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Posts Tagged ‘Inna Segal’

migraine-ohh

THE CAUSE OF MIGRAINES/HEADACHES

The main cause of headaches are fatigue, emotional disorders, insomnia and allergies. Most headache pains come from the lining of the brain, cranial nerves, or the nerves of the upper neck. 90 percent of headaches are tension headaches which come from muscle tension and contraction.  Tension headaches could also be caused by improper ventilation, anxiety, depression, overwork, or worry. This type of headache is usually felt in the large muscles of the neck and at the base of the shoulders and is brought on my muscle spasms in the neck and head.

Tension headaches metaphorically mirror the opposing tensions  in our own life, a time when we become more out of touch with our intuition and the ability to reason clearly. Our inner order is quickly spinning out of order, creating a high level of nervousness and confusion..which often leads to impulsive reactions. We start going in circles, unable to make up our minds if we should go with the desire of others or assert our own individuality – this confusion causes us to start arguing at everyone.

“sometimes I am strictly in mind/knowledge/intelligence and not in my heart/intuition. Or I will seek the intelligence of others instead of going within myself. Could that be the cause of my migraines?” (Maria S., former client) Yes, yes, and yes! 

Migraines and cluster headaches are known as vascular headaches, caused by the dilation of the blood vessels.  Migraines are usually accompanied by nausea; sometimes the vision is affected (fuzzy colored lights, numbness in the body, hyper-sensitivity on the skin as well as unpleasant odors. Migraine headaches usually represent some form of anger; triggers for these attacks include PMS (premenstrual syndrome) drugs, fatigue, stress, birth control pills and fasting.

Classical migraines or sometimes called, ‘the aura’ of the migraine can cause rapid changes in mood. Sometimes memory or speech may be affected and even hallucinations can result. “If I suffered an attack at night, I knew it to be the worst possible luck, as it would continue its rampage well into the morning and the rest of the day.”

Diet (certain foods) trigger headaches, especially those suffering with migraines. Foods that can trigger these attacks include: white rice, white sugar, pastries, ice-cream, cheese, chocolate, alcohol, (MSG) monosodium glutamate), caffeine, food additives and dyes, processed meats and nuts.

Cluster headaches, which often occur in males, produce severe, short pain attacks over one eye. These attacks can occur many times a day over a period of several months. These headaches usually involve an allergy symptom; for example, nasal congestion or a watery, teary eye. Refusing to see the truth or not wanting to see what’s ahead can cause migraines affecting the eyes.  This is also directly linked with not listening to the inner voice within, and fearing one’s intuition (6th chakra, 3rd eye).

People with HYPOGLYCEMIA are also prone to migraines, due to low blood sugar in their bodies.  If you eat a lot of carbohydrates or sugar, after eating, your pancreas will release too much insulin into your bloodstream; this signals the liver to turn it into fat, leaving  you with little blood sugar to supply the brain and other organs for the energy they need. The more blood sugar levels ‘bottom out’ the more this triggers headaches, weakness, shakiness, irritability and loss of motivation.

CONSTIPATION can cause headaches, especially from the overabundance of refined foods in our diets and less fiber foods. Other symptoms that can accompany constipation are, nausea and lightheadedness.

People who suffer from depression have also suffered from constipation and the meds used for depression usually worsen constipation.   And, because constipation seems to occur in people with a compulsive migraines, emotions and depression are important to look at. It is also known that when stool sits in our intestines for a long time, this becomes a toxic cocktail for the body, because the toxins in the stool are absorbed into the blood which then circulates throughout your system.

We are learning more and more that the body talks to us through physical sensations, perceptions, moods, gut feelings and intuition. These emotions are the body’s way of decoding and processing ‘energy information’.

This is why I usually ask the following questions when first conversing with a client suffering from migraines:

How long do your headaches usually last?
Are they worse before, during or after the menstrual period?
Are you constipated?
Do you have problems with indigestion?
Do you have neck or back problems or experience feelings of dizziness or blackouts?
Do you suffer from cold hands or feet.

We’ll go into this in more detail later…..

METAPHYSICAL CAUSE

“Migraine Headaches:  Migraines are usually caused by a lack of oxygen reaching the brain.  This can be seen as the life-giving energy being withdrawn from our control centre, so we do not have to deal with the commands, but can ignore our reality and the demands made on us.  This is often caused by a frustration of unfulfilled plans, an overload of information and an inability to integrate it, leading to repressed rage.  There is also a sense of something that has to be achieved or done, that is being asked of us, and the fear or resistance connected with begin able to fulfill that demand.  A goal has to be reached, and the thought if it creates pain. What needs to be looked at here is why there is a desire to avoid demands in the first place. Is it due to a very introverted personality?  Or is it because there is a deep feeling of incompetence, a feel that has been reinforced by not being loved unconditionally?  Is it because demands are being made that we feel unable to live up to?  A migraine is also a way of take time out, and of getting extra love and attention.  This is especially so with children who may be lacking in love, or who are having the attention they need replaced with sweet foods (sugar can be a physical trigger factor for a migraine).” The BodyMind Workbook ~ Deb Shapiro

Many people I’ve worked with who suffer migraines,  doubt their own worth and power and feel that ‘all power’ is outside of their control.  This ‘fear’ causes them to back away from being hurt, dominated or even crushed by their opponent. (“I’ve actually pushed people away, at the beginning of the a relationship, so I don’t have to deal with them walking out on me later.” (Abby, a client) Feeling this way, they may not attempt many things they could otherwise do. This form of extreme ‘self-blocking’, is very hard on the physical body because many times the anger and irritability these individuals feel (but don’t express) is turned against themselves. This can shut down the body’s immune system triggering a migraine attack which is often linked with depression, unexpressed anger, frustration and letdowns.

Most migraine sufferers learned at a very tender age to ‘instinctively’ hesitate/hold back their spontaneous spirit mainly due to insecurities about themselves. In some cases, migraines have been linked to past lives as well as a reluctance to be born, causing a very difficult labor for both mother and child. The soul for some reason, had a  form of stage fright, and suddenly decided, it wasn’t ready to be born.

Migraine – Control, pressure, seriousness, perfectionism. Over-committing yourself. Great need for love and approval. Ignoring your own needs. Putting other people before yourself. Extreme worry, guilt and anxiety. Conflict with self and other people. Self-punishment. Feeling angry and annoyed with others. Saying, ‘You are giving me a headache.’” THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF YOUR BODY: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness ~ Inna Segal

Self-inhibiting: The personalities of most migraine sufferers (I’ve seen) appear to look light, chipper and even seem to, not have a care in the world.  Most healers/psychologists can see through this superficiality  right away; what they’re doing, is trying to distract others from noticing/detecting  their lonely (unlovable) and easily hurt persona. They don’t want others to see how awkward they feel inside their skin so they try very hard to gain approval (people pleasers) from anybody and everybody. This becomes their best defence against personal attack.

These people have had to continually meet up against many forms of authoritative people – from father to boss to even their own rigid ‘inner authority’.  In their childhood years they most likely attracted at least one parent whose authority was fear-provoking causing feelings of inadequacy due to being deprived, ignored, not held or comforted enough. This can cause a person to become too sensitive to criticism, rejection, or neglect from others (this can be real or imagined). And again, they were probably affected by adult power and its abuse. At least one parents (daddy?) wielded authoritarian control, or at least a general strictness, when they were much too young in age. Whatever the scenario, they learned to become vulnerable to the coldness, indifference, or a lack of sympathy from others – especially from authority figures during their young adult years (e.g., coach, teacher, doctor, therapist,  business mentor, employer, etc..)

Is it possible they felt like ugly ducklings growing up? What if they had a lot going for them, but couldn’t get past the stigma of their appearance. Self-criticism regarding their looks can become a huge roadblock. Feeling unattractive can leave us feeling awkward and undesirable when making physical / sexual contact with others. Some of us may even downplay our physical attributes and shun direct attention from admirers. Why even praise and compliments makes them feel uneasy. Their fear of disapproval can force them to appear guarded in their appearance…they become skillful at covering up their wounds…yet on the surface they appear aloof and independent. This guise can often work well in the professional arena, where we appear to have it all together as a self-made person. But we also need to review ourselves and determine whether or not we physically give off the (mis)impression that we are cool, composed, and a tad too unfriendly to get to know well. Maybe some of us, really are this way all the time, but the rest of us can be someone quite different deep inside. It is our self-uncertainty that makes us mistrust the intentions of others. We must learn that we live in a world that is not seeking to put us down or demean us, and that there are supportive people out there who can bolster our identity in life-affirming ways.

Once people attempt to go beyond our sometimes chilly façade – which can be intimidating at first encounter – they might just discover that we have a lot of depth. We give thoughtful consideration to others, and want the same in return. However, we do seem to have a hard time allowing people to penetrate our personality. Those barricades we psychologically construct around us work against us by further increasing our sense of isolation. They will need to be broken down by the power of intimate relationships but first, they need to stop pushing people away.  In most cases, they fear being taken advantage of, and this fear causes them to lash out and react defensively against others.

The key to much of this is learning is not to become so guarded and suspicious to others and stay flexible in their attitudes and assumptions about life. They need to continuously bathe their consciousness with a sense of hope and faith, believing that it’s never too late to start new beginnings, which are well-defined, with a sense of individuality. That way they can cope with whatever life presents to them. They can have a lasting feeling of inner security and the satisfying sense that their life is truly significant.

“HEADACHES ~ The head …has a direct link with the I AM. If you have a headache (especially on the top of the head), it means that you hit yourself over the head with belittling I AM’s. You accuse yourself of not being this or that and especially of not being intelligent enough; you ask a lot of yourself. ..”

“MIGRAINES ~ Migraines can occur when  you feel guilty for daring to question those who influence you. You may not even be fully conscious of what it is you truly desire, to the point of living in someone else’s shadow. How often do you find yourself saying, “I can’t get what I want”? If you suffer from migraines, take a look at your sexual relationship. You most likely are having difficulties in that area also, because you are out of touch with your power to create your life, which is reflected in the sexual organs.” YOUR BODY IS TELLING YOU: LOVE YOURSELF ~ Lise Bourbeau

THE GUT-BRAIN LINK

Connecting with our inner power (spirit) means that we need to ‘feel’ our sensory inputs (gut instincts). This means to be aware of the subtle feelings that warn us of those things that are not right, or are excitingly good, or that we need to pay attention to.  It’s those gut feelings (butterflies in stomach), the hairs that rise at the back of your neck, the sense of a chill in a room where an argument has taken place, the warmth of love and laughter, or mischief at work. All those things that flow through us in an instant and are so easily overlooked or second-guessed are the cues the solar plexus uses to get our attention.
The Solar plexus is also connected to the Sympathetic System, which is a network of nerve fibres, ganglia and plexus. As we have learned, the 3rd chakra is or acts as a mirror/reflection of our most delicate and secret emotions. It is also the place where everything external enters through first and then gets chanelled to the other chakras. It is known as our Power center.
In Chinese and other alternative medicines, negative and unresolved emotions are seen as the cause of a host of physical and emotional ailments. The digestive organs in the Solar Plexus region (stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and some say the kidney and spleen) are continually challenged to judge and digest all our food and emotions. In fact, the body’s health counts on this area to supply it with the proper materials to help build bones, muscles, nerves and replace and rebuild surrounding tissue.
SOLAR PLEXUS ~ THE GALL BLADDER ORGAN/MERIDIAN

“The GALLBLADDER is a small sac in which bile secreted by the liver is stored until needed for the process of fat digestion. Problems in this area indicate we are trying to digest things too quickly or are not digesting what we have experienced; we are not learning our lessons. Such problems as gallstones can indicate we are holding onto hard thoughts and bitter experiences rather than moving past them. We are holding onto the past and allowing it to fill our life, rather than moving forward with joy and anticipation for the future. “ THE HEALERS MANUAL ~ by Ted Andrews

The gall bladder meridian is one of the longest meridians that travels almost through the entire body. This meridian begins at the outside corner of the eye on the face, then weaves its way up into the skull covering a large area on both sides of the head. Imagine holding the sides of your head with both hands; this is similar to the pattern and area covered by this meridian. This meridian continues flowing down both sides of the body in a zigzag fashion, supporting the stomach in the front of the body and the bladder at the back.

The gallbladders role or responsibility is to help distribution Liver Chi in the abdominal area—the function of both the liver and gall bladder is breaking down fats for digestion. The *liver is also known to remove toxins from the blood. If it fails to do so, the stomach, spleen, intestines and lungs will lose power and stagnate. In Chinese medicine, the liver and gall bladder organs, along with their meridians help to clear our energy to prepare for new growth and creativity. When energy flows smoothly along these meridian lines, we are alert and able to make clear decisions. However, if they’re unable to work properly, we wind up fearing the future and staying within our comfort zone and lost in our past.

“Anger is the emotion associated with the liver and gall bladder meridians. When we become angry and either hold on to it as resentment or continually explode with anger inappropriately, we are more prone to having issues with these organs and meridians. And conversely, if you are experiencing problems with your liver or gall bladder, you may find yourself either easily angered or, the opposite, collapsing and turning the anger in on yourself, feeling inadequate and humiliated.” Elemental Moves: Simple Yoga and Qigong Practices Inspired by Nature ~ Lori Furbush

Now we begin to see that the gallbladder and surrounding organs main objective is to digest, assimilate, and analyze the constant barrage of ‘noise’ coming from our conscious and unconscious mind as well as our relation to others and the environment. But when unresolved emotions are not digested and begin accumulating, the solar plexus cannot do its work properly. It becomes and congested and bogged down. All organs in our body originate in the energy of the gallbladder, transporting impure or foreign matter. The gallbladder transports only ‘pure’ liquids.

(*The liver meridian rules the tendons and eyes and when congested or deficient, the tendons will lose their elasticity and easily tear, becoming inflamed or lose weakness in the surrounding muscles. The eyes can be affected in many ways, especially in regard to migraines (visual abnormalities, forehead and eye pain), cataracts, glaucoma, dry eye, near or far-sightedness, etc. … all reflecting or mirroring the condition of the liver in the solar plexus region)

THE BRAIN

Let’s look at the brain for a moment.  The left brain is the gas pedal of the brain. It initiates a thought, an action or a word. It gets us started where the right brain is the brake. It stops the action or thought or movement or word so we can stop and move on to other things.  The left controls the immune system and also the body’s automatic functions.
The right brain specializes in nonverbal communication, which includes reading another’s body posture, facial expression or tone of voice .. it’s also the ability to empathize with another person. Most people describe emotions as an internal feeling, a change inside their bodies. For example, the heart rate increases as does blood pressure and release certain chemicals. But these physiological changes are exactly the same for each emotion so where did we learn to process sadness, anger, excitement, happiness.  Usually around the 3rd month of our lives. This non-verbal communication was picked up by our parents, especially the mother .. we started to mimic facial and body movements by our caregiver’s tone of voice. This results in trigger changes in our stomach and intestines and to different patterns of muscular contractions. So once we are able to ready our own emotions, we start to develop the ability to read these ‘same’ emotions in other people.  We do this using a special network of cells called ‘mirror neurons’ .  Isn’t that fascinating??  Well hopefully you’ve enjoyed this little bit of information.
BUT we are all naturally driven by social acceptance .. so we are ‘reinforced’ to continue doing the right thing and avoid the wrong thing.  But which is right or wrong?
We can’t discern this by the right or left brain until we learn to look ‘inside’ (inner self) and take the time to weigh what’s good or bad for us. Throughout our lives we’ve created perceptions of ourselves based on the words and actions of others .. especially our parents.

The brain is involved with our ability to think and reason, of absorbing facts and solving complex problems. It rules our emotions, relationships, metabolism, hormones and nerves as while as maintaining bodily functions such as digestion, movement, coordination and sexuality.

When you are reacting to a stressfully critical moment, the brain quickly decides to shut down or divert energy away from digestive process. When unresolved emotions are not digested and begin accumulating, the solar plexus cannot do its work properly. It becomes and congested and bogged down.

“People who tend to have digestive tract-related issues are generally focused on getting more, more, more of everything. Excess is stimulating and we thrive on adrenaline because it makes us feel bigger than we actually are, so these people search for this rush. They work too much, party too much, and simply keep going and doing until it nearly kills them. They amass power and material wealth in an effort to fill a void in their souls. So while it may look like these folks have everything figured out, this constant hunger is born from a low sense of self-worth. They have yet to find contentment and joy in who they are. Their lives are all about appearance, and they search for bigger , better cars and houses, believing that this will make them feel bigger and better, pumping up their self-esteem.”All is Well ~ Louise L. Hay & Mona Lisa Schulz 

Under stress, there is an abnormal drop in Serotonin in the brain (as well as other hormones/neurotransmitters) which can cause the blood vessels in the skull to constrict, affecting the neck and shoulders as well. The trigeminal nerve, the largest nerve in the skull, branches out to parts of the face, creating an array of sensations felt differently from person to person.

(Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit electrical signals from one nerve cell to another and ultimately controls behaviors, thoughts and feelings. Three neurotransmitters, serotonin and  norepineprhine and dopamine have been associated with headaches, migraines, insomnia,depression, bi-polar, agoraphobic, etc…)

“Imbalances in brain chemistry have a large range of effects on emotions, behavior, and brain circulation. Migraine, depression, and insomnia, all have similar neurotransmitter mechanisms of low serotonin and norepinephrine levels. Insomnia and depression are often associated with migraines. Serotonin and norepinephrine are the two main neurotransmitters needed in the brain. When the brain is low in serotonin and norepinephrine, the individual experiences depression and insomnia. When the level of serotonin is low and the level of norepinephrine is high, the individual may experience mania. Neurotransmitter levels can be diminished by allergic reactions, inflammation, poor absorption of nutrients into the brain, poor metabolism of nutrients in the brain, a lack of nutrients in the brain, chemicals reactions, stress and other factors listed. Norepinephrine levels can skyrocket from the use of stimulants and over-the-counter medications such as, pseudoephedrine. Many people, especially children have poor diets resulting from high toxin levels and low nutrient levels, which can lead to low serotonin levels in the brain. Low levels of serotonin and low levels of norepinephrine can cause depression. Consequently, they will experience depression and fatigue and pursue stimulants such as coffee and soft drinks containing high amounts of caffeine. The caffeine causes an increase in cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine levels in the brain. When there are low serotonin and high norepinephrine levels in the brain, an individual may exhibit manic behavior and when high enough, violence. This is the biochemical foundation of the bipolar syndrome.”  http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/guidebook-for-preventing-migraine-headaches-depression-insomnia-and-bipolar-syndrome/

MIGRAINES AND THE ADRENALS

When we sense danger, the autonomic nervous system signals the body to release the hormone adrenaline in the blood stream, providing instant energy to the heart, lungs, and muscles to adapt and adjust for the fight/flight response.

Chronic anxiety and worry is closely associated with migraines and is associated with perfectionism. Perfectionists are very hard on themselves and others, demanding the best at all times. They find fault in almost everything they do—they’re appearance, their homes, relationships, children, clothes, cars—they can frustrate us to no end with their constant bickering and never-ending insistence that everything has to be perfect.

Perfectionists suffer from a lack of safety, never letting their guard down because if not, all hell will break loose. Their insecurities come from believing they always have to be in charge. Many perfectionists grew up too early, playing part of an absent parent or an out-of-control one—addictions such as drug abuse, alcoholism, gambling and even sex addition showed how their world was chaotic and out of control. It’s no wonder perfectionists move out at an early age and look for a place of their own—where attention to detail and keeping everything in its place is exactly as it’s supposed to be arranged. The problem with perfectionism is, their need to control is in the power-seat instead of their spirit—when they suddenly have a life-altering decision, the controls are at the helm of their personality, which could lead them down the wrong path.

Perfectionists need to loosen their standards, leave the past and move into unfamiliar ground—they need to let go of their fear and move into the unknown. They have to stop manipulating others and their world where they feel they’re in control. They need to practice gratitude to help them relax and be happy with life as it is. Once they know what beliefs and behaviors keep them stuck, they have a greater sense of adventure, trust and enjoyment. They let go of fear and self-doubt and with motivation regain a zest for life.

PAST LIVES of MIGRAINE/HEADACHE SUFFERERS

“Migraine headaches, chronic back and neck problems and stomach disorders can be traced to past life deaths in which the person was clubbed in the head, guillotined, hanged or shot or speared in the same place of the body. Physical ailments could also be the consequence of dying while in the grip of strong emotions-anger, guilt sadness or fear.  These unresolved feelings kept the memory alive and showed up as physical symptoms in a later life. Once the trauma was reexperienced under hypnosis, though and the emotions process, the physical reminder of the past life experience cleared up and the symptoms disappeared.

Feelings of guilt that originated in another lifetime can afflict a person not as guilt in this life but as a physical symptom – the eczema – on the same spot where the bullet had pierced his wrist in the past life. Once revisited (the past life) and emotions processed, the eczema disappeared.” Healing Your Past Lives: Exploring the Many Lives of the Soul ~ by Roger J. Woolger

In Denise Linn’s book “Past Lives, Present Miracles, she talks of ‘health challenges carried forward from earlier lives”. Linn covers a small section on health issues and talks of a woman’s past life, where she was so distraught from being banished by her tribe for adultery, “she threw herself over a cliff and died from a head injury. “In her present life, every time that she’d had a single thought of having an affair, she was overcome with a debilitating migraine headache.  She had subconsciously equated adultery with dying of a head injury; so in her present life, even the thought of an affair would activate severe pain in her head.”

During a Reiki treatment many of my clients have slowly regressed to unresolved ‘childhood’ experiences hidden within their cellular tissue.  Many healing modalities have the ability to release/transmute/uncover traumas from the past that most of us have been carrying in our minds and bodies.  In most cases, a liberation from the past, can help clear, calm and  physically energize the body to speed-up healing. However, to have a client regress to their ‘past-lives’is not something most healers have had the benefit to witness or heal.  I, myself, have only seen a select few.

Clients who regressed to being severely wounded in past-lives, found themselves being healed by ‘many hands'(the practitioner surrounded and supported by several spirit helpers) during a Reiki/healing treatment.  At that time they received various forms of healing such as cleaning/healing a wound and/or strengthening an area of the subtle body.

A friend of mind suffered gruelling migraines that kept her in bed for days.  We worked together to help her discover the origins of her headaches; no matter how many Reiki sessions we had, the migraines persisted.  We even looked at her astrological natal chart as well as numerology and still we had no intuitive hits.  It was when Lisa decided to see a past-lives practitioner,  that she discovered the major cause of her headaches.  She regressed to the 1800’s where she was shot in the head and killed in while in the army.  As Lisa descended further into her past-lives, there were glimpses of several past-lives, where again and again her soul was holding onto traumatic deaths involving several head injuries.  Two weeks later, her migraines had completely cleared up.

“When the causes of chronic migraines are uncovered, the soul breathes a sigh of relief and says to itself, “Oh, so that’s from the past? Okay, I’ll let it go.” Sometimes all the soul needs is that gentle reminder to put the past where it belongs, and that, of course, is in the past.” Chronic Migraines – Memories of Past Life Trauma

FIGHT OR FLIGHT – WHAT ARE YOUR HIDDEN STRESS PATTERNS

Beginning to work on the Self, we need to begin to examine who we are and take responsibility for our actions. We learn to challenge our faults by exploring our feelings about our fears, our egos, our envy of what others have or can do with their gifts and abilities. We begin to recognize by setting aside these traits in our personality and developing our own skills we become the best we can be. A ‘sense of integrity’ develops and as it does our intent shifts from the “me first” to the things we can do to serve the Higher Good and the “we” becomes important. Our intent is our will in action and by doing the best we can (at whatever level we can do it) we find growth begins to take place and we are developing an impeccable work ethic along with our spiritual ethics. Our Inner Spirit will react with negative sensations when we are doing something wrong. “Warning! Warning! Warning!”, it shouts. Are you listening to that voice? If you do it becomes louder, and if you trust it once you’ll trust it again and again as the validations prove themselves.

HOW TO TRANSFORM TENSE REACTIONS INTO A RELAXED RESPONSE

Becoming aware of what causes you to experience tension (where, when, why) is the key to keeping your migraines at bay. Something as simple as posture can cause tension in the upper part of the body. If we carry our bodies improperly or sit, stand  or walk incorrectly, our muscles will tense up. Although headaches can have a definite physical cause, our mental attitude toward ourselves and our surroundings can be a major component of our migraines.

Begin to observe yourself on a day to day basis so that you are able to see when tension is approaching from a distance or catch it happening. Then accept it! If you fight it or try to suppress it or get angry at yourself for reacting to it, you’ll get more tense and lose more energy. Just recognize and allow yourself to feel the symptoms in your body.

As tension happpens, consciously begin to relax by breathing more slowly and deeply. Your emotions are intimately connected to your breathing patterns—by changing your pattern, you will quickly be able to change any train of thought, even a stressful one. A change in breathing also changes the physical responses that go with emotional or mental tensions, such as tightness in the neck, head, abdomen or shoulders.

The beauty of it is that deep breathing can be practiced anywhere without anyone even noticing—at work, while traveling, or in a situation of confrontation. So when you feel your body beginning to experience tension, immediately begin to take long, deep, regular breaths.

The natural way of breathing when relaxed is deeply and steadily—just watch a sleeping child or an animal at rest. As you breath more deeply you will feel refreshing because you are taking in more energy/oxygen/prana. You will also feel calmer and more objective and able to deal with the situation more efficiently.

Recognize whether you are experiencing a fight response or a flight response, and see if you can change your thinking/attitude about the situation.

Recognize what you want from the situation and are not getting, and see if you can drop that desire. Accept what is actually happening, rather than trying to fight mentally and emotionally for what you want to have happen.

Examine your daily routine to see if you are creating physical situations that predispose you to experience stress or tension. For example, you will be more likely to feel tension if any of the following are true: you are overtired from lack of sleep; you have overeaten or eaten the wrong kinds of food or too late at night; you have taken too many stimulants, such as coffee, alcohol, or cigarettes; you habitually overwork; you don’t get enough play and recreation; or you don’t get enough fresh air and exercise.

See where you can make changes—small ones, one at a time. Don’t take on too much! Just regulate your sleep, for instance, or try walking instead of driving once in a while to get more fresh air and exercise.

Incorporate some specific physical and mental techniques into your daily schedule, such as yoga, walking, meditation, or sports. Also take time out to lie down and relax deeply once a day for fifteen to twenty minutes. ♥

LINKS

Do Gallbladder Problems Cause Migraines

Adrenal Insufficieny

7 Common Migraine Triggers

Migraines Result of Childhood Trauma

Migraines Linked to Changes in Brain

Dealing With Rage

Migraine Vitamins and Supplements

Homeopathic Medicine for Migraines

 

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low back muscles

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“The low back is the base and root of our activity in the world. When we experience a loss of support or feel that challenges or responsibilities are too great, we simply “can’t stand it.” Rage, frustration, humiliation, or depression may be held in the low back which is neurologically and psychologically associated with our “gut” feelings and deeper, suppressed instincts. The lower back carries the most weight, and expresses the extend of burden or load we bear, or if we feel overwhelmed or hopeless.

The ability to adapt, withstand or face up to stress or perceived onslaughts is expressed in the back; e.g., being spineless, having one’s back against the wall, getting ones back up, oh my aching back.” ~ Asa Hershoff N.D., D.C.

The gut is one of the primary filtration systems of the body, when its plumbing, electrical and drainage system aren’t working quite right, the body starts absorbing toxins, clogging the system. When the gut can no longer protect us, autoimmune problems can be triggered by a network of cellular communications and through our lymph nodes. Constipation, diarrhea, bloating, poor motility, and trapped gas can all lead to obesity, high cholesterol, diverticulitis, pancreatic problems and more. Toxic buildups are stored in the fat cells of the body…if these toxins leak into the fluids of the body, which includes the blood, they can cause fatigue, body aches, thyroid, heart and brain problems, as well as depression.

Most back pains are 10 times more painful than any other muscle strain in the body.  The reason for this… the back muscles are designed to ‘protect’ and ‘defend’ the spinal column.  Also, the back muscles are closely connected to the Central Nervous System (CNS) that transmits pain messages to your brain—muscle pain is an early warning that your spine might be in trouble.  When we are tense, our back muscles can go into spasm, causing excruciating pain that can last for weeks, months, even years.

The spine is generally flexible and quite resilient and when properly aligned is able to learn from and integrate a variety of life experiences.  These experiences either stressful or ecstatic are able to flow easily through the awareness of the body/mind as long as there is no disruption, which could knock the vertebrae(s) off course. But when we experience a stressful or traumatic/shocking event, the spine’s shock-absorber’s become inflexible from the shock, causing the muscles, ligaments and tendons of your back and abdomen to work harder to keep you upright.

“It would appear that most cases of chronic back pain are actually caused not by spinal problems, but by muscle tension and spasm. This is not to be dismissed: It is extremely painful. Such muscle tension is caused by emotional tension, and the deeper the emotional tension is explored the more the story behind the pain is revealed. It may be a story of anger, fear, exhaustion, of trying to prove something to someone, of denial, of a lack of forgiveness—whatever it is, it is in the back because it is well hidden there. But it also hurts.” Your Body Speaks Your Mind: Understanding How Your Emotions and Thoughts ~ Deb Shapiro

The backside of the body reflects private and unconscious elements of your life. The back becomes the storehouse for everything you don’t want to deal with or don’t want other people to see. Hidden or unexpressed feelings become frozen in the structure of your body. That means a lot of negative emotions becomes stored along your spine and in the backs of your legs. Most of your powerful emotions such as anger and fear are stored in your back and it is these emotions that pull your body out of balance.

Trying to distance and suppress your feelings only aggravates the problem..as you are still continuing to carry the past, which continues to grow heavier and heavier.If you’ve been protecting yourself all these years and defending yourself from real or imagined dangers, you are living in a constant state of alertness.  As well, you learnt to take protective steps to feel safe….this has been known to create an unsteadiness from the lower back, hips, and right down to the feet. The pelvis represents our inner direction and our deepest feelings and thoughts…it’s about our personal movement. Our 1st (root) chakra basically connects us to the earth as well as our survival instincts. Excessive tightness in the hips and buttocks may reflect a person’s need to ‘hold on’ in order to survive.

“Sacrum – Feeling unsupported, carrying unresolved family issues, holding on to childhood anger and resentment. Experiencing a lack of confidence and belief in self. Feeling uncomfortable in your body and in your life. Carry guild resentment and shame. Physical: Hip bones, buttocks, sacro-iliac conditions, spinal curvatures.” THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF YOUR BODY ~ Inna Segel

“Although seemingly soft and spongy, the buttock or gluteal muscles are often the most clenched and tense muscles in the body, for it is here that you can hide any tension or nervousness you may be feeling by literally sitting on it.  Although that tension is hidden from view, its effect will be felt throughout the body.  Consistently tight gluteals will throw off your posture causing spinal distortion and backache and then they can affect the functioning of your bowels….

Just for a moment, right now, check your muscles in your backside. Are they relaxed? Or are they clenched tight? If so, consciously relax them and notice the difference in your attitude.

  • What are you sitting on, repressing or holding down?
  • What energy is being held in  your backside?
  • Are you sitting on feelings of insecurity?
  • Are you sitting on a need for support and comfort?”

YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ by Deb Shapiro

THE SECOND (SACRAL) Chakra

“Sensations and feelings contribute to emotions, another aspect of the second chakra. Emotion – from the Latin e, meaning out, and movere, to move – is the moving of prana through the tissues of the body. Emotions are the result of feelings stored up in the body. For example, you may have a feeling of irritation at something, but if that feeling is repeatedly stored in your tissues, it can become the emotion of anger. I like to think of sensations as the words, feelings as the sentences, and emotions as the story that emerges.

When you repress emotion, you restrict the body’s natural movements. You become rigid, creating the opposite of the second chakra’s watery flow, inhibiting flexibility. Therefore, developing flexibility in your body may require willingness to feel old emotions that are stored in your body. ” Anodea Judith’s Chakra Yoga ~ by Anodea Judith

The lower back is associated with the 2nd chakra which is associated with the hips, sacrum, lower back, genitals, womb, bladder and kidneys. This chakra is about sensuality, sexuality, emotions, intimacy, and desire. All watery things have to do with this chakra: circulation, urination, menstruation, orgasm, tears. Water flows, moves and changes and a healthy second chakra allows us to do so.  It is also this chakra where, as a child, we were supported and reassured  from our parents.

Your aggressive nature might have caused you some anxious moments while you were growing up, when you had to confine yourself to the limits imposed by your parents. They may have considered you too big for your britches then, or simply reckless and immature. Your need to demonstrate your independence might have alienated you from them. Your subsequent development made you realize that you had to act when you felt that it was appropriate, knowing that ‘he who hesitates is lost’. Even now, you aren’t easily dissuaded by people who say that your plans won’t work, and you always manage to prove them wrong.

If we didn’t get the support we needed as a child.. it can affect the areas of the lower back and knees. See the kidney meridian runs along at the back of the knee as does the bladder, liver and spleen.  Inflammation is caused by a buildup of fluid.. the area of the skin very sensitive to be touched.  When a large amount of the 2nd chakra energy is released through exercising, it can make us sensitive to energies in the environment and from other people too.  It can also make us feel young, happy and bright!

When the 2nd chakra is balanced and healthy, we can be emotionally fluid, allowing ourselves to feel freely and without guilt. When it is excessive, we are overly emotional, have poor boundaries between ourselves and others, and are prone to obsessive attachments. When the 2nd chakra is deficient we tend toward emotional numbness, rigidity, and fear of pleasure.

PSOAS MUSCLES (major contributors to low back pain)

Buried deep within the core of your body, the psoas (pronounced “so-as”) affects every facet of your life, from your physical well-being to who you feel yourself to be and how you relate to the world. Acting as a bridge between the lower trunk and legs, the psoas is critical for keeping the spine aligned, allowing the joints to freely rotate and giving the muscles a full range of motion. The abdominal muscle, are surrounded by a complex network of nerve ganglia which lies approximately at the level of the psoas and the diaphragm. If the psoas is constricted for whatever reason, it will press on the nerves in the abdominal area. Constriction of the diaphragm may shorten the psoas, and tightness in the psoas may restrict the ability of the diaphragm to move freely. Any constriction in the the diaphragm will prevent full body breathing, a process which massages the internal organs and promotes strength and vitality.

Whether you suffer from a sore back or anxiety, from knee strain or exhaustion, there’s a good chance that a constricted psoas muscle might be contributing to your problem. When the psoas muscles go into spasm, they pull down on the shoulder and create an actual physical imbalance… you actually may feel yourself leaning over more to one-side.  Metaphysically the psoas muscles can indicate complex traumas and unresolved ‘unconscious’ issues from early childhood.  People with chronically tight psoas muscles have cut off their deeper feelings altogether, exerting rigid control over themselves as a way of defending themselves against these raw emotions. And yet there is always the sense of some imminent danger.  For some people, their whole life is built around suppressing what’s down there, and in this respect they are dominated by those very things they are trying to keep at bay. Finding the self is like Peeling an onion – layer upon layer has to be removed to reach the core. This is similar to the deep-sea diver who plunges into the depths of the personal unconscious bringing hidden complexes to light so that they can be examined worked on and hopefully transmuted.

Since the home sphere is where most people feel the most vulnerable, they may attempt to manipulate and, control those around them so that nobody slips up and detonates their inner time-bomb. Obviously, this does not lend itself to the most relaxed of home atmospheres, in which there are probably many unwritten rules about what is or isn’t allowed to be said or done.

“The kidneys are actually situated behind the psoas, while the intestines and reproductive organs lie in front of it. When the psoas is tight and constricted, the lumbar curve becomes exaggerated, causing the abdominal organs to fall forward against the abdominal muscles, which were not designed to carry this weight. …When displaced, the intestines are unable to absorb nutrients, eliminate waste, and the sexual reproductive functions could be impaired. The problem as well, is that no matter how many sit-ups you do they won’t be able to support the constricted psoas pushing the abdominal cavity forward.” Yoga Journal ~ By Donna Farhi

Healing the psoas can help to improve your overall structure,  and bring to light, old traumas and fears (physical tension) locked in the body.  In regard to the fight or flight response, the psoas have been known to curl you into a fetal ball to protect the front of the body, or prepare your back and leg muscles to spring into action. Because the psoas is so intimately involved in physical and emotional reactions, a chronically tightened psoas continually signals the body that you’re in danger, eventually exhausting the adrenal glands and depleting the immune system.

One on each side of the spine, each working independently yet harmoniously, the psoas attaches to the side and toward the front of the 12th thoracic vertebra and each lumbar vertebrae. Moving though the pelvis without attaching to the bone, the psoas inserts along with the iliacus muscle in a common tendon at the top of the femur.

The psoas’ main function is to act as a hip flexor….without it walking or running would be impossible. These muscles also contribution to the outer rotation of the hips. When the psoas is so tight, they can’t release, causing the legs to turn outward during intense back-bending, which can pinch the muscles and nerves of the lower back.

The major aorta that carries the blood from the heart run very close to the psoas muscles and it has been thought that an imbalance in the psoas may affect blood circulation throughout the upper and lower extremities. Many people feel a flush of heat down the legs and up into the chest when the psoas releases. So the deep muscles of the psoas can affect circulation, respiration, nerve impulses as well as organ function. And we still haven’t considered the effect the psoas have on the musculoskeletal system.

In addition the psoas also forms a supportive shelf for the vital organs wjithin the abdominal core. In walking, a healthy psoas moves freely and joins with a released diaphragm to continuously massage the spine as well as the organs, blood vessels, and nerves of the trunk. Working as a hydraulic pump, a freely moving psoas stimulates the flow of fluids throughout the body. And a released, flowing psoas combined with a stable weight-bearing pelvis, contributes to the sensations of feeling grounded and centered.

 

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM (CNS)

Have you ever wondered with the body’s amazing ability to renew itself, why we have, or seem to have the same or similar back problems throughout most of our lives?  The answer lies in the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS coordinates our consciousness with billions of neurons (individual nerve cells) that are sent to the brain to be interpreted.  Messages are then sent back to move the countless muscle fibers through the body.  This is why most of our back pain begins with problems in the muscles because they are directly connected to the nerves that transmit pain messages to your brain AND many back problems are made worse by stress or tension in the mind.

The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord. The brain carries out most of the ‘computing’ in the nervous system and communicates with the rest of the body through the large bundle of nerves called the spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is the intricate network of nerves that carries information between the CNS and the rest of the body.  Thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves carry sensory and motor messages to and from the spinal cord. Together these nerves keep your entire body in communication with the brain.

“The nervous system maintains our body’s inner environment and regulates the digestion of food and the amount of carbon dioxide in our blood without our awareness…..

By acting as a conduit for the expression of Universal Consciousness (our innate wisdom), the nervous system establishes who we are and how we deal with the world. What our body feels—not necessarily what we are conscious of—actually changes the way we perceive the world. If the nervous system is stuck in one perspective, the messages it will send and receive will be stuck in that perspective as well. In other words, when the nervous system has not been able to recover from the trauma of past events—whether physical, emotional, or chemical—our emotional reality is also stuck…..The combined effect of various stress and the inability of the nervous system to deal with them produces a subluxation (interference) of the spine….This interference disrupts the nervous system’s natural ability to assemble and sort out neurological instructions.  Like a computer, if the input (messages to the system) is distorted in anyway, then the output (messages from the nervous system to each body cell) will also be distorted. Emotional trauma, accidents or breathing polluted air are challenges to a compromised nervous system.” The 12 STAGES of HEALING ~ by Donald M. Epstein D.C.

There is a deep and powerful connection between the mind and back—to begin understanding the cause of your back pain, begin the healing process.   The more rigid, tight and unyielding the mind, the more rigid, tight and unyielding the physical body (tight shoulders, neck, chest, abdomen, hips hamstrings, psoas, ankles, etc… ).

TRAUMA RELEASING EXERCISES (TRE)

Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) “TRE® is a simple and quick set of movements that turn on our body’s natural rebalancing process—providing an immediate experience of relaxation. By releasing everything from everyday stress to deeply held physical tension and trauma, TRE® frees us up to meet life’s challenges with greater skill and ease. Best of all, our bodies do the work; we get relief without needing to process or retell our story.” Tension Release Exercises

A client of mine (J.S) has a friend who is a trauma counsellor which was originally designed for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)… specifically for soldiers who had returned from war. “It takes you through a series of movements.. then you end up in a position that releases the psoas, which is described as being a muscle that holds emotion (hence trauma release exercises to target it).”

TRE relieves the accumulation of everyday muscle tension as well as past traumas Trauma Release video

Another video on TRE

EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE (EFT)

Emotional Freedom Techniques – EFT – also known as Meridian Tapping – is a very effective healing method, that is known to eliminate past trauma and abuse, anxiety, fears, and phobias, negative emotions and beliefs, self-judgement, physical and emotional pain, bad habits, migraines, and often helps to heal physical injuries and illnesses.

“BATTLE TAP is an easy-to-learn self-help tool that is designed for armed public service professionals who are experiencing emotional or psychological distress. It’s based on Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), an emerging intervention that uses acupressure-point tapping, re-exposure, and cognitive scripts to rapidly resolve undesired emotions and memories.”  http://www.battletap.org/home.aspx

Web-page on … What is EFT Tapping

This is a great site demonstrating EFT techniques  http://eft.mercola.com/

 

HEALING LOWER BACK PAIN

“Muscles absorb and respond to tensions and feelings.  If they do not relax sufficiently following stress, then the tension accumulates and causes deeper, long-lasting damage. If this continues over a period of time, the muscles become set and fixed in this restricted form. This is where you “hold” issues, emotions and trauma.  Frozen anger, fear, or grief creates a kind of body armour, which further blocks and holds back feelings, locking the musculature into fixed positions…

The muscles enable all the bodily systems to function, such as circulation, digestion, breathing, and nerve impulses.  Their freedom of movement is essential for optimum health. When the muscles are restricted…your energy will be unable to flow smoothly…Stress release and emotional expression are therefore essential for muscle ease. Exercise is also vital–it not only releases muscular tension but psycho/emotional tension as well.” YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro

 

to be continued….

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Weakness at the front of the shoulders can cause tight or tense muscles in the back.

Weakness at the front of the shoulders can cause tight or tense muscles in the back.

The Scapular muscle diagram is compliments of http://www.ehealthstar.com/anatomy/shoulder-blade-scapula

Metaphysical cause of Shoulder Pain

Pain or tightness in the shoulder area often reflects a person’s overall emotional and physical state. A stressful lifestyle, emotional strain, physical injuries, and fatigue can contribute to constriction and pain in the shoulders. When we experience people’s actions and behaviors toward us as aggressive or controlling, it makes us feel powerless, angry, resentful or out of control. If negative emotions are not released, they can become toxic to the entire system, leading to all sorts of complications.

“Stiffness in the area of the shoulder blades usually reveals you are going in the wrong direction in life, or you are doing something in life that isn’t serving your highest purpose. This is actually a positive and predictive pain, showing that you either need to make an adjustment in your life direction or that an important change is about to come into your life and you will have to adjust to align yourself to this new change or direction. This may involve letting go of some old ways of thinking and behaving and adapting to newer, higher ways of thinking and behaving. The change will take place when you become aligned, at which point the energy between the spleen and small intestine meridians will flow freely, removing the blockage between the two. It is the blockage of energy between the two meridians, found in the area of the shoulder blades, that causes the feeling of resistance and lack of mobility.” Emotion and Healing in the Energy Body ~ Robert Henderson

Shoulder pain is quite a complex multifaceted pain as there are six meridians moving through this area. The six *meridians are: the lung, large intestine, pericardium, triple heater, small intestine, and heart meridian. These six different types contain a mixture of emotional, mental, and behavioural energies, which manifest as different types of physical pain. These energies cause rigidness, and a sense of heaviness and stagnation in the muscles surrounding the lines of these meridians. This stagnated energy is like a wall protecting hurtful feelings, but can also force us into isolation and separation. Separation from life causes depression, anger, and the inability to forgive a painful past—this could cause hardness and tightness in the rotator cuff and surrounding muscles.

(*The meridians are pathways or networks in which the Chi and blood of the human body are circulated, nourishing skin, muscles, tendons and bones. The meridians pertain to the internal organs of the body, forming a lattice network and linking the tissues and organs into a whole. Externally the twelve meridians connect with the skin, joints, limbs and other superficial tissues of the body. Normal functioning of the various organs ensures a form of balance can be maintained.)

When we feel run down from the way we’re living, we often underestimate our ability to cope with so many responsibilities; we overburden ourselves.  This results in feeling anxious, stress and tired, taking a toll on our upper back and shoulders. Shoulder pain can also be caused by being too set in our ways, rebelling against change and resisting new possibilities and perspectives.  When we resist, we tense our upper body as a means of trying to maintain control. Wanting to control things, people, and events, often results in chronic tension of the hands, arms, and shoulders. Also, negative self-talk and berating oneself causes tightness in the body, especially the shoulders, trapezius, sides of the neck, below the rib cage and the solar plexus.

Stiffness in the shoulders can also mean we are unable to see our options clearly, we are frustrated by our personal limitations and tormented by either indecision or of making the wrong decision.  This creates a tremendous feeling of stiffness and pressure and the desire to escape from deciding.

Pain at the bottom edge of the scapula is caused by taking on, but not releasing the woes of others. In relationships it is the pain of giving yourself to someone who doesn’t love or care about you. It can symbolize emotional sadness from living a life that shouldn’t have turned out the way it did. You cringe at problems and love to complain how others are making your life difficult but rarely take personal responsibility or do anything to change it. On a spiritual level, There is a tendency to ignore the callings of your own spirit due to a lack of trust.

With frozen shoulder, you may literally feel frozen and trapped in your current circumstances. This can make you feel helpless and disempowered especially with authority figures.

“It is time to establish your limitations and personal needs and take on your shoulders only what corresponds to what you want for yourself. Take care of yourself as if you were someone you cared about. Understand that you alone put pressure on yourself; others will respect your needs when you learn to respect them yourself. Allow yourself to be flexible, embrace anyone or anything you want, and let go of your belief to the heart. The consequences will be harsh.” YOUR BODY IS TELLING YOU: LOVE YOURSELF ~ Lise Bourbeau

UPPER ARM PAIN

Your upper arm is composed of the humerus, a thick bone surrounded by dense layers of muscle that enable you to life heavy objects.  Your forearm is composed of the radius and ulna. The hands and arms are pathways for many nerves and meridian channels.

“In general, the upper arms, along with the elbows, forearms, wrists, and hands, are energetic extensions of the heart. Their condition is mirrored in the condition of the heart. If the heart is weak or closed, they will be weak or closed to. Similarly, the condition of the energy in the arms, reflects back to the heart. Thus if there are blocks in energy in the arms, elbows, forearms, wrists, and hands the heart becomes blocked too. For the heart to be free, the upper arms, elbows, forearms, wrists, and hands need to be free. Pain in the upper arms, elbows, forearms, wrists, and hands reveal a blockage in the energy flowing from the heart. This is the root of all arm pain. Arm pain indicates your heart is in pain.” Emotion and Healing in the Energy Body ~ Robert Henderson

Shoulder Meridians

SI = Small Intestine; St = Stomach; LI = Liver; GB = Gall Bladder; TH = Triple Warmer

Four meridians run through the arms and are attributed to the heart (heart, small intestine, triple heater and pericardium meridian) This is why the arms, in general, are intimately connected to our emotions and actively express our inner feelings.

Our upper arms are used to express strength, power and confidence. Powerful upper arms express strength and power; they help us to defend and block; and to protect our heart and our inner organs from being hurt.

Sometimes it is necessary to exert ourselves with assertion and aggression but many people are afraid of asserting themselves because to do so allows powerful feelings to surge through them. Thus, out of fear, many of us withdraw from letting this energy flow forward, repressing our powerful feelings. We have dissociated ourselves from ourselves and from actively reaching out and grasping hold of life. The problem with this is it causes anger at others for not seeing our needs and anger at ourselves for our inability to assert our desires.

Long-held resentments, anger, bitterness, fear, guilt, etc., all play a role in debilitating our energy in the upper arms. Instead of letting our heart energy flow forward, we withdraw and hold it back. Also, some men and women overdevelop these muscles, which metaphysically can symbolize, resistance of expressing their heartfelt energy.

Upper arm pain, metaphysically, means our personal power, and self-esteem is somehow being restricted.  These issues could involve feelings of inadequacy, lack of ‘emotional intimacy’, and difficulty expressing/releasing emotions. People with painful upper arms could suffer from passive-aggressive tendencies, indicating that whatever they try to suppress and control due to fear, shame, guilt, etc., will eventually find their way to the surface.

THORACIC/SHOULDER AREA

The 12 vertebrae of the thoracic spine curve outward, strategically placed between the two inward curves of the neck and back. Together, the upper and lower ends of the thoracic spine are subject to stress as is the center of this curving area. The thoracic spine is an intrinsic part of the rib ‘cage’ aptly named as the housing for the lungs and heart, both as protection and for deep breathing in and out.

Just above the thoracic spine is the cervical vertebrae C6 and C7.  Metaphysically these also apply to a stiff neck, shoulder pain, frozen shoulder and elbow issues….

“C6 – Feeling overwhelmed by worries, anxieties and stresses. Rather than dealing with your own issues, meddling in other people’s lives to fix their problems and take attention away from yours. Resisting life, feeling stuck, afraid to let go of old fears and change…

C7 – Feeling tired, uninspired, drained, emotionally wound up, mentally unclear. Immobilized by negativity, lack and fear of the future. Feeling numb and disconnected from your own truth and sense of power. On the physical level: thyroid problems, colds, shoulder pain…” The Secret Language of Your Body ~Inna Segal

Many occupations are known to create and reinforce shoulder tensions. Typing, working at a desk, or working at a machine or computer can cause shoulder tension. When you slump your breathing gets shallow and tensions develop. The shoulders are the repository for much of our tension and stress. Eventually the tension becomes chronic, contributing to fatigue, and this also affects other parts of the body. Chronic shoulder tension can inhibit the circulation to the arms and legs, causing cold hands and feet.

The thoracic spine is an integral part of shoulder function. This is the part of the back that stresses from spinal posture and movement and neurological tension felt in the heart and lungs. Long periods of working bent over and poor posture add even more to the problem. Besides severe shoulder and rib strains the thoracic spine tends towards rigidity, with a loss of flexibility and the development of excess forward or sideways curves (scoliosis) The upper back is a frequent area for muscular spasm and nagging pain; it often radiates to front of the body mimicking heart or lung conditions.  Ribs are attached, via cartilage to the breastbone, these attachments are subject to stiffness, soreness or inflammation (costochondritis).

“Upper back: This area is behind the heart, so expresses the back side of the heart energy: anger, resentment, resistance, to loving expression, fear or rejection of love. This can be seen in the dowager’s hump an accumulated mass of tissue that can be formed by repressed and frustrated mind states. This part of the back is also a part of the shoulders, so the energy expressed here is connected to our confusion and inability to be doing what we really want to. This is the first stage after conception, so here lies our uncertain purpose, our thwarted ambition, our unfulfilled longing to do or be something different. Pain here is to do with the load we are carrying but not acknowledging openly, the hidden load of repressed and negative feelings. Acne in this area is repressed anger or irritation trying to find release. Often this is because we have become separated from who we really are and what our deeper feelings are. Here also we will experience resentment towards someone who is a ‘pain in the back’; or we will want to turn our back on someone, thereby turning our heart away from them.” The Bodymind Workbook ~ Debbie Shapiro

The shoulders are quite resourceful in willingly moving and overcoming obstacles, even in the face of adversity. Their appearance appears ‘broad enough’ to carry the whole body confidently; it’s just when things become too overwhelming, from too many responsibilities that the shoulders hunch in defiance and start to complain. When the shoulders become defiant, the thoracic muscles contract from shouldering too much. The upper back is where memories of hurt feelings, along with those of fear, guilt, shame and emotional confusion are stored; it’s also where lost desires are deeply buried.

The more we keep our feelings and struggles to ourselves, the more tense and rigid the shoulders will become. How many of you with shoulder pain are doing what you really want to do in your lives? Are you really free to express yourself; are you coming from a space of loving and caring? Are you with someone who you’d love to hug with all your might? Do you really want to participate in life, or is fear holding you back and causing you to procrastinate? Are you afraid to be yourself, to act freely, to do what you want? Do you pull back, withdrawing or holding back personal ideas as a way of avoiding a confrontation? Are you worried about what others may think?  All this mental tension and/or guilt and fear cause inflammation to your shoulders. The muscles then change, twist and turn to accommodate these misshapen emotions. With hunched shoulders, you may feel overburdened by the weight of life’s problems, or from the guilt from past actions. Or do your shoulders immediately become rigid with fear and anxiety; made worse by uncertainty and insecurity.

Shoulders held back, pushing the chest out front tend to stiffen from determined stance. So does leaning forward, frantically trying to get a point across and even sticking ones’ neck out in another’s face. You have to stop belittling yourself and trying to control your world.  The more you do this, the more your thinking will become distorted and jumbled .. when this happens you’ll have trouble making decisions or taking action.

“From the spine across the shoulders and down to the hands is our doing centre: how we feel about what we are doing, about what is being done to us, about our capability to handle our lives. This area also represents our desire to express ourselves: through the use of our hands we can express our innermost artistic and creative energies; through our arms and hands we can share our love and giving energy from the heart; through caressing, touching and holding we can reach out, pull in or push away.

The shoulders express this on the inner levels – specifically our deeply personal feelings about what we are doing, or what is being done to us. How many of us are really doing what we want to done? And how often are we in real conflict about what we should be doing. It is here that we carry our burdens, begrudgingly doing something even if we don’t really want to, or holding on to guilt and negative emotions from the past to do something we have already done.  A ‘cold shoulder’ can be an emotional cold we are experiencing within ourselves towards someone or something, or it may be a cold shoulder being directed towards us from someone else.

The arms move this doing energy outwards, from our inner feelings and desires to their expression in the world. The elbows give flexibility and grace to this flow of energy, adding the necessary effort to ensure manifestation. The wrists move it out further. A conflict in the wrist can indicate there is something we should be or want to be doing but are not; for some reason, we are holding back from that final expression” Deb Shapiro ~The BodyMind Workbook

Pain specifically indicates the pain of not opening your heart.  We accumulate everything that has happened to us or things we have done that have prevented or blocked our hearts from opening.  For example, blaming others-usually our parents-for our own condition in life. By blaming our parents, we are not forgiving them. By not forgiving them, we are not loving them. Which means we don’t love us, which prevents our hearts from opening.

Upper arm pain is often complex, multilayered intense pain, as the energy that is causing the discomfort runs through six meridians in the upper arm. The lung, large intestine, pericardium, triple heater, small in test time, and heart meridians. The types of subtle mental energy running through these meridians can be a mixture of the emotional, mental, and behavioural energies, and could manifest as different types of physical pain emotional energies running through these meridians are usually whole energies, such as loneliness, sadness about life, or the experience of having to live in a loveless marriage. These energies cause contraction, coldness, and heaviness in the muscles surrounding the running of these meridians. Other emotional energies such as hatred for life or anger and apparent or spouse who has never loved you, cause hardness and tightness in the muscles. When the pain of life hurts you to the core of your very being, the accumulated energies can work themselves into these humorous bone itself can be quite intense. Mental and behavioural energies running through the six meridians that blocked the heart from opening the energies of on forgiving this, the need to inflict pain on someone who has hurts you, the need to build a wall of protection around yourself against an unloving parent or spouse, or blaming others for your own circumstances. These energies cause hardness and tightness in the muscles surrounding the running of these meridians. One specific behavioural energy, the one you use it in the holding on to your painful past, causes compression, pain, and weakness in the triceps, to which runs the large in test time Meridian, the energetic function of which is to let go of the past. Impression in the triceps causes the arm to weaken when you try to raise it above your head.

Opening the heart, whether through Reiki (and other forms of healing), yoga, myofascial release, therapeutic massage, etc., will help the meridians in the upper arm to open. If you felt unloved as child and struggle with love now, opening the meridians may cause intense pain at first but will then trigger a release of pain from other areas of the body. Where you’ll notice most of your pain is attached to might be: the deltoid muscles, the rotator cuff, the bottom of the scapula, between the shoulder blades, fronts of the fourth chakra, the back of the fourth chakra. If you are at stage of beginning spiritual counselling, massage or yoga practice you may find that you are not only releasing hurtful energies from your own past but also from the past of your parents.

Meridians and Heart Center

Emotionally, the heart will only open after the lung, large intestine, pericardium, triple heater, small intestine, and heart meridians have opened energetically. This process takes time, patience, understanding, and forgiveness. When the heart meridian opens, it releases an enormous amount of heat and warmth running along the inside of the upper and lower arm, through the wrist, and out through the centre of the hand. It is a wonderful energy.

DIAPHRAGM BREATHING

When we’re stressed, our muscles contract causing the blood in our system to stop flowing properly, disconnecting our upper and lower energies of the body. The muscle responsible for connecting our upper and lower chakras is a large dome shaped muscle called the diaphragm, which is directly under the lungs. When we take a deep breath, the diaphragm stretches out to allow air into the lungs. As you exhale, the diaphragm curves inwards and upwards to help force all the unwanted air out of the lungs. The diaphragm is one of the most under-used muscles of the body, reason being, most of us breathe from the upper part of the chest, instead of letting the diaphragm do its work.

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

Many of the restrictions in your breath come from muscles tightened in a holding pattern.  Our old tensions and pains cause us to move our muscles less.  They become taut when we feel disappointed or disillusioned or betrayed, deflated or defeated. Diaphragmatic breathing eases the process of letting go, of releasing unnecessary emotional attachments so life can flow more easily.

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

SHOULDER ROLLS

  • stand with your feet slightly apart and your arms at your sides.
  • breathe in and draw both shoulders back and upward toward your ears as high as you can without forcing or straining.
  • as you exhale, roll your shoulders down and forward to the starting position.
  • as you do this gentle movement slowly and smoothly, relax your shoulders, feeling the tension being released from the muscles.
  • repeat up to 10 times, 3 – 5 times a day (from the excellent book HEALING BACK PAIN NATURALLY by Art Brownstein M.D.)

SHOULDER SHRUG AND DROP

 

 

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You know what it’s like. You go to bed, tired and yet you lie there for hour upon hour, tossing and turning, trying desperately to go to sleep. The more you try to go to sleep the more sleep evades. When you finally drop off, it seems like only minutes before the alarm clock wakens you to face another day. Many of us are trapped on this merry-go-round of lack of sleep and mind/body exhaustion. The harder we try the more anxious we become. 

OR…maybe falling asleep when you go to bed isn’t the problem. The problem is, you’re always waking up like clockwork between 1:00 am and 3:00 am every morning. We may not realize it, but our bodies have many duties to perform while we are sleeping—between 1:00 and 3:00 am is when the liver rejuvenates itself—to do so, it needs glycogen. Glycogen is stored within the muscles and liver as a form of glucose; its role is to increase blood sugar levels in the body when they drop. Therefore, it’s possible waking up at 3:00 am every morning is an indicator of low blood sugar, which causes our cortisol levels to spike.

 (As blood sugar drops it’s the liver’s job to make glucagon, a substance that triggers the breakdown of ‘complex carbohydrates’ glycogen into glucose or blood sugar.   The glucose then streams out into the blood, raising the sugar level again. If a person’s blood sugar is unstable, leading towards hypoglycemia then psychologically there’s a problem with the liver, such as a loss of stamina fatigue and quick to anger. Frustration, anger, resentment, emotional turmoil and repressed emotions can all lead to the stagnation of chi or life-force energy, when this happens our blood circulation is affected and can cause us to suddenly wake-up from a deep sleep.) More on the liver later in the article…

“Have you just lost your job? Has your rent increased unexpectedly? Have you lost a loved one. Has your reputation been tarnished? Did you think you’d be further along in life by now? If so you are probably blaming yourself for not being more in control! Any and all of these so-called setbacks teach us that we cannot control the change in our lives, we can only control how we handle that change.” When Life Changes Or You Wish It Would ~ Carol Adrienne

How well you sleep affects how you feel both physically and mentally—sleep affects how you behave, how well you handle the ordinary stress of life, how well you can get along with other people, and how happy and productive you are. If you are waking up feeling deprived of sleep and drag through the day in an irritable fog, then you have a sleep problem—regardless of the number of hours you spend in bed with your eyes closed.

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF INSOMNIA

Major life changes can cause insomnia, such as the loss of a job, financial setback, serious illness, divorce or the death of someone dear.   All these come at a time when we must face certain pain or self-concepts we’ve pushed down into our subconscious.   When we have suffered defeat, setbacks and other losses we are called to deal with painful unresolved personal issues. We are forced to confront our fears about ourselves—fears that have been ignored and rejected. Shame or fear has so much power our former self has little value at the moment.

“Insomnia (long-term)—Inability to relax. Feeling unsafe and unable to let go. Worrying, playing things over in your mind, dissecting situations. Feeling scattered, fearful, anxious, on guard. Harboring feelings of guilt and resentment.” The Secret Language of Physical Ailments ~ Inna Segal

Most people who suffer from sleeplessness have tremendous energy but they frit it all away in a hyperactive kind of way. When tensions accumulate, chronic insomniacs work harder to repress their growing emotional pain and anxiety. In a sense they’re trying to distract themselves so their attention stays occupied—the problem is they pump out more and more energy, becoming more anxious—in a frustrating way.   Most insomniacs are gifted and intelligent but they do not stay with something long enough as they get bored easily and move on to something new. Without much sleep, concentration and focus become increasingly difficult for them and all those great ideas they’ve thought of aren’t always followed through.

Excess touches every area of their lives, including measures to protect their health, which is very important to them. The problem is, they will try everything in their pursuit to happiness—unfortunately this throws the pendulum the other way—they become unhappier—which causes more anxiety. The more anxious they become, the more they lose energy; the lower their energy the more they experience fear and the cycle starts all over again. Anxiety and tension is a downward spiral fueled by fear and lacks conscious understanding.

“Insomnia is defined as chronic sleeplessness, or sleep deficient in either quantity or quality. Psychological studies have proven that insomniacs are generally emotional and anxiety-ridden. If you suffer from frequent insomnia, your sleeplessness probably reflects restlessness in your waking life. You are trying to stay awake so that you will resolve the issues that are preoccupying you. Once you understand that sleep brings comfort and solutions, you will find you are determined to settle the unrest in your life.” Your Body’s Telling You: Love Yourself ~ Lise Bourbeau

We all have our little quirks of habits and behaviors that we know we’d be better off without. We all wish we had more self-control, but when thoughts spin out of control, and become so intense, they take over, against our will. When logic can’t get a grip on something, we go into a tizzy and when this happens our intuitive side is unable to grab the attention of our conscious or unconscious minds.

I’ve noticed many insomniacs become deeply upset over people’s lack of awareness and consideration. They become disturbed by actions that dishonor or destroy life: actions that cause harm to animals, people, and the planet. According to many insomniacs, there should not be war, violence, poverty or starvation on the planet. People should not be hurting or killing one another and some feel the world is dark and hostile. For this reason, they become reclusive, while others become angry, frustrated or turn to drugs or alcohol which causes them to become even more lost, confused, depressed and sleepless.

 “Insomnia is associated with feelings of fear and guilt and not trusting the process of life. If you have trouble with insomnia coupled with anxiety, you can calm your nerves and sleep better with the affirmation “I lovingly release the day and slip into peaceful sleep, knowing tomorrow will take of itself.” All is Well, Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition ~ Louise Hay, Mona Lisa Schulz

Some insomniacs tend to be quiet and shy on the outside while a great deal of inner processing is mentally going on inside. They’re afraid to open up to others and enjoy their privacy (doing intellectual pursuits such as reading, studying, learning) and withdraw from crowds and social settings. But they know on a deep level, they need to mingle with people. They just don’t know how.

WHAT IF….INSOMNIA IS CAUSED BY SOMETHING ELSE?

When suffering chronic insomnia, what else could be going on that we aren’t aware of? Of course if we’ve been so stressed out for most of the day, it’s natural if we’ve found no other outlet to get rid of this excess energy it will still be there when we try to fall asleep. And of course anxiety so extreme will make us more tense and angry about not getting sleep. Anxiety appears in 100’s of disguises and the more tense and angry we get, the more cortisol our body will produce.

If the body is tired, the energy we get from food will not be absorbed or circulated in the tissues properly. Although it is true that the nervous systems relies upon the breakdown of glucose for energy, its ability to function properly will also affected by the kinds of foods (fuel) being utilized in other tissues of the body. Hormones, like the rest of our bodies are created from the food we eat. In order to create all the hormones we need, we have to get enough of the nutrients they’re actually composed, and to make the necessary enzymes to affect the production, metabolism and functioning of our hormones. We can’t do that as well if we’re sleep deprived.

The hormones we’re concerned about in regard to insomnia, is stress hormones that cause too much of an inflammatory response to the body—increasing heart rate, constricting blood vessels and diverting blood blow from the stomach and digestive tract. These stress hormones, in particular cortisol, are secreted from the adrenal glands when we are frightened or in pain but can also occur when we’ve been highly stimulated by ‘too much of a good thing”. Too much stress can cause disease but it can also be caused by disease which means stress is not just psychologically based.

When we are under an enormous amount of stress it also weakens our mental processes. When we are under stress, cortisol levels rise and testosterone levels decrease in both men and women. DHEA, a hormone critical for brain and immune function is also suppressed under great stress. You can have your DHEA levels tested and if low, you can supplement with DHEA, as well as 5HTP and this should improve your sleep quality and protect the brain from excess cortisol, mental clarity and energy returned.

Hypothyroidism and hormonal changes that come with PMS and menopause are strong factors that induce brain fog in women. Children and adults who have experienced injuries to the head and neck can also experience symptoms of brain fog. Poor diet, hypoglycemia, metabolic deficiencies and infections also have a significant role in brain fog.

Calcium is essential for the relaxation of nerve tissue, whereas magnesium is very important in the normal function of the brain, spinal cord, and all the nerves. Our average daily intake of magnesium appears to be only half the adult requirement. Many don’t know that alcohol causes a high loss of magnesium, nervousness resulting from this is a common symptom among social drinkers. Magnesium deficiencies are also produced by meals made of ‘enriched’ white bread, macaroni, spaghetti, noodles, tapioca, sugar, honey and hydrogenated fats…this can cause insomnia as these foods cause a cortisol overload making us feel high strung and unable to sleep.

“The idea that stress is completely psychological is not scientifically accurate and it ignores the significant role of internal inflammation as a cause of imbalance in our stress-hormone levels. You see, the hormone that our body secretes in times of stress is the same hormone it uses to resolve inflammation. This hormone, called cortisol, is secreted by our adrenal glands. The irony in this is that taking anti-inflammatory medications – your average everyday painkillers – causes intestinal-tract inflammation by inhibiting the enzymes necessary for the intestinal tract to replenish and repair itself, and eventually can lead to chronic inflammation. The overuse of antibiotics can also cause intestinal-tract damage, and the average, imbalanced American diet of processed foods, fast foods, caffeine, and alcohol also contributes to intestinal-tract inflammation as well as systemic inflammation in our bodies.” THE STRESS EFFECT ~ Richard Weinstein, D.C.

Since every aspect of our lifestyle can affect every aspect of our lives’ for instance the food we eat, the stresses and chemical pollutants that get in our bodies, we need to look at any unusual mental and emotional reactions in regard to a person’s health:

  • 1) Food intolerances can strongly affect our emotions
  • 2) Airborne chemicals can affect the body’s tissues, such as: pollutants, drugs, allergies or infections;
  • 3) Stress creates a erratic nervous system or brain;
  • 4) Lack of sufficient sleep will deprive us of the body’s ability to repair tissue, necessary to restore the cells’ normal ability to create energy.

 “The connective tissue of the body undergoes a daily repair process that occurs while we are sleeping. A consistent pattern of insomnia inhibits the ability of these tissues to heal, and the likelihood of achieving joint stability is greatly reduced. And not only is it the connective tissue of joints that are of concern, but…also the intestinal-tract lining and other tissues of the body that are not repaired if we are not sleeping.” THE STRESS EFFECT ~ Richard Weinstein, D.C.

RESTLESS SLEEP

Whenever we feel trapped in a situation, we may either lie awake night at night, churning with anger or anxiety or sleep 12 hours a day without ever feeling rest. Do you feel pressured, impatient, waiting for things to get better? Or are you bursting with ideas and wanting to do everything yesterday.   When you lie down does it feel like your body is rushing out of control? Do you suffer from weather/time changes, depression or anxiety, external noises, extremes in temperature, emotional or physical pain? Then chances are, you may suffer from a restless sleep or wake in the early hours and can’t get back to sleep.

I don’t think there is a human on this planet that hasn’t suffered from insomnia in one way or another. It could be those nights when you had to sleep alone, or the neighbors dog keeps barking; too many dreams or nightmares created a restless sleep and of course jet lag and problems sleeping in a different bed.

Approximately one out of three people will report having some problem falling asleep, and because most of us have insomnia in times of stress, sleeplessness is usually known to be “in the mind.” When your conscious mind is full of fear, worry, and anxiety, negative emotions that lay repressed are released in your subconscious mind. They flood the conscious mind with a sense of panic, foreboding and despair—their purpose—to instill fear.

“Fear is anxiety, nervousness, a sense of inadequacy, fidgeting, experiencing terror. You have fears that you can prop up with logic, like fear of losing your job, losing your property, embarrassing yourself in front of others, or fear of harm coming to the people, animals, landscape, and things you love. You can provide reasons why these fears are valid and people understand. Yet sometimes your fear doesn’t have any reason. It comes out of nowhere. It just hits you.

 The function of fear is to frighten you. That’s its job. When it does its job, you lose your strength. You lose a sense of humor and playfulness. There is no lightness or joy in your system anymore. Your inner posture crumbles. You feel you don’t have the resources you need and you can’t improvise.” Awake Mind, Open Heart ~ Cynthia Kneen

WHEN RELAXING IS UNRELAXING

Some of us get tense when we try to relax. Just the thought of letting go makes us restless, uptight or upset to the point of crying. Are you so intent on maintaining control that you can’t relax?

 “Sleep is a natural process, and “trying” will have no positive effect. Trying will probably aggravate the insomnia, because the harder you try and the less successful you are, the more frustrating the whole enterprise becomes.

 There’s a very profound reason for this: Trying is not the way nature functions. The Earth doesn’t try to go around the sun, nor does the seed try to sprout into a sapling. Nature functions with effortless ease, invariably taking the path of least resistance. This is the principle of least action and maximum efficiency, and it’s the one to use when we want to fall asleep.

 There, the attitude you should adopt once you’ve gotten into bed is that which I call “not minding.” The key to achieving this frame of mind is a total lack of self-consciousness. In other words, don’t watch yourself, don’t monitor yourself, don’t become a commentator on your dilemma, and above all, don’t keep looking at the clock.

 Instead, just rest comfortably, not minding, and use this attitude as a way of placing yourself in nature’s hands. Simply lie in bed with your eyes closed, not mind whether you’re awake or asleep. The mere act of remaining motionless with your eyes closed, even if you’re feeling anxious or restless, actually provides the body with significant benefits.” Restful Sleep: The complete Mind/Body Program for Overcoming Insomnia

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS THAT ARE KNOWN TO DISRUPT SLEEP

Most people with an autoimmune disease have hyperactive rather than low immune function. This would explain why many have stuffy noses, multiple allergies and unpredictable reactions to prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs, and symptoms that change rapidly over time.

Other culprits include, caffeine, alcohol, and medications as well as erratic hours—a fast paced social life or frequent job-shift changes. A few insomniacs are simply five or six hour sleepers, but constant stress and worrying can easily raise it to eight hours a night.

Insomnia can be caused from physical ailments such as allergies, anemia, apnea, body pain (e.g., chronic fatigue, diabetes, arthritis, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, lupus, etc.), bruxism (grinding teeth) headaches, IBS, hypoglycemia, hyper/hypothyroidism, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, menstrual pain, etc…. Taking sleeping pills may actually aggravate some of these disorders, particularly sleep apnea a potentially life-threatening interruption in sleeping.

Of the many sleep-disturbing problems, there is a condition known as “Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) If you sleep alone or with someone who sleeps soundly, you may not know that you have it, and may need to have a session in a sleep lab to determine if you have OSA or not.

When we sleep not only do our muscles relax but so do those of the throat. As the throat muscles relax, the air passages narrow. If they narrow enough so that the walls touch, air passing through will cause the walls to vibrate. Snoring usually results but in some people the narrowing is so extensive that the airway walls collapse completely. No air can get through, so the sleep returns to a higher level of sleep; muscle tone increases, the airway opens, and the sleeper, draws a breath. But for some this is a scary experience as they feel a choking sensation and try to inhale but their throat is closed up.

People with OSA breath intermittently when they sleep and that is why they sleep so lightly and hardly ever experience deeper sleep. As a result, they suffer from sleep deprivation and are exhausted during the day. If you think you have it, you should contact your doctor as OSA is very treatable.

Sometimes autoimmune diseases, are hyperactive rather than a low immune function. This would explain why these people can’t sleep as many suffer from stuffy noses, multiple allergies and unpredictable reactions to prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs, and symptoms that change rapidly over time.

CORTISOL OVERLOAD

 “There is a daily cyclical rise and fall of cortisol levels that govern our wakefulness throughout the day and night. Cortisol is excitatory; it arouses us and wakes us up. Blood levels of cortisol have been shown to increase between 50 and 160 percent within thirty minutes of waking; that produces the powerful jolt of arousal needed to wake us up and get us moving in the morning. Then cortisol levels decline as the day wears on and reach their lowest point in the evening, allowing us to rest, relax and sleep.”The Insomnia Solution: The Natural, Drug-Free Way to a Good Night’s Sleep ~ Michael Krugman

Whenever our blood sugars drop below normal, (hypoglycemia) the body reacts by sending the stress alarm off. When this happens, the hypothalamus, in the brain, signals the nervous system to send you sugar—fast! Your sympathetic nervous system goes into high gear. Cortisol, is secreted by the adrenal glands which are located atop the kidneys. When cortisol peaks, it brings you to a higher state of awareness and when it does that, while you’re sleeping, it’s going to wake you up!

Is insomnia emotionally based or could there be other chemical or physical problems within the body causing your sleeplessness. Cortisol imbalances have been linked to obesity, diabetes, depression, heart disease, insomnia, autoimmune diseases like chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid disorders, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and even osteoporosis. Cortisol also causes an array of symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, fatigue, mental confusion, irritability, nervousness, poor concentration, muscle aches, heart palpitations, sweating, and a whole lot more.

The body is governed by a highly complex network of endocrine glands and energy fields; these energy fields working together as one unique powerful system affecting us spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.   So in truth the potential for breakdown is limitless. Everything that affects the body affects the mind and everything that affects the mind, affects the body.

Many health ailments that crop up later in our lives usually have to do with painful memory patterns programmed in our cells that make our bodies tense and in an up-tight survival mode—unable to stay in the present our minds jump back and forth between the past and the future, forcing adrenaline to start racing through our bodies. Under this intense stress, our bodies release ten times the amount of norepinephrine (cortisol) and epinephrine (adrenaline). These two stress hormones deeply affect our sleep quality; causing our minds, like virtual hurricanes, to spin out of control. For some insomniacs the culprit could be a compromised immune system (autoimmune disease) or other factors such as a car accident or some kind of emotional trauma that’s upset the body clock.

CORTISOL IMPACTS THE LIVER

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

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

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

The liver, the largest organ in the body, is responsible for up to 500 different vital functions. Not only does it govern the secretion of bile, the formation of blood, and the production of heat, it provides muscle fuel (glycogen), processes dietary fats and manufactures vitamin A. The liver also creates and stores amino acids, proteins, fats and cholesterol, which are used in the creation of hormones. It also

deals with detoxification; so important is this process that if caffeine or certain drugs were injected into ‘exit’ vessels leading to the heart, we would be dead within minutes. Inject them into the ‘entrance’ vessels of the liver, and the ‘sting’ is extracted within six to ten seconds—the time it takes for the blood to pass through the organ. The liver is the only organ that has the ability to regenerate itself, so it is appropriate that it’s known as the organ of Spring, which is all about rebirth and new life.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) The liver meridian starts at the big toe and travels up the leg, circles the sexual organs and enters the lower abdomen…it then connects with the liver and gallbladder, moves up the lungs, curves around the mouth and then branches out to each eye. “If you consistently wake up between 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., this may indicate liver toxicity or a congested liver, as these are the hours when the liver is most active”. FAT LOSS REVOLUTION ~ Paula Owens … also many woman wake up sweating during this time due to menopausal symptoms.

The liver represents our deeper self and emotions. It’s involved with family affairs; our health and it takes part in every battle, especially excessive ones. When it is affected, our whole body becomes congested and sensitive. Do you suffer shoulder pain?   The liver is linked, especially to the right shoulder via the nervous system…it’s also linked to the elbow. This is one of the ways it communicates to us through the body.

The liver is known as the receptor of family guilt and the concerns of our deeper self. Depending on our genes and poor eating habits the liver will set off specific attitudes and emotional reactions. It houses all our memories, emotions, pitfalls, death of loved ones, illnesses, etc.,   It can cause doubt and uncertainty about our life and lean us more to the past then to the future. It affects our self esteem and the ground we stand on.

The gallbladder meridian starts at the outer corner of the eye, goes to the ear, runs back and forth over the scalp and then down the length of the body where it zig-zags at the hip, continues down the outside of the leg and ends between the fourth and fifth toes. The gallbladder meridian time is between 11:00 pm and 1:00 A.M., if balanced, we sleep soundly and undisturbed; unbalanced, we may suffer indigestion, migraines, tinnitus, hip, back or joint pain.

The gallbladder meridian is geared towards action. It gives to the body, flexibility, coordination and balance (see how it zig zags at the hip).   This meridian runs down the sides of the body so that whenever we lift one foot of the ground in walking and running, it supports the other side so we aren’t off balance. It also keeps the hips level, strengthens the shoulders and supports the sideways bending of the neck. The gallbladder meridian is one of the most powerful meridians in the body. .

I’ve included pictures of the gallbladder and liver meridians to help you see and understand how they both move within the body. Both of these meridians run down the sides of the body and the two sides reflect our ability to choose which way to turn. The liver energy gives us our ability to choose the direction we want to go and then to plan our action. Once the choice has been made, gallbladder energy gives us the capacity to carry it through. When the liver and gallbladder are in harmony, plans are made and followed through without much drama or fuss. But when the liver is unbalanced there may be lots of talk about plans without any action ever taken. Or we are so linear in our approach , there’s no room to be spontaneous or to think or plan ahead.

Pictures are from THE COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO REFLEXOLOGY ~ Inge Dougans

Liver Meridian Gallbladder meridian

THE ADRENAL GLANDS AND SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM

The adrenal system and the thyroid gland are dominated by the sympathetic nervous system, which is part of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls our basic bodily functions like heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, hormonal balance and metabolism. The sympathetic nervous system is associated with stimulating hormones such as adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol (norepinephrine).   When this nervous system becomes active, the heart rate elevates, the heart rate increases as well as our circulation, oxygen supply, metabolism and energy. The sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive when we feel threatened or feel we are really in danger, such as being confronted by a mugger on a dark street.

Many people with adrenal fatigue try to keep their energy levels up by eating junk food and refined sugars to give them a jolt. Others try to boost their energy by exercising to give them a temporary energy surge which helps to release endorphins. But what goes up must come down and this energy roller coaster just makes adrenal imbalance worse. Cortisol and insulin levels are intertwined—when cortisol rises, so does insulin and leptin and a whole cascade of hormones we’re just beginning to understand. The excessive stimulation of the HPA axis and cortisol production can artificially keep insulin levels high, causing weight gain and insulin resistance. Once cells are conditioned to be insulin or leptin resistant, it takes a big shift to restore metabolic balance.

The increase in cortisol released from the adrenal glands causes food cravings, especially for high-fat, high-sugar, high-carbohydrate foods such as cookies, candy, chips, and ice cream. Even though these foods act as a temporary mood “boost,” they in turn feed a vicious cycle, causing additional blood sugar problems, leading to swings in energy and blood sugar, which fuels the stress-cortisol release cycle. Eventually by stimulating excess insulin release, the body is driven to become more insulin resistant, and with more insulin resistance, more fat is stored than the body needs.

The parasympathetic nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system too and is associated with the body’s basic needs for, sleeping, relaxing, food absorption, sex and body repair. As we get older the parasympathetic nervous system weakens, leaving it harder for us to relax and get a good night’s sleep. One reason for this is the aggressive defense system of the hypothalamus located in the limbic brain. Known as the ‘seat of emotions’ the hypothalamus reads your emotional reactions to everything, real or imagined as an emotional war zone, especially when it believes your survival is being threatened. It communicates through thousands of nerve fibers to the master gland of the endocrine system, the pituitary. The pituitary reacts by telling the sympathetic nervous system to be on high alert. Your nerves on edge, you’re ready to respond to the fight/flight reflex.

When we wake up in the morning our sympathetic nervous system sends just enough cortisol to waken us and keep us awake. Most of us rush around like crazy to zoom out the door to get to work. If we could take a little time to be more loving to ourselves, e.g., showering longer, washing, shaving longer, lovingly combing our hair, meditating, walking in nature, etc. this stimulates a positive relaxing mood by activating the hormone’s dopamine and oxytocin in the brain. Release of oxytocin has a feedback effect…the more we take in and enjoy what’s around us, the more we’ll have enough ‘happy’ oxytocin in our blood for the whole day.   The more intense the emotional output of oxytocin in our blood, the longer and deeper it lasts, helping us to cope with the stresses of the day.

“Insomnia is the chronic inability to fall asleep or remain asleep for an adequate length of time (Dorland, 2003) There are three types of insomnia, conditioned insomnia, insomnia associated with clinical disorders, and circadian insomnia (Schenck, 2003). Conditioned insomnia is psychophysiological and arises from an episode of acute situational insomnia triggered by pain, illness, medication, stress, travel, or bereavement. The individual with conditioned insomnia associated the bed with not sleeping and becomes hyperaroused at night at a time when he/she would ordinarily feel relaxed and sleepy. Insomnia associated with clinical disorders is very common in psychiatric, particularly mood and anxiety disorders. Medical disorders and treatment most commonly associated with insomnia include asthma, chronic obstructive pulomary disease, congestive heart disease, gastroesophageal reflux, rheumatologic or other pain-related disorders, hyperthyroidism, renal disease, and neurodegenerative disorders (Schenck, 2003). Circadian rhythm sleep disorders result from a mismatch between the edogenous sleep and alertness rhythm and the desired (or required) time for sleep and wake (Schenck 2003).

THE PINEAL GLAND AND SLEEP

The pineal gland, within the brain is pea-sized, shaped like a pine cone and located in the center of the skull, between the ears and between the eyebrows. This endocrine gland secretes two important hormones, (melatonin and serotonin) through the body via the autonomic nervous system; it affects our metabolism, emotions, and moods of elation or depression. Serotonin and melatonin, govern our energy levels, mental activity, sleep patterns, hallucinations and dreams.

Some Autonomic Nervous System Disturbances

  • – breathing problems
  • – poor circulation
  • – palpitations
  • – bladder symptoms
  • – intestinal symptoms
  • – dizziness
  • – nausea
  • – vertigo (balance problems
  • – low blood pressure
  • – rapid heartbeat

The pineal gland is a biological clock and is highly sensitive to the phases of the Moon and even sunspot activity. The body operates on a 24 hour clock regulated by the sun controlling the release of and as darkness approaches the release of melatonin to make us feel drowsy, calm and sleepy. The release of melatonin is essential to keep our immune system strong; hence the healing process through sleep, whereas a lack of melatonin weakens the immune system and leads to deficiencies.

If we are deprived of light for a length of time, it can cause our biorhythms to change to a 25 hour cycle and coincide with the cycles of the moon instead of the sun. When a person is subjected to a permanently light environment their serotonin secretions will intensify to the point where they may become hyperactive, overly stressed and emotionally overwrought. The pineal gland naturally secretes serotonin when we’re eating and if we are tired or depressed, we can easily and readily consume 500 or more calories a day.   Hyperactivity and depression can also affect other endocrine glands and the whole immune system. Other releases of seratonin that can affect our sleep is the contraction of the intestinal muscles, over-excitement – butterflies in the stomach or the ‘gut’ reaction we often feel when scared or overwhelmed.

In periods of daylight the pineal gland’s release of serotonin and cortisol boosts our energy levels, intensifies emotions and induces a feeling of vitality. (We produce more cortisol in the summer than in winter months). During the autumn and winter periods we are more likely to feel ill, depressed or easily catch colds or the flu because of a lack of sunlight. People who live in darker countries far away from the equator are more prone to depressive illnesses and suicide. Between 6 and 10 percent of the North American population suffer season affective disorder (SAD)…..most SAD patients will respond to light treatment, however, a person subjected to extremely long periods of either lightness or darkness can become disoriented and manic.

“When Seasonal Affective Disorder (often called S.A.D.) occurs, the Soul needs adjustment since the Body is not storing enough light (energy). Food represents trapped sunlight and nourishes the Body as oxygen is delivered. Removing both emotional and physical toxins, strengthening cells with Essential Fatty Acids as well as getting the proper nutrients can resolve this issue. Light supports vision, and without vision it supports old habits plus closed off beliefs. Positive affirmations are a great way to dispel habits and beliefs.” Symptoms: the Language of the Soul: A Gift of Transformation ~ Susan Marion MacDonald

The brain is in charge of the endocrine glands and too much light or dark can affect our biological rhythms, our mood swings, stress levels, and reproductive cycles.

WHY IS SLEEP SO POWERFUL

There is no hard or fast rule concerning the amount of sleep one should have – provided that sleep, when it comes, is deep and undisturbed. You won’t be able to relax if you lie there watching the hands of the clock and worry there’s only a few hours left before it’s time to get up.

Getting quality sleep in a dark environment allows your body to release the hormone melatonin that once secreted, lowers body temperature by 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit. This cooling allows the body to release its greatest concentration of growth hormone known as HGH, which helps to strengthen our bodies and repairs damaged tissue. HGH is only secreted during deep sleep—deep sleep activates the parasympathetic system (our ability to rest and digest) which helps to rebalance our system. giving the parasympathetic system—our ability to ‘rest and digest’ a chance to increase until it peaks which governs our ability to ‘rest and digest’ a chance to assert itself. In this way sleep moderates the effects of stress and switches the body into self-healing mode.

Sleep also prepares the brain to release endorphins and neuropetides to all the nerves, blood vessels, the heart, the lungs, the gastrointestinal tract, and all the other organs. HGH also instructs the body to burn stored fat but if we don’t get enough of this hormone, the body produces high levels of cortisol which is linked to more weight around the belly as well as a decreased metabolism.

What happens when we go to sleep? After about fifteen to thirty minutes we reach a stage of semi-consciousness (hypnagogic) which occurs between sleep and waking. Most of us think we’re still awake because we can think and hear noises but we are actually in a state of early sleep. Some people in the semi-conscious state have described seeing images of light flashes, sparks, geometric forms, faces, and even whole scenes. The experiences are vivid enough to seem real but most people reporting to have them, know the images came to them internally.

After a few more minutes from the semi-conscious state, we shift to a deeper sleep, our brain waves get slower and slower until after about 90 minutes, dreaming becomes possible. Then our bodies jerk mildly and our eyelids flutter.

The transformation that sleep brings to the body are quite obvious. We breathe more slowly, our eyeballs turn up and out, our fingers grow cold and our toes warm. Blood pressure falls rapidly and is lowest about three hours after the onset of sleep. Believe it or not, we actually change positions from 20 to 60 times during the night without even knowing it and every 90 minutes or so we may return to a semi conscious state for a brief while. Then slowly (unless something like an alarm clock disturbs the process) our sleep becomes lighter, Consciousness, flickers, fails again, flickers….and then we are awake.

Awakening, we’ll stretch and most likely yawn to inhale extra oxygen to lower the carbon dioxide in the body—this is usually because in sleep   we haven’t used our muscles. We might still feel tired, especially if our adrenalin is low;

REM AND NREM SLEEP

There are two types of sleep: REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-dreaming sleep). Most dreams occur during REM sleep in the dreamtime stage, in which the cerebral cortex is active, muscle activity is inhibited, breathing and heartbeat are irregular and body temperature is less controlled.   During NREM sleep, the cerebral cortex is less active, muscles can move and fewer dreams are reported.

Our eyes move when we dream, as though we were looking around. As mentioned, our muscles move during REM sleep, make us almost paralyzed. If we move at all our movements look more like twitches rather than actual motions. Most of us have seen this behavior in our pets, whose dream states are very much like our own.

REM and NREM sleep alternate in cycles. Normally REM sleep occurs about every 90 minutes. Dream cycles are shorter during the night and longer toward dawn. You probably dream every night, but you don’t remember a dream unless you wake up from it. If you go right on sleeping, your dreams are forgotten. REM or dreaming sleep is the deepest stage and is important for the consolidation of memory and learning, as well as for sorting and storing information in the brain. It is generally thought that we need about 25 percent of our sleep to be in REM and the remainder in NREM. The lighter NREM sleep is important because it is only after a certain amount of nondreaming that we pass into REM sleep.   Without NREM sleep dreaming can’t occur.

“Since light, NREM Sleep is so important and since we can often think we are awake when in fact semiconscious, it is important not to force ourselves into full wakefulness during these periods of nondreaming sleep. Many people get out of bed, go to the bathroom, eat a snack, or watch TV–thinking they can’t sleep–when they were actually in a light sleep. But getting up usually brings them to a state of of real wakefulness. If instead they would just lie still and relax, realizing they were experiencing an important part of the sleep cycle, they would soon go back into a deep sleep again…

…If, out of frustration, we force ourselves to true wakefulness during these times, sleep will almost certainly be gone for the rest of the night. Our adrenalin arousal will see to that!” The Hidden Link Between Adrenalin and Stress ~ Dr. Archibald D. Hart

“BODY SCANNING

Close your eyes. Starting with your toes and moving up your body, ask yourself “Where am I tense?” Whenever you discover a tense area, exaggerate it slightly so you can become even more aware of it. Be aware of the muscles in your body that are tense. Then, for example, say to yourself “I am tensing my neck muscles .. I am hurting myself.. I am creating tension in my body.” Note that all muscular tension is self-produced. At this pint, be aware of any life situation that may be causing the tension in your body and think what you could do to change that.” The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook ~ Martha David, Ph.D., Elisabeth Robbins Eshelman, MSW, Matthew McKay, Ph.D

PART II ~ INSOMNIA ~ RULES FOR BETTER SLEEP

Many of us don’t need 8 hours sleep and yet some of us need more.  When we’re wanting to develop good sleep habits, the first thing you need to know is just how much you sleep you really need.  After 6 or 7 hours of sleep can you function through the day?  Are your energy levels still good in the afternoon or are you gravitating towards a coffee or sugar to keep yourself awake. Try to notice how much sleep makes you feel alive and with the ability to function at your best.

To help improve your sleep, try to go to bed and get up at the same every day.  Building a regular sleep routine will become automatic and a good habit to instil your own body’s inner clock.

Turning down the lights earlier in the evening, helps the brain to produce a very important hormone for sleep, called melatonin. Dimming of the lights messages the body that darkness is approaching and makes us sleepy, preparing us for sleep; this also helps to lower adrenaline levels. As mentioned earlier, The release of melatonin is essential to keep our immune system healthy, hence the healing process through sleep, whereas a lack of melatonin weakens the immune system and leads to deficiencies.

Create a comfortable, quiet, uncluttered dark room for sleeping.  Anything in your energy field affects the quality of your sleep, so resist the temptation to stash junk under your bed. Also stale energy hands around dirty laundry, so never keep a laundry basket in the bedroom and be sure to change the bedsheets at least once a week to keep your energy vital and fresh.

If you have a computer in your bedroom there are downloadable programs that tunes out the screen of your computer/tablet at night so their light aren’t in the range that tells the brain it’s wake up time.

Eating a bit of protein as a snack may help you sleep through the night. Bananas may be your choice as they are starchy and rich in melatonin.

“One of food’s best sleeping pills is something sweet or starchy…if falling asleep or staying asleep is a problem, try eating an ounce of so of sweet (pure honey) or starchy stuff (bananas, oatmeal) a half an hour before going to bed. ~Jean Carper ~ Food Your Miracle Medicine

Avoid drinking alcohol, caffeine, or eating spicy or greasy foods before going to sleep.  All these make us more tense and adrenally aroused, interfering with our normal sleep patterns.

Do not force yourself to sleep.  Falling asleep is a natural process and forcing sleep only frustrates you further and causes more adrenalin to be pumped into your body.

You should have a quiet place for sleep.  If you live in a noisy environment, like in the down-town core, you may want to invest in a set of earplugs.  They’re easy to use and effectively shut out the noise. You’ll also sleep deeper and more peaceful if your brain doesn’t have to block out background noises.

Exercise regularly, just not before going to bed.  Exercise helps to release a surplus of adrenaline, release muscular tension, ventilate the lungs and helps to slow down the body that helps us to sleep.

Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Make your bedroom sleep friendly. Keep the noise down. Keep your room cool. Make sure your bed is comfortable. Create relaxing bedtime rituals like reading a book, taking a warm bath, listening to soft music or make simple preparations for the next day.

Use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualizing a peaceful restful place.  Practice mind-control relaxation by listening to a soothing CD playing in the background to help you relax.

Find ways to get back to sleep. Stay out of your head. Focus on the feelings and sensations in your body. Make relaxation your goal, not sleep. Do quiet, non-stimulating activities such as reading a book, but keep the lights dim. Don’t let your mind worry or start brainstorming about tomorrow.  If something pops in your mind, keep a small note-pad by your bed and make a brief note of it to get it off your mind.

SUPPLEMENTS

5-HTP (Tryptophan) is an essential amino acid able to ‘manufacture serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to lift depression and is very useful for people who have a difficult time staying asleep through the night.  Bananas are a good source L-tryptophan and simple carbohydrates. L-tryptophan is an amino acid, and it gets converted to 5HTP in the brain, which again gets converted to serotonin (a calming neurotransmitter) which again gets converted to melatonin (which is the natural controller of hormonal rythms in the body, especially sleep). A night-time dose to help you sleep through the night is between 50 to 200 mg. 5-HTP has been found to be safe up to 300 mg.

Tryptophan converts to niacin before finally becoming serotonin.  If your body is deficient in niacin, it can cause nervous disorders, such as: depression, mental dullness, confusion, forgetfulness, disorientation, hallucination, insomnia, and nausea.

Taurine is another calming amino acid that helps to suppress the release of excitatory neurotransmitters like norepinephrine. Taurine acts like a light tranquillizer throughout the whole body.  It is found in large amounts in the central nervous system and the heart.  Taurine is vital to the proper utilization of sodium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, and has a protective effect upon the brain.

When we are under an enormous amount of stress it also weakens our mental processes.  When we are under stress, cortisol levels rise and testosterone levels decrease in both men and women. DHEA, a hormone critical for brain and immune function is also suppressed under great stress.  You can have your DHEA levels tested and if low, you can supplement with DHEA, as well as 5HTP and this should improve your sleep quality and protect the brain from excess cortisol, mental clarity and energy returned.

insomnia can be caused by a lack of thiamine which works with the nervous system.  When there is a lack of thiamine, it can indicate mental attitudes and inflexible attitudes as well has worrying, nervousness, tension and the inability to relax.  A thiamine deficiency may also lower the amount of hydrochloric acid in the stomach—when this happens food is only semi-digested so that when bile is poured into the duodenum it cannot properly break down the fats.

Chamomile – a member of the daisy family, tea made from this herb has a mild sedative affect.

Kava Kava – relieves anxiety and stress ~ should not be taken long-term as it may cause allergic reactions, visual disturbance and liver toxicity.

St. John’s Wort – treats mild to moderate depression. Side effects include weight gain and sensitivity to light.  This herb increases serotonin levels in the brain and should not be taken with SSRIs (Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, etc.)

Valerian – an effective stress reducer and sedative

Hops – this herb is a distant relative to marijuana and is a good remedy for anxiety and insomnia.  Some companies combine hops with valerian root as the two herbs synergistically work together.

Passion Flower – is known to reduce anxiety, insomnia and high blood pressure.

Links

http://www.hydroholistic.com/blog/cleansing/10-reasons-to-do-a-liver-gallbladder-flush/

http://www.drjustingallantnd.com/2/post/2014/02/why-do-i-wake-up-between-1am-and-3am.html

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757?linkId=12970216

http://www.rejuvinstitute.com/why-do-i-always-wake-up-at-3am#.VTOFOSFVikp

http://www.vitalitymagazine.com/article/kicking-the-sugar-habit/

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/carbohydrates_and_the_glycaemic_index?open

Spring cleaning (Liver and Gallbladder)  http://www.treatrootcause.com/spring-clean-your-acupuncture-meridians/

Nourishing the liver  http://nourishedmagazine.com.au/blog/articles/nourishing-the-liver

Herbs and natural remedies for insomnia http://www.christopherhobbs.com/library/articles-on-herbs-and-health/herbs-and-natural-remedies-for-insomnia/

Treat insomnia with Herbs http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/08/23/is-this-one-of-natures-simple-answer-to-sleepless-nights.aspx

Natural Cures by Dr. Weil http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02037/sleep-aid

14 Naturally Remedies for Insomnia http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/conditionsitoq/a/Insomnia.htm

To be continued….

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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“We must recognize manic depression is a medical illness, not a character weakness. …  Also, we need to make people realize it is a potentially fatal illness. In fact, if left untreated or mistreated, more than 15 percent of those afflicted will take their lives.” Lydia Lewis, Executive Director at National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association

WHAT IS BIPOLAR DISORDER/MANIC DEPRESSIVE

Research studies have indicated that there is a predisposition to bipolar disorder, especially, genetically, when it recurs in families over many years.  Manic Depressive has been linked to the improper functioning of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.  Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit electrical signals from one nerve cell to another and ultimately controls behaviors, thoughts and feelings.  Three neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepineprhine and dopamine have been associated with bipolar and depression.

Bipolar may also manifest following pregnancy/birth, acute stress – sustaining states of hyper-vigilance leading to exhaustion, injury (eg. neck, spinal cord) and/or illness… essentially major life events or internal developments that cause stress for an long periods of time, throwing the hormones into disarray.

“Statistics show that up to 3.2 percent of the population has bipolar disorder. In reality, there are more than 3.2 percent, because 20 to 40 percent of people who have the genetics to develop bipolar disorder never have it exacerbated and so never show symptoms. In twin studies, an identical twin has a 60 to 80 percent chance of having symptoms of bipolar disorder if the twin sibling has developed bipolar symptoms. To extrapolate from this, that must mean that 20 to 40 percent of people with bipolar genetics never have symptoms.

 The latest finding in bipolar genetics is that a single gene accounts for 10 percent of people with bipolar disorder (GRK-3) Three other chromosomal regions are suspected. This means that there may be four different genes for bipolar disorder. We don’t yet know for sure exactly which genes contribute to bipolar disorder, but we know other genes are involved. If there are four genes, then there are at least 16 different possible combinations of bipolar disorder. Some of these genes may be more dominant than others. In the United States, a child only has an 8 percent chance of having bipolar disorder if one parent has it. However, this author has seen families with five children where four have bipolar disorder, and seen families of five kids where none of them do.

 GRK-3 has been found to cause hypersensitivity to dopamine, the major brain chemical involved in bipolar disorder. This affects the dopamine centers in the brain. The use of certain drugs, such as amphetamines, seems to affect the same dopamine centers that are affected by mania, so it’s not surprising that manic behavior is often similar to the behavior of someone who has taken amphetamines. Psychostimulants like amphetamines, meth, and cocaine are thought to increase dopamine release, which can cause mania as well as mimic mania. .” The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Bipolar Disorder ~ Jay Carter, Bobbi Dempsey

BIPOLAR TYPE I

Bipolar Type 1 is what most people think of when they hear the terms “bipolar” or “manic depressive.” Moods alternate between normal, depressed, and manic. The key word here is mania, which can simplistically be thought of as the opposite of depression. According to the DSM-IV, mania is “a distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting at least 1 week,” during which time at least three of the following symptoms have persisted: inflated self-esteem or grandiosity, decreased need for sleep, more talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking, flight of ideas or racing thoughts, distractibility, increase in goal-directed activity (but usually without complete follow-through), unrestrained spending sprees, sexual promiscuity.

Frequently, untreated mania segues into psychosis marked by paranoia or extreme grandiosity (e.g. the person may believe that s/he is Jesus Christ) and results in hospitalization. If left untreated, depressive and manic episodes will come closer and closer together over time, and there will be fewer periods of normal functioning.

BIPOLAR II

Bipolar Type II is characterized by severe depressions alternating with hypomanic episodes. Hypomania is not as severe as mania, and the mood must be irritable or elevated for at least 4 days to qualify for a diagnosis of hypomania. During this time, the person sleeps less, eats less, and feels very creative (though, as with mania, there is usually not much follow-through). The person experiences a lot of chaos in his personal and professional relationships. People often see him as being very unpredictable, though very intelligent. A hypomanic episode is usually followed by a severe depression, and this is usually when the person needs or seeks help.

THE HYPOMANIC SIDE OF BIPOLAR DISORDER

“For 15 years I have suffered from treatment-resistant rapid-cycling Bipolar I Disorder (two weeks normal/hypomanic, two weeks depressed, with manic episodes every few years). I have through my life experiences discovered I am most prolific and intensely creative when I’m in the hypomanic phase of this disorder. I cannot tell how much I absolutely LOVE and live for this part of my mood cycle. But when it comes, I cannot rest, eat or sleep and must be extremely focused/viligant to its powers as it can quickly spiral downward from hypomania to mania then depression. When I hit the mania side of this illness, my creativity becomes incredibly disorganized and what’s created disgusts my intelligence and I fall into a depressive slump. (Michael)

CYCLOTHYMES

“Actor, comedian and writer Stephen Fry was diagnosed with cyclothymia, a form of bipolar disorder, at the age of 37. In a two part documentary for the BBC – The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, first broadcast in 2006 – he talks of the downside of the condition: “I may have looked happy. Inside I was hopelessly depressed. I’m actually kind of sobbing and kind of tear at the walls inside my own brain while my mouth is, you know, wittering away in some amusing fashion’, as well as the upside: ‘I love my condition too. It’s infuriating, I know, but I do get a huge buzz out of the manic side. I rely on it to give my life a sense of adventure, and I think most of the good about me has developed as a result of my mood swings. It’s tormented me all my life with the deepest of depressions while giving me the energy and creativity that perhaps has made my career.’  “Bipolar Disorder: The Ultimate Guide ~ by Sarah Owen, Amanda Saunders

Stephen Fry The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGDl6-lyfMY

“The most extreme cyclothymes are called “rapid cyclers,” with mood changes colliding with each other, from month to month, from day to day, or sometimes even within the same day.  These men and women zigzag between highs and lows so rapidly they often feel as though they are about to die.  They might bounce from euphoria to despair and back again within hours. They are in exquisite pain, out of control, like a race car gone berserk, and sometimes they say that they are afraid of being alone with their episodes because they don’t know what they will be doing next. … Rapid cyclers don’t make plans because they can’t predict their mood even a day head. They are like yo-yos and feel as though they are being helplessly manipulated by some force outside themselves.  Most rapid cyclers have manias or depressions that last about two weeks, they have them from twelve to twenty-four times a year (sometimes with mini-cycles in between) in contrast to other manic-depressives who cycle perhaps four times in twelve months.  Approximately 10 to 15 percent of manic-depressives are rapid cyclers.  And 85 percent of them are women. In fact, the more rapidly the cycle come, the more likely it is that the sufferer will be female.” A Brilliant Madness – Living with Manic Depressive Illness ~ Patty Duke and Gloria Hochman

THE METAPHYSICAL CAUSE OF BIPOLAR

What we know so far is that bipolar disorder or manic-depressive, is a complicated and multifaceted illness that plays heavily on the extreme poles of euphoria and depression.  On the manic side, these individuals are bizarre, eccentric, shocking to others and very entertaining.  They’re wild, outgoing, outspoken and very creative, though they have no idea where these spontaneous inspirations come from. At this level, they embrace life profoundly and really give ‘the rest of us’ the sense they are truly connected with their authentic selves and the world.  They love attention and most definitely love amusing people.

“What’s it like to have bipolar? In the manic phase, you’re supercharged! You get enthused about an idea and you want to do it – now!  Then what do you know another idea jumps into the works before you’ve finished the first one and so you fly to that one, but of course another idea intercepts the second and you just have to follow that one and pretty soon you’re in the grips of a full-blown psychotic mania! At times it does seem as if I’m losing touch with reality. Wild and outspoken I talk too fast for others to understand; I run around in a frenzy, hardly sleep and spend money lavishly; drive recklessly and in my younger days sexually promiscuous.  I also get irritable during these episodes and quickly intolerant of slow-moving people.  Criticized and put down for this blast of manic madness, alarms sound and suddenly brakes slam on my mind; filled with a mixture of negative emotions and attitudes I plummet the depths of a dark void where, even though a man, have been known to cry for hours on end.  (My name is Richard and I have bipolar).

Most manic depressives admit they’ve exhibited some of these exaggerated behaviors..

A grandiose sense of self-importance

Preoccupations with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love

Beliefs that they are special
An insatiable need to be admired.
Have been interpersonally exploitative
Been envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
An arrogant, haughty behavior or attitude

Their artistic form is unique and outlandish. Because of this grandiose and outrageous behavior, bipolar people have the preference of living in large cities where they don’t stand out and aren’t pressured to conform.  They love change—to go beyond the traditional and the familiar. They love to shock people, to shake them from their ordinary, humdrum existence. Laughter and the absurd appeal to them…their strange sense of humor can be interpreted by others as being twisted and eccentric.  When they are in a manic episode they are very outspoken and love being the center of attention.  They love entertaining people, acting, performing and creating outrageous trends.

In the manic phase of bipolar disorder, a woman described the manic phase as a lightning bolt exploding all around her.  “My head seemed to open up, my eyes filled with a golden light, brilliant and dazzling.  I was transfixed, rooted in one spot then suddenly vaulted into an empty space of incredible imaginative powers”.

As an observer, a manic person may appear cheerful or infectious, however it’s important to realize that manic can be dangerous. When people are manic they don’t see the painful or harmful ways of their behavior.  They can run up huge credit card bills, empty savings accounts, make poor decisions and as Richard stated sexually promiscuous. Some people in a manic state become psychotic, delusional, and hear voices they were specially born with special powers to change the world. Wanting to do the right thing and hating to disappoint others (since they are often disappointed themselves) they may turn to self-medication—all types of addiction, whether it be alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and medicines.  The spiritual basis for addiction is said to be the loss of one’s inner center and of conscious relationship to the power of the soul.

“Addiction is a behavior you participate in either consciously or unconsciously that controls the flow of creative life force through your system. And addiction allows you to be irresponsible for a percentage of the energy that runs through you and therefore you are not responsible for its consequences….

 Many addicts come from dysfunctional homes, abusive situations, etc. Self esteem is an issue, but the underlying root issue is usually deeper than that. The addict is attempting to numb themselves against some sort of pain in their psyche that they believe is too much for them to bear. Addiction is a physical, spiritual, and emotional dis-ease….a learned coping mechanism which becomes compulsive over time, which may or may not be complicated by chemical imbalances in their systems.” Caroline Myss

The more the spiritual energies are neglected or denied, the more difficult it will be to find one’s way out again without suffering a major breakdown or fatal crisis.  For the effects of alcohol, tobacco, drugs and medicines can never be entirely removed, they’ve altered the finely tuned system of the pituitary (master gland) and the endocrine glands.

The Pituitary known as the Master Gland of the body has also been called the ‘seat of the mind’. Its frontal lobe regulates emotional thoughts such as poetry, art and music, and the anterior lobe regulating concrete thought and the analytical mind. You could say it is our mission control center that monitors all  the other glands in our body and along with the hypothalamus helps to regulate our sexual development.

Human thought is regarded as a result of suspended action, and the pineal gland holds back your thoughts from charging recklessly into action. It says whoa slow down and think about the chain of reactions and repercussions caused by the thoughts you want to put into action. It forces you to submerge (like a submarine whose captain yells dive, dive) deep into the subconscious waters, using the perascope to see into your thoughts regarding the surface of your outer reality. When the external world disappears, we fall back into ourselves, kind of like a falling star or a deep sea diver. Our whole energy pattern contracts because we’re tuned into our own station. When we plug into our own broadcast, it magnetizes “spiritual light” like a beacon stimulating the pineal gland to stand straight up attracting and releasing a tremendous amount of powerful energy! In order for your desire, good or ill to manifest the pineal gland must join together with the pituitary to create an eclipse, a conjunction, a merging of these two glands and creates an opening what mystics have called the third eye.

“When you feel bad and pretend to feel good, your are in denial. This is a form of resistance and it causes internal conflict. A person who is conflicted usually internalizes feelings which results in physical problems or addictions. Any time you are not true to your feelings, your energy level drops. Any time you deny a feeling, you give it more power. Unresolved feelings continue to recycle and resurface until they are resolved.” Joe Nunziata ~ Spiritual Selling

Addictions affect the levels of testosterone, produced in small amounts by the ovaries and adrenal glands.  A loss of testosterone in men can cause muscle atrophy, fatigue, prostate problems, sexual impotence, breast enlargement, and loss of body hair. Though men produce 50% more testosterone than women, women too need it to provide energy, build muscle, regulate sex drive, strengthen bones and maintain vaginal elasticity and lubrication.   Other hormone deficiencies from addiction can cause headaches, migraines, autoimmune disorders, weight-gain, gallstones, ulcers, heart arthymia, as well as thyroid problems.

Richard has bipolar disorder and suffers from the excruciating pain of kidney stones which are a buildup of negative or conflicting feelings that are too difficult to express.

“Harsh, bitter feelings toward oneself or others will create a hardening of saturated fat in the gallbladder, creating stones. Stones can lodge in a bile duct interacting with nerves, and can cause discomfort or pain in the right shoulder blade and neck area, specifically if the emotional feeling is about feeling burdened. Irritation from gallstones can also affect the pancreas, causing shingles, hypoglycemia, and insulin issues. A stone will interfere with the pituitary gland, thus creating pain in the base of the head, and neck.

 A weak gallbladder can also affect hearing. The kidneys play a role in hearing as well. What does one not want to hear? Sometimes this includes listening to one’s inner self. Shutting out the sounds of laughter, due to a misguided feeling of responsibility.” Symptoms: The Language of the Soul: A Gift of Transformation ~ By Susan Manion MacDonald

Deb Shapiro in her book Your Body Speaks Your Mind says “Issues here are especially connected with relationship, whether imbalances in your relationship with others—particularly with your primary partner—or imbalance of the masculine and feminine energies within yourself.”

THE MANIC LOWS OF BIPOLAR

“If you know someone who’s depressed please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation, depression just is, like the weather.

 Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one the kindest, noblest and best things you will ever do.” ~ Stephen Fry

On the depressive side, manic depressives feel a sudden emptiness and total withdrawal from life, draped from all they know into utter silence.  It’s as if they are imprisoned in a black pit that is too deep and unreachable to the outside. Life stops with a helpless feeling of no point, no purpose, no hope.

 “It feels as if I’m being sucked into a black hole, my lungs violently squeezed as I struggle to breathe”. (Ruth)

Most manic depressives are extremely emotionally sensitive to being hurt by cutting remarks and/or easily pick-up on the distress or hurt emotions felt by others.  This sensitivity borders on and is often accompanied by a psychic openness, the ability to see auras or visions or to know things that are beyond the ordinary—in other words they are incredibly empathic. Sometimes these energies overwhelm them, they become frightened, panicky and disoriented, causing them to sink even further into the confusion and despair.

An excellent, excellent site on empathy and bipolar http://mysilentecho.com/dreamtongue1.htm

“When I’m in the deep dark hole, I can’t see who I really am, I have a distorted image of myself physically and feel unworthy of being loved—even when love is right there, staring me in the face. I have suffered from eating disorders (anorexic) and addictive patterns.  I drink in order to feel powerful but in reality I struggle with inner feelings of shame.” (Bipolar teenager)

“Anorexia .. The cause is the sense of unfulfilled love and affection, the need for emotional nourishment and unconditional acceptance creating an emptiness inside that is demanding satisfaction .. anorexia is the result of starving the emptiness in the hope that it will shrink and therefore demand less, or even go away completely so there is no demand at all. THE BODYMIND Workbook ~ Debbie Shapiro

There are so many variants to this disorder, but a large percentage of manic depressives suffer from a deep and abiding sense of shame—perhaps their parents—poverty—or a series of circumstances beyond their control.  Their emotional wound is a deep sense of guilt and unworthiness which expressed their overgenerousity into adult and the belief nobody could love them.

” Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression – Extreme imbalance, stress, trauma. A possible shock that occurred in childhood, such as a death in the family, divorce, an accident, or seeing a close friend or member of the family endure an incurable illness. Feeling out of place. Wanting to be somewhere that you are not. Feeling controlled and dominated, and wanting to break free. Fear that something bad or dark is living inside you that you have no control over. A lot of internal aggression and frustration that you don’t know how to handle.” ~ The Secret Language of Your Body, The Essential Guide to Heal and Wellness ~ Inna Segal

To get through to someone with bipolar is almost impossible—it’s like trying to get through a double bolted door.  In the manic state they were open and receptive, but in a depressive state they’re like a huge fortress that is totally impenetrable. Manic depressives have to literally hit bottom before they’ll accept advice or help from others.  I think most bipolar people when in the flow of their energy, are free spirited and love to rescue others, but hitting bottom forces them to draw back, then inward, to take care of themselves.

“I have often asked myself whether, given the choice, I would choose to have manic depressive illness … Strangely enough I think I would choose to have it. It’s complicated. Depression is awful beyond words or sounds or images … So why would I want anything to do with this illness? Because I honestly believe that as a result of it I have felt more things, more deeply; had more experiences, more intensely; loved more, and been loved; laughed more often for having cried more often; appreciated more the springs, for all the winters; worn death ‘as close as dungarees’, appreciated it – and life – more; seen the finest and the most terrible in people, and slowly learned the values of caring, loyalty and seeing things through.”  Kay Redfield Jamison ~ An Unquiet Mind.

MELANCHOLY

“Melancholy” in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been called ‘black bile’, but could easily be translated as ‘bad liver’—so we know there is a toxic element to this—whether self-toxicity or environmental.  In TCM, liver imbalance is often indicated with depression.  The liver contains the ‘Ethereal Soul’ which is concerned with mental movement and gives the capacity for dreams, plans, ideas, projects and so forth.  So depression in one scenario is caused by the stagnation of the liver chi. Stagnation = lack of mental movement = stuck in a rut = lacking in vision.

The liver memorizes every element that goes into building our identity, emotions, pitfalls, death of a loved one, failures, illnesses and extremely happy events. When the liver lacks energy, our memories come back to haunt us, affecting our self-esteem and darkening the road we’re traveling on. So a liver imbalance could cause doubt and uncertainty about the future, causing us to lean more toward the past.  It can also cause us to feel tense and aggressive, reacting forcefully and intensely to have our way or get into power trips to compensate for our lack of self-esteem.

The liver and the brain like to exchange their energies. When one of them is lacking energy, it takes it from the other. A bad liver pretty much means feeling blue! Liver dysfunction gives a feeling of being drained, unhappy, unloved, inadequate and lacking drive.

“The stomach is located in close proximity to the spleen. Esoterically, the spleen is the organ connecting spiritual and etheric energy to the physical system. When emotional reactions are out of control, positive energetic links to spiritual vitality are broken. Depression, suicide, and emotionally compulsive behavior cannot exist in the serene and vibrant light of spiritual energy. Ideally, the emotional level must be as calm as a sparkling lake in order to reflect the beauty of life and nature. Anything that separates man from his fellow man is a true sin but it is the separation of man from his spiritual nature that causes the most pain. Compassion for ourselves ultimately leads to compassion for our fellow man. Once this is achieved we can operate on the higher level of soul consciousness. Astrology and Your Health ~ Jeanne Avery

We crave in our diets what we lack physiologically. Often people who crave high carbohydrate foods are seratonin-depleted.  Depression can often be diet related. A poor diet can upset the balance of neurotransmitters (dopamine, seratonin etc.) in the brain. So whatever therapy is used, the diet has to be considered too. There can be many dietary deficiencies, but the most common are selenium, (which can be rectified by Brazil nuts or eggs) and omega-3 essential fatty acids (cod-liver-oil). People, especially smokers or drinkers are often deficient in vitamin C and vitamin B complex, both of which are water soluble and need to be refreshed daily. B complex features in the synthesis of neurotransmitters. More whole foods and less junk foods helps a great deal.

When the brain is undernourished, it’s not just our physical health that suffers. Our state of mind is affected as well. Although we may not always be aware of it, we frequently use food as a mood-altering drug. Those ups and downs of energy caused by too much sugar and refined carbohydrates also cause us to alternate between depression and euphoria. When we get that sugar high, we’re ready for anything. Then as blood sugar levels dissipate, we begin to feel worse and worse. To varying degrees, we get irritable, shaky, nervous, depressed. So we begin to eat like crazy again, gobbling down more sugar and carbs. In extremes of anxiety and depression, we may resort to binge eating in an overzealous attempt to modulate our moods.” THE BALANCE ~ Oz Garcia

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

“The pain is too much

a thousand grim winters

grown in my head

in my ears

the sound of the

coming dead

All seasons, all same

all lliving

all pain

No opiate to lock still

my senses.

Only left, the body locked tenser”. Spike Milligan ~ Poet – St. Lukes Wing, Woodside Hospital (manic depressive)

“Manic Depressive illness, often seasonal, is recurrent by nature, left untreated, individuals with this disease can expect to experience many, and generally worsening episodes of depression and mania. It is important to note, however, that most individuals who have manic-depressive illness are normal most of the time; that is they maintain their reason and their ability to function personally and professionally. Prior to the availability and widespread use of lithium, at least one person in five with manic-depressive illness committed suicide. The overwhelming majority of all adolescents and adults who commit suicide have been determined through postmortem investigations, to have suffered from either bipolar manic-depressive or unipolar depressive illness.” Touched With Fire ~ by Kay Redfield Jamison

SAD is another name of seasonal affective disorder which is a form of mood disorder triggered by the change of seasons or shorter days of fall and winter. Beginning as early as September and lasting through all the winter till spring, SAD victims are unable to adjust their body rhythms to the decrease of daylight causing them to become physiologically and ultimately emotionally distressed and out of sync.

“When Seasonal Affective Disorder (often called S.A.D.) occurs, the Soul needs adjustment since the Body is not storing enough light (energy). Food represents trapped sunlight and nourishes the Body as oxygen is delivered. Removing both emotional and physical toxins, strengthening cells with Essential Fatty Acids as well as getting the proper nutrients can resolve this issue. Light supports vision, and without vision it supports old habits plus closed off beliefs. Positive affirmations are a great way to dispel habits and beliefs.”  Symptoms: the Language of the Soul: A Gift of Transformation ~ Susan Marion MacDonald

“When summer’s coming to an end, I hit an all time low because I know that autumn and winter are just around the corner. Why just thinking of those dark dreary days makes me gloomy and depressed. It was terribly dark the other day and I got so down and mournfully miserable I started crying, without realizing why. I truly fear the long dark days of winter, I don’t want to see anyone—just crawl under the covers and stay there.” (Angie)

Depressive symptoms associated with SAD could be due to a form of biological malfunctioning that occurs as the days get shorter and darker.  Tests have been ongoing with manic-depressives, concentrating on the critical interplay of light, melatonin and other fluctuating rhythms that regulate body chemicals.

“People who suffer from manic depression, or bipolar mood disorder, are troubled by mood swings that careen from euphoria to despondency. There is some evidence that their melatonin levels go along on the roller-coaster ride, peaking during periods of mania and plummeting during periods of depression. In 1979, for example, Alfred A. Lewy, a psychiatrist at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, and his colleagues observed that bipolar patients had elevated melatonin levels when they were manic and reduced levels when they were depressed. Canadian psychiatrists provided further insight by measuring the melatonin levels of one patient in all three phases of the illness. They drew blood samples from the twenty-nine-year-old woman at three separate occasions: when she was manic, when she was depressed and when she was feeling normal. They found she was producing more than twich as much melatonin when she was manic than when she was depressed. When she was symptom free, she had normal amounts of the hormone. In this instance, there was a clear correlation between melatonin levels and mood.” Melatonin ~ By Russel J. Reiter

We have within us a day/night cycle or circadian rhythm that regulates our most major life-sustaining activities, such as sleeping, waking and when we eat.  Imagine for a moment that your body is governed by dozens of ‘internal clocks’ (interrelated cycles), which work together to synchronize us to the world around us.  These Internal rhythms control and coordinate our production of enzymes and hormones, which in turn control hunger, mood, body temperature and energy levels.

The pineal gland is key to maintaining the normal functioning of our internal clocks. This gland actually contains a lens system and color sensing cells, like an eye that seems as if it is looking up toward Heaven with 20/20 vision! The Pineal produces the hormone melatonin, an anti-cancer agent which stimulates the thymus immune system.

“Our brain is designed to move information in space and time—from as far out in the starlit sky as our eyes can see to as far away on earth as our legs can walk, from as far back in real time as our memory can recall to as far forward in psychic time as our plans can project.” Robert Sylwester

In small children there is an extremely sensitive area above the crown of the head where the skull does ot completely close until the child is between seven and nine years of age.  Prior to this, young children often display extreme sensitiveness and awareness, even having clairvoyant experiences that are generally believed to be connected with this “third eye” or pineal gland.

According to esoteric philosophy, one of the healing secrets of the ages this small cone-shaped gland when stimulated, stands upright, permitting the essences of the brain to blend with one’s higher intelligence or higher self.  This, is known to release tremendous power, energy, and wisdom not ordinarily tapped by wo/man and produces amazing results quickly.  These results release the kind of willpower that can move mountains.

THE WARNING SIGNS OF SUICIDE

“Manic-depression [bipolar] distorts moods and thoughts, incites dreadful behaviors, destroys the basis of rational thought, and too often erodes the desire and will to live. It is an illness that is biological in its origins, yet one that feels psychological in the experience of it; an illness that is unique in conferring advantage and pleasure, yet one that brings in its wake almost unendurable suffering and not infrequently suicide. An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness ~ By Kay Redfield Jamison

Do not believe the old myth that people who talk about suicide will not do it. They DO try it and too many succeed in doing it. If someone mentions suicide, sit up and listen! – this is a serious warning sign!

Many people contemplating suicide want more than anything for their depression and emotional pain to end.  They may let others know about their plans, because they’re not sure they want to die and they hope they’ll be rescued.  Talking about suicide isn’t a long term solution but it can help to reduce the feelings of isolation that often follow a suicide attempt and help reduce the immediate risk of suicide until you can seek professional help.

In many cases, a suicidal person will refuse help and resist going to see a professional even when you suggest it.  You must insist!  Don’t worry abut being disloyal or going against his or her wishes.  Suicide is a life-and-death emergency, and you cannot waste time trying to get their consent. You may have to take charge of the situation and get  your loved one help against his orher wishes. Breaking a confidence may feel like you’ve betrayed their trust, but you must do it—it could save their life! If you can’t get them to a hospital, call the police, most police are trained to deal with these kind of emergenices and can help take your loved one to an appropriate place for treatment.  And don’t forget to get help for yourself too.  Coping with a suicidal loved one is very difficult. You cannot cope with it alone; you need support and comfort of others, professional as well as family and friends.

“Suicide warning signs or suicidal thoughts include:

 ·       Talking about suicide — for example, making statements such as “I’m going to kill myself,” “I wish I was dead” or “I wish I hadn’t been born”

·       Getting the means to commit suicide, such as buying a gun or stockpiling pills

·       Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone

·       Having mood swings, such as being emotionally high one day and deeply discouraged the next

·       Being preoccupied with death, dying or violence

·       Feeling trapped or hopeless about a situation

·       Increasing use of alcohol or drugs

·       Changing normal routine, including eating or sleeping patterns

·       Doing risky or self-destructive things, such as using drugs or driving recklessly

·       Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order when there is no other logical explanation for why this is being done

·       Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again

·       Developing personality changes or being severely anxious or agitated, particularly when experiencing some of the warning signs listed above

 Warning signs aren’t always obvious, and they may vary from person to person. Some people make their intentions clear, while others keep suicidal thoughts and feelings secret.” MAYO CLINIC     http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/suicide/basics/symptoms/con-20033954

“I am fortunate that I have not died from my illness, fortunate in having received the best medical care available, and fortunate in having the friends, colleagues, and family that I do.”  Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., An Unquiet Mind

Stay tuned for Part II ~ Breaking The Cycle of Bipolar Disorder,, where we will look at a case study, as well as symptoms of manic depressive caused from the thyroid gland, histamines,- as well as the uses of medications, drugs, vitamins, supplements, diet, alternative healing and so much more.

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

LINKS

Bipolar in children http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder-in-children-and-adolescents/index.shtml

http://www.foodforthebrain.org/nutrition-solutions/bipolar-disorder/about-bipolar-disorder-(manic-depression).aspx

http://www.yourfamilyclinic.com/bipolar/bipaper.html

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder-in-adults/index.shtml

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1794

http://www.planetpsych.com/zPsychology_101/gaps_in_understanding.htm

Empathy http://mysilentecho.com/dreamtongue1.htm

http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/rapid-cycling-bipolar-disorder?page=2

Thyroid Depression and Mental Health http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/thyroid-depression-mental-health/

http://www.alternativedepressiontherapy.com/Bipolar-Symptoms.html

Be with the people who are in psychosis and connect with them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4isvbxN-wGo&NR=1

How does Lithium treat Bipolar http://www.askdoctork.com/how-does-lithium-treat-bipolar-disorder-201303304593

Anne Lamott in response to Robin William’s death http://www.chapclark.com/ann-lamott-in-response-to-robin-williams-death/

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