flowering on the healing path

Friday, March 24, 2017

Healthy Gut

Our digestion, our microbes. What’s inside us? Dr. John Douillard talks about this topic in free videos; one of many is “Does Your Microbiome Determine Your Body Type?”  I studied with Dr. John at Kripalu School of Ayurveda, and he is well-known in the alternative health care community.
Recently, one of Dr. John’s videos reminded me that I have the additional resource of Bowel Nosodes — a natural resource remedy created by Bach (through homeopathic preparation methods) for helping to rebalance and re-colonize our intestinal flora energetically. Interestingly, Bach also felt that certain bowel flora pointed to particular personality types. This coincidence goes to my strong feeling that we “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” … that a return to healthy conscious eating doesn’t mean we ignore natural, sustainable remedies of support. 
We’re all human … and, I dare say, most of us are so impacted by the culture that we are constantly challenged in balancing body and soul. It’s easy to say that we “know” intellectually, but equilibrium is a path of practice. I don’t want to fall into the trap, however, of harping on everything being “HARD” … I was there at one point in my life (or several times really) and that is depressing and negative when we think everything is “hard.” 
Rather, I continually seek to witness my life as human and be aware of each step on my path as my practice. Blessedly, Mother Mature through wise humans who are in communication with her, has provided many natural, non-invasive, non-harmful methods and remedies to help. 
(c) LifeSpa.com
So, back to the Bowel Nosodes — I experienced the support of Syc Co for my stress hives (while living in Arizona). Those results prompted me to order the rest of the Bowel Nosodes in 30c potency (unavailable now in 6c potency, probably due to increasing regulations worldwide). The 30c will, however, be fine because the flora imbalances within us are complexes from culture and lifestyle of generations and lifetimes, adding in the past 70 years of changes, not the simpler imbalances of Bach’s day. Rapid degeneration in recent decades! 
We’ve become not only physically affected by our cultural transgressions of the Industrial Age, but most of us are psychologically affected. And the old “rules” probably no longer apply either because our bodies constantly deal with a different level of influence from technology to frequency to toxins to GM foods to cellular resonance effects all around. One might even say that our bowels are fertile ground for miasma influences of bacterial proliferation. Our generations, mine and those people younger than me, grew up with refined sugars, white flours, the chemical additives and factory-processed foods. We’ve shifted, our bowel flora has shifted, and the protocols of 70 years ago may no longer be effective all the time. We have to pay attention to change and context. 
As with everything taught as principle and philosophy of Ayurveda, Homeopathy (of which the Bowel Nosodes are part), and Flower Essences … INDIVIDUALIZE the treatment. Every organism is operating in a unique blend of prakriti and lifestyle. All the “rules” are mere guidelines — helpful, not hard and fast. We need to allow the feminine principle of intuition her part in the healing process and we will see the individuality emerge with the blending of intuition and intellect. VITAL … to remember this is vital. The one needing treatment is unique and so is the one providing the treatment. 
Within the wisdom and power of vibration, everything is up in the air, out in The Field, inside our subtle bodies, and working with — LABORing within — the pattern of the unique situation. Guidelines can help us starting out and when we get confused or need to return to square one but the spiral of reality is to move into free flow of technique and pattern becomes art. I run into more problems following the “should” of therapy, including the “should not” that often manifests indeed as a tangled knot/not

Our bowels have been referred to in recent decades as our Second Brain; we need to offer greater healing endeavor into this area of our systems, through how and what we eat, as well as through the remedies we choose.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Herbs or Subtle Energy Remedies?

I’ve been listening this week to The Plant Medicine Summit hosted by David Crow. I greatly admire David Crow and all his guests for their dedication to healing — healing body, mind, spirit, community, and planet. Most of these herbalists are distinctly holistic in their views, and I applaud and honor them.
A few of the presenters' perspectives on the use of herbs as a primary medicinal approach to healing is different than mine, however, and provides me with the opportunity to share an aspect of diversity (of many diverse aspects) in healing paths, which each of us must address whether we are recipient or practitioner.
One key difference is that many Western herbalists (especially lay herbalists) are still maintaining their foundations in the material world of treatment, like an herbal allopathy. And, while I certainly respect that approach and the healing that can result, and occasionally use direct herbal support as well, my path lies more within the realm of subtle energy support for healing. From a Western view, herbal medicines are most often used simply as a natural version of pharmaceuticals; the herbal preparations do have an energetic component (Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine address this, from the actions upon subtle energy bodies to the actions as derived from astrology), but their use in the Western world is often primarily based solely upon their physiological actions within the body system. With acute ailments, this can be great; with chronic dis-ease, a holistic approach is vital.
There are herbalists who encourage a more holistic and energetic approach to understanding and using herbs, so I don't want to lump all into a single group. This is the area in which most of the speakers on the Plant Medicine Summit reside. 
For instance, one of the speakers (who was one of my teachers at Kripalu School of Ayurveda), William Siff gave his talk on the Herbal Lifestyle; that particular approach resonates with my own. He speaks of creating herbal habits in our diet and how it can create a "saturation" of energy from the ongoing use of herbs. Vasant Lad, another of my teachers, gave a brilliant talk on What is Prana? Understanding the concept of life force in Ayurveda and its relationship to medicinal plants. The third talk that addresses my own approach to a great degree was that of Acharya Shunya titled Thus Spoke the Sages: Ayurveda on the natural environment of plants and dharma. In his work, Matthew Wood refers to the personalities of herbs, so his understanding aligns with the holistic one taken by many indigenous people and shamans; David Winston also presents a talk "more than this herb for that disease." And Chanchal Cabrera took our relationship with herbs and plants in a beautiful direction when she provided a brilliant, illuminating talk called Tree Medicine: Shinrin You - Forest Bathing as a clinical practice; this is an accepted medical prescription in Japan based upon ancient wisdom combined with modern studies showing tremendous benefits to being in nature.
Subtle energy remedies are, conversely, working their wonders from within and upon the vital force of the individual. That is where the action begins, whether with homeopathy or flower essences. It is the mistunement of the life force that creates a functional disturbance in the individual, eventually followed by structural manifestations if not addressed early enough. Thus, we are working with energy at a deeper level within the system and the healing moves outward to address symptoms. This does not mean that energy remedies do not heal structural manifestations. Roberts says about homeopathic remedies, in his classic work Principles and Art of Cure by Homoeopathy:
“This medication may control and retard the development of pathological conditions. Thus tumours may be retarded or completely arrested, and absorption increased, and finally the disappearance of the grown; secretions or excretions increased or decreased; ulcers healed; but all this is secondary to the real cure which takes place solely in the dynamic sphere, restoring the patient to health and harmonious functioning of his whole being by the dynamic influence of the symptomatically similar remedy.” [Emphasis mine]
At the same time that we are using subtle energy for healing (or herbs), it is certainly best to also address any “obstacles to cure,” which can be diet, lifestyle, spirituality, and more. In my approach to healing and health care, herbs usually fall into the “diet” category rather than the medicinal one, per se. Herbs and spices are valuable in their support to the body, just as food is. This is why in my Five Petal Path to Healing, you will find herbs coming under the heading of “Food & Spices” rather than shown as a distinct petal of healing. 

I believe that the future of healing -- when a conscious lifestyle does not achieve health and/or an accident occurs -- lies within energy medicine. Not only does it get to the source of how dis-ease occurs within us, but, in our environmentally challenged world, the energy remedies encourage a far higher degree of sustainability than the production and harvesting of large quantities of herbs (or the aromatics used in essential oils, which do have a profoundly energetic effect), because only a minute amount of the original substance is needed to create vast supplies of remedies.
There is a healing path for each of us; open your heart as well as your mind, and yours will make itself known.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Holistic Lifestyles

Discovering Ayurveda has been a true gift in my life, as it touches upon every aspect of one's life and lifestyle, offering insights for deep, continued healing and wellness. This healing and wellness is for soul and mind, as well as body, and is a truly holistic system.

The other marvelous aspect of these teachings has been that all of the teachers seem to emphasize that they, and the sages who developed the system five thousand years ago, desire to share this healing wisdom with anyone who wishes to learn. Unlike some cultures who prefer to keep their wisdom isolated (often because of historic harm), most Indian teachers take the approach of offering the Ayurvedic benefits into the world. They were taught that these wellness teachings are a gift to all people, not only to those born in India.

I was completely enthralled by the latest free audio by SoundsTrue, a conversation with the delightful and wise Acharya Shunya - HERE.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Yoga for Wrist and Knee Recovery

I came to Yoga late in life. It wasn't until about 2009 -- when I was 48 -- that I really began exploring Yoga, which then led me into studying Ayurveda. Since then, it's one of the few body-movement programs that I've enjoyed long-term, other than walking and hiking. I think I've stuck with it because it is conscious movement, it encourages an embodied and mindful approach to moving the body on multiple levels including the subtle energy level. I'm not an "exercise person" but the holistic approach of Yoga suits me.

Anyway, since my accident last year, when I broke my leg and arm, I've been feeling frustrated by not being able to get back to Yoga very well. I've been able to maintain certain parts of the practice through modifications while sitting in a chair, but now I want to get back to the mat, if possible. The following videos have been quite helpful, so I wanted to share them with you. Even with these, I do have to make my own mindful modifications since both my knee and wrist are in recovery process. So, be mindful of where you are at, and maybe these videos will be helpful to you or someone you know, as they have been for me.

This first video is for recovery from knee surgery, or if there is knee pain.

This second video is for recovery from wrist injury.

Also, I am not a Yoga instructor, so if you're unsure about anything in the videos, please contact your personal Yoga teacher.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Alchemy of Our Dark Emotions

We all know what the so-called negative emotions are, and how we try to avoid or suppress them, both in ourselves and in others. But what if we dug into a true healing of self, and allowed our friends and loved ones to do so as well, from these emotions?

Miriam Greenspan, in her evocative, inspirational book Healing Through the Dark Emotions: the wisdom of grief, fear, and despair, writes:
"When I call them dark, I don't mean that they are bad, unwholesome, or pathological. I mean that as a culture we have kept these emotions in the dark--shameful, secret, and unseen. As a result, we tend, for the most part, to shun them. But the emotions that we reject and suppress can become dark in an altogether different sense: like a rich, fertile soil from which unexpected flowers can bloom."

Matt Licata, in a recent post on his blog A Loving Healing Space, writes of these dark emotions that:
"While it may appear otherwise, this very disturbing material is not a mistake, but is sacred. It is not pathology, but path."
While the effort may seem daunting, I can confirm that it is worth the space and time we allow for the process to unfold. And, unlike conventional drugs (anti-depressants, etc.) that promulgate avoidance of these dark emotions, flower essences instead provide subtle, gentle support as we move through the emotions. For an intense "dark night of the soul," Waratah (image to the left) is a powerful partner; for the variety of other ways in which despair (or grief or fear) may appear in one's life, there are myriad other flower essence choices. We are not alone on the path of healing.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Five Petal Path of Healing

Different people are drawn to the systems, methods, and/or remedies that seem to resonate with them. This is why we see such a plethora of energy healers or teachers, natural health consultants, or holistic practitioners using different approaches. We all want to heal and offer healing to others, be they people or animals, but we find our own unique way into this healing. It can appear confusing or even contradictory, but I have faith that you will find what calls to you; all you have to do is open up your heart, body, and mind.

Through nearly 20 years of study and experience, the system of healing and wellness that has evolved for me is what I call the Five Petal Path. I am putting together a slide show video that I hope will explain this system clearly to you, so that you can apply it in your own life, if you wish, or inspire you to create your own unique system. However, in the meantime, the next few posts will offer some introductory thoughts.

All of these modalities or petals interconnect and flow into each other, so while I may present them as separate, they are an integrated holistic approach to healing. You will see that there is a pale pink circle around the flower; this represents many aspects of subtle life, from soul or spirit and inner work to pure energy work such as Reiki, prayers, mantras, mudras, ritual, including working with energy fields/bodies. All of the petals of healing -- Flower Essences, Homeopathy, Cell Salts, Food & Spices, Lifestyle (including Ayurveda and Yoga) -- are enhanced by pure spiritual or vital force energy. And, at the core of flowering on the Five Petal Path is the ancient wisdom of "know thyself" or knowing one's nature, inside and out. I have found that when this holistic weave is embraced, we don't have to worry about what is called a "healing crisis" by some practitioners.

As always, if you have any questions or need help, please don't hesitate to contact me.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Broken Bones & Natural Support

Everyone will tell you that broken bones hurt. Unfortunately, I can now confirm that personally.

In September 2016, I fell and broke both my left arm and leg. The leg did not require surgery, but the arm did, as I had a complete fracture of both the ulna and radius near the wrist. As you can see from the photo, which was taken about 10 days after my surgery, fixing my arm was in itself traumatic to the tissue (plate, screws, and pins were required) as are most surgeries.

The reason for this post is to share some of my experience in using natural remedies during the healing process. I chose not to use the prescribed pharmaceuticals for pain (which were opioid derivatives, as are most strong pain-killers), and stuck instead with homeopathic remedies, flower essences, cell salts, and therapeutic herbs.