Why Ashwagandha Root Could Be The Cure For The Western Epidemic of Stress Related Illness

I have decided to post about this important herb as a resource for our growing community searching for healthy alternatives.  Over recent years, I have seen how well it works for so many especially those with diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, addictions, and sleep issues that have astounded me.

I began talking to others and exploring success ratios to my astonishment, which led me to begin working with many practitioners in the traditional broken American healthcare system educating them regarding my experiences personally and professionally. I am pleased to see some doctors, nurse practitioners and psychiatrists/licensed mental health prescribers beginning to consider this herb as a viable alternative to barbiturates, tranquilizers, anti-depressants, or other drugs such as the gabapentin.

As a matter of fact, I was recently diagnosed with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis, and I had stopped taking the Ashwagandha root personally too. As a result, I have decided as part of my own personal treatment plan to start taking this again (including my daily meditation, thyroid anti-inflammatory diet, jikiden reiki practice, and mindfulness as well as increasing my daily Vitamin D3 to attain a more optimum level).

So, here is more information compiled from some trusted sources (listed below) for you regarding this amazing herb.

Disclaimer: Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before using supplements if you have any health conditions.

 

What is it?

Ashwagandha, one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing, has been used in India for nearly 5,000 years for a wide variety of conditions.  One of the best known is its use as an adaptogen, meaning that it helps you manage emotional and physical stress.

The name Ashwagandha is from the Sanskrit language and is a combination of the word ashva, meaning horse, and gandha, meaning smell. The root has a strong aroma that is described as “horse-like.”

In Ayurvedic, Indian, and Unani medicine, ashwagandha is described as “Indian ginseng.” Ashwagandha is also used in traditional African medicine for a variety of ailments.  Don’t confuse ashwagandha with Physalis alkekengi. Both are known as winter cherry.

A member of the Solanaceae family, or nightshade family, ashwagandha is related botanically to potatoes, pepper, and tomatoes.

Why Use Ashwagandha?

Do any of these common symptoms sound familiar?

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Poor memory
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Low libido
  • Frequent illness
  • Anxiety
  • Low endurance (mentally or physically)
  • Joint pain
  • Neurological condition

The use of ashwagandha can help alleviate these symptoms and support an energetic and rejuvenating sense of well-being.

Ashwagandha as an Adaptogenic Herb

In Ayurveda, there are specific herbs with adaptogenic benefits—ashwagandha is one of them.

Adaptogens are substances (a combination of amino acids, vitamins, and herbs) that modulate your response to stress or a changing environment. Adaptogens help the body cope with external stresses such as toxins in the environment and internal stresses such as anxiety and insomnia.

One of the attributes of ashwagandha is its ability to induce calmness and clarity by regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin and the stress hormone cortisol.

One of the attributes of ashwagandha is its ability to induce calmness and clarity by regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin and the stress hormone cortisol.

Research has shown that consuming ashwagandha may not only reduce cortisol levels but also, as an adaptagen, can “substantially” reduce chronic stress to help your body adapt to and alleviate the stomach-churning anxiety stress can cause. (Mercola)

Research indicates there’s a likelihood that ashwagandha may be useful for helping patients in opioid withdrawal as well as reducing or eliminating dependence on benzodiazapene drugs such as Xanax and Valium.

 

Benefits of Ashwangdha

Ashwagandha contains many useful medicinal chemicals, including withanolides (steroidal lactones), glutathione (powerful antioxidant), alkaloids, choline, fatty acids, amino acids, and a variety of sugars.

While the leaves and fruit have valuable therapeutic properties, the root of the ashwagandha plant is the part most commonly used in Western herbal remedies.

Medical researchers have been studying ashwagandha for years with great interest and have completed more than 200 studies on the healing benefits of this botanical.

Animal studies have found constituents of the herb, including alkaloids, steroidal lactones, and saponins, to reduce inflammation and calm the nervous system.

Ashwagandha, today, is used for arthritis, anxiety, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), balance, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), trouble sleeping (insomnia), tumors, tuberculosis, asthma, a skin condition marked by white patchiness (leukoderma), bronchitis, backache, fibromyalgia, menstrual problems, hiccups, Parkinson’s disease, and chronic liver disease. It is also used to reduce side effects of medications used to treat cancer and schizophrenia. Ashwagandha is used to reduce levels of fat and sugar in the blood.

Ashwagandha is known to help people strengthen their immune system after illness, chemotherapy, or surgery. It is a highly effective, evidence-based remedy for anxiety and stress—by lowering cortisol levels and mimicking the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA.

Some people also use ashwagandha for improving thinking ability, decreasing pain and swelling (inflammation), fertility problems in men and women and also to increase sexual desire.

Ashwagandha is applied to the skin for treating wounds, backache, and one-sided paralysis (hemiplegia).

Some key examples of the healing effects of Ashwagandha are:

  • Protects the immune system
  • Helps combat the effects of stress
  • Improves learning, memory, and reaction time
  • Reduces anxiety and depression without causing drowsiness
  • Helps reduce brain-cell degeneration
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Helps lower cholesterol
  • Offers anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits
  • Contains anti-malarial properties
  • Enhances sexual potency for both men and women
  • May be an effective anti-tumor agent
  • Promotes new nerve growth

 

How does it work?

(Per WebMD)

Ashwagandha contains chemicals that might help calm the brain, reduce swelling (inflammation), lower blood pressure, and alter the immune system.

Stress.Taking a specific ashwagandha root extract (KSM66, Ixoreal Biomed) 300 mg twice daily after food for 60 days appears to improve symptoms of stress.

Reducing side effects associated with medications called antipsychotics. Antipsychotics are used to treat schizophrenia but they can cause levels of fat and sugar in the blood to increase. Taking a specific ashwagandha extract (Cap Strelaxin, M/s Pharmanza Herbal Pvt. Ltd., Gujarat, India) 400 mg three times daily for one month might reduce levels of fat and sugar in the blood in people using these medications.

Anxiety. Some clinical research shows that taking ashwagandha can reduce some symptoms of anxiety.

Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).Some clinical research shows that a combination herbal product containing ashwagandha may improve attention and impulse control in children with ADHD. The effect of ashwagandha alone is unclear.

Bipolar disorder.Taking a specific ashwagandha extract (Sensoril, Natreon, Inc., New Bruswick, New Jersey) for 8 weeks might improve brain function in people being treated for bipolar disorder.

A brain condition called cerebellar ataxia.Preliminary research shows that ashwagandha in combination with an alternative form of medicine known as Ayurvedic therapy might improve balance in people with cerebellar ataxia.

Fatigue in people treated for cancer (chemotherapy).Early research suggests taking a specific ashwagandha extract 2,000 mg (Himalaya Drug Co, New Delhi, India) during chemotherapy treatment might reduce tiredness.

Diabetes. There is some evidence that ashwagandha might reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

High cholesterol.There is some evidence that ashwagandha might reduce cholesterol levels in patients with high cholesterol.

Male infertility.Some preliminary clinical evidence suggests that ashwagandha might improve sperm quality, but not sperm count, in infertile men. It is not known if taking ashwagandha can actually improve fertility.

Osteoarthritis.Early research shows that ashwagandha taken along with a zinc complex, guggul, and turmeric might improve arthritis symptoms. The impact of ashwagandha alone is unclear.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).Early research shows that ashwagandha root extract might reduce symptoms of OCD when taken with prescribed medications for 6 weeks better than taking the prescribed medication alone.

Parkinson’s disease.Preliminary research suggests that a combination of herbs including ashwagandha improves Parkinson’s symptoms. The effect of ashwagandha alone in Parkinson’s is unknown.

Rheumatoid arthritis. Early research shows that ashwagandha powder taken for 3 weeks followed by 4 weeks of sidh makardhwaj (a mixture of gold, mercury, and sulfur) slightly improves symptoms in some people with RA. The impact of ashwagandha alone in RA is unclear.

Increasing interest in sex.Early research shows that taking ashwagandha extract daily for 8 weeks along with receiving counseling increases interest in sex and sexual satisfaction in adult women with sexual dysfunction better than counseling alone.

Also, ashwagandha has shown to be beneficial for:

  • Altering immune system function.
  • Inducing vomiting.
  • Liver problems.
  • Preventing the signs of aging.
  • Swelling (inflammation).
  • Other conditions.

 

How to Add Ashwagandha to Your Diet

angelorosa / Pixabay

According to Ayurveda, our bodies are woven from food. The nutrients we ingest are metabolized into the energy and information that form our cells, tissues, and organs. Every day our bodies need essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to maintain our body’s delicate balance.

Ashwagandha is classically taken as a fine powder mixed in honey or ghee. In western countries, it typically ingested in capsule form.

The typical recommended dose is 500 to 1,000 mg. For people who suffer from insomnia and anxiety, having a cup of hot milk that contains a teaspoon of powdered ashwagandha or an ashwagandha capsule before bedtime is beneficial.

 

Special Precautions:

(discuss with your physician before taking Ashwagandha)

Prescription Medications – American Pharmaceutical DRUGS

qimono / Pixabay

Before I go to precautions with Ashwagandha, let’s look at the side effects of some commonly prescribed medications before we judge the side effects of this powerful herb.

Let’s compare. Then you decide which is safer.

What I see as the alternatives being prescribed daily in our traditional healthcare system carry MORE serious concerns.

Many traditional medicinal prescriptions carry side effects ranging from leading to addiction to causing dementia or increase risk for suicide. Yet the medical community is concerned about recommending Ashwagandha because why????

Commonly prescribed medications that carry serious side effects include:

  • Gabapentin (Seizures, Nerve Pain, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety, Depression, Pain): dementia, addiction (which is rarely listed but increasing problem),  suicidal thoughts, life threatening rash, organ failure, blurred vision, kidney problems, could make moods worse, aggressive behavior, chest pain, bloody stools, and more.
  • Lamictal (Seizures, Bipolar, Depression, Anxiety) :carries a black box label that can cause life threatening rashes to meningitis to suicidal thoughts. Irritable bowel type symptoms which is NOT listed.  – – – My story: I was given this drug for PTSD and Anxiety. My IBS symptoms went from 7 days a week to 1-2x a mo instantly when I stopped this drug several years ago.  This drug is also listed on Psycom as “The side effects of Lamotrigine are relatively harmless as compared to other options” REALLY?  “Lamotrigine induced mania is usually treated with Topiramate or lithium” (Pscycom) REALLY? Another DRUG to treat a side effect of this drug?
  • Paxil (Depression, PMS, PTSD, Anxiety): decreased interest in sex, changes in sexual ability, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, numbness/tingling, easy bruising/bleeding, fast/irregular heartbeat, seizures.
  • Xanax (Anxiety, PTSD): hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, slurred speech or difficulty talking, loss of coordination, trouble walking, memory problems, and can lead to addiction.
  • Adderall (ADD/ADHD):  Psychosis Caused By A Drug, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, high blood pressure, seizures, anger outbursts, and can lead to addiction.
  • Synthroid (thyroid): hair loss, nervousness, mood swings, tiredness, diarrhea, shaking (tremor), headache, shortness of breath, bone pain, easily broken bones, chest pain, fast/irregular heartbeat, swellingseizures.

Ashwagandha Precautions:

Pregnancyand breast-feeding: Do NOT use ashwagandha if you are pregnant. There is some evidence that ashwagandha might cause miscarriages.

Diabetes: Ashwagandha might lower blood sugar levels.  If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar closely.

High or low blood pressure: Ashwagandha might decrease blood pressure. Ashwagandha should be used cautiously if you have low blood pressure or take medications for your blood pressure.

Stomach ulcers: Ashwagandha can irritate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. 

“Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Ashwagandha might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it’s best to avoid using ashwagandha.

Surgery: Ashwagandha may slow down the central nervous system. Healthcare providers worry that anesthesia and other medications during and after surgery might increase this effect. Stop taking ashwagandha at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Thyroid disorders: Ashwagandha might increase thyroid hormone levels.

Moderate Interactions

(discuss with your physician before taking Ashwagandha):

Ashwagandha may increase the sedative effects of benzodiazepines such as Valium, Ativan, Xanax, and other depressants. It may also interact immunosuppressant medications. Talk with your doctor before beginning a supplement regimen that includes ashwagandha.

In animal studies, high dosages have been linked to toxicity, including impacts on thyroid function; however, human studies are limited.

Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with ASHWAGANDHA – Ashwagandha seems to increase the immune system. Taking ashwagandha along with medications that decrease the immune system might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system. Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.

Sedative medications (Benzodiazepines) interacts with ASHWAGANDHA – Ashwagandha might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Drugs that cause sleepiness and drowsiness are called sedatives. Taking ashwagandha along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness. Some of these sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and others.

Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with ASHWAGANDHA – Ashwagandha might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking ashwagandha along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness. Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others. 

Minor Interactions:

Thyroid hormone interacts with ASHWAGANDHA – The body naturally produces thyroid hormones. Ashwagandha might increase how much thyroid hormone the body produces. Taking ashwagandha with thyroid hormone pills might cause too much thyroid hormone in the body, and increase the effects and side effects of thyroid hormone.

Medical Caution:  Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before using supplements if you have any health conditions. Laura Joseph and Healing With Spirit are not licensed medical physicians. Ashwagandha is not recommended for women who are pregnant.

 

Need More?

Need some guidance or direction?

Want a holistic health consult?

 

Laura has been providing spiritually based integrative holistic health enrichment services, classes, and programs since 2006. She has experience as a domestic violence advocate, college educator, and over 15 years working in the healthcare industry with multiple certifications in  areas in holistic health, spiritually based practices, healing, and more.

Her primary office is located inside Cohasset Medical in seaside Hingham, MA.

To book a consult, contact us here today.

Recommended Resources:

WebMD: Ashwagandha Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning

The Chopra Center: What is Ashwagandha

Dr. Weil: Ashwagandha

Dr. Mark Hyman:  Are You Suffering From Adrenal Dysfunction?

Dr. Mercola, DO.:  The Healing Wonders of Ashwagandha

Breaking Free From The Chains Of The Past


Trauma …

Trauma … We have all been affected by trauma one way or another in our lifetime. However, we may not realize how a traumatic event may have affected our life or impacted our soul.

The challenge is trauma doesn’t affect us the way we perceive it. It affects us on a cellular and soul level and may not even be in our own awareness leading to chronic illness, cancer, pain, poor relationships, etc.

So, when I read the following quote, it struck me and gave me lots to ponder on and contemplate ultimately leading to this post:

“If your mind carries a heavy burden of past, you will experience more of the same. The past perpetuates itself through lack of presence.” – Eckhart Tolle

I am going on my 13th year when I made a crucial decision to leave an abusive relationship and begin my healing path for first time in my life.

One of the things that I have learned in my 13 years, is that the more I connected to the divine within, soul, inner child, it also reveals the root cause that wounded my core. I began to discover the roots to my fears, insecurities, and my own self sabotaging behaviors … to the place it all began … the seed that began decades before I married an abuser.

I began my healing journey broken wondering how to put all the pieces of me back together.

I began to employ traditional therapies (which didn’t help me much), support groups, spiritually based practices such as developing my sequestered intuition, meditation, reiki, acupuncture, journaling, dance, connecting to nature and more.

We have technology which is supposed to make us more connected than ever. However, we are actually more disconnected than ever. We are not connected to the very life that breathes underneath our feet, Mother Earth. We are not connected to our own BE-ing or essence.  We live in a society of wanting everything now, instant gratification, and a “plugged in” to that technology 24/7.

Unfortunately, healing doesn’t work like that. Employing a one day at a time mindset goes a long way as well as a lot of self-compassion. Learning new ways “to be” takes time. Discovering you again takes time. Developing new skill sets to heal takes time. Finding someone to help you who has the skill sets is huge if you can find that coach/healer.

Employing a mindset of presence helped me with my trauma, PTSD, anxiety and the physical illness that resulted from my trauma. There’s many ways to learn the art of presence whether through meditation or mindfulness-based practices, but from me, learning Jikiden Reiki changed everything for me. This is where I have seen the most growth in my life since I began this journey in 2005.

Want to learn more?

Please join me at one of these 4 events this spring:

Check out


Copy right 2018. Laura Joseph, Healing With Spirit.  All Rights Reserved. May not be copied or reproduced without expressed written consent

Today I Bless My Junk Part 3 – Speaking Out and 10 Tips You Can Do Today To Be The Change

This series “Today I Bless My Junk” has been quite the challenge for me. However, I feel if I am to convey a certain message, I choose to be raw, real and authentic seeing all of me with an unaltered video.

Here is part three in the series of “Today I Bless My Junk”. This topic is on what happens when you speak out and why women wait 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 years to speak out.

  • I go into the retaliations and a little bit of my story and my experiences with retaliations. I have only spoken out twice in my life outside this video series, and both times I experienced retaliations that I feel were worse than the abuses themselves.
  • So, why wait?
  • Why speak out now?
  • Don’t be fooled by the bogus apologies.
  • When will it all end?
  • Followed by 10 tips on what you can do today to be the change for the future.

Other Videos in the Video Series

For my other videos in the series of “Today I Bless My Junk #metoo

Question To Ponder

I ask for you to consider one question

Are you part of the solution to systemic abuse or are you part of the problem? The choice is yours and only yours to make.

Please go to my Vlog on Youtube for the following videos.

How Can You Help?

As always, please support my healing journey and my desire to help break the cycle of abuse through healing. There many ways you can do this.

Take action on the things I mention in this video series

  1. Share these videos
  2. Leave supportive comments and let me know what pearl you took away with you
  3. Let me know what you would like to see the next video to be on
  4. Book me for a speaking engagement. I speak on many topics. One of the most common is on healing trauma through holistic and spiritually based practices.
  5. As always, thank you for your support and being a part of my spiritual journey.
  6. Become an ally – Help me become a better speaker, communicator and video producer. Want to volunteer your services to help make that happen? Email me and let’s collaborate.

With love and appreciation,
Laura

Are Your Old Traumas Making You Sick?

Introduction

Are you still carrying around old traumas and don’t even realize it? Do you know how trauma affects your quality of life, health, and soul in the long term?

Do you suffer from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, adrenal stress, anxiety, addictions, cancer, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and musculoskeletal disorders? This is just a few illnesses and chronic health issues linked to trauma.

Here are just some of staggering statistics:

  • 7.7 million are diagnosed with PTSD in USA. Many who have PTSD are not diagnosed and treated symptomatically. 
  • 40 million are diagnosed with anxiety. Only 33% seek help.

In light of recent cumulative events over the last couple of years and the stigma associated with trauma, I believe these numbers are higher.

Please … join me Wed Nov 1st for a presentation and some experientials on Healing Trauma. (Please scroll for complete event details.)

I will also be sharing my own story including healing and how to heal from trauma which can manifest symptoms emotionally, physically, and spiritually and can show up years and decades after a traumatic incident.

The information I will share is backed by scientific and/or medical research and my own personal and professional experiences.

What you will learn, will enlighten you no matter what form of trauma may be lurking in your past here in this life, generationally, or karmicly.

Please join me as I would really LOVE your support on a topic I’m very passionate about.

Together we CAN make change for a better world beginning with US.

In the meantime, don’t forget to pause, breathe and take a moment for yourself.

With love and appreciation,

Laura





Healing Trauma Through Spiritually Based Practices

THIS Wednesday, Nov 1st 
 12pm- 2pm 
Hingham Public Library, Hingham, MA

Are you still carrying around old traumas and don’t even realize it? Do you know some of the symptoms of trauma? Can you recognize some of the symptoms of abuse?

The topic of abuse … domestic abuse, child abuse. sex abuse … is never an easy one to discuss never mind heal from in a way it does not control your life. It can even be very dis-empowering and even energy draining.

Many victims of abuse struggle with moving forward. Many times we are judged harshly for choosing to love someone who ultimately would hurt us. Many times we are left with devastating scars. Many times we feel we’ve done everything in our power to heal, but somehow the traumatic experiences still haunt us. Just because we were hurt by another, doesn’t have to mean a life sentence. Many times the traditional therapies we have sought out doesn’t seem to be working no matter what we seem to try.

Join us for a deep conversation and how to heal those traumatic wounds as Laura shares her healing journey from abuse, her struggles, her triumphs, and why spiritually based practices saved her life. She will discuss how she overcame the dark days and how she reclaimed her power.

What you will learn

  • The many faces of trauma
  • Trauma defined
  • Effects of trauma
  • Emotional, physical, and spiritual symptoms of trauma
  • Gaslighting
  • Causes of PTSD
  • Trauma and the effects on the brain 
  • ACE Study
  • Trauma and abuse
  • The “Three-legged stool”
  • Understanding the human existance
  • The holistic process theory of healing
  • Stages to healing
  • Healing trauma
  • Medical research and studies to various holistic and spiritually based therapies shown to heal trauma
  • Experience various exercises
  • and more …

Please join us supporting a topic I have been so passionate about since 2006. My goal is to help survivors empower themselves while finding long term healthy solutions to healing from abuse. With these techniques, I hope to break the cycle of abuse through power of healing.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

• This event is for survivors of abuse,

• loved ones of survivors of abuse,

• as well as anyone who works with abuse victims such as LCSW, and advocates.

There will also be time for Q&A.

This event is FREE. RSVP Requested but not required. Call/text your RSVP to 857-880-0365

Come experience the healing and sample various methods of healing techniques and leave feeling inspired. Spend this time with us and explore methods of self-care and healing that will empower you beyond your story and past and break free from the chains of abuse or traumatic event/s.

Discover the power that lies within us all.

When we address trauma (sometimes hidden), we are less likely to get sidetracked by projecting – in this political age that’s very valuable.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER:

Laura Joseph, RMA, RMT is a survivor of repeated abuses, but most notably domestic abuse and systemic abuse. Experiencing many difficult life lessons resulting and complex PTSD and Trauma, Laura had a feeling there was something wrong with her until she rediscovered her gifts, learned spiritually and holistic based therapies, and learned to embrace her sensitivities.

She has a background as a college educator, domestic abuse advocate, Reiki and Meditation Instructor, and allied health professional with a focus on trauma informed holistic care where she has been a frequent guest speaker throughout New England discussing her experiences healing trauma associated with abuse through spiritually based modalities. She has over 15 cumulative years in the holistic and allopathic health fields and has incorporated spiritually based practices and healing since 2006.

Laura believes our body is designed to heal itself. We sometimes need to be reminded how. She is very compassionate and passionate and teaches from the heart what she feels will help humanity heal and break the cycles of abuse through healing.

Laura brings her 12 year journey of acceptance into self discovery, self care, and self love.

She has published many articles on the topics of Holistic Health, Spirituality, Healing Trauma, and Reiki. She is also a frequent guest speaker, writer, and artist.

Laura has a private practice near the ocean on the Weir River in Hingham, MA, where she provides spiritually based holistic health enrichment services and classes. She is also a founding member of Massachusetts Survivors Outreach.

Laura brings her passion, compassion, and wit to assist in bringing out the best in you.

For more information about services and classes, visit Healing With Spirit

Medical Study of the Effects of Singing Bowl Sound Meditation on Mood, Tension, and Well-Being

Laura’s Tibetan Bowls for Meditation on the water.
Cape Cod 2016 All Rights reserved

I am ecstatic to see this observational medical study on the use of Tibetan singing bowls. The study was published involving 62 women and men with the mean age 49.7 years of age. I found the results quite interesting.

The study was published in PubMed as well as Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine:

“Poor mood and elevated anxiety are linked to increased incidence of disease. This study examined the effects of sound meditation, specifically Tibetan singing bowl meditation, on mood, anxiety, pain, and spiritual well-being. Sixty-two women and men (mean age 49.7 years) participated. As compared with pre-meditation, following the sound meditation participants reported significantly less tension, anger, fatigue, and depressed mood (all Ps <.001). Additionally, participants who were previously naïve to this type of meditation experienced a significantly greater reduction in tension compared with participants experienced in this meditation (P < .001). Feeling of spiritual well-being significantly increased across all participants (P < .001). Tibetan singing bowl meditation may be a feasible low-cost low technology intervention for reducing feelings of tension, anxiety, and depression, and increasing spiritual well-being. This meditation type may be especially useful in decreasing tension in individuals who have not previously practiced this form of meditation.” 

Although the study results are brief, I find it promising.  I began using tibetan singing bowls in my work in 2015 as something I felt drawn to do on an instinctual basis for my own healing. As a someone who has a history of trauma resulting in PTSD due to repeated abuses stemming from child abuse to rape to domestic violence to systemic abuse, I welcome this study.

I went through the traditional medicinal route and felt I was given a band-aid with a wound that continued to grow and fester with no relief in sight. So since 2005, I began looking into me. Who I am, and how can I heal especially when my very trust for humanity was so broken. I went up and build my trust in my spirituality.

For me, I understand these ideas:

  1. The human body is made up of mostly water
  2. We are beings that self generate electricity, and therefore vibrate energetically a frequency and vibration out creating a ripple effect.
  3. There is a mind/body connection to all illness and disease
  4. 75 – 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems [1]
  5. How we resonate with our external experiences affect our internal experiences and vice versa. How we resonate with our internal experiences affect our external experiences.
So no wonder the bowls have a magical feel to them.  When I searching for ways to heal my own trauma, I was led on a very spiritual path. Over the years as I worked with myself and others on healing, subconscious changes began to take affect. The more I began to trust my instincts and intuition, the more breakthroughs I was led to.
Needless to say, I was led to these bowls.  I believe it was a culmination of all the personal spiritual and professional work I have done over the years. I feel it was a calling, and the day I was gifted my first bowl, I knew I was onto something special. It mesmerized me and calmed me.
Laura’s Tibetan Medicine Bowl

After the gift of my 5th bowl by another healer as well as my Tibetan bells, I had an epiphany. I was using them in a reiki healing attunement meditation for a group of over 20 healers. I was told how incredibly powerful and amazing the experience was. I was asked if I taught this. I responded ‘no’, because every time is different, and I would not know how to teach something like this. I realized how I would just allow myself to be divinely guided in the whole process from acquiring these beauties to where to place them to order of sound to implementing them in meditations and healing sessions. I could not even tell you what each bowl’s musical note represents. I just know this bowl goes here to acquire this result. 

All I know is the effect they have on me and those around me. This is a modality that has been used by Tibetan monks for hundreds if not thousands of years, but originated in India. 

You can go to bodhisattva.com for a wonderful interview of Lama Lobsang Molam, a monk at a monastery in Swyambu, Kathmandu, Nepal, by Rain Gray on the history of the Tibetan bowls. Here is an excerpt of that interview:

“They say this is a relic that came from India and was used by the previous Buddha, so this is a very precious relic. So, that’s why everybody wants to listen to that singing bowl, the singing, you know, sound. So, many people are making offerings to this singing bowl, and offering money to that singing bowl. So, he said that if someone has pure or not pure karma, you know, if someone has negative karma, their self they have to round, they have to play it with a stick. If someone has a lot of negative karma, this bowl won’t give any sound. It gives sound but, not so nice, it’s very small and not clear. If the person who rings it has pure karma, it gives a lot of singing and a big sound, wang, wang, wang, wang, like this. It gives a big sound. So their saying this is the story of . . . their saying like this. Even he saw, you know. So in Tibet they have three singing bowls only.”

If you have been questioning on how to break through that wall and feel stuck, going to a Tibetan bowl meditation may be of benefit. Tremendous healing can be accomplished with the use and help of these sacred gems.

I would air one word of caution, however.  For those with severe PTSD or anxiety, please find the right teacher. Finding the right teacher who not only understands trauma, but has some training and/or experience with it is important.

Because the bowls create a very powerful frequency and vibration, it creates a metaphoric glass shattering effect which can trigger some emotions that many with PTSD or severe anxiety may still want buried. You must be ready to release those fears, traumas, and karmic cords in order to  heal. Finding the right teacher is key.

Healing With Spirit offers private sessions and a variety of classes that many times incorporates the use of Tibetan singing bowls such as, but not limited to:

  • Self Care for the Empath Workshop
  • Reiki Vibrational Healing Attunement Meditation Groups
  • A Soul Partnership Workshop
  • Private Reiki Sessions
  • Vibrational Healing
  • Sound Bath Meditations
  • Chakra Clearings and Balancing

Private sessions are offered via in office, phone, and skype. For more information, please contact me at Healing With Spirit.

As always,

With much love and appreciation,

Laura  Healing With Spirit

Spiritual Medium, Public Speaker, and Teacher
Usui Reiki Master Teacher
Shihankaku in Jikiden Reiki


To schedule a private reading, to book a private party, or speaking engagement,  please visit www.laurahealingwithspirit.com 

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REFERENCES:

  1. America’s #1 Health Problem; The American Institute of Stress; http://www.stress.org/americas-1-health-problem/ 
  2. Tibetan Singing Bowl History, An Interview with Lama Lobsang MolamBodhisattva Training Co Inc; By; Rain Gray; http://www.bodhisattva.com/singing_bowl_history.htm 
  3. Effects of Singing Bowl Sound Meditation on Mood, Tension, and Well-being
    An Observational Study
    ; Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative MedicineTamara L. Goldsby, PhD, Michael E. Goldsby, PhD, Mary McWalters, BA, Paul J. Mills, PhD
    1. Tamara L. Goldsby, PhD, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, Center of Excellence for Research and Training in Integrative Health, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA. Email: [email protected]


Copy right 2016 All rights reserved. Laura Joseph, Laura Healing With Spirit. May not be copied or reproduced without expressed written consent


Healing Trauma By Stepping Into Your Power Through The Universal Energies of Change And Forgiveness

What I will be writing about, I am unsure if this is directed to my personal path and journey or if you will find that it will resonate with you.  I would love to hear from you and your feedback as it helps me help you.  I would appreciate that deeply.

So, when you think these spiritual storms we have been riding over the past few months and years have slowed down and we can breathe, we are faced with more storms as we continue to upgrade and change in order to be more in vibrational alignment with source energy and our soul purpose.

Just as you think you can catch your breath, we begin September with more changes ahead with the start of the eclipse season and our third mercury retrograde this year.  

As I am writing this, I am wondering how many of us have surrendered to the Universal energies, let go of the past … karmic in past lives, hurts in this life, and generational karma. We are healing it all if we learn to step aside and allow our soul to guide us and light the way.

This journey has not been easy especially those also healing some form of trauma. With all that I do and practice, I can attest to this struggle as our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies let go and realign.  No one ever said healing was ever easy, but it is worth it. I began to write about my journey healing trauma associated with abuse. One thing I have learned with trauma and PTSD, it loves to reign you in and prevent the healing to commence and will attempt to trick your brain into old outdated patterns or more of the very same you are trying to leave behind you. These patterns of constant fight or flight are there for our safety and protection, but when in overload, it is like keeping your finger in an electrical socket and you can not see, feel, hear, anything else around you never mind inside the self.

Laura administering self healing in
a meditative state in nature in Maine

One of the things I have had to address and face is healing karmic cords with my abuser in this life and in previous lives. This is NOT easy by any stretch. However, each day I am stronger, and remind myself that I AM … FREE … from those karmic bonds that tied me for 20+ years of my life in this life as well as in previous lives. The trauma and PTSD side would like to keep replaying the same story thinking it is protecting me not recognizing my finger has already been removed from that electrical socket.  It takes faith in the unknown and higher power and courage to remove your finger and begin healing.

So for many, the Universe and our souls pushed our buttons hard this year to get us out of our comfort zones, challenged relationships, and forced us to face the things needing change so we may continue to evolve from the caterpillar to the emerging butterfly. For those who have experienced PTSD or some form of trauma, these have been magnified. My question for you to ask yourself is:  “Were you open to change or resistant?” 

When we can have the courage of trying to not control every aspect in our life and face our shadow self, we become awakened.  We begin to embrace and nurture the inner child within allowing us to surrender the ego and the control that the trauma has in our life. 

Laura administering Reiki to a silver
back gorilla at the San Diego Zoo 2016

In order to get there, we must look at the two greatest emotions that drive us.  The themes of love and fear continue to the surface for review. I know for me this was a big one, because, my abuser kept me captive paralyzed in fear and stripping me my sense of self and gaslighted me to believe I was better off dead.

So relearning to trust in myself and know that I was worthy of love took many years of healing and lots of work. Slowly I regained my sense of self through self love and self compassion. What helped me initiate the process was my Spiritualist faith, reiki, and meditation practice.

If we are in a state of fear, how can we love? AND vice versa, if we are in a state of love, how can we fear? Learning the art of detachment from people, places, things and especially outcomes have also surfaced to allow for more soul growth. Whenever I see myself reliving fear or something I thought I healed or resolved or let go of from my past, I do the following:

  1. I acknowledge its presence
  2. I thank the Universe for bringing it to my attention so I may learn how to release this
  3. I create intentions and call upon my spiritual team to assist me. Depending on the issue, this may be my ascended reiki masters to Archangel Michael to Saint Germaine. You can create your team to assist you and call upon them. They will not intervene unless you ask for their assistance.
  4. I allow myself to receive love from the divine presence.
  5. I practice one or a combination of the modalities I have been studying over the years. This may be a violent flame meditation, to tibetan singing bowls, to reiki, to a meditative walk in nature or the like.
  6. I practice self love, self worth, self compassion, and self forgiveness.
  7. I adopt the pace of nature understanding that my healing happens not when I try to control its outcome, but when I have done the work and my frequency and vibration are in alignment with my intentions.
  8. Because of the trauma I endured, I did not trust people, organizations, or those in power who were supposed to uphold the law and protect me from abuse. So I built a relationship with the divine and nature. For those who follow me on Instagram or Facebook, see my posts of all the divine messages and confirmations from nature I receive almost daily and sometimes numerous times a day. It always brings a smile on my face.
  9. When appropriate, I seek help from other holistic practitioners.

 

As transition, I have been hearing messages addressing the theme of “forgiveness” as additional themes over the past week or so. So along with fear and love, forgiveness also seems to be playing a role especially for those trying to reclaim their power.

Last week, I posted a general message card to my Instagram and Facebook page where I talked about forgiveness. I saw this message as confirmation to what I am writing about here and I smiled. When I pulled the card, my shoulders suddenly relaxed, and I felt a huge a sigh.

Forgiveness is significant. All the work we have done so far is to prepare us for the hardest task … forgiveness.

If you are holding onto the pain or trauma or hurt someone may have caused you, the misconception is that forgiveness lets that person off the hook while you suffer. It does not. What happened to you is now in the past. What we do to ourselves as a result of trauma, is we keep the traumatic event or series of traumatic events alive and well in the present … the now. I have been trying to understand why we do this to ourselves and why do we imprison ourselves with very few answers. I believe a shift in perception allows us to see that when all we are doing is creating a pattern of self-destruction and self-imprisonment, then we can then implement change.

What forgiveness does is free ourselves from the chains that bind us. This in turn allows our hearts to receive self-love. We can not truly love another until we have fully learned this. I see this to be so true more than ever before now.

I am envisioning many of you who have experienced what many would call such egregious atrocious and unforgivable acts saying things like, “Why on earth would I forgive?”. We must let go of the need to control and need to be right and stay in the familiar. Being right usually does not change the outcome except create a prison stealing our lives. All this does is tie us to the story of the past, poisoning our present, and stealing our future.

Learning to forgive frees us. Wow, right now as I re-read that statement, I am envisioning the mighty power of hawk with a strap to it’s talon caught up in a tree stealing its flight, it’s ability to thrive and survive and ability to soar to great heights.  Then, finally the hawk is snapping the strap breaking free from the tangled mess in the tree and lifting it up letting go of those burdens where it can now soar the skies once again and not only survive, but thrive.

Learning to forgive is one of our greatest spiritual lessons to truly understand. We have had lots of lessons, and transformations this year. The hardest person to forgive, but the most important is “self”. The Universe is calling on us once again. We have been given signs whether you are attuned and seeing them or not is irrelevant. There are those who have been called to help those who can not see.

It’s time to forgive and write a new chapter.

Free yourself from the past, past hurts, past mistakes, past traumas or the like.

So for the coming month, the eclipse season and mercury retrograde will be what we choose to perceive it to be. This is a very transformative time, and we can use these energies to help us in our path if we learn to work with them versus fight them. For once, try to master riding these waves of change and see the world from a whole new perspective. We can not control the size, shape, and velocity of the waves that come ashore. So why do we try to control the waves of life? It is time we learned to ride the waves and have fun learning to surf. Wow, I what a shift right there. Wouldn’t you agree? Did you feel that?  I wrote about this last month in my post “Understanding the Cosmic Shifts”.

And since I have been writing about trauma, this is a grand time, to let the Universe help you right here, right now, in removing any and all obstacles from our mind and body so we may live a healthier and happier life. By the way, health is another theme arising too. So take time to listen to what the body tells you as it speaks to you 24/7. It is up to us whether or not we are listening.

The future is a blank slate. This is an opportunity to truly break free from those chains that bind you.
Are you willing? Are you ready?

The future is yours.

Please check out my January post 6 Tips Towards Soul-Fillment in 2016 and my April post on What You Need To Know About The Current Energies and Tips To Guide You to help guide you in your path.

In the meantime, have a beautiful day. I am here to help you in your journey. Enjoy.

 

With light, love, and appreciation,

Laura
Healing With Spirit 
Spiritual MediumSpeakerHealer

To schedule a private session, to book a corporate wellness event, or speaking engagement, please private message me

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 © 2015-2018 Laura Joseph. All Rights Reserved. This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specific medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional. Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns. This article does not share the opinions of Healing With Spirit or its affiliates.  Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.