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Posts Tagged ‘anxiety’

neck muscles front

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neck Meridians

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

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

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

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

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

ANATOMY OF THE NECK

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

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

Neck Muscles Back

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

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

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

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

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

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

ANOTHER METAPHYSICAL PERSPECTIVE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE THROAT CHAKRA

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Solar Plexus 3rd Chakra)

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE SACRAL (2nd) CHAKRA

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

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

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

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

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

BEGINNING THE PROCESS OF HEALING

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

THE THREE A’s

Awareness, Acceptance, Adjustment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

**

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

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

ASSIGNMENT ~ FEELINGS LOG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To work with feelings, you must use feelings.

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

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

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

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

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

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

**

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

**

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BREATHE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Links

Trapezius muscle release (youtube)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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EMOTIONAL BURDENS ARE A MAJOR CAUSE OF BACK PROBLEMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PART ONE OF THIS SERIES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

to be continued…..

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

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

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

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

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

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF INSOMNIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT IF….INSOMNIA IS CAUSED BY SOMETHING ELSE?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RESTLESS SLEEP

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

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

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

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

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

WHEN RELAXING IS UNRELAXING

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

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

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

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

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

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS THAT ARE KNOWN TO DISRUPT SLEEP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CORTISOL OVERLOAD

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

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

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

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

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

CORTISOL IMPACTS THE LIVER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Liver Meridian Gallbladder meridian

THE ADRENAL GLANDS AND SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE PINEAL GLAND AND SLEEP

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

Some Autonomic Nervous System Disturbances

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHY IS SLEEP SO POWERFUL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

REM AND NREM SLEEP

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

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

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

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

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

“BODY SCANNING

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

PART II ~ INSOMNIA ~ RULES FOR BETTER SLEEP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUPPLEMENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Valerian – an effective stress reducer and sedative

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

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

Links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To be continued….

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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Psoriasis is believed to be an autoimmune disorder, caused by too many ‘excited’ T-cells being produced in the skin. T cells perform many tasks in the body, including recognizing and destroying different antigens in the body. All this is done to keep the blood clean and free of debris. Normally these are cleared from the body as the blood flows through the liver.  In fact, our bodies house several organs (intestines, kidneys, liver, lungs, skin) that help detoxify and remove harmful toxins.  When these get backed up they interfere with the body’s main plumbing system, the lymphatic system.

“The lymphatic system includes lymph vessels and nodes, thymus gland, tonsils and spleen. It’s really a network of tubing that drains waste products from tissues, produces disease-fighting white blood cells (lymphocytes) and antibodies, and carries the bulk of the body’s waste from the cells to the final elimination organs. Experts call the lymphatic system a secondary circulatory system, because it assists the bloodstream with millions of tiny ducts that collect tissue fluid not needed by the capillaries or skin and returns it to the heart for recirculation, because special filtering lymph nodes remove infective organisms, so your lymph system is also a key to your body’s immune defenses. 

Liver health is a key to lymphatic health. The liver produces the majority of lymph, and lymph a major route for nutrients from  the liver. The integrity of the lymph system is dependent on immune cells in the liver that filter out harmful bacteria and destructive yeasts .….. The valves of the lymph system move the waste-filled fluids to be flushed and filtered. But since there is no pump as there is with the heart, lymph circulation depends solely upon our breathing and muscle movement. Physical exercise and diaphragmatic deep breathing are critical to lymph cleansing and to healthy immune response.” Linda Page ~ Detoxification: Programs to Cleanse, Purify & Renew

The normal life expectancy of an average skin cell is approximately 28 days (curiously this coincides with the cycle of the Moon) but with psoriasis sufferers their immune system is so hyperactive, that cytokines cause the skin cells to produce way too quickly, maturing in as little as three to six days before shedding off the surface of the skin. As all this is happening, a good deal energy has been diverted from other parts of the body to focus on the skin.  This may be why certain areas of the body are comprised—psoriasis has been linked with candida, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, and high cholesterol—all inflammatory conditions.

WHAT IS PSORIASIS

Psoriasis (Heat in the Blood) is a chronic, inflammatory disease that can take on the colors of fire-engine red, pale pink or even purplish.  Reproducing ten times faster than normal skin, it appears as red scaly patches of skin topped by silvery scales that appear on different parts of the body such as the elbow, knees, scalp, back and other places too.  In the beginning patches may be small then increase in size and number.   Some food triggers for psoriasis are: alcohol, tobacco, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, hot peppers and excessive coffee.

Psoriasis is sometimes combined with arthritis, especially rheumatoid which has been referred to as psoriatic arthritis, but there are many other kinds of psoriasis—the most common is plaque psoriasis which we mentioned in the previous paragraph—other forms are:.

a)Guttate (dot like (teardrop) lesions) sometimes occurs after strep throat
b)Pustular (pustules over inflamed skin – localized, affecting palms of hands, soles of feet)
c) Inverse (intense inflammation and little scaling in body folds)
d) Erythrodermic (intense sloughing and inflammation of the skin)

“… psoriasis is an indication that you are uncomfortable in your own skin and have a desire to turn over a new leaf. You don’t feel recognized or acknowledged for who you really are and suffer from a degree of identity disorder wanting to take on a personality other than your own. You are having difficulty accepting who you are in this life. The message your body is sending you is that you need to love and accept yourself in all your humanness, with all the flaws, weaknesses, and fears as well as talents, abilities and tremendous potential you were given. Let go of your fear of rejection and stop being ashamed of yourself. Your Body is Telling You: Love Yourself ~ Lise Bourbeau

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory, hypersensitive, painful rash. Treatment involves detoxifying the internal organs, such as the liver, pancreas and intestines but also healing repressed emotions of pain, grief and unresolved trauma for a lasting cure. Known as a chronic nervous system infection, psoriasis thrives on chronic frustration and disappointment that becomes agitated and irritated when things aren’t going our way. Fearing that everything will fall apart, individuals with psoriasis experience rage over the loss of support and money. They’re anxious and nervous about life and relationships. When they’re afraid or feel they’re being attacked, their ‘startle reflex’ kicks in and they fight back with the exact same aggression they were confronted with.  Many times there’s a feeling of being taken advantage of and that others suck them dry of energy; they feel unplugged from their spiritual nature.

When psoriasis individuals are overwhelmed they’ll isolate themselves, and turn on themselves when they don’t meet their own expectations. They become judgmental and self-critical to the point of creating self-destructive behavior. They’re desperate to prove that they can succeed and manifest their dreams – and that they can do it without the help of anyone else, which is a real paradox because they want others to be there to help and support them.

“Constant interruptions and continuous phone calls, creates more tension in me than for many people I know.  Tension creates anxiety and anxiety creates tension..the problem for me is I have work to do and can’t find time to do it..all those constant interruptions…this was my rationalization but honestly I was avoiding the basic issue.  The real problem…I was feeling guilty and self-critical whenever I couldn’t accomplish my work. …This happened the other day, I planned my work for the day and wouldn’t you know it, nothing but interruptions ..the buzzer went, the phone kept ringing…staff popped in with something that couldn’t wait…my irritation mounted .. I had only accomplished a tiny percentage of the work I had given myself. Then someone walked in that I had totally forgotten I was to see and when she walked in I looked anxiously at all the unfinished work on my desk. I was friendly on the surface but below was an undercurrent of frustration…I knew she was aware of this, I saw it reflected in her expression and body language…..

Examining my feelings later, I felt guilt at not completing my tasks and guilt for not being able to cope with all the continuous interruptions…my god I was rationalizing my anxiety…when inwardly it was a sense of failure…. then I remembered as a child only being accepted when I performed my tasks well…if I wasn’t in constant motion…I felt guilty…my parents anxiety was transmitted to me.  Now I found that I could only accept myself ‘if’ I finished my tasks on time.  I felt guilty and inadequate when I didn’t…there was no parent criticizing…it was the parent within…my guilt wasn’t ‘real guilt’ it was ‘false guilt’ conditioned from childhood… This inner processing was very healing for me.” (Psoriasis sufferer ~ Tom Mettsley)

Skin is soft tissue, reflecting our attitudes, behaviors, experiences and hidden mental problems; it has to do with—how we think others see us, and—how we see ourselves. Irritation and criticism with ourselves can result in our skin breaking out..expressing our inner state of confusion.

For Mitch who was mentioned in the previous article, Bipolar Part III  he had a father who was abusive and an alcoholic—and a mother who cleaned endlessly or was overly involved in the community—she was escaping to avoid her husband and family.  When Mitch lived at home he was constantly on hyper-alert from the cruel humiliations of his father, he experienced intense emotional up and downs and handled his anxiety by using drugs, alcohol and being overly busy.  Alcohol paralyzes the higher brain centers where judgment takes place and lessens anxiety temporarily. At twelve years of age Mitch was diagnosed with manic depression and a sufferer of psoriasis.

Although Mitch’s astrological chart had the potential for strength, confidence and a strong will, he tended to be indecisive, perhaps even timid, especially at times of stress.  He concealed his strengths and weaknesses and was hurt by many who didn’t understand him.  When deeply hurt he lashed out with a vengeance—having out-and-out screaming fights—forcing others to fight back and a few times arrested by the law.   Fighting was a structure he was lost in; it gave him a false feeling of being strong and real, rather than being whoever he was.  Mitch was afraid to take the risk of connecting and becoming vulnerable to another. He had to be in charge of his relationships with another. He’d aggressively fight to win and if he did, Mitch said he felt terrible afterwards and felt it colliding with a sense of shame. He said he couldn’t stand being used or manipulated.  Mitch was an alcoholic and a drug-user by the age of 12 and left home at the tender age of 15; he’s only 18 now.

“Psoriasis is like a volcano erupting from the pressure of unseen forces just below the surface of a person’s life. The body is releasing fear, frustration, anger and other toxic emotions. The painful, itchy psoriasis flare-up is a strong signal of rebellion against the level of stress the person is experiencing.” Deadly Emotions ~ Don Colbert

People who have suppressed their feelings are out of touch with them and weren’t permitted to express them as child.  Where they grew up they were probably like Mitch, scared, terrorized, and on hyper-alert all the time. I asked Mitch to look at how he might be mimicking both his mother and father—like raising his voice and scaring the wits out of people—or like his mom, running away from his problems. Psoriasis can lead to low self-confidence and low self-esteem. It can cause feelings of fear, embarrassment, anger, depression, and guilt. What they need to realize is that the present is not the past and that they are not likely to be in any danger with the people they relate to or in a relationship with. Some form of meditation or breath awareness is beneficial for people with psoriasis or who are overly emotional.

What can cause or make psoriasis worse? Stress, hormone imbalance, allergic reactions, toxic substances, the food you eat, and vitamin, mineral, and nutrient deficiencies. Stress makes your psoriasis worse by depleting vitamins and minerals that are essential to your health. It weakens your digestive system by reducing the amount of digestive enzymes you make, making it harder for your stomach and intestines to properly digest the food you eat. Stress also weakens your adrenal glands, which among other duties, control inflammation. Long-term stress overworks the adrenals until they shut you down from exhaustion.

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.

PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS

Article(s) on the Metaphysical causes of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are here

“Psoriasis can also cause psoriatic arthritis, which affects and resembles swollen, painful joints, much like that of rheumatoid arthritis.

Both psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis are chronic diseases that get worse over time, but you may have periods when your symptoms improve or go into remission alternating with times when symptoms become worse.

Psoriatic arthritis can affect joints on just one side or on both sides of your body. The signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis often resemble those of rheumatoid arthritis. Both diseases cause joints to become painful, swollen and warm to the touch.

However, psoriatic arthritis is more likely to also cause:

Swollen fingers and toes. Psoriatic arthritis can cause a painful, sausage-like swelling of your fingers and toes. You may also develop swelling and deformities in your hands and feet before having significant joint symptoms.

Foot pain. Psoriatic arthritis can also cause pain at the points where tendons and ligaments attach to your bones — especially at the back of your heel (Achilles tendinitis) or in the sole of your foot (plantar fasciitis).

Lower back pain. Some people develop a condition called spondylitis as a result of psoriatic arthritis. Spondylitis mainly causes inflammation of the joints between the vertebrae of your spine and in the joints between your spine and pelvis (sacroiliitis). ”  http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriatic-arthritis/basics/symptoms/con-20015006

THE THIRD LUNG

The skin, is the body of the soul; Traditional Chinese Medicine refers the skin as the ‘third lung’ and the skin’s condition is seen as a reflection of the health of the lungs.  Metaphysically, it is said that people who suffer from eczema and psoriasis are ‘weeping through their skin’.  With skin problems, some sadness needs expressing—a sadness for whatever reason has been held in and silenced—this holding in manifests itself in painful or irritating rashes. You could say psoriasis is a cluster of attitudes of defensiveness, criticism, resentment, suspicion, fear, worry and the like.  I say a cluster of attitudes because some cases of psoriasis can be seen huddled together like aphids. These tiny insects breed and suck up energy at a breathtaking pace.  This becomes an area where we become defensive and very touchy.

When we are holding onto something that should be let go, we become defensive and rigid wherever we go.  Defensiveness hardens into our character, protecting us when we feel threatened by others. When this defense mechanism is alerted, we either recoil, crawling into our shells at the first sign of trouble, or our anger rapidly boils to the surface and simmers there. Psoriasis and other skin problems can become a crutch to hide behind when painful and difficult situations arise that you don’t want or don’t know how to meet head-on. It’s quite possible you’re afraid of being controlled and caught off guard.

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

“If your body becomes overrun by toxic substances, your skin will become inflamed and your skin cells will reproduce too fast, leaving behind the pile of silvery scales characteristic of psoriasis. This can happen when your liver isn’t doing its job properly, when you don’t digest your food properly, when you get an infection, and when you have a food allergy. Toxic substances in your intestines enter your blood stream through the intestinal wall. Some substances that can do this and hurt you are Candida albicans (a yeast-like fungus), bacterial protein breakdown products, allergic reaction byproducts, and free radicals.” The Psoriasis Cure ~ Lisa LeVan

The skin, similar to the lungs, breathes, exhales toxins through perspiration and inhales sunlight and nutrients from the air. If the lungs are healthy, the skin has less work to do; if the lungs are weak and Metal energy is deficient, the skin must work harder to eliminate excess toxins. Weak lungs = poor circulation = poor skin because the blood supply is struggling to circulate to the skin.  Your circulation brings nutrients to the cells and also helps in flushing away toxins and other waste materials.

The lung meridian has an intimate relationship between breath, pulse, blood and energy. It controls the skin, which is the largest organ of elimination, therefore poor skin is an indicator of weak lungs. Just as the lungs exhale carbon dioxide the skin exudes toxins and wastes through the pores. This meridian is linked to the nose and sense of smell so a clogged or runny nose will indicate a lung condition. It also controls the autonomic nervous system.

When you suppress your feelings of sadness, grief, anger and pain, you also suppress the love and joy along with them.  Emotions stuffed deep in the unconscious but still acting through the autonomic nervous system cause the endocrine glands to falter weakening the resistance of the lymphatic system as well as the suppression of the elimination system, causing a backup of toxins in the body

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) derived its name from the fact that it operates without any conscious control or thought (breathing, digestion, heart rate).  It affects every gland and organ in the body.  Learning to control the autonomic nervous system through meditation and/or biofeedback creates a finely tuned communication system between our mind and our higher self

One of the issues that everyone faces when clearing up their emotional debris is how to let go of the situation and the beliefs surrounding it.  To do this we have to understand the ‘mind’ and the mind isn’t just in the brain but in every part of the body.  It is constantly recording stimuli and input and experience.  The mind is the seat of all our beliefs, perceptions, experiences, memories and aspirations.  It is the most powerful tool we have in our possession and also the most difficult one to control.  A portion of the mind, is also connected to the autonomic nervous system which is always active, even while asleep, giving us the gift of life by keeping our organs and systems working together, by controlling our circulatory system, breathing, heart-rate, blood pressure, etc.   The autonomic is also the domain of your unconscious mind, your dreams and all your memories of present and past lives.

When you breathe in, not only do you inhale air into the lungs but at the same time blood is pumped through every tissue of the body. Deep slow breathing is, therefore, a powerful driving force in the body’s circulation. The heart is the pump that propels blood into the arterial area, while the lungs act as a suction pump on the circulation.

STRESS

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

The constant release of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol can sear the body in a way that is similar to acid searing metal. Even hours after the output of these chemicals, they still remain high in the body, elevating blood sugar levels, causing damage to the immune system, decalcifying our bones and thinning our skin. Long term emotional stress can reach chronic levels with the production of these hormones.  This is when toxic emotions become deadly emotions. This powerful ongoing infusion of chemicals injures tissues and organs, resulting in many different autoimmune dis-eases.

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

CANDIDA AND LEAKY GUT

As soon as food is eaten, the digestive system begins to separate food into minute particles and compounds, which are then capable of passing through the walls (Epithelium Cells) of the small intestine and then into the bloodstream. The movement these minute food particles, from one side of the intestinal wall to the outerside is known as osmosis. The continuous movement of nutrients can only take place when there are a variety of minerals from the food we eat. Refined and processed foods lack the minerals needed for this, causing waste and impurities to enter the bloodstream.

When different areas of the intestinal tract become irritated, inflamed or breached, we can suffer from an array of symptoms such as: constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, indigestion, gas, bloating and cramps, and these are usually caused by a leaky gut which further causes allergies, anemia, fatigue, weight loss, arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, muscle pain and more. Symptoms can persist for years with people bouncing from doctor to doctor without ever being properly diagnosed. While these diseases have different names, they have one thing in common—a leaky gut.

“A leaky gut is a condition in which the small intestine wall become inflamed and breached with tiny pinholes that leak putrid food particles into the blood stream. Your immune system builds antibodies to the proteins in this fecal matter and your body attacks these proteins as if they were foreighn germs. Thatis why it is called an auto-immune disease, because your immune system becomes confused between its own protein and foreign protein. It goes on to attack protein in other parts of the body such as between the joints, causing rheumatoid arthritis. The bone and muscle pain of fibromyalgia and lupus is also attributed to the spread of toxins through a leaky gut. As the cascade of inflammatory reactions spreads to the lungs, it results in asthma. These poisons infiltrate the blood and lymph and overload the liver’s ability to detoxify them. Some of this overload emties into the skin, manifesting as psoriasis or excema. Other dry skin problems result from the malabsorption of essential fats and B-vitamins. Other dry skin problems result from the malabsorption of essential fats and B-vitamins. Anemia and other nutrient deficiencies develop because of the impaired assimilation, in spite of all those supplements you take” Better Nutrition Magazine ~ by Steve Meyerowitz

All the physical and chemical changes in the body happen through a process called metabolism, which is basically defined as the way your body processes and changes the food you eat into energy.  For metabolism to work properly your blood needs a sufficient amount of oxygen, glucose and certain nutrients.  If your metabolism is sluggish, your cells will have problems receiving the nutrients they need to function.

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

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

A full article on the metaphysical causes of Candiasis is here

MOLDS IN FOODS AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Molds are important to add here as they are absorbed, inhaled and eaten, producing substances that are toxic to the nerves and particularly to the central nervous system.  Molds produce antibiotics which are actually released in the immediate environment, and as we know with Candida, antibiotics look to kill competing bacteria—even the good ones. It’s important to know that these fungi’s are capable of damaging the body’s nerves and tissue cells as well as mild to severe mental and physical changes in a person.

A person can become sensitized when a foreign substance enters the body through inhalation, ingestion, injection or absorption through the skin. Imagine, a tiny piece of skin about the size of a quarter contains 3 feet of blood vessels, 12 feet of nerves, 25 nerve cells, 100 sweat glands, and more than 3,000,000 cells; phew, that’s quite a complex team working 24/7.

METAPHYSICALLY HEALING PSORIASIS

“The key to healing lies in the unconscious.  If we can become aware of the memories stored in our bodies and bring them to mind, we can gain a different, nonrational understanding of how the past influences the present and our conscious minds and actions.  We can do it if we learn to tap into what I call the intuition network, to help us envision and create healthier lives, instead of allowing old memories and patterns of behavior to continue re-creating painful experiences.” Mona Lisa Schulz

Balance is not something we were born with, it is learned through experiences. Life is a blend of happiness and sadness, of good and bad times. Many of our issues and challenges in life, especially relationships come from our misunderstanding of ‘love’ and a lack of love for ourselves. When this happens we have a tendency to fold our arms over our chest or stiffly hold them at our sides……we feel awkward and self-conscious afraid to let go and share our vulnerabilities to others. It also prevents us from revealing our strengths.

“When there is chaos between family members, there is an increased risk of hair loss (alopecia) not to mention psoriasis and other skin problems.

So as you can see, having solid external relationships is essential to our health. Science backs if up by showing that “social integration” – wide social networks and social support – creates stronger immune systems. In fact, studies show that more and better relationships mean more and better white blood cells, which help us resist infections and protect us from a wide variety of health perils, including arthritis, depression and the worsening of symptoms of conditions like tuberculosis. Social interaction also decreases the amount of medication people need and accelerates their recovery from illness. .” ALL IS WELL ~ Louise L. Hay and Mona Lisa Sculz

Usually, when we have problems with the skin, we need to look at the liver and gall bladder and their meridians. What we’re looking at is old debris that has cluttered and accumulated in the system. Inner frustrations also clog the ‘system’ and the intake of excess foods and alcohol will tax the liver. Stress definitely has something to do with it along with psychological disappointments and letdowns. If the system becomes sluggish the person usually feels tired and when we’re tired we eat for energy and usually with all the wrong foods.

Also, if one has been undergoing deep self-examination it can leave them feeling extremely sensitive about virtually everything.

Sometimes when we are on a spiritual journey we feel an inner restlessness arising – as if it wants to burst free from our physical frame! Our bodies on the other hand want to protect that which is struggling and fight hard to adjust to the fire of this awakening spirit.

“The breath carries oxygen throughout the bloodstream, and it also carries prana or spiritual energy, which is the esoteric correlation to oxygen.  Prana energizes the physical body through a network of meridians—the fine channels that are components of the silver cord or the thread of life—by sending energy through the etheric or spiritual network.  The force currents along these lines are linked with each other, and with the nervous system of man.  They enter the body through the spleen.” Jeanne Avery 

The skin really is the body of the soul.  It is actually one of the richest sources of all the hormones found in the body.  When we stimulate the skin we can cause a shower of healing chemicals into our blood stream.  One of the most important of these are growth factors or growth hormones.  By simply stimulating the skin we can produce these growth factors or hormones right into our blood stream.  Like the other organs, the skin is also the seat of emotions.  When we are deeply moved we say we were deeply touched.  We describe situations as sticky, ticklish or prickly, all these have to do with sensations in our body.  Therefore the experience of touch or sensation linked to a thought is really what an emotion is.  Once again, we can influence emotions, feelings and desires through our skin as a result of the release of these hormones.

“Psycho/emotionally your skin is your boundary, the meeting place between you and the outer world. Therefore, skin issues often arise when someone or something has cross that boundary and “gets under your skin,” or where communication is making your “skin crawl.”

Are you feeling invaded, trespassed upon, or have you gone beyond your limitations and reached out too far?
Or perhaps you are limiting yourself too much, holding back inside while putting up a protective cover?
Are your boundaries being penetrated against your wishes?
What and who is getting under your skin?
Are you trying to break free of restrictions being imposed on you?
Is a fear of intimacy making you resist touching and feeling?”  YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro

Once we take back the responsibility for what we are feeling, we experience a tremendous power in our lives. We no long feel like a victim or bystander; we no longer give others the power to decide how we experience our lives. Also, the others in our lives will be more open to us when they see that we no longer blame them for what we are feeling, and they will be more willing to assume responsibility for their own feelings.

BELLY BREATHING

Breathing is essential to life and when you breathe properly, it can help you clear your mind and reach higher states of awareness. Belly breathing can help you relax ay time you are tense. When you feel anxious about something, just close your eyes and take 5 to 10 deep breaths. Deep breathing can also energize you, when you’re feeling tired or drained or if you’ve been breathing from the chest. Retrain your body to breathe properly, from your diaphragm or belly.

Life flat on the floor or on your bed. Take a few deep breaths and feel yourself relax. Place one hand on your abdomen. Take a deep breath through your nose. As you inhale, let your abdomen push your hand out.

As you exhale, feel your hand go down. Do this 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath. Breathing this way may feel strange to you at first, but with practice you’ll become accustomed to it. Try to do belly breathing every day. A good time to do this is when you get into bed at night—when you first wake up in the morning—and any time you want to relax.
Deep abdominal breathing and exercise are all ways to support lymphatic circulation. Every time we contract a muscle, the muscle rubs against numerous lymph vessels, stimulating them to contract. This is another reason exercise is so good for us!

JUMP AND SHAKE

“EXERCISE: While all exercise stimulates the lymph, jumping on the rebounder is the best. If you do not have room for a rebounder, a jump-and-shake exercise works just as well. With feet slightly apart, you jump just a little and then shake the body. It is similar to dancing in African tribes that bob-and-shake type of dance.

The bounce and shake routine gets your heart pumping and your body moving so that your metabolism starts working. Follow the following steps to do the bounce and shake:

• Standing with knees slightly bent, feet comfortably apart, bounce up and down easily without lifting heels off the ground

• As you bounce, let your arms hang, relaxed, by your side. Shake your hands

• Nod your head up and down in a comfortable range of motion, 2 to 4 inches

• As you nod back and look up, breathe in through your nose to the count of 5, and then exhale to the count of 5 as you lower your head

• During the first minute, breathe through your nose; During the second minute make a noise originating from the base of your throat – like snoring; Then breathe in through your nose, and out through puckered lips, as if blowing out a birthday candle

• Stop bouncing and shaking. Take a moment to feel the vibrations you have created throughout your body. http://www.lynnkoiner.com/astrology-articles/the-lymphatic-system-from-elaine-hruska

BECOME AWARE OF YOUR POSTURE AND RELAX

Whenever you become aware of the position of your body, you immediately relax and experience a flow of energy because you’re listening and communicating with your body and its surroundings.

CHANGE YOUR POSTURE – CHANGE YOUR MOOD

Our posture expresses how we’re feeling, correcting it will change the way you feel.

*COLOR HEALING

 “…lie or sit, and close your eyes, imagine you hold a laser bream made of different colors in your hands. Visualize moving this light on any area of your skin that is irritated, dry, swollen, itchy or spotty. Observe the light changing color according to the part of the body the laser is treating. For example, if the skin is red, the laser may change to blue to counteract the redness. If the skin is dry, the laser may change to pink to regenerate the area; or if the skin is swollen, orange rays are great to calm the swelling. And if the skin is itchy, yellow rays can help to soothe it. Focus on letting go of all anger, frustration, self-criticism, irritation, and dislike of yourself.

Say: “Divine Healing Intelligence, please release all irritation, anger, frustration, criticism, invalidation, and insecurity I carry in my skin, as well as all points of view, all patterns, and the positive and negative that contribute to this condition.” Repeat the word “CLEAR” until you feel a shift occur.

In your mind’s eye, observe your skin beginning to clear, becoming radiant, lustrous, glowing, and soft. How does it feel to have this new skin? Allow yourself to take lone deep breaths and enjoy your renewed skin.” The Secret Language of Your Body ~ Inna Segel

*Suggestion: When I took a Chromotherapy (color-healing) course, blue was the color of all over-heated conditions in the body that needed cooling.  It’s also a color for the imbalance of yeast, bacteria or fungus in your system. It heals problems with the skin, the reproductive system, the eyes and chest.  Violet moves through the etheric and subtle bodies, helping to remove old and worn out patterns of behavior.

Youtube ~ Louise Hay ~ Healing Skin Problems – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKXISPDqPvA

NATURAL REMEDIES FOR PSORIASIS

Holistic healing is about natural remedies and treatments along with wholesome foods, exercise, sunshine, fresh air, positive thinking, the love of work, and a balanced lifestyle. Below are some ideas to help with psoriasis. I’m sure there’s many, many more out there.

MINERALS

Minerals play an important role in regulating the acid/alkaline levels of the body, and, they are a major factor in regard to your metabolism. They are the spark plugs of the body, transmitting vital electrical and magnetic forces (positive/negative charges) which are constantly required to energize the body and keep it running efficiently.  There are fourteen essential minerals that are required for the body to work properly and they must be consumed in our diet, as the body is unable to produce them.

B complex vitamins help support blood lymphocytes – helps promote anti-bodies and T-cells distribution and immune cell activity.

(leaky gut and candida disrupts the metabolism of vitamin B6 and EFAs – you can get extra B vitamins through a good mutli-vitamin.  B6 is needed by the body to produce serotonin, hence its ability to ward off depression.

Carotenoids – precursor to vitamin A – increases immune activity – kills cancer cells – protects cell membrane fats from oxidation and damage

Zinc is a mineral that stimulates the immune system and promotes T-cell function

Selenium helps build your immune system and keep it healthy – your body uses selenium to help white blood cells to clear viruses and bacteria from your body.

Magnesium deficiency stimulates the release of inflammatory cytokines. Regular use helps regulate the immune system and protect it against infection – it reduces the risk of autoimmune diseases caused by an overactive immune system.  (Magnesium should be taken with a B vitamin as together they help the liver. Like zinc, magnesium is easier for your body to absorb and use if it is bound to an amino acid.)

Omega 3 (fish oil, flax seed, evening primrose oil, borage, blackcurrant seed oil  help to reduce inflammation and the absorption of nutrients. They promote strong cell membranes in your gastrointestinal tract – boosts the immune system and helps slow the aging process

Chlorella is an excellent “whole Food’ you can buy at any health store.  It’s rich in chlorophyll, which helps detox the body and gives a boost in energy and improves the immune system. It comes in powder or capsules

The integrity of the lymph system is dependent on immune cells in the liver that filter out harmful bacteria and destructive yeasts.

Milk Thistle is a powerful liver regenerator. People with damaged livers can regenerate tissue with Milk Thistle. I take these herbs in the form of tinctures but they can be taken in any form.

Dandelion Root supports the liver, pancreas, kidneys and spleen. It has diuretic and purifying properties.

Yellow Dock is a blood purifier that also helps the liver and gall bladder and is also high in iron.

Each of us has to take responsibility to explore and educate ourselves about our own health.  Doctors can help in the process but really and truly you must do the work.  We have to nurture ourselves, respect the body and its processes and help them to function at their best, as they were intended by the law of Nature.

Metaphysical causes of rheumatoid arthritis  http://self-healingsecrets.com/1033/the-energy-behind-rheumatoid-arthritis/

Super site on psoriasis re: homeopathic and a list of medicines and how they work.  http://www.askdrshah.com/app/psoriasis/psoriasis-medicines.aspx

Dr. Andrew Weil – Psoriasis http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03161/Psoriasis.html

Psoriatic arthritis http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2196539-overview

Great youtube presentation on Magnesium deficiency https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wtUn1gWgaw

The five major types of psoriasis https://www.psoriasis.com/psoriasis-types.aspx

Psoriasis of the nails – deep pitting of the nails http://dermnetnz.org/scaly/psoriatic-arthritis.html

http://dermnetnz.org/scaly/erythrodermic-psoriasis.html

hooked-on-nails.com/naildisorders.

http://dermnetnz.org/scaly/genital-psoriasis.html

https://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases_And_Conditions/Psoriatic_Arthritis/

http://wakeup-world.com/2012/12/23/top-10-probiotic-foods-to-add-to-your-diet/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psN1DORYYV0 Listening to Shame

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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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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“This is a good example of factors coming together and combining to create a difficulty.  Stomach ulcers are often physically due to a specific virus but invariably occur at the same time when you are very stressed and the reality you are dealing with is becoming corrosive, wearing away at your coping mechanism.  You may be taking in too much acidity from others, or your feelings are eating away at you. 

Aggravated by digestive juices, ulcers arise when you are under too much pressure, worried by financial or work situations, relationships, guilt or shame.  Worry is the key word here—it is almost as if the worry itself is eating you.  All of this creates the perfect environment for the virus.  The ulcer creates a feeling of being raw and exposed, as if there is nowhere to hide.  There may also be repressed aggression, a desire to get revenge or to lash out at someone.  There is a deep need to be soothed and nurtured, to return to the safety of being cared for—as seen in having to eat baby foods as a form of treatment.” YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro 

Most of us are unaware of the many forces that can interfere with our physical, emotional, nutritional and environmental lives.  When these four areas of responsibility are ignored or dismissed, our body/mind/spirit is forced to change through some kind of crisis.  Usually our early experiences, especially our childhood are the ones that teach us our greatest lessons and reflect back to us our weaknesses and strengths and desires and potentials. 

When I was just in my young teens, (thirteen/fourteen) an ultrasound revealed I had a stomach ulcer (peptic).  You’d think the anxiety of high school would do this but it wasn’t school that caused it.  In fact, I couldn’t wait to get to school, it was my get-away, a place of freedom, where like a wild horse I galloped free.  School was my place of escape, a place to run from myself and from my family.  

The radical shifts of emotion and extreme inner tension came from my home—it was a literal war-zone!    There were times I was scared out of my wits, especially when a shouting match between my mom and dad had dishes and pots being thrown across the room or my brothers emotional yelling turned into fist-fights and black-eyes and bloody noses.  I was the youngest of four, my oldest brother 10 years older and younger brother 8 years older.  My father fought with my brothers, especially Len, my second brother.  I remember when we moved from our house in Montreal to Toronto, the walls in that home still held the image of human imprints from people being pushed into them.  

During that time I was on Zantac, Librium and an antacid, but the burning searing pain that tore through my body never subsided until I quit school and left home at 18 years of age (I failed a grade and was put back a grade when we moved).  Through the many years that followed I learned that the present is not the past and that I wasn’t in any kind of danger when people around me critically raised their voices.   But, I have learnt to keep my inner antennae on….an extremely helpful, instinctive/intuitive tool and a natural gift from the stomach/solar plexus area.   

 

THE CRUX OF THE PROBLEM 

“ULCERS are no more than fear—tremendous fear of “not being good enough.” We fear not being good enough for a parent, we fear not being good enough for a boss.  We can’t stomach who we are.  We rip our guts apart trying to please others.  No matter how important our job is, our inner self-esteem is very low.  We are afraid they will find out about us. “ Louise Hay You Can Heal Your Life  

When I left home I had trouble expressing myself  (personal power) to friends and associates because I was afraid of how they’d react.  I was very shy and sensitive, taking any form of criticism really badly.  We (stomach people) clam up or won’t stand up for ourselves, out of the fear of being hurt, judged, humiliated, misunderstood and/or misinterpreted.  We’re scared others are going to react and rationalize our feelings, or our own fear of being wrong.  Another thing we’re afraid of, is being, either emotionally overwhelmed or ignored—we’ve all experienced that feeling when someone just isn’t all there—either there’s a glazed look in their eyes and a restlessness in their body or they look at their watch, spring to their feet and interrupt us.    

On the other hand, many of us look to others to boost our self-esteem, hoping they will fill us up with good thoughts and feelings.  Unfortunately, looking to others for our happiness and emotional well-being severely limits our freedom and expression.  It creates a miscommunication with ourselves (our lack of ability to understand what is really going on inside us). As we seek others approval, we begin to wear masks, to disguise our true feelings and to protect ourselves from being criticized, put down or humiliated by others.  We even try to deceive ourselves into thinking we can control, manipulate or alter our future—but the stomach area, the solar plexus/3rd chakra will not accept lies – if we don’t speak our truth our solar plexus tightens by the words we haven’t spoken.  

“People have known for ages that many different emotions are related to ulcers.  Feeling threatened, for example, causes the brain to signal the stomach to secrete more acid while reducing the blood flow to the lining, thus setting the stage for ulcers.  Some scientists have theorized that ulcers are caused by an overgrowth of a bacterium known as Heliobacteria pylori in the stomach.  Since, however, all of us have Heliobacteria pylori in our stomachs—just as we all have E.coli in our intestines, and all women have yeast in their vaginas—there must be something about the environment in some people’s stomachs that makes them more susceptible to the bacteria’s overgrowing.  Scientists believe that stressful life changes, feelings of threat, and being trapped or restrained can alter some people’s immunity and cause the bacteria to overgrow, setting the stage for ulcers.  It’s as if H. pylori is the bearer of bad tidings, but not necessarily the bad news itself.” Mona Lisa Schulz   

The stomach area contains bundles of sensitive nerve endings, which also connect and join with, thousands and thousands of nerve endings close to the heart—this explains why hate, passion, fear, anger and many other emotions are felt ‘instantly’, ‘emotionally’ and extremely in this highly nerve center.   As we learn and become aware of our emotional sensitivities, the solar plexus and heart area form a bridge connecting us to our higher and lower centers.  We discover we can become the conductor/controller of our own emotions and desires without becoming overly involved.   

This abdominal area has also been called the seat of your subconscious mind and the subconscious mind holds many memories of the past—some of them painful, bitter and unjust. Sometimes we can get swamped with painful emotions in reaction to something we’re doing at the moment that suddenly reminds us of a past abuse. One minute we’re feeling fine, the next minute we’ve got a knot of fear/shame in the pit of our stomach. Often, these kinds of emotional reactions are amplified by psychic residue dumped on us from our childhood or recent past.  Then comes the fear—fear blocks our senses and numbs our perceptions…we can’t feel or read our environment and we can’t read ourselves. We look for hidden meanings of people’s actions—if someone looks at us the wrong way, our energy takes a nosedive.  If someone praises us, our energy hits an all time high. 

“Third chakra energy is logical rather than artistic, sophisticated rather than child-like, doctrinaire rather than organic, cunning rather than innocent, suspicious rather than trusting, and responsibility-bound rather than flowing. If the second chakra holds the natural child, the third chakra holds the controlling parent. Where the second chakra is more like the right-brain side of identity, the third chakra “thinks” more like the brain’s left hemisphere. Third chakra thought also differs from sixth chakra thought. Sixth chakra thought, though it may be profound, is more detached and cerebral. Third chakra thought is entwined with your identity, your fears, and the needs of your ego. 

The energy of the second chakra can be cut off from that of the third chakra, as well as the others above it. There is an energy system between the second and third chakras called the belt flow…the belt flow, which goes around the waist, can become like a huge wall above the second chakra that cuts off the second chakras natural spontaneity, trust, and faith. When this happens, as it frequently does in modern Western cultures, the person may be tormented by merciless self-hatred, a desecration that often originates in the third chakra’s attempts to shape an identity that differs vastly from the natural child of the second chakra. Once the connection between the second and third chakra is opened, energy rises; knowledge about a truer, kinder, gentler self can filter up; and self-condemnation and self-hatred begin to dissolve in that knowledge.” Energy Medicine: Balancing Your Body’s Energies For Optimal Health, Joy and Vitality ~ Donna Eden 

REDEFINING STRESS 

The Amygdala

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

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

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

From Stress To Tension

 What I’m trying to prove is that our bodies are still responding to this ancient fear mechanism that rushes intense energy into us, preparing us for the fight or flight response.  But even though our lives have changed regarding the word stress, we are still reacting to the old instinctual unconscious reactions.  As a result we aren’t coping so much with stress as we are with ‘tension’.  Stress as you’ve read is a natural response, necessary for life.  ‘Tension’, is the not-so-good physical and mental repercussions we experience when we haven’t been able to process our stress effectively. 

Stress becomes tension when we perceive something unexpected as threatening, when in reality, it is not.  We should be living in a society of trust, cooperation, and interacting well with others, yet in our minds we still remember the ‘survival of the fittest’ that still sits in our unconscious.  Watch out for those dinosaurs!

 When we are criticized for something that we’ve done, we immediately respond with fear and anger as if it were a threat to our very life—our old programming says ‘defend yourself or you’ll die—rather than taking the time to step back and understand what just happened.  Instead our hearts start thumping, we become restless and either express ourselves angrily—physically defend ourselves—or repress all that unexpressed energy which then develops as physical tension.  We haven’t understood that we’ve set ourselves up to experience ‘tension’ from our own lack of awareness.

Another cause of tension is when we fight something with our mental thoughts that we cannot physically control or change—traffic jams come to mind—very frustrating indeed.  How many times have you fumed with rage at not getting home in time or to that all-important meeting and then brought all that fuelled anger home, or to the office with you?  When you are really stressed out, you radiate that stressed energy to the people around you through your chakras and auras.  Consciously or sub-consciously, these people then transfer a great bulk of this stress energy by being nasty and rude to others.  It’s like a merry-go-round.

“Most illness begins with stress-producing thinking as the mind imposes tension on the body.  Every thought has a corresponding effect on the body.  Recent studies in the growing field of psychosomatic medicine demonstrate that our body’s finely tuned immune system responds also immediately to both positive and negative thoughts and attitudes. 

 Resistance is like a stone dropped into a calm pond; the emotions are the ripples.  Chronic stress begun in the mind, creates emotional turbulence and imposes itself upon the body as stored tension.  The tension translates to painful symptoms: headaches or pain in the stomach, lower back or elsewhere.  We have all experienced these symptoms with no apparent physical cause”. NO ORDINARY MOMENTS ~ Dan Millman

 It does seem that most of our problems come from a lack of wisdom and understanding.  Instead of being blinded or tied into our own person viewpoint, we can learn to dissolve tension by changing the way we perceive someone or something.  Balancing our emotions with reason sounds easy, but it isn’t.  It takes time to learn to control our impulses our instinctive way of responding to life.  Instead of being raw and blunt we need to step back and take a higher view of a situation, instead of reigning supreme over others.  The solar plexus chakra is the centre of positive and negative emotions—ambition, courage, violence, cruelty–are just some of the many.  When a person is very angry, the solar plexus chakra pulsates erratically.  This causes the diaphragm to move erratically, resulting in shallow breathing.

 “In the early nineteenth century a man named Alexis St. Martin accidentally shot himself in the abdomen.  The wound was large, and it never healed.  Through a small hole in St. Martin’s abdominal wall, you could clearly see his stomach lining.  The famous surgeon William Baumont undertook a study of Martin, to determine what effect the man’s moods would have on his stomach.  He observed the lining changing color as a given emotion caused the release of more or less acid in the stomach.  Whenever anger caused St. Martin’s face to go red, the stomach lining would also turn red.  This was the essence of mind-body (or in this case mind-stomach) medicine.  Every emotion St. Martin felt—anxiety, resentment, frustration, anger, happiness—was literally revealed on the video screen of his stomach wall.” Awakening Intuition Mona Lisa Schulz

 MORE ENERGETICS OF THE STOMACH/SOLAR PLEXUS

 The solar plexus, stomach area, is the place where every memory you’ve ever had of being criticized is registered.  No organ of your body is more quickly affected by your moods than your stomach! 

 “The stomach is the primary organ for storing, diluting, and digesting food.  It is our reservoir.  It is a symbol of the thoughts, ideas, and inspirations that we learn to digest and assimilate.  It is the reservoir from which we can draw to experience the new and open worlds. 

 Stomach problems often reflect outer problems in digesting life’s experiences.  Are we afraid of digesting or experiencing the new?  Are we holding on to that which is no longer beneficial or nourishing to us?  Do we have fears of not being good enough just as we are?  Do we not approve of ourselves?  Are we having difficulty assimilating new ideas, concepts, and perspectives, and putting them in motion in our life?  The Healer’s Manual ~ Ted Andrews

 Your abdomen and pelvis contain many important organs that are critical for your survival.  The abdomen consists of the digestive system/gastrointestinal system that is made up of approximately thirty-three feet of plumbing that starts at the mouth and ends at the rectum.  (The digestive tract needs that much length to help break down the food’s nutrients and distribute them throughout the body by way of the bloodstream). This system consists of the mouth, pharynx or throat, esophagus, stomach and the small and large intestines.  Digestion begins when food or drink enters the mouth; churning, mixing, breaking down, emulsifying and absorbing the nutrients; and, finally, circulating the nutrients through the blood until they reach their final destination.  Your tissues and organs are the final-destination where the digested fats, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins are released, helping to keep your body healthy and working properly. 

 The solar plexus, located at the center of the body (stomach area) is one of the most important chakras because it controls, energizes and affects so many surrounding vital organs; no other organ of the body is so easily disturbed or affected by our emotions than the stomach!  This part of your body is also the most important center of the sympathetic nervous system because it is the nerve center that stimulates and reflects your most deepest feelings.  Fear, anger, shame, guilt and pain often get stored in the memory cells of the stomach, sitting there for days/months/years until someone, or some outside force awakens them.  This area is easily disturbed or imbalanced by negative thoughts and emotions—when these strong impulses are released, they’re sent through the nerves to every part of the body.  When strong emotions are released, we have a ‘body flashback’, the cells and muscles of our body temporarily control and produce all kinds of fears and symptoms that we can’t at the time stop. 

 The brain and the digestive system work together.  Scientists have long known that the brain stimulates the digestive organs through parasympathetic activities such as sight, smell, and taste, which stimulate hunger. Psychological factors also impact hunger and digestion, influencing the movements of the intestine, secretion of digestive enzymes, and other digestive functions.  Intense sadness or anger, for example, will set off a chain reaction that stimulates or reduces hunger, perhaps causing weight and digestive problems, and sometimes intestinal illnesses.

 On the other hand, the digestive system also influences the brain.  For example, long-standing or recurring diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) ulcerative colitis, and other painful diseases affect emotions, behaviors, and daily functioning.  This two-way association has been called the brain-gut axis.” The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia Of Your Energetic Anatomy ~ Cyndi Dale

 When studying the healing arts, I became fascinated with the many teachings and how the teachers/healers/authors spoke of the depth and complexity of our emotional lives, and, what we could do to heal them.  I studied the endocrine system, the body’s nervous system and the chakras.  In studying ulcers and other stomach ailments, I’ve learned that virtually every chakra is somehow affected.   Why?  Because your self esteem, your ego and your personality sits in the 3rd chakra.  This is the place of how you feel about yourself and how secure and stable you are in the outside world.

 “At the top chakra of the lower triangle of chakras, the third chakra is vitally important in enabling us to survive and succeed in the material world. Even though it sits atop the foundation of the chakra system (the lower three chakras), the third chakra is also in close communication with the higher chakras—particularly the fourth chakra or heart chakra, and the sixth chakra, or third eye”. MEDITATION AS MEDICINE, Activate the Power of Your Natural Healing Force, by Dharma Singh, M.D. Khalsa, Cameron Stauth

 I fell in love with Mona Lisa Schulz and her incredible knowledge of the body/mind/spirit dynamics and its intimate connection with the brain….

 “A large network of fibers of the autonomic nervous system—which fires the brain without being consciously aware of it—runs from the brain down to the gut, where the nerves actually wrap around the tubelike intestines like a radial belt on a tire and cause them to contract.  When you describe something as “gut-wrenching,” that’s exactly what you mean: when you feel an emotion, the fire from the nerves branches down, wraps around your gut, and clenches it.” Awakening Intuition ~ Mona Lisa Schulz

 HEALING THE STOMACH/SOLAR PLEXUS/3rd CHAKRA

 “I don’t have to be afraid any more.  My fear used to be overwhelming, but the things that overwhelmed me are the past.  I don’t have to yell.  I can be heard when I whisper, if I quietly speak my truth.  Love is the opposite of fear; the more I can let go of my fear, the more I can love and be loved”. Daphne Rose Kingma

 One of the first things we have to learn in order to heal is to be aware of what we are doing to our body.  Most of us are so busy with our lives, we rarely take the time to connect with ourselves and get a sense of what we’re feeling/sensing/being.  Healing involves acting consistently to ensure that you are doing everything that you need to do for a healthy life.  It’s a time to take responsibility for yourself and let go of others responsibilities that are interfering with your own needs.  Realize, this may look to others as a form of selfishness as you get rest, exercise and the good food you need.  Stepping back and doing your own self-healing work as well as possibly receiving care from someone else, produces the best overall healing.  This healing process literally opens up your body’s energetic channels, your blood flow, digestive system, your breathing, your nervous system and your muscle and joint function.  It means learning about yourself, your deep-seated needs and your ‘individuality’. 

 Putting out the Fire 

We all have fears that frightens us—after all that’s fears job—and when we experience its grip, we feel it in the form of butterflies, stomach cramps, heartburn and spasms—we lose power and—we lose our ability to think things through and reason.  When we are out of power, we can become stuck, rigid and very critical of the things we don’t understand. 

Fear seems to be, as Louise Hay and others have quoted, the main cause for stomach ulcers and stomach ailments.  But what is fear anyways?  Where does it come from? Well, from what I know of my own fears and from hearing the fears of others, fear has many different faces…..showing up as, anxiety, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, stress and phobias.  We could even say that All negative emotions are a derivative of fear.  These emotions can express themselves as anger, frustration, embarrassment, denial, grief, shame, jealousy, insecurity, rage, guilt, resentment, stress and worry. 

 Now all fear isn’t bad.  Some fears are useful emotions, protecting us from harm, offering us guidance and forcing us to move quickly into action….e.g., the primitive fight/flight response that signals, protects and saves our lives. 

 But when we delay in taking action or refuse to face the fear, it depletes our passion for living.  It is one of the biggest obstacles we humans have to face and which, if ignored, intensify in strength. 

 All of us have hurtful memories from the past. Most fears stem from our belief system instilled in us as a child by our parents, teachers, siblings, friends, etc..  In order to protect ourselves from repeating these painful experiences again, we build up our defenses—very often we cling to old habits and patterns because breaking free of old habits can actually feel like we’re dying.  Nothing stops us from letting go of these useless patterns but it can take some of us years before we can actually let the old self-die.  Symptoms of fear can cause ulcers, nausea, tightness in the chest and back and neck, an uneasy mind, sweating and a rapid heartbeat. 

 To master our fear we must take it in hand and resist succumbing to its panic—if we give away our power to fear, we become its puppet.

  

TRANSFORMING FEAR INTO UNDERSTANDING

 Meditation can gently steer us away from our thoughts and emotions and put us back in charge of our lives—it helps to restore our relationship with ourselves and put us back on the ground.  This is a wonderful awareness/relaxation exercise I received from a wonderful friend many years ago.  It teaches you to transform the stresses in your life by changing the way you look at them.  

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

 Fear causes us to tense up, when you feel this happening, consciously begin to relax by breathing more slowly and deeply.  Your emotions are intimately connected to your breathing patterns—by changing your pattern, you will quickly be able to change any train of thought, even a stressful one.  A change in breathing also changes the physical responses that go with emotional or mental tensions, such as tightness in the abdomen or shoulders.

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

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

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

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

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

 (*Try not to eat when you’re angry, excited, tense, depressed, upset, on the run or tired.  Wait until your mind becomes calm and your ‘natural’ hunger returns.  When your tense the hunger you feel isn’t true hunger…it’s mentally induced hunger, designed as an outlet for your nervousness and anxieties.  True hunger arises only when you are relaxed.)

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

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

HEALING FOODS AND SUPPLEMENTS

 “Not only does your food consist of “energy, frequency, and vibration,” but its energy is also always in motion. Beneath the surface of that red apple on your kitchen counter or the buttered toast on your breakfast table exists a river of energy force fields that swirl into form, dissolve, and coalesce once again. All life is energy, and in every moment, we’re immersed in a great ocean of it. It’s constantly ebbing and flowing in constant, ever-changing currents that pulsate through time and space. In every morsel of food you eat, there’s an infinite, yet patterned, timeless cosmic order of waves of pulsating electrons that spiral in and out of existence, which have a profound impact on your body and on your life.” The Mystic Cookbook – Eat for Enlightenment ~ By Denise Linn and Meadow Linn

 The Mystic Cookbook video – how to create a chakra meal and so many more http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOjEccORdW4&feature=youtu.be

More Mystic Cookbook Videos http://www.youtube.com/user/TheMysticCookbook

 Peptic Ulcer  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/peptic-ulcer/DS00242/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

 Glutamine for stomach ulcers http://www.livestrong.com/article/487930-glutamine-for-stomach-ulcers/

 Stomach ulcers and probiotics http://www.livestrong.com/article/475443-stomach-ulcers-probiotics/

Fenugreek for stomach ulcers http://www.livestrong.com/article/471095-fenugreek-for-stomach-ulcers/

Tumeric for stomach ulcers http://www.livestrong.com/article/467947-turmeric-for-stomach-ulcers/

All kinds of links re: stomach ulcers http://www.livestrong.com/stomach-ulcers/

 

Stay tuned for the next upcoming article – Metaphysical Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) where we continue to discuss more metaphysical information on the stomach/solar plexus area.

“The stomach and esophagus come together at the bottom end of our ribcage, beneath our heart…..that’s why when it hurts, we call it heartburn. Heartburn can happen from an attack on our self esteem, a feeling of being trapped, competitiveness, a hostile environment, or anxious and overwhelmed by responsibilities.  Chronic anxiety and worry is closely associated with ulcers and is associated with perfectionism.  Perfectionists are very hard on themselves and others, demanding the best at all times.  They find fault in almost everything they do—they’re appearance, their homes, relationships, children, clothes, cars—they can frustrate us to no end with their constant bickering and never-ending insistence that everything has to be perfect.

Perfectionists suffer from a lack of safety,never letting their guard down because if not, all hell will break loose. Their insecurities come from (to be continued………”)

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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