Friday, May 28, 2010

Sweep It Under The Rug

If you sweep the dirt under the rug, it doesn't mean you've swept the floor.

One of the things that I am passionate about in life is exposing the secrets that we learned growing up and the secrets that we harbor as we get older. We all do it for one reason or another. Part of it is human nature and part of it is our coping mechanism in life. If you are reading this and don't think you push things under the rug, please begin watching this in yourself from the observer view point instead of through your own eyes.

Of course, I know that many of us have been through many experiences in our lives. Sometimes we wish to remember them and often times we want to forget them. It gives us a temporary high, a temporary feel good type of feeling if we just forget them and try to put them outside of our view. However, if we attempt to do this, it does not get rid of that which we don't want to see. It only puts it out of our immediate view.

Why humans continue to do this, I don't completely understand. Of course, I did it for many years. Hoping that with time and thinking positive thoughts and just trying to avoid it all, things would just all be zippidy doo dah happy go lucky! I tried for years to just avoid it through various ways and means. And for many years, I successfully just blocked it out but that doesn't mean it was gone! No sir! It was still there just like it was before. It wasn't until life almost came to a final farewell for me that I had to make a choice. The only choice I had in those last few moments was either to continue hiding from all the crap in my life or to open my eyes and begin to deal with it.

Granted, it is easier to just hide from it and shove it down under the rug far from view or so we THINK it is. In all reality though, the energy that it takes to do this robs us from so much in our lives that we can not even see in the moment we make that choice. It robs us of fully being human and being all that we can be. If we allow it to hide from our view, it will eventually come to terms with us. We can not escape it forever because it will catch up with us in one way or another.

I'm not making this up because I know first hand what it does to your physical body. Many walk around with these things each and every day of their lives oblivious to the fact. There is freedom from it but it requires courage to face it, not fear to run away.

One of the things that I have been confronted with all my life is that when I know something is true and I try to share it, write about it or say it; there are people who feel I need to stay silent. Of course it is not stated that way. They are well intentioned people and they mean well, but the effect of their words and actions are not positive. Frankly, I could do without them for the most part. And yet, it continues to take place, time and time again. If I earned a dollar for every time, I was pushed to stay silent, I'd be a billionaire by now.

How do people request me to be silent? This happens by making sure that they tell me to think happy, positive thoughts and just move on with life. They want me to think about all the good in life, and none of that which I've been through. They want me to focus on pretty, happy things while ignoring what is currently going on. I even see people write about this on a daily basis claiming that you can just change your thoughts and outlook and poof, all of this will be magically better. I agree that positive thinking and changing your thoughts does go a long ways, but there are much deeper things at play than this.

Of course, I know that if I write, or talk about those things that have caused intense pain from my past, that it is going to make people reading it that connect with the words, feel uneasy. They would rather not be reunited with those thoughts because there is still a strong source of pain from those experiences. There is so much fear locked up within these events that by shedding any lights whatsoever on them, the monsters appear in attack form. I can understand all of this but continuing to hide from that which is able to help someone grow and release these things, is beyond my comprehension.

I've seen with my own eyes in my own physical body, just how much the body and the subconscious mind holds. It is through the fear that is locked within those events that we try to stay disconnected from them. I've witnessed this in others more times than I can even begin to remember. And yet, the energy that is driven by the fears of these events is forever robbing us of being as human as we can be and it is robbing us of our complete and perfect health, physically in our body, our mind and our spirit. There is so much more that so many of us do not realize is possible in this world and yet, when we let the fear (even if we don't realize we're doing this) consume us, we are not being all that we are intended to be.

When I was laying in the hospital bed at 25 years of age wondering if I would ever walk again, talk again, sit up in a bed or be able to function as a normal human being, it changed my life completely. Myself nor the doctors understood how to treat this and it was many weeks before I even knew the name they put on the condition, which was called a conversion disorder or hysterical paralysis. I wondered how I would ever over come this and all I knew was that in order to do it, I had to have the desire to do this. The path ahead for me was unclear and I learned then that I could only take it one step at a time, literally. I had no clue how to talk better, walk more than two steps or even sit up in bed. I had no clue how to get my memory back past knowing my first name. I had no clue how to get beyond where I was at in life.

The thing I did know was that as I began talking about things, life began to change and I began to walk my first steps once again. As I began to go deeper and uncover more, I gained more of my physical body back. Sure, there were tough times and times that I almost wanted to give up but I knew that if I did not keep going, my life would most likely come to an end. I had been given another chance at life and believe me, I was not going to throw this one away.

For much of my life, I have had to stand on my own against all odds and without anyone being my support and backing. There were times that I knew things but no one could corroborate or help prove that which I knew. There were times that I learned things that no one I knew could even begin to understand. Fortunately, I met some people that have helped give credibility to what I know and what I've learned. As hard as it may get, sometimes I know that I do have to stand alone and apart from most of the world. What I know to be true is not something I read in a book or something someone told me. It is what I have experienced first hand. It is what guides me further into my own healing and discovery. For that, I will never apologize if my passion runs high. I do not wish to run and hide from that which I am or all I am trying to become.

So when I write, it is often that I write out of discovery and from my own processing of events current and past. It is my way of learning that I share with the world, hoping that someone out there begins to connect and understand what it is that I'm trying to share. When I write from my heart and experiences, it isn't that I want to make anyone feel uncomfortable because I usually try to write from what I have personally experienced. If someone finds what I write to be in disagreement with what they believe or feel, my only request is that you will question it within yourself until you either find a home for some part of it or you dismiss it because it has no place. However, if what I write invokes a strong reaction in you, please don't dismiss that but look at it through the observers viewpoint and see what you may learn from what I am writing.

We are all more than we currently are aware of and the fears of the old often hold us back. More times than not, we can not even clearly see and identify the fears but they are there. Let each one of us have the courage to go in and face the fears with the knowing that as we do this, we will be reclaiming so much more of ourselves and offering ourselves much more freedom and choice in the days ahead. That is my hope for everyone that reads anything I write or hears anything I say. There is nothing more higher in life than the true discovery of ourselves as we shine the light of truth into every nook and cranny of our lives.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What Is Healing?

The body can perform in the way that the healer or doctor or drug company expects and predicts they will. Doctors give patients a name for their condition or an option of a test or surgery to help alleviate the person's condition. They desire to help heal the person and all too often, many people believe what the doctor or test is telling them without even ffirst getting to know and connect with their own bodies.

Pharmaceutical drug companies and pharmacists or even herbal experts and food healing nutritional experts say that if you take this "substance" or this "capsule" or this "drink mix" or this "pill" that you will be healed of your condition. How many billions get paid to these companies that push all kinds of these products in a year and yet, how many of these conditions have actually improved. If you can't find the answer to that, I'll give you a hint - not many!

Then we get to the healers that have a goal of taking people out of pain and helping them heal from their conditions. Yet, all too often some of these things work while all too often, they do very little. There is no consistency because most healers are missing the basic points of healing. They create a "system" of healing along with specific procedures and practices so that you can truly heal people and take them out of their pain. In all reality, you could give them a sugar pill and accomplish much of the same thing. So much of what we THINK works out there in the healing professions (alternative methods included) really is nothing more than a placebo.

I've been on a massage table when I noticed my body responding to the massage therapist and acting as if it was relaxing and enjoying the massage. However, my mind was on a different path stating, I don't want to feel - I don't want to sense - you go ahead body and just play along. If that sounds ridiculous or impossible, let me be the first to tell you that it is not. I've seen this happen many times in my own body and that of others that I have worked on or observed. Our minds are very powerful at protecting ourselves and they do whatever they need to in order to accomplish this. One important point to note here is that this is not a conscious thing that someone does. It all happens in the unconscious mind and the unconscious body, before anyone can usually notice that it is taking place. So if you tell someone to be aware of it or to be conscious about it, you're talking to the wrong part of the person you are trying to heal.

One time, I was in a training class for a massage technique that involved very gentle, slow movements. The person on the table had an arm that was not wanting to move and the practitioner said in these commanding words "let go of your arm"! It startled the person on the table because they were not aware they were doing this and in all reality their conscious mind was not. Yet the practitioner was talking as if they were. They were talking to the wrong part of the body and mind for the person laying on the table. If they would have just stayed there with the person in a way that offered safety and trust for them, the person's arm most likely would have let go.

I've seen people (and been one myself ) who went into a doctor and the doctor listened to the symptoms that were described by the patient. However, the doctor looked at the situation through their focused view of what healing was about and prescribed either medication or further testing to take care of the condition. At no time, did the doctor suggest that the person needed to evaluate their lifestyle and make appropriate changes. They might have alluded to this fact but did so very insignificantly. Yet, they were only treating half of the problem but failing to get at the source of what was going on.

I have had situations throughout my life where doctors believed I had the early stages of MS and began treating me accordingly with medication. Later they found out that this of course was not the case after my body had severe reactions to it. So doctor after doctor, and test after test, kept confirming one thing. The doctors did not know what was wrong with me in this situation. Each doctor would conclude they did not know and pass me on to someone else until one very wise doctor began to ask important questions. These questions were not about any medical procedures that I had gone through but were about things going on in my life. Only then, did I begin the opportunity to start healing my life.

There is far more to healing them popping some pills, following some new age concept or undergoing surgeries and test procedures. Our bodies can and they do influence how we react to various drugs, procedures or alternative treatments. The skilled health practitioner can spot this if they are looking for it but all too often, the blinders are on and they fail to see it. We are so busy in the health care world expecting to see the results that we want to see, so we feel like we're making a difference, that we miss the important stuff.

Then you get to the healing philosophies that just want to take people out of the pain or alleviate the pain. These healing professionals feel that this is the best thing because a person that feels no pain, is a happy person. My question is to healing professionals, why would you want to mask the pain? This is the body's way of getting someone's attention and trying to get them to come to terms with an issue they need to face. Taking that message away or burying it in them could cause potential side effects on down the road that are much more difficult to deal with.

Often times healers, cannot stand to see someone suffer and that is a good thing. However when it gets in the way of our healing, than it is a detriment to what we do. There are many times that we get patients and clients who come to us and their symptoms or conditions resonate with issues in our own life. So, we work to clear this from them, in an unconscious way of hoping that we heal ourselves. On one hand, desiring to help someone heal from some condition is a noble thing, but on the other hand if we allow our self unconsciously to divert that healing to our own body, than are we really there for the client? What if we worked on our self first and healed those things in our life that need to be healed? Than, we set out to help others heal from these same conditions. Consider just how much more effective and focused we would be. Consider the difference we could make in the world if we did this.

Healing is not about looking through our own blinders and having an emphasis of just masking the pain. It is much more than that. It is about connecting the mind, the body and the entire person together using all the information that we have and then working to bring about increased awareness to the person. When the person we are working with has more knowledge, more awareness and are connected to all parts of themselves, there is the potential for true healing to take place. Only emphasizing one or two of those things does not bring about true healing. Until we change the physiology and the biology of a person, we have accomplished little.

Until we do the intense healing work on ourselves that we need to do, we can only be there in a limited capacity with our clients. It is in our best interest and in theirs to work hard on ourselves and to heal ourselves. Anything less is holding our potential back as well as our clients and patients.

There are so many things out there that claim they are the ultimate in healing and yet, some of the times they work and some of the times they do not. Instead of claiming to have all the answers, we should be seeking to find out why some do not respond. What is the underlying truth that we are missing? What have we failed to see or understand in trying to help others? Healing is not about using a set of procedures and organized modalities or practices that we subscribe to. It has nothing to do with that and yet, it seems to be the overall emphasis in western culture. No one has all the answers even though I see many healers appearing as if they do.

It has been well tested that placebos often respond as well as the actual drugs given in clinical trials or various treatments. All too often though, the results of these placebos are buried so no one really knows about them. Placebos do not bring in income to companies producing them nor to health practitioners prescribing their modalities and practices. In addition, many people follow blindly, the truths expounded upon by TV advertisements as well as the claims that are passed on from one healing practitioner to another, without anyone ever verifying if these things are backed up by hard science. We can no longer sit by and just repeat and regurgitate that which we are told or hear from others. We must begin to open our eyes and see all the facts or the absence of facts in any healing procedure and treatment we subscribe to.

It is time for us as healing practitioners to really begin to learn that healing is so much more than we currently know and are aware of. It is time for us to begin to learn that if we fail to heal ourselves, working to heal others becomes like dog chasing its tail and never quite catches it. Healthcare is not about spending billions of dollars or making treatments that cost $200-$300 a session to give them value. It is about making biological and physical changes in the life of our patients and clients so that their life can change and grow and evolve. Anything less than that, is not healing.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Finger Pulse Meter - Know What's Going On

The pulse rate measurement using the Finger Pulse Oximeter is good not only to get a specific number but it shows in wave form just how strong or weak, steady or inconsistent the pulse is. It really gives a true picture of what is going on with the person's nervous system. Most people are not able to tell this and even if they think they can, the mind can fool you into what is happening with the body. Our filters, life experience, our awareness and our past traumas all play into how we read what is happening in our body.

As much work as I do on myself, sometimes I cannot tell what is actually happening in my body. There have been times that I have been dreaming and felt like my heart was racing as wildly and rapidly as it could, only to put the pulse meter on my finger and find out it was operating at a normal rate. There have been other times that I felt pretty rested and relaxed but found that the pulse meter showed my pulse to be around 99 bpm (beats per minute). We all go through this at one level or another. Some of us are more aware of ourselves and our body and we listen to our body but some of us spend very little time doing this. What each of us senses as a result of how closely we are connected between our mind and body is going to vary from person to person.

In a recent example, I've been working with a device that is designed to help relax you and bring you into a resting state. When I started working with it, after 30 minutes I would feel more relaxed and rested. However, when I put the Finger Pulse Oximeter on my finger and checked my pulse, it would show that there was very little drop in my pulse rate. Nothing had changed in my biology and physiology although my mind was telling me that I felt more relaxed. The device I was using helped me to feel good and while there is some benefit to that, without creating real physical and biological change, there is almost an insignificant amount of healing taking place. In fact, I could get the same drop in my pulse rate by laying still on my massage table for 15 minutes.

I'm just amazed at how the Finger Pulse Oximeter can really tell me in a clear, concise way what is going on when my body feels completely different than what the pulse meter says. Without it, I would be thinking that I had really achieved relaxation when in reality, I had not. It is very important to know exactly what is going on and not just guessing at it. This pulse meter is invaluable to me and is an excellent tool in monitoring my overall health.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Massage Is Not Just A Luxury

Massage Therapy is Not Just a Luxury...

There is a misconception among the general public and some other health care practitioners that massage therapy is just a luxury. It is the belief, that because massage feels so good that it cannot also be beneficial for our health. We live in a no pain, no gain society so surely if we get to lie down for an hour and are made to feel good it must be a frivolous waste of our time and money.

That's not the case. It is possible to have something feel good and be beneficial for our health. A general massage therapy session actually produces chemicals that physiologically reduce pain and stress throughout the body. This is nothing new in countries such as China, where they have been using massage therapy to solve physical conditions for centuries. It is our job as massage therapy professionals to be just that – health care professionals who understand the true benefits of massage and who help others understand.

It is not enough for us to learn the basics, we must continue to learn and educate ourselves, and the general public together with other health care practitioners, how we can help. There are people we pass on a day to day basis who don't realize what massage can do for them. They take pills, they get x-rays, MRI's, blood tests and still delay on turning to massage. They miss days of work and are limited in the quality of life and still don't turn to massage. Not only does massage feel good, but it can help many, many conditions. It is not that these other forms of healthcare aren't necessary...but so too is massage therapy. Massage therapy is not only beneficial but it has little to no negative side effects. Let's work together to make changes in the massage field and spread the news that for so long now has been common knowledge in other countries.

If you are looking into massage as a career there is no time like the present as people are looking for alternatives to the traditional quick fix method. Preventative and wholesome health is the direction of the future and we are in the right place to help make that a reality. The demand for massage therapists is on the rise as more and more people are turning to massage for their continued health. I am proud to be a massage therapy professional and I look forward to the coming years as its true strengths are recognized. Want to be part of a growing trend? Contact the Central Florida School Of Massage Therapy.

Article as published in the:
May 2010 Newsletter of Central Florida School Of Massage Therapy

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ask Your Angels

While I know there are people who feel angels do exist, I know that there are many who just feel they don't. Frankly, it does not matter to me any longer if people believe what I do on this because I have been shown countless times in countless ways that they do exist in my life. I know deep down what I sense and I know the times that I can without a doubt claim to know they were there for me. Of course, we all see and feel and believe things through our own filters in life. It is up to each of us to search ourselves out and understand what it is that we connect with and where we may be blocked in connecting with the unseen in life.

One such example happened the other day for me. I've had a situation that has gone on for a long time in my life and because of some recent situations, it had really kicked up a lot of turmoil for me. Events had progressed to the point where it was consuming way too much of my time and thoughts and creating a very difficult state within my body.

So finally, during some meditation time that I was having that day, I finally just said - ok, enough! Angels, I really need your help on this because I really need to let go of this situation and be able to move on in my life. No longer, can I continue to think about this situation each day as it is just to much for me. It is consuming me. I need your help to work through this and to somehow move the situation forward. I'm not asking it to be resolved at this moment but to just be able to have something change that allows me to let go of it.

It wasn't but 30 minutes or an hour later, and I got a call from this person. Keep in mind that it had been several weeks since I last had contact from them and they had completely closed off all communication by phone, letter, email and facebook. No matter what I did, they completely ignored me. This had been going on for many weeks. Things of course were not 100% resolved but at least initial contact by phone had been made and they explained some of the recent situations that had happened in their life. I could understand all they had been through recently, had shut down the communication not because they wanted to but because it was just part of their process.

I'm still amazed that this happened so quickly. Time and time again, I've been told to ask my angels for the things I need help with because they are ready to help us. However, I keep forgetting to do this even though this is not the first time, I've seen quick results like I did. It is wonderful to know that we are all connected to so much more than we can see. Unfortunately so many doubt these things because of the people in the public spotlight that cast doubts upon what is possible. May we all open our eyes a little further in what we see and may we all question what is real, what it is that we feel and sense and what we have yet to understand.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Note From The Universe - A New Image

Source: Daily Emails from

In the time that it takes you to read this short Note, you could have planted a new image in your mind (anything you like, ideally with an emotional charge); I could have reacted (realigning planets, people, and the sort), and the floodgates would've begun trembling violently as we'd have been drawn infinitely closer to manifesting the vision you'd chosen.

Fortunately, there's still time.

The Universe

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Trauma and the Stress Response

According to the article, "The Biological Response to Psychic Trauma", through arousal, the body responds to increased phsyical or psychological demands by releasing norepinephrine (NE) and adrenorcorticotrophin (ACTH). Both of these hormones play a major role in the release of corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF). The hypothalamus also secretes throxin releasing hormone (TRH) which activates the secretion of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, CRF and vasopressin.

Of course, I could keep going on and on with all the hormones that are released because of the arousal process by the body to some stimuli of fear. But as you can see and if you read the article in detail, there is a lot that happens when we are introduced to something that brings the fear up in us. It is biological and is just not all in your head.

As the article goes on to state, these hormones help the body mobilize the energy it needs to deal with the stimuli or fear that it is receiving. Biological functions such as increased glucose release to power the cells to increasing the immune function of the body as a way of protecting us when under stress, all occur in these situations. In a well functioning body, stress produces rapid responses of hormones but if chronic stress persists all the time, than the response to stress is less than effective. Prolonged durations of chronic stress desensitize the body and hormones are not secreted or produced in the levels they are needed nor at the pace which they are needed.

Here are some findings from the article about PTSD and Hormone Levels

Abnormalities of the these hormone systems in the body are often found in patients with PTSD.

Increased 24 hour norepinephrine and epinephrine secretions with PTSD veterans compared to patients with other psychiatric diagnoses.

One study showed blunted ACTH response to CRH stimulation

Found that the severity of PTSD was directly related to baseline cortisol level.
Prolonged duration of stress is not just a function of the hormones that are released but the capacity of the individual to deal with the stress and manage arousal.

Severe chronic stress in animals results in a physiological state which resembles dependence on high levels of exogenous opioids.

Because fear activates the opioid peptides, the body can become conditioned to future stressors and to events that would normally not be considered stressful - psychic numbing.

Because of psychic numbing, there is a correlation between PTSD (trauma) and self mutilation. People who engage in self mutilation often have a history of severe childhood trauma.

One of the hallmarks of PTSD is the intrusive re-experiencing of elements of the trauma in nightmares, flashbacks or somatic reactions which seem to be triggered by autonomic arousal.

Chronic sleep problems are often found in people with PTSD due to chronic hyperarousal. Studies have shown increased sleep latency, more awakening, less total sleep time and less REM time.

In a study, it was found that post traumatic nightmares occur during any stage of the sleep cycle and most tend to occur during 2 and 3 am during Stage 2 or Stage 3 sleep (possibly during the transition to REM sleep). When a patient reported the nightmares during stage 2 or 3, it was the exact reliving of the traumatic experiences but if it was in REM, the nightmares were more likely anxiety filled dreams.

Traumatic experiences have demonstrated an increase in symptoms of respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular and endocrine systems in people with PTSD.

As you can see, this is just the tip of the iceberg in the research that has been done with respect to trauma and PTSD. If any of what I have quoted in this blog post interests you, I would urge you to read the entire article referenced below. Bessel Van Der Kolk and his associates and colleagues are some of the pioneers in how trauma affects the body in biological ways. This isn't pie in the sky concepts. It is real and anyone who has been through trauma knows just how real it is.

We are very much influenced and impacted by events in our past or by repeated durations of chronic stress. Yes, there are varying degrees to these different stressors but they affect us biologically. All too often, we go through our lives trying to run from them and trying not to acknowledge these things. That is understandable because it is not an easy thing to deal with past trauma and heal from it. It takes work and it takes the safety and support of those who understand how to help an individual heal. It takes a great deal of patience both for the person who is traumatized and the support network working with that person.

However, if traumatized people continue to avoid their past, it will catch up to them in some way. Whether it is through a medical condition of a body that is so overwhelmed or whether it is through some form of acting out that brings you front and center with a past you are trying to forget, trauma will catch up with you. Those who have been through trauma, understand this from a very instinctual level but often they have learned to cover the trauma up, avoid it and act as if everything is ok. All the time though, these traumatized individuals know that this is far from the truth.

It is important to note, that traumatized people need to know is that whatever they have gone through in their lives, they are not alone. Others have walked in those same shoes and are healing in astounding ways from it. There is hope. Yes, healing can be difficult but the other side of it can be so beautiful and provide so much more joy to life than most can ever imagine.

While you may not understand what you need to do in order to heal from it, the first step is beginning to acknowledge that something happened and that you need to begin the process. The process will unfold as it needs to, if you allow it to and if you find a person that is safe, trustworthy and fully understands the path which you walk. You don't have to know all the answers and you don't have to heal it all in the shortest amount of time possible, but in order to heal, you have to take the step into the unknown. When you take the step, you will be surprised and amazed at all there is out there for you and for your life.

Source Of Information:
Anxiety Research (U.K.), Volume 4: Pages 199-212
The Biological Response to Psychic Trauma: Mechanisms and Treatment Of Intrusion and Numbing

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Friday, May 21, 2010

Trama and the Limbic System

The limbic system is the part of our nervous system that is responsible for our survival as well as emotions like fear and anger. It is also involved in feelings of pleasure such as eating and sex. It is a complex set of structures that lies on both sides of the thalamus just below the cerebrum and includes the hypothalamus, hippocampus, amygdala and thalamus.

The amygdala and hippocampus are part of the limbic system and play a major role in our memory. The amygdala determines what memories are stored and where they are stored while the hippocampus is responsible for sending out memories to the appropriate areas of our brain for long term storage. The hippocampus retrieves the appropriate memories when it is necessary. The amygdala is involved in our emotional response.

The limbic system has an important role as it helps in the self preservation and survival of the species. it is responsible for the fight or flight response. If parts of the limbic system are impacted negatively, it can strongly influence or disrupt normal social behavior.

According to the article, "The Biological Response To Psychic Trauma", because the limbic system is the main area of the Central Nervous System where memories are processed, this is the most likely place to find an explanation of memory issues as a result of trauma. The hippocampus does not fully mature until at least the third or fourth year of life but the amygdala matures much earlier in life. In the first few years of life, the quality of events but not necessarily the context with which they happened can be remembered. Severe traumatic events of prolonged stress can disrupt the normal processes of the hippocampus which then disrupt the memory process by creating fearful associations without context, yet the feelings are still associated with the memories.

The main thing to keep in mind is that there are memories stored throughout our body and that connect to our mind. These are stored as emotions and sensations. Our fears get locked in with these memory sensations and so in order to understand our emotions and to understand the fear we hold, we must go in to the body. Only trying to access these memories through cognitive or mental exercises, is like only filling up a water glass a third of the way to quench your thirst after being outside all day. While you may add water to your body this way, you're going to still suffer from thirst. So it is with cognitive functions. If you only address part of the underlying events that reside in the body, than you're missing the greatest part of it.

Many claim that they have the right way to heal and they try to prove this. However, just having emotions come up or feeling nice or relaxed or seeing certain conditions change does not necessarily mean you are at the root of what is going on. If there is not a grounded body connection to the method of healing where you go in and embrace the fear, you are missing the point as a healer. There has to be a connection to the body, through the mind to arrive at the place of release, surrender and healing. Without all these elements, true healing is not taking place.

For More Information:
Anxiety Research (U.K.), Volume 4: Pages 199-212
The Biological Response to Psychic Trauma: Mechanisms and Treatment Of Intrusion and Numbing

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Symptoms Of Fear

While this is not an exhaustive list of what you may see or experience with the emotion of fear, it includes many symptoms. Fear of course shows up in different ways for different people based upon their own life experiences and the current stimuli they are facing. Some people may be more aggressive and others may be paralyzed from the fear.

For me, fear often paralyzes and immobilizes me. In fact at one time, I was completely paralyzed by fear. The condition of course is termed a "conversion disorder" or hysterical paralysis. When I get very stressed and the fears get high, one of the things I quickly notice is that my legs become difficult to move and feel as if I am dragging around lead weights.

Fear is part of the sympathetic nervous system which plays a major role in the fight or flight response. Hopefully after the fear has passed, our bodies return to a more restful and relaxed state through the parasympathetic nervous system.

Please feel free to leave a comment with other signs of fear that I may have missed and I will edit this post to include them.

Physical Signs Of Fear
- Wide Eyes
- Raised Eyebrows
- Flared Nostrils
- Clenched Mouth
- Larger personal space
- Slouching or hunching to minimize their exposure
- Taller or squared shoulders as in an aggressive response
- Feet may be pointed to locate a way out of the situation
- Crossed arms and hands
- Drumming of fingers
- Fidgeting
- Rapid Breathing
- Shaking or tapping legs
- Breathing more rapid and shallow
- Increase in blood pressure
- Increase in pulse rate
- Dilated Pupils
- Dry Mouth
- Body hair standing on end
- Tense and energized muscles
- Increased perspiration
- Digestive and Immune systems slow down
- Trembling and shaking
- Peristalsis reduced
- Increased glycogen to glucose conversion
- Norepinephrine and epinephrine secreted
- Sweaty Palms
- Nervous Ticks
- Increase in thoughts and Mind Racing
- Screaming, yelling or inability to do these things
- Immobility or paralysis
- Hives or skin rashes, skin conditions

I lived in fear all my life that if I spoke about these things, someone would come after me. I still deal with the fear, but I am coming to a point in my life where I will not be silenced any longer. 
Hope And Possibility Through Trauma by Don Shetterly

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What Is Fear?

Fear is the emotional response to a perceived threat, real or imagined. It is one of our basic innate emotions. Fear is associated with the actions of escape or avoidance.

In the book, "The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals" by Charles Darwin, he gives an excellent and vivid description of fear.

Fear is often preceded by astonishment, and is so far akin to it, that both lead to the senses of sight and hearing being instantly aroused. In both cases the eyes and mouth are widely opened, and the eyebrows raised. The frightened man at first stands like a statue motionless and breathless, or crouches down as if instinctively to escape observation. The heart beats quickly and violently, so that it palpitates or knocks against the ribs... That the skin is much affected under the sense of great fear, we see in the marvelous manner in which perspiration immediately exudes from it... The hairs also on the skin stand erect; and the superficial muscles shiver. In connection with the disturbed action of the heart, the breathing is hurried. The salivary glands act imperfectly; the mouth becomes dry, and is often opened and shut.
Fear is a normal response to protect us from danger and if we could not feel it, we would not be able to protect ourselves. Our life experiences alter how we feel and perceive fears in our lives. All too often, people who have been traumatized are triggered by current experiences that have no basis in real dangers. The fear then becomes a connection to an event that is not real in the moment but is perceived by that person.

The parts of the brain that are involved in the fear response include the amygdala which stores emotional memories including fear memories, the hippocampus which puts memories and experience in context to the stimuli being faced, the thalamus which decides where to send incoming data that it receives and the hypothalamus which is responsible for the fight or flight response.

Many times, we hear people tell us or others to not be afraid and portray fear to be something that is bad or negative. All emotions are part of our mind and body for a reason whether they are from real or perceived sources. Our job should not be to discount, abhor, or condemn these emotions. Instead our job should be to embrace all of our emotions whether we feel they are positive or negative and fully become aware of how they impact our mind, our body and our personal growth.

Too often, our society tries to control others and bring others in line with what we feel is the proper way to look at some aspect of life. The use of fear is one of the main ways that this is done and all you have to do is look around yourself in a day, and you can see evidence of this. From the government and their policies, to politics, schools, society norms, religious institutions and even down into the family practices and norms. Fear is often used as a weapon against others. Even the news media is extremely skilled at using fear to get us to tune into the news programs.

Take a step back though and consider just how valuable fear is to our lives. It helps protect us and keep us from doing harmful things to ourselves and others. If we embrace it and we go into the fear, our lives become much more rich and full and alive. Of course, if we constantly overwhelm ourselves with fear from every direction, than fear becomes a hindrance to our lives.

Fear holds great power and energy and if we push it down in our lives and try to distance ourselves from it, than it will rob us of so much. Fear is potential energy that can be used to create a chair reaction of events into further awareness and potential benefit. We can learn so much from it and use it to move us forward into situations that benefit our lives and our growth.

Often we are so afraid of fear and we are so overwhelmed in life that we can not deal with fear. We find ways to avoid it and run from it while it finds ways to get out attention. We may think we are avoiding it or just not thinking about fear but in the end, we are only fooling ourselves. If we continue to fool ourselves, our fears will get our attention and they will force us to deal with them. The sooner we begin to listen to our fears and embrace them, the better off we will be.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Trauma, Biology and Hyperarousal

According to an article "The Biological Response To Trauma", it is stated that trauma is different from stress because it has long lasting effects biologically. While trauma is different from stress, the daily buildup of stress becomes the same as trauma.

Pierre Janet in 1989 recognized that overwhelming or traumatic experiences are accompanied by strong emotions. These strong emotional experiences interfere with normal processing of information and follow through action. Janet believed that hyperarousal was responsible for memory problems in people who had been traumatized as a result. According to van der Kolk & van der Hart in 1989, hyperarousal causes memories to be fragmented from consciousness. They are then stored as visual images or body sensations. At some point in the person's future, these stored fragments will then return as physiological reactions, emotions, nightmares and behavior reenactments.

Hyperarousal is a state of tension, both muscular and emotionally produced by the body through hormones during the fear response. It is also known as the fight or flight reaction. Symptoms of hyperparousal include reduced pain tolerance, anxiety, an exaggerated startle response, insomnia, and fatigue. (Source: medical dictionary - free ).

Hyperarousal can also make it difficult for a person to not only fall asleep but to stay asleep. Often an individual will feel more irritable or have outbursts of anger. They may have a difficult time concentrating on daily tasks and thought processes. Often, these traumatized people feel as if they are always on guard watching for danger that may be lurking at every turn. They are easily startled and jumpy to any situation that feels exaggerated and overwhelming.

According to Janet, trauma is responsible for continued exaggerated responses to other stresses that people encounter in their day. After severe traumatic experiences, the dream life or thoughts for that person takes them continually back to the traumatic moment or event. It is like the brain keeps replaying this over and over until there is a moment of resolution. Freud claimed that trauma caused an extensive rupture in our barrier against stimuli. In other words, what would be normal for a person to deal with in their day, now becomes a situation that feels exaggerated and overwhelming.

Pavlov, a Russian Psychologist, felt that the mind was a part of the living body, not as something which was completely separate. In his work, he called a cluster of innate reflexive responses to environmental threats, a defensive reaction. After repeated responses to environmental stimuli, the reaction would become conditioned as if it was the norm. In other words, having a response to some noise, or individual or event going on around a person could invoke a reaction that was more of a defense mechanism while other people would have no reaction at all.

For me, hearing a cat meow or the thumping bass sound from a car stereo, causes an immediate reaction in me. In the case of the cat meow, I want to protect and save the cat that this is coming from and in the case of the car stereo, I want to silence its source. If these sounds do not stop, I become extremely agitated as if I am reliving events that happened many years ago during my childhood. It is as if, the current event is the same as the event from a long time ago. In my mind, it is difficult to tell the two apart. For much of my life, I did not realize that there was a connection between hearing these sounds and events from my past. At best, all I could do was notice what happened in my mind and body when I heard these sounds. I have since learned how to deal with these things but for a long time, they were some very dangerous and explosive situations that I lived with.

Hyperarousal is unfortunately a state that many of us participate in during our days. Often we do not even recognize it because this state has become the norm to our lives. It affects every part of us from how we interact with others to the decisions we make and the enjoyment or growth we experience. It also keeps the body in a revved up state so that many of our body systems are working over time and keeping us ready for the danger that our subconscious mind perceives is close by. Working to become aware of our fears and embrace them is a major step in releasing all of these long held body sensations and memories. If we continue to go through life as if everything is ok, than we are only robbing ourselves of all that life can be. For these events are stored within our body at the time of impact and because of that, they can only be released from the body through the mind.

Anxiety Research (U.K.), Volume 4: Pages 199-212
The Biological Response to Psychic Trauma: Mechanisms and Treatment Of Intrusion and Numbing

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Trouble Sleeping - Look to Electronics

In the CNN Technology Section on May 13, 2010, there was an article posted by John D. Sutter, called "Trouble Sleeping? Maybe It's Your Ipad." While I'm sure CNN was trying to capitalize on the word "Ipad" , there was a very good message in the article that needs to be explored and researched.

The article talked about strong light that whether it came from the sun or electronic devices can reset a person's internal sleep clock. An individual that was referenced in the article turned all his electronic gadgets and lights off in his house at sunset for one month. For this person, it worked and instead of falling asleep at midnight, he was going to bed at 9 pm. During the day, he felt so rested that his friends remarked on his early morning perkiness. He affirmed that getting the extra slept really made a difference in his state of mind.

More and more, many of us are using electronic devices with bright lights and illuminated screens on them. Often we are using them right up until we go to sleep at night. There is a growing concern that these electronic devices may actually be fooling our brains into becoming confused as to what is daytime and what is night time. If you add into the mix, a person who already has sleep problems or who is stressed, than it can make insomnia much worse. Even if you use one of these electronic devices close to bedtime, it can actually stimulate the brain enough to make it more aware and delay your ability to sleep. That is according to Phyllis Zee, a neuroscience professor at Northwestern University. It may also affect your circadian rhythm which is the clock in your brain that determines when you sleep and when you wake up.

Because devices like the ipad, iphone, laptop computers and the Amazon Kindle illuminate bright light that is so close to the eyes, it has a strong impact on what happens in the brain. Unlike a TV, where the light is filtered and spread across a room, it has a lessor impact than these newer electronic devices do. The big distinction is how much light is coming directly into the eyes.

People are biologically wired to be awake when the sun is out and to go to sleep when it is dark. When the receptors in our eyes are flooded with bright light for an extended period of time, a message is sent to the brain that it is time to be awake. Normally when it is dark or around 9 pm at night, the brain secretes melatonin. Melatonin helps make people sleepy and it is responsible for regulating the internal sleep clock in people. If bright lights are shining in our eyes, than melatonin production may not happen as it is supposed to.

In addition, our eyes are very sensitive to blue light. Blue light is common during the day but not in the evening. Computer screens and phones tend to put out a lot of blue light and even though they may not be as intense, they could still greatly affect melatonin production and secretion. It is hard to determine just how much light is needed to reset the person's internal sleep clock. Several factors such as how bright the light is, what hues are present, how large the light source is and how far it is from the person's eyes all have an impact on the body's rhythms and internal sleep clock. What the person does during the day plays a major role. Take someone that works outside all day in the sun versus an office worker who is in a more artificial light environment and there will be a difference in how they are affected by these light sources after dark.

Of course, it is important to note that some researches are very skeptical of the entire premise of this article. They do not feel that the bright lights from these electronic devices have any impact on how a person sleeps unless they are suffering from insomnia. I say, if you're skeptical - try the experiment that the person did where they shut off the lights and devices at dark. See if it works. If after a month it doesn't work, than you should be skeptical as well.

In the article, there are many different options that may help alleviate some of these situations or lessen the impact of bright lights on your sleep. Please refer to the article link above for more detailed information and options. I have only tried to highlight some of the main points in the article but the article is worth reading.

Our bodies do work towards a balance and when we influence and impact them, something has to either happen within our body to bring it back in balance or alter functions to compensate for the impact. That can be evidenced by many things we do from staying up all night long or being stressed out or drinking too much caffeine and not enough water, etc and etc, and so forth. There are numerous ways in which we impact our bodies every day and some of them we don't stop to think about.

Our nervous systems are designed to be very resilient and absorb much of the impacts and stress we place on our body. However if we continually bombard our mind and our body with undue stresses, than at some point the body says to the mind - hey, enough! So finding balance within ourselves and working to rid ourselves of the stress we take in each day will help this. The most important part though is paying attention to our body and becoming more aware of how we impact it and how we actually live in our bodies. Remember, we only get one body in this lifetime so the more we take care of it and learn about it, the more we will get out of life!

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Thursday, May 13, 2010


This video was shared with me the other day and I felt it was very good. The subject of just letting go and releasing things is very important to me. It is hard to totally let go and many of us can give lip service to that but in all reality, we still hold on to it. There are many things that we hold on to from issues we have with others, to our own habits to our own issues. None of us are immune to this but

the more we hold on to them, the more power they rob from us. If you don't believe me, try to be an observer during your next few hours and days. Look at your life objectively and see if you can see ways that you hold on to things. This guy has a very good message though in what he says.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Walking The Labyrinth

Until I met a friend of mine, I don't think I had ever truly heard what a labyrinth was all about. I knew they were some type of geometric pattern and they were beautiful in appearance but that's about all I knew. Then a friend of mine started to talk to me about these and I've begun learning the importance of them. In my post on April 27, 2010, I had my friend explain what a labyrinth was about and little did I know when we did that and she wrote it, that it was World Labyrinth Day on May 1, 2010. I thought this was very interesting because the timing of asking my friend to write about this coinciding with the World Labyrinth Day was no accident I'm sure. Below though is a video I saw posted from the Edgar Cayces A.R.E.

If you're not heard about Labyrinth before or were not fully aware of what they are, this is a great video that explains it in more detail. I was surprised to find that there are some of these around where I live. The following website has a World Labyrinth Locator where you can put in your address information and search for labyrinths near where you live.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What Do You Really See?

Sometimes, what we see is really not what we see. If you think about that for a minute, the picture may become more clear. We can only see through our eyes, our mind, our filters and our senses what we currently know, are aware of and understand at this moment in time. Our own personal experiences help frame all that we see and understand. To expect ourselves to see anything more than this in the current moment we are living, is expecting miracles from us that may not be there.

For a moment, try to frame what you see through where you are currently operating from, and take note of what that is. If you cannot see everything others see, than allow yourself the possibility to evolve and grow in awareness.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Importance Of Introverts

From the book I'm reading, "The Highly Sensitive Person" by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.

When I was reading this quote where she quoted Carl Jung, I really thought it said so much. All my life, I've had people look down at me because I tend to be more introverted. After I get to know someone, it is much easier for me. I can at times be more extroverted but it does not come natural to me.

This is a quoted section from page 100

One cannot emphasize enough the importance of introverts in Carl Jung's view,
They are living evidence that this rich and varied world with its overflowing and intoxicating life is not purely external, but also exists within... Their life teaches more than their words... Their lives teach the other possibility, the interior life which is so painfully wanting in our civilization

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cleaning Kitchen Cutting Boards

While this may not be specifically for the mind and body healing, it is something that is a good thing to do to keep yourself healthy when preparing food. How many homes have the plastic type cutting boards and over time, they start to look pretty dingy. Well, guess what, they are easier to clean then you thought and they can be cleaned with natural things rather than some harsh, abrasive and toxic chemical.

I got this idea from the book, "Clean House, Clean Planet" written by Karen Logan. (Pg 190). In her book, she talks about using baking soda to clean your kitchen cutting board but to disinfect it, use some lemon and salt.

Here's what I do and it works great. I cut a lemon in half or in quarters and then I slightly wet the cutting board. I sprinkle some salt on it and then take the lemon and squeeze the juice out on the cutting board. Next, I take what is left of the lemon and use it as a scrub brush. Letting it sit on the cutting board for a few minutes can help clean it as well. If it still needs a little more cleaning, I take a scrub brush and scrub it down.

Between the salt and lemon juice, it will most likely clean your cutting board up so that you will have healthy food when you prepare it!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Shaken Baby Injuries Increase In Recession

May 1, 2010: An article is by JoNel Aleccia, a health writer for MSNBC reports that cases of shaken baby syndrome have increased dramatically during the recession. Abusive head trauma in children climbed by 55% in the months after the recession began.

Dr. Rachel P. Berger, a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center brain injury specialist, led the study and is quoted in the article that "we do know that poverty and stress are clearly risk factors for child abuse." She went on to state that "here, you had the perfect storm: increased stress, increased poverty and yet the social services were being cut."

Throughout the article, there are many cases that are stated where this has taken place and I'm sure there are many more that are not stated and most likely are not known. All too often, so much of these things go hidden and unnoticed. The families where this takes place are usually very good at hiding abuse that is going on within their confines. However, when a baby or infant is severely injured, then it becomes very difficult to hide because medical treatment is needed at that point.

Dr. Berger and her team looked at 511 unequivocal cases of abusive head trauma from Jan 1, 2004 through Dec 31, 2009. The average number of cases jumped from 6 per month to 9 per month in the 4 hospitals focused on in the study. Of these cases, 63% were injured severely enough to be admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit. Sixteen percent of these children died as a result of their injuries.

Dr. Berger's research follows a new government report last month that shows the number of child abuse victims went down in 2008, the number of deaths from abuse went up. This is according to information from the National Child Abuse And Neglect Data System as stated in the article.

It is sad that we have humans who feel they must do this to children. It makes me angry to hear of this and to know from a first hand experience that these things go on. One child being abused or beat is too many. Children are not here for the amusement and control of adults. They are here to become adults who hopefully contribute to the betterment of society. I firmly believe that if you harm a child, you will have to answer for it. Children are innocent bundles of joy and are a gift to us.

With that being said, trauma and stress do affect people in very strong ways. An over abundance of stress triggers all types of behaviors and past stresses or trauma in ways that may not normally show up. It does not excuse any of this behavior whatsoever but if people do not deal with the baggage they carry around in their lives, than it will repeat itself. Trauma that is not healed looks for an exit route and until it finds that, the events get caught in a cycle that plays over and over.

If you are finding yourself so stressed out by the events going on you, try to take some time and go rest, relax and be with yourself. Find ways to get rid of the stress and frustration that you are experiencing. Do more than trying to relax. Try to get in touch with all your fears, frustrations and stress. See where it is located within your body and observe the connections in your body to these emotions. Than, work to let go of these things from deep within yourself.

At no point, is being abusive to a child ever ok. If you feel like you are to the point of losing control, give yourself a time out. Get yourself out of the situation long enough to see what is going on and to stop yourself from doing any harm to a child or to anyone. Then once, you've calmed down, seek out counseling and support that will help you to deal with the issues and emotions that you have coming up. It takes a big person to admit they need help and it takes an even bigger person to not take their own stuff out on innocent children.

Article Link on Shaken Baby Injuries Rose In Recession

Images courtesy of

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Update 1/2/17:

While there is evidence to suggest that this research may not tell the whole story, my intent of this blog post was on highlighting the increased child abuse.  Others that have been falsely accused of shaken baby syndrome, brought into view their side of this issue.  I appreciate the heads up, because I try to be factual and fair on this blog.  Although I am biased towards any child that is abused because of my own experiences. 

Ultimately though, my main premise is that child abuse must stop.  Yes, I don't want to see anyone falsely accused because the people that abuse a child do need to go to jail.  The people that don't abuse children, don't need to be locked up.

In the case of child abuse (not specifically shaken baby syndrome), there have been people falsely accused.  There is no perfect system and I wish there was.  However, there have been many more abused children that were not believed and were kicked to the streets.  It is those children that I advocate for on this blog.  I'll let others advocate for people that fall outside of this.

Here is a link to some more information on this that was passed on to me.  I have no way to validate it other than it seems to be written with common sense.  You can draw your own conclusions on this article about Shaken Baby Expert Wins High Court Appeal.  Hopefully it will help present all sides of the issue which was not my first intent for writing this blog post.

Another link that was passed on is Shaken Baby Science Doubt Grows and also presents another side to this issue that is worth reading.

At the end of the day, my main focus in my life and on this site is that no child is abused.  I think there are valid points made in this research, just as in the opponents of it, but that with anything, the facts are not always facts.  No matter what, child abuse has to stop!  We can debate many things, but in my mind, there is no debate that child abuse has to stop!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Confusion - Symptoms Of Stress, Part 9

This is Part 9 of 9 Part Series - Confusion

In the article, 9 Surprising Symptoms Of Stress, confusion can be caused by stress. Stress causes distraction and lack of focus according to Debbie Mandel, MA, author of “Addicted To Stress”, “stress hormones lodge longest in the brain,” she says.

How many times do we see people or maybe it is ourselves, struggle with focus during our work day? Maybe we’re sitting in a meeting and just cannot seem to follow what is going on or maybe were a student in school and concentrating on our homework or listening to a teacher is difficult. Many people turn towards caffeine or energy drinks to help pump them up and make them more alert. In reality, these things only prolong the inevitable. Your body is stressed out and needs some down time. Taking stimulants may help for the moment but continuing to use these substances may be taking you down a path you don’t want to go.

What if you went outside during the day and took in the sunshine for a few minutes or just breathed some of the fresh air? What if you went out and listened to the birds, hearing their sounds or even listening to the wind blowing through the trees? You might even sit in your chair at your desk for 30 seconds and just focusing on feeling your breath in your body and just being there with yourself, pushing all other thoughts out of your mind. Even 30 seconds of doing one of these activities can help bring clarity to your mind in a day.

All too often, we push ourselves day in and day out but we stop to give ourselves the much needed time to rest and repair. While it may feel like we do not have the time to stop and rest, often we will find that if we do this, we will accomplish much more than if we just try to keep pushing onward.

Symptoms Of Stress: (9 Part Series)
Part 1. Tweaked and Tense Muscles
Part 2. Eye Twitching
Part 3. Ragged Cuticles
Part 4. Cavities
Part 5. Rashes & Itching
Part 6. Nausea
Part 7. Sleep
Part 8. Forgetfulness
Part 9. Confusion

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Forgetfulness - Symptoms Of Stress, Part 8

This is Part 8 of 9 Part Series - Forgetfulness

Ask anyone these days and most often you will hear that person make some mention of having memory issues. Whether it is short term or long term memory, many people struggle with this. According to this article on, Dr. Lombardo, author of "A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness", is quoted as saying “Research shows that chronic stress can literally shrink the size of the hippocampus, which is responsible for some memories.” Fortunately, according to Dr. Lombardo, the size of the hippocampus will go back to its normal size once the stress level is reduced.

However, many people are living in a constant state of stress and do not even fully realize it. They often think that if you just relax for a few hours, than all is fine. While that may help, it is just part of what needs to happen. The nervous system in our bodies is meant to absorb stress and deal with it but when we constantly overload the system, the stress becomes overwhelming. Daily chronic stress, if not released, builds up and can be as harmful as if you were involved in a traumatic incident. Both have many of the same long lasting effects on a body.

In our day and age of technology and fast paced business offices, we are not able to readily escape stress. It is everywhere around us. We all have many responsibilities to deal with and even during this time of unemployment and financial crisis we are in, many are struggling to just hold things together and keep going. So it is no wonder right now that the level of stress is at an all time high in our society.

Stress is stored in the body and if you are not doing things to release the stress from the body each day, it will build up and begin causing all kinds of health problems. Bodywork, exercise, meditation, Yoga, deep breathing, movement and just taking some time out each day to let go and relax are all helpful ways in dealing with this. The key though is to find something that works for you and make the time in your day to do this. It isn’t just something that is nice to do once or twice a year on vacation. It is critical for your survival and evolution as a human being into becoming all that you can be.

Symptoms Of Stress: (9 Part Series)
Part 1. Tweaked and Tense Muscles
Part 2. Eye Twitching
Part 3. Ragged Cuticles
Part 4. Cavities
Part 5. Rashes & Itching
Part 6. Nausea
Part 7. Sleep
Part 8. Forgetfulness
Part 9. Confusion

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sleep - Symptoms Of Stress, Part 7

This is Part 7 of 9 Part Series - Sleep

According to the article on, 9 Surprising Symptoms Of Stress, "Stress will also ruin the quality of your sleep, so you wake up tired and irritable.", according to the author of “Addicted To Stress”, Debbie Mandel.

Sleep problems and disturbances affect so many people in our world. Many manage to make it through the days and nights but they often struggle silently. Many reach for coffee and caffeinated drinks to help them get through the day which in the end, only adds to the problem. Melatonin is needed to help regulate your sleep and your alertness during the day. Stress can impact your body so that the right amount of melatonin is not produced at the right time of the day and night.

Stress can affect the quality of your sleep so that even though you sleep many hours, you wake up and do not feel refreshed. Taking sleeping aids or caffeine may give you a short term boost or help in managing sleep and sluggishness but in the end, you’re only putting a Band-Aid on a gushing wound.

Working to get yourself to go to sleep and waking up on a regular schedule may help. Also trying to make sure that you get out in the sunshine during the day as much as you can, will help your body produce the melatonin it needs. You may also want to consider supplementing melatonin for yourself. I find that using music playing at night or a fan often helps me in sleeping. And I try to let my mind wind down at the end of the night before I go to bed so it isn’t racing with thoughts. If you have your mind solving your financial situation or trying to solve the problems in your life just before you go to bed, it will be hard for your brain to turn off and allow you to sleep.

For some people, sleep problems are much worse and some are affected for decades in their life. There is no easy solution for them as some people would suggest. However, I’ve seen where deep trauma release work and relaxation do begin having a major difference but it takes a lot of time and work for these people to get there. If we’re walking around carrying a lot of baggage in our live along with trauma and stress from our every day moments, the body says – I’m still running from the tiger chasing me. There’s no way I can stop. Until you learn to slay the tiger and not run from it anymore, you will experience difficulty in feeling sleepy and having sleep problems.

There is hope though and doing deep release body work over time will most likely help your situation. In the meantime though, look for ways that help you get through the night and be creative. What works for one doesn’t always work for everyone else.

Symptoms Of Stress: (9 Part Series)
Part 1. Tweaked and Tense Muscles
Part 2. Eye Twitching
Part 3. Ragged Cuticles
Part 4. Cavities
Part 5. Rashes & Itching
Part 6. Nausea
Part 7. Sleep
Part 8. Forgetfulness
Part 9. Confusion

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Monday, May 3, 2010

Nausea - Symptoms Of Stress, Part 6

This is Part 6 of 9 Part Series - Nausea

Wow, nausea! I so remember this and am moving past a lot of this in my life. One of the quickest things I always noticed when I was under stress was how it affected my stomach. Often I would be nauseated or sometimes actually vomit and there were far too many times when my stomach would seem so jittery.

In fact, most of us often talk about how some situation makes us feel in our stomach. It is a common thing and if there is one connection made between stress and trauma with the body, it is the stomach. However, too many times people attribute it to what they eat or some unknown flu bug that they think they have. Much of the time, stress and trauma play a major role in it. Sometimes a result of stress leads to migraine headaches and one of the results is that people feel nauseated or actually vomit.

According to the article on, 9 Surprising Symptoms Of Stress, nausea is a direct result of worrying, stress and anxiety, according to the author of “Addicted To Stress”. "Stress can upset the stomach, and nausea can be a byproduct of worry," says Mandel.

If your anxiety is causing nausea, try this trick that Mandel swears by: Let tepid water run over your fingers; it's believed to keep nausea at bay.

Of course the more we try to stop these uncomfortable feelings and physical sensations, the more we are adding to them. If we stop and acknowledge them, then work to alleviate what is causing them, our bodies will be much better in the long run and so will our minds. Putting a bandaid over a gushing wound may slow bleeding down, but most likely we will keep bleeding.

Please see my article on vomiting and anger which deals with the stress and trauma as it affects the body. It can be found at: Can Anger Make You Vomit?

Symptoms Of Stress: (9 Part Series)
1. Tweaked and Tense Muscles
2. Eye Twitching
3. Ragged Cuticles
4. Cavities
5. Rashes & Itching
6. Nausea
7. Sleep
8. Forgetfulness
9. Confusion

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Itching - Symptoms Of Stress, Part 5

This is Part 5 of 9 Part Series - Itching & Rashes

For a long time in my life, I never fully realized how much stress, emotions and trauma played into rashes and itching. I have known others who have gone through these things but never fully understood them until I experienced them first hand. According to this article, the adverse effects of stress are thought to cause the immune system to release histamine which causes the itchy bumps. In the article, it suggests that deep breathing will help but for those who suffer through severe itching and rashes, there is much more to alleviating this than deep breathing.

If you want to read more about what I went through on itching, please read my blog entry on Sleeping With Night Sweats And Fears or Itchy Skin And Oatmeal Baths .

The one thing I did learn was that taking medications/ointments and putting cream on the itches may have had a slight effect of helping but my body soon became accustomed to these things and then they stopped working. I tried many things and little would work. For me, the oatmeal baths were about the only thing that brought some relief but outside of that, it was a struggle until I did some serious trauma release with Dr. Paul Canali of Evolutionary Healing Institute.

Symptoms Of Stress: (9 Part Series)
Part 1. Tweaked and Tense Muscles
Part 2. Eye Twitching
Part 3. Ragged Cuticles
Part 4. Cavities
Part 5. Rashes & Itching
Part 6. Nausea
Part 7. Sleep
Part 8. Forgetfulness
Part 9. Confusion

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog


Blog Post And Images (c) 1/01/07 by Don Shetterly
  • Permission required in writing before any part of this blog is reprinted, reworded, transmitted or used in any format.
  • Feel free to share the blog post LINK and a brief summary.

  • “Amazon, the Amazon logo, MYHABIT, and the MYHABIT logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.”