When I was 20 years old, I was unstoppable. Nothing could stand in my way. Not even the minor car accident (in which a drunk driver rear-ended my car and I ended up with “just” a whiplash). Not even the excruciating pain in my neck which lasted years.
20 years later, “suddenly”, with no apparent reason, I could not move my arm. Only after visiting a chiropractor, who showed and explained me how big is the damage I have caused to my neck and spine, just from neglecting the injury, I realized what I have done. If I would only stop and do one of the things I know now (even just resting or applying a castor oil pack) the whole picture may have been different.
After few visits, I felt much better and pain was gone. Still unstoppable at that time, I then understood that this was just the beginning of my healing journey. Fixing a damage that has been accumulated in 20 years is not possible in a week. And this was my “Stop sign”. Up to that point, the easiest way for me to handle these “stop signs” was to ignore them. However, opening my eyes to view this sign, made me realize that this is my own responsibility to attend my own health. This is my own responsibility to find the time to give attention to my body or seek professional help to guide me how.
This has become a life journey, and as it keeps unfolding, I am fascinated by all the unstoppable souls who are crossing my way, seeking my friendly or my professional advice, and one thing keeps repeating over and over again:
Applying a castor oil pack has brought many of these souls to a very deep state of realization that a change needs to take place. Witnessing this phenomenon, either in my office or hearing from those who I suggested to apply the packs, brought me to the belief that deep state of relaxation has the amazing power to change lives – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Castor oil, a very thick oil derived from the castor bean (Ricinus communis) seed, has been praised for many benefits. Among them: Enhancing relaxation, Decreasing inflammation, Increasing circulation of blood and lymph thus enhancing the immune system, Improving elimination of toxic substances, Promoting tissue healing, Decreasing pain, Lubricating ligaments, Improving digestion, Easing many conditions including uterine fibroid, non-malignant ovarian cysts, endometriosis, headaches, migraines, constipation, intestinal disorders, gallbladder/liver conditions, and probably many more.
A castor oil pack can be done in many ways. The way that works best for me is simply applying the oil on the belly, covering with a hand-towel, topping with a hot water bottle and laying down for at least one hour.
When applying the castor oil pack on the belly, the oil lubricates and stimulates all the tissues, organs and systems in this region. Along with that, the heat draws the blood vessels up closer to the skin as they vasodilate, and oil is being absorbed into the blood circulation as well, thus distributed through the whole body.
Lubricating and stimulating organs as the small intestine, bladder, colon, liver, uterus, which are part of systems that are inhibited when body is under stress (when the autonomic nervous system functions at its sympathetic / fight-or-flight state), signals the nervous system to shift to the relaxed state (parasympathetic state). This may cause a confusion for the person experiencing it, since many of us may have not “visited” the parasympathetic system for a very long time. We are trapped in the fight-or-flight loop and do not know how to find the moment to breath and recover.
Shifting to the parasympathetic system creates a space, allowing to view life in a clear and focused perspective. It allows me to be more centered into my own body, realizing that so many things are happening inside, while I keep myself very busy outside. This deep relaxation opens my mind to ask the real questions, which I have been avoiding for a long time:
- Am I so busy working for others that I cannot find an hour for myself to walk outdoors or to engage in some movement?
- Am I so busy running after everyone’s needs (my spouse, my kids, my cat, my dog, my friends, my neighbors, my, my, my, my, my…. Oh my) that I don’t have an hour to seek a professional guidance resolving my own issues?
- Am I so busy being busy that I cannot find an hour to understand what relaxation really means?
In my eyes, a castor oil pack can be a major life changer. Such a simple action with such a powerful result. Even if at this moment, I am not able to answer all these questions, I have planted the seed, so when time is right – I will be ready to take the ownership over my life and start my journey.
And this is the real reason I love castor oil and I would keep telling everyone again and again and again that they should try a castor oil pack….
***Anat Shlagman is a Traditional Naturopath specializing in Relaxation, utilizing a unique tailored session, combined of Reflexology, Castor oil pack, Abdominal massage and Energy work, designed to bring the autonomic nervous system to its parasympathetic state.
The Edgar Cayce ARE – http://www.edgarcayce.org/are/holistic-health.aspx?id=9467&terms=castor
The oil that heals – A physician’s successes with castor oil treatments – William A. McGarey, MD
Herbs of grace – Farida Sharan
Just before 2019 ended, I wrote my blog “What does it take to follow our dreams?“, where I mentioned that our family keeps a tradition of writing our intentions for the up coming year and revisiting them again by the end of the year, while setting new intentions further.
Then, 2020 began…
Reordering every familiar sense of security for so many of us.
I am pretty sure that none of us had the courage to dream the realities we have experienced through 2020…
By the end of 2019, we drafted our intentions for 2020, as we always do, but never got the chance to print them out to hang them on the wall. This process kept being delayed with different excuses until the drafted papers had mysteriously vanished, and we cannot find them anywhere now. 2020 turned out to be a missing year on our intentions wall, as no one of us remembers what we wrote back then on that paper.
Could this mean that none of our dreams would be possible to be achieved?
Or could this be a blank offering from universe which provides us with an open proposal containing endless opportunities, none of them limited to our personal thinking? And could dreaming be still regarded as an option within all the challenges we are encountering?
2020 has presented us with many challenges, rising from dealing with the unknown: uncertainties about basic security needs, health, money & human relationship concerns, fears, anxieties, limitations and many other issues as well.
During the summer of 2020 (and still continuing now), Rabbi Avrohom Susskind from Chabad Jewish Center of Novi, a very wise man who seems to say exactly what I need to hear every time he speaks, has been offering “Jewish Caffeine for the Week”, discussing weekly topics corelating to the Torah portion of the week. One of the topics, while we were still in quarantine was about the challenges we are encountering this year. Rabbi Susskind mentioned that the best way to overcome a challenge is by rising above it.
According to Rabbi Susskind, rising above the challenge is an acquired skill that requires a routinely practice of reflection. Practice of stopping our daily runs and tapping into our soul. By taking a pause from our busy schedule, we can reflect on our soul and understand what is really important to us. We can understand what has real value in our lives, and what is just a distraction. When we understand this differentiation between what’s important and what’s not, we will be less overwhelmed by any challenge that presents itself to us. When we regularly tap into our soul, we go slowly through a process of spiritual growth which activates our inner energy, giving us the permission and power not allow the challenge to define who we are.
With all the challenges that 2020 has presented us, this year also offered us this rare opportunity to stop everything and tap into our souls. Reflecting upon the differentiation between what we perceive as important and what really is. Reflecting upon what will serve us on our healing journey and what will just interfere. Reflecting upon our real selves – who genuinely we want to be.
This year we have been required to lower our social commitments, which threw many of us far away from our comfort zone. And yet, could this have been an opportunity to review our list of friends and make priorities according to our needs? Could this have been a window for us to discover nature, which many of us were too busy to benefit from the outdoors before? Could we have been granted a rare wonderful gift – the gift of reflection? The price of this gift might be on the higher scale, but would we really appreciate this gift if we would not have to invest so much effort receiving it?
2020 had provided me with a lot of time to do NOTHING (explained in my blog – What makes us care so well for others but much less well for ourselves). Few years ago, when I started to do NOTHING for a whole hour every morning, It was astonishing to notice how, by the end of the day, I managed to finish all my planned tasks much faster and much more efficient than I did before. I became more focused. I started to understand priorities. I understood what really requires my attention and what is just noise. I also realized that only when I learned the art of doing NOTHING I discovered that I exist.
Extending the time of doing NOTHING this year allowed me to deepen my understanding of my wishes and dreams. One of the most profound revelations for me was to realize that when I create a vision or a dream about the reality I wish to live in, I do not invent anything new. I simply open my eyes to see the opportunities universe has to offer me. And by allowing my eyes to open, I allow these opportunities to enter my life. These opportunities are waiting patiently for me, for the moment I will take the time and permit myself to seek for them. Understanding that every wish and every dream, that I dare visioning, is real, made me realize that the only thing that can stop those dreams from happening are my own closed eyes. My own closed eyes are the only thing which can stop my dreams of coming true!!! So why, on earth, would I want to keep walking with my eyes closed?
Opening my eyes to see a reality that I wish to live it, makes my life a great place to be in. This does not stop challenges from presenting themselves to me. This does not color every life event in bright light. But it does make my life authentic and real: allowing myself to experience the full range of human emotions without the need to hide my feelings, allowing myself to say YES to what feels right for me and to say NO when it does not resonate with my needs, and allowing myself to follow my intuition regardless of how it is perceived.
Embracing this phenomenal opportunity, which has been offered us this year, to start deepening our understanding of ourselves and start learning how to allow ourselves to accept who we are without judgement, may help us shift the energy and intentions we invest in any challenge.
Deepening the connection to our own selves can help us find the courage to open our eyes to the reality we wish to live in. The choice to open our eyes or to keep them closed is ours only. This choice has no dependency on anything around us. Ant yet, this choice is so influential that it has the power to establish our willingness to invest the energy to rise above and create an opportunity out of any challenge we encounter.
And yes, a castor oil pack would be imperial in this whole process……
May we allow 2021 to be as powerful as 2020 has been! May we allow our eyes to open and our hearts to receive all the opportunities universe has to offer, including those we ever dare to dream possible! And may we all enjoy everything we allow ourselves to see!!
Happy Holidays to us all!!!!
Happy, Healthy and Dreamy 2021!!
Few years ago, my youngest asked me what would I wish for if I could be granted only one thing? I answered that I would wish to have a peace of mind. Then he gave me a very astonished look and said: “Only one piece of your mind??? So you will be dumber than you already are??????” and could not stop laughing the whole day….
Yes, he definitely has 100% of my genes… to his may or his dismay…….;)
With everything happening in the world right now, peace of mind is becoming more and more an “endangered species”. Some of us may even find it hard to believe that peace of mind actually exists, as it may have been shredded into pieces for many. Would it be even possible to grant ourselves a peace of mind in times like these, while going through issues like Covid-19, elections, future uncertainties, environmental changes, income instability……?
Maybe we can start with the exploration of our expectations, in order to understand how will we know that we are experiencing a peace of mind. How or what do we expect to feel? How long do we expect it to last? What do we do then???
Or maybe starting with the exploration of our feelings. Checking in with our own feelings is never a simple mission, especially in times of world’s chaos. It is always a challenge to separate between the feelings that rise up due to our anxieties and the feelings that are genuine ours and represent our deep aspirations. Can we make this separation?
Or maybe starting with the understanding that our peace of mind cannot depend on the events around us. When we think that our peace of mind will come when something will end/begin, then we really turn our peace into pieces (which will prove that my son may have had a very valid point in his statement..). How can we create an independent sense of peace?
In April 2020, while we were quarantined in our homes, I accepted a very generous offer from Lou Weir, to participate in a free retreat of The Diamond Approach, which he organized together with Sue Moen. This retreat was a whole-weekend zoom event and had been a very new and refreshing experience for me.
Since my understanding of the theory behind The Diamond approach is less than minimal, I will share here only my experience with the practical side of this approach in the retreat and afterwards, as Lou Weir generously extended his offer to weekly meetings through the quarantine era. These classes have helped me stay on the ground and understand what are real matters and what are just noises in my life.
The retreat and weekly classes contained, among many other things, a repeating question (an inquiry), which means that someone is asking you the same question for 5-7 minutes, again and again and you need to come up with an answer. The question is never an easy one. It could be for example: “What is right about not feeling your feelings?”. In the beginning, your answers are more superficial. But as you are asked again and again, you start to dig inside, and many time touch issues that are not inviting. Or as Lou Weir put it in his beautiful words: “Starting from a place of not knowing and allowing ourselves to be touched by the question. When we start to feel the impact of the truth, we are taken to a much more fundamental place. This is a live realization, not only spiritual”
Experiencing this “live realization” brought on some deeper questions: How often do we allow ourselves to feel these uncomfortable feelings? How often do we attend feelings that we don’t like? Probably never for most of us…. We would likely go and check a physical discomfort, but many times we would just hope for an uncomfortable feeling to simply disappear. Unfortunately, these feelings do not just disappear. And ignoring them would not make the issue resolved. They will keep lingering and go somewhere deeper in our body, where it is easy for us to un-feel them. But they will always be there to “blackmail” us into spending our energy to hide them. Acknowledging these feelings, and allowing ourselves to sit within the sensations they surf, can make them harmless. Allowing ourselves to go through any emotion that arises, regardless to the way our emotions are perceived by society, will liberate us from this grand liability that we often carry without even paying attention.
Would that be a step towards achieving peace of mind? Of course!!
Would that be a fast and easy process? Probably not.
In our fast moving era, we got used to seeking fast superficial solutions, without exploring deeper causes. We may have forgotten that when something is easy or fast to achieve, we tend to appreciate it less. Peace of mind is an expensive asset. We have to appreciate and put some work in the process of achieving it, in order to realize its value. The question now is – Are we willing to invest in our own peace of mind? Moreover, would we be able to do so when the whole world is on fire?
I believe that we can do everything we set our intention to. In a fast pacing era, we might move through life so rapidly that we tend to miss the opportunity to set an intention. In order to be able to set any kind of intention, we have to shift our body and mind’s state to a different mode – allowing them to slow down and deeply relax. We have to remove our mind and body from the state of perceived war. We have to find a way to convince our body and mind that the war is over and peace has arrived.
There are so many ways to do so, but as you already know me, I remain loyal to the one that has shown and keeps showing amazing shifts in our nervous system state: Castor oil packs – Applied daily on abdomen, and now through the Covid-19 era, also applied on chest. I have written about the wonders of castor in my blog, the real reason I love castor oil packs, but would like to add here another benefit which may not be emphasized enough: Touch. When we apply the castor oil (or any other oil, salve or cream), we have to use touch. The Covid-19 pandemic has stripped us from touching, which is a very important component in maintaining our health. We have to bring touch back into our lives.
Thinking about touch, we tend to associate it with an action done by another person. However, we cannot forget the power that resides in touching our own tissue. The most beneficial touch would be a nourishing touch – a gentle unconditional loving touch, resembling a parental touch. Our tissue might have been compromised or even insulted by an injury, any type of condition/disease, or even a medical intervention. When we learn to create this contact between us and our tissue, we are starting to communicate with our body. Cells feel that they are being heard. Imagine how you feel when you are in distress and someone hugs you. Same is true for our cells, except the fact that they cannot express what they feel in words. The cells express it by loosening up and releasing anything that don’t serve them (or us) anymore. How awesome would this be to give ourselves the permission to let go with a “petting” support and no judging? In time, we might even realize that the kinder we are to ourselves, the kinder we become to others. We might even learn to listen to our inner world, and maybe stop for a moment to check why a certain feeling have arise. And it would be perfectly okay just to make the observation. We don’t need to have the answer. All we need is to allow the thought and the feeling to be out in the air. Spending our energy in hiding or disregarding them is preventing us from allocating these sources to being in peace. Peace of mind can come out of kindness to our own selves. Peace of mind can come when we allow our tissue to be open and relaxed regardless of any perceptions others may have.
Only when we are being kind and true to our own nature, to our own feelings, to our own wishes and hopes, we can grant ourselves the luxury of having a peace of mind.
Would it be easy? Of course not!!
Would it be fast? Of course not!!
But, Would it be worth it??????????????????????
I am excited to announce the re-opening of my practice starting June 15th. After a long rest and replenishment, I cannot wait to see every one of you! However, in order to keep the safety of us all and also to avoid overwhelming myself , few changes will take place for now…
- There will be only 2 appointments per day:
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays – at 10 am and 1 pm
Wednesdays – at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm
- To schedule:
or web contact.
- When calling or messaging to schedule an appointment, please include few options for times & dates for the sessions and also if you are interested in my Trad-em session (1 hour) or my Special condition session (2 hours).
***If you are new, or have not been in for a session for more than 12 months, an additional half an hour will be added to your appointment, as an initial consult, and cost will adjust accordingly.
- I would like to offer a $30 discount on ALL my sessions performed in the first 4 weeks of the re-opening, from June 15th to July 10th 2020.
**Please note that if you are scheduling an appointment for July 13th 2020 or beyond – this discount will NOT apply.
- Please be mindful for your health as well as for others’ health: if you feel sick or have fever – call to reschedule your appointment. We can all work together to promote our health.
Thank you very much for you trust and support!
Looking forward to see you all!!!
Whole healing has become a term that involves all aspects of life: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Meaning that, when all of these aspects are balanced we should be experiencing a complete healing. But is this actually happening?
Or are we missing a very basic component to bring ourselves to a real whole healed state????
Many times, we fear to touch or attend areas that may be too painful or may have been through some type of medical intervention, as we feel that we may cause harm. Then, we become disconnected from these parts of our body, compromising their efficient function. Disconnecting may seem the easiest way to deal with pain or discomfort. Erasing what we don’t want to remember – and it’s gone. What we cannot see – does not exist. Right? But if something finds a way to leak and come out, we fight it with much resentment, as we are ready to eliminate it upon earth.
Disconnecting eventually leads to anger and hatred that are directed to our own body and do not serve us. Healing cannot come out of hatred. And the most malicious of all is self-hatred. We all have it to some degree – some of us feel it only rarely, and some of us feel it every moment. The only way to lower our engagement with self-hatred is to learn, practice and increase our self-love.
When I talk about self-love, I do not mean the superficial stuff that we do and mistake it for self-love, like taking time to do our nails, sit in a coffee shop with a friend, go to the gym or go for a massage. All of these are great, but they are above ground. I am talking about much deeper levels. About falling in-love with each and every one of our own cells. I am talking about the deep love and appreciation we feel when we look in the mirror and all we see is this wonderful, beautiful person looking back.
Falling in-love with my own body has a different energy than loving my body. When I fall in-love with my body, I do not critique it as much. When I fall in-love with my own body, I do not talk as many harsh words. When I fall in-love with my body, I accept, I forgive, I have compassion to my own body. This does not happen with just love. We have to be In-Love.
When my body feels my compassion, my acceptance, my soft words, it starts blooming. My body will want to exist because now it feels “home”. My body feels supported and appreciated. Every memory and information that closed up and tightened in my cells, due to my unreasonable expectations to be like someone else, will start surfing up.
Yes, it may require a process of dealing and accepting memories that we preferred they will disappear, but once we learn to compassionately accept them, they will make space for healing information to come up. Our cells contain much information and wisdom, coming down from generation to generation for thousands of years. And this knowledge has the power to heal and restore almost every issue in the body. But we have to allow access to this information.
Falling in-love with our body will open everything up. I believe that healing comes from within, and that we are our own healers. This work cannot be outsourced. We consult with experts about our condition, but they cannot heal us. If we are not willing to create this environment for our body to start healing itself, no one can do this for us. And the best way to create this environment is by falling in-love with our own body.
As I am witnessing, again and again, the understanding of the damage we cause to ourselves with our own self-hatred, I am amazed, again and again, how powerful this realization is. And this understanding is immediate. It takes only one second of experiencing this in-love energy to understand the distance between love and hate. And this second has the power to change lives. This is why teaching how to fall in-love with our body became one of my goals through my sessions.
Falling in-love with our own body is not a chore. It is a privilege to be a companion to such a hard-working and caring entity. And, as we discover all these little actions (which we never took the time to notice being busy scolding ourselves for other actions), we slowly fall more and more in-love, understanding that without these actions, we may not be still alive.
So, how can we fall in-love with our own body?
Simply by doing everything as if we really mean to be kind to our own body. These are some examples, but never limited only to them:
- Eating, as if we really mean to nourish our body.
- Exercising, as if we really mean to heal and not to injure.
- Talking, as if our words actually come from our hearts.
- Touching, as if we really mean to care for our body.
- Committing, as if we whole heartily want to do what we commit to.
- Friending people, who we whole heartily want to be around.
- Showing gratitude and appreciation to our body, instead of showing constant disappointment.
- and yes, castor oils packs, as they can bridge the physical and emotional gap. Being mindful to apply the packs as if we really mean to heal our body.
Our body strives to keep us alive with everything we bring on it. When our joints suffer, it may be a sign from our body that we may have exceeded its abilities and it is time to slow down. Taking medication or herbs can help with the pain or joint function, but should we just remain at the support level or should we check deeper for what really goes on?
When we gain weight, it may be a sign that there is a dissonance between our actions and our real will, which is causing our body to add more and more layers to hide our deep wishes. Losing weight, without understanding the reason for gaining it, cannot be a long term solution. Weight will come back at the moment of uncovering what we want to hide.
Whole healing comes out of very deep sense of love and appreciation to our own body. Our body will never turn against us. Everything it does comes from hard work to incorporate what we give it and trying to make the best to keep us breathing. When we learn to be thankful and appreciative to our body’s work, we actually fall in-love and become our greatest fans of our own selves. And then our body can smile. Not the superficial smile on our face, but the smile that comes from its deepest cells and spreads naturally all over our body.
And when our whole body smiles, we are truly experiencing whole healing.