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)

person standing on staircase
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.

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

Yoga Therapy for Healing and Resilience Interview with Intuitive Healer Sara Alavi

I recently had the honor of speaking with Sara Alavi.  Sara has an incredible story, having overcomes Multiple Sclerosis and heart disease by pursuing her own personal healing journey of meditation, Yoga, Reiki, and many other healing modalities.  Sara created Yoga Home of Therapeutics, a yoga studio that has trained many Yoga Instructors, Reiki Healers and other healers that have worked across the globe.  She has instructed thousands of students in Yoga meditation as well has treated thousands with her Intuitive Healing services.  Sara is my personal Guru.  I was blessed to have been introduced to her by a dear friend when I began attending her studio where I was fortunate to train as a Yoga Instructor, Reiki Healer, as well as many wonderful workshops.  Sara is now providing her amazing healing skills on her website Sara Alavi Intuitive Healer.  She is offering many powerful healing techniques, including Yoga Therapy.   I often share with my patients and clients the importance of Yoga and how it can help in bringing balance to the body.

 I really wanted to go deeper into Yoga Therapy and what is offered with this service.  The following is our discussion on the role Yoga Therapy plays in healing and resilience.

“What is Yoga Therapy?”

Sara shared with me the following:

Yoga in the West is portrayed mostly as a Yoga poses.  This is because people gravitate towards this aspect of Yoga, and rarely go into the depths of the Yoga poses. Most Yoga classes focus on the poses, mainly alignment and breathing.  Most Yoga classes tend to focus on alignment and breathing.  Most students will learn asana, meditation and relaxation.  In the west, more value is based on the physical body appearing strong, creating a strong, healthy body.  Why the west focuses so much on the poses is that in the West, we tend to focus more on external appearance on Yoga Poses.  Yoga in the west often overlooks the depths of Yoga beyond asana.

Yoga therapy looks at the person as a whole, seeing the human body as a universe. Yoga therapists view the person as a mind, body, brain, emotions, and feelings.  The Yoga Therapist sees the person as presenting with a past that includes times in the lifetime as well as past lifetimes.  

According to Sara, Yoga Therapy approaches the individual as a whole, and not only takes into account the current issues such as pain, physical illness and emotional suffering. Yoga Therapy embraces the human being as what Dr. Richard Weber, author of Vibrational Medicine, would say, “Multidimensional beings of energy.” Yoga therapy not only addresses challenges in this life, the ancient healing modality can address past life dissonance. Yoga Therapy uses energy in the physical body to heal the mind and body.

Yoga Therapy is an individualized approach to health and wellness. Rather than a classroom setting in which students follow the instructor, individuals work one on one with a highly trained instructor such as Sara to achieve results. As a practicing physician, I find this approach very attractive since Yoga can be tailored to individual needs.

Issues Addressed in Yoga Therapy

  • Mind
  • Body
  • Spirit
  • Emotions
  • Past Life

An important aspect of Yoga Therapy is consideration of personal past history as well as karmic past history.  Yoga Therapy takes into account the individuals history of reincarnation, and how that may play a role in current illness.

“What kind of conditions does yoga therapy help?”

Yoga therapy can address many different needs, from feelings of disconnection, depression, to severe autoimmune diseases such as Lupus. Sara learned Yoga herself to overcome a major neurological disorder by practicing Yoga. Her experience has translated to a Yoga practice that has not only educated and trained many instructors, but has also aided thousands through their own personal trials.

According to Sara, the Yoga Therapy Client learns about this body, both physical and energy body.  “Pranayama kosha, the energy source that sustains your life“, is used to heal the body, mind and soul naturally in Yoga Therapy.

Yoga therapy allows the person to feel at peace and calm and harmonious within themselves,” which can help with healing, living through, surviving, or accepting a difficult diagnosis. Sara has applied the healing modality even to clients who are preparing to die.

“How does yoga improve resilience?”

I have wanted to focus on resilience during the month of March 2021.

Have a listen to “Reiki as a Resilience Lifestyle” on the Art of Healing Podcast

We have all seen and been through so much. As I have posted in previous blog posts and my podcast, resilience sometimes is the last tool to helping in getting through challenges in life.
Here is Sara’s Response:

Everyone deserves prosperity, abundance of love, joy, peace and wisdom. With Yoga Therapy, you never run out of tools for healing. Because of the depth and breadth of Yoga Therapy, there is always some aspect of Yoga Therapy that can improve strength and resilience.”

Sara also shared with me something I found very interesting, and comforting. In her Yoga Therapy Practice, she has has new clients that were facing a disease that would end their lives. These students wanted to work with Sara in Yoga therapy to help in the process of dying. She shared with me that for these individuals, the practice of Yoga Therapy helped to being peace, acceptance and calm to a difficult process. This effect spread to the families of the dying individual.

Sara has an active presence on social media on Facebook, Instagram as well as her website Sara Intuitive Healer.


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