QiGong Class Changed Us

I attended a QiGong class on March 22.  The teacher was a Master of QiGong with Chinese family lineage going back about five thousand years.  He spoke through a translator.  Although I found I could ‘hear’ another lecture by just observing him.  I expected to be influenced by being in his presence for 7 hours but did not know what the longer term effects would be.

I tolerated the class much better than expected.  I chose to sit instead of standing and the teacher was fine with my choice.  The majority of the class was learning active movements of Qi as we learned to interact with The Universe differently.  But I did not feel overly tired until the last hour.  For the 4 days after the class, I had no physical pain.  About 10 days after the class, my right side brain pain moved to the left side in a different pattern.  I also am experiencing less dissociative amnesia.

Curt does energy work on me weekly.  He noticed the overall increase of my energy, during my first treatment following the class.   During my second treatment following the class, he was able to physically release some Qi affecting my right hip*.  I could feel the energetic connections between my right hip, left side of neck, all of lateral most aspect of my back and down to my left ankle.  It felt as if Curt was twisting my whole body around my mid-line core, actually he was supporting my head as it turned slowly like a stretch to the left.

*There is a lot of ‘trauma’ stored in the area of my right hip.  Physically my gait is lopsided and painful.  It has seemed resistant to change but now I see it’s slowly changing.

I’ve also noticed myself just being more accepting, comfortable and less anxious  being me.  I’ve been thinking and processing about being OK to be me.  Accepting that I’m in different place of being than most individuals that I come in contact with here locally.  My life has been different AND it was ‘designed’ to be different from the beginning.  It’s beyond the influence of my early childhood trauma.  It’s like the trauma is just some layers of influence.

I’ve successfully removed white sugar from my eating lifestyle and thus I am needing less Xylitol to maintain a lower saliva acidity.  I’ve fired up my slow cooker making a couple of one-pot meals that were tasty and more adequately nutritious.  The Sleep With Me podcast has increased the number of nights that I actually sleep.  I am still unwilling to force myself into the potential terror of sleep.  But when I am able to listen to the podcast,  I usually sleep.

Birthday Funk

** TRIGGER WARNING **********************************************************************************************

My biological birthday always has created an emotional funk (my sexual abuse started within 24 hours of my birth).  Additionally, I’m really wanting to heal my right hip stuff but getting traction 3 times this week has really been emotionally overwhelming.  Not having therapy to buffer these events is really hard.  Brain pain, visual disturbances, dissociative amnesia, strong emotions and I just haven’t been able to keep us going.  I daydream about eating lots of food that puts me in la-la-land.  Right now there is just no reprieve.

Insurance Company error

So it turned out that my insurance company made a mistake with me and many, many others.  So my primary medication is not required to be only received by mail order.  They just needed me to call them and then they did the correction while I was on the phone.  Why this error wasn’t communicated to the national help center, so anyone needing help on Sunday, would have been re-assured that their maintenance medication would be available — is probably because everyone is too busy or didn’t even think about how the error was effecting individual policyholders … not from intentional carelessness.  I’m glad it is resolved.

Got all but one of my tasks done over the weekend AND am physically – emotionally feeling the effects

— more dissociative amnesia (difficulty with time and days/nights)

— more dissociation (HF and Becky not staying present)

— increased severity of brain pain on right-side lateral edge of vision center and posterior edge of speech center and having issues with finding words to speak with and vision is not clear

— more general fatigue

 

My right hip pain, bilateral upper leg pain and the wobbly gait has been present for a few years now.  Since the 2 foot reflexology treatments alleviated the severe upper leg pain, I’ve decided to go forward with more physical treatment.  I am receiving 3 lumbar traction treatments per week for this week and the next.  The initial chiropractic assessment showed propriceptorial deficiencies on the right-side below the waist and neuromuscular deficiencies directly connected to suspected spinal stenosis at L3 and L4.

The treating chiropractor doesn’t understand the ‘trauma’ link, but I am coping with the CPTSD aggravations so far. They are altered taste; and anxious talkativeness.

I trade services with a massage therapist that does energy work on me weekly.  He knows my psychotherapist, who was able to explain to him the best way to do energy work on us.  So instead of directly addressing specific complaints with massage therapy and gemmotherapy, it’s best to match my energy frequency and send this energy to me via his hands on my feet or neck or cradling my head.  When the frequency is matched, then he can feel my energetic system ‘speaking’ about how much intensity to use and when to cease a particular session.  The 3 different energy workers have commented about how my energetic system ‘speaks’ and how fast I respond.  This week’s energy treatment resolved the speech issue during the treatment and 36 hours post-treatment clear vision returned.

 

 

Misplacing Objects

Finished “About Me” page

One of the frustrating things about my daily living as highly functional Me is misplacing objects.  As a child my mother taught me how to mentally walk through my activities so I could learn where I left an object.  Of course, it was only helpful if I had access to those memories.  Now, I ask internally for help locating a misplaced object.  An answer may quickly come or not.  When no information is forthcoming, then I have learned to just let time pass and usually the object will be discovered.  But if I can’t let go of the desire or the actuality of hunting for the item, then usually it takes longer for the object to be shown to me.  Since I’ve learned this, I usually don’t get upset.  But the can opener is missing and I need it to prepare food.  Grrrhhh!

I’m continuing to manage my acidic saliva by dissolving Xylitol mints in mouth.  My tongue and buccal areas feel marginally better.  As long as I consume food that I have made from scratch, then the presence of food does not stimulate very acidic saliva.

I have been experiencing heightened body memories.  I really really dislike this particular sensation in my vagina.  It is also painful and distracting.  Also, I have experienced my ‘altered taste’ off and on this last week.  I’ve experienced difficulty remembering the day of the week.  This is often an indication that I am ‘losing time.’

Anxiety is high.  My landlord needs access to my apartment so an insurance agent can assess the house.  My current landlord lives in a different state and is the daughter of my original landlord.  My original landlord unexpectedly died about 15 months ago.  We’re quite aware of the disordered state of our apartment.  Since 2013 we have limited energy, which has limited our abilities to properly care for ourselves and our living space.  I am frustrated.  I think there should be help for someone like me.  If there exists help with daily living for someone like me, then I haven’t looked or asked in the those places, yet.  So tomorrow we will take frequent breaks while we push ourselves beyond exhaustion to make the apartment clean and ordered to meet basic expectations.

 

Sleeping and Acidic Saliva

Sleep

I continue to sleep from 1am to 8am.  But I had forgotten about the side effects of sleeping.  Flashbacks and body memories intrude during sleep creating nightmares, clenching of jaw and hands, and crying.  The nightmares do not generally wake me up but when I awake my hands are sore and there are dried tears on my face.  Some years ago, a friend taught me to hold small stuffed animals, one in each hand to prevent my fingers from clenching into a painful fist and prevent the radiation of pain up my forearms.  So I am holding Grey, a gray-faced brown monkey, in one hand and Treehouse, a squirrel holding a nut, in the other hand.

 

Saliva pH

A little history, my saliva has always been TOO ACIDIC.  So much so that my dentist of 25 years ago, told me that I could expect my teeth to have rotted away by my 50’s. At that time, he measured the pH of my saliva to usually be from 3.5-4.0 pH. Healthy saliva is expected to be between 6.5 and 7.5.  The pH scale is 0 to 7 acid, 7-14 alkaline and 7 is neutral. The smaller the pH number, the greater the acidity and the larger the number, the greater alkalinity.

He hoped that as time passed that dental implants would improve so that would be an option for me. And that has come to pass. The oral surgeon had the difficult job of removing my upper teeth. Above the gum line were a few rotted remains but below the gum line there were healthy roots which were not easily removed.  I have worn an upper denture secured by implants for 1 year now.

I am experiencing an episode of more severe acidity in my mouth. It’s not that I am experiencing less saliva but that the components of my saliva are more out-of-balance.  My tongue is raw, cracked and feels like it is burned.  The buccal (inside of the cheek) surface is also painful and fissured.  This episode has currently lasted 3 days and nights.  More saliva is released into the mouth when there is food present and so eating has become a painful gruesome experience.

Last night I ate my dinner very slowly. One or two bites followed by 8 to 10 ounces of water and repeat. Overnight, I dissolved Xylitol lozenges continuously in my mouth. Xyiltol is a plant-derived sugar substitute. It has the unique characteristic of not forming acidic compounds when reacting with saliva and does not mediate with insulin.  This morning, I ate breakfast with a Xylitol lozenge in my mouth, so I was able to tolerate eating more food without an increase of burning sensations.

 

Healthy pH

Healthy blood pH is important because it affects how the brain interprets pain signals, allows healing and regeneration and much more.  Hospitals can, and often, monitor the blood pH of their patients.  At home, individuals can measure their saliva and urine pH as reference to what their blood pH is.  Many things affect the blood pH.  Many diseases, conditions or syndromes create or thrive in a more acidic environment.  The specific foods that are consumed affects your pH.  Processed foods and drinks are all more acidic.  Sugary liquids and solids (like soda and corn sugar-based juice drinks; pastries, candy) and caffeinated liquids are acidic.  I only drink filtered water. I have never been a coffee drinker nor have I ever smoked cigarettes.

 

Saliva and Autonomic Nervous System Research

I feel that my acidic saliva is a trauma related/mediated issue, much in the same way as my incredibly low blood pressure (70/50) is a trauma related/mediated physiological response.  In researching saliva, I found some interesting and compelling information.  The wikipedia at http://www.en.wikipedia.org says

“The production of saliva is stimulated both by the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic.[10]

The saliva stimulated by sympathetic innervation is thicker, and saliva stimulated parasympathetically is more watery.

Sympathetic stimulation of saliva is to facilitate respiration, whereas parasympathetic stimulation is to facilitate digestion.”

 

So then I needed to remind myself about the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, the two divisions of the autonomic nervous system. The wikipedia says,

 “The autonomic nervous system is responsible for regulating the body’s unconscious actions. The parasympathetic system is responsible for stimulation of “rest-and-digest” or “feed and breed”[2] activities that occur when the body is at rest, especially after eating, including sexual arousal, salivation, lacrimation (tears), urination, digestion and defecation. Its action is described as being complementary to that of the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for stimulating activities associated with the fight-or-flight response.”

 

And now I am saying to myself, this is a connection that I need to remember because it specifically is connected to my trauma and some of my current developmental issues of urinary incontinence, inappropriate sexual arousal, erratic body temperature, low blood pressure and acidic salivation.  The wikipedia on parasympathetic nervous systems says,

“Nerve fibres of the parasympathetic nervous system arise from the central nervous system. Specific nerves include several cranial nerves, specifically the oculomotor nerve, facial nerve, glossopharyngeal nerve, and vagus nerve.”

 

√ ⇒ Bingo!! Vagal nerve – Peter Levine’s book In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness – Somatic Experiencing.  Earlier this week I ran across the below image and found the article, “Somatic Experiencing: using interoception and proprioception as core elements of trauma therapy” by Peter Payne, Peter A Levine, Mardi A Crane-Goreau, on Frontiers of Psychology: Consciousness Research, 04 February 2015 | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00093, at http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00093/full

www.frontiersin.org

Somatic Experiencing is a form of trauma therapy that bests approximates my 12 years of intensive individual psychotherapy and energy work.  Interoception can be defined as sensitivity to stimuli originating inside of the body.  Proprioception can be defined as the ability to sense the position, location, orientation and movement of the body and its parts.

My experience of the relationship between interoception and proprioception has been confusing.  Sometimes they are the same and sometimes they are far apart.  I can sense where my physical body is and how it moves through space AND I sense where it feels like my physical body and parts are.  For instance, I often have had the experience of knowing my physical body was standing up and walking with full mobility of both legs AND at the same time had a felt sense that my body was organized in space differently, such as split along my midline and the left side was orientated higher than the right. Another example is knowing that I am sitting in a chair and all my body parts are physically connected but have reported feeling/sensing that my body is cut-up and separated into parts like a horizontal cut at my waist, vertical cut at my midline, and further cuts separating limb parts and sometimes no sense of hands, etc.  As a young adult, I learned to differentiate between the physical reality and the felt sense and honor both experiences.

Then back to making a connection to my developmental issues, I found the article “The Early Development of the Autonomic Nervous System Provides a Neural Platform for Social Behavior: A Polyvagal Perspective” by Steph W Porges and Senta A Furman on Infant Child Development, 2011 Feb; 20(1): 106–118, doi: 10.1002/icd.688 at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079208/ .  With my first read-through of this article, I feel validation for developmental issues and the correlation to my trauma experiences.  I also feel more hopeful about effecting change developmentally.

 

Helping The Kids Sooner

The Kids are a group of internal parts aged newborn to 9 years of age.  While I have been working on this post this evening, The Kids made it clear the burning tongue and buccal area needed to be addressed sooner as it is too triggering of their dire helplessness. Specifically, they began our conversation with chanting “Die, Die, Die”.

I researched homeopathic remedies via a few online homeopathic remedy finders and found that Belladonna 6C matches the symptoms of acidic saliva as well as my interoception of coldness and my general ongoing anxiety.  So I’m looking for a local source of this remedy so that I can hopefully positive effect the acidic saliva as soon as possible.  And then longer term explore what other options exist to treat and resolve it as a developmental parasympathetic nervous system issue.  I continue to constantly be dissolving Xylitol orally and drinking water.

 

 

 

 

 

‘Altered Taste in my Mouth’ Reoccurs

I’m still sleeping 6-7 hours overnight.  It’s a blessed experience.  It feels like the 24-hour day is shorter – which I’ve experienced before as no longer a need to fill as much time every day.  Although I have noticed my daily anxiety level is higher, not sure where and how I can affect it.

Last few days, I have been experiencing the ‘altered taste in my mouth’ thing.  The ‘altered taste’ has been experienced once or twice every few months for many years.  During these time periods, food and water do not taste as expected and generally everything tastes like bland mud.  Most of the time it starts ‘out-of-the-blue’.  Sometimes it seems to be triggered by our processing of traumatic memories or specific energy work on or around our brain.

Since my foot reflexology session about 7-10 days ago, I have not experienced upper leg pain and seem to be able to walk longer without discomfort.  Although my right hip’s range of motion is still reduced, as I continue to have difficulty raising my right leg to get into my car.  Yesterday, I received another foot reflexology treatment.  During the treatment I felt more energy flowing through my pelvis and was able to stay present.  In the past I haven’t tolerated energy movement through my pelvis; it always was quite triggering and I would immediately feel disturbed and could dissociate.

In my knitting realm, I discovered http://www.threadsofcompassion.org.  All they ask is you knit or crochet a scarf at least 5 inches wide and 65 inches long AND that is soft and comforting.  I will be making a scarf and I’ll post a picture when it’s finished.

“Threads of Compassion is a loosely connected group of survivors of sexual violence who desire to offer comfort and support to recent victims. The idea is simple. Anyone whose life has been affected by sexual assault or abuse is welcome to knit or crochet a scarf which will then be given to a victim of sexual violence when they enter the hospital for emergency treatment.”

 

My Daily Energy

2 years ago, I woke up without the energy to move myself physically out of my bed.  I did not work for 6 weeks and was wheelchair-bound while a multitude of medical tests were done. All results negative except for one blood test, Anti-Nuclear Antibody (ANA) which suggests the potential for an Auto-Immune Disorder. Negative results are 0-10, positive results are 15-40 and my result was 640. My internal organs (brain, heart, lungs, liver, kidney, pancreas) are healthy. I generally do not have any physical pain, just low energy.

I live alone. My food preparation is limited to anything that does not require standing for more than a few minutes. I take sponge baths instead of showering. I use a motorized cart in the grocery store. Outside of work and home, I use a front-wheeled walker. I work 3 days per week, with 1 day between each work day for resting and knitting.

Knitting is therapeutic because it engages both brain hemispheres and is calming to us. Psychotherapy ended in 2014, after 12 years of intense work. I am co-conscious except when I am not. I have been co-conscious for 5 or 6 years now. I have one close friend. My immediate biological family is not supportive. The totality of who I am is unknown to most who interact with me.

I experience much anxiety when I need to interact with the world outside of me in any way. It is difficult to take out the trash or to go to the laundromat or text my landlord or return phone calls and many times it just doesn’t happen. I am fully aware that how I live day-to-day is outside the ‘norm’ and is upsetting to many. I know I am better when I am not spending the majority of my time alone but I do not know how I can facilitate and find safe people.  I make a decent friend. I have a great laugh and enjoy laughing. I am loyal, generally positive and accepting of others.