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low back muscles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ by Deb Shapiro

THE SECOND (SACRAL) Chakra

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

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

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

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

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

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

PSOAS MUSCLES (major contributors to low back pain)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM (CNS)

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

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

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

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

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

TRAUMA RELEASING EXERCISES (TRE)

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

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

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

Another video on TRE

EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE (EFT)

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

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

Web-page on … What is EFT Tapping

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

 

HEALING LOWER BACK PAIN

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

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

 

to be continued….

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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neck muscles front

“If you are one of the millions of people who suffer pain, stiffness, arthritis, whiplash, slipped disks, and other neck problems, you have probably tried the gamut of treatments, including surgery, chiropractic, acupuncture, traction, yoga, or medications for pain. Any or all of these may offer temporary relief but probably won’t provide a permanent cure. So what is the prescription for better and more balanced communication and lasting relief from painful neck problems……In addition to medicine and behavioral changes, you must identify and change the negative thoughts that are triggering your health problems. In Louise’s affirmation theory, the healthy neck and cervical spine represents flexibility and the ability to see both sides of the conversation. But turn this concept on its head by introducing an unbending mind-set or bullheadedness and health turns to illness and disease—in this case, a stiff or painful neck.” ALL IS WELL ~ Louise L. Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz, M.D. Ph.D.

“Tight muscles creating an armor in the upper back are often loaded with rage that was initially aimed at ourselves but then get projected outwards toward others. This can be seen in what is known as the ‘dowager’s hump’, a formation of soft tissue that builds in the upper back, most often in older women. It would appear to represent a collection of angry, and resentful thoughts that grow without the means for expression as the years pass; it manifests as we get older and as our reason or purpose for living loses impetus.” The BodyMind Workbook ~ Debbie Shapiro

“If we are having neck and shoulder problems, we need to question ourselves. Are we being too inflexible in our thoughts? Are we being too rigid? Are we afraid to see what’s on the other side of us or behind us? Are we taking too much responsibility on our shoulders? Are we taking on responsibility that is not ours. Do we refuse to see other’s point of view or perspective? Do we allow other’s refusal to see our perspective affect us. The Healer’s Manual ~ Ted Andrews

“Pain and stiffness in the neck denote inflexibility in thinking. You may be in a situation that you feel you can’t control as you wish. You may feel someone or something around you has become a pain in the neck. Perhaps you are uncomfortable with what you feel is going on behind your back. Whatever the issue you pretend it does not bother you, but in fact you feel as if stuck in an emotional roller coaster. ~ Lise Bourbeau ~ Your Body’s Telling You: Love Yourself!

The neck tilts, nods and turns and supports the heaveyweight of the head and protects the spinal cord as well. The brain’s messages and major blood vessels travel through the neck to the body, and so too, do the major meridians travel through this area.  To put it simply, the meridians are energy pathways that supply our physical and subtle bodies with vital energy—meridians are known to run under the skin; where they come close to surface is known as acupuncture/acupressure points.

“If you think of the meridians as an energy transportation system, a complex traffic network, you have a concrete model of how meridian energies interact. When a freeway becomes congested, it may be necessary to divert some of the traffic into another highway. An off-ramp may need to be cleared or widened. If a highway or meridian becomes backed up with too much energy, as occurs in the hubbub of life, a bottleneck forms. And the resources needed to support the community or the body [neck] are also blocked. It becomes difficult to provide food and remove waste products. Likewise, if a highway is damaged in an earthquake, even the critical support services that form the community’s “immune system” – like police, fire, and ambulance units – cannot function properly.” ENERGY MEDICINE ~ Donna Eden

Neck Meridians

“The 6th chakra..coordinates the harmonious cooperation of all the cells, organs and function systems of the body, as well as attuning the person’s way of living in the outer world with his or her plan in life and the constructive, harmonious interplay of the various personality aspects…..In addition, this creates a balancing effect on the stomach meridian, which runs from the area of the solar plexus over the chest, neck, and face through the eyes and shifts the activity of the brain more to the front section…Through the better functioning of the stomach meridian, problems can be processed more effectively and creative solutions for difficulties on all levels can be found and translated into reality. The resistance to stress is improved and self-perfection indirectly strengthened.  According to..Traditional Chinese Medicine, without a well-funcitoning stomach meridian, no healing reaction can be triggered.” The Spirit of Reiki ~ Walter Lubeck

At the base of the brain is a complex of nerves that impart special energy to the ears, eyes, nose, mouth and sensory nervous system.  It’s here that energy feeds your five senses, and when they don’t receive normal amounts of nerve energy the muscles can develop painful spasms which then restrict neck movements, causing strained ligaments that radiate pain to your head.

“The neck is a marvellous combination of yielding nonresistance, since it is able to turn in every direction.  In good health it is strong, flexible and bends easily… When one has health problems in the area of the neck he is fighting, resisting, rebelling against someone or some circumstance of life, and has probably become intolerant.” Catherine Ponder

Constant tension in the neck area will block the voice and breath; in a stressful or fearful situation the shoulders lift creating a hunch-back effect which exerts pressure on the back of the neck, making it impossible to breath properly.  This tension in the throat has also been associated with abdominal tightness which then produces a sensation of nausea.  At this point we complain to the doctor or therapist about being unable to swallow and unable to breathe properly.

“If the spine is in its correction position, up and flexible in its support, then shoulders should hang down and slight back without tension. Habits that infiltrate the should are a result of holding, placing bracing or lifting against a force trying naturally to find its ease. In other words, we consistently go against the shoulders’ natural drift downwards by hunching them in a different direction. Even as you sit there reading, becoming more and more engrossed in the activity and engaged with the words and thought, stop and notice how much tension has started to overtake your shoulders and upper chest. This is the slow drifting tide of tension we have to fight against. In order to keep this area free of contraction continual release and monitoring are necessary. Even the slightest unease in thought or gesture can make the tightness return so we must put ourselves on constant reminder to release here throughout the day. The Right to Speak: Working with the Voice ~ Patsy Rodenburg

ANATOMY OF THE NECK

The neck actually consists of seven loosely joined cervical vertebrae at the top of the spine. The spine is near the center of the neck, not at the back as many of us imagine. This neck section of the spinal column is wrapped in dozens of muscles that contract and relax every time you move your head or alter the alignment of your spine or skull. These muscles have a tricky job on balancing what looks like a wobbling pumpkin on a broom stick.

“The head should naturally balance on top of the spine, its weight economically distributed. If you balance or juggle a heavy object on top of a pole you will instantly see how even the smallest shift will topple the object. Our head don’t drop off but a series of muscles in the neck and shoulders have to work overtime to compensate for any misalignment we are suffering.” The Right to Speak: Working with the Voice ~ Patsy Rodenburg

Neck Muscles Back

The most vulnerable neck muscle is the trapezius. It runs from the base of the skull down the back of the neck, where it fans out to the shoulder blades and spine. The head can weigh up to 20 lbs and carrying your head too far forward strains this muscle, which most of us do working at a desk, typing and looking at the computer screen.

Wearing high heels also strains the trapezius as the heels tilt a woman’s legs forward, thrusting her buttocks back. To compensate, the chest neck and head are forced to tilt forward.  And this also means the trapezius must strain to hold the head in place.

The other major neck muscle is the sternomastoid. To find it, turn your head toward your shoulder and run  your hand along the protruding muscle that extends from the base of the skull just below the ear down the front of the neck to your collarbone. The sternomastoid supports the neck to the side and front, whereas the trapezius controls front and back. If you brace your shoulder against a heavy shoulder bag, strain while lugging a suite case of scrunch up to hold your cell phone, you’re tensing both the trapezius and sternomastoid.

Are you short-sighted, as this can push the head forward straining the trapezius–and an aggressive attitude towards the world can push the head forward too.

Mental stress can create or compound neck pain. If you are depressed or angry, your muscles may tense without you even knowing. The longer the tension holds, the more likely the muscle will harden into a painful knot.

The key to breaking the spasm-pain cycle is to relax the muscle and increase circulation.  Breathing exercises, a hot bath or heating pain might help as well as gentle massage and simple exercises.

ANOTHER METAPHYSICAL PERSPECTIVE

Metaphorically, of the many people I’ve treated for neck tension, 60% of the problem had to do with low self-esteem.  Deep down inside they didn’t feel worthy of love and struggled with feelings of unworthiness. For many people, this low self-esteem had been caused from childhood fears of feeling unwanted, ignored,  rejected or even problems going through the birth canal. (The neck represents the in-taking, the beginning of life. It is here that we swallow the reality that forms the essence of our life).  Unknowingly, this affects a person both physically and emotionally, causing a fear of never quite measuring up. Many with neck problems, have a tendency to process information more deeply and become overwhelmed by criticisms, rejections, losses, betrayals and deaths.  Unfortunately this makes them even more vulnerable to attack and control from the outside and much of their life is spend in devising ways of protecting themselves so that what’s deep inside their core isn’t discovered; they struggle with an inner feeling of shame.

Many people with afflictions to their neck love to look after others.  Their ambition is to help others and often do this to their own detriment. The parents, you see, had invested all their energy in making their child dependent (which encourages sickness and weaknesses of all kinds) so the child would enjoy it when his or her pet is sick because s/he could look after it.

When in very early life, our creative self-expression is repressed and we are not encouraged to make our own choices, we find ourselves living someone else’s dreams, ideas or expectations.  Unaware of an alternative, we experience frustration, tension and even depression;  we feel restless, anxious or even guilty because we’re unable to get ourselves to do what we really want to do. When this happens we find ways to reduce our stress by eating sweets and pastries or opening a pint of ice-cream or a quart of beer and kill hours surfing the internet or watching TV. What we’ve done is repressed our feelings and diverted them into some form of ‘habitual pattern’. The longer this tension holds, the more likely the muscle(s) will spasm or harden into a painful knot.  The more we suppress our hopes and desires the more we wither on the inside; we also become dependent on others to tell us what  we want and where we wish to go.  If we fail to speak out for ourselves, our suppressions can actually cripple us.

It is true that anxiety, jealousy, anger, creates stress that tends to strike the muscles in the upper back and neck.   Stiffness in the neck can cause the cervical bones to go out of alignment by restricting the circulation and nerve energy, which may eventually result in rheumatism and/or cervical problems. The neck is one of our most vulnerable areas and when stressed could indicate an inability to express what we’re feeling, blocking off our communication. The neck is considered by many spiritual disciplines as the gateway or bridge to the spiritual world through which the breath must pass.

Anger can also come from a habit of reacting angrily instead of listening with patience and compassion.  And these fiery outbursts of energy create a lot of acid in the body. The constant release of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol can sear the body in a way that is similar to acid searing metal. Even hours after the output of these chemicals, they still remain high in the body, elevating blood sugar levels, causing damage to the muscular system, decalcifying our bones and thinning our skin. This is when toxic emotions become deadly emotions.

When we are under stress, the thyroid gland has to work harder, pumping out more of its hormones.  The thyroid controls our ‘basic’ metabolism, cardiac rhythm, and manages our ability to adapt. If stress continues, the thyroid won’t be able to continue its increased level of production and may begin to fail.  When this happens, the immune system becomes confused and starts producing antibodies against the thyroid.  As the thyroid falters, metabolism slows, causing mood swings, emotional outbursts,  irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, aches and pains in joints and muscles, and muscle weakness and coordination problems.

If you’d like to more about the metaphysics of the thyroid, EMOTIONALLY, PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY DECODING THE THYROID

Problems in the neck area can also be caused by restrictive breathing.  The muscles that lift the rib when we breathe deeply into the abdomen are the sternocleidomastoid muscles and the upper trapezius muscles on the back of the neck – shallow breathing can result in neck strain and chronic neck tension – and – the most common cause of headaches is neck tension, especially the excessive pull on the base of the skull where the upper trapezius attaches.

If you have any structural problems with your back, spine, neck or overall posture, this will restrict the nerve supply to your organs and digestive system; the result of this is poor digestion which can lead to toxic buildup of food materials in your intestines.  From this, you might develop food sensitivities as the healthy food becomes toxic.

THE THROAT CHAKRA

“Expressing our feelings is the function of the Throat Chakra. People who are not prepared to deal with emotional energy often have problems with their throat, mouth, teeth, and ears. When we limit the flow of energy by blocking our expression, there is insufficient energy to feed these areas of the body, and energy has a difficult time reaching the higher centers of the mind. If there are energy leaks in the Throat Chakra because of suppression, negative energy will stay bound in the body and form the musculature and character style of the person. Energy will never rise up to the higher mind, to be expressed as thoughts, opinions or insights. This can produce engorgement of the tissues, rigidity of the bones and other congestive problems. The more we feel free to express ourselves, the more internal regulation we have for our mental and emotional functions. Energy wants to be able to flow in and through us”  LIFE CHANGES With the Energy of the Chakras ~ Amika Wauters

When Alyssa came to visit me and other practitioners in the clinic, she was suffering from a condition known as cervical spondlyosis.

(Cervical spondylosis, also known as cervical osteoarthritis, is a disorder where the bones in the neck and the discs start degenerating. Anatomically, degeneration in the bones and discs of the neck are usually the result of wear and tear as we grow older.  What happens, is, the discs lose  their elasticity causing them to become more brittle. Along with the degeneration of disks, bony outgrowths may also form on the vertebrae which are called osteophytes. All these degenerative changes in the cervical spine cause compression and pressure on the spinal nerves that come out of the spinal cord producing symptoms of Cervical Spondylosis. The symptoms of cervical spondylosis are:  – pain and stiffness in the neck which is usually progressive in nature; pain and numbness that radiates to the hands and fingers;  headache that starts from the neck and extend to the back of head; loss of balance and vertigo (sensation of spinning or whirling with loss of balance).

No matter the temperature outside, Alyssa always, always wore turtle-neck tops or scarves right up to her chin.  She spoke in whispers as if afraid to speak out and  found myself leaning in more to hear what she was saying. The fifth chakra is associated with our ability to communicate and express ourselves. When the fifth chakra is balanced, we feel we have the right to speak and be heard; we communicate clearly and can express ourselves creatively. When the fifth chakra energy is deficient, there is a tendency to protect our throat, to be silent and to fear self-expression.

“Most people are not prepared to express the depth of their feelings. They chose safety rather than honesty. Their Throat Chakras then become congested with energy that eventually becomes stagnant..” LIFE CHANGES With the Energy of the Chakras ~ Ambika Wauters

At the base of the brain is the Medulla Oblongata. This area at the back of the neck feeds nerve energy to our five senses. When we have no desire, no will, our nerve energy becomes depleted, it never reaches our ears, eyes, throat or mouth. Our five senses are literally starved and react by creating a physical problem. When we are drained of energy, of power, our body steals it from our eyes, ears, nose, throat and mouth.

(Solar Plexus 3rd Chakra)

During Alyssa’s Reiki treatment, her mind/body spoke of her being intensely self-critical and, very much  like a harping parent trying to redo herself over and over again (Solar Plexus 3rd chakra). This not only creates a crises and personally overhauls the personality; it also creates changes in friends and our surrounding environment. Alyssa said, she had no idea how to stop picking on herself. This self-destruct, self-punishment cycling was creating her bones to landslide, down to the pits, the bottom…in a devastating momentum. Alyssa hadn’t realized how big her self-criticism was.  After the treatment she also realized all the struggles with losing jobs, her home, lifestyle, everything was her continually trying to start over and over again .. ‘trying’ to be ‘totally’ someone else.  This tendency to ‘change’ also made Alyssa vulnerable, giving her power to others and leaving her insecure and bewildered.

The 3rd chakra is the center of self-esteem or the lack there-of; it’s the chakra of how we’ feel about ourselves;  it registers every memory you have of being criticized and what you define as being attractive.  Everybody’s approval you need is in this part of the body and how you react to people and situation in regard to your sense of self. For example, if you picture being attractive, anorexic, and permanently looking 24, or any other component of being attractive, your spirit will leave your solar plexus and temporarily plug into images surrounding the social mind that says, unless I accomplish that image, I’m not attractive.  This is similar to what Alyssa’s energy was plugged into.  In the past, she so desperately needed someone’s approval she started remodelling  everything about her ‘self’.  This may seem a little thing but it’s really a Huge thing because you’re saying to that person, “I agree with you, I’m not good enough the way I am, so I’ll let you remodel me.” So little by little you begin to negotiate your sense of self to please the other person.

When we are disempowered or held back by a dominating figure, we usually hold in our feelings of pain and humiliation.  As said before, holding in negative emotions short circuits our nervous system, depleting our energy, circulation and digestive system. The energies of the solar plexus center affect the digestive system, the pancreas, the liver and gall bladder, the diaphragm, and the middle back.  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.

The diaphragm is a muscle shaped like an inverted bowl that separates the chest casvity from the abdomen.  As you breathe in this muscle stretches out to allow air into the lungs.  As you breathe out, the diaphragm curves inwards and upwards to help force all the stale air out. The human body is designed to exhale 70 percent of its toxins through breathing. Only a small percentage of toxins are released through sweat, and the elimination of waste products from the body.

The scalene muscles attach to the sides of the neck vertebrae as well as the top two ribs. The scalene help stabilize, flex and rotate the neck; their main job is to raise the upper two ribs on each side when you inhale. The scalene muscles work extremely hard when your breathing is stressed or if your coughing and sneezing.

In upper chest breathing, the diaphragm is unable to expand and contract as it should, this overtaxes and shortens the scalene muscles and the trapezius in the neck.  Shortened muscles in the neck causes undue stress on the

THE SACRAL (2nd) CHAKRA

Why you make the choices you make stem from your core beliefs and feelings about your inner power or lack thereof. Second chakra imbalances affect your mental and emotional perceptions and  your motivations for making life decisions. This chakra keeps energetic messages of your development as a child. So in truth, this is where the inner child originates from.  If the inner child is misplaced, due to trauma, it is usually found either in the base or solar plexus area.

Parts of the body controlled by the 2nd chakra are the sexual organs, large intestine, lower vertebrae, pelvis, appendix, bladder and hip area.

The base chakra gives us stability, the 2nd or sacral chakra gives us movement.  Without water, the earth would be infertile.  Picture a beautiful waterfall flowing majestically down a mountain.  Look closely at the rock formation and see how the water has gently carved, molded and smoothed the face of the stone.  Together earth and water create a potent connection.  This helps us to see that the sacral chakra also has to do with our bodily fluids, blood circulation, hydration and elimination.  It is also linked to the lympathic system which takes us to the 5th or throat chakra.

When the Root (1st chakra) and sacral chakra are balanced there’s a harmony between the body/mind. If the 2nd chakra is blocked or never properly developed, our mental health can be affected.  We may lack common-sense and be immature about personal relationships. We may exhibit an urge to control other people and react childishly, like having a temper tantrum to get our own way.

It is not unusual for people with traumatic childhood’s to have blockages in their first 3 chakras. Problems with their health may show in the muscles and nervous system, eczema, ulcers, kidney and structural (bone) problems.  These 3 energy centers are the basis for the framework of the body.

BEGINNING THE PROCESS OF HEALING

I’ve written of the Three A’s before which are so vital in the process of healing, have added them again.

THE THREE A’s

Awareness, Acceptance, Adjustment

“The formula is simple.  Take your greatest victory as your ceiling and your worst defeat becomes the place where your foundation will be built.  Once that’s in place you’ve got a frame which you will fill with joy and sorrow.  From your center will come the creative force of your being, your truth and your instincts.  It is from this place that everything else evolves.” Linda Joyce

AWARENESS – To make changes to our world, we first need to know where we are before we can decide how to get where we want to go.  If you got lost driving to my house, you’d call and ask for directions.  To help you get here, my first question to you would be “Where are you now.”  Awareness is about asking yourself….”Where am I now”; it always determines your next move.

ACCEPTANCE – Awareness and acceptance are intertwined.  By learning to accept freely and uncritically where we are at this moment, we begin to allow our unconscious to release more knowledge about ourselves.  The process of acceptance is one of acknowledging to ourselves that we are in fact perfect—it is where we are supposed to be right now.

Mentally fighting our current situation with judgements such as “I should be better” drains our energy and self-esteem.  Without acceptance of where we are, there is no possibility of moving in a direction of our choice or of every enjoying ourselves fully.

For example, until some acknowledges and accept a current situation of being overweight, he or she cannot choose the goal of thinness and enjoy the process of moving toward it.

ADJUSTMENT – Once we are aware and accept where we are, can we go on to make the changes in our habits that we’d like to make and bring us to a greater state of health.

The keys to the stage of Adjustment are patience and moderation.  Often we go too fast and become discouraged when we can’t change everything overnight, or else we think that the changes needed are so great that we’ll never be able to make them and discourage ourselves before we start.

Giving a voice to your independent point of view, will attract appreciation and love for the person you truly are. If you surround yourself with people of who you really resonate with, you experience the joy of knowing that you are valued for being there in the present moment with them. When you trust your own perceptions and act on them to create an inner equilibrium, you add the peacefulness of your presence to the situation.

When you go to your deep self and then express the balance and stability that is there, you silently invite others to go to that place within themselves. The power of your harmony impels others to go to their depths also if they wish to relate to you; in this way, through claiming your centre, you create harmony.

**

We can only build truly satisfying connections by first developing a secure relationship with ourselves; we need to accept and validate our feelings and needs and be willing to assert ourselves, even it breaks the peace as this actually creates a deeper and more authentic contact. We also need to apply this to our own bodies when we notice pain or discord.  We need to go within and listen and discover how we’re using our personal energy and power…which also involves our sense of self-esteem and self-expression. It’s also learning about the cause and effects of our choices and how we wield our own power.

As you learn to consciously observe the transformation process, you will watch yourself repeating a lot of old patterns long after you seemingly know better.  Spiritually and intellectually, you realize there is another way, but emotionally you are still clinging to the old habits.  This is a difficult time.  Try to be patient and compassionate with yourself.  When you recognize the futility of an old pattern so clearly, it’s about to change!  A short time later, you will suddenly begin to respond differently, in a more positive way.

ASSIGNMENT ~ FEELINGS LOG

This is a simple but significant assignment I gave to Alyssa and have shared with most of my clients;… for the next few days pay attention to your feelings and write a description in a journal or notebook just for this exercise.  You’re going to find out what makes you feel good and what makes you feel sad, what irritates you, what frightens you, what makes you nervous, and what you avoid. All you have to do is write what happened immediately after the feelings … “I stepped out in the rain and felt happy … or .. walked into a room and felt uneasy”

This is not a feeling’s journey, it’s like a log without editorializing…

You see we all have the habit of trying to hide our feelings from ourselves. We automatically deny uncomfortable feelings and try to turn them into comfortable ones … it’s not easy to catch yourself doing that.

And if the event that triggered the feelings seems too small to have mattered, your active brain is going to go looking for something fancier and overlook the right event, so this project will be a bit difficult at first  .. very similar to another meditation on this blog.. Counting Your Thoughts Visualization

Actually logging your feelings is making you accept yourself, and respect yourself, a whole lot more than a hundred affirmations saying “My feelings are all right” or “I’m a good person” The very act of noting something means you accept it.

What if you only really want good feelings .. “I just want to be happy and find my passion” .. well we know that doesn’t work.

We can all remember a time when we felt good, positive, bold, but we also remember times we felt rotten, for weeks and just couldn’t get rolling.  There is a way to get through the bad feelings fast but squashing them won’t do it.

To work with feelings, you must use feelings.

If you’re feeling hurt, you probably need to cry. If you’re scared you might need to run for safety. If you’re angry then you need to speak out about the injustices done.  And though we were trained to control our feelings in public and to think before we act .. it doesn’t mean we should make this a habit in our personal lives.

If you’re not alone with your feelings, don’t swallow them ,, just postpone them for a moment and go somewhere private to express them. Cry, tremble, shake your fists, curse the injustices.  Do whatever the feeling seems to want you to do. Go ahead and groan or heave heartbreaking sighs in the bathroom. Snarl and punch your palm in the coat closet. Shiver and admit you were scared to death. I know it’s hard because we’ve learnt to keep all those feelings in but just a few minutes of expressing your feelings will radically lower their intensity and give them a chance to transform themselves the natural way .. just like a thundershower clears away dark clouds.

Unexpressed feelings are toxic. That’s why nature gave us the tools of expression–to discharge the toxins that have built up inside. Expressing our feelings is the only natural way to turn a bad feeling into a good one. When you’re alone, drop the facade we’ve been conditioned to wear and let the fear and hurt and anger burst out or you’ll carry them around with you for days, until they leak into scenes of your life where they don’t belong and wreak havoc.

Trying to pretend to feel better doesn’t work, same as the same affirmation said over and over again… the mind is so creative it eventually resents the dullness of the repetition. Whenever I try to repeat an affirmation over and over my subconscious rebels because there is a defiant child in all of us that doesn’t always want to do the right thing lol!

This exercise isn’t about silencing or arguing with our thoughts; it’s about listening and acknowledging them so we can begin making gradual changes to our internal critical self-talk

Do you feel tense, , To rectify this, learn to stop yourself  for a moment and notice where your thoughts are.  Are they in the present, past or future or directed towards a person or thing?

**

When Alyssa returned a week later, she couldn’t believe the many voices and images inside her head that put her down or said horrible things about her. It made her aware of how negatively she talked to herself and that this needed to change in order to feel differently.  I also told Alyssa, our thoughts are part of where we scatter our attention, our power; they are made of old beliefs, experiences, feelings, fears and hopes all collected in a jumbling pattern; in a way they are alive and conscious, depending on how much power we give them.

Images we hold in regard to our past (childhood) as well as present time, influences not only unhealthy situations but can arise in the form of unhappy experiences as well as mental or physical illness.

For her 2nd Reiki treatment, I asked Alyssa to again listen to the critiques inside her head but this time, try and identify from whom these inner voices came (mother, father, siblings, colleague, teacher, partner, etc.) and if she could locate where she felt them resonating in her body.  As the healing began, I asked Alyssa to illuminate and bring into focus the buried images/feelings she’d written down. With the hand placements of Reiki  we worked together to bring the hurtful images/feelings out of hiding. Rather than zapping them out of existence, we surrounded and immersed them in light, where they began to lose their strength and destructive power. This would need to be reinforced again, and again, but each time, the critiques-within would lose more of their power.

I recommended Alyssa talk to the dietician in the clinic and consider other healing tools, such as Yoga, Tai Chi, EFT and massage. I also gave her meditations to help with her self-esteem.

The most important element to self healing is the ability to be present with your Self.  You cannot begin if you are preoccupied with the past or living in the expectations of future times.  All these do is scatter your ability to focus and  leave you powerless.

Being in the present  will begin the process of releasing powerful emotions that have been masked or blocked.  It means courageously looking back and inward on a pain originally based on a fear…..an often painful process  we all try desperately to avoid.  AND  when we avoid pain, we experience frustration, anger and exhaustion…..our bodies only get sicker.

Taking care of yourself requires discipline and focus……it takes a lot of courage to nourish and respectfully pay attention to YOU.

**

MEDITATION ~ FREEING YOUR BODY  The Self-Esteem Companion  ~  Matthew McKay Ph.D., Patrick Fanning, Carole Honeychurch, Catherine Sutker

People experience emotions in their bodies as well as their minds.  Do you ever get “gut feelings” about things? Have you every been very angry and felt your stomach clenching? Or Experienced sadness as a heaviness in the chest?

Even chronic feelings of low self-esteem can manifest in your body. You may feel the hollowness of failure in your stomach, the pressure of self-blame on your heart, or the pain of shame in your throat. You have a painful hunch of shoulders from a fear of rejection.

The following exercise can help free your body of feelings connected to low self-esteem. You may want to voice-record the exercises for repeated use.

The first step is to relax your body and mind. Sit or lie down in a quiet place, close your eyes and begin to breathe slowly and deeply. Mentally check in with your body, scanning your muscles for signs of tension. If you find any tense areas, take a belly-breath and release the tightness as you exhale. Remember to scan your whole body—your face, chest, back, arms, stomach, pelvis, and legs.

When you feel physically relaxed, try to quiet your mind. Clear out the random thoughts that dart in and out, and concentrate on a sense of stillness. If thoughts intrude, simplet let them come and watch them go, always returning your focus to the quietness of your mind. Now you’re ready to begin the visualization to clear your body of emotion-based pain.

Visualize the negative feelings that lie in your body. Give them a shape and a color. Make them as ugly and weird as you want. They could look like an anvil, a sword, a sack of potatoes, or an empty cave. Take some deep breaths. With each breath, see those feelings move out of your body and away from you. Watch the anvil leave your stomach or the choking fingers let go of your throat. You are floating past the bad feelings now. They are out of your body, and you are drifting away from them. They get farther and farther away from you. Keep fcuisng on your brahting as the negative feelings move farther away, first becoming a distant speck, the finally disappearing altogether.

Say to yourself: “These are feelings from the past. They come up whenever a situation arises that challenges me. I will survive them, floating past until until my body is free from all of the pain.”

In your imagination, step outside of yourself. Now you can see how bad you’ve felt. You can see how  you struggle with these negative feelings in your torso and limbs. See your face, the position of your body.  Imagine the location of any remaining negative feelings as a red glow in your body. It will fade in a while. Take deep breaths as you watch the red glow diminish. Imagine the bad feelings passing as the glow gradually fades away. If you wish, you can turn the red light into a neutral or relaxing color–pale blue or another gentle pastel. When you are ready, go back inside yourself.

Finally, envision a mental picture of yourself days or even years from now when these bad feelings are long gone. See yourself standing straight and tall, head up, confident, and relaxed. As you bring your awareness back to a more relaxed present moment, remember that you can do this exercise whenever your body is experiencing tension or pain from emotional stress.

BREATHE

Breathing is the most natural thing in the world. It is at the very center of our physical lives. It is instinctive and involuntary and yet how often do we let it work naturally? Most people most of the time are unconsciously hindering the full extent of their breath. Look at the breathing of a young child, and you will see the whole system working effortlessly. All the movement is centred in the middle of the body. This is because that child has not had time to learn any bad habits that can interfere with the natural process.

Now take a moment to observe yourself. Is your head freely balanced on the top of the spine, or is it held tightly in position? Is your jaw or throat tense? Are your shoulders braced up toward your ears or slumped forward? Is the upper chest caving in or being pulled up? Is your stomach relaxed? How free are your knees and feet?

All these little details, habits born from experience, can affect your breathing, making it inefficient. If your posture is bad, for example, the muscles that create the changes in the body that lead to the intake and outflow of breath are restricted in their natural movement, and the lungs cannot expand to their full potential. This can result in breathing only in our upper ribs, a habit we get used to and accept as normal.

Also, the breath and emotions are interrelated. When you are angry, you might hold your breath, or, if you are particularly nervous or stressed, your breathing might become very short and shallow. Most people only use their lungs to their maximum potential when they laugh or cry deeply –laughter and crying both leave behind a feeling of relaxation, a release of emotional tension. Think of how tired and cleansed you feel after a bout of wholehearted laughter, or relief you feel after a deep sigh. If you have ever had a massage, you will have noticed that as your muscles relax, your breathing deepens and slows.

Try is little exercise, it will allow you to feel how deeply you can breathe.

Stand upright with your feet apart. Cross your arms in front of you, and rest the palms of your hands on your shoulders. It should look as if you were giving yourself a hug.

In this position, relax your arms and shoulders. There should be no unnecessary tension in the upper body. Drop your head forward, bending from the waist. Breathe all the way out, and then slowly, naturally allow a big breath in. You will be aware of your ribs opening in your back, and it should feel like the breath will be moving right down your spine.

Repeat a few times. Drop your arms, and then return to an upright position, slowly–if you stand up too quickly you may become dizzy.

Great Links

Trapezius muscle release (youtube)

Easy trapezius stretch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jiq1WbdfkE

http://www.oneworldhealing.net/chakra-healing/vishuddha/

http://www.pharrah13.com/Chakra.html

http://www.holisticwebs.com/sound/thymus.html

http://www.inner-truth.net/healing/chakras/throatchakra.html

http://self-healingsecrets.com/1486/metaphysical-meaning-behind-back-and-neck-pain/

http://www.pharrah13.com/Chakra.html

http://www.holisticwebs.com/sound/thymus.html

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EMOTIONAL BURDENS ARE A MAJOR CAUSE OF BACK PROBLEMS

“The object of anxiety is within ourselves. When we fail to consciously recognize our Natural and Sacred Anxiety they reappear wearing bizarre disguises and we fight these phantoms, monsters of our own creation. Yet we usually have no idea that we have done this; our habits of suppression have become so automatic that we are no longer aware of them. Thus we have the strange sensation that we are fighting ourselves, and when we are feeling from our self, there is no-where to run and nowhere to hide” Finding Serenity in the Age of Anxiety ~ Robert Gerzon

Your  body is a graphic expression of everything it has ever experienced; every event, every emotion and every stress and pain is locked within its bodily system.  Alternative healers and therapists have learned through years of experience to interpret the body’s visual clues that reveal a person’s pattern of feeling, thinking and acting; using this knowledge helps to  release tensions embedded as ‘residue of symptoms’ in our cells.

Most people don’t realize that within our bodies is a freely circulating giant plumbing system (lymphatic system) that continuously flows up to 10-15 litres of essential fluids at any one time. In healthy undamaged tissue, food is brought into muscles and waste is taken out through this process. In damaged tightened tissue however, contracted areas literally can’t release their waste, almost like a constipation effect, which blocks the exit of waste products.  As these waste products accumulate, nerves that are located in the muscle become irritated. These nerves then send pain signals to the brain, causing both physical and emotional discomfort. Overtime, the tightening of muscle fibres and accumulation of wastes form little ‘balls’ which you can actually feel when you press on tight muscles.

A build up of waste products is not all that happens when muscles tighten. Your body’s main information highway, the Center Nervous System (CNS – which is comprised of your brain and spinal chord), is also negatively affected. When muscles tighten, irritated nerve fibres feed back into the CNS continuously, signaling to it that something is wrong—causing a ‘white noise type of effect.

If you’ve ever tried to listen to a song on the radio through bad static you know how frustrating background noise can be. Your nervous system goes through the same thing as it tries to transmit information over a background of irritated nerve signals that distort its messages.

“It seems that the muscles and organs also have the capacity to trigger memories of our emotional reactions to specific events. Consequently, if we find ourselves experiencing something that’s similar and has a familiar emotional charge to it, we’ll sense it in specific parts of the body. For example, we might experience right shoulder tension every time we find ourselves feeling responsible for carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders, or we might have jaw discomfort every time we’re in a verbally contentious situation.

The body and knows and tells us through the muscles. They’ll freeze up, contract, and spasm as if altering the brain that something is up. And while anatomists can’t prove these sensory impulses to the brain via the nerves are actually emotions, they can show that what they evoke is the source of how experience emotions. To support their findings, they use the examples of how strong negative emotions are gut-wrenching, how they can freeze us in our tracks if we’re about to put ourselves in harm’s way, how anger changes the functioning of the heart, and how love makes the knees weak and the palms sweaty. “ Healing Happens With Your Help ~ Carol Ritberger

Muscles enable us to move, and contribute to our shape, as well as helping us to breathe, digest food, circulate blood, and perform many other bodily functions. There are two main types: the skeletal muscles that you can move voluntarily, and the involuntary muscles, like those of the heart, which move automatically.  Each end of a skeletal muscle is attached to a bone on either side of joint.

Complexes, traumas and unresolved issues from our early childhood often  seethe below the level of our consciousness. Almost all unresolved negative patterns and attitudes have a tendency to be pushed to the ‘back’ of the body; it’s the dumping ground, the place where all feelings and experiences that have caused us pain or confusion are buried.  For some of us, our whole life is built around suppressing what is back there—the longer issues of our past aren’t acknowledged—the more damage and wear-and tear they have on the skeletal and muscular part of the body.

In the upcoming articles on this bog, we’re going to explore the many metaphysical causes of back pain and muscle tension and several healing tools and techniques of healing them.  It is only a beginning point to give you your own direction. It has to be up to you to understand and become aware of gathering your own data, understanding it and applying it to your life.

PART ONE OF THIS SERIES

In Part One of Metaphysically Understanding Back Pain, we’re going to begin this series with the neck, ‘the point of connection’ between the head and trunk.

Tight muscles creating an armor in the upper back are often loaded with rage that was initially aimed at ourselves but then get projected outwards toward others. This can be seen in what is known as the ‘dowager’s hump’, a formation of soft tissue that builds in the upper back, most often in older women. It would appear to represent a collection of angry, and resentful thoughts that grow without the means for expression as the years pass; it manifests as we get older and as our reason or purpose for living loses impetus.” The BodyMind Workbook ~ Debbie Shapiro

Following Part One, we’ll discuss the fascia, which your muscles and organs are enfolded in—combined the fascia and muscle tissue (myofascia) define the contour of the body—together they form the structure and movement in the body. When your stressed or ‘uptight’, gastric juices increase, blood vessels go into spasm, particularly the coronary vessels of the heart. Muscles clench and contract, especially the back muscles, your fascia twists, turns, tightens and thickens causing muscular pain.  The muscles in fact appear to be held in a grip of fear.

The bones of your back speak metaphorically too, and there is a very close relationship between back pain and the nerves in and around your spine.  The brain’s electrical system is all about nerves and a cable system that conveys messages around the body.  The spine’s electrical system includes  the myelin sheaths.  These insulated nerve fibres protect messages as they pass to and from the brain without getting jumbled, weakened or lost. It also helps maintain healthy connections between different parts of the brain, which is vital to process information in a multi-faceted way.

We’ll journey through the 33 vertebrae in the five sections or regions of the spine. You have seven vertebrae in your neck or cervical region; twelve in the mid-back, known as the thoracic or dorsal region; (these are the vertebrae attached to your ribs) and five vertebrae (largest of all) in the low back or lumbar region—two other ‘immobile’ sections are the sacrum and the coccyx. The entire package amounts to a mechanism that can bend and twist, turn and squirm, shake and wiggle and do just about anything else within the range of human motion. But just as easily it can stiffen up, resist, hold itself rigid, causing  nerve irritation, muscle tightness, fatigue, muddled thinking, anxiety disorders, chronic stress, insomnia, etc..

The mind/body connection is about turning inward and preparing yourself for reflecting or mirroring on the story of your life. Hopefully this metaphysical series on understanding back pain will act as catalyst to move you into deeper levels of inner awareness. The metaphysical explanations and various techniques and imageries may help you to see real connections between the physical and spiritual world and discover deeper meanings of our emotions and their connection to illness and pain.

Be patient with your healing and respect the fact that true healing takes time. If you’ve been in pain for a while, it will probably take you 25% of that time, to work on all aspects of your problem to generate significant lasting healing change.

“Much of what creates a great athlete, as well as a great meditator, is the ability to become acutely conscious of the simple actions that most people perform unconsciously. In Medical Meditation, these actions include not just breathing, but also postures and movement. Advanced meditators are just as conscious of their movements and postures as they are of their breathing and their state of mind.” The Healing Elements of Medical Meditation ~ Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. and Cameron Stauth

to be continued…..

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

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

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

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

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

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF INSOMNIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT IF….INSOMNIA IS CAUSED BY SOMETHING ELSE?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RESTLESS SLEEP

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

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

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

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

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

WHEN RELAXING IS UNRELAXING

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

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

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

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

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

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS THAT ARE KNOWN TO DISRUPT SLEEP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CORTISOL OVERLOAD

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

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

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

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

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

CORTISOL IMPACTS THE LIVER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Liver Meridian Gallbladder meridian

THE ADRENAL GLANDS AND SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE PINEAL GLAND AND SLEEP

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

Some Autonomic Nervous System Disturbances

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHY IS SLEEP SO POWERFUL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

REM AND NREM SLEEP

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

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

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

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

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

“BODY SCANNING

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

PART II ~ INSOMNIA ~ RULES FOR BETTER SLEEP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUPPLEMENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Valerian – an effective stress reducer and sedative

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

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

Links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To be continued….

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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

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

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

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

WHAT IS PSORIASIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS

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

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

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

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

However, psoriatic arthritis is more likely to also cause:

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

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

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

THE THIRD LUNG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STRESS

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

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

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

CANDIDA AND LEAKY GUT

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

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

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

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

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

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

A full article on the metaphysical causes of Candiasis is here

MOLDS IN FOODS AND THE ENVIRONMENT

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

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

METAPHYSICALLY HEALING PSORIASIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BELLY BREATHING

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

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

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

JUMP AND SHAKE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BECOME AWARE OF YOUR POSTURE AND RELAX

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

CHANGE YOUR POSTURE – CHANGE YOUR MOOD

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

*COLOR HEALING

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

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

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

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

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

NATURAL REMEDIES FOR PSORIASIS

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

MINERALS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

hooked-on-nails.com/naildisorders.

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

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

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

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

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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

WHAT IS BIPOLAR DISORDER/MANIC DEPRESSIVE

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

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

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

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

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

BIPOLAR TYPE I

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

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

BIPOLAR II

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

THE HYPOMANIC SIDE OF BIPOLAR DISORDER

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

CYCLOTHYMES

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

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

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

THE METAPHYSICAL CAUSE OF BIPOLAR

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

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

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

A grandiose sense of self-importance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE MANIC LOWS OF BIPOLAR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MELANCHOLY

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

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

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

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

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

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

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

“The pain is too much

a thousand grim winters

grown in my head

in my ears

the sound of the

coming dead

All seasons, all same

all lliving

all pain

No opiate to lock still

my senses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE WARNING SIGNS OF SUICIDE

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

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

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

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

“Suicide warning signs or suicidal thoughts include:

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

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

·       Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone

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

·       Being preoccupied with death, dying or violence

·       Feeling trapped or hopeless about a situation

·       Increasing use of alcohol or drugs

·       Changing normal routine, including eating or sleeping patterns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LINKS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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WHAT IS ASPERGER’S 

“You don’t suffer from Asperger’s, you suffer from other people”   ~ Tony Attwood

“You may feel that people are blocking you from doing what you want to do. Most people want to keep things the same. In this modern world, where everything is changing so rapidly, people make conscious efforts to sustain the familiar and continue with the past. As such, any change in the directions you take may evoke anxiety in others who find it hard to adjust to your new ways, which may not fit their concept of you. Don’t be deterred by this. In fact, when people start questioning you about your new attitudes, take it as a clue that you have begun to move in the new direction you have set for yourself.” Arki Kiev, M.D.

Asperger’s Syndrome was discovered in 1944 by Dr. Hans Asperger, an Austrian pediatrician. Although Asperger’s was discovered so long ago, Dr. Asperger’s papers weren’t translated until decades later [1990’s] and the term ‘Asperger’ Syndrome was coined by Lorna Wing, who was doing her own studies of a group of children who displayed its symptoms. It was after this, that the medical field started to familiarize themselves with Asperger’s and it took years after that to start diagnosing their patients with it.

“People with Asperger’s syndrome, a highly function form of autism often report that they have difficulty recognizing complex mental states like envy and love in others. Rather than relying on their (often faulty) assessment of others’ mental states when a complex social interaction presents itself, they depend on a “library” of carefully stored memories of previous interactions when deciding how to respond. At the same time, though, people with Asperger’s syndrome are also aware of the strategy’s limitations and the computational costs of calculating, through learned contingencies, what others are feeling and thinking. Temple Grandin, an autistic professor of animal behavior, has argued that animals’ responses to social events are likewise guided by memories of previous interactions rather than theories about mental states (Grandin and Johnson 2005). Instead of analyzing beliefs and desires, animals use past performance as a guide to future behavior.

Indeed, there is almost no example of possible mental state attribution in animals that cannot also be interpreted in terms of contingency learning. People often claim that their dog feels guilty when he does something that he “knows” he shouldn’t do, like knock over the garbage container. Dogs certainly acts as if they know they have done something wrong; their Tai Chi slink is a caricature of guilt. But dogs often assume the same guilty postures if another dog, or even a human, tips over the garbage. Rather than experiencing guilt or remorse about their actions, dogs are probably responding on the basis of a learned contingency: when garbage is on the floor, people begin to shout” (Grandin and Johnson 2005) Baboon Metaphysics: The Evolution of a Social Mind ~ by Dorothy Cheney, Robert M Seyfarth

Asperger’s syndrome like ADHD is labeled a neurobiological disorder—the difference between the two is that Asperger’s has been considered a higher function of Autism. Asperger’s individuals have very sensitive, highly reactive nervous systems; they have problems with sensory overload, making it hard to process information coming to them. This is why they can overreact to changes or stressful events, which tend to produce strong physical reactions. Aspies also have a lot of difficulty reading faces or people’s reactions (verbal/nonverbal cues), which are important for social communication. In other words, Aspies have trouble interacting with others—they lack the awareness of knowing they’ve upset someone, causing relationship problems and misunderstandings.

“The whole prospect of dating is frustrating and uncomfortable to me.   When someone close to me is hurting, I don’t know how to cope. I never know how to cope! There’s so many ‘unwritten rules’ and ‘codes of conduct’; what you should and shouldn’t say and do. I’m practical and usually quite reserved; I verbally have trouble expressing my truth, and when I do try, it comes out in confusing negative ways!” Where’s the love in that!” (Asperger’s young adult wanting love without all the restrictions) 

“People don’t understand but I get hurt really easily. I’m extremely sensitive and have a tendency to react without thinking. I can’t control my emotions, it feels like they take over and as much as I’d like to hide them, the power is too great to hold in and they come out in blunt, drastic, and usually dramatic ways. I know this needs reining in but how to do it? (Teen with Asperger’s)

Aspies constantly try to use their heads to navigate through life. Their reactive, emotional states can be so contradictory because they overact to who, what, when where and how? They are extremely vigilant anticipating problems in their environment, particularly with other people. Their need to question, to pay attention to details and problems and know where others stand is their way to defend themselves from real or imagined dangers. This is why they are quickly thrown into a storm of confusion and emotional reactions. They so want to be trusted, yet their trust in others is constantly tested to alleviate their own suspicions.

 “Children and teens with this disorder have problems socializing with other children and adults, are not personable, lack social skills, and have poor eye contact. They are inflexible with their routines; become upset when interrupted; usually ask questions that are out of context, have odd behaviors; and grow obsess with objects, activities, or hobbies. They are often ostracized and rejected by peers and called “weird.” Children with Asperger’s disorder may be irritable and have mood swings and severe temper tantrums…These symptoms may be confused with the mood swings and irritability seen in youth with bipolar disorder.” New Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar Disorder ~ Boris Birmaher, M.D.

Many children with Asperger’s also may suffer from a smorgasbord of symptoms that seem to be at odds with each other. We’re looking at many different neurological disorders such as ADD/ADHD, Bi-polar, Dyspraxia, Tourettes, OCD, etc., making it harder for doctors/psychiatrists/neurologists to correctly diagnose them. Aspie’s can alternate between elation and ecstasy to suddenly becoming irritable and angry that explodes into tantrums or destructive rage. They can’t help themselves because they don’t know what’s happening to them—these moods or panic attacks just hit them. That’s where they need guardians, teachers, doctors and parents to support them physically, emotionally and socially and to help them grow into adolescence and into their adulthood.

 “Sometimes I get really angry at people in my life (parents, siblings, children, co-workers) for no reason and replay over and over memories and conversations in my head that happened yesterday or even years ago. It’s like every waking moment of my day is spent muttering angrily to myself about something and I have no control over it. When this happens, I pretty much hide in my room all day and stay mad.” (Young woman with Asperger’s syndrome)

“Prominent individuals who have forever put their mark on history in their respective field might have had the condition described by Hans Asperger… Maybe one could even speculate that historic progress has quite often been made by people with Autism Spectrum Conditions. The perseverance, drive for perfection, good concrete intelligence, ability to disregard social conventions, and not worry too much about other people’s opinions or critiques, could be seen as advantageous, maybe even a prerequisite for certain forms of new thinking and creativity.” (Gillberg 2001) 

 “Children with Asperger’s Disorder are rarely able to read social cues without specific training. They are seldom able to express empathy, except in a strained intellectual sense, with others in virtually any situation. Their anxiety in social situations can be extreme, especially if something unexpected happens.” Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children And Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger’s, Depression and other Disorders ~ Great Potential Press – edited by James T. Webb

On the positive side, I think Asperger individuals (Aspie’s) have a great talent at keeping tabs on the time, organizing and filing important papers and keeping every receipt in perfect order. They are the great achievers of our world because of their ability to focus on what’s important to them; when inspired by an idea, they’ll marshal all their forces to pursue it.  But gawd forbid if you’re three minutes late for dinner or an important meeting, Aspies have a short fuse when you mess up their schedule that was prepared precisely to the minute.

“From a neuroscience standpoint, people with Asperger’s are extremely reactive due to an enlargement in the amygdala, which along with the hippocampus in the emotional center of the brain and part of the limbic system (Adophs et al. 1995). Limbic dysfunction can account for difficulty in reading faces and judging emotions of other people (Cohen, Klin, and Schultz 1999), which is probably why some people would refer to as a deficit in theory of mind. Heightened reactivity and anxiety are almost certainly a result of the enlarged limbic areas including the hippocampus that, on the positive side, gives those with Asperger’s a tremendous long-term memory and recall.

This constant social anxiety can create a fight-or-flight mode and can cause internalized panic that could lead to making insulting statements..to some extent, that is why people with Asperger Syndrome need to make a concerned effort to try to slow down and logically think things through before expressing themselves. It is a rational way for them to compensate for this deficit. It is a great adaptive function that can serve them well.”Asperger Syndrome and Bullying: Strategies and Solutions ~ By Nick Dubin

Both of my sons have difficulty expressing their emotions in a way that they think everybody else expects them to. Instead of showing empathy by listening or giving me hugs, they show empathy by offering a solution to the problem—and most usually, they’re right!

DAILY OM printed a wonderful article called Laboring under a Label written by Madisyn Taylor…

  “We live in a culture that uses labels as a means of understanding the world and the people living in it. As a result, many of us find ourselves laboring under a label that has a negative connotation. Unless we can find a way to see the good in such a label, we may feel burdened by an idea of ourselves that is not accurate. It is important to remember that almost nothing in this world is all good or all bad, and most everything is a complex mixture of gifts and challenges. In addition, different cultures revere certain qualities over others, but this does not mean that these qualities are inherently good or bad. For example, a culture that elevates outgoing behavior will label an introvert in a negative way, calling them antisocial. In truth, the ability to spend time alone is one that most great artists, mystics, and visionaries share. Owning the positive side of this label can lead us deeper into our gifted visions and fertile imaginations.

  When we look into the lives of any of the great people in history, we always find that they had quirks and eccentricities that earned them less than ideal labels from the societies in which they lived. Many famous artists and musicians were considered to be isolated loners or disruptive troublemakers, or sometimes both, yet these people altered history and contributed to the world an original vision or advances in our understanding of the universe. If we can remember this as we examine our own selves and the labels people use to describe us, we find that there is a bright side to any characterization.

  If you have been labeled, remember that all you have to do to see the positive side is to turn the label around. For example, you may be considered to be overly emotional, and the fact that you are perceived this way may make you feel out of control. But notice, too, the gifts of being able to feel and express your emotions, even in a world that doesn’t always encourage that. You might begin to see yourself as brave and open-hearted enough to stay alive to your feelings. You may also see that there are certain paths and professions in which this is a necessary ability. As you turn your label around, the light of your true nature shines to guide you on your way. http://www.dailyom.com/articles/2014/44326.html

Both my sons have been labeled with the Asperger’s syndrome, each in varying degrees.  They are smart, articulate, persistent, organized and highly focused. They don’t openly share their feelings and inner thoughts and are very uncomfortable around emotional issues and people.  Because they struggle with understanding the physical signs of the body; which by the way is known to contradict ‘verbal’ communication, they frequently withdraw from uncomfortable encounters OR will confront people who appear contradictory.  You want the truth, ask an Aspie!!

Asperger’s often feel isolated and alienated by society. Many times when my sons were growing up and in school they were harshly treated, teased, abused and bullied or taken advantage of by others—especially from those who saw them as ‘odd’—or not as aware or adept as others. This is why Asperger’s prefer to be alone, shrink away from relationships and have only a couple of close friends.

“In working with children who suffer from Asperger’s Disorder, despite their often high intellectual functioning, one must break down every social behavior into its smaller components. For example it may be necessary to physically show the child exactly how close one typically stands when having a conversation, or to specify it is important to look directly at the face of the person with whom you are conversing. Instruction in social skills must be detailed and concrete, and it often must be repeated for several different types of situations due to the difficulty that children with Asperger’s Disorder have with generalizing. Often these children rely on rote memory for the “rules” of social interactions. Sometimes instructions do not help because the child lacks the motivation to improve social skills (lack of insight) and finds the behaviors (such as looking someone in the eyes) very uncomfortable. Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children And Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger’s, Depression and other Disorders ~ Great Potential Press – edited by James T. Webb

 “I’ll let you know right now my opinions are very strong and if we disagree, I will research your arguments into the ground even if these were disputed months or even years ago; this is the kind of stuff I obsess over. To you, it may seem ignorant when I speak but I have this problem of not being able to shut up and I can be extremely blunt with absolutely no empathy of what you’re thinking or feeling or how emotional you’ve become.” (Frank with Asperger’s)

ASPERGER’S GIFTS

Not everything that steps out of line, and thus “abnormal,” must necessarily be “inferior.” ~ Professor Hans Asperger

You’ll find most ‘gifted’ Asperger individuals studying engineering, physics, computer science, genetics, teaching, etc. Most of them are highly intelligent with above average IQ’s. They are exceptionally bright, quick thinkers and learners; they love to learn, read, watch movies, or anything that inspires them to peer deeply into the meaning of life. Their greatest desire in life is to be secure and stable. They love to process any information in an orderly and chronological manner; everything must be meticulously detailed and calculated in a step-by-step orderly manner. Everything in life ‘must’ have a logical and rational explanation—they won’t usually believe in something unless they’ve been shown the evidence or they can prove or discover it themselves. They can be quite blunt and insulting to people, unaware of the amount of force and intensity they use in their interactions—especially to those who have little self-respect or problems with their self-image.

“Prominent individuals who have forever put their mark on history in their respective field might have had the condition described by Hans Asperger… Maybe one could even speculate that historic progress has quite often been made by people with Autism Spectrum Conditions. The perseverance, drive for perfection, good concrete intelligence, ability to disregard social conventions, and not worry too much about other people’s opinions or critiques, could be seen as advantageous, maybe even a prerequisite for certain forms of new thinking and creativity.” (Gillberg 2001, p.134)

Aspie’s enjoy the high feeling they get when they assert themselves in challenging situations. They want to do the impossible to succeed where others have failed or others have said ‘it can’t be done’. If they’re reasonably sure they’ll come out on top, they will take the chance and enjoy the excitement.

Asperger’s people love the intense feeling of joy and contentment.   With emotions such as fear, irritation, disappointment or anger, they will endlessly search, analyzing the problem, until they find a solution. They’ll sit for hours searching the internet, reading books, asking questions.  Sometimes all they need is a shift in perspective to keep them on track. When they choose a solution, they apply it. If it doesn’t work, they’ll keep trying until one does.

TESTING FOR ASPERGER’S

This is an excellent site on diagnosing Asperger’s for an adult or child.

http://www.autism.org.uk/about-autism/all-about-diagnosis/diagnosis-the-process-for-children/diagnosis-what-to-expect.aspx

Have you noticed your child has problems making friends? Skips school whenever possible. Avoids eye contact? Extremely sensitive and easily hurt?   Often misinterprets what you mean or say? Has a deep special interest? Does the same thing over and over again? Panic when he or she has to do or try something new? Finds it hard to interpret gestures like head shaking? Finds empathy hard? Is his/her speech unusually formal? Any evidence of anxiety, depression, or hyper sensitivities to taste, touch, smell? Poor handwriting? Picky eater? Bullied at school and/or easily fooled and conned? Becomes easily confused or overwhelmed? Has your child expressed they must have been misplaced or from another planet? If so it’s ‘possible’ they may have Asperger’s, but you won’t know for sure unless they are properly tested.

I think all children and adults display symptoms of Asperger’s at times, which is why sometimes identifying and treating Asperger’s can be quite a challenge. In this world today, many young people are mislabeled because teachers and doctors don’t have the time or the resources to treat the symptoms and ‘not the person affected by it’.

 “A young child with Asperger’s syndrome often assumes that other people are thinking exactly what he or she is thinking; or the child assumes that other people’s words match their thoughts….each person may have very different thoughts and feelings in the same situation, and that what people say may not always correspond with what they are thinking. The Comic Strip Conversations…from the book “The Complete Guide to Asperger’s syndrome ~ by Tony Attwood

There are a few test sites for adults which I’ll post for you.   Children would need to be referred to social workers and psychologists. Though it was quite some time ago, I do remember some of the tests, where Jason and Brandon were shown picture books with children and adults in different situations. They were asked to ‘read’ their faces and if their expressions were surprised, sad, happy, angry, etc… Both Jason and Brandon scored low points in this test.

Another test I remember Brandon playing, was a game of cars with the social worker who continuously carried on a conversation with him.   Brandon was so absorbed and focused on playing with the cars, he didn’t hear or remember words spoken to him.

Both Brandon and Jason did language and logic tests which were done with a child psychologist.

Some Asperger tests are informing but should not be used as a diagnosis.

http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aqtest.html

http://www.rdos.net/eng/Aspie-quiz.php

ASPERGER’S AND HEALTH ISSUES

Aspies have very finely tuned central nervous systems, which cause them to be highly sensitive to environmental stimuli such as noise, fragrances, certain foods, chaos, beauty, and/or pain. All these sensitivities can cause physical reactions in the body, such allergies, nervousness, panic attacks, nausea, migraine headaches, and auto-immune diseases.

“The immune system even under normal circumstances has a marked impact on behavior. Chemicals secreted by the immune system, called cytokines, are known to bind to sites in the brain and cause changes in areas such as sleep, attention, and mood. Recently there has been speculation that immune system problems may trigger the development of autistic symptoms. This system has drawn attention because of:

 1. The unusual patterns of production of immune chemical signals and antibodies observed in individuals with autism.

 2. the recent reported rise in the rates of autism

 3. the suggestion that autism could be related to inoculation procedures and/or inflammatory disease of the intestine

 4. the use of the diet therapies to reduce possible food allergies in autistic children.

 (“Cytokines are small molecules found in miniscule concentrations in our blood stream, that affect the behavior of others cells, especially, cells of the gut and immune system. It appears that the immune system—especially allergic and inflammatory components of the immune system—rely heavily on signals from cytokines.   Cytokines are divided into several different families which are sometimes referred to as interleukins, interferons or tumor necrosis factors. There are [thirty-five] different types of cytokines and their names get very confusing…….” Bacteria for Breakfast: Probiotics for Good Health ~ By PhD, RPh Kelly Dowhower Karpa)

 Research in this area has thus far not produced any major revelations. There is, however, some evidence of reduced immune function as well as overactive immune function in children with autism…analyzing whole blood from autistic children [there was] a significantly higher production of two inflammatory response signaling chemicals–signs of an overactive immune system. It is possible that some symptoms of autism, such as sleep mood and attention problems are reduced after treatment of an infection or removal of allergens from the child’s diet because the activity of the immune system is reduced….

 A serious problem arises when the immune system attacks tissues within the body instead of outside foreign agents’ such a response can lead to autoimmune disease. The term “auto” in from of immune system refers to a response against “self”…Research indicates an increased rate of autoimmune diseases in families of children with autism, the most common being Type 1 Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis (adult form) systemic lupus, and hypothyroidism.” The Development of Autism ! Thomas L. Whitman

CANDIASIS

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

There are so many disorders related to candida that I’m sure not to have listed them all. Candida can be the cause of anxiety, multiple sclerosis, OCD, allergies, food intolerances (make one forgetful and super emotional/irritable), migraines, learning disabilities, celiac disease, dyslexia, acne, dyspraxia, epileptic seizures, bipolar disorder, bed wetting, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, psychosis, substance abuse, depression, impaired social skills and perception, eczema, psoriasis, touch and light sensitivity, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, asthma, and lupus. If you’d like to know more about Candida, you can look at it here

MOOD SWINGS

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

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

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

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

We find out who we are by action. Action makes us and creates our future. It has been said that those suffering from mood swings and even bipolar are not living a life that is in accordance with their own inner nature….they have unfulfilled potential. Their roller-coaster emotions and boundless energies take a dramatic plunge into bleak depression. Many have and can utilize their dramatic abilities and extravagant behaviors to inspire others.

“In its mild state, bipolar disorder allows people to produce very high levels of intense creative output. There is a large body of evidence showing that creative people have a much higher likelihood of developing various mental illnesses, such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, then the general population.” Mind-Body Health and Stress Tolerance ~ by David Jameson

We’ll be discussing bipolar in great length in the next article on this blog.

One of the most important nutritional supplements for neurological problems is essential fatty acids (EFA’s). That’s because our brain is made up of mostly lipids (fats),and EFAs aid in brain development. It is best to get the wild, triple fish oils as well as flaxseed, evening primrose and borage oil. All these have shown to help decrease inflammation and increase feelings of well-being.  Calcium and magnesium are also useful for their calming effect on the nervous system. Grape seed extract is a powerful antioxidant and protects the cells of the brain and body. The dosage depends on the size and age of your child. Follow directions on the labels.

POOR MUSCLE TONE

I’ve included this as a health issue as both my sons suffered with muscle spasms, clumsiness, jerkiness, muscle tension and lack of coordination as children. They frequently fell, tripped or bumped into things and people. Poor muscle tone can interfere with the circulation and lymph flow of the body causing muscle weakness, extreme fatigue, indifference, constipation, and lack of feeling. This can also create problems in the intestines, causing bacteria, gas, leaky gut and candida to grow.

‘Leaky gut’, allows undigested food particles from the intestines into the bloodstream that normally wouldn’t get through—the body sees these particles as invaders and attacks them. If these particles resemble molecules of your own body, then the immune system can start attacking them—as in the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This form of the body attacking the body is quite possibly the most common cause of thyroid problems. The pattern begins with an overproduction of thryoxine and as the ‘attacks’ become more frequent, then the thyroxine levels drop, leaving you hypothyroid.

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

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

 ANXIETY AND STRESS

When the brain’s blood supply is redirected for ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ in the body, our logic center or creative center simply shuts down. With the shutdown, the synchronization of brain function is lost and we cannot ‘think’ clearly. Anxiety and stress can also cause a number of physical symptoms such as: high blood pressure and hyper-intense muscles, leading to stiffness, clumsiness and aching limbs and joints.   Increased muscular tension is also an aspect of the flight/fight reflex which is associated with an increase of adrenalin/epinephrine fueled by the adrenalin glands.

The sympathetic nervous system is often referred to as the “fright, fight or flight” system—when these nerves are stimulated it’s usually because something is seen as a danger, epinephrine (adrenaline) is then secreted by the adrenal glands. When epinephrine levels are high in the blood we experience pounding heartbeats, shivering, sweats, trembling legs, dry mouth, and shallow rapid breathing. Mentally we feel completely ‘wound up’ and in some cases anger or the feeling of losing control.

Aspies have a highly reactive sympathetic nervous system When out of power Aspies can become frightened and disoriented and in their effort to orient themselves may turn to addictive substances such as alcohol and drugs. They may berate themselves later because in truth they are extremely health conscious except when taken suddenly off balanced.

When we lack faith in ourselves, we find ourselves repeating patterns and continually living to the beliefs and habits we rigidly rely on and cling to for familiarity.   In this day and age, the pace of change is picking up and many of us, in an effort to control our lives are finding it increasingly overwhelming. No matter how slow or fast, life never stops changing and changes are necessary steps, allowing us to move forward and reshape ourselves.

Our need to do, to succeed, and to accomplish is often a deeper need to feel loved and accepted. Aspies are great achievers; they’re extremely good at focusing what is important to them. These people need to seek and find supportive environments that will honor their brilliant remarkable minds. In turn, Aspies need to devote time to slowing down and observing their reactions/tensions and using them as messages to learn more about themselves.  They also need to realign their values and focus on ways that their goals are not just about them but in helping to improve the quality of other people’s lives.

REALIGNING YOUR VALUES

Aspies don’t always know what feelings their experiencing as they confront certain issues in their lives.  To remain physically relaxed, they need to stretch or do deep breathing throughout the day.  As an Aspie, you need to get plenty of exercise and lots of fresh air.  Disciplines like Karate, Aikido, Tia Chi, Yoga, etc., are excellent in keeping your body balanced.  Observe your tensions and use them as a message from which you can learn more about yourself.

If you feel frustrated, hurt or angry at someone’s response to what you’ve asked or said, don’t jump down their throat…step back in your mind, take a deep breath and examine your motivation for communication.   ask yourself “what is it I wanted from this exchange. How did I expect or want the person to respond? In this way, you learn more about yourself as well as giving the other the opportunity to learn more you and him or her self.

You need to become conscious of your expectations…focus more on the moment-to moment process and less on the end result.  Let TIME be your friend and not a constant opponent that you’re always fighting with.  Get lost in the moment and lift the pressure of your self-imposed deadlines and plan realistically, then do the best you can in each moment.

Concentrate on drawing your self-esteem and sense of identity from all that you are, rather than what you do.  See that what you do is only a partial expression of your energy.

Begin to look at your work in terms of how you can help others. By helping others you are also helping yourself to grow happier, freer and more relaxed and fully alive human being.  This in truth is what we all want.

The effects of these changes of attitude toward your life and work will be profound.  You’ll find yourself being more relaxed, flowing through your day without getting ruffled by the things that used to bother you.  You’ll be less tired with more energy to do the things you want to do.

MEDITATION

Meditation is a technique that will enable the mind and body to become quiet so we can focus our attention on the inner self. Ironically our search inward will ultimately lead us outward, past the self-centered preoccupations of the ego, to an openness with life.   If our entire focus were on ourselves we would eventually reach a dead end. But when we go off in search of our souls, we are going beyond the self, looking for more meaning than the limits of the self can provide. When we go past the ego, we open our perceptions to a greater scheme of things.

If we can learn to trust that a greater power than our own exists, and if we allow ourselves to go past our limitations, we will discover that we are capable of transcending the boundaries of the self and that we have a wealth of resources available to us. By using the power of faith to take us past the immediately obvious, into the realm of beyond, we will find a place where life is constantly in a dynamic state of change and growth and where our imagination is stronger than our will.

Links to follow….

Interview with Temple Grandin on autism http://www.autism-help.org/story-temple-grandin-autism.htm

Children and Asperger’s   http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/brain/asperger.html#a_Treating_Asperger_Syndrome

What does it mean to have Asperger’s Syndrome      http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/aspergers-diary/200804/what-does-it-mean-have-asperger-syndrome

Meditation for Asperger’s  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yvuylRojMg

Excellent article on Asperger’s  http://nymag.com/news/features/autism-spectrum-2012-11/

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