When Will We Know? Observations On Forced Education

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“circle of friends” by Valentina Powers

Rudolf Steiner, Spiritual Scientist, and founder of Waldorf Education and Anthroposophic Medicine cites that children can’t in fact subsume, in a healthy fashion, reading, writing or mathematical concepts until well after the milk teeth have fallen out. The idea being that if you wake a child too early to intellectual machinations, you damage the fine tuning of their etheric (creativity and absorption) and astral (artistry and inspiration) integration.

In this over-intellectualized and mechanistic epoch in which we live, one of the greatest crimes I see in healthcare is over-intellectualized adults who struggle with accessing all of their organs for knowledge. They’re just not properly integrated! This produces anxiety and neurosis on a large scale as their capacity for trusting their inner guidance system (gnosis) has been tarnished due largely to the tyranny of forced education.

Parents who live in fear that their child won’t be able to compete in this global culture unless they’re bullied into unfolding their egghead processes early on, actually destroy their child’s innate capacities to become lifelong learners, something which ought to be borne as a self-inspired, inside-out gesture. Real knowledge has never been a successful outside-in game and never will be. You’ve heard the maxim, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

A natural curiosity is the stuff of health. It propels us from the Godhead of our ordination as human beings (not human doings) otherwise as children we’d never ask questions like, “Why is the sky blue?” If this innate desire is squashed, and replaced by government curricula and unproven homework that turns parents into hateful enforcers instead of advocates and protectors, we destroy a child’s delicate intuition.

When will we come to wholly trust, and have faith, that each of us will ask the questions – from an internal fount whose source is beyond our comprehension – that will propel the answers towards us? When will we come to the understanding that as we progress through our spiritual unfolding, our nuanced capacity to know will flow and ebb with each consciousness soul phase we blunder through so that we’re married to the functional purpose that evolution pours through each one of us?

When will we know that the gesture to bully and shove round pegs into intellectually limiting square holes is on its way out and that feminine wisdom is mounting a luminous trail so self-sustaining and rejuvenating that the silos of patriarchy are being revealed, and breaking down at an amazing rate? When will we know that the desire to “know thyself” is so flipping compelling to each one of us that its intrinsic nature is something to be preserved, not browbeaten or terrorized with ridiculous tests.

When will we preserve the essence of our innately curious being-ness as wonder-filled seekers?  

When will we know?

In Gratitude – ‘Tis The Season

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While attending University, way back when, I used to board with a great big Irish Catholic family. Actually, there were once seven children at home but when I arrived on the scene to rent a room, only the mother and one daughter were left at home. The young woman and I both attended the University of Toronto at the same College.

When I came downstairs one day the mother, H. (I’ll call her), wearing a surgeon’s mask, was stripping the paint from around the oak window casings with a small blow torch and a paint scraper. She was singing softly to herself. I tried to creep by without disturbing her as she seemed so intent on her task. She called out, “Is that you Allyson?” I replied, “Yes, I’ve come down to make some breakfast.”

I recall commenting on the incredible amount of work she was doing and that it might take a year, or more, for her to strip all the windows in the house, including the stained glass ones, and wasn’t she afraid of burning the wood or torching the glass? She responded that it was therapy for her after the decades of work at Queen’s Park as an assistant to a prominent political member. She was now retired and it seemed stripping windows of their white paint was how she’d decided to best fill her days. At the time, I didn’t understand why a retired person wasn’t out scuba diving or lunching with a whole gaggle of friends.

She continued, saying that she wove her prayers into the vapour from the torch, that they would be carried heavenward with each bubble of paint that she scraped from the sill. During the hotter summer months, she’d often strip the paint for 8-9 hour stretches in her panties and a loose t-shirt. I wondered at this sixty-five year old feminist as if she was a most curious object. Sometimes, I knew that she could feel my eyes on her and I could feel her smile; she’d just continue humming as she worked without saying a word. One time she did ask me if I had issues with feminism, and for three decades after I was mystified by her question.

Late one afternoon, I came home via streetcar along Gerrard St. East, to find on my bed a book entitled, “A Canticle for Leibowitz” by Walter M. Miller, Jr. about a simple shopping list left behind by a monk and how its seemingly benign items like, “Pound pastrami, can kraut, six bagels–bring home for Emma” speaks to the rise and fall of humanity in the face of atrocities like a nuclear holocaust. At the time, I didn’t have a clue why H. would want me to read such a book, however, since she seemed to take an interest in me (I had been orphaned the year prior) I forced myself through its pages. We never spoke about why she gave it to me.

To this day, I still don’t wholly understand the ramifications of what was written on the pages of that book, so I took it on as a gesture of intention, a meditation of sorts. Just as this woman scraped paint day after day, perhaps not wholly understanding why or what her function or purpose was at the time, she was investing her thoughts into the practice. I tried to bring the same gesture to that book, and many other books and practices since.

H. taught me that to be a woman in the 21st century, it is sometimes enough not to will something into existence with a great fury, hell bent on accomplishment. That sometimes, seemingly meaningless, repetitive tasks can allow for the space to contemplate, ruminate and even pray. That sometimes, whispering your hopes and dreams into the whiff of vapour, or exploring the incongruous meaning behind why a person is canonized by patriarchal religion is similarly mysterious.

It is the task of remaining open and receptive, in a state of gratitude for the simple things in life, where laying down the rod of doing in exchange for a state of being is an act of utter courage. It is the meaning of the “mass” portion of Christ-mass. When I look up Mass, I get a whole conglomeration of meanings in Wikipedia that look something like this:

“The English noun mass is derived from Middle Latin missa. The Latin word was adopted in Old English as mæsse (via a Vulgar Latin form *messa), and was sometimes glossed as sendnes (i.e. “a sending, dismission”).[8] The Latin term missa itself was in use by the 6th century.[9] It is most likely derived from the concluding formula Ite, missa est (“Go; the dismissal is made”); missa here is a Late Latin substantive corresponding to classical missio.

Historically, however, there have been other explanations of the noun missa, i.e. as not derived from the formula ite, missa est. Fortescue (1910) cites older, “fanciful” etymological explanations, notably a latinization of Hebrew matzâh (??????) “unleavened bread; oblation”, a derivation favoured in the 16th century by Reuchlin and Luther, or Greek ?????? “initiation”, or even Germanic mese “assembly”.[10]Already Du Cange (1678) reports “various opinions on the origin” of the noun missa “mass”, including the derivation from Hebrew matzah (Missah, id est, oblatio), here attributed to Caesar Baronius. The Hebrew derivation is learned speculation from 16th-century philology; medieval authorities did derive the noun missa from the verb mittere, but not in connection with the formula ite, missa est.[11] Thus, De divinis officiis (9th century[12]) explains the word as a mittendo, quod nos mittat ad Deo (“from ‘sending’, that which sends us towards God”),[13] while Rupert of Deutz (early 12th century) derives it from a “dismissal” of the “enmities which had been between God and men” (inimicitiarum quæ erant inter Deum et homines).[14]”

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_(liturgy)

It is really a tough piece for me to sort through. I don’t fully understand its holy  historical references; however, if I am patient enough, some vaporous light may illuminate it if I’m meant to know more. The other day, in a foreign country, where the language is foreign to me, I slipped into a two hundred year old church during mass. I sat in a back pew, closed my eyes in the cool stoney air and felt the wisps of incense wash over my fatigued bones. My camera draped at my side, I closed my eyes and fell into a meditative state as the filthy, homeless person with a ratty beard prayed next to me in Spanish on bended knee.

In the past, when directed by my mentor, Steven Decker, to study Rudolf Steiner until I drifted off to sleep more mystified and confused than ever, I’d become comforted without knowing precisely why I was studying such heady texts. It was like being tussled and tossed about in the washing machine of mystery. While I don’t always know in the moment, I trust that a canticle of meaning will eventually find me during the seemingly most mundane of tasks, a whispered prayer, poem or song received in the corridors of my heart.

I no longer have issues with powerful women. They don’t scare me. H. was right. It took me years to understand that just because I wasn’t counted as a wizened woman in my early twenties due to my weakened, diseased state  doesn’t mean that I didn’t have the potential to eventually become one.  After thirty years, through the portal of my own health, I learned to breathe many prayers into countless sill windows. Although ongoing, I now feel the answers to my own feminine mystery; a sweet place where I might serve in my ontological confines in this present space and time.  

A canticle of seemingly endless lists filled with pastrami and sauerkraut in the face of political holocaust can join together to produce strong, capable and assured women, who whisper prayers for the salvation of self and other into the vapours of time. This unifying presence through family and intention is the Divine feminine ignited.

This year I am thankful for rest, health, verve, ease, strength, quiet, creativity and an inner grace that is ripening. I am grateful for inspiring women, and men, in my life who hold the candle of the mysteries of life in good stead until they’re ready to be wholly illuminated. I am able to fall into meditation, offering prayer-filled alms to the Spanish beggar for he shines the light on what is still my greatest challenge: the quickness with which I judge the sills of time to be too many to make a shred of difference.

“Just as in the body, eye and ear develop as organs of perception, as senses for bodily processes, so does a man develop in himself soul and spiritual organs of perception through which the soul and spiritual worlds are opened to him. For those who do not have such higher senses, these worlds are dark and silent, just as the bodily world is dark and silent for a being without eyes and ears.”

? Rudolf Steiner, Theosophy: An Introduction to the Spiritual Processes in Human Life and in the Cosmos

Happy Re-New-al Year to you all!

A Case of Altitude Sickness

Jeff and I were staying in Kimberley, BC for the past couple of weeks. It was a stunning place to live as we were completely surrounded by mountains. The Canadian Rockies were on one side and then the Purcell Mountains lined our vista on the other. I could trace the ski hills with my finger as they traveled across the mountain sides.

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“Mountains” by Tony

Being an east coast Maritime gal, I’d never seen or lived in mountains so high for any length of time except to visit Switzerland and Austria for a short while back in the early 90’s. Jeff refers to me as his mermaid as I love the ocean and I LOVE to swim and snorkel for hours at a time. Mountain living was a whole new thing for us which is why we’ve been travelling so much. We’re curious about different geography, climates and how other folks dwell on the planet.

The second week in Kimberley, I just wasn’t feeling one hundred percent. My health is usually incredibly robust, but I was really restless and agitated with a low grade vibration going on just below the level of my skin. I also wasn’t sleeping well at all. I was SO tired. I would go to bed and lie awake for hours, trying to tell myself that meditating was just as good a rest. Meanwhile, the agitation was ramping up more and more. I’m usually pretty laid back and a great sleeper, but I felt physically and mentally wound up tighter than a top, and it was starting to affect me emotionally.

Also, during my early morning hikes to town for a green tea, I’d have to stop periodically on the ascent back home and rest. I was feeling more and more light-headedness and I often felt winded to the degree that I needed to sit down on the trail to recover. I’ve been hiking heartedly for over 20 years and never felt so spent. Mind you, our step counter app was telling us we were hitting about 6,500 -7,000 steps per day with an elevation equivalent to 15 floors of a skyscraper. Sure it was challenging, but this was extreme. I’d never not been able to talk while hiking like this and I felt really dizzy, like I might faint.

It was during a tour of the local town folks’ gardens that I began to piece together what was going on for me. One woman, Linda, mentioned that she was from Edmundston, NB just about 5 hours north of where I’m from. Jeff was asking her about the Black Bears that visit her compost when she turned to me and asked me how I was making out with the elevation?

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“Spitalfields Gardens” by Herry Lawford

I let her know that I’d not been sleeping and that I felt anxious and jittery. She then informed me that that is common for folks visiting, given that Kimberley was the 2nd highest town in Canada at 5,500 ft., just after Banff, AB. This explained a lot.

I recalled, then, years ago how I’d served a woman who went on a ski trip to Colorado and was staying in a resort at just over 5,000 ft. above sea level. She’d called with an acute and similar symptoms but with actual vertigo and fainting that landed her in the hospital. Thankfully, I wasn’t feeling that badly.

When I went back to our Airbnb, I studied Coca in our Materia MeMadicas. I was astounded how much my symptoms matched. Coca is the plant grown high up in the Andes that the natives use to combat altitude sickness by chewing on the leaves. Homeopathically, it will also cure a case of altitude sickness. I made up a dose of 200CH on our radionics machine and took it that night.

In Dr. Clarke’s Materia Medica, he says,“Coca has been used for centuries by natives of West South America as an intoxicant; and also as a remedy for “Veta,” the condition induced in persons on coming to live in high tablelands:?faintness, throbbing heart and head, dysentery, &c. It is like tea and coffee in arresting tissue-change, and enabling those who take it to undergo unusual fatigues.”

The thready pulse, feeling winded, sudden loss of energy, trembling, lack of sleep, and nervous exhausted feeling were also all in there. I’d noticed the heat with the sleeplessness, with throbbing in my arteries, extreme weariness and night sweats. The night before I’d awoke with a start and my pillow was soaked! I’d never had a hot flash in my life, and so I was not liking these latest symptoms at all.

After the homeopathic dose of Coca, I slept like a baby and the bug crawly feeling and the weakness all disappeared. I swam a mile at the salt-water pool the next day and felt great. Back to my mermaid roots in our mountainous climate before heading to Vancouver the next day.

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“Kauai” by Adam Foster

The mountains are glorious and I’ve loved getting to know the people in the West who stem more from German and Danish roots. They’re a rugged, intelligent, no nonsense lot with a strong bent towards recreation, healthy foods and a kind of “make it happen” attitude. I have to say, now that my symptoms are addressed, I could perhaps have a little mountain Kimberley in me too as long as I have a dose of Coca and a can of bear spray strapped to my belt.

Further reading : The Ideogenic Realm : Cocaine and Coca

“The Necessary Question of Infants’ Human Rights at Birth: Are There Vampires in the Birth Rooms?”

I’m pretty sure that I posted this excerpt before but it is worth sharing again….the facts are startling…at the moment of birth babies are being denied their full blood supply (approx 1/3!) This is the very blood that mothers work so hard to grow for their babes only to have it trapped in the placenta at the moment of birth. And most doctors (and maybe a few midwives too) don’t even understand why and how the placental transfusion takes place. I was at a hospital birth recently and when mother requested delayed cord clamping the doctors said “ok but we’ll have to keep the placenta lower than the baby so he doesn’t get too much blood” Say what?! ~ Lisa LeBlanc, Birth Keeper (Moncton, New Brunswick)

"Hands" by Ashley Webb https://flic.kr/p/qrWHST

“The Necessary Question of Infants’ Human Rights at Birth: Are There Vampires in the Birth Rooms?
To parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, families, midwives, doulas, doctors, nurses, hospital administrators and legislators: We are birth keepers. It is our responsibility to ask the next question concerning human rights in childbirth. As birth keepers, it is we who are given the sacred responsibility to protect mothers and their incoming humans, the newborns, at birth and as they grow, for they are the future earth keepers.
Are we allowing our health providers to rob our babies of their full potential of health, intelligence, immunity and longevity at birth?
According to the American Red Cross, blood donors must be in good health, at least 17 years old in most states and weigh at least 110 lbs (50 kg). In Germany, children under the age of 18 are not eligible to donate blood. Blood donations are generally no more than 500 ml, which is 1/10 of the average adult blood volume. Clearly, newborn babies do not fit these criteria for donating blood.
At the time of birth, up to one-third of each baby’s blood supply is traveling from the placenta via the umbilical cord to the baby. Calling this blood “cord blood” is doublespeak and creates intentionally ambiguous language that is meant to fool parents into misunderstanding. The fact is that the blood present in the umbilical cord at the time of birth is truly the baby’s blood.
All over the world, in nearly every single medical institution where babies are born, newborns (usually weighing only between 2 and 5 kilos or 4.4 to 11 lbs) are being denied up to one-third of their blood volume. This happens when the umbilical cord is immediately clamped and cut by the doctor or midwife moments after the baby is born. Parents are encouraged to donate their baby’s “cord blood,” which in actuality is the baby’s blood. Although it may be a generous gift for someone who needs a transfusion, this precious blood supply is meant for the baby and should not be given away or sold.

"eventually" by lee https://flic.kr/p/79bmMy

At the moment of birth, newborn infants have a blood volume of approximately 78 ml/kg, which means about 273 ml at an average weight of 3.5 kg. This is the diminished amount of blood that almost all newborns are left with when their umbilical cords are immediately clamped and cut.”
— Robin Lim
 Excerpted from “The Necessary Question of Infants’ Human Rights at Birth: Are There Vampires in the Birth Rooms?” Midwifery Today, Issue 116

My Passionflower In The Present Looks Back At The Cancerous Daffodil Of My Past

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Recently re-fitting out my first book, The Path To Cure, as a new audio book for a podcast was a ginormous 18 month long project. Jeff asked me to write a brand new intro to every chapter being revealed to a brand new audience weekly. As a result, I had to relive every one of my words written, wrought with so much pain and suffering from the past. For this month’s newsletter theme on Cancer, I chose to decorate the banner with the passion flower instead of the daffodil. Perhaps below, and in our blogs contained herein, you’ll understand the dynamic reason for this.

The truth is that what you’re destined to be is buried like a passionflower seed in your loins and to fully actuate your passion means first finding your individual seed, discerning what it means, and then providing the conditions ripe for it to grow. Think about what you’ve engaged with in life where you truly lose all track of time. If you still can’t figure it out, pick up Boni Lonsburry’s book, The Map to a Responsive Universe Where Dreams Really Do Come True.

Boni acknowledges that while not everyone knows what they want to be, she correctly cites that everyone knows how they want to feel. By holding the charge of feeling and tossing over board your beliefs that you’re value is not great enough to receive such abundance, you can create the circumstances ripe for what you feel ordained to be. Your passionflower will begin to self-actuate and seemingly random opportunities will start to crystallize.

Cancer grows in an environment devoid of heat (resonant sex), oxygen (principled recreation) and love (true desire function). The opposite is the recipe for a fully orgasmic life!

Sugar and chocolate are suppressive and a function of an oral block. She just can’t get the sweet passion out of life!  Eating sugar and chocolate is really a sad attempt to garner the sweetness from life externally instead of through primary drives internally. You’re not wholly expressing your feelings to yourself, or others in your life, or fully actualizing your love function (your passion) through to a full fruition (the fruit itself).  You have to have juicy sex with the whole of your world.

A primary drive as per full actualization is feeling so connected to your love function that you make no excuses to create what you love confidently and share it with the world unabashedly. This God-imbued talent or gift is hidden in your generative capacity and as you go through Heilkunst treatment, it will get harder and harder to suppress it.  Your passion flower can not be suppressed long-term without symptoms.

Don’t be surprised if you suddenly start doodling while on the phone, or magically waking up with whole poems written in your head, or feel driven to teach others how to ferment their own foods, sew baby’s clothing and sell them, coach a fellow mom at her birth, or suddenly pick up a musical instrument, dance, sing, teach, research or become an astronaut. These are just examples I’m thinking of from specific patients I’ve served.

Perhaps this year, you’re poised to find the man or woman of your dreams to have the kind of spiritual and romantic sex that you’ve always dreamed of. Don’t ever settle for anything less, as the Cancer state of mind will reduce your bar, sublimating your true desire function into watching television, eating non-resonant junk foods, doing things for family members to the exclusion of yourself more out of obligation than love or working that tortuous 9-5 desk job in that 10 x 12 cubicle with the daily 3 hour commute.

Cancer is a state of mind defined as the disease of resignation.  You’ll hear her say things like, “Well, if I don’t do it, no one else will. And certainly no one can do it as well as me.”  They’re exhausted, burnt out.  When you listen to them, your internal pathetic meter will be activated.  I know, as I used to provoke this response in others.  Due to my lack of inner guidance system, folks would happily step up to take over and tell me precisely their agenda and how I’d want to come along.

Cancer loves a false authority which is why I gravitated to false patriarchal constructs like Judaism and also worked for the Government. If someone asked me how I was, I put my child in front of me like a mascot for my un-lived life.  The truth was, I didn’t really know.  I was just that pathetic an I ended up with an inch and a half round tumour in my left breast as an emblem of how I was devoid of self-nurturing and a real sense of my self.

Let us know if you feel you’re suffering the same and we’ll provide you with the therapeutic keys to harness your own passion flower.  We all deserve to wholly self-actualize.  I should know … and, oh baby, I do.  It’s why I stepped up onto “The Path to Cure.”

Organon of the Medical Art by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (interlinear version)

organon-of-the-medical-art-by-dr-samuel-hahnemann-edited-and-original-imadyvu45tvgvfmkThe 6th edition is the bible for Heilkunst Medicine. Dr. Hahnemann clearly laid down the tenants for curative medicine in the pages of his “Organon der Heilkunst” here.
 
However, you might be very surprised at how many homeopaths have actually never read it. It’s not even on the curriculum at many colleges! We know because many individuals coming from other institutions cited never seeing a copy of it until they studied at the Hahnemann College for Heilkunst.
 
Secondary texts, or even other editions, are watered down versions with mis-translations key to understanding this curative art. Steven Decker, scholar par excellence of 200 year old German from the Romantic Period, went back and re-translated every word and concept fresh.
 
Decker and Wenda Brewster O’Reilly illuminated much of Hahnemann’s true intentions. For example, Hahnemann never said, “One remedy per person,” in fact he said, “One remedy per disease” which changes the game entirely. This edition has become the blueprint for healing and curing, both art and science for us Heilkünstlers.
 
You can see Decker’s translated interlinear version on EBookMall, if you like. You can also then study his rational with regards to every word/concept painstakingly converted from the old German to modern English, with all the inherent meaning finally intact. In itself, it is a work of art.
 
Humanity finally has this dynamic, spirited piece of knowledge as the foundational underpinnings for addressing chronic disease. There is not an ounce of ambiguity contained within it’s pages. It will further cement for you that “homeopathy” is a principle, not a system of medicine which is a tenant of the whole of this medical art.

The Genetic Miasm Tuberculinum

 

“Cough, hack, wheeze, cough …”  It can start like this, or with a sore throat, or with a sniffling nose.  No, it doesn’t show up in July, it comes right around December 21st just when your buying your free range turkey for the holidays.  The telltale sign that Tuberculinum has you, or your family, in it’s grips with it’s gripe is that the fever will be high at about 103.8, with a sudden onset.  It may be accompanied by sore throat, shivering, persistent headache deep in the forehead, yellow/green mucus from the nose, dizziness and significant constipation.  The ears may be ringing with tinnitis and the pain will be acute with a sticking pain that radiates right down into the teeth.

Dr. John Henry Clarke, M.D. described the bronchial symptoms in depth as:

Chest. Sensation of pressure in chest.?Heat in chest (M).?Sticking pain in chest, esp. at the apex of l. lung.?Sensation of constriction in the præcordial region.?Pains in both sides of chest going to back.?Pains in l. side.?Sticking in side.?Nightly pains on chest.?Sticking pains: in lungs; in l. side, pains between scapulæ.?Aching in side in night.?Sticking pain in chest, on r. and l. side.?Sticking pain in l. side in morning and afternoon.?Sticking pain in lungs when laughing.?Pain in axilla, esp. when elevating arm.?Sticking pain: in lungs with cough and palpitation.?Pressure in chest, sticking pain an both sides of chest, in back.?Palpitation, caused by deep inspirations, aching in back with pains under ribs.?Pains in subclavicular region with cough.?Sticking pain in l. lung.?Pain from clavicles to throat.?Pain in apex pulmonis radiating to axilla and arm.?Sticking pain in chest and in back, < from every movement.?Pain in l. lung to axilla.?Pain on l. side going to back.?Pain in l. apex and in region of the spleen.?Severe pain in back, in axilla and arms.?Pains in l. side, must take deep inspiration.?Bronchitic sounds in both lungs (W C).?Dulness r, apex (L B).

As you can see a lot of bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma can be wrongly diagnosed, prescribed antibiotics, just to come back the following year with a more virulent expression.  Tuberculinum must be cured on the sound basis of natural law to be eradicated outright.  My daughter’s riding coach used to suffer annually in precisely this way until we addressed it once and for all by using Heilkunst principles.

It is interesting to note that the patient always feels better up in the mountains in a pine or cedar forest as this helps to clear their lungs so that they can breath more easily.  If you lived a few hundred years ago, when Tuberculosis was an even more prevalent infectious disease, you might be sent to a sanatorium up in the mountains in Europe in order to recuperate.

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There is also another aspect to this Genetic Miasmic disease that produces chronic constant symptoms and that is “the state of mind.”  They will be the type of person who is yearning; yearning to travel, yearning to fall in love, yearning for fulfilment in some way or another.  The movie “Amelie” is a great rendering of a Tubercular state of mind.  Also, your child may exhibit unusual bouts of rage, vindictiveness, and belligerence towards yourself and others while in a Tuberculinum state.  In our Materia Medica, it is written that the child may break the mother’s favourite vase or other article of value right in front of her out of defiance.

ADHD-like symptoms are also frequently anchored to Tuberculinum.  They can’t keep their mind on one subject for more than a few moments.  They will drive their parents and educators crazy as they’re seemingly ill focussed in every sense imaginable, sabotaging every effort at a defined trajectory.

When Jeff Korentayer was speaking to his patients this week about some of the historical aspects regarding Tuberculinum  he brought up the point the this disease was often referred to as “consumption” a couple hundred years ago. Interesting as the state of mind of the Tub. sufferer will often over consume, yearning for another gadget, article of clothing, cell phone or car.  They’ve let go more of their spiritual nature and replaced it with many golden calves termed consumptive consumerism.

Of even further interest, Jeff describes how Tuberculinum was the prevalent disease at the turn of the 19th century when the industrial age set in.  Think of London and all the coal burning, smog and fog.  It was hard to breath, folks had a lot of lung-related afflictions.  Also, moving into the city meant a profound separation, a definite cutting off from nature with a deep longing for open vistas and fresh air.  This was also the dawn of the romantic period when humanity was longing to connect to her inner nature through art, poetry and romantic science.

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This also happens to be the time when Dr. Samuel Hahnemann discovered the principles of Heilkunst, researching and writing about this romantic science in his groundbreaking book the “Organon Der Heilkunst” which literally means the “The Whole Medical Art.”  In there he describes the physicians highest and only calling and the true participation of the nature of the patient, the state of mind in illness, true participatory discernment and the eradication of disease.  He also defined the qualities for health as not only the eradication of symptoms, but that the healthy individual will avail themselves of their spiritual life’s purpose when whole and hale.  Hahnemann moved countless times with his many children, sometimes more than once in a year which leads us to believe he might have nimageseeded the nosode himself.

In the clinical portion of my studies back in 2003, my mentor, Patty Smith told a story of serving patients in the States who also moved annually.  It was a real bone of contention with their children.  After giving them the Tubercular nosode, they never moved again, finally feeling satisfaction with their current domain and geography.

I also served a woman years ago in 2004 for chronic headaches.  As per usual, we went through her sequential timeline and then started hitting each of her Genetic Miasms.  When we hit Tub., her headaches completely dissipated.  However, the other surprising part was that she also suddenly quit her very successful job as a head hunter, went to Paris, France and attended Cordon Bleu Chef School.  She came back home to open her own cooking school.  She’s felt utterly fulfilled in her work every since.

My hope is that we’ve depicted more clearly for you the symptoms and state of mind for Tuberculinum. Here are two other Blogs on the same if your interest is piqued:

A Different Kind of Love Story by Jeff Korentayer

Heilkunst Diagnosing; Where’s That Bloody Off-Switch? by Allyson McQuinn

 

The Myths and Misconceptions of Couples Counselling

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Healthy relationships are a function of Love, commitment and a mature consciousness  It can be tough to enter into our imaginations to look into the future with regards to the dynamics of the relationship with clear, honest eyes.  Most folks know, unequivocally, at the altar whether or not they are making a mistake and due to social pressures, will go through with it anyway while the pulse races and the mind screams in protest.  Pre-Marriage Counselling can be the most intelligent and Love-imbued activity you can engage with on behalf of yourself in order to shed a conscious light on the myths and misconceptions of a prospective union with another.

 

A popular but mistaken belief is that the main factors contributing to a long marriage are luck and love; instead, commitment and companionship actually play a more important role.  In fact, one has to be committed to being their own intimate companion first!  What this means, simply, is that I can only be as intimately connected to another as I am already committed to myself and my own feelings first.  For example, when you are feeling anxious, ask yourself how you are really feeling?  Sink down, below the anxiety into the pit of your stomach.  What is the feeling?  Generally, it is a deep seated and more deeply rooted fear.  If you are able to connect to “the feeling” the crux of the anxiety, and name it out loud, watch the shifts that occur in your body as the breath deepens and you relax.  If you are able to execute these connections to yourself, first, then you simply can offer this same capacity to connect to yourself to your beloved.  It actual fact, I can only connect to another human being to the degree that I am already connected to all aspects of myself; especially my deeper feelings.

 

 

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Conflict is not unusual or abnormal in a relationship; actually it can be the most illuminating tool to know the self if used constructively.  Freud called this phenomenon “transference.”  If I am displaying blame, criticism, or a false desire to fix someone else, what I am actually attempting to leverage from my subconscious is my fear, grief, anger, guilt and resentment by projecting onto the other person.  If I can train myself to read these projections before they are projected inappropriately onto my beloved, I convert lead into gold!  This is the secret behind Paracelus’ Alchemy. Alternatively, if someone chooses to live an unconscious life, they will keep projecting the same content over and over again based on deep seated karmic patterns and harbored diseases that keep one sadly puppeted by their unconscious; or neurotic and psychotic material.  Once we learn to hold the charge of a deeper inner consciousness with the realization that I’m about to project it onto someone else, I can illuminate the unconscious into consciousness.  Pre-marriage counselling, by an illuminated and trusted mentor can help us to face the content we harbor, poised to projected onto the tableau of an innocent marriage.  For example, if I notice I’m jealous, for example, rather than anxiously blaming or accusing my beloved, I can thoughtfully engage in the root cause which is my utter insecurity and fear that I may be abandoned.  In fact, in the case of jealousy, it is typically a sub-conscious projection of your little kid-fears that your are not worth being wholly committed to that was illustrated to you in early childhood by Mommy or Daddy.  Most of this content has been harbored before the tender age of three.

 

imagesPrincipled counselling is only to be used to avoid a negative situation like an imminent divorce; rather than a positive goal of consciously building a healthy, fulfilling relationship.  All negative self-perceptions have the capacity to be transmuted into a benefit for yourself and subsequently the relationship.  It takes courage to sink into the muck and mire of your deepest fears and hatred.  Once down in the content of the demiurge at your core, you realize that as you clear the brambles with your sword of truth, it is just the whining and little kid fears of your early childhood still holding you prey.  If you can pick up this side of yourself, the abandoned toddler, and purvey her/him out of the darkness with compassion and love, you will see that the positive goal of consciously building a healthy, fulfilling relationship, actually begins in your own loins!  If you can rescue yourself first, you don’t project your insecurities and demands to be rescued by your partner day after day.  This is the most liberating, mature and whole way of being in relationship.  Can you imagine what our relationships could look like if we are both already rescued and whole; our salvation completely bagged and intact?  There would be no end to the love, abundance and creativity we could explore.

 

Another myth is that “mature” or “smart” couples don’t need outside help to solve any conflicts or issues.  Self-intelligence does not necessarily come from having a PHd. or from living a long time.  Wisdom or as the Greeks spouted, “Know thyself” is a function of courage, the true capacity to face all your feelings in an honest, forthright, way and allowing your fears to convert into hope, hate into love, jealousy into faith, and grief into compassion and tenderness.  The intellect is not “smart” or “mature,” in fact it is a child barely out of diapers, living out of the past or projected into the future.  It is a moralizing junky that only knows how to compartmentalize, or analyze, trying to shove every feeling into filing drawers of the mind too small and contracted to fit them.  Feelings just don’t fit the intellectual construct and will spew onto the outer landscape, generally projected wrongly onto others.  It is a hot-flash of unconscious emotion.  When we walk it down into the nether part of our being, face our truer base emotions, they will naturally convert into right thinking, informed and imbued with heat, enthusiasm and orgastic love.  This is a more righteous definition for the state of maturity bourn out of a deep self-knowledge.  This way of being connected to he self is sexy beyond words!  Being the mature, realized, conscious being that you are naturally destroys the myths and misconceptions of the victim, prey-like self.

 

images-2One misconception with far reaching implications is that having children will bring a couple closer together or patch up existing problems.  What fears, anger, grief and resentment we can’t raise into consciousness out of love, actually becomes the prison projected onto the next generation.  What we bear from our loins carries the same limitations, or alternatively, the love and hope we’ve consciously become. Our babes are a mirror of our limitations or the triumphs of our celebrated lives.  The myths and misconceptions of pre-marriage counselling are that it can’t help.  That is true if I’m hell-bent on self-destruction.  Sadly, folks poised on remaining unconscious, perilously lost in the darkness, puppeted by unconscious acts that keep them, their partners and their off-spring trapped in karmic and disease patterns will perpetuate out of  law; the law of resonance.  

Appropriate pre-marriage counselling with a an inspirational mentor trained in the principles of Character Analysis and Orgone Therapies (enabling to access the pre-verbal ages from pre-womb to about 3 or 4 years where most patterning started) can help the individuals seeking coupledom as a function of their personal evolution be the most illuminating journey imaginable.  This is not for the faint of heart and few will own the courage to plunge into these depths, however, a mentor who has journeyed the same route before you, fully conscious, trained and illuminated can be a God-send.  It is time for us to cure ourselves, our relationships, our marriages and then only foster our children out of this deep abiding knowledge and love.  A whole, healthy, sovereign and autonomous self will create the opposite qualities in a partner.  Work on yourself first, or in conjunction with your relationship, as individual wholeness will burn off the predisposition for dysfunction and co-dependency.

Childhood, disrupted

An excellent article, published on Aeon on how childhood trauma manifests as physical disease later on:

Adversity in childhood can create long-lasting scars, damaging our cells and our DNA, and making us sick as adults

by Donna Jackson Nakazawa

 

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Photo by Charles Gullung/Gallery Stock

 

If you saw Laura walking down the New York City street where she lives today, you’d see a well-dressed 46-year-old woman with auburn hair and green eyes, who exudes a sense of ‘I matter here.’ She looks entirely in charge of her life, but behind Laura’s confident demeanour lies a history of trauma: a bipolar mother who vacillated between braiding her daughter’s hair and peppering her with insults, and a father who moved out-of-state with his wife-to-be when Laura was 15 years old.

She recalls a family trip to the Grand Canyon when she was 10. In a photo taken that day, Laura and her parents sit on a bench, sporting tourist whites. ‘Anyone looking at us would have assumed that we were a normal, loving family.’ But as they put on fake smiles for the camera, Laura’s mother suddenly pinched her daughter’s midriff and told her to stop ‘staring off into space’. A second pinch: ‘No wonder you’re turning into a butterball, you ate so much cheesecake last night you’re hanging over your shorts!’ If you look hard at Laura’s face in the photograph, you can see that she’s not squinting at the Arizona sun, but holding back tears.

After her father left the family, he sent cards and money, but called less and less. Meanwhile, her mother’s untreated bipolar disorder worsened. Sometimes, Laura says: ‘My mom would go on a vitriolic diatribe about my dad until spittle foamed on her chin. I’d stand there, trying not to hear her as she went on and on, my whole body shaking inside.’ Laura never invited friends over, for fear they’d find out her secret: her mom ‘wasn’t like other moms’.

Some 30 years later, Laura says: ‘In many ways, no matter where I go or what I do, I’m still in my mother’s house.’ Today, ‘If a car swerves into my lane, a grocery store clerk is rude, my husband and I argue, or my boss calls me in to talk over a problem, I feel something flip over inside. It’s like there’s a match standing inside too near a flame, and with the smallest breeze, it ignites.’

To see Laura, you’d never know that she is ‘always shaking a little, only invisibly, deep down in my cells’.

Her sense that something is wrong inside is mirrored by her physical health. During a routine exam, Laura’s doctor discovered that Laura was suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy and would require a cardioverter defibrillator to keep her heart pumping. The two-inch scar from her surgery only hints at the more severe scars she hides from her childhood.

For as long as John can remember, he says, his parents’ marriage was deeply troubled, as was his relationship with his father. ‘I consider myself to have been raised by my mom and her mom. I longed to feel a deeper connection with my dad, but it just wasn’t there. He couldn’t extend himself in that way.’ John’s poor relationship with his father was due, in large part, to his father’s reactivity and need for control. For instance, if John’s father said that the capital of New York was New York City, there was just no use telling him that it was Albany.

As John got older, it seemed wrong to him that his father ‘was constantly pointing out all the mistakes that my brother and I made, without acknowledging any of his own’. His father relentlessly criticised his mother, who was ‘kinder and more confident’. Aged 12, John began to interject himself into the fights between his parents. He remembers one Christmas Eve, when he found his father with his hands around his mother’s neck and had to separate them. ‘I was always trying to be the adult between them,’ John says.

John is now a boyish 40, with warm hazel eyes and a wide, affable grin. But beneath his easy, open demeanour, he struggles with an array of chronic illnesses. By the time he was 33, his blood pressure was shockingly high; he began to experience bouts of stabbing stomach pain and diarrhoea and often had blood in his stool; he struggled from headaches almost daily. By 34, he’d developed chronic fatigue, and was so wiped out that he sometimes struggled to make it through an entire workday.

John’s relationships, like his body, were never completely healthy. He ended a year?long romance with a woman he deeply loved because he felt riddled with anxiety around her normal, ‘happy family’. He just didn’t know how to fit in. ‘She wanted to help,’ he says, ‘but instead of telling her how insecure I was around her, I told her I wasn’t in love with her.’ Bleeding from his inflamed intestines, exhausted by chronic fatigue, debilitated and distracted by pounding headaches, often struggling with work, and unable to feel comfortable in a relationship, John was stuck in a universe of pain and solitude, and he couldn’t get out.

Laura’s and John’s life stories illustrate the physical price we can pay, as adults, for trauma that took place 10, 20, even 30 years ago. New findings in neuroscience, psychology and immunology tell us that the adversity we face during childhood has farther-reaching consequences than we might ever have imagined. Today, in labs across the country, neuroscientists are peering into the once-inscrutable brain-body connection, and breaking down, on a biochemical level, exactly how the stress we experience during childhood and adolescence catches up with us when we are adults, altering our bodies, our cells, and even our DNA.

Emotional stress in adult life affects us on a physical level in quantifiable, life-altering ways. We all know that when we are stressed, chemicals and hormones can flush our body and increase levels of inflammation. That’s why stressful events in adult life are correlated with the likelihood of getting a cold or having a heart attack.

But when children or teens face adversity and especially unpredictable stressors, they are left with deeper, longer?lasting scars. When the young brain is thrust into stressful situations over and over again without warning, and stress hormones are repeatedly ramped up, small chemical markers, known as methyl groups, adhere to specific genes that regulate the activity of stress?hormone receptors in the brain. These epigenetic changes hamper the body’s ability to turn off the stress response. In ideal circumstances, a child learns to respond to stress, and recover from it, learning resilience. But kids who’ve faced chronic, unpredictable stress undergo biological changes that cause their inflammatory stress response to stay activated.

Joan Kaufman, director of the Child and Adolescent Research and Education (CARE) programme at the Yale School of Medicine, recently analysed DNA in the saliva of happy, healthy children, and of children who had been taken from abusive or neglectful parents. The children who’d experienced chronic childhood stress showed epigenetic changes in almost 3,000 sites on their DNA, and on all 23 chromosomes – altering how appropriately they would be able to respond to and rebound from future stressors.

Kids who’ve had early adversity have a drip of fight-or-flight hormones turned on every day – it’s as if there is no off switch

Likewise, Seth Pollak, professor of psychology and director of the Child Emotion Research Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, uncovered startling genetic changes in children with a history of adversity and trauma. Pollak identified damage to a gene responsible for calming the stress response. This particular gene wasn’t working properly; the kids’ bodies weren’t able to reign in their heightened stress response. ‘A crucial set of brakes are off,’ says Pollak.

Imagine for a moment that your body receives its stress hormones and chemicals through an IV drip that’s turned on high when needed and, when the crisis passes, it’s switched off again. You might think of kids whose brains have undergone epigenetic changes because of early adversity as having an inflammation-promoting drip of fight-or-flight hormones turned on every day – it’s as if there is no off switch.

Experiencing stress in childhood changes your set point of wellbeing for decades to come. In people such as Laura and John, the endocrine and immune systems are churning out a damaging and inflammatory cocktail of stress neurochemicals in response to even small stressors – an unexpected bill, a disagreement with their spouse, a car that swerves in front of them on the highway, a creak on the staircase – for the rest of their lives. They might find themselves overreacting to, and less able to recover from, the inevitable stressors of life. They’re always responding. And all the while, they’re unwittingly marinating in inflammatory chemicals, which sets the stage for full-throttle disease down the road, in the form of autoimmune disease, heart disease, cancer, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, fibroid tumours, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, migraines and asthma.

Scientists first came to understand the relationship between early chronic stress and later adult disease through the work of a dedicated physician in San Diego and a determined epidemiologist from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. Together, during the 1980s and ’90s – the years when Laura and John were growing up – these two researchers began a paradigm-shifting public-health investigation known as the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study.

In 1985, Vincent J Felitti, chief of a revolutionary preventive care initiative at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care programme in San Diego, noticed a startling pattern in adult patients at an obesity clinic. A significant number were, with the support of Felitti and his nurses, successfully losing hundreds of pounds a year, a remarkable feat, only to withdraw from the programme despite weight-loss success. Felitti, determined to get to the bottom of the attrition rate, conducted face-to-face interviews with 286 patients. It turned out there was a common denominator. Many confided that they had suffered some sort of trauma, often sexual abuse, in their childhoods. To these patients, eating was a solution, not a problem: it soothed the anxiety and depression they had harboured for decades; their weight served as a shield against undesired attention, and they didn’t want to let it go.

Felitti’s interviews gave him a new way of looking at human health and wellbeing that other physicians just weren’t seeing. He presented his findings at a national obesity conference, arguing that ‘our intractable public health problems’ had root causes hidden ‘by shame, by secrecy, and by social taboos against exploring certain areas of life experience’. Felitti’s peers were quick to blast him. One even stood up in the audience and accused Felitti of offering ‘excuses’ for patients’ ‘failed lives’. Felitti, however, remained unfazed; he felt sure that he had stumbled upon a piece of information that would hold enormous import for the field of medicine.

After a colleague who attended that same conference suggested that he design a study with thousands of patients who suffered from a wide variety of diseases, not just obesity, Felitti joined forces with Robert Anda, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC who had, at the time, been researching the relationship between coronary heart disease and depression. Felitti and Anda took advantage of Kaiser Permanente’s vast patient cohort to set up a national epidemiology laboratory. Of the 26,000 patients they invited to take part in their study, more than 17,000 agreed.

Anda and Felitti surveyed these 17,000 individuals on about 10 types of adversity, or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), probing into patients’ childhood and adolescent histories. Questions included: ‘Was a biological parent ever lost to you through divorce, abandonment or other reason?’; ‘Did a parent or other adult in the household often swear at you, insult you, put you down or humiliate you?’; and ‘Was a household member depressed or mentally ill?’ Other questions looked at types of family dysfunction that included growing up with a parent who was an alcoholic or addicted to other substances; being physically or emotionally neglected; being sexually or physically abused; witnessing domestic violence; having a family member who was sent to prison; feeling that there was no one to provide protection; and feeling that one’s family didn’t look out for each other. For each category to which a patient responded ‘yes’, one point would be added to her ACE score, so an ACE score of 2 would indicate that she had suffered two adverse childhood experiences.

To be clear, the patients Felitti and Anda surveyed were not troubled or disadvantaged; the average patient was 57, and three-quarters had attended college. These were ‘successful’ men and women, mostly white, middle-class, with stable jobs and health benefits. Felitti and Anda expected their number of ‘yes’ answers to be fairly low.

The correlation between having a difficult childhood and facing illness as an adult offered a whole new lens through which we could view human health and disease

When the results came in, Felitti and Anda were shocked: 64 per cent of participants answered ‘yes’ to having encountered at least one category of early adversity, and 87 per cent of those patients also had additional adverse childhood experiences; 40 per cent had suffered two or more ACEs; 12.5 per cent had an ACE score greater than or equal to 4.

Felitti and Anda wanted to find out whether there was a correlation between the number of adverse childhood experiences an individual had faced, and the number and severity of illnesses and disorders she developed as an adult. The correlation proved so powerful that Anda was not only ‘stunned’, but deeply moved.

‘I wept,’ he says. ‘I saw how much people had suffered, and I wept.’

Felitti, too, was deeply affected. ‘Our findings exceeded anything we had conceived. The correlation between having a difficult childhood and facing illness as an adult offered a whole new lens through which we could view human health and disease.’

Here, says Felitti, ‘was the missing piece as to what was causing so much of our unspoken suffering as human beings’.

The number of adverse childhood experiences a patient had suffered could by and large predict the amount of medical care she would require in adulthood: the higher the ACE score, the higher the number of doctor’s appointments she’d had in the past year, and the more unexplained physical symptoms she’d reported.

People with an ACE score of 4 were twice as likely to be diagnosed with cancer than people who hadn’t faced any form of childhood adversity. For each point an individual had, her chance of being hospitalised with an autoimmune disease in adulthood rose 20 per cent. Someone with an ACE score of 4 was 460 per cent more likely to face depression than someone with a score of 0.

An ACE score of 6 or higher shortened an individual’s lifespan by almost 20 years.

Researchers wondered if those who encountered childhood adversity were also more likely to smoke, drink and overeat as a sort of coping strategy, and while that was sometimes the case, unhealthy habits didn’t wholly account for the correlation Felitti and Anda saw between adverse childhood experiences and later illness. For instance, those with ACE scores greater than or equal to 7 who didn’t drink or smoke, weren’t overweight or diabetic, and didn’t have high cholesterol stillhad a 360 per cent higher risk of heart disease than those with ACE scores of 0.

‘Time,’ says Felitti, ‘does not heal all wounds. One does not “just get over” something – not even 50 years later.’ Instead, he says: ‘Time conceals. And human beings convert traumatic emotional experiences in childhood into organic disease later in life.’

Often, these illnesses can be chronic and lifelong. Autoimmune disease. Heart disease. Chronic bowel disorders. Migraines. Persistent depression. Even today, doctors puzzle over these very conditions: why are they so prevalent; why are some patients more prone to them than others; and why are they so difficult to treat?

The more research that’s done, the more granular details emerge about the profound link between adverse experiences and adult disease. Scientists at Duke University in North Carolina, the University of California, San Francisco, and Brown University in Rhode Island have shown that childhood adversity damages us on a cellular level in ways that prematurely age our cells and affect our longevity. Adults who faced early life stress show greater erosion in what are known as telomeres – protective caps that sit on the ends of DNA strands to keep the DNA healthy and intact. As telomeres erode, we’re more likely to develop disease, and we age faster; as our telomeres age and expire, our cells expire and so, eventually, do we.

Researchers have also seen a correlation between specific types of adverse childhood experiences and a range of diseases. For instance, children whose parents die, or who face emotional or physical abuse, or experience childhood neglect, or witness marital discord between their parents are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, lung disease, diabetes, headaches, multiple sclerosis and lupus as adults. Facing difficult circumstances in childhood increases six-fold your chances of having myalgic encephalomyelitis (chronic fatigue syndrome) as an adult. Kids who lose a parent have triple the risk of depression in their lifetimes. Children whose parents divorce are twice as likely to suffer a stroke later down the line.

Laura and John’s stories illustrate that the past can tick away inside us for decades like a silent time bomb, until it sets off a cellular message that lets us know the body does not forget its history.

Something that happened to you when you were five or 15 can land you in the hospital 30 years later

John’s ACE score would be a 3: a parent often put him down; he witnessed his mother being harmed; and, clearly, his father suffered from an undiagnosed behaviour health disorder, perhaps narcissism or depression, or both.

Laura had an ACE score of 4.

Laura and John are hardly alone. Two-thirds of American adults are carrying wounds from childhood quietly into adulthood, with little or no idea of the extent to which these wounds affect their daily health and wellbeing. Something that happened to you when you were five or 15 can land you in the hospital 30 years later, whether that something was headline news, or happened quietly, without anyone else knowing it, in the living room of your childhood home.

The adversity a child faces doesn’t have to be severe abuse in order to create deep biophysical changes that can lead to chronic health conditions in adulthood.

‘Our findings showed that the 10 different types of adversity we examined were almost equal in their damage,’ says Felitti. He and Anda found that no single ACE significantly trumped another. This was true even though some types, such as being sexually abused, are far worse in that society regards them as particularly shameful, and others, such as physical abuse, are more overt in their violence.

This makes sense if you think about how the stress response functions on an optimal level. You meet a bear in the woods, and your body floods with adrenaline and cortisol so that you can quickly decide whether to run in the opposite direction or stay and try to frighten the bear. After you deal with the crisis, you recover, your stress hormones abate, and you go home with a great story. For Laura and John, though, that feeling that the bear is still out there, somewhere, circling in the woods, stalking, and might strike again any day, anytime – that feeling never disappears.

There are a lot of bears out there. Chronic parental discord; enduring low-dose humiliation or blame and shame; chronic teasing; the quiet divorce between two secretly seething parents; a parent’s premature exit from a child’s life; the emotional scars of growing up with a hypercritical, unsteady, narcissistic, bipolar, alcoholic, addicted or depressed parent; physical or emotional abuse or neglect: these happen in all too many families. Although the details of individual adverse experiences differ from one home to another and from one neighbourhood to another, they are all precursors to the same organic chemical changes deep in the gray matter of the developing brain.

Every few decades, a groundbreaking psychosocial ‘theory of everything’ helps us to develop a new understanding of why we are the way we are – and how we got that way. In the early 20th century, the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud transformed the landscape of psychology when he argued that the unconscious rules much of our waking life and dreams. Jungian theory taught, among other ideas, that we tend toward introversion or extroversion, which led the American educationalist Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers to develop a personality indicator. More recently, neuroscientists discovered that age ‘zero to three’ was a critical synaptic window for brain development, giving birth to Head Start and other preschool programmes. The correlation between childhood trauma, brain architecture and adult wellbeing is the newest, and perhaps our most important, psychobiological theory of everything.

Today’s research on adverse childhood experiences revolutionises how we see ourselves, our understanding of how we came to be the way we are, why we love the way we do, how we can better nurture our children, and how we can work to realise our potential.

To date, more than 1,500 studies founded on Felitti and Anda’s hallmark ACE research show that both physical and emotional suffering are rooted in the complex workings of the immune system, the body’s master operating control centre – and what happens to the brain during childhood sets the programming for how our immune systems will respond for the rest of our lives.

The unifying principle of this new theory of everything is this: your emotional biography becomes your physical biology, and together, they write much of the script for how you will live your life. Put another way: your early stories script your biology and your biology scripts the way your life will play out.

Unlike previous theories of everything, though, this one has been mind-bogglingly slow to change how we do medicine, according to Felitti. ‘Very few internists or medical schools are interested in embracing the added responsibility that this understanding imposes on them.’

With the ACE research now available, we might hope that physicians will begin to see patients as a holistic sum of their experiences and embrace the understanding that a stressor from long ago can be a health-risk time bomb that has exploded. Such a medical paradigm, which sees adverse childhood experiences as one of many key factors that can play a role in disease, could save many patients years in the healing process.

But seeing that connection takes a little time. It means asking patients to fill out the ACE questionnaire and delving into that patient’s history for insight into sources of both physical and emotional pain. As health-care budgets have become stretched, physicians spend less time interacting one-on-one with patients in their exam rooms; the average physician schedules patients back-to-back at 15-minute intervals.

Still, the cost of not intervening is far greater – not only in the loss of human health and wellbeing, but also in additional healthcare. According to the CDC, the total lifetime cost of child maltreatment in the US is $124 billion each year. The lifetime healthcare cost for each individual who experiences childhood maltreatment is estimated at $210,012 – comparable to other costly health conditions, such as having a stroke, which has a lifetime estimated cost of $159,846 per person, or type-2 diabetes, which is estimated to cost between $181,000 and $253,000.

Further hindering change is the fact that adult physical medicine and psychological medicine remain in separate silos. Utilising ACE research requires breaking down these long-standing divisions in healthcare between what is ‘physical’ and what is ‘mental’ or ‘emotional,’ and that’s hard to achieve. Physicians have been well-trained to deal only with what they can touch with their hands, see with their eyes, or view with microscopes or scans.

Just as physical wounds and bruises heal, just as we can regain our muscle tone, we can recover function in underconnected areas of the brain

However, now that we have scientific evidence that the brain is genetically modified by childhood experience, we can no longer draw that line in the sand. With hundreds of studies showing that childhood adversity hurts our mental and physical health, putting us at greater risk for learning disorders, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, depression, obesity, suicide, substance abuse, failed relationships, violence, poor parenting and early death, we just can’t afford to make such distinctions.

Science tells us that biology does not have to be destiny. ACEs can last a lifetime, but they don’t have to. Just as physical wounds and bruises heal, just as we can regain our muscle tone, we can recover function in underconnected areas of the brain. If anything, that’s the most important take-away from ACE research: the brain and body are never static; they are always in the process of becoming and changing.

Even if we have been set on high-reactive mode for decades or a lifetime, we can still dial it down. We can respond to life’s inevitable stressors more appropriately and shift away from an overactive inflammatory response. We can become neurobiologically resilient. We can turn bad epigenetics into good epigenetics and rescue ourselves. We have the capacity, within ourselves, to create better health. We might call this brave undertaking ‘the neurobiology of awakening’.

Today, scientists recognise a range of promising approaches to help create new neurons (known as neurogenesis), make new synaptic connections between those neurons (known as synaptogenesis), promote new patterns of thoughts and reactions, bring underconnected areas of the brain back online – and reset our stress response so that we decrease the inflammation that makes us ill.

You can find ways to start right where you are, no matter how deep your scars or how long ago they occurred. Many mind-body therapies not only help you to calm your thoughts and increase your emotional and physical wellbeing, but research suggests that they have the potential to reverse, on a biological level, the harmful impact of childhood adversity.

Recent studies indicate that individuals who practice mindfulness meditation and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) show an increase in gray matter in parts of the brain associated with managing stress, and experience shifts in genes that regulate their stress response and their levels of inflammatory hormones. Other research suggests that a process known as neurofeedback can help to regrow connections in the brain that were lost to adverse childhood experiences.

Meditation, mindfulness, neurofeedback, cognitive therapy, EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) therapy: these promising new avenues to healing can be part of any patient’s recovery plan, if only healthcare practitioners would begin to treat the whole patient – past, present and future, without making distinctions between physical and mental health – and encourage patients to explore all the treatment options available to them. The more we learn about the toxic impact of early stress, the better equipped we are to counter its effects, and help to uncover new strategies and modalities to come back to who it is we really are, and who it was we might have been had we not encountered childhood adversity in the first place.

This is an adapted and reprinted extract from ‘Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal’ (Atria), by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. Copyright © Donna Jackson Nakazawa, 2015.

Book Review; The Art Of Falling Apart

The Art Of Falling Apart
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Allyson,
 
Thank-you for sharing your book with me! 
 
This is your most intimate, and illuminating, piece of work so far- it was a baptism by fire for sure!
 
You drew me into your inner world- taking me through the dark recesses of our primal fears, self-doubt, and the dying away of the false ego, to emerge, renewed and more wholly in relationship, with your Self and your life. It’s heartfelt, terrifying, beautiful, and inspiring. 
 
Often practitioners are placed on a pedestal (or we falsely place ourselves on one). Because our work is to guide others towards ousting the false ego, resolving trauma and aiding in their trajectory towards claiming the essential self- we must, to a degree, be able to do this ourselves. Therefore, it is humbling when find that we still have a lot of personal work to do, and I think sometimes, we feel shame when we falter. We need to confront that fear of revealing, that we too, are still in a process of becoming. It is a vulnerable position, and yet, it is the very thing that is necessary.
 
With this book you have illustrated the darkest part of our unfoldment, where we enter into the recesses of our fears and assume, with full consciousness, who we are meant to be. Many of us turn away at this point, because it requires that we acknowledge, and act, on our truth. This is not easy, requiring that we stay with the chaos, and have faith, surrendering, and allowing, the facade to burn away. It can be wholly life-altering if we have built our relationships, and our lives, on who we thought we were (or felt we needed to be).  It’s seemingly easier to suppress symptoms and dis-ease, disassociate from our truth, and stay in our delusions, that is, until we are faced with our ultimatum. You have illustrated this so beautifully. I felt your fear, your brokenness, your self-doubt, your bravery.
 
Then you take us into the warm embrace of self-care, and the traversing of this passage, with tenderness and self-love. This is one of the toughest things for most of us to do. “What? Am I actually going to ask for, and do, what I need to get well? What about XYZ? I can’t.” Your false ego was flat-lined, and you did. I felt like I was there with you, building up your relationship with your self, acknowledging and acting on your desires. It was tender at first, and then I could feel your energy build. I felt the enthusiasm as your love function became activated, and celebrated, when you found yourself with your kin, wholly in love. 
 
Your book felt like an intimate, resonant conversation; these are the conversations that I crave. It could only have been achieved if you allowed yourself to truly be seen, and to speak, from your heart, and from your truth. It is a remedy, truly, for those that are still pursuing this passage. With the sharing of your story, you become a maverick, and give others a hope, and faith in their capacity, to become who they are meant to be.
 
Thank-you Ally.
xo
 
Let me know if you need anything else.
Love,
S