Dr Akilah – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

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The healing power of touch

posted by Nazia Mallick

Touch is the first sensation we feel when we come into this world. A child’s mental, emotional and physical well-being initially depends a lot on a tender touch. Doctors insist on a newborn baby being placed immediately on the mother’s bosom to feel her heartbeat and to experience the gentle touch of her arms around the body. This helps the child gain a profound sense of security and it later helps in developing their self-esteem, as an adult.

Touch is a very important sensation for human beings to gain a sense of healthy emotional responses later in life. Every child learns the sensation of love and tenderness first with his mother’s touch. Even plants and animals respond to touch. They grow well, feel nurtured and cared for when they are touched. We bring animals into our homes and call them pet. The word pet is all about petting, touching, indulging and caring.

Touch is the nourishment for our soul. Touch releases the endorphins in the brain and essentially helps us feel good.

Ever wondered how a quiet touch conveys a lot to a grieving person than many words of solace? Personally speaking, I feel absolutely at loss with words when I come across a grieving person. I feel that how could words, no matter how right they are, calm the heart torn asunder with grief? However, I have found on few occasions that just placing a quiet hand on the shoulder or gently caressing the hand of a person broken down with emotional pain, calm the sobs to a great extent. It sends across the silent message that you care and empathize with them in their pain. I have experienced that they almost always become quiet in their wailings and give in to a more healthy response of shedding quiet tears. And Psychologists say that to give yourself the permission to cry heartily is to bless your body with the benediction of healing. When a person is frozen with grief and shock, a touch brings on the healing response. They begin to cry, and it lifts them off the dry rocks of their sudden distress.

Touch calms anger, grief and aggression. It brings on healthy tears, stops unchecked and hysterical tears and helps a person gain a balanced perspective on many difficult situations. No words are required when touch is used to convey messages of compassion.

It is observed that more often than not those who are acting hysterical respond to a quiet touch. Though, generally speaking, we as people stay away from such a person. Feeling that they might react violently, but unless a person is medically declared a psychotic, most aggression changes into quietness with a gentle touch.

We all are inherently programmed to receive and give touch to each other. Without touch, relationships fail to blossom, not just among lovers, but between parent and child too. We all know how a crying child responds instantaneously to the touch of his mother and become quiet immediately. How we are told to hug our children to help them grow into emotionally healthy and caring persons in life. Most failing marriages lack the right touches and need a right touch to set it right!

Often when Psychoanalysts talk about troubled childhood and children having grown up with baggage that are at times too hard a burden to carry for their inner world, it is about the lack of proper nurturing and touching as children. Often neglected by a distant father and unloving mother the boys grow up without love and affection for a woman and are unable to commit fully to other relationships in their lives later.

Without getting into the convoluted discussion of troubled childhood and its impact on an adult, lets just sum it up and say that it is the lack of touch, hug and caress in the childhood that creates an intense sense of separateness in a child and they grow up feeling a deeply disturbing loneliness almost all through their lives.

Mother Teresa discovered the power of touch when she said that more than hunger, poverty and physical suffering it is the lack of love, which make people die everyday. She used to touch the lepers and bathe their wounds with her own hands.

It is hard to be Mother Teresa as she was a noble soul, but we could all realize the power of touch and just give it out freely to our fellow human beings only to share with all humanity the feelings of brotherhood and equality.

Let’s, begin from home. Let’s just reach out and hug our child or our parent today, and watch that sunny beam spread on their faces, to warm the cockles of our own heart. Go touch.

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www.healingpowerhour.com

How To Stop Punishing Yourself For The Past

How often do we overlook the above aphorism as we repeatedly revisit past mistakes, injuries, and confrontations?  There are times I lie sleepless and recall arguments I had with college sweethearts, high school teachers, and even the grade school bully.  What do I get for my trouble?  Sometimes I experience that all-too-familiar wave of panic, other times an uneasy stomach or a rapidly beating heart; that feeling is almost always accompanied by guilt, resentment, or both.  The experience never benefits me and I’ve reached the point in my life where I need to stop it.

The Problem of Repunishment

We’ve been conditioned from birth to retain our flaws and mistakes in two ways: by example and through confrontation.  The first form of conditioning is by example; we see and hear our parents do it every day.  Your dad forgets to take the trash out after dinner; your mom gets angry and calls him on it.  But instead of saying: “Dear, your forgot the trash”, she says: “You forgot the trash again!  You NEVER remember to take it out!” Now your dad doesn’t deal with the current situation, rather he relives every time he forgot.  He feels guilt and frustration well up, he becomes defensive, and the argument begins.  The second form of conditioning is more direct; someone will be displeased and say: “How many times do I have to tell you…” Then we relive each of our past mistakes and feel the guilt, the pain, and the frustration.

By the time we’re in high school (if not long before), we’ve become so conditioned that we put ourselves through the ringer.  We don’t need anyone else to do it to us; we start repunishing ourselves.  You run late for work after school, again.  Instead of focusing on today’s tardiness, you relive each time you have been late.  The panic and guilt start to build, and build, and build as you revisit each transgression.  When you finally get to work you have rehashed every time you have been late to work, and you re-experience all of the negative energy from each time.

The worst part of the situation, however, is that we don’t let anything go.  We retain all of this emotional poison and add the new stuff.  Then, the NEXT time something happens, we get to revisit it all AGAIN.  And the cycle continues, because we have great memories and consciences.  We make a mistake, we judge ourselves, we find our selves guilty, and we punish ourselves.  No wonder we go through our lives feeling defensive, guilty, and uncertain.

Taking Control Of Our Lives

However, we can take control of our lives and stop this painful cycle.  The process isn’t difficult, but it will be unsettling at first and require some adjustment.  We experience this discomfort as we rebel against what we’ve learned and become accustomed to our entire lives.  The more ingrained our solution becomes, however, the more comfort it provides as we adapt to the new standard.  I’ve outlined below the process I have been using to stop this self punishment.

1. Acknowledge and own the mistake. This not only calms us but gives us some power over the situation.  If something “isn’t our fault”, then how can we take action to correct the situation?  We can’t.  By accepting responsibility for a situation, we make ourselves “response able” (thanks to Steven Covey for this phrase).

2. Identify the mistake. Analyze the situation and see just exactly what caused the undesired outcome.  It could have been a simple typo, it could have been procrastination, it could have been a misunderstanding, it could have been an omission, etc.  Whatever the source of the problem, we need to identify it as clearly and completely as possible.

3. Correct the problem. Implement a new system to avoid omissions, determine where our scheduling technique broke down, etc.  Make sure that, to the best of our ability, that we have implemented a solution that should prevent the same (or a very similar) mistake from recurring.  Be proud of this accomplishment – it enables us to let go of our disappointment, guilt, frustration, fear, anger, etc.

4. Move on. Obviously this is harder than it sounds.  However, our preparation above has led us to a position where we can honestly tell ourselves that we know what happened, we don’t like what happened, and we have fixed the problem that led to it occurring.  By taking both responsibility and action, we create a powerful combination that allows us, with a bit of discipline, to live in the present and not rehash the past.

Final Thoughts

If we find ourselves trying to rehash a past mistake, it is important to STOP.  Observe what we are doing, identify the problem triggering this response, and remind ourselves of the solution we implemented to stop that problem from repeating.  Then focus on our solution and a couple of instances where our solution has led to positive outcomes.  As we train ourselves to make this part of our process, we’ll be pleasantly surprised to find this easier and easier to accomplish.

About the author: this post was written by Forrest McDonald.

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For more tips on relieving emotional pain from the past please visit our Emotional Wellness Page or click on this link http://www.celestialhealing.net/emotional_stress_therapy.htm

Happiness and Optimistic Attitudes Important in Preventing Breast Cancer

Want to lower your risk of getting breast cancer? Recent research in Israel published in the British journal BMC Cancer has given us one more thing to take note of.

Breast Cancer Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, after non-melanoma skin cancer, cancer of the breast is the next one which most commonly afflicts American women. In 2004 alone, over 185,000 women and more than 1,800 men were diagnosed with the disease, while almost 41,000 women and 362 men actually died because of breast cancer.

Overall, in that year, breast cancer was the number five killer of American women, while being their number two cancer killer. For Hispanic women, breast cancer was also the type of cancer which caused the most deaths.

These numbers do not make for good reading at all. What actually causes breast cancer, and what can we do to stave it off?

Possible Causes of Breast Cancer

Those who are familiar with natural health and healing will know that breast cancer, like all other forms of cancer, can be prevented and even treated using powerful dietary and lifestyle choices, such as consuming enough fiber, exercising regularly, as well as getting enough sunshine and vitamin D.

What is also clear is that breast cancer, again like all forms of cancer, is a multi-factorial disease which needs to be tackled from various angles.

Recent research at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel has given us one more piece of the jigsaw – it seems that happiness and optimistic attitudes may reduce one’s risk of contracting the disease. On the flip side, adverse life events may increase one’s susceptibility to it.

Details of the Study

For the study, 622 women aged between 25 and 45 were asked about their life experiences, and researchers then assessed their levels of optimism, happiness, anxiety and depression before diagnosis. This information was then used to draw a link between life events, psychological distress and the occurrence of breast cancer. Of the participants, 255 were breast cancer patients, while the other 367 had never had cancer.

According to Professor Ronit Peled, the leader of the study, its findings “showed a clear link between outlook and risk of breast cancer, with optimists 25 percent less likely to have developed the disease”.

On the other hand, women who had been through two or more traumatic events in their lives had a 62 percent higher risk of contracting the disease.

The Emotion-Health Connection

Generally speaking, there have been other studies which have drawn a link between positive mental and emotional states and better health. For example, some studies have shown that positive emotions cause the body to produce more immune cells, while negative ones have the effect of suppressing one’s immune system.

But exactly and specifically how attitudes contribute to health, is something which we cannot say we know very well. One theory is that the body’s immune system is influenced by brain chemistry, which is in turn affected by one’s emotional experiences.

“The mechanism in which the central nervous, hormonal and immune systems interact and how behaviour and external events modulate these three systems is not fully understood,” said Peled. “The relationship between happiness and health should be examined in future studies and relevant preventative initiatives should be developed.”

One thing we do know, though, is that emotions such as happiness, stress, anger, anxiety and fear affect the human at a biochemical level. In other words, when our emotions change, our bodies also become chemically different.

What Next For Us

One thing that must be noted about the study is that the women were in fact interviewed after their cancer diagnosis, could very well affect their recollection of their emotional state in the past. When a person is going through a crisis, it would perhaps be a natural tendency to view events in the past more negatively.

Despite this, and although the “how” is still uncertain, Peled is convinced that the link between emotional events and health exists. He feels that “we can carefully say that experiencing more than one severe and/or mild to moderate life event is a risk factor for breast cancer among young women. On the other hand, a general feeling of happiness and optimism can play a protective role”.

According to him, young women who have gone through a number of adverse life events should be identified as being ‘at-risk’ for breast cancer and then be treated as necessary.

Most of us wish to find a specific solution for every health problem. The truth is, many degenerative diseases, and most certainly cancer, have their roots in multiple causes. That being the case, many factors would contribute to one’s risk profile, and a multi-pronged approach in preventing and dealing with the disease is almost always necessary.

What we now know, being happy and optimistic forms are an important part of such an approach.

And if you have been through some tough events in life, you may want to seek some help to address unresolved issues, either through professional counseling or otherwise. Leaving these issues lingering would just be adding more ammunition to the potential cancer time bomb.

Article by: Reuben Chow

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For more tips on relieving emotional stress or depression please visit our Emotional Wellness Page or click on this link http://www.celestialhealing.net/emotional_stress_therapy.htm

The 8 Time Slots When You’re Naturally At Your Best

It’s not just your energy level or weight that fluctuates over the course of a day. Did you know that your brain obeys its own rhythm too? It’s based largely on your human clock, sleep pattern, exposure to light, and genetic makeup—and getting in a groove with its tempo can make you healthier, happier, and have more energy.

As cutting-edge research shows, you can burn more calories from exercise, work more efficiently and improve concentration, and even have better sex by learning how to synch up to your circadian rhythm and brain’s power hours. Here’s your daily guide.

7 to 9 AM: Best for Passion

“The perfect moment for bonding with your spouse is right when you wake up,” says Ilia Karatsoreos, PhD, a neuroscientist at Rockefeller University. The reason: Levels of oxytocin (aka the “love hormone”) are sky-high upon waking, making it the best time for intimacy of all kinds.

These are the hours to strengthen your relationship with the most important people in your life. Wake up feeling frisky and need more than just cuddling? Your husband’s brain is on nearly the same wavelength; British researchers found high morning oxytocin levels in men gradually decreased as the day wore on.

Tap into it: Make love or cuddle. Tell your partner how much you love him. Call your child at college (so long as it’s not the weekend!). Pen a thank-you note to a friend.

9 to 11 AM: Best for Creativity

Your brain now has moderate levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which in reasonable amounts can actually help your mind focus, says Sung Lee, MD, secretary of the International Brain Education Association. It’s present at any age: A University of Michigan study found that college students and retired adults were both mentally quick in the morning—but among older subjects, sharpness declined in the afternoon.

Because you’re primed for learning, take on tasks that require analysis and concentration. “From middle age on, you’re more alert early in the day,” says Carolyn Yoon, PhD, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Michigan who worked on the study. Schedule discussions that involve personal or family matters, as others will be sharp during these hours as well.

Tap into it: Develop a new idea. Write a presentation. Brainstorm solutions to challenges, large or small. Have an important convo with your doctor.

11 AM to 2 PM: Best for Tough Tasks

By now, levels of the sleep hormone melatonin have dipped sharply from their late evening and early morning peaks. This means you’re more ready to take on a load of projects, according to German researchers. They found that reaction time and the ability to accomplish several to-dos were strong in the middle of the day.

Tear through that list—because of your mental quickness, this time of day is best for taking action. One tip: Cross items off one at a time, says René Marois, PhD, director of the Human Information Processing Laboratory at Vanderbilt University. Attempts to juggle tasks simultaneously put additional demands on your brain, making you more likely to lose concentration and make slip-ups.

Tap into it: Plow through voice mails or e-mails. Give a presentation to a client or boss. Iron out a tough problem with your spouse.

2 to 3 PM: Best for a Break

To digest your lunch, your body draws blood away from your brain to your stomach, says Lee. Aim to eat lunch closer to 2 PM, as the midday meal can make you wish there was a couch to crash on close by. Your body’s circadian rhythm (the biological “clock” that regulates sleep and wakefulness) is also in a brief down phase during this time, according to a Harvard study.

Steer clear of your workload and play around on Facebook or flip through magazines. If you’re at work and need to fight off drowsiness, take a quick, brisk walk around the block or drink some water—both will get blood moving away from your belly and toward your head. “Water increases vascular volume and circulation, promoting blood flow to your brain,” he says.

Tap into it: Meditate or pray. Read for pleasure—Web sites, magazines, or newspapers. Go for a stroll.

3 to 6 PM: Best for Collaboration

“The brain is pretty fatigued by now,” says Paul Nussbaum, PhD, a clinical neuropsychologist and author of Your Brain Health Lifestyle. That doesn’t mean you’re stressed, however: University of Michigan scientists found that cortisol levels usually decline in women by late afternoon.

Although your brain is not as sharp as earlier, you’re more easygoing, so plan a low-pressure meeting for now. If you’ve already left work, pick an activity that is as different from your job as possible, suggests Nussbaum. Exercise is a perfect one: Studies show that grip strength, manual dexterity, and other physical skills are at their strongest by evening, but if you work out too late, the residual adrenaline may interfere with sleep for some people. A gym session right before dinner solves the problem.

Tap into it: Brainstorm with coworkers. Strength-train.

6 to 8 PM: Best for Personal Tasks

Between these hours, researchers have found that the brain enters something called “wake maintenance,” when its production of sleep-friendly melatonin is at an all-day low. As a result, chances of getting tired now are next to none. Studies also show that your tastebuds are lit up during these hours because of circadian variations in hormone levels.

Keep your energy up by exposing yourself to the last of the day’s serotonin-stimulating sunlight. Now may be a good time to walk the dog or walk yourself to the grocery store. And because you’re now more alert but no longer at work, direct your renewed burst of mental energy toward your husband and kids and maybe some friends; you’re bound to be pretty engaging about now.

Tap into it: Run errands. Clean a long-overdue room in your house. Enjoy quality time with your family members. Whip up a delicious meal.

8 to 10 PM: Best for Relaxing

There’s an abrupt transition from being wide awake to feeling sleepy as melatonin levels rise quickly, report Australian and British researchers. Meanwhile, levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter tied to perkiness, start to fade. “Eighty percent of serotonin is stimulated from exposure to daylight, so now you’re slowing down,” says Rubin Naiman, PhD, sleep specialist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona’s Center for Integrative Medicine.

Now’s the time to ease into relaxing, “mindless” activities (save the crossword puzzle for the morning). “By nightfall, when your brain is tired, this is a good way to bring yourself down, like walking a lap or two after a big workout,” says Naiman.

Tap into it: Unwind by watching a funny movie. Try a low-key, repetitive activity, such as knitting.

10 PM onward: Best for Snoozing

Your brain is looking to knit together all it learned today, which it does during sleep. Your top priority should be getting a full night’s rest. Sleep can inspire insight: In one study, more than half of those taught a task thought of an easier way to do it after 8 hours of sleep. Adjusting lighting can help: Dim the rooms you occupy after dinner to let your body know the day is ending, suggests Naiman. In a few hours, your brain will be ready to start all over again.

Whatever helps you get to sleep—and it may take adjustments over time—follow your routine consistently. Just make sure you sign off early enough so you get the 7 to 9 hours of shut-eye recommended for optimal health and energy.

Tap into it: Curl up with a good book. Write in your journal. Drift off while reading something you want to remember in the morning.

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www.healingpowerhour.com