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Posts Tagged ‘grief’

“The true source of chronic musculoskeletal pain is rarely the site of the pain. That means if your wrist hurts while you are pointing and clicking with a [computer] mouse, the pain probably has nothing to do with the device and everything to do with muscular weakness, skeletal misalignment and structural (joint) instability elsewhere in the body. Those conditions can be reversed without drastic measures – and you can do it yourself.

I’ve also learned that muscular weakness, skeletal misalignment, and structural instability usually precede the onset of pain that is attributed to accidents, overuse or aging. That’s right, precede.” Pain Free at Your PC: Using a Computer Doesn’t Have to Hurt ~ By Pete Egoscue, Roger Gittines

CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME (CTS)

CTS Pain

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Wanting to be numb. Doing what you don’t want to do. Blocking the energy flow in your life. Holding on to grief and sadness from the past. Struggling; too much strain and difficulty. Feeling like you can’t handle something.” The Secret Language of your Body, The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness ~ Inna Segal

Carpal is from the Greek word that means “wrist” and ‘carpal tunnel’ is just as it sounds—like  a passageway or tunnel through your wrist that protects nerves and tendons. The median nerve runs from your neck through the shoulder and elbow and ending at the wrist and hand.  When the tunnel becomes swollen, the median nerve is compressed in the wrist area, which affects feeling in your thumb and all fingers except the little finger and half the ring finger, passes through the carpal tunnel. When the tunnel becomes swollen, your median nerve is compressed.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a nerve compression disorder in which a peripheral nerve is compressed or pinched, causing pain in the front side of your forearm or wrist, coupled with numbness and tingling in the fingers. CTS occurs when the nerve (which controls movement and sensation on the palm side of the thumb and most of the fingers) becomes compressed inside the carpal tunnel, (a tunnel formed by 8 small bones of the wrist and the transverse carpal ligament (flexor retinaculum)) which houses the median nerve.

CTS has become of the most frequent type of work-related illnesses in the U.S. and Canada today. CTS stems from a problem with the nerves, muscles and joints and is medically known as musculoskeletal or neuromusculoskeletal problems.  CTS is characterized by pain in the wrist caused by pressure to the middle nerve in the channel that houses nerves and tendons.

(Over a long period of time CTS can become more like an illness, causing tissue strain and cell damage; this is known as “repetitive trauma’ or  repetitive strain injury (RSI).. )

carpal tunnel median

CARPAL TUNNEL AND EMOTIONAL PAIN

Your emotions are the way your body naturally expresses itself from your life experiences. Emotions are stored in the organs and muscles and tissues of the body. In fact, every cell in your body works in unison and shares an interconnectedness to each other; therefore a change in one cell affects all the others.  It is the nervous system and fascia that helps the meridians to directly communicate with all your organs and glands; this intimate communication system continually expresses what you’re feeling (sensing) from moment to moment. Emotional tension can inhibit this direct communications as well as circulation, causing fatigue, inability to focus and concentration. This can also cause muscle tension, and stiffness,(stress) which may also affect your perceptions and moods. Over time, emotionally distressful experiences can hamper your ability to be fully responsive and in the moment.

“Fascia is a graphic expression of how we feel and think—it reflects our past experiences, our attitudes and our patterns of behavior.  The fascia also dictates our basic body shape, and our upbringing, physically and psychologically.  Therefore, the fascia expresses the movement within us as well as our conflicts and confusions.

Pain is caused by a lack of proper circulation or a blockage in the flow of energy—it can also impede the flow of blood throughout the body. This can result in pain, numbness, heaviness, stiffness and swelling of the joints and muscles. Stress and tension also slows down our circulation and becomes an inflammation in certain areas of the body.” Metaphysics of the Fascia

“The meridians are a network of channels that transport Qi. An Organ Meridian is a channel that transports Qi to the related internal organ, sense organ, and body parts-including, of course, the tissues along its route. Generally named for the related internal organ, the twelve Organ Meridians are: the Lung, Large Intestine, Stomach, Spleen, Heart, Small Intestine, Bladder, Kidney, Pericardium, Triple Warmer, Gall Bladder, and Liver Meridians.” What are meridians and points

If you are holding on to a lot of emotional pain, your outer-world will begin to reflect this back to you as your reality is actually a projection of your inner-world of thoughts and emotions. When we suppress our feelings of sadness, grief, anger and/or shame, we also suppress the love and joy along with them.

Accepting your pain is the first step in healing as it stops you from struggling and fighting with yourself, allowing you to sit and feel with your painful body sensations and noticing your reaction to them.   When we sit with difficult body sensations and notice our attempt to control or resist them, they gradually let go. When this happens we may discover the pain isn’t quite as intense.  Once you’ve learned to sit with your painful sensations, you’ll react more openly to them and accept them instead of tensing your body against them.  We’ll explore ‘sitting with your painful sensations’ towards the end of this article.

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CAREER?

How many of you with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) are doing what you really want to do in your lives? Are you really free to express yourself; are you coming from a space of loving and caring? Are you with someone who you’d love to hug with all your might? Do you really want to participate in life, or is fear holding you back creating roadblocks for yourself? Are you afraid to be yourself, to act freely, to do what you want? Do you pull back, withdrawing or holding back personal ideas so as to avoid a confrontation? Are you worried about what others may think?

The hands correspond to how we are handling our lives, feelings about how we reach out to others, and others to us, as well as our ability to cope, to create and to express ourselves. When we have problems with our hands, we can look at these different aspects from our inner-self/inner-wisdom and see where the conflict lies. If we continue putting out the same thought and tightening in the same area, then damage to the tissue will slowly increase. When we can recognize the messages we keep sending out, then we can connect with and help release the source of the problem.

“….problems in the wrist indicate a lack of flexibility or difficulty in deciding what your hands should be doing.  You don’t acknowledge the right to use your hands to do something that gives you pleasure, for fear of making a mistake or of not being capable. Therefore, you choose to use your hands for activities you feel are “worthwhile” – activities that will prove your worth. ~ YOUR BODY IS TELL YOU : LOVE YOURSELF ~ Lise Bourbeau 

When the body is forced to work ‘unnatural motions’ on a repetitive basis, (long hours of sitting, bending, lifting, stooping), these take a toll on the body.  Most complaints of repetitive jobs at the work-place are low back, hip, shoulder, elbow, hand, and wrist.  Most cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) are caused by any profession that involves repetitive use of the hands and wrists, causing numbness, tingling, burning, swelling, weakness and joint stiffness.

“The musculature of our hands has to do without competence and ability to have a grasp on things.  If we feel we are losing our grip then the hands may reflect this through cramps, weakness or damage. Or they reflect our feelings of incompetence, a fear of failing, of being unable to produce what is required of us.  When we reach out too far, extend ourselves too much or push ourselves forward at an inappropriate time, invariably we will cut, bruise, burn or otherwise damage our fingers.” Deb Shapiro “The Bodymind Workbook

Deb Shapiro also speaks of wrist problems indicating that there is something we should be or want to be doing but are not; if this is the case, why are you holding back? From the wrists we reach the hands, which express how we think or feel about what we’re doing in the world.  Are you pushing your hands too far? Are you trying to do too much or confused about you’re doing?

“Carpal tunnel syndrome has been associated with certain tasks including:

  • Repetitive hand motions.
  • Awkward hand positions
  • Strong gripping.
  • Mechanical stress on the palm.
  • Vibration.

Cashiers, hairdressers, or knitters or sewers are examples of people whose work-related tasks involve the repetitive wrist movements associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Bakers who flex or extend the wrist while kneading dough, and people who flex the fingers and wrist in tasks such as milking cows, using a spray paint gun, and hand-weeding are other examples. Excessive use of vibrating hand tools may also be related to carpal tunnel syndrome…..

… Carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with several diseases and situations. They are:

  • Arthritis.
  • Diabetes.
  • Gout.
  • Amyloidosis (infiltration of the liver, kidneys, spleen with a starch-like substance).
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland).
  • Tumours of tendon sheaths.
  • Wrist fractures and dislocations.
  • Wrist cysts.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Use of oral contraceptives.
  • Menopause.

All these diseases and situations increase the volume of the contents of the carpal tunnel, resulting in compression of the median nerve. Also some individual factors, such as the size and shape of the wrist and the shape of the median nerve, may contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.” https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/carpal.html

I’ve also received emails from nurses, surgeons, computer workers, golfers, tennis players, musicians, hair stylists, mechanics, waitresses/waiters wanting to know and understand the deeper (emotional issues) from their carpal tunnel.

Most people who suffer from CTS are  hard-working, conscientious, meticulous and well-organized. They’re proud of their work and their dedication to duty, and can always be depended upon to get the job done. What carpal tunnel people lack in creativity they make up for with effort .. they don’t see themselves making a name for themselves as they identify themselves with the common people rather than making a splash out into the world.

Generally, the clients I’ve met with CTS are close to workaholics in many cases. Somewhere, workaholics have lost touch with their deeper emotional and instinctual nature .. in fact they can be ‘destructively compulsive’ which tends to depress the vitality of the office and the people in it.

Carpal Tunnel people need relaxation more than being pushed to work harder. If the client is in a high-pressure job or required to work long hours, it’s important that once the work is done that they do something ‘for the love of it’ which also induces relaxation. Meditation and spiritual activities often prove to be helpful antidotes as well. Many clients have been drawn to these.

What I’ve learned (from clients) about the deeper emotional issues of CTS, is that at some point the job they’ve been working at for quite some time isn’t pleasurable for them anymore.  The enjoyment, the passion they once had seems to have vanished.  But rather than look at why their unhappy, they avoid it at all costs. Emotions are the key to creation but many of us have deeply hidden beliefs about expressing our emotions, we may have been told to ‘stop crying’, and therefore grew up with the belief that to express any emotion is a no-no!

Some people with carpal tunnel had parents who were highly efficient, super-critical and demanded perfectionism. This frustrated and inhibited their emotional growth and fragile self-esteem.  As children, they learnt to hold back emotionally, and carpal tunnel people are not unemotional, they just find it difficult to express what they feel. The problem is that, others might consider them cold, detached, perhaps a little prudish and stuffy. Actually, they are quite sensitive and their feelings are easily hurt. They try to hid it behind a mask of being aloof or coolly professional – even in situations that call for warmth and openness.

Tony (not his real name) was a former client who had  been diagnosed with carpal tunnel. Working as a mechanic, for a major car manufacturer, his job required a lot of flexing and grabbing with his hands. He was quite upset when I received his email, because he desperately needed the strength back in his hands to do his job. 

Tony’s hands were constantly going numb; the most noticeable pain was at the base of the thumb .. he was losing his grip and dropping tools more often.  As we wrote back and forth, Tony felt frustrated and exhausted in many areas of his life, not just his work and these emotions were triggering physical symptoms in his wrists and hands.  

The hands correspond to how we are handling our lives, feelings about how we reach out to others, and others to us, as well as our ability to cope, to create and to express ourselves. When we have problems with our hands, we can look at these different aspects from our inner-self/inner-wisdom and see where the conflict lies. If we continue putting out the same thought and tightening in the same area, then damage to the tissue will slowly increase. When we can recognize the messages we keep sending out, then we can connect with and help release the source of the problem.

Your emotions are the way your body naturally expresses itself from your life experiences. Emotions are stored in the organs and muscles and tissues of the body, but they just don’t sit there, they are in constant communication with your brain and entire body.  And as we learnt earlier, the slightest bit of information sets off a whole communication system through your nerves, fascia and meridians (an intimate communication system, expressing what you’re feeling (sensing) from moment to moment).

Attempting to hold back emotionally, causes muscle tension and stiffness (stress)  which can also affect your circulation, cause fatigue, disrupts focus and concentration.  Over time this will affect your perceptions and moods and hamper your ability to be fully responsive and in the moment. If you are holding on to a lot of pain, then your reality will begin to reflect that back to you as the outer world is a projection of your inner thoughts and emotions.

Let’s look at the symbolism of an interesting tarot card for the moment.  It’s the ‘Eight of Shields (Pentacles) from the tarot deck “LEGEND The Arthurian TAROT.  Why did I choose Anne-Marie Ferguson’s art-work?  Let’s take a look ….

8 of pents

It’s a painting of a blacksmith working deep within the bowels of the earth. Blacksmiths learned with their hands to take nature apart and put the pieces together in a new and more powerful combination.  But in this card, the blacksmith doesn’t look too happy.

If we look at this card symbolically, what do you see?

Metaphysically, this blacksmith (Wayland) looks separated from his ‘aliveness’ or disconnected from his mind and body—he’s lost the joy and passion of ‘present awareness’ of being in the moment—instead, he’s doing a job that is machine-like, routinely repeating the same procedure over and over again. Look at how he’s slouched over, how one arm and hand grips the shield, while the other hand holds a small tool-like screw-driver that involves repetitive action of his wrist and fingers. Remaining in this position would definitely affect his hands and hurt his back.  Repetition, force and posture are risk factors that can contribute to the development of CTS.

If we look around the room, there’s nothing, except the fire that would force him to get up and put on a log, to keep the flames going.  Without enough motion, Wayland will lose his full range of motion (major muscle groups will start to atrophy from disuse); as he moves less and less this will reduce his physical activities causing a reduction in oxygen to the brain and affecting his function to move his arms, head and spine.  When this happens, the musculoskeletal system is affected and begins to shut down weakening the body’s internal systems and organs.

Why is Wayland not relaxed and enjoying his work?  Is he so afraid of failure he can’t enjoy what he’s creating? I wonder if the shield is for King Arthur or perhaps his knights? No matter who it’s for, working long hours for someone else and ignoring the body’s cry for help will cause this ‘bent-over position’ (day-after-day) to become Chronic.  CTS can become severe enough to limit a person’s ability to work. Without adequate care or rest, permanent damage to the soft tissue and nerves of the hands may result.

Maybe he’s unable to express himself with people of authority or maybe he fears them. Fear puts us on guard and makes us anxious and defensive. It breeds suspicion and doubt and causes us to not trust anyone, including ourselves. It fosters envy, jealousy, helplessness, disappointment, despair and hopelessness. It separates us, making us feel alone and isolated. It can cause us to lash out at others, to be hurtful in our words and actions.  Back pain can be caused by feeling you have to carry everyone and everything while ignoring your own survival issues .. stooping or rounded shoulders indicate trying to hide or withdraw from the world because of lack of confidence.

“When we live in an environment of danger or deprivation, we experience fear. … The sense of fear is our only feeling of safety, as paradoxical as that might sound. We feel safe only because we are hypervigilant and become even more uncomfortable when we try to relax.   The nervous system and the adrenal glands remain overworked. In this state of hyperarousal, our triggers are more sensitive and more likely to react to extremes.  Our foundation is literally shaky and concentration may be difficult. As a result, the body is in a constant state of stress, which becomes normal.” Eastern Body Western Mind ~ Anodea Judith

Aeclectic Tarot forum (now closed but still online as read-only)  was a great forum where tarot-minded individuals and astrologers enjoyed learning and sharing with each other.  Of the many tarot decks discussed and researched was, Legend ~ The Arthurian Tarot.  You can see the many different posts on the Eight of Shields here. https://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=37801

An individual’s username ‘Sophie-David’ commented in this thread … “In A Keeper of Words, Anna-Marie tells us that Wayland is deep within the earth as he practices his craft. I can’t help but feel sorry for him as he works on the shield out of the light of day. This deprivation of natural lighting and fresh air is common to so many modern workers in factories and maintenance shops, underground malls and office towers. Space seems to be at such a premium, or security so tight, that we can’t afford windows any more. Although he wears a protective leather apron, Wayland has no shirt because of the heat. Whether or not he enjoys his work, this can’t be good for him, no sunlight or good air, the heat of the stifling furnace, and the fumes given off in the shaping and annealing process.

This is an Eight of Shields (Pentacles) that really gives one pause to consider the modern nature of work. Anna-Marie tells us that “Wayland was the master craftsman to the gods, whose weapons were so fine that they sang in the air”. But no matter how good the product produced, working hours seem to be going up again, conditions in many places are deteriorating, and spending power is decreasing. Wayland is an admirable worker, but his wild grey hair and the poor conditions make this rather a sad Eight.”

Carpal tunnel people are comfort-givers and empathizers, you couldn’t meet nicer people on this planet. They go out of their way to help you because your time is more valuable than theirs.  This is because deep down they struggle with feelings of unworthiness, they don’t believe in extending their kindness and empathy to themselves. This is because they can’t see themselves for who they are, so they go out of their way trying to make everybody else happy.  They can’t say no and give too much.  As a result they become exhausted from overwhelming responsibilities causing self-esteem issues to arise.  This leads to a form of paralysis or feeling incapacitated in some way, forcing them to stop what they’re doing. Carpal tunnel then develops as a way to force them to look at doing something new.

CARPAL TUNNEL MIND/BODY HEALING

When we self-doubt ourselves, we tend to keep a low profile.  We pretend everything’s ok by faking it and being something we’re not. When we are unable to express our feelings or fears, we don’t feel safe or secure. When we don’t feel safe, we either withdraw (keep a low profile) or get angry.  We get angry but we don’t express it; we keep it shoved down pretending everything’s okay. Pretending and faking is so exhausting -it feels as if your life is totally out of your own hands – experiencing actual symptoms of pain, coldness, and numbness flowing down your arm(s) to your hand(s).  You see other people who  hunker down and get things done.  Why them and not you?  I think it all has to do with self-confidence. Self-confidence allows you to be who you are .. fully and freely.  It’s possible you’ve had to compromise yourself, or mould yourself to fit the image of ‘what you’re supposed to be? That’s when we lose a sense of who we are … and we find ourselves banished in the dark regions of our unconscious (the shadow).

Some people in their attempt to find themselves, are ‘lured’ by programs that promise ‘unlimited power’ or a life without fear, guilt or other not-so-good feelings. When they fail to reach this ‘perfection’ they take it as another sign that something is wrong deep within.

TUNING INTO THE HEART

Before we start, I want you to know you don’t have to become a better person or develop a different attitude to have a life you love – you are good enough as you are!

The area of the breasts and chest reflect the ‘self to the self’. It is our private and personal area and symbolizes our sense of self-identity .. notice how when talking you touch the chest to indicate self or when talking about your feelings or opinions. We express heart energy through our mouth, lips, through our arms, hands and through our genitals. Heart energy also has to do with the Self. Its message .. We have to love and accept ourselves before we can really love others.

Problems with the arms and hands (extensions of the heart) can be metaphors for carrying too much for others, feeling like our hands are tied in certain situations or that something in our life has become too hot to handle.

Remember Tony, the mechanic with carpal tunnel?  His story was a little bit different. After looking at and discussing his astrological chart, we were able to understand why he was having problems at work and gripping/holding onto his tools.  Tony realized it was his mother that dominated the home and constantly criticized his father for his incompetence and lack of interest in the home.  As a child, Tony took on the attitude that if his father had been a better provider in the home, his mother wouldn’t be so miserable.  So Tony decided he didn’t want to be anything like his father. With his trade as a mechanic, he continually worked hard to prove he wasn’t going to be a patsy like his dad.

But Tony overestimated what was expected of him at work and went to great lengths to prove he was a valued and competent employee.  His employers greedily took all that Tony gave and more until he became mentally and physically exhausted.  No wonder he developed carpal tunnel, he had become a ‘willing victim’, working day and night to put together a lifestyle that ‘seemed’ solid and steady.

But then he started to worry about all the things that could go wrong.  The other employees didn’t seem to like him much.  So he tried to work harder to be accepted by his peers causing him to build up even more responsibilities.  He took on working weekends for the other mechanics so they’d appreciate him.  After all, they had families to care for, Tony hadn’t had anyone in his life for a very long time.  But hey what about himself?

Tony was struggling with a great deal of confusion about his personal identity. He realized his unconscious values and attitudes were the driving force behind his life .. as long as he repressed them, they remained out of his control.  But if he could sort out which of  his childhood beliefs made sense and served him well and changed those that didn’t, he’d be able to stop taking responsibility for others and take charge of his own well-being.

Tony suddenly felt resentment towards his mother, which is a normal reaction when he saw that his father actually did his best to ‘try’ and make her happy.  He realized no matter how much his father did for his mother, it wasn’t enough, she wanted more!  Tony realized no matter how hard he worked, it wasn’t acceptable .. he had to keep trying harder.

I’ve found that people who go, go, go, over committing themselves are going out of their way to avoid conflict (both internal and external). They try to keep their pain (fears, aggression, or sorrow) hidden from their day-today living and hidden from themselves and everyone else. Unfortunately these fears/aggressions/sorrows are projected onto other people, who then feel compelled to act out what you’ve been hiding. It’s time to withdraw your projections and fears and return home to your heart for healing …..

I asked Tony if he’d ever done anything creative for himself that wasn’t for others?  Since Tony loved creating with his hands, I asked him if he’d tried painting, wood-working,  gardening, playing an instrument, writing or drawing.  Any of these could help him get in touch with his feelings and help balance his energies.

AUTHENTICITY

The greatest challenge in life isn’t to succeed to but to feel at home with who you are and where you are and what you’re doing.  

To be authentic means that you ‘observe’ your inner fears.  It doesn’t mean that you act them out or allow your fears to lead to you. Being authentic means that you notice it, you are aware of it, you work with it, and you decide how to deal with it.  This way you make sure your actions are aligned with what you intended.  

There are four basic components to building your personal power .. grounding, centering, and maintaining boundaries. Grounding helps you to stay ‘solidly connected to your body’ your vehicle of awareness… when you’re present you will have access to all sensations, feelings, energy flows and emotions going on in and around you.

-Learn to recognize when you’re acting out of character..
-Give yourself a break and time to relax ..do a body check and ask how you’re feeling? -Balance your emotional and physical well-being.
-Share your deepest feelings with someone you trust.
-Enjoy a hobby or take on one, painting, writing, drawing .. anything to get in touch with your feelings and help bring you into alignment.
-Meditate or do ‘nothing’ .. which might not make sense to you … but it does make sense to your soul.
-Learn to work and cooperate with others ..

SELF-DISCOVERY EXPERIENCE

Choose a quiet place to sit where you can do this introspection without being interrupted. After reading each question, close your eyes, take some deep breaths to relax your body and calm your mind, then begin to let the thoughts, images and associations flow.

– Reflect on a recent situation in which you were conscious of experiencing tension in the form of impatience, fear, anger, irritation, guilt or blame. Allow yourself to relive that situation in your mind’s eye. See clearly the person(s) involved and reexperience the thoughts that came. Let the emotions flow over you, as if it were happening now. In this setting, you don’t have to control or hide your feelings for social reasons, so just let them envelop you. Sink into them without judging or rationalizing them.

– After a few minutes, notice what is happening to your physiologically. Has your breathing changed? Do you feel hot or cold? Is any part of your body tense (tight jaw, clenched fist, tight abdomen, frown?) What are your thoughts? Are they clear and objective, or confused and blurred?

– Ask yourself “How do I feel about the person(s) involved? Can I clearly see a solution? —What is it I wanted and didn’t get?
-Do I know exactly what to do next to remove the stress?
-What do I want to do, right now, to feel better?

When these answers are clear to you, slowly open your eyes and write them down.
a) Physically, I felt/noticed …
b) My thoughts were …
c) About the person(s) involved, I felt …
d) I wanted to feel better by …
e) In this situation, what I wanted (and didn’t get, .. or thought I wouldn’t get) was …

– Repeat for several situations, to get a clearer picture of your reaction patterns.

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

Great LINKS

5 wrist exercises for Carpal Tunnel

Forearm Pain Relief

Acupuncture & Acupressure for Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel – Check your Thyroid

10 natural & Home Remedies for Carpal Tunnel

 

 

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“Louise Hay urges us to think of the heart as the center of joy and the seat of emotions in our lives. How well your life’s blood flows through your heart, arteries, and veins is linked to the degree which joy flows through your life. Cholesterol-blocked arteries symbolize a blocking of the flow of joy, or a suppression of emotion. Heart attacks, Hay says, happens when all the joy has been squeezed out of your heart………..moreover, we know that unresolved and unexpressed anger, sadness, and fear actually cause vasoconstriction, a tightening of the blood vessels connected to the heart. When you feel anger or fear, these blood vessels contrict in response to an outpouring of chemicals from the sympathetic nervous system……Joy and love stimulate the parasympatheic nervous system, which opens the blood vessels and creates more blood to flow to your heart…….Feeling and expressing all emotions, in a balanced way, is essential to health in the fourth emotional center [4th chakra].”
Mona Lisa Schulz

Physically, the Heart Chakra is the heart, circulatory system, lungs, respiriatory system, immune system and the arms and hands. This is the centre through which we love and there are many different kinds of love….selfish, demanding, possessive, contricting, tender and caring. When this chakra is balanced, we experience a ‘spiritual love’ in human beings and discover a greater sensitiviy and not so great a concern for material objects.

When this chakra is out of balance, it can lead to heart attacks, stomach ulcers, emotional rollercoasters, fear, bitterness and resentment.

There are six meridians in the arms and hands which we will go into great detail soon. First we need to get to the heart of matter.

GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

Suppressed Emotions And Attitudes

It has been said that suppressed emotions are the major cause of dis-ease in our society. Regrets, sorrow, guilt, shame, tear down the cells of he body while thoughts of hate generate a deadly poison. Resentment and anger have been known to create sickness and sorrow. Also, parents who dominate and control their children or fear for them…….their thoughts and anxieties are transferred to the child. The child acts out the parents feelings, producing behavioral and health problems for them both. In fact, parents can smother their children so much, the child’s soul is driven out of his/her body. These children lose their effectiveness to see the ‘Truth’ and their ‘diseased thought patterns’, ‘hardened attitudes’ begin building up as plague in their arteries.

In fact, Low blood pressure could be the result of feeling ineffectual or trapped. It portrays a feeling of weakness in certain life situations and unable to change one’s situation.

Psychologists and researchers have discovered that people who are able to express ‘love’ are healthier, tend to sick less and if they do, regain their health more quickly. Also they age more slowly, have better color, great skin, good posture and a healthy circulation. It is believed that thinking back to a ‘love’ moment creates interesting chemical changes in the body that balances the life flow in the body and brings peace to body and mind.

Of course let’s not forget processed foods, fatty acids, fast foods and years of dietary abuse. If you just tuned in, check out the archives for September and October in this blog for more information.

HARD-DRIVEN, HOT-HEADED TYPE A PERSONALITIES

When quoting Mona Lisa Scultz in this section, I purposely left out her comment on Type A personalities so we could discuss this at greater length later. She said “a vast number of heart attack victims are so-called type A personalities, often driven men whose passion derives exclusively from money, power, and position and who aren’t really much of a joy to have around.” And what of the women? Statistics are showing more and more women are suffering heart attacks too.

The heart, the mighty pump never stops working as long as you are living. But an overload of stress, anxiety and tension have been proven to erode vital blood vessels, the heart muscle itself and the physical body. People who are angry, competitive and always racing the clock can’t seem to relax even when the body is on automatic pilot or sleeping. Researchers and scientists named this type of behavior “Type A”, and also noted it was a common characteristic type for heart attack victms.

Type A people when in a ‘destructive mode’ are more likely to get angered and stressed over little frustrations, e.g., traffic jams, ticket and shopping lines, and little irritants that make their blood ‘boil’ regularly which acts upon the victim they least intend – themselves! The heart has to work harder, the blood pressure goes up and the liver, sensing a possilibity of injury, increases its cholesterol output. Put this all together and we get what is called Hypertension….the most probable cause of Heart Attacks.

But what is the major contributor to all this? I’m sure we could all say we have behaved from the extremes of Type A to the more laid back Type B behavior. Are Type A’s so gongho they don’t hear or ignore signals from their body? Most of us have pushed our bodies and minds to the max, which we know leads to physical tension, mental restlessness and strain. What we did was deplete our bodies energy, which also suffered wear and tear. Type B’s would respond to the body’s call but what of Type A? Would they continue to neglect the warning signs sent to the mind via the nervous system because their too busy negotiating deals, making money, working 24/7?

When we feel tired or fatiqued, it is a warning signal from the body to slow down and rest. But neglecting these messages the body will intensify these warnings with a headach, backache, eyestrain or irritability. If we still ignore the warnings or try to suppress them with medication, the body will continue to deteriorate. The signals will become so strong, they will force us to see medical help…..by then the body is in need of urgent attention.

High blood pressure can develop into angina, a narrowing of the arteries which happens when we are under great mental and physical stress. Mental and physical stress reduces our ability to give as well as to receive…..Type A’s have a strong need or are preoccupied with staying in control. They want to do everything themselves. This depletes their inner resources which is not continuously filled from learning or receiving from others. or receiving intuitive insights.

With high blood pressure, one has an exaggerated sense of self-importance, which leads a person to believe that he or she will have to do everything on their own. they are pushed from a position of fear, without trusting in the universe to support them.

When we withdraw or repress our feelings Artheriosclerosis, a thickening or hardening of the arteries can develop. Energetically it means we are out of balance, especially of giving and receiving.

ARTERIOSCLEROSIS, by Dep Shapiro

“In bodymind language, the arteries and veins represent the distribution and expression of love throughout your being. A restriction of these vessels implies a restriction in your ability to express yourself, perhaps a withdrawal or repression of feeling, and in particular a narrowing of your emotinal perspectives.
 
* Are you limiting or denying yourself love or support?

* Is this because you are trying to do much and not recognizing your own needs, not seeing where you need to ask for help?
…………
*Are you holding yourself back from involvement”


I found this interesting site Effects of an Angry Temperament on Coronary Heart Disease
http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/154/3/230

and this…..How to control Anger http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/How_To_Control_Anger

The Spielberger Temper Test

Dr. Spielberger developed an anger test that measures our general tendency to get angry and the intensity of anger at a given moment. High scores have been related to Hypertension which is one the major contributors to heart attacks. Apparently the test compares your anger level to that of the average man or woman. But what is average?

I did finally find the test after quite a bit of searching, it’s here http://www.yourhealthconnection.com/topic/angerassess but when I tried it and submitted my answer it came back as ‘not answered’.

If you do want to try the test, and would like to score yourself, here’s where your answers place you with the ‘average ranks’. If you are a man and scored 17, or a woman who scored 18, than you are considered in the ‘average’ category. If you scored below 13, then others don’t tend to provoke a response from you. But if you scored 23 or higher, you are highly stress prone and considered in the ranks of the hotheads. It means you have a tendency to feel anger and rage when frustrated which is considered a potentially lethal to your health.

Emotional stress not only affects the heart but also the lungs which are an extension of the heart. In fact the movment of the heart and lungs affect all the organs of the body through the sympathetic nervous system, which is part of the autonomic nervous system. (discussed in the September 21st issue of this blog)

Here’s a snip

“Blood pressure is controlled by the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system which works similar to a plane on ‘autopilot’. It ensures that your organs, such as your lungs or heart work without you thinking about it. Your awareness of this system is triggered when your body is threatened or needs (cries out) for your undivided attention. It is your nerves that carry these messages to the Thalamus also known as the ‘brains inner room’ . The Thalamus relays these nerve impulses to the cerebrum (responsible for our ability to speak, read and write) and helps you to realize ohh I’m in pain! Other areas of the brain tell you exactly where the hurt is coming from. The hypothalamus controls the movement of the heart, gut and bladder; makes us feel hungry, thirsty; feel angry or aggressive; and stops us from falling alseep during the day.”

Here’s a great site on the autonomic nervous system, which included the sympathetic… http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/auto.html

And wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sympathetic_nervous_system

Before looking at the heart chakra, let’s look at what happens when stress, anger, anxiety, etc. build up in our system…..a mixture of hormones are released by our adrenal glands (fight/flight response) which flows through the bloodstream and/or directly through the nerves. When this happens it suppresses our immune system. When the immune system is suppressed, it can’t work efficiently to protect the body which subsequently lowers our resistance to disease.

“We don’t yet understand all the ways in which brain chemicals are related to emotions and thoughts, but the salient point is that our state of mind has an immediate and direct effect on our state of body. We can change the body by dealing with how we feel. If we ignore our despair, the body receives a “die” message. If we deal with our pain and seek help, then the message is “Living is difficult but desirable”, and the immune systems works to keep us alive.” Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.

THE HEART CHAKRA

“Since the heart chakra is the middle point in a system of seven centers, balance is an essential principle at this level of integration. This implies both the internal balance between various aspects of ourselves (mind and body, persona and shadow, male and female), as well as balance between ourselves and the world around us (work and play, giving and receiving, socializing and being alone). Find this equilibrium supports the basic issues of love and relationship, for without balance with ourselves it is difficult, if not impossible to achieve healthy and long lasting love relationships…………..

The most common block in the heart chakra is the absence of self-love. How can we have intimacy with others if we are distanced from our own self? How can we reach out to others when we are drowning in shame and criticism? How can we maitain balance between ourselves and others if we have no blance within. How can we treat another with respect if we treat our selves abusively.” Anodea Judith, Eastern Body Western Mind

When the heart or 4th chakra is open, all the other chakras come into alignment with it. It is the “bridge” that connects the lower and upper chakras…and, the central powerhouse of the human energy system. The three lower chakras govern self-consciousness, survival and will. These chakras work together, and when balanced, create a receptacle for spiritual, universal messages as well as answers which are channeled through the physical body. So, the heart chakra connects our physical awareness to the spiritual……its sense is Touch. When we are born, we touch the earth and the earth touches us, physically, emotionally and symbolically. And, it is through touch we form relationships and create our existence. We touch each other physically but we are also touched by each other emotionally.

“On a mental level, the heart chakra functions on an emotional basis, our feelings and how we express them towards ourselves and to others. How we think gets turned into how we behave with our feelings on this level. When someone has acted badly towards us, the mind processes these actions and then sends these waves of information to our heart centre, who then in turns, sends them out as feelings of anger, fear or betrayal. When someone tells us that we are beautiful, our mind does the same. It sends these messages to the mind and the brain sends them to our heart centre and we experience feelings of love, joy and happiness, in return we emanate this energy out into our aura toward others. When we smile and radiate love outwards the whole world smiles back at us. It is the same when we are in a negative mood. The same energy comes outwards and lashes onto those around us. We have to learn just how powerful our feelings are, not only to ourselves, but to everyone we encounter. ” Terrific site on the chakras http://www.pharrah13.com/Chakra.html

Emotional neglect can also cause a person to become bitter, insensitive and perhaps even cruel. Abusive emotional behaviour is acted out not only with other people…..emotional neglect can lead to the abuse of animals, for instance, or a deep insensitivity to the needs of other forms of life including, the earth itself.

Without a strong foundation of Love, fear, anger, resentment and regret can develop in its place. All these as well as loneliness, attachment, possessiveness, a broken heart etc., can all lead to heart problems.

The heart is a pump! It freely circulates the blood through our veins. and does not like anyting restricting or limiting its function. This is why this chakra above all the others represents the saying, ‘Let go and let God’. The heart needs a sense of freedom or it will ‘act up’ trying to release itself from the grasp of its captor(s).

I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t had an emotional history of abandonment and betrayal. Overtime we try or succeed in letting some of these go. The ones that aren’t resolved, (grief. anger, etc.) affect our cholesterol levels, which not only begins to rise but also becomes inflamed and literally turns to stone. Your veins become hardened with calcium.

“When the heart is open and we feel the love of the universe percolating through our being, we feel the greatest security and self confidence. We learn to love without any attachment or feelings of possessiveness. When we truly realize who and what we are, fears and doubts vanish.” Alex Jones

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