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Posts Tagged ‘medulla oblongata’

“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with learning and mental disorders were basically on their own causing them to feel more and more pessimistic and withdrawn.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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“The poet Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-92) would repeat his own name to himself again and again like a mantra, and by doing this would access a different state of consciousness in which whole poems came to him that he could then transcribe.”  Paul McKenna

 The gentle repetition of a mantra is a technique used for concentrating and focusing your energy.  It points you to pure awareness, allowing you to let go of any attachment that would draw you away from the present moment.  Paying attention to a mantra, either spoken aloud, whispered or thought upon, anchors you to your center, silences the mind, allowing spirit to hear the inner voice and make contact with the Divine.

Words have a tremendous effect on the body and mind. Silently reciting or chanting a mantra activates a large group of nerves in the throat area, and the creative power of the thyroid gland.  The current of sound (thought by the heart and spoken by the tongue) then flows to the thymus gland, stimulating the body’s nervous system.   This vibrational awakening stirs old brain cells and triggers layers and layers of knowledge stored in the DNA and deep inside the cells of the physical body.

 “I begin my daily yoga practice with this mantra:  “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo”.   It’s meaning, in essence, is “I call upon the divine teacher within”.  This mantra may be chanted out loud three times in this way: 

 Take a deep breath and exhale “ong namo”, on the same tone; take another short or half breath and exhale the last three words of the mantra.  Dev is chanted one half tone higher than ong namo guru and the name is the same tone as ong.  I like this mantra because it centers me and affirms my inner wisdom.  I sometimes repeat it before doing readings or other psychic work.  DIANE MARIECHILD

 A mantra should not be confused with an affirmation.  Affirmations are used to let go of unwanted and unneeded ‘stuff’.  Repeating a positive phrase stimulates the release of toxins, negative thoughts, old memories and suppressed emotions…..we observe and ‘feel’ the emotional distress in our body, heal it and release it.  Eventually there is an enery change and we discover the thought(s) that are/were controlling us.

If you’ve read other articles in this blog, you’ve probably noticed the mention of the medulla oblongata more than once.  This tiny structure at the base of the brain stem is truly the seat of life in the body.  Respiration and circulation are controlled by this center and it is the place where cosmic energy enters and feeds the entire body with prana/chi.

“It’s like having a door open in the back of my head.  The door is tiny but what’s in back of the door is huge.”  Cythnia Gale

 When we invoke a mantra, the medulla oblongata acts like a tuning fork, vibrating in sympathy with our own ‘sound’.  This creates a physical sensation that vibrates in the body and mind, immediately normalizing the heartbeat in which the entire body automatically adjusts and responds.  In a spiritual sense, Jim Kepner (psychologist and author) spoke of  “a feeling of something opening up behind me, or sort of like falling back into another space behind me…almost as if something were shifting in the bones at the back of my neck.” 

*****

“…Take a comfortable, deep breath and then hum a low note quietly to yourself.  Pitch the note near the bottom of your register so that it resonates inside you.  How does that feel in your body?  Can you feel a sort of tingle or vibration deep inside.  Take another deep breath and quietly hum a high note near the top of your register.  How different is that as a sensation within your body?  Did you notice different parts of your body react to each note?  Did you find the high note or the low note more comfortable?  

For meditative purposes, it is accepted that a lower note is more in harmony with your body and that it is easier to relax with a lower note than a high piercing one.” TARA WARD, Meditation and Dreamwork

A SIMPLE EXERCISE – INTO THE WORLD OF SOUND

“How often have I sat down at out-of-tune pianos….winced at the first notes as I pressed the keys’ nevertheless….I have found that from that moment I started to enjoy the music my ear started to correct the inaccuracies.  My listeners, too, as they adjusted themselves inwardly to these out-of-tune sounds, experienced the odd phenomenon, with all the intervals suddenly seeming to be in tune.”  Peter Michael Hamel 

Cover your eyes and plug your ears with your hands.  Listen to the sounds of your breathing for ten full breaths.  Then gently put your hand on your lap, palms open, and keep your eyes closed.

 Now pay attention to the sounds around you.  Listen closely to every single sound, you may be surprised at all the sounds you’ve never paid attention to before.

At first you may tend to identify and label where the sounds are coming from, what they are.  That’s okay.  Just identify as many sounds as you possibly can.

 Now begin to listen without identifying them.  Observe the sounds rather than labeling them ‘annoying’ or ‘beautiful’ or ‘harsh’ or ‘soothing’  Listen as you would to an orchestra or rock group.  You hear the total effect without indentifying the individual instruments and voices.  You are in the midst of an orchestra of sound.

Without identifying the origin of the sounds, notice the subtle textures.  One sound is often made up of many other sounds.  Pay attention to the variations in pitch and intensity.  How many different ones do you notice.

Floating as you are in an ocean of sound, your body becomes very still and your spirit opens up.  Notice your connectedness to this vast ocean of sound.  Notice what you feel.  Then return to the world of sound.

You are a listening post to this universe of sound.  Again note your feelings as you listen.  Do you feel stillness, love, a sense of being part of a harmony?  Then return to the world of sound.

Alternate between the sounds themselves and the sense of harmony you feel with them.  Back and forth.  Two sides to a single harmony.

Know that God’s power underlies and sustains each sound.  It is the divine harmony sounding around you.  Listen to the divine symphony.

Rest in this world of sound

Rest in God/All is One.

CHOOSING A MANTRA 

http://www.sanskritmantra.com/simple.htm

“First  of all it’s better not to use a real word.  A mantra should not hook you into any train of thought or emotional pattern.  “Although some words such as “peace” or “calm” might sound very comforting, the problem is that you may be tempted to think about their meaning and what the words mean to you.  The purpose and power of a mantra lies in your ability to lose yourself in its rich, sonorous sound and the way it vibrates around and through your body.  If you are thinking consciously or unconsciously about the word, it stops the mantra from doing its job.”  TARA WARD

Counting your breaths from one to ten and then starting over again will work and long as you don’t make it into a competitive game or criticize yourself when you lost count and congratulate yourself when you don’t.

It is best to choose a mantra that you don’t recognize or is in a language that is foreign to you.  Beginners are usually shown a mantra with no more than one or two syllables.  The first reason for this is to keep it simple and secondly it keeps us focused.

Here are some examples of one or two syllable mantras……

MAH – NUM

VO – HUM

SAT NAM

RAHM

LAH – NEE

SOHM

WONE

VEE – NONG

PRAH

DA – YAM

RAH – MAH

SHAH – LOON

OM

And these too…..

AUM MANE PADME HUM (Sanskrit)

KYRIE ELEISON (Greek)

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU (Pali)

DOMINE MECUM (Latin)

All these expressions qualify as ‘sacred’ and, their unfamiliar language removes any emotional patterns.

When you’ve chosen your mantra see it in your mind’s eye.  How does it look to you?  How does it make you feel?  Take a deep cleansing breath and say it out loud or speak it softly.  Let the mantra continue until you have finished your breath.  Then take a deep breath and repeat it again until your breath runs out.  Do this at least 3 times or more.  Notice what feelings and sensations your mantra creates and where you feel its vibration in your body.

Start again and really feel the word vibrate through and around you.  Lose yourself in the sound and feel it spread outwards from you body in a beautiful gow of energy.  Merge with the sound and become one with the sound itself.  When you do this you’ll find yourself unware of when you’re breathing in….this is because the sound seems continuous as its vibration spreads wider and wider.  Stay with this as long as you can.  It creates a magnetic flow through the body.  Once you feel/sense your conscious mind is totally engaged in the chant “bring it down into the subconscious by whispering.  While chanting in the subconscious offer it, too, up to superconsciousness [with eyes closed gaze upward] at the point between the eyebrows, until you feel your entire being vibrating with the words, the melody and the rhythm.

…..to spiritualize a chant, keep it rotating in the mind—for days at a time.  If necessary: not only in meditation but as you go about your daily activities.  This practice is also called Japa.  Christian mystics, too, speak of the continuous “prayer of the heart,” and of “practicing the presence of God.”  All this is japa. ” J DONALD WALTERS, Superconsciousness, A Guide to Meditation

 The following Sound meditations are from Kripalu’s Self Health Guide, an great book based on Kripalu’s Eight-Step Approach..  These are very simple and great for those just starting.

MEDITATION ON THE SOUND OF OM

 Choose a quiet place where you won’be be interrupted or disturbed.  If you’d like, dim the lights, light candles and/or incense to create a space of calmness.

If you need a chair use one, if not sit comfortably on the floor, spine erect and chin parallel to the floor, tucked in slightly.  Sitting cross-legged is best or if you have one, a meditation bench.  It is more important to be comfortable than correct.

Take a couple of breaths and let your shoulders and neck relax.  Close your eyes abd begin breathing calmly and slowly, taking about 10 deep breaths slowly in and out.

Let all your concerns go….if a thought comes up, visualize it on a blackboard and erase it away.  Another idea is to imagine putting each thought into a bubble and let it float away.

Drop all expression from you face and consciously relax various parts of your body, especially the face, shoulders abdomen, and hands.

Continue taking slow, deep breaths for two to five minutes, practicing the focusing of your total concentration on your breathing.  Then gradually allow your breath to return to normal and feel yourself becoming very still within.  Remain with the sensations in your body rather than with any thoughts that may flow through your mind.

Mentally repeat Om very slowly.  Feel the vibrations of the thought/sound.  Listen with your whole being.  After several silent, mental repetitions of the sound, very softly begin to chant the sound aloud by taking a full deep breath in and sounding Om on the exhalation, making each repetition as long as is comfortably possible.

As you continue to chant, experience the effects.  Feel the peace that is created by the vibration.  Imagine that the sound is flowing from deep within your abdomen that you are opening up to let it flow out.  Feel all worry, fear, and tension dissolve.

Remain still for a period of time, enjoying the feeling of quiet and peace within and around you.  When you are ready, gradually open your eyes.

Practice this technique until you begin to feel that you are gaining some control and concentration.  Then move, if you wish to a more complex technique.

MEDITATION ON THE INTERNAL SOUND of So’ham

So’ham (pronounced “so-hahm”) is an easy but powerful meditation technique that is also based on awareness of breath.  It is one of the most scientific approaches for learning the deep concentration and inner stillness necessary to experience meditation.

Take time to prepare yourself as you did in the previous meditation and consciously relax the various parts of your body.  Allow your consciousness of external surroundings to fade as much as possible.  Then practice a few minutes of Yogic Deep Breathing, focusing your attention on the breath.

After approximately two to 5 minutes, allow the breath gradually to return to normal, keeping your concentration on it.  Watch your normal flow of breath with unattached objective awareness.  Remain releaxed, not trying to control your breathing in any way.  Without expectations, just watch the breath flow in and out.  You will notice that the breath automatically begins to become slower and more shallow.

After a slow, gentle breathing rhythm is established, begin to hear within, the sound of so’ham (“I am That”).  Do not actually make the sound, but imagine that it is the sound of the breath, “soooo” on the inhalation, and “haammmm” on the exhalation.  Let the brething and the sound absorb your mind as completely as possible.

After a few weeks, add concentration on the point between the eyebrows (known as the ‘third eye”).  Begin by practicing so’ham for about ten minutes and greadually make your sessions longer.  Each time the mind wanders away from the technique, gently lead it back until the periods of mental stillness increase.

Links

Lots of Mantras to choose from on youtubehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UCzhN2clis&feature=related

Excellent! There is a wealth of information in this fantastic and excellent pdf article (108 pages) on Mantras. http://www.wahmusic.com/images/book/chant_sample.pdf

This is a fabulous Mantra Meditation site http://www.mantrameditation.net/

 Simple Mantras http://www.sanskritmantra.com/simple.htm

 Beautiful youtube mantra on So’ham http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKNzaWGm0o8

 What is a mantra http://ezinearticles.com/?What-Is-a-Mantra,-How-Does-It-Work,-and-Why-Would-I-Want-to-Use-One?&id=5315769

 The Practice of Tantric Mantras http://satyamyoga.com/mantengl.htm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 HOW DO YOU BREATHE

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

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

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

 TESTING YOUR DIAPHRAGM

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

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

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

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

EMPOWERED BREATHING – some simple techniques

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Technique 2

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

 Technique 3

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

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

 Technique 4

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

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

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

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

Conscious breathing Links

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

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

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

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

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

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“Your breathing is your greatest friend.  Return to it in all your troubles and you will find comfort and guidance.” Bernard Gunther

 “Every day, we breathe in and out about twenty-one thousand times, and approximately twenty-four hundred gallons of air go in and out of our lungs daily….more than enough to fill a water tank!  *The Medulla Oblongata,, located just above the spinal cord, orchestrates the respiratory cycle by activating the diaphragm.  This muscle contracts, allowing the thorax to modify its volume during inspiration and expiration.  The movement of breathing is automatic, but our brain can impose its will.  While we have no power to control our heart directly, we can learn to control our breathing perfectly well.  The most exceptional examples of this are yogis and deep-sea divers, who can hold their breath for more than five minutes, which is absolutely unthinkable for the average individual.  However, anyone can practice breathing, relaxation and yoga techniques that help us let go of tensions in the body and the mind.” Jean-Pierre Barral D.O.

Our breath is also the means through which we can access higher awareness…..the deeper and slower our breathing the better we can work at our intuitive and mental levels.    Your breath also serves as an instant hot line to God (Spirit, Divine, All That Is, Universal Life Force) when you feel depressed, frustrated, ill or have a moment to tune in.  There’s no need to put your problem/feelings into words, or formal requests.  All you have to do is lower your eyes, take a deep breath and immerse yourself in the air surrounding you….air charged with Divine Spiritual Energy.

 Breathing develops a direct link between mind and body, between spirit and psyche.  It helps us to focus by keeping our attention on the relationship between breath (outside) and body (inside).  It helps us to clear ourselves of earthly thoughts and problems….we vibrate with pure energy, connecting with cosmic and earth energies.

Breath, Spiritus, is a primal name of God (in Christian belief the third person of the Trinity).  The attention paid to physical breath or spiritus touches your spirit at the deepest part of your being.  Awareness of breathing takes you into a nameless place where Spirit touches spirit.  This is the power in every mystical tradition of breathing meditation.

  THE DIAPHRAGM

(part of this topic was adopted from a previous article on my blog called Techniques In Breaking Through Mental and Emotional Barriers)

 We all know that our bodies breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide (CO2).  Air passes through our nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, right and left bronchi and finally the aveoli (air sacs) of our lungs. It is the red blood cells flowing through our lungs that takes the oxygen breathed in and let’s go of CO2, which in turn we breathe out.

“The reason we don’t tend to breathe properly is the result of an under-used muscle called the diaphragm…..it lies just at the bottom of the ribcage and just below the lungs and resembles the shape of a piece of pitta bread or an oblong pancake. 

Every time we breathe in, the diaphragm flattens out, to allow the lungs to fill up with air.  When we breathe out again, the diaphragm assumes the shape of an inverted ‘U’, helping to squeeze the last of the air out of our lungs.  This process is then repeated every time we breathe in and out.

 Most of us don’t use the diapraghm properly.  We tend to go around doing what is called shallow breathing.  This means we fill the top part of o ur lungs with air, but not the bottom two thirds and thus, as the diaphragm is resting on the bottom of the lungs, it is never used fully.  Certain professions are exceptions to this.  Opera singers and athletes are people who have to learn to breathe deeply.  Musicians who play wind instruments also come into this categroy, as do stage actors.  Anyone can learn how to breathe deeply’ it simply takes a little practice.”  Tara Ward, Meditation and Dreamwork

 So the diaphragm is also very important in the role of speaking. It allows us to express our deepest feelings inside.  It helps us to connect to our power, our sexuality, our passion, our creativity and higher spiritual values. It begins at our 2nd chakra, the seat of our emotions.  This area records all our repressed as well as passionate feelings.

When we have been disempowered or held back by a dominating figure, we usually hold in our feelings of pain and humiliation.  Holding in negative emotions short circuits our nervous system, depleting our energy, circulation and digestive system.

Breath awareness is simply about paying attention to the air going in and the air going out of your body.  This ‘breathing communication’ with God, though wordless, can be very real.

*At the base of the brain stem is 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.  Our five senses are literally starved and react by creating sensory complications (coughing, difficulty swallowing, post nasal drip, acid reflux, eye problems, etc.).  Also, when our body system is drained of energy and power, to compensate the loss, it will steal it from our eyes, ear, nose, throat and mouth.

Breath Awareness Meditation, next…..

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Tension, pain, illness, anger and even goosebumps are bodily words. The body is our voicebox of the unconscious. Bodily sensations are also the language of the unconscious.

Discussing the thyroid’s function needs more than looking at a chakra, particularly the 5th. Everything in our bodies is in constant perpetual movement. Everyday we unconsciouly breathe in and out thousands of times….it’s automatic. The medulla oblongata, located above the spinal cord in the neck region aids in our respiration by activating the diaphragm.

The diaphragm moves downward as we breathe in, creating a motion, a wave from the lower thoracic (spine) region into the abdominal and pelvic cavities. If we feel happy, excited, or angry, these emotions create an expansion of energy! Our lungs then come into play expanding outward and then contracting. As they contract our feelings pass through our communication center giving expression to our emotions and thoughts. The whole chakra system lights up and dances to the hum of pulsing, whirling, interconnecting lights. We express ourselves freely and openly…..if angered, we release built up tension.

But if we’re in pain, ill, lethargic or sad, our emotions become suppressed, our bodies contract creating restricted and rigid movements.. Breathing becomes difficult and shallow, our blood suffers from the loss of its normal circulation of oxygen. Our bodies become stressed and toxic. We hold back or conceal our thoughts and feelings. Our attention drifts in and out, stimulated only by sudden sounds which draw us back for a brief moment.

I wrote this on another site….

Our 1st, 2nd and 3rd chakras are located below the diaphragm describing our our physical and basic needs. As we move higher among the chakras above the body’s midline, we enter the thoracic cavity. It is here we begin reaching out and taking in an awareness of our imagination and spiritual nature.

SABIAN SYMBOL

Sun Sign: CANCER Degree: 6 Number: 96 Symbol: IN SPRING GAME BIRDS ARE FEATHERING THEIR NESTS.

On Aeclectic Tarot, for this symbol, I wrote……

The Diaphragm (the most important muscle in breathing)We all have a knowing that our bodies breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. We called this in another thread inspiration (air in) and expiration (carbone dioxide CO2 out) The inspired air passes through our nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, right and left bronchi and finally the aveoli (air sacs) of our lungs. We’ve been looking at these throughout the symbols.It is our red blood cells that, when flowing through our lungs, takes the oxygen breathed in and let’s go of CO2, which in turn we breathe out. All these pathways are interconnected.
***
But air is not taken in by inspiration alone, the diaphragm (a great dome-shaped muscle that separates the chest from the abdominal cavity) and the chest muscles contract, increasing the size of the chest cavity (thorax) which helps to “reduce the air pressure” in our lungs…which raises the sternum, then the ribs, enlarging our chest cavity. (Still with me?) All these actions help to allow air into our lungs! Phew! A lot of work that takes place in a matter of a few seconds!
***
When we breathe out, the diaphragm and muscles relax, allowing our chest wall to return to its original position, “pressure increases” and the lungs expel (breathe out). For those who are inspirational speakers, singers, poets’, teachers, the air that passes over the vocal cords causes them to vibrate and produce sounds…..so the diaphragm is very important in the function of speaking. It allows us to express the deepest part of ourselves, (our feelings, our deepest desires, our emotions)

In reflexology, the diaphragm and solar plexus are located in the same area of the foot which is at the top of arch and near the base of the ball of both feet (it separates the ball of the foot from the arch). If we press our thumb in this area (both feet) it helps us to let go of stress, relax, breathe deeply let and maintain a strong connection with the world outside ourselves. www.ofesite.com/health/reflex/chart/
***
The diaphragm helps us to connect to our power, our sexuality, our passion, our creativity and higher spiritual values. It begins at our 2nd chakra, the seat of our emotions. The symbols we’ve been working on here have been focused on our emotions and feelings. This area has recorded all our repressed as well as passionate feelings. When we have been disempowered or controlled through society’s expectations or through a more dominating authority, we hold back feelings of pain, humiliation, as well as resentment and rage. When something outside of us triggers these emotions, we can and have unexpectedly blown up and sometimes in the most inappropriate situations. I know this has happened to me, and I suddenly wonder, where the h**l did that come from? But if we don’t find a way to let go of these repressed feelings, we could experience health issues in these areas.
***
The game birds are telling us of the limits we have imposed in our own lives. They tell us not to be possessive or hold on to people and things in our life….when we do, it interrupts the flow of natural energy from where the diaphragm sits…..our sacral area.When we are in balance with ourselves, with others and the universe, our heads naturally tilt up and our pelvis tilts down. This can only happen when our lower joints have the freedom of movement to carry not only the weight of our bodies but also our pelvis and the inside edges of our spine. Tension contracts the muscles in our body, affecting not only our movement but our diaphragm as well.
***
This also feeds quite well into the next body part, the thoracic cavity.

One of the simplest healing techniques that anyone can use is conscious breathing. Breathing is the source of life; without it, we could not survive. When we breath consciously, we take control of this source of our own lives to calm the emotions and strengthen our will. To breath consciously, it is important to learn to breath properly.

Gay Hendricks, wrote a wonderful book called “Conscious Breathing” , here’s what she says in the chapter, The Breath of Life……..

“When the body is under stress it responds with restricted breathing. The breath becomes shorter, shallower and more in the chest than in the belly. When the body is relaxed, breathing slows down and drops farther into the belly, becoming deeper and more nurturing. When I explain this to clients, I contrast relaxed breathing with fight or flight breathing……..When we perceive a threat, several things happen to our breathing all at once. Our belly muscles tighten, or breath shifts up to the chest, and our breathing speeds up. We are poised to run or fight back. The sympathetic branch of our autonomic nervous system is fired up, dripping adrenaline into our bloodstreams and slowing digestion so that the energy can be diverted to our muscles. When we are no longer perceiving a threat, our breathing shifts from the fight or flight pattern to the relaxed pattern. Belly muscles relax, digestion strats again and the breath drops down into the abdomen………All of this can happen in a split second, regardless of whether the threat is a charging rhino or the unexpected midnight creak of a floorboard.”

Anodea Judith, wrote the wonderful book, Eastern Body, Western Mind. In the Fifth Chakra section, she writes….

“As an event impacts us, it impacts us with a vibration. Like (a) guitar string, it is our nature to express what impacts us. When that expression is restricted (by whatever inhibitions we have been forced to accept) we lose our resonance and no longer vibrate the chorus of creation. We become less fully alive, out of step and dissonant………it is easier to block expression than it is reception, easlier to block what comes out of us than what comes in. Therefore a block in the throat chakra is most likely a block in the discharge of energy, creating a situation in which the input exceeds the output. This difference is experienced as stress………

So what blocks us from expressing our truth, our outrage, our creativity or our needs?……..Shame at the core, fear for one’s safety, or simply being out of touch with the core self make us unable to bring the inside of ourselves out to meet the world…….We protect the vulnerable interior self from exposure and possible harm or ridicule……….We do this by tightening the neck and shoulders, by throwing our heads out of alignment with our body, by talking incessantly about anything except what is really bothering us. Some do it by stuffing food down their throats, as if filling the mouth will block the passage and prevent the feelings from pouring out………

Underneath each of these methods is a need to hide. In hiding we keep ourselves in isolation, keep ourselves from intimacy and keep ourselves from evolving. “

What Anodea Judith wrote spoke to Megan (August 9th issue). “When I’m off balance, I can swing from either being excessively shy or too outgoing. When shy, I lack confidence, my willpower weak, which in turn alienates me from my intellect my emotions, body feelings and my creativity. I can’t think straight, words come out wrong or not at all. I’m really concerned with how others see me.”

When the pendulum swings the other way, Alexis (August 9th issue) admits “I can be too outgoing, I don’t think before I speak. I have trouble listening, empathizing or supporting others because I’m too much into me. I either bulldoze my way through life or find myself going around in circles never getting anywhere fast.”

So how can we find the balance between the two?

CONSCIOUS BREATHING

Conscious breathing helps us to develop a link between conscious and the unconsious, between mind and body, between spirit and soul. It is here we find the deeper part of Self with it owns rhythms and perspectives. Paying attention to our breathing helps us to become aware of the tension points in the body and where there is disharmony. Conscious breathing takes us to a place within our being that touches the Divine Spirit. The medieval mystic Tauler calls this place “the ground of the soul”; Meister Eckhart, “the little castle”; Teresa of Avila “the inner castle”; John of the Cross, “the house at rest in darkness and concealment”; Catherine of Siena, “the interior home of the heart” .

BREATH AND MOVEMENT

When I am very stressed, I find it helpful to combine conscious breathing with simple movement. One of my favorite techniques is to stand up and place my hands side by side at arm length toward the ground, parallel to the ground, palms down. When I inhale, I turn my palms up, and slowly raise my hands, keeping them parallel to the ground. While still inhaling, I bring my hands upwards to the place in my body where I am holding stress and anger. (Usually up to my navel, solar plexus, or heart, though I don’t generally think about from where I need to release, I just do what feels right.) When I stop inhaling, I turn my palms down again, then exhale while slowly moving my hands back down toward the ground. (This is much more simple to do than to explain!) The above exercise serves to ground stress and bring balance and the courage I need. It also strengthens my connection with the earth. Because it can be done so quickly, I often use it when I need to take immediate action yet lack the focus or mind-set. It’s amazing how much this quick, simple technique clears one’s mind! Of course, the more you use it, the more your body will respond to it.

BREATH AND SOUND

Identifying with something outside of us is different than identifying with something inside of us. When we are in touch with our own internal thoughts and feelings, we are much closer to ourselves. Singing, chanting, toning, etc., helps us to identify and become aware of our feelings.

Ever hum a catchy tune then find yourself actually singing the song? Did the words that you sang bring tears to your eyes? Was it because they represented something you’re going through or feeling challenged to come to terms with at the moment? Did they represent a judgement or confrontation? And, did more tears fall and then gradually fewer tears and a feeling of strength and conviction come through. Was it a realization that you had to at some point come to terms with a part of yourself that criticizes, judges and condemns? Or the fear of being critictised or judged? What is important here is the experience itself not the words. The world, and most of our experience, is drowning in words. Get in touch with your own experiencing.

HUMMING

Sit alone quietly and take a little time to get in touch with your body right now. When ready, begin to hum very softly and without intending to do anything but follow your humming, identiy with it, and let it lead you somewhere. Focus your awareness on your humming and let it begin to change by itself…………Just be aware of what it is like and what it does as it changes in tone and volume. Don’t try to change it, just be aware of the qualities and feelings in your humming and see where it leads you. Your humming may drift into a tune that you recognize, and perhaps some words will come to you. Identify with whatever comes to you and become the feelings in the tune and the meanings of the words, to see what you can discover…..

You can also do this with your imagination by visualizing a particular imagined thing or situation…..you create it and its characteristics out of yourself. Let this creation be like a dream…..spontaneous and free of your intention. Let it originate completely from within yourself……don’t try to manipulate or control it…..let it develop spontaneously and you will learn a great deal about yourself. This can also be done with a group who can share their experiences with others and learn from their experiences as well.

The imaginal realm can be a meeting ground between the physiological and the spiritual. It is a powerful connection between body and spirit. Humming and singing can create and produce strong physical sensations that can linger for days later, helping us to understand and learn more about ourselves and others. In some cases it can help us to become aware of something we are resisting. When we resist, we close ourselves off. Humming and singing a particular tune helps us to explore and release what is hidden and bring it out into the light.

TONING

Belleruth Naparstek http://www.healthjourneys.com/ wrote the book “STAYING WELL WITH GUIDED IMAGERY” as well guided imagery CD’s, and other books.

On page 86 of the book mentioned above, she does an energy moving imagery where you start by shaking out your body and position yourself by sitting or standing.
She writes…..

“You may want to gently sway back and forth a little with your eyes closed to try to get a sense of where your gravity is.”

Then she asks you relax your eyes and take a few deep breaths, and after each one, breathing out as completely as you can.

“And still again…..this time imagining that you are inhaling a magical supply of healing energy on the in-breath….perhaps seeing it in sparkling microdots of color……or colors……or maybe hearing a sublte hum as it dances into your body…..or perhaps just feeling on the inside the subtle energy moving into you…..”

You continue breathing in and exhaling, feeling this energy dancing into every corner of your being…….

“And again….breathing it in…..and as you exhale, feeling it as it moves toward anyplace that might be a little denser or darker or heavier….drawn toward anyplace that might feel blocked or uncomfortable…..or tight….and sensing it gently around these places…..softening them…..loosening them….massaging and opening them…..

And feeling the heavier places beginning to shift and move….like a logjam beginning to break free…..slowly at first….but then faster and easier….as each new breath helps to move it along….gently and easily…….neither pushing or pulling….just a gentle invitation to float along free.”

Belleruth Naparstek then asks you to open your throat and make a sound with the out breath. It doesn’t matter whether it is loud or soft, high or low, just whatever feels right to you. She says to let the vibration and humming to move through you, releasing painful feelings that are stored in the body and feeling any achy or sore places begin to shift and move….

“And opening your throat and toning again…..maybe this time a little louder or softer….or maybe higher or lower…….feeling the vibration all through your body…..and feeling the sound releasing energy….

And dropping your jaw…..opening your throat….and letting whatever tone that wants to, come out with the exale…..rich and deep and strong…..or soft and subtle and high……..feeling the vibration move through your body…..healing, soothing, and energizing you….from head to toe…..so simple but so powerful….like recharging a battery…..”

Naparstek then asks you to continue to feel the sensation of energies moving through you and how good it feels to connect with yourself. The many exercises in her book(s) are simple and powerful, reconnecting us to the vital force and helping us to know ourselves better. Without judging or criticizing, our hearts open and our human spirit awakens.

It has been said the heart chakra is a meeting place for energies which flow down from our crown or 7th chakra and up from the ground or 1st chakra…..it is the gateway where these energies merge and blend together. The 5th chakra helps us to listen to our bodies and become more attuned to it. It is up to each individual to learn how the body communicates and act on the interpretation. The throat chakra is also about being responsible for your life. This takes us to the next imagery which helps to magnify symptoms of pain and discomfort and truly hear what your body is trying to tell you. This imagery is adapted from a book called “Spiritual Technologies” which unfortunately I couldn’t find on the internet. I had photocopied this from the library (for a group study) and don’t even know who the author is. This was over 10 year ago! If you recognize it, please let me know so I can credit the author.

To get your body into a relaxed and aware mode, stand or sit, feeling the floor beneath you. Focus on the feeling of the solid floor……see it with your feet and feel the solidness beneath you……it goes for miles and miles. (this grounds you)

Sense with your head the space between you and the ceiling then to inifiniteness of the universe.

“Coming back to the room notice the forms, colors and people around you. Pay attention to the sounds inside you…..feel your heart beating….sound the heart sound “HA,” now “HA–HEE,” now “OOO…..” (do this at least three times) if you are standing sit down, close your eyes remaining relaxed and alert.

Take a deep breath and relax. Now turn your attention to your dominant hand, to your right hand if you are right-handed and to your left hand if you are left-handed. Allow a feeling of energy to build in your dominant hand. Continue to focus on your dominant hand. Imagine a dial controlling the intensity of your concentration. The highest reading is ten and you are now at four. As you turn the dial up your attention becomes greater, more intense, more concentrated on your dominant hand. Your concentration is now on 5, and 6 and 7 and 8 and 9 and now 10, the highest intensity of your concentration. Allow the energy to build from your conscious attention.

Now move your attention throughout your body, checking your sensations through your body beginning with the top of your head. Notice first your scalp, the feeling of your hair on your head. Now pay attention to your forehead, experience any tension there. Focus now on your eyelids against your eyes, your nose, your tongue, your lips, your neck, the back of your neck, right shoulder, left shoulder, your back against the chair. Note the sensation in your chest, your breast, your stomach, your lower back, your hips, your genitals, your thighs, your knees your calves, the feel of your feet in your shoes, your right arm, your left arm, your hands in your lap, and back to your dominant hand.

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

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

The sensation is your friend and it’s telling you something. Now put some questions to it. It won’t answer verbally. Perhaps when you question a sensation, some images will come to mind, and you’ll have a feeling related to the sensation, or it will connect with something in your life, or you’ll have an intuition.

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

Amplify the sensation again. And be aware of images that come to mind or connections and feelings related to your life and experience. Amplify and have your radar out for the overtones and what your body is telling you.

Again direct your attention methodically to the sensations throughout your body from head to toe, until again your attention is stopped by a special sensation that summons your detailed attention to the message your body is sending you.

When you are finished, take a deep breath, relax your focus and come back to ordinary consciousness and open your eyes.”

Many people who did this exercise had a visual of different animals answering their questions. Wolves, crabs, elephants, fox, ants, frogs and buffalo are some of the animals people mentioned seeing. It has been said, meeting an animal in this way is a way of encountering our own soul. They call us back to earth, back to our bodies, bringing the parts of ourselves that have felt ignored or forsaken. Animals teach us how to survive in the world.

The mind and body communicate constantly with each other, but most of this communication is on an unconscious level. We need to get beyond the conscious level and examine the images coming from our unconscious mind. The purpose is not to judge them but bring them out into the open.

“I believe we develop our diseases for honorable reasons. It’s our body’s way of telling us that our needs—not just our body’s needs but our emotional needs, too—are not being met and the needs that are fulfilled through our illnesses are important ones.”
Carl Simonton

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”
William James

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Stay tuned to a new topic……

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