The Contradiction of Anger: A Double-Edged Sword

Anger is an emotion that everyone experiences in their lives. It can surge through us with a powerful intensity, often making us feel justified and validated. There’s a peculiar sense of satisfaction that comes with expressing anger, as if we are reclaiming a piece of our power. Yet, this fiery emotion holds a contradiction within it.

There is a Hungarian band, Napoleon Boulevard, who poignantly sings, “My heart’s almost torn in half, my rage is tearing it apart, beautiful as a dream can be, too bad it hurts so much.” This lyric encapsulates the paradox of anger: while it can feel so right in the moment, it carries a heavy toll on our mind and body.

Anger’s Impact on the Sympathetic Nervous System:

When we get angry, keep in mind that anger can feel like the emotion of disappointment or “slight annoyance” we don’t recognize as anger, our body’s sympathetic nervous system kicks into high gear. This part of our central nervous system is responsible for the “fight or flight” response. It prepares us to face a threat by increasing our heart rate, tightening our muscles, and releasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. In the short term, these changes can help us handle a dangerous situation. However, when anger becomes a frequent or prolonged state, it begins to wreak havoc on our physical and emotional health – our craniosacral system stops working optimally.

Chronic anger can lead to a host of health issues. The constant release of stress hormones can cause:

  • Cardiovascular Problems: High blood pressure, increased risk of heart attacks, and strokes are all linked to sustained anger.
  • Weakened Immune System: Prolonged stress weakens our body’s ability to fend off illnesses.
  • Digestive Issues: Stress can lead to problems like acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and other gastrointestinal disturbances.
  • Sleep Disorders: Difficulty in sleeping or staying asleep, leading to chronic fatigue and other related issues.

Emotionally, anger can be just as damaging:

  • Increased Anxiety and Depression: Anger and unresolved rage can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression.
  • Relationship Strain: Anger can drive a wedge between us and our loved ones, leading to isolation and loneliness.
  • Reduced Cognitive Function: Chronic stress affects our ability to think clearly, make decisions, and concentrate.

The Beauty and Pain of Anger

Returning to the lyric from Napoleon Boulevard, we can understand anger as both beautiful and painful. It is beautiful in its raw, unfiltered expression of our deepest emotions and desires. Anger can act as a powerful motivator, pushing us to stand up for ourselves, to strive for change, and to overcome injustices. It can fuel our passions and drive us towards our goals with an intensity that few other emotions can match. There is nothing wrong with this, however, our central nervous system is being affected in the fight or flight (sympathetic side) no matter what we are angry about, hence this beauty is accompanied by pain.

The physical and emotional toll of unchecked anger is profound. It tears at our hearts, much like the song suggests, leaving us fragmented and wounded. The key is to find our balance—acknowledging our anger, expressing it healthily by changing our perception about the very thing that triggered it, and then experience the new point of view with gratitude – this is what is normally called “letting go”.

Craniosacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release

As a wellness coach specializing in craniosacral therapy and somatic emotional release, I see firsthand how unprocessed emotions, particularly anger, can lodge in the body and disrupt our well-being. Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that helps release tensions deep in the body, allowing the entire body to relax and self-correct. This technique can facilitate the release of emotional trauma stored in the tissues, a process known as SomatoEmotional Release (SER).

During a CST session, I may gently palpate the client’s craniosacral system to detect and release restrictions. This not only helps alleviate physical discomfort, but also promotes emotional release with the use of imagery and dialogue. By working with the body’s natural rhythms and energy, CST can help clients process and let go of deep-seated anger and other  emotions that trigger the sympathetic (fight or flight) side of our central nervous system.

The Power of Curiosity: Shifting Perception

Talking about changing our perception, an important insight to consider is that we are often not upset for the reasons we think. Anger is frequently a surface emotion, masking deeper, unresolved feelings such as fear, hurt, lack or sadness. By approaching our anger with curiosity, we can uncover its true origins. This requires a willingness to look beyond the immediate trigger and explore the underlying issues that fuel our rage.

When we become curious about the root causes of our anger, we can begin to shift our perception. Instead of seeing a situation as purely aggravating or unjust, we can ask ourselves what deeper needs or fears are being activated. This shift in perspective allows us to address the real issues at hand, leading to more meaningful and lasting resolutions.

Cultivating Healthy Emotional Habits

In addition to CST and SER, adopting certain practices can help manage anger more effectively:

  • Mindfulness and Meditation: These practices help us become more aware of our emotions and reduce the intensity of our anger.
  • Physical Activity: Exercise is a powerful outlet for pent-up anger and stress.
  • Communication Skills: Learning to express feelings calmly and constructively can prevent anger from building up.
  • Therapeutic Techniques: Techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help in re-framing negative thought patterns that fuel anger.

By recognizing the dual nature of anger—its capacity to both empower and harm—we can take steps to harness its energy in positive ways while mitigating its detrimental effects. In doing so, we can move towards a state of emotional balance and well-being, where anger will no longer need to serve as a catalyst for growth or be a source of suffering.

In the end, anger, like all emotions, is a part of the human experience. “The degree of the emotion you experience does not matter. You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury.” – ACIM

It is how we handle anger that makes all the difference.

Embracing Guilt: A Path to Healing in Craniosacral Therapy

In the realm of CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release, the journey toward shifting our lives for the better encompasses not only physical well-being but also emotional and spiritual harmony. Within this holistic framework, emotions like guilt are not viewed as isolated occurrences but as integral aspects of our Spirit – Mind – Body connection. In this blog I am exploring how guilt can serve as a valuable guide in the context of CST and SER.

Understanding the Body-Mind-Spirit Connection

Craniosacral therapy acknowledges the interplay between the physical body, the mind, and the spirit. It recognizes that emotional and psychological experiences are stored within the body, often manifesting as tension, discomfort, or illness. SER, a technique within craniosacral therapy, facilitates the release of these stored emotions, allowing for profound healing on multiple levels.

Guilt as an Expression of Imbalance

In the context of craniosacral therapy, guilt is not merely an abstract emotion but a tangible expression of imbalance within the body-mind-spirit system. When we experience guilt, it can manifest as physical tension or discomfort, signaling a disconnection from our authentic selves – as Dr. Upledger called It; the Inner Physician – or a violation of our innermost values. Through SER, we can explore the root causes of guilt and facilitate its release from the body.

Cultivating Awareness and Compassion

Central to the practice of craniosacral therapy is the cultivation of awareness and compassion. When clients experience feelings of guilt, therapists provide a safe and nurturing space for exploration and healing. Rather than judging or suppressing these emotions, clients are gently encouraged to approach them with curiosity and self-compassion, fostering a deeper understanding of their underlying causes.

The Nature of Thought -Realigning with Authenticity

Our thoughts are the lens through which we perceive the world. They shape our beliefs, attitudes, and actions. However, not all thoughts are created equal. Some stem from a place of authenticity and alignment with our true selves, while others are distorted by societal expectations, fears, or insecurities.

When we experience guilt, it’s a signal that our thoughts may have strayed from their natural, authentic state. It suggests that we’ve acted in a way that contradicts our deepest values or principles. Rather than dismissing guilt as an unwanted burden, we can choose to embrace it as a signpost pointing us back to our true path.

Through the process of SomatoEmotional Release, guilt can be transformed from a source of pain into a catalyst for growth and transformation. As clients release stored emotions and integrate new insights, they experience profound shifts in consciousness and well-being. Guilt becomes not a burden to be carried, but a stepping stone on the path to healing and self-discovery.

Conclusion: Embracing Guilt on the Path to Wholeness

In the journey of craniosacral therapy and somatoemotional release, guilt is not something to be feared or avoided but embraced as a natural part of the healing process. By acknowledging and exploring feelings of guilt with compassion and openness, one of my clients uncovered profound insights regarding his teenage car accident that caused him to live with “survivor’s guilt” in his young adulthood. This thought pattern of guilt of living was shown to him as his young 4-year-old son got injured any time he was exploring the outside world; the playground, the woods, the ocean.  My client was searching for help for his son’s unexplainable accidents. During a session, his Inner Physician brought him to the memory of his own car accident and showed him that his wish is to hold that memory with self blame, hence quilt.  Once my client understood that the exact memory of his accident can be looked at with a different perspective a deep healing was facilitated on all levels of their being. Yes, their being. Both the father and the son received the release from burden. This took place about 6 years ago. The now 10 year old son is happy and active and had no recurring accidents since. The father received an unexpected promotion at work too in addition to his more peaceful mind.

Let us embrace guilt as a guide on the path to wholeness and authentic living, trusting in the innate wisdom of our Spirit – Mind – Body connection.

Exploring Craniosacral Therapy as a Complementary Approach to Migraine Management

Migraines are debilitating headaches characterized by intense pulsating or throbbing pain, often accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. While the exact cause of migraines remains elusive, they are believed to involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurological factors.

I first began experiencing migraines during my teenage years. They would typically start with the unsettling sensation of a dark spot in my vision, resembling an eclipse, followed by the emergence of bright spots similar to stars. Soon after, the pain would set in, accompanied by nausea and other unpleasant symptoms mentioned above.

Fortunately, my active lifestyle as a competitive swimmer meant there was little time to dwell on these debilitating episodes. Remarkably, the migraines ceased during this period, only to resurface later in adulthood as I juggled the responsibilities of raising three children.

Upon consulting medical professionals, I was informed that migraines would likely be a lifelong companion, however, manageable with medication and stress reduction. As a busy parent, the notion of waiting out symptoms or relying solely on medication didn’t align with my lifestyle.

Driven by a desire for better management or, ideally, complete healing, I began exploring alternative therapies. Initially, I turned to massage therapy that I was in school for and which provided some relief. It was during this time that I stumbled upon Craniosacral Therapy (CST) —a modality I had never encountered before.

Despite my initial unfamiliarity, I felt an intuitive pull towards CST. It proved to be a revelation—a profound shift in my well-being that I hadn’t experienced with any other bodywork techniques. This realization prompted me to delve deeper into CST, and pursued formal education in this body and mind work modality which I have been practicing for over 13 years.

Over six years now, I am celebrating a life free from migraines and medication. The journey wasn’t without its challenges; it required a shift in mindset and dedicated effort to release old patterns developed since childhood. Yet, the transformative impact on my health and quality of life has made every step of the journey worthwhile.

Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, hands-on approach that aims to release tension and restrictions in the craniosacral system, which includes the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. The subtle hands-on techniques improve the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and facilitate the body’s natural healing processes.

I would like to encourage individuals to seek out Craniosacral Therapy as a complementary or alternative treatment for migraines. By addressing imbalances and restrictions in the craniosacral system, it can help alleviate the underlying causes of migraines and reduce their frequency and severity, and yes, like in my case, a complete healing from it is also possible. If you are like me, the gentle nature of CST makes it appealing to those who prefer non-invasive therapies and may be seeking alternatives to medication.

It’s important to note that the scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of Craniosacral Therapy for migraines is limited. To me, this makes no difference! It worked for me, so it can work for others as well.

Migraines are complex neurological conditions, and their management often requires a multidisciplinary approach that may include medication for the time being, lifestyle modifications for sure, and other therapies. In my case, SomatoEmotional Release (SER) which is part of CST was enough. I did not need to turn to other modalities. However, everybody and every body is different, so following your own Intuition is always the best approach.

I recommend that individuals considering CST for migraines should consult with a qualified healthcare provider to discuss their symptoms and treatment options. A thorough evaluation can help determine whether integrating CST into a comprehensive migraine management plan is right for you.

As with any alternative therapy, it’s essential to approach CST with an open mind and to work closely with healthcare professionals to ensure safe and effective treatment.

I hope this information was helpful to you if suffering with migraines, giving you hope for relief and a healthy and happy lifestyle.

Exploring the Connection Between Craniosacral Therapy and Tinnitus Relief

Tinnitus, often described as a ringing, buzzing, or hissing sound in the ears can be a challenging condition to manage. While traditional medical approaches focus on symptom relief, alternative therapies like craniosacral therapy have gained attention for their potential healing benefits in addressing tinnitus. In this blog, we will delve into the principles of craniosacral therapy and its potential role in providing relief for individuals experiencing tinnitus.

An elderly client shared with me that when he was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room area waiting for his wife, he was listening to meditation music with earphones on. He was enjoying the quietness of the waiting room area and the soothing sound of his iPhone music. A few minutes into his bliss, a group of people entered the waiting room and were engaging in quite a loud conversation that had an irritating effect on my client. He started to feel his annoyance grow and with it the buzzing in his ears.

Another, female, client hears the buzzing, sometimes ringing sounds more when she is trying to go to sleep. The quieter she gets, the louder the sound in her ears, and as she gets irritated by it, the ringing/buzzing sound becomes louder.

Understanding Craniosacral Therapy:

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, hands-on approach that aims to enhance the body’s natural healing abilities. Developed by osteopathic physician Dr. John E. Upledger, this therapy focuses on the craniosacral system, which includes the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.

Principles of Craniosacral Therapy:

Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhythm: Central to craniosacral therapy is Dr Upledger’s discovery that the cerebrospinal fluid has a rhythmic pulse that can be detected and regulated. Practitioners use subtle movements and gentle touch to assess and address any restrictions or imbalances in this rhythm.

Here are some ways in which craniosacral therapy may benefit those with tinnitus:

Fascial Release: The therapy involves releasing tension in the fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds muscles and organs. By applying gentle pressure and guidance, practitioners aim to alleviate restrictions and promote better fluid flow.

Whole-Body Approach: Craniosacral therapy considers the body as a whole, emphasizing the interconnectedness of different bodily systems. Because of the single organ called fascia, CST is not only focused on the site where the symptoms are present, but also on addressing the underlying issues of the symptoms due to fascia that have become scar tissue. Addressing underlying factors may include issues with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), neck tension, or other musculoskeletal imbalances related but not limited to physical or emotional trauma.

Stress Relief:

“Where your attention goes, energy flows and results show.” – James Redfield.

This idea ties in with our Reticular Alarm System (RAS) of our Central Nervous System (CNS).  I will write about RAS and CST in a separate article.  For now, the reason it is important to mention is because our craniosacral system is part of our CNS, hence when we pay attention to something that we find irritating, that something that irritates us will grow/gain more momentum – becomes louder and stronger.  Tinnitus symptoms can be exacerbated by stress and tension. Craniosacral therapy’s gentle approach help induce a state of relaxation, reducing stress levels and improving tinnitus symptoms.

Improving Fluid Dynamics: The gentle, non-invasive regulation of the craniosacral system enhances the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. This improved fluid dynamics may positively impact the auditory system and contribute to alleviating tinnitus symptoms.

This is a review from a client:

“I developed tinnitus from loud noise exposure in October. It started at a very low level and was fairly easy to ignore. After visiting with the ENT and finding no hearing loss with my ears and no damage I was told that I would learn to live with the tinnitus/ringing. That was the worst thing I could have heard, and my body and mind went into full flight or fight / freeze mode for several months. The tinnitus got gradually worse, became reactive, had noise distortions running through my head, and became scared of sound exposure. I was to the point where I wasn’t sure if I was able to live like this – like most tinnitus people feel. I did not find relief from ear maskers etc and I figured I had tried everything. I found out about CST from a random YouTube video I saw. Knowing nothing about it I booked a session and when laying on the table to my surprise my tinnitus was changing thru the session. When I got up from my first session my body and mind had found relaxation it hadn’t felt in months. I couldn’t believe it – my nervous system was settled even though I had no idea what was going on. Fast forward a few months of consistent CST and working on myself with Kathy I am finding more and more times of quiet in my life and even when it’s ringing it is completely manageable.
This is a nervous system disorder no matter what you are hearing in your head and your nervous system can learn to filter out noises just like it always has. I’ve learned to become a much more body orientated person in my life too and have learned to deal away with stress and anxiety which is crucial in terms of getting below the hearing threshold of tinnitus. My recovery with tinnitus is like a bouncing ball and now the ball is barely bouncing up and down. There is no doubt in my mind that keeping at the lifestyle I have developed and continuing CST that I will be back in silence 100% of the time. Kathy has become one of my good friends and I could not do it without her and her guidance.”

Conclusion:

While craniosacral therapy shows promise as a complementary approach to managing tinnitus, it’s essential to approach it with an open mind. Individual responses to this therapy may vary.  Those who seek alternative methods to alleviate tinnitus symptoms, craniosacral therapy could be worth exploring in conjunction with conventional medical advice and treatment. Always consult with qualified healthcare professionals before starting any new therapeutic approach.

Guiltless Mind, Connection and Peace

In the year of 1970 a song was written by a Hungarian band named Omega.  The song is called: Ballad of a Gunsmith’s Son.

“Winter runs through the night
Snow-frost blooms
A life weeps in a new cradle.
His father lifts him up
This child will  be a gunsmith
If I live to that.
And so it happened
But one day the son said
Let us not make guns any more
There will be no war, tearful and sad
I will see everyone happy
With a small bell that he casted
He puts on migrant’s clothes
And wonders all the world with his bell.
The song of the bell softly sings
That no one can hear
And everyone laughs at him who sees him.
One day he returns, stands but barely lives
He is no longer the one who left with eyes closed
His father laughs; just open your eyes
In such a world guns are needed

I know, I know, I know your heart is broken
And yet, still you have to understand
I know, I know, I know your heart is aching
And yet, still you have to understand”

You can listen to the song here:

The following is an excerpt from Lincoln”s speech 200 some years ago…

“The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same we do not all mean the same. What constitutes the bulwark of our liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling seacoasts. These are not our reliance against tyranny. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of men, in lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?”

The Dalai Lama was once asked why he didn’t fight back against the Chinese when he was exiled from Tibet. He replied, “because war is obsolete, you know.” Then he paused and, in a more serious tone, said that “the mind can always rationalize fighting back, but the heart will never understand it. We would then be divided in ourselves (the heart and the mind,) and the war would be inside us.”

A client of mine going through a serious medical diagnosis came to see me for relief. We talked about her family situation and in her sharing and our conversation, she recognized the war that is going on inside her. On one hand; she feels sorrow for one family member she feels she needs to protect. On the other hand; she is angry with the one she feels she needs to protect herself and others from.

In Dr. Bert Hellinger’s work, he identified three key elements in the family system:
1) A child’s need to belong
2) A child’s need for social hierarchy (order of birth regardless of living or passed family members)
3) A child’s need in balance of giving and receiving
If one of these elements is out of balance, the family system on a sub-conscious level starts to work on repairing itself. These sub-conscious attempts may show up in a family member developing illness, loss of income, difficulty relating to others etc… This does not have to be!

It is so important to recognize the war that is going on in our own minds. Healing starts from within. In our own backyard. With our own family. The son of a gunsmith remembers that Spirit within. Lincoln also did. Ghandi, the Dalai Lama, so many others too. And so can we! It Is Time!

What you like matters, because You matter

We all experience procrastination from time to time. Some of us occasionally and some of us habitually.  Did you ever ask yourself the question why? Are you curious to know the answer? Would you like to change this pattern? Read on to learn that we rarely do things for the reason we think.

A client came to see me with complaints of lower abdominal pains. She has been through the medical field and did not receive a diagnosis. Her tests were all negative, which is a really good thing, yet she felt she would feel better if something was found, so she knew what to do and “get rid of the pain”.  Guided by her desire, searching for an answer to feel better, one day she heard about craniosacral therapy and she made her first appointment with me.

During CST, it is not uncommon that emotions resurface.  Tears, laughter, anger, joy, frustration etc… are all welcome.  The memories that we may become aware of during a session are helpful in making sense of a long-held ache or pain even if there was no previous diagnosis.  There is a part of us that is connected to Infinite Intelligence. Our Inner Physician/Intuition brings the real value in Its guidance towards recognizing the relationship between the memory, the emotion and the aches and pains experienced in the body. An event, coupled with an emotion may be the cause of a bodily ache and this same can also be preventing the healing from occurring.  Our current reactions and behavior patterns can be recognized by the memory of the patient and with the help of the Inner Physician the repatterning can begin to take place.  This is where SomatoEmotional Release (SER) becomes part of the CST session. This can be prompted by the therapist or it can be prompted by the Intelligent System in way of a memory and a stop in the craniosacral rhythm, Dr. Upledger called the significant detector.  SER is different from traditional talk therapy as cells have consciousness and store memories as energy. We experience this energy stored as tight, tense, stuck, dense, hard, aches and pain. When the patient is able to repattern, change perception of the memory that popped up, the tissues release tension and become softer, lighter, freer.

In my third session with my client, she experienced waves of movement first in her lower extremities, later on along her thoracic spine and then felt it stopped happening at her cervical spine (neck) area. As she recognized that “stop”, she became aware of her attitude of “just because”.  She then had a memory of herself as a child and being told “because I said so”.  She also recognized that overtime this “just because” attitude led her to procrastination.

She was aware that she was procrastinating in most area of her life, but did not connect the dots to why or what she can do to change.  She frequently asked herself questions like; “why would I want to do this or that? It makes no difference and it does not matter when I pick up the garbage from the floor or wash the dishes etc”… as a response to being directed by adults who gave her no choice and when questioned she was told “because I said so”.

In repatterning her old habits, she realized that she actually loves it when her house is clean, her work is done on time and wakes up in the morning to a kitchen with space on the countertops.  She realized that the “why” in her doubts were pointing her towards her love of and liking things. And so were the adults in her life, who were just unskilled in their communications. All of those mattered. And with an emotional release of tears, she recognized that SHE matters too.

At the end of her session she reported “feeling lightness in my belly and there is a flow in my neck.”

What are your bodily experiences and/or procrastination pointing you towards?

 

Post Covid Syndrome

Post-acute COVID-19 is a syndrome characterized by the persistence of clinical symptoms beyond four weeks from the onset of acute symptoms. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has formulated “post-Covid conditions” to describe health issues that persist more than four weeks after being infected with COVID-19.

The typical clinical symptoms in “long covid” are tiredness, dyspnea, fatigue, brain fogginess, autonomic dysfunction, headache, persistent loss of smell or taste, cough, depression, low-grade fevers, palpitations, dizziness, muscle pain, and joint pains.

Multiorgan effects of COVID-19 include clinical manifestations pertaining to the cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, and neuropsychiatric organ systems, although the duration of these multiorgan system effects is unclear.

Given limited published data on this new clinical entity, the precise pathophysiology of post-acute COVID-19 syndrome is unknown and is likely multifactorial especially considering the involvement of multiple organ systems. Following any severe infection or trauma, the human body reacts with an overwhelming immune response called systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), followed by a prolonged compensatory, counterbalancing anti-inflammatory cascade called compensatory anti-inflammatory response syndrome (CARS). – Sourced from National Center for Biotechnology Information. 

If you have been experiencing any signs of Post Covid Syndrome, schedule your appointment for CST today.

By normalizing the environment around the brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body’s ability to self-correct, CranioSacral Therapy is able to alleviate a wide variety of dysfunctions, from chronic pain and sports injuries to stroke and neurological impairment.

There is relief and healing in your decision for receiving CST treatment(s).