Our body is like an organic machine with an electric system that needs energy to function.  

When we get unwell, we are drawn to bed until the flue is gone, the healing job is done, and the body recharges. Rest helps our body rebuild the vast amount of energy needed to fight back “intruders”, reactivate unbalanced organs and restore affected cells. 

How does the body manage energy?

The body manages its physical energy with a system of priorities. First, it defends and protects from external problems and second, from internal ones. Once the external stress is over, the body reorganises its available energy and directs it to the immune system and cells’ regeneration program.

Our energy storage works like a bank account. Once the “all-use account” energy has run out, the body sends a signal for us to rest. If we keep going regardless, the body takes energy from the “reserved savings account” and activates adrenaline hormones to keep going. Once the savings are gone, the body gets an energy “loan” from cells and limits organs functions to their minimum possible duties, even the brains.

Don’t panic. Of course, it’s an abstract way of explaining our complex and paradoxical body. We are still functioning active humans, but this “loan” means symptoms of fatigue, mental fog, terrible memory, diminished digestion, inflammation, lousy sleep, emotionally moody, intolerant, reactive, impulsive, anxious… puff! We are not on our most highest-potential self. The bad news is that here is when a disease might come to the surface.

Ignoring the symptoms and getting angry at our body for being weak and inconvenient is a natural first reaction. But this conflict with ourselves also drains energy, making the process even longer. So, after we get over being annoyed:

Make it easy for the body to heal.

Monika Moller

“Make it easy for the body to heal” works like a mantra to help accept the reality of a health situation. It helped me during my burnout episode, so I wanted to share it with you too.

A part from going to the doctor and taking treatment, we can help the healing process by avoiding things that drain us and instead allow our “organic machine” to preserve and gain resources to recover.

It feels good to step out from the helplessness and feel we can respond to some degree. Depending on the level of exhaustion, even in bed, we can do something to help our healing. For instance, our thoughts and visualisation abilities have a degree of power of creating a positive change in our body, and we can use this in our advantage. 

The mantra also helps us make decisions and resolve inner conflicts between what our mind wants vs what the body needs in order to heal. 

7 simple tips to make it easy for our body to regain energy

We open a possibility to get back our cognitive sharpness, physical strength and stamina when we make it easy for the body to regain energy, and we can help by doing the following: 

1 Moderate exercise: Depending on your recovery stage, avoid extreme exercise and choose moderate physical activities like Chi Kung, Yin Yoga, light stretching, slow walking, mobility movements. (Please note, if you have chronic fatigue or are bedridden, stick with mind exercises and meditation; they are sources of energy, to avoid higher level of adrenaline).  

2 Easy Digest: Eat foods easy to digest, high in nutrients and good fats.

When stress hormones come to the rescue, our digestion capacity reduces as adrenaline lowers lactic acid production. (When running away from a tiger, there’s no time to digest a beefsteak).

3 Coaching: talk to a coach, a counsellor, therapist or someone you trust. Find out where you drain emotional energy. 

  • It helps release emotional tensions from worries, 
  • sort out emotional pain, 
  • and help you organise a plan to manage your energy.

4 De-stress: relaxation helps strengthen the immune system. Stress is not harmful unless it is prolonged and not balanced in time. Also, be aware of other types of stress:

  • Emotional stress: caused by worries, anxiety or depression.
  • Physical stress: caused by physical exhaustion. 
  • Biological stress: caused by inflammation by food intolerances, health issues, heavy metals in the body, unbalanced microbiome, lack of minerals.
  • Spiritual stress: caused by unmet desires, self-realisation, disconnection with the self. 

5 Slow down:  If your days are frantic, non-stop, take time off, have more rest. The best recovery is sleep, but If you struggle to get a good deep sleep, rest as much, meditate as much.

6 Ease the mind: Meditate, be in the garden or be in nature. Being in the present moment, in contact with our being, in awareness, we are in total alertness of the current experience and unattached to our thoughts. In this way, we help our adrenal glands lower stress hormones, and we recharge energy easier and strengthen our immune system.  

7 Reduce EMFs (electromagnetic field) exposure: By reducing phone and computer screen usage, disabling Bluetooth and wi-fi if not needed, walking barefoot to discharge EMFs stored in the body.
Science proved that looking at screens and being close to devices increases the stress hormone adrenaline and drains physical energy. 

Final Note

Reminder, try avoiding: 

  • Eating whatever you find easy to reach. Junk food is the winner because we don’t have the energy to cook, or we want to “pamper” ourselves. But try reducing the treats. 
  • Working long hour pushing yourself to the max. 
  • Not resting enough; not stretching enough; 
  • Ignoring the tiredness and getting angry at your body for being so weak and inconvenient.

These tips might seem simple, but not easy if you’re used to having a fast pace. So be patient and negotiate with yourself. Be aware that adrenaline supports your body when you have low energy, so the energy felt is just that, an adrenaline boost. And if a disease comes to the surface, see it as the body communicating its needs.

 The body is a busy bee, help it have the energy for healing!

Exhausted, but can’t stop. Then the “crash”.

Photo by: Dmitri Ratushny

This post is for those who find it hard to stop working, who wonder why even knowing they’ll crash if they keep going, they keep going until they crash.

Even when you’re rational voice tells you you’re going too far, you keep working long hours. Then, and only when you’re in bed exhausted or burnt-out or sick, you wonder why you didn’t stop and rest in time.

The daunting part is when you have fallen in the same “hole” over and over even knowing where the hole is.

Overachievers dealing with fatigue, burnouts, health issues because of lack of sleep and overwork, hope this insight helps you understand some of the unconscious workings of a busy mind.

Hidden Reasons Why

The pleasure, the feeling of fulfilment, the satisfaction of finishing something that you started, is so great it overdrives your inner voice. That internal body-sign that tells you you are tired and that you have to stop is barely heard. The feeling in comparison, is not as strong.

Eventually, fatigue makes you heavy, but with adrenaline at it’s peek to keep up with the demands, and the reserve energy so low, there’s not enough strength left for the brakes to stop the runaway train. So you continue under the impression: “if there’re no brakes it’s probably ok to do a little bit more”. Then the inevitable: The crash.

What Happens On The Emotional Side

It’s like being in a trance, and the idea to keep going seems to be the best rational decision. You don’t want to stop. Period.

Maybe it’s a kind of obsession or a sense of over-responsibility or a worry-guilty feeling for not being productive. Or it’s the numbness effect of high adrenaline.

Either way, the results on the emotional side tends to be guilt, self criticism and probably, feeling self-defeat.

What Happens On The Physical Side

Living under adrenaline rush makes you feel alive, anxious to get to the finish line. But without noticing it, in the long run, it taxes the body from reserved energy, impacting overall health.

Ways To Prevent Burnout

Changing a pattern takes three steps:

  • awareness
  • understanding
  • practice

Prevent the burnout cycle by:

  • Having someone to snap you out of it.
  • Practising self-awareness to delay gratification.
  • Having a percentage of detachment from worldly goals.
  • Awareness of being in survival mode.

Meditation Practice: The Unconscious Effect Of Time

Take time out of the scene and observe if there’s a difference in the urge of “doing”.

Practice will help you notice and jump the hole.

From Article: A little of Immunology for Everyone and Autoimmune Diseases
By Dr. Hector Jara - Neuropharmacologist, Researcher in clinical neuroimmunology.

Immunology is the science responsible for studying the ability of our body to defend ourselves from any kind of invasion, be it: bacteria, fungi, viruses or cancer. On the other hand, it studies the phenomena related to autoimmunity, which consists of a self-attack of our defences towards our body. It is like the dog in your house attacking you, its owner, thinking it’s the thief. This last phenomenon is the one that I am going to develop in this chapter in order to understand a little more about the relationship between stress, depression and immunity.

Immunity is mainly exerted by lymphocytes which are a type of white cell (leukocytes or white blood cells). Other blood cells act in the immunity system (the so-called innate immunity), but these are the most important:

What are the defences of our body? – TH1 and TH2 immunity

There are two types of immunities to explain the autoimmunity phenomenon: Th1 immunity and Th2 immunity. They used to be called cellular immunity and humoral immunity, respectively. There is immunity th0, which is the real point of balance since it behaves like th1 and like th2.

TH1 IMMUNITY

TH1 IMMUNITY is in charge of defending us with T-lymphocytes against viruses, fungi and cancer cells (when it detects invaders, it destroys them). It also helps in the attack against bacteria, but it is not its primary duty. In this immunity, the lymphocytes produce substances that destroy the aggressors. These lymphocytes are called cytokines, interleukins or substances with the ability to damage a fungus, virus or cell detected as foreign to our body.

The most important cytokines of the TH1 immunity are interleukin 2, tumour necrotizing factor (TNF) and interferon-gamma. It has been shown that many autoimmune diseases are related to an increase in this immunity, which for genetic reasons, among others, that I will mention later, can destroy different types of organs or tissues. Thus the medical literature reports many TH1 diseases such as psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn disease, autoimmune hepatitis, thyroiditis and their consequences such as hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, alopecia areata, Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatic fibromyalgia, myasthenia gravis, hodgkin lymphoma, contact dermatitis, autoimmune pancreatitis, frequent abortions, sarcoidosis, vasculitis in general, nephrotic syndrome, bronchial asthma and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

Various studies demonstrate these findings; they consist of measuring interleukins in damaged tissue as well as lymphocytes with TH1 or TH2 capacity in the blood. The important thing is to know that this type of immunity, despite protecting us against fungi, viruses, intracellular parasites and cancer cells, at a given moment polarises or is predominant over th2 immunity and could damage our own tissues.

When reviewing the literature on the subject of neuroimmunology, there is considerable evidence that shows the relationship between depression and autoimmune diseases Th1. Depression, from the neurochemical point of view, consists of depletion of cerebral serotonin (of the dorsal raphe) and an increase of cerebral norepinephrine (of the A5 nucleus).

Excess norepinephrine can be detected in the blood. This substance activates the thymus, which is a lymphoid organ found in the thorax responsible for training lymphocytes to increase their Th1 activity. For this reason, depression is associated with th1 autoimmunity or vice versa.

Not all depressed individuals will suffer from Th1 autoimmunity, but almost all Th1 autoimmunities present the neurochemical profile of depression. There are also receptors for norepinephrine in other lymphoid organs and in the lymphocytes themselves, which causes them to polarize towards th1 when this neurotransmitter increases in the blood.

Obesity causes th1 autoimmunity in most obese patients because excess fat behaves like a th1 interleukin-producing gland. That is why metabolic syndrome has a relationship with depression and hypothyroidism.

TH2 IMMUNITY

The TH2 IMMUNITY also consists of a self-attack on our tissues, but it is not directly the lymphocyte that attacks. It is an attack through antibodies (which are those that increase with vaccines) or the so-called Immunoglobulins (the IgG that increases to prevent the infection from recurring and the IgM that increases in acute infection). These antibodies are produced by B-lymphocytes. B-lymphocytes are more closely related to stress. They increase when there is stress. When there’s stress, they are like the front line defence.

This Th2 immunity, which is that of B-lymphocytes and which attacks almost everything with little immune memory, is responsible for allergies, which are inflammatory reactions that appear very quickly. B-lymphocytes have receptors that, thanks to their great diversity, can recognize any foreign material –a logical response from nature. When we are in front of an aggressor (stressor), it is normal for the immunity to increase and protects us, by attacking everything it finds (for example dog saliva, a predator or a rusty knife). It uses first-line warrior cells that attack with the help of other cells like mast cells and eosinophils; which discharge a series of substances that can be toxic to bacteria and inflame tissues: histamine, serotonin, th2 interleukins, etc.

IgE is generally elevated and contributes to the response described. We have been able to observe that a stressed patient may have Th2 autoimmune disease or may have diseases related to low Th1 immunity: cancer, frequent viral infections, infections caused by intracellular germs (mycoplasma, TBC), frequent fungal infections (for example reoccurring vaginal yeast infection).

The most frequent Th2 diseases are allergies of all kinds, atopic dermatitis, respiratory allergies, chronic rhinitis, Ulcerative Rectocolitis, gastritis or eosinophilic colitis, etc.

T and B lymphocytes that do not transform into Th1 and Th2 effector cells will persist for a long time as immune memory cells. With a new stimulus of the antigen, a specific immune response will take place (they have already recognized the antigen once) and they will produce a greater amount of antibodies (because they are more numerous). This is the mechanism that explains the success of vaccines: The individual receives the dead or attenuated germ in the vaccine and establishes a first response (the discomfort of vaccines at the beginning with fever). Later, when the infection occurs, the memory cells are quickly activated and eliminate the aggressor.

In summary, Th1 immunity is related to depression and protects us from cancer. Th2 immunity is related to stress and protects us little against cancer. In other chapters I will describe each type of autoimmune disease and the neuroimmune treatment.

Treatments of autoimmune diseases

Unfortunately, current treatments are aimed at immunosuppressing patients with this type of disease. Steroids are generally used as a first-line drug. All types of immunosuppressants are tried, such as methotrexate and other chemotherapeutic agents that generally produce many side effects. As the saying goes “The remedy is worse than the disease.”

I believe that steroids can be used when the disease is very aggressive or affects a vital organ, but it should only be used for the first few days or for a short time.

Steroids have their place in medicine but cannot be prescribed for long periods of time and in high doses. The danger of these drugs when used for long periods of time is that in addition to producing hypocarticalism (our ability to produce cortisol disappears) and other diseases (hypertension, diabetes, steroid psychosis, acne, Cushing’s syndrome, severe osteoporosis, growth retardation, infections a recurrence, necrosis of the femur head, cataracts, etc.), patients generally die from the chronic effect of the treatment and not from the disease. Other immunosuppressants, such as tacrolimus and cyclophosphamide, have been linked to severe infections and cancer.

Lately, genetic engineering drugs have been produced to avoid the use of steroids. They are destined to block the effect of interleukins by blocking the receptor on where they act: The necrotizing tumour factor (inflimibax) and IgE blockers.

I believe that these treatments always lead patients to immunosuppression and make them susceptible to infectious diseases and cancer. I am not in favour of applying this type of treatment to autoimmune patients. There are already case reports of fatal infectious diseases due to the use of these drugs, and the pharmaceutical industry defends the use of the drug, arguing they did not see this effect in their multicenter studies.

Neuroimmune treatment consists of verifying the existence of stress or depression and whether it is possible to classify the patient as Th1 or Th2 to start a neuropharmacological treatment that reverses the predominant condition. When the patient has been treated long-term with steroids, the results are not so encouraging. There is a good response in Rheumatic Fibromyalgia (many patients cured), Multiple Sclerosis (especially if the patient comes in the first crises), Myasthenia Gravis (Without thymectomy they respond much better), Rheumatoid arthritis (sometimes we use treatment with very low doses of methotrexate), Bronchial Asthma in children, Allergies, Crhon disease, Ulcerative Rectocolitis, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Alopecia, Pemphigoid, Autoimmunity, Hepatitis C and autoimmune hepatitis.

Psoriasis, Vitiligo and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus are the three autoimmune diseases that are most resistant to neuroimmune treatment.

Source: Dr. Hector Jara – Neuropharmacologist, Researcher in clinical neuroimmunology.
(Translated from the original Spanish http://neuroinmunologiavenezuela.blogspot.com/2010/04/un-poco-de-inmunologia-para-todos-y.html)

Around 2007 when cd’s where cool, a stranger, that heard my story through a friend, gave me a guided visualisation cd to heal my immune system. Being in her 20’s, she was comfortable enough to tell me about her story. After three transplant failures, that cd helped her body finally accept a new kidney.

Wow, I was more than curious. Even though my situation was different from hers, I had to try this so-called powerful visualisation tool and see how it works. I heard the audio every day. I needed to strengthen and balance my immune system, as I was going through an autoimmune challenge at the time. Back then, I didn’t know why and how, but I felt it made a significant impact on my health.

The cd was made by Venezuelan Dr Marianela Castés. She bases her work on the studies of psychoneuroimmunology, “a science that has shown how thoughts, emotions, beliefs and spiritual ailments affect our body.”

My passion for the subject was born. I dived deep into topics like neuroscience and psychology, and practices of visualisation and meditation to support my healing.

Visualisation techniques create a physical chain reaction through thoughts that create emotions and emotions create the biochemistry signals that control our cells.

“It is possible to use the mental capacity to create ‘positive’ images that, properly directed, help regulate the immune system and restore health.” Clelia Olazo

“The brain controls the behavior of the body’s cells. This is a very important point to consider as we blame the cells of our organs and tissues for the health issues we experience in our lives.” Bruce H. Lipton PhD

“The immune system and the emotions are connected.” Dr Garbor Mate

The idea stayed with me for years, until now. I finally recorded a meditation inspired on that cd! With my dad’s music in the background. It started like a personal project, but now I find it valuable to share it with you through Insight Timer meditation app.

About  the guided visualisation to strengthen your immune system

In the guided visualisation practise, we enter the “world of healing” of our body to increase the strength of our immune system. By paying attention to our body, connecting with thoughts that produce emotions of well-being and imagining an abundance of guardian cells, we send a signal from the brain to our body to increase the energy of our white blood cells, lymphocytes, macrophages and natural killer cells. We instruct the immune system defence team to start protecting us against all types of viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites and tumour cells.

Prolonged stressful events trigger emotions such as fear, anger, guilt, hopelessness, and depression. These activate stress hormones in the adrenal glands, such as cortisol and adrenaline, if these emotions are not balanced, “they can send a message of suppression to the immune system.” So that’s why being relaxed has a positive influence on our immune system.

You can practice guided visualisation to maintain or increase your health. This practice is not a substitute for your treatment, but a reinforcement. Always consult your doctor if you notice any discomfort that you do not recognise.

Source: Inspired on the works of Dr Marianela Castés, for which I’m deeply grateful.
Other references: Dr Bruce Lipton, Dr Joe Dispenza, Dr Clelia Olazo, Dr Garbor Mate.

Important Note: This practice is support for your treatment, not a substitute. Always consult your doctor if you notice any discomfort that you don’t recognise.

Click here to listen to the free guided visualisation to strengthen your immune system.

Being sick is not pretty in all its senses, but what you learn from it can be beautiful.

We all have been there.  It doesn’t feel good (you feel like sh*t!), you want to heal fast and you unfairly kind of hate your body. But while at it, there’s a chance to learn something that can be valuable for life.

Some years ago, I was surprised to realise that my biggest master when I was sick was my winter orchid.
She only gave me flowers once when I bought her and nothing for two years. Until that winter, when I was sick. I had put her in the bathroom to remember to water it (I guess she liked the temperature and steam).

So, every time I went there, I would stare at her for “hours” surprised to see her new buds growing. But she took her time in.  I was impatient about the flowering, even though I was amazed and happy it was finally happening. Until one day it stroke me. It was how I was feeling with my healing.

You can not force a flower to beautifully bloom; neither can you force your body to heal quickly. Have the same compassion for your body as you have for a blooming flower: Patience, acceptance and letting go control, are natures profound wisdom. To be able to acquire that is the secret to inner peace in stormy moments.

But still you need to love, feed and water it!

Winter Orchid