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root chakra sciatica nerve

The sciatic nerves are the body’s two largest nerves in the human body, extending from the lower region of the spine (lumbar area), crossing the buttocks, thighs, down each leg to the soles of the feet and big toes.  Sciatic pain can be caused by osteoarthritis, a herniated/ruptured disk, pinched nerve or slipped disk.  When its nerve fibers become inflamed, pinched or irritated, the pain is brutal!  Striking/stabbing/burning pain can felt anywhere along the path of the nerve causing great distress. Most sciatic pain occurs down one side of the body, but it has also been known to affect both legs.

“The metaphor of sciatica is being frozen with fear around manifestation. Struggles with time and money and a fear around survival are significant contributors. A person is usually overburden and feels like they’re carrying the weight of the world on their back and have nobody to help carry the load or to support them. There is deep-seated resentment, survival anxiety, loss of direction, and avoidance to do what they know they need to do. A person is hypercritical, overburdened, overwhelmed, overextended, and overly independent. They don’t ask for help or want help, but get disgusted when no one helps them. Another metaphor for sciatica is a dog chasing its tail, visualize it going in circles and not sure which way to go.

Associated emotions: Resentment, frustration, anger, disappointment, and loneliness” Healing Happens with Your Help:  ~ Carol Ritberger

Another cause of sciatica is ‘piriformis syndrome’.  The sciatic nerve passes through the piriformis muscle (in the buttocks), which can spasm and entrap the nerve.  Physically it is commonly caused by overuse and oversitting and is seen in people with low-movement jobs like office workers and truck drivers.

Piriformis syndrome

“The piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the buttocks and referring pain along the course of the sciatic nerve. This referred pain, called “sciatica”, often goes down the back of the thigh and/or into the lower back. Patients generally complain of pain deep in the buttocks, which is made worse by sitting, climbing stairs, or performing squats. The piriformis muscle assists in abducting and laterally rotating the thigh. In other words, while balancing on the left foot, move the right leg directly sideways away from the body and rotate the right leg so that the toes point towards the ceiling. This is the action of the right piriformis muscle.”   http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/piri.html

“Nerves have to do with communication and sensitivity. Sciatica implies that there are emotional issues affecting the back and legs, and that these are deep, inner issues. These may be issues to do with being able to stand up for yourself. Perhaps something is happening that you cannot take anymore, and it is making you want to go in a different direction. Or perhaps you desperately need more support and cannot cope with everything on your own any longer.

Sciatica may indicate doubt or fear about where you are going and your ability to cope with what lies ahead.

Are you concerned about where you are going and what is going to happen?

What inner emotional pain are you sitting on or holding back? Is someone or something restricting your freedom to move?

Are there financial or emotional issues putting pressure on you or weighing you down.” YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro

If you grew up in an emotionally tense environment, areas of the body that keep your feet firmly planted on the earth will be affected.  These can show up as problems with the lower back (lumbar, sacral), pelvis, rectum, hips, legs and feet.

The hips and buttocks are the foundation of our physical being: the movement of the hip joint is crucial to our survival – whether in running away from danger, kicking an attacker, or moving in the sexual/reproductive act. Sciatic sufferers can display a lot of rage and anger when they are overly sensitized from being judged critically, verbally abused or punished. In fact they may often punish themselves because they’re afraid of trusting their own judgement.

When the hips are out of alignment so too are the liver and gallbladder meridians .. these two meridians help us to move forward to begin motioning towards something.  Unbalanced, they can metaphysically be caused by feeling angry/hurt inside, feeling used, unappreciated, let down, alienated. Who or what are you carrying on your hips? What are you taking responsibility for? Who is it you are supporting when you should be supporting yourself? Are you feeling insecure about something? Do you feel controlled by someone?

(Other people’s thought forms, projections and hooks can be attached to highly charged areas in your energy field and influence your actions and perceptions. Highly charged areas in your field are where you’ve not integrated emotional issues, like, poor self-esteem, pain, fear, anger and so forth….. any part of you that works against your higher path and purpose can become a receptor site for lower energy.)

The liver and gallbladder meridians run down the sides of the body and reflecting our ability to choose which way to turn. An unbalanced gall bladder is associated with being either indecisive, or over-decisive, perhaps impatience, or possibly too much thought interfering in one’s decision making. When under stress, the gallbladder causes a disorderly flow of ideas, your head may spin with dizzying ideas; or talking nonstop about all the ideas and possibilities.

Gallbladder and Liver Meridians

“In fact anything that makes us anxious (all unconscious) will tend to make us angry as well. You’re trying to do a good job; you hope it turns out well (anxious) but you’re also resentful of the problems with which you must contend, like other people and their needs.

“…..an important source of anger and resentment, of which we are usually unaware, stems from our sense of responsibility to those who are close to us, like parents, spouses and children. Though we love them, they may burden us in many ways and the resultant anger is internalized.” Healing Back Pain – The Mind-Body Connection  ~ John Sarno

John Sarno in his book “Healing Back Pain” shows many examples of unconscious anger. One in particular talks of a young father with a first born that’s a non-sleeper.  “He not only loses sleep, but his wife is pretty much tied up with baby around the clock. He has to pitch induring his free time, their social life is much curtailed and what was a long honeymoon efore baby came is now a grind. He develops back pain because he’s mad at the baby (ridiculous), and angry at his wife because she can no longer minister his emotional and physical needs as she had before (absurd). And to make matters worse he has become a part time nursemaid and cook.  But he doesn’t know about any of these feelings—they are deeply buried in his unconscious and to make sure they stay their het get back pain—TMS”.

In Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) the body is seen as circuits of energy. The mind and emotions are closely related to health and dis-ease. When we look at the seven emotions – joy, anger, melancholy, brooding, sorrow fear and shock – an excess of joy can damage the heart, anger can damage the liver, melancholy the kidneys, brooding and sorrow the spleen and fear and shock to the kidney.

CHILDHOOD TRAUMA

What we don’t often recognize when our problems stress us out is that, we are locked in old patterns—old beliefs, old ways of thinking and doing things, old wounds, old memories—that unconsciously undermine our conscious desire to be free of suffering.  We are at the mercy of our past history. These deeply imprinted patterns and beliefs slow down our every move.  We feel off balance, reacting out of habit and fear, and rarely in control.

Fears create a lack of confidence and when we lack confidence we are affected by other people’s moods .. kind of like a leaf flying helplessly in a storm. When we have a low self-worth it prevents us from using our imagination and to find a creative outlet.  Fear also causes us to hold back and repress our emotions which can cause problems in relationships.

Past wounds that don’t heal, deplete and waste our energy. We just keep going around in circles with no escape in sight. Always with the same message, always eliciting the same reaction, every waiting to spring out at us. These reactions are an intrinsic part of  your survival mechanism…your physical emergency response. If you were severely traumatized in the past, you may overreact or underreact to situations and relationships for much of your life.

It’s possible your mother may have been deeply troubled, psychologically or perhaps physically unavailable; whatever your situation, her negative responses to your needs and feelings, led you to believe that you had no right to have feelings. The hurt or trauma you experienced then may have resulted in a deep-seated decision never to make yourself vulnerable again. “I’d rather die than need you.”

Often sciatica signifies an inability to bond with the mother, though a deep inner bond with her exists. This bond exists because you need to hold on to her physically, mainly due to not being nurtured and loved by her.  If your mother didn’t respond to your nonverbal (and verbal) signals, you learned to distrust closeness to other people and failed to develop a healthy degree of trust. Trust is about moving beyond your comfort zone.  With sciatica we are afraid of diving into our feelings and needs because we associate them with attachment to home and family.

EMOTIONAL PAIN

Most sciatic sufferers don’t know how to show their true feelings to others. They may have tried as children and found their words hushed or misunderstood. No matter how loving or caring their parents were, they couldn’t have possibly met all their needs. Sometimes our parents didn’t understand what we needed because our own needs were so different from what they needed when they were children.  Sometimes our parents are unable to give us what we need because they didn’t get their own needs met.

When we aren’t able to express our true feelings or fears, we don’t feel safe or secure.  When we don’t feel safe, we either withdraw or get angry.  Either way, our anxieties grow and our self-expression shrinks because we can only access behaviors that are allowed to be seen. We’re unable to be who we are, so we become a characterization of what we think we should be.  If you had to compensate your feelings/emotions to meet the expectations of your parents, teachers or friends, etc… your feelings/emotions might have become sealed in your sacral/hip area for a long time.

Many sciatic sufferers see themselves as chameleons, adapting to the likes and dislikes of the people around them. Most of them fear that their needs and feelings will upset or anger other people. Being uncomfortable with their own feelings, they are also unable to tolerate anybody else’s feelings. As you become familiar with your own needs and feelings, you will learn how to be comfortable with other people’s feelings as well.

As long as you are focused on outer solutions—you won’t be able to address the inner pain that drives you away from yourself in the first place. The process of recovery leads you inward to learn who you really are and what you really need.

If you do not care for yourself or listen to and trust your own feelings, you can easily become dependent on others. If you do not trust the messages of your body due to a past traumatic experience, your body becomes numb and shuts off. A wounded heart has a limited capacity to trust and be open to infinite possibilities. Emotional numbness can create codependent relationships; dependency occurs when we lack self esteem or harbor a poor body image.

Sciatic pain can either make you reclusive, shy and retreating in nature OR it can cause you to become aggressive, overbearing and deceitful. When you get angry and really ticked off, you attract people who want to talk about the same problems you’re going through. This is where you have to pay attention to the conversations you’re having every week with others.  How do they embrace your own issues?  Were you able to see solutions to your/their problem. These are also your issues and we all have to embrace our stuff.

“Sciatica may be experienced if you are insecure about your future or have an unconscious fear of lack of material abundance. I emphasize unconscious because, in my observation, sciatica is especially common in those who are materially and financially comfortable, but would have a difficult time if that were lost. ….Sciatica. therefore, is located in the body at the level of having.  You are probably not consciously aware of your fear of lack because you don’t think of yourself as attached to materials things……attachment makes you feel guilty because you believe it is not spiritual…..guilt however, impedes your progress and prevent you from taking a leap…..

If you are experiencing sciatica, your body is giving you a signal your way of thinking is a pain and is causing you distress; it’s really getting on your nerves. Pain always indicates guilt; therefore what are you punishing yourself for? What do you feel guilty about?”  YOUR BODY IS TELLING YOU: LOVE YOURSELF! ~ By Lise Bourbeau.

Louise Hay in her book “Heal Your Body, describes sciatica  as “being hypocritical”, not being straight with yourself. She continues to say, “A sciatic issue also relates to ‘fear of money’ and the future”.

“If you suffer from lower-back or hip pain, it’s time to look at your relationship both with yourself and with the people around you. Honestly assess your life and make some changes. Do you get support from your family that you’re not getting elsewhere? Notice where you are getting support and openly acknowledge it and have gratitude for it. Do you tend to always blame others when things go wrong? Try to see the whole picture and see whether you are doing something that might be contributing to the problem. Do you feel out of control when it comes to finances? Look closely at any financial downfall and try to pinpoint where things shifted from good to bad.” All is Well, Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations and Intuition ~ Louise Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz

THE ROOT CHAKRA

“The Sanskrit name for this chakra is Muladhara, which means “root support.” The sciatic nerve, traveling from the sacral plexus down through the legs, is the largest peripheral nerve in the body (about as thick as your thumb) and functions much like a root for the nervous system. (See Figure 2.1, page 61) The feet and legs, which provide locomotion, enable us to perform tasks necessary to obtain life sustenance from the earth and its environment. Our legs touch the ground below us and connect our nervous system with the earth, our first chakra development. We respond then, kinesthetically to gravity—the basic underlying force of the earth—constantly pulling us downward. This force keeps us connected to our planet, rooted in material existence.” Wheels of Life ~ by Anodea Judith

The root chakra’s is linked with the earth’s energy.  Its main function is to build the basic foundation of our identities; it’s here, we build a place called home—it’s a sense of belonging—a vital system that cannot be constructed without an identity.  The root chakra is largely driven through our instincts and premonitions which  help to build our personal and physical identities which are built from our conditions, upbringings and education.

Early in the healing process, many people have no idea who they really are and what their truth is. Not only have they used addictions and other distractions to hide their true feelings; they have also spent much of their time focusing on other people’s feelings and needs.  Of course, there’s nothing wrong with caring or being concerned about other people.  However, if it is at your own expense, it’s not only unhealthy for you, it’s unhealthy for the person for whom you are sacrificing yourself.

You are not responsible for everyone you care about.  If your life is overwhelmed by responsibility, then it’s time to stop doing everything and let someone else share the load.  Some have said that it’s almost like the bottom has to drop out of your world before you can grasp the significance of this stuff. Listen to your sciatic nerve, what is it trying to tell you? If old wounds surface, it means that the situation you are in now is draining your energy, and will continue to drain your energy until you acknowledge the emotional triggers.  That’s really what your sciatic pain wants, to be acknowledged.

THE SACRAL CHAKRA

The sacral or 2nd chakra is connected to the sense of taste, the element of water and the lymphatic glands.  It’s affected by our emotional mood swings and what we love in the sense of our “tastes for life” (fashions, money, relationships, creativity, sexuality).

The 2nd chakra interacts well with the 1st.  The 1st chakra connects us with the element of earth, while the 2nd connects us to the element of water.  Earth offers stability, water brings a sense of movement.  Water is also linked to the moon, it connects with time, and tide, fertility, menstruation and ovulation in women and the production of semen in men.

Sexuality (sacral chakra) holds our greatest pain and denial.  Every shred of unfinished business and all our emotional issues will keep reappearing until we get in touch with how our body is feeling.  When we open the floodgate of our emotions they will turn our lives upside down.  Anything not in harmony with our Self will come up to be processed and healed.  All your fixed thoughts and ideas will come loose and you will feel as if you are shifting through time.  It will feel as if you are being crushed as your past and future collide. However, this will also free-up an enormous amount of energy opening you to your creative juices and your joy.

Visualize a water fall over a rocky terrain, imagine looking closer and see how the water has slowly created (carved)  the bed-rock of the earth into an expression of beauty; it looks alive, full of the “life-force” created from the power of fluid and motion.  Without water the earth would “dry up” become sluggish, infertile, and lifeless; our bodies need water to stay healthy, young and productive.

Therefore water needs the earth to hold and “restrain” its emotional desire to “shape and control the world around it”. This means that the 2nd chakra relates to issues of power in the outer world and your need to control, people, events, and the way things happen.

In relationships, we look for someone who will validate, protect and connect with us on an intimate level.  But if we suffer from low self-worth and unable to stand up for our rights, we’ll keep finding relationships that constantly reopen our wounds or traumas.

CASE STUDY

Physically, sciatica means pain from a compressed or pinched sciatic nerve which can be felt in the back of the thigh, down the back of the leg, on the outside of the calf, on the side of the foot and in the heel.

Wayne contacted me, via email, because he had been suffering on and off from sciatic pain in his left leg (deep buttock/hip socket) area and lumbar for about 5 years.  Each time the sciatica returned, he tried different forms of physical therapy, chiropractor, therapeutic massage, daily stretching as well as anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen and naproxen sodium) all to no avail.

Two weeks ago, he again developed sciatica in his left leg that was so intense he couldn’t bend over to put on his socks or shoes and he couldn’t walk because of the pain. An MRI revealed he had bone spurs, two intervertebral disks that had herniated and the doctor scheduled him for surgery in May. Wayne didn’t want surgery.  He had recently read my blog on the metaphysics of lower back pain and decided to contact me.

Wayne gave me a quick run-down of his history and after sending emails back and forth, we scheduled a time that both of us could connect energetically at a distance.  Healing this way, allows a client to actively participate in the healing, either by relaxing, or meditating.  The vibration of a client’s name, birth-date and country they live in, creates a spiritual link and as they relax, I scan, listen and make notes of the symbols and messages the client’s body/mind shares with me….. distant Reiki is then gently sent to areas (chakra/endocrine glands/organs) where the body needs it most.

THE HEALING

The hypothalamus in our brains sees everything as world war III so when a memory (young or old) is remembered, our bodies respond to the chemicals  .. so the body is the one that suffers the pain of being fired, of losing a promotion or being rejected/abandoned by a parent.  The body doesn’t have a clue if the event is currently happening or happened fifteen years ago. Just thinking about previous emotional hurts can cause the body to respond as if those hurts are occurring in that every moment.

Remembering emotional hurts causing the muscles to tighten and clamp down upon the adrenals, causing a huge output of adrenaline/cortisone as well as the sexual hormones.  With too much adrenaline, the feeling one gets is of ‘being wired’, electrified—adrenaline interferes with the brains neurotransmitters, leaving you feeling scattered, irritable, confused—physically, the body’s getting ready to fight/flight or freeze.

This is what was happening to Wayne. Fear, anxiety and mistrust was having such an adverse effect on his insides, that his aura and body was instinctively pulling in to protect itself, causing his lower back muscles to contract and clamp down on his sciatic nerve, causing reduced mobility and depriving his cells of oxygen and life-force energies.  When this happens toxic thoughts and emotions become trapped inside the body, creating a form of  ‘muscular armor’ in an attempt to feel safer and less vulnerable, but it takes its toll on the adrenals and the body’s natural fluidness.  When this happens the fascia tightens and becomes brittle.

Wanting to know why Wayne suffered sciatic pain to his left hip and leg, I posed this question to his mind/body/soul. The left side of the body is linked with the feminine aspect, which is about receiving, being and the inner self. When the left side is unbalanced or blocked it creates a feeling of unrest or a disconnection from the truth about ourselves.  Wayne had literally cut himself off  from his life-force and the left side of his body was telling him to stop denying this feelings.

When we disconnect from the truth of ourselves, we are cutting ourselves off from our very life force, and we are in fact weaker, less … But in the beginning, it is simply the inner self saying, “No more denying these feelings!

Wayne’s mind/body spoke of feeling dissatisfied and confused about the self.  Filled with self-doubt he always feels he has to be more.With the right side having to compensate for the left, there is delusions about oneself and one’s motives. This can cause a person to cling to a fantasy about their own identity.  After the healing I asked Wayne if his father was estranged from him in some way. He told me his father was seldom at home due to his work in the mines, so essentially Wayne felt abandoned by his dad. The lack of a father, or authority figure, creates poor boundaries in a child and lack of what is normal in the reality of his life. The lack of life-rules can be very disorienting for a child, who will take great pains to hide the real self.

Hurting deep inside becomes a stumbling block, you can’t move forward and you can’t move backward.  You hang on to what is ‘familiar’ refusing to let go of a stagnating job, a person or situation that no longer fulfills you.  But you stay because it offers you some sort of security from the constantly changing world. Childhood traumatic events, which are so common, at any young age—jeopardize trust and faith—causing the exuberant wonder of a child’s spirit to falter.

When Wayne and I first made contact and I asked him to write about his life.  He had written a wonderful story, painting a picture that his life was great……except he forgot to mention his father was absent for most of his childhood, that his parents divorced when he was seven and he suffered the loss of his brother five years ago from an accidental drowning. Wayne realized his life was incomplete and that he was seeing only one side of his life; this was why his sciatica kept coming back. He was determined to explore the reality of his life and get to know his inner self.

To heal, we have to make a choice to willingly explore the pain, to put forth the effort to grow or we’ll stay a victim of the pain. But once, we begin to understand it, we can start to grow from it and begin making new choices for ourselves…better choices…choices that allow us to heal.  As we push through the pain and really examine it, we can ask ourselves, “Why is my sciatica resurfacing again and again”? “What thoughts are keeping my sciatica alive? Why did I choose to experience this”?  Relax your body/mind and allow your soul/spirit a chance to speak. ♥

LINKS

Sciatica Nerve Pain & Supplements

6 Natural Ways to Relieve Sciatica

Herbal Supplement for Sciatica

Sciatic Nerve Pain

Mona Lisa Schulz – Common Cause of Lower Back Pain

Lower Body Meridians

Acupressure Points to Relieve Hip Back Pain

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migraine-ohh

THE CAUSE OF MIGRAINES/HEADACHES

The main cause of headaches are fatigue, emotional disorders, insomnia and allergies. Most headache pains come from the lining of the brain, cranial nerves, or the nerves of the upper neck. 90 percent of headaches are tension headaches which come from muscle tension and contraction.  Tension headaches could also be caused by improper ventilation, anxiety, depression, overwork, or worry. This type of headache is usually felt in the large muscles of the neck and at the base of the shoulders and is brought on my muscle spasms in the neck and head.

Tension headaches metaphorically mirror the opposing tensions  in our own life, a time when we become more out of touch with our intuition and the ability to reason clearly. Our inner order is quickly spinning out of order, creating a high level of nervousness and confusion..which often leads to impulsive reactions. We start going in circles, unable to make up our minds if we should go with the desire of others or assert our own individuality – this confusion causes us to start arguing at everyone.

“sometimes I am strictly in mind/knowledge/intelligence and not in my heart/intuition. Or I will seek the intelligence of others instead of going within myself. Could that be the cause of my migraines?” (Maria S., former client) Yes, yes, and yes! 

Migraines and cluster headaches are known as vascular headaches, caused by the dilation of the blood vessels.  Migraines are usually accompanied by nausea; sometimes the vision is affected (fuzzy colored lights, numbness in the body, hyper-sensitivity on the skin as well as unpleasant odors. Migraine headaches usually represent some form of anger; triggers for these attacks include PMS (premenstrual syndrome) drugs, fatigue, stress, birth control pills and fasting.

Classical migraines or sometimes called, ‘the aura’ of the migraine can cause rapid changes in mood. Sometimes memory or speech may be affected and even hallucinations can result. “If I suffered an attack at night, I knew it to be the worst possible luck, as it would continue its rampage well into the morning and the rest of the day.”

Diet (certain foods) trigger headaches, especially those suffering with migraines. Foods that can trigger these attacks include: white rice, white sugar, pastries, ice-cream, cheese, chocolate, alcohol, (MSG) monosodium glutamate), caffeine, food additives and dyes, processed meats and nuts.

Cluster headaches, which often occur in males, produce severe, short pain attacks over one eye. These attacks can occur many times a day over a period of several months. These headaches usually involve an allergy symptom; for example, nasal congestion or a watery, teary eye. Refusing to see the truth or not wanting to see what’s ahead can cause migraines affecting the eyes.  This is also directly linked with not listening to the inner voice within, and fearing one’s intuition (6th chakra, 3rd eye).

People with HYPOGLYCEMIA are also prone to migraines, due to low blood sugar in their bodies.  If you eat a lot of carbohydrates or sugar, after eating, your pancreas will release too much insulin into your bloodstream; this signals the liver to turn it into fat, leaving  you with little blood sugar to supply the brain and other organs for the energy they need. The more blood sugar levels ‘bottom out’ the more this triggers headaches, weakness, shakiness, irritability and loss of motivation.

CONSTIPATION can cause headaches, especially from the overabundance of refined foods in our diets and less fiber foods. Other symptoms that can accompany constipation are, nausea and lightheadedness.

People who suffer from depression have also suffered from constipation and the meds used for depression usually worsen constipation.   And, because constipation seems to occur in people with a compulsive migraines, emotions and depression are important to look at. It is also known that when stool sits in our intestines for a long time, this becomes a toxic cocktail for the body, because the toxins in the stool are absorbed into the blood which then circulates throughout your system.

We are learning more and more that the body talks to us through physical sensations, perceptions, moods, gut feelings and intuition. These emotions are the body’s way of decoding and processing ‘energy information’.

This is why I usually ask the following questions when first conversing with a client suffering from migraines:

How long do your headaches usually last?
Are they worse before, during or after the menstrual period?
Are you constipated?
Do you have problems with indigestion?
Do you have neck or back problems or experience feelings of dizziness or blackouts?
Do you suffer from cold hands or feet.

We’ll go into this in more detail later…..

METAPHYSICAL CAUSE

“Migraine Headaches:  Migraines are usually caused by a lack of oxygen reaching the brain.  This can be seen as the life-giving energy being withdrawn from our control centre, so we do not have to deal with the commands, but can ignore our reality and the demands made on us.  This is often caused by a frustration of unfulfilled plans, an overload of information and an inability to integrate it, leading to repressed rage.  There is also a sense of something that has to be achieved or done, that is being asked of us, and the fear or resistance connected with begin able to fulfill that demand.  A goal has to be reached, and the thought if it creates pain. What needs to be looked at here is why there is a desire to avoid demands in the first place. Is it due to a very introverted personality?  Or is it because there is a deep feeling of incompetence, a feel that has been reinforced by not being loved unconditionally?  Is it because demands are being made that we feel unable to live up to?  A migraine is also a way of take time out, and of getting extra love and attention.  This is especially so with children who may be lacking in love, or who are having the attention they need replaced with sweet foods (sugar can be a physical trigger factor for a migraine).” The BodyMind Workbook ~ Deb Shapiro

Many people I’ve worked with who suffer migraines,  doubt their own worth and power and feel that ‘all power’ is outside of their control.  This ‘fear’ causes them to back away from being hurt, dominated or even crushed by their opponent. (“I’ve actually pushed people away, at the beginning of the a relationship, so I don’t have to deal with them walking out on me later.” (Abby, a client) Feeling this way, they may not attempt many things they could otherwise do. This form of extreme ‘self-blocking’, is very hard on the physical body because many times the anger and irritability these individuals feel (but don’t express) is turned against themselves. This can shut down the body’s immune system triggering a migraine attack which is often linked with depression, unexpressed anger, frustration and letdowns.

Most migraine sufferers learned at a very tender age to ‘instinctively’ hesitate/hold back their spontaneous spirit mainly due to insecurities about themselves. In some cases, migraines have been linked to past lives as well as a reluctance to be born, causing a very difficult labor for both mother and child. The soul for some reason, had a  form of stage fright, and suddenly decided, it wasn’t ready to be born.

Migraine – Control, pressure, seriousness, perfectionism. Over-committing yourself. Great need for love and approval. Ignoring your own needs. Putting other people before yourself. Extreme worry, guilt and anxiety. Conflict with self and other people. Self-punishment. Feeling angry and annoyed with others. Saying, ‘You are giving me a headache.’” THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF YOUR BODY: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness ~ Inna Segal

Self-inhibiting: The personalities of most migraine sufferers (I’ve seen) appear to look light, chipper and even seem to, not have a care in the world.  Most healers/psychologists can see through this superficiality  right away; what they’re doing, is trying to distract others from noticing/detecting  their lonely (unlovable) and easily hurt persona. They don’t want others to see how awkward they feel inside their skin so they try very hard to gain approval (people pleasers) from anybody and everybody. This becomes their best defence against personal attack.

These people have had to continually meet up against many forms of authoritative people – from father to boss to even their own rigid ‘inner authority’.  In their childhood years they most likely attracted at least one parent whose authority was fear-provoking causing feelings of inadequacy due to being deprived, ignored, not held or comforted enough. This can cause a person to become too sensitive to criticism, rejection, or neglect from others (this can be real or imagined). And again, they were probably affected by adult power and its abuse. At least one parents (daddy?) wielded authoritarian control, or at least a general strictness, when they were much too young in age. Whatever the scenario, they learned to become vulnerable to the coldness, indifference, or a lack of sympathy from others – especially from authority figures during their young adult years (e.g., coach, teacher, doctor, therapist,  business mentor, employer, etc..)

Is it possible they felt like ugly ducklings growing up? What if they had a lot going for them, but couldn’t get past the stigma of their appearance. Self-criticism regarding their looks can become a huge roadblock. Feeling unattractive can leave us feeling awkward and undesirable when making physical / sexual contact with others. Some of us may even downplay our physical attributes and shun direct attention from admirers. Why even praise and compliments makes them feel uneasy. Their fear of disapproval can force them to appear guarded in their appearance…they become skillful at covering up their wounds…yet on the surface they appear aloof and independent. This guise can often work well in the professional arena, where we appear to have it all together as a self-made person. But we also need to review ourselves and determine whether or not we physically give off the (mis)impression that we are cool, composed, and a tad too unfriendly to get to know well. Maybe some of us, really are this way all the time, but the rest of us can be someone quite different deep inside. It is our self-uncertainty that makes us mistrust the intentions of others. We must learn that we live in a world that is not seeking to put us down or demean us, and that there are supportive people out there who can bolster our identity in life-affirming ways.

Once people attempt to go beyond our sometimes chilly façade – which can be intimidating at first encounter – they might just discover that we have a lot of depth. We give thoughtful consideration to others, and want the same in return. However, we do seem to have a hard time allowing people to penetrate our personality. Those barricades we psychologically construct around us work against us by further increasing our sense of isolation. They will need to be broken down by the power of intimate relationships but first, they need to stop pushing people away.  In most cases, they fear being taken advantage of, and this fear causes them to lash out and react defensively against others.

The key to much of this is learning is not to become so guarded and suspicious to others and stay flexible in their attitudes and assumptions about life. They need to continuously bathe their consciousness with a sense of hope and faith, believing that it’s never too late to start new beginnings, which are well-defined, with a sense of individuality. That way they can cope with whatever life presents to them. They can have a lasting feeling of inner security and the satisfying sense that their life is truly significant.

“HEADACHES ~ The head …has a direct link with the I AM. If you have a headache (especially on the top of the head), it means that you hit yourself over the head with belittling I AM’s. You accuse yourself of not being this or that and especially of not being intelligent enough; you ask a lot of yourself. ..”

“MIGRAINES ~ Migraines can occur when  you feel guilty for daring to question those who influence you. You may not even be fully conscious of what it is you truly desire, to the point of living in someone else’s shadow. How often do you find yourself saying, “I can’t get what I want”? If you suffer from migraines, take a look at your sexual relationship. You most likely are having difficulties in that area also, because you are out of touch with your power to create your life, which is reflected in the sexual organs.” YOUR BODY IS TELLING YOU: LOVE YOURSELF ~ Lise Bourbeau

THE GUT-BRAIN LINK

Connecting with our inner power (spirit) means that we need to ‘feel’ our sensory inputs (gut instincts). This means to be aware of the subtle feelings that warn us of those things that are not right, or are excitingly good, or that we need to pay attention to.  It’s those gut feelings (butterflies in stomach), the hairs that rise at the back of your neck, the sense of a chill in a room where an argument has taken place, the warmth of love and laughter, or mischief at work. All those things that flow through us in an instant and are so easily overlooked or second-guessed are the cues the solar plexus uses to get our attention.
The Solar plexus is also connected to the Sympathetic System, which is a network of nerve fibres, ganglia and plexus. As we have learned, the 3rd chakra is or acts as a mirror/reflection of our most delicate and secret emotions. It is also the place where everything external enters through first and then gets chanelled to the other chakras. It is known as our Power center.
In Chinese and other alternative medicines, negative and unresolved emotions are seen as the cause of a host of physical and emotional ailments. The digestive organs in the Solar Plexus region (stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and some say the kidney and spleen) are continually challenged to judge and digest all our food and emotions. In fact, the body’s health counts on this area to supply it with the proper materials to help build bones, muscles, nerves and replace and rebuild surrounding tissue.
SOLAR PLEXUS ~ THE GALL BLADDER ORGAN/MERIDIAN

“The GALLBLADDER is a small sac in which bile secreted by the liver is stored until needed for the process of fat digestion. Problems in this area indicate we are trying to digest things too quickly or are not digesting what we have experienced; we are not learning our lessons. Such problems as gallstones can indicate we are holding onto hard thoughts and bitter experiences rather than moving past them. We are holding onto the past and allowing it to fill our life, rather than moving forward with joy and anticipation for the future. “ THE HEALERS MANUAL ~ by Ted Andrews

The gall bladder meridian is one of the longest meridians that travels almost through the entire body. This meridian begins at the outside corner of the eye on the face, then weaves its way up into the skull covering a large area on both sides of the head. Imagine holding the sides of your head with both hands; this is similar to the pattern and area covered by this meridian. This meridian continues flowing down both sides of the body in a zigzag fashion, supporting the stomach in the front of the body and the bladder at the back.

The gallbladders role or responsibility is to help distribution Liver Chi in the abdominal area—the function of both the liver and gall bladder is breaking down fats for digestion. The *liver is also known to remove toxins from the blood. If it fails to do so, the stomach, spleen, intestines and lungs will lose power and stagnate. In Chinese medicine, the liver and gall bladder organs, along with their meridians help to clear our energy to prepare for new growth and creativity. When energy flows smoothly along these meridian lines, we are alert and able to make clear decisions. However, if they’re unable to work properly, we wind up fearing the future and staying within our comfort zone and lost in our past.

“Anger is the emotion associated with the liver and gall bladder meridians. When we become angry and either hold on to it as resentment or continually explode with anger inappropriately, we are more prone to having issues with these organs and meridians. And conversely, if you are experiencing problems with your liver or gall bladder, you may find yourself either easily angered or, the opposite, collapsing and turning the anger in on yourself, feeling inadequate and humiliated.” Elemental Moves: Simple Yoga and Qigong Practices Inspired by Nature ~ Lori Furbush

Now we begin to see that the gallbladder and surrounding organs main objective is to digest, assimilate, and analyze the constant barrage of ‘noise’ coming from our conscious and unconscious mind as well as our relation to others and the environment. But when unresolved emotions are not digested and begin accumulating, the solar plexus cannot do its work properly. It becomes and congested and bogged down. All organs in our body originate in the energy of the gallbladder, transporting impure or foreign matter. The gallbladder transports only ‘pure’ liquids.

(*The liver meridian rules the tendons and eyes and when congested or deficient, the tendons will lose their elasticity and easily tear, becoming inflamed or lose weakness in the surrounding muscles. The eyes can be affected in many ways, especially in regard to migraines (visual abnormalities, forehead and eye pain), cataracts, glaucoma, dry eye, near or far-sightedness, etc. … all reflecting or mirroring the condition of the liver in the solar plexus region)

THE BRAIN

Let’s look at the brain for a moment.  The left brain is the gas pedal of the brain. It initiates a thought, an action or a word. It gets us started where the right brain is the brake. It stops the action or thought or movement or word so we can stop and move on to other things.  The left controls the immune system and also the body’s automatic functions.
The right brain specializes in nonverbal communication, which includes reading another’s body posture, facial expression or tone of voice .. it’s also the ability to empathize with another person. Most people describe emotions as an internal feeling, a change inside their bodies. For example, the heart rate increases as does blood pressure and release certain chemicals. But these physiological changes are exactly the same for each emotion so where did we learn to process sadness, anger, excitement, happiness.  Usually around the 3rd month of our lives. This non-verbal communication was picked up by our parents, especially the mother .. we started to mimic facial and body movements by our caregiver’s tone of voice. This results in trigger changes in our stomach and intestines and to different patterns of muscular contractions. So once we are able to ready our own emotions, we start to develop the ability to read these ‘same’ emotions in other people.  We do this using a special network of cells called ‘mirror neurons’ .  Isn’t that fascinating??  Well hopefully you’ve enjoyed this little bit of information.
BUT we are all naturally driven by social acceptance .. so we are ‘reinforced’ to continue doing the right thing and avoid the wrong thing.  But which is right or wrong?
We can’t discern this by the right or left brain until we learn to look ‘inside’ (inner self) and take the time to weigh what’s good or bad for us. Throughout our lives we’ve created perceptions of ourselves based on the words and actions of others .. especially our parents.

The brain is involved with our ability to think and reason, of absorbing facts and solving complex problems. It rules our emotions, relationships, metabolism, hormones and nerves as while as maintaining bodily functions such as digestion, movement, coordination and sexuality.

When you are reacting to a stressfully critical moment, the brain quickly decides to shut down or divert energy away from digestive process. When unresolved emotions are not digested and begin accumulating, the solar plexus cannot do its work properly. It becomes and congested and bogged down.

“People who tend to have digestive tract-related issues are generally focused on getting more, more, more of everything. Excess is stimulating and we thrive on adrenaline because it makes us feel bigger than we actually are, so these people search for this rush. They work too much, party too much, and simply keep going and doing until it nearly kills them. They amass power and material wealth in an effort to fill a void in their souls. So while it may look like these folks have everything figured out, this constant hunger is born from a low sense of self-worth. They have yet to find contentment and joy in who they are. Their lives are all about appearance, and they search for bigger , better cars and houses, believing that this will make them feel bigger and better, pumping up their self-esteem.”All is Well ~ Louise L. Hay & Mona Lisa Schulz 

Under stress, there is an abnormal drop in Serotonin in the brain (as well as other hormones/neurotransmitters) which can cause the blood vessels in the skull to constrict, affecting the neck and shoulders as well. The trigeminal nerve, the largest nerve in the skull, branches out to parts of the face, creating an array of sensations felt differently from person to person.

(Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit electrical signals from one nerve cell to another and ultimately controls behaviors, thoughts and feelings. Three neurotransmitters, serotonin and  norepineprhine and dopamine have been associated with headaches, migraines, insomnia,depression, bi-polar, agoraphobic, etc…)

“Imbalances in brain chemistry have a large range of effects on emotions, behavior, and brain circulation. Migraine, depression, and insomnia, all have similar neurotransmitter mechanisms of low serotonin and norepinephrine levels. Insomnia and depression are often associated with migraines. Serotonin and norepinephrine are the two main neurotransmitters needed in the brain. When the brain is low in serotonin and norepinephrine, the individual experiences depression and insomnia. When the level of serotonin is low and the level of norepinephrine is high, the individual may experience mania. Neurotransmitter levels can be diminished by allergic reactions, inflammation, poor absorption of nutrients into the brain, poor metabolism of nutrients in the brain, a lack of nutrients in the brain, chemicals reactions, stress and other factors listed. Norepinephrine levels can skyrocket from the use of stimulants and over-the-counter medications such as, pseudoephedrine. Many people, especially children have poor diets resulting from high toxin levels and low nutrient levels, which can lead to low serotonin levels in the brain. Low levels of serotonin and low levels of norepinephrine can cause depression. Consequently, they will experience depression and fatigue and pursue stimulants such as coffee and soft drinks containing high amounts of caffeine. The caffeine causes an increase in cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine levels in the brain. When there are low serotonin and high norepinephrine levels in the brain, an individual may exhibit manic behavior and when high enough, violence. This is the biochemical foundation of the bipolar syndrome.”  http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/guidebook-for-preventing-migraine-headaches-depression-insomnia-and-bipolar-syndrome/

MIGRAINES AND THE ADRENALS

When we sense danger, the autonomic nervous system signals the body to release the hormone adrenaline in the blood stream, providing instant energy to the heart, lungs, and muscles to adapt and adjust for the fight/flight response.

Chronic anxiety and worry is closely associated with migraines and is associated with perfectionism. Perfectionists are very hard on themselves and others, demanding the best at all times. They find fault in almost everything they do—they’re appearance, their homes, relationships, children, clothes, cars—they can frustrate us to no end with their constant bickering and never-ending insistence that everything has to be perfect.

Perfectionists suffer from a lack of safety, never letting their guard down because if not, all hell will break loose. Their insecurities come from believing they always have to be in charge. Many perfectionists grew up too early, playing part of an absent parent or an out-of-control one—addictions such as drug abuse, alcoholism, gambling and even sex addition showed how their world was chaotic and out of control. It’s no wonder perfectionists move out at an early age and look for a place of their own—where attention to detail and keeping everything in its place is exactly as it’s supposed to be arranged. The problem with perfectionism is, their need to control is in the power-seat instead of their spirit—when they suddenly have a life-altering decision, the controls are at the helm of their personality, which could lead them down the wrong path.

Perfectionists need to loosen their standards, leave the past and move into unfamiliar ground—they need to let go of their fear and move into the unknown. They have to stop manipulating others and their world where they feel they’re in control. They need to practice gratitude to help them relax and be happy with life as it is. Once they know what beliefs and behaviors keep them stuck, they have a greater sense of adventure, trust and enjoyment. They let go of fear and self-doubt and with motivation regain a zest for life.

PAST LIVES of MIGRAINE/HEADACHE SUFFERERS

“Migraine headaches, chronic back and neck problems and stomach disorders can be traced to past life deaths in which the person was clubbed in the head, guillotined, hanged or shot or speared in the same place of the body. Physical ailments could also be the consequence of dying while in the grip of strong emotions-anger, guilt sadness or fear.  These unresolved feelings kept the memory alive and showed up as physical symptoms in a later life. Once the trauma was reexperienced under hypnosis, though and the emotions process, the physical reminder of the past life experience cleared up and the symptoms disappeared.

Feelings of guilt that originated in another lifetime can afflict a person not as guilt in this life but as a physical symptom – the eczema – on the same spot where the bullet had pierced his wrist in the past life. Once revisited (the past life) and emotions processed, the eczema disappeared.” Healing Your Past Lives: Exploring the Many Lives of the Soul ~ by Roger J. Woolger

In Denise Linn’s book “Past Lives, Present Miracles, she talks of ‘health challenges carried forward from earlier lives”. Linn covers a small section on health issues and talks of a woman’s past life, where she was so distraught from being banished by her tribe for adultery, “she threw herself over a cliff and died from a head injury. “In her present life, every time that she’d had a single thought of having an affair, she was overcome with a debilitating migraine headache.  She had subconsciously equated adultery with dying of a head injury; so in her present life, even the thought of an affair would activate severe pain in her head.”

During a Reiki treatment many of my clients have slowly regressed to unresolved ‘childhood’ experiences hidden within their cellular tissue.  Many healing modalities have the ability to release/transmute/uncover traumas from the past that most of us have been carrying in our minds and bodies.  In most cases, a liberation from the past, can help clear, calm and  physically energize the body to speed-up healing. However, to have a client regress to their ‘past-lives’is not something most healers have had the benefit to witness or heal.  I, myself, have only seen a select few.

Clients who regressed to being severely wounded in past-lives, found themselves being healed by ‘many hands'(the practitioner surrounded and supported by several spirit helpers) during a Reiki/healing treatment.  At that time they received various forms of healing such as cleaning/healing a wound and/or strengthening an area of the subtle body.

A friend of mind suffered gruelling migraines that kept her in bed for days.  We worked together to help her discover the origins of her headaches; no matter how many Reiki sessions we had, the migraines persisted.  We even looked at her astrological natal chart as well as numerology and still we had no intuitive hits.  It was when Lisa decided to see a past-lives practitioner,  that she discovered the major cause of her headaches.  She regressed to the 1800’s where she was shot in the head and killed in while in the army.  As Lisa descended further into her past-lives, there were glimpses of several past-lives, where again and again her soul was holding onto traumatic deaths involving several head injuries.  Two weeks later, her migraines had completely cleared up.

“When the causes of chronic migraines are uncovered, the soul breathes a sigh of relief and says to itself, “Oh, so that’s from the past? Okay, I’ll let it go.” Sometimes all the soul needs is that gentle reminder to put the past where it belongs, and that, of course, is in the past.” Chronic Migraines – Memories of Past Life Trauma

FIGHT OR FLIGHT – WHAT ARE YOUR HIDDEN STRESS PATTERNS

Beginning to work on the Self, we need to begin to examine who we are and take responsibility for our actions. We learn to challenge our faults by exploring our feelings about our fears, our egos, our envy of what others have or can do with their gifts and abilities. We begin to recognize by setting aside these traits in our personality and developing our own skills we become the best we can be. A ‘sense of integrity’ develops and as it does our intent shifts from the “me first” to the things we can do to serve the Higher Good and the “we” becomes important. Our intent is our will in action and by doing the best we can (at whatever level we can do it) we find growth begins to take place and we are developing an impeccable work ethic along with our spiritual ethics. Our Inner Spirit will react with negative sensations when we are doing something wrong. “Warning! Warning! Warning!”, it shouts. Are you listening to that voice? If you do it becomes louder, and if you trust it once you’ll trust it again and again as the validations prove themselves.

HOW TO TRANSFORM TENSE REACTIONS INTO A RELAXED RESPONSE

Becoming aware of what causes you to experience tension (where, when, why) is the key to keeping your migraines at bay. Something as simple as posture can cause tension in the upper part of the body. If we carry our bodies improperly or sit, stand  or walk incorrectly, our muscles will tense up. Although headaches can have a definite physical cause, our mental attitude toward ourselves and our surroundings can be a major component of our migraines.

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

As tension happpens, consciously begin to relax by breathing more slowly and deeply. Your emotions are intimately connected to your breathing patterns—by changing your pattern, you will quickly be able to change any train of thought, even a stressful one. A change in breathing also changes the physical responses that go with emotional or mental tensions, such as tightness in the neck, head, abdomen or shoulders.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LINKS

Do Gallbladder Problems Cause Migraines

Adrenal Insufficieny

7 Common Migraine Triggers

Migraines Result of Childhood Trauma

Migraines Linked to Changes in Brain

Dealing With Rage

Migraine Vitamins and Supplements

Homeopathic Medicine for Migraines

 

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Food isn’t the only cholesterol source……we produce about 60% of it in our bodies!! The more cholesterol we eat, the less we produce. Reducing or increasing our cholesterol intake will alter the cholesterol levels in our blood by only about 15%. Cholesterol in the body doesn’t cause heart attacks…..the problem is when it sticks to the arterial walls.

From the April 5th issue of this blog….

“According to Dr. Paul Ridker, a Harvard University medical professor, those of us who express a highly tuned immune system – and therefore a faster and more intense inflammatory response – may be at greater risk for a heart attack than those who have higher levels of cholesterol but lower levels of inflammation. This may answer the question: why do some people with advanced heart disease (i.e., badly blocked arteries) survive years, while others, whose levels of cholesterol and arterial congestion is relatively low, had heart attacks? Further it drives home how important it is to your health to control excess inflammation.”Alive Magazine, February 2007, No. 292

Cholesterol is a steriod substance (Steroids include such well known compounds as cholesterol, sex hormones, birth control pills, cortisone, and anabolic steroids) present in the blood, the brain, and all other tissues throughout the body and as we know, in foods. Pure cholesterol looks like white crystals, something like sugar, but dissolves in fat not in water. It is manufactured and regulated mostly in the liver and adrenal glands, formed into an alkaline digestive fluid called Bile and then taken to the Gall Bladder which stores this Bile, until it is required for the break down of Lipids (foods that contain fats and oils) Bile also assists the digestive action of the pancreas gland which produces three essential digestive enzymes…Lipase, Amylase and Trypsin. The amount of cholesterol is minute…..Bile consists of mostly water. Understanding this, we can see the possibility of how gallstones (too much cholesterol) could be formed. It is undoubtedly one the key ingredients in the metabolism of the body as well as keeping fluids fluids in the body from leaking out and from external fluids from seeping in. In other words, we need it! The question is…..how much??

(The Solar Plexus (ruler of the stomach, liver, pancreas, etc.) is one of the most important chakras because it controls and energizes and affects so many vital organs…especially the Heart!. Although it’s been deemed yellow, the 3rd chakra also contains red, yellow, green and blue energies……more on this in the next segment)

“Metabolism refers to the physical and chemical processes that occur inside the cells of the body and that maintain life. Metabolism consists of anabolism (the constructive phase) and catabolism (the destructive phase, in which complex materials are broken down). The transformation of the macronutrients carbohydrates, fats and proteins in food to energy and other physiological processes are parts of the metabolic process. ATP (adinosene triphosphate is the major form of energy used for cellular metabolism.”
http://www.faqs.org/nutrition/Met-Obe/Metabolism.html

The Good and Bad Cholesterol/HDL/LDL

Most of the fats that travel around the body are in the form of lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are basically water and fat-like lipids that are so tiny, they float around in the liquid portion (plasma) of our blood. Three important lipoproteins are cholesterol, phospholipids (polyunsaturated fats/lecithin) and triglycerides (fatty acids/coconut oil) .

Lipoproteins are produced mainly in the liver as VLDLs (very-low-density lipoprotein). Our muscles use Triglycerides immediately to generate energy; fat cells store them for future use…when we really really need them. If we take away triglycerdes out of the VLDL package….we are left with smaller particles called LDL also known as ‘bad cholesterol’ or ‘cholesterol litter bugs’ that think nothing of dropping excess cholesterol via the bloodstream, along the busiest pipelines/arteries of our body. This excess litter/buildup is known as plaque.

HDL is known as the ‘good cholesterol’. They are the clean up crew that pick up the excess cholesterol and take it back to the liver to be reprocessed or excreted. So LDL distributes cholesterol and trigylcerides and HDL picks up what was left behind and takes it back.

What have we learned from this? Cholesterol does not cause heart attacks…..it is the excess sticking to the arterial walls that does it! What we want is our HDL count to be high and our LDL count low.

When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, the blood gets thicker. And when blood gets thicker it doesn’t circulate as well through the body…..it makes the heart pump harder. Over time, the cholesterol (fat) gathers in the nooks and crannies of the the arteries causing atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis happens when fat and calcium build up in the arterial walls. So why and how does calcium start building up in the arteries in the first place?

THE PARATHYROID GLANDS
In the April 24th issue of this blog, I quote from http://www.parathyroid.com/parathyroid-function.htm

“The sole purpose of the parathyroid glands is to control calcium within the blood in a very tight range between 8.8 and 10.2. In doing so, parathyroids also control how much calcium is in the bones, and therefore, how strong and dense the bones are. Although the parathyroid glands are located next to (and sometimes inside) the thyroid gland, they have no related function. The thyroid gland regulates the body’s metabolism and has no effect on calcium levels while parathyroid glands regulate calcium levels and have no effect on metabolism. Calcium is the element that allows the normal conduction of electrical currents along nerves–its how our nervous system works and how one nerve ‘talks’ to the next. Our entire brain works by fluxes of calcium into and out of the nerve cells. Calcium is also the primary element which causes muscles to contract.”

The reason I repeated this information on the parathyroids is because so many of us as we reach our middle years, start taking vitamins, especially calcium to supplement our diet. Men and women alike are prone to bone loss and possibily osteoporosis. Osteoporosis means porous bones. And what is the primary mineral of bone……calcium. So we eagerly add calcium to our diets but if our parathryoids aren’t working as they should…..or if we can’t utilize large quantities in the body….where does it go?

This leads us back to the original question….why and how does calcium build up in the arteries.

From CTV.ca http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080116/calcium_study_080116/20080116/

“Calcium supplementation in healthy postmenopausal women is associated with upward trends in cardiovascular event rates,” reads the study, published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal.

Overall, 1,471 healthy older women — with an average age of 74 — participated in the five-year study led by Ian Reid of the University of Auckland………

Researchers confirmed 36 heart attacks in 31 women who took the calcium supplements, compared with 22 heart attacks in 21 women who took the placebo………

The study suggests that calcium supplements accelerate the formation of deposits in the arteries that could lead to a heart attack because the supplement increases blood calcium levels….

and……

Vieth contends that postmenopausal women should simply take vitamin D to counteract any potential risk of heart attack associated with calcium supplements.
“Take the straightforward calcium carbonate, incorporate vitamin D with it, because that is associated with protection against cardiovascular disease,” he said.”

More links on Calcium supplementation and heart disease (most are related to the study above)

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=86453http://www.abc.net/ audio http://www.abc.net.au/health/minutes/stories/2008/01/29/2148719.htm

Calcium Citrate and Calcium Carbonate…..lots of info here http://www.mongabay.com/health/medications/Calcium_Citrate.html

Coral Calcium http://www.abc.net.au/health/minutes/stories/2008/01/29/2148719.htm

Interesting links on Cholesterol
http://www.answers.com/topic/cholesterol
http://www.answers.com/topic/phospholipid
http://www.answers.com/topic/triglyceride

UNCONTROLLED INFLAMMATION vs. HIGH LDL CHOLESTEROL

From Active Magazine – February 2007 http://www.alive.com/5860a15a2.php

“Most of us know the effects of being overweight where the heart is concerned. Unfortunately, what is less well known is the effect of excess inflammation on the heart. You may associate inflammation with the redness, swelling, or heat you see or feel when you get a cut, bite, or minor infection, or with the pain you feel in a swollen joint (as in arthritis). But uncontrolled inflammation is also at the root of heart disease…….

Because modern practitioners believe that a high LDL cholesterol level (the “bad” kind) is the main cause of heart disease, they prescribe cholesterol-lowering medications (statins) to people who are at risk for heart disease. However, ongoing studies have revealed that more than half of the individuals who experience heart attacks have LDL cholesterol levels within normal range. It turns out that uncontrolled inflammation has been linked to heart disease since 1985, yet we are only now beginning to accept this realization.

It is important to understand that inflammation is normally a controlled reaction initiated by the immune system to help correct or repair a problem. Inflammation can begin with a small tear in an arterial wall, causing the immune system to send specialized cells and cholesterol to repair the damage by covering it with plaque. However, over time, the plaque builds up, causing a narrowing of the arterial space (atherosclerosis). Excess inflammation can cause plaque to break free, which may result in the formation of a blood clot that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Numerous researchers believe that excess inflammation may be the trigger for a heart attack.”

This informative article suggests asking your doctor to check for C-reactive protein in your blood as well as increasing omega 3 fatty acids such as flax seed, hempseed and fish oils. It also says to avoid excessive consumption of meats, egg yolks and dairy products. It also advices taking supplements that can reduce inflammation such as tumeric, ginger, rosemary and thyme.

More interesting links from Alive Magazine

Coronary heart disease http://www.alive.com/5861a15a2.php

Atherosclerosis http://www.healthmad.com/tags/atherosclerosis

10 tips for a healthy heart http://www.alive.com/5864a15a2.php

After reading all this you decide you’ll increase your milk intake……think again! Milk is high in calcium, unfortunately when it is pasteurized the bonds that hold the minerals in it are altered and the calcium cannot be assimilated as well in our bodies. There have been many tests done to this point. Twin calves for example were used in a study where one suckled from its mother and the other drank pasteurized milk. The calf that drank pasteurized milk died within sixty days. Why? It is believed an important enzyme (phosphatase) which helps assimilate minerals in milk was destroyed during pasteurization.

Interesting link on Pasteurization http://www.1800naturalhealing.com/pasteurization.html

And another http://www.realmilk.com/whichchoose.html

I don’t want to get off the topic of this blog – Cholesterol….but hopefully you can see that before we start supplementing our diets with anything, we have to do our homework! There are some really great health stores out there, however they also want to sell, sell, sell! What may be beneficial to one customer may be detrimental to another.

“The key to all learning, all balance in all areas of our life, lies within that precept, “Know thyself’ –a simple enough azium–and yet it is one that creates tremendous difficulty with many. Most people are unwilling to take the time to know themselves and thus they give that responsibility and power over to others. They hire others to know for them…..Theoretically, it sounds good, but ultimately it cannot be done.” Ted Andrews, The Healer’s Manual

If you are due a blood test or considering have one, ask your doctor to include the parathyroids and C-reactive proteins in the list……also have him/her check your vitamin D levels.

We’ll be covering the topic of Osteoporosis, calcium supplements,minerals, protein and more soon.
to be continued….

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