Thursday, 30 June 2011

Anti Inflammatory Diet

I have been suffering from intense physical pain in my joints and muscles for the last couple of years. It doesn't seem to be your typical arthritis per say but the Doctor didn't know what else it could be. I had heard that certain foods agravate inflammation in the body but didn't know much about it. I found these articles the other day by Dr. Weiss describing something called Metabloic Syndrome. From the sounds of the diagnosis, I belive this is what is wrong with me.

What is Metabolic Syndrome? Please read this article by Dr Weiss where is describes the diagnosis,symptoms,causes and treatments.

This information is taken from another article from Dr Weiss where he describes the diet and treatment of Metabolic Syndrome.

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet is not a diet in the popular sense - it is not intended as a weight-loss program (although people can and do lose weight on it), nor is it an eating plan to stay on for a limited period of time. Rather, it is way of selecting and preparing foods based on scientific knowledge of how they can help your body maintain optimum health. Along with influencing inflammation, this diet will provide steady energy and ample vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids dietary fiber, and protective phytonutrients.
You can also adapt your existing recipes according to these anti-inflammatory diet principles:
General Diet Tips:
  • Aim for variety.
  • Include as much fresh food as possible.
  • Minimize your consumption of processed foods and fast food.
  • Eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables.
Caloric Intake
  • Most adults need to consume between 2,000 and 3,000 calories a day.
  • Women and smaller and less active people need fewer calories.
  • Men and bigger and more active people need more calories.
  • If you are eating the appropriate number of calories for your level of activity, your weight should not fluctuate greatly.
  • The distribution of calories you take in should be as follows: 40 to 50 percent from carbohydrates, 30 percent from fat, and 20 to 30 percent from protein.
  • Try to include carbohydrates, fat, and protein at each meal.
  • On a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, adult women should consume between 160 to 200 grams of carbohydrates a day.
  • Adult men should consume between 240 to 300 grams of carbohydrates a day.
  • The majority of this should be in the form of less-refined, less-processed foods with a low glycemic load.
  • Reduce your consumption of foods made with wheat flour and sugar, especially bread and most packaged snack foods (including chips and pretzels).
  • Eat more whole grains such as brown rice and bulgur wheat, in which the grain is intact or in a few large pieces. These are preferable to whole wheat flour products, which have roughly the same glycemic index as white flour products.
  • Eat more beans, winter squashes, and sweet potatoes.
  • Cook pasta al dente and eat it in moderation.
  • Avoid products made with high fructose corn syrup.
  • On a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, 600 calories can come from fat - that is, about 67 grams. This should be in a ratio of 1:2:1 of saturated to monounsaturated to polyunsaturated fat.
  • Reduce your intake of saturated fat by eating less butter, cream, high-fat cheese, unskinned chicken and fatty meats, and products made with palm kernel oil.
  • Use extra-virgin olive oil as a main cooking oil. If you want a neutral tasting oil, use expeller-pressed, organic canola oil. Organic, high-oleic, expeller pressed versions of sunflower and safflower oil are also acceptable.
  • Avoid regular safflower and sunflower oils, corn oil, cottonseed oil, and mixed vegetable oils.
  • Strictly avoid margarine, vegetable shortening, and all products listing them as ingredients. Strictly avoid all products made with partially hydrogenated oils of any kind. Include in your diet avocados and nuts, especially walnuts, cashews, almonds, and nut butters made from these nuts.
  • For omega-3 fatty acids, eat salmon (preferably fresh or frozen wild or canned sockeye), sardines packed in water or olive oil, herring, and black cod (sablefish, butterfish); omega-3 fortified eggs; hemp seeds and flaxseeds (preferably freshly ground); or take a fish oil supplement (look for products that provide both EPA and DHA, in a convenient daily dosage of two to three grams).
  • On a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, your daily intake of protein should be between 80 and 120 grams. Eat less protein if you have liver or kidney problems, allergies, or autoimmune disease.
  • Decrease your consumption of animal protein except for fish and high quality natural cheese and yogurt.
  • Eat more vegetable protein, especially from beans in general and soybeans in particular. Become familiar with the range of whole-soy foods available and find ones you like.
  • Try to eat 40 grams of fiber a day. You can achieve this by increasing your consumption of fruit, especially berries, vegetables (especially beans), and whole grains.
  • Ready-made cereals can be good fiber sources, but read labels to make sure they give you at least 4 and preferably 5 grams of bran per one-ounce serving.
  • To get maximum natural protection against age-related diseases (including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disease) as well as against environmental toxicity, eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and mushrooms.
  • Choose fruits and vegetables from all parts of the color spectrum, especially berries, tomatoes, orange and yellow fruits, and dark leafy greens.
  • Choose organic produce whenever possible. Learn which conventionally grown crops are most likely to carry pesticide residues and avoid them.
  • Eat cruciferous (cabbage-family) vegetables regularly.
  • Include soy foods in your diet.
  • Drink tea instead of coffee, especially good quality white, green or oolong tea.
  • If you drink alcohol, use red wine preferentially.
  • Enjoy plain dark chocolate in moderation (with a minimum cocoa content of 70 percent).
Vitamins and MineralsThe best way to obtain all of your daily vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients is by eating a diet high in fresh foods with an abundance of fruits and vegetables. In addition, supplement your diet with the following antioxidant cocktail:
  • Vitamin C, 200 milligrams a day.
  • Vitamin E, 400 IU of natural mixed tocopherols (d-alpha-tocopherol with other tocopherols, or, better, a minimum of 80 milligrams of natural mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols).
  • Selenium, 200 micrograms of an organic (yeast-bound) form.
  • Mixed carotenoids, 10,000-15,000 IU daily.
  • The antioxidants can be most conveniently taken as part of a daily multivitamin/multimineral supplement that also provides at least 400 micrograms of folic acid and 2,000 IU of vitamin D. It should contain no iron (unless you are a female and having regular menstrual periods) and no preformed vitamin A (retinol). Take these supplements with your largest meal.
  • Women should take supplemental calcium, preferably as calcium citrate, 500-700 milligrams a day, depending on their dietary intake of this mineral. Men should avoid supplemental calcium.
Other Dietary Supplements
  • If you are not eating oily fish at least twice a week, take supplemental fish oil, in capsule or liquid form (two to three grams a day of a product containing both EPA and DHA). Look for molecularly distilled products certified to be free of heavy metals and other contaminants.
  • Talk to your doctor about going on low-dose aspirin therapy, one or two baby aspirins a day (81 or 162 milligrams).
  • If you are not regularly eating ginger and turmeric, consider taking these in supplemental form.
  • Add coQ10 to your daily regimen: 60-100 milligrams of a softgel form taken with your largest meal.
  • If you are prone to metabolic syndrome, take alpha-lipoic acid, 100 to 400 milligrams a day.
  • Drink pure water, or drinks that are mostly water (tea, very diluted fruit juice, sparkling water with lemon) throughout the day.
  • Use bottled water or get a home water purifier if your tap water tastes of chlorine or other contaminants, or if you live in an area where the water is known or suspected to be contaminated.
Join Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for more in-depth information on the anti-inflammatory diet, plus over 200 anti-inflammatory recipes, dozens of diet tips designed to help prevent age-related disease, and an exclusive version of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid!

here is a link to Dr. Weiss's interactive, anti-inflammatory food pyramid, click on the items for more info about each group

What therapies does Dr. Weil recommend for metabolic syndrome?
  • Dietary changes: The conventional medical recommendation of a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet to lower triglycerides and bring down cholesterol is dead wrong in his opinion. Eating a diet high in the wrong kinds of carbohydrate and fat may actually elevate triglycerides and cholesterol. Instead, Dr. Weil recommends following an anti-inflammatory diet. This is a not a diet in the popular sense - it is not intended as a weight-loss program (although people can and do lose weight on it), nor is it an eating plan to stay on for a limited period of time. Rather, it is way of selecting and preparing foods based on scientific knowledge of how they can help your body remain optimally healthy. Along with influencing inflammation, this diet will provide steady energy and ample vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and dietary fiber. The following suggestions incorporate the principles of this way of eating:

    • Eat small, frequent meals to keep blood sugar in a healthy range. Eating large meals can flood the bloodstream with glucose and insulin. Experiment until you find that you feel your best.
    • Keep refined starches and sugars to a minimum, instead choosing those with a low glycemic index. (Sweet potatoes, winter squash and beans are examples of better carbohydrates.) You should also be aware of glycemic load in assessing dietary choices.
    • Keep saturated fats and trans-fats to a minimum, but consume moderate amounts of monounsaturated oils, such as olive oil and some nut oils.
    • Eat fish several times a week, emphasizing wild, cold-water fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and sardines. Or take omega-3 supplements.
    • Eat generous amounts of non-starchy vegetables, like cucumbers, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, zucchini, eggplant, squash, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, beans, radishes and spinach.
    • Eat foods high in magnesium, which research has linked to lowering the incidence of metabolic syndrome. One gets magnesium by eating plenty of whole grains, leafy green vegetables (spinach is a great source) as well as almonds, cashews and other nuts, avocados, beans, soybeans, and halibut.
    • Cut back on alcohol, avoiding beer especially. (Even small amounts of alcohol can elevate triglyceride levels.)
    • For more information on the anti-inflammatory diet, check out Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid.
  • Exercise: Getting regular exercise is vital but too many people quit, become injured, or simply find the process less enjoyable than they should. Follow Dr. Weil's advice for making aerobic exercise an ongoing, safe and rewarding part of your life.
  • Mind/Body: It is important to attend to stress in positive ways. Rather than using alcohol, tobacco, or television, try breathing exercises. They are simple, free, and right under your nose. Dr. Weil has compiled ten ways to reduce stress and promote relaxation, calm and peace within yourself. Some techniques take practice, and most require some commitment on your part to achieve results. However, the results are well worth the effort.
  • An antioxidant supplement and multivitamin-mineral supplement.
  • You can take additional magnesium if you do not think you're getting enough in the diet. Dr. Weil recommends magnesium citrate, chelate, or glycinate. Avoid magnesium oxide, which can be irritating, and take half the amount of magnesium as the calcium you take in supplemental form. If you do not take any supplemental calcium, watch out for taking large amounts of magnesium, which can cause diarrhea.
  • If you are not eating oily fish at least twice a week, take supplemental fish oil, in capsule or liquid form, 1-2 grams a day. Look for molecularly distilled products certified to be free of heavy metals and other contaminants.
  • Take alpha-lipoic acid, 100 to 400 milligrams a day. Note that this could potentially lower glucose levels too much if the person taking medication such as metformin - patients should work with their physicians so safe and proper dosages are employed.

I personally recently bought an infra-red sauna which has been nothing short of miracualous when it comes to treating my physical pain. I will do a more in-depth article on infra- red next time.
    I think that with rising obesity plaguing our world these days that more and more people will suffer from chronic inflammation. I hope you find this information helpful!
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Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Making Your Own Bath Salts

Making Your Own Bath Salts

Bath Salts are an easily prepared alternative to the mixtures now on the market; most of these chemical-ridden formulas are almost guaranteed to irritate your skin. Bath salts are used for many different purposes, and they make great gifts when packaged in attractive containers.

The basic ingredients are table salt, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) & Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). Some herbalists also use borax.

Epsom salts are wonderful for detoxifying the muscles and reducing pain.

Sea Salt adds minerals to rejuvenate the body. You can use either (un-iodized versions)

Add the salts to a large bowl in these proportions:

3 parts Epsom/sea salts

2 parts baking soda

1 part table salt (or borax)

Essential (scented, herbal/floral) Oils

Mix thoroughly using your hands or wooden spoons reserved just for this purpose, to stir the ingredients. This is now the base from which you can create a wide variety of bath salts. If you want to, you can add colors to bath salts. Use plain food coloring for this purpose, letting it fall drop by drop onto the salt base.

If two or more colors are required to mix an exotic hue (such as purple), mix these in a spoon first and then add to the salts to avoid creating a two-toned product, unless of course, you plan on a two or three tone salt.

Add many drops for a darker colored salt; fewer for a lightly hued salt. Mix the color into the salts until it is evenly distributed; again use your hands or you may use a utensil.

Now add the essential oils drop by drop, until the scent seems strong enough. If you plan on using more then one essential oil then mix these together first before adding to the salt. Use your hands and fingertips to mix it together until all salt particles are moistened. This may take up to fifteen minutes or longer.

As to proportions, rely on your sense of smell to determine the exact quantities. The more potent the finished products' scent, the less will have to be used for each bath. They should be strongly scented.

To use, add from 2 tablespoons to one-half cup of the bath salts to a full tub. Mix with your hands into the water. Enjoy your home made bath salts!

For very sore, achy muscles add 2 cups of Epsom salt to a hot bath and soak for 20 minutes to allow for the osmosis effect of the salt to pull lactic acid from the muscles. A very effect way to manage pain! I will also use an ice pack on the areas of concern after my bath to cool down any inflammation that may be present. After the bath and ice and a good nights sleep you should be feeling a whole lot better.

Store your bath salts and any opened packages of salt in a closed container, they will absorb moisture from the air and harden into a solid clump if left open.

Don’t have a bath? You can also use salt and oil as a body scrub in the shower. These will leave your skin as soft as a babies! Mix ½ cup of salt (I use dead Sea Salt un-iodized but any table salt will do) with enough virgin olive oil to saturate the salt. Add a splash of water (Approximately 1 tablespoon) to make the mixture a little creamier. You can use this plain or if you wish it scented, add your essential oils.(Lavender has many healing qualities for the skin and it’s scent is very relaxing, one of my favorites!)

After your shower when the skin is still wet, stop the water. Apply the salt mixture in circular scrubbing motions all over your body (avoid face, crotch area, and nipples). Rinse off with lukewarm water (no soap). Pat yourself dry with a fluffy towel, and voila, satin smooth skin.
To maintain this softness, apply skin lotion to the body after patting dry, and right after every other bath/shower while the skin is still moist. If you suffer from very dry skin , you may wish to substitute sugar for the salt, it is not as irritating. Very dry skin is also helped by adding oatmeal to a bath. Place a handful of oatmeal (grind to a powder if possible) into a porous cloth and make a bundle. Tie this under the running water as the bath fills.

-Make your bath a special time for yourself. Light candles, play relaxing music, get a bath pillow, a cool drink and some warm fluffy towels for after. If your lucky like I am, your dryer is in the bathroom and you can pull out a toasty warm towel right after your bath...heavenly. Draping your towels over a small portable radiator works as well, but be very careful not to leave the towels on too long, a fire may result!

Here are a bunch of recipes for scenting your bath salts. Generally speaking, there shouldn't be more than ten drops of essential oil per half-cup of bath salts. Use only genuine essential oils.

Bath Salts Combination #1

3 drops lavender

3 drops grapefruit

2 drops juniper

2 cups sea salt

Add about 1/2 cup to bath water.

Bath Salts Combination #2

3 drops sandalwood

3 drops patchouli

3 drops lavender

2 cups sea salt

Add 1/2 cup to bath water

Healing Bath Recipe (Bath Salts)

Color: Dark blue

3 parts Neroli

2 parts Eucalyptus

1 part Sandalwood

Protection Bath Recipe (Bath Salts)

COLOR: White

3 Parts Rosemary

2 parts Frankincense

1 part Lavender

Love Bath Recipe (Bath Salts)


3 parts Rosemary

1 part Cardamon

1 part Jasmine

Divine Spiritual Bath Recipe (Bath Salts)

COLOR: Purple

4 parts Sandalwood

2 parts Myrrh

1 part frankincense

1 drop Cinnamon

High Priestess Bath

1 cup sea salt

8 drops wisteria oil

8 drops lavender oil

4 drops rose oil


AIR BATH (Elemental)

COLOR: Yellow

3 parts Lavender

2 parts Rosemary

1 part each Peppermint

Bergamont Mint Bouquet

Use to attune with the powers of Air, for divination, aiding the memory, concentration, clear thinking, visualization and study.


COLOR: White

4 parts Lavender

2 parts Camphor

Add to a tub of tepid water - not hot. Bathe in this blend when you wish to cool down.


COLOR: Purple

3 parts Rosemary

2 parts Myrrh

2 parts Sandalwood

1 part Frankincense

Bathe in before any form of magical working to strengthen, purify and prepare yourself for ritual.

EARTH BATH (Elemental)

COLOR: Green

4 parts Patchouli

3 parts Cypress

1 part Vetiver

Use in attuning with the Earth, or for spells involving money, foundation, stability, creativity, fertility, ecology and so on...


COLOR: White

3 Parts Frankincense

3 Parts Sandalwood

2 Parts Rosemary

1 drop clove oil

Bathe in this mixture for a heavy psychic cleansing. Splash fresh water over your body after the bath.

NOTE: Do not use more than one drop clove oil (may irritate)

FIRE BATH (Elemental)


3 parts Frankincense

2 parts Basil

2 parts Juniper

1/2 part Orange

For use in attuning with the element of Fire, or for rituals involving strength, courage, passion, lust and so on...



3 parts Palmarosa

2 Parts Lavender

1 drop Rose (more may be added)

Bathe in this mixture to attract love and to expand your ability to give and receive love.


COLOR: Dark Blue

3 parts Neroli

2 parts Eucalyptus

1 part Sandalwood

For use in speeding healing. Release the ailment into the water. Splash fresh water over your body before toweling.


COLOR: Purple

3 parts Cedarwood

2 Parts Sandalwood

1 part Frankincense

Bathe in this mixture to direct your consciousness toward higher things, to promote spirituality & to combat earth--obsessions such as uncontrolled spending, overeating, sluggishness & all forms of unbalanced materialism.



3 parts Rosemary

2 parts Lavender

1 part Cardamon

1 part Yarrow

For promoting and attracting love. Use with visualization, as with all of these formulas.



3 parts Sandalwood

2 parts Patchouly

1 part Cardamon

For promoting lustful desires.


COLOR: White

3 Parts Rosemary

2 parts Frankincense

1 part Lavender

Bathe in this mixture daily to strengthen your psychic armor and to stave off all manner of attacks - physical, mental, spiritual, psychic and emotional.


COLOR: Light Blue

4 parts Yarrow

1 part bay

Use this blend in baths to strengthen your psychic awareness


3 Parts Geranium

2 parts rosemary

1 part Frankincense

Bathe in this blend to purify body, spirit & soul.


COLOR: Dark Blue

3 parts Lotus Bouquet

2 parts Lavender

1 part Rosemary

Add a bit of Sea Salt to the salt base. Bathe for a gentle purification prior to magical works


COLOR: Purple

4 parts Sandalwood

2 parts Myrrh

1 part frankincense

1 drop Cinnamon

Use to increase your awareness of the Divine, especially before religious rituals.

WATER BATH (Elemental)

COLOR: Dark Blue

2 parts Chamomile

2 parts Yarrow

1 part Ylang-Ylang

1 part Palmarosa

Use for attuning with the element of Water, or for love, psychic awareness, friendships, healing and so on...


COLOR: Dark Blue

2 Parts Palmarosa

1 part Myrrh

1 part Geranium

Enjoy your soak!

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Friday, 3 June 2011

Journaling Exercises for Healing

Journalling is an amazing tool for self discovery. I have posted a few articles about the ways you can utilize journalling, to see if you are living a balanced lifeto relieve stress,  get to the root of problems and keep a record of your life, dreams and insights . Here are some more journalling exercises to help put things in perspective and create a method for healing the inner child that resides in all of us.

Life is hard. We have all faced challenges in life, not to mention disappointments, broken hearts, betrayal, loss, abuse and a whole host of negative emotions. The difference to your health is how you deal with those emotions and events. If you are like most people , you keep them inside and look for ways to distract yourself from having to face them.

Distractions come in many forms including, alcohol, nicotine, drugs, shopping, eating, hobbies, TV, even religion. In the meantime, while you are ignoring your emotions they are busy churning away at your insides and that usually adds up to physical pain somewhere in the body. By taking a look at the events and beliefs that shape our lives we get to know ourselves. We can use this as a tool to change the course of our lives and a way to find freedom from the past.

These journalling exercises will help you to look at the way you process emotional pain and to discover how it manifests in your body. Divide your journal pages into two columns. When writing about upsetting events, stop and scan your body. Where does it hurt? Write this next to the event or emotion that you are writing about.

Look at the following lists of positive and negative feelings and negative beliefs about ourselves. When the positive feelings are felt and experienced in our lives they are a source of health. Negative feelings that aren’t expressed, fester inside. As you read through the list , you will probably find that you have a strong response to some of the words while you have little or no response to others. Note in your journal the ones that apply to you.

Positive Feelings

Bliss Happiness Passion Ecstasy Joy Satisfaction Excitement Love Sympathy Fulfillment Optimism Tenderness Gladness Thrilled

Negative Feelings
Abandonment Failure Pride Aggression Fear Being forgotten Agony Regret Anger Fright Anxiety Frustration Remorse Arrogance Greed Resentment Shame Rage Rejection MiseryBashfulness Guilt Sadness Bewilderment Hate Bitterness Helplessness Boredom Hopelessness Sheepishness Sorrow Being burdened Hostility Suspicion Confusion Inadequacy Terror Depression Isolation Being trapped Deprivation Jealousy Unimportance Disgust Disappointment Loneliness Desperation Limitedness Unwantedness Unworthiness Being discounted Being used Uselessness Doom Panic Overwelmed Dread Paranoia Perplexity Worry Withdrawn Envy

Negative Beliefs About Ourselves

I am:

Unworthy Incompetent Incapable Unlovable Unwanted

Unproductive Stupid Abandoned Undeserving Powerless

Inadequate Trapped Guilty Inferior Burdensome

Shameful Misunderstood Confused Bad Betrayed

Weak Worthless No good Unloved Alone

Unattractive Victimized Sinful

Are inferior Have no power Are hateful

Create sorrow Abuse love Abuse the opposite sex

Are undependable Abuse power Like getting hurt

Are victims Deserve pain Are weak

Family Beliefs
We will always be:

Poor Misunderstood Stupid Disliked

Releasing Negative Feelings and Beliefs

Sometimes when we don’t know what to do with our feelings, they can seem overwhelming. The following nine suggestions show what you can do with your feelings rather than keeping them inside, where they can hurt you and others. It is time to stop that pain! There are ways to get those feelings out that don’t involve hitting, starving or stuffing yourself, creating an illness or acting them out in some way that will only cause more dis-ease in your life. Start now to to break those old, destructive and hurtful patterns of taking unresolved pain out on yourself. After you’ve released some of your feelings, give yourself a break. Praise yourself for doing good work, for possibly closing a chapter in your life. You may also want to record the experience, and any insights you may have had in your journal.

1. When you have feelings of hatred ,anger, resentment, sadness etc. towards an institution or person, write a letter expressing exactly how you feel. You do not have to mail it, the important thing is that you express your feelings.

2. Share what you are feeling with a counselor or trusted friend.Sometimes we want someone to hear our feelings though this is not always the person with whom we have a grievance.

3. You can put a chair in front of you and pretend the person or institution is sitting in front of you. You could even put a picture of them on the chair. Say everything that you have ever wanted to say to them about what they did to you. Don’t worry about their feelings. Take care of your feelings. If this is someone who has abused you in some way, visualize giving the offender back their shame, pain, and humiliation.

4. Drive to a place where you can be alone and yell and scream as loud as you need to. Say everything you need to, until you feel a release of your inner turmoil.

5. Get a plastic bat and beat your bed, couch, or a strong pillow with it, use something soft so you won’t hurt your hand. Scream "NO", "I won’t let you....... hurt me, humiliate me........".whatever you need to take back ,as loud as you can, and reclaim your power.

6. Sing. As loudly and outrageously as you want.

7. Cry. Put on sad music, go to a sad movie, wallow in old memories, what ever you need to do. Just let those tears out.

8. Do something physical. This could be dancing, jogging ,running, swimming, walking fast, playing a sport, bicycling, doing yard work, etc. Anything physical really helps.

9. Go outside, even if it’s winter. Be out in nature, you will be more grounded. Talk it out to the universe, it will really help to work out that fear, anxiety and anger.

The Child Within
Each of us has a child within, a part of us which is sensitive, vulnerable, playful, sweet, innocent, giggly, squirmy, creative, lovable, curious,smiling, and filled with wonder. Even if you don’t allow yourself to express this part, your inner child is still there--- wanting and needing attention, recognition ,acceptance ,love, nurturence and joy.

Developing a relationship with your inner child is very important for your healing process. If your inner child was wounded, not getting all the love or positive recognition it deserved, there is a good chance that that this same inner child is still very needy today.

You may be wondering how to recognise your own inner child. When you are in a situation that has brought up feelings of fear, anger, rage, sadness, confusion, despair, hopelessness, or terror, ask yourself how old you feel. Ask your child where it is, what is happening, how they feel. This is helpful in knowing if you’re reacting from the child’s or the adult’s feelings. You can do this in your journal. In one column on the right with your dominant hand, ask you inner child questions. In the left column with your non dominant hand ( use crayons or markers) let your inner child answer.

Warning - We all have a "critical parent" within us, that may try to sabatage this experience.They may say things like:

"Hurry up, you’re too slow"

"That’s a stupid thing to say"

"You’re dumb"

Listen to your inner parent with the realization that the way it parents your inner child reveals something to you about how you were parented as a child. Simply take note of what it is saying, without feeling like you have to act on it. Go beyond the critical voice by paying attention to your inner childs own needs for affection and recognition, right now, they are more important than meeting the needs of the inner parent. It is up to you as the adult , now to give that child the safety, the protection, the reassurance, the attention, the acknowledgement that he/she (you) did not get earlier. Think about any small children you know right now. If they came to you needing to feel safe, loved and acknowledged, how would you provide that for them? You are going to have to learn how to give this to yourself.

Meet your inner child. Go to a park or somewhere childish and happy. Using your journal, let your inner child draw a picture with crayons/markers etc.with your nondominant hand. Let them pick the colours.If they are feeling angry, the picture may be mean, scary, unhappy or angry. Assure your inner child that this is ok, they can express anything they wish. Ask your inner child questions with your dominant hand. Let your child answer with your non dominant hand. Ask what they would like to be called. If you have not previously looked at the wounds of your inner child, he or she may not be very happy when you first make contact. They may feel very hurt, neglected, mistrustful, sad , alone, ashamed and unwanted.

Allow the child to say anything that they need or want to say. Give them all the time and space they need. Your child may want to tell you how lonely she has been or how hard it was when you were little. (Remember to watch for the voice of the critical parent, record those messages in your journal with your dominant hand.)

When you are ready to finish your dialogue with your inner child, tell them that you want to become more aware of them through out your daily life. Ask her for a code, a way to let you , the adult, know that she wants or needs to talk to you. For example, maybe they will think of the colour red. When you hear or sense an inner nudging of red, grab your journal and ask "whats up?"They will always have something to say!

Love this inner child. You’re the adult now. You can give your inner child everything they ever wanted or needed. Nuturing this relationship can fill up those empty spaces inside. The unmet needs of your inner child will no longer control your life. You will feel more complete.

A Picture of Your Past
Use your journal to begin making notes about your childhood. Use photo albums, old toys or mementoes of your childhood to help you remember. Ask grandparents, family friends, old school friends if they remember any stories about you as a child.

Some questions you may ask yourself are:

What messages as a child did you receive about expressing your feelings?

Where you encouraged to speak your mind or to keep quiet?

What did you do when you felt fear, anger, sadness, discouragement, or when your feelings were hurt?

When you did express your feelings, did anybody listen? Did anyone care?

Look at the ways you were taught to express positive emotions such as joy, excitement, happiness and love as well as the negative emotions.Were your needs and wants respected?

What sticks out as the most painful memory?

Were you allowed to be a child, or were you expected to assume responsibilty?

Was there physical/emotional/sexual abuse in the family?

Were there family secrets you had to hold on to?

Write it all out, all of it, the resentments, the anger, the sadness. Don’t concern yourself with the good times, since these memories are not going to cause physical problems.

Write down which negative beliefs you picked up about yourself when you were a child.

Childhood Health History
Record in your journal with your dominant hand , any health problems you had a a child other than the usual childhood diseases. Do you still suffer from any of them? Ask your parents if there was anything unusual happening around that time. List emotional events that coincide with the illnesses.

Have your inner child use your nondominant hand to write about their impressions of the past. Remeber we are looking for stored memories, feelings, fears, anxieties, attitudes, beliefs and emotional pain (including memories of physical or sexual abuse). Reassure your child that it is ok for them to express themselves, that you will protect and love them. Along the way if the critical parent shows up , record their comments on a separate page.

After doing this exercise, do something physical or fun to work out these emotions. Talk them out with a trusted friend or a therapist. Don’t think you have to do this alone.


Concious secrets
Divide your journal page in two. List one column "Conscious secrets stored inside", label the second column "Physical aches and pains".. Divide your journal page in two. List one column "Conscious secrets stored inside", label the second column "Physical aches and pains"..

In the first column write about any secrets you have been keeping, as you do so, note how your body feels and write this down in the second column.

Other peoples secrets
Divide a new page in your journal and write "Others peoples secrets" and "Aches and pains".

Record secrets other people have asked you to hold for them or which you feel you must keep.

Notice how your body feels and record this in the other column.

Take a break and go outside and do something fun to clear yourself.

Secrets of the Inner child
Put your crayon or pencil in your nondominent hand and ask your inner child what secrets he/she is holding inside. Be patient,gentle and loving, tell them they are safe, record any critism from your inner parent.

Creating a Safe Place
When you have competed the above ask your inner child what it needs to feel safe. Do what you can to create an emotional atmosphere of safety and love in your mind.

After completing this work, sit back , take a few deep breathes and relax. Read these words to yourself:

I am an adult now.

I can protect myself.

I will not let anymore pain happen to me or my inner child.

Just sit and feel the safety of these words and their promise. Know that what you have said is true.

The Addict is almost always plagued by unresolved emotional pain, negative personal beliefs and low self-esteem.These are the things that keep the addictive cycle going. Addicts often have mutiple addictions or switch one addiction for another- they stop drinking and begin overeating or become a compusive shopper for example. In order to get to the root of the problem, the addiction must go. Read the following questionaires and this one . If you find yourself described in any of them, ask the Universe to give you strength and courage to make the neccesary changes. Call the branch of the 12 step program that applies to you and start going to the meetings. You can’t do it alone, don’t expect this of yourself. Entering recovery is just the beginning , you must work through your issues and create a safe place for yourself so you don’t have to rely on distractions to numb yourself with.

Record in your journal any emotions or memories that came up for you when reading over these lists. If the subject of addiction did not seem to apply to you, you might want to note how it affected someone in your life, either in the past or present. Note any thoughts you have about them. Note any techniques you have for distracting yourself or for getting away from uncomfortable feelings.

Why do Nice People get Sick?   
There seems to be a strong link between illness and not being able to express ourselves.Being a nice person and helpful is great but not if it is at your own expense.You take all your energy to be there for others , depleting yourself in the process.Usually what follows depletion is illness which is often the only way you can feel cared for. Codependent people lose a sense of themselves and rely on other peoples wishes and desires to make deciscions. By fusing with someone else this way , the other persons needs and wants become more important than our own. When we are asked what we want, we really can’t say.

Codependent people have a difficult time putting themselves first because they believe that it is being selfish or self-centered, which is a no-no.Codependency is cunning because it masquarades as loving concern, selflessness, nurturing, ect. But it’s roots are buried in low self-esteem. Focusing on others first, fusing with others, feeling responsible for other peoples lives....this way of life will make you silently resentful, envious, angry, hateful and miserable, and you already know what happens to all of that negativity sitting inside your body. Read this list of the characteristics of codependency. If you find that you relate to them you may want to take an assertiveness course to learn how to say "No"!

Following is a commonly used list of characteristics of codependency.
  1. My good feelings about who I am stem from being liked by you
  2. My good feelings about who I am stem from receiving approval from you
  3. Your struggle affects my serenity. My mental attention focuses on solving your problems/relieving your pain
  4. My mental attention is focused on you
  5. My mental attention is focused on protecting you
  6. My mental attention is focused on manipulating you to do it my way
  7. My self-esteem is bolstered by solving your problems
  8. My self-esteem is bolstered by relieving your pain
  9. My own hobbies/interests are put to one side. My time is spent sharing your hobbies/interests
  10. Your clothing and personal appearance are dictated by my desires and I feel you are a reflection of me
  11. Your behaviour is dictated by my desires and I feel you are a reflection of me
  12. I am not aware of how I feel. I am aware of how you feel.
  13. I am not aware of what I want - I ask what you want. I am not aware - I assume
  14. The dreams I have for my future are linked to you
  15. My fear of rejection determines what I say or do
  16. My fear of your anger determines what I say or do
  17. I use giving as a way of feeling safe in our relationship
  18. My social circle diminishes as I involve myself with you
  19. I put my values aside in order to connect with you
  20. I value your opinion and way of doing things more than my own
  21. The quality of my life is in relation to the quality of yours
In your journal, make notes about the issue of codependency and how it affects you. . Are their some people you have a codependent relationship with but not others?Are there people in your life whose niceness makes you uncomfortable? The roots of codependency are in the pain we carry around inside of us. As this pain comes to the surface, write it down, what triggers them, and any memories they bring up from the past.

There is something about commiting your thoughts to paper, that makes you focus on them. You will be surprised at how once you start writing, the words just start to flow, first a trickle, then a downpour. As they used to say"let it all hang out". Getting it out of your head and putting it where you can look at it objectively will give you the tools to move forward in your life and  heal old wounds.

Give your inner child a hug for me!

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