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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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If you’re reading this and been diagnosed with depression and given medication, the important thing is to take it but don’t stop there.  The medication is going to make you feel better and with feeling better, you can continue studying and learning how you can heal yourself through different methods.  Yes, I’ve heard people say that medication can be a crutch but if you needed a crutch to help you walk better, you’d use it right?  Sometimes a crutch is what we need to get over the hump and which helps us persevere in learning to walk without it. 

 “Most of us grow up believing that we are not good enough to be loved for just being ourselves.  So we try desperately to live up to a self-created image of how we should be.  The constant struggle to uphold this idealized version of ourselves causes many of our difficulties.  It is, therefore, important to discover on what assumptions you have created your own idealized image and how it has caused distress and frustration in your life.  You will find it has achieved the exact opposite of what you had hoped it would.  This discovery may be painful, but will allow you to reevaluate the way you are presenting yourself to the world and help you to become your true, relaxed self.” Eva Pierrakos, The Pathwork of Self-Transformation

Depression is an affective disorder (dramatic changes and extreme mood swings) that affects us physically, mentally and emotionally.  Any one of us can be catapulted into depression by the death of a loved one, a change in residence; an unexpected financial crisis; bullying; news that suddenly shocks or upsets us; a job that we thought was a given; years working for a company that suddenly goes bankrupt; a relationship breakup; verbal or physical abuse.  Whatever the cause, we lose our sense of direction, our footing, strong irrational feelings and emotions take over and we either overreact to everything or find ourselves withdrawing deep inside.

 Symptoms of depression can include:  low energy, fatigue, feeling slowed down,  poor appetite or overeating, weight gain or loss, insomnia or increased sleep, inability to concentrate, agitation, loss of interest, irritability, indecisiveness, feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness, guilt, fatigue, energy loss, headaches, backaches, digestive disorders, inability to perform sexually or decreased sexual drive, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.  (Not all these symptoms occur in a person who is depressed, but some or many are present).

 “Depression: This involves a deep inner sadness and longing for life to different, a conflict between the ideal and the real, between who we would like to be and who we are. There is no doubt that there is a chemical or hormonal imbalance that can cause this state, but the cause of the imbalance may be found in deep, underlying attitudes and emotional issues.  How much pressure to succeed did we experience when we were children?  Have we experienced life-changing events, such as war, that make ordinary life seem meaningless in comparison?  Have we lost our purpose and reason for living maybe because a loved one has been lost?  Depression clearly demonstrates the relationship between mind and body, for as the mind becomes depressed so the body loses its vitality and healthy functioning.  Deep relaxation and a reconnection with our purpose are essential.”  Deb Shapiro

 Depression can isolate and even alienate us from friends, family and people in general.  Even when not alone, people can experience extreme feelings of depression and loneliness.  How many of us have found ourselves lying around the house, or staring blankly out the window; then we putter around the house here and there, picking up this and that, pretending we’re doing something but in reality it’s a whole lot of nothing. 

 With depression it takes a lot of time and thought before it feels like much of a blessing. When in the throes of it we have this thought, this feeling, an illusion that things will stay this way forever and I find that that thought is what holds the depression. We forget that we’ve been here before, maybe even not that long ago and gotten through and not only did we get through it but came out the other end much clearer.  It’s as if we have to go through this kind of amnesia when we are in the thick of it to retrieve more of our deepest darkest, unknown parts.

 To free your spirit and learn to accept every part of your being, you have to learn to feel all your feelings.  No matter how dark or hidden….

 “Some feelings and thoughts seem to emerge only in a dark mood.  Suppress the mood, and you will suppress those ideas and reflections.  Depression may be as important a channel for valuable “negative” feelings, as expression of affection are for the emotions of love.  Feelings of love give birth naturally to gestures of attachment.  In the same way, the void and grayness of depression evoke an awareness and articulation of thoughts otherwise hidden behind the screen of lighter moods.  Sometimes a person will come to a therapy session in a dark mood. “I shouldn’t have come today,” he will say.  “I’ll feel better next week, and we can get on with it.” But I’m happy that he came, because together we will hear thoughts and feel his soul in a way not possible in his cheerful moods.  Melancholy gives the soul an opportunity to express a side of its nature that is as valid as any other, but is hidden out of our distaste for its darkness and bitterness.” Thomas Moore

 

DEPRESSION IS RAGE SPREAD THIN. ~George Santayana

“Depression is anger turned inward.  It is also anger that you feel you do not have a right to have. For instance you may not feel it’s okay to be angry at your parent or spouse or employer or best friend.  Yet you are angry. And you feel stuck. That anger becomes depression. Far too many people today suffer from depression, even chronic depression.  By the time we feel that depressed, it is very difficult to get out of it.  It feels so hopeless that it becomes an effort to do anything.  

I don’t care how spiritual you are, you have got to wash your dishes every now and then.  You can’t let the sink pile up with dirty dishes and say, “Oh, I’m metaphysical.” The same with your feelings, if you want to have a mind that flows freely then clean up your inner mental dirty dishes. Louis L. Hay THE POWER IS WITHIN YOU

 When we feel angry or upset about something or someone and don’t express them, that’s really unhealthy. Perhaps you want to do the right thing by everybody and really dislike hurting or disappointing others.  So with the feeling you have no other choices you continue to live in an abusive or controlling situation.  Because you won’t standup for yourself, you begin to feel lost or don’t feel you belong and to counteract that feeling, you numb or deny your feelings.  Sometimes when we deny or repress our anger, we go on eating binges to cover it up. The problem is, whatever we do to get another’s approval and love, all we end up doing is getting disappointed over and over again.  

“Depression afflicts millions of people in the industrialized world today. It impairs the digestive, nervous and circulatory systems in the body and depletes any remnant of joy and happiness. By itself, depression is not an independent emotion but is directly linked to repressed anger.” It’s Time To Come Alive ~ by Andreas Moritz

 When we suppress our anger the area in the body to react first is the gallbladder located in the solar plexus.  As our frustrations peek and we become more closed and frustrated, the liver (also in solar plexus) will become affected.  The liver is an important organ in terms of emotions because its main job is to regulate the flow of energy (chi/qi) around the body. The kidneys too need this chi energy in order to do its job, which is to support all the other organs. If the kidneys become affected, we experience poor concentration and memory, dizziness and the head can feel ‘empty’.  When we feel empty this affects the pancreas and spleen and we feel that desire to eat sweets or fatty foods which depletes us even further. Then we may suffer from headaches, stomachaches and backaches and yet when we go to the doctor he or she says there’s nothing wrong.

 All our organs are physically and emotionally connected to the brain via the central nervous system (CNS), which is connected to the rest of the body.  It is through this system that the brain and the entire body can be in constant communication…. just the slightest shift in our thinking and feeling stirs our nervous system into action.  Within the brain are chemicals called neurotransmitters that carry impulses between the nerve cells, which regulate behavior.  The way these neurotransmitters work is very intricate. The physical cause of depression is the depletion of these neurotransmitters (e.g. endorphin, norephinephrine, serotonin, dopamine) in specific brain areas.  Serotonin eases tension, while norepinephrine and dopamine cause alertness.  Without self-worth or believing that we’re worthy, the brain loses its ability to function emotionally, when that happens we’ll back down from expression our feelings or nod in agreement when we meant to say no…a form of self-sabotage. 

 “Social conditioning has taught many of us to repress anger right from the beginning of life. When small children don’t get what they want they have tantrums and are often told off by an angry parent. All the small instances of withheld anger or frustration buildup to a highly explosive inner conflict, creating a strong chemical distortion in the body. Every new instance that triggers an emotional explosion reveals an entire past of unresolved conflicts. Anger, if it is dealt with before depression, can be a means to learn about the very weaknesses that we tend to project onto others. Whenever you feel angry, you are never really angry with somebody else, but you are frustrated over your own inability to fulfill your desires, both past and present.” It’s Time to Come Alive ~ Andreas Moritz  

 THE MANY FACES OF DEPRESSION

 In psychological terms, there are many different types of depression:  reactive depression is triggered by a trauma and/or the loss of or separation from an object or a person.  Endogenous depressions are associated with delusions and hallucinations.  Unipolar depression consists of depressive episodes that recur several times or throughout a person’s life.  Bipolar depression or manic depression consists of alternate episodes of alternative episodes of depression and mania. 

 Types of depression http://www.irishhealth.com/clin/depression/types.html

Classification of different depressions http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/depression/classification_000001.htm

 “The signs and symptoms of the depressive phase of bipolar disorder include unrelenting sadness. It may seem like everything is lousy, always was lousy, and always will be lousy. It may seem that any happiness you enjoyed was phony and fleeting. The hopelessness pervades your body and thoughts like a virus. You may not be able to function at all, and if you are, you feel like a robot going through the motions. You may think that you don’t matter and that everyone would be better off without you—no matter what anyone tells you. You may take no pleasure in anything that gave you pleasure before. It may seem there is nothing you can do about this. You may feel powerless, insignificant, and just a shell of your former self. It seems like this will go on forever. 

The good news is that “forever,” in the case of a depression following a manic episode, may last only six to eight weeks. The bad news is that those weeks feel like forever, no matter what anyone says. You wouldn’t be surprised if someone said to you, “Due to the energy crisis, we have shut off the light at the end of the tunnel.” The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Bipolar Disorder ~ Bobbi Dempsey, Jay Carter

 Clinical depression (depression lasting more than two weeks) ‘is’ a serious illness, and currently the leading cause of disability in the United States, and the World Health Organization expects it to be the second leading cause of disability in the world, second only to heart disease, by the year 2020.

 “The symptoms of clinical depression often closely mimic the symptoms of early Alzheimer’s, because depression severely impairs both memory and cognitive function….Clinical depression is a biological phenomenon, characterized by changes in neurotransmitters and hormones. ….

 Depression mimics Alzheimer’s in several ways.  Clinical depression often slows down all thought processes, and all physical movements.  People with clinical depression often speak very slowly, with long pauses, and have a vacant look in their eyes.  Their movements are painfully slow and deliberate.  This symptom, which is partly caused bv a deficiency of the stimulating neurotransmitter norepinephrine, is often mistakenly considered to be a symptom of early Alzheimer’s.  BRAIN LONGETIVITY Dharma Singh Khalsa M.D. with Cameron Stauth)

 Depression can also be triggered by stress; traumatic events, brain imbalances, thyroid disease, poor diet, magnesium deficiency, allergies, and prescription drugs like birth control pills, antibiotics, antihistamines, arthritic medications, and tranquilizers. Surprisingly food allergies are one of the most common causes of depression as well as cancer.

 When we suppress anger, a chemical reaction in the body causes acids to be secreted and attack the body.  Not only could we develop ulcers, anger, tension and stress also affect the heart and circulation, which in turn affect every other part of the body.  A rigid frame of mind could be expressed as arthritis; a broken heart may manifest as a stroke or coronary; and a need for growth could show up as cancer.

 Other types of depression are:  seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which descends in the fall and reaches an all time low in the winter. People with this disorder tend to overeat, oversleep, and crave carbohydrates. Women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) become irritable and depressed at certain stages of the menstrual cycle due to hormonal changes. Some women experience clinical depression after the birth of a child. This disorder is called postpartum depression.

 *We will look deeper into all these in PART III – Healing Depression Naturally

 

EMPATHIC OVERLOAD

 As our consciousness continues to expand outward our nervous systems are becoming more receptive and highly sensitive to every living thing on this planet.  The more sensitive we become the more vulnerable we are to the subtleties of our environment and beyond.  When this happens we can be so out of ourselves, so much out there, we lose the most precious connection we have, our inner center, our soul/spirit. 

 For the first time in history, we have the capabilities of knowing, emotionally and simultaneously what’s happening anywhere in the world. The development of technology has cut us off from being aware of our own human needs. Many of us are tuned into so much content it’s causing us to become emotionally unstable. If we allow ourselves to be swept along with the many highs/lows of life, we will forever feel insecure with our own life. Empaths take on others emotions as their own, so much so, they find themselves exhausted and drained. In the depths of all the pain and suffering in the world they have no idea how they can help a world that seems to be getting worse and worse. But we’re not meant to burn out when these things happen. 

We need to recognize, to the depths of our souls, that we are all part of one whole, that what each of us does individually has a powerful impact on us all. Our global crises relate to and mirror our individual processes. Only through healing ourselves on all levels — physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual — can we heal our families, our communities, and our planet. Shakti Gawain, The Path of Transformation ~ this wonderful and inspiring book is on pdf  http://theawareshow.com/2011/shakti-gawain/tas-attract-shakti-gawain-path-of-transformation.pdf

 We have to train ourselves to focus on the present and it doesn’t come easy.  When we are doing something, we are, at the same time, planning what we’re going to do next or tomorrow.  Most of the time you’re probably deep in thought, pondering the future; going over things in your mind.  You notice what’s around you but you’re so consumed with old patterns of thought, you’re not living it.   

Because all things are constantly in a state of change, it is often difficult to get our bearings if we are constantly looking outside of ourselves.  But when we search within, the answers are always available to us. 

In the next article, we’ll continue to investigate what depression is and how you can make peace with where you are Now.

 An excerpt from the next article…

 THE THREE A’s

Awareness, Acceptance, Adjustment

 “The formula is simple.  Take your greatest victory as your ceiling and your worst defeat becomes the place where your foundation will be built.  Once that’s in place you’ve got a frame which you will fill with joy and sorrow.  From your center will come the creative force of your being, your truth and your instincts.  It is from this place that everything else evolves.” Linda Joyce 

AWARENESS – To make changes to our world, we first need to know where we are before we can decide how to get where we want to go.  If you got lost driving to my house, you’d call and ask for directions.  To help you get here, my first question to you would be “Where are you now.”  Awareness is about asking yourself….”Where am I now”; this always determines your next move. 

 ACCEPTANCE – Awareness and acceptance are intertwined.  By learning to accept freely and uncritically where we are at this moment, we begin to allow our unconscious to release more knowledge about ourselves.  The process of acceptance is one of acknowledging to ourselves that we are in fact perfect—it is where we are supposed to be right now….

 To be continued….

What is Depression “All of these famous individuals [listed] are believed to have suffered from a mood disorder in various forms.  Yet they are remembered, not for their illnesses but for their ACHIEVEMENTS. ~ Mood Disorders Society of Canada.” http://www.mooddisorderscanada.ca/documents/Consumer%20and%20Family%20Support/Depression.pdf

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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“Fibromyalgia (FM) means pain in the soft fibrous tissues in the body.  It is a newly recognized illness featuring widespread chronic pain, stiffness, tenderness, deep fatigue, and sleep disturbance.  It can come and go and is of indeterminate length.  The exhaustion may be so draining that it can make it hard to function, eith mentally or physically, and there appears to be abnormal sensory processing, which increases the pain experienced.  There also appears to be a strong connection to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)–some experts say the two are simply variations of the same thing–as FM also has a possible post-viral cause and the two illnesses share many of the same symptoms……As with CFS, this illness implies a loss of purpose or direction and a loss of spirit.  It is as if the desire to participate and enter into life has drained away, leaving you without intention or motivation.” Deb Shapiro YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND

Chronic Fatigue (CFS) is a relatively new disorder, its characteristics often overlap with fibromyalgia,(FM) which is why I combined them together. In fact, FM, CFS and hypothyroidism are all autoimmune diseases and share similar symptoms. And there are a multitude of symptoms to these dis-eases which include, muscle pain, sleeplessness, fatigue, gastrointestional upsets, allergies, headaches, etc. That is why a multi-faceted approach is necessary in improving both CFS and FM. Discovered in the mid 1990’s, CFS and FM affected young and old alike. They both can be very disabling, disempowering and brutal dis-eases.

(A large group of people suffering from CFS and FM, also have low blood pressure. Many who find themselves reaching for foods high in salt, have noted they feel better.) Fibromyalgia and low blood pressure can be related to a lack of self, lack of self esteem, lack of competency, lack of self acceptance, deep feelings of separation, guilt, feeling trapped, alienated, relying on people’s feedbacks, being and feeling criticized by others, and suppressing the emotions.

When my doctor told me I had Fibromyalgia two years ago, I was shell shocked. It had to be something else, something I could easily conquer. Why even many of my friends called me a ‘health nut’ so how could this be possible? In fact, to me, it was impossible. I was in denial for a whole year and during that year, the fibromyalgia got worse. I learned the more I resisted it, the worse it got.

First, I thought it was my thyroid, after all I do suffer from hypothyroidism and take Levothyroxine 0.075. Maybe I needed a higher dose. However, my tests came back revealing I was taking the right amount. (more on this later)

Still ignoring the prognosis, the symptoms of fibromyalgia escalated. Weather fluctuations and the seasons increased it. I suffered fatigue, depression, joint and muscle pain, especially in the neck and shoulder area. In fact, my shoulders felt like they were climbing around my ears! I held a lot of tension in the jaw area, causing my lips and even my eyes to start drooping. There were times at work, I could hardly keep my eyes open. In fact, every system of my body seemed to be under attack. This dis-ease screamed to be acknowledged. But still I hid it from myself and others. It wasn’t until FM almost stopped me in my tracks, did I finally stop resisting the pain, turn around and embrace it. This was when I started observing it, looking at situations, past and present, which might have triggered or caused it to flare up again.

“CFS usually develops as a result of being disconnected from our emotions. Emotions are the energy that bridges the mind with the body. When we disconnect from this energy, we experience a lessening of life energy, which can eventually lead to chronic fatigue and/or depression.

This is a pattern that usually begins in childhood. At home and in society, many receive the message that it’s not okay to express certain feelings, such as sadness or anger. Women are especially taught it’s not okay to express anger or sexual feelings,. We suppress or “depress” the so-called unacceptable feelings inside us. We become cut off from our emotional energy and are left with a general feeling of fatigue and disconnection from life. As a result, we very often feel we’re “running on empty,” so to speak.

It’s important to know at least 80% of all autoimmune dis-ease occurs in women. Somewhere very deep within our bodies, there’s some kind of destructive message that needs to be revealed and transformed. To break free of this pattern, it’s helpful to establish a safe environment to reconnect with our feeling processes and begin to safely release stored anger, sadness, and other suppressed emotions. It’s highly recommended and important to contact a qualified professional as you go through this process.

Affirm: It is safe to express all that is within me. I love, honor, and accept all aspects of who and what I am. As a result, I am energized, expressed, and filled with joy!”  Louise Hay

We discussed Chiron and the Sixth House earlier in my blog. It just so happens, my Chiron IS placed in my Sixth House. Only when I admitted to having a problem, was Chiron released and awakened. And when he did, it was as if he took me to T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland and the Fisher King’s realm. By gosh, I realized there was a resemblance to the Fisher King and Chiron. To restore the wasteland, the Fisher’s King’s wound had to be healed. The wound that would not heal was a direct result of severing some kind of connection crucial to one’s well-being. Wow! I discovered the King did not heal until an innocent young man (or woman), the ‘Fool’ entered the scene. I realized the Fool was to be a new element, a new perspective that needed to be learned in my journey of healing. A journey deep within myself and my own inner core. And Chiron took me there.

Have I healed this dis-ease? Ohh how I wish! There are times it grips and crushes me like a vice. The pain is all consuming. Chiron, his knowledge and wisdom was on my side, provided I was prepared to look at myself, squarely in the ‘eye’. I was driven by a new sense of vision, a purpose. A new sense of growth and change. This is my story and hopefully it will help others to ease their discomfort. Here is what I discovered.

Chronic stress, viruses, allergies and hormonal imbalances have been linked with CFS and FM. Other symptoms are, aching, weak muscles, swollen lymph glands, joint pain, headache and sore throat. Psychological symptoms include, confusion, depression, impaired memory or concentration, excessive sleeping, appetite loss or gain and stress.

With CFS and FM, not only do our bodies and nervous system react to stress by secreting hormones and enzymes, they continue sending stress signals to the brain which reacts by sending more stress hormones throughout our bodies. When this happens our muscles are unable to relax, we are in, what is called a fight or flight mode. The adrenal glands continually pump out epinephrine, the tension buildup accumulates, our pulse races and our bodies become locked in a fixed position.

2006 was a very stressful year for me. My father passed away, a relationship I was in, dissolved, and the relationship to my own family buckled. And I was laid off from my job. Financially, spiritually, physically, I felt disabled. Although all this was happening in my life, I didn’t see it! I found myself strapped in a tangled web of pain and frustration.

At first, I tried different kinds of herbal medicines. Malic acid, L-Glutamine (amino acid), magnesium, Epson salt baths, Lecithin, antioxidants, and painkillers to name a few. They did help, but only minimally. Why weren’t these working? My doctor prescribed a drug for depression called Venlafaxine….all it seemed to do was make me more depressed and sleepy! I realized the cycle of pain killers and antidepressants were a recipe for more complications. I had to go deeper.

Looking back at the traumas in my life was like a breakthrough for me. As a Reiki practitioner and teacher, I’ve always helped others but somewhere down the line excluded myself. Now it was my turn.

When everything in my life was falling apart, I tried to hold myself together; I isolated myself and grieved alone. The stress this put on my body and muscles became a constant pain. My immune system faltered, which decreased my ability to fight viruses, like the common cold and flu. I also realized I was what many consider a high achiever. I didn’t see this as first. I thought high achievers were top aggressive performers, who like athletes in professional sports were ranked as the elite in their sport. Not so. A high achiever can be someone who continually pushes to do their best and beyond the call of duty. This, in itself creates stress in our lives as we try to stay ahead of the competition. The competition not being another business, but other people within the business. Being image conscious and self conscious, I never thought my work was ‘good enough’. I kept trying harder and harder. The more I pushed the more my FMS developed.

Catherine Northrup in her book Women’s Body, Women’s Wisdom, mentions only a snippit about fibromyalgia but definitely worth mentioning.

‘When you experience a bodily sensation such as back pain, ‘a gut reaction’, a headache or abdominal pain, pay attention to it and see if you can pinpoint the emotional situation that may have triggered it.’ ‘…other related conditions such as neck pain and fibromyalgia, all of which he (Dr. John Sarno), refers to as TMS – tension myositis syndrome. He notes that the personality of those who tend to get this syndrome is characterised by being highly conscientious, responsible and perfectionistic.”

Bingo!

Alternative healing and spiritual psychology helped me to begin the study of my own body, mind, and soul. I focused on any emotional or energy disturbances in my chakras or energy bodies. I used different forms of divination to find new ways to establish a balance within myself. I bought the book Fibromyalgia for Dummies (by Roland Staud, M.D.) and read countless topics on CFS and FM on the internet. I learned to heal and start letting go of my past childhood traumas; which were enveloped in an internal battle of fear and control as well as a resistance to change.

If you have questions or comments on my blog, please leave a message. If you’d like to address an illness, let me know, and we’ll share our thoughts together.

To be continued…….

Suggested readings:
Healing Back Pain, The Mind-Body Connection by Dr. John E. Sarno
http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Back-Pain-Mind-Body-Connection/dp/0446392308

Fibromyalgia for Dummies, by Dr. Roland Staub

Metaphysical causes of Fibromyalgia
http://www.compassionatedragon.com/metaphysics5.html

Lack of Vitamin D Linked to Pain – Fibromyalgia News
http://www.immunesupport.com/library/showarticle.cfm/ID/5324/

Fibromyaliga Herbs
http://www.herbal-supplements-guide.com/fibromyalgia-herbs.html

Check out The Chakra Test! There are 56 questions to which you can answer ‘Definitely to ‘Not At All’. It even has a graph showing the activity of each chakra. If you’re honest with the answers, the results are amazing.
http://www.eclecticenergies.com/chakras/chakratest.php

**This ‘letter’ has been circulating the web lately and although I’m not sure where this originated from, it descriptively explains to others and ourselves the many symptoms aggravated by FM and CFS.

So many FM  and CFS sufferers have been told that all they do is whine and complain….so we learn to suffer in silence.  This letter speaks volumes.

A friend of mine keeps hers on the fridge, while another made copies to give to close family and friends.  If it helps, pass it around.

A LETTER TO THE HEALTHY WORLD
FROM THE LAND OF CHRONIC PAIN AND FATIGUE

If you were born with healthy genes, you may know me but you don’t understand me. I was not as lucky as you. I inherited the predisposition to chronic pain, fatigue and forgetfulness.

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia (FMS) after months, years or even decades of mysterious physical and emotional problems.

Because you didn’t know how sick I was, you called me lazy, a malingerer, or simply ridiculous. If you have the time to read on, I would like to help you understand how different I am from you

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT FIBROMYALGIA

1. FMS is not the newest fad disease. In fact, it isn’t a disease at all, and it isn’t even new. In 1815, a surgeon at the University of Edenburgh, William Balfour, described fibromyalgia. Over the years, it has been known as chronic rheumatism, myalgia and fibrositis. Unlike diseases, syndromes do not have a known cause, but they do have a specific set of signs and symptoms which, unfortunately for the patient, take place together. Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are also syndromes.

2. The many physical and emotional problems associated with FMS are not psychological in origin. This is not an “all in your head” disorder. In 1987, the American Medical Association recognized FMS as a true physical illness and major cause of disability.

3. Syndromes strike life-long athletes as viciously as they do couch potatoes. They can be disabling and depressing, interfering with even the simplest activities of daily life.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ME

1. My pain –
My pain is not your pain. It is not caused by inflammation. Taking your arthritis medication will not help me. I can not work my pain out or shake it off. It is not even a pain that stays put. Today it is in my shoulder, but tomorrow it may be in my foot or gone. My pain is believed to be caused by improper signals sent to the brain, possibly due to sleep disorders. It is not well understood, but it is real.

2. My fatigue –
I am not merely tired. I am often in a severe state of exhaustion. I may want to participate in physical activities, but I can’t. Please do not take this personally. If you saw me shopping in the mall yesterday, but I can’t help you with yard work today, it isn’t because I don’t want to. I am, most likely, paying the price for stressing my muscles beyond their capability.

3. My forgetfulness –
Those of us who suffer from it call it fibrofog. I may not remember your name, but I do remember you. I may not remember what I promised to do for you, even though you told me just seconds ago. My problem has nothing to do with my age but may be related to sleep deprivation. I do not have a selective memory. On some days, I just don’t have any short-term memory at all.

4. My clumsiness –
If I step on your toes or run into you five times in a crowd, I am not purposely targeting you. I do not have the muscle control for that. If you are behind me on the stairs, please be patient. These days, I take life and stairwells one step at a time.

5. My sensitivities –
I just can’t stand it! “It” could be any number of things: bright sunlight, loud or high-pitched noises, odors. FMS has been called the “aggravating everything disorder.” So don’t make me open the drapes or listen to your child scream. I really can’t stand it.

6. My intolerance –
I can’t stand heat, either. Or humidity. If I am a man, I sweat…profusely. If I am a lady, I perspire. Both are equally embarrassing, so please don’t feel compelled to point this shortcoming out to me. I know. And don’t be surprised if I shake uncontrollably when it’s cold. I don’t tolerate cold, either. My internal thermostat is broken, and nobody knows how to fix it.

7. My depression –
Yes, there are days when I would rather stay in bed or in the house. I have lost count of how many of Dr. Kevorkian’s patients suffered from FMS as well as other related illnesses. Severe, unrelenting pain can cause depression. Your sincere concern and understanding can pull me back from the brink. Your snide remarks can tip me over the edge.

8. My stress –
My body does not handle stress well. If I have to give up my job, work part time, or handle my responsibilities from home, I’m not lazy. Everyday stresses make my symptoms worse and can incapacitate me completely.

9. My weight – I may be fat or I may be skinny. Either way, it is not by choice. My body is not your body. My appestat is broken, and nobody can tell me how to fix it.

10. My need for therapy –
If I get a massage every week, don’t envy me. My massage is not your massage. Consider how a massage would feel if that charley horse you had in your leg last week was all over your body. Massaging it out was very painful, but it had to be done. My body is knot-filled. If I can stand the pain, regular massage can help, at least temporarily.

11. My good days –
If you see me smiling and functioning normally, don’t assume I am well. I suffer from a chronic pain and fatigue illness with no cure. I can have my good days or weeks or even months. In fact, the good days are what keep me going.

12. My uniqueness –
Even those who suffer from FMS are not alike. That means I may not have all of the problems mentioned above. I do have pain above and below the waist and on both sides of my body which has lasted for a very long time. I may have migraines or hip pain or shoulder pain or knee pain, but I do not have exactly the same pain as anyone else.

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