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Castor oil

The Real Reason I Love Castor Oil Packs

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.

 

Some sources

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

 

Blog, Castor oil

What makes it so difficult to do something different?

What makes it so difficult for us to do something different?

In order to answer this question,  we may need to take a look in the mirror….

How many of us wake up in the morning, and, in their full-blown-morning-galore-look, stare at the mirror and say: “wow!” with the most tenderness and love they can afford? (not the other “wow!!!!”, that you may think of…)

I am sure few of us would. But why not most of us? Why not all of us?

My belief is that when we are staring into the mirror, we are looking to find the “perfect” image that we saw yesterday in the magazine or TV show and obviously it cannot be seen in our mirror. We want to see the image that suits the “beautiful cover” definition according to our own view. No matter what it is hiding underneath.

Therefore, when we don’t see it – we become disappointed, and cannot express any tenderness or love towards the reflection that lets us down.

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Slowly we clean up, becoming a bit more like the image we would like to see, and making the decision that it is time to try to manage our health condition more naturally. So we visit a naturopath. The naturopath has some mind-blowing ideas how to create healing and how to adjust it to our lifestyle, and we go back home to sleep on what we heard.

We wake up the next morning. Staring again at the mirror. Now, what are the chances that we tenderly & lovingly would say: “wow! Look at me! Today I am starting to walk my new path – changing all my lifestyle habits and healing all my ailments!”?

Chances are pretty slim.

We are more likely to stand in front of the mirror and again be disappointed from what we see. But now we also become angry. Since that body that is reflected in the mirror has requests – he/she needs us to make changes for him/her – letting go of stuff that we like and starting to do stuff that we have never done before. No matter if we like it or not .

All these requests! And for whom? For the stranger who reflects in our mirror? We never saw him/her before, because the “perfect” image was always blocking the way. We don’t know this body that reflects in the mirror. We don’t know what he/she wants. We don’t know what he/she needs. We have no communication with him/her.


I can sit here for hours and explain you about foods and acts that may affect our body in different ways for better or worse, but if I do not emphasize how important it is to create this dialogue between you and your own body – I will be talking in vain.

This dialogue can be created only when body reaches a very deep state of relaxation – shifting to the parasympathetic state of the autonomic nervous system. Nothing good comes out when we are constantly in sympathetic / fight-or-flight mode. Unless a bear is chasing us. And even then, I really hope he chases us in the first hour we are in sympathetic state and not on our 10th year…

Shifting to parasympathetic state allows us to be present and open our eyes to appreciate what this amazing body is doing for us. There are probably million of ways to reach parasympathetic state, but I will share here the way that works best for me – the way I use in all my sessions & in my life and it never fails – castor oil packs.

A castor oil pack can be done in many ways. The way that works for me is by applying the castor oil on the belly, covering with a towel and topping with a hot water bottle (click here for detailed instructions).  Then resting for an hour or the whole night.

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).

I have seen many people shifting on my table just from this simple castor application, and cannot talk enough about the real reason I love castor so much!!

 


Further reading:

Blog, Workshops

Who Are You Not To Be?

Offering New Dates for some of my Workshops…

Traditionally Empowered Healing LLC

We ask ourselves: “who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?”
Actually, who are you not to be?

-Marianne Williamson

Many hesitate to ask me for an advice fearing that I would force them to make a change. The truth is that when I tell you to do something, you would probably choose to cover your ears and not hear me. This is why I stopped talking and started teaching. Not teaching how to make a change, but teaching how to listen to your body and understand the messages its sending.

Now, when your body is telling you to do something, and you are able to understand what it’s telling you, it is harder for you to ignore – You have to listen.

Should you choose to make a change when you know what your body is telling you? It’s your own call! I have nothing to do with…

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Blog

The Healing Power of Relaxation

Sharing here my article, as it was published by Dr. Veronica Anderson, MD on LinkedIn:

As a Traditional Naturopath, I specialize in relaxation. This statement may sound simple, but it took me few years to grow into it and recite it with confidence. Living in a fast-pacing era, we tend to take relaxation for granted, as if it is always available to us when we choose to relax, and do not value an effort to create it. Therefore, I have always hesitated to talk about relaxation, but never hesitated to employ this concept in my sessions. The more I performed my sessions and witnessed the benefits, the more I realized how important relaxation is in the healing process.
In my work, I utilize a specific combination of castor oil pack, reflexology, abdominal massage and energy work (Trad-em@ session) which all together bring the body to such a deep state of relaxation that allows a complete shift in all states – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
I am fascinated to watch how patients, who arrive to the initial session when they are angry, shift while still on the table. They are angry at the universe, but especially at their family members or friends who “forced” them to try another therapy that probably will not work. As session progresses, their anger dissolves into sadness and fear, and they are much more open to face the real issue causing them to suffer.
Our society became one that does not touch, does not care, does not listen, and does not want to see the truth. Therefore, we learn to lie: First, lie to our own selves – hiding our real emotions and our real desires to the point it becomes a norm. Then, we lie to the world – showing only grand acts that present us as special. But since these acts capture only one moment of our lives, all other moments are left hidden and covered. The best cover for our real feelings is anger – it is so easy to become angry and blame the whole world for our misery instead of turning in, looking for the real problem.
But, once we enter a safe nourishing environment, which allows us to experience deep relaxation, we may feel warm enough to take off this “blanket” of anger and let our real-us unveil. It may not be an easy element to digest, but it is certainly one that we are able to metabolize when deeply relaxed.
Crying or experiencing sad emotions may not necessary mean we need medications. Sadness or feeling depressed could be the most important step towards our healing. Only when body is deeply relaxed, we can realize that our deep wishes are not being accomplished by our acts. And only when this realization makes us distressed to the point of being paralyzed with sadness, we are ready to transform.
Since we are so used to hide our real feelings, we may be left confused and overwhelmed by their appearance, and do not know how to process this gloomy melancholia that landed on us. Learning how to bring our body to a very deep state of relaxation, where it is ok to surface our true believes, will enable us to accept and understand what we really want, and modify our actions accordingly. Everything will start opening and our view of the world will change. We will be able to have a deeper understanding of the events surrounding us and recognize who the real-people around us are.
I am a huge believer in castor oil packs, and wrote about my real reason for loving it so much and using it in every single session. In short, when applying this thick oil on the abdomen it manifests a whole shift in the nervous system. This shift can help lowering pain anywhere in the body, can help reduce anxieties, can allow the body to work properly while not in fight-or-flight mode anymore. And along with these wonders, it lubricates the local area being applied and is absorbed into the blood stream (due to the applied heat) and carried through the whole body. Every tissue gains from this lubrication. Adhesions, inflammation, stagnation, pain – can all be relived to various degrees.
Adding nourishing touch to the session increases the accessibility of cells to open. Each cell stores memories, which we spend a lot of energy hiding. With touch that resembles parental gentle contact, our body gets permission to release what is not necessary. Sometimes we may need support to process the memories and allow them to be accepted rather than being hidden.
As we become more relaxed, our view of life becomes wider and we are able to make the necessary corrections to promote our health. I am fortunate to work with patients, who rarely experienced this parental touch in their lives, and witness the huge impact of this simple act: pain decreases, blood pressure lowers, blood sugar level lowers, skin issues relax, inflammation decreases and so much more. When a patient feels cared for, it changes their perception about their body and healing state. Also, their compliance increases as they recognize that they are an important component of their health.

Yes, I specialize in relaxation. Saying it loud and clear with full confidence and appreciation to the process. I love how relaxation is manifesting transformation with everyone who seeks deeper level of healing, and I truly believe that relaxation may be the most important step in our healing process.

 

Blog, Self Heal

Mushlemet / perfect; splendid; wonderful; excellent; complete; total

The first time hearing this song happened exactly at the moment I needed it.

I am sharing this song here as I am sure that we all have those days, where our perception does not reflect the reality. This perception can be expressed by feeling hurt from words (spoken or unspoken) or actions (performed or not performed) that may never mean to hurt us, and still, in our minds, they get a completely different meaning.

Mushlemet – one powerful word in Hebrew that is a combination of so many words in English: perfect/ splendid/ wonderful/ excellent/ complete/ total.
And even though the Hebrew word refers to women,  I know we all can relate to the message sent in this song:

You are perfect (mushlemet),  just as you are.
It’s just the world, you see,
That may sometimes be a little messed up ….. 


It’s in Hebrew, but beautiful and worth listening – just click on the song’s name. The words are translated here:


You want to hear that same tune
To go back to your protected space
Thunders are frightening
And it is dangerous to be afraid
So, you are adding numbers in your head
Like the rain-men who count drops
Only your eyes never get wet

And while everyone are swimming with the stream
You are not swimming at all
How can they not see how radiant you are –   
Shining like all the stars above

you are perfect (mushlemet)
you are perfect (mushlemet)
Just as you are
It’s just the world, you see
That may sometimes be a little messed up

Sometimes you’re obviously angry
And it is not clear at all about what
I want to rescue you
Explain to you that you are not the one to be blamed
You sing the same tune again
Repeating the exact same melody again and again
It sounds afresh to me
every time you sing it again

And while everyone is dancing together
You are dancing in the corner by yourself 
How do they not see that this is what’s good for you – 
That you don’t need anyone around

you are perfect (mushlemet)
you are perfect (mushlemet)
Just as you are
It’s just the world, you see
That may sometimes be a little messed up

You’re perfect (mushlemet), you’re perfect (mushlemet)
Just as you are  – with your mysterious look
You’re perfect (mushlemet), perfect (mushlemet)
With these two laughing dimples 
And this mouth which does not answer

but I
I hear you all the time
Even when you are there
I am always here

We are all whole. We are all complete. We are all perfect.
Exactly as we are.

Blog, Reflexology

My Vision of Feet Reflexology

As a Traditional Naturopath, I specialize in relaxation, since I believe that when body is deeply relaxed, it can start healing itself. My main tool (along with castor oil packs, of course..) is reflexology. For me, exploring a person’s feet is like reading the book of their life. There is so much information hidden in feet, which contain these reflexes, that are connected to internal organs, and actually express their story: physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.

Before delving deeper in reflexology, I would like to take a short detour, talking about our body, since I meet so many people living in fear, that a horrible disease will fall on them. And it keeps amazing me how most of them truly believe that it will be a sudden thing. Really? Are there no signs?

Truth is that signs do not start at the moment we drop on the floor. Signs starts many many years before that: With our first acid reflux. With our first head ache. With our first pain or discomfort any where in the body. Because our body doesn’t speak English (or any other language learned at home or taught at school). Our body speaks to what we Feel. If I feel pain, I must have done something that my body doesn’t like. But what do we do when we feel pain? We take a pill.

So, not only we insult our body with chemicals, we insult our body by not listening. Basically, sending our body a message like: “Hey, you better be quiet there, since I have million and one other things to do, that are much more important than listening to you whining!”

And we forget that our body is our buddy. Our room-mate. We reside together in the same building. For life. No exchange. No return (yes, even in America!).

The first thing we need to have as room-mates is respect.

Respect starts with Listening.

When our body talks, we need to listen.

In my eyes, one of the best ways to listen is reflexology, because it is making the connection between what I do and how I feel. Foot reflexology is described as the study of the areas in the feet, corresponding to all parts of the body, and when being touched they manipulate the corresponding part. Either through our nervous system, meridians, energy pathways, combination of all, or possibly other means.

I believe that reflexology works is two ways, which, at first, may look opposing to each other, but when we understand them better, we can see how they compliment each other perfectly.

First and for most, reflexology deeply relaxes the whole body. With that, it stimulates every cell, every tissue and every organ that are being touched. Nature has a very sophisticated way to teach us how deep relaxation and stimulation work beautifully hand in hand.

When body is deeply relaxed, it can tap into wisdom that resides in our genes. Knowledge that exists in our body and has been descended from generation to generation for thousands of years. Body has the knowledge to deal and heal itself, but we cannot tap into this knowledge when we are busy surviving. We cannot reach this information while our nervous system is in a fight-or-flight mode. We have to bring our nervous system to  a very deep state of relaxation in order to utilize this wisdom.

And then we stimulate. This wisdom resides in every cell, every tissue, every organ and is being stimulated with reflexology. This is how our body can start healing itself.

While a reflexology session can be amazingly relaxing, we cannot underestimate the power of self reflexology. As I have witnessed time after time in my workshops, when asking the participants at the beginning of the workshop to work for 2 minutes on one foot, and then place both feet next to each other and compare. It never failed to reveal the liveliness of the foot which was touched versos the dullness of the untouched foot. Only 2 minutes of care can  make a remarkable difference. Will all the healing mentioned above happen in one session of self reflexology? Probably not. It is a practice. Like yoga, like meditation, the best is to make it a routine, even for few minutes a day. Then body learns to trust our intentions and opens up  to deeper relaxation.

Healing our bodies starts inwards. The more we connect with our body, the more we understand its messages and the more we can be proactive in helping it to create the perfect environment for healing. It is a process. And may be a long one. But truly the most rewarding for each one of us.

Further resources:

The complete guide to foot reflexology – Kevin & Barbara Kunz

The family guide to reflexology – Ann Gillanders

The parent’s guide to reflexology – Kevin & Barbara Kunz