Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘frustration’

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

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

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

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

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

How can you reclaim your balance and dignity?”

YOUR BODY SPEAKS  YOUR MIND ~ by Deb Shapiro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KIDNEY/BLADDER MERIDIANS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE LIVER/GALL BLADDER MERIDIAN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Acupressure points for knees and meridians

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

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

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

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

LOW SELF-ESTEEM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CASE STUDY ONE

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

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

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

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

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

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

CASE STUDY TWO

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

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

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

CASE STUDY THREE

When Carley first contacted me, she had no idea why her rheumatoid arthritis had suddenly flared-up causing her excruciating pain.  To get to the heart of the matter, I scheduled a distant-healing with her, to help both of us understand what was metaphysically going on.

Reiki and other forms of healing, helps us ground our energies by gradually reconnecting with our feelings. Our feelings help us understand our own unique perspective on the world and they reveal ‘unfinished business’. Feelings inform us there’s something we need to attend to..feelings are doors into our inner selves.  Beyond each door lies information about our past which can set us free in the present. However, if we keep these doors shut, we miss out on opportunities to heal ourselves. Not only that, it takes an awful lot of energy to barricade a door, that if opened, could be used to heal the body.

Bones are basically crystallized energy of our life and experiences. They represent the deepest core of our being, the unconscious.  Given their composition of minerals, are related to old memories recorded in this life-time or in previous lives. The many traumas we “agreed” to partake on in this lifetime, constantly forces us to reassess and change direction. Change just doesn’t happen. It has to wind backwards first, before literally screeching to a halt and then going forward.

Relaxing deeply into her physical body, Carley’s memories took us both back to her childhood, when she had been diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in her knees and joints at the age of seven. It was during this time, her parents were called to work in a different country, leaving Carley with her elderly grandmother.

It was difficult for Carley to conform to her grandmother’s expectations, who projected a rigid code of conduct that she had to adhere to even if her grandmother did not.  There was also a lack of spontaneity in their relationship or any real demonstrations of affection or love. When I asked Carley to express what she felt living with her grandmother, the first word out of her mouth was ‘Empty’.  “I did things because they were expected of me ..  I felt angry,  I felt controlled .. I resented her for that! But she was old, this made me feel guilty to yell at her … I held all those resentful, hurtful feelings inside”.

“It is within the chest that we express many of our feelings, particularly to do with ourselves; these feelings may include our sense of self-value or self-dislike, our ability to love ourselves (from which we can then love others) and, conversely, feelings of anger or frustration with ourselves. Tension in this area will build a wall of armour, protecting against hurt  or rejection…..it is this area of the body that harbours our innermost feelings which then find expression through our relationships, downwards through the pelvis and legs or upwards through the arms or voice.” The Bodymind Workbook ~ Debbie Shapiro

Six months after her parents left Carly started experiencing severe pain in her lower extremities and spent a good part of her young life in hospital. For two years, Carely’s parents never knew she was ill or in the hospital. Her grandmother never told them!

Children who are prompted to do exactly what is expected of them, without taking their own needs and feelings into account, suffer from intense constrictions throughout the whole body. This constriction severely inhibits the breathing process, causing the metabolic action in their body to almost cease.   When this happens, tissue in the human body becomes condensed (fossilized) because of traumatic experiences. This ‘fossilization’ can be linked to chronic conditions such as gout, arthritis and skin diseases.

I talked with Carley about the chakra system (whirling energy centers) of the body and in particular the base/root or 1st chakra – this chakra has more unconsciousness patterns and beliefs within it than any other center. These become activated when our survival is threatened. The base chakra becomes dysfunctional when we sustain a shock to our system. Whenever we face a threat or unknown danger the base chakra can become paralyzed and frozen. Overtime this can show up as problems with the pelvis, rectum, hips, legs and feet which channel the energy of this chakra. Each step we take defines our right to live our own life and helps recalibrate its vibrations and strengthens our bond between our spirit and the earth.  The 2nd chakra or sacral is about our emotional feelings and our self-image. It represents the historical record if our awareness from the time of our birth to the present. Our feelings don’t represent our awareness of others but they represent our awareness of ourselves in relation to others – the impact of experience with others.

HEALING KNEE AND JOINT PAIN

“When you feel bad and pretend to feel good, your are in denial. This is a form of resistance and it causes internal conflict. A person who is conflicted usually internalizes feelings which results in physical problems or addictions. Any time you are not true to your feelings, your energy level drops. Any time you deny a feeling, you give it more power. Unresolved feelings continue to recycle and resurface until they are resolved.” Joe Nunziata ~ Spiritual Selling

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

CREATIVE VISUALIZATION

Visualization is simply the process of creating pictures in your mind, giving from to your thoughts so you can direct towards a specific goal.  In fact, any time an idea or thought comes to you, you get a mental image as well. Even if you believe you have no imagination at all, subliminal pictures and images are continually rising from your inner mind. Many body/mind healers have made us aware of the mind’s presence in every cell of the body.  Deepak Chopra taught us that each cell has a mind of its own and signals to you when an area of the body is breaking down or in need of repair. This ever-flowing connection between body and mind allows every cell in the body to change according to your thoughts and images.

You need to work at understanding your negative emotions by transforming your views of them. Certain patterns that seem to happen over and over are most likely from your childhood experiences and conditioning. This will be a long and enduring phase of healing for you, but once you learn the tools of overcoming the past, you will be able to regain an accurate sense of self that is not conditioned by others. You first must become familiarized with your inner energy [the psyche]…and to do so you must have courage, self-honesty and the willingness to be accountable …you have to have a really deep look at what is going on inside of you, for that is what creates your difficulties in the outside world.

To heal your past, look especially toward your mother’s influence especially on how you formed your values, attitudes, and beliefs. Review memories that make you overly emotional – and look at any unresolved emotional wounds; note how you often overreact to others’ personal comments, how you tend to imagine ‘what they think / feel’ about you; and explore the fluctuations in how you relate to people. Observe how you evaluate others and experiences through emotions and intuitions; realize how your attitudes, beliefs, and values are connected to emotional biases; see the emotional power shaping your major decisions, and how your reactions are generated by emotions.

The more you work with your imagery, the stronger it will get.

HERBS AND SUPPLEMENTS  (look these up and choose the one best for you)

In this day and age, people have invested a lot of money into supplements without taking into account the foods they’re eating.  Using a specific supplement for a specific cause may not be as straightforward as it seems. Picking a product that works, requires an understanding of your own problem and the nature of the supplement. There are many reports (unseen) of people damaging themselves with mega-doses of unwise supplements.

Most nutrients taken excessively can dangerously upset the body’s overall balance and create other deficiencies.   Natural foods are made up of complex organic molecules, therefore, taking supplements with a varied food diet is best. And if you feel the need for supplements, it makes sense to use a form close to those that occur naturally in food. Some supplements can create unpleasant side-effects because they’re not in forms that the body can easily use.

SUPPLEMENT TO REDUCE INFLAMMATION

Willow bark is an anti-inflammatory and has been used for joint pain. Willow bark contains salicin which is used in aspirin. But aspirin is much more irritating than willow bark. It can be used as a tea or capsules.

Devil’s Claw is a plant which is used to reduce fever, pain and inflammation. It too can be given as a tea or in capsule form.

Boswellia has been used for Rheumatoid Artitis and has anti-inflammaotry effects. They reduce inflammation but unlike NSAIDs they do not affect prostaglandins which protect the lining of the stomach from acids.

Curcumin (Turmeric) has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent. It comes in capsule form

Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme found in the fruit and stem of the pineapple plant. Bromelain reduces swelling and is known to be quite effective for rheumatoid arthritis

Ginger root has been known to help with arthritis and other auto-immune diseases such as Lupus, MS and Fibromyalgia

Probiotics are friendly bacteria that help to strengthen the immune system. Seventy percent or more of our immune system is controlled by what happens in the gut, and friendly bacteria are the most important component of that immune system. These bacteria modulate the immune system by increasing the numbers of certain while blood cells (T lymphocytes). Probiotics also help improve digestion and protect the body from things such as candida albicans.

HEALING FOODS

Many people with severe or mild joint pain may have an allergy to grains.  Also onions and garlic can be factors as these can contribute to digestive problems and immune reaction in ‘some’ people. Sometimes just stopping dairy products and coffee (caffeine) will take the pressure off of the lymphatics and allow them to drain.

1. Calm down inflammation in the body by avoiding Nightshade foods (potatoes, All peppers, eggplant, , gluten

2. Anti-inflammatory supplements such as Omega-3  and Turmeric (curcumin) help to reduce inflammation.

3. Build up the liver function. Milk Thistle and the Yellow Saffron help with this.
4. Drink teas like Slippery Elm and American Yellow Saffron, Devil’s Claw
5. L-Glutamine and/or Glucosamine build the intestinal wall. Most people with inflamed joints have what is called a ‘leaky gut’.
6. A diet that is 80% alkaline (Yin) is helpful, most fruits and vegetables are alkaline.
7. Avoid sugar
8. Drink lots of water
9. Take anti-oxidants.

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

Links

Here’s a great chart on acidic (Yang) and alkaline foods (Yin) Yin-Yang-Food Chart

Reversing Chronic Inflammation

20 Emotional Issues Directed At Knee Pain

Knee Pain the Importance of Flexibility

Crystals for Joint Inflammation

Gut Problems can Trigger Pain

Mind Body Medicine and Joint Pain

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

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

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

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

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

low back muscles

Picture compliments of 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ by Deb Shapiro

THE SECOND (SACRAL) Chakra

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

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

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

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

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

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

PSOAS MUSCLES (major contributors to low back pain)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM (CNS)

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

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

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

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

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

TRAUMA RELEASING EXERCISES (TRE)

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

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

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

Another video on TRE

EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE (EFT)

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

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

Web-page on … What is EFT Tapping

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

 

HEALING LOWER BACK PAIN

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

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

 

to be continued….

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

Read Full Post »

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

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

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

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

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

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF INSOMNIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT IF….INSOMNIA IS CAUSED BY SOMETHING ELSE?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RESTLESS SLEEP

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

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

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

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

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

WHEN RELAXING IS UNRELAXING

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

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

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

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

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

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS THAT ARE KNOWN TO DISRUPT SLEEP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CORTISOL OVERLOAD

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

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

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

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

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

CORTISOL IMPACTS THE LIVER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Liver Meridian Gallbladder meridian

THE ADRENAL GLANDS AND SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE PINEAL GLAND AND SLEEP

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

Some Autonomic Nervous System Disturbances

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHY IS SLEEP SO POWERFUL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

REM AND NREM SLEEP

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

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

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

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

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

“BODY SCANNING

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

PART II ~ INSOMNIA ~ RULES FOR BETTER SLEEP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUPPLEMENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Valerian – an effective stress reducer and sedative

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

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

Links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To be continued….

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

Read Full Post »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because I am a Queen by India Arie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

 

Read Full Post »

THE SECOND AND SUBSEQUENT VISITS

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

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

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

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

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

BODY SCAN

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

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

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

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

AREAS OF FOCUS

THE SPLEEN CHAKRA

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

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

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

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

THE HEART CHAKRA

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

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

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

THE REIKI TREATMENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FIONA’S THIRD AND SUBSEQUENT VISITS

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

From my Reiki I Manual

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

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

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

to be continued….

Read Full Post »