google-site-verification: googleae9556121f128741.html Healing Meditations: December 2009

Thursday, December 31, 2009

PTSD: What came first? Chicken or the Egg?

Recently, a former student sent me an article on PTSD. You can read the article in its entirety on this blog. The article states that soldiers with PTSD having different biochemistry than those soldiers who did not suffer from PTSD. Specifically, soldiers experiencing PTSD have lower levels of neurosteroids.

This brings us to age old questions of what comes first......brain chemical imbalance or PTSD? Chicken or the egg?
We are constantly interacting with out environment and our biochemistry. In fact every thought we think, anything we eat, or any experience we have changes our bio chemistry to some degree. It makes sense to me that combat would change bio chemistry.

It also makes sense that some of these soldiers with lower levels of neurosteroids could have been that way before entering combat and this brain chemical imbalance made them more vulnerable to stress and therefore PTSD. After all, not all soldiers experience PTSD and that may not be dependent upon external events.

Unfortunately, we can't know the answer to this question because the soldier's brain chemistry levels are only measured AFTER they have PTSD. So did the combat cause the brain chemical imbalance or did the brain chemical imbalance make them more vulnerable to PTSD? It would be interesting to measure the brain chemistry of a group of soldiers before, during and after combat. And note who experienced PTSD and who did not.

I also wonder if every soldier with lowered neurosteroids has the subjective experience of PTSD? I would bet money they do not. In my private practice, I have seen people with very grave physical issues easily identified on x rays and MRI who are experiencing little or no pain. I also see clients who experience alot of pain and who look fine on an MRI or x ray.
Many doctors would say those with a clean xray and lots of pain are just a "head cases." But then, are those people who have easily identified physical issues but little or no pain"head cases" too? And if so, what in the world are they doing in their heads? Could those with little or no pain somehow come to terms or found meaning in their physical issues? I don't know but I think we can learn alot from studying those who don't get sick and stay well and happy in adverse circumstances.

The article concludes that reservists experience more PTSD then "full time soldiers" and that "military discipline" is a factor in not getting PTSD. I would argue that this isn't valid statement because those who would choose to be full time soldiers rather than in the reserves would probably have a more robust nervous system naturally and are more comfortable with the experiences being in the military and probably more committed to it.

I think one of the greatest things that protects our nervous system and psyches is finding meaning in our experience. No matter how terrible an experience is, if we find meaning in it, we can withstand it. The meaning that really satisfies us comes from within. Hypnotherapy can help us find meaning in any and all of our experiences that is not spoon fed to us by society and ideological doctrine of any kind. Additionally, it is my opinion that hypnotherapy can lower overall physiological arousal levels operating below conscious awareness and in this way balance brain chemistry. As we heal we break the cycle of trauma and help others around to balance and find peace as well.

Would love to hear more info. about PTSD antidotal as well as objective.
Sue Schmidt C.Ht

Holiday Message:The High Road

Hi All,
Hope you had a wonderful holiday season. This was the best solstice break I have had for a long time on many levels for both external and internal reasons. I have gone through a big shift in my thinking and energetic being. I have been struggling with taking the high road on a few relationship issues and resisting doing that. And boy! Does that take a lot of energy! Especially when you KNOW what the high road is and know what you need to do to take it.

What I mean by the high road is the action, or no action, that to the best of your knowledge, will be for the highest good of all. You know what the highest road is because when you visualize yourself doing it ,or being it, you feel GOOD. You feel happy, strong, in your body, and just good. You feel like you are vibrating at a higher level. And you are!

If you feel afraid, anxious, insecure or resentful then that is a signal that what you are envisioning is not right for you or anyone. When you take the high road you can let people go, and things go and it just feels good. When you take the high road you want everyone to feel as good as you do and wish everyone well and you feel so rich and full that you are not afraid that anyone will take anything from you. Taking the high road doesn't necessarily mean you'll be successful, rich, never get sick or never have anything bad happen to you. Altho I do believe that being in alignment with Spirit can make our lives easier on many levels. Taking the high road DOES mean you will be living with integrity and purpose and joy.

I think what is difficult is resisting taking the high road. Our ego fights against it . It feels like we are "giving too much." Or not being appreciated. Or that we are not getting what we want. There is tendency to want to fight, to be right. The ego says, "But what about me? What do I get?" The ego stays on the surface of things and makes surface judgements about people and things. The ego is ok and has its purpose and uses. Its very good for some things, just not for everything.

But...once you decide to take the highest road you can , then its easy! Then, Spirit, and the flow of energy all around of us will help us along. Utitmatel,y taking the high road is easier and much more fun!

So whenever you feel misunderstood, or victimized, try to offer back the opposite. When you feel like someone doesn't understand you, try to understand them.

That being said, I don't think we have to run around trying to fix everyone and everything. Basically, we just have to deal with what is in front of us. If you call or email someone to try to repair things and they don't respond or don't respond in a way that allows any opening, then you can just let them go and wish them well! If a situation, just won't change no matter what you do, then offer it up to spirit and walk away! We all have limits. And taking the high road doesn't mean we become anyone's doormat or allow ourselves to be around people who are toxic or not good for us. And as we evolve there are situations and people who just drop away. I's ok to just let people and things just go sometimes.

Everyones high road is different. If you are bushwacking through a deep dark jungle, you probably can't get on the super highway because you can't even envision it. If we try to take a road that is too high, too far away from where we are at any given moment, we will know, because we won't feel good and probably we will just won't be able to pull it off. For example, if there is someone you know that you really dislike, your high road may just to feel neutral, or even dislike them a little less, or just to not think about them at all. Another person's high road might be to love that person unconditionally! We all have to find where our personal high road is and do the best we can to stay on it.

And Spirit is always there, showing us signs and helping us along the way.

Of course, we never get anywhere alone. I want to thank my teachers Damaris Jarbeaux and Bobby Wood for showing me the high road and encouraging me to stay on it. For my husband Woody for being my best friend and showing me what I need to work on. For my girlfriends who listen to me when I am not on the high road. And for my client K. who recently had the courage to take the high road and give her problem up to Spirit and we both got to feel the big shift of energy that brought about! And of course, these are just the people who helped me make this latest shift. We are all being helped by everyone and everything all the time. So I guess I just want to say THANK YOU! to everyone.

So whenever you have a problem ask to be shown what is the high road is, ask for Spirit to help you and watch for signs and guidance. And most importantly, notice how you feel in your body. Notice feeling of lightness, happiness, and strength. This is what lets you know you are on the right road for you!

Thank you to everyone,