GROUNDING

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Grounding is the ancient healing practice of connecting your body to the earth. This is one of the most powerful healing techniques you can apply in your daily life. Today many call the practice Earthing. This is where you electrically ground your physical body to the physical earth, whether by walking bare foot on the grass, having a hand (or hugging) on a tree, or touching any living thing on the earth’s crust (rocks, dirt, water) you can basically ground anywhere and anytime. Our bodies are conductive so once any part our body touches the earth it electrically connects and grounds the body, and you immediately start to feel positive effects.

Grounding, is now a technique used for coping with anxiety, PTSD and stress because of it’s quick calming effect. Research has shown that practicing grounding has decreased the levels of inflammation and pain in the body which helps with arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses. Grounding also improves circulation and sleep.

Some other benefits and importance of grounding are:

  • Health and clarity of mind
  • Opens the third eye so you can be more perceptive
  • Strengthens and nourishes your central nervous system
  • Makes you feel more centered, alert, aware & present
  • You experience a better sense of your physical space
  • Helps you stay healthier on a physical level by receiving more energy from the earth
  • Grounding helps with manifesting your goals
  • Acts as an access valve to release blocks, stress and unwanted energy
  • Assists you in speaking from your center and with certainty
  • People who include grounding in their athletic activities say they’re more aware of how to perform and the body responds better.
  • Artists and writers use energy grounding meditations to experience greater output and sustained creativity. Working with energy and intuition trains the creative side of your brain to work in partnership with the linear side.
  • Grounding is easy to put into your meditation practice as an affirmation, visualization, feeling or emotion. Once set into your system, it becomes a natural part of who you are and how you feel.
  • Once energy grounding is established, it brings the spirit into the body on a firm and permanent basis. Being centered and grounded in your body puts you in a constant state of emotional healing and awareness.

Below is something a little different. A grounding visualization technique that I do regularly with my meditations. Basically, you would visualize an extension from the base of your spine, down into the earth. This extension anchors into the core of the earth so that you make a direct, straight, electrical current of energy from your body into the earth. Energy follows thought. If you have a clear thought, clear visualization, the energy will follow.

Grounding Visualization:

Visualize the core of the earth as a bright sun—a bright light source deep within the earth. Allow the force of gravity to take your grounding cord directly into the sun deep within the core of the earth. Once you reach this place, create a reference for this place so you can come back here often. Turn your grounding cord into a big giant honey spoon, stirring the earth energy and getting a visceral sense for this substantial grounding connection. This can actually feel sensuous and pleasurable.

Earth energies are a healing, nurturing energy. Visualize your grounding cord as a big giant drinking straw and begin sucking up the earth energy from the sun in the earth’s core to fill your entire body with this fabulous, nurturing light and healing energy. Once you feel your body is full of that bright healing light you can let it go out of your solar plexus (stomach), heart chakra (heart) and crown chakra (head) releasing it out around you or you can just send it back down to the earth.

If you are not confident of your grounding connection or the nurturing, healing energies accessed from the earth, it’s because you don’t trust the experience. We’ve all experienced many traumas on the earth plane and it’s sometimes difficult to trust that earth will support us. When we ground with the intention of anchoring our light into the source of all Creation, this is the most powerful connection there is with the earth. So if we can strengthen ourselves and stretch our minds to accept this concept, this changes our lives and empowers us forever.

Namaste!

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INFLAMMATORY BREAST CANCER

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Here is a Ted talk about an extremely rare form of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is not only rare but very aggressive. It’s often misdiagnosed as a breast infection and mammograms often come out clear. Once my mother was diagnosed it was already stage 4.

In the video she talks about how it took her mother several months and several doctors telling her it’s not cancer, then finally making an appointment to see a specialist to be diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer. It’s about 13 minutes long but well worth the time.

The 8 or so post-graduate years, (depending on their specialization) of study to become a doctor is not enough time to know everything. The body is just too complex of an organ. They will always be learning and I thank them for their knowledge, dedication, and hard work.

Having said that doctors are human like the rest of us and they can make mistakes. Being your own advocate is crucial especially in this instance. You have to keep trying until you get the right answer. NOT the answer that you would like to hear but the right diagnosis that can save your life.

Until next time,

Donna

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MENTAL ILLNESS AWARENESS WEEK

I stated in the previous post that there are 2 causes dear to my heart. Breast Cancer being the first and the second is Mental Illness. World Mental Health Day is on October 10th, 2021 and depending where you live some countries have their Mental Health Awareness week starting October 3th and ending on the 10th, while some have their week starting on the 10th and run through the 16th.

Not until well known figures started talking about their own struggles with mental illness is the stigma of mental illness slowly disappearing. A few of these people who advocate for mental illness are:

  • Kiera Knightley – PTSD & Anxiety
  • Demi Lovato – Addiction
  • Katy Perry – Depression
  • Ariana Grande – Anxiety & PTSD
  • Serena Williams – Postpartum Depression (PPD)
  • Shawn Mendes – Anxiety
  • Lady Gaga – PTSD
  • Kristen Bell – Anxiety & Depression
  • Ryan Reynolds – Anxiety
  • Charlize Theron – Depression
  • Janet Jackson – Depression
  • Chrissy Teigen – Depression

Some of the main disorders are depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder, psychotic disorders, substance abuse disorder, personality disorders and eating disorders, but there are many more sub disorders.

There is a lot of work still to do. Even though we are shining a light on mental health there are certain types that still need to be desensitized. I say that because people don’t want to talk about something that they’re afraid of. Movies often portray mental illness to the extreme so it’s hard to desensitize the stigma of a psychotic disorder or even PTSD.

It was very hard when I was first diagnosed with Depression. My uncle didn’t believe in it at all. My mother didn’t know what to think however she did understand the signs of postpartum depression. I often had to suffer in silence because even my closest friend didn’t want to talk about it. Having to bottle up my emotions for so long it was very hard to start talking and to this day I still struggle. Years later I was then diagnosed with severe anxiety. This made it even more confusing.

I think of it this way: Depression is living in the past and Anxiety is living in the future. You have to find the middle ground and live for today to feel at peace.

Until Next Time,

Donna

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BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

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October is a very busy month for me in that it highlights two causes that are dear to my heart. Firstly, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

My mother died of breast cancer 22 years ago. We say she died of the effects of the chemotherapy not the cancer. Her oncologist put her on a very strong and aggressive chemotherapy cocktail first to try and shrink the tumor before they would do radiation or surgery because the tumor was quite large. But I think he didn’t take into consideration her health or any pre existing conditions. He should’ve lowered the dose, it was just too much for her body to take.

My mother starting finding lumps (benign) when she was in her early 40’s. This last one she found only because she slipped and fell in a furniture store and hit her breast on a corner of a table. She thought the bruising was from the fall but the discoloration and pain wouldn’t go away. Finally they sent her for a mammogram. The 1st report came back benign but, a few months later she was sent back for a more detailed mammogram and ultrasound. This came back positive. Stage 4 Inflammatory Breast Cancer. A rare and very aggressive type of breast cancer.

With Inflammatory Breast Cancer mammograms don’t always pick them up until they are late stage because they don’t always have a tumor like the other breast cancers. They start out looking like an infection and/or a mass of inflamed tissue or some flat sheet like tissues under the skin and nipple.

It was on labor day weekend (the 1st weekend in September) when she fell. If I remember correctly it was around the end of November that the 1st mammogram came back benign. It wasn’t until March that she found out it was malignant. She passed away May 31st. That is 9 months from the time she fell, and only 2 months from the time she found out it was cancer. She was 69.

In 22 years has anything changed? Are they able to detect this type of breast cancer faster? Or is this basically a death sentence for women?

Until Next Time!

Donna

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INFLAMMATORY ARTHRITIS

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Inflammatory arthritis is the name used to describe a group of diseases classified as autoimmune disorders, whereby an overactive immune system results in inflammation.  The immune system begins to attack its own tissues and joints instead of foreign substances. This results in joint damage causing deformity, scarring and instability. Inflammatory arthritis is also considered systemic meaning it can also attack the whole body not just the joints. A few of the internal organs that could be affected are the heart, lungs, kidneys and blood vessels.

The most common forms of inflammatory arthritis are:  Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Ankylosing Spondylitis and Psoriatic Arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA):

  • RA is a chronic inflammatory disorder where  your immune system attacks the healthy tissues in your joints. It can also attack your heart, lungs, nerves, eyes and skin.

Some signs and symptoms of RA are:

  • Tender, warm, swollen joints,
  • Stiffness that’s worse in the morning
  • Fatigue fever and loss of appetite

RA usually affects the smaller joints of the fingers and toes first. It will progress to other joints in the body such as wrists, ankles, knees, elbows, shoulders, etc.. It will attack the joints on both sides of the body at the same time. Without any treatment the joints will eventually become very painful and debilitating.

In 30-60% of patients with RA, blood tests such as rheumatoid factor (RF) or anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies (anti-CCP) are positive, helping to confirm the diagnosis.

There is no cure for RA. This inflammatory disease can be very destructive. Doctors recommend early and aggressive treatment since any damage already done cannot be reversed.

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS):

AS is a chronic, progressive disease. A type of arthritis in the spine that cause inflammation and gradual fusing of the vertebrae. Early signs and symptoms include pain and stiffness in the lower back and hips. Although exercise and pain medications may help temporarily, the disease may gradually worsen. The pain and inflammation spreads from the lower back up the spine. Left untreated, the vertebrae fuse together causing a forward curvature of the spine.

The areas most commonly affected are:

  • The joint between the base of your spine and your pelvis
  • The vertebrae in your lower back
  • The places where your tendons and ligaments attach to bones, mainly in your spine, but sometimes along the back of your heel
  • The cartilage between your breastbone and ribs
  • Your hip and shoulder joints

There is no cure for ankylosing spondylitis, but treatments can lessen your symptoms and possibly slow progression of the disease.

Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

PsA is an autoimmune type of inflammatory arthritis that causes joint inflammation and occurs with the skin autoimmune condition psoriasis. About 10-30% of people with psoriasis will get PsA. The symptoms often resemble those of rheumatoid arthritis, but PsA affects joints on just one or both sides of the body.

Other conditions psoriatic arthritis causes:

  • Swollen fingers and toes: You may develop painful, sausage-like swelling and deformities of your fingers and toes.
  • Foot pain:  Especially at the back of your heel (Achilles tendinitis) or in the sole of your foot (plantar fasciitis).
  • Lower back pain: Some people develop a condition called spondylitis as a result of psoriatic arthritis. Spondylitis mainly causes inflammation of the joints between the vertebrae of your spine and in the joints between your spine and pelvis (sacroiliitis)

Having psoriasis is the single greatest risk factor for developing psoriatic arthritis. People who have pitted, deformed nails are especially likely to develop psoriatic arthritis. Many people with psoriatic arthritis have a parent or a sibling with the disease.

No cure exists for psoriatic arthritis, so treatment focuses on controlling inflammation in your affected joints to prevent joint pain and disability.

Inflammatory arthritis, being an autoimmune disorder, suppressing the immune system with medicine is essential for controlling the progression of the disease, however, that causes a much higher risk of infections.

Suppressing the immune system is suppressing the body’s defense against infectious bacteria and viruses.

Here are some links if you are interested in more information on inflammatory arthritis:

https://www.hss.edu/conditions_understanding-inflammatory-arthritis-an-introduction.asp

https://arthritis.ca/about-arthritis

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SEPTEMBER IS ARTHRITIS AWARENESS MONTH

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Over 350 million people in the world are affected by Arthritis.

According to the CDC 53% of all adults in the United States, over 54 million people, have arthritis. In the United Kingdom around 10 million people are affected. There are 6 million Canadians living with Arthritis and 3.9 million people in Australia have this chronic disease.

It’s not just arthritis.” Arthritis is a serious, chronic and life-changing disease that deserves greater attention.

Canadian Arthritis Society

There are over 100 types of arthritis along with sub types and related diseases. Here are a few of the more common forms.

Osteoarthritis (OA): Is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones wears down and eventually the joint is rubbing bone on bone becoming very painful. OA usually effects the joints in the knees, hips, hands and spine. It’s not an autoimmune disease.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): Is an inflammatory disease that can affect multiple joints in the body. RA is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system—which normally functions to protect us against infections—mistakenly attacks the lining of the joints. RA usually attacks the small joints on the fingers, toes, wrists, ankles, but also will attack any joints on both sides of the body symmetrically. The inflammation can also effect the lungs, heart, kidneys, eyes, and skin.

photo by Chuttersnap

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS): Is an inflammatory arthritis that effects the spine and the joints that attach the pelvis to the base of spine. Over time it gradually fuses the small bones in the vertebrae (spine).  It is an autoimmune disease. In this case the immune system attacks the joints and bones in the lower back.

Juvenile Arthritis (JA): Is more common than people think. Approximately 3 in 1000 children have childhood arthritis. When you hear the term “Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis” Idiopathic means of unknown cause.  It’s also hard to diagnose because often it’s hard for a child to communicate exactly how they’re feeling, where it hurts or if there is something wrong.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): Often called Lupus, is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. As a result of SLE, the skin, joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, the nervous system and almost any other organ can be affected. (90% of people diagnosed with SLE are women.) Lupus has many of the same symptoms as other inflammatory diseases and fibromyalgia so it often gets misdiagnosed since the symptoms are different daily or weekly or none at all. There is a distinct symptom to Lupus and that is a butterfly rash over the cheeks and nose which happens in roughly 30% to 40% of those diagnosed.

photo by Kampus Production

 Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA): Is an autoimmune type of inflammatory arthritis that causes joint inflammation and occurs with the skin autoimmune condition psoriasis. About 10-30% of people with psoriasis will get PsA. The symptoms often resemble those of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Fibromyalgia (FM): I was surprised when I saw this listed as a type of arthritis. FM is a medical condition that is believed to affect the central nervous system. The most common symptoms of FM is widespread or diffuse pain and debilitating fatigue. People with FM may also experience other symptoms, such as sleep difficulties, restless leg syndrome, cognitive dysfunction, lack of concentration and memory, mood swings, gastrointestinal problems and have a heightened sensitivity to touch and pressure. FM will not cause permanent damage to muscles, bones or joints. What it does have in common with arthritis is that it can cause severe pain and fatigue therefore having an impact on a person’s daily life. Although painful, FM does not lead to permanent joint damage or deformity.

People with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) can also have fibromyalgia FM.

I’m lucky enough to have the big 3. Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. Right now, I’m trying to do all I can to keep my knee from going under the knife. My rheumatologist said, just say the word and he’ll call the surgeon. I keep saying no I’m not ready, however, it’s getting harder to walk or sleep without pain. I know I’m stubborn.

 

Until Next Time!

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/chronic-diseases/arthritis/most-common-types-arthritis.html

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoarthritis

https://arthritis.ca

https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/factsheets/arthritis.htm

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