   

In healing, Magenta can be used for nervous as well as mental exhaustion.  It’s also an excellent color when we need help Spiritually, to understand and come to terms with why we’re in the situation we’re in.  We’ll see more of this chakra in Part 3 of  Fiona’s healing).   

THE HEART CHAKRA

Another area of interest was her Heart Chakra.  This chakra radiates the color Green and in Fiona’s there was alot of Yellow!  Yellow in this area is a person trying to control the emotions in their heart with their intellect.  After a person has gone through hopeless pains of rejection, they will be frightened to give their heart deeply.  Fiona was hurting deeply.

I asked Fiona if she felt a tightness in this area, which she nodded yes.  If you remember, at first glance, Fiona looked very pale.  This can be due to a problem with her blood circulation.  As I scanned her front and then her back, there appeared to be a blockage in her back at the rib area  this can cause a heaviness in one’s chest.

I also noted that Fiona needed to see her family doctor.

THE REIKI TREATMENT

Fiona laid down on the treatment bed face-up and the healing began.  From the head to the throat Fiona was relatively quiet.  When my hands reached her 4th chakra, I could feel she had shut this area down to retreat from her pain.  The problem with this, is when this area shuts down, we cannot receive or feel the love from anyone  else.   I asked Fiona to remember someone or something she loved deeply as a child.  Her first memory was her dog Elmo.  I asked her to visually remember Elmo and imagine him running joyfully towards her.  I asked  her to imagine giving him a big hug, then walking with him to their favorite place.  As she experienced the love of this moment, her Heart Chakra opened up.  Hues of Green flowed graciously to her Throat Chakra, her throat and heart opened up……

Fiona talked openly of her home and childhood and how she had always felt powerless and resentful in the face of her controlling parents.  She had learned at an early age to hold her frustration and anger inwardly….visually I saw a Grey closed box filled with three ghostly entities….humiliation, resentment and pain.

Remembering Elmo, helped Fiona to realize this beautiful cocker spaniel was the love of her life back then.

Fiona went on to say she had always felt neglected, abandoned and hated by her parents…..”since I can remember it was always this way.”   This caused her to withdraw from both herself and others……..leaving her with the feeling of why she was here (living) at all.  I sensed that what her unconscious really wanted was to feel alive again and to heal the wounds of her childhood. This created a search an unconscious attraction to someone who would meet her emotional needs.  This was when she met her husband.

As Fiona spoke of her past, her chakras, especially the heart, solar plexus and sacral released a tremendous amount of dark grey energy.  As I saw it filter up,  I used a counter clock motion to twist it up (like a corkscrew) and placed it in my imaginary bucket of sea salt.  When this was done, I used a rounded quartz crystal with the cleansing symbol Sei-Hei-Ki and the power symbol Cho-Ku Rei to remove the remainder of old energy.

When we were done this session, Fiona was surprised at how much lighter and bouncier she felt.  “It’s as if a huge boulder has been removed off my chest.”

I told Fiona I’d like to see her again the following week.  She wasn’t sure she’d have to the money to pay…..I offered to do the session with no fee.  It was also mentioned to make an appointment with her family doctor for a complete physical and to consider going to counselling.  I also gave her the name and phone number of a good friend of mine who specialized in natural healing foods and herbal medicines.   And one more suggestion was to look at Glucosamine Sulfate,  Chondroitin Sulfate and MSM.   All three have been known to reduce and slow down the progression of arthritis.

FIONA’S THIRD AND SUBSEQUENT VISITS

A power statement taught in my Reiki class was “you work with a patient until you start to see a change”.   As the body adjusts to the energetic charge of the Reiki Hand Placements, the patient begins to experience a perception change.

From my Reiki I Manual

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

 When a person has a long-term imbalance, there is usually not enough energy to trigger a higher immune response, and the “condition” seems stuck and on-going. But, when additional energy is introduced, then the immune system can draw upon it, kicking the body’s defense mechanism into a higher level of healing, and the condition will begin to change/mutate, the purification process is triggered, and the body re-gains balance and stability.

By doing Reiki on the specific hand positions, a practitioner can give the fastest “charge” to the glands that are responsible for maintaining ‘health’, and accelerating the healing process. It is possible to just lay hands on one area of the body, but it will take much longer for the energy to find its way and gather to each of the organs of the immune system. 

to be continued….

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

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

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

WHAT IS ARTHRITIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT CAUSES ARTHRITIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARTHRITIS AND THE INTESTINAL TRACT

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

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

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

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

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF ARTHRITIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS (Added July 30, 2014)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BODY/MIND

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

CASE STUDY # ONE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From my Reiki III manual…..

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

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

SUMMARY OF FIRST TREATMENT

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

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

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

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

Great site

http://www.arthritisgoaway.com/

 THE SECOND AND SUBSEQUENT VISITS  to be continued in part two

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“Louise Hay urges us to think of the heart as the center of joy and the seat of emotions in our lives. How well your life’s blood flows through your heart, arteries, and veins is linked to the degree which joy flows through your life. Cholesterol-blocked arteries symbolize a blocking of the flow of joy, or a suppression of emotion. Heart attacks, Hay says, happens when all the joy has been squeezed out of your heart………..moreover, we know that unresolved and unexpressed anger, sadness, and fear actually cause vasoconstriction, a tightening of the blood vessels connected to the heart. When you feel anger or fear, these blood vessels contrict in response to an outpouring of chemicals from the sympathetic nervous system……Joy and love stimulate the parasympatheic nervous system, which opens the blood vessels and creates more blood to flow to your heart…….Feeling and expressing all emotions, in a balanced way, is essential to health in the fourth emotional center [4th chakra].”
Mona Lisa Schulz

Physically, the Heart Chakra is the heart, circulatory system, lungs, respiriatory system, immune system and the arms and hands. This is the centre through which we love and there are many different kinds of love….selfish, demanding, possessive, contricting, tender and caring. When this chakra is balanced, we experience a ‘spiritual love’ in human beings and discover a greater sensitiviy and not so great a concern for material objects.

When this chakra is out of balance, it can lead to heart attacks, stomach ulcers, emotional rollercoasters, fear, bitterness and resentment.

There are six meridians in the arms and hands which we will go into great detail soon. First we need to get to the heart of matter.

GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

Suppressed Emotions And Attitudes

It has been said that suppressed emotions are the major cause of dis-ease in our society. Regrets, sorrow, guilt, shame, tear down the cells of he body while thoughts of hate generate a deadly poison. Resentment and anger have been known to create sickness and sorrow. Also, parents who dominate and control their children or fear for them…….their thoughts and anxieties are transferred to the child. The child acts out the parents feelings, producing behavioral and health problems for them both. In fact, parents can smother their children so much, the child’s soul is driven out of his/her body. These children lose their effectiveness to see the ‘Truth’ and their ‘diseased thought patterns’, ‘hardened attitudes’ begin building up as plague in their arteries.

In fact, Low blood pressure could be the result of feeling ineffectual or trapped. It portrays a feeling of weakness in certain life situations and unable to change one’s situation.

Psychologists and researchers have discovered that people who are able to express ‘love’ are healthier, tend to sick less and if they do, regain their health more quickly. Also they age more slowly, have better color, great skin, good posture and a healthy circulation. It is believed that thinking back to a ‘love’ moment creates interesting chemical changes in the body that balances the life flow in the body and brings peace to body and mind.

Of course let’s not forget processed foods, fatty acids, fast foods and years of dietary abuse. If you just tuned in, check out the archives for September and October in this blog for more information.

HARD-DRIVEN, HOT-HEADED TYPE A PERSONALITIES

When quoting Mona Lisa Scultz in this section, I purposely left out her comment on Type A personalities so we could discuss this at greater length later. She said “a vast number of heart attack victims are so-called type A personalities, often driven men whose passion derives exclusively from money, power, and position and who aren’t really much of a joy to have around.” And what of the women? Statistics are showing more and more women are suffering heart attacks too.

The heart, the mighty pump never stops working as long as you are living. But an overload of stress, anxiety and tension have been proven to erode vital blood vessels, the heart muscle itself and the physical body. People who are angry, competitive and always racing the clock can’t seem to relax even when the body is on automatic pilot or sleeping. Researchers and scientists named this type of behavior “Type A”, and also noted it was a common characteristic type for heart attack victms.

Type A people when in a ‘destructive mode’ are more likely to get angered and stressed over little frustrations, e.g., traffic jams, ticket and shopping lines, and little irritants that make their blood ‘boil’ regularly which acts upon the victim they least intend – themselves! The heart has to work harder, the blood pressure goes up and the liver, sensing a possilibity of injury, increases its cholesterol output. Put this all together and we get what is called Hypertension….the most probable cause of Heart Attacks.

But what is the major contributor to all this? I’m sure we could all say we have behaved from the extremes of Type A to the more laid back Type B behavior. Are Type A’s so gongho they don’t hear or ignore signals from their body? Most of us have pushed our bodies and minds to the max, which we know leads to physical tension, mental restlessness and strain. What we did was deplete our bodies energy, which also suffered wear and tear. Type B’s would respond to the body’s call but what of Type A? Would they continue to neglect the warning signs sent to the mind via the nervous system because their too busy negotiating deals, making money, working 24/7?

When we feel tired or fatiqued, it is a warning signal from the body to slow down and rest. But neglecting these messages the body will intensify these warnings with a headach, backache, eyestrain or irritability. If we still ignore the warnings or try to suppress them with medication, the body will continue to deteriorate. The signals will become so strong, they will force us to see medical help…..by then the body is in need of urgent attention.

High blood pressure can develop into angina, a narrowing of the arteries which happens when we are under great mental and physical stress. Mental and physical stress reduces our ability to give as well as to receive…..Type A’s have a strong need or are preoccupied with staying in control. They want to do everything themselves. This depletes their inner resources which is not continuously filled from learning or receiving from others. or receiving intuitive insights.

With high blood pressure, one has an exaggerated sense of self-importance, which leads a person to believe that he or she will have to do everything on their own. they are pushed from a position of fear, without trusting in the universe to support them.

When we withdraw or repress our feelings Artheriosclerosis, a thickening or hardening of the arteries can develop. Energetically it means we are out of balance, especially of giving and receiving.

ARTERIOSCLEROSIS, by Dep Shapiro

“In bodymind language, the arteries and veins represent the distribution and expression of love throughout your being. A restriction of these vessels implies a restriction in your ability to express yourself, perhaps a withdrawal or repression of feeling, and in particular a narrowing of your emotinal perspectives.
 
* Are you limiting or denying yourself love or support?

* Is this because you are trying to do much and not recognizing your own needs, not seeing where you need to ask for help?
…………
*Are you holding yourself back from involvement”


I found this interesting site Effects of an Angry Temperament on Coronary Heart Disease
http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/154/3/230

and this…..How to control Anger http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/How_To_Control_Anger

The Spielberger Temper Test

Dr. Spielberger developed an anger test that measures our general tendency to get angry and the intensity of anger at a given moment. High scores have been related to Hypertension which is one the major contributors to heart attacks. Apparently the test compares your anger level to that of the average man or woman. But what is average?

I did finally find the test after quite a bit of searching, it’s here http://www.yourhealthconnection.com/topic/angerassess but when I tried it and submitted my answer it came back as ‘not answered’.

If you do want to try the test, and would like to score yourself, here’s where your answers place you with the ‘average ranks’. If you are a man and scored 17, or a woman who scored 18, than you are considered in the ‘average’ category. If you scored below 13, then others don’t tend to provoke a response from you. But if you scored 23 or higher, you are highly stress prone and considered in the ranks of the hotheads. It means you have a tendency to feel anger and rage when frustrated which is considered a potentially lethal to your health.

Emotional stress not only affects the heart but also the lungs which are an extension of the heart. In fact the movment of the heart and lungs affect all the organs of the body through the sympathetic nervous system, which is part of the autonomic nervous system. (discussed in the September 21st issue of this blog)

Here’s a snip

“Blood pressure is controlled by the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system which works similar to a plane on ‘autopilot’. It ensures that your organs, such as your lungs or heart work without you thinking about it. Your awareness of this system is triggered when your body is threatened or needs (cries out) for your undivided attention. It is your nerves that carry these messages to the Thalamus also known as the ‘brains inner room’ . The Thalamus relays these nerve impulses to the cerebrum (responsible for our ability to speak, read and write) and helps you to realize ohh I’m in pain! Other areas of the brain tell you exactly where the hurt is coming from. The hypothalamus controls the movement of the heart, gut and bladder; makes us feel hungry, thirsty; feel angry or aggressive; and stops us from falling alseep during the day.”

Here’s a great site on the autonomic nervous system, which included the sympathetic… http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/auto.html

And wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sympathetic_nervous_system

Before looking at the heart chakra, let’s look at what happens when stress, anger, anxiety, etc. build up in our system…..a mixture of hormones are released by our adrenal glands (fight/flight response) which flows through the bloodstream and/or directly through the nerves. When this happens it suppresses our immune system. When the immune system is suppressed, it can’t work efficiently to protect the body which subsequently lowers our resistance to disease.

“We don’t yet understand all the ways in which brain chemicals are related to emotions and thoughts, but the salient point is that our state of mind has an immediate and direct effect on our state of body. We can change the body by dealing with how we feel. If we ignore our despair, the body receives a “die” message. If we deal with our pain and seek help, then the message is “Living is difficult but desirable”, and the immune systems works to keep us alive.” Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.

THE HEART CHAKRA

“Since the heart chakra is the middle point in a system of seven centers, balance is an essential principle at this level of integration. This implies both the internal balance between various aspects of ourselves (mind and body, persona and shadow, male and female), as well as balance between ourselves and the world around us (work and play, giving and receiving, socializing and being alone). Find this equilibrium supports the basic issues of love and relationship, for without balance with ourselves it is difficult, if not impossible to achieve healthy and long lasting love relationships…………..

The most common block in the heart chakra is the absence of self-love. How can we have intimacy with others if we are distanced from our own self? How can we reach out to others when we are drowning in shame and criticism? How can we maitain balance between ourselves and others if we have no blance within. How can we treat another with respect if we treat our selves abusively.” Anodea Judith, Eastern Body Western Mind

When the heart or 4th chakra is open, all the other chakras come into alignment with it. It is the “bridge” that connects the lower and upper chakras…and, the central powerhouse of the human energy system. The three lower chakras govern self-consciousness, survival and will. These chakras work together, and when balanced, create a receptacle for spiritual, universal messages as well as answers which are channeled through the physical body. So, the heart chakra connects our physical awareness to the spiritual……its sense is Touch. When we are born, we touch the earth and the earth touches us, physically, emotionally and symbolically. And, it is through touch we form relationships and create our existence. We touch each other physically but we are also touched by each other emotionally.

“On a mental level, the heart chakra functions on an emotional basis, our feelings and how we express them towards ourselves and to others. How we think gets turned into how we behave with our feelings on this level. When someone has acted badly towards us, the mind processes these actions and then sends these waves of information to our heart centre, who then in turns, sends them out as feelings of anger, fear or betrayal. When someone tells us that we are beautiful, our mind does the same. It sends these messages to the mind and the brain sends them to our heart centre and we experience feelings of love, joy and happiness, in return we emanate this energy out into our aura toward others. When we smile and radiate love outwards the whole world smiles back at us. It is the same when we are in a negative mood. The same energy comes outwards and lashes onto those around us. We have to learn just how powerful our feelings are, not only to ourselves, but to everyone we encounter. ” Terrific site on the chakras http://www.pharrah13.com/Chakra.html

Emotional neglect can also cause a person to become bitter, insensitive and perhaps even cruel. Abusive emotional behaviour is acted out not only with other people…..emotional neglect can lead to the abuse of animals, for instance, or a deep insensitivity to the needs of other forms of life including, the earth itself.

Without a strong foundation of Love, fear, anger, resentment and regret can develop in its place. All these as well as loneliness, attachment, possessiveness, a broken heart etc., can all lead to heart problems.

The heart is a pump! It freely circulates the blood through our veins. and does not like anyting restricting or limiting its function. This is why this chakra above all the others represents the saying, ‘Let go and let God’. The heart needs a sense of freedom or it will ‘act up’ trying to release itself from the grasp of its captor(s).

I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t had an emotional history of abandonment and betrayal. Overtime we try or succeed in letting some of these go. The ones that aren’t resolved, (grief. anger, etc.) affect our cholesterol levels, which not only begins to rise but also becomes inflamed and literally turns to stone. Your veins become hardened with calcium.

“When the heart is open and we feel the love of the universe percolating through our being, we feel the greatest security and self confidence. We learn to love without any attachment or feelings of possessiveness. When we truly realize who and what we are, fears and doubts vanish.” Alex Jones

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“Our blood corresponds to the life energy within us, the movement of love and vitality throughout our being. Blood pressure can be raised by exertion, shock, conflict, or passion. High blood pressure is usually due to increased pressure and stress or anger and similar hot emotions. If it does not normalize easily, then it is know as hypertension…

Those who have high blood pressure are often over-active, as if doing everything possible to avoid themselves. Activity is a way of averting aggressive or emotional impulses – high blood pressure is symbolic of feelings not being expressed or even acknowledged, creating a buildup of inner pressure. As the emotions begin to spill over, physical difficulties can develop. It is essential that we learn how to read the signs before damage is done, and to connect more deeply with what is seething just below the surface. These are hot emotions which, if ignored for too long, create a great deal of damage.
 
What is getting you so heated? Are you applying the pressure yourself or is it coming from outside you? Are you trying to avoid something that is making you angry or upset? If high blood pressure is due to panic or fear, we need to recognize the insubstantiality of external events to reconnect with our inner balance. Breath awareness and inner conscious relaxation are essential.”
Deb Shapiro, Your Body Speaks Your Mind

We’ve all had our adrenalin and blood pressure rise at some point in our lives; it peaked for a few moments or hours then slowly returned to normal. But for some it does not return to its ‘normal’ level. When it doesn’t, it’s labelled hypertension. Our blood pressure is controlled by the brain which goes through a cyclical rhythm throughout the day reacting to stresses and anxieties caused by outside influences. These cycles can affect the normal rhythm of the body and the blood’s circulation.

Blood pressure is controlled by the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system which works similar to a plane on ‘autopilot’. It ensures that your organs, such as your lungs or heart work without you thinking about it. Your awareness of this system is triggered when your body is threatened or needs (cries out) for your undivided attention. It is your nerves that carry these messages to the Thalamus also known as the ‘brains inner room’ . The Thalamus relays these nerve impulses to the cerebrum (responsible for our ability to speak, read and write) and helps you to realize ohh I’m in pain! Other areas of the brain tell you exactly where the hurt is coming from. The hypothalamus controls the movement of the heart, gut and bladder; makes us feel hungry, thirsty; feel angry or aggressive; and stops us from falling alseep during the day.

So high blood pressure is a perfectly natural response of the body under stressful conditions and exercise. When you go for your daily jog, your heart rate increases and your blood pressure goes up. The problem is when the blood pressure remains high after the stress has been eliminated and the exercise session ended.

Also, obesity and heart disease are escalating at an alarming rate, young and old alike…..and our children are more than ever before taking perscription medications for health……..and behavioral problems.

HYPOTHALAMUS AND MENOPAUSE

When progesterone, estrogen decreases, it affects the pituitary gland which is connected to and triggers the ovaries. It also has an intimate connection with the hypothalamus (that tiny gland in front of pituitary)….which reads our emotional reactions and tells us what ‘we ourselves have programmed’ to feel is alright or if there is a problem.

Here’s a great link explaining the Hypothalamus http://www.becomehealthynow.com/article/bodynervousadvanced/956/

Doctors once believed that since the blood pressure is controlled by the autonomic nervous system it wasn’t humanly possible to have conscious control of it. It has taken years of of several body/mind techniques to prove that the mind is definitely capable of taking charge. Before we venture into the study of these techniques, let’s look at the physical causes of high blood pressure.

PHYSICAL CONDITIONS AND HYERTENSION

There are many physical conditions that can elevate our blood pressure. Stress, smoking, salt, kidney disease, liver congestion, arteriosclerosis, nutrition and sometimes even tumors can cause our high blood pressure to rise.

STRESS

Stress can temporarily raise our blood pressure. It can be caused from an argument at home, with your boss, kids, spouse as well as fear, financial problems and other emotional problems that affect our sympathetic nervous system (SNS). When activated our SNS activates the adrenal glands to produce a hormone which tightens up or narrows the diameter of the blood vessels. This defense mechanism is actually supposed to help you function more efficiently by increasing the amount of oxygen and nutrients in the body’s tissues and cells. Temporarily this increase isn’t harmful unless you already have high blood pressure……in some instances this can cause a stroke.

As we age, the Hypothalamus can become overreactive and affect our stress fight/flight response. When the hypothalamus sees a problem it tells our adrenals, (adrenals see everything as a problem) and they pour out the adrenaline. The adrenals are situated just on top of the kidneys and help us through emergencies in life. If we are threatened the body produces adrenaline and cortisol (the ‘stress’ hormone) which creates within the body an intense flooded feeling even panic. Cortisol stays in the body longer than adrenaline, interferes with digestion and suppresses the immune system allowing tumors if present, to grow faster. Cortisol can create a fearful, threatened feeling that overstimulates our whole system. Unexplained muscle aches, chronic headaches, feeling hopeless or helpless and crying more than usual are signs of chronic overarousal. Anxiety coupled with cortisol has been known to cause unexplained heart palpitations, a nervous stomach, road rage and short temperedness.

FUTURE SHOCK

It was the book Future Shock (1970) that first described the diastrous effect of an accelerating ‘modern’ world on human life. Many other books since, have exposed this theory that too much change too fast weakens the body as well as its emotional and mental well being. Even if we are surrounded by material comfort, it will not reverse the damage done. The medical term for wear and tear upon the body is STRESS.

The widespread incidence of heart disease is increasing at an alarming rate…its becoming an epidemic. Not only men but women are suffering from hypertension and over half of all deaths result from circulatory disease. Not only that there has been an increase in the sale of sleeping pills which certainly indicates insomnia and sleeplessness is a major health problem and a precursor for other ailments including mental illness. And what about the stress on our children? Fighting, guns, knifes and behavioral problems are running rampant all over the world. Stress has become a serious problem!

SMOKING causes the blood vessels to constrict, decreasing oxygen and nourishment to the body as well as increased blood pressure. Nicotine has a stimulating effect on the adrenal glands which sends out a hormone (cortisol) to help defend the body from this toxin.

Also, smoking has been linked with cancer, osteoporosis, migraines, early menopause, immune disorders, insommia, stress, insulin reduction and many other problems.

Very interesting link http://www.physicsforums.com/archive/index.php/t-87214.html

“Cortisol imbalances due to inflammation can cause fatigue in several ways. Because cortisol is designed to keep you alert in times of stress, it can cause insomnia, and the lack of quality sleep will make you tired. Cortisol also suppresses insulin production to keep the sugar available for muscles in a stress response, and can result in low blood sugar, which will also make you fatigued. Lastly, your adrenal glands can ultimately become exhausted from the constant demands placed on them to produce endless amounts of cortisol, usually as a response to chronic inflammation from a poor diet and smoking.”

Also from this site……

“When your body is stressed and in fight-or-flight mode, it doesn’t want to expend any energy for immune system functions that are of no importance until you’ve either fought off or run away from whatever is endangering you. After the stress is over, the body assumes you may have some injuries which require an immune response to fight infected wounds, at which point the immune system kicks in again. But as long as your body is producing cortisol, even if it is just in response to inflammation, the immune system can become suppressed.

Experiments have shown that cortisol can reduce white blood cell production by 38%, and that prolonged elevation of cortisol can damage the thymus gland which produces these immune cells.”

Another great link with several interesting articles attached…..

http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/272/1/151

SALT/SODIUM CHLORIDE

In this fast paced world many of us are digesting too many processed foods which are extremely high in salt content. Energy drinks designed to ‘boost’ your energy and keep you awake are ladened with caffeine and salt. When the body is overtaxed with these substances, it short-circuits and literally blows a fuse, which causes your system to breakdown. Salt is one of the most powerful stimulants for the body!

When sodium levels become excessive, wastes cannot be discharged from our cells and nutrients are not absorbed as well either. When this happens, cellular fluid increases and edema (water retention) can occur. This creates extra pressure on the blood vessels which increases the pressure inside causing high blood pressure.

One way of telling if you have too much salt in your system is by the amount of salt in your perspiration. Do you notice a white ring under the arms of that dark shirt you were wearing the other day. This white residue or dried perspiration is an indication of too much salt accumulation.

KIDNEY DISEASE

The main function of the kidneys (part of the urinary system) is to remove toxins and excess water. They have been known to filter almost 400 gallons of blood a day and over a quart of urine a day!

From http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4647

“The kidneys regulate the body’s fluid volume, mineral composition and acidity by excreting and reabsorbing water and inorganic electrolytes. This helps balance these substances (which include sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, sulfate, phosphate and hydrogen) in the body and keep their normal concentrations in the extracellular fluid. Body fluid volumes, which are regulated by the kidneys, are related to blood volume and the blood pressure in your arteries.”

A sodium/potassium imbalance can prevent the kidneys from eliminating liquid wastes from the body. Smoking has been known to be a contributor to kidney disease as well as lack of exercise, too much salt, excessive caffeine and a poor diet. etc.

LIVER

The liver processes about 6 cups of blood each minute….in fact all the blood in the body flows through the liver both to detox and pick up nutrients which it stores. It is one of the most important internal organs and considered the ‘master chemist’ of the body. If it becomes congested with toxins or chemicals a back pressure builds up which can cause hypertension. In fact liver congestion is one of the major causes of high blood pressure and heart problems.

ATHEROSCLEROSIS

Atherosclerosis is caused by a buildup of plaque in the arteries. Plaque is a combination of cholesterol, calcium, triglycerides, blood proteins, etc. that overtime hardens and narrows the arterial system, reducing circulation and oxygen supply to the body.

More on this later in the Cholesterol section.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF ATHEROSCLEROSIS

From…. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Atherosclerosis/Atherosclerosis_Signs.html

“Atherosclerosis usually doesn’t cause signs and symptoms until it severely narrows or totally blocks an artery. Many people don’t know they have the disease until they have a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke.***

Some people may have other signs and symptoms of the disease. These depend on which arteries are severely narrowed or blocked.

The coronary arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart. When plaque narrows or blocks these arteries (a condition called coronary artery disease, or CAD), a common symptom is angina (AN-ji-na or an-JI-na).

Angina is chest pain or discomfort that occurs when your heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood. Angina may feel like pressure or a squeezing pain in your chest. You also may feel it in your shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back.
This pain tends to get worse with activity and go away when you rest. Emotional stress also can trigger the pain.

Other symptoms of CAD are shortness of breath and arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats).
The carotid arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your brain. When plaque narrows or blocks these arteries (a condition called
carotid artery disease), you may have symptoms of a stroke. These symptoms include sudden numbness, weakness, and dizziness.

Plaque also can build up in the major arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the legs, arms, and pelvis (a condition called peripheral arterial disease). When these arteries are narrowed or blocked, it can lead to numbness, pain, and sometimes dangerous infections.”

HEALTH AND NUTRITION

Again, prepared foods and fast food outlets are taking their toll on our health. It’s only recently they have taken trans fats out of their menus but high sodium levels and saturated fats are still in the food, a precursor for high blood pressure and heart disease.

Just imagine your morning breakfast, consisting of a cup of coffee, cereal, toast, juice, all landing in your stomach simultaneously. How does your stomach sort out the entire mess and how? Forcing the stomach to process all different kinds of food at once is taxing to the system. It’s like trying to balance your check-book, calculate your income tax and figure out a budget, all at the same time! Yikes!

Our body can only take so much interal abuse before it begins to show signs of disease. We need to continue to be on the alert for new better ways to improve our diet, emotions and lifestyle…..they are all closely interwoven.

to be continued…..

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