From the category archives:

Mind/Body

What do brain waves have to do with healing?

by Ed

Our brains are constantly vibrating. Depending on how awake and active our brains are, they vibrate at different rates and amplitudes. The whole spectrum of brain waves has been divided into four main categories: beta, alpha, theta and delta.

We are mostly in beta most of the day, when we are awake.

In the alpha state, we are more relaxed, but alert. Generally our eyes are closed and we have a more inward focus. The alpha state is associated with enhanced learning, intuition and increased endorphins. Endorphins are natural pain killing chemicals in our bodies. We are more suggestible in the alpha state, and we are awake enough to send ourselves suggestions.

In the theta state we are still more relaxed and inward focused. Deep meditation and deep hypnosis are associated with the theta state. We are very suggestible in this state, though usually not “conscious” enough to give ourselves good suggestions.

Delta state is associated with deep, dreamless sleep. It’s as close as we get to being “not there”.

Alpha, theta and delta states are all necessary for healing. During a  good night’s sleep we spend quite a bit of time in all three. During the day, through the use of meditation, guided imagery, and hypnosis or self-hypnosis, we can greatly enhance our healing.

Learn how to go into the alpha state.

How Qi Gong can help with Fibromyalgia and CFS

by Ed

Getting enough sleep and exercise is crucial to the wellbeing of those suffering with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Qi gong can be very helpful in both areas. Qi gong is a Chinese form of therapeutic exercise and meditation. There are many different styles that have developed over the centuries.

According to Chinese Medicine, FM and CFS are due to a deficiency and a stagnation of the body’s vital energy. There may also be latent toxins (viruses, bacteria, etc.) in the body. Qi gong, which means energy work can increase our store of vital energy, improve it’s flow and strengthen the immune system, which can help expel the latent toxins.

The movements in most forms of qi gong are gentle and flowing like the movements of tai chi, making it easier for people with low energy reserves to do them. They provide the body with needed exercise while slowly building strength and stamina. Meditative forms of qi gong help to calm an agitated mind and body, improve sleep, and strengthen the immune system. Most practitioners also report an increased pain tolerance.

If you live near Berkeley California, check out Dr. Bingkun Hu. He is an excellent teacher of the Wild Goose style of Qi gong. Wild Goose includes both active and meditative qi gong forms. You might also want to check out Ken Cohen’s The Essential Qigong Training Course.

One of my favorite qi gong meditations is the inner smile meditation. If you would like to download a free mp3 of the inner smile meditation, mention it in your comment, below.

A Puppy’s Guide To Health And Happiness

by Ed

Kids and puppy
Things every puppy should know:

  • Be bouncy. It helps with energy and enthusiasm
  • Love everyone you meet. Most of them will love you back. This is good for your immune system, your energy levels, and of course, your happiness levels.
  • Play at least an hour a day. Playing is not just good exercise, it keeps you joyful.
  • Surround yourself with people who like to play with you and go for lots of walks with you.
  • Take lots of rest breaks. When you rest, relax completely. Deep relaxation is crucial to good health.
  • Wag your tail a lot, but also let others know how you are really feeling. If you aren’t happy, maybe they can help.
  • Don’t get anxious when your family is gone all day. You’ll just end up chewing on things, or yourself, and getting all kinds of psychosomatic disorders.
  • Every once in a while go crazy, for no particular reason.
  • Eat lots of fresh, whole, real foods. Try and avoid that packaged stuff. It’s lifeless and full of genetically modified corn and soy… yech.
  • Get as many massages as you can.

Why A River Won’t Get A Migraine

by Ed

Delaware River

Image credit: Nicholas_T

According to the 5 element system in Chinese Medicine, Migraines are a result of a disruption in the Wood element. The Wood element is responsible for smooth flow and for maintaining all of the cycles in nature. In humans, the Wood element’s flow management system is disrupted by a lack of exercise, poor diet, and, on an emotional level, by anger, frustration, and suppression of feelings.

Learn to flow like a river and your Wood element will be happy. But going with the flow is not necessarily what people think it is. Rivers are powerful: Sometimes they go around obstacles and sometimes they overcome them, but they always get where they are going.

Here are 5 techniques to overcome your migraine by going with the flow:

  • The first one is essential for the others. Learn to just feel. Feel sensations in your body. Feel emotions come and go. Notice how everything flows. When we try to damn up our feelings, both physical and emotional, we create stress in our bodies.

For 5 minutes, 4 or 5 times a day, close your eyes and practice just feeling what ever is happening in your body. Continually soften and let go. Let everything be. Sometimes this exercise is helpful during a migraine, but sometimes it only intensifies the pain, so be gentle in your exploration.

  • Become aware of the effects of food on your body. As you practice the above exercise you will become more aware of subtle changes in your body. Start paying attention to how you feel after eating. You will find that there are certain foods that your body does not like. Avoiding them will help reduce your migraines.

I have a few foods that my body doesn’t like, but I have found that the level of intolerance changes all the time. Generally, if my stress level is low and I haven’t eaten any offending foods for a while, I can get away with eating one without bringing on a migraine or other uncomfortable reaction. For the most offensive foods I always eat a small bite then check in with my body to see how it is reacting. If my body is not happy, I don’t eat any more.

  • Practice abdominal breathing. When the breath is restricted, everything is restricted. A good time to practice is at the beginning of the first exercise. Spend about two minutes breathing deeply. As you inhale allow your belly to rise more than your chest. I also like to practice before getting out of bed, after getting into bed, and during mindless chores like dish washing.SJ 5 acupressure point

  • Try acupressure on yourself. Search for tender points between the bones of the hand and foot. Massage or hold them for a minute or two each.

The two points in the pictures are particularly good. The first one, SJ 5, is between the two bones on the arm, about two inches from the wrist. The second one is between the last two bones of the foot, outside of the tendon that goes to the baby toe.

Also check out my acupressure First Aid post and this one on headaches. GB 41 acupressure point

  • Do the inner smile meditation. At the end of it, imagine breathing emerald green light into your liver. As you exhale imagine smoke coming out of your liver. The liver is the main organ of the wood element, and green is its color.

This meditation can do wonders for lowering your stress and improving flow in the Wood element. And that will reduce the severity and frequency of migraines. Do all of the above and you may eliminate migraines all together.

25 Words of Wisdom

by Ed

Liz Strauss at Successful-blog had the great idea to do a group writing project of 25 words of work/life wisdom.Joy of Living

Here are my 25 words:

When qi flows there is no pain. Where there is pain qi is not flowing.
Keep your muscles and emotions flowing and qi will follow.

photo credit: prakhar