2 Herbs To Relieve Anxiety

Emotional Healing - HSP Health Blog

Nervous system tree © by Mizrak

As a highly sensitive person, do you experience anxiety?

Highly sensitive people are like the nervous system tree above –  a large hypersensitive nervous system often on overhead.

Each HSP handles overstimulation differently.

Some who suffer from excessive stress as well as sensory overload, develop anxiety.

Could that be you?

Why HSP’s Need Strategies For Anxiety

Whether you feel you anxiety symptoms are manageable or whether you are concerned that your symptoms are chronic and increasingly debilitating, as a highly sensitive person you need to develop strategies to handle stress and anxiety.

Highly sensitive people cannot escape the affect of chronic demands on their nervous systems. At some point, the consequences of excess anxiety will show up as an illness. Excessive stress overtime raises the blood sugar. It puts the body into a state of emergency which draws on all the energy stores of the body.

No one can withstand a constant state of emergency on the body. If unaddressed many people develop metabolic disorder and eventually diabetes. Highly sensitive people are in danger of developing a chronic disease if they do not manage their stress and anxiety well.

What Can You Do To Relieve Your Anxiety?

There are some obvious things you can do for anxiety:

  • take stock of you life and consider what is essential and what is not.
  • remove anything that is draining your time and energy and making it harder to manage your stress levels. I know that this can be easier said than done, but it is important to do. There are ways to make it easier:
    • you can start small and do it gradually.
    • under other circumstances it is better to tackle the most anxiety producing problem first. Perhaps some people need to be told that you will be unavailable for awhile due to other commitments (you), or some activities that you feel pressured to do, community activities would be an example, will need to be tabled.
  • learn to meditate. It works wonders to relieve the brain and creates mental rest.
  • try to do a little exercise each day. Yoga, NIA and ecstatic dance can all be done in a few minutes and will help your stress levels.
  • get a good nights sleep. Your body will process the days events and help repair your nervous system during your sleeping hours.
  • healthy food and water make a difference as well. A good meal makes your body feel good and that helps relax it. The wrong food does not feel good to your body and creates its own form of stress.

How To Relieve Anxiety While You Are Changing Your Life

All of the above suggestions take time. Creating a healthy life for yourself is a process. It is important to make sure you can see it through. In order to do so, there are a number of Ayurvedic herbs that can help you relieve stress while you are making changes:

  1. ashwaghandha: this herb is a very well known herb considered the most important for relieving stress symptoms. Also known as Indian ginseng, ashwaghandha helps you resist many forms of stress. It improves your body’s defenses by strengthening your physical defenses, and provides healing for the nervous system. Ashwaghanda relieves symptoms of stress like insomnia and nervous exhaustion. It acts as a sedative to the nervous system which enables you to recover from nervous stress and exhaustion. In addition, it works on the brain and nervous system and is known to reduce cortisol levels. Elevated cortisol levels over time lead to metabolic disorder and create the conditions for other illnesses to energy.
  2. brahmi  is another useful herb to use. It fulfills a slightly different function. Brahmi works more on the brain to improve mental functioning, including cognitive function and memory problems. When under stress we often do not think well. Brahmi helps your brain function better under conditions of stress and anxiety.

Anxiety Relief Strategies

Relieving anxiety for highly sensitive people is a big challenge. Each person needs to develop what works for them.

It is important to make space for change in your life. Any healthy living practices will bring relief to the body but it is often better to make one or two changes at a time and fully integrate them. Although it is a process, it will result in more permanent change and make it easier for you to handle the anxiety you already have while minimizing the anxiety of change.

NOTE: HSP Health has an affiliate relationship with Lifespa.

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The Secret Gift Of Being Present

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The Secret Gift Of Being Present - HSP Health Blog

Source: Morguefile

Being present offers a secret gift.

Being present is something we are increasingly exhorted to be – something that identifies us as a good person.

It’s a shame because being present has the capacity to offer us so much more.

What Does It Mean To Be Present?

Being present is the source of all potential goodness in our lives:

  • being present means that we are not living in our heads. Our heads have a way of taking over and running our lives with ideas about life rather than life itself.
  • being present means that this moment is enough.
  • being present means that we are fully awake to everything in our lives.
  • being present means accepting our humanity with all of its faults and imperfections and also the same in others.
  • being present means also accepting our limitations.

Another way to say it is that when we are present we are grounded.

Why Bother?

So why bother? it is a mentally organized world with lots of different ideas about life that seem to have the upper hand making decisions about our lives for us, isn’t it?

Being present can means seeing, hearing and feeling the judgments and negativity of the world and that can be painful especially for highly sensitive people.

Who wants to drown in all of the injustice and meanness? I know I don’t. There is a part of us that wants to remove ourselves out of self preservation to a place with less conflict, meanness and pain. I expect that we all have that desire.

Being Present Isn’t A Time

Being present is often treated as a form of time but it is really more a type of space. The past and future really do not exist. They are fictions of our minds. They occupy mental space but they do not occupy real space. They can sideline us from the needs and demands of the present.

All of life is energy and space. What the past and future do is lay claim to our energy and divert it from the present. Usually this occurs because our memories become attached to the pain of negative judgments and we want to heal them. We are seeking away out of our pain. We are also losing the opportunity to live our lives when we allow the past and future to take over our attention.

What Being Present Offers Us

The past and the future are containers for fear and pain. They could even be considered distractions.

The present on the other hand is more of a door. It opens us to space and possibility.

The present is where all creativity lies. It is also the home of all generosity which it is one of the reasons it is so valuable:

  • in the present we can decide to give ourselves a break
  • in the present we can take better care of ourselves
  • in the present we can be kind
  • in the present we can create something
  • in the present we can let go of the part
  • in the present we can be mindful about our words and develop of skill at speaking and writing
  • in the present we can chose a new direction
  • in the present we can love
  • in the present we can offer a helping hand.

The present is where all positive actions take place. It is where we start over each moment in the creation of our lives. Each moment has to be met with our best intention which is how we extend to ourselves the same generosity that we extend toward others.

That is what makes the present the best place on earth.

Are You A Pink Tutu Person?

pink tutu

A funny thing happened one day – I fell in love with a pink tutu.

Actually I really fell in love with a couple, their story and the healing effects of a pink tutu.

I hope you will too.

Who Knew, Pink Tutu?

In 2003 Bob Carey put on a pink tutu and took pictures. His images became a blessing to him and to others. Why? Because his wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer and he was seeking to support her healing.

Cancer is tough as is any serious illness. His wife, Linda, was diagnosed  with cancer in the early 2000s and recovered only to be rediagnosed in 2006. Obviously her journey is a difficult one. Bob donned the tutus to cheer her up and help her heal. She would share her tutu photos with other cancer patients and they would all have a lightening laugh. Lightness can be very difficult to achieve when you have a serious illness but is also very healing. It brings fresh energy into the body which can release stuckness and stagnant energy. That release can facilitate healing.

Bob and Linda and their pink tutu story are beautifully documented in this video. The images are a hoot!

Bob’s work has been published and is the foundation for the Carey Foundation and the Pink Tutu Project for Cancer awareness. You can visit here.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Magic Of Oxygen

 

The Magic Of Oxygen, HSP Health

Cartoon Diseased Cell © by ssoosay

Oxygen is becoming a huge issue.

In prehistoric times, oxygen was 30-35% of the atmosphere. Now it is around 20-21% and in large cities even less – around 15%. And the amount of oxygen is declining still. These levels of oxygen are not life sustaining.

We are at risk of permanent structural oxygen deprivation.

What Is Hypoxia?

Too little oxygen in the body or oxygen deprivation is called hypoxia.

Oxygen deprivation can have many causes:

  • stressful living conditions
  • environmental conditions
  • dense living situations with a lot of demand on the supply of local oxygen
  • automobile exhaust can reduce available oxygen
  • poor breathing habits
  • toxins on the body.

There are a lot of reasons why someone might have unhealthy levels of oxygen in their body. One of the most important occurs when we are under stress which is when we often start to breathe in a shallow way and lose the oxygen intake we need to thrive. Over time, we will become debilitated from a lack of oxygen.

Stress And Oxygen Deprivation

Stressful situations are conditions where the body sends emergency supplies of oxygen and nutrients to where the body thinks they are needed.  Stress creates conditions where greater oxygen is needed and used and less oxygen may be taken in.

On a short term basis that is not a problem. On a long term basis it is a disaster.

When you breathe in, you take in oxygen and whatever else is in the atmosphere. The oxygen comes into your lungs and then enters your blood stream attached to the hemoglobin in your blood and eventually makes its way to the cells of your body which require oxygen in order to function. Oxygen is a catalyst for cell function to come to life. Once used, the cell then sends carbon dioxide waste back through the blood stream to be expelled when you exhale.

Oxygen synthesizes ATP which the cells use to create the energy to function. With hypoxia, the ATP synthesis process does not happen properly and the cells cannot carry out their designated purpose. They will build up lactic acid and cell processes will become sluggish.

Hypoxia also affects the blood, leads to higher acidity in the blood which also affects metabolic processes. In effect, all the cells of the body under the condition of hypoxia will operate in a suboptimal way. When metabolic processes are inadequate, food and emotions will not be processed properly and begin to clog the system weighing you down. As a result you will be start to feel ill at ease, and may not necessarily know the cause.

Hypoxia Symptoms And HSP’s

Hypoxia symptoms include headache, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Hypoxia may result in depression and other mood problems. According to Normal Breathing, hypoxia can contribute to many diseases including diabetes, cancer, chronic fatigue and heart disease.

Highly sensitive people are particularly vulnerable to this condition of having too little oxygen in their bodies due to the high amount of stress that they experience. Anything that we can do to reduce stress in our lives is valuable and helpful such as

  • taking time to decompress from too much stimulus as frequently as possible
  • good breathing habits
  • healthy lifestyle habits
  • meditation
  • detoxification
  • supportive family and friends
  • therapy
  • energy healing techniques.

Our over stimulated world is dangerous for the health of highly sensitive people. It can seem overwhelming to try to manage your life and still reduce stress levels that can lead to debilitating hypoxia. We all need adequate oxygen levels in order to live well. Anything we can do to help ourselves will be welcomed by our overtaxed bodies and stress emotions.

So allow yourself the nourishment of healthy oxygen levels by eliminating all the stress creating oxygen eaters in your life. Your body and mind will be grateful.


How To Stop Absorbing Other People’s Energy

 

HSPs frequently ask me how to protect themselves from other people’s energy.  I always tell them that there is no quick and easy answer.

People are frequently looking for a shield or want to learn how to create an energy bubble.  The truth is, if you know your own issues, then other people’s issues can’t stay attached to you, or not for long.  You need to do your personal work.

For me, that personal work involved many years of therapy.  I loved this process because as an HSP I enjoy looking inside and sorting out what I find.  I had been depressed for most of my life until I took the time to go through this deep inner process that helped to clarify and reframe my issues and experiences.  Out of that inner work I developed a deep capacity to protect myself through being centered in myself and therefore naturally knowing (or being able to sort out) what belongs to me and what belongs to someone else.  I also grew to love myself and my sensitivity, as well as trust in my own heart to guide me.

Inner Work Will Help You To Stop Absorbing Other People’s Energy

Recently I saw an exceptional video by Ralph Smart on how to stop absorbing other people’s energy. Have a look!

He gave the best answer to “How to stop absorbing other people’s energy” that I have ever heard.  I like his video because he doesn’t try to oversimplify the process, and yet gets right to the heart of the core issues involved, including loving yourself.   And here is a summary of what Ralph has to say:

  1. Remember you can’t please everyone.  Accept that not everyone is going to like you.  Once you get past that, then you can stop absorbing other people’s energy.  It’s ok to be nice, but it’s more important to be yourself.  Because you are loving and accepting yourself, you no longer need to constantly be looking for love and acceptance from others.

  2. Invitation – Chose whether or not you want to be invited to where this person is going to take you.  Nobody can enter your inner kingdom without an invitation.  We attract every single person, consciously or unconsciously.  We have the power to choose.

  3. Do not pay attention to sources that drain your energy.  “ Energy vampires”, people who act as a parasite and use your energy to survive, do not deserve your attention.  When you pay attention, you are in essence giving someone your energy.  Whatever you focus on grows.  Are you focusing on what you want or on what you fear?  Do not allow “emotional drive-by’s”– where people dump their energy on you and then go away feeling lighter, while you are left feeling heavy.  Do not become a trash can for someone else.  Love yourself and know your value.  Give only when the exchange is good for all involved.

  4. Breathe.  This simple action can change everything and is so powerful.  Go into nature – purify your senses.  Feel alive, feel free.  Meditate, dance, sing – purify the water within yourself.  Speed your vibration.  When your energy level becomes  low or even stagnant, you are more likely to absorb other people’s energy.

  5. Take responsibility for your inner condition.  Take 100% responsibility – it’s not the other person’s problem.  It is for you to take care of how you feel at any moment of the day.

These guidelines provided by Ralph are useful reminders for me each day as I go about life as a sensitive person.  I use these five skills and continually sharpen my capacity to remain free from unwanted energetic influences.  They are part of the basic skills needed to be an empowered HSP and to be at your best.

 

How Highly Sensitive People Can Prevent Burnout

How To Prevent Burnout - HSP Health Blog

 

If you feel stretched beyond your limit you are not alone. The crushing workloads and stress of so many highly sensitive people  are a prescription for burnout.

You would think that avoiding burnout would simply be a matter of not crossing a threshold of fatigue.

Burnout is not that simple.

Many people in our fast-paced world burn out from the daily demands even if they are not highly sensitive.

For highly sensitive people the problem of burnout is amplified by their naturally higher stress levels caused. The overstimulation we experience is caused by a fast paced, noisy and sensory intense world.

Sources Of Burnout For Highly Sensitive People

Burnout can come from many sources for highly sensitive people:

  • work because we are increasingly expected to be as highly productive and fast-paced as our economic system demands
  • creative burnout since HSPs tend to be highly creative. Creativity does not follow a rigid schedule. However,  the expectation is that it will. Creativity can create pressure all by itself, but with time pressures added, creative burnout can be a result.
  • high empathy can result in serious burnout problems. Our empathy may cause us to dig deep and be extremely conscientious which is an added demand that we place on ourselves. It may not be rewarded, but is something we do to be at peace with ourselves.
  • too much sensory stimulation from all forms of noise, light, chemicals, and electronics to name a few can add also to our burnout potential.
  • toxic relationships, at home and at work are contributing factors as well.

What Is Burnout?

Burnout is not just an emotional problem. Merriam-Webster  defines burnout as “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.”

These factors sound simple and probably reflect the reality of non=HSPs. However that does not mean that they do not apply equally to highly sensitive people.

In the case of HSPs, both can be serious factors because our need for rest is high and frequent and because many forms of work do not suit us, in particular all forms of drudgery.

But there are additional factors for highly sensitive people:

  • the rest we need from being around people too much
  • the rest we need from all forms of excessive stimulation:
    • light
    • sound
    • fabric and touch
    • entertainment
    • crowds
    • high pressure situations
    • competitive situations
    • toxic social environments

Work burnout can also occur

  1. when the work we are doing doesn’t suit our skills or interests.
  2. when we know we are not interested in a particular job or task and force ourselves to do it too often
  3. when our work environment is fear-based and highly political
  4. when we have too many emergencies, both at work and at home
  5. when we are sick or a family member is sick causing us to burn the candle at both ends.

Work is a particularly challenging subject for highly sensitive people since we have the need for work that is meaningful, self-paced and our “calling.”

All these factors – the presence of some or absence of others create stress for highly sensitive people. Since our systems are so sensitive, poor health habits will only make all of the potential burnout factors worse.

When we are well we can withstand some turbulence in our lives. When rough spots last too long they start to debilitate us. Life is not meant to be a long emergency.

Assessing Burnout Potential In Your Life

To assess burnout potential in your life, evaluate each aspect of your life below on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being low in stress and burnout potential and 10 being extreme burnout potential.

  1. consider your physical condition:
    • if you are strong and have physical reserves, you may be an HSP who has the ability to withstand long-term stressful situations.
    • if you are an HSP with lower resilience, you need to be careful about how much stress you tolerate and make adjustments to prevent physical burnout.
    • you become fatigued easily
    • you are sick or get sick easily
  2. consider your work situation.
    • are you valued?
    • are you doing work you love r is a lot of it drudgery?
    • do you have the skills you need to succeed in your field?
    • do you work with people who are good for you including taking your sensitivity into account?
    • is the organization well managed so that you are not affected by constant emergencies?
    • do you have to overwork too much?
    • are you compensated well? Are your benefits good?
  3. consider your relationships.
    • start with your family. Is it a warm, loving and supportive family? Are you accepted or are you generally frustrated by the disregard and unhappiness in your family?
    • do you have close supportive friends who accept and understand your sensitivity?
    • do you have a community you are a part of that is also supportive of your HSP trait?
    • are you happy with your social life?
    • are your work relationships good and productive?
  4. consider the time of year.
    • are there certain times when you are more overloaded than others and at risk of burnout?
    • are there times when the people around you are overloaded and your responsibilities increase as a result?
  5. consider the overall stress conditions in your life?
    • do you have burnout in some or two area spilling over into others and are you able to take time to heal?
    • do you see the potential for burnout to develop in any area in the future?
    • when you look at your burnout assessment how does it look to you? piece of cake? manageable? serious burnout potential?

There are no right answers and no score to determine your burnout potential. Your assessment is a map of your current situation so that you can easily get a high level view of your current situation.

With your assessment in hand, it might be useful to consider whether your burnout challenges are people challenges, time management challenges, or a need to develop skills. Sometimes we lack a skill set that could make our life easier, save time and reduce stress.

Steps To Prevent Burnout

Anyone can suffer from burnout. Highly sensitive people are likely to be more quickly affected than others by a high demand culture. But there are some steps you can take to insulate from the worst effects of burnout.

Here are 9 things you can do to prevent your sensitivity from turning into full blown burnout:

  1. strengthen your body first.  Improve your energy by getting a great night’s sleep, exercising, keeping hydrated and eating well.  Detox your body since toxins can build up causing debility over time. Take herbs to support your nervous system and defuse the impact of stress on your body.
  2. learn to meditate to relieve stress and help you with emotional balance. A long term meditation practice can help you detach from toxic people and helps restore your nervous system.
  3. make a list of all the areas of your health that you need to work on and set priorities for them.
  4. research on the internet about areas of your life that need significant improvement. Do not be afraid to tackle large issues like career choices and family problems.
  5. do not be afraid to cut back on commitments that are too draining.  Your other commitments will benefit from your improved attention. You are not responsible for others expectations.
  6. upgrade your skills to keep yourself marketable and functioning well and minimize job stress.
  7. for the tasks you hate, you have several options: drop them if they are really unimportant, break them up into small bite size work units so that you only have to so it for a short time, delegate them, or trade your undesired task with someone else’s undesired task. Avoid drudgery. It is notoriously draining for HSPs.
  8. determine what is most important to you so that you increase your time spent on your high value activities and therefore increase your satisfaction. It will cushion you from less pleasant experiences.
  9. treat burnout as a life-time concern that you can eliminate but taking good care of your life. It is a serious challenge for HSPs but one worth taking on.

Everyone’s life matters and everyone deserves to enjoy their life.

HSPs need to learn to say no. You do not have to carry the world on your shoulders.

When you are flexible, mindful about commitments and your highly sensitive nature and take excellent care of yourself you are doing what is necessary to beat burnout.

Preventing burnout is one of the most important things a highly sensitive person can do.

It is worth the effort.

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3 Great Herbs For Emotional Health

Happiness – Summer 2008 © by Neticola – Raúl A.

Do you ever feel like an emotional ping-pong ball?

Do you have a hard time dealing with life’s emotional ups and downs?

Do you suffer from depression or anxiety?

Highly sensitive people have a particularly difficult time handling the emotional complexities of daily life. Not because they are weak, but because they notice everything!

Herbal Remedies And Emotional Resilience

Emotional resilience is challenging for anyone except the most hardened person.

In our big and complicated world, emotional openness and compassion do come with a price, however. We often get bogged down and even ill particularly if we are highly sensitive people.

One way to improve the situation is to take herbal remedies that can improve our emotional well-being. Here  are some that can do that for you.

Brahmi

Brahmi is one of the most important herbs for the brain. It is one of the natural herbs known as adaptogens.  An adaptogen is “…an herb product that…increase(s) resistance to stresstraumaanxiety and fatigue.”

According to Clarocet‘s reference library, Bacopa benefits are clear in four areas:

  • improved capacity for attention and focus,
  • improved ability to withstand emotional stress
  • reduction in nervousness and anxiety
  • improved immune system function.

Brahmi is unusual in that it helps the left and right hemispheres of the brain to work together, improves all aspects of mental  functioning and helps us deal with stress.

Ashwaghandha

Ashwaghandha, like brahmi, is a restorative herb and adaptogen, which means it helps the body handle stress. making it very helpful for highly sensitive people.

  • It increases strength, protecting and enhancing the energy of the body which can be debilitated by stress and fatigue in highly sensitive people.
  • It supports the immune system and adrenal functioning. Adrenal fatigue is often a consequence of long term stress and can result in many other physical ailments including allergies and obesity.  Natural Herbs Guide cites a study which found that ashwagandha’s large number of antioxidents support the immune system and help with healthy aging.
  • Ashwaghandha helps stabilize blood sugar and supports the liver as well as the adrenals. Blood sugar levels can be adversely affected by chronic stress, a problem that HSP’s need to be aware of.
  • According to Ashwagandha Benefits, some people use it to minimize the effects of: chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus, stress induced ulcers and osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.
Ashwaghanda is considered the top herb for the nervous system because of it calming capabilities and worth considering by HSP’s as a way to protect their sensitive nervous systems.

Arjuna

Arjuna is the Ayuvedic herb for the heart. It heals many heart conditions:

  • congestive heart disease
  • angina
  • cardiac arrhythmia
  • hypertension
  • cholesterol levels

In Ayurveda, the heart is not just a part of the physical body. It is also the seat of emotional health. Therefore, arjuna strengthens the heart and support emotional health.

Arjuna helps heal a “broken heart” which makes it a valuable herb for highly sensitive people, who suffer acutely from emotional disappointments and injury.

Creating Emotional Health

Emotional health comes from  good health habits. HSP’s need to be careful about their work and social environments to minimize the chances of emotional injury.

Since it is not possible to control everything, these three herbs will help any HSP to cope better with the emotional demands of their environments.

 

NOTE: HSP Health has an affiliate relationship with LifeSpa.

How Reiki Helps Depression

How Reiki Helps Depression - HSP Health Blog

 

How Reiki Helps Depression - HSP Health Blog

Reiki Hand Position at Bellasante Spa, Boston

Can depression be treated?

Can depression sufferers find relief without medication?

Understanding Depression

I think depression is very misunderstood. So often it is treated as a defect or a personality problem.

Studies have shown that long term depression comes from the way our brains develop in childhood. The implication is that adverse childhood conditions of abuse or serious neglect, living with problems that we cannot control and cannot solve create changes in how our brains function and  can cause depression.

Covering Up Depression Doesn’t Work

So often we think that when we are not feeling well, that the solution is a trip to the doctor or emergency room. We naturally seek a way to get rid of the pain. Sometimes we medicate ourselves with food, drink, entertainment and other diversions. It doesn’t work.

The distractions don’t last for long and then the problem returns and we end up feeling even worse; however they have the negative effect of causing us to feel like failures because we do not seem to be able to control our lives and ourselves.

Different Types Of Depression>

The vicious cycle occurs because we often do not understand the problem we are trying to solve. Depression can come from a number of sources and we need to educate ourselves before we can create the changes we need.

There are different kinds of depressions but they generally fall into two categories:

  • situational depressions like job loss or losing a friend that are temporary although painful
  • chronic forms of depression which is caused by life conditions.

Chronic depression arises when we have unresolved negative feelings, often as a result of our childhoods, that make us feel sad, bad and hopeless. Unfortunately, chronic depression can change the way our brain works and make it more difficult for us to get well.

Chronic depression can feel like an attack on our life force by making us feel that life is not worth living. So what can reiki do about all this?

How Reiki Helps Depression Symptoms

Reiki is a hands on healing technique that transmits universal energy from the reiki practitioner to the individual receiving the treatment. The practitioner applies hand positions on the body which passes the energy to the reiki client. The energy enters the body and goes to wherever it is needed.

This infusion of energy results in changes to the energy body of the person receiving the treatment. All illnesses including depression show up in the energy body. They show up as blocks to the natural flow of energy. Blocks to our energy can come from repressed feelings as well as poor food, water, sleep habits, and other lifestyle problems.

They can also come from stress as well as unprocessed grief and sadness. Think about how you feel under stress. You tighten up on the inside and the flow of energy in the body becomes constricted. That constriction impairs your functioning. Multiply that one stress incident by all the stress in your life, and you have seriously blocked energy that can create illness, including mental illnesses and depression.

Reiki Helps You Find Your Joy

Reiki puts us back in touch with our healthy flowing energy. When we experience it, it reminds us of who we are and how we can be healthy and joyful. Reiki energy enables a new healing energy to clear out blockages. When the constriction starts to clear, we feel lighter, more relaxed and more loving toward ourselves and others.

The history of reiki is full of stories about the healing of all sorts of conditions. Some heal very quickly. Others make take multiple sessions for the new energy to take hold and clear out blockages. One of reiki’s advantages it that it can be learned and then performed on the self. Many reiki masters perform daily self reiki to heal their blockages.

Receiving a reiki treatment can be a wonderful experience, putting you in touch with a happy part of yourself that you may not be aware of if you are depressed. Just finding and learning about your inner healer is a good way to get on the road out of depression.

Image Credit: Bellasante Spa, Boston, MA

Unfreeze Those Feelings!

The HSPs 7 Paths To Reducing Sensitivity - HSP Health Blog

Source: Flickr

To a child all feelings may seem huge, since they feel so small – and are.

Children are very natural about their feelings. They experience them and let them go.

Unfortunately, it does not take long before we learn that our feelings are unwanted and inconvenient.

Then we start to reject them and hold them in with all the negative effects that brings.

What Happens To Our Feelings?

Our feelings become objectified. We learn to treat them like objects at a store, some unwanted and others preferred as demonstrated to us by our families and educators.

And so the stress starts. According to Yogi Amrit Desai, founder of Kripalu Yoga in a June, 2010 article in Natural AwakeningsHealing the Root Cause of Addiction with Ayurveda A Natural Cure for Unhealthy Dependence by Linda Sechrist,  

“It is important to recognize that most people don’t know the difference between tension and stress…

He observes that stressors—thoughts and reactions to our lifestyle, relationships, work environment and family life—are introduced through the ego mind. Emotionally charged thoughts and feelings of blame, shame or guilt then get metabolized into our biological body system. Stored in the form of toxins and neuro-glandular imbalances, these feelings create energy blocks that prevent the free flow of energy, or prana, the body’s self-healing wisdom.

Energy blocks may take the form of muscular tensions and weakness in liver, kidney and digestive functions. Gradual decline results in a progressive deterioration of biological processes and consequently can manifest in external symptoms of fatigue, fear, anxiety and insecurity.”

Essentially we are socialized to have certain emotions and reject others and our unwanted emotions then get stuck in our bodies and gradually make us sick.

Why Rejecting Feelings Is A Mistake

When we reject our feelings, we cannot own them and process them.

When we are processing our feelings, we take them in, accept them feel them and listen to them. It is called metabolism.

Metabolism comes from the greek word ” metabole” for change or transformation. At any given time as we interact with our world we are in the process of metabolism – of perceptions, thought, feelings, emotions as well as material substances such as food and water.  All forms of life engage in metabolism, from plants to humans.

When we are unable to metabolize a food it will clog our bodies. When we are unable to metabolize or process emotions, they will clog our system as well. Ideally we process all food and experiences each day so that we are in a state of flowing with life. If only it were that simple!

It is often not  possible to process all information and feelings when they occur. Some feelings can be part of a larger process.  The grieving process is a good example of that.  However, the most difficult situations are those where an acceptable arrangement is not possible – situations that are abusive, demeaning, and dehumanizing –  because the pain of these situations often does long term damage to the energy of the body, and takes a long time to heal.

Learning To Accept And Release Feelings

It can be useful to think of feelings as information.  When the feelings are the result of a past experience transferred onto the present, it is a sign that there is unfinished business in the past that must be dealt with. Another way of looking at it is that energy has become blocked in the body, it has not been metabolized. Under these circumstances it is our job to accept the feelings so that they can be released.

There are releasing practices available including meditation,and the energy healing practices of eft (emotional freedom technique) and reiki that help with processing emotions. Writing in a journaling has been widely used and can be effective.  Therapy groups have been helpful to many.  The more severe the experiences causing blocked energy the greater the need for therapeutic solutions.  The body has its wisdom and in some severely abusive situations it will “store” emotions to be processed at a later date if that is what is needed to survive.

Highly sensitive people and severely abused people need to be aware that they can accept and take charge of their healing process by finding therapeutic practices and groups that will let them forgive and let go of the past. Engaging in such practices helps minimize the potential for long term destructive addiction and therefore is valuable for all people.

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Stress, Addiction And Weight



Have You Tried Ecstatic Dance?

Ecstatic Dance - HSP Health Blog

Tranced © by ^riza^

 

“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited or depressed, they would ask you on of four questions: When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop finding comfort in the seet territory of silence?

So begins the forward to Gabrielle Roth‘s book, Maps To Ecstasy written by Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., a cultural anthropologist who has written The Four Fold Way and Signs of Life. Maps to Ecstasyis an introduction to the wonders of ecstatic dance.

Why Dance Is Making A Comeback

It’s noteworthy that dance is making a comeback at this point in time. Dance has never died. However its role is changing aided by several popular dance shows, Dancing With The Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. Although dance has always had a social role, increasingly its healing role is being recognized.  So You Think You Can Dance in particular has presented this therapeutic role of dance using dance for emotional, psychological and cultural healing.

These changes are not accidental. As institutional structures fracture and a new way of life comes into being, dance has the ability to help us not only heal the past but also to be more fully engaged in the present. You have to be present to dance, otherwise you trip over your feet or worse.

Dance gets us out of our heads. It heals the mind-body connection.  Dancing helps us be fully in our power and lets us see that we are OK and can trust ourselves.

Tribal Dance

It’s in the air. We can feel it.  As our monolithic economic system breaks up, the world is becoming more tribal. Tribes have had a negative reputation in maintream culture for a long time. Tribes have been depicted as ignorant, dangerous, worshiping many gods and having strange practices.

We are now learning a different story about tribes. Tribes have skills that we are very removed from: understanding nature, healing skills, and ecstatic dance skills to name a few.

Tribal dance is very old and has many functions. Many of us have heard of rain dances, but tribal dances actually had another function. Tribal dances have been used for emotional healing and psychological growth for thousands of years. Tribal dances let the dancer enter into the energy of their lives, relate to, accept it and let go. It is a way of processing deep emotional issues that is both non-harming and healing. It is a way of staying in right relation to life and the world around you.

Tribal dances are used at important life transitions to help an individual process the emotions they are experiencing so that they can release and be clear for the next events in their lives. Blocked and unprocessed emotions are inevitably harmful and prevent us from wholeheartedly engaging with life. Tribal dance prevents people from becoming frozen in an emotional state by using the free form dance to help the individual to move through their feelings.

Ecstatic Dance

Ecstatic dance is a freeform dance. Modern Ecstatic dance is the brainchild of Gabrielle Roth, who has used dance as a therapeutic method for many decades.

Gabrielle has written extensively about dance as a way to reclaim our ecstatic experience of life. Ecstatic dance gets us out of our heads into our bodies and helps us see ourselves as the actors in our on lives. It creates unity between ourselves and the life force of the planet. It helps us be one with the stages of life and accept and move through them gracefully.

Gabrielle has identified five universal life energies that she has incorporated into her dance. Interestingly they are also the stages of the creative process. She describes the five rhythms as:

  • the flowing rhythm: a teacher of fluidity and grace. Flowing is like a warm up, when we start to engage. It is gentle and curious.
  • the staccato rhythm: the teacher of definition and refinement. Staccato is structure and order, like working with building blocks. Staccato works with what is.
  • the rhythm of chaos: the rhythm of creativity seeking form. chaos occurs when we go beyond what is. We have worked staccato and now move into a creative phase with what we have been working on. All the curiosity of flowing and working of staccato prepares for chaos.
  • the lyrical rhythm: the rhythm of synthesis and integration. In the chaos phase of our creativity we open to the new and consider many possibilities until we find what will work. Lyrical is the integration and synthesis of that new information or solution.
  • the stillness rhythm: the rhythm of contentment and peace. After synthesis and integration, we can stand back, consider what we have done and gracefully let go, releasing ourselves and our work until we engage again.

The Value Of Ecstatic Dance For HSP’s And Everyone Else

As we enter a more tribal age, we each need to be in our own power and connection at the same time. For so long we have been glued to computers, assembly lines, and other structures of the industrial age, that many of us are stiff in our bodies, hearts and minds.

Ecstatic dance loosens it all up, gets our energy flowing, helps us see what we can control and what we have to let go of. Ecstatic dance is a dance for helping is to heal into a more mature and joyful time.

Ecstatic dance can help you learn to lead, to follow and to get out of the way, each in its own way at the right time. It can make us whole at a time when we desperately need whole human beings. Becoming more whole will also help us to respect and like ourselves more and in doing so we can like each other more as well, making a better world possible.

If you are a highly sensitive person, ecstatic dance can help you remain connected and remove stress so that you can stay more in your natural creativity. If you are a non-HSP, ecstatic dance can help you safely step out of your mind into you body and help you feel your connection to all things. If you have suffered harm or trauma, ecstatic dance can help you move through your feeling so that you feel like living again.

Ecstatic dance is a wonderful safe practice that can help each of us feel better and connect better. I can’t think of anything better for each of us than ecstatic dance.

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