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Posts Tagged ‘inflammation’

Psoriasis is believed to be an autoimmune disorder, caused by too many ‘excited’ T-cells being produced in the skin. T cells perform many tasks in the body, including recognizing and destroying different antigens in the body. All this is done to keep the blood clean and free of debris. Normally these are cleared from the body as the blood flows through the liver.  In fact, our bodies house several organs (intestines, kidneys, liver, lungs, skin) that help detoxify and remove harmful toxins.  When these get backed up they interfere with the body’s main plumbing system, the lymphatic system.

“The lymphatic system includes lymph vessels and nodes, thymus gland, tonsils and spleen. It’s really a network of tubing that drains waste products from tissues, produces disease-fighting white blood cells (lymphocytes) and antibodies, and carries the bulk of the body’s waste from the cells to the final elimination organs. Experts call the lymphatic system a secondary circulatory system, because it assists the bloodstream with millions of tiny ducts that collect tissue fluid not needed by the capillaries or skin and returns it to the heart for recirculation, because special filtering lymph nodes remove infective organisms, so your lymph system is also a key to your body’s immune defenses. 

Liver health is a key to lymphatic health. The liver produces the majority of lymph, and lymph a major route for nutrients from  the liver. The integrity of the lymph system is dependent on immune cells in the liver that filter out harmful bacteria and destructive yeasts .….. The valves of the lymph system move the waste-filled fluids to be flushed and filtered. But since there is no pump as there is with the heart, lymph circulation depends solely upon our breathing and muscle movement. Physical exercise and diaphragmatic deep breathing are critical to lymph cleansing and to healthy immune response.” Linda Page ~ Detoxification: Programs to Cleanse, Purify & Renew

The normal life expectancy of an average skin cell is approximately 28 days (curiously this coincides with the cycle of the Moon) but with psoriasis sufferers their immune system is so hyperactive, that cytokines cause the skin cells to produce way too quickly, maturing in as little as three to six days before shedding off the surface of the skin. As all this is happening, a good deal energy has been diverted from other parts of the body to focus on the skin.  This may be why certain areas of the body are comprised—psoriasis has been linked with candida, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, and high cholesterol—all inflammatory conditions.

WHAT IS PSORIASIS

Psoriasis (Heat in the Blood) is a chronic, inflammatory disease that can take on the colors of fire-engine red, pale pink or even purplish.  Reproducing ten times faster than normal skin, it appears as red scaly patches of skin topped by silvery scales that appear on different parts of the body such as the elbow, knees, scalp, back and other places too.  In the beginning patches may be small then increase in size and number.   Some food triggers for psoriasis are: alcohol, tobacco, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, hot peppers and excessive coffee.

Psoriasis is sometimes combined with arthritis, especially rheumatoid which has been referred to as psoriatic arthritis, but there are many other kinds of psoriasis—the most common is plaque psoriasis which we mentioned in the previous paragraph—other forms are:.

a)Guttate (dot like (teardrop) lesions) sometimes occurs after strep throat
b)Pustular (pustules over inflamed skin – localized, affecting palms of hands, soles of feet)
c) Inverse (intense inflammation and little scaling in body folds)
d) Erythrodermic (intense sloughing and inflammation of the skin)

“… psoriasis is an indication that you are uncomfortable in your own skin and have a desire to turn over a new leaf. You don’t feel recognized or acknowledged for who you really are and suffer from a degree of identity disorder wanting to take on a personality other than your own. You are having difficulty accepting who you are in this life. The message your body is sending you is that you need to love and accept yourself in all your humanness, with all the flaws, weaknesses, and fears as well as talents, abilities and tremendous potential you were given. Let go of your fear of rejection and stop being ashamed of yourself. Your Body is Telling You: Love Yourself ~ Lise Bourbeau

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory, hypersensitive, painful rash. Treatment involves detoxifying the internal organs, such as the liver, pancreas and intestines but also healing repressed emotions of pain, grief and unresolved trauma for a lasting cure. Known as a chronic nervous system infection, psoriasis thrives on chronic frustration and disappointment that becomes agitated and irritated when things aren’t going our way. Fearing that everything will fall apart, individuals with psoriasis experience rage over the loss of support and money. They’re anxious and nervous about life and relationships. When they’re afraid or feel they’re being attacked, their ‘startle reflex’ kicks in and they fight back with the exact same aggression they were confronted with.  Many times there’s a feeling of being taken advantage of and that others suck them dry of energy; they feel unplugged from their spiritual nature.

When psoriasis individuals are overwhelmed they’ll isolate themselves, and turn on themselves when they don’t meet their own expectations. They become judgmental and self-critical to the point of creating self-destructive behavior. They’re desperate to prove that they can succeed and manifest their dreams – and that they can do it without the help of anyone else, which is a real paradox because they want others to be there to help and support them.

“Constant interruptions and continuous phone calls, creates more tension in me than for many people I know.  Tension creates anxiety and anxiety creates tension..the problem for me is I have work to do and can’t find time to do it..all those constant interruptions…this was my rationalization but honestly I was avoiding the basic issue.  The real problem…I was feeling guilty and self-critical whenever I couldn’t accomplish my work. …This happened the other day, I planned my work for the day and wouldn’t you know it, nothing but interruptions ..the buzzer went, the phone kept ringing…staff popped in with something that couldn’t wait…my irritation mounted .. I had only accomplished a tiny percentage of the work I had given myself. Then someone walked in that I had totally forgotten I was to see and when she walked in I looked anxiously at all the unfinished work on my desk. I was friendly on the surface but below was an undercurrent of frustration…I knew she was aware of this, I saw it reflected in her expression and body language…..

Examining my feelings later, I felt guilt at not completing my tasks and guilt for not being able to cope with all the continuous interruptions…my god I was rationalizing my anxiety…when inwardly it was a sense of failure…. then I remembered as a child only being accepted when I performed my tasks well…if I wasn’t in constant motion…I felt guilty…my parents anxiety was transmitted to me.  Now I found that I could only accept myself ‘if’ I finished my tasks on time.  I felt guilty and inadequate when I didn’t…there was no parent criticizing…it was the parent within…my guilt wasn’t ‘real guilt’ it was ‘false guilt’ conditioned from childhood… This inner processing was very healing for me.” (Psoriasis sufferer ~ Tom Mettsley)

Skin is soft tissue, reflecting our attitudes, behaviors, experiences and hidden mental problems; it has to do with—how we think others see us, and—how we see ourselves. Irritation and criticism with ourselves can result in our skin breaking out..expressing our inner state of confusion.

For Mitch who was mentioned in the previous article, Bipolar Part III  he had a father who was abusive and an alcoholic—and a mother who cleaned endlessly or was overly involved in the community—she was escaping to avoid her husband and family.  When Mitch lived at home he was constantly on hyper-alert from the cruel humiliations of his father, he experienced intense emotional up and downs and handled his anxiety by using drugs, alcohol and being overly busy.  Alcohol paralyzes the higher brain centers where judgment takes place and lessens anxiety temporarily. At twelve years of age Mitch was diagnosed with manic depression and a sufferer of psoriasis.

Although Mitch’s astrological chart had the potential for strength, confidence and a strong will, he tended to be indecisive, perhaps even timid, especially at times of stress.  He concealed his strengths and weaknesses and was hurt by many who didn’t understand him.  When deeply hurt he lashed out with a vengeance—having out-and-out screaming fights—forcing others to fight back and a few times arrested by the law.   Fighting was a structure he was lost in; it gave him a false feeling of being strong and real, rather than being whoever he was.  Mitch was afraid to take the risk of connecting and becoming vulnerable to another. He had to be in charge of his relationships with another. He’d aggressively fight to win and if he did, Mitch said he felt terrible afterwards and felt it colliding with a sense of shame. He said he couldn’t stand being used or manipulated.  Mitch was an alcoholic and a drug-user by the age of 12 and left home at the tender age of 15; he’s only 18 now.

“Psoriasis is like a volcano erupting from the pressure of unseen forces just below the surface of a person’s life. The body is releasing fear, frustration, anger and other toxic emotions. The painful, itchy psoriasis flare-up is a strong signal of rebellion against the level of stress the person is experiencing.” Deadly Emotions ~ Don Colbert

People who have suppressed their feelings are out of touch with them and weren’t permitted to express them as child.  Where they grew up they were probably like Mitch, scared, terrorized, and on hyper-alert all the time. I asked Mitch to look at how he might be mimicking both his mother and father—like raising his voice and scaring the wits out of people—or like his mom, running away from his problems. Psoriasis can lead to low self-confidence and low self-esteem. It can cause feelings of fear, embarrassment, anger, depression, and guilt. What they need to realize is that the present is not the past and that they are not likely to be in any danger with the people they relate to or in a relationship with. Some form of meditation or breath awareness is beneficial for people with psoriasis or who are overly emotional.

What can cause or make psoriasis worse? Stress, hormone imbalance, allergic reactions, toxic substances, the food you eat, and vitamin, mineral, and nutrient deficiencies. Stress makes your psoriasis worse by depleting vitamins and minerals that are essential to your health. It weakens your digestive system by reducing the amount of digestive enzymes you make, making it harder for your stomach and intestines to properly digest the food you eat. Stress also weakens your adrenal glands, which among other duties, control inflammation. Long-term stress overworks the adrenals until they shut you down from exhaustion.

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.

PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS

Article(s) on the Metaphysical causes of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are here

“Psoriasis can also cause psoriatic arthritis, which affects and resembles swollen, painful joints, much like that of rheumatoid arthritis.

Both psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis are chronic diseases that get worse over time, but you may have periods when your symptoms improve or go into remission alternating with times when symptoms become worse.

Psoriatic arthritis can affect joints on just one side or on both sides of your body. The signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis often resemble those of rheumatoid arthritis. Both diseases cause joints to become painful, swollen and warm to the touch.

However, psoriatic arthritis is more likely to also cause:

Swollen fingers and toes. Psoriatic arthritis can cause a painful, sausage-like swelling of your fingers and toes. You may also develop swelling and deformities in your hands and feet before having significant joint symptoms.

Foot pain. Psoriatic arthritis can also cause pain at the points where tendons and ligaments attach to your bones — especially at the back of your heel (Achilles tendinitis) or in the sole of your foot (plantar fasciitis).

Lower back pain. Some people develop a condition called spondylitis as a result of psoriatic arthritis. Spondylitis mainly causes inflammation of the joints between the vertebrae of your spine and in the joints between your spine and pelvis (sacroiliitis). ”  http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriatic-arthritis/basics/symptoms/con-20015006

THE THIRD LUNG

The skin, is the body of the soul; Traditional Chinese Medicine refers the skin as the ‘third lung’ and the skin’s condition is seen as a reflection of the health of the lungs.  Metaphysically, it is said that people who suffer from eczema and psoriasis are ‘weeping through their skin’.  With skin problems, some sadness needs expressing—a sadness for whatever reason has been held in and silenced—this holding in manifests itself in painful or irritating rashes. You could say psoriasis is a cluster of attitudes of defensiveness, criticism, resentment, suspicion, fear, worry and the like.  I say a cluster of attitudes because some cases of psoriasis can be seen huddled together like aphids. These tiny insects breed and suck up energy at a breathtaking pace.  This becomes an area where we become defensive and very touchy.

When we are holding onto something that should be let go, we become defensive and rigid wherever we go.  Defensiveness hardens into our character, protecting us when we feel threatened by others. When this defense mechanism is alerted, we either recoil, crawling into our shells at the first sign of trouble, or our anger rapidly boils to the surface and simmers there. Psoriasis and other skin problems can become a crutch to hide behind when painful and difficult situations arise that you don’t want or don’t know how to meet head-on. It’s quite possible you’re afraid of being controlled and caught off guard.

When our stomachs can’t digest new ideas and experiences not only food is poorly absorbed in our system but our thoughts and feelings as well. When the stomach is rigid or tense we are resisting or holding onto things that should normally pass through our bodies. Indigestion can reflect on the skin causing blemishes, eczema, and psoriasis, which metaphysically, are caused by confusing thought patterns, frustration and the inability to make our needs understood.

“If your body becomes overrun by toxic substances, your skin will become inflamed and your skin cells will reproduce too fast, leaving behind the pile of silvery scales characteristic of psoriasis. This can happen when your liver isn’t doing its job properly, when you don’t digest your food properly, when you get an infection, and when you have a food allergy. Toxic substances in your intestines enter your blood stream through the intestinal wall. Some substances that can do this and hurt you are Candida albicans (a yeast-like fungus), bacterial protein breakdown products, allergic reaction byproducts, and free radicals.” The Psoriasis Cure ~ Lisa LeVan

The skin, similar to the lungs, breathes, exhales toxins through perspiration and inhales sunlight and nutrients from the air. If the lungs are healthy, the skin has less work to do; if the lungs are weak and Metal energy is deficient, the skin must work harder to eliminate excess toxins. Weak lungs = poor circulation = poor skin because the blood supply is struggling to circulate to the skin.  Your circulation brings nutrients to the cells and also helps in flushing away toxins and other waste materials.

The lung meridian has an intimate relationship between breath, pulse, blood and energy. It controls the skin, which is the largest organ of elimination, therefore poor skin is an indicator of weak lungs. Just as the lungs exhale carbon dioxide the skin exudes toxins and wastes through the pores. This meridian is linked to the nose and sense of smell so a clogged or runny nose will indicate a lung condition. It also controls the autonomic nervous system.

When you suppress your feelings of sadness, grief, anger and pain, you also suppress the love and joy along with them.  Emotions stuffed deep in the unconscious but still acting through the autonomic nervous system cause the endocrine glands to falter weakening the resistance of the lymphatic system as well as the suppression of the elimination system, causing a backup of toxins in the body

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) derived its name from the fact that it operates without any conscious control or thought (breathing, digestion, heart rate).  It affects every gland and organ in the body.  Learning to control the autonomic nervous system through meditation and/or biofeedback creates a finely tuned communication system between our mind and our higher self

One of the issues that everyone faces when clearing up their emotional debris is how to let go of the situation and the beliefs surrounding it.  To do this we have to understand the ‘mind’ and the mind isn’t just in the brain but in every part of the body.  It is constantly recording stimuli and input and experience.  The mind is the seat of all our beliefs, perceptions, experiences, memories and aspirations.  It is the most powerful tool we have in our possession and also the most difficult one to control.  A portion of the mind, is also connected to the autonomic nervous system which is always active, even while asleep, giving us the gift of life by keeping our organs and systems working together, by controlling our circulatory system, breathing, heart-rate, blood pressure, etc.   The autonomic is also the domain of your unconscious mind, your dreams and all your memories of present and past lives.

When you breathe in, not only do you inhale air into the lungs but at the same time blood is pumped through every tissue of the body. Deep slow breathing is, therefore, a powerful driving force in the body’s circulation. The heart is the pump that propels blood into the arterial area, while the lungs act as a suction pump on the circulation.

STRESS

“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

The constant release of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol can sear the body in a way that is similar to acid searing metal. Even hours after the output of these chemicals, they still remain high in the body, elevating blood sugar levels, causing damage to the immune system, decalcifying our bones and thinning our skin. Long term emotional stress can reach chronic levels with the production of these hormones.  This is when toxic emotions become deadly emotions. This powerful ongoing infusion of chemicals injures tissues and organs, resulting in many different autoimmune dis-eases.

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 AND LEAKY GUT

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

When different areas of the intestinal tract become irritated, inflamed or breached, we can suffer from an array of symptoms such as: constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, indigestion, gas, bloating and cramps, and these are usually caused by a leaky gut which further causes allergies, anemia, fatigue, weight loss, arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, muscle pain and more. Symptoms can persist for years with people bouncing from doctor to doctor without ever being properly diagnosed. While these diseases have different names, they have one thing in common—a leaky gut.

“A leaky gut is a condition in which the small intestine wall become inflamed and breached with tiny pinholes that leak putrid food particles into the blood stream. Your immune system builds antibodies to the proteins in this fecal matter and your body attacks these proteins as if they were foreighn germs. Thatis why it is called an auto-immune disease, because your immune system becomes confused between its own protein and foreign protein. It goes on to attack protein in other parts of the body such as between the joints, causing rheumatoid arthritis. The bone and muscle pain of fibromyalgia and lupus is also attributed to the spread of toxins through a leaky gut. As the cascade of inflammatory reactions spreads to the lungs, it results in asthma. These poisons infiltrate the blood and lymph and overload the liver’s ability to detoxify them. Some of this overload emties into the skin, manifesting as psoriasis or excema. Other dry skin problems result from the malabsorption of essential fats and B-vitamins. Other dry skin problems result from the malabsorption of essential fats and B-vitamins. Anemia and other nutrient deficiencies develop because of the impaired assimilation, in spite of all those supplements you take” Better Nutrition Magazine ~ by Steve Meyerowitz

All the physical and chemical changes in the body happen through a process called metabolism, which is basically defined as the way your body processes and changes the food you eat into energy.  For metabolism to work properly your blood needs a sufficient amount of oxygen, glucose and certain nutrients.  If your metabolism is sluggish, your cells will have problems receiving the nutrients they need to function.

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.

There are plenty of herbs one can take for candida, one of the best is 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.

A full article on the metaphysical causes of Candiasis is here

MOLDS IN FOODS AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Molds are important to add here as they are absorbed, inhaled and eaten, producing substances that are toxic to the nerves and particularly to the central nervous system.  Molds produce antibiotics which are actually released in the immediate environment, and as we know with Candida, antibiotics look to kill competing bacteria—even the good ones. It’s important to know that these fungi’s are capable of damaging the body’s nerves and tissue cells as well as mild to severe mental and physical changes in a person.

A person can become sensitized when a foreign substance enters the body through inhalation, ingestion, injection or absorption through the skin. Imagine, a tiny piece of skin about the size of a quarter contains 3 feet of blood vessels, 12 feet of nerves, 25 nerve cells, 100 sweat glands, and more than 3,000,000 cells; phew, that’s quite a complex team working 24/7.

METAPHYSICALLY HEALING PSORIASIS

“The key to healing lies in the unconscious.  If we can become aware of the memories stored in our bodies and bring them to mind, we can gain a different, nonrational understanding of how the past influences the present and our conscious minds and actions.  We can do it if we learn to tap into what I call the intuition network, to help us envision and create healthier lives, instead of allowing old memories and patterns of behavior to continue re-creating painful experiences.” Mona Lisa Schulz

Balance is not something we were born with, it is learned through experiences. Life is a blend of happiness and sadness, of good and bad times. Many of our issues and challenges in life, especially relationships come from our misunderstanding of ‘love’ and a lack of love for ourselves. When this happens we have a tendency to fold our arms over our chest or stiffly hold them at our sides……we feel awkward and self-conscious afraid to let go and share our vulnerabilities to others. It also prevents us from revealing our strengths.

“When there is chaos between family members, there is an increased risk of hair loss (alopecia) not to mention psoriasis and other skin problems.

So as you can see, having solid external relationships is essential to our health. Science backs if up by showing that “social integration” – wide social networks and social support – creates stronger immune systems. In fact, studies show that more and better relationships mean more and better white blood cells, which help us resist infections and protect us from a wide variety of health perils, including arthritis, depression and the worsening of symptoms of conditions like tuberculosis. Social interaction also decreases the amount of medication people need and accelerates their recovery from illness. .” ALL IS WELL ~ Louise L. Hay and Mona Lisa Sculz

Usually, when we have problems with the skin, we need to look at the liver and gall bladder and their meridians. What we’re looking at is old debris that has cluttered and accumulated in the system. Inner frustrations also clog the ‘system’ and the intake of excess foods and alcohol will tax the liver. Stress definitely has something to do with it along with psychological disappointments and letdowns. If the system becomes sluggish the person usually feels tired and when we’re tired we eat for energy and usually with all the wrong foods.

Also, if one has been undergoing deep self-examination it can leave them feeling extremely sensitive about virtually everything.

Sometimes when we are on a spiritual journey we feel an inner restlessness arising – as if it wants to burst free from our physical frame! Our bodies on the other hand want to protect that which is struggling and fight hard to adjust to the fire of this awakening spirit.

“The breath carries oxygen throughout the bloodstream, and it also carries prana or spiritual energy, which is the esoteric correlation to oxygen.  Prana energizes the physical body through a network of meridians—the fine channels that are components of the silver cord or the thread of life—by sending energy through the etheric or spiritual network.  The force currents along these lines are linked with each other, and with the nervous system of man.  They enter the body through the spleen.” Jeanne Avery 

The skin really is the body of the soul.  It is actually one of the richest sources of all the hormones found in the body.  When we stimulate the skin we can cause a shower of healing chemicals into our blood stream.  One of the most important of these are growth factors or growth hormones.  By simply stimulating the skin we can produce these growth factors or hormones right into our blood stream.  Like the other organs, the skin is also the seat of emotions.  When we are deeply moved we say we were deeply touched.  We describe situations as sticky, ticklish or prickly, all these have to do with sensations in our body.  Therefore the experience of touch or sensation linked to a thought is really what an emotion is.  Once again, we can influence emotions, feelings and desires through our skin as a result of the release of these hormones.

“Psycho/emotionally your skin is your boundary, the meeting place between you and the outer world. Therefore, skin issues often arise when someone or something has cross that boundary and “gets under your skin,” or where communication is making your “skin crawl.”

Are you feeling invaded, trespassed upon, or have you gone beyond your limitations and reached out too far?
Or perhaps you are limiting yourself too much, holding back inside while putting up a protective cover?
Are your boundaries being penetrated against your wishes?
What and who is getting under your skin?
Are you trying to break free of restrictions being imposed on you?
Is a fear of intimacy making you resist touching and feeling?”  YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro

Once we take back the responsibility for what we are feeling, we experience a tremendous power in our lives. We no long feel like a victim or bystander; we no longer give others the power to decide how we experience our lives. Also, the others in our lives will be more open to us when they see that we no longer blame them for what we are feeling, and they will be more willing to assume responsibility for their own feelings.

BELLY BREATHING

Breathing is essential to life and when you breathe properly, it can help you clear your mind and reach higher states of awareness. Belly breathing can help you relax ay time you are tense. When you feel anxious about something, just close your eyes and take 5 to 10 deep breaths. Deep breathing can also energize you, when you’re feeling tired or drained or if you’ve been breathing from the chest. Retrain your body to breathe properly, from your diaphragm or belly.

Life flat on the floor or on your bed. Take a few deep breaths and feel yourself relax. Place one hand on your abdomen. Take a deep breath through your nose. As you inhale, let your abdomen push your hand out.

As you exhale, feel your hand go down. Do this 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath. Breathing this way may feel strange to you at first, but with practice you’ll become accustomed to it. Try to do belly breathing every day. A good time to do this is when you get into bed at night—when you first wake up in the morning—and any time you want to relax.
Deep abdominal breathing and exercise are all ways to support lymphatic circulation. Every time we contract a muscle, the muscle rubs against numerous lymph vessels, stimulating them to contract. This is another reason exercise is so good for us!

JUMP AND SHAKE

“EXERCISE: While all exercise stimulates the lymph, jumping on the rebounder is the best. If you do not have room for a rebounder, a jump-and-shake exercise works just as well. With feet slightly apart, you jump just a little and then shake the body. It is similar to dancing in African tribes that bob-and-shake type of dance.

The bounce and shake routine gets your heart pumping and your body moving so that your metabolism starts working. Follow the following steps to do the bounce and shake:

• Standing with knees slightly bent, feet comfortably apart, bounce up and down easily without lifting heels off the ground

• As you bounce, let your arms hang, relaxed, by your side. Shake your hands

• Nod your head up and down in a comfortable range of motion, 2 to 4 inches

• As you nod back and look up, breathe in through your nose to the count of 5, and then exhale to the count of 5 as you lower your head

• During the first minute, breathe through your nose; During the second minute make a noise originating from the base of your throat – like snoring; Then breathe in through your nose, and out through puckered lips, as if blowing out a birthday candle

• Stop bouncing and shaking. Take a moment to feel the vibrations you have created throughout your body. http://www.lynnkoiner.com/astrology-articles/the-lymphatic-system-from-elaine-hruska

BECOME AWARE OF YOUR POSTURE AND RELAX

Whenever you become aware of the position of your body, you immediately relax and experience a flow of energy because you’re listening and communicating with your body and its surroundings.

CHANGE YOUR POSTURE – CHANGE YOUR MOOD

Our posture expresses how we’re feeling, correcting it will change the way you feel.

*COLOR HEALING

 “…lie or sit, and close your eyes, imagine you hold a laser bream made of different colors in your hands. Visualize moving this light on any area of your skin that is irritated, dry, swollen, itchy or spotty. Observe the light changing color according to the part of the body the laser is treating. For example, if the skin is red, the laser may change to blue to counteract the redness. If the skin is dry, the laser may change to pink to regenerate the area; or if the skin is swollen, orange rays are great to calm the swelling. And if the skin is itchy, yellow rays can help to soothe it. Focus on letting go of all anger, frustration, self-criticism, irritation, and dislike of yourself.

Say: “Divine Healing Intelligence, please release all irritation, anger, frustration, criticism, invalidation, and insecurity I carry in my skin, as well as all points of view, all patterns, and the positive and negative that contribute to this condition.” Repeat the word “CLEAR” until you feel a shift occur.

In your mind’s eye, observe your skin beginning to clear, becoming radiant, lustrous, glowing, and soft. How does it feel to have this new skin? Allow yourself to take lone deep breaths and enjoy your renewed skin.” The Secret Language of Your Body ~ Inna Segel

*Suggestion: When I took a Chromotherapy (color-healing) course, blue was the color of all over-heated conditions in the body that needed cooling.  It’s also a color for the imbalance of yeast, bacteria or fungus in your system. It heals problems with the skin, the reproductive system, the eyes and chest.  Violet moves through the etheric and subtle bodies, helping to remove old and worn out patterns of behavior.

Youtube ~ Louise Hay ~ Healing Skin Problems – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKXISPDqPvA

NATURAL REMEDIES FOR PSORIASIS

Holistic healing is about natural remedies and treatments along with wholesome foods, exercise, sunshine, fresh air, positive thinking, the love of work, and a balanced lifestyle. Below are some ideas to help with psoriasis. I’m sure there’s many, many more out there.

MINERALS

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

B complex vitamins help support blood lymphocytes – helps promote anti-bodies and T-cells distribution and immune cell activity.

(leaky gut and candida disrupts the metabolism of vitamin B6 and EFAs – you can get extra B vitamins through a good mutli-vitamin.  B6 is needed by the body to produce serotonin, hence its ability to ward off depression.

Carotenoids – precursor to vitamin A – increases immune activity – kills cancer cells – protects cell membrane fats from oxidation and damage

Zinc is a mineral that stimulates the immune system and promotes T-cell function

Selenium helps build your immune system and keep it healthy – your body uses selenium to help white blood cells to clear viruses and bacteria from your body.

Magnesium deficiency stimulates the release of inflammatory cytokines. Regular use helps regulate the immune system and protect it against infection – it reduces the risk of autoimmune diseases caused by an overactive immune system.  (Magnesium should be taken with a B vitamin as together they help the liver. Like zinc, magnesium is easier for your body to absorb and use if it is bound to an amino acid.)

Omega 3 (fish oil, flax seed, evening primrose oil, borage, blackcurrant seed oil  help to reduce inflammation and the absorption of nutrients. They promote strong cell membranes in your gastrointestinal tract – boosts the immune system and helps slow the aging process

Chlorella is an excellent “whole Food’ you can buy at any health store.  It’s rich in chlorophyll, which helps detox the body and gives a boost in energy and improves the immune system. It comes in powder or capsules

The integrity of the lymph system is dependent on immune cells in the liver that filter out harmful bacteria and destructive yeasts.

Milk Thistle is a powerful liver regenerator. People with damaged livers can regenerate tissue with Milk Thistle. I take these herbs in the form of tinctures but they can be taken in any form.

Dandelion Root supports the liver, pancreas, kidneys and spleen. It has diuretic and purifying properties.

Yellow Dock is a blood purifier that also helps the liver and gall bladder and is also high in iron.

Each of us has to take responsibility to explore and educate ourselves about our own health.  Doctors can help in the process but really and truly you must do the work.  We have to nurture ourselves, respect the body and its processes and help them to function at their best, as they were intended by the law of Nature.

Metaphysical causes of rheumatoid arthritis  http://self-healingsecrets.com/1033/the-energy-behind-rheumatoid-arthritis/

Super site on psoriasis re: homeopathic and a list of medicines and how they work.  http://www.askdrshah.com/app/psoriasis/psoriasis-medicines.aspx

Dr. Andrew Weil – Psoriasis http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03161/Psoriasis.html

Psoriatic arthritis http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2196539-overview

Great youtube presentation on Magnesium deficiency https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wtUn1gWgaw

The five major types of psoriasis https://www.psoriasis.com/psoriasis-types.aspx

Psoriasis of the nails – deep pitting of the nails http://dermnetnz.org/scaly/psoriatic-arthritis.html

http://dermnetnz.org/scaly/erythrodermic-psoriasis.html

hooked-on-nails.com/naildisorders.

http://dermnetnz.org/scaly/genital-psoriasis.html

https://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases_And_Conditions/Psoriatic_Arthritis/

http://wakeup-world.com/2012/12/23/top-10-probiotic-foods-to-add-to-your-diet/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psN1DORYYV0 Listening to Shame

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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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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I had my first bone density test last year. The results were, I have osteoporosis. In my last entry, Bone Loss – Osteoporosis, we discussed tense and tight muscles that can cause inflammation in our tissue as well as an uneven pull on our bones.

My issue with bone density tests is, they only measure the lumbar spine or lower back…..they don’t measure the thoracic or upper back, which is more likely to suffer vertebral crush fractures (this causes the dowager’s hump as well as loss of height). Also, the test can be mistakenly overread when there is an increase of calcium deposits in an area that has been afflicted with arthritis. Another issue is if your body has been structured inside a tiny frame (which is my case).

BONE MATURITY
By the time you reach the age of 35, your bones will have reached their ‘peak bone mass’. Yikes, that’s a pretty young age isn’t it? That means that osteoporosis isn’t something that comes about quickly, it happens over time. In fact, recent tests have been done on people in their 20’s and 30’s with indications that osteoporosis is already developing! But how do they determine what our ‘normal’ bone density should be? Obviously a large boned person and a small boned person are going to rate differently.

The World Health Organization and National Osteoporosis Foundation established criteria (T-scores) for making the diagnosis of osteoporosis, as well as determining levels which predict higher chances of fractures: The T score is reported on a bone density test and measured against the bone density of a normal 35 year old. Apparently…..

If your T-score is within one standard deviation of the average 35 year old, ie. between +1.0 and -1.0, you have normal bone density.

If your T-score is -1.0 to -2.5 standard deviations below the average, you have low bone density, a condition known as osteopenia.

If your T-score is at least -2.5 or lower than the average, you have osteoporosis.

If your T-score is at least -2.5 or lower than the average and you have broken one or more bones, you have severe osteoporosis.

My T-score was -2.7, which my doctor decidedly deemed as osteoporosis. In the American Journal of Medicine Osteoporosis is “a disease characterized by low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue, which leads to increased bone fragility and a consequent increase in fracture risk.” Does this mean my bones are likely to fracture? I don’t think so, it just means the possibility is there but may never actually happen.

From http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=307254

“Prevention of osteoporotic fractures requires accurate methods to detect the increase in bone fragility at an early disease stage as well as effective therapies to reduce the risk of bone fractures. Presently the prediction of the patient-specific bone fracture risk is primarily based on bone density, since this is the only parameter which can routinely be measured in vivo. However, these predictions might not always be precise because the fracture risk is also determined by the bone microarchitecture and the bones loading conditions.

Technology is always advancing. If you do check out this website, it talks of a new approach to analysing bone density as well as microarchitecture with 3D high resolution imaging. Most hospitals haven’t the funds for this new scanner, at least my hospital does not. So this new testing is still very futuristic. Now, if microarchitecture is not included in the bone density test, which is a major component to Osteoporosis, how can they determine who has or who hasn’t this disease? Just because my bone density is below the ‘norm’ doesn’t mean my bones will fracture. In fact, maybe they never will!

All this test does, is cause you and me needless fear. Before the test you were feeling fine, with no problems or discomfort and in fact, you may never have any.

“To me a “disease” is a clear-cut decision that lessens comfort or well being. Maybe there’s some use in broadening the definition, but if we do that, we should at least be clear about exactly what we’re saying.

Once you’ve been told you have a disease, you’re going to start looking for a treatment. The drug companies and the doctors know this, and I think it is part of the driving force behind some new “diseases”. For example women who learn from a test they have low bone density are more likely to be on hormone replacement therapy then those who haven’t; they think that without the hormones they’re bound to end up with a broken hip or a rounded back. They’re rarely given adequate information about what bone density reall means.” Dr. Susan Love’s Hormone Book.

I truly believe what Dr. Love says here is true. This is exactly what my doctor proceeded to do. He prescribed a once-a-month drug that supposedly would strengthen my bones. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. I opted not to take it.

An article written by Dr. Zoltan P. Rona in a Toronto magazine called Vitality stated that one possible osteoporosis drug Fosamax is possibly linked to the development of esophageal cancer!

The article is here… http://www.vitalitymagazine.com/may09_pg32feat

Here’s a sample….

“The FDA received 23 reports of esophageal cancer possibly linked to the drug between 1995 and 2008. Since doctors notoriously under-report drug side effects, the real figures may actually be much higher.

Merck, the manufacturer of Fosamax, claims that their research does not indicate any association between the drug and esophageal cancer. Endocrinologists, internists and your friendly neighborhood GP agree, and so continue to prescribe this drug and other bisphosphonates. Can 50,000 Canadian doctors be wrong?

It is estimated that about 30 million people in North America take one of the class of drugs known as bisphosphonates. These include Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva, Didronel, Didrocal, Zometa, Aredia and several others.

One undisputed fact is that Fosamax can cause esophagitis and gastrointestinal bleeding. Conceivably, for a patient with severe esophagitis (such as the condition Barrett’s esophagus), the use of Fosamax can make the problem worse. Gastrointestinal bleeding and anemia due to mucosal lining erosions caused by Fosamax are definitely a possibility.

Bisphosphonates have been linked to severe and incapacitating bone, joint and muscle pain. In 2008, the FDA warned doctors this is a possible source of intractable pain for many people using the drugs, and may necessitate use of dangerous analgesics. When people who suffer from this side effect stop using the bisphosphonates, the pain usually subsides. Therefore, these are drugs that should never be given to people suffering from any form of arthritis or fibromyalgia.”

Oh my gosh! I suffer from fibromyalgia! My doctor knows this and prescribed this anyways?? And what of the millions who suffer from this illness too, as well as arthritis. What risks are they taking with these bisphosphonates? Do they know?

My years of learning about alternative therapies has taught me our bodies are intelligent and smart; the body’s main goal is to live and survive at all costs.

A disease doesn’t simply materialize out of thin air….it takes years to develop. Even if we were to find some magical drug to end Osteoporosis it still wouldn’t eliminate the source of the problem. Something has been steadily draining the body’s energy reserves and wreaking havoc on the bones, but what? The next segment(s) of this blog are going to explore these sources as well as Genetics, Family History and Lifestyle. It’s about how each of us can take responsibility for our own recovery.

“You are the one to decide how you are going to live, what you are going to eat, and what are you are going to think about. You have the choice of whether or not you are going to abuse your body. Only you can make your lifestyle decisions….

Anyone who is committed to taking responsibility for his/her own health can reach any level of wellness he/she wants.” Dr. M. Ted Morter, Jr.

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

From the April 5th issue of this blog….

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

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

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

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

The Good and Bad Cholesterol/HDL/LDL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and……

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

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

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

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

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

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

UNCONTROLLED INFLAMMATION vs. HIGH LDL CHOLESTEROL

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

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

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

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

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

More interesting links from Alive Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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“If you want to know the condition of your mind in the past,
Examine your body now.
If you want to know what your body will look like in the future,
Examine your mind now.”
Deepak Chopra

Physics has proven the Mind is not limited to the brain and indeed does dwell in every cell of our body. And these cells are constantly dying and being reborn at a rate of 5,700,000 per second! Every word, every thought, every feeling, every emotion is constantly creating chemical changes in our tissues and organs, which is recorded and reflected in our physical bodies. Just think every six months, we have a totally new body!

Does that mean changing our thoughts creates a transformation within the body? Yes it does! Deepak Chopra explains that the immune system literally listens to a conversation you have with your self….every second of it. He goes on to say that “our immune cells are ‘conscious little beings’; they have their own ideas, notions, intellect and emotions”. Wow! That’s amazing! He also mentions that the immune system and the brain use many of the same molecules to talk to each other…..so the cells of our immune system are constantly filtering through our brain, listening to everything we say and think. Deepak Chopra also tells us our body houses the greatest pharmaceutical company in the world. Our brain can make its own morphine and that our emotions release chemicals called endorphins, which gives us a sense of euphoria and pain relief. So information is constantly flowing and sending messages to every part of your body

You might be interested in looking at this: Chronic Pain-from Inflammation and Behaviour. http://www.rsgallup.com/newsletters/news_v1_i1.pdf

Also, Anne Futternman, PhD, Margaret Kemeny, PhD, David Shapiro PhD, and John Fahey, MD, did a study using actors. http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/cgi/reprint/56/6/499.pdf They wanted to see if the temporary ‘emotional’ states of actors would change their immune system. It makes me wonder about Heath Ledger (we will miss him) and the deep dark character he was working on. He died from an overdose of over-the-counter pharmacy drugs!

Getting back to the actors study, it was noticed, as an example, when an actor felt intense sad feelings, his immune system would increase natural killer cells into his blood stream. Natural Killer Cells are ‘good’ cells by the way – they help to fight off disease. What we need is these cells to be in tip top shape. When they’re not, they can’t tell good from bad and start attacking healthy cells as well. This is called an auto-immune disorder.

Martin Brofman, M.D., Caroline Myss, Mona Liza Scultz, M.D., Carol Ritberger. M.D., and many, many more are making it known that stress related illnesses are at their highest when we lose control of our lives, feel depressed, lonely, as well as feeling helpless and hopeless. Stress can depress and compromise our immune system and can contribute to many different illnesses, including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and heart disease.

The immune system consists of the lymph glands and nodes, the thymus gland, tonsils, spleen and white blood cells. And all these parts carry on a communication with our endocrine and central nervous system.

Pain is caused by a lack of proper circulation or a blockage in the flow of energy. Environmental factors such as wind, cold, dampness and heat can also impede the flow of blood throughout the body. This can result in pain, numbness, heaviness, stiffness and swelling of the joints and muscles. Stress and tension slows down our circulation too and becomes an inflammation in certain areas of the body.

Stress doesn’t come from what we do, but more from how we react to what we do. Indeed, stress and tension can literally tie our body and mind in knots. In the juggling demands of everyday life, we continually, push, hurry, run and do. Our bodies are in a constant stance of flight/flight, an emergency response linked to primitive man. As tension escalates our muscles tighten, our pulse quickens, digestion is slowed and our cholesterol rises. Stress holds our body hostage and when it tightly grips us it’s nearly impossible to disentangle ourselves from it. The more stress we hold inside the more our vitality our color is dimmed.

Do you think we become stressed because we don’t feel safe enough to just be who we are? We usually express our feelings and experiences through our body posture and movements. When we’re happy we smile, dance, sing, laugh, etc. But in fear our body either becomes immobilized or tense, or quickly and actively runs away.

Also, we have a tendency to keep secrets about ourselves from others. We are afraid that if we’re open and honest with others, they won’t like us, may take advantage of us, criticize or reject us. So when we are in the presence of other people, we tighten up; we think what we should or shouldn’t say; our body’s stay in that fight/flight response constantly which affects our muscles and whole body structure. When we feel we don’t need our defensive wall anymore, our bodies relax. But with FM the muscles don’t relax and don’t return to their normal state. The brain continues sending stress hormones and enzymes creating an imbalance within our whole system. And we feel pain!

The mind/body connection is about turning inward and seeing yourself rather than seeing others and the world around you. It’s about preparing yourself for reflecting or mirroring on the story of your life. This section hopefully will act as catalyst to move you into deeper levels of inner awareness. It is only a beginning point to give you your own direction. It has to be up to you to understand and become aware of gathering your own data, understanding it and applying it to your life. Once you learn how to use one the tools, the doors to your world will open a little wider. We begin to see real connections between the physical and spiritual world and discover deeper meanings of everything that happens to us. Life becomes more interesting day by day.

Our minds are so complex. We all know what a brain looks like but the mind is well beyond anything we’ve learned. We’ve been conditioned to think in terms of straight lines, squares and boxes. If you look at nature, you won’t find any straight lines, squares or boxes. If you look into a microscope, you see cells and microorganisms that aren’t square but round, spherical and in spirals. Our whole universe is a living, breathing energy circle that continually spirals its effects around us and through us.

Awareness is a tremendous healing power that transforms not only parts of you that aren’t well but also parts of you that are well.

How do we create a place that feels safe enough to let down our defenses and share more of who we really are. The same walls and defenses that protect us can also isolate us, especially if we have no one or no where that feels safe enough to let them down.

When we deny or cut off from a feeling or an emotion, it remains imprisoned within our physical or mental body where it cannot move. It becomes distressed and then manifests in our personal lives as disease, misfortune, or some other form of adversity.

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

Added Note: A friend of mine emailed me after posting this, regarding problems with her Large Intestine. I didn’t see the synchronicity in her timeful question, until I emailed her back. (my friend hasn’t seen my blog yet but she knows the meridians and chakras are a great interest of mine)
I mentioned to her that the Large Intestine’s purpose is to PROTECT. It represents our need to be protected as well as protecting those we love. I suddenly saw a correlation with the large intestine, and ‘walls of defensiveness’ and the inability to Let Go and BE! I saw intestional imbalance could be related to FM and CFS and other illnesses as well.
The large intestine is the eliminator of thoughts and emotions as well as eliminating waste products from the body. But when we are in a protective mode, we also contrict and congest the elimination process. We hold on tightly and possessively to emotions and feelings that need to be released.
 
In fact, Jenny my spinning spider friend, suffers from Migraines and commented on this blog. Writing her back, I inititally saw an imbalance with the Gall Bladder/Liver Meridan, and the element WOOD. But now I’m looking at the Lung/Large Intestine and the element AIR too. Something I’d like to investigate and understand and share with you later.
In the next segment are some techniques to focus your energy in the present moment and become aware of an illness in your body. We will focus on feeling your bodily sensations. Note that thinking is not feeling. We are not to analyze, think or label.

Although we are focusing on Fibromayalgia and Chronic Fatigue, these tools can be used for any illness. Some of the exercises are what I taught when I worked at a metaphysical center. Remembering and writing is helping me as well, as I too search for body wholeness. I’ve noticed when my fibromayalgia pain is acute, I tend to withdraw from the pain, my thoughts and memories become weak as well as my power of concentration. Sometimes I want to escape my body, sometimes all I want to do is sleep!

“Man is not imprisoned by habit. Great changes in him can be wrought by crisis – once that crisis can be recognized and understood.”
Norman Cousins

In my eyes Norman Cousins was a true Chiron. Norman Cousins used his own ill-health experiences to teach us about the connections of our emotions, health and bodies. When he became ill with a rare disease, he discovered and wrote the best selling book, Anatomy of an Illness. In 1980 he suffered a severe heart attack and turned his own recovery into a book called The Healing Heart: Antidotes to Panic and Helplessness.

Interesting note: The planet Gemini challenges us to increase our awareness and potentially connect us to our immediate environment or neighborhood. I tried to find Norman Cousins natal chart but I couldn’t find it. I did type in his date of birth at astro.com and discoverd his Venus was 10 degrees 34′ 36″ in Gemini. The Sabian Symbol for this placement is Gemini 11, NEWLY OPENED LANDS OFFER THE PIONEER NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR EXPERIENCE – in his illnesses, he discovered and opened an unfamiliar door to his true potential.
Which planet effects your Gemini? What house? Which Sabian Symbol? You can find out by going to http://www.astro.com/ and typing in your date and time of birth. While you’re there why don’t you check out your Chiron.

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HEALING FROM WITHIN

“Life is like an onion; you peel off one
layer at a time, and sometimes you weep”

Carl Sandberg

After typing my last post, a magazine I’d taken off the shelf had flipped over to page 28 and here’s what I saw….

Immunity – too much of a good thing?

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

Wow! I can remember discussing fibromyalgia with my doctor. He said nonchalantly, “Well no one has ever died from fibromyalgia.” And a quick thought entered my mind, “but I bet it’s an invitation for a host of other illnesses.” I didn’t actually say this however, I wish I had. Unfortunately, my visitation ‘time’ was up and I was ushered out into the waiting room where at least a dozen people were anxiously waiting to see the Doc. I hope all their questions were answered….mine sure weren’t!

Fibromyalgia IS an intense inflammatory response! And excessive, oh boy, most of us with FM can attest to that. The stress it puts on our bodies forces the adrenals to keep releasing more hormones. This in turn stops the production of our thymus gland, which, leaves us more susceptible to infection and illness. And, if I’m reading the above article right, heart disease!

The thymus gland is situated above the heart and is of great importance to the immune system. If you could look inside your bone marrow, everyday, it is creating billions of cells that will become different kinds of immune cells. One in particular that we are interested in, is a lymphocyte, a natural killer T-Cell, it’s the good guy. These powerful cells first go to the Thymus which comes from the Greek word thymos meaning soul or personality….it’s connection is to the immune system and our sense of Self. But if our adrenals are on a high, how do these cells get to the thymus. And if they don’t get to the thymus, where do they go?

It is the thymus that gives the T-Cells special instruction before they move into our bloodstream. But without instruction, would the immune system and its powerful chemicals attack anything in its path, including healthy cells? If that’s the case, the immune system would act as a gallant knight charging into battle, killing his men as well as his opponents. Or do the T-Cells with no where to go, just dissipate? Any doctors reading this care to comment?

And, if the thymus is about ‘a sense of Self’, if it’s not working properly would we class that as low self-esteem, a low sense of self, weak self preservation, self-limiting fixed concepts? If it does, then we may be onto something. I myself have an inferiority complex…..I’ve always admired others but never seen these same qualities in myself. I’ve turned down many opportunities because of an inner fear that I wasn’t good enough. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been working on myself to see my true potential. In the last few years, I’ve explored my creativity in all facets of the arts. And I think I’m actually narrowing down which ones I’m interested in bringing to fruition. But it has taken a long time!

So how do we work on calming and strengthening the adrenals, opening the thymus and recharging all the immune glands. With Awareness.

The goal of spiritual practice is full recovery, and the only thing you need to recover from is a fractured sense of self.
Marianne Williamson

“People have a tendency to look at the things they want and say, “yes, I like that.” However they look at the things they don’t want and give them just as much energy, if not more, with the idea that they can stomp it out, they can eliminate it, obliterate it. In our society, we’ve become content with fighting against things. Fighting against cancer, fighting against poverty, fighting war, fighting drugs, terrorism, violence. We tend to fight everything we don’t want, which actually creates more of a fight.” Lisa Nicols, The Secret

It was Frederick Perls, who was one of the founders of gestalt therapy. He noticed that many people’s personalities lacked ‘oneness’ and in fact seemed fragmented. Carl Jung later called these fragments archetypes. Perls claimed we never look at ourselves as whole but in pieces.

When I studied astrology, my teacher said the same thing about reading astrology charts. He said we look at a chart in pieces instead of looking at the ‘whole’. How true!! When I first studied astrology, I looked at each aspect, each house, each sign independently. When there was a negative twist to an aspect, it would depress me. On the other side of the coin, a positive aspect would elate me. It was like a see-saw effect or a swinging pendulum. So how do we begin looking at the whole?

Awareness is listening to your body and letting it tell you where it needs help. Your body has an inner wisdom that tells you when to rest, what to eat, when to sleep, etc. It all begins with paying attention to the body and learning what it has to say. If you want to live more fully aware of yourself, more in touch with life and the body, you can learn to do it. But you have to commit yourself to a full exploration of what’s inside you. You have to learn how to work with the body. If you really want to develop this you also must be ready to Hear The Information it tells you. Many of us fear what the information will say, so we go on a large explanation of how we couldn’t do it because we felt blocked, or out of touch with our feelings. I truly don’t think this is it. You’re afraid of what your body is going to tell you. You’re being defensive, you’re resisting.

Awareness requires honesty and integrity. It is the ability to be in control of your thoughts and feelings. It’s about focusing your thoughts, feelings and attention on a particular subject. Awareness is intuitive, it’s knowledge and information that doesn’t judge, grudge, criticize or have an emotional charge to it. If it does, you’ve hit a live wire, an old memory of being hurt or criticized that has burrowed itself in your body. And you’re going to keep paying for that memory until you find a way to release it.

Awareness silences the inner chatter within our mind and calms our emotions. One of the best ways is studying and meditating on symbols that are meaningful to YOU. Symbols are created by your subconscious mind; we see them all the time in our dreams. Working with our own library of images we can begin changing what we don’t like or what we wish to improve in our lives. We can start removing obstacles from our paths, many of which were put there when we were children. There is a huge data bank we’ve created different experiences from and all these come from our unconscious.

How Awareness Works

Remember playing musical chairs when we were kids? The music played and played and we kept marching round and round, faster and faster until the music stopped. Now aren’t some of our days just like musical chairs? It’s a vicious circle that insults the mind and the body.

During a morning or afternoon, let the music stop, say STOP and notice what your thoughts and feelings are, notice the position of your body. What’s going on that you weren’t paying attention to? A nagging ache or pain may be obvious at this very moment. Your body is simply telling you where it needs your attention. A simple body check will tell you where you need to concentrate your energy. Maybe all you need is to stand up and stretch, take a walk. Pain is the body’s way of saying, pay attention to me.

Wherever you are, no matter what you are doing, you can develop awareness. And when you do, you will discover how you avoid, block, interfere and change your own thoughts and actions. You’ll become aware of how you unconsciously hold or move positions. Our bodies are sending SOS messages but our minds suppress them and by the end of the day, we beginning feeling our tense and abused muscles. Indeed, I have noticed many uncomfortable poses I’ve put my body in and how these poses have affected my body. My shoulders hunch over from the pain and it seems my neck gets shorter by the minute. After typing that rushed report, my neck and shoulders are a mass of knotted muscles.

“The symbol plucks all the strings of the human spirit at once……”. J.J. Bachofen

Symbols are powerful messengers. They are the expression of the soul and your inner wisdom.

The Second Initiation

Focused “mental/Spiritual” INTENTION and AWARENESS is the key into the power of REIKI

Reiki II, consists of learning the symbols which are the essence and have been called the “Formula” of Reiki. The power and effectiveness of the symbols come from the Reiki attunements that are given during a Reiki Class. Before the attunement the student is shown these symbols and given time to memorize them. During the attunement, the energies of each symbol come down and enter the student’s mind/body, linking themselves to the appropriate symbol in the student’s mind.

From My Reiki II Manual

Reiki is the flow of energy patterns and symbols, constantly mixing, exchanging and drifting apart in an endless dance with Universal Energies.

Reiki II is about increasing your power and becoming consciously aware of your relationship to life. The attunements awaken the “still-small-voice” with each of us, asking us to recognize the truth even when we don’t like what it says. It is a willingness to know yourself as you are, dropping pretenses and disguises. Reiki is about changing attitudes and patterns of behavior so that stress and illness can be understood and a sense of harmony and balance is maintained.

When I teach Reiki, my students learn, healing oneself is the catalyst to heal others. The purpose of healing is to become whole – to help us become aware of, admit to, reclaim and integrate our fragmented parts. Integration then becomes a support system within the Self. When we are comfortable with the self, we no long feel the need to use the title of our jobs, our spouse, our bank account, therapist, university degrees, etc., to hold us up. Integrated means we are able to stand on our own two feet.

Some methods of awareness are role playing and/or exaggerating the symptoms and behaviors. The principle awareness is to be in the ‘now’, to become aware of bodily senses and to ‘stay with our feelings’ until we start understanding their message and begin our own journey of healing.

There are so many ways to use guided imagery and meditation to improve our lives, reduce stress, enhance self-image, heal the body. The internet has millions of hits on these and other techniques. I’ve only touched a few that have helped others and also helped me.

Listen to your surroundings

“Nature speaks in symbols and in signs”
John Greenleaf Whittier

Look around the room you’re in at the moment and let each thing speak to you about itself. I definitely know the room I’m in right now, especially my desk is saying, “I’m messy and full of all the work you must do. Until you tidy me up, I’m going to irritate you and keep you from concentrating”. Eek! Okay, okay, I get the message, you’re point is very clear! Let me clean it up!

If we can really listen to our surroundings we will begin to see the effect they have upon us. And when we become more aware of our environment we can change our surroundings and make them more comfortable and less ‘agitating and distracting’.

Do you get the picture? How about that beautiful painting hanging in your room or that sculpture in the corner? What does it want to say to you? How about the hanging plant, the couch, the chair? If you can learn to ‘listen’ to your surroundings you can become aware of the ‘effect’ they are having on you emotionally as well as physically. And, all this eventually leads to a healthier body.

Try being aware of your stance when doing the dishes, reading, at the computer, brushing your teeth, bringing in the groceries, taking out the garbage, talking on the phone, etc. You’ll be quite amazed at how you may clench your jaw, and stiffen your muscles. Look in the mirror at those forehead wrinkles.

Exaggerating Symptoms

When we are in pain all we want is for it is to go away, disappear from our consciousness. Another form of awareness is Gestalt Therapy, this is expressing your symptom or pain more by exaggerating it.

Close your eyes and think of any pain you’re experiencing now or have experienced lately. Focus your attention on the pain and look at it in detail. What parts of your body are affected and what sensations do you feel in these body parts. Pay attention to feelings of pain and tension, see if you can really accept the discomfort you feel. See if you can increase this symptom and be aware of how you do this…..now see if you can reduce it by letting go in some way. Take more time to explore your illness and become more aware of it in detail.

Identifying a Symptom/Illness – The Power of Symbols

We are moving to a deeper region of the inner self, becoming aware of the symbolic messages of our body from within. The simple questions following should be answered from a relaxed and focused pace. Here, we are trying to understand what our illness looks and feels like, symbolically. We are listening to the messages of our body. This exercise can be used for all kinds of illnesses…..CFS, FM, Migraines, Bladder Infections, Multiple Sclerosis, Ulcers, etc.

I adapted this inner communication guide from a book by Laura Day, who has written many great books on intuition and awareness. There’s a link to her website below.

Take a deep breath and allow a few moments to center yourself. You will obtain a more accurate result if you respond to the questions without thinking, allowing your intuition to guide you. Do not judge, just listen.

Trust your first response.
Don’t go back to change your answer.
Let your first response BE the response.

This is not a pass or fail test, just simply notice what images come to mind.

If your illness were an animal, what type of animal would it be?
If your illness was a plant, what plant would it be?
If your illness was a landscape, how would it seem?
If your illness was a body of water, how would it be? Is it deep, clear, what’s the temperature, is there any movement
If your illness was a color, what color would it be? Is it bold or weak in color? How intense?
If you could pick a geometric shape for your illness, what would it be?
If this illness was a type of music, what would you hear?
If this illness was a tool, what would it be?
If this illness was a character from history, who would it be?

Whatever symbols or images appear at first, acknowledge them, write them down quickly and then go back and look at them. It could be quite revealing. The character in history could help you understand what character your illness seems to take on. Studying that character, their life, etc., could bring much meaning to your own symptoms.

A dear friend of mine, Lisa (not her real name) did this exercise in regard to her migraines that constantly haunt her life. Here are her answers to the above questions.

Janice, I want to answer the questions you asked regarding if a migraine was a …., what kind of ….would it be? These are what first came to mind for me.

animal: Fisher Cat; plant: Venus Fly Trap; place: Barren mountains, like out in the western US; body of water: Raging sea; deep as can be; freezing and so dark of color that one couldn’t see one’s hand in front of them; color: dirty maroon; geometric shape rhombus; music heavy metal; historical figure: Jack the Ripper

Will have to ponder over my answers myself! Wonderful excercise, Janice. Whatcha think about the answers I gave?

Lisa wrote back later and said….. “Oh, I picked Jack the Ripper as my historical figure representing my migraines…it’s because someone like that is an invader. He invaded lives and snuffed them out. When I have a migraine it’s as if I’m being robbed of life…even if it’s only for a few hours, but it’s obviously worse when I get a “three day sucker” type migraine that robs me of DAYS!
Curious, I googled Fisher Cat and discovered it is part of the weasel family.

As for those symbols…pretty apparent that my migraines remind me of gnashing teeth…ie. the ruthless teeth of a Fisher cat; the sharp tines of a Venus fly trap (the trap alone is significant ’cause that’s how I feel when I’ve got a migraine…trapped in my own head pain); the jagged mountain peaks; and the off-kilter look of a rhombus (out of sorts, like a flattened square). As for the raging sea…when I was a kid I was even afraid to LOOK at books that contained the fish that are so far down in the depths that they glow white and have horrendously, fiendish teeth. Raging, because that’s how a really bad migraine feels…it’s out of control. And then there’s the fact that I fear water and can’t swim…another out of control feeling. Now as for the dull maroon, we’ve discussed that before as being a color that bothers me. And regarding the Heavy Metal music…it also sounds out of control to me; relentless pounding like my head feels with a migraine.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/04/nyregion/04cat.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

http://www.wickedlocal.com/norwich/news/environment/x1596401152

Now that we see how negative symbols can run amok in our life, how do we transform and evolve emotionally, spiritually and physically from them?. The only way to move through the pain is to fully experience it, understand it, and act upon that understanding.

Negative symbols have a positive side to them too, all we have to do is change our perception of them. We’ll explore this in the next section, Healing the Body/Mind with the Spirit. This section will explore the spiritual components to healing Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia, through the chakras, astrology, the meridians, and much, much more.

In the next section, I’d also like to address communicating and connecting with a supportive group. Many people with CFS and FM feel uncomfortable and vulnerable discussing this unfamiliar illness. Yet discussing how we feel could helps us overcome our resistance, anxiety and discomfort to it. It has been proven our attitudes, perceptions and emotions make a difference in how our immune system functions and also how the brain reacts to these emotions too. What do you think?

“We with our lives are like islands in the sea, like the trees in the forest. The maple and the pine may whisper to each other with their leaves…..but the trees also commingle their roots in the darkest underground, and the islands also hang together through the ocean’s bottom.” William James

Some favorite links of mine…
Lots of info on healing, acupuncture, elements, etc.
http://www.thefountainhead.co.za/

More Healing Metaphors
http://www.healingkeys.com/MetaphorAtoZ.htm

Body is a map of Consciousness
http://www.besthealthnews.com/your-body-is-a-map-of-your-consciousness

Symbols
http://www.dreamloverinc.com/dictionary1.htm

Sacred Geometry
http://www.crystalinks.com/sg.html

Fibonacci
http://www.crystalinks.com/fibongoddess4.html

Gestalt
http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/gestalt.htm

Fritz Perls
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Perls

Laura Day

http://www.practicalintuition.com/

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