Reiki in Medicine

Reiki can be used in medicine. Reiki can, and should be offered along with traditional treatments.

Check out the video, Reiki in Medicine.

Check out the YouTube Video Here

Reiki for Fatigue

woman lying on blue textile

Reiki has been shown to improved Cancer Related Fatigue1

A small study performed at the University of Calgary with 16 patients sought to measure if Reiki treatments could improve Cancer Related Fatigue. The study showed high compliance of participants (inferring increasing interest in complementary care).  This study compared prescribed rest periods with Reiki sessions in patients being treated for cancer. The overall results show that repeated Reiki treatments helped to improve Cancer Related Fatigue.1

Reiki for Anxiety

love people woman relaxation

“REIKI IMPROVED PAIN…ANXIETY BY 59.8%²“

Anxiety can be crippling. Anxiety attacks are a culmination of chronic stress that causes the autonomic nervous system to shift form a “rest and digest” mode to a “fight or flight” mode. When the autonomic nervous system maintains too much sympathetic tone, anxiety is one of the results.

Reiki creates immediate relaxation. During a Reiki session, but client and practitioner feel a sense calm as the Reiki energy is channeled. The setting is usually calm, allowing for surrender to an inner sense of peace.

Medical evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment commonly cause anxiety. Most of my new patients are anxious to be at a new clinic meeting a new doctor. They are also nervous about possible diagnosis.

Reiki is an amazing way to alleviate anxiety. My Reiki clients find anxiety resolves quickly. I use Reiki for my own feelings of anxiety.

Reiki for Pain

food love people woman

  1. Tsang, K. L., Carlson, L. E., & Olson, K. (2007). Pilot crossover trial of Reiki versus rest for treating cancer-related fatigue. Integrative cancer therapies, 6(1), 25–35. https://doi.org/10.1177/1534735406298986
  2. 2. Vergo, M. T., Pinkson, B. M., Broglio, K., Li, Z., & Tosteson, T. D. (2018). Immediate Symptom Relief After a First Session of Massage Therapy or Reiki in Hospitalized Patients: A 5-Year Clinical Experience from a Rural Academic Medical Center. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), 24(8), 801–808. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2017.0409

Happy New Year!

Let’s Get Acquainted

I wanted to start the year with a personal greeting. Check out the latest Youtube Video here:

Happy New Year!

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July 2021 Video Roundup

Check out my video for July 2021; Catch up on all the Healing Arts Content in a few minutes.

3 Supplements to Help You Survive Spring Allergies

The recommendations in this post link to my Fullscripts Dispensary; See my disclaimer on informational vs medical advice information. I may receive reimbursement for any purchases made through the links in this post.

Spring is my favorite time of the year.  I love the longer days, getting outside more, and watching nature bloom all around me.

Unfortunately, my nose does not agree.  Like so many people, my allergy symptoms in the spring have evolved, and I have become vulnerable to sneezing, congestion, sore throat, and even feeling tired.

 Allergic rhinitis is “the most common chronic disease in the United States, affect[ing]  between 10 and 30% of adults and up to 40% of children”¹.

The symptoms of allergic rhinitis start at Mast Cells

Mast Cells are an important part of the immune system that also play a role in allergies.  Mast Cells are equipped with receptors for antigens (a signal to the immune system that an invader is within the body).    Someone that has allergies produces antibodies  (IgE) which function to tag antigens as they enter the body.  An antigen tagged with IgE circulating in the bloodstream will land on a mast cell, causing the mast cell to launch its weapons (histamine, cytokines and other inflammatory  chemicals),  These chemicals will land in the nasal passage, sinuses, and lungs leading to allergy symptoms.

Allergies are an excellent reminder of keeping a healthy immune system.  Allergies such as allergic rhinitis, asthma, and eczema remind us that the immune system can become overactive.

Fullscript gives my patients convenient, 24/7 access to top-quality supplements and features to help them stay on track with their wellness goals. It’s easy. I send a recommendation to their device, they purchase supplements, and Fullscript ships the products to their front doors. Fullscript also sends helpful educational content and refill reminders!

Sinol-M Allergy

Many of my patients attempt to treat nasal congestion with over-the-counter decongestants.  Unfortunately, overuse of these makes congestion much worse.  After the medication wears off, the tissues have a rebound swelling that only goes away with another dose of the nasal decongestant.  Rhinitis medicamentosa can be devastating and dangerous.

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Liposomal Vitamin C

Vitamin C is fantastic for supporting your immune system.  When your immune system is called into action, Vitamin C is used up very quickly.  Your immune system will require more Vitamin C during times of stress, infection, and allergies.

Liposomal Vitamin C is better absorbed, more available to your body when it needs it.

photo of pile of oranges

Check out my recommendations for Vitamin C here.

Calm

Did you know stress makes your allergies worse?  Did you know that allergies also can make mental illness worse?

According to researchers, suffering from asthma or hay fever may put you at an increased risk of developing a psychiatric disorder. The study reports over a 15 year period, 10.8% of people with allergies developed psychiatric disorders, compared to 6.7% of people without allergic diseases.

via Asthma and Hay Fever Linked to Increased Risk of Psychiatric Disorders — Neuroscience News Updates

I frequently recommend and take magnesium to relax the mind, the muscles, sleep better and improve digestion.  Calm is my favorite! It tastes fantastic and can be made as a cooling tonic or a warm, comforting bedtime concoction.

Check out my recommendations for high quality supplements today.

5 Facts to Know About Fatty Liver Disease

This blog post contains affiliate links. These are affiliates hand-picked by me as I feel that they are very helpful, and I may receive a small reimbursement if you purchase that help support my website. Please see my full website disclaimer here.

Fatty Liver, Common, Under-diagnosed, and a treatable disease.

Many of my patients come to my practice with advanced liver disease from fatty liver.   Many of them have no idea they have Non-Alcoholic Hepatosteatosis, also known as Fatty Liver Disease.  I spend a lot of time educating patients on what Fatty Liver is, and how to repair the damage.  


What is Fatty Liver?

Fatty liver disease is the name that is often applied for the condition called non-alcoholic hepatic steatosis. In this disease, normal liver tissue is replaced by fatty deposits. This is problematic because the liver loses its ability to perform important detoxing and metabolism.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has a global prevalence of about 25%. Incidence is increasing with rising levels of obesity, type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, and NAFLD is predicted to become the leading cause of cirrhosis requiring liver transplantation in the next decade (1).

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The liver has many important functions. It is an organ of detoxification and metabolism. Every chemical that enters the body must pass through the liver.  The liver is responsible for making substances less toxic, easier to excrete, or easier to absorb.

The liver also helps in energy maintenance. Every time you consume calories, some of those are stored in the liver in the form of glycogen, a form of sugar that is stored within the liver. Glycogen is released very slowly between meals to maintain blood sugar.

If too much sugar is available in the bloodstream, the liver is forced to store more sugar than needed.  In order to maximize space in the liver, glycogen is converted into fat in a process called gluconeogenesis.  

The fat stored in the liver causes damage by occupying usable space in the liver.  The fat is also inflammatory, causing damage to the liver.  The pathological progression of NAFLD follows a ‘three-hit’ process namely steatosis, lipotoxicity and inflammation. The presence of steatosis, oxidative stress and inflammatory mediators like TNF-α and IL-6 (2).

Who gets Fatty Liver Disease?

Fatty Liver Disease is common. Nearly 25% of the world’s population. People living with Diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol are at increased risk of developing Fatty Liver Disease.

Fatty Liver Disease often proceeds the development of diabetes. Many diabetics present with Fatty Liver Disease before starting treatment for diabetes.

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Is Liver Disease Fatal?

Death from Fatty Liver Disease is rare, but if the disease is not reversed, and can lead to permanent liver damage.


How is Fatty Liver Disease Diagnosed?

Fatty liver diseases diagnosed from blood work and imaging of the liver. Blood work can detect abnormal levels of ALT, AST, Alkaline Phosphatase, and Bilirubin.  It’s usually a good idea to check your kidney function, hemoglobin and platelets.

If you’d like to order your own labs through YourLabWork.com, please use my affiliate link! Using my link costs you nothing. You receive discounted labs in a safe, confidential and convenient way and a small percentage of your purchase goes to support my work here at Healing Arts Thank you!!

How Do I Heal Fatty Liver Disease?

Healing Fatty Liver Disease is very possible. It starts with healing your lifestyle. This means improving your nutrition, sleep, stress, reducing unhealthy habits and increasing healthy movement.

Healing Fatty Liver disease also heals Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Depression, and Fatigue.

A personalized, tailored plan would include addressing nearly every aspect of your life. While this seems like a lot of effort, it would be worthwhile to prevent severe disease.

Fatty Liver, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, autoimmune disease all in common: Inflammation.

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References
  1. Maurice, J., & Manousou, P. (2018). Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Clinical medicine (London, England)18(3), 245–250. https://doi.org/10.7861/clinmedicine.18-3-245
  2. Cobbina, E., & Akhlaghi, F. (2017). Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) – pathogenesis, classification, and effect on drug metabolizing enzymes and transporters. Drug metabolism reviews49(2), 197–211. https://doi.org/10.1080/03602532.2017.1293683

4 Facts to Know about the Heart

4 fun facts to know about your 4-chambered heart

I have always found the heart to be the most interesting organ in the body. I have the privilege of listening to the beating hearts of my patients every day as a part of the physical exam.

Each “lub-dub” I hear speaks volumes about a person’s health, mind, body and spirit.

In preparing for my upcoming book, The Heart of Being, I’ve been doing some research about the mystique, miracle and wonder of the human heart.

1. The Origin of the Heart Shape

beige sand with hear engrave
Photo by Ashley Williams on Pexels.com

Do you know where the heart shape comes from? Before starting my research, I assumed the origin of the heart shape related to Valentine’s Day. The origin of the heart shape is not so obvious.

According to Art and Object , the heart shape may have been used as a decorative symbol in ancient societies as far back as the Indus Valley civilizations It was often in use in decorative jewelry, and the shape appears to derive from the heart shaped plants such as fig leaf, Ivy or water lily, These plants have heart-shaped leaves.

According to History, a theory concerning the origin of the heart comes from the silphium. This is a form of a giant fennel, that once grew in North Africa on the coastline near the Greek colony of Cyrene. The ancient Greeks and Romans use silphium as a food flavoring. Silphium worked as a medication to alleviate cough.

The silphium was most famous as a form of birth control. Ancient writers and poets scribed about silphium for its contraceptive powers. These plants power to work as a contraceptive lead to over-cultivation, and eventual extinction around the first century A.D. The seed pod of the silphium seems to resemble the traditional heart shape.

The heart shape’s origins are a mystery. Although this popular symbol is ubiquitous, its origins may been a cough suppressing plant that could function as birth control. Maybe the association with love is that as a contraceptive, sex could be enjoyed without fear of an unwanted pregnancy?

2. The Heart Develops on the 21st Day after Conception

The heart is the first organ to develop and function in the human embryo. The baby’s heart will start beating about 21 days after conception.

The healing art of Reiki honors 21 days is an important time after the first attunement. The new Reiki practitioner will perform Reiki on themselves for 21 days in a daily basis. During this time, the new Reiki student goes through a process of transformation and healing.

Just completed your Reiki Training? Download my 9 Minute Reiki Session to help support your daily practice.

I find it interesting that 21 days seems to be a significant time of transformation in life, as in conception, as well as personal transformation.

3. The Heart is Intelligent

Did you know that your heart has its own nervous system? The heart actually has to have its own little brains.

These small brains are call nodes. There are two nodes, the Sinoatrial Node and the Atrioventricular Node. These are collections of nerves that communicate with the Vagus Nerve. Together, they determine how fast and how intensely the heart beats.

“Your heart is connected to your mind, your mind controls everything, control your mind to heal your heart.”

-Dr. Kathy Hays, Interventional Cardiologist

According to my dear friend, board certified cardiologist, Dr. Kathy Hays, “your heart is connected to your mind, your mind controls everything, control your mind to heal your heart.”

She tells me that she often longs to share with her patients the importance of calming their mind to ease their cardiac symptoms.  She shared with me recently that she is surprised at how much psychology she practices in cardiology. Over the years she’s frequently share with me how often patients come in with anxiety as the source of their palpitations.

Calm your mind now, pick up a copy of the 21-Day Meditation Journey today

4. 4 Chambers of the 4th Chakra

The Heart Chakra, also known as Anahata, is located in the chest. The Heart Chakra is the Chakra in a 7 Chakra system of Ayurveda.

The heart has 4 Chambers.

According to Numerology, the number four is typically associated with order with service.

The positive attributes of the number four include being highly organized and grounded, being dependable and reliable, trustworthy with attention to detail and manual dexterity, dexterity.

Positive attributes of “4”

  • Being Grounded
  • Being Dependable
  • Trustworthy

The negative attributes of the number four are limiting beliefs, being “boxed in”, stubbornness with tend to change being shaky or unstable, or unable to create a solid foundation to support goals and desires and being untidy.

Negative attributes of “4”

  • Being disorganized
  • Being Untidy
  • Stubbornness

When your Heart Chakra is open, it is easy to give and receive love. Compassion comes easily. You can easily love yourself and others.

A blocked heart chakra is often associated with many of the negative attributes of the number 4; being stubborn, closed off, and lacking of empathy for self and others.

Interested in Learning More about The Heart and Heart Chakra?

Heart of Being

Cultivating resilience, gratitude, inner peace, compassion and self nurturing through an intimate journey of the anatomical chest and Heart Chakra.

The upcoming book, “The Heart of Being” will take an intimate journey through the heart, lungs, thymus and chest to cultivate gratitude, resilience and overall well being. Sign up to stay in touch on the book release!

Happy Anniversary!

Healing Arts is one!

One year ago, I relaunched my website with a new name and new look.  In the past year, the gifts I have received in return have been beyond measure.  I am so excited for the future of Healing Arts and what’s coming next.

When I first created my online space, my hopes was to have a creative outlet for writing while continuing to develop my healing skills in Reiki and medicine. The online space has evolved to a podcasting platform, social media presence, and most of all creating amazing connections with other individuals.

I created a podcast thanks to the encouragement of two other entrepreneurs, Lisa Airhart, the health coach (upcoming podcast guest) and Stacey (owner of Stacey’s naturals).  Having believed for many years that no one would want to  hear my voice.

Art of Healing Podcast

Shine Your Light

photography of forest
Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

What I have learned is that if you have a calling in your heart to share your gifts you need to share it. Your fear is not real, and it’s getting in the way of letting others that need to hear what you have to say. Recording my first podcast I found gave me butterflies and at the same time to be liberating. When I received my first positive feedback, I was amazed that anyone took time to listen.

My advice to anyone who wants to start sharing your healing gifts with the world but is afraid to share: 

  • People are searching for you.  Don’t make it impossible to find you.
  • When you don’t share your gifts with the world, you’re depriving the world of your love and light.   Not to put pressure on you, but do you want to prevent humanity from moving forward? By keeping your wonderful gifts to yourself, you may be doing this.
  • Don’t worry about negative judgement.  The average person is thinking of themselves, and even if they don’t like or appreciate your work, will simply not respond to you.

Step Into the Light

If you are in The Healing Arts such as Yoga, Meditation, Reiki or other similar healing modalities, or if you were in traditional medicine such as a physician, nurse, or therapist and you are looking for a platform that is safe to share your message, I personally invite you to be a guest on my podcast. I understand the feeling of being nervous of putting yourself out there, but in the past year that I stepped outside of my comfort zone I found the rewards to far out way the risk.

Feel free to send me a comment below with your contact information if you would like to be a guest on my podcast. I believe you will find this will be a safe space to step into the light.

Rest, Renewal and Resilience

As we finish up with the winter months and the days get longer and brighter, we take notice of what could use some refreshing. Now that there’s more light shining in your house you start to notice dust in the corners. Similarly, I think most of us are starting to notice areas of neglect as we’ve been in survival mode getting through the winter.

This is an excellent time to focus your attention on rest, renewal, and resilience. Examining the quality of your rest, finding ways that you can renew yourself, and increasing your resilience are always to assure your health and wellness. Let’s discuss some simple ways we can do that.

Physical Rest

Over the years I’m often surprised at how often I’m communicating to my patients that 5 to 6 hours of sleep is not enough for most of us. Honestly, I am guilty of this as well, often sleeping 6 hours a night and letting distractions keep me awake. Recently I got some simple, effective advice. I participated in my friend’s Cherie’s Reset program, a part of her program Edge of Becoming. I quickly discovered that my own tendency to not sleep enough hours could be dealt with very simply by making a few simple changes in my habits. What this means for me is concentrating my use of computers to certain times a day so that I’m not online in the evening.

Allowing for adequate time to sleep has a major impact on health.  “Shorter sleep duration, measured by wrist actigraphy over a 7-day period, was prospectively associated with increased incidence of the common cold following experimental viral challenge.¹” In women, sleeping an average of less than 6 hours per night has been shown to lead to “cognitive decline and increased risk of cognitive impairment, including dementia” ².

If you have become accustomed to short sleep out of habit or necessity consider looking at your schedule now. I suspect that although you feel there are many obligations that require you to stay up late or get up early they’re not nearly as necessary as you feel they are. Deciding that you can sleep in an hour or go to bed earlier is simple and I would encourage you to do this.  Ideally, you should attempt to alter your schedule so that you can allow for up to 7 hours of sleep at night at the minimum. 

Mental Rest

Much like physical rest, mental rest is necessary. No matter what you vocation is, likely it involves mental tasks that heavily tax your cognitive system.  Taking short mental rest during the day through meditation is my go-to. I have been studying to become a Certified Mindfulness Meditation Instructor. I am studying the details of mindfulness meditation as a daily practice.  Meditation should be accessible and easy to perform.  Simplifying meditation to its most basic aspects, in my experience so far, has greatly increased the meditation experience.  I often recommend tools to assist with meditation, such as music, nature sounds, or aromatherapy.  Mindfulness meditation emphasizes attention, intention and attitude for the meditator.  This means that the focus is continuously drawn inward.  I am now meditating in pure silence for about 10 minutes a day.  My meditation practice consists of this simple sequence:

10 Minute Mindfulness Practice

  1. Set a timer for 5 minutes
  2. For the first 5 minutes, practice deep belly breaths, focusing the attention on the breath entering the nostrils traveling to the chest.  Follow the breath back from the chest to the nostrils.
  3. Reset the timer for 5 minutes
  4. This time, practice counting and breath:
    • Inhale and count 1
    • Hold the breath for a count of 1
    • Exhale Counting
    • Inhale and count 2
    • Hold the breath for a count of 1
    • Exhale, counting 2
  5. Continue until you reach the count of 10, the count backwards.

I enjoy this meditation because of the simplicity.  No complicated techniques.  No need for complicated visualizations.  It’s truly an effective, no frills meditation practice.

Digestive Rest

DigestiveI rest, or bowel rest, is a term we commonly use in medicine to indicate that someone is going to have a period of time that they are not allowed to eat due to a medical condition. Bowel rest is a very important therapeutic tool to use in acutely ill patients. In patients diagnosed with serious illnesses such as pancreatitis or blockage in the bowels, bowel rest or refraining from food or drink can allow the digestive system to heal.   Intermittent fasting, which reminds me bowel rest uses medical care has been shown to have numerous health benefits including weight loss improving diabetes, and decreasing inflammatory markers. It can also be used in your everyday life.   Many patients ask me about doing a fasting regimen or detox. This is very individualized, so depending on the patient this might be a good idea for them but also this needs to be approached carefully. Overall I would recommend discussing with your physician or care provider before taking all the detox are fasting regimen.

There are many health benefits to having extended periods of fasting throughout your regular schedule of digestive rest. This means eating dinner early and eating breakfast later. The digestive system does a lot of work whenever you eat. It requires extra blood flow to contract its muscles to digest and move the food through your system. Having periods of fasting, basically not snacking mindlessly can improve your sleep, mood, and help prevent unwanted weight gain.

Renew

As a Reiki Master,  my favorite tool for renewal is a session of Reiki that I do on myself. I try to do a Reiki session on myself for at least 9 minutes a day but I will perform sessions up to 45 minutes a day if time is available. I can feel the cells in my body renewing themselves as the energy flows through my hands. Because I’m in a mindful state while I’m performing Reiki I can feel all of the stress of the world melt away. Even when I’m doing longer sessions it really doesn’t feel like it’s lasting for very long. I’ve been very fascinated with the after effects of Reiki on myself over the years. Sometimes I completed a session and felt 20 years younger and full of energy. Sometimes I’ve completed a session and I needed a nap. In any case, Reiki is intelligent healing. The energy goes where it’s needed and when it’s necessary. Its such a simple healing modality, but with time and practice, it can dissolve so much stress and worry.

Resilience

There are times in life where we simply can’t avoid challenges or avoid unnecessary pain. There will be times where we simply have to go through what’s coming ahead of us. This is where resilience comes in.  Resilience is the ability to heal and recover from trauma or injury  Resilience requires healing on all levels including physical, emotional, mental as well as spiritual. The body can best heal and recover when it has everything it needs including nutrition, rest, fluids, and spiritual support.

Resilience improves with improve self-care. It is worth your time and energy to rest, renew, in order to achieve recently ends.

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1.Prather, A. A., Janicki-Deverts, D., Hall, M. H., & Cohen, S. (2015). Behaviorally Assessed Sleep and Susceptibility to the Common Cold. Sleep, 38(9), 1353–1359. https://doi.org/10.5665/sleep.4968

2.  Chen, J. C., Espeland, M. A., Brunner, R. L., Lovato, L. C., Wallace, R. B., Leng, X., Phillips, L. S., Robinson, J. G., Kotchen, J. M., Johnson, K. C., Manson, J. E., Stefanick, M. L., Sarto, G. E., & Mysiw, W. J. (2016). Sleep duration, cognitive decline, and dementia risk in older women. Alzheimer’s & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, 12(1), 21–33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2015.03.004

Chronic Pain and the Chakras

In the podcast from February 22, 2021,  I discussed my philosophy on how chronic pain relates to the human biofield in the form of chakras. In this blog post I wanted explore this topic more in-depth, addressing some specific chronically painful disease and the relationship with the energy body.

Pain serves a purpose.   Pain is a protective mechanism that helps us remove ourselves from danger, stop some sort of assault be it real or imagined, or bring the mind’s attention to one particular part of the body.  Pain is the body’s way to speak to the mind to ask for help. 

When assessing pain, I feel that it is important to make every attempt to examine what other issues are coming along with the pain. Traditional Western medicine tends to focus completely on the mechanics of the chronic pain. I have found that shining a light on the emotional issues that occur with the chronic pain can speed up the recovery process.

“One in 10 adults in the general population report chronic widespread pain with possible sociocultural variation.”

Mansfield, K. E., Sim, J., Jordan, J. L., & Jordan, K. P. (2016). A systematic review and meta-analysis of the prevalence of chronic widespread pain in the general population. Pain, 157(1), 55–64. https://doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000314

Root Chakra Block and Chronic Pain

The root chakra is associated with the ego, stability, and feeling rooted and connected. I’ve often noticed individuals develop back pain around the times that they feel threatened in career, home, or anything related to basic survival.  In my medical practice now I remain very aware that individuals presenting with back pain are often having stress and realized associated with basic survival and safety. 

Having the realization that lower back pain is likely occurring at a time where there is emotional stress related to survival doesn’t necessarily fix the problem but I do like to acknowledge this with my patients as their experiencing pain that at least muscle spasm in this area likely relates to emotional stress. While addressing the pain it is important for the patient or client to be aware of the emotional issues going along with them and to start addressing those.

Sacral Chakra Block and Chronic Pain

The Sacral Chakra is associated with the reproductive organs in both sexes.  Chronic pelvic pain can be caused by a number of issues in both men and women. In women, chronic pelvic pain is often associated with reproductive diseases such as fibroids, endometriosis, or scarring from pelvic inflammatory disease.  Chronic pelvic pain in women can often be crippling and lead to extensive medical workups that often don’t produce a clear diagnosis or clear treatment. Chronic pelvic pain is emotionally taxing, and can be made worse when women must face undergoing frequent medical procedures.  

 I had been a practicing physician for many years before I studied Ayurveda and Yoga. I began to observe the association of chronic pelvic with a history of sexual trauma, sexual abuse or other sensitive issues.  Once I became aware of this, I found it much easier to gently ask my patients if they had a history of sexual abuse.  I’m saddened to find out that often it does. I highlight this issue because it is important to understand that buried emotional trauma related to sexual abuse maybe related to chronic pelvic pain

Men can often suffer from chronic pelvic pain in the form of prostate disorders. This is most impactful in men over the age of 50 or 60 with a history of prostate disease such as prostate cancer. Knowing that there is a strong association of sexual trauma and pelvic pain, men with pelvic pain need to be addressed in a sensitive manner concerning this topic.

Solar Plexus Block and Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain in the solar plexus frequently relates to digestive disorders.  Although irritable bowel syndrome is not classically diagnosed as a chronic pain syndrome there’s a strong component of abdominal discomfort or pain with this disorder.  Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be classified as either being constipated irritable bowel syndrome or IBC or irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea. Irritable bowel syndrome is a poorly understood disorder which is characterized by dysfunction in the muscles, chemical receptors, hormones and overall motility of the digestive tract that leads to changes in elimination of waste, nausea, and generalize abdominal pain. Anyone can develop irritable bowel syndrome but to be properly diagnosed other disorders such as celiac disease, food allergies, or tumors need to be ruled out so often referral to a specialist is required.

I have noticed in my clinical practice a strong association of stress and anxiety with irritable bowel syndrome. Many of these individuals freely admit that their irritable bowel syndrome is made worse in times of stress or depressed mood. It is interesting to note that many of the medications used to treat depression or anxiety can often help irritable bowel syndrome. Medications that raise serotonin levels or dopamine levels may help some individuals. 

The solar plexus chakra is associated with personal will, freedom, and motivation. I suspect that an individual with IBS may feel that they don’t have the freedom that they need in life or that their personal drive is being suppressed. This isn’t a clear medical diagnosis that can be treated with a prescription but just like the other issues I do feel that it’s important to acknowledge this.

Heart Chakra Block and Chronic Pain

The heart chakra is associated with the emotions of love, belonging, and gratitude.  Because of the vital organs in this area, we don’t typically think of chronic pain in this area.  It is possible to have chronic pain from angina, a recurring painful condition from blocked arteries around the heart that lead to pain from ischemia. 

A thorough work up is required since chest pain could be life threatening. Medical science does teach us there’s a strong association with heart attack and developing clinical depression in the months after a heart attack. Many individuals often have chronic angina related to blockages around the heart after a heart attack. Again, I do feel that it is important to acknowledge this relationship although fundamentally treatment would need to be aimed at keeping the arteries open in blood flowing to the heart as much as possible.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

Throat Chakra Block and Chronic Pain

Individuals with blockages in the neck that leads to chronic pain will often develop neck pain along with tension headaches.  The muscles of the neck connect to the jaw. Clenching the jaw at night, also called bruxism, is a common response to stress.  This occurs during deep sleep.  Normal bodily sleep responses are disengaged, and muscles that should relax will begin to contract uncontrollably.  Individuals with bruxism often wake up with headache and neck pain.  

After a thorough physical exam and a diagnosis is made this is one area in the body or holistic remedies could be highly beneficial. Focusing treatments on stress relief, relieving muscle tension, and particularly using a regular meditation practice can help reduce the development of chronic tension in the neck.

3rd Eye Chakra Block and Chronic Pain

The third eye is located in the head at the same place that the pituitary gland. Likely energetic blocks in the third eye will cause some sort of headache. The most common type of chronic headache most people think of as migraine headaches.  Other types of recurring headaches include tension headaches, cluster headaches, or chronic daily headache.

Migraines can be a crippling condition that deeply impact quality of life. Blockages in the third eye in my experience as a Reiki practitioner are also some of the most difficult to diagnose because for most of us without focused intention we simply are going to remain blocked in the 3rd eye.  When working with Reiki clients dealing with major blockages in the 3rd eye, I typically recommend a Mindfulness Meditation practice daily for at least 5 minutes.  

7th Chakra Block and Chronic Pain

The 7th Chakra, or the Higher Self, is made of pure energy.  This energy center is located outside of the body.  This is the energy center that connects us to something bigger than ourselves, such as a deity or universal life force. I relate an energetic block in this area to chronic pain likely leading to diffuse painful syndromes such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome and maybe even acute pain syndromes related to kitchen a viral infection. In terms of these conditions I’ve noticed that when pain is severe it becomes an integral part of the person’s life. The pain that is experienced often shuts out other aspects of  life and becomes the whole of their existence.  Starting a personal healing practice of some kind often helps to open up energy flow in this area.  A good starting point is a personal meditation practice.

Chronic Pain is not fun to discuss, but is is important. If this topic has helped you, please share with your friends, family and loved ones.

Chronic Pain-Completing The Gaps in Care

Prior to the pandemic of 2020 chronic pain was an important topic that was frequently discussed.  It has certainly taken a backseat to much more urgent public health issues. I’ve decided to create several pieces of content around chronic pain because I am certain that we will be finding this to be an even more important topic after the pandemic.

Chronic pain is defined as pain that “persist for 3 to 6 months” and “persist beyond the typical healing period” 1.

  It is important to distinguish chronic pain from acute pain because there are changes that happen in the neurological system that worsen the effects of chronic pain.

Medications, referral to specialist and physical therapy will likely play a role in the treatment plan.  These treatments can offer relief, but likely it will take a combination of treatments.  No matter how the chronic pain is approached, I am a firm believer that discussing healing modalities beyond prescriptions is important in healing the chronic pain.

Beyond the prescribed treatments, to heal chronic pain, other areas need to be addressed, including stress, sleep and diet.

Sleep

Assuring sleep quality by making sure the environment for sleep is peaceful and cool is important.  Reducing stimulation such as televisions, phones and tablets at least 2 hours before bedtime can allow the body to start producing melatonin naturally.  Making sure to have a practice that help with relaxation such as meditation can help with sleep. Most adults require at least 8 hours of sleep nightly. Keeping in mind, chronic pain drains the energy, so allowing for plenty of sleep every night is important.

If you are taking prescription medications for pain, ask your doctors which are best taken at night. Many medications that seem to be sedating can interrupt sleep and worsen insomnia. A surprising fact I often share with my patients is that while opioids are sedating, they actually lead to disrupted, non-restorative sleep. In one example, young healthy adults who received morphine intravenously suffered from increased non-REM sleep (sleep that does not lead to good rest), decreased REM sleep (deep sleep)2 .

Tips for Better Sleep

  • Avoid use of computers, tablets or cell phones 2 hours before bed
  • Avoid Caffeine after 2 pm during the day
  • Use soothing music or nature sounds rather than the TV for background noise

Diet

One of the most overlooked modifiable factors in dealing with chronic pain is diet.  Chronic pain increases the production of stress hormones such as cortisol.  This leads to craving sweet foods.   Ironically, consumption of inflammatory fats and sugary foods worsens pain. Every time we eat excessive glucose, our metabolic system goes into overdrive metabolizing these sugars. This leads to worsening levels of inflammation. This can also be a difficult topic with my patience, as they are undergoing psychological, emotional, and physical stress. But it is always worthwhile to make sure their diet is not creating more issues.  I have frequently encouraged my patients to keep a food journal and make a note of joint pain. I asked him to track the days if their joint pain is better and when it’s worse. Almost universally patients notice that arthritis pain worsens when they consume sugary foods.

sad albino on chair near bunch of fresh flowers

Stress

Stress management should be considered in dealing with chronic pain. Those suffering from chronic pain always have stress. This may be from the diagnosis itself, or from the fallout of dealing with multiple clinicians. Stress should be dealt with as soon as feasible in the course of treating chronic pain. This can mean working with a counselor or therapist. This can also involve starting a meditation practice to help relieve stress.

In the coming weeks, I am creating other content related to chronic pain. My podcast the Art of Healing will feature chronic pain, including the Chakras and Chronic pain.

  1. Pain. (2016). In Goldman-Cecile Medicine.
    1. Shaw, I. R., Lavigne, G., Mayer, P., & Choinière, M. (2005). Acute intravenous administration of morphine perturbs sleep architecture in healthy pain-free young adults: a preliminary study. Sleep28(6), 677–682. https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/28.6.677

The Best Gifts are Free

We usually think of winter in North America as the Holiday season. Gifts are exchanged as part of Christmas traditions to show gratitude, affection, or unfortunately, to keep from hurting someone’s feelings.

2020 has been an difficult year in so many ways. Many people are struggling financially due to the pandemic. Many do not have income at this point. Many people are grieving the loss of family and friends. Many are serving as caretakers and are overextended in their roles, unable to provide adequate self care.

I am witnessing suffering on many levels as a doctor and Reiki practitioner. I see that this year, the most important gifts are not material at all. We all love a store brought gifts, but in this time of social isolation I believe the best gift we all have to offer is our love and support. Here are some simple ways you can share your gifts:

Ways to Share Your Gifts

The Most Important Gifts to Give:

  • A phone call with someone you haven’t’ connected with recently
  • Teaching someone by phone how to use video technology to stay connected
  • Running an errand for someone quarantined
  • Offering your services for free if you are a Reiki healer, especially for distance Reiki
wrapped with ribbon gift box placed on table
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

 I found that the guests best gifts I have received from others were rarely material. they were time spent, attention, or simple recognition or what I was going through. if you’re feeling like you have nothing to give you might just want to stop and have a look and make sure that’s true.

Offering my services as a physician to help others understand their medical issues is often one way I can help. although I feel like this takes no effort sometimes simple advice can help people go a long way. As a Reiki practitioner, I found that offering distance raking particularly to hospitalized coronavirus patient can bring so much ease to the family and the person going through it.

 If you’re considering learning reiki, please sign up for my newsletter period I will be making available a Reiki course online where you can start your journey and develop your skills as a healer. this is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself and for others.

As an email subscriber you will have access to my blogs, podcast which could be found at this link, email newsletters, and also I am active on social media at the following links. I hope we can keep in touch because I am very excited that soon I will be releasing my first course for those that want to learn Reiki in the comfort of their own home. Next paragraph on my website you can also find resources such as ebooks that will hopefully be helpful to you and your own journey.

Self Care During The Pandemic

2020 has been a year that has changed the lives of all of us on the planet. There has been loss beyond measure. Every industry has been impacted. As a practicing physician, this pandemic reminds of the the “never will happen” scenario I was taught about in medical school.

self care isn t selfish signage
Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

All that aside, no matter if you contracted the virus, you function as a caretaker of someone who contracted the virus, or you’re simply being a responsible citizen and limiting your activities to home, now, more than ever is the time to step up your self care regimen.

What is Self Care

In my internal medicine practice and with my Reiki clients, I define self care as any action that improves your well being. It need not bee a big action. Getting and extra hour of sleep, taking a walking in the morning, or reaching out to a friend you’ve lost contact with can be a start.

Self Care Ideas

  • Finding a Physician or Health Care Provider If you don’t have one
  • Reviewing your old medical records, especially vaccines.
  • Making a list of your supplements
  • Scheduling a physical, in person or virtually
  • Trying a Healthy Recipe
  • Starting a Meditation Practice (this is my free course)

Why Now

There is so much panic and negativity going on right now. Stress and fear literally weaken your immune system. Now more than ever, you should pursue your self care goals with passion.

What Next?

I invite you to post in the comments one goal, small or big, serious of frivolous that will refer to one way you will deepen your self care. For me, I practice either Yoga or Meditation daily, I walks at lunch for about 20 minutes. Driving home one day, I suddenly missed sitting at a table at restaurant. I stopped at the grocery and realized, I missed seeing fresh flowers on the table. I’m not usually someone who buys fresh flowers. Putting them on my table at home helped return some of the pleasant feeling of socializing when out with friends.

My Journey to Reiki/How Reiki Found Me

My experience with Reiki is what lead me to start this blog.  As I’ve been composing my thoughts, and trying to decide what content I should post about Reiki, I forgot I should share my story of how Reiki found me.

I read a beautiful post  at My Journey to Reiki that reminded me that as excited as I am about Reiki, I should remember why I am so passionate about Reiki.

I found Reiki through yoga.  I had started practicing yoga in my home while in medical school.  Due to time and finances, it would be over 10 years before I attended an actual yoga studio.  A very dear friend of mine told me about Yoga Home of Therapeutics  and the owner Sara Alavi.  I went to my first class after a devastating break up.  I was emotionally distraught and suffering from burnout at work .  I attended yoga class with Sara for a few years.  After a wonderful class, she told me she was teaching a Reiki class and I might like it.

Attending yoga at the studio had done so much for me that I didn’t even hesitate to sign up.  After signing up, I forgot to research what Reiki is, and when I arrived for my Reiki 1 attunement, I had no idea what to expect.

My experience during my first attunement was like nothing I had experienced.  Keep in mind, if you decide to take a course in Reiki, everyone’s experience is individual, and every experience is beautiful.  I assumed prior to the attunement that only gifted individuals could see auras, or have empathic abilities.  As I felt the internal changes of the attunement, I didn’t realize that soon I would feel some of the same.

As a physician, I’m used to interacting with people.  I am used to dealing with people when times are good, when they are bad, when they are scary and sad.  I’ve always tried to approach patient care with the “Golden Rule”, do onto others…

After my Reiki 1 attunement, I was so happy to have this tool to heal myself.  I still had a lot of sadness, and my pressure at work was ever increasing.  I felt that Reiki would be a wonderful addition to my self care tool box.

So when I saw my first patients after my first attunement,  I was completely shocked that I was seeing something.  Every patient had a glow.  They were all different, and constantly changing.  I didn’t always see  this with every patient.  My left brain, traditionally trained physician brain sought a rational explanation.

After many exhaustive Google searches (yes, even when I prefer my patients not to consult Dr. Google) I started to understand this glow was the patient’s aura, or subtle body.  I continued to treat myself with Reiki on many days, sometimes just for a few minutes, and as time passed, I became more comfortable with this new sensitivity.

Seeing auras is wonderful, but like with any new tool, I am still learning when to work with this.  I did notice my empathy was increased.  As I saw patients, I could listen to their stories in a much more clear manner.  I could sense their suffering beyond what the labs and x-rays told me.  I could hear better why they came to see me.   Although I had intended for Reiki for my own healing, it was already helping my patients.

My Reiki level 1 and 2 training were wonderful, and for the next year, I wasn’t sure I would pursue more training.   I was very fortunate to discover Kelly Schwegel  as a guest speaker on a podcast.  I scheduled  a healing session with her and eventually became a member of  Kelly’s Inner Wisdom Circle.  Kelly  holds Reiki certifications through the Inner Wisdom circle and I was able to get my attunement for Reiki 3 and Reiki Master.

Some very cool things have happened since I embraced Reiki.  I love that I can sense auras, or that I can tap into my intuition when I’m working with a patient with a difficult diagnosis.  The self healing I have with Reiki is why I hope readers will become attuned to Reiki.  There are so many ways Reiki infuses itself into your life.  Its a wonderful meditation to perform Reiki on yourself as you fall asleep.  Or to send Reiki to a future situation like a family member’s upcoming surgery.  Or to send REiki to yourself in the past during a loss of a loved one.

My hope is that if you are wondering if you should let Reiki find you, you will.  You may go on to be a Reiki Master with a full practice.  Or maybe you Reiki will help you put your baby to sleep at night.  But if you are wondering if you should sign  up for that Reiki class…you should  There is nothing to lose, and love to gain.