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

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

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

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

WHAT IS PSORIASIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS

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

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

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

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

However, psoriatic arthritis is more likely to also cause:

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

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

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

THE THIRD LUNG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STRESS

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

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

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

CANDIDA AND LEAKY GUT

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

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

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

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

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

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

A full article on the metaphysical causes of Candiasis is here

MOLDS IN FOODS AND THE ENVIRONMENT

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

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

METAPHYSICALLY HEALING PSORIASIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BELLY BREATHING

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

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

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

JUMP AND SHAKE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BECOME AWARE OF YOUR POSTURE AND RELAX

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

CHANGE YOUR POSTURE – CHANGE YOUR MOOD

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

*COLOR HEALING

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

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

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

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

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

NATURAL REMEDIES FOR PSORIASIS

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

MINERALS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

hooked-on-nails.com/naildisorders.

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

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

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

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

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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WHAT IS ASPERGER’S 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ASPERGER’S GIFTS

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

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

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

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

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

TESTING FOR ASPERGER’S

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ASPERGER’S AND HEALTH ISSUES

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

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

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

 2. the recent reported rise in the rates of autism

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

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

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

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

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

CANDIASIS

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

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

MOOD SWINGS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

POOR MUSCLE TONE

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

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

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

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

 ANXIETY AND STRESS

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

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

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

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

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

REALIGNING YOUR VALUES

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

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

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

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

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

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

MEDITATION

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

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

Links to follow….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

INDIGO CHILDREN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MY SON IS ADHD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ADD/ADHD And The BRAIN

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

The brain is what helps us to make sense of the world, taking in information from your environment and sending messages throughout your body. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch are not only an essential part of our memories, they help to understand the changes happening around us. But any change in the brain, even the most subtlest change, can have a major impact on our feelings, thoughts and action.

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

“In the last decade, neurobiologists have reported structural differences in at least two regions of the human brain.   One is the corpus callosum, the mind’s big “telephone” cable, connecting as it does hundreds of millions of neurons between the two hemispheres. The other is the hypothalamus, the master controller for the integration of many basic behavioral patterns from temperature regulation and appetite to sex drives—involving brain and endocrine functions, Neuroendocrine research also strongly indicates that nervous system differences begin as sex hormones bathe the developing fetus in the womb. Hormonal differences continuing through childhood—and perhaps even through adult life—affect brain activity and guide performance. Other studies suggest that men and women may process the same information differently and yet come to the same of similar conclusion.” Kathryn Phillips

Neurotransmitters

A neurotransmitter is a brain chemical specifically for communication to happen between brain cells. It’s incredible that these neurotransmitters can zigzag and flash through the mass of brain neurons at speeds of up to 150 mph carrying your every thought and feelings. Of the 100 identified, the one’s best known are: acetylcholine, dopamine, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin.

Acetycholine controls the brain’s speed, creativity, self-esteem, criticism, short-term memory, language, sensory impressions and interpretations, speech, reading and thought. It also controls all muscle contractions. Both stress and poor diet can cause acetycholine to decline.

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

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

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

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

Everyday our neuropeptides try to work hard to keep us functioning at a peak performance but chemicals, food coloring, sugar, trans-fats, food preservatives, traffic fumes, second hand smoke, stress, anxiety and lack of sleep slows them down. One of the best ways to boost your dopamine is exercise, swimming, biking walking and running. Playing board games and computer games help to replenish dopamine too. Walking in nature enhances GABA, and creative writing (poems, songs) help to restore acetylcholine. Violent movies and loud ‘hard’ music or angry words decrease the production of acetylcholine.

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

The Left and Right Hemisphere of the Brain

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

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

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

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

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

THE MEDULLA OBLONGATA AND THE SENSES

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOXIC BRAIN SYNDROME

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

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

ALLERGIES AND CANDIDA CAN CAUSE LEARNING PROBLEMS

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

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

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

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

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

Your intestinal tract naturally contains small amounts of Candida yeast. But in some cases because of anti-biotics, birth control pills or a high carbohydrate diet, this can cause an overgrowth of the candida yeast, causing candidiasis.   Candidiasis and allergies are so closely linked, they are most often paired together.

Candida becomes a problem when food in the intestines ferments instead of digesting. This overgrowth can penetrate the intestinal lining and find its way into the circulatory/blood system. Some people refer to this as “leaky gut”. What happens with ‘leaky gut’, is undigested food particles (partially digested proteins, fats and bacteria) pass through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream.   The body/immune system in an attempt to protect itself attacks these foreign substances and therefore launches an allergic response. Sometimes the immune system can’t determine the foreign substance and in its confusion to obliterate it, starts attacking the body—this is called an autoimmune disease—the self attacking self.

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

IMMUNIZATIONS/VACCINATIONS

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

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

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

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

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

ADHD And HYPOTHYROIDISM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TESTOSTERONE

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

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

HEALING ADD/ADHD NATURALLY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And his website ‘Healing the 7 types of ADD

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

“If you have food allergies, the immune cells that line your gastrointestinal tract are hypersensitive. You may have low stomach acid, a pancreas that isn’t working optimally, and, possibly, a congested liver and gallbladder. You may also have an imbalance in your gut flora. The balance of gut bacteria can influence behavior and even cause depression.

According to scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, your gut bacteria communicate with your brain and have a profound impact on making you feel happy or sad. When you are stressed, your body releases lots of stress hormones. When stressed mice were fed a broth containing some Lactobacillus rhamnosus bacteria (a bacteria found in yogurt), they became significantly less anxious and had lower levels of stress hormones in their blood. The researchers determined that the bacteria were somehow communicating via the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is a very important neural two-way highway that connects your brain with all of the organs of your body. The bacteria are able to influence the GABA receptors in the brain that allow you to relax”.

http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/05/26/reduce-allergies-and-find-happiness/

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

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

Stay tuned for the next topic… Asperger’s Syndrome

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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WHAT IS CANDIDA

“Fifty years ago doctors identified Candida albicans as a frequent cause of vagina, mouth, throat and gastrointestinal tract infections. Now it’s well know to affect all body parts, organs, tissues and cells. Research physicians suspect Candida as a complication in acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), a contributor to early death in various forms of cancer, a source of infertility in some women, and a mischief-maker in other medical tragedies such as multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, schizophrenia, and arthritis. On rare occasions yeast overgrowth results in pneumonia, meningitis, and similar devastating body invasions.” The Yeast Syndrome: How to Help Your Doctor Identify and Treat the Real Cause… ~By John Parks Trowbridge, M.D., Morton Valker, D.P.M.

No matter what we do, we’ll never rid our bodies of Candida. Candida albicans occurs naturally in nature, in the soil, on vegetables and fruits and in small quantities in our mouths, intestines and in a woman’s vagina. When in balance with the other 400 species of friendly bacteria in our gut, Candida can live harmlessly in our bodies. Candida loves living in warm, moist areas of the body and especially where there’s an ample supply of food for it to feast on. When your body is healthy, Candida can’t penetrate your defenses, but if an overgrowth of Candida starts running rampant in the intestines, the medical term is called Candidiasis. Metaphysically, candida feeds on what is not digested by someone – life energy is easily frittered away. Candida issues can point to deeper emotional ones, sometimes rooted in connection to the site of the candida infection itself. We’ll be looking at this later on in the article.

The intestines are the longest organ in the body, and also your main filtration system. It is thought that about 80% of your immune function is in your gut and a lot of that is governed by how the bacteria are able to function—there are 10 times more bacteria than there are cells in our bodies! The intestines main job is to absorb what is useful to your body, but if it’s plumbing, electrical and drainage system is compromised, the body will start absorbing toxins, and clogging the system (kind of like dirty oil in a car). When your pipes are clogged, proteins, fats, and/or sugars can enter your circulation triggering inflammation and a defensive immune system.

 Medically, we are told candidiasis, is caused from an improper diet, which is known to upset the bacterial balance in the intestinal. A bacterial imbalance means you aren’t digesting carbs properly and, undigested carbs become food for ‘bad bacteria’. Bad bacteria produces acidic toxins irritating the lining of the digestive system, when this happens your body secretes mucus into the intestines. With too much mucus, enzymes from the pancreas can’t breakdown the food, giving it more time to ferment in your gut. Just one teaspoon of undigested carbs and sugars can produce approximately 50 millimetres of gas in the intestine. Toxins and gases can damage the intestinal lining, making us more susceptible to the condition known as ‘leaky gut’.

“The intestinal tract tries to protect itself from the constant exposure to toxic substances like drugs, environmental chemicals, food additives, refined carbohydrates (white flour acts like glue in the intestines), and heavy metals by creating mucus on the intestinal wall. As mucus builds up on the lining, toxins, yeasts, and parasites stick to it, until it becomes “putrefactive debris.” This prevents the proper assimilation of nutrients and contributes to toxins entering the bloodstream”. Juicing, Fasting and Detoxing for Life ~ By John Calbom MA, Cherie Calbom MS

When the intestines become clogged we can suffer from constipation, diarrhea, bloating, trapped gas, skin problems, cellulite, asthma, headaches or vaginitis. All these can be caused from candiasis or an imbalance of the yeast Candida albicans. Toxic buildups are stored in the fat cells of the body…if these toxins leak into the fluids of the body, which includes the blood, they can cause an array of problems as suggested above. As well, antibiotics and cortisone, and hormonal supplements such as birth control pills can upset the delicate balance in the intestinal area, killing off many of the friendly bacteria. If the candida multiplies out of control it can mutate into a fungus breaking through the tissues into the bloodstream, where it can create havoc with our emotions and any part of the body.

So far, nearly one hundred Candida toxins have been identified; two of the most known are carbon monoxide and acetylaldehyde (part of the formaldehyde family), which are known to suppress the T-cells of the immune system, known as the bodies ‘killer cells’. Candida toxins also cause histamine to be released, which has a major role in asthma and allergic reactions.  Candida also produces alcohol in the system and for some people infected with it, they appear to others as drunk or mentally confused .. without ever taking a drink.

Red blood cell flexibility is also affected when acetylaldehyde is in the system, decreasing the rate at which red blood cells can carry oxygen to the tissues.  If the brain is oxygen deprived, the central nervous will be affected causing: mood swings, behavioral changes, headaches, hyperactivity, paranoia, insomnia and list goes on.

(Inside the brain, histamine plays an important role in stimulating the release of neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. When too much histamine is released in the brain we can suffer from ADHD symptoms, depression, aggressiveness, compulsive disorders and a ‘racing brain’. Similar to bipolar or manic depression you could become obsessive about sex, cry easily, have abnormal fears and even contemplate suicide. Too little histamine can cause disorders like chronic fatigue, paranoia, hallucinations and depression.)

“The Candida cells excrete a chemical that shrinks the cells of the intestinal wall, and as these cells continue to wither away, the intestinal tract further degrades, becomes more inflamed, and leaks even more toxins into the blood stream.

So now you have a Candida infection, and the yeast is living off the carbohydrates you are eating, which results in a further imbalance in your blood-sugar levels. Remember that an elevated level of cortisol will inhibit your cells’ sensitivity to insulin and your ability to store glucose for energy; now the Candida is living off your glucose-producing foods before you can even use them, and your energy level is dropping because your muscles and brain are starved for the glucose that fuels them. Your sugar cravings are increasing; you are consuming lots of junk food that is high in calories; and you are probably gaining more weight….

Prolonged periods of elevated cortisol levels can destroy immune cells, rob these cells of the chemicals that are necessary for them to function properly, and even shrink the thymus gland that is making these immune-system cells. Add this to the fact that your poor immune system is already overburdened by dealing with the toxins leaking out of your intestinal tract. The Stress Effect: Discover the Connection Between Stress and Illness ~ By Richard Weinstein

Candiasis affects the immune system, nervous system and endocrine system as they are all connected. It can cause fatigue, allergies, thrush, vaginal, bladder, prostate and other infections plus body aches, thyroid, mood disorders and depression. It has become a major health problem because of being misdiagnosed and mistreated in the past—Candida has now reached nearly epidemic proportions, affecting both men and women.

“Problems related to [the endocrine] glands and organs include low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), diabetes, and obesity, all of which are increasing at alarming proportions in the United States [and the world]. Hypothyroidism is rampant, especially among women. And the ailment most common across the board with males and females is adrenal exhaustion, where the adrenals output chronically high cortisol levels, resulting in fatigue, low immunity, anxiety, insomnia, and weight gain.” The Candida Cure: The 90-Day Program to Beat Candida and Restore Vibrant Health ~ by Ann Boroch

Women who think they may have candidiasis could suffer from extreme hormonal shifts due to estrogen imbalance. The amount of estrogen released into the body is regulated by the liver and the bacteria in the intestinal tract. The liver sends excess estrogen through the gallbladder duct to the small intestines, where the normal bacteria break it down. If you lack the bacteria to destroy excess estrogen and you have intestinal leakage, the estrogen will be reabsorbed and can end up in lymph-node sites such as the breasts, ovaries and uterus. This could contribute to endometriosis, fibroid tumors, estrogen-sensitive cancers, PMS and monthly pre-menstrual migraines.

“The presence of a vaginal infection indicates regret (regarding past sexual behavior) and a desire to express innocence and purity. Note that infection always represents repressed anger.” The Body is Telling You: Love Yourself! ~ Lise Bourbeau

Diabetic women experience more vaginal infections, because the excess sugar in their blood is a ripe environment to attract yeast infections. Also, women can “catch” fungal yeast infections from their partner as Candida has been found in male seminal fluids, which can reinfect women during sexual intercourse.

CANDIDIASIS SYMPTOMS

“Feeling lousy, without reason, being irritable or easily angered;

Craving yeasty foods (bread, alcohol, fermented cheeses) and sweets

Eating these foods may provide temporary relief, but this may be followed by a worsening of symptoms,

Abdominal pains;

Premenstrual syndrome, menstrual irregularities, and pain;

Symptoms resembling hypoglycemia (fatigue, sharp hunger spells, weakness, trembling, drowsiness, cold sweats, dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, palpitations, rapid pulse, and irritability);

Vaginal infections and local discomfort during intercourse;

Prostatitis or impotence;

Loss of libido;

Persistent fungus infections of the feet crotch, toenails, or skin;

Fatigue that is worsened when exposed to molds (basements, gardening); and

Heightened sensitivity to tobacco smoke, perfumes and other chemicals.

Treatment may involve avoidance of foods that promote yeast growth – which are often the very foods that are craved; avoidance (to a reasonable extend) of antibiotics; taking the anti-yeast (prescription) drug nystatin; eating yogurt; taking capsules of lactobacilli to replace the normal flora that are killed of by antibiotics; drinking special herbal teas (taheebo, la pacho, pau d’arco); and having cleansing enemals (Trowbridge/Walker). How Can I Heal What Hurts: Wholistic Healing and Bioenergies ~ Daniel J Benor

Skin conditions such as psoriasis, seborrhea, rosacea, toenail fungal are usually associated with Candida and food allergies. It’s been advised not to eat  Nightshade foods, such as: tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers (all peppers). These foods can cause the thinning of the intestinal lining allowing toxins to leak out affecting the skin.

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF CANDIDIASIS

“Candida is a yeast-like fungus that can occur in warm, damp areas, such as the mouth, intestines, bladder, or vagina. Normally this fungus lives in balance in the body, but such balance can easily be broken, whether by excessive stress, antibiotics, or birth control pills, that can weaken the immune system. Due to these factors increasing in our lives, so the cases of candida have also increased. Candida has been named the cause of numerous ailments, from depression to be behavioural problems, as the fungus is said to be able to move into different organs and systems in the body. Doctors disagree on this, and more medical research is needed. As Candida can grow for many years without any obvious effects, it is not always easy to diagnose.

Candida in the digestive system suggests you are being psycho/emotionally invaded by someone or something, and feel out of control. It also impies that your normal living environment has become upset or out of balance, allowing other energies to enter and make themselves at home.

Are you feeling particularly insecure?

Is something eating away inside you?

Are you out of contact with your inner strength and resilience?

What is needed to regain your stability?” Deb Shapiro ~ YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND

People susceptible to candiasis have a tendency to deny or play down their emotions, struggling against how they actually feel. All this creates a stranglehold or a clinging to keep their inner turmoil from coming out into the open. Others may not see through your façade at first, at least not until they get to know you. Friends may come and go because they get the feeling you don’t want to help yourself. They see you as not feeling confident about who you are. You may look really sad to them or really angry at the world. It also seems as if you’re holding back from being honest with yourself. But that’s further from the truth, isn’t it? They don’t understand how much pain and sadness is buried inside you and as result you’ve built walls so no more sadness could come in. But shutting yourself off is not giving you the chance to experience true friendship. You are in fact pushing people away.

This is really interesting because of all the organs in the body, the intestines have a great need to protect and be protected. It could be we didn’t feel welcomed into the world or felt our parents didn’t nurture us properly. When we feel that way, we feel out of place, unwanted and the rage within is so strong we can’t allow ourselves to express. In fact our need for security can be so strong we can lie to protect ourselves or lie to protect someone or to cover something up. When we hold or distort the truth, it can haunt us, especially if we’re afraid the other person might find out. Every time we lie, we have to stumble over our own thoughts and feeling about it, creating our limitations and obstacles.

The intestines house a long muscle that automatically moves when full, but when we are nervous, tense and irritated this muscle is unable to move and becomes contracted. Not only can this contraction affect our breathing (diaphragm), it also affects blood circulation as well as the lymph system, making it difficult for our bodies to absorb minerals and trace elements. Without these essential nutrients we can experience hypoglycemia, heart palpitations, trembling and higher amounts of perspiration. We may experiences numbness in the hands and feet, cramps in and spasms in the stomach and severe back pain.

 “People who have candida are often very frustrated and angry and may feel scattered in their personal and professional lives. Since they are basically untrusting, they are often very demanding in relationships. They are great takers, but not very good givers. Early in life, they learned that they could not trust people who were close to them. Now, they cannot trust themselves…..

 Candidiasis is a state of inner imbalance, not a germ, but, a dis-ease. Candida albicans is a strain of yeasts commonly found in the gastrointestinal and genito-urinary areas of the body. It is generally harmless, but when resistance and immunity are low, the yeast is able to multiply rapidly, feeding on sugars and carbohydrates in these tracts. It releases toxins into the bloodstream, and causes far-reaching problems. Stress and lack of rest aggravate this condition in a body that is already out of balance.”” ~ Louise L. Hay

Whether they’re conscious of it or not, people who are susceptible to Candida have experienced a profound betrayal in love; they have a very hard time trusting anyone or anything. As young children they might not have been told or understood the concept of death and so felt betrayed by the death of a parent, a pet or someone they loved dearly. They also feel betrayed by the person who never told them their love of their live was dying. Suffering both loss and betrayal, a person’s trust in life itself is shattered.

Breaches of trust can happen when the basic care we expect from our parents is withdrawn or withheld. Children unconsciously develop a sense that life itself cannot be trusted when protection isn’t given or nourishment is withheld. As adults, they feel as if they were fools to have ever trusted in the first place. That’s why as adults, they will protect themselves at all costs from ever being in a vulnerable place again.

 “This disorder occurs mainly in people who have been psychologically, emotionally, and physically over-active and are in serious need of stabilizing their lives. …candidiasis corresponds to issues regarding the creation of a stabilized living situation, specifically what is known as the “nesting bug”. The stress emerging from the unfulfilled desire to lay down roots and establish a home and family is directly connected to this virus.” Caroline Myss ~ The Creation of Health

Usually when we have difficulty stabilizing our lives, it may be because we grew up in the midst of an out-of-control parent…one who was either an alcoholic, a drug addict, a gambler or a manic depressive. As a consequence our childhood was out of control, suffering a profound lack of safety. Like a person suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) the child can never let down their guard, believing that if they do, all hell will break loose. They’re continually stressed, wearing themselves out worrying about what could possibly go wrong.

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

 “Candida—Self-doubt. Feeling scattered, hazy, frazzled, stressed, trapped. Frustrated with your partner, blaming your partner or someone close to you. Feeling angry that you aren’t getting what you want but not wanting to change or to take action … Blocking the energy flow in your life. Holding on to grief and sadness from the past”. Inna Segel

Candida can be missed and misdiagnosed, because it is often masked as another problem such as anxiety, depression, anger, relationship problems, etc. Unknown to us there is another driving force behind what is happening to us. Candidiasis once unleashed is determined to survive…all its energy is directed toward getting what it wants to hold its self-image together. It will keep the relationship with you going as long as this yeast/fungi gets what it wants. This ultimately works against you to get the kind of help you need to turn this disease around. When the stress of trying to keep yourself together fails, the Candida can overwhelmingly cause you to fall into deep apathy and depression. You may regress to earlier parts of your life, replaying over and over your childhood wounds.

People who have trust issues have had to adapt to the betrayals they experienced as a child—children unconsciously develop a sense that life can’t be trusted—especially when protection isn’t given or nourishment is withheld. As adults we keep replaying over and over the stories of when we weren’t able to express our needs or even hope our secrets will be fulfilled. To cover up our feelings, we convince ourselves we’d be better off alone and do our best not to rely on anyone. Now we’re walled off in a world of emotional anguish in exactly the same way our parents raised us.

In order to escape the sorrow of our past, we tend to seek refuge in our imagination—we live in tomorrow, filled with hopes and desires for the future. The more we desire for this kind of future, the more we become dissatisfied with today. This dissatisfaction creates more tension and stress in the body and causes us to feel even more insecure. To fight insecurity we resist anything that forces us to sit in silence or remain still. Restless we could resort to drinking, smoking, over-eating, sex and drugs. To relax, we join in competitive games and sports but it doesn’t help us because our continual thoughts and attitudes are still stuck in the past.

Depleted energy can cause depression, loneliness and fear. If we keep pushing ourselves beyond what the body can endure, we can suffer from an endless of physical, mental and emotional disorders such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, insomnia, stomach ulcers, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity and candiasis.

“You hold onto the hurt, the anger, the resentment, because you fear that if you could let it go effortlessly, then whoever caused the pain in the first place, would be getting away with it too easily.

By holding on, you might still be searching for closure, and needing an apology from someone, again, or for the first time. You want to arrive at the moment with all the baggage in hand, to make sure they understand all the weight you have been carrying around. Seeking validation for your suffering, acknowledgment, and to be reassured, yes, indeed, you really were hurt.

The only problem here is that you will never be free of the hurt, anger, or pain so long as you are waiting for that grand moment to come. The perpetrator has a backstage pass into your mind anytime. You’re open 24/7. It’s like being free on a very very long chain. You can move in any direction you want in a circle, and stretch pretty far, but at any given moment, be snapped back to that time and place, and the one snapping you back is the very person who hurt you, and you are the one that gave them permission to be there.

 You gave control of your happiness to someone else.

 Does it affect the other person if you are wallowing in misery, crying your eyes out reliving the moment, staring at the cars going by on the road losing hours of your time? Nope!” ABRAHAM HICKS

Candida can strike at times after we have suffered a great loss, it could from a a childhood trauma, a job loss, a physical injury or even a debilitating illness. Having lost our own power we strike out at those we love, our family, our partner, even our children. Instead of seeing a relationship as give and take or sharing our feelings, we see it as a competition as ‘who’s going to win’.

“When I get angry and act against my better judgment, it’s not just because I’m protecting myself…..it’s also about who I wasn’t able to be as a child and teenager. Learning to pay attention to my own behaviors and habits, I’ve recognized anger as an ongoing pattern for me. It all seems to come from ignoring my intuition and even my emotional and sexual boundaries to please others. But of course no matter how hard I try the relationship ends and I scold myself ‘again’ for sabotaging my worth for pleasing others. In fact it’s really embarrassing after it’s all over that I probably wouldn’t have even dated that person if I had listened to my intuition.” (email from Ruth B)

FINDING INNER BALANCE

 “The value of words is often underestimated.Like smudges on a pair of spectacles, they have the ability to blur everything you do not make crystal clear. Listen with great care to what is being said and choose your own words as if they were diamonds” Sally Brompton

“Trust or mistrust is the basic element of your first chakra program, which is a foundation for all the other programs that follow. Trust enables the body to unfold from its cramped position, allows security and calm, and encourages connection, bonding, and exploration. With trust the survival instinct is satisfied and there is a sense of emotional well-being. If you are confident that the world is a friendly space, you have the sense that you will live. Without trust, your survival feels constantly threatened, and because there is nothing you can do to meet the threat, the anxiety is unbearable.” Eastern Body Western Mind ~ Anodea Smith

The right to survive is the most important aspect of the first chakra. Food, clothing, shelter, heat, medical help and physical contact are among the necessities of the base chakra. It represents our roots, our foundation and again our survival. The main purpose of this chakra is as Anodea Smith importantly pointed out, to help or guide the other chakras or energy centers, when they need it. If this chakra is strong, then your body will be healthy, strong and give you strength to move about your day. The key words to this chakra is ‘to root’, to keep you in touch with the ground. The body is the home of our soul and the foundation for our lives on the earth plane. Thanks to our body we can see and understand everything that’s happening within us. When we are sick or in trouble our body is the first to let us know. What we don’t understand will be expressed through our bodies in the form of aches and pains, stiff joints and sore muscles. The lesson to learn here is to be in contact with and respect our bodies and our root center.

In her book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”, Dr. Susan Jeffers wisely says, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.” In other words, if we don’t learn to break old habits programmed in our psyche we will never be free of our unconscious drives and habits. Old ideas and habits are anything that bind you to the past, anything that bogs you down in an emotional quagmire, anything that prevents you moving to the next stage of life, anything that causes you pain.

Your own body is the greatest health book you will ever read. When the body/mind is aware and more flexible to our inner energies, we learn not only to hear how to nurture and take care of ourselves, we’re also able to let go of old perspectives, memories, information and patterns. When your nervous system is free of all your chatter and interfering thoughts then you’ll be able hear your body’s own inner requests for self-healing and self-care.

The Second Chakra

I’ve discussed the 2nd chakra in different articles on my blog, you might find them helpful or interesting to you…

TECHNIQUES IN BREAKING THROUGH MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL BEHAVIORS here

“Part 2 – METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF PROSTATE PROBLEMS” here

BREATHING IS THE KEY TO AWARENESS here

The 2nd chakra builds upon and blends with the root chakra.  It represents sexual balance, emotional expression, intuition, cooperation, relationships, patience and attention to detail.  If we were nurtured and cared for as a child, then the gift of the sacral center is the ability to feel your feelings, make decisions, express who you are and reach for your dreams.  But if the ground of our root chakra suffered from breaches of trust and betrayals as a child, we’ll always create a distance between ourselves and the person(s) we love.

“On the level of physical perception, your second chakra automatically evaluates any situation according to how it affects your survival. Are you physically safe? Are there any financial implications? Is your power in this situation threatened by someone bigger, stronger, richer, sexier? A part of you instinctively assesses each moment of your life for its potential threat to your survival. Even if you enter a room full of loving friends and family, for example, your brain and body still scan the room and the energy around you for any impending physical dangers or negative attitudes. You also automatically scan for any threat to people you love. Hoften have you felt, on running into a friend or family member or thinking of someone that you “knew” something was wrong, even though you could not identify it?” Sacred Contracts ~ Caroline Myss

I’ve noticed that people with 2nd chakra issues suffer from passive-aggressive behaviors.  We can gravitate from being extremely over-sensitive, shy and self-depreciating to extremely controlling, sarcastic, demeaning and spiteful. What we don’t realize is that our thoughts and words affect how we feel about ourselves, even if we aren’t aware of it on a conscious level.  Loving another is an inner and outer process, and although we all have deep feelings and intense experiences, the present doesn’t represent the past and the person who we are with at moment represents no threat to us.

 “Passive aggressive behavior is when you express your anger, but it’s not directed at the person you are mad at. You might use sarcastic humor, slam doors, or kick the dog. You are aggressive in that you actively express your anger, but you are passive because your anger is directed at the source of your anger.”  Stuck: How to Mend and Move on from Broken Relationships ~ F. Remy Diederich

Are you a pot thrower?  Do you scream and scare people out of their wits just to get your point across that you’re angry?

AWARENESS EXERCISE

Write down the names of the people who you’ve recently reacted angrily or sarcastically to.  Then write down why you think these persons created this reaction in you.  In what way would you like this person to be different then the way they are?

Choose a specific situation in the recent past you remember fighting back with the same aggression you were confronted with.  What were the elements in the situation that caused you to react and to feel the emotions you did.  How would you have liked the situation to be different?

Look back at what you wrote in your first answer.  See if you can write down at least 3 good points about each person and three useful things you also learned about yourself from interacting with them.

Look over what you wrote regarding a specific situation. Reflect on it for a moment, close your eyes and write down what you see, and what you learned from the situation. Use this introspective moment to help you notice what upsets you and see how to change them.

TREATING CANDIDA

“According to Healthy Healing, an alternative healing reference by naturopathic doctor Linda Rector-page, Candidiasis is a state of inner imbalance, not a germ, but, or dis-ease. Candida albicans is a strain of yeasts commonly found in the gastrointestinal and genito-urinary areas of the body. It is generally harmless, but when resistance and immunity are low, the yeast is able to multiply rapidly, feeding on sugars and carbohydrates in these tracts. It releases toxins into the bloodstream, and causes far-reaching problems. Stress and lack of rest aggravate this condition in a body that is already out of balance.” Healthy Healing is an excellent book that I highly recommend, along with its companion book, Cooking for Healthy Healing”. Life! ~by Louise L. Hay

Definitely get yourself some high potency probiotics (acidophilius) and take it 20 minutes before breakfast or on an empty stomach. Also buy some glutamine, it acts as a gut barrier and helps to prevent ‘leaky gut’ or candida from moving through your gut wall.

Many people today cannot tolerate lactose but in yogurt the lactose is removed during fermentation.  Yogurt in your diet will raise the natural killer T-cells and helps to block carcinogens (cancer causing agents) from developing.

Other herbs and food groups to try…

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

Onions and garlic have been used for centuries for their antibiotic like qualities, known to fight bacteria, viruses and intestinal parasites.

Green plants (cereal grasses, like barley and wheat grass. plus parsley, kale, collards, dandelion greens, watercress, romaine lettuce, cabbage, kelp and other seaweeds have exceptional value in the treatment of candida.

In Chinese Medicine it is said that ‘cold and dampness’ slows the body’s circulation (chi) and weakens the spleen; when this happens, the energy we get from food isn’t absorbed as well or circulated to our tissues. It is suggested to cut down on cold and raw foods, especially when you have Candida, until it’s under control. What you want is to heat and dry your digestive organs.  Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, parsley, cardamon and pepper are known as ‘warm’ herbs you can add to your favorite foods.

To treat candida, nutritionists recommend eliminating sugar, artificial sweeteners, breads, pastries, cookies, yeasts, dairy products, fruit, tea, coffee, vinegars and tobacco, for about three months. In three months the immune system has the ability to rehabilitate itself and a strong immune system can keep the candida population in check. If you can afford it, I highly recommend seeing a naturopathic or qualified nutritionist to help you.

This section of the blog is still being continued….

Great Links

Caprylic acid found in goat’s milk and coconut oil has shown to be  effective for alleviating candida in the gut. http://www.thecandidadiet.com/caprylicacid.htm

Excellent site “The Candida Diet Protocol  http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/candida-diet-protocol.html

“We must choose foods that improve colon cleansing and retard Gut Dysbiosis, Candida, and fungus infections, so the body is not robbed of essential nutrients. We need “Sour Power” foods (grapefruit, sour cherry, apricot), along with those that contain healing sulphur (garlic, onions, mustard, curry, ginger, apricot, eggs, asafoetida), and foods rich in lymph and mood-supporting serotonin and zinc (turkey, lamb, flaxseed, sunflower seed, fish oil, bitter chocolate).  We also need high fiber gluten-free grains (quinoa, psyllium, flax, oats, wild rice). Also beneficial are low glycemic index vegetables (asparagus, broccoli, cucumber, swiss chard), high antiparasitic foods (zucchini, garlic, pumpkin seed), and peroxidase-rich foods (horseradish, parsnips, pears) that support the restoration of endocrine and immune recovery. In addition, sufferers of gut dysbiosis should avoid refined wheat, MSG, chicken, canola oil, and hydrogenated fats such as margarine. –  http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/be-good-to-your-guts/

Candida Diets Part VII Probiotics http://candidaplan.com/blog/766/candida-diets-part-vii-probiotics/

Six Natural Ways to Beat Candida  http://aguidetoahealthierlife.blogspot.ca/2012/03/six-natural-ways-to-beat-candida.html

My Journey With Candida http://www.myjourneywithcandida.com/2012/01/what-is-candida-and-how-candida.html?spref=tw

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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PART III HEALING DEPRESSION/ALLERGIES NATURALLY

Since we haven’t discussed allergies on this blog, I thought we’d devote part of this article on the symptoms and metaphysical causes of allergies first—then discover how allergens cause depression and—what we can do to heal them.

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF ALLERGIES

Allergists have said, that once we become sensitized to an allergen it’s quite possible we could start reacting to other things that normally wouldn’t bother us. As I thought about this, allergic sensitivities do seem to create a similar reaction when we are under any kind of emotional stress—one stressor can lower our resistance to others—causing us to become irritated, pre-occupied, over-controlling or withdrawn. So perhaps once the body reaches a certain allergen stress point, it too becomes unpredictable and starts over-reacting to substances we breathe in and/or eat in our environment.

The body never becomes ill without a reason.  We all have our weak spots or vulnerable areas,  and when we are stressed by life or relationships, the body reacts, creating certain types of symptoms.  Allergies are a symptom; whatever you are allergic to, milk, perfume, dust, dander, pollen, peanuts etc., these are considered triggers but not the underlying cause of an allergy.  Something has locked horns with your immune system causing it to become hyper and confused.  In a frantic attempt to protect the body, it starts sending out antibodies against every possible irritant it can find.  The problem is, this continual attack on unknown offenders causes the immune system to spread itself so thin that it weakens from all the fighting and collapses from exhaustion.  Metaphysical causes of allergies have been noted as: withheld feelings, low self-esteem, self-rejection, grief, lack of trust, lack of support, lack of self-love, resentment, anger/rage, powerlessness.

 “Stress often begins with how you think. And how you think determines how you feel—both emotionally and sometimes physically as well.  When your thoughts create strong emotions—whether positive or negative—your brain releases hormones that spread the emotional news to every system of the body.  Called neuropeptides, these hormones are informational molecules that telegraph messages to any cell in the body that has receptors for them.  Neuroscientist Dr. Candace Pert has been in the forefront of demonstrating that emotions are a powerful link between mind and body through these informational molecules.  Neuropeptides make their way into the bloodstream, where they are distributed throughout the body, binding to surface receptors on a multitude of diverse cells.  In the twinkling of an eye, then, an emotion that begins in the brain can trigger subtle and complex cellular responses through the body.  In turn, neuropeptides manufactured by the immune system, or by different organs, can also affect the brain and emotional state.” Minding the Body, Mending the Mind ~ Joan Borysenko

Neuropeptides are as Candace Pert has pointed out, ‘mediators of the mind-body connection’.  And the mind-body connection is mediated by our emotions.  Healthy emotions says Joan Borysenko have to do with open-heartedness.  We are supposed to express what we’re feeling to another, but many of us hold back due to fears of being controlled, hurt, criticized, or ridiculed.  Holding back our thoughts and feelings creates a great deal of physical and psychological stress on the body, on a deeper level, a spiritual crisis.

Inna Segel tells us…..

 “Allergies—Feeling annoyed and aggravated by other people. Giving away your power. Blaming people and events for your negative reactions. Obsession with people who have hurt you. Difficulty forgiving and seeing the blessing in this hurt. Allowing yourself to be controlled or manipulated by others, then punishing them by withholding love and kindness. Not knowing how to create boundaries with others.” Inna Segel ~ The Secret Language of Your Body: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness

AND Deb Shapiro….

 “The Physical reaction is one of defence and resistance, so the psycho/emotional cause of allergies will be connected to an inner need to withdraw, to put up resistances, not to enter fully into a situation.  As most allergens are a part of daily life, it suggests a fear of participation, intimacy responsibility or accountability.  It is as if the external world has become an enemy, something to be resisted.  Exploring what you are really afraid of, or what you are trying to avoid, will help you realize that the allergy is a symptom of something more ingrained. DEB SHAPIRO ~ Your Body Speaks Your Mind

Louise Hay….

 “Who are you allergic to?  Denying your own power.

The World is safe and friendly. I am safe. I am at peace with life.”

I think another good question regarding allergies would be “who or what are we reacting so strongly against” or “over-reacting towards”. Is there someone in your life that provokes strong reactions in you?  Someone you find difficult or irritating?  If no one comes to mind, then think about all the people in your family.  This usually gets people laughing lol.  But whoever or whatever the circumstance, someone/something is eating and draining your energy—they tire and wire you—they key you up!

The Greek word allergy means “abnormal response.”  Allergies occur when a substance normally harmless produces an abnormal response in the body.

Do you know what triggered your allergy begin?  Let’s imagine that as a child you had a horrible fight with your mother while you were eating a hamburger.  You may have cried for hours, feeling hurt, betrayed or rejected—during that time you ‘consumed the experience’ and developed a severe stomachache.  Now, years later, every time you eat a hamburger or meat, you feel a tremendous pressure erupting in your gut—you either develop hives, swell up or get very sick.  More than likely, the reason for this is an old (protective) reactive response.  What’s happened is your body has shut down so you won’t cause your mother to be upset. But wait, your mother isn’t around you as much anymore and most likely no one is going to be angry with you around a hamburger, so you can let go of this protective response.

 “Once you feel hurt, many of you become protective and closed, wanting to be certain you are not going to be hurt again.  From now on, whenever people are doing something that upsets or hurts you, see it as an opportunity to learn to love them rather than protect yourself.  Send love to your feelings of hurt.  Realize that others’ behaviors that hurt you are coming from their fear of being hurt themselves, not from their intent to harm you. Sanaya Roman ~ Spiritual Growth

You may not know all the triggers that cause an allergic response but your body does.  Ask yourself, ‘why are my allergies reacting this way’ and ‘what pattern(s) within me are they triggering’?  If you can take a few minutes to stop and feel where you’ve emotionally shutdown, you usually will feel a pain, a numbness or discomfort in some specific part of your body.  Describe how it feels to your self…look at the color, heat, shape and texture…

A great meditation from this blog (Body Wisdom)

 ENERGY ANATOMY

stress chart 001

Usually when we become sick, there is a short circuit or burn-out that begins in our astral field or aura, which then spreads rapidly into the mental, emotional and physical bodies. Most healers and spiritual people will tell you that your astral field surrounding your body contains several levels of higher and lower states of energy.  The aura too contains a number of levels of energies or chakras that at each level gently merges with the one above it.  The most common number of chakras are seven, the first being the root and located at or near the base of the spine and points downwards to the earth. Each chakra is related to a gland or several glands and should be seen as a subtle addition to the body’s endocrine system.   When healing is done via the chakras, the endocrine glands receive this healing energy as well.

More information on auras here  and astral here

All life begins as part of a family unit (1st Chakra) as children we don’t exist as a separate person, not yet, we are an extension of or part of a tribal unit.  In those early years, we identified ourselves as to how others saw us–how we attempted to get our childhood needs met—and how our mothers and/or fathers responded or ignored to those needs. This is the chakra that records and takes on your family’s attitudes towards religion, ethnic and racial groups as well your parents strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, superstitions and fears. It is here that we learn that the world is a safe or dangerous place, full of good things or riddled with poverty.

“The health of the first emotional center depends on your feeling safe in the world. If you don’t have the support of family and friends that you need to thrive, you will see this insecurity manifest in your blood, immune system, bones, joints, and skin.  The key to enjoying health in this center is balancing your own needs with those of the meaningful social groups in your life.  Family and friends, work, and an organization to which you are devoted all take up time and energy.  But they are also meant to give back, in the form of friendship, safety, and security; they should provide a sense of belonging.  These are all reasons human beings seek out other people and groups.  However, the needs of the group should never be allowed to overshadow your own needs—particularly your health.

When you are not getting what you need from relationships or activities on which you spend considerable time, your body and mind will start to tell you.  At first the signs may be as simple as fatigue, skin rashes, or joint pain.  Mild problems in the first emotional center can serve as an early-warning system, letting you know when you have gone off track. Ignoring your body’s warning could lead to a world of hurt: chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis (A, B, or C), mononucleosis, Lyme disease, allergies, rashes, psoriasis, joint pain, and autoimmune disorders like lupus all stem from an imbalance in the first emotional center…..Feeling hopeless and helpless will show up in your blood. Feeling completely alone and outcast from your family will bring illness to your immune system. And being unable to set boundaries with those around you will show up in skin ailments. Louise L. Hay and Mona Lisa Shulz ~ All is Well: Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition

One of the most basic understandings of the first chakra is hearing and heeding the inner needs of the body—such as the need to eat, drink, sleep, rest or eliminate, via the nervous system.  Our bodies also tell us when their tired, hunger, thirsty, tense, frightened or in pain.  This chakra rules the physical body which is your first responsibility—to take care of your bodily needs by listening to its inner guidance—and to do this you need to have a deep respect and love for yourself. If you’re always putting yourself down, calling yourself names or demanding more than you’re body can cope with, your body is going to start to break down.

THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

“Chronic patterns of self-hate, guilt, and self-criticism raise the body’s stress levels and weaken the immune system” Louise Hay

“If you have food allergies, the immune cells that line your gastrointestinal tract are hypersensitive. You may have low stomach acid, a pancreas that isn’t working optimally, and, possibly, a congested liver and gallbladder. You may also have an imbalance in your gut flora. The balance of gut bacteria can influence behavior and even cause depression.

According to scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, your gut bacteria communicate with your brain and have a profound impact on making you feel happy or sad. When you are stressed, your body releases lots of stress hormones. When stressed mice were fed a broth containing some Lactobacillus rhamnosus bacteria (a bacteria found in yogurt), they became significantly less anxious and had lower levels of stress hormones in their blood. The researchers determined that the bacteria were somehow communicating via the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is a very important neural two-way highway that connects your brain with all of the organs of your body. The bacteria are able to influence the GABA receptors in the brain that allow you to relax”.

http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/05/26/reduce-allergies-and-find-happiness/

Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system to a substance (known as an allergen) which in most cases isn’t bothersome to most people. But when the immune system mistakenly believes it is being invaded, it produces Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to that allergen in an attempt to protect the body, These antibodies then cause certain cells to release chemicals into the bloodstream that are known as immune suppressants.

When it comes to fighting disease your immune system is your primary defense system—it is located throughout the body and can usually identify harmful substances and whip them in the butt.  The immune system consists of the thymus gland, spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes, adrenals, appendix, bone marrow, lymphoid tissue, white blood cells, mast cells, antibodies, complement proteins (complement proteins cause blood vessels to dilate, causing swelling, heat and pain,) and many chemical mediators (chemical mediators are messengers that act on blood vessels, inflammatory cells or other cells to create an inflammatory response).

Our immune system weakens when our white blood cells are reacting and fighting against a foreign substance in the body, that it believes is a threat.  These cells release irritating substances like histamines, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins in an attempt to attack the allergen.  This flood of chemicals causes an inflammation response, which creates many symptoms such as runny eyes and nose, wheezing and sneezing, itching, and twitching, and digestive distress.

Lymphocytes are major defenders of the body and billions of these tiny cells patrol the bloodstream looking for and destroying invading viruses, bacteria, parasites and other foreign substances. But sometimes the immune system gets a bit confused and for reasons unknown misreads harmless substances such as dust, pollen and food by-products and attacks them.

Different allergies create different symptoms, and in some rare cases, severe reactions called anaphylaxis. Peanuts are one of the most common allergens known to cause anaphylaxis. Signs of anaphylaxis include swelling of the tongue, lips, and throat, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, and in rare cases, loss of consciousness.

Food allergies may also be the cause of many illnesses, such as, arthritis, depression, gall bladder disease, headaches/migraines, Crohn’s disease, acne, fibromyalgia, eczema and more. Allergies aren’t the cause of every disease but they do play an integral role in the ‘development’ of disease.  If you or your doctor have no idea of the cause of your health problems or symptoms, you should consider looking at the possibility of allergies.

CANDIDA ALBICANS (CANDIDIASIS)

Your intestinal tract naturally contains small amounts of this yeast.  But in some cases because of anti-biotics, birth control pills or a high carbohydrate diet, this can cause an overgrowth of the candida yeast, causing candidiasis.  Candidiasis and allergies are so closely linked, they are sometimes paired together. This yeast or fungus overgrowth suppresses the immune system and has been linked to food allergies, migraines, vaginitis, irritable syndrome, indigestion, asthma and many more symptoms.

“As many as 90 percent or more of Americans and Canadians may be suffering the effects of these microscopic “critters,” considered also to be a type of parasite.  An overabundance of yeast in the body can produce minor or major side effects, such as: anxiety, allergies, asthma, acne, bloating, cystitis, chemical sensitivities, coughs, cramps, constipation, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), confusion, trouble concentrating, depression, diarrhea, emotional problems, eczema, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, food cravings and sensitivies, gas, gas-indigestion, intestinal pain, irrational fears, lethargy, low self-esteem, memory loss or poor memory, migraines, sore muscles, naurea, panic, puffiness, PMS, psoriasis, quick anger, rash, sexual problems, skin infections, stiffness, sleep disturbance, sinus pressure, sore throat, thrush, vaginal yeast infections, and/or weight gain.” COMPLETE CANDIDA YEAST GUIDEBOOK ~ Jeanne Marie Martin with Zoltan P. Rona, M.D.

Poor digestion and low acid levels in the stomach is one way Candidiasis is spread.  What happens is if there isn’t enough hydrochloric acid in the stomach to digest foods properly, they won’t get ‘sterilized’ or eliminated before entering the intestines.  Candidiasis has been known to cause ‘leaky gut’ syndrome.  What happens with ‘leaky gut’, is undigested food particles (partially digested proteins, fats and bacteria) pass through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream.  The body/immune system in an attempt to protect itself attacks these foreign substances and therefore launches an allergic response.  An allergic response causes inflammation, swelling, heat, redness or tenderness as the body attempts to heal itself from the allergen.  In other words these are normal ways the body works to take care of itself but in the process it can make you feel miserable.

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

(We’re going to donate a whole article on Candidiasis once we’ve completed Part IV on depression).

HISTAMINES, CYTOKINES CAN CAUSE DEPRESSION

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

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

“The gastrointestinal tract is not only a digestive organ, but also an immune organ is a surprise to many people.  In fact more are unaware that the gastrointestinal tract is the largest immune organ in the body.  The gut provides immunological surveillance signals at the mucosa-lumen interface of the digestive tract. The cells of the immune system and the epithelial cells that line the intestinal wall communicate information regarding colonizing bacteria.  As we currently understand it, interactions of gut bacterial floral with epithelial and immune cells regulate immune development.  Furthermore, normal gut bacteria acquired in infancy are likely to be the most important determinants of allergies and diseases of chronic inflammation later in life.  As a result we need to assure that healthy gut flora is acquired early in life so that the immune system matures properly in order to avoid passing down a life-time of allergic and inflammatory diseases to our children.”  Bacteria for Breakfast: Probiotics for Good Health ~ By PhD, RPh Kelly Dowhower Karpa

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

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

“Cytokines are small molecules found in miniscule concentrations in our blood stream, that affect the behavior of others cells, especially, cells of the gut and immune system.  It appears that the immune system—especially allergic and inflammatory components of the immune system—rely heavily on signals from cytokines.  Cytokines are divided into several different families which are sometimes referred to as interleukins, interferons or tumor necrosis factors.  There are [thirty-five] different types of cytokines and their names get very confusing…….

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

SELF-DIAGNOSIS

“There are several ways to check for food allergies on one’s own. One is with the Coca test, based on Dr. Coca’s observation that a person’s pulse rate increases after eating a food to which he or she is allergic.  The test consists of taking your pulse before eating, and every 30 minutes thereafter, for up to two hours.  Normally the average person’s pulse is between 70 and 80 beats per minute.  After eating a food to which one is allgeric, however, the pulse can increase significantly, to a count that’s 20 or even 30, beats above the normal level.

After effective diagnostic measure that has been self-administered is the elimination test.  Here, suspected allergy-producing foods are eliminated from the diet for four days.  Every fifth day, one of the foods is added back in to see if an allergic reaction occurs.  So, if, for example, wheat is eliminated, on the fifth day a bowel of cracked wheat can be eaten. (Bread should not be used for this purpose because the person might be reacting to the yeast, sugar or addictives.)” Gary Null Ph.D.

http://www.myhealthmaven.com/diy/health-tests-at-home/coca-pulse-test/

Although the pulse can be felt at many spots on the body, the best place to read it is at the wrist an inch and a half above the base of the thumb.  When counting your pulse it’s best to have a clock or watch with a second hand close by.  To pick up the pulse wait until the second hand reaches 12 and then start counting until the second hand returns to 12 again.  Once you get proficient at it, you can count for 15 seconds and multiply it by 4.

“The pulse has been almost totally neglected as an indicator of ill health.  Yet this simplest of all the methods of examination is the key to some of the deepest mysteries of man’s existence–the key with which he may emancipate himself from ill health.” Arthur F. Coca, M.D. ~THE PULSE TEST

HEALING ALLERGIES NATURALLY

What each us need to avoid or add into our diet varies with our own health needs as well as our age, lifestyle and individual metabolism.  The strategy is for everyone to choose a mixed diet, but to concentrate on foods that are rich in nutrients.  Sometimes it’s impossible to get enough of certain ‘essential’ nutrients and many of us do benefit from using herbal remedies and supplements—but these need to be understood and balanced.  Before trying any supplement, check with your doctor or nutritional advisor.  Some supplements may interact with the medication or other supplements you are taking now. Most health stores are knowledgeable in the benefits and cautions of most herbs and supplements and the internet is rich in information.

These are just a few ideas to help get your allergies under control.  Please bear in mind that natural therapies and supplements work gradually and steadily and usually take longer to work than drugs obtained by your doctor.  It may take up to six or eight weeks before you notice any improvement. Stop taking any remedy that makes you feel ill or isn’t working.

PROBIOTICS – Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria help in digestion and vitamin absorption and a great detox for substances that are carcinogenic or cancer-causing. They also support the immune system. Continued use of probiotics with the addition of vitamin D have been found to reduce airway inflammation, increase peak airflow and decrease symptoms of allergy.

Many children have been found to be deficient in vitamin D which has been associated with poor lung function and poorer response to inhaled medications.

DHEA repairs and maintains tissue, controls allergic reactions and symptoms and balances the immune system.  This hormone is secreted by the adrenal glands then converted into several other hormones in the body.  DHEA is available in a capsule, liquid and spray form.  A low dose of 5 mg is usually recommended and then increased slowly.  For those living in Canada government restriction prevent the purchase of DHEA over the counter.

ANTIDEPRESSANTS

Vitamin B12 and folic acid have been effective in raising mood.

Patients on antidepressants supplemented with B complex vitamins have been known to improve more than those on antidepressants who did not supplement with them. Vitamin B6 is needed by the body to produce serotonin.

SAM-e – S-adenosyl-L-methionine, is an amino acid that is thought to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine. It’s a super antidepressant.

5-HTP, L-Tryptophan and Melatonin – 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) and L-Tryptophan are amino acids that are used by the body to make serotonin. They are helpful in the synthesis of melatonin, a hormone involved in healthy sleep. These supplements are super when having to wean off prescription antidepressants. As the dosage of the antidepressant is gradually reduced, one can slowly substitute 5-HTP or L-Tryptophan to help reduce the withdrawal reactions that are apparent with most antidepressants.

L-Tyrosine L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that the body uses to manufacture dopamine. It also uses L-Tyrosine to make thyroid hormone. It can be a very effective antidepressant for almost everyone. One of the ways to boost L-Tyrosine levels is to supplement with vitamin C, which helps the body manufacture it in greater amounts.

Omega-3 fatty acids – Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil, flax seed, evening primrose, borage, blackcurrant seed oil) help to reduce inflammation and the absorption of nutrients.  It’s also known as a great brain food.  All brains would benefit from optimal levels of DHA and EPA. Depression is one of many common conditions that could benefit from omega-3 fatty acids. They influence something called the cytokine system in the brain. These cytokines are known as interleukin-1 -2 and -6, interferon-gamma, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. They can directly and indirectly influence the severity of depression.

Rhodiola rosea – This is an excellent herbal remedy for both anxiety and depression – Athletes have used this remedy for better stamina and higher energy. Check with your health care provider or health store as to how much you should take and if it can be increased gradually.

Valerian helps to calm the nerves and anxieties – it is especially recommended for nervous problems caused from emotional stress or pain.

VITAMINS AND MINERALS

Vitamin A increase the immune response and builds resistance to infection.

B Vitamins increase antibody response – B6 maintains a healthy immune and nervous system – more than 50 enzymatic reactions depend on vitamin B6

Selenium is another potent antioxidant and is important in detoxifying the body of environmental toxins.

Vitamin C stimulates adrenaline function and is essential to the immune system.

Vitamin E in conjunction with selenium and vitamin C is a potent immune protector.  It increases resistance to infection and reduces damage caused by stress.

Zinc boosts the thymus gland and is crucial for normal growth, cell division and tissue repair – without it, the immune system couldn’t do its job.  There are over 300 enzyme systems in the body that require zinc to do their job.  Zinc deficiency can cause a reduction in T-cells, natural killer cells and thymic hormone.

Magnesium is immune enhancing and essential to metabolism.  It’s main function is to activate enzymes, especially those related to energy production. Magnesium deficiencies have shown an increase of cytokines (inflammation) in the body.

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant – it’s most plentiful in sun-ripened tomatoes, watermelon, guava, and pink grapefruit.

Garlic is a natural antibiotic helping to ward off all kinds of infections. It is known to lower cholesterol, kill bacteria, boost the immune system and lower blood sugar levels.

TEA TREE OIL is an antifungal, anti-yeast and antiviral agent.  It can be taken both topically and internally.  It has many antimicrobial activities and used in the treatment of many different skin conditions, especially those associated with fungi or Candida.

HERBS

Tumeric or Curcumin is a potent antiflammatory and affects the production of both prostaglandins and leukotrienes which help to reduce pain. It is most effective in the treatment of Fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme found in the fruit and stem of the pineapple plant.  It helps to reduce swelling and works great in reducing arthritic pain.

Devil’s Claw reduces both pain and inflammation.

Eyebright – Stimulates the liver and cleans the blood. This herb can be used topically and internally – it reduces inflammation and is very helpful with people who have eye allergies such as conjunctivitis and blepharitis.

Stinging Nettle is great for itchy red eyes and works to reduce inflammation

Marigold helps to relieve nasal congestion, sneezing as well as itchy watery eyes.

Ginkgo biloka is great for hay fever sufferers, helps improve blood circulation and oxygen flow.  It can also help people with asthma.  Check with your doctor before taking this or any supplement.

Fresh thyme, nettles and fenugreek help clear the lungs of mucus

EXERCISE boosts metabolism and improves circulation bringing more oxygen and mood enhancing endorphins to the brain.  It has been proven that exercise can help alleviate depression, reduce cholesterol, glucose and other chemicals involved in your physical and mental health.

Optimized Diet – Good nutrition has become difficult in our day and age due to chemicals used in farming and to the food processing industry.  Also our food and environment is becoming increasingly polluted adding to our allergies and health problems.

While there is no single diet that’s for all those suffering from allergies and depression, avoiding sugar, alcohol and refined carbohydrates will help many.

GREAT LINKS

*WARNING: Anaphylactic shock can be a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.due to the collapse of the respiratory and circulatory system. If you are prone to highly allergic reactions, it is important to wear a medical bracelet and medical information in your wallet.  If you use an EpiPen, keep it close to your person and inform all those you are with, that should you go into an anaphylactic shock to use the EpiPen and make sure you receive immediate first aid treatment and sent to an emergency centre for observation.

A patient in anaphylactic shock should lie on their side to avoid choking (tongue can block airways) and if they need to vomit. If the person stops breathing, mouth to mouth resuscitation should be performed immediately.*

The Effects of Anaphylaxis on the Body http://www.healthline.com/health/anaphylaxis/effects-on-body

Chemical mediators http://people.upei.ca/hanna/Inflam7/Inflam-L7-2012.pdf Complement proteins http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/immunesystem/immunecells/Pages/complementSystem.aspx

Is raw food for you?

http://www.healyourlife.com/author-jenny-ross-and-doreen-virtue/2009/10/lifeshelp/get-healthy/is-raw-food-for-you

Great links on cytokines

Dr. Andrew Weil, Depression and Inflammation http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/depression-and-inflammation_b_1071714.html

Interview with Dr. Andrew Weil http://ttbook.org/book/transcript/transcript-andrew-weil-doctors-recipe-happiness

Healthy Food Pyramid http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02995/Dr-Weil-Anti-Inflammatory-Food-Pyramid.html

What is inflammation http://www.marksdailyapple.com/what-is-inflammation/#axzz28CD3qHK2

Great blog regarding allergies http://www.healyourlife.com/author-dr-darren-r-weissman/2009/11/wisdom/personal-growth/sticks-and-stones

Allergies, natural solutions http://www.naturopathic.org/content.asp?contentid=36

Natural Allergy Remedies http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/allergies-allergy

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“PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS), which has reached epidemic proportions, is concurrent with the increase of media advertising.  These ads continually hammer home the concept that the female body must be sprayed and powdered and douched and overcleansed in numerous ways to make it even barely acceptable.  At the same time that women are coming into their own as equal beings, they are also being bombarded negatively with the idea that the feminine procresses are not quite acceptable.  This notion, combined with the tremendous amounts of sugar being consumed today, creates a fertile breeding ground for PMS.”  Louise L. Hay YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE

PMS can include many physical and emotional changes such as weight gain, acne, headaches, depression, food cravings, poor concentration, breast swelling and tenderness, bloating, muscle aches, constipation, nervous tension, insomnia, mood swings, rage, fatigue, heart palpitations, urinary problems, anxiety, and many many more different symptoms.

If you are one of the many sufferers of PMS then you are all too familiar with the wide range of the numerous physical and mental changes that begin between two and fourteen days before menstruation. Tension and irritability can be so severe, it can literally turn any woman into a raging lunatic in minutes! Women who have experienced this have described PMS like a spring being turned tighter and tighter until suddenly it snaps, causing temporary insanity. It could also be likened to a repressed volcano that suddenly and inexplicably throws everything around it into chaos.

If you are a teen reading this, I cannot stress enough about the extremes of dieting and PMS. Dieting places the body in the famine or starvation mode, which causes your metabolism to slow down when you try to diet. What happens when your metabolism slows down is the hypothalamus in your brain moves into a high state of alarm. The hypothalamus is part of the limbic system or old brain that controls your eating, drinking, sleeping and maintenance of your reproductive functions. If you are constantly dieting or changing your eating habits this can cause premenstrual syndromes and/or delay your sexual development. Puberty, especially in girls could be delayed because body weight is a factor in your reproductive function. If your weight drops below a certain level than your menstrual cycle and especially ovulation could come to a halt. This may not only be the cause of your PMS troubles but possibly will affect you later in life when you are thinking or contemplating pregnancy.

The same is true for the ‘older’ woman. If her fat-to-muscle ratio—drops below a certain level, then her reproductive cycle and the delivery of her eggs will most likely to come to a halt.

“This is true of malnourished women and, in our society of some athletes and some overenthusiastic dieters and joggers. And if she is exposed to something that her brain-body system experiences as stressful, then the same effect is likely to be found. Such a response would be adaptive. It is not in a woman’s interests, evolutionarily speaking, to commit herself to conception, childbirth and child-rearing either when resources are scarce or when the environment is less than congenial….Deep in woman….not in men, are buried the gene-hormone-norepinephrine pathways of the Stone-Age Venuses of Menton and Willendorf, figurines of Paleolithic woman who were grotesquely fat by our standards, but who were highly valued, it seems, as reproducers.” Jo Durden-Smith and Diane deSimone Sex and the Brain

PMS can physically, mentally and emotionally sap us of energy. Not only do our behaviors and feelings run totally out of control, we can also feel unsure of who we are, losing touch with our bodies, our emotional needs as well as the needs and feelings of others. Premenstrual syndrome can be so uncomfortable, miserable and isolating, it can bring out the worst side in all of us. At the office we may manage not to explode but as soon as we get home, we’re ready to bite somebody’s head off. For no reason we’ll quickly attack our husband, lover or children for any little thing….we become like a ravenous dog that’s lost all control of its body and mind. The brain has automatically switched into overdrive, creating a massive release of adrenal hormones.

Our sex hormones are among the most subtle and powerful chemicals in nature. They have a profound effect on the nervous system as well as increased electrical activity in the brain. When the brain and nervous system are thrown off balance, we are at the mercy of uncontrollable and abnormally high and unstable emotions.

(Receptors for estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone have been found in different regions of the brain and these three hormones play different roles at different times. One area in the brain that is particularly rich in these hormones is the limbic system, which governs our moods and emotions. When your thought processes are in a jumpy hyperactive mode, they affect the hypothalamus, in the limbic area of the brain that is highly sensitive to your moods and emotions. When the hypothalamus is thrown off balance, it affects and drastically alters the production of the sex hormones in the brain, causing an array of negative emotions to flood your system.)

Michelle, a good friend and client of mine, use to experience confusion, anger and anxiety almost every month, for a few days before her period. “At first I didn’t know what was going on. It seemed that for almost seven days a month my life would fall to pieces. I’d experience a buildup of anger, irritation or frustration either with myself or with those closest to me. I’d become overly critical with everything little thing and go absolutely berserk on my family, husband or children. I felt totally out of control with my life. And even when I was in the throes of anger, I had a knowing I was picking on the ones I loved most because of what was happening within myself. But at that time I didn’t know how to help myself or undo these rapid mood swings. Guilt would set in and I’d find myself crying uncontrollably.”

PMS has been known to be quite destructive to the quality of one’s life. Working with and touched by people like Michelle who have suffered extremely painful periods has motivated me to try and understand why women suffer such an endless array of symptoms and behaviors.

Something I noticed with Michelle and many other menstrual women, including myself, is the strong cravings for sweet, starchy foods before our period started. This temporary loss of control is mostly due to the rapid changes in all hormonal levels after ovulation, especially estrogen and progesterone.

When progesterone in the body is on the rise, it can cause a dramatic fall in our blood sugar levels. When this happens, the hypothalamus, in the brain, signals the nervous system to tell the body it needs sugar—fast! Sugars and starches can raise our blood sugar in about 5 minutes, but almost as soon as we gobble all those high carb foods down, a mad rush of insulin is released into the blood stream, taking the excess sugar out of the blood causing our blood sugars to plummet dramatically.

Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia can cause an array of symptoms in the body. Not only can hypoglycemia make you feel dizzy, weak and shaky, it also causes fatigue, mental confusion, irritability, headaches, nervousness, migraines, depression, muscle aches, poor concentration, heart palpitations, sweating, tinnitus, irritable bowel syndrome and a whole lot more problems.

Although hypoglycemia isn’t the main offender to PMS it does have a huge impact on the liver, which has a very 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 loiver 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

This quote from Deb Shapiro fits well with a quote by Louise Hay

“The probable cause of PMS is allowing for too much confusion, giving power to outside influences and rejecting the feminine processes. Louise Hay

During my healing profession, I’ve worked with women who have expressed their unhappiness and depression with the way they see their bodies. Their main concern, or so they say, is about losing weight and wanting to look model-thin. But really this is only the tip of the ice-burg.

Usually in a healing treatment, I encourage people to express whatever is on their minds. As the healing begins, and our auras merge, I mentally ask the client’s spirit what the hidden cause of her PMS symptoms are, and what can be done about it. This type of communication also helps an uncomfortable and rather shy person to become more relaxed, open and spontaneous.

To hear a client’s inner voice, a healer needs a focused, clear, calm receptive mind. Approaching a patient in this way is done with a non-judgmental attitude of acceptance and love. A spirit that has unconsciously imprisoned itself will relax and unfurl like a flower when loved, leading you into that person’s heart. Energy that was crimped up and congested in the lower chakras begins to flow, reducing backed-up pressure and increasing a client’s intuitive perceptions and inner awareness.

I can’t tell you how many times an ‘external’ muscle has been the cause of PMT, stomachaches, heartburn, nausea, urinary incontinence and heart arrhythmia. These muscles can clamp down on the blood flow in an artery making a part of the body feel cold. Pelvic congestion (enlarged veins in the uterus) can also cause vaginal and bladder problems, painful periods, irregular bleeding and painful sex. When the veins in this area become enlarged, they cause slow circulation and the blood to stagnate in the pelvic area.

If you suffer from thyroid problems, such as hypothyroidism, one of things you may have noticed was an increase in muscle cramps, muscle weakness, stiffness and pain. This is one of the typical signs of low thyroid problems, which could also be a major comtributor to your PMS.

Muscles are known to hold past memories. traumas, repressed fears, guilt, tension and feelings. Knotted up muscles in the lower abdomen and inner thighs have been known to frequently squeeze nearby nerves. Nerves that pass through a muscle are even more vulnerable. They can distort the electrical signals that travel along it, causing sensations such a numbness, tingling, or burning.

Confusion, guilt, anger, fear, worry, etc. not only put a crimp in our circulation of energy, it can, and especially in PMS sufferers, cause energy to back up in the pelvic region. It is in the abdominal region where our longings, unfulfilled desires and everyday pressures and outside conflicts are assimilated. If we don’t allow the body to cleanse itself, tension and pressure will continue to build to a point where it causes pain, psychologically then physically. Not only will this cause the abdomen to swell, our ankles, fingers and feet usually will too, as well as swollen painful breasts.

One more thing I’d like to mention, in regard to PMS, is a yeast-like fungus called Candida. Candida naturally exists in your mouth, intestines, bladder and vagina. Normally it is a friendly fungus that helps to balance normal body functions, but antibiotics, excessive stress and even depression can cause it to grow out of control causing a yeast infection called Candida Albicans. Candida Albicans can cause a multiple of symptoms, such as vaginal/urinary inefections, allergies, arthritis, depression, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Autism, ADD/ADHD, sugar cravings PMS, colds and infections. It can cause low energy and fatigue, irritability, anxiety, fear, headaches, muscle and joint pain, heart palpitations, bloating, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), eczema, itching, rashes, acne and the list goes and on.

“High blood sugar levels increase the amount of sugar stored in the vaginal cell walls, and yeast loves sugar. In fact woman who suffer from chronic yeast infections are encouraged to be screened for diabetes since the infections are so common in women with diabetes.” The Canadian Type Two Diabetes Sourcebook by Sara Rosenthal

If you suspect you have Candida Albicans, your doctor can do a cultural swab or a stool sample to check this out. The problem is, is that there is no test that positively confirms whether you have this yeast infection or not. The reason is because Candida exists naturally in areas like the stomach and intestines. However a stool sample will show if you have abnormally high amounts of yeast.

“In using dietary strategies as a treatment for candida overgrowth, a restricted diet should be followed for several weeks. Actually this diet can be followed for an indeterminate amount of time, and foods can also be added back eventually. This should be done in a gradual one-at-a-time manner, to determine a specific food’s effect. If symptoms recur after a particular good is introduced, that food should then be avoided.

The main thing to remember as you follow an anti-candida diet is to exclude sugar. The idea is to guard against the continued growth of yeast and to fortify the immune system, and since sugar is a main food source for yeast, and does not benefit the immune system, it has to be eliminated. Don’t just ban granulated sugar, though; also be on guard against honey, corn and maple syrup, fruit, ,maltose, artificial sweeteners, fructose, cornstarch, sodas and lactose (a milk sugar found in dairy products). Gary Null, Ph.D. The Complete Encyclopedia of Natural Healing

In Part II of this PMS series we’ll look at the metaphysical causes of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and in Part III we’ll look deeper into the hormonal issues and naturally find ways to become ‘a well nourished woman’.

“In women, puberty is the starting point for what can be called cyclical intuition, the intuition available to most women throughout their formative and reproductive years. This is intuition that ebbs and flows in rhythm with the menstrual cycle. In the days before ovulation, intuition is at a low ebb. But then, right before a woman gets her period, the intuitive flow begins, and a woman gains increased access to intuition. Mona Lisa Schultz, Awakening Intuition

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

Links

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

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/premenstrual-syndrome/DS00134

http://www.healthy.net/scr/article.aspx?Id=3166 (Thyroid)

http://www.netplaces.com/health-guide-to-pms/oh-my-aching-headphysical-symptoms-part-two/joint-and-muscle-pain.htm

http://www.livestrong.com/article/106163-causes-sugar-cravings/

http://www.livestrong.com/pms/

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