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.

Craniosacral Therapy in Water

I recently participated in a dolphin assisted craniosacral therapy program with the Upledger Institute in Freeport, Grand Bahama.  It was an 8 day intense training and treating clients program.

The first 4 days, experienced craniosacral therapists got to learn about CST in water, whether it was in the pool or in the ocean.

Each morning we received instructions on techniques in the water and we all got treatments from each other in a “multi hand” format; first in the pool than later in the afternoon in the ocean. “Multi hand” means, there were two therapists working on one client at the same time.  The experience I had was quite surprising, moving and intense.  It was not the first time I received CST work, but it was the first time I received it in water.  My curiosity about it received an experience I will never forget.

I spent most of my life in the pool as a competitive swimmer from the age of 6 till my late teens, taught and coached swimming for a number of years after, so I thought I was familiar with the atmosphere pool water provides.

“To know is to know that you know nothing” – Socrates.  I now can say, I know what Socrates was talking about. No pun intended. 🙂

The pool and ocean waters were warm, heated by the Bahamian sun, so none of us was aware of feeling cold as we laid still or stood holding our client in the water. The flexibility and flow of the water allowed for body movements that laying on a treatment table may not allow so freely.  Melting in and having your ears underwater throughout the whole treatment was incredibly relaxing.

At the same time as the body expresses itself, all sorts of memories, thoughts and beliefs surfaced that were deep within, but were ready to be repatterned. Some were gone as quickly as they came and some needed more time to process through and integrate.  This is the reason we had 3 sessions each day in both 4 day sessions.

And then the dolphins… They are incredible to be around!

Our first encounter happened right after the first treatment in the pool.  We got to go to a special dolphin training center where we were able to have a 20 minute free swim with the dolphins. We got to know them up close, got to touch them and play with them. We got hugs and kisses too.  We also experienced a treatment session with them on the third day.  The hip pain that was waking me up each night months prior and up till dolphin treatment day is completely gone.  I am enjoying my sleep through the night since then.  Honestly.

                   

The second part of the program included patients who came to receive treatment for various reasons.  The first morning sitting in a circle, we all introduced ourselves and got to know the patients and their health or emotional difficulties.  Patients received 3 multi-hand treatments for 4 days and they also received a 45 minute treatment from dolphins once each day.

The shifts in the way our clients felt from day 1 to day 4 as they shared in the circle each morning, filled the room with joy and gratitude. We all were looking forward to what the next day was going to gift us with.

I am attaching a video link from the Upledger Institute that explains more about the therapy program.  I feel honored to have met the founders and teachers of the program.  I am also grateful for all the gifted therapists that were participating and I had the pleasure of working with.

Here is the link. Scroll down a bit for the video to show up.

https://www.integrativeintentions.com/

To our health and wellness! It is not only possible, it is inevitable.  It is not an “if”, it is a WHEN.

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).