Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ending the War Against Our Bodies

LifeStyle plays an important role in our ability to have healthy minds. Therapist Carrie Wrigley, LCSW, offers insight on how to make positive life changes, starting from the inside.

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Molecules of Emotion

The Molecules of Emotion
By Candace B. Pert, Ph. D.

The advances in mental health over the past 25 years from both the physiological realm of the body and the psychological realm of the mind have been stunning.  The current research on many fronts effectively negates the artificial split between the psycho and the soma which has its origins in the 1600's.  This split between the mind and the body has continued to be part of Western medicine into the current millennium.  Groundbreaking research which would ultimately prove this artificial split to be false was conducted in the 1980's by Candace B. Pert, Ph.D. .  She describes her work and her fascinating journey into the world of science and emotion in her book, The Molecules of Emotion. 

The idea that there is a split between the mind and the body is a concept that does not exist in other cultures.  In Western Medicine this split came about because of a decision of the Pope in response to a request from Rene Descartes, the founding father of modern medicine.  Descartes asked the Pope for permission from the church to study the body by using deceased bodies for dissection.  Descartes was granted permission to study the "body" but the "mind" was deemed to be the "realm of the church".  That is how the artificial split between the study of the mind and the study of the body began. 

Western medicine first opened itself to the concept of a mind body connection in relation to pain management.  Western medicine had come to the limits of its ability to "block" pain by using medications and in an effort to help those with chronic intense pain began to investigate healing methods from Eastern medicine.  Candace Pert along with her husband at the time Agu Pert, an experimental psychologist, and Larry Ng, co-authored  an article demonstrating that acupuncture stops pain by stimulating the release of endorphins into the cerebrospinal fluid.  It has been discovered that other "alternative" methods are able to allow one's mind to control aspects of the body such as heart rate and body temperature which are functions of the autonomic nervous system and were once believed to be outside the realm of conscious control.

In the mental health arena the advances in neurobiology  and psychotherapy have enabled Western scientists to create constructs which describe the underlying physiological mechanisms of "willpower" and "free will".  Historically the concepts of "willpower" and "free will" were religious concepts and considered to be exclusively the "realm of the church". Even our language implies that other people "make us angry" or cause us to "get upset".  If it were true that another person or set of circumstances could "make" or "cause" us to feel or to respond in a certain way, we would not have "free will" or the ability to choose.  In reality we do have the power to choose how we feel and respond.  Recent advances demonstrate clearly mechanisms in the body that are activated in the ability to choose.  We choose what we "attend to" or pay attention to.  We have control over how we feel about the events and the experiences of our own lives.  Furthermore, we choose how we respond.  The ability to choose what we pay attention to, how we feel and how we respond are the natural building blocks of positive mental health.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What is your body saying?

Take a moment to listen...

I am the Lungs
I am an important organ because I allow for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood, so your vitality is dependent on me. I am also responsible for distributing Qi around the body and so when I am functioning properly I give sharpness to movements and allow for good reaction times. I also play an important role in releasing attachments to the past as you release each breath. So when you ‘hold on’ to things in your life, your breathing becomes shallow and you feel suffocated and unable to grow.

I am the Wrist
I am a complex character because I have such close ties to the hand, which is one of the most expressive parts of the body. I have to be very flexible and precise which requires a lot of intelligence, so it is little wonder that the stomach controls me. The stomach represents the conscious mind, and so when you start thinking too much and especially when you’re thinking becomes rigid and narrow-minded, then I become rigid. If you can’t ‘stomach’ your life and what is happening around you, then you will start having indigestion and I will ache and degenerate.

I am the Large Intestine
You may think that my only role is to eliminate waste as a result of the digestion of food. I do much more than that. I also eliminate impure thoughts and emotions as a result of our life experience. To do this I am able to generate grief to help you let go and move on. The desire to be in control of every situation leads to the inability to surrender yesterday’s emotions – which you call constipation. When I am functioning properly I allow for the ability to release the past and cleanly enter each day with an open mind.

Thinking about what your body is saying is an important part of the healing process. Take a moment to listen.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Do you, or a loved one, struggle with mental illness? Is there hope? Hope is never lost, according to Jeffery R. Holland of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Believe in miracles and trust that there are happier days ahead. Click here to read more: Like a Broken Vessell

Monday, September 28, 2015

Addiction Recovery Series: Step 3 - Trust in God

Step 3: Trust in God Decide to turn your will and life over to the care of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. At times life can be tough. Some are born into less than fortunate circumstances. Although we are entitled to a father and mother in this life, not everyone is blessed with a loving, stable or faith promoting home. Throughout our lives we make plans and those plans do not always turn out according to our desires. We may even feel at times as if life is completely stacked against us. Current or past unresolved circumstances can leave us feeling like God does not care or maybe even that He is not there at all. In this video Sharon tells of experiencing feelings like this and how she found it within herself to turn her will and life over to the care of God.


For help with LDS Pornography Addiction, visit Bryan Wilde at Advanced Health Clinic

Monday, September 21, 2015

Addiction Recovery Series: Step 2 - Hope

Step 2: Hope 
Come to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health.

When we feel guilt there is something deep within us that says, ‘I did something wrong.’ This can be a good internal barometer to guide and help us to become better. But when shame is felt, it brings with it the feeling and belief that, ‘there must be something wrong with me.’ Shame is a companion to addiction and compounds with every failed effort to quit. Eventually, these failed attempts leave a person feeling hopeless and believing that there is no way out. No one sets out to become an addict. It’s not who you are or who you are meant to become. Preston’s Story about Drug Addiction Recovery demonstrates how there is a way back and how our spiritual health can be restored. It is possible to be forgiven and to feel the love of God.

For help with LDS Pornography addiction, please visit us at Advanced Health Clinic

Monday, September 14, 2015

Addiction Recovery Series: Step 1 - Honesty

Step 1: Honesty
Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable. 

Secrecy perpetuates addiction. Unless the secrets are out and properly confronted, the addiction will continue to thrive. Denial of the problem and its affects prevents a person from seeing the way out. But there is a way to get back to who you are at your core, and it begins with honesty. This video demonstrates how secrecy feeds the addiction, leading us far away from others and ourselves. But honesty and admitting powerlessness are the first steps to confronting and overcoming addiction.

For help with LDS Pornography addiction, please visit us at Advanced Health Clinic