Let’s Talk about Diabetes

November is Diabetes Awareness Month.  Someone else had to tell me this.  

In my practice, every month is Diabetes Awareness Month

In this video, we will cover the basics of Diabetes.  

  • What are the types of Diabetes
  • What is the difference between Type 1, Type 2, and MODY?
  • What glucose and A1c mean, and what action to take

I share an easy online tool you can use to assess your Diabetes risk if you don’t already know this.

Navigate to 17:00 minutes if you’re interested in how race plays a role in diabetes.  

Skip to 18minute mark if you’re interested in the “Myth of the SuperWoman”

Finally, let’s discuss approaching Diabetes care holistically, using Lifestyle Medicine.

My book, 21 Day Meditation Journey is available on Amazon if you’re thinking of trying meditation to lower your stress.

The Real Reason for Palpitations

This post is for informational purposes only.  Please seek appropriate medical care for any medical symptoms. See website disclaimer for more information.

-Charlyce

What’s really making your heart race?

Palpitations should never be ignored. Sensations of skipping or jumping in the chest can sensations caused by palpitations. Many people will also associate palpitations with a feeling of throbbing in the neck or head.  Even more alarming, some individuals note chest pain during episodes of palpitations.

After you’ve had a careful evaluation with your physician, and know  that a medical condition is not the cause of your palpitations, you should consider what your body is trying to tell you. What’s the real reason for your palpitaitons?

How to Find Your Heart Rate

A normal heart rate is between 60 and 90 beats per minute. Individuals with a high level of physical fitness will tend to have a lower heart rate at rest. Women, especially pregnant women, will have a faster heart rate at rest that typically does not represent any problems.

Heart Rate Variability is a measure of how the heart rate changes with breath. This exciting topic is the next step in wellness, as it is a valuable way to measure how well the Autonomic Nervous System is working.

You can easily check your heart rate with no fancy equipment.

Basic Pulse Measurement

  • Set a timer for 15 or 30 seconds
  • Use the forefinger and middle finger of your non-dominant hand (the hand you don’t write with) to find the pulse on the opposite wrist.
  • The Radial Pulse is located on the wrist on the same side as your thumb.
  • If you do not initially feel a pulse, try using less pressure.
  • At the end of the timer, multiply by 4 if you used 15 seconds, by 2 if you used 30 seconds
    • #beats in 15 seconds X 4=heart rate per minute
    • #beats in 30 seconds X2=heart rate per minute

Using A Pulse Oximeter

A pulse oximeter, which is available online and in stores, uses infrared light to measure the color of red blood cells. This is allows for measurement of oxygen content in the blood. These devices will also record a pulse when placed on a finger.

EKG

EKG, or Electrocardiogram, measures how electrical signals travel through the heart. EKG’s are usually done in a medical office, but advances in technology allow for a simplified EKG to be done with smartphones or similar portable devices at home.

Why Are You Having Palpitations?

Once you’ve had a careful workup with a physician to make sure there is no serious cause of your palpitations, then it’s time to start listening to your body.

Your heart rate ( and heart rate variability) are a great way for you to learn what’s going on with you Autonomic Nervous System.

Activating the Parasympathetic Nervous System brings balance to the mind and body.

Here are 6 Ways to Activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System

Overactive Sympathetic Nervous System

The Vagus Nerve and the nervous system inside the heart (called the Purkinje System) determine the heart rate. This system takes input from the Vagus nerve. The heart rate is determined by the coordination of the Vagus Nerve and Purkinje System. A fast heart rate is one signal that you may have an imbalance in your Autonomic Nervous System.

Why is this important?

The Sympathetic Nervous Systems is designed to prepare the body for quick action. This is great when it’s time to run, hide, seek shelter, or have quick reflexes. If the Sympathetic Nervous system is too active, it creates chronic stress, which can lead to illness.

The simplest way to balance the activity of the Sympathetic Nervous System is with Meditation.

Start your Meditation Journey Today.

21-Day Meditation Journey book is now available on Amazon!

Lack of High Quality Sleep

Many of my patients come to the office immediately after being seen in the emergency room for palpitations. Naturally, they may have waited several hours to be seen, and often have not slept. If they went in for palpitations, they are often shocked to feel much worse after being up all night.

When you don’t sleep enough, of the quality of sleep is poor, there are several changes that happen within your body that will lead to an elevated heart rate.

Your brain performs many background tasks during sleep. This allows the two most powerful glands, the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, to sample the blood stream and produce appropriate hormone levels to maintain health.

Lack of sleep creates stress signals in other glands, including the adrenal glands. This leads to the autonomic system diverting energy to the Sympathetic Nervous System. The heart rate will naturally begin to run higher than normal.

There are many ways to improve your sleep. Body Scan Meditation is a fantastic way to relax at bedtime.

Poor Quality Breathing

“The first step toward inner listening, and one of the best ways to shift to maintaining open and present awareness, is to connect our awareness to breath. I call this creating the ‘friendship’ of breath awareness. Our breathing has been a friend that has accompanied us through every moment of life; it has never deserted us no matter how terrible we have felt”

Moss, 2007

We take breath for granted. Most of us don’t realize how we are breathing as we go through our days. When driving, for example, so much of the brain must be devoted to safety and awareness of other cars. It seems impossible to take notice if how often and how deeply we inhale.

I consider poor quality breathing as shallow, rapid breaths usually in the setting of sitting with poor posture.

Rapid, shallow breaths that don’t use the full expansion of the chest leads to an elevated heart rate. The organs of the chest will send signals to the brain via that Vagus Nerve that create a stress signal. This leads to a gradual rise in feelings of anxiety and feeling unwell. The brain will then transmit signals to the chest that will drive up the heart rate.

Improve your breathing instantly by improving your postures:

Habitual Worry

The last thing you want to hear when you are worried about something, or many things, is “Just don’t worry about it”.

It feels likes worrying will help the problem. Maybe there will be a solution if you keep thinking about it?

5 Reiki Precepts

“Do Not Worry” is one of the 5 Reiki Precepts. This is because worry lowers your mind and body’s energy. Worry is recycling of thoughts without action.

In your life, consider how many times worrying lead to a solution. Likely, it has not.

Your feelings about the issue deserve attention. Consider journaling to help with worry thoughts. The act of writing down what weighs heavy in your heart can alleviate the need to recycle those thoughts endlessly.

Lack of Cardiovascular Fitness

It’s good to stay in a relaxed, open state as much as possible. Particularly, if you’re trying to sleep, eat, have sex or just stay in the moment.

Our bodies are designed to take on challenge. If we don’t activate the Sympathetic Nervous System on a regular basis, it may kick in on it’s own. When it does, your heart rate will go up in an unregulated way. This will lead to palpitations that are uncomfortable.

Walking is a fantastic way to get the heart rate up without too much strain. Unless advised by your physician, engaging in walking for exercise is a wonderful way to raise your heart rate, get your blood flowing and regulate your heart rate.

Exercise will temporarily raise you heart rate, then it will gradually go down over the next several hours.

I love to go walking! Take me walking with you!

Moss, R (2007). The Mandala of Being: Discovering the Power of Awareness. Retrieved from Amazon.

Blood Pressure and the Autonomic Nervous System

Many factors can affect the blood pressure. High Blood pressure is an unfortunately common condition.

Many times, blood pressure is elevated only temporarily, but many times it is elevated chronically, leading to the disease Essential Hypertension.

Listen to the Podcast on Blood Pressure

The Autonomic Nervous System controls the blood pressure. The two major components of the Autonomic Nervous System are the Parasympathetic and Sympathetic Nervous System.

Learn about the Autonomic Nervous System in this blog post.

The Sympathetic Nervous System operates during times of stress. The function of the Sympathetic Nervous System is to increase the heart rate, increase circulation to the extremities, and prepare the body to go into survival mode.

What’s raising your blood pressure?

Blood pressure management medical oversight, but it is possible to work with your mind and body to manage blood pressure.

Mindful Approach To Managing Blood Pressure

Ways to Manage Your Blood Pressure with Lifestyle
  • Diet:  My “quick and dirty” nutrition advise to reduce blood pressure.
  • Sleep: getting enough, improving the quality of sleep
  • Exercise:  How to keep it simple to get moving
  • Relationships: Really? yes, learn to observe how you show up in your relationships.

Putting It All Together

Blood pressure is a great way to understand traditional medicine and energy medicine together. The interplay of the mind and body controls the blood pressure and is not necessarily under the control of the conscious mind.

Exciting Content Coming up!

Sign up for more content! I’m working on some exciting projects on matters of the heart.

6 Ways to Activate the Parasympathetic System

The Autonomic Nervous System is made of the Sympathetic Nervous System and Parasympathetic Nervous System.

The Sympathetic System is necessary in times of exercise, or if fast physical action is needed (“Fight or Flight”).

Like all things in nature, we want to achieve balance. This blog post will discuss the benefits of activating the parasympathetic nervous system, why to do it and how to do it.

Working with the autonomic system is truly the playground of energy medicine. The Autonomic Nervous System is controlled by the vagus nerve and spinal cord. This system is very responsive to stress. During times of stress, either prolonged or brief, the Sympathetic Nervous system will govern bodily functions. The Sympathetic Nervous system will change the endocrine system to prepare for a threat. This means the hormone system will be producing more “stress hormones” (such adrenaline and cortisol) constantly.

How do you know when it’s time to activate the parasympathetic system?

  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Feeling ungrounded
  • Increasing pain levels
  • Digestive issues
  • Sexual dysfunction

Experiencing any of these signs or symptoms means that likely your sympathetic nervous system is running the show. It’s time to find balance.


1. Grounding Meditation While Standing

Standing with your feet firmly in place preferably barefoot for 1 to 3 minutes can help slow down your nervous system and let the parasympathetic system activate. In the book 21 Day Meditation Journey, we practice doing a few poses standing to activate Earth energy. Focusing your energy on your legs and feet can help to slow down racing thoughts. Do this simply by taking several deep breaths while standing and if your balance allows with your eyes closed.

Download the Free Ebook 9 Ways to Ground Your Energy

2. Hip Openers to Relax The Mind and Body

Yoga uses asanas (Yoga Poses) that focus on the hips to relieve stress.  The hip joints are weight bearing joints.  The hips, the hip girdle and lower back are also a place where many of us hold stress in our bodies.  This can be felt by tightness in the hips, trouble going from standing or sitting, or back pain.

Freeing up the hip joints through stretches will allow the mind and body to relax deeply.  These poses can be modified for comfort of course.  

Yoga Poses To Open the Hips

How to Modify These Poses

  • Sit on a blanket or block in Half-Lotus for comfort
  • Use Blocks or Blankets underneath the knees in Cobbler’s Pose
  • Sit on Blankets or Blocks in Yogi Squat
  • Dead Pigeon Pose on the Back is an alternative to Pigeon Pose

3. Deep Belly Breath

The Parasympathetic Nervous System can be activated with deep breaths into the belly. Breathing is controlled primarily by the Autonomic Nervous System. We can take conscious control of breath be taking deeper, slower breaths.

Taking deep Belly Breaths doesn’t require a formal meditation practice. You can do this even while reading this blog post.

Breath Into the Belly Now

  • Sit or stand straight, aligning
  • Loosen your clothing if needed
  • Inhale by initiating the breath by expanding the belly first, then the chest
  • Exhale first from the chest then the belly, squeeze the belly in.

4. Slow Down Your Breath

Breathing too rapidly is a a habit we all fall into easily. Hyperventilation, which is taking in too much oxygen, can occur if breathing is occurring only in the chest. During times of stress and anxiety, particularly if you’re sitting for prolonged periods, this can easily occur.

Breathing deeply and slowly allows the Parasympathetic system to engage. This can calm the mind and body.

Breath Counting Exercise

5. Express Your Feelings

The Autonomic Nervous System never lies. If you are hanging on to thoughts of pain, hurt, or resentment those emotions are being stored within your body. Finding a way to safely and effectively express your emotions will allow you to release stress and let your parasympathetic nervous system increase its activity. There’s no need to confront anyone or start a fight.

Using a journal, or a piece of paper you can safely discard, write down your feelings that are creating discomfort. Doing this will relief your body of the tension of unexpressed emotions.

Mindfulness Writing Exercise

6. Meditate to Quiet the Mind

Meditation is a powerful tool to calm the Sympathetic Nervous System (“Fight or Flight”) and engage the Parasympathetic Nervous System.

Meditation can be a simple moment of mindfulness of 3 minutes, or a formal practice.

Start Your Meditation Journey Today-Meditation E Course

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What is the Autonomic Nervous System?

Understanding the autonomic system is a powerful healing tool. The autonomic nervous system controls every function in the body. In the most recent Art of Healing Podcast, we discuss what is blood pressure.

Many patients often wonder why they have high blood pressure. Many others also wonder why they have digestive issues when they feel nervous (such as nausea or diarrhea).

What is the autonomic nervous system?

Understanding the nervous system helps you understand your body.

Within all of us, there is a system the controls heart rate, respiration, digestion, waste elimination, and sexual function. This same system influences our moods, and can control how we feel moment to moment.

The Autonomic Nervous System deeply impacts our experience in reality. Understanding this system will give you the keys to healing your mind and body.


What is the Autonomic System?

The cognitive functions such as thinking, emotions and voluntary bodily actions are governed by the Central Nervous System. The Central Nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. The brain and spinal cord send information to the body and receive information back through sensory neurons.

While we can control how fast we breath (such as slowing down the breath during meditation), it is difficult to consciously control the heart rate. It is nearly impossible to consciously change digestion, for instance, we can not control how fast peristalsis (contractions of the muscles of the intestines) occur.

The Autonomic Nervous System controls the bodily functions that are not under conscious control This sounds deceptively simple. Respiration, circulation, digestion, immunity and reproduction all most be coordinated in order for the body to function in a healthy way. This must be balanced against the bodies need to move in order to acquire energy, expend energy or escape a threat.


The Autonomic Nervous System is divided into two systems, the Parasympathetic Nervous System, and the Parasympathetic Nervous System.

In general, these systems oppose each other. One is always active, and only decreases it’s activity if the opposing system generates more signals.


“Each system is dominant under certain conditions. The sympathetic system predominates during emergency ‘fight-or-flight’ reactions and during exercise…the parasympathetic system predominates during quiet, resting conditions.”

— McCorry L.K., Physiology of the Autonomic Nervous System


Parasympathetic Nervous System

There are times in which the body needs to rest and recover, such as after meals, when it’s time to sleep, or simply relax.  There is no significant demand on the body to exert energy for survival. 

This mode of operation is when the parasympathetic system is dominant.  This system will influence the body to slow down the heart rate, increase digestive activity, and overall create a feeling of being relaxed.  This is the feeling we all have relaxing in our favorite chair reading a book for example.

The Parasympathetic Nervous System allows the mind and body to rest, digest and recover. When the body can slow down, the digestive system is able to absorb nutrients and eliminate waste effectively. The reproductive system can operate naturally, allowing for a natural libido that will ensure healthy sexual drive. The cardiovascular system, through the parasympathetic nervous system, will direct blood flow to the organ to ensure the normal bodily functions can perform at their best.

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Function of the Parasympathetic Nervous System

  • Increases blood flow to digestive tract to encourage waste elimination
  • Encourages blood flow and nerve function ton augment sexual functioning
  • Increases blood flow to the digestive tract to improve motility of digestive system and nutrient absorption
  • Slows down the heart rate

Sympathetic Nervous System

Rest and recovery are necessary, but there are times in which we need to be active and kinetic.  We need to be alert, aware, and reflexes need to be at their peak.  When driving in heavy traffic, for example, the body needs to be able to react quickly to avoid a car accident.  Blood flow needs to be directed to the extremities to augment fast action if needed.  The heart should pick up speed in anticipation of a possible threat.  The pupils will dilate to improve vision.  This is when the sympathetic part of the sympathetic nervous system will dominate.  

The Sympathetic Nervous System controls blood flow, reflexes, and temperature of the limbs.  Reflexes are an important survival tool for the living body. 

The Sympathetic Nervous System operates mostly outside of the nervous system. This system is designed to run on speed and reflex. It is the Sympathetic Nervous System that governs reflexes. One example is if you reach for an object that’s too hot to touch, you will notice you withdraw your hand before you even register the pain of heat.

The Sympathetic Nervous system is activated in times of exercise but also in stress. The design of the sympathetic nervous system operates with speed, and does not require the input of the brain. This system is able to activate the adrenal glands in times of crisis. The “fight or flight” reaction is when some sort of stimuli that creates fear engages the Sympathetic Nervous system, which will cause the release of adrenaline from the adrenal glands. This powerful reaction can be life saving in times of trauma. It is a very necessary system for survival.

Function of the Sympathetic Nervous System

  • Decreased blood flow to the digestive tract
  • increased blood flow to the extremities
  • Increases heart rate and respiration
  • Turns sweat glands on
  • Dilates pupils to improve vision

What does the Autonomic System Control?

All of the organs of the body are controlled by the autonomic system.  The skeletal muscles and bones of the limbs are controlled by the sympathetic system.  Since the “Fight of Flight” of the body usually requires increased blood flow to the limbs, ths Sympathetic System exerts control in this area.

The organs of the chest and abdomen are controlled by both the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic nervous systems.

We often don’t realize our body must be able to respond to external stimuli rapidly. If there’s a threat heading our way, our brain may take several minutes to process the threat. Fortunately, we have intelligent bodies that can take over the process of running, hiding, or fighting. For this reason, the sympathetic nervous system, which governs the body’s ability to respond to external threats rapidly, does not need to communicate much with the brain.

The parasympathetic nervous system governs the body’s ability to digest food, have sexual intercourse, and eliminate waste, as well as influences the cardiovascular system to slow down. From this description we can tell that the parasympathetic system is best to run the body system in times of rest, relaxation or recovery.

Why Understand the Autonomic Nervous System?

The Autonomic Nervous System influences all of the glands of the body. Control of hormonal production is heavily influenced by the Autonomic Nervous System.

I have the blessing of working with individuals with their bodies on a daily basis. Reflecting on this topic has reminded me of the true, miraculous nature of the human body.

The Chakra System, knowledge imparted from the ancient healing system of Ayurveda can be demystified by analysis of the Autonomic System.

It is for this reason I am embarking on my next project with my heart and soul. This project will journey even deeper into demystifying the mind-body connection by understanding the Heart Chakra.

Stay tuned for next week in this series in which we will discuss more in depth be sympathetic any parasympathetic nervous systems.

The next few months at Healing Arts will be full of exciting content.

Sign up for updates, and to catch the latest Art of Healing Podcast

References:

  1. McCorry L. K. (2007). Physiology of the autonomic nervous system. American journal of pharmaceutical education, 71(4), 78. https://doi.org/10.5688/aj710478

3 Ways to Sabotage Your Mood With Food

We all make poor food choices at some point in our life. Food has evolved in our lives to be much more than nourishment for the body. You can be stress relief, used to celebrate, are used to calm anxious nerves.
No matter what health condition you’re dealing with, understanding that there may be times you sabotage your own progress helps you to understand yourself. Self compassion is key on any healing journey.

Using Sugar to Calm Anxiety

Many of my patients struggling with their weight or diabetes isn’t it to snacking on sweets excessively and they’re feeling nervous. Furthermore, getting activities very likely occur during times of inside.
The impulse to eat my feel nervous stamps from when you take engage the parasympathetic system. The parasympathetic system is a part of the nervous system that covers eating, slow heart rate, sexual activity, and 3digestive function. During times of anxiety, it is the sympathetic system. This is the system that governs me fight or flight.
Many of us discover on accident that we can engage our parasympathetic system by eating. The act of chewing swallowing will stimulate the stomach to sin signals through the vagus nerve up to the brain that will help calm the system. Naturally, this is not good for the metabolism. Snacking to Lauren’s body levels will lead to weight gain and possibly diabetes.

If you are suffering from this, this is a good reason to consider starting meditation. You can engage your parasympathetic system with purposeful, slow deep breath.

Eating When Bored or Depressed


The digestive tract is a complex system that starts from the mouth and goes to the anus. They are layers of muscle and also a layer of nervous tissue. The nervous tissue of the gut actually contains more neurons then the grain itself.  The gut produces and responses to the same neurotransmitters that circulate in the brain.

Engaging and overeating particular when they are depressed or often attempting to raise their serotonin levels. Serotonin is to feel good hormone and one of the building blocks to make serotonin is carbohydrates.

Relying on food to improve the mood can lead on unwanted weight gain, and disease such as diabetes.

Meditations that focus on the core are a good remedy for this. See my book 21 day meditation journey or sign up for my course to get started today

Start your Meditation Journey Today

Available in Print and Ebook

Feeding Your Cravings

I often ask my patients as well as ask myself what food is being craved. There is so much media that tells us if we are craving a food particularly something that’s unhealthy we should eat it. Really, when you’re having a craving your body is telling you you are insufficient in some nutrient.

To the craving for sugar, or salt, find a stack that is just the opposite of what you were craving. If you’re wanting something sweet, try snacking on nuts. If you’re wanting something salty, try something like organic fruit. Snacking on nuts for wanting something sweet will help to stabilize your insulin levels and hopefully stop the for something sweet. And you are craving salt, you like clean water, so in addition to drinking water eating a piece of fruit will get water into your body naturally.

3 Ways the Healing Art of Observation can Improve Your Health

Using the power of observation to connect to yourself.

Observation is a tool frequently used in meditation mindfulness to help focus the brain. When we take our attention to one specific object and not only helps to eliminate distracting thoughts, but we can also learn something about ourselves.

Recently I have deepened my studies in the practice of meditation. Learning that observations are powerful tool I’ve also started bringing this into my medical practice. I have offered patients prompts they can use to observe their mind and body.

I have been pleasantly surprised at how the power of observation is helped my patients to understand themselves and has allowed me to help them more effectively. Here are three ways in which observation can be used in your own healing journey.

Gathering data

The clinical encounter medicine can serve multiple purposes. Sometimes there’s a simple question that needs to be answered. Sometimes there is an emotional connection that will be made. Many times there is a transaction of information in which the patient must share. Data gathering, which often takes place in the form of history taking is extremely important.

Physicians and patients struggle with the exchange of information during the clinical exchange. Physicians are trained to think scientifically and to read patients like a book. Patients experience their symptoms in a linear fashion that is often noted to coincide with life events. Physicians become easily frustrated when patients share details that are often on the surface irrelevant to why they’ve come in.

When I’m working with a patient that’s having trouble relaying information, I will ask them to make observations about what their experiencing. This isn’t to be judgmental and it is definitely not to lay blame. But with a few gentle prompts, patients can start to make observations about their symptoms that are very helpful.

Dealing with addictive habits or self sabotage

Primary care physicians often act as health coaches. It is not unusual to offer more coaching advice rather than diagnosis. This can include inspirations to achieve a healthier lifestyle such as through nutrition or healthy movement.

Addictions and self-sabotaging behavior a much more common than most people realize. Patients often have a real struggle coming to groups with why they would return to a habit that’s hurting their bodies.

I have found that teaching patients about the power of observation and asking them to perform 90 seconds of observation before engaging in a destructive habit is extremely powerful. The instructions are simple. Before you pick up the cigarette set a timer for 90 seconds. During the 90 second seconds, observe how you feel prior to smoking. Then when the timer goes off observe if you wish to still smoke the cigarette, proceed with lighting the cigarette.

In the case of addiction, that observation period can often help the brain rewire itself and calm down the reward system in the brain.

Obervation to Empower

Traditionally the practice of medicine was based on a paternalistic model. This meant that the doctor gave orders to the patient that were accepted and never questioned. Times have changed. This is no longer an acceptable way to practice. Due to complexity of healthcare patients must participate in their own care.

Patients that have not felt empowered in most of their life will have a struggle with this. When it is time to make a decision about treatment options they may feel like throwing up their hands and want the physician to make the decision for them.

Reiki In Cancer Care

Inspiration for Helping Cancer Patients In Their Journey

Many people consider a healing modality such as Reiki a luxury item that’s only used for stress relief for relaxation.

In this article, I would like to share with you how Reiki can play an integral part in the care of cancer patients.

Understanding what happens to patients when they’re diagnosed with cancer helps all of us to visualize where holistic healing can help. Particularly for Reiki practitioners, I would like you to understand some of what cancer patients go through. Hopefully this will provide you inspiration to add distance Reiki for oncology patients to your services.

Can Adding Reiki Help Cancer Patients?

The answer is a resounding yes! Receiving Reiki during the cancer journey can and should be offered in modern medicine. It can help patients and families cope with the difficult journey of cancer care.

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 that 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)

Practical applications of Reiki in oncology care


One of the most powerful aspects of Reiki healing is that it can be offered from a distance. Keeping in mind that moving forward social distancing and public health will remain a major concern for all of us, distance Reiki could help to augment care for cancer patients. My personal recommendation is to consider doing distance Reiki session during certain scheduled events that can help those treatments go easier.

During Surgery

One of my favorite times to provide Reiki to my clients is during surgical procedures. Healing energy can be channeled directly to the patient as well as to the surgical team. I have received positive feedback many times from the clients that this helps to speed up their recovery and also helps calm anxiety before the procedure.

I personally performed distance Reiki on my mother while she was having major surgery on her lumbar spine. Naturally, I was very nervous for her and felt very powerless before her surgery. It was one of the most powerful experiences in my life as a Reiki healer and of course as a daughter. I was able to send energy into her surgery and get a sense of what was going on in the room. It immediately helped to calm my nerves. It also seemed to make the waiting period go by much faster. Initially I had been so nervous in the waiting area I was not able to carry on conversations. Because my anxiety had improve, I ended up making a very pleasant connection with a gentleman working in the hospital and learning his story.

During Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is often a necessary part of cancer care. It’s particularly taxing due to the frequency of treatments, and dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy. One inspiration for Reiki healers is to offer Reiki healing during chemotherapy. Reiki can be delivered effectively by distance without any interference in therapy. Sending Reiki during chemotherapy can help the patient deal with the side effects of the medication. The healing energy that’s been transmitted can also help the patient fall asleep during chemotherapy which will help the whole process go faster.

During Radiation

Sending Reiki during radiation can also help reduce the stress anxiety of a frequent medical treatment. Radiation treatment tends to be shorter than chemotherapy and occurs more often possibly even daily. If a person has an agreement with a regular practitioner, sending regular treatments during chemotherapy may be worthwhile.  Reiki healing can be used for instance, to reduce the risks of side effects from the radiation treatment.

Doctor’s Visits

Interacting with physicians during the cancer journey can be physically, emotionally and spiritually taxing.  Every cancer journey is individual, but most visits are typically a turning point in what will happen next in treatment and finding out progress as well as prognosis. I often recommend and offer distance Reiki to the appointment with physicians. The reports that I’ve heard from my clients is that they felt much less anxious going into the appointment. They also felt that they understood the information they received much better and the overall visit was much calmer with the Reiki energy flowing there. In a similar fashion to surgery and chemotherapy, there’s no absolute need to send the energy if the exact same time is the appointment. This can be done ahead of schedule.

Getting Started with Reiki in Cancer Care

Reiki Healers-Offer Distance Reiki

I would like to encourage Reiki practitioners that are actively practicing to consider offering distance Reiki to oncology patients right away. As a practicing physician, I often witness how taxing and stressful the cancer journey can be. Availability of Reiki practitioners is limited. Also public knowledge of this healing modality is very limited. Therefore, I do hope to start a conversation that can spread around the world. Reiki practitioners can easily offer distance treatment to those undergoing cancer care. It’s a simple as offering the service right now.

Caregiver-Learn Reiki

If you find yourself in the position of being a caregiver of a loved one with cancer, and you are considering learning a holistic remedy to help with the care at home, I will strongly encourage you that it is worth it.  Reiki can help to protect you against caregiver stress and you will have a healing modality in your home that you can invoke at any time to help heal stress, calm anxiety, and side effects from treatments.

Cancer Patient-Learn Reiki

This may seem like the most outrageous of all the recommendations, but if you have recently been diagnosed with cancer, you may wonder if you should learn Reiki. You may wonder if you would have the energy to do this. I can tell you from personal experience and having worked with my own clients that learning Reiki when you are diagnosed with cancer can be one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself. Yes, you will have all of the taxing decisions to make about your cancer care. Yes, you will meet a new specialist and feel very uncomfortable and experience pain. You would be surprised to find that learning Reiki would help you tap into a strength you didn’t know you had. I’ve seen this in my own clients and I have been amazed. I’ve witnessed how a cancer patient learning Reiki can help themselves so much to the journey.

References

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

How Wounds from the Past lead to Illness in the Present

Adverse Childhood Events and Its’s relationship to illness as an adult

Purpose of a Medical History

In traditional medicine, the healing encounter starts with the recording of the medical history.  Since healthcare in the visits are problem focused, the history is directed towards the timing of the problem.  It is interesting in modern healthcare that we gather information on the past medical history but rarely do we look any deeper than that.  I ask about family history, which tells us about genetic predisposition for disease.

The healing encounter of a Reiki session may involve some history gathering, but usually the focus is on delivering healing energy.  When I’m working with Reiki clients, information about the past often plays a role in the client’s current issues.  

I’ve had many patients ask why I have interest in their past history, and if it has any relationship to why they are in my office .  It seems that an illness that has resolved two or three decades ago should not impact a person’s health later.  Beyond that, patients may wonder why I may ask about experiences in childhood, as on the surface, there should be no relationship to issues as an adult.  

Adverse Childhood Experiences

Adverse Childhood Experiences are clinically validated experiences that have been shown to increase the chance of illness in adults.  Childhood traumatic stress increased the likelihood of hospitalization with a diagnosed autoimmune disease decades into adulthood. In this study, the majority of individuals with at least one Adverse Childhood Event  were hospitalized with an autoimmune disease (1)

Photo by Mumtahina Tanni on Pexels.com

Reiki healers often confront past trauma and its result on the clients well-being. Inner Child work involves working  the client in the version of themselves that was a child that suffered childhood trauma.  The client must first be brought into a deeply relaxed state through some sort of regressive therapy. The client is then asked to recall the emotion or feeling they are having now that is causing the most suffering.  The client then explores if they have had this feeling before.  It is during this time that the client will self identify the age at which the trauma occurred. The “Inner Child” is thought to be the age at which the person suffers a major trauma that creates energetic and emotional scars.  The “Inner Child” is a subconscious precept the client holds that often reawakens as an adult, expressing strong emotions in any life event that is similar to the original trauma.  The Reiki practitioner then begins to work with the Inner Child, to help heal those  wounds and make the child feel safe.

This is a powerful healing technique, and can be quite uncomfortable. Bringing in the Inner Child often brings up very painful childhood memories. This process is almost like a surgical healing.  It is likely to be painful, but working with the Inner Child can often bring about deep, lasting healing for the client.  Clients that receive Inner Child healing often leave the encounter with a deep understanding of who they are as a person. 

The connection between childhood trauma and current medical illnesses complex. There are two general examples we can use to explore this topic.
The following examples are purely fictional.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is a complex digestive disorder that leads to many symptoms. . Many individuals living with IBS often don’t realize they are also having emotional distress that often accompany the digestive issues.  Many of my patients with IBS first began having digestive symptoms in childhood.   If the patient developed negative feelings towards school for example, it was likely not  acceptable to ask the parents to miss school because they were being bullied. It would be acceptable to ask to stay home because of a stomach ache. Over the years, subconsciously the person may learn that having a stomach ache can often help to avoid unpleasant experiences. Gradually, the brain begins to make a neural connection with stress avoidance and digestive symptoms.  The cycle perpetuates itself, eventually manifesting as severe digestive disease.

Lupus

Another example, SLE, so Systemic Erythematous Lupus may develop its roots in a person who suffered through multiple childhood traumas. A middle-aged female patient may present with lupus complicated by kidney disease, pulmonary disease, and digestive issues. She may relate to her physician that she had a tumultuous childhood including multiple stays in various foster homes. The relationship here maybe that because she did not feel rooted as a child, she has a poorly energized root chakra. As an adult, her root chakra which is the basis of the immune system never learns to work very well. She develops an immune system that is highly overactive and attacks her own body tissues.  The end result is a severe autoimmune disease.

Reincarnation, which is the process of returning to Earth multiple times in various forms, is thought to possibly lead to illness in the current life. Similar to Inner Child work, it is possible to use regression therapy to go back to past lives for healing. This can be very difficult and likely will require multiple sessions between a client and healer that have a trusting relationship.

Acknowledging this past hurts and traumas is important in healing. This does not mean that there is not hope for healing in a long time. Matter of fact, the best chance for healing is acknowledging the hurts of the past. taking inventory and looking a little bit deeper than the past medical history can pay off in unimagined ways.

References

1.Dube, S. R., Fairweather, D., Pearson, W. S., Felitti, V. J., Anda, R. F., & Croft, J. B. (2009). Cumulative childhood stress and autoimmune diseases in adults. Psychosomatic medicine, 71(2), 243–250. https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181907888

3 Ways to Ease Anxiety

In a recent article from the ACP internist March 2021 volume 41 number 3, an article by author Charlotte Huff states that “roughly 40% of adult women develop some type of anxiety disorder during their lifetime compared to 26.4% of men” which is a quotation taken from the international journal of methods and psychiatry research. Anxiety is a very common diagnosis. Unfortunately it is becoming more common with the meaning enforce changes we have all endured due to the pandemic.

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

In my medical practice, I frequently treat patients with the diagnosis of anxiety. Unfortunately, the Pandemic of 2020 drastically increased the occurrence of anxiety in my medical practice. The Pandemic has increased worry, and there are certainly many reasons to be anxious.

My own observations, which are not necessarily quantifiable or have any research to back them up, I am witnessing a sharp increase in patients presenting with anxiety or anxiety like symptoms. Interestingly, I noticed the biggest increase after the wintertime surges.

They’re actually many forms of anxiety. Generalizes anxiety disorder is the anxiety disorder I encounter most medical practice. Other forms of anxiety include social phobias, agoraphobia, or anxiety related to public speaking. Anxiety may also be a component of another psychiatric disorder such as major depression or bipolar disorder.

Generalized anxiety disorder, is characterized by persistent worry that leads to life changing consequences that last over 6 months. The classification is important because the emotion of anxiety happens to all of us. The distinction must be made when these symptoms are impacting the quality of life.

The typical symptoms of anxiety include but are not limited to:

  • Excessive Worry
  • Inability to rest or relax
  • Hypervigilance
  • Irritability
  • Tense muscles
  • Poor quality sleep

Anxiety can lead to many physical symptoms including:

  • Palpitations
  • Tremors
  • Excessive sweating
  • Digestive issues 
  • Muscle spasms

Many factors can put a person at risk, but it seems the greatest risk factor is being female. 

Those that have never experienced anxiety and severe enough to require treatment may have trouble understanding why someone would require treatment for this condition. Anxiety can be crippling. Someone in the grips of an anxiety attack often is not unable to understand reality, which will drive severe behaviors. That is very worse anxiety can increase the risk of suicidal attempts.

We all have times we feel anxious. Having transitory “butterflies in the stomach” or feeling on edge is a normal part of the human experience. It is when these symptoms persist, occur frequently, or interrupt daily activities that it may require management by a healthcare professional.

The Suicide Prevention Line is available if you are having severe symptoms and need help now.

Where to Get Help

It is important to know where to find help to cope with anxiety. If you have a relationship with a physician or care provider such as a Primary Care  doctor, they are often more than ready to help you. This is a good time to find a primary care provider if you don’t have one if you feel you have anxiety. If you don’t have health insurance, many state agencies have helplines such as #211 that can help get you to resources. In any case, it is usually impossible to determine by yourself how to figure your symptoms truly if they require treatment.

A complete history and physical exam is recommended to make sure no medical diagnosis could be causing the symptoms. 

Once anxiety has been confirmed with the diagnosis by healthcare professional, treatment options can include but are not limited to:

  • Therapy 
  • Medications
  • Observation

These treatment options require evaluation and recommendations of a healthcare professional.  Treatment must be individualized and tailored to each person’s needs.  Once treatment is selected, monitoring will need to continue potentially for several months.

Beyond what happens in the clinic, if you have been diagnosed with anxiety or are worried you may be at risk or developing anxiety that is clinical there are things that you can do for yourself at home to improve your symptoms.

Meditation

I routinely recommend meditation to many of my patients as well as my Reiki clients.  Meditation is easily accessible, can be completely free, and requires no special equipment to get set up.



Meditation is the perfect compliment to medical treatment or therapy. Meditation often reduces the symptoms of anxiety immediately and when performed daily will help long-term.

If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of meditation I want to gently remind you that anyone can meditate.  please now that even if on the inside your thoughts are racing and you don’t think you can find peace, just the attempt at meditation will reap benefits.

Yoga

I frequently mention Yoga as a self-care modality that can be included with with meditation when managing anxiety. Yoga has been clinically proven to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety.

One of the important aspects of Yoga that can help alleviate anxiety is the focus on breath work. Individuals suffering from anxiety often have little to no awareness of how they breathe on a regular basis. Because they tend to breathe in a shallow manner they often don’t realize that they set the stage for anxiety attacks. The practice of yoga can help those suffering from anxiety learn how to work with their chest and their belly to breathe effectively in order to reduce the pulse.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy has grown in popularity over the years. The science of aromatherapy involves engaging the olfactory nerve which has a strong connection to the brain to create therapeutic benefits. Aromatherapy and the form of essential oils can be therapeutic and lower anxiety. Also, aromatherapy can be pleasing and pleasurable to the senses.

Essential oils can be very expensive. Because of this, I usually limit my recommendations to a few essential oils that are relatively well tolerated and can be found in most natural food stores.

  • Lavender
  •  Frankincense 
  •  Peppermint
  • Patchouli

If you are considering using aromatherapy, I recommend diluting essential oils and a high quality carrier oil and using a roller bottle. This makes carrying aromatherapy with you throughout the day much easier and less messy. this also allows for a very light application if you’re wanting to keep the smell in a limited area.

If you are managing anxiety it is important to realize that your anxiety may take a long time to improve. You want to be patient, gentle and caring with yourself. Do not rush yourself to “get back to normal”.  

Going to level deeper, as you journey through your experience of anxiety you may want to sit with the feeling to learn what the anxiety is teaching you. Anxiety rarely occurs for no reason at all. With the help of a skilled therapist, it is likely you will learn more about yourself and the way you exist in the world that has led to your experience with anxiety.  Anxiety can become a learning opportunity for your soul. Anxiety is going to teach you something, so if possible try to learn what it is that you need to about yourself.

As a thank you for spending time learning about a difficult topic you may download my channel negative emotions meditation I created. There are many ways that you can meditate. This particular meditation I created to harness the energy of unwanted emotions and channel them for the greater good.

https://healingartshealthandwellness.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Meditation-for-channeling-negative-energymp3.mp3

Anxiety-Finding Help, Living with Anxiety

In a recent article from the ACP internist March 2021 volume 41 number 3 an article by author Charlotte Huff states that “roughly 40% of adult women develop some type of anxiety disorder during their lifetime compared to 26.4% of men” which is a quotation taken from the international journal of methods and psychiatry research.

In my medical practice, I frequently treat patients with the diagnosis of anxiety. Unfortunately, the Pandemic of 2020 drastically increased the occurrence of anxiety in my medical practice. The Pandemic has increased worry, and there are certainly many reasons to be anxious.

My own observations, which are not necessarily quantifiable or have any research to back them up, I am witnessing a sharp increase in patients presenting with anxiety or anxiety like symptoms. Interestingly, I noticed the biggest increase after the wintertime surges.

They’re actually many forms of anxiety. Generalizes anxiety disorder is the anxiety disorder I encounter most medical practice. Other forms of anxiety include social phobias, agoraphobia, or anxiety related to public speaking. Anxiety may also be a component of another psychiatric disorder such as major depression or bipolar disorder.

Generalized anxiety disorder, is characterized by persistent worry that leads to life changing consequences that last over 6 months. The classification is important because the emotion of anxiety happens to all of us. The distinction must be made when these symptoms are impacting the quality of life.

The typical symptoms of anxiety include but are not limited to:

  • Excessive Worry
  • Inability to rest or relax
  • Hypervigilance
  • Irritability
  • Tense muscles
  • Poor quality sleep

Anxiety can lead to many physical symptoms including:

  • Palpitations
  • Tremors
  • Excessive sweating
  • Digestive issues 
  • Muscle spasms

Many factors can put a person at risk, but it seems the greatest risk factor is being female. 

We all have times we feel anxious. Having transitory “butterflies in the stomach” or feeling on edge is a normal part of the human experience. It is when these symptoms persist, occur frequently, or interrupt daily activities that it may require management by a healthcare professional.

Getting Help

If you’re suffering from symptoms of anxiety, it is important to know where to turn to for help. If you have a relationship with a physician or care provider such as a Primary Care  doctor, they are often more than ready to help you. If you do not, the next best step is to try to find someone to see on a regular basis. If you don’t have health insurance, many state agencies have helplines such as 211 that can help get you to resources. In any case, it is usually impossible to determine by yourself how to figure your symptoms truly if they require treatment.

A complete history and physical exam is recommended to make sure no medical diagnosis could be causing the symptoms. 

Once anxiety has been confirmed with the diagnosis by healthcare professional, treatment options can include but are not limited to:

Therapy 

Medications

Observation

These treatment options require evaluation and recommendations of a healthcare professional.  Treatment must be individualized and tailored to each person’s needs.  Once treatment is selected, monitoring will need to continue potentially for several months.

Beyond what happens in the clinic, if you have been diagnosed with anxiety or are worried you may be at risk or developing anxiety that is clinical there are things that you can do for yourself at home to improve your symptoms.

Meditation

Meditation is the perfect compliment to medical treatment or therapy. Meditation often reduces the symptoms of anxiety immediately and when performed daily will help long-term.

If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of meditation I want to gently remind you that anyone can meditate.  please now that even if on the inside your thoughts are racing and you don’t think you can find peace, just the attempt at meditation will reap benefits.

Yoga

I frequently mention Yoga as a self-care modality that can be included with medication and with meditation when managing anxiety. Yoga has been clinically proven to help reduce the symptoms anxiety

One of the important aspects of Yoga that can help alleviate anxiety is the focus on breath work. individuals suffering from anxiety often have little to no awareness of how they breathe on a regular basis. Because they tend to breathe in a shallow manner they often don’t realize that they set the stage for anxiety attacks. The practice of yoga can help those suffering from anxiety learn how to work with their chest and their belly to breathe effectively in order to reduce the pulse. In this way is how yoga will help reduce anxiety in the immediate.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy has grown in popularity over the years. The science of aromatherapy involves engaging the olfactory nerve which has a very strong connection to the brain to create therapeutic benefits. Aromatherapy and the form of essential oils can be therapeutic and lower anxiety. Also, aromatherapy can be pleasing and pleasurable to the senses.

Essential oils can be very expensive. Because of this, I usually limit my recommendations to a few essential oils that are relatively well tolerated can be found in most natural food stores.

  • Lavender next paragraph
  •  Frankincense 
  •  Peppermint
  • Patchouli

If you are considering using aromatherapy, I recommend diluting essential oils and a high quality carrier oil and using a roller bottle. This makes carrying aromatherapy with you throughout the day much easier and less messy. this also allows for a very light application if you’re wanting to keep the smell in a limited area.

If you are managing anxiety it is important to realize that your anxiety may take a long time to improve. You want to be patient, gentle and caring with yourself. Do not rush yourself to “get back to normal”.  

Going to level deeper, as you journey through your experience of anxiety you may want to sit with the feeling to learn what the anxiety is teaching you. Anxiety rarely occurs for no reason at all. With the help of a skilled therapist, it is likely you will learn more about yourself and the way you exist in the world that has led to your experience with anxiety.  Anxiety can become a learning opportunity for your soul. Anxiety is going to teach you something, so if possible try to learn what it is that you need to about yourself.


As a thank you for spending time learning about a difficult topic you may download my channel negative emotions meditation I created. There are many ways that you can meditate. This particular meditation I created to harness the energy of unwanted emotions and channel them for the greater good.

Click for Free Download Channeling Negative Emotions