“The longing for sweets is really a yearning for love or “sweetness.”
― Marion Woodman

This quote from Marion Woodman, a Jungian psychologist, gives insight to how food cravings may work for some people. Since psychology was one of my majors in college, I am fascinated with how it inter-plays with human biology. I am firmly entrenched in the belief that our thoughts effect our bodies and our bodies effect our minds and thoughts. Just think, if every thought…every emotion which occurs inside of a person is a chemical signal, and that body must process each and every one, then why would this not be true? In my mind, it must be. Therefore, we must pay attention to our thoughts, our subsequent actions, and how they work together to develop patterns. These could be health building patterns, or health destroying patterns, but patterns nonetheless.

 

There are those who believe long term, chronic illness may be the result of long term negative thoughts. These people propose constantly participating in negative “self-talk” can activate illness or illness like conditions. While I do not suggest anyone forgo the consult and/or treatment of a medical doctor (as explained in earlier posts, etc), what does it hurt to incorporate looking at something like this? Nothing. It is always healthy to examine one’s own psyche in order to further one’s own development. And so….let’s look at the longing for sweets.

 

Losing the sweetness of life

How do we lose our sweetness of life? For one woman, it was the realization the fairy tale life in her dreams was not going to happen in real life. She had wanted to attend college; have some kids; be in a loving marriage; have a house in the country…all those things she had read about her icons doing and having. She ignored her inability to be flexible. She had no “go-with-the-flow” about her. When other males rejected her, she settled for the first one that would take her. He was a controlling, manipulative man who quickly turned the relationship into a dysfunctional passive-aggressive wasteland. Soon, she realized her dreams would never come true in this environment. Of course, by the time she realized it, she weighed 250 pounds (at 5 foot 3 inches tall); had blood sugar levels high enough to be classified as “pre-diabetic”; was consuming three to six sodas per day; and would not dare to sacrifice her king sized Reese cup each day. After all, chocolate is a great antioxidant, right?

Life had become a struggle. A struggle to be “allowed” to follow her heart; struggle to keep in contact with friends; struggle to get the housework done; and so forth and so on. She would describe this as, “feeling as though I must fight the heaviest tides, head-on, with the weight of the world strapped to my back.” The thought of trying to go back to a time where things seemed “sweet” or easy or had a feeling of potential, meant work. Work meant fighting against all those forces, including self-doubt; confidence in the face of condemnation; perseverance; and trusting others to be good people not intentionally causing harm to her.

A good….long…hard look at her life was in order. How many Reese cups did it take for her to feel as if her life were sweet enough? How many times did a bucket of ice cream substitute hugs? How many Hershey bars counteracted the sting of insults? You see, even though those negatives were always coming from those around her, her own self was telling her…reinforcing to her…she was nothing but a washed up fake. She may as well seek comfort in the one thing that has never failed her: SWEETS!

The results were half finished and now neglected projects; a closet full of too tight clothes; and even more sadness and grief. High blood pressure, low stamina and energy, headaches, exhaustion, and more physical ailments, all combined, just compounded the emotions. How does one recover from all of that?

 

Rediscovering the sweetness of balance

Even though the woman above is fictional, this type of thing happens every single day. Stories very similar, sometimes even more tragic, come across my desk. Individuals such as this, need help…assistance…coaching to get back up and get their lives back in order to find appreciation for those sweet things which make life what it is.

Where to begin?

The best place to begin is with the obvious. Physically, the hypothetical woman in the above tale, needs to address her physical symptoms of obesity and blood sugar balance. It is incredibly difficult to get up and move again after a sedentary life! Physical aids may help to give the mental aspect a boost in the proper direction.

If it were me, in this scenario, I would begin by directly lending support to my body’s ability to balance blood sugar. This may help to even out the energy supply, so to speak. I love using blends of herbs.

Blends are great for supplying all your needs, without sinking a large amount of money into individual products. They are premixed to deliver a cost efficient product.

I would look for a blend containing chromium, vanadium, cinnamon bark extract, fenugreek seeds, bitter melon fruit, gymnema leaves extract, nopal leaves and banaba leaf. Chromium and vanadium are two minerals shown to have positive effects on maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Vanadium may have actions mimicking insulin and chromium is needed to get insulin into the body’s cells. The herbs I listed work in the following ways:

-Banaba, gynema, and bitter melon have been historically used to support glandular functioning. Research now supports this, and possibly points to a more specific target of action: the pancreas.

Multiple approaches

 

Then I would, personally, add a flower essence called to vent the grief in my life.There are flower essences out there which may lend emotional support to those feeling as if they are helpless to make change, therefore losing the “sweetness” from their lives. Most are formulated using the same methods set forth by Dr. Bach when he began making flower essences.

Smell the sweetness

 

I would also use various citrus essential oils to brighten and boost the mood. My two favorites for this are Pink Grapefruit and Blood Orange. Do not use oils derived synthetically nor diluted with synthetics. I like to use one of those citrus oils with blends containing other oils like Atlas cedar, Spruce, Ho Leaf, Blue Tansy, Frankincense, Chamomile. Or, at times,  I just use their various blends that already have pink grapefruit included. Since these are blends I like to have diffused throughout my home, I use them in diffusers, plug in “aroma balls,” in a small necklace pendent designed to carry essential oils, and I have even added them to lightweight, non-greasy oils like almond oil or sunflower oil, to massage onto my skin.

 

Talk yourself into finding the sweetness

If negative self-talk got you to this point, positive self-talk may help to bring you back away from this point. Affirmations to boost the ability to feel the sweetness include:

-The universe loves and supports me!

-I am surrounded by sweet love and tenderness!

 

All of these may have a positive impact on your mental outlook and you physical ability to find your sweetness in life!

Life really is sweet….enjoy it!

Essential oils have gone mainstream! It’s all the rage. But, did you know the practice if Aromatherapy has been around a very, very long time? I’m not going to go into a drawn out story of a French gentleman by the name of Gattafosse (excuse me, I know I missed an accent in there; French is not my native tongue). Nor will I ramble about how he plunged his hand into a vat of pure lavender oil after it burned in a perfumery lab accident. I will tell you, he became amazed at the wonderful healing of his wounds and coined the term aromatherapy….and hence, the modern era craze began.

Essential oils are all the craze
Essential oils are all the craze

 

Essential oils have been around for as long as plants have been around (translation: long darn time). There are historical accounts of using essential oils in ancient Egypt. They are mentioned throughout the Bible and other religious texts of the world. Essential oils are an essential part of history and they are back in a huge way!

 

About 16 years ago, I had the pleasure of going to Utah for a week of classes. It was a week of intensive holistic education. I learned about different types of administration of remedies, classification of herbs, and so much more…including essential oils and aromatherapy. I consider myself lucky for having been able to attend such an intensive.

 

I learned a lot about essential oils. I learned about balancing blends; which oils are traditionally used for which complaints; how to dilute oils; and more. One thing I learned, which I think is very important to point out, is that there is no certification body for the “grading” of essential oils in the USA today. What that means is that, at this very moment as I type this, there is no independent certification body serving to grade essential oils as “pure” or “therapeutic” grade or “perfume” grade or whatever other classification you hear a company claiming. There are companies out there that can document and prove to you that their oils are authentic. They are using the word “authentic” to mean that their oils are not cut or diluted down with any synthetic and/or natural substance. This is a good thing. These companies can also tell you exactly from where their oils are derived. This is also a very good thing.

General ground rules for using essential oils

-always dilute your oils

Although distributors of some oils say theirs are different, no one knows how you and your body are going to react to an oil until you use it. It is best to start with a low concentration. You can add more, but you cannot take away.

-do not ingest straight oils

There are companies out there with distributors insisting their oils are safe to ingest. While some essential oils are derived from plant foods and spices, I do not suggest just throwing them your mouth willy nilly! The only oils I’ve ever done this with are peppermint and wintergreen oils. I only did it for myself, and have never recommended anyone else do this. Essential oils can burn. They can burn the skin and the tongue and mouth tissues, too. Caution should be used. Extreme dilution of oils without chemical additives can be done with the proper education and experience. However, I would not suggest jumping right in to something like that!

 

-do not apply just any straight oil

Some oils are what is referred to as “hot” oils. Oregano, cinnamon, etc are examples of “hot” oils. These may burn the skin and should be applied neat (the term used a straight, undiluted application to the skin). Olive oil, almond oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil are my personal favorite carrier oils for skin application.

 

-use oils that smell good to you

This is not rocket science. If you think an oil stinks, it probably is not the oil for you.

 

Please remember that essential oils are extremely concentrated. I’ll leave you with this video showing how a steam extracted oil can be produced. Keep a close eye on the amount of raw materials and the tiny amount of oil. Then, you will understand the cost and the concentration.

 

 

Stress can be detrimental to a person’s health on all levels. Each and every bodily system seems to be effected on so many levels. The connection between the heart and cardiovascular system and stress has been well documented and, now, is widely known to the general public. But what about the connection between stress and the digestive system? How much do we know about it?

We know that stress can cause the esophagus to spasm. IMAG0094_1_2 That same stress that can cause the esophageal spasm can shut down the mill action of the stomach, in turn, causing nausea. The stomach lining is filled with nerve endings which are constantly sending information back and forth from the brain. It has been found that some neurotransmitters are present in a higher concentration in the digestive system than anywhere else! This nervous system network, now referred to as the enteric nervous system, has its own nerve plexi and sends reflexive information to and receives it from the brain, independently of the divisions of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).

Knowing this, and doing things to prevent the effects of stress from ravaging one’s digestive tract, can be quite different matters. For example, I have had trouble swallowing for as long as I can remember. As a kid, food would get stuck in my throat routinely. During periods of high stress and anxiety, it would become worse. Dinners where arguments ensued would just produce pain. In fact, just a couple short months ago, I found myself in a position where I suffered the consequences of not “practicing what I preach.” I was at my “real world job,” and I ended up working alone. I was hoping to stay ahead of the game by working and eating at the same time. However, upon my first bite of chicken, I found myself choking. After a brief flash of my life before my eyes, the real panic set in. You see, I am the emergency responder on my shift. I am supposed to give aid to others in a situation such as this. What in the world was I supposed to do for myself?

I threw myself over the back of a chair. This moved the bite of chicken, but it became lodged in my throat. Therefore, no water, food, etc could get down and the chicken would not come back up, either. I finished my shift, in pain, went home to see my children off to school and then drove myself to my doctor’s office. MY family doctor, even though he knew I did not want to go, sent me on to the emergency room of the local hospital. There, they could not offer any more aid. A surgeon had to be called in. Three hours later, I was the recipient of an esophageal dilation. While I realize the necessity of the procedure, I do not suggest anyone signing up for it unless absolutely needed.

What’s going on here? Read More

Anger can affect your kidneys.
Anger can affect your kidneys.

“I’m so pissed off!”‘

“I about pissed my pants.”

“She’s full of piss and vinegar.”

“I just feel pissed on.”

Pissed off; pissed on; pissin’ in the wind…WHY are there so many references to urinting in our verbalization of our feelings? One could say it is a coincidence. However, research comes out every day showing the links between the emotions we feel and the physical symptoms that seemed to be ever linked to those emotions.

Louise Hay, founder of Hay House publishing, was a visionary in spreading the word of these links to any person wanting to listen. Her work, along with that of others,serves as a beacon to those wanting to fully address every aspect of his or her health.

According to Louise, feelings of criticism, disappointment, failure, shame and ‘acting like a child’ can create the vibrational energies which may allow various kidney problems to surface. She equates kidney stones with the conditions present when one holds on to small lumps of anger.

While these border on the metaphysical, I find great correlation. If I have a hot, swollen kidney issue could it not be also a situation of hot anger? And then I would use cooling and soothing herbs. Marshmallow to soothe the irritation; Cornsilk to dilate the ureters and allow the heat to exit quickly; and lots of water to dilute the urine and flush it all out. Read More