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Posts Tagged ‘repetitive’

“The true source of chronic musculoskeletal pain is rarely the site of the pain. That means if your wrist hurts while you are pointing and clicking with a [computer] mouse, the pain probably has nothing to do with the device and everything to do with muscular weakness, skeletal misalignment and structural (joint) instability elsewhere in the body. Those conditions can be reversed without drastic measures – and you can do it yourself.

I’ve also learned that muscular weakness, skeletal misalignment, and structural instability usually precede the onset of pain that is attributed to accidents, overuse or aging. That’s right, precede.” Pain Free at Your PC: Using a Computer Doesn’t Have to Hurt ~ By Pete Egoscue, Roger Gittines

CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME (CTS)

CTS Pain

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Wanting to be numb. Doing what you don’t want to do. Blocking the energy flow in your life. Holding on to grief and sadness from the past. Struggling; too much strain and difficulty. Feeling like you can’t handle something.” The Secret Language of your Body, The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness ~ Inna Segal

Carpal is from the Greek word that means “wrist” and ‘carpal tunnel’ is just as it sounds—like  a passageway or tunnel through your wrist that protects nerves and tendons. The median nerve runs from your neck through the shoulder and elbow and ending at the wrist and hand.  When the tunnel becomes swollen, the median nerve is compressed in the wrist area, which affects feeling in your thumb and all fingers except the little finger and half the ring finger, passes through the carpal tunnel. When the tunnel becomes swollen, your median nerve is compressed.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a nerve compression disorder in which a peripheral nerve is compressed or pinched, causing pain in the front side of your forearm or wrist, coupled with numbness and tingling in the fingers. CTS occurs when the nerve (which controls movement and sensation on the palm side of the thumb and most of the fingers) becomes compressed inside the carpal tunnel, (a tunnel formed by 8 small bones of the wrist and the transverse carpal ligament (flexor retinaculum)) which houses the median nerve.

CTS has become of the most frequent type of work-related illnesses in the U.S. and Canada today. CTS stems from a problem with the nerves, muscles and joints and is medically known as musculoskeletal or neuromusculoskeletal problems.  CTS is characterized by pain in the wrist caused by pressure to the middle nerve in the channel that houses nerves and tendons.

(Over a long period of time CTS can become more like an illness, causing tissue strain and cell damage; this is known as “repetitive trauma’ or  repetitive strain injury (RSI).. )

carpal tunnel median

CARPAL TUNNEL AND EMOTIONAL PAIN

Your emotions are the way your body naturally expresses itself from your life experiences. Emotions are stored in the organs and muscles and tissues of the body. In fact, every cell in your body works in unison and shares an interconnectedness to each other; therefore a change in one cell affects all the others.  It is the nervous system and fascia that helps the meridians to directly communicate with all your organs and glands; this intimate communication system continually expresses what you’re feeling (sensing) from moment to moment. Emotional tension can inhibit this direct communications as well as circulation, causing fatigue, inability to focus and concentration. This can also cause muscle tension, and stiffness,(stress) which may also affect your perceptions and moods. Over time, emotionally distressful experiences can hamper your ability to be fully responsive and in the moment.

“Fascia is a graphic expression of how we feel and think—it reflects our past experiences, our attitudes and our patterns of behavior.  The fascia also dictates our basic body shape, and our upbringing, physically and psychologically.  Therefore, the fascia expresses the movement within us as well as our conflicts and confusions.

Pain is caused by a lack of proper circulation or a blockage in the flow of energy—it can also impede the flow of blood throughout the body. This can result in pain, numbness, heaviness, stiffness and swelling of the joints and muscles. Stress and tension also slows down our circulation and becomes an inflammation in certain areas of the body.” Metaphysics of the Fascia

“The meridians are a network of channels that transport Qi. An Organ Meridian is a channel that transports Qi to the related internal organ, sense organ, and body parts-including, of course, the tissues along its route. Generally named for the related internal organ, the twelve Organ Meridians are: the Lung, Large Intestine, Stomach, Spleen, Heart, Small Intestine, Bladder, Kidney, Pericardium, Triple Warmer, Gall Bladder, and Liver Meridians.” What are meridians and points

If you are holding on to a lot of emotional pain, your outer-world will begin to reflect this back to you as your reality is actually a projection of your inner-world of thoughts and emotions. When we suppress our feelings of sadness, grief, anger and/or shame, we also suppress the love and joy along with them.

Accepting your pain is the first step in healing as it stops you from struggling and fighting with yourself, allowing you to sit and feel with your painful body sensations and noticing your reaction to them.   When we sit with difficult body sensations and notice our attempt to control or resist them, they gradually let go. When this happens we may discover the pain isn’t quite as intense.  Once you’ve learned to sit with your painful sensations, you’ll react more openly to them and accept them instead of tensing your body against them.  We’ll explore ‘sitting with your painful sensations’ towards the end of this article.

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CAREER?

How many of you with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) are doing what you really want to do in your lives? Are you really free to express yourself; are you coming from a space of loving and caring? Are you with someone who you’d love to hug with all your might? Do you really want to participate in life, or is fear holding you back creating roadblocks for yourself? Are you afraid to be yourself, to act freely, to do what you want? Do you pull back, withdrawing or holding back personal ideas so as to avoid a confrontation? Are you worried about what others may think?

The hands correspond to how we are handling our lives, feelings about how we reach out to others, and others to us, as well as our ability to cope, to create and to express ourselves. When we have problems with our hands, we can look at these different aspects from our inner-self/inner-wisdom and see where the conflict lies. If we continue putting out the same thought and tightening in the same area, then damage to the tissue will slowly increase. When we can recognize the messages we keep sending out, then we can connect with and help release the source of the problem.

“….problems in the wrist indicate a lack of flexibility or difficulty in deciding what your hands should be doing.  You don’t acknowledge the right to use your hands to do something that gives you pleasure, for fear of making a mistake or of not being capable. Therefore, you choose to use your hands for activities you feel are “worthwhile” – activities that will prove your worth. ~ YOUR BODY IS TELL YOU : LOVE YOURSELF ~ Lise Bourbeau 

When the body is forced to work ‘unnatural motions’ on a repetitive basis, (long hours of sitting, bending, lifting, stooping), these take a toll on the body.  Most complaints of repetitive jobs at the work-place are low back, hip, shoulder, elbow, hand, and wrist.  Most cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) are caused by any profession that involves repetitive use of the hands and wrists, causing numbness, tingling, burning, swelling, weakness and joint stiffness.

“The musculature of our hands has to do without competence and ability to have a grasp on things.  If we feel we are losing our grip then the hands may reflect this through cramps, weakness or damage. Or they reflect our feelings of incompetence, a fear of failing, of being unable to produce what is required of us.  When we reach out too far, extend ourselves too much or push ourselves forward at an inappropriate time, invariably we will cut, bruise, burn or otherwise damage our fingers.” Deb Shapiro “The Bodymind Workbook

Deb Shapiro also speaks of wrist problems indicating that there is something we should be or want to be doing but are not; if this is the case, why are you holding back? From the wrists we reach the hands, which express how we think or feel about what we’re doing in the world.  Are you pushing your hands too far? Are you trying to do too much or confused about you’re doing?

“Carpal tunnel syndrome has been associated with certain tasks including:

  • Repetitive hand motions.
  • Awkward hand positions
  • Strong gripping.
  • Mechanical stress on the palm.
  • Vibration.

Cashiers, hairdressers, or knitters or sewers are examples of people whose work-related tasks involve the repetitive wrist movements associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Bakers who flex or extend the wrist while kneading dough, and people who flex the fingers and wrist in tasks such as milking cows, using a spray paint gun, and hand-weeding are other examples. Excessive use of vibrating hand tools may also be related to carpal tunnel syndrome…..

… Carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with several diseases and situations. They are:

  • Arthritis.
  • Diabetes.
  • Gout.
  • Amyloidosis (infiltration of the liver, kidneys, spleen with a starch-like substance).
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland).
  • Tumours of tendon sheaths.
  • Wrist fractures and dislocations.
  • Wrist cysts.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Use of oral contraceptives.
  • Menopause.

All these diseases and situations increase the volume of the contents of the carpal tunnel, resulting in compression of the median nerve. Also some individual factors, such as the size and shape of the wrist and the shape of the median nerve, may contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.” https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/carpal.html

I’ve also received emails from nurses, surgeons, computer workers, golfers, tennis players, musicians, hair stylists, mechanics, waitresses/waiters wanting to know and understand the deeper (emotional issues) from their carpal tunnel.

Most people who suffer from CTS are  hard-working, conscientious, meticulous and well-organized. They’re proud of their work and their dedication to duty, and can always be depended upon to get the job done. What carpal tunnel people lack in creativity they make up for with effort .. they don’t see themselves making a name for themselves as they identify themselves with the common people rather than making a splash out into the world.

Generally, the clients I’ve met with CTS are close to workaholics in many cases. Somewhere, workaholics have lost touch with their deeper emotional and instinctual nature .. in fact they can be ‘destructively compulsive’ which tends to depress the vitality of the office and the people in it.

Carpal Tunnel people need relaxation more than being pushed to work harder. If the client is in a high-pressure job or required to work long hours, it’s important that once the work is done that they do something ‘for the love of it’ which also induces relaxation. Meditation and spiritual activities often prove to be helpful antidotes as well. Many clients have been drawn to these.

What I’ve learned (from clients) about the deeper emotional issues of CTS, is that at some point the job they’ve been working at for quite some time isn’t pleasurable for them anymore.  The enjoyment, the passion they once had seems to have vanished.  But rather than look at why their unhappy, they avoid it at all costs. Emotions are the key to creation but many of us have deeply hidden beliefs about expressing our emotions, we may have been told to ‘stop crying’, and therefore grew up with the belief that to express any emotion is a no-no!

Some people with carpal tunnel had parents who were highly efficient, super-critical and demanded perfectionism. This frustrated and inhibited their emotional growth and fragile self-esteem.  As children, they learnt to hold back emotionally, and carpal tunnel people are not unemotional, they just find it difficult to express what they feel. The problem is that, others might consider them cold, detached, perhaps a little prudish and stuffy. Actually, they are quite sensitive and their feelings are easily hurt. They try to hid it behind a mask of being aloof or coolly professional – even in situations that call for warmth and openness.

Tony (not his real name) was a former client who had  been diagnosed with carpal tunnel. Working as a mechanic, for a major car manufacturer, his job required a lot of flexing and grabbing with his hands. He was quite upset when I received his email, because he desperately needed the strength back in his hands to do his job. 

Tony’s hands were constantly going numb; the most noticeable pain was at the base of the thumb .. he was losing his grip and dropping tools more often.  As we wrote back and forth, Tony felt frustrated and exhausted in many areas of his life, not just his work and these emotions were triggering physical symptoms in his wrists and hands.  

The hands correspond to how we are handling our lives, feelings about how we reach out to others, and others to us, as well as our ability to cope, to create and to express ourselves. When we have problems with our hands, we can look at these different aspects from our inner-self/inner-wisdom and see where the conflict lies. If we continue putting out the same thought and tightening in the same area, then damage to the tissue will slowly increase. When we can recognize the messages we keep sending out, then we can connect with and help release the source of the problem.

Your emotions are the way your body naturally expresses itself from your life experiences. Emotions are stored in the organs and muscles and tissues of the body, but they just don’t sit there, they are in constant communication with your brain and entire body.  And as we learnt earlier, the slightest bit of information sets off a whole communication system through your nerves, fascia and meridians (an intimate communication system, expressing what you’re feeling (sensing) from moment to moment).

Attempting to hold back emotionally, causes muscle tension and stiffness (stress)  which can also affect your circulation, cause fatigue, disrupts focus and concentration.  Over time this will affect your perceptions and moods and hamper your ability to be fully responsive and in the moment. If you are holding on to a lot of pain, then your reality will begin to reflect that back to you as the outer world is a projection of your inner thoughts and emotions.

Let’s look at the symbolism of an interesting tarot card for the moment.  It’s the ‘Eight of Shields (Pentacles) from the tarot deck “LEGEND The Arthurian TAROT.  Why did I choose Anne-Marie Ferguson’s art-work?  Let’s take a look ….

8 of pents

It’s a painting of a blacksmith working deep within the bowels of the earth. Blacksmiths learned with their hands to take nature apart and put the pieces together in a new and more powerful combination.  But in this card, the blacksmith doesn’t look too happy.

If we look at this card symbolically, what do you see?

Metaphysically, this blacksmith (Wayland) looks separated from his ‘aliveness’ or disconnected from his mind and body—he’s lost the joy and passion of ‘present awareness’ of being in the moment—instead, he’s doing a job that is machine-like, routinely repeating the same procedure over and over again. Look at how he’s slouched over, how one arm and hand grips the shield, while the other hand holds a small tool-like screw-driver that involves repetitive action of his wrist and fingers. Remaining in this position would definitely affect his hands and hurt his back.  Repetition, force and posture are risk factors that can contribute to the development of CTS.

If we look around the room, there’s nothing, except the fire that would force him to get up and put on a log, to keep the flames going.  Without enough motion, Wayland will lose his full range of motion (major muscle groups will start to atrophy from disuse); as he moves less and less this will reduce his physical activities causing a reduction in oxygen to the brain and affecting his function to move his arms, head and spine.  When this happens, the musculoskeletal system is affected and begins to shut down weakening the body’s internal systems and organs.

Why is Wayland not relaxed and enjoying his work?  Is he so afraid of failure he can’t enjoy what he’s creating? I wonder if the shield is for King Arthur or perhaps his knights? No matter who it’s for, working long hours for someone else and ignoring the body’s cry for help will cause this ‘bent-over position’ (day-after-day) to become Chronic.  CTS can become severe enough to limit a person’s ability to work. Without adequate care or rest, permanent damage to the soft tissue and nerves of the hands may result.

Maybe he’s unable to express himself with people of authority or maybe he fears them. Fear puts us on guard and makes us anxious and defensive. It breeds suspicion and doubt and causes us to not trust anyone, including ourselves. It fosters envy, jealousy, helplessness, disappointment, despair and hopelessness. It separates us, making us feel alone and isolated. It can cause us to lash out at others, to be hurtful in our words and actions.  Back pain can be caused by feeling you have to carry everyone and everything while ignoring your own survival issues .. stooping or rounded shoulders indicate trying to hide or withdraw from the world because of lack of confidence.

“When we live in an environment of danger or deprivation, we experience fear. … The sense of fear is our only feeling of safety, as paradoxical as that might sound. We feel safe only because we are hypervigilant and become even more uncomfortable when we try to relax.   The nervous system and the adrenal glands remain overworked. In this state of hyperarousal, our triggers are more sensitive and more likely to react to extremes.  Our foundation is literally shaky and concentration may be difficult. As a result, the body is in a constant state of stress, which becomes normal.” Eastern Body Western Mind ~ Anodea Judith

Aeclectic Tarot forum (now closed but still online as read-only)  was a great forum where tarot-minded individuals and astrologers enjoyed learning and sharing with each other.  Of the many tarot decks discussed and researched was, Legend ~ The Arthurian Tarot.  You can see the many different posts on the Eight of Shields here. https://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=37801

An individual’s username ‘Sophie-David’ commented in this thread … “In A Keeper of Words, Anna-Marie tells us that Wayland is deep within the earth as he practices his craft. I can’t help but feel sorry for him as he works on the shield out of the light of day. This deprivation of natural lighting and fresh air is common to so many modern workers in factories and maintenance shops, underground malls and office towers. Space seems to be at such a premium, or security so tight, that we can’t afford windows any more. Although he wears a protective leather apron, Wayland has no shirt because of the heat. Whether or not he enjoys his work, this can’t be good for him, no sunlight or good air, the heat of the stifling furnace, and the fumes given off in the shaping and annealing process.

This is an Eight of Shields (Pentacles) that really gives one pause to consider the modern nature of work. Anna-Marie tells us that “Wayland was the master craftsman to the gods, whose weapons were so fine that they sang in the air”. But no matter how good the product produced, working hours seem to be going up again, conditions in many places are deteriorating, and spending power is decreasing. Wayland is an admirable worker, but his wild grey hair and the poor conditions make this rather a sad Eight.”

Carpal tunnel people are comfort-givers and empathizers, you couldn’t meet nicer people on this planet. They go out of their way to help you because your time is more valuable than theirs.  This is because deep down they struggle with feelings of unworthiness, they don’t believe in extending their kindness and empathy to themselves. This is because they can’t see themselves for who they are, so they go out of their way trying to make everybody else happy.  They can’t say no and give too much.  As a result they become exhausted from overwhelming responsibilities causing self-esteem issues to arise.  This leads to a form of paralysis or feeling incapacitated in some way, forcing them to stop what they’re doing. Carpal tunnel then develops as a way to force them to look at doing something new.

CARPAL TUNNEL MIND/BODY HEALING

When we self-doubt ourselves, we tend to keep a low profile.  We pretend everything’s ok by faking it and being something we’re not. When we are unable to express our feelings or fears, we don’t feel safe or secure. When we don’t feel safe, we either withdraw (keep a low profile) or get angry.  We get angry but we don’t express it; we keep it shoved down pretending everything’s okay. Pretending and faking is so exhausting -it feels as if your life is totally out of your own hands – experiencing actual symptoms of pain, coldness, and numbness flowing down your arm(s) to your hand(s).  You see other people who  hunker down and get things done.  Why them and not you?  I think it all has to do with self-confidence. Self-confidence allows you to be who you are .. fully and freely.  It’s possible you’ve had to compromise yourself, or mould yourself to fit the image of ‘what you’re supposed to be? That’s when we lose a sense of who we are … and we find ourselves banished in the dark regions of our unconscious (the shadow).

Some people in their attempt to find themselves, are ‘lured’ by programs that promise ‘unlimited power’ or a life without fear, guilt or other not-so-good feelings. When they fail to reach this ‘perfection’ they take it as another sign that something is wrong deep within.

TUNING INTO THE HEART

Before we start, I want you to know you don’t have to become a better person or develop a different attitude to have a life you love – you are good enough as you are!

The area of the breasts and chest reflect the ‘self to the self’. It is our private and personal area and symbolizes our sense of self-identity .. notice how when talking you touch the chest to indicate self or when talking about your feelings or opinions. We express heart energy through our mouth, lips, through our arms, hands and through our genitals. Heart energy also has to do with the Self. Its message .. We have to love and accept ourselves before we can really love others.

Problems with the arms and hands (extensions of the heart) can be metaphors for carrying too much for others, feeling like our hands are tied in certain situations or that something in our life has become too hot to handle.

Remember Tony, the mechanic with carpal tunnel?  His story was a little bit different. After looking at and discussing his astrological chart, we were able to understand why he was having problems at work and gripping/holding onto his tools.  Tony realized it was his mother that dominated the home and constantly criticized his father for his incompetence and lack of interest in the home.  As a child, Tony took on the attitude that if his father had been a better provider in the home, his mother wouldn’t be so miserable.  So Tony decided he didn’t want to be anything like his father. With his trade as a mechanic, he continually worked hard to prove he wasn’t going to be a patsy like his dad.

But Tony overestimated what was expected of him at work and went to great lengths to prove he was a valued and competent employee.  His employers greedily took all that Tony gave and more until he became mentally and physically exhausted.  No wonder he developed carpal tunnel, he had become a ‘willing victim’, working day and night to put together a lifestyle that ‘seemed’ solid and steady.

But then he started to worry about all the things that could go wrong.  The other employees didn’t seem to like him much.  So he tried to work harder to be accepted by his peers causing him to build up even more responsibilities.  He took on working weekends for the other mechanics so they’d appreciate him.  After all, they had families to care for, Tony hadn’t had anyone in his life for a very long time.  But hey what about himself?

Tony was struggling with a great deal of confusion about his personal identity. He realized his unconscious values and attitudes were the driving force behind his life .. as long as he repressed them, they remained out of his control.  But if he could sort out which of  his childhood beliefs made sense and served him well and changed those that didn’t, he’d be able to stop taking responsibility for others and take charge of his own well-being.

Tony suddenly felt resentment towards his mother, which is a normal reaction when he saw that his father actually did his best to ‘try’ and make her happy.  He realized no matter how much his father did for his mother, it wasn’t enough, she wanted more!  Tony realized no matter how hard he worked, it wasn’t acceptable .. he had to keep trying harder.

I’ve found that people who go, go, go, over committing themselves are going out of their way to avoid conflict (both internal and external). They try to keep their pain (fears, aggression, or sorrow) hidden from their day-today living and hidden from themselves and everyone else. Unfortunately these fears/aggressions/sorrows are projected onto other people, who then feel compelled to act out what you’ve been hiding. It’s time to withdraw your projections and fears and return home to your heart for healing …..

I asked Tony if he’d ever done anything creative for himself that wasn’t for others?  Since Tony loved creating with his hands, I asked him if he’d tried painting, wood-working,  gardening, playing an instrument, writing or drawing.  Any of these could help him get in touch with his feelings and help balance his energies.

AUTHENTICITY

The greatest challenge in life isn’t to succeed to but to feel at home with who you are and where you are and what you’re doing.  

To be authentic means that you ‘observe’ your inner fears.  It doesn’t mean that you act them out or allow your fears to lead to you. Being authentic means that you notice it, you are aware of it, you work with it, and you decide how to deal with it.  This way you make sure your actions are aligned with what you intended.  

There are four basic components to building your personal power .. grounding, centering, and maintaining boundaries. Grounding helps you to stay ‘solidly connected to your body’ your vehicle of awareness… when you’re present you will have access to all sensations, feelings, energy flows and emotions going on in and around you.

-Learn to recognize when you’re acting out of character..
-Give yourself a break and time to relax ..do a body check and ask how you’re feeling? -Balance your emotional and physical well-being.
-Share your deepest feelings with someone you trust.
-Enjoy a hobby or take on one, painting, writing, drawing .. anything to get in touch with your feelings and help bring you into alignment.
-Meditate or do ‘nothing’ .. which might not make sense to you … but it does make sense to your soul.
-Learn to work and cooperate with others ..

SELF-DISCOVERY EXPERIENCE

Choose a quiet place to sit where you can do this introspection without being interrupted. After reading each question, close your eyes, take some deep breaths to relax your body and calm your mind, then begin to let the thoughts, images and associations flow.

– Reflect on a recent situation in which you were conscious of experiencing tension in the form of impatience, fear, anger, irritation, guilt or blame. Allow yourself to relive that situation in your mind’s eye. See clearly the person(s) involved and reexperience the thoughts that came. Let the emotions flow over you, as if it were happening now. In this setting, you don’t have to control or hide your feelings for social reasons, so just let them envelop you. Sink into them without judging or rationalizing them.

– After a few minutes, notice what is happening to your physiologically. Has your breathing changed? Do you feel hot or cold? Is any part of your body tense (tight jaw, clenched fist, tight abdomen, frown?) What are your thoughts? Are they clear and objective, or confused and blurred?

– Ask yourself “How do I feel about the person(s) involved? Can I clearly see a solution? —What is it I wanted and didn’t get?
-Do I know exactly what to do next to remove the stress?
-What do I want to do, right now, to feel better?

When these answers are clear to you, slowly open your eyes and write them down.
a) Physically, I felt/noticed …
b) My thoughts were …
c) About the person(s) involved, I felt …
d) I wanted to feel better by …
e) In this situation, what I wanted (and didn’t get, .. or thought I wouldn’t get) was …

– Repeat for several situations, to get a clearer picture of your reaction patterns.

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

Great LINKS

5 wrist exercises for Carpal Tunnel

Forearm Pain Relief

Acupuncture & Acupressure for Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel – Check your Thyroid

10 natural & Home Remedies for Carpal Tunnel

 

 

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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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