Finding your Light

Posted October 20th, 2017 in Emotions, Great reading, Psychology of Disease, Soul Food by Rebecca Lane

Lately, I have been rereading the writing of don Miguel Ruiz, and discovered his son’s book The Five Levels of Attachment. This work has really helped me to solidify my understanding of attachments and agreements and I thought to work through my understanding with you here.

You see, I love helping people discover themself, their true self. Part of that discovery can entail healing the physical body – but sometimes this healing can take time. As a ‘healer’ sometimes I notice myself feeling disappointment that someone I’m working with isn’t feeling better, isn’t recognizing themselves the way I see them.

When you begin to look after yourself, you start a journey of loving and accepting who you are right now – all parts of whomever that is. It requires consciously, truthfully looking at who you are right now – and noticing the stories and beliefs around who you should be, what you should look like, who you should be with, what you should be doing, where you are. All of these shoulds cause us so much pain! These are our attachments. We can be so attached to these stories that we are unable to see our own truth. They can sometimes be more real than our own truth. They become like a fog that swirls around us blocking the light that is our true essence.

Getting attached to results – as in my wanting people to feel better – is one of these stories or attachments. When I look at what it means for another to be better, to heal, I am looking only from my own limited perspective. I have no idea what the other is experiencing.

And it goes deeper than that. My needing to see results is caused by my own negative core beliefs, in this case – I am not enough – a very common core belief! When I experience someone ‘not healing’, it reaffirms my own story that I am not good enough at what I do. You can see that this can become a never ending cycle.

So now, look at it. Who is responsible for healing? I am. There is only me at the center of it all. It is my belief that needs to be noticed, to be honoured, to be respected, to be loved. Every part of me requires love and respect to be free.

I hear you belief, I love you, I honour you, I respect you – and I release you

As you slowly, gently, continuously release from these attachments you become clearer. You become the beacon, the bright light of love here on Earth – the light you were born to be. Its not about being more – its about being less. Releasing your beliefs makes you lighter, brighter. You are a clear example of what it truly means to be yourself.

Expect Abundance on Every Level

Posted October 26th, 2015 in Depression, Soul Food by Rebecca Lane

Every day I have an “Insight of the Day” delivered to my email by Bob Proctor’s company. I really enjoy them because they always give me a thought for the day, and are often a new way of looking at something.

Last week one of the insights that really spoke to me was:

Expect your every need to be met. Expect the answer to every problem. Expect abundance on every level.

After receiving this one, I wrote it out and put it up on my wall. It has been the subject of several discussions. The last sentence especially has become almost a mantra for me.

Expect abundance on every level.

What blocks us from receiving abundance on every level? I certainly don’t have all of the answers but what I have learned so far is that there are emotional issues or patterns or identities that we have created that block us from reaching levels of abundance.

I think that when we were young, or experiencing a time of crisis, we created these patterns originally to protect us from something that upset or confused us, to give meaning to a world that frightened us. So far, I know of 13 of these emotions

  1. Judgment
  2. Fear
  3. Hatred
  4. Betrayal
  5. Guilt
  6. Grief
  7. Shame
  8. Value
  9. Anger
  10. Pride
  11. Worth
  12. Apathy
  13. Pain

They did a great job of protecting us, but now as adults it becomes difficult to leave these familiar ways of being behind.

Recognize them within you. Which of these is the most familiar to you. Notice them. Notice how they show up in your life. Understand how, when and why they might have been created in you in the first place.

Thank them. They have served you well.

Now, notice how they block you from experiencing abundance in your life. Has fear blocked abundant love? Have issues of worth blocked abundant wealth?

Do you manifest abundant creativity, friends, relationships, spiritual growth, health, work, exercise – how do these issues show up in all of the levels of your life?

By understanding how they were created in the first place, how they were protection – and now a barrier – you can choose to release them, let them go.

Can you feel where they lie in your body, causing unease, aches or pain? Deeply experience and feel them. Know them.

There are several tools to help to release deeply held emotional issues. First it is important to respect them, for they are an integral part of you. Loving your entire self requires understanding, respecting and loving even these dark spots!

To begin releasing, I suggest starting with some deep breaths. Slowly bring your attention from your head down to your heart centre. Let’s try a simple visualization technique (other options you could use might include Ho’Oponopono, EFT tapping, deep breathing and meditation).

From the heart centre, imagine a tiny light in the centre. Focus on it as it grows larger, brighter, warmer.

Allow this light to expand to fill your heart, your chest. Bring it to all of the areas where you feel unease, pain, soreness. Let it warm them, soften them, heal them. Imagine it as love – accepting and loving these parts of self – and experience these areas of your being that were previously yelling for attention, experience them relax, release and calm down.

When you stop expending so much energy hiding from these sore parts of your self, from these emotional issues – they no longer have the power over you that they once did. Visualize the bonds created by this way of being actually fall away. Let go.

Let go of believing that things have to be a certain way. Open to “what if”? To pure potential.

What might abundant happiness feel like? It could be a quiet, gentle KNOWING within yourself that life is good. Imagine it, make it real. Feel it, experience it.

Expect abundance on every level.

What could this mean for you?

Activating the Vagus Nerve

Posted November 27th, 2012 in Brain Health, Depression by Rebecca Lane

For more than 15 years, stimulation of the vagus nerve has been used as a treatment for epilepsy and depression.  The Canadian Health Protection Branch approved Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) in March 1997, with special focus on epilepsy patients over the age of 12 whose partial onset seizures are not well controlled by medication. The U.S. Federal Drug Administration has also approved VNS for the treatment of both epilepsy and depression. It appears that depression is a condition that is common amongst people with epilepsy. The February 2000 issue of Annals of Neurology reported that older adults who are clinically depressed are six times as likely to have a seizure as their peers. This suggests that a common factor may be underlying both the cause of depression and seizures.  (Interestingly, the ‘diet to stop seizures’ is the ‘ketogenic diet’ and this same diet seems to be implicated in treating concussion, and even serious mood disorders such as schizophrenia).

In the October 2005 the Annals of Neurology, ColumbiaUniversity researchers found that depression and suicide attempts may be due to underlying neurochemical pathways common to epilepsy development.

What are the benefits of stimulating the Vagus Nerve?

As you may remember from our previous blog post, the vagal nerve is the main instrument of the parasympathetic nervous system. Its branches begin in the medulla oblongata and travel deep into the body sending signals to, but mostly from the organs (especially the gut).

There are several locations where the vagal nerve comes out to accessible zones for stimulation:

  • Muscle that constricts the pharynx (rami pharyngei)
  • Behind the eye balls (radix oculomotoria)
  • Hard and soft palate (nervus palatinus)
  • In the surface of the ear canal and lobe (ramus auricularis)
  • Tongue (ramus lingualis)[i]

When properly stimulated the Vagal Nerve can:

  • Turn on neurogenesis, helping our brains sprout new brain cells.
  • Rapidly turn off the stress, hyper-arousal, and fight/flight via the relaxation response.
  • Sharpen our memories.
  • Fight inflammatory disease.
  • Help you resist high blood pressure.
  • Block the hormone cortisol and other oxidizing agents that age and deteriorate the brain and body
  • Block systemic (body-wide) inflammation – a major factor behind aging and poor health.
  • Help us overcome depression and anxiety.
  • Help us sleep better.
  • Raise levels of human growth hormone.
  • Help us overcome insulin resistance.
  • Turn down allergic responses.
  • Lower chances of getting stress and tension headaches.
  • Help spare and grow our mitochondria- this is a key to maintaining optimal energy levels and not harming our DNA and RNA.
  • Affect our overall ability to live longer, healthier, and more energetic lives.

Activating the Vagal Nerve with Machinery:

Vagus Nerve Stimulation – pacemaker-like neurostimulation

Vagal Nerve Stimulation involves inserting a pacemaker-like nerve stimulator in your chest connected to the left side of your vagus nerve. (See animation and more info about the procedure: http://www.epilepsymatters.com/english/trevagus.html).

Every two to five minutes, the vagus nerve is stimulated, causing one’s diaphragm to contract. The device costs between $15 and $20 K, and it is not covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), however some costs may come out of a hospital’s budget. There is a long waiting list to get approved for this procedure. The following centres in Ontario are able to perform the procedure:  Hospital for Sick Children, St. Michael’s Hospital, TorontoWesternHospital, Ottawa GeneralHospital, Ottawa Children’s Hospital, Kingston  General Hospital and London Health Sciences Centre-University Campus.

Activating the Vagus Nerve without Machinery

Vagus nerve stimulation can be turned on easily though a number of breathing and relaxation techniques:

  • Deep/slow belly breathing.
  • ‘OM’ Chanting
  • Cold water face immersion after exercise
  • Filling the mouth with saliva and submerging your tongue to trigger a hyper-relaxing vagal response.

Deep Breathing To practice deep breathing, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Remember to:

  • Breathe slowly.
  • Breathe deeply, from the belly.
  • Exhale longer than you inhale.

You can proceed as follows: take a deep inhalation into your belly (i.e. expanding your diaphragm) to the count of five, pause, and then exhale slowly through a small hole in your mouth. While at rest most people take about 10 to 14 breaths per minute. To get into parasympathetic/ relaxation/ healing mode it is ideal to reduce your breath to 5 to 7 times per minute. Exhaling through your mouth instead of nose makes your breathing more of a conscious process, and helps you to observe your breath more easily.[ii]

As you reduce your breaths per minute and get into parasympathetic mode, your muscles will relax, dropping your worries and anxieties. The oxygen supply to your body’s cells increases and this helps produce endorphins, the body’s feel-good hormones. Tibetan monks have been practicing ‘conscious breathing’ for decades, but there is nothing mysterious about it. You can enhance your experience by imagining that you inhale IN love, and exhale OUT gratitude. These ancient techniques also will improve memory, fight depression, lower blood pressure, or heart rate, and boost your immune systems — and it’s free!

‘OM’ Chanting An interesting study was performed by the International Journal of Yoga in 2011, where ‘OM’ chanting was compared with pronunciation of ‘SSS’ as well as a rest state to determine if chanting is more stimulatory to the vagus nerve. The study found that the chanting actually was more effective than either the ‘sss’ pronunciation or the rest state.

Effective ‘OM’ chanting is associated with the experience of a vibration sensation around the ears and throughout the body. It is expected that such a sensation is also transmitted through the auricular branch of the vagus nerve and will produce limbic (HPA axis) deactivation.[iii]

How to chant? Hold the vowel (o) part of the ‘OM’ for 5 seconds then continue into the consonant (m) part for the next 10 seconds. Continue chanting for 10 minutes. Conclude with some deep breathing and end with gratitude.

Cold Water Physical exercise causes an increase in sympathetic activity (HPA axis – fight/flight, stress response), along with parasympathetic withdrawal (resting, digesting, healing, immune system), resulting in higher heart rates (HR). Studies have found that cold water face immersion appears to be a simple and efficient means of immediately accelerating post-exercise parasympathetic reactivation via the vagus nerve, stimulating the reduction of heart rate, motility of the intestines, and turns on the immune system. It is also effective in a non-exercise environment to activate the vagus nerve.

In cold-water face immersion, subjects remained seated and bend their head forward into a basin of cold water. The face is immersed so that the forehead, eyes, and at least two-thirds of both cheeks were submerged. Water temperature was kept at 10–12°C.[iv]

A variation on this technique, called The Dive Reflex, has been developed by Steve Mensing and many people online have found it very valuable for relieving stress and depression. Here are the details: http://www.emoclear.com/thedivereflex.htm.

Increased Salivation The calmer the mind and the deeper the relaxation, the easier the stimulation of salivation is. When the mouth is able to produce copious amounts of saliva, you know that the Vagus Nerve has been stimulated and your body is in the parasympathetic mode.

To stimulate salivation, try relaxing and reclining in a chair and imagine a juicy lemon. As your mouth fills with saliva, just rest your tongue in this bath (if this doesn’t happen, just fill your mouth with a small amount of warm water and rest your tongue in this bath. Just the practice of relaxing will stimulate the secretion of saliva). Now relax further, and feel your hands, feet, hips, back of the neck and head all relaxing. Breathe deeply into this feeling and stay here as long as you can.

There are many other ways to stimulate the vagus nerve and transfer your body into the healing, digesting and resting phase. Start with these suggestions and you may find that it becomes much easier to rest and relax!

References


[iii] Bangalore G Kalyani, Ganesan Venkatasubramanian, Neurohemodynamic correlates of ‘OM’ chanting: A pilot functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Int J Yoga. 2011 Jan-Jun; 4(1):3-6.

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Alkalising the body for healing

Two Phases of Disease and Health

A couple of weekends ago, I had the privilege of attending a META-medicine weekend taught by Richard Flook (www.whyamisick.com). META-medicine combines many energetic tools with the research of German New Medicine (http://www.germannewmedicine.ca/). I’m not going to go into a lot of detail, but if you want to learn more about both or either of these methodologies I encourage you to visit their sites and read Richard’s book (Why Am I Sick) for a new way of looking at disease.

From a nutritional perspective, I wanted to discuss the two phases of disease so that you might be able to understand how our body works with respect to the food it craves.

According to both META-medicine and GNM, after the body undergoes a shock, there are two main phases – stress (immediately after the Significant Emotional Experience 2) followed by rest.

During the stress phase, the body is reacting from the Sympathetic Nervous System programming of fight, or flight. The blood thins, the blood pressure increases – the body is in a state of alertness and needs to be naturally acidic. To maintain this state, the cells are working and need energy. We need energy foods, and supplements or drugs that keep the body in this state of alertness. We crave foods like red meat, dairy, high sugar and salt foods, processed foods (quick energy), drinks like alcohol, caffeine, tea, high energy drinks, supplements such as caffeine tablets, drugs such as cortisone, smoking and chemotherapy. These foods both give quick energy and are acidic.

Activities such as sports, watching certain sports, intensive travel, fighting, arguing, worry all increase acidity further.

In the second phase, our body needs to heal and rest. The body is reacting from the Parasympathetic Nervous System patterns of digesting, relaxing and repair. The blood thickens, the blood pressure drops, the body becomes more alkaline.

To heal, the body needs to eat foods that alkalise, such as vegetables, some fruit, beans, grains and nuts, drinks such as camomile teas and fruit teas, supplements like Magnesium and Selenium.

This rest and regeneration phase is assisted by activities such as massage, meditation, energetic healing, yoga, emotional clearing techniques and naps during the day.

Our diets reflect what we are going through in our lives as well. We are naturally attracted to the foods that our bodies require in order to do the job they need to do. In addition, many of us are eating foods through habit, which keep our bodies stuck in the stress phase. The longer our bodies stay in the stress phase the harder it is to remove all of the toxins built up through the energy production and the break down of the cells.

In our current stressful lifestyles, it often takes the combination of an alkalising diet, meditation and mental clearing, and a detoxification program in order for our bodies to be able to regenerate and heal.

There’s a lot of information available online about alkalising diets, but I personally like best the information from Robert and Shelly Young who wrote The pH Miracle. Their blog is an excellent resource: Articles of Health. And you can get a free list of alkaline foods if you sign in at Energise for Life. A vegetarian diet that focuses on lots of raw and steamed vegetables (juicing is great too as long as you’re eating fibre elsewhere in your diet), sea vegetables, protein from the combination of whole grains (brown rice, kamut, quinoa, oats, teff, spelt, bulgur, amaranth), nuts and seeds, and beans, lentils and peas. Small amounts of fish and chicken can be added once the pH of your saliva starts to stabilize around 7.365. The longer you’ve been living a stress-filled lifestyle, the longer you’ll need to alkalise.

One caveat – If you decide to take alkalising supplements, I strongly recommend that you have the support of a naturopathic or homeopathic practioner. Also, your stomach needs to be acidic in order to digest food so you don’t want to be alkalising within one hour of eating.