Why Food Is Medicine: The Secret Of The Six Tastes Of Ayurveda

Farmers

Have you ever questioned your relationship with food?

Do you ever wonder why we humans seem to be so unhealthy?

Most people eat to avoid hunger, because the food tastes good, for social reasons or to deal with difficult feelings.

The most important function of food, however, is the one we have lost touch with. Food is medicine.

Why Food Is Medicine

When I say that food is medicine, I mean that food sustains our life force or diminishes it, depending on what we eat, when we eat and the quality of the food. Food is the single greatest source of nourishment for our life force that we have. So poor food choices are a major factor in creating illness in our bodies.

Modern medicine does not give food the attention it deserves as a factor in our health. Food is not just something to put in our stomachs so it does not growl. Food is not just for fun, something to tickle the taste buds. Do you think that hospital food is helping you become healthy or increasing illness in your body?

How To Know Which Food Is Right For Us

Ayurveda has catalogued food so that we have the knowledge to eat food that helps us be healthy and at our best. It starts with the understanding that food is primarily medicine. One way to start understanding how food is medicine is to start with the Ayuvedic concept of six tastes.

The six tastes are a recognition of the subtle energies of food and how they impact the subtle energies of each person’s bioenergy or dosha. This is the information we need to select the foods that are best for our bodies. Ayurveda is as customized an approach to health as exists in the world. By understanding the subtle energies of each food, Ayurveda knows how to help an individual achieve optimum health.

According to Dr, Vasant Lad, an eminent Ayurvedic physician and teacher, Ayurveda has an integrated view of food. Many century ago, it started its knowledge gathering by investigating and cataloguing the qualities that each food has. This information was used to understand the six tastes of food which are tailored to each body type to create healthy eating.  There are 20 or 10 pairs of opposites:

  1. heavy or light
  2. oily or dry
  3. stable or mobile
  4. slimy or rough
  5. gross or subtle
  6. cold or hot
  7. slow or sharp
  8. soft or hard
  9. dense or liquid
  10. cloudy or clear

The Six Tastes And Why They Matter

Each food has certain qualities. These qualities have an affect on the doshas or bioenergies. What that means is that food affects not only the body but the mind and emotions as well since the doshas are holistic and include the mind and emotions as well as our physical constitutions.The six tastes are:

  1. sweet:  has the qualities of oily, cooling and heavy. In moderation it promotes a strong body and good health.  In excess, it increases congestion including colds, diabetes, obesity and tumors.
  2. sour: has the qualities of liquid, light, heating and oily.  In moderation, it is invigorating, and good for the digestive system.  In excess, it creates excessive acidity, heartburn, ulcers and various skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema.
  3. salty: has oily, heavy and heating qualities. In moderation it promotes growth and maintains water electrolyte balance.  It improves digestion and elimination and is so strong that it can overwhelm the other tastes.  In excess, it thickens the blood, and causes hypertension and aggravates skin conditions.
  4. pungent: has the qualities light, drying and heating.  In moderation, it helps digestion, and clears the mouth and sinuses.  It improves circulation and breaks up clots.  It removes obstructions and helps perception.  In excess it causes sexual debility, overheating, diarrhea, heartburn and nausea. In vata dosha, it causes giddiness tremors, insomnia which HSP’s need to be concerned about.
  5. bitter: has the qualities of cool, light and dry.  In moderation, it is anti-toxic, so it relieves heating conditions, skin diseases, and reduces fat.  In excess, depletes the various elements of the body including muscles, bones, and marrow and creates weariness.
  6. astringent: has the qualities of cooling, drying and heaviness. In moderation, it absorbs water, heals ulcers and causes clotting. In excess it can lead to neuromuscular disorders which HSP’s need to be concerned with, increases constipation, and circulatory issues.

This is a short overview of the qualities in food and how they affect the body. HSP’s can benefit from the Ayurvedic approach to food since it enables them to be more precise in their food choices and minimize inadvertent health problems caused from eating the wrong food.

The attributes and qualities of food affect the taste and the tastes can have a balancing or disturbing effect on an individual. If we are not eating the right foods for our bodies, we may be helping create depression, anxiety and other mood disorders in ourselves. We may make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. We may have trouble digesting the food and therefore become malnourished.

It is so important that we eat the right foods for ourselves in order to be healthy. By understanding our constitution, (see the Dosha Test), and what foods support us, we have a chance to experience great health with little effort.

Note:  Although some of the information comes from my own knowledge, many of the details were taken from the work of Usha Lad and Dr. Vasant Lad: Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing, The Ayurvedic Press, Albuquerque, 1994, 2002, p. 31-37.  His work provides even more detail about the Ayurvedic understanding of food and the elements and is an important book for individuals interested in Ayurveda.

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The Dark Side Of Self Sacrifice: How It Affects Your Health

Tajin Sacrifice Scene © by Ilhuicamina

Sacrifice took root in human society centuries ago in our earliest days. Self sacrifice did as well.

Our early ancestors used sacrifice to make offerings to the gods as a form of protection against forces that were unpredictable, that they did not understand and that they could not control. Consider it an early form of attempted favoritism.

Many tribes developed rituals around sacrifice that were held regularly each year. Some of the sacrifices were animal; many were human.

Sacrifice did not end with our early ancestors. Although we have developed greater control over our environment, sacrifice remains. A current example is our annual Thanksgiving celebration.

Sacrifice goes beyond holidays and other rituals. Sacrifice extends to expectations, rules and roles with an individual’s culture.

And some sacrifice is good.

  1. We sacrifice our desire to drive at 100 miles per hour through city streets so that we can live to see another day.
  2. We sacrifice sleeping in during the week so that we can get to work and earn enough to make our lives comfortable.
  3. We bite our tongues when someone is annoying as a way of making our relationship work better.
  4. We do something that matters to our child even though it may not interest us to help them develop.

These are just a couple of examples of sacrifices we make that help us live better lives. It’s all good.

So what is the problem? Sacrifice can often become a habit, something that we are not intentional about that causes all sorts of problems for us including problems with our health.

Sacrifice can be very shortsighted and systemic:

  1. when we sacrifice the health of our topsoil by using pesticides and herbicides that we then consume in the food.
  2. when we add preservatives to our food to increase shelf life which when eaten becomes one of many toxins that can build-up in the body making us ill.
  3. when we work too long and exhaust ourselves, making it harder for us to function well and increasing toxic stress levels in the body
  4. when we watch television rather than get exercise we need
  5. when we do not eat, throwing our biorhythms out of balance which creates a lot of physical and emotional stress for the body
  6. when we maintain negative relationships which do not support our best and healthy selves.

Every culture has its rules and expectations about sacrifice – often unspoken. We know when we bump into them, because of the disapproval that we receive.

People become accustomed to whatever the rules are and often find ways to live with an unhealthy sacrifice rather than rock the boat and change. When working too much, many people taking pills to keep going.

Change is hard because we, and our social support systems, which we need to survive, are often resistant to it. Some of that resistance may come from fear, some may come from pride, it all comes from a perception of some form of vulnerability.

Deciding to improve your health can create resistance to change in those around you. We all have had the experience of changing our habits and getting disapproval or even undermining. Or we know someone else who has had the experience.

People who have made health sacrifices may feel resentful towards an individual who does not and your improvements may cause relationship strain. Developing compassionate ways of handling the feelings of vulnerability you encounter can make your health changes easier.

It is very important to make changes that can improve your health. It will be easier to succeed it you create ways to handle any resistance to change. And you can also graciously pass on to others the benefits of what you learn to help them achieve their health goals.

Making health changes can be difficult. The more you can keep your environment positive, the greater your success will be.

How to Prevent Blood Clots

Blood clots are extremely dangerous. Once formed and circulating throughout your body via your blood stream, they can lodge in the lungs, heart or brain, causing severe or even permanent damage and death. They are to be taken seriously. The tendency to get blood clots runs in my family, so I have looked into solutions for a number of years. Here are some ways of preventing blood clots that I have learned.

Sticky Blood

When you are healthy, blood circulates unimpeded though out your entire system bringing oxygen and nutrients to the cells and removing waste products. Blood clots are commonly associated with airplane travel and a sedentary lifestyle. Certainly lack of exercise can be a contributing factor; however, when you take a flight, your system does not manufacture a blood clot because you are flying. In order for you to get that clot, the conditions for getting a blood clot need to already be present in your body. That means you probably already had sticky blood when you boarded that flight.

Preventing Sticky Blood

Sticky blood is unhealthy blood.  It is blood with some or even many toxins in it. How to those toxins get there?

  1. environmental toxins including household chemicals, metals, pesticides, air pollution, and water pollution.
  2. food toxins including additives, preservatives, and other chemicals, processed, frozen, canned and genetically modified foods.
  3. undigested food which turns into a sticky substance which then clogs the body.
  4. eating hard to digest food including many dairy products, meat, processed food, junk food, sodas and leftovers.
  5. eating food made of white flour and white sugar.
  6. bacteria, viruses and worms.

To remove the toxins, a lifestyle adjustment is necessary.

  1. remove as many environmental toxins as possible from your environment.  If necessary, purchase filters for your drinking water.
  2. buy only organic food to avoid the many food abuses in our agricultural system that will harm your health.
  3. eliminate all white flour and white sugar products from your diet.
  4. minimize or eliminate meat.  If you need to eat meat, consider organic chicken or turkey.
  5. eliminate junk food, processed food and sodas.
  6. eat only three meals per day so that your body can fully digest your meal before you eat again. Eat enough to be satisfied.
  7. eat your main meal of the day at lunchtime when digestion is strongest.

One of the most under recognized sources of clots is the poorly digested food floating around our bodies.  In order for our digestion to be strong and efficient, we need to eat the right foods, at the right times, get enough sleep, reduce stress in our lives, and get enough exercise.  It also helps to have positive supportive relationships in our lives.

Herbal And Natural Treatments For Blood Clots

Life is not perfect. However, it is still possible to be healthy even if your lifestyle could use some adjustments. The good news for blood clot sufferers is that there are many natural herbs and herbal remedies that can help minimize your chances of getting a blood clot. They are:

  1. the salicylates – the ingredient in aspirin that thins the blood. These foods contain salicylates:
    1. many fruits and nuts
    2. these spices: curry powder, cayenne pepper, ginger, paprika, thyme, cinnamon, dill, oregano, turmeric, licorice, peppermint
  2. omega-3 supplements
  3. nattokinase, a Japanese enzyme created from boiled soybeans that lowers blood pressure and prevent blood clots from being formed.
  4. a number of Ayurvedic herbs (see additional articles below) that are exceptionally strong detoxification and immune system boosters are wonderful for purifying the blood:
    1. manjistha which removes obstructions
    2. neem a great detoxing herb
    3. triphala a blood purifier, detoxing and balancing herb
    4. turmeric supplement for preventing platelet clumping

Next Steps

Revising diet and lifestyle along with natural non-toxic herbal remedies that support the health of the blood and detox the body will make it easier to withstand and blood clotting tendencies. Consulting with an Ayurvedic practitioner near you would enable you to develop a nutrition, herbal and lifestyle program that suits your body type and addresses all of your system’s imbalances.

That is not possible for everyone.  You can still do much for your self by eating organic food and taking safe supplements that will help you detox to minimize the development of all diseases including blood clots.

Change Your Brain, Change Your Life!

Thoughts really do create our lives.

New research by Fred Travis, Maharishi University of Management in the US, Harald Harung, Oslo University College in Norway, and Yvonne Lagrosen, University West in Sweden on the brains of musicians demonstrates the potentially for highly developed brains that are open, curious, learning, playful and holistic in their thinking.

The study findings were reported in Consciousness and Cognition and Science Daily. The research compared the brains of professional and amateur musicians matched for age, gender and education on a number of brain tests: the Stroop color-word test which measures the ability to direct attention, brainwaves during a variety of paired reaction-time tasks, responses on the Gibbs Socio- moral Reflection questionnaire, and the subjects’ self-reported description of the frequencies of peak experiences.

The study, which evaluated the brains of musicians who were at the top of their profession vs. the brains of amateur musicians, defined success as combination of talent and practice or experience. They found that those who practiced the most had the most success.

As Dr. Fred Travis writes in his report, “The relation of practice to top performance is consistent with what is known with how the brain learns. The term neuroplasticity is used to describe the brain’s ability to adapt and change as a result of training and experience over the course of a person’s life. Through repeated experience we create neural circuits that support smooth, automatic flow of behavior.”

Interestingly, moral reasoning skills were better developed in the more skilled musicians.  Our brains are apparently improved by our working at something over the long term. When we acquire advanced skills in a subject like music, we have developed brain functionong that we can then apply to other areas of our lives with the expected superior results. What you do with your time and thinking becomes strengthened in the brain.

As Dr. Travis says, “If you are a very envious, angry, mean person and that’s the way you think about people that’s what’s going to be strengthened in your brain. But if you are very expanded and open and supportive of others, there will be different connections,” says Fred Travis.

This is very optimistic news for all of us. It suggests that work is good for our brains and supports higher performance and moral reasoning.

I suspect that we need to become very mindful about what we are doing with our brains.  What is the point of using our brains poorly, and then doing affirmations?  Better just to learn how to use our brains well.

The Wound Of Materialism

Oiled Bird – Black Sea Oil Spill 11/12/07 © by marinephotobank

Materialism destroys our environment as this picture shows.

It also destroys so much more.

It destroys our humanity.

Every society defines its purposes and priorities.  There was a time when the material side of life was extremely lacking and improving the human standard of living was a necessary and important goal.

So the Western world, starting in Europe,  created an economic system to rectify an existing problem. So far all is well.

Unfortunately. at some point, the goals of society went beyond rectifying existing needs. Societies became about wealth accumulation.  It may have been one of the biggest mistakes we ever made.

All social systems have a stewardship responsibility in society. Stewardship involves considering the past, present and future. Stewardship honors sustainability. Stewardship promotes the health of all living creatures and their institutions.

When wealth accumulation became the agenda, stewardship went out the window. It pitted one person against another because it was no longer OK to seek to have your real needs met, if you were not part of a wealth accumulation system, you essentially did not exist. Those who could advance the wealth agenda had their needs met over those who were less able to do so.

So if it mattered to you that we do not harm the environment unnecessarily then you were not only unimportant but also considered dangerous to the wealth accumulation agenda.  If you think getting a good night’s sleep matters then you are not available to work ridiculous hours to further the wealth accumulation agenda. If you think that compassion matters then you may be interfering with profits.

When does the system that demands our support begin to support the people who support it?  I have heard very intelligent people express a fear of being irrelevant.

This is not living.  In many cases it is not even surviving.  This is, in fact, slavery.  And we all know that slavery is very damaging to the essence of a human being or any living creature for that matter.

We are not here just to be used.  We are here to live and to be cherished, and our existing social and economic systems are failing us miserably.

The human race has been demoted to serve a wealth agenda.

It is definitely time for change,

And it cannot come soon enough.

Guduchi: 9 Ways To Protect Your Health

Guduchi Plant

Guduchi is another exceptional herb used extensively in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian health care system.

Found in the Himalayas, guduchi is one of the few herbs that balances the entire body or all the doshas, the name for the three body-systems of Ayurveda.

Over thousands of years, Ayurveda has catalogued all of the physical affects of food, beverages and herbs on the body. It has accomplished this feat by identifying the qualities in each food.

Let’s consider a ripe banana. It has the qualities of being sweet, heating and sour. It affects the body’s doshas with its smoothness and heaviness. Some of these qualities are obvious and others are more subtle.  We can taste the sweetness of a banana and experience its smoothness and heaviness. The heating and sour actions of the banana are felt in the body after the fruit has been eaten.

Guduchi has the following physical effects: heating, bitter, astringent, light, unctuous, sweet and destroys toxins. It balances all of three doshas or bioenergies of the body: data – air and movement, pitta – digestion, and kappa – tissues and lubrication.

It is such a strong supporter of the immune system that it is thought to help increase the life span.  Guduchi offers these heath benefits:

  1. improved immune system. It strengthens the immune system and helps with autoimmune diseases.  It also reduced the toxic effects of chemotherapy. By strengthening the immune system, it reduces the potential for cancer.
  2. improves conditions in the joints like gout and arthritis by acting as an anti-inflammatory.
  3. heals liver damage caused by alcohol, drugs and medicinal drugs. It repairs the liver tissue.
  4. heals skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis and systemic lupus erythmatosis.
  5. heals gastrointestinal disease by healing various bowel conditions and rebalancing intestinal flora.
  6. regulates blood sugar levels.
  7. calms the nervous system.
  8. supports the reproductive system.
  9. rejuvenates the body.
Guduchi is known “as the one that protects the body”. It’s healing and protective abilities are prized in Ayurveda.  It is worth considering as part of a health regimen.
For highly sensitive people who suffer disabling stress and can be weakened by overstimulation, guduchi can provide some protection against the harms of modern life.
For Additional Information:

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Motivation And Your Brain: What You May Not Know

 

Do you seem to have different motivations that others?

Do you have respond differently than others to similar events and stimuli? Check your brain.

It may hold an important clue.

Motivation is an important subject, one that has been the subject of intense interest for thousands of years. Human societies tend to create a profile of “normal behavior”, which drives expectations, rules and the reward/punishment system used to control the population. It also drives the economy. So definitions about what people are like have important consequences.

Motivation has been defined for many years as either approach or avoidance. It is also known as the fight or flight response. The conventional wisdom has been that the approach motivation comes from the left hemisphere and that the avoidance motivation comes from the right hemisphere.

Conventional wisdom treats left brained behavior as the norm. Might we call that extroversion?

Recent research sheds some new light on conventional wisdom about motivation. According to a new study recent study published in PLoS ONE by psychologists Geoffrey Brookshire and Daniel Casasanto of The New School for Social Research in New York and publicized in Medical News Today, motivation is not a cut and dried matter of the hemispheres of the brain.

Apparently handedness plays a major role in motivation. According to Medical News Today, “Brookshire and Casasanto’s study challenges this idea, showing that a well-established pattern of brain activity, found across dozens of studies in right-handers, completely reverses in left-handers.”

Most highly sensitive people are more right brained than left brained. In addition, left-handedness is also associated with the highly sensitive trait since highly sensitive people can be left-handed or have left-handedness in their families. This study demonstrates that the differences between extroverts and introverts are not simply differences of personality.

Up until now, left hemisphere neural stimulation has been used to treat depression and anxiety, two conditions associated with being highly sensitive. This study suggests that a change in neural stimulation to the right hemisphere might be more productive.

Perhaps it will. Of course, we might want to consider letting people be different rather than to try to make everyone the same. Perhaps then we would not have so much depression and anxiety.

Turmeric: 18 Ways To Good Health

Turmeric © by Steven Jackson Photography

It is amazing how great health can be as close as our kitchen spice rack.

For thousands of years, food and herbs have been used for their healing properties. Some herbs are almost worshipped for their healing gifts.  Turmeric is one such herb.

Some herbs are valued solely for their medicinal properties. Neem would be an example of a plant used primarily for medicinal purposes.

Turmeric is different, however. It is an important cooking herb as well as a medicinal remedy.  In India, curry is one of their most common dishes and it usually includes turmeric.

Why is turmeric such a wonder herb? Turmeric is one of the few healing herbs on the world that has such a comprehensive list of benefits that it is considered a pharmacy unto itself. (Neem is also.)

Turmeric is a purifier. It is most frequently used to purify the blood which helps prevent blood clots. Since the blood circulates the entire blood, all of the purification capabilities of turmeric removing bacteria and free radicals mean that more oxygen and nutrients can get to the cells and the lymph system can do its job of removing wastes better.

Turmeric has the following effects on the body:

  1. alliterative.  Turmeric doesn’t just treat a medical condition, it also restores health.
  2. analgesic.  Turmeric reduces pain.
  3. anti-inflammatory. Turmeric is used extensively to heal wounds and improves arthritis symptoms.
  4. antibacterial. Turmeric has many properties which help with wound healing.
  5. anti-tumor, which means that in cleaning the body, tumors are less able to grow.
  6. antiallergic. Turmeric help with food and other forms of allergies.
  7. antioxident. Turmeric has the ability to clean up the free radicals created through stress and lifestyle choices.
  8. antiseptic. This is another of turmeric’s wound cleaning properties.
  9. antispasmodic. It relaxes muscles which reduces digestive and menstrual cramps.
  10. astringent. Turmeric dries out the tissues removing toxins, fat and excess fluid.
  11. cardiovasular. Since turmeric cleans the blood, the heart will be pumping cleaner blood and staying healthier over time. It’s anti-inflammatory properties reduces the occurrence of platelet clumping, which can cause blood clots and other problems.
  12. carminative, which means it reduces gas in the body
  13. cholagogue, which means it stimulates the gall bladders production of bile.
  14. improves digestion. Turmeric stimulates a sluggish digestion causing food to be properly digested and preventing the toxic buildup of undigested food.
  15. diuretic. Turmeric has astringent properties that remove excess fund from the body.
  16. vulnerary, refers to the ability to heal wounds.
  17. cleans the blood.
  18. supports the reproductive system.
Turmeric had strong wound healing properties and has been used to treat the following serious modern illnesses:
  1. arthritis
  2. cancer
  3. std’s
  4. alzheimer’s
  5. diabetes
  6. MS
  7. HIV
  8. illnesses related to the digestive system including IBS, indigestion, URI, kidney infections, gallstones, hemorrhoids, liver disease and food poisoning
  9. illnesses from blood toxins
  10. skin diseases including leprosy.
Turmeric is an herb that is safe and inexpensive to use and can be a very useful herb for keeping  toxins from taking hold in your body, which can set the stage for chronic disease and fatal illnesses like cancer. It is a great way to help heal existing diseases like arthritis, diabetes and digestive problems.
When combined with the Ayurvedic herbs tulsi and triphala for long term use, turmeric offers deep cleansing and rebalancing of the body.
Turmeric is a phenomenal herb that is worth taking every day to maintaining great health.
For More Information:

Naysayers And HSP’s

JUST SAY NO © by marc falardeau

Do naysayers drive you up the wall?

Highly sensitive people can have difficulty with naysayers. Particularly if they consider themselves wiser than the naysayers – which, frankly, can be quite often.

Extroverts can be hard for highly sensitive people to understand because they often seem brash and aggressive but not necessarily insightful. Highly sensitive people tend to seek insight.

HSP’s inevitably include in their decision making all of the information that they have no choice but to deal with.  If you take in huge amounts of information which HSP’s do, your perception will be informed by all of the inputs. HSP’s often have a deeper and more complex understanding than others.

The result is that HSP’s often feel at odds with rule makers, gate keepers, and other authority figures without really having an interest in conflict. One of the unfortunate consequences is that many people perceive highly sensitive people as difficult when in reality HSP’s dislike conflict.

The dilemma of highly sensitive people and naysayers is not a superficial one. Naysaying is often a knee-jerk reaction to a behavior, a change or a need.  It is often conditioned behavior based on individual and cultural habits. It is often defensive.

HSP’s who are inundated with all sorts of information, both habitual and less noticed, do not have the luxury of mindless obedience. The situation for the highly sensitive is further complicated because their sensitivity increases and supports their integrity, which makes them often at odds with the more conforming members of society.

It also makes conversation difficult.  Inevitably highly sensitive people cannot help but be on a different wavelength.  Trying to share that wavelength with non-HSP’s can be difficult and maybe sometimes dangerous. Unfortunately our hunger for seeing and being seen will not be satisfied by many non-HSP’s and our integrity needs may be damaged in the process.

Being an HSP gives us a need for encouragement that non-HSP’s may not share since they are more aligned with their peers and cultural direction.  Naysayers, then, can actually damage the dreams, hopes and aspirations of the highly sensitive. Naysayers can also block progress in many ways.

One of the most difficult problems for highly sensitive people is the internalizing of the naysaying around them and taking it as an indictment of their very identity. That is a mistake to be avoided.

Naysayers do not know it all.  They can benefit from the insights and wisdom of highly sensitive people, and HSP’s need to continually remind themselves of this so that they can summon the energy to hold their ground.

HSP’s need to be mindful of the fact that naysayers can cause them harm. Surrounding yourself with more positive people is a great insurance policy against the self esteem erosion that occurs around the naysayers of the world.

Bullying Increases Self Harm

bullying-739607 © by Chesi – Fotos CC

 

Is there a relationship between bullying and self-harm?

The British Medical Journal has published the findings on a study about the relationship between bullying and self-harm behaviors in children.

According to Medical News Today, “The study, conducted by researchers at King’s College in London, involved over 1000 sets of twins, ages 5, 7, 10 and 12 who were born in Wales and England between 1994 and 1995. The data showing the results of the self harm tests collected on 2141 kids, 6 months before their 12th birthday, showed that 237 of them had been bullied, and 18 (8%) hurt themselves. Amongst the 1904 children who were not bullied, 44 (2%) inflicted self-harm. ”  The study notice a slightly higher incidence of self-harming among girls than boys.

In Great Britain 25% of children experience bullying. Bullying includes physical abuse, verbal abuse, social aggression as well as shunning and social exclusion.

Bullying is never pleasant but it is particularly devastating to young children. Bullying creates danger and betrayal for children that is a shock to them and which is hard for them to understand and handle. Children often assume that if something bad happens to them it is because there is something wrong with them.

Unfortunately, macho cultural models often glorify bullying behavior. We are quite disingenuous about the consequences about our violent cultural practices.

Children who have been bullied when they are young will demonstrate their pain in their behavior, by hitting their heads against a wall, pulling out their hair, cutting and biting themselves or even strangling themselves.  It is also likely that they will become withdrawn and depending on the behavior of the adults around them, develop serious trust issues that they may not recover from.

Bullying causes a child to feel defective, that can last an entire lifetime. Bullying at a young age destroys a child’s feeling of being welcome and valued in the world. It is an extremely vicious attack on a young life and a practice that needs to be stopped.