Of Two Minds: Crossing the great divide between head and heart

Of Two Minds: Crossing the great divide between head and heart

Is there a gulf between your head and your heart? Do you live in your head, where you are safe from feeling…well, anything? Or, are you a little bag of feelings reacting to…everything?

Many of the people I see fall into the first category – residing in their heads. After all, this is our culturally accepted place to be. To be successful we have to think things through, to organize, to plan, to see the whole picture. Thinking is a very good, necessary thing. Some people, however, live only in thought land, where it’s safe from uncomfortable things, like feelings. Feelings are the territory of the heart, but did you know that your heart also has a brain?

Your Heart Has a Brain

The new field of neurocardiology shows that the heart is not simply the mechanical pump we’ve been taught it is. The heart has its own nervous system; it’s a little brain that communicates with the larger brain. It also has a stronger electromagnetic field, but that’s another conversation. Just remember your heart has its own intelligence, almost its own personality.

Think of the ways we talk about the heart.  We use words like having a wounded, broken or foolish heart, having heartache or being heartsick, or we speak of having a calm, peaceful or brave heart. How would you describe your heart?

Your Healthy Heart

Do you have a healthy relationship with your heart?  Do you exercise and eat well to keep your heart strong? Do you have a regular stress managing system to take physical pressure off of your heart? If yes, great!  You’re taking care of your physical pump. How about the emotional level?  Do you accept and release feelings as they happen? Do you think of your heart as being intelligent?  Or, do you, or someone you love, avoid feeling-land at all costs?

Most of how we handle feelings comes from what we learned. Do you know someone who was taught that to feel or to show feeling is weakness? Although this one is common for men, women also have received this message, and so they learned to close off to their feelings to gain approval.  If there is a lot of emotional pain, we learn to close off – I’m not gonna let myself be hurt, again. Some become masters of the close off, but then forget how to open up, when the threat is gone. It would be simple if there were no consequences to this and we could all live happily in thought land. Oops…happy, that’s in feeling land.

We don’t get happy, when we can’t feel our hearts. We do get anxiety, though. When something is wrong, the brain receives signals from the heart in the form of neurotransmitters. And, just because we aren’t aware of our specific feelings does not mean we don’t have them.

Feelings 101

We are designed to feel.  Every feeling is a chemical, a neurotransmitter that sends information to the body. When feelings are buried rather that released, those chemicals can cause us harm. Repressed emotion has been linked to a wide variety of illness, including cancer and autoimmune diseases.  By the way, EFT is a remarkable tool to clear the old stuff.

It’s easy to get stuck up in your head.  However, when you find yourself spinning your wheels in thought land

 

Place your hand over your heart.

Feel the rise and fall of your hand as you gently breathe in and out.

Bring all your awareness to the space around you heart.

Feel yourself sinking down into that space.

Now, listen.

The heart speaks in its own way.  Be patient.

Your heart has information about you, a deeper knowing about what emotions might be buried.  Your heart mind knows what you need, and you can learn to communicate with it.  When the head and the heart are in full communication, decisions and actions are clear and balanced. Life takes on a new ease.  Take a leap, and cross that great divide between your head and your heart.

Meg Deak, MCAT, LPC

Chiropractic & Allergies

Sneezing!  Blowing!  Itching!  Tired!  Miserable!

 Do you have a certain time of the year that you dread because you are miserable from allergies? Are your symptoms so intense that it prevents you from going outside? You probably feel even worse by staying indoors and taking medications.

There is another solution; however, and that is Chiropractic Care and Functional Diagnostic Medicine.  While you might know that chiropractors can help provide relief from back pain, you might not understand how beneficial Chiropractic and Functional Diagnostic Medicine is for helping people with allergies.

You know what the symptoms of allergies are, but do you understand what causes them?  Many people make the mistake of thinking that whatever substance they are allergic to causes the allergy attack.  But, if it really was the pollen, seafood, hay, or dust that caused the allergies, wouldn’t everyone that encountered these substances have some sort of an allergic attack? 

Allergies are actually your own immune and nervous system functioning improperly that gives rise to allergies.  It is also what dictates who has allergies and who doesn’t.

When your nervous system sends improper messages to your immune system, your body begins to mistake harmless substances like pollen as dangerous invaders such as the flu.  Once this abnormal pattern has been established, your body will release a substance known as histamine and then the misery of itchy eyes and throat, sneezing, and runny nose begins.

Typically, these responses would be beneficial in stopping a harmful substance from traveling further into your body, but when it is simply dust or pollen, the reaction causes more harm than good. This is why people with allergies are often referred to as having a hyperactive immune system.  Instead of determining which substances are good and which ones are bad, your body simply reacts to everything.  Just as some people have allergies whereas others don’t, there are also varying degrees of severity for people with allergies.  This is often due to the amount of nerve interference present and its resultant effect on the immune system.  In fact, some people’s allergies can become so severe that they actually lead to death.

Research shows that symptoms and disease are simply the end result of something else gone wrong. Therefore, it is best to treat the cause naturally and not the symptoms.

How can chiropractic help provide relief of your allergies?

If you had the choice, would you rather gain relief from allergies by taking medications each time you have an attack or prevent them from happening in the first place by treating the underlying cause.  Unfortunately, the large majority of allergy medications only function to stop the release of histamines each time you are exposed to an allergen.  While this can stop the symptoms of allergies, it never addresses that overactive immune system which is the actual cause.  As a result, people with chronic allergies are often stuck taking allergy medications their entire life.

In contrast, Chiropractic and Functional Diagnostic Medicine offers a different approach for the treatment of allergies by concentrating on the underlying cause.  As mentioned earlier, your immune system depends on normal signals being transmitted from your brain and through your nervous system to function properly.  In order for this message to reach its destination, it must travel along nerves located within your spinal column.  As a result, there are a number of different areas in your back that can become problematic and result in the development of a hyperactive immune system.

Chiropractors are highly skilled at locating and correcting the most common cause of this interference, subluxations (misalignments of the vertebrae in the back).  Through the correction of these subluxations, the nervous system is allowed to send the proper messages to your immune system enabling it to interact with your environment normally.  In other words, your body will no longer interpret that harmless dust or pollen as a dangerous virus or bacteria.  As the underlying cause is addressed, you will begin to gain relief from the symptoms caused by your allergies.

Chiropractic Care and Functional Diagnostic Medicine correct the underlying dysfunctions that can lead to chronic illness and help the body to function properly and reach its optimal potential.

Dr. Tom Wachtmann, D.O.

Dr. Thomas Wachtmann uses his knowledge, experience, and expertise to accurately treat health problems at their source. He will be happy to consult with you to plan your individualized course of treatment.  Please call 610-395-3355 for your appointment.