Your symptoms aren’t random…it’s biological intelligence.

Continuing on from yesterday’s blog post…in Meta-Health, we go several steps further with looking at, exploring and getting to the root cause of symptoms…because the research has shown us symptoms aren’t random. No one randomly gets a diagnosis of cancer or heart disease or MS or lymphoma or diabetes or whatever the diagnosis by pure chance. There will be a pattern which can be explored, analysed and understood, which has led to this diagnostic outcome.

There is absolute biological intelligence in our symptoms, which has direct connections to our emotions, thoughts/beliefs, stresses, lifestyle choices and the social environment we’re in.

There are very definitive themes which correlate to organ tissue symptoms and the presenting emotional stressors, beliefs, lifestyle and social situations.

So I’m inviting you to consider the paradigm shift from our current thinking of how symptoms occur and instead understand that there isn’t any randomness happening in our bodies when symptoms occur. They aren’t happening by accident…such as eczema, back pain, hearing loss, carcinoma in situ, chronic digestive issues, weight-gain…or fill in the_______.

Organ tissue (e.g. your digestion has many parts like stomach mucosa, oesophagus; the liver has parenchyma and gallbladder ducts etc) all respond in us in different ways, affected by different processes. So I encourage you to be open to the fact the stressors we have in our lives impact very specific parts of the body…specific organ tissue, according to how we perceive the world we live in.

Emotions we may feel, thoughts or beliefs we may have, affect, energetically speaking, very specific parts of our physiology e.g. repeatedly thinking and feeling “I’m not good enough…I’m not strong enough” will show up somewhere in the muscular-skeletal system…and often this is all happening in the sub-conscious mind, not our day-to-day conscious mind.

The same applies to our social environment which we live, work and play in and experiences we may have in these spaces. They again affect very specific parts of our body according to how we, as individuals perceive the situation, which translates as a conflict for us, according to our world view, how we see and interpret things in life.

Our lifestyle also plays a part…vitality, diet, fitness, sleep patterns all affect us. Not just for healthy living but also comfortable longevity, which has a good quality to it…physically, mentally and emotionally.

I’ll be exploring the biological process and phases our bodies go through in my next posts. So stay tuned to find out more soon.

And in the meantime, if you have symptoms and a diagnosis, which you would like to understand more, get in touch or book a call to get the ball rolling for your health and wellness now.

The Six Key Areas Where Symptoms Are Triggered

Research has shown there are six key areas where symptoms stem from.

Meta-Health looks at the big picture perspective…meta meaning big picture.

Many folks work in physiotherapy or the organ/biochemistry/physical level. Some work within the field of lifestyle approaches, looking at nutrition, diet, exercise etc. Further still, some folks focus in on the emotional aspects of health.

The reality is…we need to look at the whole person-big picture perspective when managing and healing symptoms…and there are 6 key areas, which all contribute to and affect the symptoms we experience. These key areas influence our health and the balance/imbalance of this, with the onset of symptoms, be they acute or chronic.


1. Organ tissue – obvious contributors…accidents, environmental toxins, food and drink over-indulgences. But what about those who eat well, exercise and are supposedly healthy? What are the other areas?

Science has proven that stress (2), our emotions (3) and our beliefs (4) also play a significant part in our overall health. Plus our social (5) relationships and the environment we’re in, also play a contributing role (at home, at work and out socially).

And of course, by no means least, our lifestyle (6) also plays a major role in our health. What we eat, drink and consume (including how much and how balanced); what physical activity we do; and our sleep patterns all have an impact, if they’re not regularly balanced. Furthermore, the personal care and household products we also use regularly, can and will also have an impact on your health and wellbeing, if they’re full of chemicals and ingredients, which are known disruptors of our natural biological system.

It’s difficult to argue with these factors any more…because they’re proven contributors to us feeling healthy and vital or not. So what’s my point…?

Well, there is more to this…another deeper layer which is only beginning to be properly talked about. So I’ll share this in my next post and get even more specific.

If you would like to know more and discuss your own health and wellbeing, then do get in touch now.

Day one, or one day…? You choose.

You are more than just a physical being

To continue the conversation on from yesterday’s post…if we look at ourselves as just physical beings, it’s rather finite e.g. our genes determine our destiny…our body is what it is and isn’t able to recover or reverse what’s happening to it with acute or chronic symptoms.

However, when we turn this on its head and look at ourselves for everything which we truly are at that quantum level…we are energy which is changing all the time.

When we recognise this aspect of who we actually are and realise we can influence this energy moving through us in any way we wish, we’re more empowered and able to shift and change the way we look at our body and the symptoms it’s presenting.

We are information and energy being passed through neuro-pathways in our organs, tissues & cells…
It’s all communicating together and offering us bio-feedback with that ache, pain, lump, bump or rash, to name but a few symptoms which show up.

At any given time, our body is working really hard to keep us safe and to survive, according to its perception of the world it’s in. The body is constantly adjusting to everything we throw at it each day with our thoughts, emotions, stresses at work/home/socially, with diet and movement, plus environmental toxins and pollutants as well, which includes all the personal care and household products you use. We are the masters of our own health and wellbeing…it is truly in our hands if we choose it.

As referenced in the mind-body-social post…every part of us is interconnected. Our body is talking to us…
The question is, how well are we listening?
…because every symptom will have a very bio-logical root cause. It’s basically the logic of your biology.

Everything which shows up in your body, every symptom and its related diagnosis (if you get your doctor’s medical opinion, which I highly recommend) does not happen by chance, bad luck or by what is often labelled as genetic. In fact, genetics account for less than 5% of any symptoms and dis-ease which occurs in the body – yes, you read that right.

Over 95% of all symptoms and their related illness labels are nothing to do with genes per se. This has been proven time and time again now, with particular kudos to Bruce Lipton, a cell biologist, who’s proven this scientific fact over and over again in his scientific research.

In future posts, we’ll explore even more closely what does happen and why, to help us all understand that we are in fact the masters of our health and its destiny…and we do in fact have the power to change outcomes, when we understand exactly what is happening in our body and why.

 

The Mind-Body-Social Connection

Let’s look at the first aspect mentioned yesterday. The WHY. The mind-body-social connection. We know it exists. Its relevance and importance in understanding our overall health and wellness is still a bit vague, however. We know the mind impacts the body and vice-versa. Is there more to it though?

In meta-health, what we’ve found through empirical research and science is there’s a very specific connection between the organ, the mind and our social environment, with the brain.

It’s important to emphasise the social aspect because we’re embedded in it and can’t be separated from our social environment, be it at home, at work or out socially.

Another way to look at this is from a quantum neurobiology perspective.

      • Quantum – our thoughts, beliefs, values, emotions, feelings.
      • Neuro – the networks, connecting everything in our body & mind, right down to our cell receptors.
      • Biology – the physical body: cells, tissues, organs etc.

We are energetic beings. Everything is energy…Einstein taught us this. When we look at it this way, it’s more supportive and empowering, because energy is changing and evolving all the time…therefore, we can change and evolve with this energy too. On the other hand, just looking at our health from the finite physical-only perspective e.g. it is what it is and I can’t recover…this isn’t empowering, encouraging or inspiring at all.

Knowing our whole being is interconnected and can be shifted and changed for the better is a far more positive perspective and gives us all a new and optimistic paradigm to work with and focus on for our health and wellbeing.

In my next few posts, we’ll be looking at and exploring this in more detail. To find out more for your own symptoms or diagnosis now though, do get in touch to discuss how I may be able to help you.

A New Health Paradigm

It’s time for change – it’s time for the new biology to be talked about. So let’s start the conversation.

Your health is all about your perspective…your personal view of the world and how your biology responds to what you experience.

Most of the time, we’re busy managing our symptoms (acute or chronic) – dealing with the pain, the thoughts, the emotions, the rash, the inflammation, the growth, the fill in the blank.

Even though symptoms may be reoccurring over and over, we still tend to just spend time managing them each time they arise, often never questioning the health professional, such as our GP, about what could be causing things. We just do the same thing, over and over again.

What if we looked further and explored the root cause of these symptoms? What if we started to ask questions about why our body is presenting these symptoms? What if we explored why our biology is behaving the way it is, be it acute or chronic?

What could this uncover and help us understand so that we could approach our health and wellbeing in a more empowering and sustained way?

This is the essence of Meta-Health, Meta-Consciousness. It’s about the art and science of root cause analysis of physical and mental symptoms and understanding what’s triggered the body to respond the way it is, for each individual person. It comes from New German Medicine, researched and developed by Dr Hamer.

This is the new paradigm of health and wellness which people like Bruce Lipton, Gabor Maté, Kelly Brogan, Sayer Ji and Bessel van der Kolk are talking about. It’s what I’ve been talking about for years now too. It’s the new biology and it’s what I knew was out there from my late teens when I was told I had an autoimmune disorder. What utter rubbish and the medical answer for ‘we actually don’t know what’s causing this, so we’ll label it autoimmune‘.

The fact is, the body doesn’t attack itself…rather, it’s a biological defence response, because the body is doing its best to help us stay safe and survive in what it perceives to be a threat to our survival. And this is what I’ll be sharing more of…so watch this space.

The Silent Strain of Invisible Symptoms

It’s taken me some time to write a post like this. I feared ridicule and judgement from people who I considered to be more of an authority in one way or another. I lacked the confidence to share what I know from my own learning experience because I don’t have a medical degree and I’m not a scientist. 

However, I am a woman. I have a brain. I have intuition. And I know when I know. You just have that feeling. And nothing, nothing can deny the power of this feeling when it surges through you. I’ve also learnt a lot in my time on this planet. I’ve studied hard and continue to do so, I’ve read and continue to read a lot and I know from experience what I know now.

We all have mental health.

That chatter in my head has stopped me speaking out before now. The impostor syndrome. The lack of confidence because of past negative experiences. The lack of support from supposed loved ones who say “hi, how are you?” but behind your back chatter about what you’re doing as if you’ve gone nuts because you don’t fit into their paradigm of what is apparently normal. People who take the mickey out of what you do…making jokes about it, making fun of it like you’re some sort of clown in the circus. 

I’m not a clown in a circus. I’m a human being just like you. I have feelings…I have thoughts…I have emotions and these all have an impact on my physiology and how my biology responds, in any given moment, just like they do with all of us. This mind-body response is what creates symptoms. And it’s real…even if you can’t see the symptoms. 

That’s your world view

Just because I practice meditation and use tools like EFT and yoga, spend a lot of time in nature and eat what many have judged me for and said is a rabbit’s diet, doesn’t mean I’m some sort of freak. I don’t drink alcohol either and was once told I’m not a member of my own family because of this. 

The thing is, and what most people are missing in this is, I live the life I lead because I started life with a whole flipping string of symptoms. And these symptoms have fuelled me on to get to the root cause of why I started life this way and why many symptoms plagued me for many years…and some still do. 

What people see or choose to see in me is someone who is happy and smiles a lot…who bounces around like Tigger and is always here, there and everywhere, apparently living a carefree life without a ‘normal’ 9-5 job. What you don’t know is I’ve struggled with a low sense of self-worth for a long time. I struggled with some symptoms that left me feeling so dark, I wouldn’t go out for days and days at a time because of how I felt and looked and the fact my skin was cracked and bleeding. I’ve been in so much pain at times that I’ve been reduced to using crutches and wheelchairs. You don’t see this though because most of us hide away when challenged like this. And woe-betide if we complain about something which can’t be seen or isn’t visible like #endometriosis for example. 

Changing times

Thanks to path-forging women like Elizabeth Day, Ella Mills, Penny Croal, Kate Marillat, Leisa Cockayne, Kelly Brogan MD, Julie Schiffman, Emma Barnett, Clare McKenna, Jasmine Hemsley,  Rachel Flaherty, Kelly Noonan Gores, and some trusted friends and close family who’ve always encouraged me though, I’m sharing the following about endometriosis, in the hope it will reach those who need it and help one person at the very least, with a deeper understanding of why their body is behaving the way it is.

Endometriosis is said to be one of the most common causes of pelvic pain and infertility in women according to endometriosis.org – the global forum for news and information. In the news section of their website, they state that “Scientists are now closer to understanding pain mechanisms in endometriosis. Scientists at the University of Warwick and the University of Edinburgh in the UK have shown that immune cells called macrophages could play a key role in the generation of pain in endometriosis”.

Looking at the dis-ease process of endometriosis from a meta-perspective

It’s great that research is being done at this micro-level in an attempt to get to the root cause of what’s underlying these debilitating symptoms in what is estimated to be affecting “176 million women worldwide regardless of their ethnic and social background”. However, has anyone stopped to look at, explore and research the bigger picture of what’s going on for these millions of women prior to the onset of their symptoms? For example, what stresses may have been happening for them? What emotions and thoughts may be present and on-going? How do they perceive their home, work and/or social lives? And what’s their lifestyle like, including diet, exercise and vitality?

These aspects all play a key role in understanding what is happening in anyone with the onset of symptoms, be it endometriosis or any number of other diagnoses. So let’s look at this more closely for endometriosis.

The biology – the development and function of the ovaries

As we know, the ovaries are positioned on the right and left side of the uterus, which they attach to via cord-like ligaments. During the monthly menses, an egg, formed from primordial germ cells, grows into a tiny follicle. At the time of ovulation, the follicle bursts open, so the ovum can be released and travel from an ovary through the fallopian tube to potentially meet a sperm for fertilisation. If this stage was successful, approximately six days later, the fertilised egg or blastocyst implants in the uterine cavity. The corpus luteum, a progesterone-producing cell cluster in the ovaries, facilitates pregnancy. The ovarian tissue contains interstitial cells, which produce estrogen and small quantities of testosterone. Estrogen plays a significant role in a woman’s sex drive and readiness to mate. In embryology terms, the ovaries originate from the new mesoderm and are therefore controlled from the cerebral medulla, which is part of the new brain in brain development.

Conflict theme

Every organ and organ tissue in the body is biologically connected to one of the brain layers…and each of these brain layers has an overall biological conflict theme, as discovered by Dr Hamer, who first developed what is now known as Meta-Health (also known as Meta-Consciousness or Lifestyle Prescriptions).

The biological conflict related to the ovaries is a loss conflict which is connected to the loss of a loved one. A perceived fear of losing a loved one can also trigger the conflict. This same stress can also be related to the loss of a beloved pet. Ruminating self-blame after a relationship break-down or the death of someone close can keep the conflict active. Women also experience loss conflicts after miscarriages or the unwanted termination of a pregnancy. A loss conflict can also be set in motion because of an argument, disloyalty, or unfaithfulness of a partner or friend.

This sense of loss can also be passed down the ancestral line as well, due to cellular memory e.g. the egg which became you was inside your mother, when she was in utero. Therefore, if your grandmother experienced a loss while pregnant with your Mum, this memory can pass on into your cells too. This is what is commonly thought to be hereditary or genetic type symptoms. Only about 1% of symptoms fall under this umbrella however, as proven by cell biologist, Bruce Lipton. The rest are down to the passing on of ancestral trauma, beliefs and patterns, all of which have the potential for healing.

The stress phase of the biological process in the ovaries

When we experience something, which to us as an individual feels unexpected, dramatic, isolating and we don’t have a strategy to deal with it at that moment, we are pushed into stress…also known as the sympathetic phase in biological terms. Biologically, therefore, the ovarian organ tissue of a woman who perceives a situation as stressful and feels this sense of loss will respond by necrosis (cell loss) in the ovary. As a result, because of the reduction of estrogen-producing cells the estrogen level decreases. Furthermore, depending on how intense the conflict is felt and lasts for, (i.e. how long the woman remains in the stress phase, impacted by this trauma) can result in irregular periods, absence of menstruation altogether, or infertility until the stress is released and the conflict is resolved for the individual. If this stress is felt before menstruation has started, (e.g. in a younger girl), it can delay the start of the menstrual cycle. The felt loss of an unconceived child can also lead to long-term infertility.

The restoration phase of the biological process in the ovaries – part 1

Following the full resolution of something which we perceived as stressfulI, biologically, we move into the para-sympathetic phase of the healing process. Therefore, in the ovaries, if and when the stress has been fully resolved, the tissue loss which happened in the sympathetic phase is restored with new cells, assisted by bacteria such as streptococcus in an ideal scenario. Though counter-intuitive to our conditioned minds of what constitutes healing, symptoms experienced are pain caused by the swelling. This is usually diagnosed as inflammation or an infection of the ovaries and called adnexitis (the same term is used for inflammation in the fallopian tubes).

Again, counter-intuitive to our western conditioned medical understanding of what is normal, a special characteristic regarding the healing of the ovaries is the development of an ovarian cyst. Now, this is where it’s important to understand the biological process – provided there aren’t any relapses i.e. reminders of the original stress, which push us back into the sympathetic phase and interrupt the parasympathetic restorative healing phase, the process takes – like a pregnancy – nine months to complete. The cyst formation occurs in several steps.

In the first half of the parasympathetic phase, a fluid-filled capsule or cyst forms at the site of the original cell-loss (necrosis). Coupled with water retention, (which can be exacerbated by a separate, yet related stress conflict associated with feelings such as isolation, abandonment and existence and activates in the kidney collecting tubules), an ovarian cyst can become quite sizable because the water retention is especially stored in the healing area. Large cyst(s) cause considerable pain, particularly during menstruation, and heavy menstrual bleeding. What is termed polycystic ovaries (PCO) actually relates to multiple loss conflicts resulting in many cysts forming over time.

With regards the continued parasympathetic phase of the biological process with the now-formed cyst, (provided this process isn’t interrupted by retriggers into stress again), in order to restore the cell loss that occurred during the stress/sympathetic phase, ovarian cells start to increase rapidly in number inside the cyst. During this stage, the cyst attaches itself to neighboring tissue for blood supply. NB: attaching to tissue nearby also stabilizes the cyst. Detected during this period, the growth can be diagnosed, in modern medical terms, as an invasive or infiltrating ovarian cancer and wrongly assumed to metastasize to nearby organs. Based on the basic laws of biology however, the new ovarian cells cannot be regarded as cancer cells because the cell increase is actually in truth, a restorative, rebuilding process.

Restoration phase – part 2

At the mid-point of this restorative parasympathetic phase, we reach what is called a healing peak, which temporairly pushes the body back into a state of stress, which may include symtoms such as restlessness, nausea, heightened blood pressure, raised pulse, cold sweats, shivers. The biological purpose of this temporary sympathetic surge is to quickly eliminate the edema which developed both on the organ and in the correlating brain relay in the first part of the restorative phase. After this healing peak, we experience a urinary phase, where the body expels the excess fluid. NB: The excess fluid cannot be completly expelled if there is still an active stress conflict related to feeling isolated/abandoned OR if there are still retriggers (often unconscious) of the loss conflict. This remaining water retention will stay present until all conflicts have been fully resolved.

Following the hopefully successful release of most fluid from the cyst, in part two of the restorative phase, the cyst then becomes hard, separates from the tissue it had attached to and, supplied with blood vessels, integrates itself completely into the hormone-producing function of the ovaries. This is completly natural and part of the biological process and purpose. To explain further, the boost of estrogen provided by the cyst makes the woman who’s felt this loss more attractive again, while at the same time, enhancing her readiness to mate, which biologically, elevates her into an ideal position to make up for the loss and become pregnant again. It’s the nature-nurture process.

Interruptions to the biological process

Sometimes the internal pressure, if a cyst is rather liquid, can become too intense, causing the cyst to burst. There could be a few causes for this to happen, such as the extra water retention due to the other active conflict related to feelings of isolation; a punch to the stomach; an accident; an investigative puncture, or premature surgery can cause the cyst to burst.

Following the burst, the fluid moves into the abdominal cavity, and the now loose ovarian cells attach themselves to the abdominal wall or an organ such as the bladder or rectum (in these circumstances, the cyst development takes place outside the ovary). This is what is termed endometriosis. According to modern medicine, endometriosis is a growth of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus.

However, through the scienific research which was carried out by Dr. Hamer, who examined brain CT scans of women with these symptoms, every scan highlighted that each woman with endometriosis showed the moment of conflict stress wasn’t in the brainstem layer of the brain, which controls the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus) but instead it was in the cerebral medulla, i.e. the area of the brain which controls the ovaries. Furthermore, this also clarifies why endometriosis increases a woman’s estrogen level – an aspect which has apparently been unexplainable before now.

Closing thoughts

So to conclude, without going into further biological explainations and rabbit holes, this post is not about blaming or shaming anyone into anything. It’s to explain a simple natural biological process, which women go through when we experience what to us feels like a loss – it’s stressful, feels unexpected, dramatic, isolating and we don’t have a strategy to deal with the shock in that moment.

It’s to explain the side of endometriosis which may not have been explained to you before now. It’s to give you some sense of power and strength that something can be done to support you to complete your natural healing cycle in all aspects of your life related to your endo-experience and find an end to your debilitating symtoms. It’s to offer you a sense of understanding that your body is not working against you for one second – on the contrary, in any given moment your magnificent body is always working to keep you safe and survive, constantly adapting to the changing environment it finds itself in and adjusting to this, to support you to keep going.

We have been fed this inaccurate paradigm in modern medicine that pain, swelling, inflammation etc equals something going wrong in our body…whereas it’s often present in an attempt to help protect us from something which has been stressful for us…and the symptoms women experience in endometriosis are actually a natural part of a biological healing cycle…which is doing its best to complete.

If you have any questions about this related to your own endo-journey and how a meta-health analysis could suport you, do get in touch, where I will do my best to support you.

Is it all yours?

Many of us haven’t heard of epigenetics…the science-based study of genes from non-traditional or commonly understood gene expression.

Bruce Lipton, whom I’ve mentioned in my posts before, is a pioneering cell biologist, who’s proved scientifically that literally, thoughts become things if we give them enough energy and power…and these thoughts can and do get passed down across and through the generations.

Another school of thought, which recognises patterns of behaviour which can and do get passed down through the generations is morphic resonance. This theory, developed by biologist Rupert Sheldrake, suggests that it ‘is a process whereby self-organising systems inherit a memory from previous similar systems. In its most general formulation, morphic resonance means that the so-called laws of nature are more like habits.”

So that said, do you realise you inherit emotional/mental DNA too? e.g. beliefs, vows and conditioning passed down through your ancestral line.

How?

Think about it…

Everything is energy. Einstein taught us this…it’s nothing new. 

Now, consider this…when your Mum was in utero, the egg which became you was forming in your Mum while she was growing inside her Mother.

Therefore, some of the deep-held beliefs, thought patterns and emotions your Grandmother may have had, can and do get passed down through epigenetic gene patterning. PLUS your grandmother may have picked these up from her grandmother and so on and so forth.

So you can now begin to understand how and why we see behaviour and symptoms in our children’s children’s children, which were like and experienced by our great-great-grandparents and beyond.

Our DNA contains blueprints for everything about us both physically, emotionally, mentally and intellectually.

The most exciting thing is, a high percentage of this blueprint can be changed through Meta-Health analysis and Matrix Reimprinting using EFT because we’ve now learnt how to more easily find the root cause of inherited emotions, behaviours and beliefs. Therefore, using these tools, we can release the unwanted stuff and reprogramme the subconscious mind with more empowering and positive beliefs, vows and patterns. 

What then occurs is a change in the way your biology and physiology responds, due to the change in your emotions and beliefs. We then begin to see individuals completing a healing cycle, which was originally considered chronic for life.

On one side of my family heart issues have been prevalent…on the other side, arthritis and other such muscular-skeletal issues. And ‘that runs in the family’ or ‘it’s hereditary’ has been thrown around like it’s something we’re all destined to experience like it’s a ball we have no choice but to catch and endure.

I can tell you from personal experience however, that there is something which can be done about these supposed hereditary symptoms from a mind-body-social perspective, which can and does change your DNA and thus help you and generations to come to live vastly different and more fulfilling lives.

I’ve personally experienced two occasions, where I was told my symptoms are hereditary…this is what is going to happen to you, because of your genes…and each time, I have defied the general consensus of modern medicine and overcome what was given to me as a medical life sentence. I basically said to myself each time, “That may be true for some people, but it is not true for me” and I went about healing myself so that what I was given as a long-term prognosis was not going to be my reality.

So…is your baggage actually all yours…?

And if it isn’t, when would now be a good time to start letting that excess baggage go…?

Day one? Or one day?
You choose.

Book an appointment with me now, to find out how I can support you on your healing journey to achieve your health and wellness aspirations.

Face Mapping

Face mapping can be a really interesting way of understanding our skin as well as our body and mind as well. In modern medicine, we’re able to use tools such as blood tests, scans and x-rays to help inform us about what is going on inside of our body. However, thousands of years ago, diagnostic tools such as these didn’t exist and so people had to use other ways of finding out what was going on inside the body.

Ayurveda, the oldest successful healthcare system in the world, as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) used to use face mapping widely in their practices because they believed it’s the skin’s job to communicate what is going on inside the body. With this knowledge, they could then be proactive in doing something about any skin symptoms, before anything became too serious.

That said, these practices are in fact still used in eastern medicine and are becoming more widely used in the west as well now. What’s most important to understand is this information is complementary, rather than an alternative. Therefore, it’s always advised that if you have any health concerns or symptoms, to seek medical advice and diagnosis…and use this information to further support a more balanced and healthier lifestyle.

So, looking at different parts of the face, let’s explore how these can relate to specific parts of the body. Let’s begin with the forehead area. If you experience poor skin tone here or perhaps it’s dull, has spots, lines or wrinkles, it’s said this can be linked to the gallbladder and the liver. To improve the look of this facial area, it’s recommended you reduce the amount of alcohol consumed, and better still eliminate it completely.

Further to this, it’s suggested to also consider the fatty foods you’re eating… what I mean by this are what are considered the bad fats, such as sugar, fast and junk foods and cooking less with oils, especially the really refined oils. We don’t need to use nearly as much oil as we do. In fact, I have been cooking without oil for some time now and it doesn’t make any difference to the overall flavour outcome of a meal. It does help to positively rebalance things in your body system though.

The next area is the space between the eyebrows. This is often linked to the stomach and the liver. So if this area is a place you tend to experience poor skin tone, lines, spots, then it’s really important you start to introduce foods, which are more cleansing into your diet. For example, more fresh fruits and vegetables and especially more fresh clean water…this is vitally important here.

Next is the temple area. Does this area get inflamed for you? Or maybe you get a lot of spots here?  If you answered yes, it could be an indication that your kidneys are not working as efficiently as they could. If this is the case, you may also notice that you’re getting back pain. Based on this, the advice is to drink more clean, fresh water, to help clean out your kidneys.

The upper cheeks. If this area is often prone to spots or symptoms like rosacea, eczema, it is most often linked to your heart. Therefore to help support this, integrate more good fats into your diet. Contrary to what you may think, this actually helps to break down bad fats in your body system. Foods to include could be oily fish such as sardines, mackerel or salmon, avocado, seeds and nuts…all of which help your heart health. Remember, it’s all about moderation though. This is not a cue to go and consume a whole bag of salted cashews or chocolate covered brazils or an entire bowl of guacamole in one sitting.

Your mid-cheeks are believed to be linked to your lungs and stomach, according to Ayurveda & TCM. So if this area is inflamed, lined or prone to spots, rebalance your diet by eating more alkalising foods. This includes vegetables, especially greens, fruits and green juices.  There are plenty of good guides to alkaline foods online…here’s one from Dr Axe.

The lower cheek area is linked to the liver and the stomach. So if the skin is poor around this area, it can be an indication that a gentle detoxification could help and support you…gentle being the operative word here. This doesn’t mean cutting out a whole list of things…it simply means reducing toxic foods such as sugar, alcohol, caffeine, too much wheat and too much dairy to help support the rebalancing of the skin around your lower cheeks.

Spots around the mouth area can often be an indication that the stomach is sluggish and perhaps even some mild food intolerances could be at play. So you may like to get this checked out, if you have symptoms around here.

For those of you whose jaw-line can often be prone to spots, this suggests there could be hormonal imbalances or a lot of stress going on for you. Anything you can do to reduce this stress and balance your hormones will help and support you. EFT is a great wee tool for these aspects, especially stress. As well as this, taking time to do something relaxing each day, be that meditation, walking in nature, breathing exercises, colouring in, yoga or whatever works for you, will make a big difference.

Lastly, if the skin around your neck is prone to spots or looks stagnant and dull, this is generally an indication that your lymph nodes need detoxing, which can also be linked to stress. So similarly, it’s important to take time out to relax.

This is just a very general introduction to face mapping and there is so much more which can be learnt from our skin and the various organs and tissues it’s connected to. As well as Ayurveda having a lot of guidance on this, META-Health is also a valuable and insightful guide and analysis tool for understanding what is going on with our skin, as well as all our other organs and tissues. Nothing works in isolation in the body system and a META-Health analysis can pinpoint root causes, especially when coupled with Ayurvedic knowledge.

Lastly, if you would like to learn about natural skincare and are looking for hand-blended vegan organic products, then check out UK-based Siskyn Skincare, who are award-winning and ethical, as well as divine on the skin. It feels like a facial every day I use their products. And no…I am not sponsored by them…I simply love their products and what they stand for in their business.

If you would like to know more about your own skin symptoms, do get in touch, where I will be happy to help and guide you on your wellness journey.

How does Stress work in the body?

In this fourth post about the main contributing factors to our health and wellness, I’d like to talk about stress and how it works in our body and mind.

We all experience stress to a greater or lesser degree. No one is immune to it throughout life. The main difference in how stress impacts and affects us as individuals, is how we respond and ultimately process stress, which we experience in our everyday lives.

A certain amount of stress is actually beneficial to our overall health and wellbeing at times, giving us a boost or surge of energy, motivation and inspiration, to help us get through something like a deadline at work or a test. However, prolonged chronic stress can create more serious health challenges, including having an impact on the cardiovascular, immune, neuroendocrine and central nervous systems.

Further to this, as you may recall from my previous post about how emotions impact our health…prolonged stress can impact these emotional responses as well, bringing about a debilitating sense of self in both physical and psychological ways. While we can all generally manage some simple stress triggers, by tapping into our bodies natural ability to cope, prolonged chronic stress can and does have serious implications upon our overall wellbeing in the long term, if left unchecked.

Stress is our natural inbuilt response to an experience, which to us as an individual, felt threatening or challenging in that moment, either physically and/or psychologically. Our hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and autonomic nervous system are the major aspects of our body, which react to stress, which we, as individuals, feel is threatening, by activating the fight-flight-freeze-fawn response via our sympathetic nervous system – the part of our body, which pushes our entire system into stress, in an effort to keep us safe and survive the threat, be it real or perceived.

The body and some of its major systems may remain in this state of sympathetic activity for some time if we do not or cannot switch off the stress trigger.  This is when we see chronic symptoms begin to manifest. However, when we are able to reduce or eliminate the root cause which triggered our stress response in the first place, the parasympathetic nervous system then takes over, moving, calling, guiding our body into a recovery phase, which may include feeling more tired, hot and hungry than what is considered normal. This is simply a natural response and symptomatic of the body regenerating itself, in an attempt to return to a state of homeostasis…i.e. balanced health and wellness again.

How does stress work in the body though…?

It isn’t new knowledge that traditional, long-standing, ancient paradigms of health and healing all acknowledge the mind-body-social-spiritual connection and the way in which different types of emotion and mental imbalances take root in different parts of the body.  Indian Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese medicine are two of the more well-known disciplines, which explore these connections, as well as other ethnic-based traditions found in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

The foundational beliefs of these traditional disciplines (which have been successfully used for over 2500 years) are that every organ and tissue in our body correlates with the same vibration or energy of specific emotions, which we may feel at any given time.  Therefore, it stands to reason, that every symptom, be it physical or mental, which creates an imbalance in our body, putting it into a state of dis-ease, develops from an emotional stress trigger, which is connected with a specific organ or tissue, creating a block or disruption in the normal flow, for optimal functioning to happen.

A domino-type effect can then begin to occur if symptoms are not dealt with in the immediate moments, days and weeks following a stress trigger. This is when we see symptoms changing from being acute (short-term) to chronic (long-term). This can potentially add further stress to the mental and emotional psyche of the individual, thus multiplying the overall stress on the mind-body…and a whole myriad of other symptoms can begin to grow and emerge, feeling like it’s spiralling out of our control.

Big ‘T’ traumas such as earthquakes, major accidents, fires, floods and divorce can all cause incredible stress and left unchecked, can contribute to existing symptoms, as well as manifest new ones. Small ‘t’ traumas can equally contribute to existing symptoms and because they’re small, we often ignore the significance of them. However, like a slow dripping tap, over time, they too can contribute to chronic symptoms.

Stress, be it a big ‘T’ or little ‘t’, is something, which to the individual, felt unexpected, dramatic and isolating and you had no strategy at that moment to deal with and handle what was happening. We call this a UDIN. It’s a very subjective experience…therefore no two people respond the same way and thus, no two people came to have their symptoms from the same stress trigger.

These events or stress triggers can begin when we’re children and become conditioned responses, such as a comment or look we received from a parent, teacher or bullying in the playground and they can also happen as adults, with major events such as those described above.

Whatever the original trigger for the UDIN moment, because we’re all subjective individuals, with our own conditioning and background, the pattern and process our own biological programming will follow through it’s sympathetic and parasympathetic phases will depend on how we’ve perceived the UDIN. For example, a child who’s told she can’t play football because she’s a girl may take this personally and feel devalued, thus impacting her muscular-skeletal system. Whereas another child given the same comment may feel like their territory is being invaded, thus impacting their bladder.

The key point to remember is that stress does not come from just one source, such as a major event like an earthquake. It can be cumulative over time as well, such as that condemning comment from a parent or teacher…which is then reignited by a boss or spouse later in life and so it goes on and on and on, thus reopening the old unhealed wound again and again and again and keeping the body in a fight-flight-freeze cycle of stress, whenever that button is pushed.

These conditioned responses form beliefs and over time, we become entwined in an unconscious cycle of stress, whereby specific organs will react with the corresponding brain relay and related emotions are all retriggered. This on-going cycle ultimately forms symptoms, which can and do become chronic. Knowing the root cause of these life-long response patterns, as well as the big T events, can help us detect where symptoms have stemmed from and inform us in a more specific and individual way to create a plan for changing patterns, behaviours and emotions. This ultimately allows the body to complete its own natural process of healing, through this deeper understanding and empowerment of us as individuals.

There is a lot we can do on our own to take back our power and reduce stress in our lives. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Learn to meditate to quieten your mind. InsightTimer is a fantastic free app with loads of guided meditations to get you started. I would advise beginning with guided meditations until you know you feel 100% comfortable with a silent practice. Seek out a certified teacher for more specific guidance and disciplines. After many years of exploring and trying out different styles and approaches, I now personally practice Transcendental Meditation (TM), which has been a life-changing addition to my daily self-care routine, since I began practicing it several years ago.
  • Spend time in nature. Research now shows us that time in nature is very healing for our overall wellbeing. The Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, which loosely translates as forest bathing, has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. The beach is also a very powerful space to de-stress from those daily grinds. Simply kicking leaves in the park or getting outside can be all it takes though, to change your state of being. So get outside and breath in some of those positive vibes.
  • Move your body. Whatever your ability, movement will help. Find what works for you and commit to it. The best movement activity for you is the one you do regularly…so experiment and try some things out. There is so much to choose from these days, from high-energy HIIT classes to slow motion yoga and everything in-between. So find the one which gives you that high and go for it. You’ve nothing to lose except the stress you don’t want anyway.
  • Journalling. For those who like words…writing things down can help. I’ve been a journaler for many years and when I am consistent, it helps heaps. One resource which I found helpful was the simple morning pages practice described in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
  • Find your tribe. Community and a sense of belonging are so important to us as humans, in order for us to thrive. With the age of technology, many of us find that we’re a lot more isolated however, even with the social media platforms of our day. So I’d encourage you to seek out your face-to-face tribe so that you have people who are on the same page as you, who cheer you on when you need that extra support, motivation and inspiration. We don’t always get this from our biological family…so I like to see these groups of people who form our community as our soul family…they get you and accept you for who you are, no matter what.
  • Where possible, eliminate the stress triggers, which you can control yourself. And set boundaries, which support you to maintain a stress-free space for yourself.
  • Breathe. So often when we are in stress, we actually forget to breathe normally. So take the time to sit and take some slow deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, while placing your hands on your heart. You will soon notice yourself calming down and feeling a sense of peace again.  The Heart Math Institute continues to do extensive research on how some simple breathing with your hands on your heart can help with more balanced heart coherence. See their website for some free resources.
  • And if all this seems a bit too much to manage on your own, then you can also book a discovery call to see how working with me can help and support you on your journey towards balanced health and wellness again.

“It is not that stress kills us, it is our reaction to it” 

~ Hans Selye

Tapping into confidence to ease student exam stress

Revising for and sitting exams can raise stress levels for any student. Here, I explore and offers hints and tips on how to manage those exam nerves, with a more ease, quiet confidence and a peace of mind to support your focus.

Right now, thousands of students in Ireland are busy studying for and sitting their Junior and Leaving Cert mock exams, before their end of year exams begin later on in June. That’s a lot of hours spent revising. 

Most students have put an enormous amount of time into their revision preparation to ensure they’re ready for anything which may come up in each of their exam papers.  However, how many students will enter their exam room exhausted and somewhat blurry-eyed, after a potentially sleepless night, worrying, nervous and dreading their mind going blank after all their revising?

Maybe some have even taken remedies, medicines or experimented with deep breathing and positive thinking. Nevertheless, many still find themselves paralysed by fear and unable to perform to their optimum level. Feeling overwhelmed, some experience trouble sleeping, migraines, headaches, poor appetite and increased anxiety.

Through my work with helping students, some of the common problem areas I have found are: pre-test anxiety; procrastination; feeling overwhelmed; perfectionism; and the pressure of expectation.

THE CHALLENGE

It’s often accepted in our society that feeling a little nervous before an exam or performance can be helpful, as it helps keep you sharp and focused. However, when nerves turn to fear, this can be a problem. When you’re under stress, your body releases the hormone adrenaline which prepares it for danger.

The body’s fight or flight system has been triggered: you feel sick, your heart starts racing, your muscles feel tense, you’re possibly shaking and your thinking feels muggy. This may be helpful if you are being chased by a tiger – but not if you are trying to be calm and focused for an exam!

Conventional ways of dealing with test anxiety are well documented: deep breathing; be prepared; expect the best; exercise; eat well; and try to sleep. Unfortunately for some people, this advice has little positive effect because of the challenge in dealing with the body’s physical reaction to stress.

THE SOLUTION

The key is being able to release the stress and tension from the mind and body. With the body’s nervous system balanced, students are able to sleep, eat well, take care of themselves and focus on doing their studies.

I use a remarkable technique called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or “Tapping”, which can be used to focus on negative emotion and clear it.

EFT is a form of acupuncture but instead of using needles, we tap on the well-established meridian points on the body. When a student experiences the fight or flight symptoms, the solution is in the body’s energy system.

Energy (known in various cultures as Chi) flows through the meridians or channels in the body. However, when a person gets nervous, the energy flow is disrupted (e.g. we experience negative thinking, feeling unable to cope, overreacting to situations, self sabotage and the physical symptoms of stress such as sickness or diarrhoea).

Using the fingers to stimulate the meridian points on the face and upper body whilst verbalising the issues, sends calming messages to the brain. This helps to clear the disruption and re-balance the body’s nervous system.

Incredibly, this releases the stress from the body and people often feel calmer, lighter and more peaceful following a session of tapping. This results in students often expressing an eagerness to get on with their studies.

Also, after just a brief introduction, people can use the technique on their own. 

I use the following three-step process to make this possible:

  • Step one: Identify the problem (fears, self-doubt, anxiety); 
  • Step two: Clear the interference/ disruption (using EFT); 
  • Step Three: Re-frame/ Re-program (using performance psychology with EFT and Matrix Reimprinting).

AN EXAMPLE

It was the day of Patrick’s first exam. This was his last year at school and he’d spent months preparing for these exams. He wanted to do well and look back with no regrets knowing that he’d done his best.

Hours before he felt calm, confident and eager to get on with it. However, when he woke up on that day, his critical inner voice began its work; he began to doubt himself and panic. The body’s fight or flight system had been triggered, his thinking became fuzzy and the creative problem-solving part of his mind felt like it was shutting down – just when he needed it!

He was feeling desperate and so with his parents support, he decided to phone me. We worked on the strongest negative emotions which were the fear of failure, letting himself down and worry that he hadn’t done enough work.

This is really common with students taking exams. There is that logical side of them that knows they have done the work, but when the nerves take hold, logic goes out of the window and no amount of reassurance from friends and family seems to help.

We tapped on this negativity for a couple of rounds and Patrick began to feel calmer, lighter and more optimistic. Now his mind was free of the negative, we introduced some positive affirmations: how he would like to feel when taking his exam; calm, excited and seeing this as an opportunity and not a threat.

Patrick was thrilled to be able to begin his exams later that day and walk away satisfied that he’d done his best. Tapping gives you the opportunity to make the change you need.

When I first spoke to Patrick, his mind was full of fear and doubt. He of course wanted to feel calm, positive and confident, but felt helpless. Using EFT we were able to start exactly where Patrick was with his emotions and remove the negative feelings and sensations. Then his mind was ready to fully experience the benefits of positive thinking.

Dr Peta Stapleton, Australian-based registered Clinical and Health Psychologist and international researcher has explored the effectiveness and efficacy of EFT to support students with school and exam stress, with very positive results. See her brief news interview here on the success of her trials in Gold Coast Schools.

And if you’re searching for the answer to pre-test anxiety and want to be able to sit exams full of confidence and without fear, EFT may sound a little different, but I’ve found initial concerns are soon forgotten as the nerves start to fade. Give it a try – you’ve nothing to lose but your fears!
Get in touch now. Or book straight away.