How to awaken your kundalini energy

ascension, chakras, chronic illness, core wounds, empath, endocrine disruptors, energy, fascia, food, glands, holistic, intuition, karma, mind-body, narcissism, past lives, raw food, relationships, stress, thyroid, vitamins and minerals, vitamins and supplements

Kundalini is a Sanskrit word originating near ancient India that speaks of the arising energy and consciousness every single one of us are born with, which has been coiled at the base of the spine since birth. In theory, it is your true life force — that which drives and motivates, excites and awakens, and keeps you going forward in life. It is easy to spot people whose kundalini has been awakened from its sleep — they are present, attentive, able to enforce healthy boundaries, love themselves and others, have a zest for life, are positive and loving. Those whose kundalini is not awake will seem half-asleep or not present, negative, unmotivated, tired, or doubtful. In short, awakening your kundalini will lead to a happy, fulfilling life — something we all want for ourselves. But you have to work hard to do this.

Problems with energy flow through the body originate both from past and present lifetimes. As I have written about before, there are many ways your healthy, life-giving energy becomes inaccessible: unlearned lessons, fascial adhesions around the chakra centers, core wounds, energy vampires, and more. For all of us as energetic beings, a primary goal while alive (no matter your religious beliefs) should be to cultivate robust kundalini energy so you can go about life in a present, positive state; where life happens for you, not to you.

Think about a child. The typical child has so much excess energy they simply don’t know what to do with it. They run, chase, jump, play to their heart’s content when allowed and rarely get tired. When they do tire, they fall asleep easily and sleep soundly. When not allowed to express their energy, they become frustrated, irritable, and resentful; they act out and get in trouble with adults because they are unable to channel it appropriately. Adults generally do not posses the same energy levels as children (because of the aforementioned reasons that have blocked their own life force), so children become frustrated with adults and adults become frustrated with children as their energy levels diverge. Because of all sorts of enculturation and indoctrination, children gradually become less and less energetic — both physically and emotionally or spiritually. They learn to dim, shut off, shine less. They see how expressing their energy gets them in trouble. Over time as they age, people become as energetic as any other adult their age — not much, to say the least.

Many adults deal with extreme amounts of fatigue, nervousness, anxiety, excessive need for sleep, and other health complaints that they just can’t seem to get under control — no matter which diet they adopt, no matter which supplements or medication the take, no matter how much they relax, vacation, or sleep. What if I told you that your lack of energy is not an energy deficit but in fact a blockage or misdirection of energy? Would you believe it?

Visualize your kundalini energy as a long, thick cord starting at the first chakra (the base of your pelvis) and working it’s way up through the center of your body to the brain. Along the way, it will hit your sex organs, digestive tract, heart, thyroid and throat, and skull or brain. Think of it as a river channel. If there are “dams” within this straight channel, energy will not be able to flow to all remaining energy centers “downstream”. A blockage in your third chakra, for example, will mean energy cannot channel its way up to your heart, thyroid, and brain. Physically, you may experience heartburn, trouble breathing, congested lungs, trouble swallowing, headaches, brain fog, and more. Emotionally, you may not be open to love or unable to receive it, be wounded from broken hearts, have trouble expressing yourself, feel ashamed of your creativity, feel confused, and more.

We have been taught to view chakra imbalances as a case by case basis. In other words, your 1st, 4th, and 5th chakras may be blocked, so you may work to address those areas, but in reality they are but a symptom of a larger problem: your kundalini is being strangled. Take a look at the picture below to see what I mean.

Targeting specific chakras is helpful, yes, but you also must think about the way all of these areas connect. Fascia is one reason for multiple chakra blockages. Fascia is the connective tissue that sits under your skin and on top of your muscles. When healthy, it aides in structural support and transports essential nutrients and even hormone fluids. When dysfunctional, however, it becomes thick, rigid, and straight up blocks transport of said nutrients, blood flow and oxygen, blocks nerve function, and causes pain.

There are many reasons we develop tight, rigid, thick fascia but a primary cause that I do not see anyone speaking about is unlearned lessons and core wounds. Let me explain. Like many of my clients, those who come to me for help with thyroid diseases have had trouble speaking, expressing themselves, indulging their voice or creativity, or facing punishment if they do speak. They are such beautiful, intelligent, highly aware people but they see themselves as stupid, inadequate, broken, and unable to be trusted. They have worked hard to keep other people’s realities afloat and in doing so, suppressed theirs so it no longer exists. You would think this is all about emotional and spiritual well-being. In fact, though, your emotions and life experiences generate a physical stress response that develops bad fascia or fascial adhesions. How is this possible, you ask?

Imagine you are an empathic person in a family of non-empaths. Perhaps you were born highly sensitive and intuitive, though you do not know this about yourself (most of my clients fit this bill). You watch as your family shoots down ideas that do not align with their preexisting beliefs (be it religious, economic, political, etc). You watch as those who “play the 3D game” well get rewarded, liked, and adored. You see that those who do not get punished — shaming, spanking, neglect. You question your value and worth because who you are and what you desire out of life and are oppositional odds to everything in your environment. Unless you are a very strong personality, you will go within, get quiet, and choke back your voice — literally. You will tense your vocal chords, cry quietly (tensing the whole time), sneeze or cough quietly to avoid being noticed, never raise your hand or chime in because you don’t know if what you have to say will be accepted, and overall do not exercise your throat in normal ways, only tensing as, well, external tensions arise.

Or maybe you have been exposed to heinous secrets a family member is hiding. You know the truth, though they don’t know you do, and you feel conflicted about saying something to stop the immoral behavior versus not saying something because you don’t want to rock the boat. Each time the truth verges on coming out of you, or each time you are exposed to the lie, you tense up your throat and vocal chords further in anticipation of the punishment that will ensue. Over years and years, more and more bad fascia will develop over your throat. It becomes tighter and tighter, more and more restricted the less you use it. You will also become prone to throat infections or other E/N/T problems, trouble swallowing, choking on food, etc the less the area is used. It is about life lessons that keep getting put off (finally saying something, in this case), and the physical response that ensues. And to take it one step further, this is likely an age-old pattern that has presented itself in every lifetime but you never thought to resolve, and it has come back around for another look this lifetime. That is why it is such a trigger. Can you see the connection?

Now, what this has to do with kundalini is that you never had a problem with too little energy to begin with. You have always had enough energy because you were born with a full, complete, divine spark of energy. But the energy was being misdirected into tension patterns instead of healthy expressions because of the dysfunctional system you have had to play along in just to survive. All of your built up energy became tension that eventually caused physical dysfunction. The good news is that you can correct this and re-awaken your kundalini — not just individual chakra centers — for total healing and peace.

How to awaken your kundalini energy:

Let go of all societal expectations. Do not be or do what you have been told. Do what comes naturally from your soul and brings you joy.

Release all lower vibration emotions such as fear, shame, anxiety, resentment, anger, etc.

Live a big, bold life. Do not play small for anyone.

Do not hold back positive emotions such as joy, excitement, love, etc.

Get rid of energy vampires and toxic personalities who are draining your energy and causing tension.

Accept the bad things that have happened to you. Make peace.

Right the wrongs in your life. This allows you to learn the lessons.

Let go of attachments to your flaws.

Embrace your beauty and begin to only see yourself this way.

Rewrite every negative story you have ever been told about yourself.

Pursue your dreams head on. Live your life purpose.

Release past-life patterns that are playing out in the present. They are but a remnant of the distant past.

Do energy clearings, including sage, Reiki, mantras, positive alchemy, etc.

Improve your diet. Eat living foods which contain a life force all their own.

Drink alkaline water.

Eliminate parasites and other infections such as SIBO and candida.

Cook for yourself at home. Infuse your food with love.

Eat less fried and processed food.

Eat slowly and take time to enjoy and digest properly.

Do self-care rituals such as massage, exercise, sex, baths, naps, etc.

Cleanse your space (deep clean, de-clutter, organize, rearrange, sage, light candles, etc).

Do myofascial release, especially around the chakra centers, but on your body as a whole.

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Nutrition for kidney disease

abuse, AUTOIMMUNE, autoimmune disease, chronic illness, core wounds, dairy-free, diets, endocrine disruptors, energy, fats, food, grains, heavy metals, holistic, mind-body, nutrition, raw food, relationships, stress, thyroid, vitamins and minerals, vitamins and supplements

Over the last eight years, my primary focus with clients has been helping people improve their thyroid diseases and autoimmune diseases with nutrition and mind-body work. However, I have certainly had clients with kidney disease come to me seeking nutritional supports in order to improve their health and quality of life. We’ve seen big changes in their symptoms and blood work by adopting some simple, strategic diet changes.

Please know I don’t share these ideas to tell you that kidney disease can be reversed or 100% healed. But it can be improved with food. I know there are some who have been able to put kidney disease into remission, but this is not a promise I make to anyone. There is always the possibility for improvement and putting research-backed nutrition to use for you is the best first step. You don’t have to do all of these things at once as it can lead to a restrictive diet but try to keep these things in mind going forward. As always, speak with your health care provider before making any changes and ask them for direction on your specific situation.

Nutritional healing for kidney disease:

Lower and limit your intake of all animal proteins (this includes eggs, dairy, seafood, and meats) as proteins are especially hard on the kidneys and can lead to dehydration.

Lower your sodium intake (your doctor can direct you on how much you should be using daily). When you do have salt, use an unrefined sea salt or Himalayan salt.

Reduce the phosphorous level in your diet. Grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and root vegetables are commonly high. While standard nutrition practices tell us that whole grains are healthier, the truth is that it depends on how your health is at the moment. For example, choose white rice over brown because the phosphorus level will be lower.

Avoid carbonated drinks, even water. The phosphoric acid can contribute to high phosphorus levels which wreaks havoc on kidney health.

Add in as many raw fruits and vegetables as possible. Not only are they alkalizing (which is difficult when kidney disease is present, due to imbalanced minerals) but they provide enzymes If you are someone who needs to watch their potassium levels so they don’t get too high, then rely on low-potassium fruit and veg. Juices and smoothies are a great option because they will allow you to intake a high volume of alkalizing minerals in one shot.

Determine if dietary oxalates are a problem for you. If so, work with a practitioner to slowly (very very slowly) reduce the oxalate content of your diet. Oxalates are notorious for damaging the kidneys.

Use binders to reduce your phosphorous level. Activated charcoal and chitosan are two options. Speak with your practitioner before adding in any supplements, however.

Eat foods low in Potential Renal Acid Load (PRAL). Sugar, alcohol, tomatoes, and white flour products are notoriously high. Raw fruits and vegetables are typically the lowest.

Drink alkaline water. Your body has a hard time keeping itself alkaline so taking in liquids that are alkaline is a way to help your body do what it is unable to do for itself at the moment.

Keep your blood sugar balanced. Keep snacks on hand and eat meals at appropriate times. Rely on high-good-fat snacks to keep you going between meals.

Avoid heavy metals. They are very damaging to the kidneys and hide in foods, beauty products, and even supplements.

Eliminate food sensitivities.

Use herbs that are helpful for kidney function.

De-stress. When we talk about stress, the adrenal glands typically get all of the attention. However, your kidneys are also extremely sensitive to stress. Energetically, kidney malfunction is a result of fear. Kidney patients have often undergone extreme life stressors (often still relegated to the recesses of the subconscious mind so you may not be consciously aware of it). You can be an abuse victim in which you were constantly walking on eggshells around others for fear of punishment that comes with abuse. Go back to the time the abuse first started and begin to see how it has affected your feelings and choices in the present, then stop the cycle once and for all by accessing your personal power. Tell abusers to f*ck off because you deserve better.

Why there’s harm in labeling everything a “candida problem”

AUTOIMMUNE, autoimmune disease, candida, chemicals, chronic illness, dairy-free, diets, fermentation, food allergies, gluten-free, grains, heavy metals, holistic, hormones, low-carb, nutrition, probiotic, vitamins and minerals, vitamins and supplements, water

My foray into holistic health and wellness started after a Hashimoto’s Disease diagnosis in 2007 which I could find no relief from. Medication didn’t help my thyroid or symptoms. So, what would?, I wondered. Enter The Yeast Connection and Women’s Health by Dr. William Crook — a book I just so happened to find in a book store while I was living half of the time in Brooklyn, NY and half of the time in Westchester. Books made for great companions on long train rides to and from the city.

After abiding by The Yeast Connection diet, in four short months my thyroid lab work improved by half. It was no coincidence; it was basic cause and effect. After that time, and with many other dietary tweaks, I was able to completely get off of all medication and keep my thyroid numbers stable (even during and post pregnancy). Needless to say, this information about yeast, or candida, it’s often called, was a life-changer. 

But over the years since going to nutrition school and working as a Health Coach, I’ve seen behind the scenes at some of the biggest wellness brands in the industry. Big names, big circles, big ass facades, big product to sell. In these companies, we were directed to assign most clients to one of two or three categories: they either likely had yeast problems, parasites, or they had SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). We couldn’t diagnose or treat, of course, but we could offer information for the consumer to do with what they pleased. 

While almost all of the time (which I take very seriously), my clients left happy and wrote back weeks or months later reporting how much the information had helped them, I couldn’t shake the few who seemed to be unable to rid themselves of candida, no matter what they did. Short of seeing a functional medicine doctor, there was little more that could be done for them. And often, the functional medicine doctors they were seeing had less information or help for them than the health coaches I was working alongside, which put clients in a difficult position. Mainstream doctors wouldn’t even acknowledge yeast overgrowth and holistic doctors had few answers. Just how could they kick their candida “problem” for good?

In the holistic health and nutrition community, candida is seen as a means to an end. That is, tell someone who has all the symptoms of candida about candida and what to eat for it or what to avoid — or which products to buy — and voila! problem solved. This leads to super strict paleo, keto, and no-fruit-whatsoever diets which are nearly impossible to maintain for the long term. (Check the social media of your favorite paleo celebrities and you will likely see that even they have reintroduced gluten-free grains or legumes at some point).

Clients ended up coming to me “post paleo” or post other-famous-paleoish diets other nutrition experts had recommended because they not only still had yeast problems, but they lost way too much weight, developed anxiety from the constant food prep and kitchen demands, lost their social life, and worried every food under the sun was making them sick. This just isn’t helpful. 

First, know that yeast overgrowth is a real phenomenon and I am not trying to insinuate it is not. I have seen it on lab work, and I have seen it in, well, “graphic” pictures my clients have sent to me over the years (bowel movements, mucus, etc etc.). Our modern foods, combined with stress and lack of healthy bodily flora, hormonal imbalances, and overuse of antibiotics has led to yeasty people. “Autointoxication syndrome” and raised levels of acetaldehyde are but two mainstream recognitions of this.

However, that said, if you have candida overgrowth that you cannot kick no matter which diet, supplements, or other remedies you try, there is a deeper underlying issue and you need to seek medical support. Throwing supplements and yet another strict diet at yeast over and over again for years will likely not stop the problem. You likely have an underlying health condition that is causing the yeast in the first place. You see, yeast is a symptom. 

Some common underlying medical conditions that can cause yeast include: kidney disease, liver disease, chronic dehydration, adrenal fatigue, gene mutations or methylation problems, rare inherited genetic diseases, urea cycle disorders, heavy metal poisoning, chemical exposure, hormone imbalances, autoimmunity or depressed immune responses, cancer, nutritional deficiencies, G.I. diseases, contraindicated medication, and more. 

I am not saying these things to scare you into thinking you have a terrible disease. I am telling you these things so that, if you are at the end of your rope with trying to improve the yeast problem, you won’t give up and will get proper medical attention. Please don’t go years thinking the next diet will rescue you. Healthy diet (in which you avoid your personal allergens, such as gluten, dairy, oxalates, salicylates, histamine, and/or sulfur) is essential. Getting in adequate nutrients daily is essential. Herbs and remedies are sometimes great. But at the root of the candida problem that cannot be helped is a medical issue and I encourage you to seek proper testing and diagnostics from a medical professional who can analyze your individual history and symptoms. 

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