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Posts Tagged ‘arthritis’

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….

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Continued from Part 1 & 2 Metaphysically Understanding Arthritis

Fiona was scheduled for another Reiki session the following week.  She called to cancel the appointment at the beginning of that week due to fighting a bad cold.

 Sometimes, when a person is healing and releasing a buildup of toxins from the body, he or she may contract flu like symptoms, as the toxins find a way out of the body. People with a great deal of accumulated stress or emotional blocks can find everything stirred up especially after the first and/or second treatment.  Many people don’t understand that these symptoms are actually the body healing itself.  All pain experienced is pain leaving the body.

DISTANCE/ABSENT HEALING.

I asked Fiona if she’d like distant healing for the week she was away with a cold.  She agreed and we set a time for the following evening when she would be turning in  for the night.

Distant healing is about empathically connecting and creating a spiritual link to another person who is at a place other than where you are.  Distant healing transcends time, space or shape…..it doesn’t matter how near or far the client is……all that is required is a desire, and love/compassion (not pity) to heal another.  Intent is of the utmost importance as well as meeting the comfort level of the person receiving the healing.

Every healer discovers and develops his or her own unique way of receiving and sending energy.  After learning various methods they find what they like best or even develop their own from what they’ve gathered along the way.

All that’s needed is a client’s full name, birth date and where they reside.  Without this, Reiki or other healing modalities will have no place to focus and just won’t have enough power to fill a body with healing energy.

Sometimes distance healing can be better and more powerful than hands-on healing.  Connecting spirit to spirit, opens the heart, creating a glowing network of invisible threads of unconditional energy.  Absent healing is even more effective when the client cooperates with the healer and is in a relaxed state at the time or sleeping…..this bridges the gap of our humanness….it’s when miracles can happen.

No absent healing has ever been the same for me.  Distant and hands-on healing shares in a unique mutual exchange of energy….each one is a mirror, causing healer and healee to take a deeper look at her or himself.   This higher wisdom/vibration helps us to hear and see truth more clearly.  Every healing has a message for all involved.

FIONA’S DISTANT HEALING

In Part 2 of this previous segment, we discussed the Alta Major, located at the base of the skull.  Its color is magenta, a mixture of red, green and violet. When the Alta Major is balanced, we have the ability to see and understand a situation spiritually; it allows us to step back and see the bigger picture.  But when unbalanced we lose the sense of excitement in our lives.  We shut down and either blame someone else for our problems or go into denial.   This form of denial blocks our energy system. This is what I felt when establishing a connection with Fiona.  A great many of her fears were linked to her history.

THE HEALING CONNECTION

As I relaxed and centered myself, my mind went into a kind of daydream state gently focusing on Fiona’s form until it became clear.  Knowing what Fiona looked like made it easy to zero in on Fiona’s physical body.  If we’d never met, my imagination would have kicked in, visualizing and sensing an energy body of light lying before me.  This is my ‘anchor point’ to return to if I happen to lose my focus.

Opening my inner awareness for any impressions, the first thing I usually ‘see’ is energy highways flowing from the client’s chakras.  These highway of energies,  criss-cross and  intersect throughout the body, creating a cascade of light (aura) that emits beyond its boundaries. Surrounding the aura, energy dark patches or shadows might be seen.  Making a mental note of the areas, allows me to return and explore them further.

Returning to  Fiona’s throat chakra, I felt as if I had been bumped up against a wall.  This area was packed with a whole lot of clutter and a lot of commotion.  Her heart chakra was congested to the point that I felt squeezed into a tight corner, unable to move or breathe.   Sprouting from her body were lines or cords each one making a connection Fiona had with someone.  Some were dark and stiff, others brightly glowing.  The darker ones symbolized a unhealthy connection; they drained Fiona of her energy and weighted heavily upon her.  Intuivtively I felt they could be the cause of her tension as well as arthritic pain.

Where there should have been brightness, a damp mist seemed to hang around her stomach, (Solar Plexus Chakra), which slowly dissipated around the hip area or 1st chakra. Her abdomen felt tight and distended.

 As I focused on sending the distant healing symbol of Reiki, it transformed into a liquid light of energy, attaching itself to a huge, gossamer network.  Adding the Power Symbol, tiny bubbles of light bathed the delicate strands with soft glowing light.   As the light grew stronger, it was joined by another light that seemed to move up from the earth along Fiona’s right side and then circulated down her left side and back from where it came.  When witnessing this happening, I intuitively knew this healing session was at its max.  I could visually see this higher vibration clearing Fiona’s energy.  Golden scissors started cutting the dark stiff cords, one by one loose.  Some had strong emotional attachments and started to sprout back.  Visualizing the Sei-Hei-Ki, helped zap them clear into outer space.

Continuing to use the Distant Healing Symbol, I asked for the healing to repeat itself every 2 hours for the next 7 days and then bowed in reverence and respect for this sacred moment.

 FIONA’S DREAM

 This absent healing had quite an impact on Fiona’s life and her dreams.  I didn’t find out until I saw her again, 2 weeks later.

Fiona told me as the absent healing took place she fell into a very deep sleep.  In a dream, she met a Hermit who presented her with several pieces to a very large puzzle.  The puzzle when finished was supposed to describe her whole life, from its beginning to present.  Though she was tired and didn’t feel well, Fiona reached out and picked up the pieces trying to make them fit together.  No matter how hard she tried the puzzle kept falling apart.  And Fiona was falling apart too, crying but still determined to make all the pieces fit together.  This was when Fiona heard a voice ask her “Why are you trying to do this yourself.”   She remembered answering angrily back “how else am I supposed to do it.”   In fact she remembered speaking these words out loud as she started waking from the dream.

When Fiona recounted this dream to me, she told me it felt as if it had been imprinted on her body/mind and soul.  “No matter where I was or what I did, the dream kept flowing up into my consciousness.  It wouldn’t leave me alone.”

DREAM INTERPRETATION

Fiona and I did speak right after the absent healing, so she knew what had been heard and seen visually . Somehow I felt the distant healing and the dream were related.  The old energies hiding out in her heart were forcing her to deny, doubt and undermine her intuition and power. I told Fiona to seriously look back and see when she had given someone the right to make her decisions and decide what was best for her.  It was a path that definitely wasn’t hers.

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.  Fiona’s Base, Sacral, Alta Major and Throat Chakras were off balance.  The Alta Major when balanced helps us to assemble and bring together different aspects of the Self.  It allows us to give and receive energy without even thinking about it.  Not being able to put the puzzle pieces together Fiona agreed it seemed to say she was cut of from the Divine’s great source of energy.  The emotional feelings of others, was influencing her progress.  Feeling sick and tired symbolized a feeling of weakness and insecurity.  Without a focus, Fiona was drifting aimlessly in a world symbolized by the hermit.

You have to remove yourself from your personal drama”, and realize it is all symbolic. 

I told Fiona to seriously look back and see what energies supported her well being and those that were counterproductive.  She also needed to clear her past and devote her energy on the relationships that made her feel good and those that were stealing her energy.  As she did this, it would attract interesting people with similar intentions and goals into her life.  All the people we know and meet are reflections of our inner self.

Fiona questioned the last sentence.  To demonstrate I gave her a crystal and asked her to look at the many different facets in it.  Just as the crystal has many faces, so do we.   We are in fact a collection of multiple personalities.  Some are angry, manipulative and critical; some are beautiful, inspiring and loving.  Some are hidden from us and have a life of their own.  When emotionally charged, a personality (archetype) projects out, attracting energies of the same kind.  The goal or reason is to heal and embrace these aspects of ourselves and in so doing find their hidden treasure.

We talked more of her friendships and relationships and how some of them showed the imbalances in her life.  We spoke of how our own childhood experiences attracted a partner that made us reenact our childhood injuries.  Fiona saw her husband as one who was retrained, self-contained and buried his feelings and desires.  “Oh my god, she said, that’s a splitting image of me!”  Fiona knew she also had a habit of distancing herself from others.  Again we talked of the Hermit whose life is admired for his independence but who lives virtually alone in his fortress, avoiding the pain of being vulnerable and then rejected.

IN SUMMARY

All of us have lived many lives and gathered experiences along the way.  This has allowed our soul to understand, integrate and process the information for us to use in another time again.  This leads us pursue more answers which puts us in sync with other human beings, angels and guides.  It puts us in touch with our own Family of Light where events and circumstances are created to move us beyond the limitations of fear.  They help us to heal various aspects of ourselves.

Integrating all this information was not an easy process for Fiona.  At first she was blasted with chaos and confusion.  Many of her archetypical energies (multi personalities) were in conflict with themselves.  In fact some of these conflicts were not understood until something happened further down the road to reveal their meaning. She is still discovering everything we see in the outer world has an inner meaning for us.

Fiona did go to counseling and learnt more about her-self.   She changed her diet, exercised and lost some weight.  As she changed so too did her husband and family.  “There are still struggles to deal with but not as many as before”.  Some friends fell by the wayside and although it was painful to lose them, she learned to  intuitively understand it was their time to go.

Fiona is still amazed how the Reiki healings were able to see right through her defenses and began the profound change of embracing her own life.  Her arthritic pain has lessened a great deal, though it still reminds her it’s there when the seasons change or there’s dampness in the air.

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THE SECOND AND SUBSEQUENT VISITS

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

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

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

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

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

BODY SCAN

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

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

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

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

AREAS OF FOCUS

THE SPLEEN CHAKRA

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

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

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

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

THE HEART CHAKRA

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

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

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

THE REIKI TREATMENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FIONA’S THIRD AND SUBSEQUENT VISITS

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

From my Reiki I Manual

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

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

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

to be continued….

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

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

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

WHAT IS ARTHRITIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT CAUSES ARTHRITIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARTHRITIS AND THE INTESTINAL TRACT

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

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

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

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

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF ARTHRITIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS (Added July 30, 2014)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BODY/MIND

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

CASE STUDY # ONE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From my Reiki III manual…..

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

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

SUMMARY OF FIRST TREATMENT

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

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

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

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

Great site

http://www.arthritisgoaway.com/

 THE SECOND AND SUBSEQUENT VISITS  to be continued in part two

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I had my first bone density test last year. The results were, I have osteoporosis. In my last entry, Bone Loss – Osteoporosis, we discussed tense and tight muscles that can cause inflammation in our tissue as well as an uneven pull on our bones.

My issue with bone density tests is, they only measure the lumbar spine or lower back…..they don’t measure the thoracic or upper back, which is more likely to suffer vertebral crush fractures (this causes the dowager’s hump as well as loss of height). Also, the test can be mistakenly overread when there is an increase of calcium deposits in an area that has been afflicted with arthritis. Another issue is if your body has been structured inside a tiny frame (which is my case).

BONE MATURITY
By the time you reach the age of 35, your bones will have reached their ‘peak bone mass’. Yikes, that’s a pretty young age isn’t it? That means that osteoporosis isn’t something that comes about quickly, it happens over time. In fact, recent tests have been done on people in their 20’s and 30’s with indications that osteoporosis is already developing! But how do they determine what our ‘normal’ bone density should be? Obviously a large boned person and a small boned person are going to rate differently.

The World Health Organization and National Osteoporosis Foundation established criteria (T-scores) for making the diagnosis of osteoporosis, as well as determining levels which predict higher chances of fractures: The T score is reported on a bone density test and measured against the bone density of a normal 35 year old. Apparently…..

If your T-score is within one standard deviation of the average 35 year old, ie. between +1.0 and -1.0, you have normal bone density.

If your T-score is -1.0 to -2.5 standard deviations below the average, you have low bone density, a condition known as osteopenia.

If your T-score is at least -2.5 or lower than the average, you have osteoporosis.

If your T-score is at least -2.5 or lower than the average and you have broken one or more bones, you have severe osteoporosis.

My T-score was -2.7, which my doctor decidedly deemed as osteoporosis. In the American Journal of Medicine Osteoporosis is “a disease characterized by low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue, which leads to increased bone fragility and a consequent increase in fracture risk.” Does this mean my bones are likely to fracture? I don’t think so, it just means the possibility is there but may never actually happen.

From http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=307254

“Prevention of osteoporotic fractures requires accurate methods to detect the increase in bone fragility at an early disease stage as well as effective therapies to reduce the risk of bone fractures. Presently the prediction of the patient-specific bone fracture risk is primarily based on bone density, since this is the only parameter which can routinely be measured in vivo. However, these predictions might not always be precise because the fracture risk is also determined by the bone microarchitecture and the bones loading conditions.

Technology is always advancing. If you do check out this website, it talks of a new approach to analysing bone density as well as microarchitecture with 3D high resolution imaging. Most hospitals haven’t the funds for this new scanner, at least my hospital does not. So this new testing is still very futuristic. Now, if microarchitecture is not included in the bone density test, which is a major component to Osteoporosis, how can they determine who has or who hasn’t this disease? Just because my bone density is below the ‘norm’ doesn’t mean my bones will fracture. In fact, maybe they never will!

All this test does, is cause you and me needless fear. Before the test you were feeling fine, with no problems or discomfort and in fact, you may never have any.

“To me a “disease” is a clear-cut decision that lessens comfort or well being. Maybe there’s some use in broadening the definition, but if we do that, we should at least be clear about exactly what we’re saying.

Once you’ve been told you have a disease, you’re going to start looking for a treatment. The drug companies and the doctors know this, and I think it is part of the driving force behind some new “diseases”. For example women who learn from a test they have low bone density are more likely to be on hormone replacement therapy then those who haven’t; they think that without the hormones they’re bound to end up with a broken hip or a rounded back. They’re rarely given adequate information about what bone density reall means.” Dr. Susan Love’s Hormone Book.

I truly believe what Dr. Love says here is true. This is exactly what my doctor proceeded to do. He prescribed a once-a-month drug that supposedly would strengthen my bones. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. I opted not to take it.

An article written by Dr. Zoltan P. Rona in a Toronto magazine called Vitality stated that one possible osteoporosis drug Fosamax is possibly linked to the development of esophageal cancer!

The article is here… http://www.vitalitymagazine.com/may09_pg32feat

Here’s a sample….

“The FDA received 23 reports of esophageal cancer possibly linked to the drug between 1995 and 2008. Since doctors notoriously under-report drug side effects, the real figures may actually be much higher.

Merck, the manufacturer of Fosamax, claims that their research does not indicate any association between the drug and esophageal cancer. Endocrinologists, internists and your friendly neighborhood GP agree, and so continue to prescribe this drug and other bisphosphonates. Can 50,000 Canadian doctors be wrong?

It is estimated that about 30 million people in North America take one of the class of drugs known as bisphosphonates. These include Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva, Didronel, Didrocal, Zometa, Aredia and several others.

One undisputed fact is that Fosamax can cause esophagitis and gastrointestinal bleeding. Conceivably, for a patient with severe esophagitis (such as the condition Barrett’s esophagus), the use of Fosamax can make the problem worse. Gastrointestinal bleeding and anemia due to mucosal lining erosions caused by Fosamax are definitely a possibility.

Bisphosphonates have been linked to severe and incapacitating bone, joint and muscle pain. In 2008, the FDA warned doctors this is a possible source of intractable pain for many people using the drugs, and may necessitate use of dangerous analgesics. When people who suffer from this side effect stop using the bisphosphonates, the pain usually subsides. Therefore, these are drugs that should never be given to people suffering from any form of arthritis or fibromyalgia.”

Oh my gosh! I suffer from fibromyalgia! My doctor knows this and prescribed this anyways?? And what of the millions who suffer from this illness too, as well as arthritis. What risks are they taking with these bisphosphonates? Do they know?

My years of learning about alternative therapies has taught me our bodies are intelligent and smart; the body’s main goal is to live and survive at all costs.

A disease doesn’t simply materialize out of thin air….it takes years to develop. Even if we were to find some magical drug to end Osteoporosis it still wouldn’t eliminate the source of the problem. Something has been steadily draining the body’s energy reserves and wreaking havoc on the bones, but what? The next segment(s) of this blog are going to explore these sources as well as Genetics, Family History and Lifestyle. It’s about how each of us can take responsibility for our own recovery.

“You are the one to decide how you are going to live, what you are going to eat, and what are you are going to think about. You have the choice of whether or not you are going to abuse your body. Only you can make your lifestyle decisions….

Anyone who is committed to taking responsibility for his/her own health can reach any level of wellness he/she wants.” Dr. M. Ted Morter, Jr.

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