Pain Relief: Soothing the Nervous System

Yesterday was a really nice day, until what I call ‘The Claw of Pain’ gripped my back and my head. My entire upper back, neck and head spasmed, seized, and stayed there. I see the pain as a black claw gripping my muscles into frozen hardened pain, even breathing is painful, sneezing nearly impossible. I barely slept, and what sleep I did get was fitful and painful. My arms started to go numb and my fingers were tingly. All  my joints were tender and painful, I kept feeling painful electric tingling down my legs and arms, and my belly was swollen. I suppose blood can’t flow if all the muscles in the back/neck are constricted, all my nerves were flaring up in alarm. I don’t know why. 

The claw held me in its grip the whole night, by mid-morning I was completely drained, I stayed home today although I had things to do and meetings to go to. By noon, I was reading some blogs and got to what saved my day, a moon salutation, a gentle yoga sequence designed to calm the body and nervous system (moon salutation A, moon salutation B)

I tried both of them about 10 times, taking it very slowly and easily (about 20 minutes overall). The first few were very difficult, and painful, but the gentle controlled breathing coordinated with opening and closing of the back soon soothed my jagged nerves. A calm wave of relaxing heat started circling my body.  After that I relaxed my back over a yoga block, just simple passive stretches. By the end I almost cried with relief, the claw retreated, as usual I didn’t realise how bad the pain was until it retreated.

Then I ate, and was exhausted, fell into a deep healing sleep. Some stiffness came back, but at my usual level, not ‘the claw’. To think that a few months ago, ‘the claw’ was just my usual way of being, how did I let it get to this? I don’t know what this pain is, doctors just send me away, and I ignore my body and push it although it hurts.

Things are looking up, I think this week I’ll take it easy with the yoga and limit myself to the moon salutations. The deep controlled breathing really really really calms the nervous system. The movement helps the lungs to expand in order to be able to breathe. I can’t explain it, I just felt it today, it was beautiful. I’m sharing since it maybe helps others out there who suffer pain like this.

Advertisements

Pain relief: when all else is lost, move your toes

Foot flexibility is essential to relieve back pain. A stiff unbalanced foot will prevent proper posture, cause compensations, and probably lead to much pain. The body is intricately connected, so an injury that stiffens muscles somewhere else will aso affect the feet. By releasing the strain in the feet you also help the stiff muscles, so by working on the feet you can work on your whole body.

I have chronic lower back pain, two vertebrae are misaligned and rub against each other, I didn’t realise how bad the problem was until now that I’ve been paying attention to it. I have limited mobility in my lower back, so much that I lost the flexibility to stand up straight, I always lean somewhat forward, causing yet more strain on already tight muscles. My back is in such bad shape that there isn’t much I can do directly with my back muscles, I can however, move my feet.

I can flex my feet when I’m in bed, I can flex them in the shower, I can stand and flex my feet, I can flex them when I’m sick, I can flex them when I wait for the bus, I can flex them under my desk at work, just everywhere. I’ve been doing this (and a few other things) for a month now, and I notice a big difference with respect to my tight muscles. Even more interesting, sometimes I stretch my foot and I feel ‘something’ in other places of my body. Sometimes it is movement in my back, or my thighs or my hips; when I’m very tight I feel it all the way to my neck. Don’t resist, it is all connected. I thought I would share this because it is useful for everyone, even if you are bed ridden, or very tired, even if the only thing you can move are your toes, go on and stretch your toes.

I focus on two types of ‘foot work’:

1. Flexibility: Look up ‘foot stretches’ on youtube, I’m sure anyone can find some that they can do.

2. Weight distribution: I stand, move my weight to one foot, and imagine I ‘spiral’ my weight, first lean on the heel, then on the ball of the foot then on the toes and on to the other leg. Don’t hold the body stiff, just let it go where it will as you shift your weight around one foot and then the other. (it is the basic balancing movement from tai chi, but pay attention to the feet, the rest comes by itself once you can master your feet).

And if you can’t move your feet start by massaging them, light rubbing at least 36 times in each area is enough. And if you can’t reach them to massage them (due to a painful back, for example) then rub them on something else, the sheets of your bed, a rug, the grass outside, a tennis ball (sit down for this one), anything with texture. It will take 15 minutes of your day tops. Here a reflexology chart of how the feet are connected to the rest of the body:

http://www.wikihow.com/Read-a-Foot-Reflexology-Chart

P.S.: the same thing could be said for the hands, if you can’t move your feet then move your hands, it is all connected.

Do not fear the darkness… thank it instead.

Interesting reflections about light and darkness,

Psychic Empaths

light and dark There’s a parable by Neale Donald Walsch called The Little Soul and the Sun. There are two parts to this tale. In a nutshell, the story is about a soul who wanted to know who he was., but because all there was, was light, and all he was, was light, he could not do this.
It begins:

There once was a soul who knew itself to be the light. This was a new soul, and so, anxious for experience. “I am the light,” it said. “I am the light.” Yet all the knowing of it and all the saying of it could not substitute for the experience of it. And in the realm from which this soul emerged, there was nothing but the light. Every soul was grand, every soul was magnificent, and every soul shone with the brilliance of God’s awesome light. And so the little soul in question…

View original post 600 more words

Free Reading

As I am coming back to center, I feel a new openness in my heart, I feel good and want to spread it around. I want to continue my exploration of readings, I am a student at it, and I only ask that you give me some feedback in return.

This is how it works:

Send me a question to luna.solaris1@gmail.com

Any information you want to share helps me, but you don’t need to share anything if you don’t feel like it.

I usually need a night or two of sleep to get a message for you (in dreams). On occasion it has taken longer.

I read into a combination of one or more: feelings, signs, dreams, health, and energy (it’s all energy really). I can also do a dream interpretation for you if you’re wondering the meaning of a particular dream.

I’m not a fan of predicting the future, I believe it can be done, but by the act of observing it and telling it,  it is changed, best leave it be. In my readings I see tendencies and signs that explain a situation rather than outcomes. 

Love and light,

Luna Sol

 

Is pain a habit?

Is pain a habit?

If you expect pain, then you will find pain, even when the source of the pain is gone.

This is a lesson I’ve discovered in the past month. 29 days ago I committed to doing yoga every day, I’ve kept my commitment to myself, this is the first time I actually manage to keep a commitment like that.

Being a beginner in yoga, or a beginner in anything in general, brings us face to face with our own limitations. We see the masters and their prowess, and find ourselves so incredibly far away from that. I’ve gone through a month of seeing how stiff my body has become, how I’ve lost the ability to do things that before were easy, how I have small injuries I wasn’t aware of.

I knew I had lower back pain, and I knew I had a painful shoulder, but I wasn’t aware of just how deep the injuries were, nor how painful. It is like I’ve been living in a state of numb stiffness, the more it hurts the more it gets numb and stiff. Muscles around an injury get stiff to prevent further injury, stiff muscles bock blood flow, and so we feel less pain. Over time it is easy to ignore the pain. Following a serious daily practice of yoga is forcing me to face these injuries, to feel them as I release the muscles and blood flows again.

I’ve managed to gain more movement in my neck. I can now look back over my shoulder without pain. However, when I am not thinking about it, I find myself being careful to look back and expecting the pain to come, tensing the muscles to avoid feeling it. It is a habit, I had the pain for a couple of years. My brain expects the pain, and sometimes it comes back although I feel the muscles much softer than before. Still room for improvement, but they are considerably better.

Chronic pain is not only in the body, it is also in the brain. It’s been proven in extreme cases where limbs have been amputated, and yet the patient still feels the pain caused by the limb that is no longer there. To get rid of chronic pain you have to teach your brain that such and such movement do not cause pain anymore. It takes a lot of conscious slow movement and breathing, repetition, and relaxing whenever you involuntarily crunch up again.

All things physical translate to spiritual and emotional states. When we expect emotional pain we will find it, inevitably. Just like training the body, we must also train our minds to find healthy patterns of thought and emotion. I realise that as I am feeling stuck and stiff in my body it is because I am feeling stuck and stiff in my emotions. I’ve numbed myself down, to avoid feeling. Through my body I am accessing all those self defeating thoughts and emotions that hold me back from my spiritual purposes.

I’m celebrating my achievements, still a long way to go with my lower back pain, but at least now I can turn my head with more ease. I’m happy and grateful.

Plants and Healing: Bach Flowers and Calaguala

I’ve written often that I am looking for courage. Courage to face night terrors, to face shadows in the corners, all those dreams, all those departed.

By chance, I found out about Bach Flower Remedies. Click on the link to read more about it. The basic idea is that as you take them you become tuned to the vibration of the flowers they are made from. There are different flowers whose vibrations will neutralise different   emotional disorders. I was curious, but hesitant to really buy the little bottles. Two people, who don’t know each other, talked to me about Bach Flower remedies almost at the same time. A kind soul enabled me to try them, and for a few days now I’ve been taking them.

I’ve been thinking about what their energy is, and how they affect my energy. I’m taking three remedies known to deal with fear: rock rose, star of bethlehem, and mimulus.

They act in a very subtle manner. So subtle it is hard to notice, specially since I am doing some other not so subtle things to move my energy such as deep stretches and back bends in yoga.

The flowers, however, are subtly powerful. I’ve been seeing more shadows than usual, but I’ve been seeing them more and more with a sense of ‘naturality’, in a way just accepting. Accepting that I’ve always seen them, that whether they are the product of my own internal musings, or actual external things, they are real to me. It is natural to accept them. It is natural to pass by them on the street, as natural as passing next to a person on the same sidewalk. Most of them haven’t changed, but my perception and attitude towards them has changed. I say good morning and good evening to them, smile and wish them well on their journeys.

Then,  the most amazing thing happened. I started seeing colorful shadows, as contradictory as that sounds, yes, shadows with a color. The first color I saw was a beautiful electric-white-ish blue. After that, I saw a few other of the electric shadows. And after that I saw a rainbow shadow!! At times I also sense a beautiful smell of flowers around them.

I think this is the result of the changes I am undertaking, yoga is healing and opening up my body, and the flowers are helping accept the natural energy that comes with openness. Perhaps this is why I hadn’t succeeded before at maintaining a yoga practice, I wasn’t ready to receive all the energy and perceptions that come with the healing.

I’ve also been thinking of a plant I should get close to, it’s like the flowers are whispering to me. I have an injury in my back, and I feel there is some calcification in it, I’ve had pain for 12 years now, and it limits my range of motion.  I’ve also been thinking everyday about the Kalawalla plant, also called calaguala, I should get a remedy that contains it. It is a tropical type of fern used in alternative medicine to treat skin disorders, however, I know that my mother and grandmother got cured of arthritis by taking kalawalla. Yes, cured, as in after a treatment they didn’t have it anymore, despite what doctors would say about it. I begin to feel some pain in my joints, and much pain in my back. Every time I think about it I have the feeling that I’m loudly hearing KALAWALLA, even with a little kalawalla song. I’ll stop being difficult and just order it online.

Today I am thankful for having discovered the voices of the flowers. I’m grateful to my dear friends for pointing me to them. To you I smile.

When your back aches flex your feet.

It is day 9 of my purpose to do 30 days of yoga. I’ve gone through a lot of back pain, minor successes and what feels like a major transformation coming in. What a journey! If your back aches, flex your feet.

I am focusing on back exercises, I start with strength and then do flexibility work. I have learned enough flexibility to stand up straight and tall!! I can’t yet bend too much backwards, but the fact that I can stand tall (some of the time at least) is an accomplishment.

A lot of it is in the feet, the feet is where structural support should come from, not from back muscles. The weight should fall on the arches of the feet, the arch will then distribute it to the whole foot. A good support is the base of it all. Lack of a foot arch, or tight and inflexible feet nearly always cause back pain.

You can read about it widely online and watch videos, it is good to be informed. But, the most important thing is to feel your body. I repeat, feel your body. Stand up like you always do, and ask yourself:

1. Where is my weight supported? in my toes, in the ball of my foot, in my heel?

2. Are my knees and hips over the arch of my feet?

3. Are the curves of my back balancing each other out?

3. Am I having to use muscle strength to hold my back up? (good posture is structural)

 

Now, if you are like me, you looked at the videos, you read the material and it told you what good posture is supposed to look like. Then you stood up and tried to jam your poor back into what the books say. You maybe managed to hold it (uncomfortably) for a few minutes, even a few hours, and then you were in a lot of pain. It simply feels unnatural.

The issue is that after years of holding bad posture, your muscles have contracted, sometimes your body has laid bone (calcifications) to reinforce areas that needed more support. Tight hunching shoulders do not allow you to lean into the arch of the upper back, or place your neck above your shoulders. A tight psoas muscle, will pull your hips forward and compress your lower back discs.

Structural change needs to happen. Start by flexing your feet.

Feel your body. How is your body today?

Liebster Answers

A sweet friend recently nominated me for a liebster award. Lots of love for newagelove for nominating me. It made my day!

So here are my answers for her questions:

My questions to you are as follows:  

1. Do you love flowers? If yes, what type?

Yes!! I love colorful flowers, don’t know a lot of names, but sunflowers and Hortensias are among my favorites. 

2. What’s the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?

I’ve  had a lot of inspiring moments, hard to chose just one. I would say that having the parents I have and being able to appreciate their love and love them back has made me the person that I am today. I am blessed to have a beautiful family.

3. Which categories intrigue you most? (e.g. Fantasy, Romance, Fiction, Non-fiction, Classics, etc.)

Definitely Fantasy. Love fantasy, I suppose it is because I have a pretty active imaginary world as well. Reading fantasy makes me feel closer to myself, although it is a double edged sword, because it also makes me forget the world.

4. Who influence you the most?

Well…again, I would have to say my parents, they are full of curiosity for the world. They have inspired that awe and curiosity in me.

5. Do you do meditations? What sparked you to meditate?

Yes, I meditate. Lately I meditate through motion, through yoga and standing exercises. I like to meditate in order to know myself better, also to have more decision over what I think and feel. I meditate for mindfulness, for peace and for self growth.

6. When was the last time you’ve shown love and compassion to the people around you?

I am trying to motivate a good friend of mine to be more physically healthy. I invited her into my yoga practice and we shared some beautiful relaxing times together a couple of days ago.

7. What are you grateful for?

Well, everything in general. Too vague? I’m grateful for the family I have, for the person I’ve become, for knowing that I create my reality and more than anything for being able to feel love again in my heart. 

8. Do you love tea/coffee/juice best?

Tough one. I like all three, it depends on the time of the day. If I have to pick one I’d say nothing beats fresh fruit juice.

9. Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter?

Summer!

10. Do you love and accept yourself?

I do. Working on it more and more every day.

Here are the rules if you accept the nomination:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their Liebster Award blog post.

  2. Answer the ten questions given to you by the person who nominated you. Bonus questions are optional.

  3. Nominate five to ten of your favorite blogs with fewer than 200 followers. Provide a link to each, and notify them of their nomination.

  4. List ten new questions for your nominees to answer. You may include more than ten questions, marked as bonus questions, but remember your nominees only need answer your first ten.

  5. Include the acceptance rules in your post, so your nominees know what to do.

I was a bit reluctant to nominate other blogs, don’t know why, but it make me feel happy when I got the nomination, so I’ll spread it around.

My favorite blogs are:

http://newagelove.wordpress.com/

http://dayodayo.wordpress.com/

http://seethysoul.wordpress.com/

http://areyouanempath.com/

http://everydayoracles.wordpress.com/

My questions for my fellow bloggers are:

1. What do message do you want to give the world?

2. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done?

3. What motivated you to write a blog?

4. If you were an animal, what would you be?

5. What simple things make you happy?

I’ll leave it at 5 questions,

Thanks to all of you for your inspiring words!

Love,

Luna Sol