Aromatherapy

Posted in Body and Spirirt on February 15, 2008 by icangel

The uses for aromatherapy are endless.  Most of us don’t even realize just how often we use aromatherapy on a daily basis.  Perfumes are used for smelling nice.  When we smell our perfume, it brings about certain thoughts and physical feelings.  That’s aromatherapy at its basics.  But for men out there, aromatherapy doesn’t have to be just lavender and jasmine.  There are many essential oils that don’t have such a feminine aroma. 

Aromatherapy is used in many ways. Usually an essential oil made from certain herbs, saps and spices is put into hot Baths, vaporizers, candles, lotions, gels, shampoo, oil burners, messages and compresses(which can also be a benefit in direct skin contact) And as many ways to use it, there are as many oils and aromas to explore. 

You don’t have to go to a spa to get great benefit from aromatherapy.  Infact, aromatherapy works best where your most comfortable. 

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Natural Remedies

Posted in Body and Spirirt on February 15, 2008 by icangel

For thousands and thousands of years every culture has used the natural resources of the earth for medicinal purposes.  Even the three Wise Men brought baby Jesus myrrh and Frankincense as gifts. Two great natraul saps used in aromatherapy. Many essential oils and herbs are held in high esteem for there medicinal properties. 

From compresses to tonics(an herbal mixture taken by mouth) there are countless ways that anyone can benefit from the Earths natural resources.  Afterall for us CP’ers, Morphine is a natural resource of opium alkaloid provided by our wonderful Mother Earth, and a huge thank you for that! So it just follows that she has provided us with much more we can use.  

Visualization Meditation

Posted in Body and Spirirt on February 11, 2008 by icangel

A meditation I love to use is visualization that can help reduce stress.  This meditation can also be used for other things such as if you have an interest in spirit guides and your guardian angel.  Visualizing a meeting with them and receiving any messages the universe or your higher power may be trying to give you.  I will give two meditations one for stress reduction and the other the same meditation just expanded to meet anyone such as passed on loved ones and guides of different kinds.  The later does take alot of practice as our busy minds tend to butt in and take over.  But its also fun just to practice around with what even your higher self may be trying to tell you.

Begin with lying on your back in a comfortable spot.  Your couch or bed are fine.  If you tend to be uncomfortable lying down you can sit up or even lie on a rug on the floor.  If its a relaxing spot it will do.  The only position you don’t want to you is the the standing position.

Make sure your in a quite place.  This meditation takes about 15 minutes at its most basic.  Turn off the phone stick a do not disturb on the door.

Begin with the relaxation exercise.  Starting with your toes tense and release them in order to expell any extra tension.  For the full exercise see the color meditation.

When you feel you are as relaxed as possible you begin to see a beautiful white light coming toward you from the sky. Your standing on the outside grass as you watch it floating down.  It drifts closer and closer until it stops right above your head and begins to envelop you in bubble.  You feel safe and relaxed in the light knowing it has come from pure light and love to protect and take you to places you’ve only dreamed. 

You begin to rise from the ground.  You don’t worry because you can not fall. You are safe.  You begin to float higher and higher as you look down at the ground, everything begins to look so small.  You feel so light and airy as you look at the bright blue sky around you.  The clouds are fluffy and white, so fluffy you could walk on top of them.  You feel the stresses of your day left behind falling as the white light lifts you higher and higher.

You look down again and realize your now over a new ground.  The grass it Bright green and swept with the morning dew.  You realize the bubble is slowly lowering you to the ground.  You step out of the bubble and feel the cool grass beneath your feet.  You begin to look around this new and exciting place.  You see a tick forest of trees 10 steps in front of you.  The trees are tall and look almost mystical.  The thick leaves create a canape against the bright blue sky.  The streams of light poking through the forest canape create a beautiful wave of light which seems so inviting.  You cant resist, It looks like a magical place.  You start to walk forward to the path as you catch a glimpse of something moving on the path.  You continue excited to see what it is.  When you get closer you realize its an animal there to lead you on your journey.  Whatever animal you see know its there to help and protect you on your way.  You don not feel threatened by this animal, it is your friend and has been watching over you for a long time.  It looks at you and starts walking down the path. you know to follow it as you walk deeper and deeper into the beautiful forest.  You begin to hear the sound of rushing water.  It sounds so crisp and refreshing.  Over a small hill you begin to see the rushing stream.  The water is so clear you can see the bottom.  It looks so inviting you take steps into the water.  Its cool and refreshing on your skin. You begin washing the refreshing clear water over your skin.  You begin to feel even more relaxed as it washes away all the negative energy holding you down.  Your animal guide sits on the edge and sips the water.  You smile knowing this stream contains the water of rejuvenation.  

Your animal guide looks at you and you know its time to start heading back on the path.  You let your animal lead the way as you both wander back through the dense magical forest to the open grass. You feel much more relaxed and clensed as you look at your animal guide and bid farewell knowing you are welcome back any time to explore this new magical land.  You walk through the green grass back to your white bubble and step back inside. 

The bubble begins to lift as it slowly starts to lower you back to the ground you started upon.  You step out of the bubble and thank it for protecting you on your journey.  Knowing its there for you whenever you need it again.  You slowly begin to open your eyes and gather yourself.  Wait a few moments before sitting up.   

So, who was your guide? What did the place you visited look like, feel like? Write down your experiences so that you can keep track of what you felt and saw.  It is not uncommon to fall asleep during this meditation.  It is longer than the color meditation and much more involved. But even the first try can bring relaxation and calming.  Keep practicing, you never know what you’ll see next time.

Besides using an animal guide for the reason of connecting you more to this special place. The animal you see is seen as your animal totem.  It is said to watch over and protect you through your journey on earth.  But again, everyone has different beliefs and it all depends just what you want to see your animal guide as. 

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                                                     MEETING YOUR ANGELS AND GUIDES    

  Using this same meditation it can be extended on to meeting your guardian angels and spirit guides.  If you are unfamiliar with what spirit guides are, they are said to be a sort of protective spirit who watches over you while on your earthly journey.  An example would be that inner voice that comes out of no where.  Spontaneously waking up at the right time when your alarm clock didn’t go off…things of that nature. They are seen as a sort of extension of Guardian Angels who are said to watch over you on a different level.  Again it all depends on what your beliefs are and how you view such things.  But all are said to be available to you if you can clear your mind of the mundane long enough to hear them.               

The meditation is the same, meeting up with you animal guide, stopping off at the stream of rejuvenation.  But instead of returning to the start of the path, your animal guide signals you to continue the journey with him/her. 

You step out of the stream and back onto the path behind him.  You can see an opening up ahead and the bright green grass poking out of the edge.  You continue on the path until you reach the opening.  Your animal guide looks at you and you hear it tell you to go on ahead, he/she will wait for your return. 

You step from the forest path and onto the cool bright green grass.  The blue sky surrounds you and up ahead in the distance you see a small inviting cottage.  Behind the cottage you notice the deep bluish green ocean.  It looks beautiful as the waves crash against the large stones protecting the house. You feel the magic of this special house and think how lucky you are to fins such a special place.You begin to walk towards the house  as you notice a rock path beneath your feet.  As you get closer you see smoke coming out of the chimny.  The smell reminds you of feeling cozy safe and warm.  The cottage is a comforting shade of blue   off setting the ocean behind it.  You notice the door is made of dark rich wood as you begin to take your first step up the two small stone steps.  You reach your hand out to knock as you step up the last step and wonder who lives here.  You feel safe and protected as you knock on the door three times.  The door slowly opens as your smile widens and you embrace the person who answered.  You feel so happy to see this person as they invite you to come in…

When you are finished in the house you leave thanking them for being there.  You tell them you hope to see them soon.  You walk down the stone steps and onto the stone path.  Your animal guide is still waiting for you in the same place and you both begin to walk back through the forest together.  You pass the stream and walk through it on your way out.  When you reach the beginning of the path you turn to your animal guide and bid farewell, knowing you are always welcome back whenever you would like.  You step into the bubble feeling lighter and happier. As the bubble begins its decent down you smile and think of all the new or old friends you’ve met and all the information you were given.

So, who answered the door at the cottage? How many were inside? What did they say, what did you say?

Writing this meditation down directly afterward is key.  Meditations can be like dreams with information fleeting quickly.

Expect to fall asleep alot during this meditation.  It takes alot of practice to reach a higher state of consciousness and stay awake.  Such a meditation borders on the sleep state.  Don’t be discouraged if you keep falling asleep, you body may need the rest.  It is also not uncommon for your conscious mind to work its way in and try and question whats happening.  That’s completely normal and just takes patience and practice. Same goes for the first meditation and virtually any meditation that involves visualization.                     

Visualizing Color

Posted in Body and Spirirt on February 11, 2008 by icangel

It is believed that there are colors and energies flowing throughout the universe which can be drawn upon by anyone and used to benefiting the mind, body and spirit.  This idea is used in guided meditations which are alot of the same thing when it comes to visualization meditations. 

The idea behind this type of meditating is to  surround your body with these colors and energies in your minds eyes and/or see them entering your body.  Those exercises are seen as ways to help give your body the extra help it needs to heal or even to help combat anxiety and depression. 

I’ll start be listing these colors and its correspondents and then giving examples of the actual meditations.

Deep cool colors such as GREEN, BLUE and PURPLE are used to help calm and releive pain.  Also good for rest

Warm colors such as RED, ORANGE and YELLOW help purify the body and clear infection

WHITE and SILVER for rejuvenation(white can also be used to purify)

VIOLET, ROSE and AMETHYST are used to help calm anxieties and depression

BLUE: helps to clear infections

ALL HUES OF ROSE: to help embrace a higher sense of self

A simple meditation I like to do when I am not feeling well or experiencing alot of pain is color visualization.  It can be quick or long depending on how much time you have or how much pain your in.

I start by finding a comfy spot on the couch or in bed.  Whether your more comfortable sitting up or lying down, as long as you can get comfortable either position can bring benefit.  Make sure you will not be disturbed for as long as possible.  If its just 5 minutes that’s okay, that’s 5 minutes your now spending on yourself.  Turn the ringer on your phone down or off. 

Beginning with your toes, tense them and release.  Imagine all the tension flowing out as you move to your feet and then ankles.  Slowly move to your calves, tense and release..to your knees thighs and buttocks.  Making sure you are removing any tense energy that you can.  Move up to your back, fingers, wrist, elcow and upper arm.  Continue tensing and releasing your shoulders, neck and jaw.  Keep in mind that if there is a certain part of your body in pain and you are unable to release some of the built up energy that’s okay. This exercise is done to help your body get into a more relaxed state.

Once you move through that exercise envision a ball of white light slowly moving towards your body.  It enters through the top of your head and moving down through every space in your body expelling any negativity taking up space from the day or night before.  This white energy moving through your body is pushing out the negativity through your fingers and toes.  Your body now feels lighter.  Do not remove the white light from your body as it is helping rejuvenate your energy and organs.  The white light Will dissipate whenever it is finished. 

You see another light coming towards you. Its a misy beautiful deep green.  It approaches you as you direct it toward the part of your body which hurts or aches.  The light wraps around this part of your body helping to relieve the tension and pressure.  It fills in every space in and around the pain.  Again don’t remove this light, it will dissipate when it is finished doing what it came to do. 

Slowly come back to your waking state by thanking the universe or your higher power for helping aid you. When you return slowly open your eyes and gather yourself before sitting up.  Before you sit up take a generalized stock of your body and pain.  Do you feel any better or lighter.  If not you can replete as many times as you like and can use a different color such as Blue or purple.  If you feel a bit better or even more relaxed note which color you did use so you can repeat the exercise when your ready. I find keeping a meditation journal helps me keep track of what happend during a meditation and what may and may not be working for me.

This is a meditation I like to use for my abdominal pain.  You can use the colors above for whatever you like. Infecions, headaches, colds…the list can be long. You can intertwine the colors or use them seperatly.  Whatever works for you.  There are no rules for meditations.

There are a few things I just want to add before you try this exercise.  During a quiting of the mind often thoughts come up that you do not necessarily expect.  Things to do, grocery lists…things that may surprise you.  Don’t try to quickly rush away the thought.  Acknowledge it and put it aside to deal with it later.  Also during meditations you may see different colored lights that you did not call upon.  That is okay.  Acknowledge the light and let it go where it needs to. Sometimes our bodies idea of what colors work best for us are different from our original thought.  Or your body could even be trying to tell you it needs a little extra help in an area you werent planning.  Its okay.  Its your meditation, anything goes.

And lastly, Its okay if you fall asleep.  Your body may need to the extra rest.  To stay awake during meditation takes alot of practice.  I’ve been meditating for 10+ years and still often fall asleep.  Our bodies know what they need and during a meditation tend to take it.  It is for them.  and in toady’s world we rarely put them first even when were forced to.

Meditation

Posted in Body and Spirirt on February 10, 2008 by icangel

Meditation at its basics is an exercise in stress reduction and healing for both the mind in body. It can involve simple visualization or or be used in a more in depth way to cleanse and heal the body of negative energies which are seen as causing health problems. 

Psychologists have discovered that the brain is unable to differentiate between what is real and what is imaginary, because of this discovery meditation has become popular and important in the mind, body and soul connection.  Being able to quite ones mind enables them to also calm the body.  We are able to hear that inner voice that can never be heard over the noise and chaos that often surrounds everyone.  That small voice helps us see things that perhaps we are not paying attention to or even may not see at all.  Quiting the mind and body also enables us to feel and hear the signs that something may be wrong with our health.  Being able to feel where a pain originates and how that pain really makes us feel.  This is extremely beneficial to chronic pain patients in detecting a problem that may be new or increasing in severity.  We usually experience an extreme amount of pain from day to day that all pain yensa to run into eachother being masked by our other pain or medication.  Through practice and experimenting with different kinds of meditations we can also learn to pull back on our physical pain and reach a different level of consciousness.  Much like a type of self induced hypnosis, teaching the mind to separate from the pains of the body. 

Meditation also has many therapeutic benefits.  It is a time to ask our inner selves the questions we may need answered.  Or even play out scenarios which may be to dangerous to imagine at other times.  But ultimately one of the greatest reasons I find to meditate is getting in touch with my inner child.  You know that little voice in everyone that is pushing for you to get out and have some fun, be creative and just stop taking life so seriously.  Just because were all grown up doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a time to play.  Visualized meditation can help us fulfill that need.

So it can definitely seem overwhelming.  All the different information about meditation, different exercises, different types.  Where do you start?

My recommendation is that you start by asking yourself what you are looking to achieve out of meditation.  Stress reduction, increased energy, healing.  If you can think of it, there is a book out there about it. One of the best kinds of meditations for stress reduction I’ve found  is a combination of color and visualization to some place…your happy place.  Color is used to add extra help in reducing stress much like the ideas behind aroma therapy.

For healing mediation’s the best technique I’ve found for myself is to use a combination of chakras, color and energy.  What exactly is a chakra? Well, chakras are seen as vortexes of energy each one corresponding with a certain organ in the body. They are believed to work on different energy frequencies and also correspond to different colors of the rainbow.  So in actual western words…there places throught the body which can receive and be cleansed of energies.  Each one of these places of energy is represented by a different color and each color has a different type of energy or “frequency”  an example would be that you’ve been experiencing alot of sore throats or even strep.  There is a chakra or energy point in the throat.  This chakra corresponds with the color blue and has a correlation with communication and self expression and is connected to the thyroid and parathyroid glands.  You would want to visualize that particular energy point  color enveloping the entire throat area healing and cleansing it.  Of course that is just an example and not an actual meditation exercise used for this problem.  Hopefully that example helped you get the jist.

I know, it definitely sounds confusing and strange to us western thinking folk.  And I wont pretend that it doesn’t take a bit of reading about them to fully understand there function and roles in helping our body heal and expel negative energy. There are books upon books and ideas upon ideas describing chakras more in depth But if you want to start with the basic ideas you don’t need to understand them in depth to receive the positive benefits.  I hope my description didnt leave you saying “what???” and now your more confused than ever.  Just take it one step at a time and maybe start with colors that benefit the mind and body(I’ll be listing them in another post)

I will try to give some in depth meditations in both simple stress reduction and ones involving chakra cleansing in some of my next posts. 

But if some of these ideas sound of interest to you your local book store should have many books on Chakra healing. 

My favorites are The book of Chakra Healing by Liz Simpson and Healing Yourself with Light by LaUna Huffines

One of the important things to remember in these meditations is that there purpose is not to heal someone of diseases or conditions but to improve lifestyles and over all mind body health. Which is the idea of healing the mind improves the body. Although I have not been healed of my chronic condition I have had many positive benefits in coping with my illness and pain in new ways. 

I hope you can find something in these meditations to benefit you Mind, Body and Soul

Article Link: Effects of Chronic Pain on Brain Function

Posted in Mind, research with tags on February 10, 2008 by icangel

http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1244387/chronic_pain_damage_brain/

Effects Of Chronic Pain

Posted in Daily issues on February 10, 2008 by icangel

 As chronic pain sufferers we’ve all figured that our off the chart level of pain must be damaging our bodies in some way.  After all how can one human being come through that much suffering in the same condition they started.  Whether that change is physical, emotional or mental, coping with severe or even moderate pain on a daily basis can be devastating. When I say daily I’m not convinced that people who have not experienced our suffering understand what daily includes.  Daily can and most often does include pain every moment of every hour of everyday of every month of every year.  Keeping in mind chronic pain is often a life long condition or disease. So even moderate pain that someone may be able to cope with for a week or so at the best becomes un manageable and devastating on a long term daily basis. 

I’ve heard chronic pain described in many ways to those who have not experienced its devastation. I think the most successful way I’ve heard it described is through a migraine. Most people have experienced migraine headaches in one form or another.  Imagine for a moment having a migraine.  You cant stand up, tolerate noise and may even vomit because of the pain. Now imagine that pain not going away despite turning off all the lights, taking any over the counter medication you can find and burying yourself in the darkest place.  You cant sleep because the pain is so severe and you cant get up because standing may bring you to the point of losing consciousness.  Imagine having this migraine for only one solid week with no break or medication to stop it.  Seem overwhelming and unimaginable. Well take that week and add months and years of a constant painful migraine.  Does the thought want to make you commit yourself to the local psych-ward? well, you’ve just understood a minute amount of what chronic pain can feel like and do to someone.  And no, its not an over dramatization.  In-fact you may want to add kids screaming at you, husbands, wives  and family nagging you to make dinner and the boss calling wondering why you cant come in to work.  Of course you cant forget the Doctors who keep treating you like an addict trying to score drugs and convince you your probably just depressed. 

There will always be those you don’t want to believe in what they cant physically see.  And its true that pain is relative.  My pain may be a level 3 on a pain scale while someone else may rate the same pain a 8 or 9 and visa versa. And while there are definite symptoms of pain such as high hear rate, blood pressure, increased sweating, hot and cold flashes and tremors.  Those stmptoms are not always seen as physical proof that someone is experiencing pain.  Doctors can mold them into symptoms of anxiety and even symptoms of withdrawals.  And there starts the on going battle of chronic pain.  That is why any scientific breakthroughs in the effects or damages of Chronic Pain are so important to those who treat it and suffer from it. 

With increased research and discoveries, more medical professionals and loved ones of people in chronic pain will have no choice but to pay attention to those who are suffering.  There are still countless people being refused pain treatment or under treated leading to continued suicides each year.  Even those who are lucky enough to be treated need more understand and support from doctors and family. 

When you suffer with chronic pain it is so important to surround yourself with supportive and understanding people.  Being made to feel lazy, guilty or bad for not being able to do the things that are difficult or impossible can lead to increased depression, anxiety and even suicide.  If you are a loved one of a chronic pain sufferer, let them know you want to understand as much as possible and that you support and love them.  While you may never understand,  letting them know you even want to  can make a huge difference in the way they feel and cope with there new or continued way of life. Chronic pain demands a change in life style and thinking.  Anyone in that situation needs all the support and understanding they can get.