Tag Archives: davidji

Mindful Genetic Control

genes-blog-pic

Bruce Lipton is a stem cell biologist and author of The Biology of Belief.  Through his research and publications, he explains the power our thoughts have to control our genetic expression.  This means we are not a victim to our genetic inheritance, we actually have the ability to control it through our perception.  I heard an interview with Bruce on the radio and was immediately intrigued because I’ve never heard the science, and specifically the cell biology behind the energy and power in our thoughts.  As a practitioner in the medical field with a strong interest in metaphysics, it was relieving to hear a scientifically sound explanation supporting the power of belief! I wanted to share some his key points taken from his blog.  All of Bruce Lipton’s blogs can be found at https://www.brucelipton.com/blog.

Our assumption that DNA controls cellular function has been proven untrue.  The truth, he proposes, is that DNA function and expression is reactive and controlled by the cellular environment.  He relates this to an experiment he did with stem cells.  He cloned a single stem cell and ended with many cells genetically the same.  He divided the cells into three petri dishes with three varying mediums or environments.  The cells became either muscle, fat, or bone based on the environment, not based on their genetics because, as he said, the cells were genetically identical.

Whaatt??!!

The cell’s perception of the environment opens protein-gated channels in the membrane that then cause our DNA to turn genes on or off.  So really it’s all about perception.  Perception is influenced by the level of stress.  Our genetic expression is written and rewritten based on perception causing a biological reaction to the environment.  Keep in mind that a perception is not always true.  Biological reactions come in two forms:  growth and protection.  If the environment is perceived as nutritional, growth genes are activated, if it is perceived as harmful, protection genes are activated.    When growth is activated, our immune system is fully functional, and we are ready to heal and grow; however, when protection is activated energy conservation is kicked in by supressing the immune system and shunting blood away from vital organs into the extremities, this is “fight or flight.”  The cellular goal of fight or flight is to utilize the least amount of energy to reflexively keep the body alive…no time for healing, no time for cognizant thought or memory…just survive.  Survival does not allude to any type of replenishment, pleasure, or enjoyment.  With blood being shunted away from our vital organs and the immune system supressed, it is clear how this creates an opportunistic breeding ground for disease and cancer.

Davidji, meditation guru and Hay House author, reminds us that the breath initiates the fight or flight response.  Rapid breathing sets off this autonomic response but slow steady breathing has the power to reverse it.  How easy!  A couple of slow deep breaths amidst a stressful situation will help to keep our blood chemistry primed for growth, health, and love.

Bruce Lipton also speaks to the power of quantum physics where the focus is on the unmanifest, or in other words, energy.  Energy is the only true primal essence.  Energy is the building block of the manifest.  Quantumbiology is a new science attempting to harness the energetic power held in our consciousness.  Thoughts (energy) control blood chemistry, which affects DNA expression.  Love produces a blood chemistry conducive to growth and fear a chemistry conducive to death.

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The Secret

Who wants to cultivate mindfulness?  Who wants to develop a deeper relationship with God? Who wants to work on vision, intuition, and clarity?  MEDITATE!  In his book Secrets of Meditation, Davidji keeps it simple when encouraging and teaching the foundations of meditation and how to finally get started.

“Prayer is talking to God; meditation is listening.”  As a spiritual intuitive, meditation is something I’ve naturally been doing for years.  Slipping into the gap has been a hobby of mine from the time I can remember thoughts.  Now that I’ve read this book, I realize it was actually a form of sound meditation.  Ever since I can remember, I have the “gift” of drifting off.  How do I do this?  Certain sounds and vibrations take me away.  I simply listen to the vibration of a lawn mower, the air conditioner, someone’s tapping pencil, the water faucet, the dogs barking…and I’m off.  The utilization of honoring the vibration of sound has always quieted my mind.  My co-workers are amazed at my focus and ability to day dream in the most crowded and busiest of environments.  The ability to disconnect from the world and connect to the collective consciousness or higher self has set the stage and cultivated my understanding and acceptance of the world and that which is beyond.

Here’s my brief summary

Meditation has many benefits.  Our physiology, psychology, and biochemistry change.  We eliminate knee jerk reactions and replace them with conscious, purposeful reactions.  The production of stress hormones, heart and respiratory rates, and platelet production decreases and our immune system, sex hormones, and growth hormones increase.  There are many more transformative benefits of meditation that can only be discovered by starting a practice.

There are many methods of meditation that include biofeedback, the use of a mandala, Buddhist meditation, chanting, primordial sound, and breath awareness to name a few.  Meditation is not a religious practice, it simply unifies you with your higher, enlightened self and brings many closer to God.

Meditation employs concepts based in yoga, which means union, pure being, and acts to provide mental cultivation that resonates with unconditional love and compassion.  A mantra or chant acts as a mind vehicle to get us where we’re meditatively and wakefully going.  It allows the meditator to disconnect from the sounds or words and enter into the space between thoughts known as the gap that is beyond labels.  To pick a mantra, simply go with what resonates and vibrates with you now.  Here are a few examples he gives:

  • Aham brahmasmi—I am the universe
  • Moksha—I am emotionally free
  • I am or So Hum
  • Om or Aum—the sound of the universe
  • Yogastha Kuru Karmani—established in oneness perform action
  • Trust

What is the gap?  It’s the space between thoughts, which is where you find you.  The gap reveals your unbound potential.  You are not defined by your thoughts, and you cannot tell you are in the gap until your thoughts bring you out of your meditative state.

Stop trying, stop expecting just keep up the practice!  Don’t let thoughts, sounds, and sensations distract you.  Simply let them be.  We are human and cannot avoid experiencing any of these.  Simply witness it, accept it, and let it go returning back to the mantra, which can always override the others.  “Let it come; let it go; be unconcerned.”

You know you’re a successful meditator if any of the following happen:  You fall asleep, you have dancing thoughts, or you drift into stillness and silence known as being in the gap.  The gap opens up infinite possibilities, which you can materialize when your eyes open.  Through meditation the understanding and acceptance of life develop and deepen.  Meditation allows you to simply BE not just DO.  In fact DOing hinders the experience.

Here’s how to start a successful practice:

RPM—rise, pee, meditate 10-30 minutes.  Ritualize the practice, do this every day for 21-40 days.  You may also…

RAW—right after work, meditate an additional 10-30 minutes.

What I’ve learned after 21 days of meditation

  • Sometimes I’m in the gap, sometimes I’m not.
  • Sometimes I never find the gap.
  • Sometimes I can’t say the mantra very loud. Sometimes I whisper it, sometimes I just think it.
  • Sometimes I fall asleep…and snore.
  • I need environmental sounds playing while I meditate.
  • Sometimes I have to jog on the treadmill before I meditate because I’m very sleepy at 5:30am! So RRPM (rise, run, pee, meditate)
  • I need a blanket every time. Anytime I’m uncomfortable, I adjust.
  • Sometimes I sit, sometimes I lie down. I keep my legs however they are most comfortable.
  • Sometimes I have intense visualizations filled with people, animals, nature, and symbols, but most of the time I don’t—I just appreciate the vibration of the mantra and my voice.

What is destressifying?

“Live From The Sweet Spot” is absolutely my favorite radio show on Hay House Radio (http://www.hayhouseradio.com/#!/host/davidji).  Meditation guru and New York Times bestselling author Davidji is the host. He teaches very real, in the moment solutions for life’s stressors seeking to cultivate awareness and consciousness into the nuances of earthly existence.  His most recent book destressifying is a practical guide that helps incorporate enlightenment into our daily lives even in a never ceasing, constantly communicating, information overloaded culture.   My goal is to summarize a few of the techniques, and encourage you to GET THE BOOK–it may change your life!

Stress can be good, it’s what drives earth’s creations.  Stress is also our best teacher, leading us to our greatest accomplishments and higher selves.  Stress’s evils are nown all too well in our world today.  The ability to change the perception of stress from a negative event into a nurturing event is key to transforming your life.  The world is not out to get you, but it is out to guide you to your dharma (life purpose), and to cultivate our ever existing soul.  Sometimes humans need the brick over the head, or a life-halting moment to change gears, to repent, and to turn around!

Pattern Interrupts:  It is vital to pump the breaks as we begin to lose control and to prevent a loss of control.  Stress starts affecting our body by elevating the heart rate, causing us to perspire, and shifting hormone levels to adequately fuel the extremities to bounce into action.  Subsequently our brain goes into autopilot and we often react in a way that is regretful or physically harmful to ourselves.  A brief pattern interrupt can physiologically restore the body to a leveled sense of being so that rational, mindful decisions and reactions can be birthed.  The second you become aware of your body’s reaction to stress, Davidji suggests doing the following:

STOP, detach from the situation both physically and emotionally so that you can witness what is going on.  Pretend to be a fly on the wall, then react in a way that reflects the best version of yourself.

The book details examples that clarify, but for me the word “STOP” is the most important.  In the stressful moment, throw up an emotional, nonverbal stop sign.  If anyone else is involved in the situation, they do not have to be aware of what you are doing.  Stop because your reflexive reaction is not the imprint you want to leave behind.  Once the reflexive pattern has been interrupted, there is space to turn to the direction you wish to go.

PT application:  What is the biggest pattern interrupt of all time?  An injury, a traumatic event, a hospitalization–talk about a screeching halt!  As I mention in my blog Why Me Why Now at https://alternativeptfortworth.com/2016/01/19/why-me-and-why-now/, these events are ultimately wake up calls.  We ignore what our body is telling us on a daily basis continuing to grind through to accomplish something that in the end.  Do we even know what that something is?  By initiating the practice of pattern interrupts, I think we may be able to avoid and shift life’s screeching halts.

16 Seconds to Clarity:  If you listen to Hay House Radio Davidji offers a “meditation minute” between programs, and one of the techniques he uses is 16 seconds.  The best thing about 16 seconds is…it’s short.  If you are new to meditation or feel too busy for mediation, this is the perfect practice.  In our work-life culture, stress has become an accepted, mundane practice.  16 seconds offers a pattern interrupt to the stress-infused day.  It’s so easy–perform 16 seconds three times a day for two weeks, then observe as you effortlessly incorporate it out of habit in the days that follow.  The full version can be found on page 58 of destressifying.  Here is a summary:

Inhale deeply through the nostrils for 4 seconds, hold that breath in 4 seconds and witness it, exhale slowly 4 seconds (you may exhale through the nostrils or sigh through the mouth), hold the breath out 4 seconds and witness it dissipating into the universe.  If you have time quietly observe your normal breathing pattern in the following few seconds.

PT application:  16 seconds helps to detach your ego from the current situation.  In my practice many people have a brain block.  Their brain is convincing their body to be, act, and move in a certain way.  16 seconds allows the person to detach for a few seconds, clarify the situation, and then harmonize with the highest version of themselves.  An approach utilizing the higher self may impart utilizing a different spin or a different path to wellness as oppose to the beaten path, which translates to a new outcome for the situation.

The 5 Realms:  Consider five aspects of our existence according to our needs as identified by physical, material, spiritual, emotional, and relational needs.  Once you identify your blockages within each realm or within a particular realm, healing can begin.  We are our own ultimate healer and teacher.  Just by asking God reveals answers to us.  We just have to be open and receptive to that answer.  The 5 realms gives the human brain an objective playing ground.  More details can be found in Chapter 7!

PT application:  You can see that one of the five realms is physical.  My career has been birthed out of needs identified in the physical realm but that’s only 1/5th of the puzzle!  What I’ve come to realize is that a focus and consideration of the other four realms is essential.  When is comes to treating someone who is homeless, an abuser or abusee, an atheist, or someone without family or friends, a focus in the physical realm rewards little amount of healing.  By tapping into the deficits in the other realms, I can better tailor my treatment and education to guide my clients into healing the blockages present elsewhere.

The Importance of Relationships:  So many of us hold on so dearly to relationships that are tearing us to shreds.  It’s the one realm that requires the active participation of another individual.  Over and over I’ve identified and encountered people with physical burden due to these toxic relationships.  Yes, it may be your spouse, sibling, or dearest friend–that doesn’t make the relationship any less toxic.  A relational toxicity doesn’t mean that either person involved in the relationship is a horrible person, it simply denotes that the energy surrounding the relationship is not nurturing at this time to either of you.  Davidji offers four techniques to remedy a toxic relationship (Pg 145):  1)  Birth it–create a new relationship, start over brand new.  2)  Repair it–release the past and step into the future, (if this fails then) 3)  Shift it–create or dismiss boundaries to re-define the relationship (and if all else fails) 4)  End it–release the relationship for the time being.  When ending or shifting a relationship I always say that this doesn’t have to be forever, but for now.

Please visit Davidji’s website at http://www.davidji.com for more information

You can buy destressifying on Amazon.com

Butt Pain

Butt pain is not cool. I’m not talking rectum pain (go see a doctor if you have this), I’m talking pain right in the middle of your booty cheek. Can’t sit, can’t walk, can’t run, can’t get comfortable! What is the cause, and how can I fix it?

No one is immune to butt pain because we all have glutes (unless your glutes were bitten off by a shark). Pain in the butt may have a few causes including pinching by the piriformis, irritation of the sciatic nerve, lumbar disc bulge, low back derangement, SI/sacrum/coccyx dysfunction, and hip arthritis.

With butt pain we can assume that the glutes and hamstrings are tight and weak. There may be some associated quadratus lumborum tightness and weakness as well as quadriceps and IT band tightness (quads are usually pretty strong in healthy adults).  No matter the cause, there are a few simple fixes that can alleviate your symptoms:

Postural Change and Correction–My soap box of all time.  SYMMETRY.  It is SO important that we balance our posture.  Every 15-30 minutes change position, get up, stand, walk, stretch.  Movement helps to shift the pressures in the spine and joints to refresh and replenish the blood supply.  The blood carries vital nutrients and oxygen in and removes waste on the way out.

*If all you do is stand all day, lay down, roll like a ball, throw your legs over your head, hang upside down…change position!

LLD–what people in the biz call leg length discrepancy.  Most people have one leg that has little man syndrome.  Do not let the little or big guy rule your posture.  Either correct or overcome the LLD.  If your SI is always “out” (the biggest PT debate of all time is if the SI really moves at all), or if you have herniated discs, or a “bad side” it’s probably because the little guy isn’t up to par.  Correct LLD by placing an extra insert into the short leg.  If this feels too weird, then you will have to consciously balance your posture by even weight distribution and postural positioning throughout the day.

Cross Training–I marathon, CrossFit and practice yoga.  I began by running, and then my PT brain told me that I needed to strengthen to prevent an over use injury so I started CrossFit.  CrossFit improved my strength, which fueled my cardiovascular health for running but then I began feeling tight and too forward flexed so yoga came to the rescue.  Yoga is the the icing on the cake.  Yoga is the ultimate balancing machine.  No matter the sport, please practice yoga.

Yoga has taught me that prayer, meditation, and a healthy spiritual practice are vital components of the cross training circuit.  Again, it’s all about finding balance.  God made us to be multi-dimensional, multi-modal, multi-talented individuals capable of anything because we house His breath, life essence, talent and creation.

Eat Healthy— A healthy diet produces good neuronal firing and decreases inflammation.  Remember these simple tips:

  1.  You can’t over eat the produce aisle:  If you eat nothing but clean meat and produce, you WILL NOT be fat…it’s impossible.
  2. Clean meat:  Organic, free range, non-GMO.  Remember you are what you eat, so if your food is eating chemicals that can melt plastic, you are too.
  3. Plan your cheat meals:  Look ahead each week and decide when you are going to be bad.  Have a kid’s birthday party with a hot dog and Cheetos buffet in the future?  Know that you aren’t going to win any health awards at that party and plan accordingly.  I would recommend no more than 3 cheat meals in a week.  You can do a cheat day, where the day is dedicated to gluttony, but I’ve found it’s wiser to plan the cheat meals based on social obligations.
  4. Eat healthy most days of the week AND consecutively:  MOST days is four days out of the week. Try to string these together if you can so that your guts get a break.  You’ll notice less pain and swelling in the these four days because your energy will be used to effectively to fire your brain, muscles, and nerves.  Your guts get really tired and cranky kicking into high gear to digest indestructible carbohydrates and GMOs on a daily basis, so they’ll request energy from other sources (like your brain, muscles, and nerves).

The Earth Diet by Liana Werner-Gray is a great reference http://theearthdiet.com/.

Relationships–Look at your relationships and life, is there a pain in your butt? Shift it, fix it, or release it (as Davidji would say).  Remember that some relationships are toxic, get over it–try to shift it, fix it, or let it go if all else fails.  Look for a future blog featuring this approach to healing taken from Davidji’s book Destressifying.

Now to the physical therapy stuff…

Stretching–Feel free to totally “Zen” out in the following stretch poses:

Child’s pose:

Spread the knees wide, let the toes touch and bend forward putting your belly between your knees.  Hold for 3-5 breaths or up to 2 minutes.  Repeat with body shifted to the right and left.

child's

 

Quadratus Lumborum stretches:

This stretch is intense so please modify if needed.  Some are flexible enough to reach the top arm to the shin or grab the toes.  If you get a quarter of the way into the stretch and feel it, good job…that’s it for you today, stay and hold.

QL

Sit on the ground with legs spread wide.  Lean to one side reaching the opposite arm over head toward the toes.  You may use a strap around the ankle to assist.  Hold 3-5 breaths or 1-2 minutes.

twisted tree
Cross one leg over the other.  Allow the top leg to pull the bottom knee down and in.  You may be flexible enough to double cross the legs to take the stretch deeper.  Relax and breathe 3-5 breaths or 1-2 minutes.
Piriformis stretches:

Cross one leg over the other, grab the uncrossed leg behind the thigh and pull forward 3-5 breaths or up to 2 minutes

piriformis2

Glute stretch pigeon pose style. You can also come to elbows, or rest your head on the ground.  3-5 breaths or 2 minutes each side.

pigeon
Spinal twist by pulling one knee across the body, shift that same shoulder out and lower the opposite shoulder to the ground to deepen.  Hold 3-5 breaths or 2-3 minutes each side.

spinal twist

Quad stretches:

I like this pose because modifications can easily be done with depth of lean back (stay propped up on hands, come to elbows, lay on pillow, lay on ground).  I can totally relax and daydream for a while in this pose.  I like to let my head fall back as well.  Hold 2-3 minutes.

quad stretch

Rolling—  Sit on a tennis ball or foam roller and hang out.  Cross one leg over the other, find that nauseating trigger point and chill for 2 minutes.  Exhale through the pain, each exhalation should exit out of the trigger point relaxing it.  Just when it feels like it will never relax is when it does, so give it time–2 minutes of time, then move on to the next trigger point.  Don’t ignore the IT band because it’s often a culprit to be dealt with as well.

Glute roll:

foam roll glute
IT band roll:

ITB foam roll

Strengthening— Just because your butt cramps and spasms tighter than a vice grip does not mean that the muscles are strong.  In fact, the majority of the time, the gluteals are weak in cases of butt pain.  Try some of the following booty tighteners (after you stretch and roll):

Standing forward bend balancing on one leg: rep it out or hold 3-5 breaths.

single leg forward bend
Bridge pose (block optional):  rep it out or hold 3-5 breaths

bridge
Pistol  Squat (a CrossFit favorite):  To perform reps, you may need to modify depth, hold on to a stable object with one hand, or use a band.  Below parallel may or may not be obtained, and that’s OK.  You may also simply hold 3-5 breaths.

pistol

A New York Minute with Plantar Fasciitis

Nothing is more grounding than New York City.  Manhattan’s streets cannot be stifled even in the face of an epic blizzard. My first-hand experience during the girl’s trip of a lifetime allowed me to connect to my root in a way I could have never imagined. Every present, in the moment, minute matters in New York. Here and now…right now!  While it took me a few days to wipe the smile off of my face, and to quit excusing myself in public, I did finally fall into order. By day three, a bump on the subway awarded no human interaction or acknowledgment. I am a day dreamer, and can easily be whisked away in a bundle of lost moments. In the city that never sleeps, I noticed the inability to escape and found myself hypervigilant on the task at hand, the present minute—my safety, my whereabouts, my next stop and destination, the puddle on the ground, the color of the traffic light, the accessibility of my wallet and phone, my swift order at the counter, and the nearest Starbucks for a refuel. The days concluded with a crash into deep sleep and colorful dreams.

My deficit root chakra has left me with an absence of grounding for months, years, and possibly a lifetime. At first I hated that so many people were living so connected to the here and now, this exact minute and nothing else. The realization that it is a necessary requirement for higher cultivation surprised me. Living to appreciate and to be present in every moment is something every self-help author writes about…so maybe New York is on to something. Also, where would the world be without people connected to making it run every minute of every day? Without this necessary task to reveal our best future, we’d all be fighting for survival as oppose to day dreaming about our next get-away vacation. My misconception was that everyone’s dream job entails waking up naturally, donning yoga pants, meditating, and sharing wisdom with chosen clients or friends. The hustling business world is a dream job to many, and thank God! Just like everyone else, they must find balance, which may necessitate some time spent in elevation but I obviously lack balance in time spent grounded, preparing for the next, best moment ever.

During the trip, I had the pleasure of sharing treatment ideas for plantar fasciitis (shouldn’t be a shocker immersed in New York’s ambulatory culture). So below is the information now gifted to you! Lucky you.
Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis produces pain on the bottom of the foot, usually on the inside arch or the heel. Typically, pain is worse upon rising and with prolonged walking. Heel wearing individuals and runners are the target population to suffer from this problem; however, everyone’s got a Vegas’ chance of suffering from this condition. What can you do?

Shoe wear—depends on specific foot type but if I stereotype the typical sufferer a more rigid sole that rocks slightly is most beneficial versus a shoe with a small heel or wedge. Guys, think cowboy boots or dress shoes. Runners, the shoe should rock slightly when sitting flat on the ground. When buying shoes bend and twist them—the shoe that moves the least and rocks slightly is best.
Inserts—again, insert type varies by foot type. A custom orthotic from a prosthetist/orthotist may be the answer; however, a semi-rigid store bought orthotic may fit the bill as well (this is what works for me). Slowly incorporate the inserts by wearing them little by little until you can tolerate them all day. It is extremely normal to have some leg, hip or back pain because the inserts are changing your body mechanics. This should resolve in a few weeks and leave you with less pain all over.
Stretching—stretch the gastroc and soleus as shown in my previous plantar fasciitis blog at https://alternativeptfortworth.com/2015/05/04/pain-in-the-foot-plantar-fasciitis/.
Night Splints—these are a great solution for chronic heel wearers and sufferers, or those that get no relief from any of the above. Simply wear them at night for an eight hour plantar fascia stretch. Find them on amazon.com and refer to my plantar fascia blog at https://alternativeptfortworth.com/2015/05/04/pain-in-the-foot-plantar-fasciitis/ for more information.
Leg dominance—switch up the leg load when resting in a standing posture. Pop your hip out to the left instead of the right or vice versa.
Leg length—if you sense one leg is longer than the other, it probably is. It’s a super common occurrence. The fix? Throw an extra Dr. Scholl’s insert into the short leg’s shoe, simple as that.
Taping—watch the following video for an effective taping technique that I use called navicular sling taping as shown at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhvESzvHliE . There are about a million other taping videos out there so feel free to use the one that brings you the most relief. When treating a patient, I may blend or modify a few techniques. I suggest Leukotape or Rocktape (amazon.com) as it is more rigid for an all-day wear. If all day wear turns into all month wear, consider custom inserts made by an orthotist.
Tension release—MEDITATE, practice quiet stillness, breath practice, spend time with God, exhale through your muscles letting energy flow out. Peppermint oil and sea salt soaks can help too. Destressify as Davidji would say!