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migraine-ohh

THE CAUSE OF MIGRAINES/HEADACHES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

METAPHYSICAL CAUSE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE GUT-BRAIN LINK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE BRAIN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MIGRAINES AND THE ADRENALS

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

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

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

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

PAST LIVES of MIGRAINE/HEADACHE SUFFERERS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FIGHT OR FLIGHT – WHAT ARE YOUR HIDDEN STRESS PATTERNS

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

HOW TO TRANSFORM TENSE REACTIONS INTO A RELAXED RESPONSE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LINKS

Do Gallbladder Problems Cause Migraines

Adrenal Insufficieny

7 Common Migraine Triggers

Migraines Result of Childhood Trauma

Migraines Linked to Changes in Brain

Dealing With Rage

Migraine Vitamins and Supplements

Homeopathic Medicine for Migraines

 

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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PART III HEALING DEPRESSION/ALLERGIES NATURALLY

Since we haven’t discussed allergies on this blog, I thought we’d devote part of this article on the symptoms and metaphysical causes of allergies first—then discover how allergens cause depression and—what we can do to heal them.

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF ALLERGIES

Allergists have said, that once we become sensitized to an allergen it’s quite possible we could start reacting to other things that normally wouldn’t bother us. As I thought about this, allergic sensitivities do seem to create a similar reaction when we are under any kind of emotional stress—one stressor can lower our resistance to others—causing us to become irritated, pre-occupied, over-controlling or withdrawn. So perhaps once the body reaches a certain allergen stress point, it too becomes unpredictable and starts over-reacting to substances we breathe in and/or eat in our environment.

The body never becomes ill without a reason.  We all have our weak spots or vulnerable areas,  and when we are stressed by life or relationships, the body reacts, creating certain types of symptoms.  Allergies are a symptom; whatever you are allergic to, milk, perfume, dust, dander, pollen, peanuts etc., these are considered triggers but not the underlying cause of an allergy.  Something has locked horns with your immune system causing it to become hyper and confused.  In a frantic attempt to protect the body, it starts sending out antibodies against every possible irritant it can find.  The problem is, this continual attack on unknown offenders causes the immune system to spread itself so thin that it weakens from all the fighting and collapses from exhaustion.  Metaphysical causes of allergies have been noted as: withheld feelings, low self-esteem, self-rejection, grief, lack of trust, lack of support, lack of self-love, resentment, anger/rage, powerlessness.

 “Stress often begins with how you think. And how you think determines how you feel—both emotionally and sometimes physically as well.  When your thoughts create strong emotions—whether positive or negative—your brain releases hormones that spread the emotional news to every system of the body.  Called neuropeptides, these hormones are informational molecules that telegraph messages to any cell in the body that has receptors for them.  Neuroscientist Dr. Candace Pert has been in the forefront of demonstrating that emotions are a powerful link between mind and body through these informational molecules.  Neuropeptides make their way into the bloodstream, where they are distributed throughout the body, binding to surface receptors on a multitude of diverse cells.  In the twinkling of an eye, then, an emotion that begins in the brain can trigger subtle and complex cellular responses through the body.  In turn, neuropeptides manufactured by the immune system, or by different organs, can also affect the brain and emotional state.” Minding the Body, Mending the Mind ~ Joan Borysenko

Neuropeptides are as Candace Pert has pointed out, ‘mediators of the mind-body connection’.  And the mind-body connection is mediated by our emotions.  Healthy emotions says Joan Borysenko have to do with open-heartedness.  We are supposed to express what we’re feeling to another, but many of us hold back due to fears of being controlled, hurt, criticized, or ridiculed.  Holding back our thoughts and feelings creates a great deal of physical and psychological stress on the body, on a deeper level, a spiritual crisis.

Inna Segel tells us…..

 “Allergies—Feeling annoyed and aggravated by other people. Giving away your power. Blaming people and events for your negative reactions. Obsession with people who have hurt you. Difficulty forgiving and seeing the blessing in this hurt. Allowing yourself to be controlled or manipulated by others, then punishing them by withholding love and kindness. Not knowing how to create boundaries with others.” Inna Segel ~ The Secret Language of Your Body: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness

AND Deb Shapiro….

 “The Physical reaction is one of defence and resistance, so the psycho/emotional cause of allergies will be connected to an inner need to withdraw, to put up resistances, not to enter fully into a situation.  As most allergens are a part of daily life, it suggests a fear of participation, intimacy responsibility or accountability.  It is as if the external world has become an enemy, something to be resisted.  Exploring what you are really afraid of, or what you are trying to avoid, will help you realize that the allergy is a symptom of something more ingrained. DEB SHAPIRO ~ Your Body Speaks Your Mind

Louise Hay….

 “Who are you allergic to?  Denying your own power.

The World is safe and friendly. I am safe. I am at peace with life.”

I think another good question regarding allergies would be “who or what are we reacting so strongly against” or “over-reacting towards”. Is there someone in your life that provokes strong reactions in you?  Someone you find difficult or irritating?  If no one comes to mind, then think about all the people in your family.  This usually gets people laughing lol.  But whoever or whatever the circumstance, someone/something is eating and draining your energy—they tire and wire you—they key you up!

The Greek word allergy means “abnormal response.”  Allergies occur when a substance normally harmless produces an abnormal response in the body.

Do you know what triggered your allergy begin?  Let’s imagine that as a child you had a horrible fight with your mother while you were eating a hamburger.  You may have cried for hours, feeling hurt, betrayed or rejected—during that time you ‘consumed the experience’ and developed a severe stomachache.  Now, years later, every time you eat a hamburger or meat, you feel a tremendous pressure erupting in your gut—you either develop hives, swell up or get very sick.  More than likely, the reason for this is an old (protective) reactive response.  What’s happened is your body has shut down so you won’t cause your mother to be upset. But wait, your mother isn’t around you as much anymore and most likely no one is going to be angry with you around a hamburger, so you can let go of this protective response.

 “Once you feel hurt, many of you become protective and closed, wanting to be certain you are not going to be hurt again.  From now on, whenever people are doing something that upsets or hurts you, see it as an opportunity to learn to love them rather than protect yourself.  Send love to your feelings of hurt.  Realize that others’ behaviors that hurt you are coming from their fear of being hurt themselves, not from their intent to harm you. Sanaya Roman ~ Spiritual Growth

You may not know all the triggers that cause an allergic response but your body does.  Ask yourself, ‘why are my allergies reacting this way’ and ‘what pattern(s) within me are they triggering’?  If you can take a few minutes to stop and feel where you’ve emotionally shutdown, you usually will feel a pain, a numbness or discomfort in some specific part of your body.  Describe how it feels to your self…look at the color, heat, shape and texture…

A great meditation from this blog (Body Wisdom)

 ENERGY ANATOMY

stress chart 001

Usually when we become sick, there is a short circuit or burn-out that begins in our astral field or aura, which then spreads rapidly into the mental, emotional and physical bodies. Most healers and spiritual people will tell you that your astral field surrounding your body contains several levels of higher and lower states of energy.  The aura too contains a number of levels of energies or chakras that at each level gently merges with the one above it.  The most common number of chakras are seven, the first being the root and located at or near the base of the spine and points downwards to the earth. Each chakra is related to a gland or several glands and should be seen as a subtle addition to the body’s endocrine system.   When healing is done via the chakras, the endocrine glands receive this healing energy as well.

More information on auras here  and astral here

All life begins as part of a family unit (1st Chakra) as children we don’t exist as a separate person, not yet, we are an extension of or part of a tribal unit.  In those early years, we identified ourselves as to how others saw us–how we attempted to get our childhood needs met—and how our mothers and/or fathers responded or ignored to those needs. This is the chakra that records and takes on your family’s attitudes towards religion, ethnic and racial groups as well your parents strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, superstitions and fears. It is here that we learn that the world is a safe or dangerous place, full of good things or riddled with poverty.

“The health of the first emotional center depends on your feeling safe in the world. If you don’t have the support of family and friends that you need to thrive, you will see this insecurity manifest in your blood, immune system, bones, joints, and skin.  The key to enjoying health in this center is balancing your own needs with those of the meaningful social groups in your life.  Family and friends, work, and an organization to which you are devoted all take up time and energy.  But they are also meant to give back, in the form of friendship, safety, and security; they should provide a sense of belonging.  These are all reasons human beings seek out other people and groups.  However, the needs of the group should never be allowed to overshadow your own needs—particularly your health.

When you are not getting what you need from relationships or activities on which you spend considerable time, your body and mind will start to tell you.  At first the signs may be as simple as fatigue, skin rashes, or joint pain.  Mild problems in the first emotional center can serve as an early-warning system, letting you know when you have gone off track. Ignoring your body’s warning could lead to a world of hurt: chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis (A, B, or C), mononucleosis, Lyme disease, allergies, rashes, psoriasis, joint pain, and autoimmune disorders like lupus all stem from an imbalance in the first emotional center…..Feeling hopeless and helpless will show up in your blood. Feeling completely alone and outcast from your family will bring illness to your immune system. And being unable to set boundaries with those around you will show up in skin ailments. Louise L. Hay and Mona Lisa Shulz ~ All is Well: Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition

One of the most basic understandings of the first chakra is hearing and heeding the inner needs of the body—such as the need to eat, drink, sleep, rest or eliminate, via the nervous system.  Our bodies also tell us when their tired, hunger, thirsty, tense, frightened or in pain.  This chakra rules the physical body which is your first responsibility—to take care of your bodily needs by listening to its inner guidance—and to do this you need to have a deep respect and love for yourself. If you’re always putting yourself down, calling yourself names or demanding more than you’re body can cope with, your body is going to start to break down.

THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

“Chronic patterns of self-hate, guilt, and self-criticism raise the body’s stress levels and weaken the immune system” Louise Hay

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

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

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

Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system to a substance (known as an allergen) which in most cases isn’t bothersome to most people. But when the immune system mistakenly believes it is being invaded, it produces Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to that allergen in an attempt to protect the body, These antibodies then cause certain cells to release chemicals into the bloodstream that are known as immune suppressants.

When it comes to fighting disease your immune system is your primary defense system—it is located throughout the body and can usually identify harmful substances and whip them in the butt.  The immune system consists of the thymus gland, spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes, adrenals, appendix, bone marrow, lymphoid tissue, white blood cells, mast cells, antibodies, complement proteins (complement proteins cause blood vessels to dilate, causing swelling, heat and pain,) and many chemical mediators (chemical mediators are messengers that act on blood vessels, inflammatory cells or other cells to create an inflammatory response).

Our immune system weakens when our white blood cells are reacting and fighting against a foreign substance in the body, that it believes is a threat.  These cells release irritating substances like histamines, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins in an attempt to attack the allergen.  This flood of chemicals causes an inflammation response, which creates many symptoms such as runny eyes and nose, wheezing and sneezing, itching, and twitching, and digestive distress.

Lymphocytes are major defenders of the body and billions of these tiny cells patrol the bloodstream looking for and destroying invading viruses, bacteria, parasites and other foreign substances. But sometimes the immune system gets a bit confused and for reasons unknown misreads harmless substances such as dust, pollen and food by-products and attacks them.

Different allergies create different symptoms, and in some rare cases, severe reactions called anaphylaxis. Peanuts are one of the most common allergens known to cause anaphylaxis. Signs of anaphylaxis include swelling of the tongue, lips, and throat, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, and in rare cases, loss of consciousness.

Food allergies may also be the cause of many illnesses, such as, arthritis, depression, gall bladder disease, headaches/migraines, Crohn’s disease, acne, fibromyalgia, eczema and more. Allergies aren’t the cause of every disease but they do play an integral role in the ‘development’ of disease.  If you or your doctor have no idea of the cause of your health problems or symptoms, you should consider looking at the possibility of allergies.

CANDIDA ALBICANS (CANDIDIASIS)

Your intestinal tract naturally contains small amounts of this yeast.  But in some cases because of anti-biotics, birth control pills or a high carbohydrate diet, this can cause an overgrowth of the candida yeast, causing candidiasis.  Candidiasis and allergies are so closely linked, they are sometimes paired together. This yeast or fungus overgrowth suppresses the immune system and has been linked to food allergies, migraines, vaginitis, irritable syndrome, indigestion, asthma and many more symptoms.

“As many as 90 percent or more of Americans and Canadians may be suffering the effects of these microscopic “critters,” considered also to be a type of parasite.  An overabundance of yeast in the body can produce minor or major side effects, such as: anxiety, allergies, asthma, acne, bloating, cystitis, chemical sensitivities, coughs, cramps, constipation, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), confusion, trouble concentrating, depression, diarrhea, emotional problems, eczema, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, food cravings and sensitivies, gas, gas-indigestion, intestinal pain, irrational fears, lethargy, low self-esteem, memory loss or poor memory, migraines, sore muscles, naurea, panic, puffiness, PMS, psoriasis, quick anger, rash, sexual problems, skin infections, stiffness, sleep disturbance, sinus pressure, sore throat, thrush, vaginal yeast infections, and/or weight gain.” COMPLETE CANDIDA YEAST GUIDEBOOK ~ Jeanne Marie Martin with Zoltan P. Rona, M.D.

Poor digestion and low acid levels in the stomach is one way Candidiasis is spread.  What happens is if there isn’t enough hydrochloric acid in the stomach to digest foods properly, they won’t get ‘sterilized’ or eliminated before entering the intestines.  Candidiasis has been known to cause ‘leaky gut’ syndrome.  What happens with ‘leaky gut’, is undigested food particles (partially digested proteins, fats and bacteria) pass through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream.  The body/immune system in an attempt to protect itself attacks these foreign substances and therefore launches an allergic response.  An allergic response causes inflammation, swelling, heat, redness or tenderness as the body attempts to heal itself from the allergen.  In other words these are normal ways the body works to take care of itself but in the process it can make you feel miserable.

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.

(We’re going to donate a whole article on Candidiasis once we’ve completed Part IV on depression).

HISTAMINES, CYTOKINES CAN CAUSE DEPRESSION

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.    We already know that high levels of histamine acts on the nose, throat, eyes, lungs, skin, and even the gastrointestinal tract, triggering the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

“The gastrointestinal tract is not only a digestive organ, but also an immune organ is a surprise to many people.  In fact more are unaware that the gastrointestinal tract is the largest immune organ in the body.  The gut provides immunological surveillance signals at the mucosa-lumen interface of the digestive tract. The cells of the immune system and the epithelial cells that line the intestinal wall communicate information regarding colonizing bacteria.  As we currently understand it, interactions of gut bacterial floral with epithelial and immune cells regulate immune development.  Furthermore, normal gut bacteria acquired in infancy are likely to be the most important determinants of allergies and diseases of chronic inflammation later in life.  As a result we need to assure that healthy gut flora is acquired early in life so that the immune system matures properly in order to avoid passing down a life-time of allergic and inflammatory diseases to our children.”  Bacteria for Breakfast: Probiotics for Good Health ~ By PhD, RPh Kelly Dowhower Karpa

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 ADD and ADHD 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.

“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…….

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

SELF-DIAGNOSIS

“There are several ways to check for food allergies on one’s own. One is with the Coca test, based on Dr. Coca’s observation that a person’s pulse rate increases after eating a food to which he or she is allergic.  The test consists of taking your pulse before eating, and every 30 minutes thereafter, for up to two hours.  Normally the average person’s pulse is between 70 and 80 beats per minute.  After eating a food to which one is allgeric, however, the pulse can increase significantly, to a count that’s 20 or even 30, beats above the normal level.

After effective diagnostic measure that has been self-administered is the elimination test.  Here, suspected allergy-producing foods are eliminated from the diet for four days.  Every fifth day, one of the foods is added back in to see if an allergic reaction occurs.  So, if, for example, wheat is eliminated, on the fifth day a bowel of cracked wheat can be eaten. (Bread should not be used for this purpose because the person might be reacting to the yeast, sugar or addictives.)” Gary Null Ph.D.

http://www.myhealthmaven.com/diy/health-tests-at-home/coca-pulse-test/

Although the pulse can be felt at many spots on the body, the best place to read it is at the wrist an inch and a half above the base of the thumb.  When counting your pulse it’s best to have a clock or watch with a second hand close by.  To pick up the pulse wait until the second hand reaches 12 and then start counting until the second hand returns to 12 again.  Once you get proficient at it, you can count for 15 seconds and multiply it by 4.

“The pulse has been almost totally neglected as an indicator of ill health.  Yet this simplest of all the methods of examination is the key to some of the deepest mysteries of man’s existence–the key with which he may emancipate himself from ill health.” Arthur F. Coca, M.D. ~THE PULSE TEST

HEALING ALLERGIES NATURALLY

What each us need to avoid or add into our diet varies with our own health needs as well as our age, lifestyle and individual metabolism.  The strategy is for everyone to choose a mixed diet, but to concentrate on foods that are rich in nutrients.  Sometimes it’s impossible to get enough of certain ‘essential’ nutrients and many of us do benefit from using herbal remedies and supplements—but these need to be understood and balanced.  Before trying any supplement, check with your doctor or nutritional advisor.  Some supplements may interact with the medication or other supplements you are taking now. Most health stores are knowledgeable in the benefits and cautions of most herbs and supplements and the internet is rich in information.

These are just a few ideas to help get your allergies under control.  Please bear in mind that natural therapies and supplements work gradually and steadily and usually take longer to work than drugs obtained by your doctor.  It may take up to six or eight weeks before you notice any improvement. Stop taking any remedy that makes you feel ill or isn’t working.

PROBIOTICS – Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria help in digestion and vitamin absorption and a great detox for substances that are carcinogenic or cancer-causing. They also support the immune system. Continued use of probiotics with the addition of vitamin D have been found to reduce airway inflammation, increase peak airflow and decrease symptoms of allergy.

Many children have been found to be deficient in vitamin D which has been associated with poor lung function and poorer response to inhaled medications.

DHEA repairs and maintains tissue, controls allergic reactions and symptoms and balances the immune system.  This hormone is secreted by the adrenal glands then converted into several other hormones in the body.  DHEA is available in a capsule, liquid and spray form.  A low dose of 5 mg is usually recommended and then increased slowly.  For those living in Canada government restriction prevent the purchase of DHEA over the counter.

ANTIDEPRESSANTS

Vitamin B12 and folic acid have been effective in raising mood.

Patients on antidepressants supplemented with B complex vitamins have been known to improve more than those on antidepressants who did not supplement with them. Vitamin B6 is needed by the body to produce serotonin.

SAM-e – S-adenosyl-L-methionine, is an amino acid that is thought to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine. It’s a super antidepressant.

5-HTP, L-Tryptophan and Melatonin – 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) and L-Tryptophan are amino acids that are used by the body to make serotonin. They are helpful in the synthesis of melatonin, a hormone involved in healthy sleep. These supplements are super when having to wean off prescription antidepressants. As the dosage of the antidepressant is gradually reduced, one can slowly substitute 5-HTP or L-Tryptophan to help reduce the withdrawal reactions that are apparent with most antidepressants.

L-Tyrosine L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that the body uses to manufacture dopamine. It also uses L-Tyrosine to make thyroid hormone. It can be a very effective antidepressant for almost everyone. One of the ways to boost L-Tyrosine levels is to supplement with vitamin C, which helps the body manufacture it in greater amounts.

Omega-3 fatty acids – Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil, flax seed, evening primrose, borage, blackcurrant seed oil) help to reduce inflammation and the absorption of nutrients.  It’s also known as a great brain food.  All brains would benefit from optimal levels of DHA and EPA. Depression is one of many common conditions that could benefit from omega-3 fatty acids. They influence something called the cytokine system in the brain. These cytokines are known as interleukin-1 -2 and -6, interferon-gamma, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. They can directly and indirectly influence the severity of depression.

Rhodiola rosea – This is an excellent herbal remedy for both anxiety and depression – Athletes have used this remedy for better stamina and higher energy. Check with your health care provider or health store as to how much you should take and if it can be increased gradually.

Valerian helps to calm the nerves and anxieties – it is especially recommended for nervous problems caused from emotional stress or pain.

VITAMINS AND MINERALS

Vitamin A increase the immune response and builds resistance to infection.

B Vitamins increase antibody response – B6 maintains a healthy immune and nervous system – more than 50 enzymatic reactions depend on vitamin B6

Selenium is another potent antioxidant and is important in detoxifying the body of environmental toxins.

Vitamin C stimulates adrenaline function and is essential to the immune system.

Vitamin E in conjunction with selenium and vitamin C is a potent immune protector.  It increases resistance to infection and reduces damage caused by stress.

Zinc boosts the thymus gland and is crucial for normal growth, cell division and tissue repair – without it, the immune system couldn’t do its job.  There are over 300 enzyme systems in the body that require zinc to do their job.  Zinc deficiency can cause a reduction in T-cells, natural killer cells and thymic hormone.

Magnesium is immune enhancing and essential to metabolism.  It’s main function is to activate enzymes, especially those related to energy production. Magnesium deficiencies have shown an increase of cytokines (inflammation) in the body.

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant – it’s most plentiful in sun-ripened tomatoes, watermelon, guava, and pink grapefruit.

Garlic is a natural antibiotic helping to ward off all kinds of infections. It is known to lower cholesterol, kill bacteria, boost the immune system and lower blood sugar levels.

TEA TREE OIL is an antifungal, anti-yeast and antiviral agent.  It can be taken both topically and internally.  It has many antimicrobial activities and used in the treatment of many different skin conditions, especially those associated with fungi or Candida.

HERBS

Tumeric or Curcumin is a potent antiflammatory and affects the production of both prostaglandins and leukotrienes which help to reduce pain. It is most effective in the treatment of Fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme found in the fruit and stem of the pineapple plant.  It helps to reduce swelling and works great in reducing arthritic pain.

Devil’s Claw reduces both pain and inflammation.

Eyebright – Stimulates the liver and cleans the blood. This herb can be used topically and internally – it reduces inflammation and is very helpful with people who have eye allergies such as conjunctivitis and blepharitis.

Stinging Nettle is great for itchy red eyes and works to reduce inflammation

Marigold helps to relieve nasal congestion, sneezing as well as itchy watery eyes.

Ginkgo biloka is great for hay fever sufferers, helps improve blood circulation and oxygen flow.  It can also help people with asthma.  Check with your doctor before taking this or any supplement.

Fresh thyme, nettles and fenugreek help clear the lungs of mucus

EXERCISE boosts metabolism and improves circulation bringing more oxygen and mood enhancing endorphins to the brain.  It has been proven that exercise can help alleviate depression, reduce cholesterol, glucose and other chemicals involved in your physical and mental health.

Optimized Diet – Good nutrition has become difficult in our day and age due to chemicals used in farming and to the food processing industry.  Also our food and environment is becoming increasingly polluted adding to our allergies and health problems.

While there is no single diet that’s for all those suffering from allergies and depression, avoiding sugar, alcohol and refined carbohydrates will help many.

GREAT LINKS

*WARNING: Anaphylactic shock can be a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.due to the collapse of the respiratory and circulatory system. If you are prone to highly allergic reactions, it is important to wear a medical bracelet and medical information in your wallet.  If you use an EpiPen, keep it close to your person and inform all those you are with, that should you go into an anaphylactic shock to use the EpiPen and make sure you receive immediate first aid treatment and sent to an emergency centre for observation.

A patient in anaphylactic shock should lie on their side to avoid choking (tongue can block airways) and if they need to vomit. If the person stops breathing, mouth to mouth resuscitation should be performed immediately.*

The Effects of Anaphylaxis on the Body http://www.healthline.com/health/anaphylaxis/effects-on-body

Chemical mediators http://people.upei.ca/hanna/Inflam7/Inflam-L7-2012.pdf Complement proteins http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/immunesystem/immunecells/Pages/complementSystem.aspx

Is raw food for you?

http://www.healyourlife.com/author-jenny-ross-and-doreen-virtue/2009/10/lifeshelp/get-healthy/is-raw-food-for-you

Great links on cytokines

Dr. Andrew Weil, Depression and Inflammation http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/depression-and-inflammation_b_1071714.html

Interview with Dr. Andrew Weil http://ttbook.org/book/transcript/transcript-andrew-weil-doctors-recipe-happiness

Healthy Food Pyramid http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02995/Dr-Weil-Anti-Inflammatory-Food-Pyramid.html

What is inflammation http://www.marksdailyapple.com/what-is-inflammation/#axzz28CD3qHK2

Great blog regarding allergies http://www.healyourlife.com/author-dr-darren-r-weissman/2009/11/wisdom/personal-growth/sticks-and-stones

Allergies, natural solutions http://www.naturopathic.org/content.asp?contentid=36

Natural Allergy Remedies http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/allergies-allergy

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“Physical healing takes place as we learn to tune into, feel, and listen to our bodies.  Our bodies usually know what they need.  They communicate to us clearly and specifically, if we are willing to listen to them. We need to cultivate the art of understanding and interpreting their signals. The body is constantly communicating its need for the right food at the right time, for rest when it’s weary, for movement, and for touch.

 In order to accurately receive the body’s messages, we first have to heal our own addictive processes—the false cravings we may have developed for certain substances or foods that block us from feeling what our bodies really need.  Our bodies naturally crave what is good for them. “ Shatki Gawain, The Four Levels Of Healing

 When problems occur physically, psychologically or emotionally, your spirit has already been trying to get your attention for a while but you’ve either ignored or didn’t understand the signals of your inner guidance.  We don’t hear it until it shouts when in extreme distress.  But even then our first response is trying to eliminate the pain by taking  antacids, painkillers and such—rather than seeing the pain as a messenger and learning to understand what its saying.  

 When Carol first emailed me (PMS PART 1 & 2) regarding her PMS, she was very clear of its emotional effects, especially her uncontrollable rages.  As we looked more at her physical causes, Carol noticed her body was actually shouting at her in an unmistakably painful way.  The more she learned to tune into her inner guidance the more she noticed her PMS wasn’t something that just hit her out of the blue; it had been sitting on the backburner for a while. 

 ENERGY READING

 Together Carol and I discussed her rages, tearful scenes and violent premenstrual outbursts.  She wanted to know why PMS brought out her worst side without the ‘will’ to stop it.  I asked her if I could tune into her energies, perhaps when she was PMSing or close to her period.  We agreed on a day and time as she lives in England and I in Canada.  What follow is an abbreviation of what I saw….which took in total about five or ten minutes.

 When I first tuned into Carol’s energies, she was very nervous and frightened.  Her etheric and nervous system seemed to have protectively cocooned around her body, especially around the solar plexus, clenching it tightly.  I felt the sensation of feeling trapped and a bit claustrophobic.  As I gently scanned and sweeped her energy field, the tightness in my belly subsided but I felt a low, persistent, dragging abdominal pain which I intuitively knew, was Carol’s energy.  Sometimes, a healer can take on another’s pain and this was what was happening to me.  As Carol’s energy flowed over to mine, my muscles felt tense with aches and pains in my joints.  My energy felt low, making me light-headed and irritable….I wanted to snack on something, anything….I had the munchies! 

 The scenes that came next were all jumbled and didn’t fall in sequence at all.  The uncomfortable feelings faded and I found myself looking deeper into Carol’s energy and virtually saw a younger woman (Carol) sitting sullenly nearby.  As I approached the woman, she started crying and immediately brought up both legs onto the chair, pressed them into her chest, wrapping her hands around her knees and hugged the sides of her legs.  In her mind I saw old pieces of memories, her ambitions and visions and views she saw of herself.    I saw her give up things what she needed and wanted for herself—I was told this was out of fear of being rejected, abandoned or worse, confronted.  When she looked in a mirror there was no self-reflection.  What I saw was her reflecting other people’s lives through the image of many mirrors.  Out of fear she learnt to do what others expected her to do.

 When that image slowly dissolved, I saw Carol going completely beserk and attacking someone (her husband?) with a carving knife….then I was suddenly in a fast-moving car driven by Carol, running through an intersection on a red light.  Her energy felt cross, headachey, and stressed almost to the breaking point.  Her emotions were dangerous and very angry. 

 Anger is often a manifestation of other emotions, like fear and shame.  Perhaps more than any other emotion, shame keeps us from connecting.  Shame is about hiding that part of ourselves we are so afraid to bring up, because we believe that if anyone found out about it, they’d never love us or want to be around us.  It’s so much more acceptable to bring up anger, or sadness, or even fear.  We’ve learned how to hide our shame, to keep it at bay, so we don’t bring it up in our relationships.” Carol Naber, Intuitive Healer

 Then things changed again and I saw Carol as an image of a child, whose household looked like a warzone.  It was a place of non-stop panic, frightening her to death as well as belittling her feelings.  In order to cope with the pain she learned at this young age to deny her emotions.  I saw her in a basement with no light to turn on. To make matters worse, she didn’t know where to find the key to unlock it.  Overwhelmed, all her feelings of loss remained stifled and suppressed in this basement until her hormones kicked in and her body started changing.  Although Carol experienced an explosion of emotions in her teenage years, she still tried to keep these bottled up, but they got lodged in her body in the form of hidden tensions, unhealthy habits and too much stress.  It was in her mid 20’s that she started experiencing an explosion of emotions that skyrocketed in a frenzy of emotional rages. 

 “Our rage child is at once a young and old emotion:  young because she is tied to our personal childhood traumas that have been suppressed; old because she is an accumulation of unresolved anger and shame, some of which has been passed on for many generations.  Few of us realize how much we have and how rage controls our lives.  We feel trapped in a revolving door of conflicting emotions—victims of our rage inward, against ourselves.  We fail to understand that the ongoing, often subconscious struggle to repress rage causes suffering and drains our life force.  Whether we are ignorant or aware does not change the fierce truth that most of us are enraged—with good reason—and the fires of rage continue to burn with our without our acknowledgement or permission.”  Ruth King. 

 Our bodies can tell a whole story about our lives.  When we learn to tap into our own energy, our deepest secrets and fears will reveal themselves to us.  Carol’s body was holding a lot of anger, resentment, fear, and woundedness.  Her PMS could very well be stemming from burying her feelings and emotions as a child.  She denied these even existed until her adolescent years when she experienced an emotional awakening from her hormones going wild.  But still she tried to shovel them deep inside until she was propelled against her will into a world of feelings that she couldn’t get a grip on. 

 HYPOGLYCEMIA – LOW BLOOD SUGAR

 I shared the following quote in this article on my blog – DIABETES – AND THE IMBALANCE OF SWEETNESS IN YOUR LIFE.  Although Carol is not a diabetic, she showed all signs of being hypoglycemic.  I had suggested she get tested for this, which she did and her  tests all came back positive.   Hypoglycemia can cause severe metabolic changes in your brain and nervous system, creating mood swings, unstable emotions and changes in behavior. 

 The sugar level in our blood obviously relates to the amount of sweetness and love in our lives and to the opposite, anger and sourness. Diabetes can indicate that the love we are receiving is uncontrollable and excessive, to the point where it is smothering or overwhelming. It is also unusable as it is constantly being eliminated in the urine, thus responding to a sense of loss and inner sadness. In this state there is a great desire for affection and love, yet an inability to know how to act if it is received. This give rise to anger and resentment, a blaming of others for our own inner fear and confusion in dealing with love. The word spleen also means moroseness and irritability. Hypoglycemia indicates the same conflicts with expressing and receiving sweetness, but the conflict leaves an inner depletion and emptiness. DEB Shapiro

 Louise Hay says “Individuals dealing with hypoglycemia often feel overburdened by life; they see life as something that is too much to handle. There is usually self-pity involved, too, with the general sentiment expressed being:  “What’s the use?!”  She recommends people need to eat small meals at a regular basis to elevate their blood sugar and keep it at an even keel.  

 I asked Carol to watch herself for the next 10 days or so, and keep track of all the times she stopped to take any form of food or drink, whether it was a meal or snack.  What was most important was for her ‘to consciously try and remember for each time, how you were feeling, what you were thinking and doing before, during and after the meal, snack or drink. Notice particularly whether you were calm and relaxed, tense, tired, emotional, hungry, bored or whatever.  Keep a *journal and write down or draw each of those ‘food events’ as you recall them.  (e.g., 10:00 am ate a doughnut and drank coffee—needed a break from work.)’

 (*Keeping a journal will give you daily feedback when you experience hormone fluctuations, what makes you feel better or what makes you feel worse.   Your experience is the best and truest guide to have to respond to the messages of your body.)

 I also suggested to Carol to keep an eye on the Moon and its different phases, since its cycle (29.5 days) has been connected to a woman’s menstrual period.  Sugar and starches are interestingly lunar in nature and one of the endocrine glands, the pancreas, is also moon related.  The pancreas is a vital part of our digestive system, it’s in charge of keeping watch of the amount of sugar in the body and blood…if stressed or not working quite as it should, our hypothalamus (also Moon related) and adrenal glands panic, calling out for a backup.  The hypothalamus and adrenals both know, low blood sugar is a ‘threat to your survival’ and together they send out hormones to find ways to boost it.  The problem is, these hormones create such a flux in the body, the thyroid has no choice but to slow down, losing its power.   

 “Low blood sugar and a poorly functioning thyroid gland reflect depression and depression affects the immune system, so we get a cold, which depresses us even more.  Sometimes we get up in the morning just feeling rotten, but how can we say that one causes the other?  Or might our bodies, being part of an interconnected world organism, simply move in harmony with climatic changes more than we realize.  What we eat has a profound effect on our moods, but our moods in turn affect what we eat.  If we are unhappy or stressed we grab for “comfort food” like chocolate, which in turn makes us feel unhappy and stressed because the blood sugar level crashes afterward, which makes us depressed…..it is the body, the domain of the Moon, which keeps us in touch with life in the moment, whether it is the dark or the life face of experience we are encountering.  Without sufficient expression of the Moon, it is not only the body which suffers.  It is our capacity to experience life in the present.”   (Liz Greene)

 

“For thousands of years—up to and including decades of the present century—very little, if anything was done to alleviate the unpleasant symptoms which the vast majority of women experience while they are menstruating, nor the whole complex (or syndrome) of problems, mental and physical, which affect far more women than is generally realized during the premenstrual phase of their cycle.  This is partly accounted for by the fact that sex and the reproductive system were taboo conversational topics.  Certainly the advent of sex education in schools and movements o establish equal rights for women, as well as a more liberal attitude towards sexual activity, have contributed to alerting the scientific and medical world to the subject of ‘women’s complaints’. To a certain extent, the earlier ignorance has been, or is being, rectified.  As women become more aware of their own identities, so they develop body-consciousness and thereby an awareness of how their bodies work, and what these feel life when they are not working properly.  Because women now talk openly to one another and to their doctors, the full range of menstrual problems has come to light.” Dr. Caroline Shreeve

We are helping each other out in regard to our monthly periods and our struggles with PMS.  There are lots of forums out there now that focus on this subject and groups are available too, right in your own community.  There’s so much more we can learn by listening to each other.  I’ve tried to put as much information as I can on problems and solutions with PMS.  At the end of this blog, there are links to some incredible sites that could offer you more.  The information gathered here isn’t just from Carol’s reading; it is a gathering of information that has grown over the years.  From the many women I’ve met with PMS, the one things we’ve all seemed to have in common, as discussed earlier, is symptoms of low blood sugar also known as hypoglycemic. 

 THE BRAIN NEEDS GLUCOSE

 Artificial sweeteners are on the rise but they play havoc with the body’s metabolism and frustrate it to no end.  When the body tastes something sweet, it begins the natural preparation of digesting carbohydrates, but with artificial sweeteners it can’t find them!  When this happens, the body has to compensate somehow and look for carbs elsewhere….it may excessively absorb carbohydrates found in the intestines which forces the body to produce extra insulin which then causes our blood sugar to go too low, resulting in hypoglycemia.  This insulin and blood sugar roller coaster causes the hypothalamus to panic which leads to more carb cravings and more sweets.  It’s an endless cycle that if not managed, can lead to weight gain and progressive obesity. 

 The brain needs a maximum of 1 tsp or 5 grams of glucose every 3 to 4 hours to give our bodies and brains constant little spurts of sugar as fuel in our bloodstreams.  We can get this from eating fruits in moderation, vegetables, salads, herbs, sea vegetables and ‘green drinks.’  But if you eat that tasty honey or cinnamon bun for breakfast your body becomes overloaded with at least 12 teaspoons of sugar, guaranteeing to cause hormonal havoc by flooding and hamming your little energy engines into ‘off’.  Within an hour of eating that tasty treat, surging blood glucose signals insulin levels to spike, causing your physical, emotional and mental performance to decline in an ever-increasing downard spiral.  Elevated insulin levels also cause further cravings. 

 “Cortisol robs your brain of its only source of fuel: glucose.  It also wreaks havoc on your brain’s chemical messengers—your neurotransmitters—which carry your thoughts from one brain cell to the next.  When your neurotransmitter function is disrupted, and when your brain’s fuel supply plummets, it’s difficult for you to concentrate and to remember.” Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. BRAIN LONGEVITY

 

“Sugar [not glucose] depletes the body of specific nutrients including B complex vitamins, magnesium, chromium and other minerals.  Ingested sugar destroys the germ killing capacities of the white blood cells for approximately four hours” Dr. Jacqueline Krohn

 Glucose which only comes from plant food, is the most essential fuel in the human body.  The brain, lens of the eye, lungs and kidneys must have glucose to operate properly.  The brain is so dependent on glucose that it does not even need insulin to get glucose into the cells, which is unusual, since nearly all other body cells require insulin which allow glucose to slip in through the cell membrane. 

 Glucose is a necessity for your body cells.  If just the right amount of glucose goes straight from the intestinal absorption to the body cells and is burned for fuel, then the person feels great, look great and energetic.  If not enough glucose is available, then the person feels cranky, depressed, forgetful and listless in a condition call hypoglycemia (low sugar levels in the blood). If an excess of glucose starts accumulating outside of the cell, then “glucotoxicity” begins.  Glucotoxicity is slow but lethal where too much glucose outside of the cells triggers a host of destructive pathways throughout the body.

 “During the low blood sugar period, you can feel mood swings, irritability, and lack of attention and even undergo a weight shift.  This roller-coaster ride of high and low blood sugar is caused by hormones reacting to the food you have eaten—primarily reactions between carbohydrates and the pancreatic hormone insulin, between proteins and the pancreatic hormone glucagons, and between fats and the hormones call eicosanoid….A fundamental solution to your symptoms, whether related to blood sugar or perimenopause, is an eating plan that consists of slow-acting or low glycemic carbohydrates, along with high-quality fats and proteins that keep insulin levels low and that help to stabilize blood sugar levels.” Anne Louise Gittleman

 SEROTONIN

 During the day, the pineal gland releases the hormone serotonin and at night the hormone melatonin. Serotonin keeps us awake during the day, it influences our appetite, boosts our energy levels and makes us feel relaxed and good about ourselves. If serotonin levels are low, you’ll find yourself craving for sweets or constantly wanting to binge on foods. We tend to eat to make ourselves feel better…and it works because the more carbohydrates we eat, our serotonin levels go up! The problem is, the more weight we put on, the more serotonin it takes to elevate our mood.

 Low levels of serotonin have been linked to such conditions as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel, overeating, bulimia, obsessive-compulsive behavior, autism, PMS, migraine headaches, schizophrenia and even erratic behavior” ravenstar. (From my post Healing by way of the Endocrine Glands Part II)

 Serotonin also helps to control our sensitivity to pain, it is manufactured by an amino acid called tryptophan. 

 “Serotonin, the brain’s mood rejuvenator, influences appetite, cravings and obsessive behaviors.  Low serotonin levels cause us to be impulsive, aggressive, anxious, restless and depressed and to exhibit compulsive habits including overeating and drug and alcohol abuse.  Serotonin promotes equanimity, alert tranquility, confidence and a postive enthusiasm.  Low serotonin levels create depression, which is often treated with popular medications Prozac, Paxil, Aoloft and others known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).  These drugs inhibit the nerve cellls from reabsorbing serotonin once it is released, thus prolonging the action of serotonin and giving short-term biochemical assistance.  Low serotonin levels also cause PMS cravings and sleep disorders.” THE PATH TO PHENOMENAL HEALTH – Sam Graci

 When we become emotional we often turn to food for solace.  Food has a powerful effect on serotonin, a hormone in the brain that controls both emotion and eating.  Stress has been known to create a powerful psychological hunger that never finds satisfaction, no matter how full our stomachs feel.  Stress is the culprit that makes us ignore food that is good for us and turn to cookies and ice-cream instead.   

 “Eating sweet food is a way of feeding ourselves the sweetness we crave, of temporarily giving to ourselves the sweetness or reward that we may feel nobody else is giving us.  Conversely, in expressing our need for nourishment we may also stop eating thereby reducing or shrinking our need for affection to a level that makes no demands at all.  In this way obesity and anorexia are actually expressing a similar state; that of not loving self and therefore needing outside reinforcement and affirmation, but not receiving that affirmation enough to satisfy the demand.  The reaction that state is simply expressing in opposing ways:  obesity indicates a loss of personal control, while anorexia implies a highly exaggerated attempt at control.” Deb Shapiro BODY/MIND Workbook

 

High levels of Dopamine (another chemical in the brain) can  produce anxiety, stress, nervousness and aggression.  When the level of dopamine is elevated, a person may develop feelings of insecurity, paranoia and fear.  

Serotonin is another important chemical in the brain that can affect a person’s mental well-being.  Individuals with low serotonin levels are usually controlled personalities who display mood swings and some sort of compulsion, such as alcoholism, overating or being a workaholic, perfectionist, or procrastinator.  A serotonin imbalance can produce not only depression but internal anger. 

Depression can also be linked to other physical factors, such as hypothyroidism and food or environmental allergies. 

MINERALS AND ENZYMES 

We know that our diets can affect our energy, our ability to think, concentrate and also feelings of self-worth.   Hormones, like the rest of our bodies, are created from the food we eat.  In order to create all the hormones we need in just the right quantities, we have to take in enough of the nutrients they’re composed of to make enzymes, the catalysts that stimulate all your cells into action.  If the enzymes are not functioning, as they should then most of those vitamins and minerals you’re taking won’t be able to do their job.  Vitamins A, D, E and K need the enzyme lipase to break them down.  If this enzyme isn’t present, then most of the vitamins you took this morning have already been flushed out of the body.   

Enzymes are found in raw fruits and vegetables, especially juices.  But for enzymes to work at their optimal level, they need minerals, which are found in our tissues, blood and bones. Minerals transmit vital electric and magnetic impulses to the nerves and heart as well as helping in hormone production and balancing the body’s energy.  When just one mineral is lacking form you diet, it will be felt by the entire body which will do its utmost to convey this to you by either a lack of energy, feelings of irritability, nervousness, muscle soreness and even loss of focus or confusion.      

When the body is lacking in minerals, it searches for alternatives and has a tendency to pickup harmful minerals such as lead, aluminum and mercury in an attempt to maintain its balance.  The liver, one of the largest major organs in the human system has to work harder to filter out toxins the body has absorbed from polluted air, food and water.  When we are constantly exposed to industrial chemicals and pesticides the liver becomes overloaded and can’t do its job. 

THE LIVER 

“In Chinese medicine the liver is known as a storehouse of anger, particularly repressed anger, which gathers here and may eventually explode outward.  Too much anger, especially if it is repressed, is like a toxin in the body, and is often the background to addiction.  Unacknowledged or unexpressed anger leads to depression (anger turned inward) shame, jealousy, or irritability, all of which further deplete your energy levels and can damage the immune system.  Connected to anger are bitterness and resentment, which are seen in the production of bile, or guilt, hopelessness, frustration and hatred.” Deb Shapiro YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND 

The liver is the largest gland/organ in the body with over 500 different functions and the only organ with a dual blood supply.  This allows it to have access to blood rich nutrients as well as being able to rapidly discharge bile and other toxic substances.   One of its many functions is to secrete bile, an alkaline liquid which passes via the gallbladder into the duodenum, where it acts on the fats in foods and prepares them for digestion.  The liver is also a store for glycogen, a starchy substance which can be converted into sugars when the body needs extra energy.  When the liver has a hard time converting glycogen to glucose, the brain is deprived of its main fuel, sugar.  And when the brain doesn’t get enough sugar we can develop hypoglycemic symptoms.   

A congested liver tires the body because it has a hard time converting glycogen to glucose. I aked Carol if she suffered from night or day sweats which she replied yes.  I told her these sweats could be caused from energy stagnating in the kidney area as well as the liver and the spleen.   The liver is one of the main factors in the formation of sexual hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone).  One of its tasks is to eliminate excess hormones, especially estrogens, which have a tendency to irritate the liver and make it overly sensitive.  

ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS And XENOESTROGENS 

Daily we are exposed to thousands of toxins—photocopy machines, dust, mold, pollens, plastics, chemicals, fuel, and pesticides on foods.  Our body’s are very susceptible to chemical hazards as there are some that can interfere with the absorption of nutrients in the digestive system.  When the body is unable to excrete poisonous chemicals from food or in the air, they start accumulating in our bodies, disrupting enzyme function and throwing the body’s hormonal system out of balance.   

 “If you live or work in an urban or suburban environment, as most of us do, your body is subject to a constant bombardment from petrol-chemical molecules.  These molecules are in the air you breathe, the food you eat, the liquids you drink.  They come from automobile exhaust, detergents, pesticides, herbicides, PCBs, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.  These molecular structures are somewhat similar to those of estrogen, and they have the potential to occupy oxygen receptors in your cells.  Breast cancer, enlarged ovaries and premature cessation of ovulation are possible consequences. 

…..the ones that women are most likely to come in contact with are PCBs and related compounds in household cleaners, detergents and personal care products, small appliances, plastics, canned food and contraceptive creams……..The xenoestrogens interfere with the body’s natural estrogen in various ways.  They may occupy or alter estrogen receptors sites in tissue cells.  They may interfere with the actual manufacture of estrogen by the ovaries or adrenal glands or decrease the rate of estrogen excretion from the body and cause a build up of the hormone with consequent symptoms…..Some xenoestrogens have widespread effects….inhibiting the production of all sex hormones, not just estrogen.” Anne Louise Gittleman 

 Xenoestrogens (xeno means foreign) can cause a variety of symptoms when they’ve accumulated in the body.  The liver is constantly working to eliminate toxic substances from the body but can easily become overwhelmed when there’s just too much to handle.  Toxic substances can cause an extreme outpouring of adrenaline raising high levels of sugar in the blood.  This outpouring of adrenaline, especially when the brain has no glucose for fuel can often trigger aggressive behavior.     

Lima beans, soy beans and other soy produces contain isoflavones, phytoestrogens or plant estrogens.  These substances actually curb the activity of the excess estrogen in the body’s tissues.  Psytoestrogens can also be found in other vegetables and in fruits along with nonsoluble fibers, beta-carotene and selenium.  Flaxseed and certain types of fish contain omega-3 fatty acids.

 This is a tremendous site and incredibly informative…

http://www.energeticnutrition.com/vitalzym/xeno_phyto_estrogens.html

 How to avoid xenoestrogens  

http://kerryg.hubpages.com/hub/Reducing-Exposure-to-Xenoestrogens

 HORMONAL BALANCING 

When we are treating our hormones with supplements that involve only one or two hormones, this could eventually lead to an imbalance to your whole endocrine system.  You can’t just increase one hormone artificially; if you do your body will start decreasing the natural production of other hormones your body needs to return to balance.  There is no quick fix for your PMS.  You need to learn about all the forces that can interfere with your hormone health and focus on the substances that your body needs to produce hormones in just the right quantities.  This means you must become in charge of your own life, not a victim to it.  It means learning about taking charge of your own hormone health. It means learning about yourself, your deep-seated needs and your individuality.  

Everything that affects the body also affects the mind; hormone changes are no exception to this rule.  Our thoughts and emotions have a profound influence on our hormone balance and their effects on our bodies.  We cannot separate mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and social aspects of ourselves; this is the central idea of the holistic approach to health. 

“The ovaries produce both testosterone and estrogen. Relatively small quantities of testosterone are released into your bloodstream by the ovaries and adrenal glands. In addition to being produced by the ovaries, estrogen is also produced by fat tissue in the body. These sex hormones are involved in the growth, maintenance, and repair of reproductive tissues. But that’s not all. They influence other body tissues and bone mass as well.” http://women.webmd.com/normal-testosterone-and-estrogen-levels-in-women

 (Your endocrine glands are also spiritual centers, each having a consciousness of its own, each with its own history and experience as well as emotions, ideas, attitudes and experiences.  Each one of the 7 glands are related to the other six through the nervous system and the hormones in the blood; to function properly they all have to work together and get along.  But if they disagree among themselves, this leads to a clash of ‘wills’ with one or more gland seeking to control or manipulate the others.  When this happens it can cause a person to feel emotionally explosive, manipulative or so totally lacking in energy they withdraw from the interaction of others. It is these seven areas of consciousness that make each of us unique, they are the product of how we have utilized and used our power.)  

 “When you get your hormone balance right, you will be protecting yourself not just from the regular aggravation of PMS or period pains, and the long haul of menopausal symptoms but also from the overspill problems of hormone imbalance such as depression, tiredness and weight gain.  You will be reducing your risk of cancer and heart disease; you will be strengthening your bones and your whole body.  And if you plan to have a baby, you will be enhancing the chances of producing a happy, healthy child who will be a delight to you and everyone else.” Arabella Melville 

Our sexual hormones are coordinated and orchestrated by the pituitary gland in the brain.  If there aren’t enough enzymes and minerals to help transport them through the blood then this will affect your hormones.  For the body to stay balanced we need to be sure that our needs are met ‘at all times’.  If they don’t our endocrine glands won’t be able to function as they should.  Understanding your needs comes from learning what different factors affect you as an individual.  Keeping a journal, as mentioned earlier will help give you feedback on the way your hormones are fluctuating and how they’re affecting you.  You might find you need plenty of rest before your period or maybe physical exercise.  You might need more food to fuel the body or ignore wheats or stay away from sugary or salty food.   

Your sexual tastes may change too….you may not like to have your breasts touched when their swollen or feeling sensitive.  You may like intense sex and then again something more gentler.  Whatever you’re feeling, communicating this to your partner is the key.   

PMS can be due to excessively high levels of estrogen in the blood which is capable of causing depressive and mental problems.  When estrogen is too high it interferes with the body’s ability to absorb B6 (pyridoxine), which is known as the anti-depression vitamin, because it controls the production of serotonin.

 Many of the remedies that are advertised did not work for me.  Energy testing, however, let me to progesterone, which is the best natural substance I have ever taken.  For many women who have sever PMS, progesterone (not the synthetic progestin works like magic because it potently strengthens the spleen and sedates the triple warmer.”  Donna Eden, ENERGY MEDICINE

 Energy testing can be done by everyone.   http://www.feelingfree.net/awareness/selftest.htm

 Energy testing with Donna Eden on youtube  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HErzYIN1Me8

 Most women can take progesterone but there are a select few that can’t.  Side affects to progesterone can include feeling depressed, listless, no emotional drive and very tired.   

Progesterone is one hormone that tends to go up rather than down with exercise:  half an hour of ‘good’ exercise can raise the level of progesterone in the circulation by 40%.  That means progesterone deficiencies can be improved within minutes of doing a physical workout.

 The glands of the endocrine system and their hormonal output is better when we are physically active.  The adrenal glands for example, are stimulated into higher levels of hormone production by exercise.  In addition physical activity changes the sensitivity of cells to the effects of hormones so that our hormone systems work more efficiently.

 Too much regular strenuous exercise can reduce estrogen levels drastically.  If stores of your body fat are diminished too much it can cause such a distortion in your hormonal ouput causing loss of periods and loss of bone leading to osteoporosis. 

 Great site describing too much and too little estrogen, progesterone and testosterone produced in the ovaries https://eaware.org/ovaries/

 http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-estrogen.htm

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-progesterone.htm

http://women.webmd.com/normal-testosterone-and-estrogen-levels-in-women

 SUPPLEMENTS AND HERBS

 *additions to be added….as well as any comments….

 Natural supplements are great and they can be very helpful but they are just as the word states “SUPPLEMENTS” they are not a “cure”.  Just like medications we get from the doctor, if we take the wrong dose or mix it with something else, they can do more harm than good.  I have seen people who have crossed the boundaries with supplements, taking more than they should because they believe more is better but in truth they can do great harm to their bodies. I’d also like to point out that just because the label says ‘all natural products’ doesn’t mean they are safe for everyone or that you can safely take them with other medications.  It’s very important that you read the label, take the suggested amount and make sure it won’t interfere with the meds you are already taking.  

AGNUS CASTUS is an amazing herb….I’ve heard this over and over by many women who wouldn’t even think of giving it up.  It works by regulating the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-access, the region of the brain and endocrine system that regulates and orchestrates hormonal release and their functions.  It allows the body to get itself back to where it needs to be, and doesn’t cause any other hormonal imbalances.

 VITAMINE B6 (Pyridoxine)

“B6 (pyridoxine) has often been called a “woman’s guardian angel” because of its power to relieve perimenopausal symptoms, particularly water retention and bloating, skin eruptions, mood swings, and even depression and anxiety. High concentrations of B6 increase the synthesis of neurotransmitter dopamine and inhibit secretion of the milk-stimulating hormone prolactin.  This alleviates anxiety, irritability, mood swings, and nervous tension.  Vitamin B6 reduces levels of estrogen and elevates progesterone levels.  Additionally B6 helps balance tissue levels of magnesium, a mineral noted for its ability to alleviate peri-menopause symptoms.

 Vitamin B6 is needed for normal secretion of serotonin, the brain neurotransmitter that regulates mood, pain, sleep and appetite.  This vitamin has been shown to improve memory, particularly long-term memory and increases the brain’s capacity to store information.” Anne Louise Gittleman

 B6 has also been beneficial in helping depression, fluid retention and swelling, especially the fingers, feet and ankles.

 A few years back, a client of mine mentioned brewers’ yeast, magnesium and vitamin B6 all seemed to really help with her PMS symptoms.  I tried it and loved it and mentioned it to others too….they really seems to relax, balance and revitalize the body, all at the same time. 

 For proper absorption vitamin B6 should be taken with B-complex vitamins and with Omega 3-6-9.   

 Foods high in B6 – brewer’s yeast, soybeans, kale, spinach, bananas, liver, nuts, whole grains, meat, fish, poultry, legumes, sunflower seeds, avocados and green peppers, peas, eggs, carrots,

http://www.livestrong.com/article/40744-foods-high-vitamin-b6/

 CHROMIUM helps in transporting and binding insulin into the cells, allowing them to take in glucose where it is consumed and converted into energy. It also helps to balance your sugars.

 HERBS that also help to balance blood sugars include black cohosh, panax and Siberian ginseng, dandelion, gentian, ginger, cinnamon, uva ursi, licorice root and astragalus. Astragalus helps to boost energy by supporting the adrenals and the immune system.

 

 MAGNESIUM is required for regulating normal body temperature and for the conversion of glucose into an energy source.  The adrenal glands regulate the amount of magnesium, with a hormone known as aldosterone.

 Magnesium deficiencies can create nervousness, anxiety, irritability muscle tremors, muscle cramps, memory loss, concentration problems, apathy, depression, perspiration increase, body odor increase, urination increase, constipation and more. 

 There are magnesium supplements of 100 mg or more.  Slowly increase in your diet because Magnesium can not be stored in the body and too much will cause diarrhea.  

 Almonds have a very high magnesium content and help to lay down calcium as bone.  Chinese and oriental foods are high in magnesium as well as kelp, wheat bran, cashews, pistachios, parsley, dandelion greens, garlic, raisins, bananas, carrots, blackberries and much more. 

 http://www.livestrong.com/article/40777-foods-high-magnesium-zinc/

 OMEGA-3-Fatty Oils

As you may know, fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, helps to develop healthy cells/skin/hair and makes it easier for your body to use stored fat and sugar for energy.  When we don’t have enough of this oils in our system we can get depressed, inattentive, irritable, confused and lack focus.  If you’re going to take omega-3’s as a supplement, I highly recommend a supplement with omega-3, 6, 9, all these together help to relieve physical and mental symptoms of PMS and balance your hormones.  Too much omega-3 by itself can cause inflammation.  1000mg to 3000 mg is recommended daily. 

NERVE SUPPLEMENTS

Supplements for the nerves, skullcap, valerian root, lavender, passion flower and chamomile.  Don’t take any one of these if you’re working with machinery or planning to drive.  Personally, skullcap is one of my favorite and lavender too—their very enjoyable as a tea.   

SAW PALMETTO acts as a anti-androgen, meaning it can lower the levels of testosterone in the body.   

SEROTONIN

The only substance to ‘manufacture serotonin is the essential amino acid tryptophan.  As we know serotonin helps to control our mood, sleep, appetite and pain threshold.  Eating Disorders and violent behavior has been traced to serotonin.  Tryptophan converts to niacin before becoming serotonin.  And it needs a little help with this from B6 and Vitamin C. 

5HTP http://www.livestrong.com/article/488320-the-5-htp-dosage-for-pms/

 ZINC

A zinc deficiency has also been known to cause anxiety and depression as well as depression and poor sexual development.  It plays a starring role in the function of the immune system and brain development and performance.  Zinc helps to remove toxic metals from the brain, particularly copper, lead, mercury and cadmium.  High copper levels can cause paranoia, violent behavior, mood swings and schizoid behavior.  High lead can cause learning disabilities and behavioral disorders.   

Foods high in zinc, wheat, olives, brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, garlic, onions, oats, lettuce, soya beans, asparagus, lettuce, rice, barley, sunflower seeds 

“Organic chocolate – 70% cocoa considered an energizing food if eaten in moderation about 3:00 pm.  By mid-afternoon you’re mood-balanced hormone serotonin ‘good mood’ hormone DHEA and neuropeptide beta endorphin levels take a natural dip.  If you consume up to to one and a half ounces or forty two grams of dark semi sweet cholcolate which contains only ninety calories, you quickly boost the serotonin, DHEA and neuropeptide beta endorphin levels so you feel happy, satisfied and content.  The cacao plant (which is a source of choclate) contains a potent antioxidant called pentamer that increases the activity of cancer suppressing genes.” THE PATH TO PHENOMENAL HEALTH Sam Graci

 http://www.livestrong.com/pms-supplements/

http://www.nowloss.com/Foods-high-in-zinc.htm

 Other sites to consider…..

 PMDD Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

http://www.healthyplace.com/depression/pmdd/pmdd-premenstrual-dysphoric-disorder-symptoms-treatment/

 There is no laboratory test that identifies PMS symptoms or PMDD. The diagnosis is made from the patient’s reporting of their symptoms on a daily basis for 2 or more menstrual cycles. These daily symptom records must demonstrate a cyclic symptom pattern, with the greatest severity in the week preceding menses and major reduction or elimination of the symptoms after the menstrual period.”

http://depression.about.com/cs/hormones/a/pmddsymptoms.htm 

Forums on PMS

http://www.steadyhealth.com/

http://www.healthypages.co.uk/forum/

Signs of PMS http://ezinearticles.com/?PMS—Signs,-Symptoms,-Causes&id=6855353

Great site on helping to reduce PMS symptoms http://www.marilynglenville.com/womens-health-issues/pre-menstrual-syndrome/

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