Tag Archives | Healing

Overcoming Chronic Pain to Walk a Pilgrimage

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I describe my path of preparing for Spain’s Camino de Santiago spiritual pilgrimage, when I’ll also participate in the Deep Democracy Institute‘s intensive seminar for large group facilitation in Barcelona, on elephant journal:

Living with chronic illness I often cycle between gratitude for life’s hidden meanings, a subtle aching for a cure, and a spiral of despair when one fails to appear. But now I’m seeing those aren’t the only options.

Muscle pain, exhaustion, and mental fog have been a daily part of my life for most of the last four years. The diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) doesn’t provide an adequate medical explanation, since the condition is still poorly understood.

At the beginning, I couldn’t help but interpret this situation through a mystical lens. It had to be part of a “spiritual crisis.” Only that perspective made any sense—that “the universe” had unforeseen plans for me.

The illness has undoubtedly sent me down a path of self-development that I might have never have found in “normal” health.

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The Sacred Valley: A Prototype for Psychedelic Society

Urubamba Valley, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru. Photo: Charles Gadbois via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

Urubamba Valley, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru.
Photo: Charles Gadbois via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

The dream of a free society where psychedelic exploration is not prohibited is coming true. Acknowledgment of the medicinal and spiritual benefits of such activity is steadily breaking through to the mainstream. It’s hard to say when this transformation will be complete but that we are headed in that direction is increasingly obvious. Those of us with direct experience of intentional psychedelic therapy have seen that the personal effects that can arise will range from the subtle to the dramatic. Gentle bursts of creativity as well as total emancipation from addiction are not at all uncommon. How these personal breakthroughs will translate into a more generalized social shift is being slowly revealed. The transformation is of course more evident in some areas than in others.

One of the more pronounced examples of this trend exists just outside of the historic city of Cusco, Peru, where a community of international seekers have settled in the area known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas.… Read the rest

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Sex Coaching – From Shame to Shamanism

sarah rose brightSarah Rose Bright is a sex coach far beyond the vanilla kind.

“Conventional sex therapy just deals with talking,” she explained in a recent interview with The Eternities podcast. “A lot of people carry a lot of fear, a lot of shame and tension, and all sorts of things that are difficult to address with talking only. For many people, a more practical approach can take them a lot further.”

Sarah talks in the interview of how her own life was transformed via an intensive course of sexual self-development that began with her attendance on a Tantra workshop for her thirtieth birthday. Instantly, she knew she had found her calling.

She now has more than ten years experience as a somatic sex coach and sex educator, with training in sexological bodywork, NLP, Tantra, shamanism, and Taoism, and the tutelage of sexual pioneers such as Dr Patti Britton, Barbara Carrellas and Joseph Kramer.… Read the rest

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Richard Gordon: ‘Genesis of the Gods’

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Pic: ‘The Magic Circle’ by John William Waterhouse (PD)

In magick the circle has been generally accepted as being the universal symbol of protection, in ritual work it should not be seen as being a two dimensional disc but rather as a sphere of energy that totally encompasses the practitioner. This sacred space can then be safely utilized as a portal between our world and the mysterious other worldly realms of the gods.

The worship of gods and idols has been well documented throughout history and is evident within the belief structure of nearly every culture, but if asked the question, “From where and why did the pantheon of familiar idolized gods we know so well today arise?” most would be lost towards proposing a plausible answer, in fact I myself have been involved in many such empty ended raucous debates.Then several months ago whilst I was having an in depth chat on the subject of ritual healing, a chance remark by one of the people involved opened up a new avenue of thinking that may perhaps go a long way towards revealing the truth of the matter.… Read the rest

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Engaging In Expressive Writing Makes Physical Wounds Heal Faster

physical woundsShould your doctor be giving you books of poetry? Expressing your emotions via writing literally makes your body heal more quickly, a new University of Auckland study suggests. Via PubMed:

In this randomized controlled trial, 49 healthy older adults were assigned to write for 20 minutes a day either about upsetting life events (Expressive Writing) or about daily activities (Time Management) for 3 consecutive days.

Two weeks postwriting, 4-mm punch biopsy wounds were created on the inner, upper arm. Wounds were photographed routinely for 21 days to monitor wound reepithelialization.

Participants in the Expressive Writing group had a greater proportion of fully reepithelialized wounds at Day 11 postbiopsy compared with the Time Management group, with 76.2% versus 42.1% healed.

This study extends previous research by showing that expressive writing can improve wound healing in older adults and women. Future research is needed to better understand the underlying cognitive, psychosocial, and biological mechanisms contributing to improved wound healing from these simple, yet effective, writing exercises.

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A Brave Fan Asks Patrick Stewart A Question He Doesn’t Usually Get And Is Given A Beautiful Answer

Via Upworthy.com

Patrick Stewart often talks about his childhood and the torment his father put him and his mother through. However, how he answered this vulnerable and brave fan’s question is one of the most eloquent, passionate responses about domestic violence I’ve ever seen. WARNING: At 2:40, he’s going to break your heart a little.

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Don’t Trust Your Feelings: Somatics and the Pre/Trans Fallacy

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A great article applying the pre/trans fallacy to somatics and body-work. Steve Bearman brings some much-needed balance to the alternative healing field.

via Interchange Counseling:

It’s easy for counselors, and the people we counsel, to get stuck in our heads. Counseling as we know it originated as “the talking cure”. Over the generations, counselors have discovered how to use dialogue as a powerful medium for facilitating change in our clients. Even at its best, however, conversation can only get us so far. We are more than mere talking heads.

In a tradition that has long been top-heavy, the growing prevalence of somatics has brought counseling back into balance, adding much-needed weight to the body’s role in healing and growth. “Soma” is the body, and body-oriented work takes us places talking never can, but just like mind-oriented work, it has significant limitations.

For those of us in the world of counseling who strive to live fully embodied lives, somatics has seemed like such a godsend that we can fail to recognize its limits.

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The Vagus Nerve and the Healing Promise of the Sudarshan Kriya

Flickr-Nerve-Cutting-Monkey-300x201Via Waking Times:

At the center of our bodies resides a long, sinewy nerve that extends all the way from our medullas down through our chests to beyond our stomachs. This nerve, known as the Vagus Nerve, happens to be at a most fascinating intersection, not only between our two physical nervous systems (our central and autonomic nervous systems) but also between our conscious minds and subconscious minds. As such, it also acts as a bridge between our gross bodies and our subtle bodies. And it’s a nerve probably 99% of the population have never heard of nor even have a clue where it’s located. And yet the Vagus Nerve (ironically pronounced the exact same way as sin city itself, Las Vegas) may be the single most relevant organ in our body relative to our peace of mind and happiness.

Research indicates that a healthy vagus nerve is vital in experiencing empathy and fostering social bonding, and it is crucial to our ability to observe, perceive, and make complex decisions.

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Study Suggests Yoga Boosts The Immune System On A Genetic Level

yogaThe results support yoga as a powerful therapy, but more broadly, reinforce the fact that our very genes are affected by our activities and moods. Pacific Standard writes:

Newly published research from Norway suggests that a yoga program rapidly produces internal changes on a genetic level. The results help explain the well-documented health benefits of this ancient practice.

“These data suggest that previously reported effects of yoga practices have an integral physiological component at the molecular level, which is initiated immediately,” writes a research team led by Fahri Saatcioglu of the University of Oslo.

The experiment featured 10 participants who attended a yoga retreat in Germany. For two days, participants spent two hours practicing a comprehensive yoga program and meditation. For the next two days, they spent that same time period going on a nature walk and then listening to jazz or classical music.

Immediately before and after each of the four sessions, the researchers drew blood from each participant.

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