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Posts Tagged ‘Louise Hay’

root chakra sciatica nerve

The sciatic nerves are the body’s two largest nerves in the human body, extending from the lower region of the spine (lumbar area), crossing the buttocks, thighs, down each leg to the soles of the feet and big toes.  Sciatic pain can be caused by osteoarthritis, a herniated/ruptured disk, pinched nerve or slipped disk.  When its nerve fibers become inflamed, pinched or irritated, the pain is brutal!  Striking/stabbing/burning pain can felt anywhere along the path of the nerve causing great distress. Most sciatic pain occurs down one side of the body, but it has also been known to affect both legs.

“The metaphor of sciatica is being frozen with fear around manifestation. Struggles with time and money and a fear around survival are significant contributors. A person is usually overburden and feels like they’re carrying the weight of the world on their back and have nobody to help carry the load or to support them. There is deep-seated resentment, survival anxiety, loss of direction, and avoidance to do what they know they need to do. A person is hypercritical, overburdened, overwhelmed, overextended, and overly independent. They don’t ask for help or want help, but get disgusted when no one helps them. Another metaphor for sciatica is a dog chasing its tail, visualize it going in circles and not sure which way to go.

Associated emotions: Resentment, frustration, anger, disappointment, and loneliness” Healing Happens with Your Help:  ~ Carol Ritberger

Another cause of sciatica is ‘piriformis syndrome’.  The sciatic nerve passes through the piriformis muscle (in the buttocks), which can spasm and entrap the nerve.  Physically it is commonly caused by overuse and oversitting and is seen in people with low-movement jobs like office workers and truck drivers.

Piriformis syndrome

“The piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the buttocks and referring pain along the course of the sciatic nerve. This referred pain, called “sciatica”, often goes down the back of the thigh and/or into the lower back. Patients generally complain of pain deep in the buttocks, which is made worse by sitting, climbing stairs, or performing squats. The piriformis muscle assists in abducting and laterally rotating the thigh. In other words, while balancing on the left foot, move the right leg directly sideways away from the body and rotate the right leg so that the toes point towards the ceiling. This is the action of the right piriformis muscle.”   http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/piri.html

“Nerves have to do with communication and sensitivity. Sciatica implies that there are emotional issues affecting the back and legs, and that these are deep, inner issues. These may be issues to do with being able to stand up for yourself. Perhaps something is happening that you cannot take anymore, and it is making you want to go in a different direction. Or perhaps you desperately need more support and cannot cope with everything on your own any longer.

Sciatica may indicate doubt or fear about where you are going and your ability to cope with what lies ahead.

Are you concerned about where you are going and what is going to happen?

What inner emotional pain are you sitting on or holding back? Is someone or something restricting your freedom to move?

Are there financial or emotional issues putting pressure on you or weighing you down.” YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro

If you grew up in an emotionally tense environment, areas of the body that keep your feet firmly planted on the earth will be affected.  These can show up as problems with the lower back (lumbar, sacral), pelvis, rectum, hips, legs and feet.

The hips and buttocks are the foundation of our physical being: the movement of the hip joint is crucial to our survival – whether in running away from danger, kicking an attacker, or moving in the sexual/reproductive act. Sciatic sufferers can display a lot of rage and anger when they are overly sensitized from being judged critically, verbally abused or punished. In fact they may often punish themselves because they’re afraid of trusting their own judgement.

When the hips are out of alignment so too are the liver and gallbladder meridians .. these two meridians help us to move forward to begin motioning towards something.  Unbalanced, they can metaphysically be caused by feeling angry/hurt inside, feeling used, unappreciated, let down, alienated. Who or what are you carrying on your hips? What are you taking responsibility for? Who is it you are supporting when you should be supporting yourself? Are you feeling insecure about something? Do you feel controlled by someone?

(Other people’s thought forms, projections and hooks can be attached to highly charged areas in your energy field and influence your actions and perceptions. Highly charged areas in your field are where you’ve not integrated emotional issues, like, poor self-esteem, pain, fear, anger and so forth….. any part of you that works against your higher path and purpose can become a receptor site for lower energy.)

The liver and gallbladder meridians run down the sides of the body and reflecting our ability to choose which way to turn. An unbalanced gall bladder is associated with being either indecisive, or over-decisive, perhaps impatience, or possibly too much thought interfering in one’s decision making. When under stress, the gallbladder causes a disorderly flow of ideas, your head may spin with dizzying ideas; or talking nonstop about all the ideas and possibilities.

Gallbladder and Liver Meridians

“In fact anything that makes us anxious (all unconscious) will tend to make us angry as well. You’re trying to do a good job; you hope it turns out well (anxious) but you’re also resentful of the problems with which you must contend, like other people and their needs.

“…..an important source of anger and resentment, of which we are usually unaware, stems from our sense of responsibility to those who are close to us, like parents, spouses and children. Though we love them, they may burden us in many ways and the resultant anger is internalized.” Healing Back Pain – The Mind-Body Connection  ~ John Sarno

John Sarno in his book “Healing Back Pain” shows many examples of unconscious anger. One in particular talks of a young father with a first born that’s a non-sleeper.  “He not only loses sleep, but his wife is pretty much tied up with baby around the clock. He has to pitch induring his free time, their social life is much curtailed and what was a long honeymoon efore baby came is now a grind. He develops back pain because he’s mad at the baby (ridiculous), and angry at his wife because she can no longer minister his emotional and physical needs as she had before (absurd). And to make matters worse he has become a part time nursemaid and cook.  But he doesn’t know about any of these feelings—they are deeply buried in his unconscious and to make sure they stay their het get back pain—TMS”.

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

CHILDHOOD TRAUMA

What we don’t often recognize when our problems stress us out is that, we are locked in old patterns—old beliefs, old ways of thinking and doing things, old wounds, old memories—that unconsciously undermine our conscious desire to be free of suffering.  We are at the mercy of our past history. These deeply imprinted patterns and beliefs slow down our every move.  We feel off balance, reacting out of habit and fear, and rarely in control.

Fears create a lack of confidence and when we lack confidence we are affected by other people’s moods .. kind of like a leaf flying helplessly in a storm. When we have a low self-worth it prevents us from using our imagination and to find a creative outlet.  Fear also causes us to hold back and repress our emotions which can cause problems in relationships.

Past wounds that don’t heal, deplete and waste our energy. We just keep going around in circles with no escape in sight. Always with the same message, always eliciting the same reaction, every waiting to spring out at us. These reactions are an intrinsic part of  your survival mechanism…your physical emergency response. If you were severely traumatized in the past, you may overreact or underreact to situations and relationships for much of your life.

It’s possible your mother may have been deeply troubled, psychologically or perhaps physically unavailable; whatever your situation, her negative responses to your needs and feelings, led you to believe that you had no right to have feelings. The hurt or trauma you experienced then may have resulted in a deep-seated decision never to make yourself vulnerable again. “I’d rather die than need you.”

Often sciatica signifies an inability to bond with the mother, though a deep inner bond with her exists. This bond exists because you need to hold on to her physically, mainly due to not being nurtured and loved by her.  If your mother didn’t respond to your nonverbal (and verbal) signals, you learned to distrust closeness to other people and failed to develop a healthy degree of trust. Trust is about moving beyond your comfort zone.  With sciatica we are afraid of diving into our feelings and needs because we associate them with attachment to home and family.

EMOTIONAL PAIN

Most sciatic sufferers don’t know how to show their true feelings to others. They may have tried as children and found their words hushed or misunderstood. No matter how loving or caring their parents were, they couldn’t have possibly met all their needs. Sometimes our parents didn’t understand what we needed because our own needs were so different from what they needed when they were children.  Sometimes our parents are unable to give us what we need because they didn’t get their own needs met.

When we aren’t able to express our true feelings or fears, we don’t feel safe or secure.  When we don’t feel safe, we either withdraw or get angry.  Either way, our anxieties grow and our self-expression shrinks because we can only access behaviors that are allowed to be seen. We’re unable to be who we are, so we become a characterization of what we think we should be.  If you had to compensate your feelings/emotions to meet the expectations of your parents, teachers or friends, etc… your feelings/emotions might have become sealed in your sacral/hip area for a long time.

Many sciatic sufferers see themselves as chameleons, adapting to the likes and dislikes of the people around them. Most of them fear that their needs and feelings will upset or anger other people. Being uncomfortable with their own feelings, they are also unable to tolerate anybody else’s feelings. As you become familiar with your own needs and feelings, you will learn how to be comfortable with other people’s feelings as well.

As long as you are focused on outer solutions—you won’t be able to address the inner pain that drives you away from yourself in the first place. The process of recovery leads you inward to learn who you really are and what you really need

If you do not care for yourself or listen to and trust your own feelings, you can easily become dependent on others. If you do not trust the messages of your body due to a past traumatic experience, your body becomes numb and shuts off. A wounded heart has a limited capacity to trust and be open to infinite possibilities. Emotional numbness can create codependent relationships; dependency occurs when we lack self esteem or harbor a poor body image.

Sciatic pain can either make you reclusive, shy and retreating in nature OR it can cause you to become aggressive, overbearing and deceitful. When you get angry and really ticked off, you attract people who want to talk about the same problems you’re going through. This is where you have to pay attention to the conversations you’re having every week with others.  How do they embrace your own issues?  Were you able to see solutions to your/their problem. These are also your issues and we all have to embrace our stuff.

“Sciatica may be experienced if you are insecure about your future or have an unconscious fear of lack of material abundance. I emphasize unconscious because, in my observation, sciatica is especially common in those who are materially and financially comfortable, but would have a difficult time if that were lost. ….Sciatica. therefore, is located in the body at the level of having.  You are probably not consciously aware of your fear of lack because you don’t think of yourself as attached to materials things……attachment makes you feel guilty because you believe it is not spiritual…..guilt however, impedes your progress and prevent you from taking a leap…..

If you are experiencing sciatica, your body is giving you a signal your way of thinking is a pain and is causing you distress; it’s really getting on your nerves. Pain always indicates guilt; therefore what are you punishing yourself for? What do you feel guilty about?”  YOUR BODY IS TELLING YOU: LOVE YOURSELF! ~ By Lise Bourbeau.

Louise Hay in her book “Heal Your Body, describes sciatica  as “being hypocritical”, not being straight with yourself. She continues to say, “A sciatic issue also relates to ‘fear of money’ and the future”.

“If you suffer from lower-back or hip pain, it’s time to look at your relationship both with yourself and with the people around you. Honestly assess your life and make some changes. Do you get support from your family that you’re not getting elsewhere? Notice where you are getting support and openly acknowledge it and have gratitude for it. Do you tend to always blame others when things go wrong? Try to see the whole picture and see whether you are doing something that might be contributing to the problem. Do you feel out of control when it comes to finances? Look closely at any financial downfall and try to pinpoint where things shifted from good to bad.” All is Well, Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations and Intuition ~ Louise Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz

THE ROOT CHAKRA

“The Sanskrit name for this chakra is Muladhara, which means “root support.” The sciatic nerve, traveling from the sacral plexus down through the legs, is the largest peripheral nerve in the body (about as thick as your thumb) and functions much like a root for the nervous system. (See Figure 2.1, page 61) The feet and legs, which provide locomotion, enable us to perform tasks necessary to obtain life sustenance from the earth and its environment. Our legs touch the ground below us and connect our nervous system with the earth, our first chakra development. We respond then, kinesthetically to gravity—the basic underlying force of the earth—constantly pulling us downward. This force keeps us connected to our planet, rooted in material existence.” Wheels of Life ~ by Anodea Judith

The root chakra’s is linked with the earth’s energy.  Its main function is to build the basic foundation of our identities; it’s here, we build a place called home—it’s a sense of belonging—a vital system that cannot be constructed without an identity.  The root chakra is largely driven through our instincts and premonitions which  help to build our personal and physical identities which are built from our conditions, upbringings and education.

Early in the healing process, many people have no idea who they really are and what their truth is. Not only have they used addictions and other distractions to hide their true feelings; they have also spent much of their time focusing on other people’s feelings and needs.  Of course, there’s nothing wrong with caring or being concerned about other people.  However, if it is at your own expense, it’s not only unhealthy for you, it’s unhealthy for the person for whom you are sacrificing yourself.

You are not responsible for everyone you care about.  If your life is overwhelmed by responsibility, then it’s time to stop doing everything and let someone else share the load.  Some have said that it’s almost like the bottom has to drop out of your world before you can grasp the significance of this stuff. Listen to your sciatic nerve, what is it trying to tell you? If old wounds surface, it means that the situation you are in now is draining your energy, and will continue to drain your energy until you acknowledge the emotional triggers.  That’s really what your sciatic pain wants, to be acknowledged.

THE SACRAL CHAKRA

The sacral or 2nd chakra is connected to the sense of taste, the element of water and the lymphatic glands.  It’s affected by our emotional mood swings and what we love in the sense of our “tastes for life” (fashions, money, relationships, creativity, sexuality).

The 2nd chakra interacts well with the 1st.  The 1st chakra connects us with the element of earth, while the 2nd connects us to the element of water.  Earth offers stability, water brings a sense of movement.  Water is also linked to the moon, it connects with time, and tide, fertility, menstruation and ovulation in women and the production of semen in men.

Sexuality (sacral chakra) holds our greatest pain and denial.  Every shred of unfinished business and all our emotional issues will keep reappearing until we get in touch with how our body is feeling.  When we open the floodgate of our emotions they will turn our lives upside down.  Anything not in harmony with our Self will come up to be processed and healed.  All your fixed thoughts and ideas will come loose and you will feel as if you are shifting through time.  It will feel as if you are being crushed as your past and future collide. However, this will also free-up an enormous amount of energy opening you to your creative juices and your joy.

Visualize a water fall over a rocky terrain, imagine looking closer and see how the water has slowly created (carved)  the bed-rock of the earth into an expression of beauty; it looks alive, full of the “life-force” created from the power of fluid and motion.  Without water the earth would “dry up” become sluggish, infertile, and lifeless; our bodies need water to stay healthy, young and productive.

Therefore water needs the earth to hold and “restrain” its emotional desire to “shape and control the world around it”. This means that the 2nd chakra relates to issues of power in the outer world and your need to control, people, events, and the way things happen.

In relationships, we look for someone who will validate, protect and connect with us on an intimate level.  But if we suffer from low self-worth and unable to stand up for our rights, we’ll keep finding relationships that constantly reopen our wounds or traumas

CASE STUDY

Physically, sciatica means pain from a compressed or pinched sciatic nerve which can be felt in the back of the thigh, down the back of the leg, on the outside of the calf, on the side of the foot and in the heel.

Wayne contacted me, via email, because he had been suffering on and off from sciatic pain in his left leg (deep buttock/hip socket) area and lumbar for about 5 years.  Each time the sciatica returned, he tried different forms of physical therapy, chiropractor, therapeutic massage, daily stretching as well as anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen and naproxen sodium) all to no avail.

Two weeks ago, he again developed sciatica in his left leg that was so intense he couldn’t bend over to put on his socks or shoes and he couldn’t walk because of the pain. An MRI revealed he had bone spurs, two intervertebral disks that had herniated and the doctor scheduled him for surgery in May. Wayne didn’t want surgery.  He had recently read my blog on the metaphysics of lower back pain and decided to contact me.

Wayne gave me a quick run-down of his history and after sending emails back and forth, we scheduled a time that both of us could connect energetically at a distance.  Healing this way, allows a client to actively participate in the healing, either by relaxing, or meditating.  The vibration of a client’s name, birth-date and country they live in, creates a spiritual link and as they relax, I scan, listen and make notes of the symbols and messages the client’s body/mind shares with me….. distant Reiki is then gently sent to areas (chakra/endocrine glands/organs) where the body needs it most.

THE HEALING

The hypothalamus in our brains sees everything as world war III so when a memory (young or old) is remembered, our bodies respond to the chemicals  .. so the body is the one that suffers the pain of being fired, of losing a promotion or being rejected/abandoned by a parent.  The body doesn’t have a clue if the event is currently happening or happened fifteen years ago. Just thinking about previous emotional hurts can cause the body to respond as if those hurts are occurring in that every moment.

Remembering emotional hurts causing the muscles to tighten and clamp down upon the adrenals, causing a huge output of adrenaline/cortisone as well as the sexual hormones.  With too much adrenaline, the feeling one gets is of ‘being wired’, electrified—adrenaline interferes with the brains neurotransmitters, leaving you feeling scattered, irritable, confused—physically, the body’s getting ready to fight/flight or freeze.

This is what was happening to Wayne. Fear, anxiety and mistrust was having such an adverse effect on his insides, that his aura and body was instinctively pulling in to protect itself, causing his lower back muscles to contract and clamp down on his sciatic nerve, causing reduced mobility and depriving his cells of oxygen and life-force energies.  When this happens toxic thoughts and emotions become trapped inside the body, creating a form of  ‘muscular armor’ in an attempt to feel safer and less vulnerable, but it takes its toll on the adrenals and the body’s natural fluidness.  When this happens the fascia tightens and becomes brittle.

Wanting to know why Wayne suffered sciatic pain to his left hip and leg, I posed this question to his mind/body/soul. The left side of the body is linked with the feminine aspect, which is about receiving, being and the inner self. When the left side is unbalanced or blocked it creates a feeling of unrest or a disconnection from the truth about ourselves.  Wayne had literally cut himself off  from his life-force and the left side of his body was telling him to stop denying this feelings. body is trying to tell him to stop denying

When we disconnect from the truth of ourselves, we are cutting ourselves off from our very life force, and we are in fact weaker, less … But in the beginning, it is simply the inner self saying, “No more denying these feelings!

Wayne’s mind/body spoke of feeling dissatisfied and confused about the self.  Filled with self-doubt he always feels he has to be more.With the right side having to compensate for the left, there is delusions about oneself and one’s motives. This can cause a person to cling to a fantasy about their own identity.  After the healing I asked Wayne if his father was estranged from him in some way. He told me his father was seldom at home due to his work in the mines, so essentially Wayne felt abandoned by his dad. The lack of a father, or authority figure, creates poor boundaries in a child and lack of what is normal in the reality of his life. The lack of life-rules can be very disorienting for a child, who will take great pains to hide the real self.

Hurting deep inside becomes a stumbling block, you can’t move forward and you can’t move backward.  You hang on to what is ‘familiar’ refusing to let go of a stagnating job, a person or situation that no longer fulfills you.  But you stay because it offers you some sort of security from the constantly changing world. Childhood traumatic events, which are so common, at any young age—jeopardize trust and faith—causing the exuberant wonder of a child’s spirit to falter.

When Wayne and I first made contact and I asked him to write about his life.  He had written a wonderful story, painting a picture that his life was great……except he forgot to mention his father was absent for most of his childhood, that his parents divorced when he was seven and he suffered the loss of his brother five years ago from an accidental drowning. Wayne realized his life was incomplete and that he was seeing only one side of his life; this was why his sciatica kept coming back. He was determined to explore the reality of his life and get to know his inner self.

To heal, we have to make a choice to willingly explore the pain, to put forth the effort to grow or we’ll stay a victim of the pain. But once, we begin to understand it, we can start to grow from it and begin making new choices for ourselves…better choices…choices that allow us to heal.  As we push through the pain and really examine it, we can ask ourselves, “Why is my sciatica resurfacing again and again”? “What thoughts are keeping my sciatica alive? Why did I choose to experience this”?  Relax your body/mind and allow your soul/spirit a chance to speak. ♥

LINKS

Sciatica Nerve Pain & Supplements

6 Natural Ways to Relieve Sciatica

Herbal Supplement for Sciatica

Sciatic Nerve Pain

Mona Lisa Schulz – Common Cause of Lower Back Pain

Lower Body Meridians

Acupressure Points to Relieve Hip Back Pain

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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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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….

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“Compared to bipolar’s magic, reality seems a raw deal. It’s not just the boredom that makes recovery so difficult, it’s the slow dawning pain that comes with sanity – the realization of illness, the humiliating scenes, the blown money and friendships and confidence. Depression seems almost inevitable. The pendulum swings back from transcendence in shards, a bloody, dangerous mess. Crazy high is better than crazy low. So we gamble, dump the pills, and stick it to the control freaks and doctors. They don’t understand, we say. They just don’t get it. They’ll never be artists.” ~ David Lovelace

Creativity does seem to feed off emotional turmoil and often in the works of great poets we can feel the soul’s pain and turmoil. In fact, heightened imaginative powers, depression, insomnia, fatigue, rapid thoughts, inflated self-esteem, panic attacks, rage and intense emotions all swim about in an ocean of ever changing moods of heightened creativity and suicidal tendencies.  It is within this ocean that brilliance is born and fed by the storms raging in many artists’ minds.

“I was diagnosed bipolar 6 years ago. I recently decided to come off my meds. I’ll admit it took me a while to cope with certain situations and learn to focus and concentrate on just taking one day at a time. I’ve learned to cope through eating healthy, exercising and trying to get at least 8 hrs sleep a night. It’s no walk in the park, I’ll tell ya. I have to be very strict with myself and stick to my routines. If I’m feeling low and unmotivated I make myself exercise, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. I’ve learned this removes a buildup of toxins and gets my happy chemicals moving. I take 6000 units of vitamin D daily and a 100 mgs of a B multi-vitamin twice a day. The doctor gives me injections of vitamin B12 once a month to keep my energies up. It’s very common for individuals with mood disorders to have low vitamin B levels. I also keep close contact with my doctor. I don’t think there is a cure for Bi Polar. I do however think it can be managed. For me it always comes back to quality of life or quantity of life. Everyone is different. Medication helped me when I was very unwell. I’ve learned what works for me.” (Matthew B.)

I do believe we need to find a better way of treating manic depression, rather than through high dosages of lithium and antipsychotic drugs. Even uses of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs) and/or stimulants can be linked to the onset of some manic symptoms.  As well, many people on medication for bipolar disorder have complained this kind of treatment has stifled their creative abilities.  Some famous authors suffering from manic depression have said that their suffering is a part of who they are and that without it they couldn’t create. Many turned to drugs and alcohol to counter the effects of their medication or to get relief from their symptoms. In fact people suffering from bipolar disorder are 10 times more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol than most other people because they turned to these substances to help counter the effects of their medication or to get other relief from their symptoms.

We are all born with genetically programmed instincts, which are located in the primitive brain (limbic system).  The limbic system focuses inward on our survival, our emotions and our nurturing needs. When you feel depressed or anxious, these feelings originate from the limbic system but involve the cortex as well, since depression diminishes our insights and judgments as well as our lack of motivation and attention.

What we think, how we feel, what we assimilate into our beings at every stage of life and at every level has a cumulative affect that directly impacts our states of being, influencing our physical hormones, genetic make-up, neural processing etc. And the condition of our states of physical being also affects our states of mind.

Environmental factors also play a significant role. For example, many people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) later develop bipolar disorder. Repetitive traumas suffered throw the body into a constant state of stress and research shows that stress can induce the hippocampus to remodel itself and shrink. Hormones are also involved. Additional considerations involve head and/or neck injuries.

“World champion boxer Frank Bruno was sectioned for 28 days in a psychiatric hospital and diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2003 following his marriage break-up. He describes his behavior in the run up to his breakdown: ‘I got confused and snappy and impatient. I couldn’t, couldn’t, couldn’t function. Losing my wife, seeing my kids less regularly, not eating properly, staying up late, living by myself, getting uptight, wound up, over stupid little things [ … ] It’s like a kettle. I wish I could put a hole in my head and let the steam out.’ “Bipolar Disorder: The Ultimate Guide ~ by Sarah Owen, Amanda Saunders

Although the brain, especially the limbic system is quite complex let’s look at specific areas that are related to our most primitive and potent emotional signals.  It has been proven that the limbic system (emotional reactions and emotional memories) can actually hijack other parts of the brain, especially when so overcome with anger, fear or passion, excitement.  You see the limbic brain jumps in when it proclaims an emergency, even before the neocortex, the thinking brain, has had a chance to reason out what is happening.

“Lithium tweaks many mood-altering chemicals in the brain, and its effects are complicated. Most interesting, lithium seems to reset the body’s circadian rhythm, its inner clock. In normal people, ambient conditions, especially the sun, dictate their humors and determine when they are tuckered out for the day. They’re on a twenty-four-hour cycle. Bipolar people run on cycles independent of the sun. And run and run.” ~ Sam Kean, ~ The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

The brain responds to chemical changes, by adjusting the feelings and thoughts within the physical body. Psychologists have shown us that we can react a whole variety of ways to one single hormone—this mostly depends upon our expectations.  The parts of the brain that are involved in thought, memory and sensations are connected by direct neural pathways with emotional centers—and  with the pituitary gland that controls hormone output.  The pituitary actually suspends from the hypothalamus, which controls emotion, appetite and desire.

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

“If you are suddenly anxious, under threat, or furious about something, your brain via your pituitary gland tells your adrenal glands to pump up production of epinephrine, cortisol and other hormones to put your body into high alert. Once the threat goes away and you “cool off,” the adrenal glands stop their escalation of hormones. However, if your mind ruminates about the anxiety and threatening events, with such thought patterns as “It’s hopeless”; “My life is a disaster”; “things should be different!”, and “This is unfair!” your adrenal glands continue to overproduce cortisol and estrogen. This leads to your pancreas secreting more insulin, and you get symptoms of what is commonly known as “adrenal gland exhaustion.” All is Well ~ Louise L. Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz

Continual high adrenaline (epinephrine) levels cause the repetitive release of insulin increasing carbohydrates to convert to fat in the liver.  Weight gain and obesity add to ill effects to the endocrine system, muscle joints, and digestion, with loss energy and self esteem.  In bipolar people, this is all that is necessary to produce insulin insensitivity and, ultimately diabetes.  These are genuine threats to their health.

“A balance of thyroid hormone in the brain is crucial for maintaining mood stability. If you suffer from a deficit or an excess of thyroid hormone resulting from a dysfunctioning gland, you may even experience clear-cut mood swing disorder. Severe hypothyroidism has even been blamed for causing manic-depression, with poor judgment and hallucinations. Doctors always wonder, however, whether such patients might not have preexisting minor forms of manic-depression, which have become more severe as a result of the thyroid imbalance.

 Hyperthyroidism can also cause mood swings in a person who does not have a preexisting mood disorder. In some people, an overactive thyroid can result in an elated mood called “hypomania” or “mania” depending on whether the elation is moderate (hypomania involves no major behavioral disturbances) or severe (mania is associated with irrational behavior). In some patients, the thyroid condition may not be diagnosed until several years after the onset of the mood swing disorder that it caused  ~ The Thyroid Solution: A Revolutionary Mind-Body Program for Regaining Your Emotional and Physical Health ~ Ridha Arem

LITHIUM AND THE BRAIN

 “Lithium tweaks many mood-altering chemicals in the brain, and its effects are complicated. Most interesting, lithium seems to reset the body’s circadian rhythm, its inner clock. In normal people, ambient conditions, especially the sun, dictate their humors and determine when they are tuckered out for the day. They’re on a twenty-four-hour cycle. Bipolar people run on cycles independent of the sun. And run and run.” ~ Sam Kean, The Disappearing Spoon

The brain is what helps you to make sense of the world, taking in information from your environment and sending messages throughout your body. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch are not only an essential part of our memories, they help to understand the changes happening around us.  But any change in the brain, even the subtlest change, can have a major impact on our feelings, thoughts and action.

Suppose you were given a chemical that blocked the absorption of the vitamin niacin in your central nervous system. The result would be “instant mental illness,” most likely violence, during which you might smash all the furniture, throw it out the window, then run out into the street and attack a total stranger passing by who had stopped to watch the ruckus.

“For some people, use of antidepressant drugs and/or stimulants can be linked to the onset of some manic symptoms. Research has shown that B complex deficiencies commonly occur in 80 percent of bipolar people. Also, many bipolars are anemic, with low levels of B12 and folic acid, and shown a lower uptake of inositol when compared to a control group. So orthomolecular physicians have now paired the use of lithium with the intake of daily B complex vitamins, which work synergistically with lithium. In this way, high lithium doses can be substantially reduced, thus eliminating many devastating side effects.”  ~ Depression-Free Naturally: 7 Weeks to Eliminating Anxiety, Despair, Fatigue And Anger From Your Life ~ Joan Matthews Larson, Ph.D.

Our blood circulates the love of life from the heart throughout our whole body.  When we are anemic, we are deficient in red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues and removes carbon dioxide.  One of the causes of anemia in manic depressives, is excessive blood cell destruction which can be metaphysically explained as ‘losing one’s will to live. When we feel discouraged, hopeless or helpless we lose touch with our needs and desires—we feel as if we’re withering away.

“The messages we unconsciously give our bodies are thus a determining factor in our state of wellness. Messages based on failure, despair and anxiety are ones that present a negative, dying feeling and will cause the body to react by breaking down the defence mechanisms (that is, the immune system) and preparing for death. Even if our worries and fears are imaginary, the message will still translate into physical illness as our bodies feel endangered and threatened”. ~ Debbie Shapiro ~ The BodyMind Workbook 

Research at the National Institute of Mental Health suggests that bipolar people are hypersensitive to acetylcholine, a chemical that carries memory messages in the brain. They found that cholinergic receptors (the chemical hitching posts on cells that receive acetylcholine) are far more numerous in the brains of manic depressives.

(Acetycholine controls the brain’s speed, creativity, self-esteem, criticism, short-term memory, language, sensory impressions and interpretations, speech, reading and thought. It also controls all muscle contractions.)

One substance that blocks acetycholine is lithium, which we all have in low levels. It is one of the best drugs, at the moment, for treating bipolar depression.  But is it the best treatment?

Psychiatric News outlined the widespread difficulties that lithium causes in an article called “Lithium and Memory Loss.” Besides causing memory loss, the high does of lithium needed to stop manic moods are often toxic to the nervous system, causing tremors in many users. And at high levels lithium suppresses thyroid function and can cause hypothyroidism and mental confusion.

“Scientists have gained insight into why lithium salts are effective at treating bipolar disorder in what could lead to more targeted therapies with fewer side-effects.” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120313103922.htm

“I have often asked myself whether, given the choice, I would choose to have manic-depressive illness. If lithium were not available to me, or didn’t work for me, the answer would be a simple no… and it would be an answer laced with terror.

 But lithium does work for me, and therefore I can afford to pose the question. Strangely enough, I think I would choose to have it. It’s complicated…” ~  Kay Redfield Jamison

“Lithium, don’t want to lock me up inside.

Lithium, don’t want to forget how it feels without…

Lithium, I want to stay in love with my sorrow.

Oh, but God, I want to let it go.” ~ – Lyrics from “Lithium” by band EVANESCENCE

NEUROTRANSMITTERS

A neurotransmitter is a brain chemical specifically for communication that happens between brain cells.  It’s incredible that these neurotransmitters can zigzag and flash through the mass of brain neurons at speeds of up to 150 mph carrying your every thought and feelings.  Of the 100 identified, the one’s best known are: acetylcholine, dopamine, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin.

Everyday our neuropeptides try to work hard to keep us functioning at a peak performance but chemicals, food colorings, sugar, trans-fats, food preservatives, traffic fumes, second hand smoke, stress, anxiety and lack of sleep slows them down.  One of the best ways to boost your dopamine is exercise, swimming, biking walking and running. Playing board games and computer games help to replenish dopamine too. Walking in nature enhances GABA, and creative writing (poems, songs) help to restore acetylcholine.  Violent movies and loud ‘hard’ music or angry words decrease the production of acetylcholine.

“[An] exciting safe substance that has a lithium-like effect on the brain is the amino acid taurine, which is a calming inhibitory neruotransmitter that naturally blocks the effect of excitatory transmitters like acetycholine. Manic depressives have very low taurine levels when measured in the lab. A taurine deficiency cuases far greater symptoms in women than mean (hypothyroid, lethargy, and depression), and bipolar disorder is twice as common in women. Science also documents hereditary depression in taurine-deficient persons. Taurine has been successfully substituted for lithium (500 mg. three times daily) and, unlike lithium has no side effects.” Depression-Free Naturally: 7 Weeks to Eliminating Anxiety, Despair, Fatigue And Anger From Your Life ~ Joan Matthews Larson, Ph.D.

And from another source…..

“Taurine is an amino acid made in the liver from cysteine that is known to play a role in the brain by eliciting a calming effect. A deficiency of this amino acid may increase a bipolar patient’s manic episodes. In addition, eighty percent of bipolar sufferers have some vitamin B deficiencies (often accompanied by anemia [46]. The combination of essential vitamin supplements with the body’s natural supply of lithium reduces depressive and manic symptoms of patients suffering from bipolar disorder [47]. ~ Functional Foods: The Connection Between Nutrition, Health and Food Science ~ edited by Leah Coles

THE LIMBIC BRAIN

LIMBIC SYSTEM

The main transportation of the nervous system is the brain.  It is the best organized 3 lbs of matter in the known universe.  Tens of billions of tiny nerve cells transmit electrical signals from the nerves to the brain.  And each nerve cell in the brain is connected to many other cells in the brain and is affected by them.  The whole brain hums actively firing in circuits or loops, round and round like a pinwheel, throwing off sparks of energy on each cycle.  Great masses of nerve cells unite together to create a marvelous orchestra which plays thoughts of truth and beauty, which creates creative imagination.

“How do billions of nerve cells within the brain communicate with each other? One way is through the amazing molecules called chemical messengers or neurotransmitters. These substances are made within each nerve cell and are secreted through the synapse, the space between one cell and the next. The “mood pathways” in the brain that we have been referring to consist of the chemical messenger systems that travel through and innervate the prefrontal-limbic complex”. Women’s Moods ~ Deborah Sichel, M.D., and Jeanne Watson Driscoll, M.s., R.N., C.S.

Carl Sagan on the Brain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SHc67Hep48

When symptoms of depression and anxiety occur, they originate from the limbic brain, but they involve the cortex as well, since severe depression is associated with diminished eyesight, poor judgment, lack of motivation and attention—all functions of the higher levels of brain. As the brain evolved over time, the cortex grew larger and we developed the capacity to control our emotions, hold back our anger and modify the impulses coming from the more primitive part of the brain called the limbic.

The cortex is divided into two halves or hemispheres and each holds a different function—though separate, these two halves are joined by a boomerang-shaped band of fibers’ or bridge call the corpus callosum which allows the left-brain and right-brain to talk to each other.

The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and enables us to figure out problems logically, to speak and write, to understand science and numbers.  The right side of the brain controls your left side of the body and is your creative side—this is where your vivid imagination and artistic ability comes from and your love for music.

“Rich connections also exist between the amygdala in the temporal lob of the brain and the stomach. These connections allow our intense emotions—fear, anxiety, anger and rage, threat, intimidation—to be felt in the stomach and abdomen.  Since the amygdala plays an important role in memory, it can also moderate the degree to which adverse or traumatic experiences can produce changes in the GI system.  In animals the amygdala controls whether the animals feel resilient (powerful) or vulnerable in stress situations.  The more helpless the feeling in the face of threat, restraint, and aggression, the greater the individual’s likelihood of developing ulcers”.   AWAKENING INTUITION Mona Lisa Schulz

We are all born with genetically programmed instincts which are located in what’s called the primitive brain or amygdala which in the fight/flight response showers the body and brain with chemicals, quickly turning the stress button ON.  When we sense danger, the autonomic (instinctual) nervous system signals the body to release the hormone adrenaline into the blood stream, providing instant energy to the hearts, lungs, and muscles.  We are pumped up and ready to fight or run.

“A fundamental assumption in this work is that the brain has multiple memory systems, each devoted to different kinds of memory functions. For traumatic memory, two systems are particularly important. For example, if you return to the scene of an accident, you will be reminded of the accident and will remember where you were going, who you were with, and other details about the experience. These are explicit (conscious) memories mediated by the hippocampus and other aspects of the temporal lobe memory system. In addition, your blood pressure and heart rate may rise, you may begin to sweat, and your muscles may tighten up. These are implicit (unconscious) memories mediated by the amygdala and its neural connections”. Joseph LeDoux

HYPOTHALAMUS AND PITUITARY

The hypothalamus controls the autonomic nervous system, regulating temperature, water metabolism, reproduction, hunger and thirst, and our state of alertness. It’s responsible for turning the stress switch on in the body—stimulating the fight or flight reaction, raising the blood pressure, the heart rate, and breathing rate—it also has centers for emotions: anger, fear, pain, and pleasure.

Connected to the hypothalamus, and continually influencing it are the ‘higher’ centers of the brain which give us our senses, memory, creativity and thought.  So theoretically, our hormone cycles could be controlled by the power of pure thought.

The pituitary gland hangs like a little round bag from the hypothalamus and controls the total balance of hormones in the body. We have come to call it the Master Gland of the body, also known as 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 continually sends messages to all the other glands in our body and regulates our sexual development.

Hormones, like the rest of our bodies are created from the food we eat. In order to create all the hormones we need in sufficient quantities, we have to get enough of the nutrients they’re composed of and to make enzymes and other substances that affect the production, metabolism and functioning of our hormones.

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.

When we’re under stress the brain immediately responds by triggering the release of specific hormones from the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal gland areas (HPA axis).  Acute and chronic stress triggers the fight/flight response causing our heart and breathing to increase, and the blood vessels to constrict—adrenaline starts to flow through the body, digestion shuts down as blood is shunted away from the digestive tract and sent to the muscles. Most people after a particularly frightful or angry encounter,feel exhausted. They suddenly feel the need to sleep or pull away from the problem.

During traumatic stress, stress neuropeptides norepinephrine and cortisol disconnect the left-brain “talk” memory systems, but simultaneously turn up the process. The neurotransmitter norepinephrine turns on the domino effect of depression to disease in the body, and acetylcholine turns off the inflammatory cascade.

Elevated levels of adrenaline can also cause an elevation in triglycerides, which are fats in the blood, and elevation of blood sugar…also not good. Elevated levels of adrenaline over time can also cause blood to clot faster (which contributes to plaquing), the thyroid too becomes overly stimulated, and the body produces more cholesterol.

“In the last decade, neurobiologists have reported structural differences in at least two regions of the human brain.  One is the corpus callosum, the mind’s big “telephone” cable, connecting as it does hundreds of millions of neurons between the two hemispheres.  The other is the hypothalamus, the master controller for the integration of many basic behavioral patterns from temperature regulation and appetite to sex drives—involving brain and endocrine functions, Neuroendocrine research also strongly indicates that nervous system differences begin as sex hormones bathe the developing fetus in the womb.  Hormonal differences continuing through childhood—and perhaps even through adult life—affect brain activity and guide performance.  Other studies suggest that men and women may process the same information differently and yet come to the same of similar conclusion.”  Kathryn Phillips

Cortisol stays in the body longer than adrenaline, interferes with digestion and suppresses the immune system allowing tumors if present, to grow faster. Cortisol can create a fearful, threatened feeling that overstimulates our whole system. Unexplained muscle aches, chronic headaches, feeling hopeless or helpless and crying more than usual are signs of chronic overarousal. Anxiety coupled with cortisol has been known to cause unexplained heart palpitations, a nervous stomach, road rage and short temperedness.)

The pituitary happens to sit quite comfortably just above the sphenoid bone, which looks very much like a throne made of wings. Side by side these wings have long been referred to as the ‘Swan’, (although to me they look more like the wings of a bat) and in Grail lore the Swan is symbolic of the fully enlightened being. This is the ultimate realm of consciousness achieved by the medieval Knights of the Swan, such as Perceval and Lohengrin. One of the functions of the sphenoid is to solidify and stabilize our digested memories and patterns with the imagination so that we are able to do what we call visualizing, or inner seeing.

For further information on the pituitary and endocrine glands go here

THE PINEAL GLAND

Resembling a pine cone, the pineal gland, located just above the pituitary gland, secretes the hormone melatonin, a light sensitive hormone known to affect sleep, mood and the reproductive cycle.  Usually levels of this hormone rise at night and subside at dawn. In Part I of this series we learnt that melatonin is associated with Season Affective Disorder (SAD) especially in the darker seasons like Autumn and Winter.

The pineal gland acts in two ways to inhibit the action of the pituitary gland. First, the pituitary gland is responsible for activating adolescence and the beginning of sexuality, and the pineal gland checks the pituitary gland to prevent premature sexual awakening. Second, 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 your own  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 creates an opening  what mystics have called the third eye (a higher form of intelligence)

THE SEAT OF ALL PASSION – THE AMYGDALA

The amygdala’s main role is emotion, including what we call intuition. It plays a major role in dreaming, and religious and spiritual experience, Including telepathy and ESP.

“Our world is only one in a cluster of consecutive worlds, arranged like the layers of an onion. Even though we have been energetically conditioned to perceive solely our world, we still have the capability of entering into those other realms, which are as real, unique, absolute, and engulfing as our own world is.” Carlos Castenadas ~ The Art of Dreaming

In the human brain, the amygdala normally filters out most of reality, yet, when its hyperactivated, you will suddenly be able to experience what is normally filtered out—you will suddenly be able to see and taste sound, you can feel colors, and you can experience realms of reality that are normally suppressed.

When bipolar individuals are manic, passion and enthusiasm for life is not without its dangers.  When the amygdala is in a hyperactive state, manics can be carried along in a reckless pace. When passion veers out of control they experience a highly unrelaxing force that when it overwhelms them, their sense of true passion is lost.

“Then, as time rolls on, my head really speeds up; ideas are moving so fast they’re stumbling over each other and I begin to get this sense of power–power over other people. I begin to feel that what I think and do is of significance to those around me, even to the universe at large. I think of myself as having special insight, as understanding things that others do not, and with a special capacity to lead. I recognize now that these are warning signs.”  ~ Stephan Szabo

The amygdala, an almond-shaped structure in the limbic brain is also the brain’s alerting system to stressful and emotional situations. When triggered by stress or anxiety, it alerts several bodily systems—the gut, skin, heart, muscles, eyes, face, ears, and adrenals to be on the lookout for incoming stimuli.  The amygdala notes threats in the environment and decides whether you should freeze, run or fight for your life.  Imprinted onto the amygdala’s memory are massive fears and traumatic incidents that affected you since your birth (even registering unbearable pain in others).  Many of your fears were instigated by your parents in the very early part of your life ‘before’ you developed your ability to think things through.

The amygdala controls the production of neurotransmitters, *serotonin and norepinephrine—low serotonin levels cause us to be impulsive, aggressive, anxious, restless, and depressed—exhibit compulsive habits including overeating and drug and alcohol abuse.

The more active the amygdala becomes, the more you’ll struggle to keep your emotions steady. You may get mad at people for no reason and replay memories and conversations in your head that happened years ago. It’s like every waking moment of your day is spent muttering about something you have no control over.  The amygdala is like a runaway horse, going where it wants, with you barely hanging on—the more you hold on—the more energized the amygdala becomes.  And the stronger the amygdala—the tighter your muscular system becomes and the more tense the mind.

The Amygdala and Hypersexuality

“When that pure, euphoric filling hits I become hypersexual—sex is a no-no word even to the doctors, but we have to talk about it!!!  When I’m manic, I can literally have sex with anything that moves—and the truth is I really couldn’t care less about the other person—it’s a conquest, a game, that’s thrilling and fun—a game that can last for hours or days!!  My biggest problem with this is—I’m married!!” (Bipolar woman) 

“I take antidepressants which is like a chemical neutering because it takes away all my sexual desires. (Peter T.)

“When hypersexual I keep myself locked up so i don’t do anything stupid or crazy—it’s like i become very promiscuous and then I feel shameful, dirty and filled with regret”(Susan W.)

“Though hypersexuality may present itself as just one aspect in a constellation of problems, it is often the most destructive and challenging part of bipolar disorder—troubling families of young children suffering from juvenile hypersexuality, ruining marriages, generating life-threatening health problems. “The one thing I regret is what I did to my husband,” says Bev, a middle-aged woman from rural Quebec who was diagnosed with bipolar a few years ago. “He was a good man and we would have had a good retirement together.”http://www.bphope.com/Item.aspx/522/opening-the-door-on-hypersexuality

THE HIPPOCAMPUS

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

 The amygdala adjoins the hippocampus, known as the ‘library of short-term memories’ which converts short term experiences into long term memories and then stores them in other parts of the brain.  (Your hippocampus is active right now as your reading this.)

The brain receives up to ten billion pieces of information per second.  Negative emotional shocks such as fear, tension, stress, frustration, anger and guilt are stored in the brain and sorted in order by a nervous structure called the reticulate ‘substance’ or ‘formation’. Metaphysical causes of the body happen when emotional residue pours into your organs causing pain and discomfort.

 “A fundamental assumption in this work is that the brain has multiple memory systems, each devoted to different kinds of memory functions. For traumatic memory, two systems are particularly important. For example, if you return to the scene of an accident, you will be reminded of the accident and will remember where you were going, who you were with, and other details about the experience. These are explicit (conscious) memories mediated by the hippocampus and other aspects of the temporal lobe memory system. In addition, your blood pressure and heart rate may rise, you may begin to sweat, and your muscles may tighten up. These are implicit (unconscious) memories mediated by the amygdala and its neural connections”. Joseph LeDoux

Repetitive traumas will throw the body into a constant state of anxiety and stress causing the hippocampus to remodel itself and shrink. There are studies out there saying that antidepressants help the hippocampus grow new cells in people with Bipolar, PTSD and other emotional traumas.

THALAMUS

The thalamus is the key relay station or distribution center, transporting incoming information from all parts of the nervous system.  It’s important for processing all sensory data (taste, pain and memory) except smell. “Thalamus” means “couch” in Greek: it is where the cerebral hemispheres sit.

When the thalamus isn’t working as it should, it’s most likely because we are feeling disconnected from our ‘true self’. When we lose touch with our authentic self we feel as if everything in life is piling on top of us.  Life is messy, chaotic and very confusing. This loss of self is an underlying problem with several types of addictive and compulsive disorders such as alcohol and mind alerting drugs.

There is no doubt the earth’s changing energies are intensifying our emotions and feelings. The news tells this to us daily with more and more violent crimes. More antidpressant pills are being taken more than ever. More people are in prison, and more people suffer from serious mental illness than ever before.  I think the root of our problems are literally from anything that upsets the safety of our world—a world that is continually changing.  The earth’s magnetic field has a mutual relationship with both the sun and moon and with all the life forms of the ‘biosphere’ (plants, bacteria, fish insects, mammals).  Although this field is subtle it influences the behavior of every living organism.  We are no exception as we contain an auric field generated by the beating of our hearts and by all our body processes…but our body rhythms respond to fluctuations in the earth’s magnetic field—and our bodies are polarized—the head end negative and the tail or feet positive—similar to a battery.

“Fleeing the raw, wounded places in ourselves because we don’t think we  can handle them is a form of self-abandonment”. John Welwood

If you grew up in a troubled family, more than likely you had to hide your true self to survive and what we call the ‘false self’ dominated most of your life. You soon learned that you could never win the full approval of your parents, no matter how much effort you put forward.  Nothing was ever good enough and you never felt quite accepted and you never learnt to accept yourself either—everything you did was a perfect performance for someone else.  This mask is who we pretended to be in an atmosphere of abuse or neglect from within or, later, outside the family.

I do believe, though, that the ‘child within’ still has needs, and from time to time will peep out or show itself through manic behaviors or violent explosive emotions—often hurting the child or someone else.  If these behaviors continue, they could result later in life as eating disorders, compulsive gambling, religious addiction, workaholism, mental illness and family violence.

INTRODUCING PART III ~ Bipolar

Inside each of us is a variety of subpersonalities (archetypes) (eg., the hero, the victim, the nurturer) that contribute to how we respond to life experiences.

In Part III on Manic Depression we’re going to look at astrological charts of three different people diagnosed with manic depression who’ve worked very hard on  themselves and continue to do so through the aid of self-help groups, books, divination, therapies and frequent visits to their doctors.

We’re going to look at several different aspects, including the association of the moon with one’s home, family life and mother, motherhood and long-term bonds and behaviors.  Anatomically the moon represents the stomach, thus it emphasizes a direct link between what we eat and how we feel. It also provides clues to what may be “eating” at us. Psychology rarely studies the role the moon and how it plays in respect to changing moods or the sensations these give rise to, especially with people with bipolar.  Each of us responds to the moon’s cycle in our own unique way and looking at the moon phases, we can learn from them.

Astrology and numerology are a form of divination containing an internal communication network providing us with clues to our mental, physical, and emotional framework; they help us understand our body’s present state including all its past history. Step by step they point us in the right direction, guiding us through the healing process.

To be continued….

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

Great Links….

This blog takes you to into the heart of a bipolar  https//bruisedbybipolar.wordpress.com

Excellent Lecture on the Limbic System ~ Sex, Hallucinations, Emotions, Memory, PTSD, Amygdala    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7nXiXQb2iM   

What is Lithium   http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?  Section=About_Medications&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=51&ContentID=20820

Bipolar Disorder and Highly Sensitive People    mentalhealthtalk.info/bipolar_hsp

Bipolar Disorder and Brain   http://www.brainexplorer.org/bipolar_disorder/Bipolar_Disorder_Aetiology.shtml

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“I have ADD. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been messy, disorganized, talk too fast and write way too fast. I’m always anxious and can’t sit still; I start something then move onto something else so quickly, I can’t focus on the first thing to get it done. I used to cheat at school…the only thing that saved me was my creative abilities…I was put in every music/art class my high school offered. My focus is incredible when I’m doing what I love but doing stuff I don’t like or don’t want to do is a nightmare and that causes many problems. I have so many unfinished projects. (College student)

“My son has ADHD and is totally addicted, obsessed and consumed with video games. The strangest thing is, they help tremendously to calm him down and he notices the fine detail and frames better than me.” (Father of child with ADHD)

“People will be talking to me and my head or my mind will suddenly travel and drift off into outer space..then I’m come back and try to catch-up and listen but then my thoughts or day-dreams take me off to somewhere else…I doze off at the oddest moments (Andy with ADD)

Not that long ago there was little support or information available to help us understand learning and mental disorders.   Those afflicted with learning and mental disorders were basically on their own causing them to feel more and more pessimistic and withdrawn. Their families and those around them were in denial and they would blame themselves repeatedly on what looked like failures in their lives. Society told them to get on with their lives and pull themselves together yet they didn’t know how. To anyone on the outside, it appeared they weren’t in control of themselves.

It wasn’t until the beginning of the 21st century that mental disorders came out of the closet and were considered a ‘real illness’. Actors/actresses and authors admitted and openly discussed their stories of mood disorders and treatments; it was a true relief from those who suffered from inexplicable sensitivities and dramatic mood swings.

Every aspect of the way you live will influence the mind/body system and the thousands of neurons in the brain. The brain and body work as a mind/body connection–especially when the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) are in balance or in sync together. From the food we eat, to everyday stresses, to the chemical pollutants that get into our bodies, all these affect our behavior, causing nerve fibres to become tangled in our brains.

 “From a bodymind perspective every illness has a psycho/emotional connection; some are simply more obvious than others. There is no clear separation between what is happening in the mind and what is happening in the body. Both the physical problems that arise and the mental battles that rage within have the same importance.

 Mental and emotional disorders are real, and they are not necessarily cured by medical intervention. Anti-depressants are not a cure. Most of the therapies available aim to normalize according to society’s idea of what normal is, although more holistic and sympathetic systems are now emerging that treat the person, recognizing that each of us is a unique individual with specific needs.” YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro

Why are more and more children being classified with this disorder? Many of the children labeled as ADD/ADHD are diagnosed through their behavior and not measured through neurological testing. So any child who doesn’t follow the basic law of standards and rules by a school are diagnosed with some kind of learning disorder. In many cases children are being labeled with ADHD when, in fact, they are simply normal kids who are particularly bright and have a need to explore the subjects he or she are passionate about and that will stimulate and build their willingness to learn. Some children suffer from dyxpraxia; which is basically a problem in knowing what to do and how to go about doing it.

INDIGO CHILDREN

“Indigo Children are children who are brilliant and creative yet unconventional. Many of them are psychic, highly emotionally sensitive, or highly physically sensitive. Some of them have attention deficit disorder or learning disabilities. Some of them are angry or nonconformist, while others are exceptionally tolerant and compassionate. Indigo Children can be spiritually advanced beyond their years. Your Indigo child may have some but not all of these attributes. The main thing to know about Indigo Children is they don’t fit into a mold. They’re different, and they are here to change the world.” ~The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Indigo Children ~ by Wendy H. Chapman, Carolyn Flynn

I hummed and hawed about adding the indigo children. What actually changed my mind was the color ‘indigo’ itself; a color not only difficult to describe but difficult to perceive as well.   Its inky blackness is unstable; an elusive color—known to dissolve boundaries; it seduces and liberates or overwhelms the mind. Indigo exists between purple and blue; sometimes almost black and ‘always’ with a hew of red. It’s associated with the 6th chakra (3rd eye) which is in the region of the brain, eyes, ears, nose, pineal and pituitary glands.

(Too much of the color indigo can decrease the function of the thyroid gland affecting one’s thoughts, speech as well as fatigue, muscles aches and weakness. This is discussed later on in this blog.)

“The health issues related to the sixth emotional centre span from ailments of the brain, eyes and ears to broader themes of learning and developmental problems. As with the other emotional centers, if we are discussing a part of the body, the illness is often caused by certain thoughts and behavior patterns. However, when discussing the larger themes, the thoughts and behaviors do not stand as the cause; they are merely a factor that exacerbates certain tendencies, such as ADHD or dyslexia.….

 People who struggle with health in the sixth emotional center have an imbalance in how they see and learn from the world. Some are rooted in the earthly realm, with no connection to the greater universe, and others are totally connected to the mystical realm without a foot on the earthly plane. Finding a way to balance the input of both these realms when facing life’s ups and downs bring health in the sixth emotional center.” All is Well: Heal your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition ~ Louise L. Hay, Mona Lisa Schulz

Something I’ve noticed with ADHD individuals in regard to the chakras, is at times the 3rd chakra (yellow) and the 2nd chakra (orange) can pulsate causing them to feel irritable, unsettled and anxious. When these chakras fluctuate between overactive and underactive, we become unbalanced and absorb way too much information from our environment.   This causes tension and stress to buildup, causing irrational thoughts and hyperactivity.

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

MY SON IS ADHD

My oldest son was diagnosed with ADHD in grade school, and I know for a fact, he took great pleasure in defying anything that had to do with rules or tasks that weren’t creative. In preschool he’d roll around on the floor, often rolling up to the teacher and try to tickle her toes. When it was reading time, all the kids would sit in a circle except Jason who’d constantly fidget and rock his body to and fro or comically march around the room, creating havoc. At home, he wasn’t as hyper at school but always seemed to crave some kind of movement.   Health-wise he suffered from multiple earaches as a child and as a teen struggled with psoriasis and acne.

ADD/ADHD’ers are sensitive, hyper, impulsive, inattentive, extremely bright and highly animated adults and kids; they’re always on the move and have trouble sitting still.   It can be hard to prove some children display ADHD tendencies because all kids display some ADHD behaviors. ADD/ADHD people don’t understand linear time, their thinking is scattered; they have trouble establishing priorities and organizing their lives; they can drive everyone around them crazy.

“It’s..understandable that people might think children with ADHD have brains that process faster than their peers. However…people with ADHD actually suffer from an increased amount of slow brain waves, as evidenced by electroencephalograms (EEGs) (American Psychiatric Association 2013). These slow waves are the “sleepy” theta waves that are seen in ultimate relaxation or stage-two sleep. “This means they are producing theta slow waves (4-8Hz) when they should be producing beta fast waves (12-21Hz),”…this disorder is “related to ‘under arousal’ of the frontal and prefrontal brain systems that regulate attention and impulse control. Children who demonstrate symptoms of ADHD often show smaller and/or slower than normal physiological reactions to stimuli,” and this shows that their brains operate at lower levels of excitement…

 … such children can tend to seek stimulation from their external environment, which can present as hyperactivity and/or impulsivity… This is why it seems as though children with ADHD need to get their energy out in a very excessive manner! They appear almost like energy junkies. They gravitate toward activities that produce emotional and sensory stimulation, which seem to be more action-oriented, offering immediate rewards. Things such as “loud music, colorful toys, big motion outside activities, action-packed video games, and so forth offer the right stimulation” (Managing your ADHD Child 2000-2011).” Toddlers & ADHD: Relief for Parents, A Guide for Clinicians and Teachers ~ Donna Mac LCPC

When Jason was being tested for ADHD, I was learning and obtaining my license to drive school bus part-time. Interestingly, when I was given my bus schedule for the new school year in September, the children on my routes were all Special Needs. Each child was to be independently driven to their appropriate school to avoid becoming overexcited by other children on the bus. The parents to these children were astounding! They were such compassionate, spiritual souls—eagerly sharing what they’d learned about alternative medicines and information to help me understand their children and my own son. As I digested all the information, I realized that I had been trying to mould my son into the type of child that I wanted instead of accepting the child that I had been given. For the first time in my life I was looking at the “problem” from his perspective and found out that my attempts to “change him for the better” must have appeared to him as if I was rejecting him; trying to change him into something that he was not. Jason was teaching Me!

I discovered different aspects to my son’s character that I never knew existed because I was reacting and too focused on his behavioral problems. I received a great deal of inspiration when I thought all avenues had been exhausted. It is such an amazing feeling to receive help from people who understood, and took the trouble to offer such kind and helpful advice. Hopefully we can share the same kind of energy.

 “The child labeled with ADD is given medication to keep him calm, but no one seems to know why he’s hyperactive, and some adults never even ask the question. The reality may be that he’s just not interested in what this world is teaching him. These oft-gifted and highly misunderstood children already know much of what’s being taught and seek challenges elsewhere. The fact that children labeled with ADD can focus on anything at all should tell you this label is false. That the youngster may not want to pay attention in school but can focus on a video game for hours should tell you it’s the subject matter, not the child that needs to be addressed.” Healing with Source: A Spiritual Guide to Mind-Body Medicine ~ Dave Markowitz

I’ve noticed ADD/ADHD’ers are the first to react to what is happening to them at the moment. They are affected by what’s happening in their environment and especially when something’s off. It’s as if they were born with extreme sensitivities, making them aware of all kinds of subtle messages from outside and inside; many of them are empathic, psychic and very sensitive to their environment. This also means they are easily overwhelmed by touch and clothing against their skin. My son would cry when his shoes felt too tight, or his socks seemed lumpy. He’d scream and yell, at home or at school, until he yanked them off and hurled them away. He hated baths, wouldn’t wear hats or mittens even when it was freezing outside. Getting him to eat was also very difficult—he used to hide his food in his cheeks like a chipmunk.

You can’t be a traditional parent, to ADD/ADHD’ers and you can’t educate them in the traditional way….these kids and adults are very creative and relate best to activities/courses that allow them to explore their creativity. You won’t find an ADHD’er behind the desk doing accounting or talking business on the phone. These special people are the performers, actors, musicians, writers, teachers, photographers and designers of our world. They have unique visual perceptions and often see energies others don’t usually see. They are tuned into something that most of us only get glimpses of—they are tuned into a higher spiritual vibration.

“The ADD/ADHD patient compensates for the increased theta production with hyperactivity. For example, have you ever driven down a road late at night and found yourself becoming sleepy? What do you do? Open the window, turn up the volume on the radio [and sing loudly], or tap the dashboard? You make yourself hyperactive to stay awake! The ADD/ADHD patient that is producing too many slow waves is in a perpetual state of fogginess and is constantly trying to stay awake—hence the hyperactivity” (Brain and Body Solutions n.d.). This is what student with ADHD do in school—they fidget, wiggle, shift body position, and tap their pencils in an attempt to stay focused and awake, which are observations I make on a daily basis at the therapeutic day school where I work. Toddlers & ADHD ~ Donna Mac, LCPC

ADD/ADHD And The BRAIN

“A variety of factors mold your brain and determine how you ultimately pay attention. If your mother was stressed when pregnant with you, especially in the first trimester, her elevated androgen levels would have altered how your right and left brain perceive the world. In addition to an increased risk of dyslexia, you’re less likely to develop the traditional focused attention. You atypical attention style is likely to give you exaggerated empathetic and intuitive gifts and possibily creative and artistic skills. If a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, however, all attention pathways in the fetal brain become disordered. Alcohol not only damages the developing corpus callosum, the connection between the right and left brain, but also injures developing white-matter nerve pathways involved in every aspect of attention. Children and adults with fetal alcohol syndrome suffer the most severe forms of attention deficit disorder, with profound hyperactivity so disabling that they have trouble functioning in the world.” The New Feminine Brain ~ Mona Lisa Schulz

The brain is what helps us to make sense of the world, taking in information from your environment and sending messages throughout your body. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch are not only an essential part of our memories, they help to understand the changes happening around us. But any change in the brain, even the most subtlest change, can have a major impact on our feelings, thoughts and action.

The right brain, left brain look very similar and share much of the work in thinking. However, each side has special tasks. The left side of the brain enables us to figure out problems logically, to speak and write, to understand science and numbers. The right side is your creative side—this is where your vivid imagination and artistic ability comes from and your love for music.

“In the last decade, neurobiologists have reported structural differences in at least two regions of the human brain.   One is the corpus callosum, the mind’s big “telephone” cable, connecting as it does hundreds of millions of neurons between the two hemispheres. The other is the hypothalamus, the master controller for the integration of many basic behavioral patterns from temperature regulation and appetite to sex drives—involving brain and endocrine functions, Neuroendocrine research also strongly indicates that nervous system differences begin as sex hormones bathe the developing fetus in the womb. Hormonal differences continuing through childhood—and perhaps even through adult life—affect brain activity and guide performance. Other studies suggest that men and women may process the same information differently and yet come to the same of similar conclusion.” Kathryn Phillips

Neurotransmitters

A neurotransmitter is a brain chemical specifically for communication to happen between brain cells. It’s incredible that these neurotransmitters can zigzag and flash through the mass of brain neurons at speeds of up to 150 mph carrying your every thought and feelings. Of the 100 identified, the one’s best known are: acetylcholine, dopamine, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin.

Acetycholine controls the brain’s speed, creativity, self-esteem, criticism, short-term memory, language, sensory impressions and interpretations, speech, reading and thought. It also controls all muscle contractions. Both stress and poor diet can cause acetycholine to decline.

Dopamine is the brains revitalizer. It controls energy release, energy consumption, drive and excitement about new ideas. It also keeps us alert and vigilant, controlling the release of the hormones norepinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol for the fight/flight response. When dopamine levels are low, these control circuits are sluggish, slow to respond, and less effective. (Many ADHD kids are low in iron and iron is needed to make dopamine.)

Dopamine levels are affected by serotonin, norepinephine and GABA. For example higher levels of serotonin have been known to decrease the level of dopamine. If there isn’t enough dopamine, it’s more difficult for people to feel creative, happy, calm and objective.

GABA works to stop excess nerve signals and keeps the brain from getting out of control. It controls the brain’s rhythm of thinking, talking and hearing and calms and quiets the brain. With ADD/ADHD children and adults GABA levels are low causing them to feel hyper, anxious, and lethargic.

Serotonin is the brains’ mood rejuvenator but too much can cause depression and too little causes us to be impulsive, aggressive, anxious, restless, and compulsive.

Everyday our neuropeptides try to work hard to keep us functioning at a peak performance but chemicals, food coloring, sugar, trans-fats, food preservatives, traffic fumes, second hand smoke, stress, anxiety and lack of sleep slows them down. One of the best ways to boost your dopamine is exercise, swimming, biking walking and running. Playing board games and computer games help to replenish dopamine too. Walking in nature enhances GABA, and creative writing (poems, songs) help to restore acetylcholine. Violent movies and loud ‘hard’ music or angry words decrease the production of acetylcholine.

“Due to the nature of this disorder, what a child with ADHD actually needs is more stimulation within his brain, so he doesn’t need to gain that stimulation from the environment around him. Have you ever noticed a child with ADHD jumping on a coffee table when he is at an age where he is well aware this is not acceptable behavior? He is trying to self-stimulate through this type of inappropriate movement, to get his brain to a baseline level of arousal. Another common misconception of ADHD is “this child just has to learn he isn’t supposed to jump on tables.” However ADHD is not a disorder of inability to learn; it’s a disorder of an inability to self-regulate. Therefore, he has learned he isn’t supposed to do this. All toddlers obviously crave movement, and movement is crucial for proper brain development. However, there is a normal range and an excessive range for movement in toddlerhood.” Toddlers & ADHD ~ Donna Mac, LCPC

The Left and Right Hemisphere of the Brain

Seen from above, the human brain is divided in two parts and looks similar to two halves of a walnut—these two halves are called the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere. The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and the right hemisphere controls the left. Signals from your sense organs cross over before they enter your brain, going to the opposite hemispheres.

“Those who have suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, commonly called a ‘stroke’, provide clear examples of how this kind of cross-over operates. A stroke in the right hemisphere of the brain will affect victims on the left side of the body. Thus, they can lose control over the muscles in the left hand, left leg, and the left side of the face (including that side of the tongue and mouth). A stroke to the left part of the brain will similarly affect the right side of the body.” Psycholinguistics: Language, Mind and World ~ By Danny D. Steinbert, Hiroshi Nagata, David P. Aline

For the last two hundred years or so, scientists discovered that language and language related capabilities are mainly located in the left hemisphere of most people—approximately 98 percent of right-handers and about two-thirds of left-handers. Because speaking and talking are vitally important in our world, scientists called the left hemisphere dominant and the right side ‘less evolved’ or ‘minor’ and ‘less advanced’ than the left.

It’s only been recently that neuroscience began to understand we have a double brain with two ways of knowing. These two hemispheres (right brain, left brain), perceive reality in their own way and though separate, are joined by a ‘boomerang-shaped band of fibers’ or bridge called the corpus callosum which allows the left brain and right brain to process and relay information between each other.

Children and adults with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and autism have a smaller corpus callosum, which means that they have more difficulty processing outside stimuli. They are easily distracted and alarmed with constant new stimuli bombarding them. This is why most children and adults with ADD function better in classes with fewer children.

THE MEDULLA OBLONGATA AND THE SENSES

At the base of your brain stem is what’s called the Medulla Oblongata. This area at the back of the neck feeds nerve energy to our five senses. When our nerve energy becomes depleted, it’s unable to reach our ears, eyes, throat or mouth. We need our senses to function in the world…every move we make, every bite we eat, every object we touch produces a sensation.

Our senses also tell us when something in our environment doesn’t feel right; the hypothalamus in the brain is what turns the stress switch on and we immediately prepare ourselves for the fight or flight response. When our senses let us know all is well, we relax, feel safe and look for much of the same…if we’re bored we look for something that stimulates us higher.

To do their job well, all the senses have to work together. Together they nourish the brain with many sensations urging us to develop more to improve physically, mentally and emotionally.

But many adults and children who suffer from learning disabilities or some kind of mental illness struggle with the basic ordinary sensations; for some reason their sensitive systems become overloaded and overwhelmed very quickly. It’s difficult for them to know what they feel inside—when this happens, they can become disoriented, confused and lose touch with themselves—this affects their behavior, the way they react, move, learn and relate to others. It also affects how they feel about themselves. Because their central nervous systems have trouble processing through the five senses, they have a hard time functioning in daily life. They look ok on the outside and have a superior intelligence but may be awkward, fearful and withdrawn, or hostile and aggressive. Many adults and children with attention deficit disorder, asperger’s, autism, bi-polar, tourette’s syndrome, and schizophrenia often suffer from low self-esteem and self worth because of their unique condition. Unaware teachers, peers and/or parents may even ridicule them.

“According to the Louise Hay affirmation theory, the health of the sixth emotional center—the brain, eyes, and ears—involves a capacity to be receptive to information and a flexibility to think and reason your way out of situations.

The brain is like a computer, receiving information, processing it, and then carrying out the proper function. Information travels from every part of our body to the brain and from the brain to the body’ however, the brain can be sidetracked in its job by its emotional components such as fear, anger, and inflexibility. All is Well: Heal your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition ~ Louise L. Hay, Mona Lisa Schulz

TOXIC BRAIN SYNDROME

“Of all the body’s systems and processes, the endocrine system is the most susceptible to daily stresses such as thoughts, emotions, environmental factors, nutrition and pollutants. An imbalance in this system can interfere with our ability to sustain health and some of the symptoms can manifest as depression, mood swings, weight or sleep issues, lethargy, low self-esteem, fuzzy brain, loss of libido, headaches, allergies, fatigue, and general aches and pains.” YOUR PERSONAL TUNING FORK: The Endocrine System ~ Deborah Bates

For many children where there seems to be no specific learning disability, there is a condition called toxic brain syndrome which is caused by environmental and dietary toxins, food additives, processed foods, and drugs, and poor nutrition. Food colorings and a preservative called ‘sodium benzoate is know to affect the nervous, immune and hormonal systems, causing hyperactivity in adults and children.

ALLERGIES AND CANDIDA CAN CAUSE LEARNING PROBLEMS

If you suspect you or your child suffer from allergies, talk to your health professional about natural healing alternative. More information about allergies and candida can be found here and here.

When you have an allergic reaction, your body releases histamine into your system, which is the cause of most of your symptoms. Allergies are a symptom of an overloading of toxins in the body, expressed through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat as well as the skin.

Allergies and chemical sensitivities may be responsible for some learning problems, as they allow cytokines to enter the bloodstream and affect normal brain function. Cytokines play a key role in cellular messaging, talking to cells how they should act or react to certain situations. Cytokines, are produced by the cells of the nervous system, and the cells of the immune system, binding to sites in the brain, causing changing in areas such as sleep, attention and mood. Recently there has been speculation that immune system problems may trigger the development ADD/ADHD symptoms.

“Inside the brain, histamine plays an important role in all sorts of reactions [including allergies]. In the hypothalamus, histamine stimulates the release of the important neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Another role of brain histamine is to counterbalance dopamine in that area of the brain that filters incoming sensory information. With too little histamine, dopamine levels can be elevated. The result of having too little histamine can be thought disorders like paranoia, or hallucinations that feel as if your mind is playing tricks on you. You may see or hear things abnormally, and your ears may ring. You will probably make grandiose plans but never have the energy to carry them out….

When histamine levels are abnormally high, there is a tendency to hyperactivity, depression, aggressiveness, compulsive behavior and a racing brain. You may grow obsessive about sex, cry easily, have abnormal fears and contemplate suicide.” 7 Weeks to Emotional Healing ~ Joan Mathews Larson, Ph.D

Your intestinal tract naturally contains small amounts of Candida yeast. But in some cases because of anti-biotics, birth control pills or a high carbohydrate diet, this can cause an overgrowth of the candida yeast, causing candidiasis.   Candidiasis and allergies are so closely linked, they are most often paired together.

Candida becomes a problem when food in the intestines ferments instead of digesting. This overgrowth can penetrate the intestinal lining and find its way into the circulatory/blood system. Some people refer to this as “leaky gut”. What happens with ‘leaky gut’, is undigested food particles (partially digested proteins, fats and bacteria) pass through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream.   The body/immune system in an attempt to protect itself attacks these foreign substances and therefore launches an allergic response. Sometimes the immune system can’t determine the foreign substance and in its confusion to obliterate it, starts attacking the body—this is called an autoimmune disease—the self attacking self.

One of the most common mental complaints of candida is brain fog or difficulty concentrating. Psychological symptoms can cause a variety of symptoms such as: depression, angry outbursts, mood swings, obsessive compulsive behavior (OCB), panic attacks, paranoia, personality changes and even schizophrenic behavior. When candida is treated successfully, the psychological symptoms dissipate as well.

IMMUNIZATIONS/VACCINATIONS

This is such a controversial subject that I honestly don’t have enough knowledge about. I’ve suggested some sites for you to read and increase your awareness about it.

http://www.mercola.com/article/vaccines/neurological_damage.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpPW0lV0WbU

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/75333.php

http://gizmodo.com/5885757/vaccines-dont-cause-autism-please-vaccinate-your-children

ADHD And HYPOTHYROIDISM

In the section on Indigo Children, we touched on the fact that too much of the color, indigo (6th chakra) depresses the performance of the thyroid. The third eye also known as the pineal gland lies deep in the brain and has no direct access to light. Instead it ‘sees’ through our eyes and the amount of light registered on the pineal through the eyes determines the production of melatonin. Melatonin helps to regulates the breakdown of T4 (thyroxine) into the more energetic form, T3 for the thyroid.

“Thyroxine (T4), the main thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid is a small molecule that contains four iodine atoms. In the cells of many organs (including the brain), a well-regulated process causes thyroxine to lose iodine, generating the much more potent thyroid hormone T3. In the brain, probably more so than in any other organ, T3 rather than T4 appears to be the critical form of the hormone that regulates cell functions. Because the amount of T3 present in the brain must remain in an optimal range to keep the mind functioning properly, fluctuations in the crucial process of converting T4 to T3 will inevitably affect the mind.” The Thyroid Solution: A Revolutionary Mind-Body Program for Regaining your ~ Ridha Arem

Melatonin affects our mood, menstrual cycles, estrogen levels, sperm levels and ovulation. When too much of this hormone is in our system, especially during daylight hours, we can suffer mental confusion and depression, skin problems and many other health complications.   People suffering from depression also tend to have large amounts of cortisol, a hormone produced from the adrenal glands, in their bloodstream. Too much cortisol suppresses the thyroid and immune system, resulting in lethargy, irritability, overeating, low self-esteem and mood changes.

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

“The thyroid system is one of the body’s most rightly and precisely regulated systems, Minute changes in the way thyroid hormone is delivered to or dispersed in the brain can have drastic effects on mood, emotions, attention and thinking. A problem with the delivery of T3 can cause disorders ranging from depression to attention deficit in people with normally functioning thyroids. Neuroscientists are teaching us the wide range of ways in which T3 regulates brain function and the brain chemistry syndromes that are likely to result from the alteration of the thyroid hormone levels in the brains of people with normally functioning thyroid glands…..

In patients suffering from generalized resistance to thyroid hormone, thyroid hormone levels could affect other chemical transmitters such as noradrenaline, which is considered to be one of the culprits in ADHD. In such patients, the behavioral symptoms, such as distractibility and restlessness, may improve the T3 treatment. Thyroid hormone treatment could be used alone or in conjunction with other medications to regulate the noradrenaline levels in the brain. The Thyroid Solution: A Revolutionary Mind-Body Program for Regaining your ~ Ridha Arem

Sometimes a genetic defect can cause the thyroid hormone to work less efficiently in the brain, pituitary, and other organs.   Although tests show thyroid levels normal, the brain may actually be deficient in the hormone causing attention deficit disorders. Talk to your doctor about this and he or she will be able to do further tests to determine this.

“To address the thought patterns underlying ADHD, Louise suggests the affirmation “Life loves me. I love myself just the way I am. I am free to create a joyous life that works for me. All is well in my world.” But she also recommends you use other affirmations that address some of the common traits of the disorder. For example, the hyperactivity associated with ADHD is often accompanied by thought patterns that include feeing pressured and frantic. So if you tend to be hyperactive or unfocused, you may need a calming affirmation so you can let go of the anxiousness and worry. A good general affirmation is “I am safe. All pressure dissolves. I AM good enough.” Stuttering, a behavior that can be associated with dyslexia, may develop from insecurity and a lack of self-expression. If you stutter, slow down and remind yourself that you have the strength and confidence to articulate your needs with the affirmation “I am free to speak up for myself. I am now secure in my own expression. I communicate only with love.” Asperger’s is often associated with depression, so if you suffer from this, you can use the affirmation “I now go Beyond other people’s fears and limitations. I create my life.” All is Well: Heal your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition ~ Louise L. Hay, Mona Lisa Schulz

TESTOSTERONE

 “Testosterone levels influence attention and definitely are associated with impulsivity. Men traditionally have higher testosterone levels and are more impulsive. Women traditionally have lower testosterone levels and are less impulsive. This difference in testosterone and impulsivity may explain why men and boys are more likely to have ADHD (attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity and impulsivity) whereas girls and women are likely to have a more “dreamlike” or “spacey” type of ADD.

 At menopause, however, the brain’s attention circuits change. With a decrease in estrogen and an increase in testosterone, women are more impulsive, more hyperactive, and less attentive. These changes make some women feel as if their brain is turning into a “fuzzbull.”   Menopausal women with ADD may become even more inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive. Many women also become more emotionally porous—they hear their intuitions more than ever and may be distracted by the pain in others’ lives at this time. Men, who go through a “testepause”, have decreasing testosterone levels and a relative increase in estrogen, so their attention may actually become more acute.” The New Feminine Brain: How Women Can Develop their Inner Strengths, Genius ~ by Mona Lisa Schulz

HEALING ADD/ADHD NATURALLY

The best thing I can advise you is to do everything you can to learn about ADD/ADHD and work together with your health professional. Doctors only have so much time to work with each patient; we have to become our own advocate in the art of healing.

What follows are guidelines only. Healing can happen by applying a do-it-yourself approach—you’ll have to research and experiment with a variety of herbs, supplements and energy work to find what works for you.

Reiki, Quantum Healing, Therapeutic Touch, EFT, are all wonderful healing therapies to explore.  They help to relax and ground the body in present time. My son soaked up Reiki energy like a sponge and enjoyed Therapeutic Touch.

“If your child has some of the outward symptoms of essential fat deficiency – rough dry patches on the skin, cracked lips, dull or dry hair, soft or brittle nails, and excessive thirst – it is fair to say that this could be an underlying factor in learning difficulties they might be experiencing, such as concentration or visual problems, mood swings, disturbed sleep patterns and in some cases behavioural problems. This is because dyslexia, dyspraxia, learning difficulties and ADHD all involve poor nerve cell communications in the brain, and essential fats are crucial in keeping neurons talking to each other.” http://www.easyreadsystem.com/news/nutrition-dyslexia-what-works/

I looked at giving Jason a serotonin supplement Tryptophan (5-HTP) which improves both mood and sleep or even SAMe but wasn’t sure at his young age, the amount to give him. Reading up on serotonin, I learnt that when our bodies crave it, we have an insatiable desire for foods that are sweet or starchy (chips, cookies, cake, pastries, cereal). Also, that serotonin hunger can only be satisfied by eating high-carbohydrates.   I found out that eating too many protein foods without carbohydrates inhibit serotonin from entering the brain.   In fact too much fat in the diet competes with serotonin too! Needless to say, we began changing our food consumption to include carbohydrate-rich snacks and carbohydrate-rich dinners; these include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, rice and legumes.

Factory produced foods (refined carbohydrates) are not carbohydrate-rich and lack essential nutrients the body needs to survive.   When we eat too many of these foods the body will crave for its nutritional requirements which often leads to excess eating and hyperactivity.

When my son was diagnosed with ADHD, I looked into the pros and cons of medication and decided not to put him on *Ritalin or Adderall. Many of the parents I’ve come to know with special needs children, recommended Efamol, Omega 3, vitamin B6 and magnesium. B6 and magnesium help to increase GABA as well as prevent the loss of dopamine from the brain.   I noticed a slight change in his nature after several weeks and by three months a tremendous improvement.

 “I know a lot of people don’t agree with medicating their children, but if my kids didn’t their meds they literally wouldn’t have an education because of there behavior and lack of concentration. We have had all the food allergy tests done; we’ve tried the reward system and the star charts that were recommended but they didn’t help a bit. Using Ritalin helped our children immensely and if all efforts fail, we’d highly recommend it.” (Sue K., mother of two)

Ritalin is a form of “speed”, acting similarly to cocaine or amphetamines—though Ritalin is supposed to “work” for several hours in 60-75% of children.   Side effects include a loss of several inches in height, poor appetite, insomnia, tics and personality changes. In spite of using Ritalin, two thirds of children with ADHD carry it into their adulthood.

Simple breathing exercises, focusing on the breath can be helpful for the anxiety that sometimes accompanies ADHD. It will also help to let go of any tension and create more relaxed body language. My son and I would make a game of this at bedtime, counting as we breathed in 1-2-3-4-5 and breathing out 1-2-3-4-5. It was hard at first but if you stick with it for at least 10 minutes, you’ll noticed your breathing will become more rhythmic and helps to release the tensions through the body.

There is also an exercise called cross-crawling (when you raise an arm and the opposing leg together and then repeat the other side – a bit like marching) which stimulates connections in the brain.

Another good idea is to try the mind gym type games, these encourage stimulating parts of the brain that lay latent and increase the brain’s capacity.

A meditation class might be something to try,and a Tai Chi class would be particularly helpful If you have difficulties with spatial awareness and balance.

The other thing Jason needed was exercise, which as indicated above, helps to boost the neurotransmitters in the brain. Walking outdoors strengthens and tones the muscles and also reinforces our feelings of being part of the oneness of creation. The patterns of nature also speak very deeply to our souls.

All children love music; playing a musical instrument is another good way to stimulate the brain. Jason took to the piano like bees take to honey. In high school, the teachers worked with him and he now creates his own music and has his Grade 10 in piano.

There is hope for everyone with ADD/ADHD. My son graduated with honors from high school and is now in University. If he can do it, you can do it too.

BBC ~ ADHD drugs have no benefit http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/11_november/12//adhd.shtml

Indigo, Crystal and Rainbow Children http://www.angeltherapy.com/article1.php

ADHD Gifted and Creative  http://innerself.com/Parenting/hartmann_2135.htm

Each child requires an individualized approach. Indigos want very much to be seen for the unique individuals theyare—cookie-cuter solutions don’t work with them.

The sound learning centre for developmental problems http://www.thesoundlearningcentre.co.uk/treatment/development-programme/

Fascinating video with Dr. Daniel G. Aman, who has written many books on ADD ~ he believes brain imaging important – treatment should be individual ~ One treatment does not fit everybody! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXFyUNEXJp0&app=desktop

And his website ‘Healing the 7 types of ADD

http://www.elevatedexistence.com/blog/2014/01/04/dr-daniel-amen-healing-the-7-types-of-add/

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

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

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

Essential Oils – Essential Blends (www.essentialblends.com) has a formula especially for ADD/ADHD to help calm some brain areas and stimulate others. The blend is a mixture of tangerine, cardamon, lavender, sweet almond and jojoba.

ADHD Facts and Statistics  http://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/facts-statistics-infographic#3  

Stay tuned for the next topic… Asperger’s Syndrome

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CASE STUDY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE TREATMENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the heart area I noticed James to be a sensitive and child-like person who seemed to get his feelings hurt very easily. Rather than risk being hurt, he had a tendency to stay in his head rather than getting deeply involved with others. Retreating inside his head let him be ‘safe’ or so he thought but also very lonely. I actually felt James was a very sociable kind of person but he didn’t think he could ‘afford’ to fool around or be lighthearted. We talked about this after and I asked James to start a journal and look at any patterns that were preventing him from being more playful in the present. I also suggested he get counseling to

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

From a previous article on my blog….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 This lesson is often taken to heart too.

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

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

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

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

SEROTONIN

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

DIETS

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

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

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

ENZYMES

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

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

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

MINERALS

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

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

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

THE FIVE ELEMENTS

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

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

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

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

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

FOOD TALKS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MEDITATION IS THE ART OF PAYING ATTENTION

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

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

Links – More to Follow

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

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

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

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

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“Monsanto is the world’s leading producer of ‘genetically modified’ (GM) seed and one of the most important firms involved in chemical agriculture. The company focuses its business on four key crops, soybeans, corn, wheat and cotton….. 

North American farmers were asked about their experience of GM Corn, soy and canola. The report states that “widespread GM contamination has severely disrupted GM-free production [including organic farming], destroyed trade and undermined the competitiveness of North American agriculture overall”…. 

Farmers indicate that market problems have made them question the future of GM crops. Most farming organizations in Britain, the U.S. and Canada have joined forces to lobby against the release of GM wheat, the next proposed GM crop. ~ Elizabeth Abergel, PhD, 

With the rapid changes in our technological world, food has been dramatically altered with the development of chemical farming and food processing and of course these changes affect our bodies. We have more illnesses afflicting us today than ever before. While we may be living longer than our grandparents, we certainly aren’t healthier.

There are nearly 2,000 different additives that are used by the food industry today and it has been estimated that the average person consumes approximately three to five pounds of these chemical substances each year. The foods we eat today are affecting the way we metabolize food and burn calories…chemically altered foods are affecting our weight, energy levels, and causing disorders such as candida, diabetes and hypoglycemia. They also affect our brains, our feelings, ideas, worries and decisions. Processed foods are also responsible for our food cravings, our yo-yo dieting, obsessive eating, anxiety, foggy thinking, mood swings, premenstrual syndrome PMS, allergies, most autoimmune diseases, chemical sensitivities and recurring infections.

“Eating is a complex behavior. It’s driven not only by hunger but also by the interplay of numerous biological, psychological, emotional, nutritional, social and economic factors. The craving for a cookie, for example, doesn’t just come from the urge to eat something sweet but is meaningful, in that it reflects not just the person’s desire for the treat but also their yearning for love, comfort, belonging, emotional numbing, even social status. ~ Emotional Overeating: Know the Triggers, Heal your Mind, and Never Diet Again ~ Marcia Sirota

Too many of us, young and old are overweight. We are spending billions of dollars in medical care to ease the symptoms of eating too much of the types of food that overstress our bodies. Medicine can only go so far in curing ills. If we are to improve our individual and worldwide physical conditions, we must be aware of how various facets of our lifestyles can contribute to ill health.

There is a huge gap between what we are currently eating to what our bodies were designed to require. With the onslaught of fast-food chains, processed foods, and sugar-glazed doughnuts, obesity has become a world-wide problem. It’s no longer contained in the United States and Canada, but stretches from continent to continent, gripping every major city in the world. More and more, Europe and Asia are munching on Western world appetites of fast foods shifting away from agriculture to watching TV and surfing the internet.

“More than nine million children are obese in the U.S., more than four times the number forty years ago. This is a huge concern, as the more fat cells produced when you are a child, the more likely you will become a fat adult, and the more dangerous it is to your overall health, leading to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Fat is not the only cause of obesity, as a low metabolic rate can create unnecessary weight gain, but in most cases it is our relationship with food and love that is the originating issue.” ~ Deb Shapiro ~ Your Body Speaks Your Mind

The world is becoming over-stimulated with processed food and this is causing major problems of overeating and poor digestion. Even television and Internet are reflecting this with commercials and ads of delicious-looking foods which are almost immediately followed by commercials for antacids and digestive-aids, or the latest fad diet guaranteed to work!

We have over-stimulated our appetites to the point where we can no longer hear the real inner physical needs of our bodies. Every cell in your body is a little individual. It eats, processes what it takes in, eliminates waste and works at what it does best. In order to survive and to function at its highest optimal level, a cell needs to be fed and your body contains approximately 100 trillion of them! These 100 trillion cells are in constant communication with each other—they even communicate with each other at and through the various joints—this is usually where energy flow and information are most often constricted.

“These cellular communications are part of an immense and sophisticated communications network that no human-made telecommunications network can rival. Interestingly, telecommunications experts are closely studying cell communication in efforts to improve service provided by wireless phone networks.

 In a healthy cellular environment, signals easily cross cell membranes, getting to their source. In an unhealthy environment, signals either don’t reach their source or become distorted. Think of it as static on a phone line or dropped calls on your cell phone. Important messages do not reach their destination, preventing important bodily reactions from taking place.”STOP AGING, START LVING ~ Jeannette Graf

When the body’s weak the mind is affected too. We can lapse into negative emotions such as: anger, blame, anxiety, fear, grief and/or worry; these emotions create chemical altering changes in every cell of the body. They create a buildup of toxins and acid that dams up the flow of energy moving through your system. Stressful thoughts also weaken your natural resistance to disease and aging by clogging up your cells, slowing down your metabolism and wearing out your heart.

We are all part of a subtle field of the entire Universe and with a healthy body/mind/spirit, we are able to tune into the earth’s vibrations, sense the life force of other people as well as other living things such as animals, plants and trees.

PROCESSED AND HIGHLY REFINED FOODS

Most of our foods today are factory-produced and for what purpose? Profit! Apart from that these foods have been produced for our own convenience—no need to prepare—just open a can, bottle or carton and voila, instant food. And what’s even better—just swallow and have another if you like—there are plenty where those came from, their on special this week—six for the price of two, what a deal! So hurry hurry, the bargain only lasts till the stock the cleared. We’ve all been subjected to these advertisements that excite us into a buying-spree.

 “High-frequency stress foods are the process foods—such as white sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, excessive read meat, fried foods, refined processed foods, excessive alcohol and caffeine—that cause excessive alarm reactions in your body day after day after day. They accumulate damage and can disturb the functioning of susceptible young brains….” ~The Path to Phenomenal Health ~ Sam Graci

Processed carbohydrate-rich foods are loaded with calories have been labeled Low-Fat or No-Fat but don’t be fooled, they are loaded with calories—rapidly absorbed calories that are having a devastating effect on our insulin levels—raising them through the roof. These foods cause artificial signals and artificial stimulation not only to your genetic makeup but also to your 100 trillion cells. Unfortunately, the only thing really speeding up is the “wear-and-tear” on our bodies, causing extreme stress, excessive fatigue, a foggy mind and cells that are mangled and confused. All this stress is affecting our adrenal function and our sugar levels to rise causing our heart rate and blood pressure to rise.

Have you noticed certain foods like bread, pasta, chips and Chinese food seem to trigger more hunger. And what about hamburgers and fries? We can eat amazingly large amounts and find ourselves nibbling more and more until our systems crash into a sleeping stupor.

“Whole” wheat grain is an excellent source of vitamin E and helpful in blood circulation, healthy heart muscles and protects against the effects of stress, worry, anxiety, cigarette smoking and city pollution. But the vitamin E content is destroyed or extracted during the ‘refinement’ process as wheat germ oil tends to clog-up the machinery. Eating too much refined grains can cause chronic pain and illnesses such as: candida, diabetes, diarrhea, sinus problems, respiratory disorders, loss of hair, poor teeth and skin, obesity, and poor muscular development. When we eat too many of these foods we don’t usually have much appetite for fruits, vegetables, nuts seeds and legumes that are so important to our diet. (Daily use of fresh fruits and vegetables will help to cleanse the body of toxins and protect it from getting ill.)

Your body and the hormones in your body react to how and what you eat. Overeating and poor nutrition has suppressed the immune system, weakening the body’s ability to attack and destroy viruses, bacteria and parasites. Cancer, candida, colitis, Crohns disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and leaky gut syndrome are impacting the world at a dangerous rate. Our body’s are in chaos and that means we are not in control of our lives. How can we express our full potential while we’re struggling to cope with out-of-control digestive-tracts and metabolisms. We each have to tune in to what’s going on inside and learn what we need to do, individually, to live healthy lives.

 “Without a doubt the biggest change in our diets has been our sugar consumption—in the forms of refined white sugar known as sucrose, brown sugar, corn sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, glucose, lactose and maltose. Over the past two centuries, we have literally shocked our bodily systems with outrageous and ever-growing amounts of nutrient-robbing sugar.” Anne Louise Gittleman

IS INSULIN THE CULPRIT

In combination with glucose, there is another special ingredient that’s required to convert glucose into energy—that ingredient is called INSULIN. Insulin is produced by the cells from the pancreas, known as the Islets of Langerhans. As the body requires energy, both glucose and insulin are released into the blood stream and they travel to various muscles, nerves and tissues, to provide the body with a continuous supply of energy.

“We now understand that an addiction to carbohydrates is often a result of an *excess of the hormone insulin. Dr. Judith Rodin of Yale University nicknamed insulin the “hunger hormone” because of its power ability to stimulate appetite. In the past, insulin was most often associated with diabetes, which is how it was first identified, but more current research shows that insulin may indeed be the key hormone in regulating a great deal of what we refer to as “the metabolism”. CARBOHYDRATES ADDICT”S LIFESPAN PROGRAM ~ Dr. Richard F. Heller and Dr. Rachel F. Heller

The first sign of being overweight is carrying around extra body mass. Carrying around extra body weight puts more stress on joints that were not meant to hold extra weight. Being fat causes your heart to have to work harder to pump blood through more fat tissue. The extra mass creates more pressure on the blood vessels and lymphatic system and does not allow them to flow freely. This causes blood pressure to rise and the lymphatic system to stagnate and become toxic.

 In addition to causing physical health problems, being overweight can cause mental problems as well. Mentally, being fat can make people insecure about themselves. Overweight people tend to be full of excuses about their weight. They may jump from diet to diet, pill to pill or one exercise to another, but often lack the will power to stick with anything long enough to see results; therefore they quit trying. I think being overweight can also keep someone from doing the very things that will help them lose weight in the first place. I once had a friend that was overweight. She constantly talked about what she was going to do to lose weight, but she never followed through. It is a shame that talking doesn’t burn a lot of calories because she would have been slim – fast! I bought her a gym membership for her birthday, but she never used it – because, get this – she said she was too overweight and embarrassed to go the gym! Health And Happiness An owner’s manual for the mind and body ~ Sean Donovan

If you tend to put weight on easily, especially around the abdomen, you might be insulin resistance and eating a high carbohydrate diet may be your worst enemy. That’s because our blood sugar level governs the functioning of our entire metabolic system. Years ago, medical researchers discovered a link between obesity and changes to the secretion of the “hunger hormone” called insulin. Insulin ‘calls’ your body to eat. It signals you to roam your cupboards and fridge for starches, snack foods and/or sweets. If you follow these cravings, insulin makes you feel as if these foods give you a happy/content feeling.

To understand insulin’s effect on weight, we need to also see insulin’s role as a storage hormone. The higher your insulin levels are, the more fat you store in your tissues, the more weight you gain because insulin determines how much fat you burn as fuel. Our bodies usually can’t burn all the calories we’ve eaten, especially from processed foods. The excess blood sugar cannot be burned but instead must be converted to triglycerides (fatty acids), and stored in the tissues as fat.

*An excess of insulin in your body is called “hyperinsulinemia” and evidence has shown it may be a major risk factor in Alzheimer’s, heart attacks, diabetes, stroke and cancer.

For thousands of years our ancestors ate foods that slowly released calories in a process we call digestion. Their diet consisted of mainly fish, plant food, grains, fruit, nuts, seed and legumes. These types of foods are slowly absorbed into the bloodstream and easily handled by a tiny spurt of insulin. Unfortunately in this modern age we are eating huge amounts of refined carbohydrates that are creating a rush of easily absorbed sugars in the blood stream. High-glycemic foods like bagels cause an excess of insulin in the bloodstream…although this provides us with a burst of energy, it’s always followed by drastic drop in sugar levels causing fatigue, shakyness, severe mood swings, depleted energy and more cravings and bingeing on starches and sweet things

“When the sugar overload increases the amount of insulin the body, all the organs in the body, including the heart, liver, lungs, and muscles, begin to take in sugar from the blood, leaving less of it available to the brain. Although it seems that sugar will provide the quick energy fix we’re looking for, the opposite is true. Sugar triggers excessive insulin release, and it reduces the amount of fuel the brain needs to function most efficiently….

 (Hypoglycemia causes, low blood sugar, depression, muscle aches, chronic headaches, feeling hopeless or helpless and crying more than usual…

Sugar leads to chromium deficiency. Chromium is a very important trace mineral needed for glucose metabolism and its deficiency can affect behavior.

Sugar also causes copper deficiency, which can lead to abnormal behavior.

Sugar causes high blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are less tolerant than people with normal blood pressure.)

 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

When your bloodstream is too high in sugar, the pancreas is alerted to send a “surge” of insulin directly into your bloodstream causing a dramatic decrease in your blood sugar levels. If blood sugar levels drop too low, the body has to stop the fall, otherwise you could plunge into deep shock and if not corrected, you could die. Hypoglycemia or sugar-shock alerts the adrenals to immediately squirt excessive amounts of adrenaline and cortisol to prevent your blood sugar from going too low—these hormones raise your blood pressure and your heartbeat and tell your liver to turn glycogen in glucose. But the sudden release of adrenaline can cause you to feel shaky, sweaty and weak—you may have had the same effect after drinking caffeine, which produces the same kind of symptoms.

Insulin’s main job is to escort glucose from the bloodstream into the cells where it’s “burned” or used as fuel for energy. Usually only a small amount of it is needed to do the job. We know our bodies turn all foods into glucose, but with refined sugars and flours, too much sugar floods the bloodstream too fast. If you’re a diabetic, it means that your pancreas either secretes little or no insulin, causing sugar to accumulate in the bloodstream. Too much sugar in the blood can cause a host of problems, such as diabetes, stroke, heart problems and kidney disease.

OUR MAIN ENERGY SOURCES – THE THYROID, PANCREAS AND ADRENALS

It is the sensitive nerve fibers of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) that ends in the adrenal glands. The adrenals aren’t the only energy producing system in the body; the thyroid, parathyroid and pancreas are too. Actually, both the adrenal system and the thyroid gland are dominated by the sympathetic nervous system, which is part of the autonomic nervous system, (ANS). The ANS controls your heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, hormonal balance and metabolism. The sympathetic nervous is associated with two hormone stimulants, adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol. Adrenaline and cortisol are released to bring you to a heightened state of awareness….when they think there is a threat to the body, they sound the alarm! When this happens the sympathetic nervous system stimulates the release of sugar/glucose from the liver, to get your blood pressure up. Your digestive system literally comes to a halt so that all your energy can diverted to the muscles and face, which become tense and prepared for action. With your nerves on edge, you’re ready to respond to the fight or flight reflex.

 “An EXCITED nervous system forces your body to produce an excess of the stimulating and stress producing hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which inevitably have an effect on the metabolism. A PASSIVE nervous system, on the other hand, causes the production of calming substances like serotonin, but it also produces lesser amounts of the thyroid hormones that control energy production and metabolism. This is why people with a PASSIVE nervous system have a greater possibility of having hypothyroidism and a slower metabolism.

 The “slower metabolism: and conditions like hypothyroidism are much more common in people with PASSIVE nervous systems. First of all, let be clear that both the EXCITED and PASSIVE nervous systems can cause obesity because they are extreme conditions in which there isn’t a BALANCE. The result of both of these conditions is a hormonal imbalance.” The Power Of Your Metabolism ~ Frank Suarez

THE THYROID CONTROLS BODY TEMPERATURE AND METABOLISM

The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system located at the base of the throat. It sends hormonal messages to every cell in your body, maintaining body temperature, heart rate, muscle contraction and metabolic rate (the rate at which food is converted into energy).

If the bacteria in your gut have been imbalanced for some time, then you may have a bacterial infection in your gastrointestinal lining also known as ‘leaky gut syndrome’. Leaky gut syndrome happens when undigested foods seep into the intestinal walls, allowing minute particles to escape into the bloodstream. The immune system perceives these minute particles as ‘invaders’ and attacks to get rid of them. Sometimes these particles can look similar to the molecules of one’s own body causing the immune system to start attacking them and in so doing turns on itself, destroying healthy cells and tissues. Such is the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis – an autoimmune problem and one of the most common causes of thyroid problems. This is where the immune system attacks the thyroid with antibodies causing the thyroid to swing high and causing hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism but ultimately make you hypothyroid. This results in slowing down your metabolism causing muscle-aches, mood swings, weight gain and even depression.

Overweight people have slower metabolisms and for some reason have shown reduced levels of enzymes and hormones in the body; this results in a decreased breakdown of fat. Without proper enzymes, food cannot be converted into energy; this may cause a person to eat more and more in an effort for the body to obtain the essential active nutrients that are lacking in refined, processed and cooks foods.

 “Many overweight people have a lower-than-average amount of a liver enzyme that produces crotonyl coenzyme A. Without this enzyme, fat is accumulated in the body instead of used. These people may have exhausted their ability to make the enzyme.” Dr. Neil Solomon

 “[Dr. Solomon] found that the overweight paitents were not metabolizing glucose properly, that they had low levels of growth hormones, which helps regulate carbohydrate and fat metabolism, and that some obese people even produce antibodies against their own thyroid hormone, which causes the body to not use it properly.” The Straight Scoop About Dieting: Learn the Truths About Weight-loss Diets ~ Sharon Greene Patton

If you have a thyroid problem than most likely your adrenals may not be working properly either.

STRESS WEIGHT-GAIN AND THE ADRENALS

We have two adrenal glands that sit on top of each of our kidneys and are part of a wider network known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA). The HPA governs different bodily functions such as heart rate, mood, body temperature, thirst and hunger. The adrenal glands are an important part of this system because they produce certain hormones related to metabolism and stress. Adrenaline, (epinephrine) cortisol and DHEA (dhydroepiandrosterone) all help the body’s immediate response to challenges and dangers, by channeling the body’s energy toward the fight/flight response. These three hormones improve oxygen and glucose to the muscles generating mental and physical alertness. Blood and the violent intake of air courses through our bodies similar to the life-threatening situations our ancestors experienced thousands of years ago.

“The human body is well set up for high primal stresses. However, it isn’t very good at coping with small insidious ones such as forgetting where you put your keys, a single mosquito in your room at night, the dripping of a faucet, or the constant whining of a child. It seems that your body has no sense of humor at all.” THE JOY OF STRESS ~ Peter G. Hanson, M.D.

In this day and age many of us become overly stressed from traffic jams, unexpected bills, an angry phone call, a confrontation with someone at work or at home, the kids fighting, etc., All this moves us into a high state of alarm and we stay there for long periods of time. This prolonged adrenaline rush dramatically slows down your metabolism, causing weight gain, affecting your mood, a negative person of the Self. Adrenaline is a stress-related hormone causing the body to have high glucose levels (blood sugar) because it tells the liver to turn a large amount of glycogen (a type of glucose stored in the liver) into glucose.

Cortisol stays longer in the body than adrenaline, interfering with digestion and suppressing the immune system allowing tumors if present to grow faster. High levels of cortisol stimulate an excess of insulin released into the body, leading to swings in energy and blood sugar, causing anxiety, fatigue, hyper/hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and mood swings. It can cause food cravings, especially for high-fat, high sugar, high carbohydrate foods such as a ice-cream, chips and cookies.

Anxiety and depression also prompt the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol. Cortisol prepares the body for an emergency, including telling it to store more fat, especially in the belly where cells have more receptors for cortisol than do superficial fat cells under the skin. Cortisol is like a key in a lock, opening fat cells, allowing fat to be stored. Cortisol also eats away lean muscle mass, which the body needs to burn fat. In addition, high cortisol levels significantly reduce grow hormone output. Prolonged stress has been associated with the aging process and a number of hormonal and digestive diseases.

By living off stimulants such as coffee and cigarettes, a high-sugar diet or stress itself, you increase your risk of upsetting your thyroid balance (which means your metabolism will slow down and you will gain weight) or calcium balance (resulting in arthritis) or of getting problems associated with sex-hormone imbalances and excessive cortisol. These are long-term side effects of prolonged stress, because any body system that is overstimulated will eventually under function.

The outer part of the adrenal gland, the cortex, makes steroid hormones, similar to the ones prescribed by your doctor to stop an inflammation in your body. Cortisol in minute amounts helps the body to metabolize fats, carbohydrates and proteins in the body; cortisol encourages energy production and reduces inflammation. But cortisol is also known as the stress hormone and prolonged stress can have a dramatic impact on the body and the mind. Excess cortisol can undermine our health and set-off a host of different illnesses such as asthma, colitis, high blood pressure, insomnia, ulcers and cancer. High cortisol levels also have a negative impact on the muscles and joints, causing them to break down and weaken. Prolonged cortisol levels can also cause a redistribution of fats….causing weight-gain, particularly in abdominal area (in men we call it the pot-belly). Trauma, strong emotions (rage, fear) and prolonged stress can force your adrenal glands to work overtime.

 “Excess cortisol leads to weight gain in the abdomen and face, increased blood pressure, erratic blood sugar levels, strange hair growth, acne, depression and irritability, bone thinning, muscle weakness, and irregular menstruation.” All is Well: Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition ~ By Louise L. Hay and Mona Lisa Shulz

Cortisol can create a fearful, threatened feeling that over-stimulates our whole system. Unexplained muscle aches, chronic headaches, feeling hopeless or helpless and crying more than usual are signs of chronic overarousal. Anxiety coupled with cortisol has been known to cause unexplained heart palpitations, a nervous stomach, road rage and short temperedness.

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

 

http://authoritynutrition.com/9-ways-that-processed-foods-are-killing-people/

http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/nutrition-101-how-processed-foods-make-us-fat-malnourished-and-sick-06222013

Genetically altered food http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-we-trust-monsanto-with-our-food/

Monsanto pulls out of Europe http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/10186932/Major-GM-food-company-Monsanto-pulls-out-of-Europe.html

High Insulin Levels Stop Weight Loss http://fitnessblackbook.com/dieting_for_fat_loss/high-insulin-levels-stop-fat-loss-and-cause-weight-gain/

http://www.leanitup.com/how-insulin-carbs-and-hfcs-impact-weightloss/

Is stress causing your weight gain http://www.leanitup.com/how-insulin-carbs-and-hfcs-impact-weightloss/

Cortisol http://thyroid.about.com/od/loseweightsuccessfully/a/cortisol.htm

Stay tuned for Part III… DE-STRESS EAT SMART AND BOOST YOUR METABOLISM

Food, like any other addiction, is a form of self-medicating. So you have to get to the source of what you are trying to numb. Otherwise, you can go from diet to diet and it won’t matter. You may lose weight, but you will gain it back. You have to face what you’re hiding from, why your self-esteem is affected and replace your meals with essential nutrients that naturally balance and boost your metabolism.

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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