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Posts Tagged ‘solar plexus’

“This is a good example of factors coming together and combining to create a difficulty.  Stomach ulcers are often physically due to a specific virus but invariably occur at the same time when you are very stressed and the reality you are dealing with is becoming corrosive, wearing away at your coping mechanism.  You may be taking in too much acidity from others, or your feelings are eating away at you. 

Aggravated by digestive juices, ulcers arise when you are under too much pressure, worried by financial or work situations, relationships, guilt or shame.  Worry is the key word here—it is almost as if the worry itself is eating you.  All of this creates the perfect environment for the virus.  The ulcer creates a feeling of being raw and exposed, as if there is nowhere to hide.  There may also be repressed aggression, a desire to get revenge or to lash out at someone.  There is a deep need to be soothed and nurtured, to return to the safety of being cared for—as seen in having to eat baby foods as a form of treatment.” YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro 

Most of us are unaware of the many forces that can interfere with our physical, emotional, nutritional and environmental lives.  When these four areas of responsibility are ignored or dismissed, our body/mind/spirit is forced to change through some kind of crisis.  Usually our early experiences, especially our childhood are the ones that teach us our greatest lessons and reflect back to us our weaknesses and strengths and desires and potentials. 

When I was just in my young teens, (thirteen/fourteen) an ultrasound revealed I had a stomach ulcer (peptic).  You’d think the anxiety of high school would do this but it wasn’t school that caused it.  In fact, I couldn’t wait to get to school, it was my get-away, a place of freedom, where like a wild horse I galloped free.  School was my place of escape, a place to run from myself and from my family.  

The radical shifts of emotion and extreme inner tension came from my home—it was a literal war-zone!    There were times I was scared out of my wits, especially when a shouting match between my mom and dad had dishes and pots being thrown across the room or my brothers emotional yelling turned into fist-fights and black-eyes and bloody noses.  I was the youngest of four, my oldest brother 10 years older and younger brother 8 years older.  My father fought with my brothers, especially Len, my second brother.  I remember when we moved from our house in Montreal to Toronto, the walls in that home still held the image of human imprints from people being pushed into them.  

During that time I was on Zantac, Librium and an antacid, but the burning searing pain that tore through my body never subsided until I quit school and left home at 18 years of age (I failed a grade and was put back a grade when we moved).  Through the many years that followed I learned that the present is not the past and that I wasn’t in any kind of danger when people around me critically raised their voices.   But, I have learnt to keep my inner antennae on….an extremely helpful, instinctive/intuitive tool and a natural gift from the stomach/solar plexus area.   

 

THE CRUX OF THE PROBLEM 

“ULCERS are no more than fear—tremendous fear of “not being good enough.” We fear not being good enough for a parent, we fear not being good enough for a boss.  We can’t stomach who we are.  We rip our guts apart trying to please others.  No matter how important our job is, our inner self-esteem is very low.  We are afraid they will find out about us. “ Louise Hay You Can Heal Your Life  

When I left home I had trouble expressing myself  (personal power) to friends and associates because I was afraid of how they’d react.  I was very shy and sensitive, taking any form of criticism really badly.  We (stomach people) clam up or won’t stand up for ourselves, out of the fear of being hurt, judged, humiliated, misunderstood and/or misinterpreted.  We’re scared others are going to react and rationalize our feelings, or our own fear of being wrong.  Another thing we’re afraid of, is being, either emotionally overwhelmed or ignored—we’ve all experienced that feeling when someone just isn’t all there—either there’s a glazed look in their eyes and a restlessness in their body or they look at their watch, spring to their feet and interrupt us.    

On the other hand, many of us look to others to boost our self-esteem, hoping they will fill us up with good thoughts and feelings.  Unfortunately, looking to others for our happiness and emotional well-being severely limits our freedom and expression.  It creates a miscommunication with ourselves (our lack of ability to understand what is really going on inside us). As we seek others approval, we begin to wear masks, to disguise our true feelings and to protect ourselves from being criticized, put down or humiliated by others.  We even try to deceive ourselves into thinking we can control, manipulate or alter our future—but the stomach area, the solar plexus/3rd chakra will not accept lies – if we don’t speak our truth our solar plexus tightens by the words we haven’t spoken.  

“People have known for ages that many different emotions are related to ulcers.  Feeling threatened, for example, causes the brain to signal the stomach to secrete more acid while reducing the blood flow to the lining, thus setting the stage for ulcers.  Some scientists have theorized that ulcers are caused by an overgrowth of a bacterium known as Heliobacteria pylori in the stomach.  Since, however, all of us have Heliobacteria pylori in our stomachs—just as we all have E.coli in our intestines, and all women have yeast in their vaginas—there must be something about the environment in some people’s stomachs that makes them more susceptible to the bacteria’s overgrowing.  Scientists believe that stressful life changes, feelings of threat, and being trapped or restrained can alter some people’s immunity and cause the bacteria to overgrow, setting the stage for ulcers.  It’s as if H. pylori is the bearer of bad tidings, but not necessarily the bad news itself.” Mona Lisa Schulz   

The stomach area contains bundles of sensitive nerve endings, which also connect and join with, thousands and thousands of nerve endings close to the heart—this explains why hate, passion, fear, anger and many other emotions are felt ‘instantly’, ‘emotionally’ and extremely in this highly nerve center.   As we learn and become aware of our emotional sensitivities, the solar plexus and heart area form a bridge connecting us to our higher and lower centers.  We discover we can become the conductor/controller of our own emotions and desires without becoming overly involved.   

This abdominal area has also been called the seat of your subconscious mind and the subconscious mind holds many memories of the past—some of them painful, bitter and unjust. Sometimes we can get swamped with painful emotions in reaction to something we’re doing at the moment that suddenly reminds us of a past abuse. One minute we’re feeling fine, the next minute we’ve got a knot of fear/shame in the pit of our stomach. Often, these kinds of emotional reactions are amplified by psychic residue dumped on us from our childhood or recent past.  Then comes the fear—fear blocks our senses and numbs our perceptions…we can’t feel or read our environment and we can’t read ourselves. We look for hidden meanings of people’s actions—if someone looks at us the wrong way, our energy takes a nosedive.  If someone praises us, our energy hits an all time high. 

“Third chakra energy is logical rather than artistic, sophisticated rather than child-like, doctrinaire rather than organic, cunning rather than innocent, suspicious rather than trusting, and responsibility-bound rather than flowing. If the second chakra holds the natural child, the third chakra holds the controlling parent. Where the second chakra is more like the right-brain side of identity, the third chakra “thinks” more like the brain’s left hemisphere. Third chakra thought also differs from sixth chakra thought. Sixth chakra thought, though it may be profound, is more detached and cerebral. Third chakra thought is entwined with your identity, your fears, and the needs of your ego. 

The energy of the second chakra can be cut off from that of the third chakra, as well as the others above it. There is an energy system between the second and third chakras called the belt flow…the belt flow, which goes around the waist, can become like a huge wall above the second chakra that cuts off the second chakras natural spontaneity, trust, and faith. When this happens, as it frequently does in modern Western cultures, the person may be tormented by merciless self-hatred, a desecration that often originates in the third chakra’s attempts to shape an identity that differs vastly from the natural child of the second chakra. Once the connection between the second and third chakra is opened, energy rises; knowledge about a truer, kinder, gentler self can filter up; and self-condemnation and self-hatred begin to dissolve in that knowledge.” Energy Medicine: Balancing Your Body’s Energies For Optimal Health, Joy and Vitality ~ Donna Eden 

REDEFINING STRESS 

The Amygdala

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

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

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

From Stress To Tension

 What I’m trying to prove is that our bodies are still responding to this ancient fear mechanism that rushes intense energy into us, preparing us for the fight or flight response.  But even though our lives have changed regarding the word stress, we are still reacting to the old instinctual unconscious reactions.  As a result we aren’t coping so much with stress as we are with ‘tension’.  Stress as you’ve read is a natural response, necessary for life.  ‘Tension’, is the not-so-good physical and mental repercussions we experience when we haven’t been able to process our stress effectively. 

Stress becomes tension when we perceive something unexpected as threatening, when in reality, it is not.  We should be living in a society of trust, cooperation, and interacting well with others, yet in our minds we still remember the ‘survival of the fittest’ that still sits in our unconscious.  Watch out for those dinosaurs!

 When we are criticized for something that we’ve done, we immediately respond with fear and anger as if it were a threat to our very life—our old programming says ‘defend yourself or you’ll die—rather than taking the time to step back and understand what just happened.  Instead our hearts start thumping, we become restless and either express ourselves angrily—physically defend ourselves—or repress all that unexpressed energy which then develops as physical tension.  We haven’t understood that we’ve set ourselves up to experience ‘tension’ from our own lack of awareness.

Another cause of tension is when we fight something with our mental thoughts that we cannot physically control or change—traffic jams come to mind—very frustrating indeed.  How many times have you fumed with rage at not getting home in time or to that all-important meeting and then brought all that fuelled anger home, or to the office with you?  When you are really stressed out, you radiate that stressed energy to the people around you through your chakras and auras.  Consciously or sub-consciously, these people then transfer a great bulk of this stress energy by being nasty and rude to others.  It’s like a merry-go-round.

“Most illness begins with stress-producing thinking as the mind imposes tension on the body.  Every thought has a corresponding effect on the body.  Recent studies in the growing field of psychosomatic medicine demonstrate that our body’s finely tuned immune system responds also immediately to both positive and negative thoughts and attitudes. 

 Resistance is like a stone dropped into a calm pond; the emotions are the ripples.  Chronic stress begun in the mind, creates emotional turbulence and imposes itself upon the body as stored tension.  The tension translates to painful symptoms: headaches or pain in the stomach, lower back or elsewhere.  We have all experienced these symptoms with no apparent physical cause”. NO ORDINARY MOMENTS ~ Dan Millman

 It does seem that most of our problems come from a lack of wisdom and understanding.  Instead of being blinded or tied into our own person viewpoint, we can learn to dissolve tension by changing the way we perceive someone or something.  Balancing our emotions with reason sounds easy, but it isn’t.  It takes time to learn to control our impulses our instinctive way of responding to life.  Instead of being raw and blunt we need to step back and take a higher view of a situation, instead of reigning supreme over others.  The solar plexus chakra is the centre of positive and negative emotions—ambition, courage, violence, cruelty–are just some of the many.  When a person is very angry, the solar plexus chakra pulsates erratically.  This causes the diaphragm to move erratically, resulting in shallow breathing.

 “In the early nineteenth century a man named Alexis St. Martin accidentally shot himself in the abdomen.  The wound was large, and it never healed.  Through a small hole in St. Martin’s abdominal wall, you could clearly see his stomach lining.  The famous surgeon William Baumont undertook a study of Martin, to determine what effect the man’s moods would have on his stomach.  He observed the lining changing color as a given emotion caused the release of more or less acid in the stomach.  Whenever anger caused St. Martin’s face to go red, the stomach lining would also turn red.  This was the essence of mind-body (or in this case mind-stomach) medicine.  Every emotion St. Martin felt—anxiety, resentment, frustration, anger, happiness—was literally revealed on the video screen of his stomach wall.” Awakening Intuition Mona Lisa Schulz

 MORE ENERGETICS OF THE STOMACH/SOLAR PLEXUS

 The solar plexus, stomach area, is the place where every memory you’ve ever had of being criticized is registered.  No organ of your body is more quickly affected by your moods than your stomach! 

 “The stomach is the primary organ for storing, diluting, and digesting food.  It is our reservoir.  It is a symbol of the thoughts, ideas, and inspirations that we learn to digest and assimilate.  It is the reservoir from which we can draw to experience the new and open worlds. 

 Stomach problems often reflect outer problems in digesting life’s experiences.  Are we afraid of digesting or experiencing the new?  Are we holding on to that which is no longer beneficial or nourishing to us?  Do we have fears of not being good enough just as we are?  Do we not approve of ourselves?  Are we having difficulty assimilating new ideas, concepts, and perspectives, and putting them in motion in our life?  The Healer’s Manual ~ Ted Andrews

 Your abdomen and pelvis contain many important organs that are critical for your survival.  The abdomen consists of the digestive system/gastrointestinal system that is made up of approximately thirty-three feet of plumbing that starts at the mouth and ends at the rectum.  (The digestive tract needs that much length to help break down the food’s nutrients and distribute them throughout the body by way of the bloodstream). This system consists of the mouth, pharynx or throat, esophagus, stomach and the small and large intestines.  Digestion begins when food or drink enters the mouth; churning, mixing, breaking down, emulsifying and absorbing the nutrients; and, finally, circulating the nutrients through the blood until they reach their final destination.  Your tissues and organs are the final-destination where the digested fats, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins are released, helping to keep your body healthy and working properly. 

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

 The brain and the digestive system work together.  Scientists have long known that the brain stimulates the digestive organs through parasympathetic activities such as sight, smell, and taste, which stimulate hunger. Psychological factors also impact hunger and digestion, influencing the movements of the intestine, secretion of digestive enzymes, and other digestive functions.  Intense sadness or anger, for example, will set off a chain reaction that stimulates or reduces hunger, perhaps causing weight and digestive problems, and sometimes intestinal illnesses.

 On the other hand, the digestive system also influences the brain.  For example, long-standing or recurring diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) ulcerative colitis, and other painful diseases affect emotions, behaviors, and daily functioning.  This two-way association has been called the brain-gut axis.” The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia Of Your Energetic Anatomy ~ Cyndi Dale

 When studying the healing arts, I became fascinated with the many teachings and how the teachers/healers/authors spoke of the depth and complexity of our emotional lives, and, what we could do to heal them.  I studied the endocrine system, the body’s nervous system and the chakras.  In studying ulcers and other stomach ailments, I’ve learned that virtually every chakra is somehow affected.   Why?  Because your self esteem, your ego and your personality sits in the 3rd chakra.  This is the place of how you feel about yourself and how secure and stable you are in the outside world.

 “At the top chakra of the lower triangle of chakras, the third chakra is vitally important in enabling us to survive and succeed in the material world. Even though it sits atop the foundation of the chakra system (the lower three chakras), the third chakra is also in close communication with the higher chakras—particularly the fourth chakra or heart chakra, and the sixth chakra, or third eye”. MEDITATION AS MEDICINE, Activate the Power of Your Natural Healing Force, by Dharma Singh, M.D. Khalsa, Cameron Stauth

 I fell in love with Mona Lisa Schulz and her incredible knowledge of the body/mind/spirit dynamics and its intimate connection with the brain….

 “A large network of fibers of the autonomic nervous system—which fires the brain without being consciously aware of it—runs from the brain down to the gut, where the nerves actually wrap around the tubelike intestines like a radial belt on a tire and cause them to contract.  When you describe something as “gut-wrenching,” that’s exactly what you mean: when you feel an emotion, the fire from the nerves branches down, wraps around your gut, and clenches it.” Awakening Intuition ~ Mona Lisa Schulz

 HEALING THE STOMACH/SOLAR PLEXUS/3rd CHAKRA

 “I don’t have to be afraid any more.  My fear used to be overwhelming, but the things that overwhelmed me are the past.  I don’t have to yell.  I can be heard when I whisper, if I quietly speak my truth.  Love is the opposite of fear; the more I can let go of my fear, the more I can love and be loved”. Daphne Rose Kingma

 One of the first things we have to learn in order to heal is to be aware of what we are doing to our body.  Most of us are so busy with our lives, we rarely take the time to connect with ourselves and get a sense of what we’re feeling/sensing/being.  Healing involves acting consistently to ensure that you are doing everything that you need to do for a healthy life.  It’s a time to take responsibility for yourself and let go of others responsibilities that are interfering with your own needs.  Realize, this may look to others as a form of selfishness as you get rest, exercise and the good food you need.  Stepping back and doing your own self-healing work as well as possibly receiving care from someone else, produces the best overall healing.  This healing process literally opens up your body’s energetic channels, your blood flow, digestive system, your breathing, your nervous system and your muscle and joint function.  It means learning about yourself, your deep-seated needs and your ‘individuality’. 

 Putting out the Fire 

We all have fears that frightens us—after all that’s fears job—and when we experience its grip, we feel it in the form of butterflies, stomach cramps, heartburn and spasms—we lose power and—we lose our ability to think things through and reason.  When we are out of power, we can become stuck, rigid and very critical of the things we don’t understand. 

Fear seems to be, as Louise Hay and others have quoted, the main cause for stomach ulcers and stomach ailments.  But what is fear anyways?  Where does it come from? Well, from what I know of my own fears and from hearing the fears of others, fear has many different faces…..showing up as, anxiety, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, stress and phobias.  We could even say that All negative emotions are a derivative of fear.  These emotions can express themselves as anger, frustration, embarrassment, denial, grief, shame, jealousy, insecurity, rage, guilt, resentment, stress and worry. 

 Now all fear isn’t bad.  Some fears are useful emotions, protecting us from harm, offering us guidance and forcing us to move quickly into action….e.g., the primitive fight/flight response that signals, protects and saves our lives. 

 But when we delay in taking action or refuse to face the fear, it depletes our passion for living.  It is one of the biggest obstacles we humans have to face and which, if ignored, intensify in strength. 

 All of us have hurtful memories from the past. Most fears stem from our belief system instilled in us as a child by our parents, teachers, siblings, friends, etc..  In order to protect ourselves from repeating these painful experiences again, we build up our defenses—very often we cling to old habits and patterns because breaking free of old habits can actually feel like we’re dying.  Nothing stops us from letting go of these useless patterns but it can take some of us years before we can actually let the old self-die.  Symptoms of fear can cause ulcers, nausea, tightness in the chest and back and neck, an uneasy mind, sweating and a rapid heartbeat. 

 To master our fear we must take it in hand and resist succumbing to its panic—if we give away our power to fear, we become its puppet.

  

TRANSFORMING FEAR INTO UNDERSTANDING

 Meditation can gently steer us away from our thoughts and emotions and put us back in charge of our lives—it helps to restore our relationship with ourselves and put us back on the ground.  This is a wonderful awareness/relaxation exercise I received from a wonderful friend many years ago.  It teaches you to transform the stresses in your life by changing the way you look at them.  

 Begin to observe yourself day to day so that you are able to see when fear 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.

 Fear causes us to tense up, when you feel this happening, 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 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 fear, 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 fear, 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.

 (*Try not to eat when you’re angry, excited, tense, depressed, upset, on the run or tired.  Wait until your mind becomes calm and your ‘natural’ hunger returns.  When your tense the hunger you feel isn’t true hunger…it’s mentally induced hunger, designed as an outlet for your nervousness and anxieties.  True hunger arises only when you are relaxed.)

 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 walking, meditation, or sports.  Also take time out to lie down and relax deeply once a day for fifteen to twenty minutes.

HEALING FOODS AND SUPPLEMENTS

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

 The Mystic Cookbook video – how to create a chakra meal and so many more http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOjEccORdW4&feature=youtu.be

More Mystic Cookbook Videos http://www.youtube.com/user/TheMysticCookbook

 Peptic Ulcer  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/peptic-ulcer/DS00242/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

 Glutamine for stomach ulcers http://www.livestrong.com/article/487930-glutamine-for-stomach-ulcers/

 Stomach ulcers and probiotics http://www.livestrong.com/article/475443-stomach-ulcers-probiotics/

Fenugreek for stomach ulcers http://www.livestrong.com/article/471095-fenugreek-for-stomach-ulcers/

Tumeric for stomach ulcers http://www.livestrong.com/article/467947-turmeric-for-stomach-ulcers/

All kinds of links re: stomach ulcers http://www.livestrong.com/stomach-ulcers/

 

Stay tuned for the next upcoming article – Metaphysical Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) where we continue to discuss more metaphysical information on the stomach/solar plexus area.

“The stomach and esophagus come together at the bottom end of our ribcage, beneath our heart…..that’s why when it hurts, we call it heartburn. Heartburn can happen from an attack on our self esteem, a feeling of being trapped, competitiveness, a hostile environment, or anxious and overwhelmed by responsibilities.  Chronic anxiety and worry is closely associated with ulcers 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 (to be continued………”)

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

 

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Continued from Part 1 & 2 Metaphysically Understanding Arthritis

Fiona was scheduled for another Reiki session the following week.  She called to cancel the appointment at the beginning of that week due to fighting a bad cold.

 Sometimes, when a person is healing and releasing a buildup of toxins from the body, he or she may contract flu like symptoms, as the toxins find a way out of the body. People with a great deal of accumulated stress or emotional blocks can find everything stirred up especially after the first and/or second treatment.  Many people don’t understand that these symptoms are actually the body healing itself.  All pain experienced is pain leaving the body.

DISTANCE/ABSENT HEALING.

I asked Fiona if she’d like distant healing for the week she was away with a cold.  She agreed and we set a time for the following evening when she would be turning in  for the night.

Distant healing is about empathically connecting and creating a spiritual link to another person who is at a place other than where you are.  Distant healing transcends time, space or shape…..it doesn’t matter how near or far the client is……all that is required is a desire, and love/compassion (not pity) to heal another.  Intent is of the utmost importance as well as meeting the comfort level of the person receiving the healing.

Every healer discovers and develops his or her own unique way of receiving and sending energy.  After learning various methods they find what they like best or even develop their own from what they’ve gathered along the way.

All that’s needed is a client’s full name, birth date and where they reside.  Without this, Reiki or other healing modalities will have no place to focus and just won’t have enough power to fill a body with healing energy.

Sometimes distance healing can be better and more powerful than hands-on healing.  Connecting spirit to spirit, opens the heart, creating a glowing network of invisible threads of unconditional energy.  Absent healing is even more effective when the client cooperates with the healer and is in a relaxed state at the time or sleeping…..this bridges the gap of our humanness….it’s when miracles can happen.

No absent healing has ever been the same for me.  Distant and hands-on healing shares in a unique mutual exchange of energy….each one is a mirror, causing healer and healee to take a deeper look at her or himself.   This higher wisdom/vibration helps us to hear and see truth more clearly.  Every healing has a message for all involved.

FIONA’S DISTANT HEALING

In Part 2 of this previous segment, we discussed the Alta Major, located at the base of the skull.  Its color is magenta, a mixture of red, green and violet. When the Alta Major is balanced, we have the ability to see and understand a situation spiritually; it allows us to step back and see the bigger picture.  But when unbalanced we lose the sense of excitement in our lives.  We shut down and either blame someone else for our problems or go into denial.   This form of denial blocks our energy system. This is what I felt when establishing a connection with Fiona.  A great many of her fears were linked to her history.

THE HEALING CONNECTION

As I relaxed and centered myself, my mind went into a kind of daydream state gently focusing on Fiona’s form until it became clear.  Knowing what Fiona looked like made it easy to zero in on Fiona’s physical body.  If we’d never met, my imagination would have kicked in, visualizing and sensing an energy body of light lying before me.  This is my ‘anchor point’ to return to if I happen to lose my focus.

Opening my inner awareness for any impressions, the first thing I usually ‘see’ is energy highways flowing from the client’s chakras.  These highway of energies,  criss-cross and  intersect throughout the body, creating a cascade of light (aura) that emits beyond its boundaries. Surrounding the aura, energy dark patches or shadows might be seen.  Making a mental note of the areas, allows me to return and explore them further.

Returning to  Fiona’s throat chakra, I felt as if I had been bumped up against a wall.  This area was packed with a whole lot of clutter and a lot of commotion.  Her heart chakra was congested to the point that I felt squeezed into a tight corner, unable to move or breathe.   Sprouting from her body were lines or cords each one making a connection Fiona had with someone.  Some were dark and stiff, others brightly glowing.  The darker ones symbolized a unhealthy connection; they drained Fiona of her energy and weighted heavily upon her.  Intuivtively I felt they could be the cause of her tension as well as arthritic pain.

Where there should have been brightness, a damp mist seemed to hang around her stomach, (Solar Plexus Chakra), which slowly dissipated around the hip area or 1st chakra. Her abdomen felt tight and distended.

 As I focused on sending the distant healing symbol of Reiki, it transformed into a liquid light of energy, attaching itself to a huge, gossamer network.  Adding the Power Symbol, tiny bubbles of light bathed the delicate strands with soft glowing light.   As the light grew stronger, it was joined by another light that seemed to move up from the earth along Fiona’s right side and then circulated down her left side and back from where it came.  When witnessing this happening, I intuitively knew this healing session was at its max.  I could visually see this higher vibration clearing Fiona’s energy.  Golden scissors started cutting the dark stiff cords, one by one loose.  Some had strong emotional attachments and started to sprout back.  Visualizing the Sei-Hei-Ki, helped zap them clear into outer space.

Continuing to use the Distant Healing Symbol, I asked for the healing to repeat itself every 2 hours for the next 7 days and then bowed in reverence and respect for this sacred moment.

 FIONA’S DREAM

 This absent healing had quite an impact on Fiona’s life and her dreams.  I didn’t find out until I saw her again, 2 weeks later.

Fiona told me as the absent healing took place she fell into a very deep sleep.  In a dream, she met a Hermit who presented her with several pieces to a very large puzzle.  The puzzle when finished was supposed to describe her whole life, from its beginning to present.  Though she was tired and didn’t feel well, Fiona reached out and picked up the pieces trying to make them fit together.  No matter how hard she tried the puzzle kept falling apart.  And Fiona was falling apart too, crying but still determined to make all the pieces fit together.  This was when Fiona heard a voice ask her “Why are you trying to do this yourself.”   She remembered answering angrily back “how else am I supposed to do it.”   In fact she remembered speaking these words out loud as she started waking from the dream.

When Fiona recounted this dream to me, she told me it felt as if it had been imprinted on her body/mind and soul.  “No matter where I was or what I did, the dream kept flowing up into my consciousness.  It wouldn’t leave me alone.”

DREAM INTERPRETATION

Fiona and I did speak right after the absent healing, so she knew what had been heard and seen visually . Somehow I felt the distant healing and the dream were related.  The old energies hiding out in her heart were forcing her to deny, doubt and undermine her intuition and power. I told Fiona to seriously look back and see when she had given someone the right to make her decisions and decide what was best for her.  It was a path that definitely wasn’t hers.

When logic can’t get a grip on something, we go into a tizzy and when this happens our intuitive side is unable to grab the attention of our conscious or unconscious minds.  Fiona’s Base, Sacral, Alta Major and Throat Chakras were off balance.  The Alta Major when balanced helps us to assemble and bring together different aspects of the Self.  It allows us to give and receive energy without even thinking about it.  Not being able to put the puzzle pieces together Fiona agreed it seemed to say she was cut of from the Divine’s great source of energy.  The emotional feelings of others, was influencing her progress.  Feeling sick and tired symbolized a feeling of weakness and insecurity.  Without a focus, Fiona was drifting aimlessly in a world symbolized by the hermit.

You have to remove yourself from your personal drama”, and realize it is all symbolic. 

I told Fiona to seriously look back and see what energies supported her well being and those that were counterproductive.  She also needed to clear her past and devote her energy on the relationships that made her feel good and those that were stealing her energy.  As she did this, it would attract interesting people with similar intentions and goals into her life.  All the people we know and meet are reflections of our inner self.

Fiona questioned the last sentence.  To demonstrate I gave her a crystal and asked her to look at the many different facets in it.  Just as the crystal has many faces, so do we.   We are in fact a collection of multiple personalities.  Some are angry, manipulative and critical; some are beautiful, inspiring and loving.  Some are hidden from us and have a life of their own.  When emotionally charged, a personality (archetype) projects out, attracting energies of the same kind.  The goal or reason is to heal and embrace these aspects of ourselves and in so doing find their hidden treasure.

We talked more of her friendships and relationships and how some of them showed the imbalances in her life.  We spoke of how our own childhood experiences attracted a partner that made us reenact our childhood injuries.  Fiona saw her husband as one who was retrained, self-contained and buried his feelings and desires.  “Oh my god, she said, that’s a splitting image of me!”  Fiona knew she also had a habit of distancing herself from others.  Again we talked of the Hermit whose life is admired for his independence but who lives virtually alone in his fortress, avoiding the pain of being vulnerable and then rejected.

IN SUMMARY

All of us have lived many lives and gathered experiences along the way.  This has allowed our soul to understand, integrate and process the information for us to use in another time again.  This leads us pursue more answers which puts us in sync with other human beings, angels and guides.  It puts us in touch with our own Family of Light where events and circumstances are created to move us beyond the limitations of fear.  They help us to heal various aspects of ourselves.

Integrating all this information was not an easy process for Fiona.  At first she was blasted with chaos and confusion.  Many of her archetypical energies (multi personalities) were in conflict with themselves.  In fact some of these conflicts were not understood until something happened further down the road to reveal their meaning. She is still discovering everything we see in the outer world has an inner meaning for us.

Fiona did go to counseling and learnt more about her-self.   She changed her diet, exercised and lost some weight.  As she changed so too did her husband and family.  “There are still struggles to deal with but not as many as before”.  Some friends fell by the wayside and although it was painful to lose them, she learned to  intuitively understand it was their time to go.

Fiona is still amazed how the Reiki healings were able to see right through her defenses and began the profound change of embracing her own life.  Her arthritic pain has lessened a great deal, though it still reminds her it’s there when the seasons change or there’s dampness in the air.

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

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Food isn’t the only cholesterol source……we produce about 60% of it in our bodies!! The more cholesterol we eat, the less we produce. Reducing or increasing our cholesterol intake will alter the cholesterol levels in our blood by only about 15%. Cholesterol in the body doesn’t cause heart attacks…..the problem is when it sticks to the arterial walls.

From the April 5th issue of this blog….

“According to Dr. Paul Ridker, a Harvard University medical professor, those of us who express a highly tuned immune system – and therefore a faster and more intense inflammatory response – may be at greater risk for a heart attack than those who have higher levels of cholesterol but lower levels of inflammation. This may answer the question: why do some people with advanced heart disease (i.e., badly blocked arteries) survive years, while others, whose levels of cholesterol and arterial congestion is relatively low, had heart attacks? Further it drives home how important it is to your health to control excess inflammation.”Alive Magazine, February 2007, No. 292

Cholesterol is a steriod substance (Steroids include such well known compounds as cholesterol, sex hormones, birth control pills, cortisone, and anabolic steroids) present in the blood, the brain, and all other tissues throughout the body and as we know, in foods. Pure cholesterol looks like white crystals, something like sugar, but dissolves in fat not in water. It is manufactured and regulated mostly in the liver and adrenal glands, formed into an alkaline digestive fluid called Bile and then taken to the Gall Bladder which stores this Bile, until it is required for the break down of Lipids (foods that contain fats and oils) Bile also assists the digestive action of the pancreas gland which produces three essential digestive enzymes…Lipase, Amylase and Trypsin. The amount of cholesterol is minute…..Bile consists of mostly water. Understanding this, we can see the possibility of how gallstones (too much cholesterol) could be formed. It is undoubtedly one the key ingredients in the metabolism of the body as well as keeping fluids fluids in the body from leaking out and from external fluids from seeping in. In other words, we need it! The question is…..how much??

(The Solar Plexus (ruler of the stomach, liver, pancreas, etc.) is one of the most important chakras because it controls and energizes and affects so many vital organs…especially the Heart!. Although it’s been deemed yellow, the 3rd chakra also contains red, yellow, green and blue energies……more on this in the next segment)

“Metabolism refers to the physical and chemical processes that occur inside the cells of the body and that maintain life. Metabolism consists of anabolism (the constructive phase) and catabolism (the destructive phase, in which complex materials are broken down). The transformation of the macronutrients carbohydrates, fats and proteins in food to energy and other physiological processes are parts of the metabolic process. ATP (adinosene triphosphate is the major form of energy used for cellular metabolism.”
http://www.faqs.org/nutrition/Met-Obe/Metabolism.html

The Good and Bad Cholesterol/HDL/LDL

Most of the fats that travel around the body are in the form of lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are basically water and fat-like lipids that are so tiny, they float around in the liquid portion (plasma) of our blood. Three important lipoproteins are cholesterol, phospholipids (polyunsaturated fats/lecithin) and triglycerides (fatty acids/coconut oil) .

Lipoproteins are produced mainly in the liver as VLDLs (very-low-density lipoprotein). Our muscles use Triglycerides immediately to generate energy; fat cells store them for future use…when we really really need them. If we take away triglycerdes out of the VLDL package….we are left with smaller particles called LDL also known as ‘bad cholesterol’ or ‘cholesterol litter bugs’ that think nothing of dropping excess cholesterol via the bloodstream, along the busiest pipelines/arteries of our body. This excess litter/buildup is known as plaque.

HDL is known as the ‘good cholesterol’. They are the clean up crew that pick up the excess cholesterol and take it back to the liver to be reprocessed or excreted. So LDL distributes cholesterol and trigylcerides and HDL picks up what was left behind and takes it back.

What have we learned from this? Cholesterol does not cause heart attacks…..it is the excess sticking to the arterial walls that does it! What we want is our HDL count to be high and our LDL count low.

When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, the blood gets thicker. And when blood gets thicker it doesn’t circulate as well through the body…..it makes the heart pump harder. Over time, the cholesterol (fat) gathers in the nooks and crannies of the the arteries causing atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis happens when fat and calcium build up in the arterial walls. So why and how does calcium start building up in the arteries in the first place?

THE PARATHYROID GLANDS
In the April 24th issue of this blog, I quote from http://www.parathyroid.com/parathyroid-function.htm

“The sole purpose of the parathyroid glands is to control calcium within the blood in a very tight range between 8.8 and 10.2. In doing so, parathyroids also control how much calcium is in the bones, and therefore, how strong and dense the bones are. Although the parathyroid glands are located next to (and sometimes inside) the thyroid gland, they have no related function. The thyroid gland regulates the body’s metabolism and has no effect on calcium levels while parathyroid glands regulate calcium levels and have no effect on metabolism. Calcium is the element that allows the normal conduction of electrical currents along nerves–its how our nervous system works and how one nerve ‘talks’ to the next. Our entire brain works by fluxes of calcium into and out of the nerve cells. Calcium is also the primary element which causes muscles to contract.”

The reason I repeated this information on the parathyroids is because so many of us as we reach our middle years, start taking vitamins, especially calcium to supplement our diet. Men and women alike are prone to bone loss and possibily osteoporosis. Osteoporosis means porous bones. And what is the primary mineral of bone……calcium. So we eagerly add calcium to our diets but if our parathryoids aren’t working as they should…..or if we can’t utilize large quantities in the body….where does it go?

This leads us back to the original question….why and how does calcium build up in the arteries.

From CTV.ca http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080116/calcium_study_080116/20080116/

“Calcium supplementation in healthy postmenopausal women is associated with upward trends in cardiovascular event rates,” reads the study, published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal.

Overall, 1,471 healthy older women — with an average age of 74 — participated in the five-year study led by Ian Reid of the University of Auckland………

Researchers confirmed 36 heart attacks in 31 women who took the calcium supplements, compared with 22 heart attacks in 21 women who took the placebo………

The study suggests that calcium supplements accelerate the formation of deposits in the arteries that could lead to a heart attack because the supplement increases blood calcium levels….

and……

Vieth contends that postmenopausal women should simply take vitamin D to counteract any potential risk of heart attack associated with calcium supplements.
“Take the straightforward calcium carbonate, incorporate vitamin D with it, because that is associated with protection against cardiovascular disease,” he said.”

More links on Calcium supplementation and heart disease (most are related to the study above)

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=86453http://www.abc.net/ audio http://www.abc.net.au/health/minutes/stories/2008/01/29/2148719.htm

Calcium Citrate and Calcium Carbonate…..lots of info here http://www.mongabay.com/health/medications/Calcium_Citrate.html

Coral Calcium http://www.abc.net.au/health/minutes/stories/2008/01/29/2148719.htm

Interesting links on Cholesterol
http://www.answers.com/topic/cholesterol
http://www.answers.com/topic/phospholipid
http://www.answers.com/topic/triglyceride

UNCONTROLLED INFLAMMATION vs. HIGH LDL CHOLESTEROL

From Active Magazine – February 2007 http://www.alive.com/5860a15a2.php

“Most of us know the effects of being overweight where the heart is concerned. Unfortunately, what is less well known is the effect of excess inflammation on the heart. You may associate inflammation with the redness, swelling, or heat you see or feel when you get a cut, bite, or minor infection, or with the pain you feel in a swollen joint (as in arthritis). But uncontrolled inflammation is also at the root of heart disease…….

Because modern practitioners believe that a high LDL cholesterol level (the “bad” kind) is the main cause of heart disease, they prescribe cholesterol-lowering medications (statins) to people who are at risk for heart disease. However, ongoing studies have revealed that more than half of the individuals who experience heart attacks have LDL cholesterol levels within normal range. It turns out that uncontrolled inflammation has been linked to heart disease since 1985, yet we are only now beginning to accept this realization.

It is important to understand that inflammation is normally a controlled reaction initiated by the immune system to help correct or repair a problem. Inflammation can begin with a small tear in an arterial wall, causing the immune system to send specialized cells and cholesterol to repair the damage by covering it with plaque. However, over time, the plaque builds up, causing a narrowing of the arterial space (atherosclerosis). Excess inflammation can cause plaque to break free, which may result in the formation of a blood clot that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Numerous researchers believe that excess inflammation may be the trigger for a heart attack.”

This informative article suggests asking your doctor to check for C-reactive protein in your blood as well as increasing omega 3 fatty acids such as flax seed, hempseed and fish oils. It also says to avoid excessive consumption of meats, egg yolks and dairy products. It also advices taking supplements that can reduce inflammation such as tumeric, ginger, rosemary and thyme.

More interesting links from Alive Magazine

Coronary heart disease http://www.alive.com/5861a15a2.php

Atherosclerosis http://www.healthmad.com/tags/atherosclerosis

10 tips for a healthy heart http://www.alive.com/5864a15a2.php

After reading all this you decide you’ll increase your milk intake……think again! Milk is high in calcium, unfortunately when it is pasteurized the bonds that hold the minerals in it are altered and the calcium cannot be assimilated as well in our bodies. There have been many tests done to this point. Twin calves for example were used in a study where one suckled from its mother and the other drank pasteurized milk. The calf that drank pasteurized milk died within sixty days. Why? It is believed an important enzyme (phosphatase) which helps assimilate minerals in milk was destroyed during pasteurization.

Interesting link on Pasteurization http://www.1800naturalhealing.com/pasteurization.html

And another http://www.realmilk.com/whichchoose.html

I don’t want to get off the topic of this blog – Cholesterol….but hopefully you can see that before we start supplementing our diets with anything, we have to do our homework! There are some really great health stores out there, however they also want to sell, sell, sell! What may be beneficial to one customer may be detrimental to another.

“The key to all learning, all balance in all areas of our life, lies within that precept, “Know thyself’ –a simple enough azium–and yet it is one that creates tremendous difficulty with many. Most people are unwilling to take the time to know themselves and thus they give that responsibility and power over to others. They hire others to know for them…..Theoretically, it sounds good, but ultimately it cannot be done.” Ted Andrews, The Healer’s Manual

If you are due a blood test or considering have one, ask your doctor to include the parathyroids and C-reactive proteins in the list……also have him/her check your vitamin D levels.

We’ll be covering the topic of Osteoporosis, calcium supplements,minerals, protein and more soon.
to be continued….

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

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

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

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

I wrote this on another site….

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

SABIAN SYMBOL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So how can we find the balance between the two?

CONSCIOUS BREATHING

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

BREATH AND MOVEMENT

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

BREATH AND SOUND

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

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

HUMMING

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

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

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

TONING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Stay tuned to a new topic……

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