Grief is a physiological reaction to an event or events that you think should not have happened. The happening is one of loss. Loss is usually deemed as something that wasn’t timely. “It should not have happened, not at this time, too soon, too late”, are some of the laments one might hold inside. It is the bond, the affection attributed to the person, animal, possession or state of being that has been lost that triggers grief.
The mental state, the suffering or distress we experience as a reaction to loss is a felt state. It is felt in the body/mind. It is felt as pain in the musculoskeletal system as contractions, spasms, arthritis, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. The sensation expressed as a feeling that “I will never be the same again”, “ I am crippled”, “I am vulnerable”.
In reactions to sudden loss the visceral experience has been described as “a punch in the stomach”, as though “someone stabbed me in the back”, o...
I began my professional career as a Chiropractor by accident. I was a college student, studying to be a Doctor, preparing to take the MCATS, when I was involved in an auto accident. At the time, I was working part time for a dermatologist and part time in the ER at our local hospital. Steeped in the only form of medicine I knew of, I enthusiastically prepared myself to practice in this caregiving field.
I was born into a matriarchal lineage of Celtic healers. My mother was a nurse, her mother was a nurse, her sister was a nurse. They all provided home care and I observed, from their ministering to the sick and dying, the elements of healing that arise from loving touch, soothing words, kindnesses.
Although these elements were not present in the halls of the hospital, as far as I could see, I knew I would bring that element of healing into my work.
Then came the accident. A whiplash injury. A soft tissue injury. An injury that cannot be seen and was poorly diagnosed at the...
Many people have suffered from allergies all their lives. Some will relate that they only recently developed allergies, perhaps after a prolonged grief or loss when the immune system takes a dip, or after a hormonal shift such as adolescence, pregnancy or menopause.
Although winter is not typically the season in which we think of an allergic presentation, the stress of holidays, the change in environmental temperature and dietary indiscretions can result in symptoms that present as allergies. When we inquire further, the emotional state of the individual may reveal stressors that have fatigued, if not exhausted, the adrenal glands.
What are allergies?
Allergies represent a number of conditions caused by a hypersensitivity of the immune system to something in the environment that usually causes little or no problems in most people.
Conditions that we are familiar with include: hay fever, food allergies, atopic dermatitis, allergic asthma and anaphylax...
By Dr. Nancy Gahles, DC, CCH, RSHom(NA), OIM (reprint from IP.com)
Type 2 diabetes is known among healthcare professionals as a disease that is amenable to diet and lifestyle changes. Reducing obesity, one of the comorbid conditions associated with Type 2 diabetes, has been demonstrated to reduce risk factors and the condition itself.
Diabetes represents one of the largest cost factors in our healthcare system and one of the most prevalent in our lives. Lifestyle is a word often bandied about in terms of diabetes management. Generally, it refers to exercise, diet and reducing stress.
The ubiquitous word stress rears its head in the vernacular. It’s common usage has diluted the meaning to a generalized sense of angst or discomfort, irritation in everyday functions. The verb stressed is recounted to me by patients on a daily basis as a way in which they convey the etiology of their dis-ease. And dis-ease it is. And stressed they are, but how so?
A reform movement in mental health in America was fomented by a former psychiatric patient whose institutionalized treatment was horrifically abusive. In 1909, Clifford W. Beers, a Yale graduate and Wall St. financier, suffered the acute trauma of grief and loss following the death of his brother. His symptoms were characteristic of a manic depressive illness which continued unabated driving him to attempt suicide. He survived only to be hospitalized in mental institutions over the next three years, experiencing horrible abuse and witnessing the cruel and inhumane treatment afforded the patients.
After his release, in 1908, Mr. Beers resolved to right the wrongs of mental health care in America and published his autobiography, A Mind That Found Itself, wherein he stated, “As I penetrated and conquered the mysteries of that dark side of my life, it no longer held any terror for me. I have decided to stand on my past and look the future in the face.” He...
Feeling safe is a prerequisite to happiness, health, and wholeness, and to normal physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual development. The emotions associated with feeling safe begin in utero and follow us throughout our lives.
The element of safety allows us to take risks. Conscious choices, where we evaluate the risk and the reward, lead to stable, mature mental and emotional development and opportunities for creativity. When developed properly, sense of safety becomes an inner state of security and well-being, and allows for pursuit of relationships, bonding, and receiving or sharing attributes that create happiness.
With the rash of violence in recent times both in the United States and worldwide, an undercurrent of insecurity has fomented. The outcome of the recent presidential election elicited a similar response. People reported feeling insecure and unsafe both in their own neighborhoods and be...
I’ve watched athletes begin their game with the sign of the cross to bless themselves and ask for God’s protection on their game. I do that, too. I boot up the computer of my mind, body, and spirit with sound bytes, whispered prayers from all the wisdom traditions, invoking protection, abundance, and freedom. Freedom from the pain.
Then comes the cascade of thought forms—mental formations, the Buddhists call them, all the negative thoughts associated with the pain. “I can’t move”, “I won’t be able to go to work”, “How will I manage the shopping?” Let the mind games begin.
Ratcheting the feelings up a notch, the breathing changes. Stuck in the chest, panic, anxiety, shortness of breath. Catastrophizing, the psychologists call it. “I will never be able to show my face again, everyone will know I am crippled”, “I will never get better”, “My life is over”. The sympathetic nervous system is in high gear, the feeling tone of the body is fueling the thoughts and you...
Middle schoolers are our future. Middle schoolers are our hope for creating a better world. Middle school comprises the 6th,7th and 8th grades where children are in the age group between 12-15. Supporting our teens through this time of emotional growth and development is crucial if our teens are going to actualize their potential and become self assured, powerful co-creators of their own lives.
Early adolescence is a time of tempestuous changes in physical, mental, emotional and social spheres. It is a time when peer pressure abounds. Peer pressure outwardly or inwardly generated to perform academically can challenge a developing sense of self worth. Peer pressure to conform to the social modes of behavior as witnessed in the bullying phenomenon threatens to corrupt the moral values we, as parents, have worked so hard to instill in our children. Peer pressure to...
A recall (2007) of over the counter cold and cough medicines has left parents scurrying to find a stop gap treatment measure for their children and themselves. Nancy Gahles, DC, CCH, RSHom(NA) discusses specific homeopathic remedies and their benefits and suggests that the recall of these cold medicines opened the door for other avenues of healing.
Unequipped with information about alternative therapies that can be effective for common viral syndromes, some people are simply trying anything from the over the counter products that are available. Adverse side effects and no relief are driving people back to the doctor’s office with the hope of “something else”. Often, medical doctors are either not trained in any specific alternative modality themselves, not educated enough to recommend one or do not have a referral base of qualified practitioners to refer to. Too frequently, patients are told that they have a virus and there is nothing they can do for it.
Holidays harken songs of glad tidings for all: heartfelt sentiments are sent in cards, and gifts are given as tokens of affection. However, despite the seeming good cheer, multiple studies have found an increased number of heart attacks during the holiday season.
According to one study published in the journal Circulation, during a 12 year period, there were consistently more deaths from ischemic heart disease during the winter months than the summer months.
“Ah ha!” you might say. “The cold weather is the culprit.”
Alas, no. This research group reported that about a third more deaths from ischemic heart attacks were recorded in December and January than June through September in Los Angeles County, California. Palm trees, not pine trees, are decorated for Christmas in the Los Angeles winter and, although colder than the summer, are still mild compared with other climates.