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Posts Tagged ‘hormones’

“I care enough for myself to nourish myself with all the best that Life has to offer. I learn about nutrition because I am a precious being, and I want to take the best care of me that I can. My body is special and different from all other bodies; therefore I learn the things that my body assimilates the best. 

I learn everything I can about food and beverages. I pay attention to what I eat and drink, and I notice if some food or beverage does not seem to agree with me. If I have something to eat and an hour later I fall asleep, I realize that that particular food is not good for my body at this time. I search out the foods that give me good energy.

 I bless all my food with love and gratitude. I am nurtured and nourished. I feel healthy, happy and great.” ~ Louise Hay Newsletter, Issue 6

Stress, emotional upsets, financial losses, menopause, some medications, and smoking withdrawal can also increase your cravings for comfort food. Food, like any other addiction, is a form of self-medicating. So you have to get to the source of what you are trying to numb. Otherwise, you can go from diet to diet and it won’t matter. You may lose weight, but you will gain it back. You have to face what you’re hiding from, why your self-esteem is affected and replace your meals with essential nutrients that naturally balance and boost your metabolism.

Most people think metabolism is about the body’s ability to burn calories and maintain a healthy weight. Although they’re partly right, metabolism is about the transformation of food into fuel and energy that the whole body needs to continue and function. There is an array of different networks that influence your metabolism; each cell in your body (and there are trillions of them) comes in all different sizes and shapes; individual cells make up tissue, tissue forms organs and organs take part in maintaining your bodily system. Your circulatory system, respiratory system, endocrine system, gastro-intestinal tract, liver, musculoskeletal system, elimination system, nervous system all work in concert and contributes to the homeostatic balance or good of the whole body. All these systems and organs need to be comprised of healthy, well-fed cells in order to carry out their individual jobs in a balanced and efficient manner. So, nourishment of your cells begins with the food you eat.

When your needs aren’t been met, they limit the activity of your cells, slowing down the feedback loop between your body’s enormous communication network. These needs can be emotional or physical in nature creating self-doubt, unexplained nervousness, sudden outbursts of anger or weeping and/or melancholy/depression. Not only that, all the mental and emotional baggage we carry ultimately becomes our biology; we end up carrying too much weight in our mid-section or throughout the body.

Your metabolism is intimately linked with your energy field that contains all your character traits, your beliefs about yourself and the world, as well as all your memories, locked-up emotions, hopes, fears and hang-ups. When we refuse to see a problem or don’t want to deal with anything upsetting, it not only blocks our awareness, it represses our digestive system which is the core of our life-energy, intuition and life expectancy. When we are out of power, we repress our inner impulses, we become stuck, rigid and bound up with acute anxiety, suffering either gastrointestinal problems and/or constipation. In search of healing, we try everything from laxatives, antacids, fiber, and enzymes when all we really need is a healthy diet that would help regulate things. To maintain a healthy digestive tract you need to experiment with food and discover what truly nurtures you; intuitively you need to attune with food that will support your entire subtle system.

Food is alive inside you; it’s, not just a lifeless substance you eat to live. Food is bursting with life-giving energy!

“You may be surprised to learn that your food absorbs and transmits consciousness…and the subtle energies in your meals can profoundly influence your entire life. When you take the time to tune in and connect with the vast array of energy fields within your meal, magic happens. Suddenly you’re no longer contained by the confines of your identity and your physical body. You enter into the awareness that you’re not separate from the universe. Each item of food you ingest can be a key that opens doors of perception and connection…..

 Your food is indeed composed of undulating energy fields that can profoundly impact your life. Many people view their physical body as a static biological entity. However, in reality, your body is a vibrating, intelligent force field of energy that’s constantly transforming and renewing itself. When the viable energies of your food interface with the energy flows of your physical form, it allows you to step into a higher level of spiritual frequency. (But only if you understand how to attune to those fields; this is one of the secret recipes for savoring your life.)

Not only does your food consist of “energy, frequency, and vibration,” but its energy is also always in motion. Beneath the surface of that red apple on your kitchen counter or the buttered toast on your breakfast table exists a river of energy force fields that swirl into form, dissolve, and coalesce once again. All life is energy, and in every moment, we’re immersed in a great ocean of it. It’s constantly ebbing and flowing in constant, ever-changing currents that pulsate through time and space. In every morsel of food you eat, there’s an infinite, yet patterned, timeless cosmic order of waves of pulsating electrons that spiral in and out of existence, which have a profound impact on your body and on your life.” Denise Lin and Meadlow Lin ~ The Mystic Cookbook

We all eat to satisfy different needs. If eating is a form of stress therapy for you, you may find it difficult at first to improve your health by eating better. Our lives are constantly going through cycles of joy and despair; if you’re eating to feed an emotional need it’s going to have a greater physiological effect on your body than all the health foods you buy to improve your life. People who are overweight are no strangers to stressful emotions such as hopelessness, despair, anger, guilt, and anxiety. And what’s worse, thoughts can enlarge the problem, causing us to return to rather quickly to our habitual eating patterns. If this happens and you feel upset and guilty about it, it will constantly perpetuate your continual bingeing to geel good about yourself.

There’s no doubt that our physical surroundings influence who we are. This includes our homes, workplace, as well as the people around us—parents, family teachers, friends, lovers, and even strangers. All of these have the power to shape our lives in all kinds of ways, many of them subconscious.

Unfortunately, most of us are bad judges when it comes to evaluating our own appearance. We look at our bodies from every angle then zoom in and see a certain part of our body as abnormal or by seeing ourselves as having the wrong size or shape. We can become so preoccupied with our hair, teeth, size of our nose, or width of our thighs, we don’t see the parts that are attractive to ourselves and others.

Being self-conscious creates a fluctuation in the rhythm and balance of the mind/body communication network; it diminishes our energy and our self-esteem levels to an all time low. Self- consciousness has been linked to problems such as isolation, loneliness, depression, weight issues, hormonal imbalances, and many different health problems. The more we worry about how we look, the more we’ll struggle with difficulties and temptations.

CASE STUDY

James, at age 40, was a successful corporate lawyer who had been overweight since a child. Recently he was diagnosed with Type II diabetes and tipped the scales at 330 lbs. He hated himself and felt bad that he had to squeeze past people in a crowded bus or movie, and each time he felt these bad feelings, he comforted himself with food.

His doctor told him his blood pressure and cholesterol were high—he had to lose at least 120 lbs or face serious medical consequences, but James didn’t think he was able to do it. He’d been trying commercial programs and quick-fix home remedies since he was a teenager. They all worked for a time—then he gained all the weight back and some extra as well. With ten or fifteen extra pounds his love handles had become a spare tire. James was caught on a roller-coaster of on/off diets; not only were his diets sporadic, so too were his weekdays disorganized and hectic; he never actually had a sit down breakfast or lunch but binged on food all day long.

For many people, just getting through the day is harder than losing weight or living longer. Telling people who feel emotionally isolated and spiritually alone that they may live longer if they just quit smoking, change their diet or begin exercising is not all that motivating when they’re constantly feeling depressed or unhappy.

Food not only numbs our pain. When we eat, the body releases a cascade of rewarding brain chemicals (natural opioids) that make us feel better, setting us up with an addictive relationship with food. It has been proven that people who are ‘stress eaters’ have chronically high levels of adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol in their blood. Epinephrine has been called an anxiety hormone because it is known to be called upon when faced with problems or difficulties; cortisol on the other hand is known as the ‘hormone of defeat’ because the adrenals secrete it when we feel overwhelmed or totally discouraged.

 “When stress continues for a long time, and cortisol levels remain high, the body actually resists weight loss. Your body thinks times are hard and you might starve, so it greedily hoards any food you eat and any fat already present on your body. Cortisol also turns adipocytes, young fat cells, into mature fat cells that stick with us forever.

 Cortisol tends to take fat from healthier areas, like your butt and hips, and move it to your abdomen, where cortisol has more receptors. In the process, it turns once-healthy peripheral fat into unhealthy visceral fat that increases inflammation and insulin resistance in the body. This belly fat then leads to more cortisol because it has higher concentrations of a specific enzyme that converts inactive cortisone to active cortisol. The more belly fat you have, the more active cortisol will be converted by these enzymes—yet another vicious cycle created by visceral fat.” Master Your Metabolism ~ Jillian Michaels

Christiane Northrup ~ Abnormal adrenaline and cortisol levels http://www.drnorthrup.com/womenshealth/healthcenter/topic_details.php?topic_id=94

As James and I talked, I had an inkling James may be suffering from adrenal fatigue which can be caused by several different stress factors such as: insomnia, weight gain, depression, hair loss, acne, carbohydrate cravings and lowered immune function. When our adrenals are stressed, we are more susceptible to heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other potentially fatal conditions.

THE TREATMENT

Our bodies tell the story of our lives; they express our fears and aspirations, our deepest secrets and experiences. When reading a body, try to get an overall impression rather than concentrating on a specific area; stay open and let whatever captures your attention. Both James and I felt that his overeating and bingeing had more to do with things inside him than to outside events. Hands-on healing allows us to really become more immersed in ourselves—it relaxes the body allowing us to look non-judgingly at the many patterns that have constructed in our lives; patterns such as our inner parent who prevents us from being more in the present.

When we are not following our true path, our inner-self will use all the tools and skills it has to stop you. If you still don’t listen it will look for other ways to get more and more dramatic. It’s amazing how difficult it is for us to make life changes—we’re reluctant to move forward—fear hurting others and so end up violating our own values. Everything in our system gets all gummed up. When this happens, we use eating, drugs or other mind-altering devices that often result in addictive behavior. But, when an illness strikes or our health is in jeopardy we need to take time to replenish and re-energize ourselves.

“Studies have shown that when an eagle gets old (around age 30) its physical condition deteriorates significantly. At this stage, the eagle retreats from its normal habitat, into a lonely place. Over a 5-6 month period, it undergoes incredible transformation The makeover process of self-revitalization is interesting: the eagle knocks off its own beak against a rock, plucks out its talons and feathers. This facilitates new growth in each area of the removed body part. Finally at the end of the hibernation period, the eagle is restored to its former majestic glory; and is able to live another 30-40 years. Like eagles we too must take time to renew ourselves.”SEVEN SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE ~ By Victoria Melhado-Daley

 

The value of scanning a person’s aura, is it provides a map or focal area of a person’s physical problems. Then, hands-on-healing works on releasing and relaxing tight areas from tension and blocked or held-in areas. Also with scanning you are gently sending out ripples of positive energy so that when the healing session begins, the client is more and more relaxed, slowly drifting down and deeper towards their inner self.

When I began James treatment, I started at the head position; this helps to balance both hemispheres of the brain, calm the emotions and dissolves a lot of mental thoughts and chatter—it also evens the flow of energy in nerve endings and, brings about well being.

James was struggling with work, he had a good job, the only problem was he either had no energy for it or found it boring or lacked the confidence for it. I got the impression he came to the clinic today, mainly to get permission to quit.

As his body relaxed, I felt that his family history and his mother’s nagging and scolding had a lot to do with his self-esteem, his appearance and weight. As a child his mother fed him less than his brothers and sisters to lose weight but the more she forced this, the more James ‘secretly’ ate. She ridiculed and put him down in front of his friends. As the healing progressed it became clear that James had done the ‘reverse’ of what his mother wanted, so when he binged on food, he was showing her passively and aggressively, ‘you can’t control me, I’m in control of myself’! But in truth he felt powerless. When we feel powerless we get angry. Anger is the emotion we use to protect our boundaries and to show others we want to be treated differently.

When our emotions overwhelm us, we often turn to food to soothe them. Stress is known to create a powerful psychological hunger that never seems to be satisfied no matter how full our stomachs feel. Stress is also the culprit that makes us ignore food that is good for us and instead we grab cookies, candy or ice-cream because we ‘know’ it’s bad.

Now I understood why James ate on the run. Meal time was a tense and stressful time for him; it was a reminder of what he had to endure as a child. Now, being single, he hated having to cook for himself and after all these years hadn’t even tried. “I haven’t been able to find the energy or the motivation to improve my diet, but maybe with alternative therapy there is hope in helping deal with this problem”.

Resting my hands on either side of James collarbone, helps to energize the lymph nodes, vocal chords, thyroid, parathyroid and blood pressure. Energetically, the throat area represents how we express, listen and assert our will out into the world. This area and particularly the thyroid maintain your body temperature, heart rate, muscle contractions and your metabolism, the rate at which food is turned into energy. Chronic fatigue, muscle pain, depression, weight problems and skin problems can be an indication of thyroid problems. I really felt that James may be suffering from thyroid deficiency—especially since low energy was one of his strongest complaints. Another indication of low thyroid is feelings of inadequacy, choking back hurts and swallowing tears. James was definitely displaying these when I first met him. This whole area seemed swallowed up by his past and this past was dulling his senses and keeping him trapped in a holding pattern that was ruining his life.

(The positive attributes of throat area or 5th chakra on an emotional level is about speaking our truth, knowing the truth and acting upon that truth….In a way, what we say, can sometimes determine what the outside world thinks of us. Through our verbal actions we express our true being. Our personality shines outwards for the world to see through spoken communication.)

I noticed treating James’ arms that he had little white bumps on them, known as keratosis pilaris, which possibly indicates a deficiency of essential fatty acids and vitamin A. It’s also another indication that the thyroid’s out of control. Usually problems with the skin has to do with the liver and gall bladder meridians. It’s old debris that has cluttered and accumulated in the system. Inner frustrations can also clog the ‘system’ and overeating and alcohol are known to affect the liver. Stress definitely has an affect on the skin, especially feelings of being disappointed and let-down . If the system becomes sluggish the person usually feels lethargic and really tired. And when we’re tired we eat for energy and usually it’s all the wrong foods so it then becomes a vicious cycle.

Physiologically speaking, hunger begins in the brain when the limbic system determines that the body is low in blood sugar, or glucose. Most of the food you eat is converted into glucose, much of which is converted by the liver into fat for later use. When glucose levels are low, the liver sends signals to the hypothalamus–the small but vital gland at the base of the brain below the thalamus–that blood sugar levels have dipped dramatically. The hypothalamus, in turn triggers stomach contractions or hunger pangs, demanding a fill-up. When nothing happens, nasty growling noises ensue. The hunger cravings can drive you batty, making you feel light-headed and irritable.

In the heart area I noticed James to be a sensitive and child-like person who seemed to get his feelings hurt very easily. Rather than risk being hurt, he had a tendency to stay in his head rather than getting deeply involved with others. Retreating inside his head let him be ‘safe’ or so he thought but also very lonely. I actually felt James was a very sociable kind of person but he didn’t think he could ‘afford’ to fool around or be lighthearted. We talked about this after and I asked James to start a journal and look at any patterns that were preventing him from being more playful in the present. I also suggested he go to trauma counselling which helps adults who were abused as a child. I also recommended, once in the recovery phase to join a group program specifically for individuals who have struggled with their weight due to traumatic childhoods.  Trauma can damage a person’s ability to relate to others; they are constantly on guard and don’t feel free to be their true selves. James agreed he needed guidance and support in this area; at the end of the session, I printed out a list of trauma centers in his area for James to investigate and choose the right  one for him. … [Understanding the impact of trauma  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK207191/

The stomach or solar plexus area was most probably the most out-of-sync area in James whole body. We know that James worked very long hours of detailed mental work. Sometimes doing this kind of work, forces the blood to head and depletes the flow into the stomach and abdominal region. Lack of blood in these areas can cause tension, friction and discomfort here. It can also cause kidney troubles, intestinal problems as well as liver ailments, diabetic conditions hemorrhoids and constipation. All these are caused by holding onto thoughts, feelings, experiences or people that need to be emotionally released.

From a previous article on my blog….

The solar plexus, located at the center of the body (stomach area) is one of the most important chakras because it controls, energizes and affects so many surrounding vital organs; no other organ of the body is so easily disturbed or affected by our emotions than the stomach! This part of your body is also the most important center of the sympathetic nervous system because it is the nerve center that stimulates and reflects your most deepest feelings. Fear, anger, shame, guilt and pain often get stored in the memory cells of the stomach, sitting there for days/months/years until someone, or some outside force awakens them. This area is easily disturbed or imbalanced by negative thoughts and emotions—when these strong impulses are released, they’re sent through the nerves to every part of the body. When strong emotions are released, we have a ‘body flashback’, the cells and muscles of our body temporarily control and produce all kinds of fears and symptoms that we can’t at the time stop. See more here 

There are a pair of hunger hormones secreted by the body–leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is generated by fat cells sending signals to the brain to stop eating when the stomach is full…the trouble is, many people have conditioned or built up a resistance causing their bodies to ignore this internal reminder causing the appetitie supressing leptin levels to drop…making them hungrier.

 “…when leptin signaling doesn’t work, you keep eating because you never feel like you’ve had enough food.

 In addition to the leptin release you get after eating, your body also experiences a leptin surge overnight, while you sleep. This leptin surge boosts your levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone, which helps the thyroid release thyroxine…

 Believe it or not, low levels are not our biggest leptin problem. Researchers are finding that many people who are overweight actually have very high levels of leptin. How could this be? Well, the more fat you have, the more leptin you produce. And similar to what happens in insulin resistance, when the body continually cranks out excess levels of leptin in response to overeating—the receptors for leptin can start to get out or no longer recognize. People with leptin resistance have high levels of circulating leptin, but their receptors cannot accept it, neuropeptide Y never gets shut off, they remain hungry and their metabolism slows down. (This high level of neuropeptide Y also interferes with your T4 activity, further damaging your metabolism.)” Master Your Metabolism ~ Jillian Michaels

Leptin resistance and insulin resistance go hand in hand, but just like with insulin resistance, if you lose a bit of weight, your body will become more sensitive to leptin and it will start acting the way it was intended to—to help you push away from the able and say “Enough!”

The other hormone ghrelin increases the appetite. Released primarily in the stomach, ghrelin levels rise (spike) dramatically before you eat. Research has found that obese persons do not show the rapid fall in ghrelin levels after meals, which in turn may lead to continued food intake and obesity. It spikes again when your stomach feels empty. This is why people who restrict their calories have high levels of ghrelin—the fewer calories they eat, the hungrier they get.

Another interesting tidbit was James’ astrological chart (which I looked at after the treatment). One aspect that stood out strongly to me was the Moon square Pluto—it confirmed we were on the right track.

“Consider the themes of Moon and create from them a sense of struggle for survival, and a propensity to Spartanism (a key tenet of Pluto) the mother therefore might not be especially nurturing. The same can be said for those with Moon in Pluto’s domicile, Scorpio and also his house, the 8th. Very often children with these placements are made to ‘make do’ or suffer some form of privation that sets them apart from others. One friend of mine with a strong Moon-Pluto configuration was always forced to make do with the cheapest school shoes and soccer boots, such that they hurt his feet because they were so cheap and poorly made. His mother saw the cost of good shoes as a waste of money since he would only grow out of them anyway. This seemingly trivial economy belies the normal priorities for a mother at least in the eyes of the child: the mother is supposed to consider the welfare, happiness and comfort of the child as being of paramount importance and yet here is a subtle message that the child is undervalued, not worth the expense and not very well nurtured.

 This lesson is often taken to heart too.

 The Moon-Pluto child might become painfully awkward when attending to their own nurturing as a result. As adults they may develop compulsions about food and dietary issues and this is why Moon-Pluto more than any other contact seems to associate with eating disorders, although in general terms there will invariably be several other supporting factors in the astrology too. “http://chirotic.wordpress.com/2009/02/20/moon-pluto-the-gathering-storm/

All in all the actual Reiki treatment lasted just over an hour. As James slowly woke-up (he fell asleep), I suggested he ask his doctor for a complete blood test that included all vital glands and organs. I explained the energies that were depleted and the visions I saw as the treatment progressed. I told him eating disorders are very common with low self-esteem but bingeing often starts as a way to cope with abuse, upsetting relationships or controlling parents. The possibilities are endless and the root of the problem needs to be uncovered, or his habit of bingeing would continue. I told James he needs to talk about his feelings instead of acting on them. I felt it was extremely important that James talk to his doctor about his bingeing and highly recommended he asked his doctor to recommend a counselor trained in eating disorders.

When asked James if he was happy at his work. He wasn’t at all. So I asked him what he would like to do? ‘Well’, he said rather shyly, ….’I’d like to sell real estate’. ‘Wow”, I said, ‘go for it!. Learning something new will give you the confidence you need and it’ll be a huge change from doing the same type of job over and over again’. He was surprised at my enthusiasm but wasn’t quite sure how it would be accepted by others. I asked James ‘how old are you’? He answered forty and then got the drift of what I was getting at…and replied with a chuckle twelve! He realized he was living back at that age and noticed there were a lot of things in his life that needed changing. When we change, everyone around us also begins to change. After giving it quite alot of thought, James decided to start taking some night school classes in real estate.

I also suggested he learn to cook! We had a dietician in the clinic who was holding a class in a couple of weeks called Food and Mood Eating; it was based on the premise that simple meals could be designed to provide enough carbohydrates to activate the insulin-tryptophan-serotonin connection and enough protein that wouldn’t upset the whole serotonin balance. “Serotonin what” James questioned. I quickly told him low serotonin levels are what give you that nagging need to put something in your mouth, and especially sweet or starchy food. James signed up for the cooking class!

SEROTONIN

Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that controls both emotion and eating. Serotonin keeps us awake during the day, it influences our appetite, boosts our energy levels and makes us feel relaxed and good about ourselves. If serotonin levels are low, you’ll find yourself craving for sweets or constantly wanting to binge on foods. We tend to eat to make ourselves feel better…and it works because the more carbohydrates we eat, our serotonin levels go up! The problem is, the more weight we put on, the more serotonin it takes to elevate our mood. I told James a product called 5-HTP, purchased from any health store is a great way to increase the brain serotonin levels…it’s also effective in treating depression. Also, I told him a natural serotonin booster is laughter—how often do you really laugh?

DIETS

Forget about diets, they don’t work. ..instead of counting calories, carbs or fat, eat natural high-quality food and try to avoid a lot of fat and sugar. The best thing you can do for your body is cut down on red meats, sugar, and fats, and eat more whole grains, vegetables, fruits, leans meats and instead of dairy products, try rice or almond milk instead. Avoid process meats as they help to pack on the pounds and build up the wrong chemicals in your body. Eating the wrong chemicals causes dramatic hormonal shifts wh;ich start to wear down the body’s natural healing process. I know when talking hormones we automatically think of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone but in this case we’re talking about the whole endocrine system.

 “…We have to wake up and realize that every bit we take and every lifestyle choice we make matters. Not just for calories or fat or carbs, but because those bites or choices tell our bodies how to react. With bite after bite, sip after sip, breath after breath—when we pick the wrong foods or surround ourselves with toxic chemicals, each moment of consumption tells our hormones to do things that, consciously, we would never want them to do.

 We have to learn how our modern food supply and toxic world interact with our hormones. We have to understand exactly how they make us overweight and sick. That’s the only way we can set it right again and that is what Master Your Metabolism is all about.” Master Your Metabolism ~ Jullian Michaels

ENZYMES

Enzymes are what makes metabolism happen! That’s why they are so important for digestion. If the body does not have enough oxygen, glucose and nutrients in the blood our metabolism will slow down and we will be more susceptible to illness. Nearly all processed and refined foods have very little enzymes and without these the body isn’t getting enough nutrients. When the body can’t convert the food you eat into energy, it causes a person to eat even more, in an effort to get those ‘essential nutrients’. Most overweight people are enzyme-deficient which is why they continue to feel hungry, even after a large meal. When we understand what the term metabolism means, it’s not how fast you metabolize food but how efficiently you convert food into energy. Every function of your body needs energy, not only to move, run, exercise and speak but also to simply grow hair, breathe, digest our food, fight illness and especially to use our brains.

Sprouted foods like alfalfa, buckwheat and lentil contain a valuable supply of enzymes that are vital for good health. Also fresh fruits and vegetables are vital providers of enzymes too. Raw foods help to cleanse the system but living on salads is not going to give you a lot of vital ‘yang’ energy….so no more than a third of your diet should be raw, except in very hot weather. Avoid ice-cream or any food or drink from the fridge as the cold slows down both the spleen and stomach functions. Unfortunately cooked foods have very little enzyme content.

We all know magnesium is important for the bones and teeth, it’s also helps in absorbing calcium, phosphorous, sodium and potassium as well vitamin B’s, C and E. But what a lot of people don’t know is that magnesium is responsible for more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. It helps in metabolizing carbohydrates, fats and proteins and in the conversion of glucose into energy. The adrenal glands regulate the amount of magnesium with a hormone known as aldosterone. Magnesium cannot be stored in body for long periods of time and therefore we need to eat foods with this mineral in them. Kelp, wheat bran, almonds, wheat germ, cashews, soya beans, walnuts, beetroot greens, spinach, parsley, garlic, bananas, peas, potatoes are some foods rich in magnesium.

MINERALS

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

(Minerals are converted into organic salts which are dissolved in our bodily fluids (water and blood) and broken up into the form of IONS which are either positively or negatively charged. When these IONS are dissolved in our bodily fluids they conduct an electrical energy which repel and attract one another. The minerals sodium (not salt) and potassium for example are both positively charged while the minerals fluorine and chlorine are negatively charged. The functions of minerals in the body are very complex when we realize the way energy is transferred in the body. These functions are essential for a multitude of body movements, such as relaxation and contraction of your muscles as well as nerve impulses from the spinal cord and brain to all parts of the body.)

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

THE FIVE ELEMENTS

In relation to ancient philosophies, there are five different aspects of energy known as the Five Elements—Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood (Deepak Chopra mentions six). Each of these elements have different qualities of energy And they also have their own particular “flavor”. Fire is known as bitter, Earth is sweet, Metal is pungent, Water is salty and Wood is sour.

 “Traditionally, all foods have six flavors to it. And what happens is, if your taste buds are not experiencing all the 6 tastes each day, then that causes imbalance in the body. After all we have these taste buds for a certain purpose. The six tastes are the following: Sweet, Sour, Salt, Bitter, Pungent, and Astringent.

 It turns out that our taste buds are distributed in a certain manner. For example, the tip of the tongue is highly concentrated for sweet taste, The back of the tongue for bitter taste, sides of the tongue more for receptors of sour taste, the surface of the tongue, more for salty taste….and then the other tastes I mentioned, pungent and astringent…there are few receptors for this, yet each taste is quite characteristic in that both have an affect on the body.” Deepak Chopra, Magical Mind, Magical Body

The five elements or six are different qualities of ‘chi’ energy, which manifest in the universe and also manifest in us, linking us with our environmen, the cycle of the seasons and the hours. The way we respond, physically, and emotionally to outside influences and to the forces of nature depends on the balance of the elements within us. Fire is the element of heat, summer, enthusiasm, and warmth in human relationships. Earth is the element of harvest time, abundance, nourishment, fertility and the mother-child relationship. Metal includes the Western idea of the air element as well as the force of gravity, the minerals within the earth, the patterns of the plants and stars as well as electricity and magnetism. Water is the source of life, the capacity to flow, infinitely yielding yet infinitely powerful, ever-changing and dangerous. It is the most Yin of all the elements. Wood is the most human of the elements. It is the element of Spring, and the creative urge to achieve, which turns to anger when frustrated.

Each of these elements also governs a meridian or organ function in the body as well as a personality or emotion, so that any disturbance in the elements will affect the mind and body in different ways.

FOOD TALKS

We have lost touch with ‘natural living’; most of the foods we eat today are nutritionally imbalanced from chemically processed foods and packaged in the frozen section of your grocer or in tins and bottles.

When you walk into a grocery story, listen and let the food talk to you; you’ll know this is happening as you’ll be magnetically drawn to them. Every time you gravitate to a specific fruit or vegetable, that’s your intuition talking. All positive foods give off an energy an aliveness that attracts you to them. Be aware when you go shopping and you’ll gravitate to all the positive-energy foods. When we are around positive foods, our body resonates with the foods’ light-energy; we become happier, lighter, and definitely hungrier.

“Which vegetables look vibrant? Fresh? Or withered: Also smell them: fragrance is a sign of high energy. Then beyond this, practice intuiting their vibes (useful in reading organic produce, which may not look as blemish free as chemically treated produceI. Does a vegetable emit a glow, an aliveness? Do you feel drawn to it? Lusciously alive food can shoot spotlights of joyful energy toward you that open your heart—especially palpable when you slice these delectable morsels at home, releasing their inner energy.

 In contrast, a dead vegetable seems sad, listless, or lacks attraction, indicators of waning life force. To get a full vibe assessment, also be sure to hold the vegetable. While doing so, cup your palm a few inches above the surface to sense its energy field, just as you do with people. Alive foods emit heat, tingling, even ecstasy. Dead foods feel more like lumps. Then, notice where you’re physically drawn, a magnetic feeling. Your body knows where to go. Don’t force it, but pay attention: Are you pulled toward the watercress? Does okra repel you? An artichoke beckon? Reading energy is initially visual, then feeling which healthy foods attract you. If you keep gravitating to candy bars or other comfort foods, be suspicious…..Also know: anything you buy in packages—pastas, soups, cheeses—have lower energy than fresh, organic food.” Positive Energy: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions For Transforming Fatigue ~ Judith Orloff

 As you walk up and down the isles of your favorite grocer, notice how your body responds to foods that aren’t so energetic. Foods that are farther from their natural state lacks the nutrition your body needs, your intuition will notice this and naturally gravitate to foods that are higher in nutritional value.

EXERCISE, LEARNING FROM EATING PATTERNS and EATING WITH AWARENESS are all located in Part I here

You’ve probably noticed that rich, heavy foods (such as pasta, steak, rich sauces, breads, and pastires and cakes) tend to leave you feeling rather heavy and lethargic—as will alcohol, after the first rush has faded.

Highly spiced foods, coffee, and green/black tea are examples of foods that leave you feeling energetic, though they can make you restless and irritable.

Most fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will leave you feeling balanced, calm, clear-headed and relaxed.

Eating with awareness, you’ll never have a weight problem, ever. When you eat with awareness you enjoy your food more fully; you notice how food affects you and will, most likely, not overeat; you’ll become more aware of your habits; and awareness will help you change that habit. Paying attention you won’t need to overeat that’ll cause you to gain weight and you’ll eat less and enjoy your food more.

Whenever you eat, no matter how much or how little, make a rule you are going to sit down and do that. Don’t eat when you’re standing, don’t eat while you’re driving, don’t eat while your walking, don’t eat while speaking on the phone, etc. .

When you eat while doing something else, liked reading the paper, on the computer or watching tv, then you’re not paying attention to what you’re eating. When you eat unconsciously you’ll find the food almost gone and you hardly even tasted it! Your mind can only focus on one thing at a time. Yes, it can shift back and forth but in practicing awareness your mind should only pay attention to one thing.

MEDITATION IS THE ART OF PAYING ATTENTION

“I would not be happy in a world without chocolate, so I have developed a Haagen-Dazs meditation. When I eat the teaspoon of ice cream, I close my eyes and meditate—on the rich flavor, the cold rush, the wonderful sensations as the ice cream melts on my tongue. I would prefer to have a small spoonful of Deep Chocolate Fuge Haagen-Dazs than a pint of a fake-frozen dessert. It’s exquisitely satisfying. After all, the first bite is always the best and the last bite is the next best—so if you eat only a bit, then it can be heaven, but only if you really pay attention.” EAT MORE, WEIGH LESS ~ Dr. Dean Ornish

Meditation is about appreciating and being aware of everything and everyone around you, it’s also about going quietly within to learn more about yourself and others on a deeper level. Meditation is about letting go of old thoughts and patterns and seeing things in a different perspective. There are countless books and sites on this topic with simple exercises to get you started. Try it out, you’ll enjoy it.

Links – More to Follow

http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/how-stress-can-make-you-fat/

Insulin Resistance   http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/insulin-resistance-the-slippery-slope-to-type-ii-diabetes/

Enzymes   http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/enzymes/

Digestive Enzymes and Cancer   http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/digestive-enzymes-and-the-treatment-of-cancer/

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If you are on pharmaceutical anti-depressants it is really important not to stop taking them without the support of your doctor—these should only be stopped or cut down under medical supervision.  For some people anti-depressants can help to put them in a state of mind where they can take positive action to their unique personal needs.

“Chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, kidney disease, and multiple sclerosis result in dramatic lifestyle changes, such as limited mobility and increased dependence on others. These illnesses can create limitations so that people like my mother can no longer engage in enjoyable activities or have hope about the future. With so many devastating changes, it’s easy to see why depression is one of the most common complications of chronic illness. 

Occasionally, depression is actually a medication side effect. Also, depression can aggravate the symptoms of the illness itself, which spurs a negative cycle.

Early diagnosis and treatment of depression can reduce symptoms and decrease the risk of suicide. Therapy and medication are effective tools for battling depression. There is hope of significant improvement for your loved one. Here are a few tips for boosting mood and helping to reclaim your loved one’s lively spirit.” How to Avoid Depression Due to Chronic Illness http://www.homecareinphoenix.com/how-to-avoid-depression-due-to-chronic-illness/

Depression means literally a lowering of spirits—of feeling down, unhappy.  In the minds of those suffering, their stories don’t only portray someone who’s in pain, but whose soul is crying out ‘set me free’.  From our childhood years we were taught not to speak out emotionally, it was considered weak, feared as failure, of humiliation.  Depression disconnects and disturbs the whole mind/body internal communication network.  I do believe that our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies are all very tightly interwoven together…if there is an imbalance in one area, it will throw other areas off balance too.  Scientific studies have proven that powerful negative emotions can offset hormonal imbalances, immune dysfunction and inflammation.  Inflammation can be caused by a poor diet, stress and worry, artificial chemicals in the air and in the food and water we drink as well as cosmetics, drugs, bacteria, viruses and fungi. One of the major jobs of the immune system is to recognize our own cells from foreign cells (viruses, bacteria, parasites) which immunologists have deemed the ‘self’ and ‘nonself.  If the immune system is a highly sophisticated network of ‘fighter cells’ it has to know when not to fight back.  In other words it has to recognize our own body tissues so that it doesn’t ‘wage war’ against our own organs. But what happens when it becomes ‘forgetful’ or no longer remembers who we are and makes a mistake?

In Depression Part III we discussed neuropeptides called cytokines that signal the immune system when there is an injury or infection. Cytokines act as cellular messengers providing different messages to cells and also how they should act.  Cytokines are produced by the cells of the nervous system and also by the cells of the immune system to combat local and wide-spread inflammation in the body.  Usually when inflammation in our bodies is in the process of healing, then the inflammatory response has done its job and everything goes back to its normal state.  But sometimes the inflammation process doesn’t stop causing the body to defend itself against itself!

“This chronic inflammation is not beneficial; it can actually cause more damage and can eventually contribute to the development of various diseases.  The same process that the body uses to defend itself during short-term inflammation backfires when it becomes chronic and ends up harming the body.  It is much like an army that turns on the citizens and the country it was meant to defend.  In fact many diseases have now been linked to inflammation, for example, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, liver disease, and even obesity, [and depression] among others!” Advances IN ORTHOMOLECULAR RESEARCH ~ Volume 4

Cytokines are too large to pass through the blood brain barrier but they can signal the brain via the nervous system and especially through the longest nerve in the body called the vagus. This nerve runs from the lower part of the brain, down the base of the spine, branching out to the heart, respiratory, stomach and intestinal tract.   This proves there is a massive interactive of nerves moving through our body’s gastrointestinal tract which can easily get irritated causing a host of digestive problems.  The gut is one of the primary filtration systems of the body, when its plumbing, electrical and drainage system aren’t working quite right, the body starts absorbing toxins, clogging the system.  When the gut can no longer protect us, autoimmune problems can be triggered by a network of cellular communications and through our lymph nodes.  Constipation, diarrhea, bloating, poor motility, and trapped gas can all lead to obesity, high cholesterol, diverticulitis, pancreatic problems and more.  Toxic buildups are stored in the fat cells of the body…if these toxins leak into the fluids of the body, which includes the blood, they can cause fatigue, body aches, thyroid, heart and brain problems, as well as depression.

(It is thought that about 80% of your immune function is in your gut and a lot of that is governed by how the bacteria are able to function—there are 10 times more bacteria there than cells in our bodies so we are, like the earth, a symbiotic organism)

CHRONIC ILLNESS, STRESS AND DEPRESSION

When we don’t know what’s wrong with us and have had tests upon tests constantly coming back negative we become trapped in a cycle of fear, panic and mental/emotional deprivation. We look to the support of our families, they turn the other way and say ‘pull yourself together’ causing us to withdraw creating a thicker wall between us to protect our sanity. To add to the problem our doctors surmise our problems are anxiety-related and we’re shrugged off with a box of anti-depressants and dizzying tranquilizers.  And even though we’ve been on these drugs for longer than we can remember, we still find ourselves searching for answers to the symptoms we’re experiencing.  We’ve tried affirmations and talking our depressive moods away…but the feelings of melancholy are still there.

Stress, pain and pharmaceutical drugs can make us susceptible to hormonal fluctuations; our hormones go up and down like a yo-yo causing our bodies, moods and feelings to change constantly.  When our bodies are under stress we become extra-sensitive to developing allergies and food sensitivities and a host of other problems. A lot of these problems are not ‘all’ psychological…some may be the result of unbalanced chemistry in the gut and the physical brain.

 “I’m sharing my story because I know there are others like me, who for no reason dipped into a depression caused or triggered by a hormonal malfunction. I was misdiagnosed for years—doctors kept telling me that I was depressed, and kept giving a variety of antidepressants—six in all! These actually made me sicker, more complacent (and fat!) and only slightly better in other ways.  Every single thing in my life came undone; my friends couldn’t understand what I was going through, my family expressed their disappointment in me. The doctors I saw could not find any obvious problem. I did have a thyroid test which came back in the range of a ‘healthy thyroid’—their prognosis—stress!  I had to find out what was wrong with me.  I saw a therapist who thought I was just in a vulnerable place in life, making me more depressed than ever.  It was after this whole ordeal was over that I discovered the healthy range for thyroid hormones can be disputable.  

 I was finally diagnosed with a hypothyroid problem last May when my thyroid test finally reached the high-end of the range. Starting on Synthyroid .075 I felt immediate relief!  I was referred to an endocrinologist who ruled out any other problems (Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Sjogrens, etc) and much to my relief a hypothyroid was the main and only problem.” (Barbara M.)

Often our bodies swing back and forth between hyper-hypothyroid as the body feverishly tries to balance itself out. Mental/emotional stress can have an affect on the body’s digestive system causing an imbalance in our gut bacteria – if these bacterias become imbalanced they can cause thyroid changes. Bacteria are living organisms and are very sensitive to stress, (increasing inflammatory cytokines), antibiotics, poor food choices and even energy changes. Did you know there are over 400 species of bacteria in your intestines and if you could put them on a scale they’d weigh over 4 lbs all together?

“Depression and anxiety are widespread and can, in part, be related to chronic yeast overgrowth in the tissues. The reason, as described by J.P. Nolan in an article in the journal Hepatology, is the link between the gut and the brain.  “An individual’s ability to protect against brain-active substances depends upon the status of his or her intestinal flora, GI mucosal function and hepatic (liver detoxification ability).” This means that when leaky gut is present and the liver is over stressed, the door is open for toxins to reach the brain via the bloodstream.”  The Candida Cure: The 90-Day Program to Beat Candida and Restore Vibrant Health ~ by Ann Boroch

If your gut bacteria have been imbalanced for some time, then you may develop a ‘leaky gut’, which allows minute particles into the bloodstream that normally wouldn’t get through—the body sees these particles as invaders and attacks them. If these particles resemble molecules of your own body, then the immune system can start attacking them—as in the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.  This form of the body attacking the body is quite possibly the most common cause of thyroid problems. The pattern begins with an overproduction of thryoxine and as the ‘attacks’ become more frequent, then the thyroxine levels drop, leaving you hypothyroid.

(When your thyroid hormone is low, your metabolism can slow too, leading to symptoms that can mimic clinical depression.)

“Clinical depression is a biological phenomenon, characterized by changes in neurotransmitters and hormones.  It is much different from simple sadness, which is caused by an unhappy experience or situation.  Sadness usually decreases as time passes; clinical depression generally does not improver over time, unless it is properly treated….

 Memory loss is also a common symptom of clinical depression.  As a rule, short-term memory suffers the most.  Frequently this short-term memory impairment occurs because depressed people are inattentive to new information, as a result of which they fail to adequately lay down new memories.  Their ability to lay down new memories is also impaired by their shortage of norepinephrine.” [Norepinephrine is a stimulating chemical in the brain that not only lays down new memories but also moves memories to either long or short-term storage.”  BRAIN LONGEVITY ~ Dharma Singh Khalsa with Cameron Stauth

Arthritis too is a chronic accumulation of toxicity within our body fluids and tissues…our joints are particularly sensitive to toxic accumulations because of the significant amount of physical stress they endure daily and because they are mostly composed of tissue that have poor blood and lymphatic circulation.  This makes it even more difficult for the tissues to access nutrients as well as the ability to eliminate waste products—especially if we don’t get adequate exercise.  When high levels of toxicity accumulate they irritate the tissues in our joints and interfere with the health and proper functioning of cells.  This leads to higher than normal cytokines in the blood, causing painful and restricted movement.  With joint aches and pains comes loss of coordination, an inability to concentrate with bouts of no energy.  Depression can easily set when we feel run down and can’t think straight anymore.

“The brain and the digestive system work together.  Scientists have long known the brain stimulates the digestive organs through parasympathetic activities such as sight, smell, and taste, which stimulates hunger.  Psychological factors also impact hunger and digestion, influencing the movements of the intestine, secretion of digestive enzymes, and other digestive functions.  Intense sadness or anger, for example, will set off a chain reaction that stimulates or reduces hunger, perhaps causing weight and digestive problems, and sometimes intestinal illnesses….

 Experts such as Michael Gershon, MD, propose that the stomach actually contains a second brain, rich with neurotransmitters of its own, which triggers IBS.  Gershon says IBS is an example of the gut working in isolation, though he recognizes the brain-gut axis such as when “butterflies in the stomach” occurs as a result of the brain sending a message of anxiety to the gut, which sends messages back to the brain that it’s unhappy.” Cyndi Dale ~  THE SUBTLE BODY: An Encyclopedia of your Energetic Anatomy

Almost every system in the body can be damaged by stress. An increase in corticosteroids (produced by the adrenals) can suppress the reproduction system causing irregular menstruation and problems with ovulation in women; impotency in men and loss of libido in both.  Loss of insulin during a stressful time can be one of the triggers for the onset of Type II diabetes. Chronic stress can be unrelenting making us more susceptible to colds and flu, which could worsen to specific diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, respiratory disorders like asthma and bronchitis.

LOW STOMACH ACID

Low stomach acid is common in older people and with those suffering from hypothyroidism, food allergies, candidiasis, hepatitis, lupus, hives, eczema, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, osteoporosis, psoriasis  and  many more.

The most common signs and symptoms of low acidity in the stomach are: feeling bloated after eating, indigestion, constipation, heartburn, food allergies, nauseous, fingernails weak or peeling, hair loss, undigested food in stools, chronic yeast infections.

If you are taking antacids for stomach pain, please be careful because antacids can seriously interfere with the absorption of minerals from your foods.  Also antacids can block enzymes from your pancreas and possibly interfere with nutritional absorption.

If you’re one of those people who wake up with a flat stomach but bloated by the end of day, try taking a probiotic (acidophilus/yogurt) a 1/2 an hour before your morning breakfast; they help to protect and cleanse your digestive system and helps in the absorption of nutrients. There are also many different plant-based enzymes on the market to help with digestion, because we all have different enzyme systems, you may need to explore these options.

DO WOMEN SUFFER DEPRESSION MORE THAN MEN?

Are women twice as likely to suffer an episode of clinical depression then men?  Possibly, but repeated bouts of depression have been proven to be equal for men and women…

“But if repeat episodes of depression are equal for men and women, doesn’t it stand to reason that they may be having first bouts at the same rate?  Maybe the discrepancy lies not in the number of men and women who are depressed, but rather, in how depression is expressed…the diagnostic tallies…ignore the fact that women are much more likely to report depression and seek help.  Men are more likely to try to fight through their depression, using strategies ranging from hard work to extreme exercise to drinking to violence.  Nearly four times more men than women kill themselves.”~  Laurence Gonzales

It’s understandable to think women would suffer from depression three times more than men …but we also have to realize our society has put a feminine face on this disease giving women permission to feel it and seek help for it. Men on the other hand were taught as children to be tough to be strong, silent, independent and hold their emotions in.

Our feelings are constantly being triggered inside us, we just haven’t been fully aware of them at least not until recently. In the past we suppressed our emotions and relied on our minds to steer us through life—emotions have been largely unexplored in our existence—emotional freedom is the next step in our evolution as we begin our journey through the Aquarian Age.

It’s wonderful that more and more men are coming forward, admitting to or believing they may suffer from depression.  Perhaps they realize they have been driving themselves to the ground, trying desperately to compensate for their suffering.

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

Before we move on to the next section, postpartum depression needs to be addressed too.  This is another illness many women young and old are ashamed of having and shouldn’t.  We all have our own individual personalities and characters and should treat ourselves as individually as possible.

After the many hours of being in labor and the euphoria of giving birth to a beautiful baby, the mother starts to rapidly go through a steep decline in the levels of hormones in her body.  Once the placenta is removed, the hormones progesterone, estrogen and androgens take a drastic drop, sometimes way below pre-pregnancy levels. At the same time another hormone, prolactin, a pituitary hormone is increased to stimulate milk production.  Along with all this, cortisol level drops and the thyroid is signaled to return high hormonal levels to normal.  All this commotion causes chaos in the new mother’s body who understandably is teary-eyed and extremely rundown from lack of sleep.

“Postpartum depression is also under diagnosed.  Fully 80 percent of women experience the baby blues for up to two weeks after delivery.  Approximately 10 to 15 percent of women will go on to experience some form of mood disorder postpartum, ranging from major depression to anxiety disorders such as panic attack. If a woman has a history of depression, she is at significant risk of postpartum. Many women who suffer one postpartum depression will experience the same thing at each birth.  True psychosis occurs in about 1 in 1,000 births and is characterized as being out of touch with reality, hallucinating, and hearing voices.” Christian Northrup, M.D. WOMEN”S BODIES, WOMEN”S WISDOM

HEALING DEPRESSION NATURALLY

The first responsibility you have to take care of is you!  Your main focus is creating a healthy body, not constantly fighting some illness or disease.  How can we possibly do the best for ourselves, our families, and communities/society if we are constantly waging a no-win war against ourselves.  The mind/body connection is a powerful circuit of energy—you cannot be happy or sad, awake or asleep, sick or well without any of these messages being sent along circuits and networks of energy.  We are only beginning to understand the enormous capacities of the human brain and its connection/reaction to the 60,000 miles+ nervous system.  The body is a subtle and delicate instrument that must be handled with the greatest care and respect and tuned with deep sensitivity.

 “When you’re in solitary confinement you’re six feet under without light, sound or running water, there is no place to go but inside. And when you go inside, you discover that everything that exists in the Universe is also within you. Within you is great power.” ~ Rubin Carter

The key to healing isn’t to rush your way through or try to deny the pain isn’t there.  The first stage of healing is to get into its rhythm rather than try to rush out of it.  Being aware is simply stopping and listening to yourself; it’s about feeling and sensing your body’s inner language. Our spirit speaks to us through our intuition, our inner sense of knowing what is right or wrong for our bodies at any given time.  But many of us have ignored it for so long that it’s become lost in the shuffle and bustle of life and we’ve forgotten how to read it.

We have to know where we are before we can decide how to get where we want to go. In Depression Part II, we looked at the three stages of creating change in our lives.  They are called Awareness, Acceptance and Adjustment; each of these stages build upon another and each stage moves you closer to making the desired change you want in your life. You can see it here

Take responsibility to explore and educate yourself about your own health.  Doctors and therapists can assist in the process but you must do the work.  All of us, whether man, woman or child, must learn to nurture ourselves, respect the body and its processes and allow them to function at their best.  Holistic healing employs natural remedies and treatments along with wholesome foods, exercise, sunshine, fresh air, positive thinking, fulfilling work, and a balanced lifestyle.

“regardless of what you eat, don’t go more than four hours without eating or you’re going to feel drained” Dr. Joey Shulman, Winning the Food Fight”

Our mental and emotional states are vital in healing the body.  The health of the spirit and mind is not independent of the health of the body; emotional illness or imbalances don’t just happen, something underlying these has to be a trigger. Emotional changes are key characteristics of physical disorders…the physical body can easily become disturbed from anxiety, pain, sleeplessness, disturbing dreams, isolation, aimlessness etc., there is a connection between the mind and body that causes the origins of depression in the physical body.

Sometimes, even though we have a knowing of these things ourselves, we can get caught in cycles of negative energies and forget about the positives.  Our high tech society is one of the primary causes of where we get caught on these downward spirals.  We are constantly busy and pushing, pushing to get ahead; as much as we try to adapt to our changing circumstances, it taxes the body/mind and exhausts its energies. We need to counteract all this busyness with balances of rest, relaxation and appreciation or risk burnout of being out of control.  Why even a small change, like, to our eating habits can send signals this food is going to make us feel more energetic and boost our mood, our enthusiasm and immune system.

YOUR FOOD IS YOUR MEDICINE

“During World War II, scientists in the United States…pondered the effects of starvation on captured Gis living in Japanese POW Camps. To provide answers, a six month study was launched at the University of Minnesota using healthy young male conscientious objectors.  This study produced incredible results (although, of course, this kind of study would not be conducted today).

 The young men were deprived of more than half their normal food intake. Over the course of six months, many suffered severe physical and psychiatric changes, most of these disturbances lingered long after the experiment had ended.

 In the beginning, the men showed a high degree of tolerance and sociability with each other.  But gradually they began to avoid group activities. There were frequent outbursts of anger and irritability, and many grew deeply depressed. Some finally required hospitalization in a psychiatric ward.  One chopped off three of his fingers in response to stress’ another became uncontrollably violent.  Many expressed the fear that they were going crazy’ others talked of suicide. They all cried a lot and displayed wild emotional disturbances…

 After the study ended, the emotional symptoms continued. In fact, researchers noted that some of the men grew even more negative, depressed and argumentative, directly after the conclusion of the project….

 The growing awareness that natural substances are needed to create optimum brain functioning should have aroused tremendous interest in the scientific community.  Unfortunately, the concurrent worldwide development of the drug industry, with its promise of far more lucrative rewards, lead researchers in another direction.” Joan Mathews Larson PH.D. ~ 7 Weeks to Emotional Healing

This is not the only study that has proven that an improper diet can cause some form of depression.  We have discovered through testing that hormones are created from the food we eat and in order to create all the hormones we need, we have to get enough nutrients that create the enzymes and other substances to keep our hormones functioning normally.  Magnesium is probably the most important mineral our bodies need for good hormone balance and it is the most deficient mineral in the world because of modern farming methods.  Magnesium is also essential for your metabolism.  It activates enzymes, especially those related to energy production; if you’ve been feeling tired, try increasing your magnesium intake—sources of magnesium are nuts, almonds, brazil nuts, cashews and hazelnuts.  Whole grain products, wheatgerm, tofu and seaweed are also rich in magnesium.

Scientists and researchers know that our hormone system evolved in a world where food was very different from the food we eat today.  Our ancestors collected fresh foods from their immediate environment, such as nuts, seeds, fruits, roots, and even insects—these foods contained a totally different balance of nutrients than the foods in our diet today. Our modern diet is very different than the one our bodies were designed to function on.  Rich, heavy foods (such as pasta, steaks, rich sauces, breads, pastries and cakes) will leave you feeling heavy and lethargic, as will alcohol after the first rush has faded.

“Our liver, kidneys and small intestines are the body’s natural cleaning team, working together to package toxic compounds for removal. Over time, the function of these organs especially the liver can be compromised by illness, poor nutrition, stress, pollution or toxic lifestyle habits. (e.g., drugs, alcohol or tobacco)

When the clean-up process is not being carried out as it should, toxic byproducts cannot be properly neutralized.  As a result, toxic compounds from the liver are reabsorbed and stored in the fatty tissues of the body rather then excreted.” THE HORMONE DIET ~ Natasha Turner, N.D.

FOODS YOU SHOULD EAT

Fresh fruit and dried fruit

Fresh vegetables

Fruit or vegetable juices

Sprouted seeds and legumes (alfalfa, lentil, chickpea, sesame, sunflower, and possibly peanuts)

Nuts and seeds

Beans and legumes

Whole grains and cereals

Whole grain bread

Honey, blackstrap molasses, maple syrup, rice syrup, barley malt

Herbal teas and coffee substitutes

Tofu and other soy products

Milk and dairy products in moderation

To eat a healthy diet we need to listen more to the actual needs of our bodies.  We have to observe how we feel after eating a meal and notice signals such as a rapid pulse, difficulty in concentrating, tiredness, irritability, unexplained emotions and over-reactions to simple daily things.

We all have different bodies, different enzymes, different muscles and nervous and hormone systems.  Each of us has to get to know ourselves and tune into our own body with the way it works best.

PHYTOCHEMICALS/PHYTONUTRIENTS AND ANTIOXIDANTS

Nature provides the human body and its immune system with an incredible array of anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-disease supports called phytochemicals and antioxidants, which are found in many common foods.  Antioxidants and phytochemicals give your cells layer upon layer of protection and accelerated healing.

Phytochemicals are an active compound found in plants that are proven to help the body resist many diseases.  They give hot peppers their burning sensation and garlic and onions their pungent flavor; dark chocolate its bitterness and tomatoes their dark red color. In the body, phytochemicals act as antioxidants, mimic hormones and help to suppress the development of diseases.  Cancer and heart disease are linked to processes involving oxygen compounds in the body and antioxidants are said to oppose these actions.

What Colorful Foods Are You Eating

Foods with the greatest phytochemicals and antioxidants are colorful foods like red and yellow fruits and berries: for example, carrots, yellow and red peppers, cantaloupe, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, red currants, cranberries, peaches…all these are high in carotenoids and carotenoids decrease of the risk of many diseases…they feed the brain, your mental functioning and your memory.

Tomatoes and watermelon and grapefruit get their red color from a pigment called lycopene, an antixoidant.

Green vegetables such as broccoli, arugula, cabbage, bok choy, kale, collards rapini, all help to block tumor growth, suppress colon cancer and boost immunity.  For both men and women it helps to remove extra estrogen from the body, which helps to suppress breast cancer.

Herbs have powerful anticancer powers and potent antioxidants…some are turmeric, bilberry, hawthorn, cayenne, milk thistle, parsley, Echinacea, ginkgo biloba, green tea, grape-seed extract

Onions and Garlic are naturally antibiotics and help to fight bacteria, viruses and intestinal parasites.  They lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol and prevent blood clotting.

Citrus Fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes help to release carcinogens from the body, prevent lung disease, reduce cholesterol and boost immunity.  Because of their alkaline content they protect against stomach and pancreatic cancers.

NATURAL ANTIDEPRESSANTS

*This has been repeated from DEPRESSION PART III

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AROMATHERAPY (Aromatic Anti-Depressants)

Grapefruit – sweet citrus fragrance, very uplifting and antidepressant

Rose – antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, bactericidal, sedative, stomachic, tonic, uterine

Melissa – anti-depressant, antihistaminic, bactericidal, nervine, works well with stress related disorders

Grapefruit, Rose and Melissa are quite powerful antidepressants. You can use them on their own or in a blend. You can add them to your bath – just sprinkle 4 to 8 drops of one or all essential oils on the water’s surface after the bath has been drawn.  These essences can also be used in a vaporizer or burner, rubbed or cotton or small cloth.

Bergamot delightfully citrus with a hint of spice
Geranium – Sweet and rosy with a hint of mint
Lavender – sweet floral that’s uplifting, calming and refreshing

You can use the above oils in a burner, bath or as a massage blend.
I also think that drinking Chamomile tea may also be helpful.

GREAT LINKS

Depression affects cells causing chronic illness – cytokines http://news.softpedia.com/news/Depression-Affects-Cells-Causes-Chronic-Illness-193485.shtml

Chronic illness can cause depression – emotional pain as a weakness

http://theadventuresofarthritisnfibromyalgia.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/when-chronic-illness-causes-depression/

Chronic Illness Can Lead to Anxiety and Depression http://rawarrior.com/anxiety-and-depression-with-chronic-illness/

This is a really great site that discussing inflammation, phytochemicals, antioxidants and other energizing foods. http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/reversing-chronic-inflammation/

Great site on how to feed the brain and be more alert  http://www.discovergoodnutrition.com/2013/10/mental-energy/

Gastrointestinal Disease can cause depression

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/10/06/can-inflammation-in-this-organ-be-at-the-root-of-your-depression.aspx

How to Avoid Depression Due to Chronic Illness http://www.homecareinphoenix.com/how-to-avoid-depression-due-to-chronic-illness/

http://www.thyroid-info.com/articles/shamesadrenal.htm There is a major connection between low thyroid function and low adrenal. Low adrenal can actually cause someone’s thyroid problems to be much worse than it would be otherwise.

http://www.marilynglenville.com/womens-health-issues/general-health/ nutrition and lifestyle can increase your health

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“The prostate gland is a vulnerable part of male anatomy, often harboring stubborn infections in youth and enlarging in age to the point of interfering with urination.  The main irritants of the prostate are coffee and other forms of caffeine, decaffeinated coffee, alcohol, tobacco, red pepper, dehydration, and either too frequent or too infrequent ejaculation.  Prolonged sitting and repetitive jarring motion (as from riding a horse, bicycle, or motorcycle) also stress the gland. 

 Supplement the diet with zinc, 30 milligrams a day of the picolinate form.  Also increase intake of soy foods; their phytoestrogens might protect the prostate from the unbalanced influence of male sex hormones.

 Herbal treatment for prostatic enlargement relies on two plants: saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) and pygeum) Pygeum africanum).  Use of one or both, following dosage recommendations on the products.  You can continue taking them indefinitely.

 For sexual deficiency, traditional Chinese medicine offers many treatments, including ginseng….the preeminent male sexual tonic.  Ayurvedic medicine contributes ashwaganda (Withania somnifera), newly available in health food stores.  Follow dosages recommended on the product.

 Mind/body methods are worth exploring in all sexual and genital problems, hypnotherapy and guided imagery therapy being especially useful.” SPONTANEOUS HEALING ~ Andrew Weil, M.D.  

Dr. Weil pretty much summed up Prostate 1 and 2, and started Part 3 too.  Now we’re going to look closely at the body/mind connection in relation to exercise, food, herbs, supplements and other alternative medicines.   Much of our bodily makeup was created from our mother and the land from which she ate as well as from your heritage/ancestors.  As you look at the many different remedies in this article, you may find yourself gravitating towards certain healing foods and  remedies closely attuned to your natural birthing ground.  If so, it could be your intuition trying to get your attention to gravitate towards these supplements that may help restore your body’s imbalance.

Many natural medicines work at the genetic cellular memory and consciousness of your own body makeup—your body contains within it a little pharmacy at your beck and call—sometimes, though, through neglect it needs a little jumpstart to activate it.  The key is for each of you to explore and intuitively feel what works and resonates within you.  Believe it or not, there is a connection between your unconscious mind and that of the consciousness of the planet Earth.  Utilizing its products with the intent to heal can initiate the healing process starting from a psychological, down to a cellular level.

Your brain hormones, sex hormones and other hormones all work together to keep your body and mind running at its most optimal level.  Your body is nothing more or less than a vast conglomeration of millions of cells that are constantly absorbing nutrients of all kinds from your environment.  How does absorption happen….basically through your five senses….not only do we hear, see, taste and smell the world around us…we also feel it within every inch of our skin.

“Hormones act as the body’s chemical messengers, orchestrating our metabolic processes by stimulating changes in body cells.  You can visualize them as musical instruments which can play together in harmony, producing a lovely symphony.  If they’re out of balance, the music is distorted, discordant.  You can either decide to take the role of conductor, ensuring that you get harmony, or let random influences control your hormones and risk cacophony.” Arabella Melville

 “Sexual energy underlies every act of individual expression. It is a creative force, the influence of which extends far beyond sexual activity to include thought, feeling, behavior, dress. Sexual energy informs art, music, fashion, even architecture and automotive design. It is an all-pervading force.” Christopher S. Kilham 

The sympathetic nervous system enhances the production of testosterone and very important for ejaculation, but if stress causes the adrenals to release too much norepinephrine and epinephrine in the body, the muscles in the body and in the prostate will suddenly contract and tighten their grip. The more the prostate tightens it grip the more it squeezes the urethra affecting the bladder and lower back.

If the electrical energy from the sympathetic nervous becomes unbalanced with the parasympathetic nervous system, the lower back muscles are usually its first target.  When these muscles become inflamed they clamp down upon the adrenals, and their output of adrenaline/cortisone and the sexual hormones.  With too much adrenaline, the feeling of ‘being wired’, electrified—adrenaline interferes with the brains neurotransmitters, leaving you feeling scattered, irritable, confused—physically, the stomach and hips begin to balloon.

“The lower back expresses all the weight and responsibility of being human.  It supports the wright from above, just as you carry the weight of responsibility of your world.  If there is no one to help with the load, no sense of being supported, this part of the back may give way…….

 This area also has to do with survival, security, and self-support.  If you are feeling insecure—perhaps unable to meet other people’s expectations—then the pressure may be felt in the lower back.

 Do you doubt your ability to support yourself:

  • Are you feeling isolated?
  • Are you trying to do much?  As the nerves that flow down the legs issue from the lower spine, pressure here can create pain or numbing sensations in the feet and legs, affecting your movement forward.        
  • YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro.

HORMONE HEALTH AND EXERCISE

Physical activity not only helps to keep your hormones balanced—it also keeps your organs and tissues healthy—reduces insulin levels and elevates your *glucagon levels.  Strength training also helps to expand blood vessels, allowing more nutrients and oxygen to reach your muscle tissue.  Exercise also increases the secretion of testosterone, cortisol, growth hormone, epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine and the human growth hormone HGH.  BUT over-training and overexerting yourself, hormone levels tend to go down instead of up—testosterone levels can actually fall by 40% after strenuous training and affect your cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine levels.

(*Both insulin and glucagons are produced by the pancreas and regulate glucose and fat—insulin promotes the production of fat and glucagons helps to burn fat stored in the body…moderate exercise expands the blood vessels in the body, allowing more nutrients and oxygen to reach muscle tissue while at the same time reducing the accumulation of lactic acid.  Exercises such as strength training help the body to secrete the human growth hormone HGH.)

Did you know when you’re actively playing a game like squash, that in just seven minutes your muscles will have produced enough heat to boil water for four cups of coffee!

Walking is by far the best exercise to keep the prostate in shape.  If you really are an exercise buff, all you need is about 30 minutes of exercise 3 X a week for a healthy body and to increase your mood, your metabolism and boost your testosterone levels—going over-board will only cause your energy to crash, due to increased levels of lactic acid.  Lactic acid is a substance that accumulates in your muscles, producing weakness and body aches.  Sugar, caffeine and alcohol also contribute to the increase of lactate in your body—lactic acid binds with calcium, causing not enough calcium to get to the brain—calcium is known as a powerful central nervous system depressant.

It has also been found that the accumulation of lactic acid encourages tumor growth in many areas of the body, including the prostate.  Lactic acid forms a halo around cancer cells, almost as a form of protection—it also inactivates the immune system which is needed to destroy cancer and other diseases.

Lactic acid found to fuel tumors http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081120171325.htm

Cancer cells produce lactate (lactic acid) http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/do-ketones-fuel-cancer-the-low-carb-experts-respond/10124

FREE RADICALS

“The more stiff, achy, and out of shape your muscles are the more prone they are to struggling with poor energy production and excess lactic acid. Too much lactic acid tilts cell metabolism into excess free radical production and inflammation, perpetuating poor health. Thus, an athlete without adequate antioxidants or anti-inflammatory nutrients injures muscles more easily or never achieves elite performance.” http://www.wellnessresources.com/health_topics/detoxification/lactic_acid.php

Where do free radicals come from?  If you grab an apple, cut it in half and leave it on the counter, it would eventually begin to turn brown.  The reason for this is…as it interacts with oxygen in the air, it oxidizes, which means it’s succumbing to free radical damage.  In fact, if you leave any kind of food out on the counter, it will begin to spoil from contact with free radicals in the air.  Even leaving your car outside in all types of weather will sooner or later begin to oxidize—it begins to rust away.

The cells in our bodies produce free radicals all the time—they are a naturally occurring from oxidizing food and oxygen to give the body energy.  But the amount of free radicals is small because it’s not sufficient enough to cause damage and so, you eliminate them by your lungs.  This is why you huff and puff when exercising vigorously…the body is getting rid the free radicals generated by your hard-working cells.  Your white blood cells also create free radicals when the immune system sense the body is under attack.  These free radicals tear into and rip bacteria and viruses apart, but when the body is fighting a chronic infection, your immune system can go out of control, creating huge amount of free radicals that start eating away at healthy tissue.

 “When free radicals assault us from external sources, they are referred to as exogenous (outside the body) free radicals.  External sources of free radicals include high heat, ultraviolet light, cigarette smoke, air pollution, x-rays, electromagnetic emissions and other forms of low-level radiation.  Exposure to trace metals, such as lead, mercury, iron, and copper, can also promote the production of free radicals. 

 Free radicals generated from internal and external sources can have a tremendous, and dangerous, impact on human health.” USER’S GUIDE TO NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS ~ Jack Challem 

Free radicals can damage any body structure by affecting proteins, enzymes, fats and even DNA.  They are the cause of more than sixty different health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, autoimmune disease and cancer. Free radicals age your body and slow down your metabolism  —you could say that our human bodies are, like an old car, slowly rusting away.  We are oxidizing.  We are succumbing to the effects of free radicals and one of the reasons is the way we are processing our foods.  Oils, for instance are easily radicalized.  Free radical damage increases in fats and oils much more than any other substance.  When we superheat oil and then fry food in it, we further increase the free radical volume of both the oil and the food that’s being fried.  French-fries, white bread, fried chicken and most fast food chains contain high levels of free radicals!  Free radicals buildup in our bodies and our bodies can only handle so much before the free radical waste begins to age our cells prematurely.

Scientists officially link processed food to Autoimmune disease   http://www.trueactivist.com/scientists-officially-link-processed-foods-to-autoimmune-disease/

XENOESTROGENS

“Researchers who study the endocrine system now realize that environmental estrogenic pollutants and substances are entering our bodies in tremendous quantities. When they do, they shift the balance from testosterone (androgens) to the estrogen side of the equation.  Like women, we do have estrogens in our bodies (just as they have testosterone), we just don’t have the same quantities, and we have a great deal more testosterone than they do. What is most important is the ratio of androgens to estrogens. Anything that upsets that balance changes who and what we become. We are not our chemistry, but we certainly are affected by our chemistry.  The power of our androgenic chemistry to shape who we are begins while we are still in the womb”. Stephen Harrod Buhner The Natrual Testosterone Plan: For Sexual Health and Energy

Somehow many synthetic chemicals in today’s environment are able to communicate with the cells in our body, in a pattern almost exactly like that of estrogen.  Until recently, testosterone was considered the bad buy in prostate problems—but new research is showing increases of xenoestrogens instead.  Xeno means foreign, so xenohormones are elements produced from outside the human body that are breathed in from the air and from the things we eat and drink.  We are exposed to these xenoestrogens everyday through products and situations that didn’t exist a 100 years ago.  Boys breasts are affected more than before, due to the strong increase in estrogen when their testosterone levels are still low.  Men who have had similar symptoms have shown to have a problem with their pituitary gland.

“One of the puzzling features of prostate malignancy is that while testosterone—the hormone people have been led to believe is responsible for male aggression—seems to promote its growth, this cancer is most typically a disease of older men.  Yet the body’s production of testosterone declines with aging.  Nor have men with prostate cancer been shown to have higher than average levels of testosterone.  As with estrogen receptors in breast cancer, it appears the sensitivity of tumour cells to normal concentrations of testosterone must have been altered.

 Like hormone secretion by the adrenal glands and the ovaries, the synthesis of testosterone by the testicles is under the complex feed-back control of the hypothalamic-pituitary system in the brain.  That network, highly reactive to stress and emotions, sends a cascade of biological substances into circulation.  Emotional factors can directly influence the male sex-hormone functioning for good or ill—just as the female hormone estrogen from the ovaries or adrenalin, cortisol and other hormones from the adrenal glands, are affected by psychic events.  It so happens that in a small series of patients, surgical removal of the brain’s pituitary gland did show positive results in the treatment of prostate cancer.” WHEN THE BODY SAYS NO, Gabor Mate, M.D.

ANTIOXIDANTS

As we age, our body’s own store of antioxidants diminish unless we regularly replenish them with an excellent diet or supplements.  As I have mentioned before, hormones, like the rest of our bodies, are created from the food we eat.  In order to create the hormones we need and in the right quantity, we have to have the right nutrients and the proper enzymes to produce and metabolize them.  The problem is, we don’t care enough about ourselves or the foods we eat.  Many of us eat junk food and wash it down with coffee, tea or carbonated drinks, which damage our cells and tissues, including our hormones.

Unfortunately as well, chemical farming and food processing, along with the lack of nutrients in the earth’s soil is affecting our hormone balance and our bodies.  Depleted essential trace elements such as selenium, zinc, chromium and magnesium are lacking in our diets and the lack of these elements have been said to be the cause of radical damage in our bodies and higher incidences of cancer.  The rise of long-standing diseases has risen dramatically over the last 30 years.  While we may be living longer, we are certainly not healthier.

Although our bodies from the inside look alike, there are slightly different balances in our enzymes, slightly different muscle characteristics, slightly different nervous systems and different hormone production.  Each of you has to get to know your self and tune in to your own body and how you can make it work best.

VITAMIN A

“Vitamin A is a fat-soluble compound [antioxidant], requiring fats and minerals for proper assimilation. Vitamin A consists of three biologically active molecules: retinol, retinal and retinoic acid. There are two forms of vitamin A, preformed vitamin A, (also called retinol and found in foods of animal origin) and provitamin A (derived from carotene, a pigment found in dark green, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits).  Beta-carotene is converted to usable vitamin A through the use of a hormone called thyroxine, produced by the thyroid gland…..when the diet lacks adequate vitamin A the body utilizes stores from the liver”. Barbara Bouyet

To learn more about vitamin A, see my previous article….

https://ravenstarshealingroom.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/vitamin-a-causes-prostate-cancer/

VITAMIN C

As far as antioxidants, vitamin C tops the list because its importance in the production of sex hormones.  The human body is unable to produce its own supply of vitamin C so it must be obtained through the diet. Vitamin C is found in high concentrations in the adrenal glands, which helps in the production of testosterone.  As a man approaches mid-life or andropause, the adrenal glands take an even increasing role in the production of his sex hormones.  So it’s essential you increase your intake of foods and supplements rich in this vitamin.  Vitamin C in the body is used up very quickly when exposed to chemicals, pollutants or if you smoke or are fighting an infection.

Vitamin C is always more effective when obtained through a natural source rather than chewables or capsules. Unfortunately, it only stays in the body for a short time, 10-20 hours, so it needs to be replenished every day.  Fresh made orange juice loses it vitamin C content in approximately 15 minutes after being exposed to the air.

Bioflavonoids and vitamin C are always found together in nature—bioflavonoids are water-soluble and enhance vitamin C’s protection.  Both of these can be found in most fresh vegetables, especially peppers, watercress, broccoli and new potatoes; fresh fruits, grapes, rose hips, prunes, oranges, lemons, cherries as well as berries, (wild blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries).  It’s also found in apples, pineapple and melons and in most tropical fruits.) When fruit isn’t as easy to buy in the winter, frozen works just as well—frozen, fruit don’t lose much of their antioxidant power.

Wheat and barley are very high in chlorophyll, beta-carotene, vitamins C and E and are some of the best sources of plant protein.

*Vitamin C and the mineral Iron work as a team to incinerate waste materials in the body.  Iron transports oxygen to every cell of the body and vitamin C works as a catalyst for this action.  Both iron and vitamin C help to protect you from colds and viruses.

VITAMIN E

Vitamin E is another controversial antioxidant in the use of healing ailments of the prostate—it also improves male and female fertility.  Studies have been done with taking Vitamin E ‘alone’ but like vitamin A and D, these vitamins are fat-soluble and need fat in the diet to be absorbed and utilized.  Vitamin E works well when combined with calcium, magnesium and flaxseed/omega oils.  Some researchers conducting these trials failed to tell us whether the people in these studies were feeding on high carbohydrates or drinking too much alcohol.  Carbohydrates and alcohol raise insulin levels which can lead to higher incidences of high cholesterol, high blood-pressure and heart disease (arteriosclerosis).  Unfortunately misconceptions like these are hard to overturn.

Every cell in your body lives by burning oxygen to give you warmth and energy—vitamin E regulates this action and prevents cells from burning out too quickly.  The normal life of a red blood cell is 120 days—a deficiency in vitamin E reduces cell life to about 70 days.  Vitamin E improves blood circulation by enlarging even the smallest blood vessels and arteries which provide oxygen and nourishment to all body cells—it also detoxifies from the body from harmful pesticides, chemical fertilizers, industrial pollutants, exhaust fumes and preservatives.  It has also been known to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamin E also assists in the functioning of the entire nervous system and we know there are thousands of nerve fibers contained with the prostate and that the sympathetic nervous system, part of the central nervous system, enhances its production.

Naturally, vitamin E can be found in wheat germ oil, sesame seeds, almonds, hazel nuts, rice, cucumber, brazil nuts, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, oats, pecan nuts, asparagus, peas, kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, apples, tomatoes, bananas, oranges, carrots, lettuce, grapefruit, celery, chestnuts, corn, alfalfa, barley, beans, soya beans, potatoes….

The Real Facts About Vitamin E http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-cooper/vitamine-e-prostate-cancer-_b_1016922.html  (great explanation of vitamin E)

New Vitamin E Study July 2012 http://thestar.com.my/health/story.asp?sec=healt&file=/2012/7/22/health/11363827

Vitamin E recharged by selenium http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v07n11.shtml

VITAMIN D3

Vitamin D is not an antioxidant, however, it is important for the body. Known as the ‘sunshine’ vitamin, vitamin D3 is naturally produced by the action of  sunlight with an oily substance in our skin (Ergosterol) One of the main functions of vitamin D is it helps to regulate all mineral and vitamin metabolism, especially that of calcium and phosphorous—vitamin D also works with the thyroid and parathyroid glands in helping to manufacture hormones and  control the levels of calcium in your blood—it’s also vitally important for your endocrine and nervous system.

Vitamin D has been described as a hormone rather than a vitamin because it’s produced by the body, through the action of sunlight on the skin.  The darker the pigment of the skin, the more sunlight we need to get adequate amount of vitamin D

Young people who are outside in the sun will get all the vitamin D they need.  But the older we get, it seems harder for the skin to absorb vitamin D into our system.  The reason for this, could be that older skin doesn’t absorb vitamin D as well and the kidneys seem to have bit of trouble converting vitamin D to its active form.

There seems to be a lot of controversy over vitamin D supplements and its benefits and/or risks regarding the prostate.  When I googled ‘vitamin D prostate cancer’, there were conflicting results on the use of vitamin D supplements for prostate cancer. I think we have to be careful of swallowing (literally) what others are proclaiming to be magical cures.  As supplements are being studied more than ever before, it’s important we keep up-to-date with the information ~ remember supplements are chemicals that you’re putting in your body.

Vitamin D crucial to activating immune defenses

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100307215534.htm

Calcium and Vitamin D supplements make prostate cancer worse http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/08/08/health-calcium-supplements-prostate-worse_n_1754724.html

Scientists reveal how vitamin D slows prostate cancer http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/08/08/health-calcium-supplements-prostate-worse_n_1754724.html

B VITAMINS

“The B vitamins help to maintain the health of the nerves, skin, eyes, hair, liver, and mouth, as well as healthy muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract and proper brain function. 

 B-Complex vitamins act as co-enzymes, helping enzymes to react chemically with other substances, and are involved in energy production.  They may be useful for alleviating depression or anxiety as well. Adequate intake of the B vitamins is very important for elderly people because these nutrients are not as well absorbed as we age. There have been even cases of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease whose problems were later found to be due to a deficiency of vitamin B12 plus the B complex. The B vitamins should always be taken together, but up to two to three times more of one B vitamin than another can be taken for a period of time if needed for a particular disorder. There are spray and sublingual forms that are absorbed more easily; which are good choices for older adults and those with absorption problems.

 Because the B vitamins work together, a deficiency in one often indicates a deficiency in another ”.  Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th edition ~ Phyllis A. Balch

Physical activity increases the need for B vitamins http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/72/2/598s.full

How the body uses Vitamin B to recognize bacterial infection

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121010131444.htm

B vitamins are important in the metabolism and production of energy from food.  They are found in wholegrain products such as bread and brown rice; wheat germ is a very rich source.  Beans and meat, particularly liver are also high in most B group vitamins.  Taking a B complex vitamin, 50 mg or 100 mg is adequate for a daily dosage.  If you exercise strenuously, smoke and/or consume alcohol on a daily basis, you should be taking a vitamin B-complex—alcohol, tobacco, stress, processed foods and drinks all inhibit or reduce your body’s intake and absorption of the B vitamins, as well as vitamin D and the minerals magnesium, zinc and calcium. Even drinking socially can have this effect, while drinking heavily can cause serious malnutrition, liver damage and hormone imbalances.

As we age, our bodies ability to assimilate essential nutrients is harder because we produce less stomach acids in the digestive system.  Deficiencies in B6 and B12 develop during the later years

Eat an avocado a day!  Avocadoes contain all the daily B group vitamins with an added boost of B1 (Thiamine) for food assimilation and digestion.  Without B1, (the vitamin of Courage) we’d have trouble digesting carbohydrates, which can become toxic to your whole system.

VITAMIN B1 (Thiamine) is known as the vitamin of Courage – it combines with pyruvic acid, to form a co-enzyme, which is required for the conversion of carbohydrates into Glucose, the brains most primary fuel. Without it we’d have trouble digesting carbohydrates, leaving you with too much pyruvic acid (which changes to lactic acid) in the blood.  This deprives the body of oxygen, causing confusion, loss of alertness, which reduces oxygen in the body causing loss of mental alertness, possible cardiac damage and difficulties of breathing, irritability and emotional insecurity.

Excellent food sources – rice bran, wheat germ, soya bean, sunflower seeds, peanus, sesame seeds, brazil nuts, pecans, pistachios, red and white beans, lima beans, cashew nuts, lentils, macadamia nuts, walnuts, chestnut, chickpea, watercress, pumpkin seeds, dandelion, parsley, figs, broccoli, potatoes

VITAMIN B2 (Riboflavin) is known as the Youth vitamin – also breaks down and utilizes carbohydrates – when we are deficient in this vitamin for a long time, our vision could be impaired, our hair may fall out or lack luster, we look older than our years and could suffer from arthritis and or even glaucoma.

Excellent food sources – almonds, wheat germ, wild rice, mushroom, safflower seeds, turnip greens, wheat bran, kelp, collards, soya bean, dandelion, kale leaves, parsley, cashew nut, broccoli, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, lentils, avocado, aparagus, spinach, peach, prune, dried apricot, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, dates, figs,

VITAMIN B3 (Niacin) is important in the production of both male and female hormones. It also activates enzymes in the body as well as assisting the body in energy production and nourishes the nerves, brain, skin and hair—it is known to have a calming effect on many people and could be taken before bed.  It may cause a flushing or reddening of the skin, this is because its dilating the capillaries.  Vitamin B3 is required for good blood circulation and for the control of blood-cholesterol levels, which is very important for the prostate.  Niacin is also essential for the health of the nervous system, as are all the B complex vitamins.  Too much strenuous exercise depletes your reserves of B3 resulting in muscle weakness, general fatigue, indigestion, headaches, diarrhea, poor appetite, skin allergies and nervous disorders.

Excellent sources – rice bran, wheat bran, peanuts, wild rice, sesame seeds, kelp, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, wheat, barley, almonds, dates, soya bean, lentils, chick pea, sweet corn, avocado, ppune, asparagus, pistachio, macadamia, parley, pecans,

VITAMIN  B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, (pyrixodine) and B12 are particularly important in balancing the immune system

VITAMIN  B5 (Panthothenic acid – water soluble) is found in every living cell of the body and is important for the body’s control and use of cholesterol from fats.  Vitamin B5 stimulates the adrenal glands to produce natural cortisone and other adrenal hormones, which are important for healthy nerves and skin.  This vitamin also prevents premature aging, wrinkles, baldness, arthritis, and cellular damage from radiation.  Vitamin B5 is useful for anemia, hypoglycemia, epilepsy, insomnia, arthritis, asthma, cancer and tuberculosis. A deficiency of this vitamin may create a wide variety of symptoms such as, apathy, depression, heart trouble, abdominal pains, increase to infection, nerve disorders, muscle weakeness..pins and needles in hand and feet.

Almonds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are an excellent source as well as brussel sprouts, collards, dates, celery, parsley, yoghurt, lentils rice, royal jelly, parsnips, kale, wheat, carrots, barley, oats, oranges, bananas, currants, grapefruit, grapes, wheat germ, soya beans and of course pumpkin seeds

VITAMIN B6 and ZINC

Both vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and zinc work well together in treating the prostate.  B6 is important in helping the absorption of zinc in the prostate, it is also required for the production of antibodies and healthy blood cells. It is very important that the body has ample supplies of both Vitamin B6 and Zinc.  B6 or pyridoxine The prostate gland contains ten times more zinc than anywhere else in the human body and zinc is a key player in the health of the prostate.

Vitamin B6 is essential for the brain and plays an important role in your immune system and nervous system’s balance—it’s also needed to convert stored blood sugars into glucose—the brains main fuel.  The pituitary gland is also affected when there’s not enough B6 in your system…which in turn can affect the entire body’s immune system and its health. Brain depletion of dopamine and serotonin occur without B6, which can lead to headaches, anxiety, insomnia and depression.  Without enough B6 in the body, levels of lactic acid could elevate, creating anxiety and stress.  This vitamin is also needed to help utilize protein for energy.

“Zinc supplements may play a role in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an enlargement of the prostate gland seen in 60 percent of men between 40 and 59 years of age. Zinc treatment, in the form of zinc picolinate or zinc citrate, may be beneficial in reducing the enlargement of the prostate and to reduce the symptoms. The beneficial effects of zinc may be due to its involvement in hormonal metabolism. Zinc inhibits the conversion of testosterone to a more active form, which causes overproduction of prostate cells. It also inhibits the binding of hormones to receptor cells.  Zinc also acts to lower levels of another hormone, prolactin, which controls the uptake of testosterone in the prostate. Increasing zinc levels therefore restricts the actions of the hormones and leads to a reduction in prostate size.” The New Encylopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements and Herbs ~ Nicola Reavley

(High levels of prolactin could indicate hypothyroidism—prolactin seems to inhibit the outward flow of emotions—attention is sluggish, dull–people are unable to express themselves, they feel something then doubt seeps in, making them hesitate and step back)

The brain too uses at least sixty zinc enzymes, so low zinc levels have been known to cause irritability, fatigue, anxiety and depression.  Zinc also plays an important role in removing toxic metals from the brain, particularly copper, lead, mercury and cadmium.  Without zinc, high copper level could cause paranoia, mood swings and schizophrenia.

Diabetics tend to lose high amounts of zinc in their urine and studies have shown good results with zinc supplements and improved glucose tolerance. (Olives are an excellent  source of zinc as well as vitamins B2, B3, and B6.)

Pumpkin Seeds are nourishing and energizing and very high in vitamin B-complex and zinc.  Zinc is an aid in the healing process, very useful in treating an enlarged prostate gland. Pumpkin seeds contain magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, potassium, niacin, folic acid, riboflavin, and thiamin. They also contain vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), unsaturated oils, and antioxidants.

Other good sources of B6 – walnuts, hazel nuts, yogurt, bewers yeast, torula yeast, rice brain, wheat germ, millet, soya beans, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, wheat bran, rye, almonds, brazil nuts, chestnuts, peanuts, barley, figs, olives, potato, banana cabbage, lettuce, celery, kale, avocado, spinach, broccoli,

VITAMIN B12

Did you know vitamin B12 and folic acid helps to improve the hand-grip strength in men and helps women and men with osteoarthritis?

Vitamin B12 is needed for tissue growth and repair and very important in the formation of red blood cells, the nervous system and skin.  B12 is heat sensitive and up to 85% of its content in meat is lost in cooking.  This is the only vitamin that plants cannot synthesize but is readily available from bacteria and fungi in the soil.    A deficiency in B12 may not show up for 5 – 10 years as the body is capable of reabsorbing it from the intestinal tract, which reduces the need for a regular supply.

Vitamin B12 has been effective in treating anemia, asthma, ulcers, angina, diabetes and neuritis…its helped with fatigue, nervous irritability, poor memory and concentration and muscle weakness too.

Vitamin B12 news http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/nutrition/vitamin-b12/news-and-features.html

What is Vitamin B12 http://newvitaminb12.com/vitamin-b12/

Vitamin B12 deficiency and cognitive problems http://www.ctvnews.ca/vitamin-b12-deficiency-may-lead-to-cognitive-problems-1.702874

Excellent sources of B12 – yogurt, cheese, fresh fish, meat, plankton, milk, eggs,

BIOTIN and FOLIC ACID both belong to the B group vitamins, are water soluble and required daily in your diet.  Biotin is known as a ‘slimming’ vitamin, it protects you from obesity, baldness, dermatitis and sleeplessness—without a regular supply your body would have trouble used the fats you eat  on a daily basis.  Folic acid also helps to promote a healthy appetite and cleans the digestive system.

Excellent sources of Biotin – walnuts, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, brewers yeast, torula yeast, mushrooms, raisins, soya beans, rice, cucumbers, apples, wheat, rye, black currants, grapfruit, melons, tomatoes,

Excellent sources of folic acid – green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, potatoes, almonds, cauliflower, sprouted seeds, legumes, whole grains, wheat germ, asparagus, beetroot, peas, parships kale, broccoli

CHOLINE, another B group vitamin, assists in the digestion of all types of fatty foods and is required for the storage of many vitamins and minerals, especially calcium and vitamin A.  It is usually found in good amounts and in combination with all vitamin B enriched foods…in fact it’s only effective when combined with them.  Choline is important for the health of the entire nervous system and has a direct relationship to the cholesterol levels in the blood.  A deficiency could play a role in high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and the tendency to gain weight.  It also prevents accumulation of fats in the liver and helps to distribute fats around the body and to the various cells.

Excellent sources of Choline – lecithin, spinach, asparagus, green beans, corn, soya beans, brewers yeast, torula yeast, sesame seeds tahini, pecan, wheat, oats, wheat germ, peas, cabbage, carrots turnips, rice bran, potatoes

Vitamins for Prostate problems

http://www.livestrong.com/article/290291-vitamins-for-prostate-problems/

Vitamins for a healthy prostate

http://www.livestrong.com/article/291318-vitamins-for-a-healthy-prostate/

CHOLESTEROL

Cholesterol is not as bad as you think, it exists in almost all of your organs and present in most of your hormones and aids to the formation of others.  Without cholesterol the cells in your body wouldn’t be built and you wouldn’t be able to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in your system, vitamins A, D, E and K from the foods you eat.  It is present in the blood, the tissues, and all the liquids within your body.  It contributes to producing bile, sexual hormones (estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone) and more.  Unfortunately it does have a bad-rap for contributing to prostate cancer and to the formation of plague that causes atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) a condition which eventually could cause strokes and heart attacks.

 “Cholesterol is transported in the blood by two different means, LDL and HDL.  Both are proteins.  LEL carries the cholesterol from the liver to the tissues—indeed, all tissues need cholesterol for their formation and maintenance (nerves, muscels, skin, organs).  If there is too much cholesterol in this circuit, the cells don’t absorb it anymore; it stay in the blood and attaches itself to the walls of blood vessels.  When it stagnates cholesterol become oxidized, thickens, and blocks veins and arterties.  HDL, transports cholesterol from the tissues to the liver, playing an opposite role,; it cleans the blood vessels.” Understanding the Messages of Your Body ~ Jean-Pierre Barral D.O.

We all need cholesterol in our blood to produce DHEA, adrenal and sex hormones…DHEA invigorates the body…  In some cases doctors have worked so hard to reduce a person’s cholesterol, it has interfered with their hormone function and their immunity.

(DHEA has been called ‘the mother of all hormones’, it is produced by the adrenal glands and a precursor to other sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen.  DHEA helps the body’s resistance to stress and disease….it also appears to have a protective effect on the bones and the heart.  DHEA also helps to balance the negative affects of cortisol…too much cortisol and not enough DHEA in the blood can have serious ramifications with your health and your sexual functions.  As cortisol levels rise so too does your insulin levels and  your cholesterol).

FIBER

Men who eat lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, apples, bananas, mangoes and whole-wheat cereals and breads, have fewer prostate problems then men who don’t eat them.  Fiber works its magic by carrying the bad stuff….like cholesterol, carcinogens and other dangerous toxins out of our system.  Fiber also slows down the absorption of glucose in the body, allowing for a more gradual release of insulin which helps stabilize your blood sugar.  Fiber is one of the key ingredients in the battle against heart disease, cancer, atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, constipation, digestive problems, diabetes and even overweight.

There are two types of fibers, soluble, which dissolves in water and insoluble which doesn’t   Most vegetables and fruits contain both types of fiber, though certain foods are richer in one or the other. The insoluble fibers have been called ‘roughage’…they absorb water, make stools softer, bulkier and easier to pass.  This keeps your food moving through the intestinal tract.  Solubles work different inside the body….their more gummy and sticky and work real well in picking up bile acids and other toxins and hauling them out of your body. And when these soluble fibers move these toxins out of your body, they draw cholesterol out of the bloodstream to be converted into more bile, which we conitnue to flush out of our body.

Excellent sources of fiber….whole-wheat breads, pumpernickel, all-bran cereals, Fiber 1, fruits such as strawberries, dates, prunes, oranges, apples, pineapple, bananas, cantaloupe, legumes and beans, vegetables…brussels sprouts, peas, carrots, broccoli, green beans, mushrooms, tomato, beats, celery, corn,

MINERALS

Minerals are a part of every living cell in your body.  They are as important to your body as a new set of spark plugs are for your car.  You could see minerals as the spark plugs  and vitamins as the intital spark which is then distributed throughout your whole system.  When even one mineral is lacking from your diet the result will be felt by the entire body and certain vitamins will always be held back from being absorbed.  This could lead to fatigue,  lack of energy, feeling irritable,

CALCIUM works well with magnesium, sulfur and zinc, along with vitamin B12 and vitamin C and inositol for healthy sperm and sexual organs.  Horsetail and oatstraw contain high levels of silicon which is important for calcium to absorbed in the body.

CHLORINE stimulates the production of vital gastric juices (hydrochloric acid) which aids digestion, it also helps to eliminate waste, as well as  purifies and disinfects against germs and viruses. Chlorine also helps to regulate acid and alkaline balance of blood and hormone distribution.

Inorganic chlorine, which is not a naturally occurring substance, was used as a deadly war gas and nowadays it is a common ingredient used in the bleaching of flour and as an ingredient in many modern day medicines as pain killers and sleeping tablets.  This causes contraction of the blood vessels and a prarlyzing effect on the sensory nervous system.

IODINE is essential for regulating the thyroid gland, manufacturing the hormone thyroxine to control the metabolism of the body. It affects growth rate and helps burn excess fat.

MANGANESE is important for many different functions in the body, such as the nervous system (neuromuscular activity) and brain, maintenance of sex hormones, production of mothers’ milk and activates essential enzymes that are important in absorbing the B group vitamins.

MAGNESIUM is essential to metabolism…it ia a nerve mineral and in combination with calcium helps with digestion… it cannot be stored in the body for long periods and therefore the body needs to get it from the foods we eat. If your body is short of magnesium, you will be unable to absorb and utlilize vitamin B6.  It is crucial in maintaining hormone balance and is required for the formation of lung tissue and all other bodily tissues.  Magnesium helps to build a good memory by activating all muscular activity and for nourishing the white nerve fibre of the brain and spinal cord.  Magnesium in combination with manganese and vitamins B1 and B2, has a beneficial effect on the nervous system. nervous disorders, muscular and mental faculties.  Magnesium also regulates body temperature by converting glucose into an energy source.  The adrenal glands regulate the amount of magnesium with a hormone known as aldosterone…and aldosterone needs magnesium to be produced.  The pituitary gland in the brain needs magnesium too…when its magnesium levels are low, the pituitary can’t control the adrenals, causing an over-production of adrenaline.

POTASSIUM protects the body and keeps it healthy, when in combination with sodium (not salt) it prevents hardening of the arteries.  Cancer cells cannot live in a solution of potassium so this mineral can prevent cancers and tumors from growing.  Potassium combined with phosphorous is vital for the transportation of oxygen into the brain, which is essential for mental functioning.  Potassium is the foundation mineral of all muscular tissues.  It is essential for the repair and health condition of all the body’s muscles (cardiac – muscle of the heart);  (viscerel – muscles of the stomach and blood vessels; (skeletal muscles – arms, legs and spine).  A healing mineral that protects the body and keeps it healthy.  It repairs the liver and aids in waste elimination.

SELENIUM has been said to be more potent than vitamin E as an antioxidant.  In fact vitamin E and selenium work hand-in-hand in stopping free radicals and protection cells and tissues from oxidative damage.  It is known for its importance in sperm production and in the health of the testes. (Selenium is found in garlic, a herb long known for its ability to heal and normalize blood pressure.

ZINC

We’ve talked of zinc many times in this blog, showing the importance of this mineral in regard to a healthy prostate and healthy immune function.  Its importance cannot be denied.

The minerals Zinc, Copper and Selenium are vital and important for normal hormond production in men.  Selenium is necessary for testosterone production; and as we know, protects the sexual glands from free radicals and heavy metals.

Hair samples taken for mineral analysis in older men have shown low zinc levels with higher copper levels.  Zinc as we know is associated with testosterone but when zinc levels fall so does the testosterone.  What causes zinc deficiences to develop?  Stress is definitely at the front, as well as a diet too rich in sugar and processed carbohydrates.  If you’re a vegetarian, or don’t eat much meat and eggs…both of these are excellent sources of getting enough zinc.  Medications can also be a cause, like antidepressants, diuretics and anti-inflammatory medications (cortisone, Prednisone)…these tend to suppress the body’s absorption of zinc and interfere with the absorption of vitamin B6 and magnesium as well. Grians, especially those in unleavened bread have high levels of phytates.  When phytic acid binds with zinc, your body is unable to absorb it.

Food sources for zinc include red meat, eggs, and especially pumpkin seeds.  Vegetarians should definitely supplement this in their diet.

People who suffer from high copper levels, may experience symptoms of fatigue, depression, panic attacks, food cravings and mood swings…high levels of copper can also create free radicals that attack and erode joint cartilage .  Copper levels seem to rise when there is higher estrogen levels in the blood. Copper toxicity also affects your adrenal glands, thyroid and liver. If you’re a plumber or welder you may be at risk of absorbing higher than normal levels of copper.  As well, copper sulfate is added to many municipal drinking waters and swimming pools to keep away fungi, including yeast.

Other sources of high levels of copper can be found in vitamin and mineral supplements, high-soy diets, as well as shellfish, organ meats, wheat germ and brain, corn oil, yeast, margarine and even mushrooms.  If you or your wife cook with copper pots, you are most likely absorbing some of the copper.

High dozes of zinc has been known to reduce copper levels which can also lower the good cholesterol known as HDL.  Copper is essential for iron metabolism, lettuce is one of the best vegetable sources for both iron and copper and vitamin E and C.

OMEGA 3, 6, 9

“….essential fatty acids (EFAs) like omega-3 and omega-6 cannot be manufactured in the body and must be consumed wither through diet or supplements.  EFAs help the body repair and create new cells.  In addition to reducing inflammation, omega-3 fatty acids can actually create special roadblocks in the body, making it harder for cancer cells to migrate from a primary tumour to start new colonies.  Cancers that remain localized in one place are much easier to treat than those metastasize (spread throughout the body)”. REVERSING DIABETES ~ Don Colbert

more still to come…..

HERBS FOR THE PROSTATE

Damiana

Echinacea

Evening Primose Oil

Fo-ti

Gingseng

Gotu Kola

Licorice Root

Milk Thistle

Red Clover

Sarsaparilla

Saw Palmetto

Read Full Post »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because I am a Queen by India Arie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

Links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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INTRODUCING THE SEVEN ENDOCRINE GLANDS AND THEIR FUNCTIONS

“During the course of our research into the role of the chakras in health and disease, over 200 cases were observed clairvoyantly, and in a large number of these the disease was found to be related to the endocrine glands…..

Studies of the etheric chakras showed that whenever there were severe abnormalities in their colors, rhythm, direction of movement, brightness, form, elasticity and texture, this indicated a serious condition, probably resulting in the development of the disease, either in the endocrine glands related to that center or in that part of the body to which the center provides energy.” The Chakras and the Human Energy Fields by Shafica Karagulla, Dora Van Gelder Kunz

It is no secret that the endocrine glands have an intimate connection with the chakra system. The seven chakras or centers of energy have been seen as whirling cone-shaped vortices, which receive and distribute vital energy (lifeforce/prana) throughout the physical body. Each chakra also corresponds to a different endocrine gland and these glands govern specific parts of the physical body and areas of psychological and spiritual development. We know from the previous articles in this blog, on the subtle anatomy that the physical body has an aura of subtle fields known as the etheric, astral (mental/emotional) and causal bodies. We also know that damage to one or more of the subtle bodies through physical or emotional trauma can filter down from the aura to the etheric and physical level, creating a wide range of physical and mental ailments. All four levels of being, (etheric, astral, causal and physical body) are supposed to work together, encouraging and supporting each other.

More and more, science is proving what the mystics and ancient healers have been trying to tell us: there is no separation between the etheric system, endocrine system, nervous system, blood system and immune system; they all interact together at many levels. Each one spins a web of connectors not only to each other but to every other being and with the universe as well. Throughout our lives we learn by trial and error about our own physical presence on this earth and the effect that our presence has with others.

“The importance of this glandular system cannot be over-estimated. It is a replica in miniature of the septenary constitution of the universe and the medium of expression and the instrument of contact for the seven ray forces, the seven Spirits before the Throne of God. Around this at present unrecognized truth the medicine and the healing methods of the future civilization will be built.” Alice Bailey, Esoteric Healing

The day you were born, your spirit descended into matter, ready to face a new set of circumstance, or circumstances similar to those of a previous life, if the lesson had not been learned. At the moment of your birth, your body chemistry was set, directly related to the position of the planets at that point in time. The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, (main controller of the endocrine system) react to your thoughts, emotions and knowledge (placement of the planets, houses), that let the other glands know what the brain is planning and wanting the body to do. These special glands also have a thinking capacity all their own, you could say, that our endocrine system is an amazing group of different beings, each with their own history and experience, each with their own attitude, emotions and responses. With no exception, these glands are united by a very strong bond and linked by a shared history, each reacting to the other by way of the nervous system (mediated by neuropeptides, neurotransmitters and neurohormones). They are constantly eavesdropping on your thoughts and feelings and listening to the conversation you are having with yourself—every second of your life!

If you are familiar with the many Edgar Cayce readings, (the sleeping prophet) he stated the endocrine glands are repositories of past life memories emotionally charged and repressed. As we become more aware of ourselves, through dreams, meditation, self-healing, astrology, etc., these past memories come to the surface, appearing as symbols, giving us clues to hidden parts of our personality and to emotional problems/illnesses we are experiencing in this lifetime.

The endocrine system is made of glands situated throughout the body that secrete hormones or chemical messengers directly into the bloodstream. Circulating around the body in the blood, they continually bathe our tissues, stimulating changes in body cells. Each hormone has a variety of different effects, depending on the cells they are acting upon. Each gland and its chemical function has a part to play in the whole and with its own personality, character and agenda. The endocrine glands contain hidden aspects of yourself, which at times we all have had trouble seeing or accepting.

“Hormones are essentially tiny chemical messengers that spark communication processes throughout your body. They play an enormous role in influencing almost every aspect of your well-being, including your thoughts and feelings. Whether you feel the need to sleep, warm up, cool down, eat jelly beans, grab a coffee or have a quickie, your desires and actions can be traced back to your hormonal activity.” Dr. Natasha Turner

When we are reacting to either food, or a situation, or a person, or to the weather, we are actually responding to a signal that started from the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland. The signal may be in the form of comfort or discomfort, but if we could learn how to listen to these signals that are being sent to us, all the time from within us, then, we’d realize that these signals affect our moods, our behavior, our perceptions, our tastes, our habits, our attraction to other people, our appetites, our urges and so on. Knowing your body/mind, allows you to TUNE into yourself and of course to others. This allows the pituitary to analyze situations before taking action.

The most powerful chemicals created in the body come from the endocrine glands. This highly complex and sophisticated system is…. “controlled by the nervous system through the hypothalamus. This structure at the base of the forebrain has intimate connections with the pea-sized pituitary gland, to which it is adjacent. The pituitary gland releases a great variety of hormones that fan out within the body, stimulating actions in the other endocrine glands. In this sense, the pituitary is known as the master gland of the endocrine system, although the hypothalamus is the real power behind the throne”. Wayne Weiten

THE PITUITARY is a pea-sized gland that hangs like a little round bag from the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls emotion and appetite. Though the pituitary is tiny in size, it plays a major role in the functioning of your whole bodily system. It is constantly influenced by the higher centres of the brain, which give us our senses, memory, creativity and thought. It governs the lower base of the brain, the ears, nose, left eye, medulla and nervous system. Its color is indigo and its note on the musical scale is “A” .

Astrologically, the planets I associate with the pituitary is Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter, for its wisdom and intuition and Saturn for its intelligence and reason. This idea seems to works well with the 6th chakra, known as the Ajna or ‘Third Eye, which when opened represents telepathy and knowing. This chakra is depicted with two indigo lotus petals, one representing the ego self and the other, the spiritual self. It is at this centre that the masculine and feminine energies merge, initiating a spiritual awakening. The pituitary points to the earth and is our connection between spirit and earth, it is the ‘meeting place’ of both body and mind.

The pituitary produces nine hormones of its own and regulates our sexual characteristics, growth, blood pressure, fertility, metabolism and numerous other activities. It takes its orders from the hypothalamus, stimulating the other 6 endocrine glands (pineal, thymus, thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, and sex glands) through the autonomic nervous system to produce their hormones. (The autonomic nervous system is a part of the nervous system that is ‘not’ under our conscious control—it is responsible for certain functions such as heart rate, breathing and muscular contractions of the internal organs)

An unbalanced pituitary can affect the performance of the pineal, thyroid, thymus, adrenals, ovaries, and testes glands, causing one’s whole life to be affected. When our brain is thrown badly out of balance from a hormonal imbalance, everything can go out of control. We’re going to do an extensive study on the endocrine system and the emotional/physical effects they have on the body. We’ll look at weight gain (obesity), Cushing’s disease, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), depression, bi-polar, prostrate problems, asthma, allergies, insomnia, diabetes, heart problems, cancer, Cushing’s disease, etc., but first we need to know and understand the performance of each one and how they work together.

Our hormones are constantly rising and falling, caught up in the fluctuations of the earth’s natural cycles (spring, summer, fall, winter) and, our own fluctuating thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes about ourselves. The PINEAL GLAND (so-called because it looks like a pine cone), is associated with the crown chakra or ‘third eye’ (clairvoyance, vision) which is related to our personal understanding of the universe and spirituality. It responds to light. This light not only reflects our vital energy, it also reflects the Light of wisdom, compassion, healing and understanding. When the pineal is active and healthy, we become sensitive to the higher frequencies of light and subtle energy bodies.

The pineal gland is situated just above the ears and adjacent to the eyes, at the center of the brain. Esoterically, the pituitary gland points to the earth; the pineal gland points upward to spirit. This endocrine gland responds positively to the musical note ‘B’, the color violet and associated with the planet Neptune. The reason I chose Neptune is because of its association with empathy, inspiration and insight, bliss, romance, spiritual yearning and even hallucinations, loss of identity and mental confusion. Both Neptune and the pineal gland are associated with dreams and with the chemical known as melatonin.

During the day, the pineal gland releases the hormone serotonin and at night the hormone melatonin. Serotonin keeps us awake during the day, it influences our appetite, boosts our energy levels and makes us feel relaxed and good about ourselves. If serotonin levels are low, you’ll find yourself craving for sweets or constantly wanting to binge on foods. We tend to eat to make ourselves feel better…and it works because the more carbohydrates we eat, our serotonin levels go up! The problem is, the more weight we put on, the more serotonin it takes to elevate our mood.

Low levels of serotonin have been linked to such conditions as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel, overeating, bulimia, obsessive-compulsive behavior, autism, PMS, migraine headaches, schizophrenia and even erratic behavior.

Melatonin is secreted when darkness falls. It makes us drowsy, calm and ready for sleep. Production of this hormone usually occurs while you’re sleeping. If you sleep with a light on or light floods into your room, it can effect the production of melatonin. Melatonin also works with the growth hormone from the pituitary gland. As you sleep and your body cools, growth hormone is released into the bloodstream, repairing tissue, skin, bone and muscle, preparing you for a new day.

But too much melatonin (usually winter months or in areas with little sun) can affect our personality, sexual and reproductive functions as well as our appetite. It has been associated with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is known to create symptoms of lethargy, irritability, overeating, low self-esteem and mood changes…it’s where we just want to sleep all day.

Melatonin is mainly found in the brain, skin, heart and genitals. It can affect mood swings, menstrual cycles, estrogen levels, sperm levels and ovulation. When too much of this hormone is in our system, during daylight hours, we can suffer mental confusion and depression, insomnia, nightmares, skin problems, fertility problems and many other health complications. People suffering from these ailments tend to have large amounts of cortisol, a hormone produced from the adrenal glands, in their bloodstream. Too much cortisol has toxic effects to the billions of nerve cells in the brain, particularly the hippocampus.

“The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is particularly vulnerable to stress and stress hormones. Some researchers have reported that high cortisol levels are linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease…..While cortisol levels fluctuate throughout the day, they often soar when a person is faced with a stressful situation. Studies have shown this stress also affects memory….[for instance] people taking cortisone pills which change into cortisol in the body were not good at remembering a list of words as people taking placebo pills.” The Encyclopedia of Alzheimer’s Disease by Carol Turkington, Deborah R. Mitchell

The pineal gland is a biological clock and is highly sensitive to the solar activity of the Sun as well as the Moon’s phases. Our bodies operate on a 24 hour clock, regulated by sunlight, which controls the day/night levels of serotonin and melatonin. As we know, melatonin is important in regard to the health of our immune system as well as the healing process, which takes place while we sleep. Melatonin declines as we age. This is possibly because the pineal gland slowly withers and calcifies as we grow old. Taking melatonin supplements can help but too much can cause some negative side affects, interfering with the natural rhythms of the body. Meditation, yoga, tai chi, breath work and other spiritual practices not only help to regulate the serotonin/melatonin balance, they also help us to understand there is a life force, an energy that flows through us. They also help us to develop our spiritual sight and keep the pineal gland and endocrine system healthy and strong.

From the endocrine glands in the brain (hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal) we move down to the THYROID GLAND located in front of the neck below the adam’s apple, larynx or voice box. Its two sides look very much like the wings of a butterfly. This endocrine gland responds to the musical note ‘G’, the color blue and sits in the 5th or throat chakra. The throat chakra rules the arms, hands, throat, mouth, voice, lungs, cervical vertebrae and respiratory system. Not only does this chakra govern communication, willpower, truthfulness and creativity, it provides a link or bridge between the spirit and personality. If you suffer from sore throats, dental problems, speech impediments and the inability to express yourself creatively, this chakra may be imbalanced. A weak or overpowering voice, problems listening to others and hearing and speaking the truth are indications this chakra is blocked too. The neck is the link between the mind and body.

“The throat center is the organ specifically of the creative WORD. It registers the intention or creative purpose of the soul, transmitted to it by the inflow of energy from the ajna center; the fusion of the two energies, thus brought about, will lead to some type of creative activity. This is the higher correspondence to the creativity of the sacral center. In that center the negative and the positive creative energies are embodied in the separate male and female organisms and are brought into relation in an act of creation, consciously undertaken, though as yet without much definite purpose.

The dense physical externalization of this center is the thyroid gland. This gland is regarded as of supreme importance in the well-being of the average human being of today. Its purpose is to guard health, to balance the bodily equilibrium in certain important aspects of the physical nature, and it symbolizes [155] the third aspect of intelligence and of substance impregnated with mind. It is in reality connected with the Holy Ghost, or the third divine aspect in manifestation, “over-shadowing” (as the Bible expresses it), the Mother, the Virgin Mary. The para-thyroids are symbolic of Mary and Joseph and the relation they hold to the over-shadowing Holy Ghost. It will eventually be determined that there is a close physiological relation existing between the thyroid gland and the pineal gland, and between the para-thyroids and the two lobes of the pituitary body, thus bringing into one related system the entire area of the throat and of the head.” Esoteric Healing by Alice Bailey

The thyroid gland is one of the most sensitive organs in the body producing hormones that control the metabolic processes in all the cells of the body. These hormones have an impact on your energy, muscle strength, growth and development, and nervous system.

“This gland is not only involved in keeping our hormones aligned, it also keeps all the organs in the body balanced and running smoothly. It also regulates our metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature.

An illness in the body could indicate a thyroid problem. Also, if your autoimmune system is out of whack this can also be the thyroid. Hormone failure can also indicate problems with the thyroid, adrenals and ovaries. Thyroid dysfunction is NOT something to ignore. If you suspect a problem, please check it out before more harm is done.”

I wrote this in a previous article called Zooming in on the Thyroid. Clicking on the link https://ravenstarshealingroom.wordpress.com/2009/07/11/zooming-in-on-the-thyroid/ will guide you to this article and help to understand how the thyroid works and the different illnesses caused when it is out of balance (e.g., hyperthyroid, hypothyroid, weight problems, ADD/ADHD, high cholesterol, tonsillitis, speech problems such as struttering, goiter, dwarfism and problems with excess estrogen, etc.)

Another link on the thyroid in this blog is here https://ravenstarshealingroom.wordpress.com/2009/07/11/emotionally-psychologically-and-spiritually-decoding-the-thyroid/

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

The astrological planet I’ve associated with the thyroid is Mercury. The reason I chose Mercury is because of the 5th chakra’s involvement with mental development. It’s also related to thoughts and belief patterns you use in when communicating, your indentity and your creativity. Mercury in the positive sense is about flexibility and adaptability to understand a variety of different options and reaction to change. In mythology Mercury was known as the quicksliver mind; he was imaginative, communicative and as Carl Jung said, able to get one in touch with his or her creative gifts. Mercury also had the ability to touch the unconscious and spirit as well. Clarivoyance and telepathy can be developed in this area.

We now move to the PARATHYROID GLANDS, four very tiny small shaped discs embedded in the back of the thyroid gland with one behind each of the upper and lower poles of the ‘thyroid wings’. Interestingly, the parathyroid glands and the pancreas (organ and a gland) are not controlled by the pituitary, they act independentally, which means they are not influenced by any ‘outside’ stimulus. The parathyroid glands, like the thyroid respond to the musical note ‘G’ and are situated at the 5th or throat chakra area. Right now I’ve associated Mercury with the parathyroid glands. The reason being, Mercury is the planet that controls your metabolism. If your metabolism is high, your bodily system is dominated by the adrenal system and the thyroid. If your metabolism is slow, it’s dominated by the parathyroid gland and the pancreas and the sedating hormone calcitonin. When the parathyroids are active, the heart rate slows down, decreasing oxygen supplies, metabolism and energy.

“Your parathyroids support your pancreas, liver and ovaries and are regulated to calm down your thyroid.” Pamela Levin

From the above statement we begin to understand that the parathyroid and thyroid actually work in opposition to each other, for example, in color healing orange stimulates the thyroid gland but depresses the parathyroid glands….indigo stimulates the parathyroids and works as a depressant for the thyroid. But when these two are balanced like a see-saw or teeter totter affect, they work together to make sure the calcium levels in your blood are balanced.

The parathyroid glands also affect one’s mental development and polarity in the body. The parathryoid glands secrete parathormone (parathyroid hormone, PTH) that controls the body’s calcium levels in the blood, which are important for healthy bones and teeth and proper brain function. When calcium levels drop, the parathyroids go into action by secreting parathormone. Parathormone signals the kidneys not to flush calcium out in the urine. If there is too much calcium in the blood it can affect our nerves, cause hand spasms (tetany) in some people, or even depression, tiredness and irritability. Sometimes the cause is just from taking too many calcium supplements, other times it can be caused by a much larger issue. The parathyroids are often overlooked by doctors. The parathyroids out of whack can cause body weakness, nausea, constipation, thirst and even possibly kidney stones. Since alternative healers are not allowed to diagnose, we usually recommend a client see their doctor and have blood tests done on his or her hormone levels.

Below the thyroid and situated just above the heart sits the THYMUS GLAND. The thymus gland’s main function is to produce hormones that guard against infection and keep your immune system strong. This gland reaches its maximum size in early childhood and begins to shrink as we mature in age.

The thymus gland can indicate the all around condition of the endocrine system and is related as well to how rapidly we age. Even though it does shrink as we mature it continues to produce hormones against the many viruses, bacterias, parasites that invade our system. In fact, as you’ve been reading this article, you body has already created around four million new immune cells and hundreds of thousands of antibodies which are now coursing through your bloodstream. Even if you are a healthy person, there may be thousands of viruses in your blood and only a few of these are known by scientists and doctors.

It’s only been recently this gland has been explored more. One reason is that it was thought to be only involved in the growth process and the development of immunity in childhood. Now there is more research being done on this gland which has been given the name, ‘the throne of immunity’. It has also been called the ‘gateway to the chakras’ and other endocrine glands because of the intense interchange of energy between the etheric system and the physical body.

“The thymus gland produces T-cells, which deal with bacteria, viruses, parasites, cancers, allergies, and release the T-cells into the blood system. It also produces specific hormones that help deal with infection and immunity. When excessive stress or trauma cause an increase in hormones released by the adrenal glands, these in turn inhibt the production of the thymus hormones, leaving you more susceptible to infection and illness.

The thymus is also known as the seat of fire because of its close connection to the heart. For instance, when you are in love, feel confident or have an open and positive frame of mind, you will find it quite hard to get ill, as your T-cell count will be high. Conversely, when you feel depressed, lonely, or sad, your T-cell count drops and you can catch cold or get ill quite easily.” Deb Shapiro

Our immune system is not totally controlled by the brain and pituitary gland. It is a sensory organ as well, transmitting chemical messages about bacteria, viruses, harmful chemicals, dead tissue, dust and even cancer cells which spontaneously arise every day in everybody and must be disposed of.

The word thymus in Greek means soul or personality, which fits well, atrologically, with the brilliant clear light of the Sun, the ‘core’ of your self-expression and personal identity. The thymus gland responds to the Musical Note F.

The PANCREAS lies behind the stomach and secretes digestive enzymes to break down carbohydrates, fat, proteins and acids. It produces insulin to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy needed for daily life. Our brains run best when the amount of glucose (digested sugar) in the blood is balanced with the amount of oxygen. It is the pancreas’ job to produce insulin in order to escort this glucose into cells where it can be ‘burned’ and use as fuel for energy. Insulin also helps the muscles and other tissues to obtain the sugar needed for their activity. Too much sugar, can damage its ability to function.

“…..sugar depletes the body of specific nutrients including B complex vitamins, magnesium, chromium and other minerals. Ingested sugar destroys the germ killing capacities of the white blood cells for approximately four hours.” Dr. Jacqueline Krohn, The Whole Way to Allergy Relief and Prevention

Sugar isn’t all bad. The body, genetically and evolutionarily was designed to crave sweets….the main reason for this is because it doesn’t or hasn’t the ablity to manufacture vitamin C. In the study of primitive man, we learnt they not only hunted animals but gathered berries and fruits as well. Fruits and berries gave them the fuel they needed for energy as well as vitamin C and also the fibers present in fruit. But in our day and age, we consume sugar in hundreds of different forms (e.g., cereals, snacks, cakes, juice, ice-cream, carbonated drinks) and too much sugar can cause the body to go into crisis mode.

When we consume sugar, insulin is released from the pancreas, usually a small amount is all that’s needed to do the job. Under normal circumstances, our sugar levels flunctuate all the time, but when we eat a sugar loaded meal or snack, the pancreas panics and overreacts, producing large amounts of insulin. We still get that sudden burst of energy but the high insulin production drops it just as quickly lowering our sugar levels to below average, creating a condition called hypoglycemia. If there’s too much insulin in the blood, it can cause a condition called hyperinsulinemia. This condition can lead to problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes.

Insulin also influences the sodium levels in our body and too much can cause us to retain water causing our bodies to swell. An excess of insulin in men can cause their testerone levels to be converted to the feminine hormone estrogen which increases fatty deposits in the abdomen and breasts…this is caused by an enzyme called aromatase which is stored in the body’s fat cells. It can also cause hair loss and affect their sex drive. In woman, too much insulin and the same enzyme, aromatase can cause their estrogen levels to covert to testosterone. This too increases fat stored in the abdomen as well as their breasts to sag and shrink; acne, and abnormal hair growth is also possible, especially in the facial area.

“The need to be loved is a secret hunger for the Pancreas. Eating is a social act that has deep emotional meanings. Early in life food somehow got mixed up with love and caring — we started eating because we felt undernourished and/or didn’t get enough nurturing. There are also some of us who eat to feed the hungers caused by stress or loneliness. All this has an impact on our pancreas, affecting our energy, our attitudes and blocking our metabolism.

The Pancreas is also extremely vulnerable to intense emotions and feelings caused by a reaction to an outer event. In fact both the spleen and pancreas react to serious events that can affect us for life. These two organs absorb most of our severe shocks.”

This is quoted from another article I wrote on this blog called https://ravenstarshealingroom.wordpress.com/2009/10/11/diabetes-balancing-the-sweetness-in-your-life/ Reading this may help to understand the metaphysical and physical aspects of the pancreas. The pancreas is connected to the third chakra or solar plexus, responds to the musical note ‘E’ and is associasted with the planet Venus.

“…….Venus represents what you like and dislike. Venus’ cycle comes into play in our astrological chart around 10 months of age. After a lifestyle of the ‘same stuff’ , we start wanting something else.

Venus also represents your sense of ’taste’ what you like and don’t like, and taste is also tied into early memories of what’s nice and not nice, what’s beautiful and not beautiful as well as our Self Worth and Personal Values.”

This is a previous article I wrote on Venus…. https://ravenstarshealingroom.wordpress.com/2009/11/28/how-venus-influences-your-life/

The ADRENAL GLANDS are two small, somewhat flat glands, located at the top oc each kidney in the lower mid-back of your body. The adrenal cortex or outer part of the adrenal gland, is essential for life, producing the hormones adrenaline, cortisol and even sex hormones. These hormones help to balance the levels of salt and potassium in the body, maintain proper blood pressure and keep the kidneys working well.

If we were to take a closer view, the right adrenal gland can look triangular in shape, the left one often crescent shaped. The triangle symbolizes fire, the masculine principle and the Trinity, which represent your aspirations, potentials and truths. The crescent Moon represents the feminine principle and the continual cycle of changes, movement and renewal. Together the adrenals represent the energetic balance of your inner and outer life as well as your emotions. Without the adrenals we would die. They are our strength to continue to push on even when the odds are against us. Unfortunately the stress levels in our lives can takes it toll on these two little glands and buildup up to a danger point causing burnout and a wide range of neurological and physical ailments. Continual high adrenaline levels raise the blood pressure to dangerous levels, which in turn can damage the heart. We’ve already read about cortisol and the dangers it can cause to the hippocampus, causing such illness such as Alzheimer’s.

Bodily stress can come from anywhere, it can be triggered physically, biologically, chemically, psychologically or when the body feels threatened.

“Physiologically, emotions are themselves electrical, chemical and hormonal discharges of the human nervous system. Emotions influence—and are influenced by—the functioning of our major organs, the integrity of our immune defences and the workings of the many circulating biological substances that govern the body’s physical states. When emotions are repressed……this inhibition disarms the body’s defences against illness. Repression—dissociating emotions from awareness and relegating them to the unconscious realm—disorganizes and confuses our physiological defences so that in some people these defences go awry, becoming the destroyers of health rather than its protector.” WHEN THE BODY SAYS NO by Gabor Mate, M.D.

Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS is a motor neuron disease, a stress related illness that causes the nerves that control muscle movement to gradually die. My friend’s mother passed away recently from this terrible disease. I’d like to look at this disease with you, down the road, and its metaphysical causes in reference to the above statement.

In Part 1 of the Endocrine System, we talked of the HYPOTHALAMUS and its close ties with the parasympathetic and the sympathatic systems. It is the nerve fibers of the sympathetic system that ends in the ADRENAL GLANDS. In fact the energy producing systems of the body are the adrenal, thyroid glands, the parathyroid glands and the pancreas. Both the adrenal system and the thyroid gland are dominated by the sympathetic nervous system, which is part of the autonomic nervous system, which we discussed earlier. We know this system controls our heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, hormonal balance and metabolism. The sympathetic nervous is associated with two hormone stimulants, adrenaline (also known as epinephrine and closely related to norepinephrine) and cortisol. Adrenaline and cortisol are released to bring you to a heatened state of awareness….when they think there is a threat to the body, they sound the alarm! When this happens the sympathetic nervous system stimulates the release of sugar/glucose from the liver, to get your blood pressure up. Your digestive system literally comes to a halt so that all your energy can diverted to the muscles, which become tense and prepared for action. With your nerves on edge, you’re ready to respond to the fight or flight reflex.

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

There does seem to be a stress loop that connects the adrenal glands, brain, hypothalamus, and pituitary together, which then flows back to the adrenals again, pushing them way out of kilter. This stress loop also affects the other endocrine glands creating a continual cycle of stress in the body, causing muscle tension, stiffness, eating disorders, depression, heart palpitations, excessive sweating and even migraines. Too much cortisol in the blood damages our memories, our learning capabilities and our creativity. This stress cycle will, if not corrected, eventually affect the immune system.

Exercising, dance, massage, yoga, breathwork, reiki and healing all help to relax the muscles and allow the blood and oxygen levels to return to normal.

Sometimes our most negative emotions such as anger and fear will be extracted by the kidneys causing urinary tract infections and problems with the bladder.

I think most astrologers agree the planet Mars is what rules the adrenal glands. Mars governs our creative force and power, it wants to act on something and respond. Mars is a definite expression of our creativity added with passion, strength and confidence. It is a planet that is self-reliant, brave, instinctual, erotic and willful. Mars is definitely passionate but not exactly tender or always aware of another person’s feelings. The problem with this planet’s warrior-like energy is its impulsiveness. It can get carried away and make hasty decisions and later on regret its actions. The adrenals respond to the musical note ‘C’ on the music scale.

The GONADS or SEX GLANDS (reproductive glands) are among the most subtle and power chemicals in nature. Scientists are still trying to get a handle on how these glands affect the whole human brain-body system. Although scientists are skeptical of the sex glands and the so-called kundalini energy, they can’t deny that male and female energies become heightened, balanced and attuned during orgasm. And although the word sex makes us think of sexual intercourse, the act itself is only a tiny portion of what is known to be sexual. Its energy infuses life and influences everything we do.

“Sexual energy underlies every act of individual expression. It is a creative force, the influence of which extends far beyond sexual activity to include thought, feeling, behavior, dress. Sexual energy informs art, music, fashion, even architecture and automotive design. It is an all-pervading force.” Christopher S. Kilham

Unfortunately, when our sexual energy is blocked or not flowing well, it affects our entire system. Not recognizing or transforming or lifting up this energy can interfere with the body’s naturally healing process and block spiritual development as well. To generate this energy can only be done by the power of one’s will and through intense concentration. Life itself is an array of sensual experiences, if only we would realize our inner potential, we could also actualize our dreams.

Men and women who suffer from hormonal problems most likely suffer from too much or to little testosterone and too much or too little estrogen. Testosterone like estrogen is obtained from a substance called cholesterol (surprised, I was too). We all need cholesterol in our blood to produce DHEA, adrenal and sex hormones. In some cases doctors have worked so hard to reduce a person’s cholesterol, it has interfered with their hormone function and their immunity.

“Many people who take cholesterol lowering medication experience a reduction in their libido; this makes sense as their body is less able to produce sex hormones. Low levels of sex hormones may also contribute to erectile dysfunction and aggravate the symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as tender, aching muscles…..People with low cholesterol die earlier than those with normal to high levels, and they seem to have higher rates of cancer” Cholesterol, The Real Truth by Sandra Cabot and Margaret Jasinska

But there is also twist in all this, as the liver eliminates toxic estrogens in the form of cholesterol, which can damage the liver. High estrogen levels can also affect the gallbladder and slow down the excretion of bile. In woman this can make them more susceptible to gallbaldder stones than men.

If you are a male with high amounts of testosterone, this too could compromise your immune system, which means you may not be well protected from viruses and bacteria that invade your body. High testosterone levels have also been known to cause narrowing or hardening of the arteries or heart disease and problems with your prostrate. Men are also suffering from too estrogen in their system. The testicles are supposed to produce testosterone and a very small amount of estrogen. But with more animals being fed estrogen-like hormones there is more estrogen being found in a man’s blood. Too much estrogen can affect the muscular system of the body, making them flabbier than usual. High levels of estrogen in men, can also cause weight gain, breast growth, love handles around the waist, headaches, mood swings, hypertension, cancer, diabetes and autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer’s etc…

Low testosterone can also cause heart disease, dry skin, fatigue, loss of muscle tone (especially in the arms and legs), depression, problems making decisions, impotency, sleep apnea, loss of bone density, etc…

In women, estrogen is produced by the ovaries and also in smaller quantities from the adrenal glands and the placenta. Estrogen levels rise each month as a woman begins to ovulate, stimuated by hormones from the pituitary. Progesterone rises after ovulation in hopes of fertilizing the egg and if fertilization doesn’t occur, it falls dramatically and then menstruation begins, caused from the shedding of the uterine lining. Then all this build up again as a woman’s hormone cycle begins again. Many of us woman have suffered from the emotional roller coaster of our hormonal cycles. The dramatic flunctuations of estrogen and progesterone can cause, headaches, cramps, water retention and bloating, swollen breasts, acne, fatique, insomnia, joint pain, as well as overwhelming feelings, moods and depression. All these along with emotional stress have been given the name Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS.

And if that isn’t enough to contend with, we also have to contend with menopause, which causes hot flashes, loss of sexual desire, painful sex as well as vaginal and urinary infections. There is also a link with menopause and heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Both the ovaries and the testes are dependant on and sensitive to the hormones secreted from the hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal and adrenal glands. The hypothalamus communicates with the pituitary and the pineal gland that has been said to control our biological clock. These glands send signals to the body to begin puberty, fertility cycles and sexual arousal. But sometimes certain kinds of stress can make the uterus and ovaries react, having a sudden affect on the pituitary gland’s hormonal production and cause a woman’s menstrual cycle to go completely out of whack.

The gonads or sex glands sit in the 2nd or sacral chakra, but we should add the 1st chakra to them as well. The musical note is ‘D’ and the planet I assocate with this area is Pluto. Pluto represents the subconscious, the underworld, excretion, reproduction, chemical processes, regeneration, cellular change and tissue destruction.

Most of the people I’ve seen in the years have been concerned with weight gain, fatigue, lack of energy, headaches, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), depression, lack of interest in sex and feelings of being run down. In healing, I’ve been trained in a variety of alternative healings, however Reiki is most definitely at the top of the list and can be used with all types of healing applications. I’ve trained many nurses and massage therapists who find Reiki enhances their healing and intuitive abilities. As well, astrologers, naturopaths, psychics, tarot readers, yoga instructors and many more have found this ancient practice an asset to themselves and their clients. A healthy energy flow enhances and influences our health, affecting everyone and everything around us.

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

When a person has had a long-term imbalance, there is usually not enough energy to trigger the immune system, the “condition” seems stuck, which can have an impact on our health. But, when additional energy is introduced, then the immune system can draw upon it, kicking the body’s defense mechanism into a higher level of healing, breaking up the trapped energy and allowing the body to regain its balance. By doing the specific hand positions with Reiki a practitioner can give the fastest “charge” to the glands that are responsible for maintaining ‘health’, and accelerating the healing process.

I tried my best to explain the endocrine glands in a simple but concise way to help you to recognize these ‘tiny beings’ are an essential part of your health and nature. Out of your own life experiences these glands have documented your habits, attitudes, perceptions, traumas, challenges, feelings, thoughts, memories, and unresolved issues or situations to make you aware of what’s getting in the way of your health and progress. Pain and suffering cannot be avoided no matter how much we try. Pain is a built-in warning mechanism, a wake-up call, telling us something in our lives need to change. It is my and your responsibility to learn what our bodies are trying to teach us so we can avoid illness and continue evolving.

Now that we have studied the endocrine system from the top to the bottom, let’s approach them again in a metaphysical way and study each illness independantly affected by their imbalance. This way we can understand and take the positive steps needed to physically, nutrtionally and psychologically empower and heal ourselves.

Great links….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Z1zsR9lFM&feature=related

http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/body_basics/endocrine.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrMi4GikWwQ

http://www.livestrong.com/stimulate-pituitary-gland/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k-UKR2vGsk

 

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“If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply
to learn how to breathe correctly.”
–   Andrew Weil, M.D.,

 This simple exercise can transform your life.  You can always control your emotional situations by consciously controlling your breathing.  Get in touch with breathing into your abdomen with full conscious awareness…..belly rising and belly falling.  Of all the relaxation methods I know, this is one of the most practical and certainly one of the most powerful.  This simple exercise can put you in control of the emotions and stresses in your life.  This is an exercise you can do anywhere.  You can be standing in front of hundreds of people and no one will know what you’re doing.  It’s unobtrusive.  So just get in touch with breathing through the nostrils down through the belly.  You don’t want to be breathing into your chest, you want to be directing the air down into your abdomen.

If you’re having trouble breathing into your belly, just arch your back a little, or place a pillow under your lower back.  This may help you open the ribcage making it easier to breathe into the abdomen.

When you’ve practiced this exercise lying down, try deep breathing, standing and sitting.  When you begin to read or do psychic work, you won’t be able to lie down to get yourself prepared.  You will need to breathe deeply and be relaxed in a sitting or standing position.

The very act of attending to your breath as it goes in and out of your nostrils will bring changes.  Without any effort on your part, your breathing will slow down and become more rhythmical.  As you watch it, you will see your breathing become more abdominal breathing.  This is the breathing of relaxation.

Abdominal breathing helps to discharge toxins from the body.  One area that will reap the benefits is your skin.  The skin is the largest organ in the body and helps to eliminate toxins from the body.  It also contains the richest source of ‘all’ the hormones found in the body.  Your skin is the body of your soul and the seat of your emotions.  One of the benefits of conscious breathing is healthy changes in the skin and its color and this also contributes to healthy aging.

Many of us when stressed become chest breathers.  What happens when we do this, we tighten our abdominal muscles creating a mild form of hyperventilation (discharging too much carbon dioxide from the blood).  This causes the heart to work harder.

Many of the restrictions in your breath come from muscles tightened in a holding pattern.  Our old tensions and pains cause us to move our muscles less.  Since our breathing needs an open space and flexible muscles, we gradually breathe less deeply.

“A significant number of people who say they have serious heart disease are almost certainly actually suffering from breathing disorders”.  SHELDON S. HENDLER, M.D.

 Remember we talked of the medulla oblongata in the last article?  It was mentioned this area at the back of neck feeds nerve energy to our five senses.  This tiny structure in the brain is also responsible for the tone and diameter of our arteries and the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood.  If the carbon dioxide/oxygen is imbalanced, our blood pressure is affected, usually causing hypertension a.k.a high blood pressure.

 Conscious breathing helps to manage our pain or even eliminate it.  When we hurt, we usually hold our breath, a major problem in dealing with pain.  Why we even hold our breath in anticipation of pain!  “But stopping the breath does lessen the pain” you say!  Yes, there is some truth to that, but it’s a short term solution.  Eventually we know we will have to breathe and face the pain.

I n these simple breathing techiques, you will be breathing into your nose and consciously directing the air into your abdomen.

 NOTE: All these exercises need to be done slowly and gently when you first start.  If you have never practiced deep breathing before you may end up feeling dizzy….this is caused from a buildup of too much carbon dioxide in your body and your body is making you breathe faster to get rid of it.  If at anytime you feel lightheaded or dizzy, stop and immediately and revert back to your normal breathing.  This will help ground your energy.

 HOW DO YOU BREATHE

 Most of us don’t know how to breathe deeply with the diaphragm.  This is a very simple exercise to help you see how you breathe.

“Stand in front of a mirror that shows you the top half of your body, down to your waist.  Take a deep breath in and notice if your shoulders lift as you do so.  Can you see them rising?  If you can, then you are doing what is called shallow breathing.  You are filling in the top half of your lungs but not the remainder.  Don’t worry if this is the case for you.  Remember, most people do not use their full lung capacity”. TARA WARD

 For psychic work you need to learn to use the diaphragm….

 TESTING YOUR DIAPHRAGM

“Stand in front of your mirror.  Place your hands over the lower part of your ribcage so that your middle fingers are just touching.  Now take a good, deep breath in.  Let your ribcage slowly and comfortably expand.

Have your fingertips moved apart just a little?  If they have you are learning to breathe deeply.  If they haven’t, breath out and then take a breath in again, but this time watch your shoulders and upper chest.  Are you rising again?  If so, remember that you are breathing only into the top of your lungs and not further down.

Focus on your lower ribcage again.  Don’t force your breath but simply imagine all the air coming in and going down into the lower part of your lungs.  Let your ribcage expand outward.  Are you fingertips moving just a little bit apart now?” TARA WARD

Practice for a few minutes, but if you feel dizzy, stop.  If you aren’t use to breathing deeply, you may feel a little light-headed for a minute.  Also, the process of trying too hard can be a strain.

EMPOWERED BREATHING – some simple techniques

 Before we begin, find a place you will not be interrupted or disturbed, wear loose or comfortable clothing (no belts), dim the lights, turn on soothing music if you’d like and lie down on your back and just get comfortable.  It is more important to be comfortable than to be correct.

 Now begin to breathe in through your nose and consciously direct the air down into your abdomen, so that as you breathe in your belly rises and your belly falls as you breathe out.  Do this with full concentration.  Guiding the air into your nostrils and directing it down into the bottom part of your lungs the bottom part of your abdomen so that your abdomen rises and falls with each breath.

You don’t want to be breathing into your chest, you want to consciously direct the air down into your belly.  So that as you inhale your belly rises and as you exhale your belly falls.  Do this with full concentration.  This is the breathing of relaxation.  This is the way a child breathes.  This is the way you used to breathe, so just get in touch with your birthright to breathe in a healthy and relaxed way.  Breathing in through your nostrils, always breathing in through your nose (the nose cleans, warms, dehumidifies the air)….. you can breathe out through your nose or your mouth whatever your preferences but always in through the nose.  Direct the air in through your nostrils, down into the bottom part of your lungs so that as you inhale, your belly rises and belly falls.  You don’t want to be breathing into your chest, you don’t want your chest to be moving at all.  Do this with concentration.

When we are tense our breathing is short and shallow, we feel it in our chest…when we are relaxed, our breathing is deep and easy, located in our belly.  Most people aren’t aware there is a direct relationship between our emotions and our breathing.  When we are tense, frightened or angry, our breathing is short, shallow and in our chest.  When we are relaxed our breathing is easy, deep and down into our abdomen….this is the breathing of relaxation.

 Most people aren’t aware that breathing is a natural rhythm, it’s with us from the moment we are born until the moment we die.  And just by consciously controlling our breathing we can start to consciously gain control of our emotional states.  When you breathe as if relaxed, you start to become relaxed.  And that is truly precious information.  Get in touch with that breathing.

 Breathe into your nose…consciously direct the air down into your abdomen, into your belly….let your belly expand out into a bit of a potbelly and continue to inhale, pushing out your ribs and filling your chest…so you fill your lungs right from the bottom to the top…a long slow deep breath…..filling your lumgs from bottom to top and as you breathe out..…just allow the relaxation to deepen….. Do this at your own pace breathing in through your nostrils, directing the air down into the bottom part of your lungs, into your belly….. let your belly expand…pushing out your ribs and filling your chest…..it’s just like an ascending wave  that’s fills your lungs from the bottom to the top…..and each time that you exhale, each time that you breathe out…this permits the relaxation to deepen.  Each time that you exhale….let go of more tension.

 Technique 2

The word relax in latin means ‘let go’.  So each time you exhale….allow yourself to let go of a little more muscle tension.  Do this with full concentration….breathing in through your nose, taking the air down into your abdomen,…letting your abdomen expand and filling your lungs from the bottom to the top….filling your whole torso from your hips right to your neck….a long slow deep breath that fills your lungs from bottom to top….each time that you breathe out….just allow that relaxation to deepen.  Do this with full concentration….in through the nose….into your belly, letting your belly expand and filling your lungs from bottom to top,,,slowly…consciously…fill your whole torso from hips to neck…each time that you exhale just permit the relaxation to go deeper…each time that you exhale just allow yourself to relax a bit more and give yourself the permission to enjoy.  Do that with full conscious awareness.  If your mind wanders, say ‘isn’t that interesting’, then bring it back, bring it back to your breathing, consciously filling your lungs from the bottom to the top….just like an ascending wave and each time you exhale….just allow the relaxation to go deeper.  This is an exercise you can do sitting at a desk, especially if your find your mind starting to race or feeling tense or stressed….sometimes just 3 or 4 minutes of this slow, low, complete breathing will help you to get rid of the tension of the day.  This is an exercise you can do while lying in bed.  If your have difficulty sleeping…..just a few minutes of slow, low deep breathing can help you to let go and relax.

 Technique 3

With this technique, breathe in through your nose and direct the air down into your abdomen, down into your belly to a slow count of 4….like one thousand, two thousand, three thousand, four thousand….inhaling into abdomen with a slow count of 4 and holding your breath for the same count of 4…..and then breathe out in the same count of 4.  So you’re breathing into your nostrils…..directing the air down into your belly to the count of 4….holding your breath for the same count of 4 and then exhale for the same count of 4. And each time you breathe out, each time that you exhale, just allow the relaxation to grow deeper, as if you’re breathing out all the stored tension in your body, your mind and your emotions….so just let go with each exhalation…..do this with full concentration, in through the nose, directing the air into your belly at the count of 4,…..holding it for a count of 4…..and then breathing out with a count of 4.  Each time that you breathe out, just allow the relaxation to grow deeper…….if your mind wanders, say ‘isn’t that interesting….and return to your breathing…..when you feel comfortable doing it to a count of 4, increase it to a count of 5, or  7, or higher.  You just want to inhale to a count, hold it for roughly the same count and then breathing out with the same count.  And each time that you breathe out, just allow the relaxation to grow deeper.

This is an exercise you can do as you walk, you can inhale for let’s say for 8 steps, whatever’s comfortable… hold your breath for 8 steps and then exhale for 8 steps.  This is an exercise you can do as you drive, you will find if you do it as you drive, it will sharpen your concentration on your driving and you will arrive at your destination relaxed.

 Technique 4

 In this exercise you’re going to need enough room to stretch out your arms from your body.…you’re body will be in a  “T” formation.

Bring up your legs, knees bent, feet flat on the floor.  Place your arms straight out to the sides in a T-formation.  Rest your hands on their palms.  Practice your belly breathing….breathing deeply and fully into the abdomen and gently, slowly, breathing it out……now breathe in and arch the small of your back…at the same time roll your arms up until your hands rest on their backs….breathe out and slowly, gently roll your arms back down to the floor….until the palms are back where they started…..Feel the sensation of your chest opening and expanding, gently stretching and relaxing the muscles at the edge of your chest up near your shoulders.  Feel the muscles from your shoulders opening and stretching with each breath you take.  Practice for 10 or 15 minutes or until you feel a sense of ease in your body.

If you can do 15 minutes of conscious breathing each day, in just a few weeks your breathing will shift permanently into your lower abdomen.  The deeper you breathe into the center of your body, the more you’re whole body will participate in the process, restoring balance to your whole system.   You’ll feel calm and energized as this new energy breaks up old habits and patterns and flows freely, blissfuly through your body.

“And now I see with eye serene,
The very pulse of the machine.
A being breathing thoughtful breaths,
A traveler between life and death.”
–   William Wordsworth

Conscious breathing Links

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1608/is_10_19/ai_108838855/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDR9bdpZvJw

http://www.deeptrancenow.com/breathing.htm

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Breathing_to_reduce_stress

http://www.breathing.com/articles/diaphragmatic-breathing.htm

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