Blog, Castor oil, Self Heal

How Do They Know???

How do trees know that if they let their leaves fall in autumn, new leaves will appear in spring? How do birds know that if they leave their comfort place and venture away, they will arrive to a more supporting environment for their needs? Not so sure if they actually know, but they do have an admirable trust.

How can they have such an irrational trust that, when they let go of what does not serve them anymore, then they will get the things they need exactly at the right time and place? And how can they do it when everything they let go of is probably all they have on earth?

Would it be possible for us to gain such a trust???


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Picture by Amit Shlagman

Trust is an earned value and is gained when beneficial events repeat and become almost predictable. Being in fight-or-flight mode, we are living in constant state of perceived-war, and we are striving for survival while nothing else matters. In this state of perceived-war, body will not release anything, simply since our body has no idea what will happen next and what it will be needing. Body will hold to everything, even if it is not of service today.
Talking about trust? How can our body trust that every one of its needs will be provided, while still in a state of chaos and has no idea what comes next?

More over, in this perceived-war state, we are not able to notice small shifts in our body, just because we are busy with the important stuff – saving our lives.
And those small shifts – occasional pain here and there, occasional acid reflux, occasional head ache, occasional inflammation, occasional flu, etc.. – they all come with a story. A very unique story that only the owner of the body can understand. But if the owners are busy fighting for their lives, the story will never be heard and probably never be resolved. Unfortunately, the story also will never disappear.

Resolving these unique stories once they are happening, can relief the body from the burden of carrying them around. Shedding these stories may create space for new (maybe better) events.


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Picture by Amit Shlagman

So what brings us to this state of constant perceived-war or fight-or-flight? I suspect that our definitions of some words or actions may have a great affect on our state:

  • When Rest is defined as laziness, we do not appreciate sleep. According to Harvard university, sleep enhances memory, immune system, focus, improves mood and actually provides vitality for us to be productive. We are able to achieve much more of our goals in much shorter time when we are rested, rather than running constantly without stopping.

  • When Nourishment is defined as a sophisticated philosophy, we stay away from foods that became less socially acceptable and eat foods that do not nurture our cells. The word “Food” is not always a synonym to Nourishment. It does not matter how much we eat or how we look, but if our cells are not being nourished, we will always be hungry and always seek for something to eat. How can we nourish our body? By eating real food. Food that was not processed or changed by human hand. Food that existed here for thousands of years, and is not new. Food that your grandparents will recognize when you take them shopping – ask them which foods they ate as kids, and learn from them. These foods probably have been helping them survive the foods they are eating now.

  • When Herbs are defined as weeds that we need to eradicate, we surround ourselves with chemicals that manipulate our nervous system. Any insult to our nervous system puts us in a fight-or-flight mode. Would it be possible that we can use some herbs to calm this response?


  • When Body work and Energy work are defined as luxury, we are staying away from touch and from connection to our own body. I believe that touch is key in the process of healing. Nourishing touch has the power to soften tissue so it can release any memories holding us back.

  • When Movement is defined as time demanding, we tend to use our cars more than our feet. This brings to a disconnect from nature, as we spend more time in-doors or in-cars and not outside. A simple act of walking in nature can be very restorative to our nervous system, respiratory system, digestive system, and circulatory system.

  • When Self Education about our bodies is defined as a burden due to overwhelming assignments we need to accomplish throughout the day, we depend on others’ opinions and suggestions, which may not always be the best for us. Taking the time to be in our body and research about our inward discoveries can lower anxieties and fears from the unknown.

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How can we change our definitions? We have to bring our body to a state of peace, a state of deep relaxation. And then, we will be able to perceive reality closer to what it is. How can we do that? There are probably millions of ways to bring the body to it’s deeply relaxed/rest-and-digest /parasympathetic state.

However, as an Earthy Taurus, who cannot handle surprises very well, I will stick to my unsurprisingly answer – Castor oil Packs!!!! Castor packs never fail to bring anyone who uses them to a deep state of relaxation. When we are persistent with our actions, even if it is one action only, our body learns to trust us. Our body learns that we have a new tool of communication, and we will not hesitate to operate it. In time, body will be comfortable enough to inform us with its needs. While establishing this dialogue with our body, we become more attentive and aware of things that may come up:

  • Pains which we never took the time to notice, surf up and remind us to get in touch with forgotten events/stories
  • Memories/traumas/grief, which are still waiting to be processed out of our system, may come up
  • Feelings, which we never thought they existed or we kept disregarding, may be experienced
  • Deep understanding of situations, which we never knew why they happened, and may suddenly become clear
  • Constipation may even happen, as we unconsciously trying to hold on to old matter that is surfing up
  • Rashes that appear from no where, but if we pay attention we can see they are located in areas with issues/stories

All the above were hidden and disregarded for many years, probably. When they surf, the best way to deal with them is to acknowledged their existence and accept them into our lives. In his book, The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck talks about the process of healing which can happen when we are willing to deal with pain – emotional or mental or physical pain. Pain is never easy, and resolving pain may be the hardest mission we would ever encounter. However, once we process it out of our body and resolve issues that we would likely hide, we become free to follow and fulfill our dreams. and then we start living…

And when we start living, we can start letting go of what is not serving us on our journey anymore. We can trust that our needs will be supported at the right time and place, even when what we are letting go of, may be all we have on earth…


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Picture by Amit Shlagman
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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Picture by Amit Shlagman

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:

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