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Posts Tagged ‘immune system’

WHAT IS CANDIDA

“Fifty years ago doctors identified Candida albicans as a frequent cause of vagina, mouth, throat and gastrointestinal tract infections. Now it’s well know to affect all body parts, organs, tissues and cells. Research physicians suspect Candida as a complication in acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), a contributor to early death in various forms of cancer, a source of infertility in some women, and a mischief-maker in other medical tragedies such as multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, schizophrenia, and arthritis. On rare occasions yeast overgrowth results in pneumonia, meningitis, and similar devastating body invasions.” The Yeast Syndrome: How to Help Your Doctor Identify and Treat the Real Cause… ~By John Parks Trowbridge, M.D., Morton Valker, D.P.M.

No matter what we do, we’ll never rid our bodies of Candida. Candida albicans occurs naturally in nature, in the soil, on vegetables and fruits and in small quantities in our mouths, intestines and in a woman’s vagina. When in balance with the other 400 species of friendly bacteria in our gut, Candida can live harmlessly in our bodies. Candida loves living in warm, moist areas of the body and especially where there’s an ample supply of food for it to feast on. When your body is healthy, Candida can’t penetrate your defenses, but if an overgrowth of Candida starts running rampant in the intestines, the medical term is called Candidiasis. Metaphysically, candida feeds on what is not digested by someone – life energy is easily frittered away. Candida issues can point to deeper emotional ones, sometimes rooted in connection to the site of the candida infection itself. We’ll be looking at this later on in the article.

The intestines are the longest organ in the body, and also your main filtration system. 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 than there are cells in our bodies! The intestines main job is to absorb what is useful to your body, but if it’s plumbing, electrical and drainage system is compromised, the body will start absorbing toxins, and clogging the system (kind of like dirty oil in a car). When your pipes are clogged, proteins, fats, and/or sugars can enter your circulation triggering inflammation and a defensive immune system.

 Medically, we are told candidiasis, is caused from an improper diet, which is known to upset the bacterial balance in the intestinal. A bacterial imbalance means you aren’t digesting carbs properly and, undigested carbs become food for ‘bad bacteria’. Bad bacteria produces acidic toxins irritating the lining of the digestive system, when this happens your body secretes mucus into the intestines. With too much mucus, enzymes from the pancreas can’t breakdown the food, giving it more time to ferment in your gut. Just one teaspoon of undigested carbs and sugars can produce approximately 50 millimetres of gas in the intestine. Toxins and gases can damage the intestinal lining, making us more susceptible to the condition known as ‘leaky gut’.

“The intestinal tract tries to protect itself from the constant exposure to toxic substances like drugs, environmental chemicals, food additives, refined carbohydrates (white flour acts like glue in the intestines), and heavy metals by creating mucus on the intestinal wall. As mucus builds up on the lining, toxins, yeasts, and parasites stick to it, until it becomes “putrefactive debris.” This prevents the proper assimilation of nutrients and contributes to toxins entering the bloodstream”. Juicing, Fasting and Detoxing for Life ~ By John Calbom MA, Cherie Calbom MS

When the intestines become clogged we can suffer from constipation, diarrhea, bloating, trapped gas, skin problems, cellulite, asthma, headaches or vaginitis. All these can be caused from candiasis or an imbalance of the yeast Candida albicans. 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 an array of problems as suggested above. As well, antibiotics and cortisone, and hormonal supplements such as birth control pills can upset the delicate balance in the intestinal area, killing off many of the friendly bacteria. If the candida multiplies out of control it can mutate into a fungus breaking through the tissues into the bloodstream, where it can create havoc with our emotions and any part of the body.

So far, nearly one hundred Candida toxins have been identified; two of the most known are carbon monoxide and acetylaldehyde (part of the formaldehyde family), which are known to suppress the T-cells of the immune system, known as the bodies ‘killer cells’. Candida toxins also cause histamine to be released, which has a major role in asthma and allergic reactions.  Candida also produces alcohol in the system and for some people infected with it, they appear to others as drunk or mentally confused .. without ever taking a drink.

Red blood cell flexibility is also affected when acetylaldehyde is in the system, decreasing the rate at which red blood cells can carry oxygen to the tissues.  If the brain is oxygen deprived, the central nervous will be affected causing: mood swings, behavioral changes, headaches, hyperactivity, paranoia, insomnia and list goes on.

(Inside the brain, histamine plays an important role in stimulating the release of neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. When too much histamine is released in the brain we can suffer from ADHD symptoms, depression, aggressiveness, compulsive disorders and a ‘racing brain’. Similar to bipolar or manic depression you could become obsessive about sex, cry easily, have abnormal fears and even contemplate suicide. Too little histamine can cause disorders like chronic fatigue, paranoia, hallucinations and depression.)

“The Candida cells excrete a chemical that shrinks the cells of the intestinal wall, and as these cells continue to wither away, the intestinal tract further degrades, becomes more inflamed, and leaks even more toxins into the blood stream.

So now you have a Candida infection, and the yeast is living off the carbohydrates you are eating, which results in a further imbalance in your blood-sugar levels. Remember that an elevated level of cortisol will inhibit your cells’ sensitivity to insulin and your ability to store glucose for energy; now the Candida is living off your glucose-producing foods before you can even use them, and your energy level is dropping because your muscles and brain are starved for the glucose that fuels them. Your sugar cravings are increasing; you are consuming lots of junk food that is high in calories; and you are probably gaining more weight….

Prolonged periods of elevated cortisol levels can destroy immune cells, rob these cells of the chemicals that are necessary for them to function properly, and even shrink the thymus gland that is making these immune-system cells. Add this to the fact that your poor immune system is already overburdened by dealing with the toxins leaking out of your intestinal tract. The Stress Effect: Discover the Connection Between Stress and Illness ~ By Richard Weinstein

Candiasis affects the immune system, nervous system and endocrine system as they are all connected. It can cause fatigue, allergies, thrush, vaginal, bladder, prostate and other infections plus body aches, thyroid, mood disorders and depression. It has become a major health problem because of being misdiagnosed and mistreated in the past—Candida has now reached nearly epidemic proportions, affecting both men and women.

“Problems related to [the endocrine] glands and organs include low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), diabetes, and obesity, all of which are increasing at alarming proportions in the United States [and the world]. Hypothyroidism is rampant, especially among women. And the ailment most common across the board with males and females is adrenal exhaustion, where the adrenals output chronically high cortisol levels, resulting in fatigue, low immunity, anxiety, insomnia, and weight gain.” The Candida Cure: The 90-Day Program to Beat Candida and Restore Vibrant Health ~ by Ann Boroch

Women who think they may have candidiasis could suffer from extreme hormonal shifts due to estrogen imbalance. The amount of estrogen released into the body is regulated by the liver and the bacteria in the intestinal tract. The liver sends excess estrogen through the gallbladder duct to the small intestines, where the normal bacteria break it down. If you lack the bacteria to destroy excess estrogen and you have intestinal leakage, the estrogen will be reabsorbed and can end up in lymph-node sites such as the breasts, ovaries and uterus. This could contribute to endometriosis, fibroid tumors, estrogen-sensitive cancers, PMS and monthly pre-menstrual migraines.

“The presence of a vaginal infection indicates regret (regarding past sexual behavior) and a desire to express innocence and purity. Note that infection always represents repressed anger.” The Body is Telling You: Love Yourself! ~ Lise Bourbeau

Diabetic women experience more vaginal infections, because the excess sugar in their blood is a ripe environment to attract yeast infections. Also, women can “catch” fungal yeast infections from their partner as Candida has been found in male seminal fluids, which can reinfect women during sexual intercourse.

CANDIDIASIS SYMPTOMS

“Feeling lousy, without reason, being irritable or easily angered;

Craving yeasty foods (bread, alcohol, fermented cheeses) and sweets

Eating these foods may provide temporary relief, but this may be followed by a worsening of symptoms,

Abdominal pains;

Premenstrual syndrome, menstrual irregularities, and pain;

Symptoms resembling hypoglycemia (fatigue, sharp hunger spells, weakness, trembling, drowsiness, cold sweats, dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, palpitations, rapid pulse, and irritability);

Vaginal infections and local discomfort during intercourse;

Prostatitis or impotence;

Loss of libido;

Persistent fungus infections of the feet crotch, toenails, or skin;

Fatigue that is worsened when exposed to molds (basements, gardening); and

Heightened sensitivity to tobacco smoke, perfumes and other chemicals.

Treatment may involve avoidance of foods that promote yeast growth – which are often the very foods that are craved; avoidance (to a reasonable extend) of antibiotics; taking the anti-yeast (prescription) drug nystatin; eating yogurt; taking capsules of lactobacilli to replace the normal flora that are killed of by antibiotics; drinking special herbal teas (taheebo, la pacho, pau d’arco); and having cleansing enemals (Trowbridge/Walker). How Can I Heal What Hurts: Wholistic Healing and Bioenergies ~ Daniel J Benor

Skin conditions such as psoriasis, seborrhea, rosacea, toenail fungal are usually associated with Candida and food allergies. It’s been advised not to eat  Nightshade foods, such as: tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers (all peppers). These foods can cause the thinning of the intestinal lining allowing toxins to leak out affecting the skin.

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF CANDIDIASIS

“Candida is a yeast-like fungus that can occur in warm, damp areas, such as the mouth, intestines, bladder, or vagina. Normally this fungus lives in balance in the body, but such balance can easily be broken, whether by excessive stress, antibiotics, or birth control pills, that can weaken the immune system. Due to these factors increasing in our lives, so the cases of candida have also increased. Candida has been named the cause of numerous ailments, from depression to be behavioural problems, as the fungus is said to be able to move into different organs and systems in the body. Doctors disagree on this, and more medical research is needed. As Candida can grow for many years without any obvious effects, it is not always easy to diagnose.

Candida in the digestive system suggests you are being psycho/emotionally invaded by someone or something, and feel out of control. It also impies that your normal living environment has become upset or out of balance, allowing other energies to enter and make themselves at home.

Are you feeling particularly insecure?

Is something eating away inside you?

Are you out of contact with your inner strength and resilience?

What is needed to regain your stability?” Deb Shapiro ~ YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND

People susceptible to candiasis have a tendency to deny or play down their emotions, struggling against how they actually feel. All this creates a stranglehold or a clinging to keep their inner turmoil from coming out into the open. Others may not see through your façade at first, at least not until they get to know you. Friends may come and go because they get the feeling you don’t want to help yourself. They see you as not feeling confident about who you are. You may look really sad to them or really angry at the world. It also seems as if you’re holding back from being honest with yourself. But that’s further from the truth, isn’t it? They don’t understand how much pain and sadness is buried inside you and as result you’ve built walls so no more sadness could come in. But shutting yourself off is not giving you the chance to experience true friendship. You are in fact pushing people away.

This is really interesting because of all the organs in the body, the intestines have a great need to protect and be protected. It could be we didn’t feel welcomed into the world or felt our parents didn’t nurture us properly. When we feel that way, we feel out of place, unwanted and the rage within is so strong we can’t allow ourselves to express. In fact our need for security can be so strong we can lie to protect ourselves or lie to protect someone or to cover something up. When we hold or distort the truth, it can haunt us, especially if we’re afraid the other person might find out. Every time we lie, we have to stumble over our own thoughts and feeling about it, creating our limitations and obstacles.

The intestines house a long muscle that automatically moves when full, but when we are nervous, tense and irritated this muscle is unable to move and becomes contracted. Not only can this contraction affect our breathing (diaphragm), it also affects blood circulation as well as the lymph system, making it difficult for our bodies to absorb minerals and trace elements. Without these essential nutrients we can experience hypoglycemia, heart palpitations, trembling and higher amounts of perspiration. We may experiences numbness in the hands and feet, cramps in and spasms in the stomach and severe back pain.

 “People who have candida are often very frustrated and angry and may feel scattered in their personal and professional lives. Since they are basically untrusting, they are often very demanding in relationships. They are great takers, but not very good givers. Early in life, they learned that they could not trust people who were close to them. Now, they cannot trust themselves…..

 Candidiasis is a state of inner imbalance, not a germ, but, a dis-ease. Candida albicans is a strain of yeasts commonly found in the gastrointestinal and genito-urinary areas of the body. It is generally harmless, but when resistance and immunity are low, the yeast is able to multiply rapidly, feeding on sugars and carbohydrates in these tracts. It releases toxins into the bloodstream, and causes far-reaching problems. Stress and lack of rest aggravate this condition in a body that is already out of balance.”” ~ Louise L. Hay

Whether they’re conscious of it or not, people who are susceptible to Candida have experienced a profound betrayal in love; they have a very hard time trusting anyone or anything. As young children they might not have been told or understood the concept of death and so felt betrayed by the death of a parent, a pet or someone they loved dearly. They also feel betrayed by the person who never told them their love of their live was dying. Suffering both loss and betrayal, a person’s trust in life itself is shattered.

Breaches of trust can happen when the basic care we expect from our parents is withdrawn or withheld. Children unconsciously develop a sense that life itself cannot be trusted when protection isn’t given or nourishment is withheld. As adults, they feel as if they were fools to have ever trusted in the first place. That’s why as adults, they will protect themselves at all costs from ever being in a vulnerable place again.

 “This disorder occurs mainly in people who have been psychologically, emotionally, and physically over-active and are in serious need of stabilizing their lives. …candidiasis corresponds to issues regarding the creation of a stabilized living situation, specifically what is known as the “nesting bug”. The stress emerging from the unfulfilled desire to lay down roots and establish a home and family is directly connected to this virus.” Caroline Myss ~ The Creation of Health

Usually when we have difficulty stabilizing our lives, it may be because we grew up in the midst of an out-of-control parent…one who was either an alcoholic, a drug addict, a gambler or a manic depressive. As a consequence our childhood was out of control, suffering a profound lack of safety. Like a person suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) the child can never let down their guard, believing that if they do, all hell will break loose. They’re continually stressed, wearing themselves out worrying about what could possibly go wrong.

Prolonged and untreated stress can increase our risk of getting sick. When we are under stress, the thyroid works harder, pumping out more of its hormones. If the stress continues, the thyroid will be unable to maintain its increased level of production and may begin to fail. When this happens, the immune system becomes confused and starts producing antibodies against the thyroid. As the thyroid falters, metabolism slows. When metabolism slows we start eating the wrong kind of carbohydrates that cause the Candida already in your system to multiply and spread.

 “Candida—Self-doubt. Feeling scattered, hazy, frazzled, stressed, trapped. Frustrated with your partner, blaming your partner or someone close to you. Feeling angry that you aren’t getting what you want but not wanting to change or to take action … Blocking the energy flow in your life. Holding on to grief and sadness from the past”. Inna Segel

Candida can be missed and misdiagnosed, because it is often masked as another problem such as anxiety, depression, anger, relationship problems, etc. Unknown to us there is another driving force behind what is happening to us. Candidiasis once unleashed is determined to survive…all its energy is directed toward getting what it wants to hold its self-image together. It will keep the relationship with you going as long as this yeast/fungi gets what it wants. This ultimately works against you to get the kind of help you need to turn this disease around. When the stress of trying to keep yourself together fails, the Candida can overwhelmingly cause you to fall into deep apathy and depression. You may regress to earlier parts of your life, replaying over and over your childhood wounds.

People who have trust issues have had to adapt to the betrayals they experienced as a child—children unconsciously develop a sense that life can’t be trusted—especially when protection isn’t given or nourishment is withheld. As adults we keep replaying over and over the stories of when we weren’t able to express our needs or even hope our secrets will be fulfilled. To cover up our feelings, we convince ourselves we’d be better off alone and do our best not to rely on anyone. Now we’re walled off in a world of emotional anguish in exactly the same way our parents raised us.

In order to escape the sorrow of our past, we tend to seek refuge in our imagination—we live in tomorrow, filled with hopes and desires for the future. The more we desire for this kind of future, the more we become dissatisfied with today. This dissatisfaction creates more tension and stress in the body and causes us to feel even more insecure. To fight insecurity we resist anything that forces us to sit in silence or remain still. Restless we could resort to drinking, smoking, over-eating, sex and drugs. To relax, we join in competitive games and sports but it doesn’t help us because our continual thoughts and attitudes are still stuck in the past.

Depleted energy can cause depression, loneliness and fear. If we keep pushing ourselves beyond what the body can endure, we can suffer from an endless of physical, mental and emotional disorders such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, insomnia, stomach ulcers, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity and candiasis.

“You hold onto the hurt, the anger, the resentment, because you fear that if you could let it go effortlessly, then whoever caused the pain in the first place, would be getting away with it too easily.

By holding on, you might still be searching for closure, and needing an apology from someone, again, or for the first time. You want to arrive at the moment with all the baggage in hand, to make sure they understand all the weight you have been carrying around. Seeking validation for your suffering, acknowledgment, and to be reassured, yes, indeed, you really were hurt.

The only problem here is that you will never be free of the hurt, anger, or pain so long as you are waiting for that grand moment to come. The perpetrator has a backstage pass into your mind anytime. You’re open 24/7. It’s like being free on a very very long chain. You can move in any direction you want in a circle, and stretch pretty far, but at any given moment, be snapped back to that time and place, and the one snapping you back is the very person who hurt you, and you are the one that gave them permission to be there.

 You gave control of your happiness to someone else.

 Does it affect the other person if you are wallowing in misery, crying your eyes out reliving the moment, staring at the cars going by on the road losing hours of your time? Nope!” ABRAHAM HICKS

Candida can strike at times after we have suffered a great loss, it could from a a childhood trauma, a job loss, a physical injury or even a debilitating illness. Having lost our own power we strike out at those we love, our family, our partner, even our children. Instead of seeing a relationship as give and take or sharing our feelings, we see it as a competition as ‘who’s going to win’.

“When I get angry and act against my better judgment, it’s not just because I’m protecting myself…..it’s also about who I wasn’t able to be as a child and teenager. Learning to pay attention to my own behaviors and habits, I’ve recognized anger as an ongoing pattern for me. It all seems to come from ignoring my intuition and even my emotional and sexual boundaries to please others. But of course no matter how hard I try the relationship ends and I scold myself ‘again’ for sabotaging my worth for pleasing others. In fact it’s really embarrassing after it’s all over that I probably wouldn’t have even dated that person if I had listened to my intuition.” (email from Ruth B)

FINDING INNER BALANCE

 “The value of words is often underestimated.Like smudges on a pair of spectacles, they have the ability to blur everything you do not make crystal clear. Listen with great care to what is being said and choose your own words as if they were diamonds” Sally Brompton

“Trust or mistrust is the basic element of your first chakra program, which is a foundation for all the other programs that follow. Trust enables the body to unfold from its cramped position, allows security and calm, and encourages connection, bonding, and exploration. With trust the survival instinct is satisfied and there is a sense of emotional well-being. If you are confident that the world is a friendly space, you have the sense that you will live. Without trust, your survival feels constantly threatened, and because there is nothing you can do to meet the threat, the anxiety is unbearable.” Eastern Body Western Mind ~ Anodea Smith

The right to survive is the most important aspect of the first chakra. Food, clothing, shelter, heat, medical help and physical contact are among the necessities of the base chakra. It represents our roots, our foundation and again our survival. The main purpose of this chakra is as Anodea Smith importantly pointed out, to help or guide the other chakras or energy centers, when they need it. If this chakra is strong, then your body will be healthy, strong and give you strength to move about your day. The key words to this chakra is ‘to root’, to keep you in touch with the ground. The body is the home of our soul and the foundation for our lives on the earth plane. Thanks to our body we can see and understand everything that’s happening within us. When we are sick or in trouble our body is the first to let us know. What we don’t understand will be expressed through our bodies in the form of aches and pains, stiff joints and sore muscles. The lesson to learn here is to be in contact with and respect our bodies and our root center.

In her book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”, Dr. Susan Jeffers wisely says, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.” In other words, if we don’t learn to break old habits programmed in our psyche we will never be free of our unconscious drives and habits. Old ideas and habits are anything that bind you to the past, anything that bogs you down in an emotional quagmire, anything that prevents you moving to the next stage of life, anything that causes you pain.

Your own body is the greatest health book you will ever read. When the body/mind is aware and more flexible to our inner energies, we learn not only to hear how to nurture and take care of ourselves, we’re also able to let go of old perspectives, memories, information and patterns. When your nervous system is free of all your chatter and interfering thoughts then you’ll be able hear your body’s own inner requests for self-healing and self-care.

The Second Chakra

I’ve discussed the 2nd chakra in different articles on my blog, you might find them helpful or interesting to you…

TECHNIQUES IN BREAKING THROUGH MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL BEHAVIORS here

“Part 2 – METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF PROSTATE PROBLEMS” here

BREATHING IS THE KEY TO AWARENESS here

The 2nd chakra builds upon and blends with the root chakra.  It represents sexual balance, emotional expression, intuition, cooperation, relationships, patience and attention to detail.  If we were nurtured and cared for as a child, then the gift of the sacral center is the ability to feel your feelings, make decisions, express who you are and reach for your dreams.  But if the ground of our root chakra suffered from breaches of trust and betrayals as a child, we’ll always create a distance between ourselves and the person(s) we love.

“On the level of physical perception, your second chakra automatically evaluates any situation according to how it affects your survival. Are you physically safe? Are there any financial implications? Is your power in this situation threatened by someone bigger, stronger, richer, sexier? A part of you instinctively assesses each moment of your life for its potential threat to your survival. Even if you enter a room full of loving friends and family, for example, your brain and body still scan the room and the energy around you for any impending physical dangers or negative attitudes. You also automatically scan for any threat to people you love. Hoften have you felt, on running into a friend or family member or thinking of someone that you “knew” something was wrong, even though you could not identify it?” Sacred Contracts ~ Caroline Myss

I’ve noticed that people with 2nd chakra issues suffer from passive-aggressive behaviors.  We can gravitate from being extremely over-sensitive, shy and self-depreciating to extremely controlling, sarcastic, demeaning and spiteful. What we don’t realize is that our thoughts and words affect how we feel about ourselves, even if we aren’t aware of it on a conscious level.  Loving another is an inner and outer process, and although we all have deep feelings and intense experiences, the present doesn’t represent the past and the person who we are with at moment represents no threat to us.

 “Passive aggressive behavior is when you express your anger, but it’s not directed at the person you are mad at. You might use sarcastic humor, slam doors, or kick the dog. You are aggressive in that you actively express your anger, but you are passive because your anger is directed at the source of your anger.”  Stuck: How to Mend and Move on from Broken Relationships ~ F. Remy Diederich

Are you a pot thrower?  Do you scream and scare people out of their wits just to get your point across that you’re angry?

AWARENESS EXERCISE

Write down the names of the people who you’ve recently reacted angrily or sarcastically to.  Then write down why you think these persons created this reaction in you.  In what way would you like this person to be different then the way they are?

Choose a specific situation in the recent past you remember fighting back with the same aggression you were confronted with.  What were the elements in the situation that caused you to react and to feel the emotions you did.  How would you have liked the situation to be different?

Look back at what you wrote in your first answer.  See if you can write down at least 3 good points about each person and three useful things you also learned about yourself from interacting with them.

Look over what you wrote regarding a specific situation. Reflect on it for a moment, close your eyes and write down what you see, and what you learned from the situation. Use this introspective moment to help you notice what upsets you and see how to change them.

TREATING CANDIDA

“According to Healthy Healing, an alternative healing reference by naturopathic doctor Linda Rector-page, Candidiasis is a state of inner imbalance, not a germ, but, or dis-ease. Candida albicans is a strain of yeasts commonly found in the gastrointestinal and genito-urinary areas of the body. It is generally harmless, but when resistance and immunity are low, the yeast is able to multiply rapidly, feeding on sugars and carbohydrates in these tracts. It releases toxins into the bloodstream, and causes far-reaching problems. Stress and lack of rest aggravate this condition in a body that is already out of balance.” Healthy Healing is an excellent book that I highly recommend, along with its companion book, Cooking for Healthy Healing”. Life! ~by Louise L. Hay

Definitely get yourself some high potency probiotics (acidophilius) and take it 20 minutes before breakfast or on an empty stomach. Also buy some glutamine, it acts as a gut barrier and helps to prevent ‘leaky gut’ or candida from moving through your gut wall.

Many people today cannot tolerate lactose but in yogurt the lactose is removed during fermentation.  Yogurt in your diet will raise the natural killer T-cells and helps to block carcinogens (cancer causing agents) from developing.

Other herbs and food groups to try…

There are plenty of herbs one can take for candida, the best said to be Oregano oil, which is very antiseptic and kills candida as well as parasites. It’s quite aggressive on the internal mucus membranes, esophagus, stomach, intestines and colon which is why it should always be diluted with some oil, milk or honey and part of your meal. In Greek, oregano means ‘Mountain Joy’ and it has shown to have the highest levels of the antioxidants, polyphenols carvacrol, rosmarinic acid and thymol. You can even put oil of oregano and even oil of rosemary in your daily salad dressing. On average 1-3 drops is enough, anymore and you could end up with abdominal pain. Some say it’s best to take this essential oil on a short term basis, 5-7 days, stop, and if necessary start again.

Onions and garlic have been used for centuries for their antibiotic like qualities, known to fight bacteria, viruses and intestinal parasites.

Green plants (cereal grasses, like barley and wheat grass. plus parsley, kale, collards, dandelion greens, watercress, romaine lettuce, cabbage, kelp and other seaweeds have exceptional value in the treatment of candida.

In Chinese Medicine it is said that ‘cold and dampness’ slows the body’s circulation (chi) and weakens the spleen; when this happens, the energy we get from food isn’t absorbed as well or circulated to our tissues. It is suggested to cut down on cold and raw foods, especially when you have Candida, until it’s under control. What you want is to heat and dry your digestive organs.  Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, parsley, cardamon and pepper are known as ‘warm’ herbs you can add to your favorite foods.

To treat candida, nutritionists recommend eliminating sugar, artificial sweeteners, breads, pastries, cookies, yeasts, dairy products, fruit, tea, coffee, vinegars and tobacco, for about three months. In three months the immune system has the ability to rehabilitate itself and a strong immune system can keep the candida population in check. If you can afford it, I highly recommend seeing a naturopathic or qualified nutritionist to help you.

This section of the blog is still being continued….

Great Links

Caprylic acid found in goat’s milk and coconut oil has shown to be  effective for alleviating candida in the gut. http://www.thecandidadiet.com/caprylicacid.htm

Excellent site “The Candida Diet Protocol  http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/candida-diet-protocol.html

“We must choose foods that improve colon cleansing and retard Gut Dysbiosis, Candida, and fungus infections, so the body is not robbed of essential nutrients. We need “Sour Power” foods (grapefruit, sour cherry, apricot), along with those that contain healing sulphur (garlic, onions, mustard, curry, ginger, apricot, eggs, asafoetida), and foods rich in lymph and mood-supporting serotonin and zinc (turkey, lamb, flaxseed, sunflower seed, fish oil, bitter chocolate).  We also need high fiber gluten-free grains (quinoa, psyllium, flax, oats, wild rice). Also beneficial are low glycemic index vegetables (asparagus, broccoli, cucumber, swiss chard), high antiparasitic foods (zucchini, garlic, pumpkin seed), and peroxidase-rich foods (horseradish, parsnips, pears) that support the restoration of endocrine and immune recovery. In addition, sufferers of gut dysbiosis should avoid refined wheat, MSG, chicken, canola oil, and hydrogenated fats such as margarine. –  http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/be-good-to-your-guts/

Candida Diets Part VII Probiotics http://candidaplan.com/blog/766/candida-diets-part-vii-probiotics/

Six Natural Ways to Beat Candida  http://aguidetoahealthierlife.blogspot.ca/2012/03/six-natural-ways-to-beat-candida.html

My Journey With Candida http://www.myjourneywithcandida.com/2012/01/what-is-candida-and-how-candida.html?spref=tw

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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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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PART III HEALING DEPRESSION/ALLERGIES NATURALLY

Since we haven’t discussed allergies on this blog, I thought we’d devote part of this article on the symptoms and metaphysical causes of allergies first—then discover how allergens cause depression and—what we can do to heal them.

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF ALLERGIES

Allergists have said, that once we become sensitized to an allergen it’s quite possible we could start reacting to other things that normally wouldn’t bother us. As I thought about this, allergic sensitivities do seem to create a similar reaction when we are under any kind of emotional stress—one stressor can lower our resistance to others—causing us to become irritated, pre-occupied, over-controlling or withdrawn. So perhaps once the body reaches a certain allergen stress point, it too becomes unpredictable and starts over-reacting to substances we breathe in and/or eat in our environment.

The body never becomes ill without a reason.  We all have our weak spots or vulnerable areas,  and when we are stressed by life or relationships, the body reacts, creating certain types of symptoms.  Allergies are a symptom; whatever you are allergic to, milk, perfume, dust, dander, pollen, peanuts etc., these are considered triggers but not the underlying cause of an allergy.  Something has locked horns with your immune system causing it to become hyper and confused.  In a frantic attempt to protect the body, it starts sending out antibodies against every possible irritant it can find.  The problem is, this continual attack on unknown offenders causes the immune system to spread itself so thin that it weakens from all the fighting and collapses from exhaustion.  Metaphysical causes of allergies have been noted as: withheld feelings, low self-esteem, self-rejection, grief, lack of trust, lack of support, lack of self-love, resentment, anger/rage, powerlessness.

 “Stress often begins with how you think. And how you think determines how you feel—both emotionally and sometimes physically as well.  When your thoughts create strong emotions—whether positive or negative—your brain releases hormones that spread the emotional news to every system of the body.  Called neuropeptides, these hormones are informational molecules that telegraph messages to any cell in the body that has receptors for them.  Neuroscientist Dr. Candace Pert has been in the forefront of demonstrating that emotions are a powerful link between mind and body through these informational molecules.  Neuropeptides make their way into the bloodstream, where they are distributed throughout the body, binding to surface receptors on a multitude of diverse cells.  In the twinkling of an eye, then, an emotion that begins in the brain can trigger subtle and complex cellular responses through the body.  In turn, neuropeptides manufactured by the immune system, or by different organs, can also affect the brain and emotional state.” Minding the Body, Mending the Mind ~ Joan Borysenko

Neuropeptides are as Candace Pert has pointed out, ‘mediators of the mind-body connection’.  And the mind-body connection is mediated by our emotions.  Healthy emotions says Joan Borysenko have to do with open-heartedness.  We are supposed to express what we’re feeling to another, but many of us hold back due to fears of being controlled, hurt, criticized, or ridiculed.  Holding back our thoughts and feelings creates a great deal of physical and psychological stress on the body, on a deeper level, a spiritual crisis.

Inna Segel tells us…..

 “Allergies—Feeling annoyed and aggravated by other people. Giving away your power. Blaming people and events for your negative reactions. Obsession with people who have hurt you. Difficulty forgiving and seeing the blessing in this hurt. Allowing yourself to be controlled or manipulated by others, then punishing them by withholding love and kindness. Not knowing how to create boundaries with others.” Inna Segel ~ The Secret Language of Your Body: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness

AND Deb Shapiro….

 “The Physical reaction is one of defence and resistance, so the psycho/emotional cause of allergies will be connected to an inner need to withdraw, to put up resistances, not to enter fully into a situation.  As most allergens are a part of daily life, it suggests a fear of participation, intimacy responsibility or accountability.  It is as if the external world has become an enemy, something to be resisted.  Exploring what you are really afraid of, or what you are trying to avoid, will help you realize that the allergy is a symptom of something more ingrained. DEB SHAPIRO ~ Your Body Speaks Your Mind

Louise Hay….

 “Who are you allergic to?  Denying your own power.

The World is safe and friendly. I am safe. I am at peace with life.”

I think another good question regarding allergies would be “who or what are we reacting so strongly against” or “over-reacting towards”. Is there someone in your life that provokes strong reactions in you?  Someone you find difficult or irritating?  If no one comes to mind, then think about all the people in your family.  This usually gets people laughing lol.  But whoever or whatever the circumstance, someone/something is eating and draining your energy—they tire and wire you—they key you up!

The Greek word allergy means “abnormal response.”  Allergies occur when a substance normally harmless produces an abnormal response in the body.

Do you know what triggered your allergy begin?  Let’s imagine that as a child you had a horrible fight with your mother while you were eating a hamburger.  You may have cried for hours, feeling hurt, betrayed or rejected—during that time you ‘consumed the experience’ and developed a severe stomachache.  Now, years later, every time you eat a hamburger or meat, you feel a tremendous pressure erupting in your gut—you either develop hives, swell up or get very sick.  More than likely, the reason for this is an old (protective) reactive response.  What’s happened is your body has shut down so you won’t cause your mother to be upset. But wait, your mother isn’t around you as much anymore and most likely no one is going to be angry with you around a hamburger, so you can let go of this protective response.

 “Once you feel hurt, many of you become protective and closed, wanting to be certain you are not going to be hurt again.  From now on, whenever people are doing something that upsets or hurts you, see it as an opportunity to learn to love them rather than protect yourself.  Send love to your feelings of hurt.  Realize that others’ behaviors that hurt you are coming from their fear of being hurt themselves, not from their intent to harm you. Sanaya Roman ~ Spiritual Growth

You may not know all the triggers that cause an allergic response but your body does.  Ask yourself, ‘why are my allergies reacting this way’ and ‘what pattern(s) within me are they triggering’?  If you can take a few minutes to stop and feel where you’ve emotionally shutdown, you usually will feel a pain, a numbness or discomfort in some specific part of your body.  Describe how it feels to your self…look at the color, heat, shape and texture…

A great meditation from this blog (Body Wisdom)

 ENERGY ANATOMY

stress chart 001

Usually when we become sick, there is a short circuit or burn-out that begins in our astral field or aura, which then spreads rapidly into the mental, emotional and physical bodies. Most healers and spiritual people will tell you that your astral field surrounding your body contains several levels of higher and lower states of energy.  The aura too contains a number of levels of energies or chakras that at each level gently merges with the one above it.  The most common number of chakras are seven, the first being the root and located at or near the base of the spine and points downwards to the earth. Each chakra is related to a gland or several glands and should be seen as a subtle addition to the body’s endocrine system.   When healing is done via the chakras, the endocrine glands receive this healing energy as well.

More information on auras here  and astral here

All life begins as part of a family unit (1st Chakra) as children we don’t exist as a separate person, not yet, we are an extension of or part of a tribal unit.  In those early years, we identified ourselves as to how others saw us–how we attempted to get our childhood needs met—and how our mothers and/or fathers responded or ignored to those needs. This is the chakra that records and takes on your family’s attitudes towards religion, ethnic and racial groups as well your parents strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, superstitions and fears. It is here that we learn that the world is a safe or dangerous place, full of good things or riddled with poverty.

“The health of the first emotional center depends on your feeling safe in the world. If you don’t have the support of family and friends that you need to thrive, you will see this insecurity manifest in your blood, immune system, bones, joints, and skin.  The key to enjoying health in this center is balancing your own needs with those of the meaningful social groups in your life.  Family and friends, work, and an organization to which you are devoted all take up time and energy.  But they are also meant to give back, in the form of friendship, safety, and security; they should provide a sense of belonging.  These are all reasons human beings seek out other people and groups.  However, the needs of the group should never be allowed to overshadow your own needs—particularly your health.

When you are not getting what you need from relationships or activities on which you spend considerable time, your body and mind will start to tell you.  At first the signs may be as simple as fatigue, skin rashes, or joint pain.  Mild problems in the first emotional center can serve as an early-warning system, letting you know when you have gone off track. Ignoring your body’s warning could lead to a world of hurt: chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis (A, B, or C), mononucleosis, Lyme disease, allergies, rashes, psoriasis, joint pain, and autoimmune disorders like lupus all stem from an imbalance in the first emotional center…..Feeling hopeless and helpless will show up in your blood. Feeling completely alone and outcast from your family will bring illness to your immune system. And being unable to set boundaries with those around you will show up in skin ailments. Louise L. Hay and Mona Lisa Shulz ~ All is Well: Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition

One of the most basic understandings of the first chakra is hearing and heeding the inner needs of the body—such as the need to eat, drink, sleep, rest or eliminate, via the nervous system.  Our bodies also tell us when their tired, hunger, thirsty, tense, frightened or in pain.  This chakra rules the physical body which is your first responsibility—to take care of your bodily needs by listening to its inner guidance—and to do this you need to have a deep respect and love for yourself. If you’re always putting yourself down, calling yourself names or demanding more than you’re body can cope with, your body is going to start to break down.

THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

“Chronic patterns of self-hate, guilt, and self-criticism raise the body’s stress levels and weaken the immune system” Louise Hay

“If you have food allergies, the immune cells that line your gastrointestinal tract are hypersensitive. You may have low stomach acid, a pancreas that isn’t working optimally, and, possibly, a congested liver and gallbladder. You may also have an imbalance in your gut flora. The balance of gut bacteria can influence behavior and even cause depression.

According to scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, your gut bacteria communicate with your brain and have a profound impact on making you feel happy or sad. When you are stressed, your body releases lots of stress hormones. When stressed mice were fed a broth containing some Lactobacillus rhamnosus bacteria (a bacteria found in yogurt), they became significantly less anxious and had lower levels of stress hormones in their blood. The researchers determined that the bacteria were somehow communicating via the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is a very important neural two-way highway that connects your brain with all of the organs of your body. The bacteria are able to influence the GABA receptors in the brain that allow you to relax”.

http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/05/26/reduce-allergies-and-find-happiness/

Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system to a substance (known as an allergen) which in most cases isn’t bothersome to most people. But when the immune system mistakenly believes it is being invaded, it produces Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to that allergen in an attempt to protect the body, These antibodies then cause certain cells to release chemicals into the bloodstream that are known as immune suppressants.

When it comes to fighting disease your immune system is your primary defense system—it is located throughout the body and can usually identify harmful substances and whip them in the butt.  The immune system consists of the thymus gland, spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes, adrenals, appendix, bone marrow, lymphoid tissue, white blood cells, mast cells, antibodies, complement proteins (complement proteins cause blood vessels to dilate, causing swelling, heat and pain,) and many chemical mediators (chemical mediators are messengers that act on blood vessels, inflammatory cells or other cells to create an inflammatory response).

Our immune system weakens when our white blood cells are reacting and fighting against a foreign substance in the body, that it believes is a threat.  These cells release irritating substances like histamines, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins in an attempt to attack the allergen.  This flood of chemicals causes an inflammation response, which creates many symptoms such as runny eyes and nose, wheezing and sneezing, itching, and twitching, and digestive distress.

Lymphocytes are major defenders of the body and billions of these tiny cells patrol the bloodstream looking for and destroying invading viruses, bacteria, parasites and other foreign substances. But sometimes the immune system gets a bit confused and for reasons unknown misreads harmless substances such as dust, pollen and food by-products and attacks them.

Different allergies create different symptoms, and in some rare cases, severe reactions called anaphylaxis. Peanuts are one of the most common allergens known to cause anaphylaxis. Signs of anaphylaxis include swelling of the tongue, lips, and throat, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, and in rare cases, loss of consciousness.

Food allergies may also be the cause of many illnesses, such as, arthritis, depression, gall bladder disease, headaches/migraines, Crohn’s disease, acne, fibromyalgia, eczema and more. Allergies aren’t the cause of every disease but they do play an integral role in the ‘development’ of disease.  If you or your doctor have no idea of the cause of your health problems or symptoms, you should consider looking at the possibility of allergies.

CANDIDA ALBICANS (CANDIDIASIS)

Your intestinal tract naturally contains small amounts of this yeast.  But in some cases because of anti-biotics, birth control pills or a high carbohydrate diet, this can cause an overgrowth of the candida yeast, causing candidiasis.  Candidiasis and allergies are so closely linked, they are sometimes paired together. This yeast or fungus overgrowth suppresses the immune system and has been linked to food allergies, migraines, vaginitis, irritable syndrome, indigestion, asthma and many more symptoms.

“As many as 90 percent or more of Americans and Canadians may be suffering the effects of these microscopic “critters,” considered also to be a type of parasite.  An overabundance of yeast in the body can produce minor or major side effects, such as: anxiety, allergies, asthma, acne, bloating, cystitis, chemical sensitivities, coughs, cramps, constipation, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), confusion, trouble concentrating, depression, diarrhea, emotional problems, eczema, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, food cravings and sensitivies, gas, gas-indigestion, intestinal pain, irrational fears, lethargy, low self-esteem, memory loss or poor memory, migraines, sore muscles, naurea, panic, puffiness, PMS, psoriasis, quick anger, rash, sexual problems, skin infections, stiffness, sleep disturbance, sinus pressure, sore throat, thrush, vaginal yeast infections, and/or weight gain.” COMPLETE CANDIDA YEAST GUIDEBOOK ~ Jeanne Marie Martin with Zoltan P. Rona, M.D.

Poor digestion and low acid levels in the stomach is one way Candidiasis is spread.  What happens is if there isn’t enough hydrochloric acid in the stomach to digest foods properly, they won’t get ‘sterilized’ or eliminated before entering the intestines.  Candidiasis has been known to cause ‘leaky gut’ syndrome.  What happens with ‘leaky gut’, is undigested food particles (partially digested proteins, fats and bacteria) pass through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream.  The body/immune system in an attempt to protect itself attacks these foreign substances and therefore launches an allergic response.  An allergic response causes inflammation, swelling, heat, redness or tenderness as the body attempts to heal itself from the allergen.  In other words these are normal ways the body works to take care of itself but in the process it can make you feel miserable.

If you suffer from leaky gut, probiotic bacteria (lactobacillus and bifidobacteria) can be significant in reducing the occurrence of Candidiasis and also stop it from reoccurring.  These bacteria help in the absorption of vitamins, detox carcinogens and support the immune system. Leaky gut can also reduce certain minerals from being absorbed into the body such as magnesium (enzyme response), zinc (hair loss), copper (high cholesterol, osteoarthritis) and calcium (osteoporosis). Taking a good multi-vitamin with Omega 3 or evening primose oil will help absorption of the vitamins/minerals in the body.

(We’re going to donate a whole article on Candidiasis once we’ve completed Part IV on depression).

HISTAMINES, CYTOKINES CAN CAUSE DEPRESSION

Histamine is a chemical that’s naturally found everywhere in the body and in all foods too. It’s plays an important part in stimulating the hypothalamus to release vital chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and norephinephrine.  With too little histamine, dopamine levels are elevated — Dopamine’s a chemical that produces anxiety, stress, nervousness and aggression.  When levels of dopamine are elevated, a person may feel insecure, paranoid and/or fearful.

Histamine becomes a problem when its levels sink too low or rise too high.  It can have a bizarre affect on mood swings—an almost Jekyll and Hyde behavior.  It can create paranoia, obsessive-compulsive behavior (ocb), tension and depression.    We already know that high levels of histamine acts on the nose, throat, eyes, lungs, skin, and even the gastrointestinal tract, triggering the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

“The gastrointestinal tract is not only a digestive organ, but also an immune organ is a surprise to many people.  In fact more are unaware that the gastrointestinal tract is the largest immune organ in the body.  The gut provides immunological surveillance signals at the mucosa-lumen interface of the digestive tract. The cells of the immune system and the epithelial cells that line the intestinal wall communicate information regarding colonizing bacteria.  As we currently understand it, interactions of gut bacterial floral with epithelial and immune cells regulate immune development.  Furthermore, normal gut bacteria acquired in infancy are likely to be the most important determinants of allergies and diseases of chronic inflammation later in life.  As a result we need to assure that healthy gut flora is acquired early in life so that the immune system matures properly in order to avoid passing down a life-time of allergic and inflammatory diseases to our children.”  Bacteria for Breakfast: Probiotics for Good Health ~ By PhD, RPh Kelly Dowhower Karpa

Both serotonin and norepinephrine are important chemicals that affect our moods and mental well-being.  People with low serotonin levels can suffer from mood swing and anxiety as well as internal anger and depression.  These people may gravitate to some sort of an addiction such as alcohol, drugs, overeating, or become workaholics, perfectionists or procrastinators.

Children with ADD and ADHD also suffer from low serotonin levels causing them to become unfocused and lose memory and concentration.  They too may overeat or eat sugary, starchy foods causing an override in their systems, then their insulin kicks in and they suffer from an extreme drop in blood sugar, causing a vicious circle of eating more sugary foods again.

“Cytokines are small molecules found in miniscule concentrations in our blood stream, that affect the behavior of others cells, especially, cells of the gut and immune system.  It appears that the immune system—especially allergic and inflammatory components of the immune system—rely heavily on signals from cytokines.  Cytokines are divided into several different families which are sometimes referred to as interleukins, interferons or tumor necrosis factors.  There are [thirty-five] different types of cytokines and their names get very confusing…….

When bacteria are present as part of the gut’s normal flora, the very presence of the bacteria stimulates white blood cells and epithelial cells to secrete cytokines.  These cytokines, then, serve as signals to other components of the immune system.  Cytokines can send allergic signals, inflammatory signals, or anti-allergy/anti-inflammatory signals.  The type of signal that is transmitted depends upon the type of bacteria present; different species of bacteria stimulate release of different cytokines.  As you are probably beginning to see, the bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract play an important role in determining the actions of the entire immune system…..it is the balance of cytokines that controls initiation of allergies/inflammation, perpetuation of allergies/inflammation or the cessation of allergies/inflammation.” Bacteria for Breakfast: Probiotics for Good Health ~ By PhD, RPh Kelly Dowhower Karpa

SELF-DIAGNOSIS

“There are several ways to check for food allergies on one’s own. One is with the Coca test, based on Dr. Coca’s observation that a person’s pulse rate increases after eating a food to which he or she is allergic.  The test consists of taking your pulse before eating, and every 30 minutes thereafter, for up to two hours.  Normally the average person’s pulse is between 70 and 80 beats per minute.  After eating a food to which one is allgeric, however, the pulse can increase significantly, to a count that’s 20 or even 30, beats above the normal level.

After effective diagnostic measure that has been self-administered is the elimination test.  Here, suspected allergy-producing foods are eliminated from the diet for four days.  Every fifth day, one of the foods is added back in to see if an allergic reaction occurs.  So, if, for example, wheat is eliminated, on the fifth day a bowel of cracked wheat can be eaten. (Bread should not be used for this purpose because the person might be reacting to the yeast, sugar or addictives.)” Gary Null Ph.D.

http://www.myhealthmaven.com/diy/health-tests-at-home/coca-pulse-test/

Although the pulse can be felt at many spots on the body, the best place to read it is at the wrist an inch and a half above the base of the thumb.  When counting your pulse it’s best to have a clock or watch with a second hand close by.  To pick up the pulse wait until the second hand reaches 12 and then start counting until the second hand returns to 12 again.  Once you get proficient at it, you can count for 15 seconds and multiply it by 4.

“The pulse has been almost totally neglected as an indicator of ill health.  Yet this simplest of all the methods of examination is the key to some of the deepest mysteries of man’s existence–the key with which he may emancipate himself from ill health.” Arthur F. Coca, M.D. ~THE PULSE TEST

HEALING ALLERGIES NATURALLY

What each us need to avoid or add into our diet varies with our own health needs as well as our age, lifestyle and individual metabolism.  The strategy is for everyone to choose a mixed diet, but to concentrate on foods that are rich in nutrients.  Sometimes it’s impossible to get enough of certain ‘essential’ nutrients and many of us do benefit from using herbal remedies and supplements—but these need to be understood and balanced.  Before trying any supplement, check with your doctor or nutritional advisor.  Some supplements may interact with the medication or other supplements you are taking now. Most health stores are knowledgeable in the benefits and cautions of most herbs and supplements and the internet is rich in information.

These are just a few ideas to help get your allergies under control.  Please bear in mind that natural therapies and supplements work gradually and steadily and usually take longer to work than drugs obtained by your doctor.  It may take up to six or eight weeks before you notice any improvement. Stop taking any remedy that makes you feel ill or isn’t working.

PROBIOTICS – Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria help in digestion and vitamin absorption and a great detox for substances that are carcinogenic or cancer-causing. They also support the immune system. Continued use of probiotics with the addition of vitamin D have been found to reduce airway inflammation, increase peak airflow and decrease symptoms of allergy.

Many children have been found to be deficient in vitamin D which has been associated with poor lung function and poorer response to inhaled medications.

DHEA repairs and maintains tissue, controls allergic reactions and symptoms and balances the immune system.  This hormone is secreted by the adrenal glands then converted into several other hormones in the body.  DHEA is available in a capsule, liquid and spray form.  A low dose of 5 mg is usually recommended and then increased slowly.  For those living in Canada government restriction prevent the purchase of DHEA over the counter.

ANTIDEPRESSANTS

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.

VITAMINS AND MINERALS

Vitamin A increase the immune response and builds resistance to infection.

B Vitamins increase antibody response – B6 maintains a healthy immune and nervous system – more than 50 enzymatic reactions depend on vitamin B6

Selenium is another potent antioxidant and is important in detoxifying the body of environmental toxins.

Vitamin C stimulates adrenaline function and is essential to the immune system.

Vitamin E in conjunction with selenium and vitamin C is a potent immune protector.  It increases resistance to infection and reduces damage caused by stress.

Zinc boosts the thymus gland and is crucial for normal growth, cell division and tissue repair – without it, the immune system couldn’t do its job.  There are over 300 enzyme systems in the body that require zinc to do their job.  Zinc deficiency can cause a reduction in T-cells, natural killer cells and thymic hormone.

Magnesium is immune enhancing and essential to metabolism.  It’s main function is to activate enzymes, especially those related to energy production. Magnesium deficiencies have shown an increase of cytokines (inflammation) in the body.

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant – it’s most plentiful in sun-ripened tomatoes, watermelon, guava, and pink grapefruit.

Garlic is a natural antibiotic helping to ward off all kinds of infections. It is known to lower cholesterol, kill bacteria, boost the immune system and lower blood sugar levels.

TEA TREE OIL is an antifungal, anti-yeast and antiviral agent.  It can be taken both topically and internally.  It has many antimicrobial activities and used in the treatment of many different skin conditions, especially those associated with fungi or Candida.

HERBS

Tumeric or Curcumin is a potent antiflammatory and affects the production of both prostaglandins and leukotrienes which help to reduce pain. It is most effective in the treatment of Fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme found in the fruit and stem of the pineapple plant.  It helps to reduce swelling and works great in reducing arthritic pain.

Devil’s Claw reduces both pain and inflammation.

Eyebright – Stimulates the liver and cleans the blood. This herb can be used topically and internally – it reduces inflammation and is very helpful with people who have eye allergies such as conjunctivitis and blepharitis.

Stinging Nettle is great for itchy red eyes and works to reduce inflammation

Marigold helps to relieve nasal congestion, sneezing as well as itchy watery eyes.

Ginkgo biloka is great for hay fever sufferers, helps improve blood circulation and oxygen flow.  It can also help people with asthma.  Check with your doctor before taking this or any supplement.

Fresh thyme, nettles and fenugreek help clear the lungs of mucus

EXERCISE boosts metabolism and improves circulation bringing more oxygen and mood enhancing endorphins to the brain.  It has been proven that exercise can help alleviate depression, reduce cholesterol, glucose and other chemicals involved in your physical and mental health.

Optimized Diet – Good nutrition has become difficult in our day and age due to chemicals used in farming and to the food processing industry.  Also our food and environment is becoming increasingly polluted adding to our allergies and health problems.

While there is no single diet that’s for all those suffering from allergies and depression, avoiding sugar, alcohol and refined carbohydrates will help many.

GREAT LINKS

*WARNING: Anaphylactic shock can be a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.due to the collapse of the respiratory and circulatory system. If you are prone to highly allergic reactions, it is important to wear a medical bracelet and medical information in your wallet.  If you use an EpiPen, keep it close to your person and inform all those you are with, that should you go into an anaphylactic shock to use the EpiPen and make sure you receive immediate first aid treatment and sent to an emergency centre for observation.

A patient in anaphylactic shock should lie on their side to avoid choking (tongue can block airways) and if they need to vomit. If the person stops breathing, mouth to mouth resuscitation should be performed immediately.*

The Effects of Anaphylaxis on the Body http://www.healthline.com/health/anaphylaxis/effects-on-body

Chemical mediators http://people.upei.ca/hanna/Inflam7/Inflam-L7-2012.pdf Complement proteins http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/immunesystem/immunecells/Pages/complementSystem.aspx

Is raw food for you?

http://www.healyourlife.com/author-jenny-ross-and-doreen-virtue/2009/10/lifeshelp/get-healthy/is-raw-food-for-you

Great links on cytokines

Dr. Andrew Weil, Depression and Inflammation http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/depression-and-inflammation_b_1071714.html

Interview with Dr. Andrew Weil http://ttbook.org/book/transcript/transcript-andrew-weil-doctors-recipe-happiness

Healthy Food Pyramid http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02995/Dr-Weil-Anti-Inflammatory-Food-Pyramid.html

What is inflammation http://www.marksdailyapple.com/what-is-inflammation/#axzz28CD3qHK2

Great blog regarding allergies http://www.healyourlife.com/author-dr-darren-r-weissman/2009/11/wisdom/personal-growth/sticks-and-stones

Allergies, natural solutions http://www.naturopathic.org/content.asp?contentid=36

Natural Allergy Remedies http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/allergies-allergy

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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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  Everything that affects the body also affects the mind; hormone changes are no exception to this rule. We are learning that our thoughts and emotions have a profound effect on our hormone balance and how they affect our bodies. In fact our mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and social aspects are all responsible for the inner rhythm of our health and growth. The problem is how do we get them all to participate and cooperate with each other?

This is an extensive study on the endocrine and nervous system. The two are so intimately linked together, you just can’t separate one from the other. These two systems are in constant communication with each other at all times, and are a constant reflection of our health. It is truly an extraordinary relationship, regulated by the pituitary gland (master controller) and the hypothalamus. Situations in our life are neither good or bad…it is our personal reaction or response to them that creates our positive or negative attitudes to them. Each of us is unique, my needs and your needs are not the same…we all have slightly different balances so it’s important that each of us get to know ‘thy self’, tuning into our body and finding what works best.

Together let’s try and understand and interpret the language of the endocrine and nervous systems. As we dig deeper, case studies will be discussed, some will be from my own notes, while others, will be documented by healers, doctors, researchers and scientists. Not only will we look at the nervous and endocrine glands physically but also spiritually, mentally, emotionally and metaphysically.

“The endocrine glands are both physical and spiritual. Each has a mind of its own, which directs hormonal output into the blood stream and neurological impulses into the nervous system. Each of these endocrine glands also has an energy component [known as the Chakras].” William A. McGarey, M.D.

Before we even begin to work on each of the endocrine glands, we need to understand the ‘generator’ behind this system. The hypothalamus has its own memory of stored emotions, these go way back to our primitive ancestral fears…..

“We lived in a hostile environment as hunters and gathers, surrounded by animals that hunted us, and we learned to protect ourselves either by running or by fighting. This was useful then but now that same flight/fright response is triggered by imaginary fears, traffic jams, the stock market, by things people say to us and that response has a very limited function. It is creating and causing the epidemics that are now inflicting our society – degenerative disorders, cardiovascular disease, cancer, a compromised immune system etc. But more importantly it has given rise to a legacy of war, and hatred, and tradition, and conquest, and confinement and ecological devastation. WE have become the predators of the planet earth. And just like other predators before us we are risking our own extinction and the extinction of mother earth and the universe of which we are a privileged species.” Deepak Chopra

The hypothalamus is the ‘real power behind the throne’; about the size of an olive, it is the main controller of the body’s flow of hormones. Most of its judgments are determined by our emotions as well as old fears, stored in its memory. This is probably why the hypothalamus has been called the ‘seat of emotions’. Situated in the lower part of the brain, known as the limbic system, this part of the brain controls our pleasure and pain and gives us the urge to run away when we’re in danger. And as we know, plays an important part in memory; this is why we never forget very pleasant or horrible experiences.

http://www.medicalook.com/systems_images/Hypothalamus_large.jpg

The limbic system consists of the hypothalamus, amygdala, and hippocampus, which regulate our emotions, memories, dreams, motivations, sexual and social behavior as well as lust and love. One of the hypothalamus’ main job is to help control the functions of the internal organs and maintain body temperature; it informs the brain about what’s happening in a variety of systems and organs inside your body. For example, if your blood contains too much salt, the hypothalamus will search for water to dilute it….if the blood contains too much sugar, the hypothalamus will suppress your appetite.

The hypothalamus also keeps your autonomic nervous system (sympathetic & parasympathetic) working and controls the movement of your heart, gut and bladder, makes you feel hungry and thirsty; feel angry or aggressive; grateful and forgiving; it works to keep you from falling asleep during the day. The autonomic nervous system controls over seventy thousand nerves throughout the body and controls the blood circulation and pressure, which affects the heart function.

There is no doubt that the nerves and endocrine system work continuously together. So do the many cells and tissues in the immune system. In fact they all talk to one another…there are 100 billion nerve cells in the brain and each is connected to thousand of others, making the brain more complex than any computer! And it needs to, just to keep you alive!

The problem is, the hypothalamus isn’t interested in your happiness. Since the beginning of time its main job has been your survival. It will selfishly pursue only what it thinks is in your best interest. Unfortunately, its continual rush of hormones can harm your health and affect your immune system, and an overactive immune system can be toxic. The whole bodily system can suffer and dysfunction, causing an array of problems, such as obesity, diabetes, menstrual problems, hypertension, listlessness, irritable bowel, prostate problems, aggressiveness, skin eruptions, insomnia, allergies, etc.

The primitive force of the hypothalamus can be spontaneous and unpredictable, creating a rush of hormones, depending on the circumstances. Adjoined with the thalamus these two glands are a major relay center for incoming sensory information and triggering your survival instincts. They respond emotionally and immediately to dangers, real and/or imagined. Messages are immediately transmitted through the nervous system and to every part of our body. Within a fraction of a second, our bodies go through immediate physiological changes….hormone and adrenaline levels increase, making our senses sharper and our heart pump faster. With this heightened alertness, we’re ready to fight or run!

For example, let’s imagine you’re attempting to cross the street and suddenly a speeding truck seems to be heading straight towards you or you suddenly hear the sound of squealing brakes. Or someone seems to be following you! Before you know it, you’ve already moved out of harms way. All this seems pretty simple but there was a flurry of activity within your bodily system, you weren’t even aware of.

When the hypothalamus perceives a threat, it goes into lightning speed action, releasing a hormone to the pituitary (master gland). The pituitary immediately releases the hormone ACTH (adreno-corticotropin ) directly into your blood stream to the adrenal glands with an urgent message, “produce hormones”, specifically cortisol and adrenalin hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine. These hormones race through the circulation to the brain and various organs. They arouse your brain preparing it for the flight/fight response, which mobilizes energy in the form of sugar and diverts blood from the abdominal area to the muscles and limbs. While all this is going on there is a storm of activity happening in the sympathetic nervous system (sympathetic and parasympathetic are connected to hypothalamus via the spinal column) as the hormones from the adrenals race between nerve cells towards your heart and other major organs. Heart rate and respiration increase, your blood pressure goes up, digestion slows to a crawl, your body sweats and the hairs on the back of your neck stands on end. All this happens in less than a second! Now your body is ready to assert itself with a massive burst of energy. Jumping out of harms way, the hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal combination immediately stop the fight/flight production. The parasympathetic nervous system turns on and reestablishes the body’s equilibrium.

But if the electrical energy between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems are unbalanced, the sympathetic nervous system will remain on high alert and the parasympathetic nervous will not be able to do its job.

As mentioned earlier, the anatomic nervous system controls over seventy thousand other nerves throughout the body, and, the nerve fibers from the sympathetic nervous system ‘end’ in the adrenals. Our adrenals help to exert our willpower but too much cortisol and adrenaline in the blood exhausts the body; together these hormones can create inflammation in the lower back muscles by restricting the amount of blood flow there. When this happens the inflamed muscles clamp down upon the adrenal glands disrupting the proper balance of adrenaline/cortisone, and the male/female sexual hormones. Not only does this cause a tremendous drain on the immune system, it causes an array of physical stresses such as intestinal cramps, stomach ulcers, asthmatic flare-ups, memory loss, back pain, skin disorders and even impotency in men and a reduced sex drive in women. These two hormones also affect bone loss, causing osteoporosis and an increase in hip fractures.

As well, prolonged stress can restrict the flow of blood to the brain causing the formation of blood clots in the blood passageways within the brain. If a sudden surge of energy (fight/flight response) causes the heart to pump more blood to the brain, this can produce what we call a stroke. A stroke can disable various wirings of the brain affecting our memory, our ability to walk and speak.

More recently, high levels of cortisol have been found in people with Alzheimer’s…when there is too much cortisol in the system the body loses energy and drive. There is a desire to withdraw or disengage from the demands of life. I saw this happen with my own father.

“The root to our spirit is through the evolution of our own consciousness.” I’m not sure who said or wrote this quote, but I believe consciousness is a moment-to-moment awareness of what’s happening in our life right now. It relates to the health of our bodies and to the deep sense of ‘who I am’.

Persuading our bodies to change, especially our hormone balance is a slow process. You’ll probably notice erratic improvements; some months you’ll feel better and others it will feel like you’re sliding back. It may seem you are making no progress than suddenly, everything will seem to function beautifully. There are times you may even give up, then a few bad cycles will convince you to start all over once again. The first step is to act on it and mean it. Don’t worry where you are now. All this will be different a year from now. Never fear the next phase in your life; you’re going to make it a big experience!

“As we come to understand the essence and the symbology of the seven centers [endocrine glands], we can begin to comprehend what sort of result misuse of…emotions can and does create in our bodies. At times, they set up the beginning stages of an illness that might be experienced and diagnosed at some point in the future. In the same manner, we can see how strong emotional patterns formed deep within one or more past lifetimes can create the pattern of an illness we are currently experiencing.” William A. McCarey, M.D.

Interesting links

http://mybrainnotes.com/memory-brain-stress.html

http://qjmed.oxfordjournals.org/content/93/6/323.full

http://www.quanlim.com/UserFiles/File/Limbic%20System.pdf

http://www.chronicfatigue.org/Life%20Mastery.html

to be continued….

 

 

 

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Many medical intuitives believe the initial stage of illness develops outside the body and filters down through the layers of the energy.  Each layer is associated with an aspect of consciousness (e.g. instinct, intellect, intuition, emotions)  Each layer of consciousness in the human energy field is considered a harmonic vibration.  Like keys on a piano keyboard, the frequency of the body’s vibration and those of the emotional, mental and spiritual fields are set at different octaves yet are within the harmonic range of each other.  If a thought coupled with an emotion is left unresolved, it can cause an imbalance within the layers of energy in the body.”  Brian Luke Seaward, Achieving the mind-body-spirit connection. 

We are now reaching a new level of consciousness that is forcing us to look at reality and, to feel  things about it.  We are discovering that emotion is a largely unexplored dimension of our lives. We are learning that when we feel something deeply enough, we can bring it to life, give it form and substance, and prosper from it in ways we’ve never dreamed before.  We are learning that our main responsibility lies in learning how to listen to the body and to its reactions.

Confronting our beliefs, doubts, confusion and emotions/feelings, is an important step in our journey towards wholeness. With this realization comes the hope, strength and opportunity to step forward and create ourselves anew.  Healing is all about participating in our own process. We all have body/medical intuition, it’s just developing the framework to help us understand what it means.  It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, the body knows what to do, it has a tremendous capacity to repair and heal.  All that’s required is your commitment and motivation to heal.

All different kinds of illness whether their aches or pains, chronic illness, or even illnesses that are life threatening are teaching and showing us that something we are doing, thinking, or saying or acting on, is comprising who we truly are.   What illness is really trying to tell you is STOP!  STOP and look at where you are!  Stop and look at the quality of your thoughts and beliefs.  Are they in alignment with who you are and are they driven by the intentions of the heart and soul?

Thoughts have energy, emotions have energy and your beliefs have energy.  If there’s something you’re feeling guilty about or wish you hadn’t done, you’re unknowingly beating yourself up and this can overtime, manifest in some form of energy congestion and then ultimately land somewhere in the body.  The whole process of our human existence is to create thought that is reflective of our own individuality, authenticity, and truth.  It is not about trying to live by someone else’s thoughts and beliefs.  If we eat ourselves up or talk poorly to ourselves or allow childhood wounds and traumas to run our life, ultimately these will show up in the physical body.

Everything that affects you must first pass through your aura and then through the chakras or wheels of energy that surround and interpenetrate your physical body. Chakras literally mean ‘wheels of fire’.  They appear to the psychic as rapidly turning pools of light.  Though not actually in the physical body the main 7 chakras are radiated from the spinal region, each flaring at the front of the body like great flowering trumpets.  Information received through the aura and chakras enters into your awareness through your senses thoughts and intuition.  These centers are constantly recording and downloading your emotional experiences.  So the aura and the body are in constant communication with one another.

 Few of us understand what our body is feeling at any given moment. Tension, pain, illness, hiccups and goosebumps are all bodily words.  When we feel these bodily sensations, we usually ignore them or take a pill and carry on with what we were doing….unaware that these bodily signals are our teacher and guidance system.

 “The inability to talk about emotions that you feel intensely will usually get transformed into a symbolic language of symptoms and eventual illness in the body.”  Mona Lisa Schulz

 Physical symptoms are never the first signs of illness, but the last…they can sound/feel similar to the whining of a tired and irritable child…these are your body’s cries of distress…something you can’t ignore. But remarkable things can happen if you can get beyond the irritating demand for attention and reach out to the wounded child underneath, who so desperately needs your understanding and unconditional love.

 The following exercises are designed to initiate a dialogue with one’s body.  Hearing what the body is trying to tell you requires great patience and practice.  The intention is not to make your pain go away.  Pain as mentioned, is actually your body’s guidance system ‘showing’ you a situation that needs to be taken care of.  When we acknowledge pain, it can be transformational, creating new attitudes towards ourselves and others, increasing our spiritual understanding, deepening the feeling side of life, producing changes in our relationships, our careers and even society itself.

 The seventeenth-century philosopher Spinoza once wrote: “Suffering ceases to be suffering as soon as we have formed a clear and precise picture of it.”  When we shed light on our emotions, energy floods into the body allowing us to review things.

EXERCISE ONE

 ENERGY CLEANSING OF THE PHYSICAL AND SUBTLE BODIES

 As you lie in bed, before you go to sleep, take time to feel your physical body.  How does it feel?  Are there any parts that you are particularly aware of?  Are these parts still connected with any events of your day?

Take time to feel your emotional body.  Are there any feelings in it that disturb you?  How are they connected in the events of the day?  Be aware of what you need to learn, so that these emotions can be released.

Take time to feel your mental body.  Are there any thoughts running through your mind that are connected with the events of your day?  Finish them and let them go…..good night and pleasant dreams.

 EXERCISE TWO

DIALOGUE WITH YOUR BODY ABOUT ILLNESS AND HEALTH

 (It’s probably best to read this over, make it your own and tape with your own voice…you may want to have a pad of paper and pen close by during or after the meditation)

 Let your body relax and sink into the chair you are sitting on….letting your eyes close or keeping them focused on one particular spot in order not to be distracted by anything going on outside you….letting the sound of your voice guide you gently into the center of your inner being….attuning yourself to the world within….becoming aware of your breathing as the natural rhythm of your body…breathing in…and breathing out…moving ever deeper to the center of your being…listening to the voice of your body….letting all the voices that have been demanding your attention fade into the background until they are no more than distant echoes. (Pause for 20 seconds).

 As you move more and more deeply into the region of your inner self, become aware of seeing your body from within rather than without….like when you look in a mirror.  As you become aware of your body within, pay attention to your breathing, breathing in and out in a natural regular rhythm.  Your breathing is you.  Feel a unity with your breathing.  Feel a unity with your body.  (Pause for 30 seconds)

 Feel the solidness beneath you for miles and miles.  Shift your attention to the top of your head….Sense with your head the space between you and the ceiling to the infinite edge of the universe.  Come back now to the room and notice the space around you…the forms, the colors the people.  Pay attention now to the sounds around you, the sounds outside.  Now pay attention to the sounds within you…sense your heart beating.  (Pause for 30 seconds)

 Now move your attention throughout your body, checking your sensations all through your body beginning with the top of your head.  Notice first your scalp, the feeling of your hair on your head.  Now pay attention to your forehead; experience any tension there.  Focus on your eyelids against your eyes, your nose, your tongue, your lips, your neck, the back of your neck, right shoulder, left shoulder, your back against the chair.  Notice the sensations in your chest, your breast, your stomach, your lower back, your hips, your genitals, your thighs, your knees, your calves, the feel of your feet on the floor, your right arm, your left arm, you hands in your lap….(Pause for 30 seconds)

 Now move your attention through your body at your own pace.  Stop and pay attention to any place where there is special tension or discomfort or lack of ease.  Focus on the sensation in this special place or places in your body.  Hold your attention there.  Hold.  (Pause for 30 seconds)

 Now become the sensation in that part of your body.  Identify yourself with it.  Amplify it.  If it is tense, allow it to feel even more tense.  If there is an ache, let the ache increase.  You want to hear the body’s message loud and clear.  Amplify it; experience it clearly and unmistakably. (Pause for 1 minute)

 This sensation is your friend and it’s telling you something.  Now put some questions to it.  It may not answer verbally.  Perhaps when you question the sensation, some images will come to mind, and you’ll have a feeling related to the sensation, or it will connect with something in your life, our you’ll have an intuition. (Pause for 1 minute)

 Now get into that sensation and ask:  Why are you feeling like this?  What’s your concern?  What’s on your mind?  If I changed something in my life, would you change your tune? (Pause for 2 minutes)

 Amplify the sensation again.  And beware of images that come to mind or connections and feelings related to your life and experience.  Amplify and have your radar out for the over-tones and what your body is telling you. (Pause for 1 minute)

 Again, direction your attention methodically to the sensations throughout your body from head to toe, until again your attention is stopped by a special sensation that summons your detailed attention to the message your body is sending you.  Don’t try to force anything, just be aware of what is there. (Pause for 1 minute)  Is there anything that surprises you?  Listen to what your body needs from you in the future…let the dialogue flow freely.

When you are finished, take a deep breath, relax your focus and when ready, come back to the room you are in and slowly, gently open your eyes.  You may want to write what you saw or heard or felt …letting your pen simply record what is there without censoring or interpreting.

*Pain is your friendly messenger bringing you very important news about your life situation.  The goal of this exercise is to magnify the voice of that friend so that you truly hear it, and so that it won’t have to shout even louder to get your attention.

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“Osteoporosis; is the eating away of our firm foundation. Bones are the hardest substance in the body. They support and give strength to the body. They are also the most brittle of substances that make up the body. If we see ourselves as having little or no support in the world of a physical or of a metaphysical nature our own foundation is weakened and the structure collapses in upon itself. “
http://www.compassionatedragon.com/metaphysics5.html

“EMOTIONAL BLOCK ~On both a physical and metaphysical level, bones represent support. Bone disorders are invariably linked with a fear of not being sufficiently supported or fear of not sufficiently supporting others. Bone disorders indicate that we don’t feel “solid” enough to take care of our own lives.

…MENTAL BLOCK ~ Bone disorders are a message from your body to acknowledge your own inner strength. Your body is telling you to stabilize yourself, to regain your balance by allowing yourself to experience simple pleasures without guilt. You have everything you need to create a stable life, without having to depend on others for support.” Your Body is Telling You: Love Yourself ~ Lise Bourbeau

The word Osteoporosis literally means porous bones. Bones are our inner scaffolding, a supportive solid structure created to give our bodies form as well as protect our internal organs and works as a frame for our muscles and skin. It is through our bones we strive towards independence and find our place in the world. But in a world that is in a continual state of flux and change, women and men are physically crumpling to the increased pressures and stress that surround them. Many who have been unable to regenerate their energy against the bitterest winds and storms are now being diagnosed with Osteoporosis.

Lise Bourbeau, author of the excellent book, Your Body is Telling You: Love Yourself, also claims that bone disorders that end with “itis” (inflammatory disease) also indicates repressed anger. Anger is a form of energy; the more it builds up, the more necessary it is to release it.  Energy can’t be destroyed, so if we don’t release our anger and let it build, it can have damaging effects on the physical body.  Repressed anger can cause hypertension, headaches, PMS, heart problems, ulcers and it makes osteoporosis worse.  Holding on to anger causes you to “tense up”, putting extra pressure on your joints and muscles.  Long-term anger exhausts your life force and energy – it drains energy from the ‘foundation’ of your body.. your bones, muscles, blood vessels, immune system and internal organs..it also destroys your self-esteem and self-worth.

The need to control also creates an aura of stress and tension around ourselves…it drains our energy. Control comes from the need to dominate and perfectionism..it can also come from not trusting others. Control keeps us limited and disconnects us from our creativity, spontaneity, imagination and fun. Control can easily lead to aggression or anger…it can constrict and restrict our energies leading to oppression and depression.

Stress also causes our body to become rigid, tight and inflexible. This in turn causes the muscles, ligaments and tendons to tighten and over time shorten, creating an uneven pull on the skeletal bones of the body. Eventually the tension can build up to a point where it causes pain, inflammation and bone malformation. As energy levels drop from the buildup of toxins, this puts a ‘crimp’ in our circulation of energy, our energy backs up, and the already maxed out immune system weakens and turns on itself. Arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are autoimmune conditions as well as Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Epstein-Barr Virus.

Releasing anger takes time and patience. For some people it can take longer but if you work at releasing anger (hitting a pillow, yelling in your car, walking, exercising, etc.) it will reprogram your nervous system and will help to make you less ‘reactive’ to emotional triggers.

From http://www.alive.com/420a2a2.php?subject_bread_cramb=227

“Your immune system is the most complex and critical component of your body’s inherent defence mechanism: a vast network of specialized cells and organs including your liver, lymphatic system, thymus, spleen and bone marrow. Together they share the responsibility of maintaining your resistance to disease.

Immunity is partly inherited and partly shaped by lifestyle. Your ability to ward off disease is determined by the resilience of your natural defences.”

Most of our immune cells originate in the bone marrow, in fact there is a whole cast of characters that make up the immune system and its roots can be traced to the ‘stem cells’ in our bone marrow. When balanced, the immune system cells are able to distinguish what is the “enemy” and what is the “self”.

If you’re really interested in learning all you can about the immune system this site “The Anatomy of the Immune System” is fantastic! If you click “elsewhere” on 1. Bone Marrow, you’ll discover and learn more about the various characters of our stem cells.

Look at it here http://www.microbiologybytes.com/iandi/2b.html

One of the stem cells, the macrophage is the easiest to identify under the microscope. It looks like a dark, horseshoe shaped blob and is rather quite large compared to the other cells of the immune system. If you remember the old Pac Man game then you’ll have a good idea what the macrophage does.

“Monocytes circulate in the peripheral blood prior to emigration into the tissues. Within certain organs they have special names, e.g. in liver they are known as Kupfer cells, in brain as microglia, in kidney as mesangial cells, and in bone as osteoclasts. Elsewhere they are referred to as tissue macrophages”

The macrophage also accumulates in tissues that are injured and inflamed, such as arthritic joints. There its venemous tentacles seek out, surround and destroy its prey. It dines on the bacteria or a clump of viruses that were tied together by your antibodies. Sounds like a horror story involving poisonous spiders, doesn’t it?

As mentioned in the above quote, the macrophage exist in bone as osteroclasts. These are microscopic cells specially designed to nibble, dissolve and breakdown bone. They are similar to the demolition crew in the construction industry. How and why an area is targeted for ‘remodeling’ is still not yet understood…although they are called in when a bone is fractured or broken. What we do know is that the osteoclasts spend a couple of weeks resorbing the bone and when done, mononuclear cells, the cleanup crew pull up and prepare the surface for new bone formation. Then, the osteoblasts take over and start rebuilding. So healthy bones are constantly remodeling themselves. But what happens in the case of osteoporosis or osteopenia? What causes the osteoclasts to continue demolishing?

“In osteoporosis, the net rate of bone resorption exceeds the rate of bone formation, resulting in a decrease in bone mass without a defect in bone mineralization. In women, osteoclast activity is increased because of decreased estrogen after the menopause. (Men with prematurely decreased testosterone may also have increased osteoclast activity.) These changes result in further net loss of bone. The amount of bone available for mechanical support of the skeleton eventually falls below the fracture threshold and one may suffer a fracture with little or no trauma.” From http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=11794

So somehow the osteoclasts become hyperactive and perforate and penetrate too deeply into the bone. These osteoclasts act like hungry termites, gobbling away at the framework of your house, weakning the foundation of your physical being. There are more osteoclasts then osteoblasts and the fewer osteoblasts cannot keep up the demand of rebuilding and recalking the holes in your bone. Your bones become less supportive and more fragile.

Our bones are constantly losing and replacing cells….they are ‘living tissue’ that grow as the body grows. Bones, give our bodies form, protect our internal organs and work as a frame for our muscles and skin. It is our bones that enable our muscles to move, giving motion and life to our physical being.

How do we prevent and/or reverse the cause of bone loss? What makes our bones stay strong and healthy? Is calcium the answer? We’ll be looking at these questions and more in the next article(s) of this blog. Osteoporosis afflicts both men and women. In fact studies indicate that doctors/scientists have not paid enough attention to osteoporosis in men. Perhaps the reason women are catalogued more, is because, they are known to live longer than men.

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GIVING AND RECEIVING

The other day a friend asked me an astrological question regarding the North Node or True Node. As I attempted to answer her question, explaining the energies of both the North and South Node an interesting parallel to my last post came into focus. The Nodes are not planets but points where the Moon’s orbit intersect the Earth’s orbit. They signify the balance between receiving (North) and giving (South) in a person’s energy.

The North Node is connected to challenges, growth and moving beyond one’s boundaries…..it shows where we need to draw on other people’s support in order to reach our full potential. The South ‘on the other hand’ represents past achievements and shows us what we are already familiar with and can easily accomplish in this lifetime.

If these two energies are not in balance, there won’t be a link between our consciousness and unconscious, between mind and body, between spirit and psyche. Without this balance our heartfelt desires are deprived of bringing what we love into existence. We become stressed, frustrated, restricting the flow of energy to the heart, the most important central organ/muscle in the body. The fiery enthusiasm of the soul’s quest becomes depleted, losing its tremendous sense of pride and will. Instead of flowing outward from our center (self-worth), we find ourselves looking to others to help us decide our fate in the world. Our energy shrinks rather than expands affecting the heart and every organ, muscle, tissue, cell in the body. We lose contact with our vitality and our soul.

The adrenal glands, crucial in focusing our force of will, becomes exhausted causing wear and tear on the body. Instead of producing endorphins (happy heartfelt emotions) it produces an excess of cortisol, depressing the immune system, increasing blood pressure and cholesterol. High levels of cholesterol can cause calcium deposits to harden in our veins and arteries (cardiovascular system)…..our digestive system slows down, causing stomach ulcers, brittle bones, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, cancer, etc.

From http://www.worldwidehealthcenter.net/articles-415.html

Chronically excess cortisol may contribute to many diseases, including cancer, ulcers, heart attacks, diabetes, infections, alcoholism, strokes, skin diseases, psychosis, and possibly Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis.5 Cortisol excess may contribute to obesity not only because of the metabolic derangements (including insulin resistance) that it promotes, but also because it induces “stress overeating,”

The above site helps us to understand how cortisol when balanced, can enhance our system…..and too much, can deplete it.

This proves that giving and receiving, loving another and loving ourselves is crucial and vital to the health of our heart and soul.

In this section we’re going to look at several different methods of stimulating, transforming and implementing a change of heart. We’ll look at nutrition, stretching exercises, yoga, breathing exercises, relaxation, music, dance, etc. that will help us recharge our batteries, let go of tension, strengthen our will, our self-worth and our ability to give/receive and lovingly connect with others.

NUTRITION

FRUITS

The winter holidays wouldn’t be complete without the addition of cranberries. Hmm, cranberry juice, sauces and jellies are a delight with stuffing and turkey. In fact cranberries are considered a potent source of antioxidants which help to cleanse and purify the body and a protector of heart disease and even cancer. But wait a minute you say, cranberries are known to treat urinary tract infections……and now you’re saying the heart too? Absolutely!!

“Three glasses of cranberry juice just might keep the cardiologist at bay.
That’s the suggestion of a small new study presented March 24 at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans. Researchers from the University of Scranton suggested that nutrients found in cranberry juice can effectively reduce the risk of heart disease — in some cases, up to 40 percent — mostly by increasing levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol. The juice was also shown to increase blood levels of antioxidant nutrients by up to 121 percent.”

http://preventdisease.com/news/articles/cranberry_juice_reduce_heart_disease.shtml

Also,

http://food-facts.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_health_benefits_of_cranberries
“Cranberries and Heart DiseaseBecause they contain flavonoids, studies reported by WebMD Medical News suggest that cranberries can be a weapon in the war against atherosclerosis, or what they used to call “hardening of the arteries”. Flavonoids help reduce the amount of bad cholesterol clogging the walls of your arteries while increasing the level of good cholesterol in your system.”

In fact if you google (cranberries) heart, you’ll learn a great deal about this fruit and its incredible source of nutrition, vitamins, antioxidants and as mentioned above, flavonoids.

Cranberries aren’t the only fruit that helps to heal the heart. Dark colored juices of grapes, beets and blueberries help to increase the production of red blood cells, supply the blood and tissues with potassiusm as well as eliminate accumulated salt from the tissues…..lowering blood pressure. Other fruits that drain out pounds of fluid (natural diuretics) are watermelon, watercress, pears, peaches and nectarines (to name a few). Citrus, black currants and grapes also helps in lowering blood pressure. Papaya contains an enzyme called carpain which has been seen helpful for the heart.

Potassium also helps in regulating the heartbeat and in combination with natural mineral Sodium (not table salt) helps to prevent hardening of the arteries. Pomegranates and its juice contains polyphenols (antioxidants) also combacts this disease as well as prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Fruits are the best cleansers of the body and 20-30% of our daily food supply should be fresh fruits. All fresh fruits are alkaline and vital for body development and repair….fruits store one of the greastest natural sources of energy on our planet….the Sun/Solar Energy.

Winter is a hard time to find fresh fruit…..frozen fruits work just as well.

VEGETABLES

We all heard the healing power of garlics and onions. Both of these are powerful in dissolving cholesterol and the gooey sludge that causes hardening of the arteries. Garlic also helps to increase the absorption of thiamine (B1)….without B1, or a deficiency of, we can suffer from shortness of breath and irregular heart beat.

B1 is found in many vegetables, some examples are artichokes, asparagus, avocado, brussel sprouts, dandelion, parsley, watercress as well as in rice bran, wheat germ, nuts and beans, etc..

Celery is a rich source of the important ‘natural’ mineral Sodium. Sodium is known to keep other mineral elements soluble in the bloodstream which helps to prevent a buildup of solid deposits. It also supplies the body with calcium, phospohorous, magnesium and vitamins A & C…..all of these help in the absorption and metabolism of calcium in the body. This vegetable and its cleansing action of the bloodstream is also helpful to those who struggle with weight problems.

Cucumbers improve circulation of the blood. Cucumbers contain an excellent source of vitamin E – the muscle vitamin. A lack of vitamin E slows down the effectiveness of muscles, especially the heart muscle. Vitamin E has recently been under alot of controversy…..

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,138184,00.html

“Vitamin E hasn’t proven to be good for the heart, and now a study suggests that too much vitamin E — daily doses of 400 IU or more — actually increases the risk of dying, according to new findings.”

Is the above statement true? I’m not sure….but food naturally containing vitamin E are safe! They help to improve circulation of the blood by dilating the blood vessels, even the smaller ones and also helps to nourish the cells, strengthen capillary walls and help in healing skin tissue that has been damaged. Vitamin E also helps to detoxify harmful pollutants we breathe in from our environment suc as industrial pollutants, exhaust fumes from cars, pesticides, chemical fertilizers and even preservatives.

I tried to find an intense list of vitamin E foods and couldn’t find them all in one place and decided to complile a list of my own….

Foods Rich In Vitamin E (not in alphabetical order)

Alfala Sprouts, Asparagus, Cucumbers, Avocado, Carrots, Lettuce, Grapefruit, Corn, Peas, Kale, Spinach, Brussel Sprouts, Chestnuts, Pumpin Seed, Wheat germ and wheat germ oil, Sesame seeds, Almonds, Hazel huts, Rice, Brazil nuts, Peanuts, Walnuts, Sunflowers Seeds, Oats, Pecan Nuts, Barley, Beans, Potatoes,

and I’m sure the list would go on……in fact a great resource for all vitamins and minerals can be found at this site http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/focus/nutrition/facts/vitamins_minerals/vitamin.htm

Brussel sprouts are an excellent source of antioxidant cartenoids (beta-carotene) that help protect our bodies from heart disease and cancer by boosting our immune system. They also help in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Broccoli as well is an excellent antioxidant http://www.phytochemicals.info/plants/broccoli.php

From http://www.alive.com/285a1a2.php?subject_bread_cramb=489
“The brassica family of vegetables, which includes broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and brussels sprouts, is one of your most powerful weapons in warding off many common diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension.

All fruits and vegetables are valuable sources of nutrients that fight disease. They are naturally low in fat, cholesterol, calories and sodium; but rich in potassium, fibre, folic acid, beta-carotene and vitamins C and K. In fact, it is estimated that cancer rates would drop 20 per cent if Canadians ate five to 10 servings of vegetables and fruit each day. And it is the brassica family that contains the highest level of disease-fighting substances per serving. “

JUICING

I bought a juicer years ago and used it faithfully for about 3 months. It had been sitting in my laundry room and recently was resurrected and moved back to the kitchen. Juicing is making a comeback…..in my life anyways. As I’ve learned more and more about raw fruits and vegetables and their potent healing powers of vitamins, minerals and enzymes, the more I am eating and drinking them.

There are loads of recipes on the net to start juicing your way to health. Below, are a couple to get you started. It is recommended if you’re going to buy a juicer to get the masticating juicer that chews up the plant pulp and extracts the juice. Electric centrifugal juicers are good too. Just make sure the blades are stainless steel and not aluminum…..aluminum can react with the fruit acids.

Cholesterol fighting juice and more http://www.healthmad.com/Fitness/10-Exotic-and-Healthy-Juice-Recipes.82062

http://www.healingdaily.com/juicing-for-health/juicing-recipes.htm

MEATS AND POULTRY

Another controversial topic! Are meats good for us? An excellent and rich site regarding the pros and cons of meat is here…

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-wellbeing/health-news/is-meat-good-or-bad-for-us-425192.html

It’s heading states…..”It’s the best natural source of iron and protein – but it has also been linked to cancer. Maxine Frith investigates the pros and cons”

This site also talks of meat being the best source of zinc, iron, protein and B vitamins. It talks of high protein diets and their advantages to weight loss.

It also talks of the different meats…..”The three official red meats are pork, lamb and beef. Pork is the leanest, lamb the fattiest and beef the most nutritious.”

Definitely an interesting read!

Too much meat can affect our bodies and our thoughts. Meat is said to have a contractive effect, making the body to focus inward and ‘tighten down’. Vegetables and fruits are alkaline in nature as is our bodies….meat is very acidic. Our cells live in an alkaline environment….as they work to keep you healthy, they naturally produce an acid that our body’s in turn eliminate through the lungs. It’s your body’s way of getting rid of the acid created and generated from your hard working cells.

Our goal is not to add to this acidity by over-eating acid producing foods such as meats, poultry, nuts and even too much fish. A balance of all essential food groups is necessary for optinum growth and health.

The best foods to combine with meats and poulty are steamed or cooked vegetables with leafy green vegetables.

My father suffered health problems, especially heart related most of his adult life. His will to live led him to discover what combination of foods were best to enjoy life and have better health. He eliminated certain foods in his diet, reduced the intake of salt, coffee, tea, carbonated drinks, processed foods and snacks high in fats. He ate a diet rich in cooked fruits and vegetables as well as raw (used a juicer)…..and less in the meat and poultry department. About 25% of his diet consisted of meat and poultry, which helped him to live over the age of 80.

I do believe poultry is valuable to the diet…..Chicken and their eggs offers us a complete source of protein…….turkey (and chicken) contains Tryptophan, an amino acid our bodies cannot produce on its own. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tryptophan

The holiday season is upon us and many will be cooking the traditional turkey dinner with dressing with cranberries – yum! It was quite timely to find this wonderful site on eating turkey http://chemistry.about.com/od/holidaysseasons/a/tiredturkey.htm and if it makes us sleepy. It does talk of turkey containing Tryptophan and includes the influence of carbohydrates, overeating, alcohol and fats contributing to that sleepy feeling.

FISH

“A word of caution: live fishes may absorb contaminants found in the waters. Methyl mercury and PolyChlorinated Biphenyls that fish absorb by fishes may cause harm.
Research says that pregnant women and children should limit their intake of high-mercury species like swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish, among others. Farmed fish like salmon have little mercury, but they may have PCBs.
Health Watch recommends peeling the skin and fat of the fish before cooking to minimise harm. They also suggest limiting the consumption of farmed and wild salmon. ” http://www.rediff.com/getahead/2005/apr/13fish.htm

Geez, everything we eat has a caution of some kind or another. With meat, we have Mad Cow Disease, with poultry the Bird Flu. However, adding fish to your weekly diet is still probably good for you, but I’d keep your protein intake at about 25% and the other 75% vegetables and fruits with a side of rice or potato.

Fish contains a high amount of the Omega 3 fatty acids and studies have shown it helps to lower cholesterol, prevents hardened arteries, decrease heart attacks and promotes a healthy circulatory system.

For seafood lovers, remember that crayfish, caviar, oysters, lobsters, crabs are very high in cholesterol.

“There are two fatty acids that are critical. They are ones deemed “essential” because we need them for our survival but our bodies cannot make them. We have to get them from food. They are linoleic acid (omega-6) and linolenic acid (omega-3) [polyunsaturates]. Without these essential fatty acids we perish. With enough of them (and in the presence of adequate vitamins and minerals), the body can manufacture all of the other fatty acids it needs –into arachidonic, gamma-linolenic, and many others……….

Our primitive ancestors had an answer. They were unable to extract oils from plants. They got all of the essential fatty acids they needed from the natural whole foods they ate, including poultry fat, animal fat, fish, avocado, egg yolk, olives, buter, nuts, and seeds and the like. There is wisdom in consuming our polunsaturates as part of the whole nut or seed, where nature’s package protects them from deterioration. It is risky to consume them as extracted and refined oils, in unnatural and potentially dangerous proportions……

Fish body oils contain unique polyunsaturates. The principal one of these is E.P.A. (eicosapentaenoic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid that has been demonstrated to improve the flow characteristics of the blood. It prevents blood cells from sticking together to form clots that might otherwise prematurely plug up the arteries. E.P.A. also tends (a) to reduce serum triglycerides and total serum cholesterol and (b) to increase H.D.L. cholesterol (the “good” kind). E.P.A. is nature’s “antifreeze”, to keep the fish’s body from stiffening up from cold temperatures. Therefore, the colder the water the fish lives in, the higher its E.P.A. content. Almost any fish will do, but the best sources are salmon, mackerel, cod, herring, haddock, trout, whitefish, oysters and squid.” David W. Rowland, The Nutritional Bypass

SUMMARY

It seems that more and more we are somehow being pushed away from the ‘processed’ food industry. Recently, in Canada, we suffered a Listeria scare (bacteria) with processed meats that became a nationwide problem. We are discovering if we want to be and stay healthy, the body needs ‘whole foods’ not processed foods that considerably reduce the nutritional value of its content….they are also very high in salt, additives and chemicals. The more chemicals we injest, the harder our bodies have to work to eliminate these harmful substances….what can’t be eliminated begins to buildup and create havoc in our system. And the body’s health and energy becomes more and more depleted.

Is Mother Nature trying to give us a hint that we were designed to eats food grown naturally from the earth and not processed by man? Indeed I think She is! The Earth provides us with fresh ready-made whole foods in the form of vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds and nuts. Fresh meat, not processed, is beneficial as well, although too much of it is hard to digest on the body.

As I have looked to eat healthier, I’ve noticed my tendency to eat foods given to me as a child as well as those common to my culture. As my knowledge of the different food groups and what they have to offer has changed, so have my eating habits. Some foods tried didn’t have such an appeal, but many others did. Learning the nutrient content of vegetables, fruits, legumes, etc. and eating them has helped to improve my health.

Do I still eat processed and quick fix foods? Oh yes, but not as much as I used too! I still treat myself to my favorite foods, pizza, chocolate cake and apple pie, yum…..just not as often!

Fast foods are so convenient with our busy schedules, we throw it into the oven and literally scarf it down. Something I have done with my meals is add celery sticks, cucumbers and other raw vegetables and fruits to the meal. Also, the Crock Pot has made a comeback in many homes. There are hundreds of recipes on the net that taste great and easy and simple to prepare.

Although supplements weren’t discussed in this blog, we do need to look at why we find ourselves taking them to feel better. The more I’ve learned about the different food groups and the gifts they offer, the more I have reduced my visits to the health store. We need to seriously look at why we take something to physically ‘feel better’….obviously something is amiss within our diet. Supplements definitely do help, don’t get me wrong, especially with the deterioration of nutrients in our soil caused by chemicals, pollutants and bug sprays.

The next section on this blog turns our attention on triglycerides, carbohydrates and fats.  Triglycerides are produced in the liver from carbohydrates.  They are also the fatty substance (lipids) in the blood.  Too much fat can clog our arteries as well as protein and carbohydrates.

to be continued….

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Your body will do everything it can to LIVE! It has a knowing when things aren’t right and immediately starts to repair injured or problem areas. This section helps you to understand how the body’s healing system works.

Your healing system (the intelligence within) continually works twenty-four hours a day for you. A tough job! You hardly recognize it’s around unless you get a scratch or a sprain or a cut and the bodies internal intelligence repairs and replenishes without you giving it a single thought. Your talented team has done its job.

When the flu season is rampant or you’re exposed to something and don’t get it, you think you’re really lucky. What you don’t realize is how hard your team has worked to keep you well. In fact, your body deals with all kinds of threats before they become serious, even cancer, whenever they show up to threaten your health.

Our bodies are more than just physical, they are a miniature universe of energies helping us to empower ourselves by monitoring all the energies we filter into our bodies from food, air and drink to the energies around us, people, our environment, attitudes, sounds, etc. Under normal conditions the body’s natural defenses can throw off any negative influence before it develops symptoms of dis-ease.

The body’s defense system works as a team twenty four hours a day, constantly seeking out living viruses; bacteria; parasites; yeasts; toxins like nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, drugs, automobile exhaust; chemicals; even things that are good for you like herbs, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, amino acids; or something you’re allergic to like milk/dairy products, chocolate, wheat, corn, ragweed, dusts, pollens and molds that’s considered “not you” to destroy. That’s its job. It’s only when it becomes overwhelmed for whatever reason, that you finally get sick or diseased.

THE SKIN

On the body’s surface, the skin is our largest sense organ, symbolizing our sensitivity and our self-worth. Metaphysically it is called ‘the body of the soul’. It’s also known to symbolize birth and rebirth as its cells are constantly regenerating.

Did you know your skin contains sweat glands and sebaceous glands which both produce substances capable of killing bacteria and fungus on contact? Every stimuli your body receives, whether inside or outside, its response to this stimuli is perfect. If you’re cold, the blood-flow to the skin is restricted to hold in body heat…..the response from your body…..you shiver. When too warm, the body revs up the thermostat, sending blood to the skin area for cooling and pumps moisture through the skin which then evaporates…..this is how we perspire. So the skin defends against infection and dehydration, controls body temperature and also represents how you interact with the world……what you want to bring forward.

The skin is actually one of the richest sources of all the hormones found in the body. When stimulated the skin showers us with a flow of healing chemicals into our blood stream. One of the most important of these is known as growth hormones (HGH). HGH is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland and is necessary for hair growth and maintaining normal elasticity of the skin.

The skin is also the seat of our emotions. When we are deeply moved we say we have been deeply touched. The experience of touch or sensation is linked to a past thought which then creates an emotion. The skin is symbolic to our feelings.

THE NOSE

The nose helps to cleanse and warm the air we breathe to help the lungs take in fresh oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. As you breath, irritants are trapped in nasal hairs and mucus. Mucus kills both bacteria and viruses. This definitely helps to give us a little more respect for that stuff calledg phlegm. Mucus is carried upward on cilia (tiny hairlike projections lining your respiratory tract), and outward through coughing and sneezing.

THE MOUTH

Saliva in our mouths and tears in our eyes contain enzymes destructive to invaders.

FEVER

Fever is also important part of your healing team. It helps to destroy bacteria and toxins in the body that threaten our survival. The body will do anything to live!
Conversion of matter to spirit is when we need to raise energy or apply heat which allows our subtle bodies (aura) to extend away from the body to pull in more healing energy. We spoke of shivers earlier, but shivers are also a way of drawing the subtle body back into alignment with the physical.

DNA LEVEL

The size and complexity of your healing team is mind boggling. You’ll find members of the team working deep down at the most basic level of your body in every cell’s DNA. The DNA’s job is to replicate, transcribe, and translate information from one cell to another and from one generation of cell to the next. It also relays information to other cells through the RNA.

Enzymes are the “hands” that carry out the DNA instructions within the cell. They’re also catalysts to speed the process and sometimes make sure it’s done right. Each DNA contains all the information needed to manufacture enzymes to repair itself.

When a DNA recognizes it’s damaged, it quickly sets in motion enzymes to remove the damage and replace it with normal structure. It also takes care of the ordinary, moment-to-moment corrections (such as proofreading and editing to assure error-free translations). The healing process at this level is spontaneous and automatic.

Suppose you’re out in the sun and one of your skin cell’s DNA is injured from an UV ray. Almost immediately the damaged area of the affected strand is snipped on both sides (by endonuclease and exonuclease) and cut out in an elaborate molecular version of cut and paste. The gap is then filled with undamaged nucleotidase and voila new skin. All works well as long as they’re not overwhelmed – an example of being overwhelmed would be if two strands were damaged in the same DNA which would cause a mutation that could become cancer of the skin. (This threat is a strong argument for using sun blocking lotion.)

This is also the level where oxygen free radicals raise havoc similar to the way UV rays do to the skin. Again, we can handle the situation unless we become overwhelmed. Today with all the environmental toxins, antioxidants like vitamin C, grape-seed extract, green tea, vitamin E, etc. can be very helpful to us in combating oxygen free radicals and maintaining balance within our bodies.

CELLULAR LEVEL

We also find some team members at the cellular level. Much of their work takes place at the plasma membrane surrounding each cell. This is a dynamic membrane constantly taking in wanted, and throwing out unwanted materials (including itself as it’s constantly regenerating). For example, LDL receptor team members bind to LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. This is the “bad” cholesterol that tends to deposit on arterial walls. When bound, this “bad” cholesterol is sucked through the membrane into certain cells where it is removed from circulation.
These cells metabolize some of the cholesterol and dispose of the excess by chopping it up into small pieces and expelling them.

The neat thing is these LDL receptors continue to recycle every ten to twenty minutes during their ten to thirty hour lifespan. They’re then replaced by newly formed receptors. As in the DNA, this is a spontaneous healing system that sucks in materials through cellular membranes, recognizing (diagnosing) and removing and replacing (treating) defective structure and function. It automatically and continuously performs this moment-to-moment maintenance within your body. Again all goes well unless they’re overwhelmed – examples of being overwhelmed are high cholesterol levels, clogged arteries and atherosclerosis.

IMMUNE SYSTEM LEVEL – IN YOUR BLOOD

Cells form tissue, tissues form organs, and organs form bodily systems. When it’s working at a resting rate, your heart beats more than 100,000 times a day to move the equivalent of 2,100 gallons of blood through the nearly 60,000 miles of blood vessels throughout these tissues, organs, and systems. Think of this, one drop of blood circulates through your body and returns to the heart in just 24 seconds.

Blood, our life fluid, is a combination of similar cells and liquid. It represents vitality and joy of life. The collection of similar cells each serve a particular function – red to carry oxygen, white to fight infection, and platelets to stop bleeding. These cells are suspended in plasma, a liquid. It symbolizes and contains the life essence and pattern of our lives, past, present and future. It was often a part of ancient mystical rites.

The immune system (what we generally call healing team members at this level) consists primarily of some one trillion white cells. A cubic millimeter of blood contains 5 million red blood cells and 7,000 white blood cells. The source of white cells is your bone marrow. Where these white cells mature decides what their specific role will be in the healing system. “Eater” cells mature in the liver and spleen. B-cells mature in the spleen while T-cells mature in the thymus gland.

The whole thing is something to behold. You’re more aware of this level of the healing system than the previous two because pain is often associated with it, fever (which stimulates the production of white blood cells) may accompany it and some illness (like a cold or the flu) may follow it.

The more colorful Macrophages (“big eaters”) and Phagocytes (“bigger eaters”) move back and forth through the bloodstream. The macrophages use PAC-man-like maneuvers and the phagocytes use “glob”-type action to gobble up “not you” foreigners they find like bacteria, yeast, etc. T-cells attach themselves to phagocytes where they categorize intruders and direct the the glob action to absorb or ignore them. The eaters also gobble up debris left over from repairs made in healing injuries. Some of the bad guys get by these eaters. For example, the pneumonia bacteria and viral invasions are unaffected.

Determining what’s “you” and what’s not involves a complex identification system. Every substance – from a dust mite to the flu virus to one of your own cells – carries its own “chemical ID card,” marked by a unique molecular pattern on its surface. All your body’s cells have the same molecular pattern.

Helper T-cells are the captains of the immune team. They’re triggered by the activity of the “eaters.” Macrophages engulf invaders then break them down and display fragments of antigen as markers on their surfaces. T-cells find the markers and release proteins that bind to the infected cells such as a virus or bacteria. They then rush this information to the spleen and lymph nodes for help.

B-cells produce antibodies in these organs. Each antibody made by a B-cell fits a particular antigen as a key fits a lock. We never know which of the potential millions of disease-causing antigen we’ll encounter next. We can mix and match DNA in “mini-gene” segments, similar to bulding with different colored snap-and-lock blocks.

These mini-genes combine and recombine into the optimum pattern to make
antibodies that will fit any of these antigens we might encounter. Helper T-cells stimulate B-cells to produce more of a particular antibody which are then targeted at specific invaders and are rushed to neutralize them or tag them in some way for attack by other cells.

Special killer T-cells will kill body cells (such as mucous cells of the lungs or throat or body cells that have turned cancerous) that have been invaded by outside organisms. Antibodies then neutralize the viruses and clump around the viral surfaces to prevent them from attacking other cells.

Invaders can cause a lot of trouble, especially if your defenses are down because of stress overload (working more and sleeping less), poor nutrition (too much fat and not enough balanced vitamins and minerals), faulty lifestyles (weigh too much, exercise too little, smoke and/or drink too much, etc.). When your defenses are down, the viruses enter cells and unite with the DNA and begin to replicate and multiply. Once they have a foothold, they then steal nourishment at the cellular level to feed the miniature virus factory they’ve started.

Your immune system can handle the situation as long as it’s not overwhelmed even when your defenses are down. If your defenses are strong and balanced (your job is help keep it that way), the invaders are taken care of without any extra fuss.

Once the immune team has things under control the body goes into the
convalescent and recovery phases. At this time, Suppressor T-cells slow down or stop the activity of B-cells and other T-cells. (In Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS, the HIV virus invades and destroys helper T-cells but does not attack the suppressor cells. As a result, there is an excess of suppressor cells which essentially shuts down the immune system.)

Notice the purpose of the suppressor T-cells is to maintain a balance within your body. Note that when your body gets out of balance at any of the levels, your healing system is activated to bring it back into balance.

Finally, Memory cells “make notes,” called cellular memory – this allows the immune system to quickly respond and destroy these viruses the next time they show up to try to make trouble. It’s these memory cells that are programmed when we are vaccinated for something like small pox or the flu. There is a lot of controversy about this method of preventing disease that needs our immediate attention especially vaccines for infants and children. We need to become more aware of the serious affects these can cause. But Medical science is also concentrating on new vaccines to help prevent and combat such serious ailments as cancer and HIV.

LYMPHATIC SYSTEM

Another member of your team is the lymphatic system. It also carries the fellow immune team members right down to the cell level. The lymphatic system consists of millions of tiny vessels or ducts throughout the body. The spleen is the largest collection of lymph tissue in the body. The lymph fluid flows toward the chest back into the blood through the liver and kidneys. Lymph nodes act as filters for the removal of infective organisms. The lymphatic system has no pumps. Circulation through it depends on breathing and muscle movement (another good reason for exercise).

ENZYMATIC PROTEINS

There is also a complex series of 12 enzymatic proteins that circulate in the blood. They assist eater cells by making lethal holes in bacterial cells. These proteins enhance the inflammatory response. They work with immune team members in the healing process. Medical science is not sure how these enzymes are activated. Observations suggest one of the activators is negative electromagnetic energy.

YOUR INTESTINES

Another important team member is found within your gut. The small intestine works to digest and absorb nutrients, and the large intestines aborb water and eliminate the residue. They symbolize how well we absorb and eliminate experiences in our lives. Over 400 different species of both healthful and harmful microorganisms make their home in a healthy intestine. They can weigh up to 3 pounds – having so many important functions in our bodies that they can be thought of as an exogenous organ. Their numbers can be as high as 100 trillion — out numbering the cells of the body by 100 to one. By weight, there are actually more bad guys than the good ones. As long as the HEALTHY BALANCE is maintained all goes well.

Probiotics (lots of good hype about this lately), the good guys, are similar bacterial cultures that make milk into yogurt and cabbage into sauerkraut. They help keep everything in balance, keeping the bad guys in line; assisting the digestive process; stimulating the immune system; and helping to alleviate gastric disorders, to eliminate bad breath, prevent yeast infections, lower blood cholesterol, produce B vitamins and vitamin K.

Stress, the unchecked consumption of refined or processed foods, excessive alcohol, birth control pills, some food additives, some cortisone-type drugs, radiation therapy, fluoridated and/or chlorinated water, exposure to toxic metals, pollutants, or radiation, and, OF COURSE, ANTIBIOTIC THERAPY can all push the BALANCE in favor of the harmful bacteria.

A healthy gut = balance. Sometimes we might need to supplement the good guys by adding probiotics to our diet. The best thing we can do is make sure the good guys are well fed.

Note that in the animal world carnivorous animals (meat eaters) have a relatively short digestive system (about three times the length of the body). This is because the flesh they eat decays very quickly and the by-products produced by the decay could poison the bloodstream if the flesh remains in the body too long. The other animals have much longer digestive systems (about ten times the length of their bodies). The human digestive system is more in the latter category. This is another good reason for us to eat meat sparingly.

WHEN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM DOESN’T WORK RIGHT

It seems white blood cells go through a learning process in developing this ability to identify the good and bad guys. Some don’t pass the test and are inactivated or they attack your own cells. This is called an autoimmune disease (such as rheumatoid arthritis or insulin- dependent diabetes). Others overreact to common substances such a pollen or dust (causing allergies or asthma). No one knows what causes the immune system’s recognition process to break down this way. Scientists believe multiple factors – heredity, viruses, certain drugs or even sunlight may play roles.

Most of the time everything works right. However, sometimes our team gets out of balance and can’t get back. No one is sure why this happens but the resulting problems are apparent. Allergies and asthma can result when excess histamines are produced when T-cells overreact to some common foods or particles such as dust and pollen.

Even more seriously; your immune team can, for no known reason, attack normal cells as we would an invading bacteria or virus. When insulin-producing cells are the target, Type 1 diabetes results. Targeting membrane lining of the joints may result in rheumatoid arthritis. When the team takes on the myelin sheaths that surround the nerves in the brain, the result may be MS.

Sometimes we need to be nudged into activity. That’s what memory cells do when we are vaccinated. The cancer vaccines being developed are geared to go a step further and mobilize your team to not only prevent cancer but to actually attack existing tumors.

REGENERATION

Regeneration is also part of the healing process. It’s common knowledge that animals like salamanders readily regenerate their limbs. It is amazing that we too possess the ability to mend broken bones It has been proven that negative electromagnetic energy is the prime healing force. The human body is a magnificent healing machine – we are learning and discovering how to turn on the right switches to activate the process.

Other regeneration is also active in our bodies. We’re constantly shedding and regenerating new skin. The entire lining of the intestinal tract sloughs off and is renewed every day! Our livers can regenerate up to eighty percent in a matter of hours as long as the tissue that remains is normal. We also know that some things like neurons in our brains and our heart muscles do not regenerate.

ELECTROMAGNETIC ENERGY AND ALTERNATIVE THERAPY

From observations in enzyme activation and bone healing, we see that
electromagnetic energy (the Life Force)is an important player in the healing process. It turns out that diseased, infected, and injured tissue are all positively charged. This is when Reiki and other healing modalities comes to play.

The electromagnetic positive signal is sent to the brain through the nervous system and the brain in turn returns electromagnetic negative energy (which is female by the way) to the area. This proves that all healing comes from within. The body has a tremendous ability in restoring itself to health. Viruses and bacteria surround us all the time, so we need to ponder why we get sick.

IN CONCLUSION

What a marvelous thing this healing system is! Scientists tell us our bodies are made to last at least 120 years. Your job is to do everything you can in your lifestyle to keep everything running smoothly and properly. There’s still a great deal to be learned about how our bodies work and how they heal themselves. We sure know the power of our mind-body relationships is an important part of this discovery process. Healing includes locating and removing energy blocks and this can be accomplished by raising our consciousness and understanding of the metaphysical nature of the human body and its energy system. For true health to occur we need to learn how to integrate the physical, emotional, mental and spirit into our beings. All healing comes from within. It can be initiated from an outside source, which serves to set the healing process in action. We are learning to “know” our bodies and their response to outside stimuli.

Illness is just a symptom. It’s your body’s way of getting your attention that something has gotten out of balance.

LINKS

DNA Repair
http://telicthoughts.com/dna-repair-a-vital-function/

Healing the energy body……July issue of this blog
https://ravenstarshealingroom.wordpress.com/2009/07/10/healing-the-energy-body/

KNOW THYSELF – Body/Mind connection…..July issue of this blog
https://ravenstarshealingroom.wordpress.com/2009/07/10/know-thyself-the-bodymind-connection/

HGH
http://www.hgh-md.com/what-is-hgh.htm

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Do you need Me? I AM there.
You cannot see ME, yet I AM the Light you see by.
You cannot hear ME, yet I speak through your voice.
You cannot feel ME, yet I AM the Power at work in your hands.
“I Am There” by J.D. Freeman

As mentioned previously Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalia (FM) benefit from an array of different modes of healing. Reiki is but one way to experience the advantages of allowing the body to heal itself. Reiki is a catalyst that allows the patient the process of healing his or her own body—with CFS and FM it should be used in conjunction with medicine and alternative healing..

An illness is considered to be a lack of energy and balance with the many layers of the physical body. In the last segment I wrote…..
“Usually this cycle begins with an upset, which then leads to stress. Stress is usually caused by change, a change we don’t want or feel we can’t handle—this causes emotional discomfort, which causes spiritual pain and then dis-ease. “

“the greater part of human pain is unnecessary. It is self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life….Unhappiness ultimately arises not from the cirumstances of your life but from the conditioning of your mind.”
“The Power of Now” Echkart Tolle

A buildup of stress affects our immune system causing chemical changes within the body. This buildup can cause fatigue, anxiety, depression and many pain-related problems as well as inflammation of the tissues and endocrine disorders. This causes the organs in our body to mis-fire, throwing our physical and energetic system off balance.

When we aren’t feeling well our energy is focused in the area attacked by the pain and usually there isn’t enough energy reserve to move it through and out of the body—the lymph fluids gather around the imbalance, turn to sugar and stagnates. (As mentioned I have noticed sugar aggravates and triggers my Fibromyalgia attacks—ohh and I love sugar!).

The Reiki hand positions help to replace and store enough energy in the body’s immune system and organs, helping to move and eliminate toxic materials which allow the body to return to balance and good health.

I have participated in Reiki exchanges, and have seen many variations on the positioning of hands during a treatment. Some practitioners use seven hand positions, some use twenty four, some use variations of the twelve more commonly accepted hand positions. Still others were not taught specific hand positions, but rather to intuit where the energy was needed in a recipient’s body. So, which system is correct, or best?

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

Endocrine Glands (Original illustration created by Diane Abeloff, 2002)

(http://www.besthealth.com/besthealth/bodyguide/reftext/html/endo_sys_fin.html

http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio105/endocrin.htm

http://www.hormone.org/endo101/gland_diagram.cfm

When a person has had a long-term imbalance, there is usually not enough energy to trigger a higher immune response, and the “condition” seems stuck and on-going. But, when additional energy is introduced, then the immune system can draw upon it, kicking the body’s defense mechanism into a higher level of healing, causing their illness to change/mutate, and trigger the healing process.. By doing Reiki on the specific hand positions, a practitioner can give the fastest “charge” to the glands that are responsible for maintaining ‘health’, and accelerating the healing process. It is possible to just lay hands on one area of the body, but it will take much longer for the energy to find its way to each of the organs of the immune system and to amass or “kick start” the healing process.

Most healers once initiated into a healing modality find over the course of time, their own way. I did. With a combination of Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Massage, Touch for health, Astrology, numerology, etc., I’ve incorporated my own healing system which in my estimation stimulates and enhances the body’s own ability to regain and maintain a healthy balance. When I teach Reiki, some of what I’ve learned is integrated with the session and guides the students to ‘feel’ the energetic system of the body. Some students are advanced and able to see the body aura right away. Others, as they practice and use their gift of intuition begin to see the aura as well. It wasn’t until I was attuned and practicing Reiki II that I began to see auras as well as the chakras and energetic system. It is truly amazing! You can see the aura change before your eyes with a person’s passing thoughts, feelings and emotions. There is an abundance of personal information about a person within the combinations and frequencies of color. If interpreted ‘correctly’ a person’s true character can be revealed, for the truth is clearly visible behind the façade or mask they carry with them in day to day life.

Often with a Reiki session, the client becomes more and more relaxed, slowly drifting down and deeper towards their inner self. Usually I like to start at the head position—there I can tell how much stress the person has brought with them. If I feel they need to relax, I ask them to take three long, slow deep breaths and as they exhale to release all their tensions, cares and worries of the day—just let it go. Reiki music plays in the background as well as healing scents, which help to calm and soothe them.

As healing commences, I ask the patient to visualize Reiki as drops of sparkling energy/water slowly flowing down their shoulders arms and chest and every portion of their body. When this happens they start becoming more sensitive to their inner world, turning their vision inward—their relaxation deepens, they begin ‘seeing’ memories or stories starting to unfold of their own past. Sometimes they find themselves going to the place within the body that feels the worst at the moment. Sometimes a patient sees an image forming that expresses how the pain feels.

When the Reiki treatment progresses, I encourage my patients to talk during the session. As their day to day distractions fade into the background a number of possibilities can happen. Just as the layers of onion is slowly peeled away, so too are our thoughts and memories. The deeper we go, the better the results—it takes us down and into the core issues. I do not judge or comment what the patient speaks of, only encouraging them to see it for what it is and let it go. As the patient relives and recounts their own inner issues, he or she usually comes to a dramatic realization of what emotional issues could be causing their pain. Sometimes this can happen with one session, sometimes it takes more.

When a new patient schedules a healing session, I ask for and write down their name, date of birth and health concerns. I look at their natal chart, their lifepath number and zodiac sign before they come for the appointment. The astrological chart helps me to understand their inner makeup as well as the challenges they’ve had to face in life. Also sending distant Reiki to a client while they are on their way to the session helps them to be in a relaxed and receptive state when they arrive. If a healing was done recently, smudging the room with sage helps to release any negative energies left by past clients and also acts as a blessing. The use of incense or oil burner helps to raise the vibration in the room. Soothing music during a treatment helps a person to relax and BE. Sometimes I bring the tarot along with me and ask the client to shuffle and choose a card, asking him or her what the card means to them. It can be an important catalyst in the healing session.

A REIKI TREATMENT FOR CHRONIC FATIQUE AND FIBROMYALGIA

Rachel (36) is a friend of mine who suffers from FM and frequently visits for a Reiki session or ‘tune-up’. As mentioned earlier, each person and each treatment is different. Rachel is one of several people I know that suffer from either CFS and FM. I thought I’d share a Reiki session we had recently.

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