Collective Unconsciousness

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Munch-Evening
Collective conscious or collective conscience is a term introduced by French sociologist Emile Durkheim that refers to the set of shared beliefs, ideas and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society. There are many overlapping fields of collective conscious. Every family has its own collective conscious. So do cities, states and nations, ethnic, cultural, religious and political groups. There is also a collective conscious of humanity as a whole.

People within every facet of society operate within a certain range of consciousness or lack thereof. Not only do people operate from the various forms of collective conscious. They also operate from states of individual and collective states of unconsciousness.

Unconsciousness is a state that occurs when the ability to maintain awareness of the self and the environment is lost. Unconsciousness is evident in the lack of awareness or understanding in various groups of people. Our state of unconsciousness is also evidenced in the addictions, violence and other abuses perpetrated against people and animals, the destruction of the planet, wars and other forms of dysfunction that play out individually and collectively.

We are all conscious or aware to varying degrees and yet there is so much more to our feelings, physical bodies and minds, the world around us and other people that we are not aware of. So much of our lack of awareness stems from the fact that parts of our consciousness have either failed to develop. Or we have shut down, deadened or disconnected from them.

The loss of innocence

We come into this world with an innocence and purity about us. But many of us are deeply hurt as a result of the hurtful words and actions of those entrusted to care for us, siblings, teachers and classmates and others with whom we interact. We cope the best we can and yet we internalize so much of the suffering we experience because we lack the understanding and resources needed to facilitate the healing of the deep emotional wounds.

We try to fit in to the best of our ability because of our needs for love, approval and acceptance, but we tend to lose touch with ourselves in the process of being what we think other people want us to be. Despite all of that, our bodies and minds are incredibly resilient throughout our childhood, adolescence and into early adulthood. The life force flowing from our core compels us to learn, grow and adapt to other people, our surroundings and the challenges of our daily lives. But it’s only a matter of time before the deep emotional wounds and vulnerabilities begin to surface.

The abuses suffered during my childhood and adolescence began to play out in my romantic relationships during my mid-twenties. I found myself attracting and being attracted to women that were either uninterested, unavailable or that reenacted the traumas of my past. These women were a reflection of how deeply wounded I was at that time.

I suffered terribly as a result of these patterns of abandonment and unrequited love. The all-consuming pain that arose was debilitating and I felt as though I were flailing in the dark in my initial attempts to heal the deep emotional wounds. I knew that I could not continue to live like that and I was willing to do whatever it took to get to a better place.

I had an instinctive sense that I needed to breathe softly and deeply while diving into the middle of the overwhelming pain and feelings of abandonment. The pain was so intense at times and I feared that I would go right on over the edge. But doorways began to open as I learned to move through the middle of the pain. The pervasive darkness gradually abated. I could feel these powerful emanations of warmth flowing from within as my authentic core self began to emerge and my connection to the higher power began to grow stronger.

The practice I’m describing is quite powerful, but that alone was not enough to heal the deep emotional wounds. I started receiving deep tissue body work and working with a number of powerful healers whenever the opportunity presented itself. I started going on the vision quest, a traditional Native American healing practice that involves going out to fast alone in the mountains for four days and nights without food and water.

I felt much lighter and my range of motion began to expand as the debilitating emotional wounds healed. I gradually began to attract healthier friends and companions, but I didn’t stop there. I naturally assumed that I would make further progress in my personal development as long as I continued to work with the practices and resources that had facilitated my healing.

My assumption was correct. I could feel parts of me emerging that I never even knew existed. I developed greater resilience along with many new skills and capabilities and my range of motion continued to expanded. The many years of intensive spiritual practice that I have gone through to heal my own woundedness and develop my body and mind has also greatly heightened my sensory capacity.

While speaking with people or spending time in their presence, I began to get an acute sense of their intellectual and emotional range and then I could feel where it stopped. I could feel how people disconnected from their thoughts, feelings and physical bodies and the realities of their everyday lives. I could feel the pain, fear, confusion, anger and other emotions that people were holding within their bodies and minds. I felt the parts of their consciousness that had shut down or failed to develop. And I could see how that prevented people from functioning in many areas of their lives and realizing their true potential.

People I spoke with often told me that they didn’t want to possess the heightened level of sensitivity that would enable them to see or feel what’s going on within others. And that they rather not know or be aware to this extent. The problem with being so desensitized is that it amounts to going through life with the blinders on. It prevents us from seeing what we’re getting ourselves into and the consequences of our actions. We end up doing a lot of unnecessary damage to ourselves and others.

Behind the façade

One of the things I enjoy most about my work is getting to work with all kinds of amazingly creative, intelligent, gifted and highly functional people with a clear sense of purpose and direction that excel at what they’re doing. I’m working with artists, writers, musicians, attorneys, architects, engineers, educators and people in the financial industry, healing arts and medical profession. I work with many successful entrepreneurs that have built their own businesses. I have also worked with ministers, priests and swamis. Many of these individuals are making valuable contributions to society. Some are truly compassionate, caring and have tremendous amounts of love to give.

A large portion of society gets up and goes to work in the morning and then comes home after the long day to watch television, surf the net, shop and eat. Many are successful by society’s standards, but their work leaves them unfulfilled and they lack any real sense of purpose or direction. They have their friends and interests, but in many instances there doesn’t appear to be much learning or growth. They seem to be more interested in getting comfortable.

Some people appear to do little more than take up space and use up more of the planet’s resources. And there are those who are doing lots of damage to themselves, others around them and the world in which we live. Fortunately, this is a phase that many people grow out of.

Our culture is so much about surface appearances that it lacks much of the range and depth found among some of the indigenous communities and people of other ancient cultures. And we lack the power, presence and connectedness to the forces of creation found among individuals in the various ancient spiritual traditions that have attained mastery through many years of intensive practice. Even the most highly functional people in our modern day culture that appear to have their act together are only using a very small portion of their true potential.

Much of the populace maintains surface appearances by saying and doing the right things. Most manage to function in their jobs because failure to do so could potentially jeopardize their survival. Behind the polished facade, there’s often a tremendous mental and emotional immaturity and a woundedness. A large percentage of the population suffers as a result of the traumas and chronic stresses that they have experienced over the course of their lives. Many people have been emotionally, physically and/or sexually abused during their childhood. Many have been sexually assaulted as adults. Many have suffered the physical and psychological traumas resulting from surgery and automobile accidents. Everyone suffers as a result of having gone through painful breakups, divorces and the death of friends and loved ones. Many struggle with patterns of abandonment and unrequited love or have attracted unfaithful and/or emotionally and physically abusive partners. This suffering is made worse by the fact that people are not fully equipped to process these traumas.

A large percentage of the population is on antidepressants, anti-anxiety and/or psychotropic medications and a wide range of other pharmaceuticals. Many medicate with alcohol and other recreational drugs. The medications we depend upon may help to dull the pain. Our drugs of choice may help us to escape monetarily, and yet the the substances we take to escape from or dull the pain also deaden our consciousness.

People’s deep emotional wounds are often compounded by their unwillingness to fully experience their true feelings and address relevant issues head on. Many do not even consciously register the emotions held within their own bodies. They cannot clearly perceive the issues that need to be dealt with because their consciousness is so muddled by the accumulated mental – emotional baggage held within and the fact that their bodies are in such a poor state of health. In many instances the hardware that actually facilitates consciousness begins to breakdown or degenerate and that further impedes people’s ability to process their emotions, bring issues to a place of resolution and heal their bodies and minds.

I’m interacting with people that are anxious, depressed, struggling with addictions, suffering from traumatic stress and a wide range of physiological health issues every day. I see and feel how wounded people are. I also recognize their untapped potential. I try to convey what I’m sensing and the fact that I possess gifts of healing that can address many of these issues. One of the unfortunate consequences of going through life suppressing one’s feelings and avoiding the issues is that many people are so out of touch that they do not realize how bad of shape they’re in or feel the need to do anything about it.

Some people are aware to varying degrees and yet they’re not willing to address the issues. Others do recognize the problems, and yet they have no understanding of the fact that those of us who have undergone such intensive training and that have received the transmissions of power possess gifts that will facilitate the healing of many of these issues. And many are just not willing to try something that they’re not familiar with. Sadly, many people who could heal, realize so much more of their true potential and live much healthier and more meaningful lives continue to suffer unnecessarily.

Disconnectedness

There are so many aspects of the world we live in from the increasing demands of our everyday lives, the technology we depend upon, the drugs we use to get high, the pharmaceuticals we take to block the pain and alleviate other symptoms and the foods we eat that are taking us further and further away from ourselves. That’s why it takes a such a concerted effort for us to remain present nowadays.

Many of us are becoming so outwardly focused that we cannot even perceive what’s taking place within our own bodies and minds. That makes it so much more difficult for us to understand the connection between the dramas playing out in our daily lives and our internal state of being. It’s this disconnect that many of us are experiencing from our feelings and physical bodies that leaves us so far removed from the underlying source of our problems and the resources that would provide the much needed solutions.

Many of us are either unwilling or unable to be present with our feelings, physical bodies and the realities of our daily lives, therefore we move through the world in a state of disconnectedness. Our relationships with our friends, romantic partners, children, parents and other family members all suffer as a result. So much of what we fail to deal with gets passed down to future generations. Our children end up internalizing much of our dysfunction.

Numb to what we’re holding in our bodies

New York City’s subways have inadvertently become a roving park bench for the city’s homeless population. Many of the homeless have not bathed for months. And some have not bathed for years. Their stench can be so overpowering that it empties an entire fifty foot long subway car. There are many instances over the course of a week when passengers are standing on the subway platform waiting to board a train once it comes to a stop. The passengers step into the subway car once the doors open and then end up taking a few steps backward to escape the overpowering stench. The homeless that have not bathed for extended periods of time have absolutely no idea of how bad they smell because they’ve gotten used it.

We hold all kinds of feelings of grief, loss, anger, fear, hurt and other distressing emotions in our bodies. We grow numb to these stresses over time. In many instances the presence of the stressful emotions, physical toxins and other imbalances held within our bodies no longer register within our conscious waking awareness because we’ve grown so accustomed to living with them. That’s why so many of us are so lacking in self-awareness.

The Great Escape

Our constant state of media saturation doesn’t give us the opportunity to ever really be present with ourselves. We’re ingesting far more sensory input than our body and mind could ever process and that leaves us with less of the available resources needed to process our feelings and bring our issues to a place of resolution.

There’s nothing wrong with taking in a movie or concert we’ve been waiting to see, watching a favorite television show or using social media, playing games on our computers and enjoying an occasional drink. The problem is that escaping has become a way of life for many of us. We’re always trying to fill the void and create diversions that prevent us from being fully present. We’ve developed this insatiable need to be entertained and so we’re constantly seeking stimulation and self-medicating. We’re escaping into novels, television shows, the internet, concerts, video games, shopping, religion and our drugs of choice. And in the process of doing so, we’re escaping from our feelings, our physical bodies and the realities of our everyday lives.

Spiritual bypass

Our religions provide a means through which we can get in touch with a force far greater than ourselves. In many ways they are also reductionistic attempts to interpret a force of creation that is far beyond the comprehension of our limited human minds. Many of our religions are based upon abstract notions of one supreme deity or multiple gods, their commandments consisting of the rules and regulations that determine how we should live our lives, concepts of sin and a savior that redeems us from our supposed sins. These abstractions are in many ways just another form of distraction to prevent us from being fully present. That’s one of the primary reasons that it appeals to so many people.

Religion often serves as a compensation for those of us that lack the emotional – cognitive – psychological sophistication needed to facilitate the deep level processing or healing of our shame, guilt, fear and other aspects of our woundedness. Religion and spirituality becomes another means of escape whenever we use it to avoid, deny or suppress our feelings, our physical bodies and the world in which we live. And in the process of doing so we inadvertently disconnect from our authentic core self and the higher power. We want to believe that God and Jesus have forgiven us and yet that doesn’t change the fact the fact that many of us continue to hold so much of the anger, shame and other emotions that we want to deny the existence of within our bodies.

Moving on and putting the past behind us

So many things about our lives do not work out the way that we want them to. We often attempt to move on by putting those things that have caused us pain in the past behind us without ever addressing the issue. The problem with this approach is that we end up leaving the wounded parts of ourselves behind. The loss of these parts of ourselves greatly diminishes our presence and power.

Our bodies and minds invariably go unconscious when we’re not attending to the issues or concerns that are relevant to us. We end up losing touch with parts of ourselves and becoming blinded to much of what’s going on around us when we fail to show up fully present. Our inner state of being becomes incredibly toxic from all the emotions that we’re not allowing ourselves to feel and our power to effect constructive change in our lives diminishes.

One of the most important practices we can engage in is to make a concerted effort on a daily basis to show up fully present as an active participant in our lives. That means experiencing the full range of our feelings while addressing the issues that arise to the best of our ability. We may not enjoy some of the realities that present themselves, but we need to fully embrace life. By making a concerted effort to remain fully present we will develop more of the power and resources needed to create more of the life we truly desire.

Resistance

People often say they want to heal when their emotions are out of control, their bodies are falling apart and their lives full of toxic drama. They start reaching out for help when their level of discomfort becomes intolerable. They’re often very enthusiastic when they first begin the healing process. But I’ve watched so many people show up for class a time or two or do one or a few sessions and then disappear as soon as their feelings and issues make their way to the surface. And many lack the discipline, motivation and understanding needed to do what is required to facilitate true healing. The unfortunate consequence is that many of these individuals end up going back out into the world with the same health issues and emotional wounds. In many instances, they fall deeper into their sickness and dysfunction over time.

Many of us are hugely resistant to being fully present to our feelings, physical bodies and the realities of our daily lives. Resistance will often grow as we continue to work our way down through the layers. We initially shut down the fearful, hurt and stressed out parts of ourselves because we didn’t possess the resources or understanding that would have enabled us to cope with what was happen. We keep reinforcing our resistance whenever we deny, avoid or shut down to what we’re experiencing and the subsequent feelings that arise.

The fear, hurt, confusion, trauma and other stresses that we hold within deaden our body – mind consciousness, preventing us from ever fully realizing our true potential. It can feel very uncomfortable as these feelings and issues begin to make their way to the surface. But we need to bring whatever is we’re holding within the body to the surface so that it can be gradually transformed, digested and integrated.

Muddled Perception

The traumas such as those resulting from emotional, physical or sexual abuse, combat and other forms of extreme stress elicit very powerful and sometimes overwhelming feelings. The powerful emotional states resulting from these traumas alter the neurostructure and biochemical makeup of our brains. These structural and biochemical changes taking place in our brains vastly alter the way that we perceive and experience ourselves, other people and the world in which we live. The vast majority of us never fully process or heal from these traumas. In many instances we continue to suffer the effects of these traumas for the remainder of our lives.

We learn from an early age to disconnect from our feelings, but in doing so we’re shutting down the body and mind’s innate healing intelligence. We need to thoroughly digest our life experiences along with any feelings that arise in response to them. Emotions and the stresses of daily life that we fail to digest accumulate within the our bodies. The residue of this undigested emotional content becomes very heavy and toxic as it stagnates within the body. These accumulated stresses accelerate the aging process by causing the body to break down at a more rapid pace.

Most of us are not doing much to process the things that have hurt, traumatized or stressed us out. We tend to accumulate more and more emotional baggage and other stresses over time. A large percentage of us have become so deadened or lacking in consciousness from the diaphragm down. In many instances our abdominal region becomes a toxic waste dump. The residue of all of these emotions and other stresses that we fail to digest has a very numbing or deadening effect upon our consciousness as it creates tension and cesspools of stagnant energy within the body. This toxicity causes us to feel heavy and lethargic as it drains our life force. The toxic emotional residue also creates a muddle of confusion that diminishes our clarity, consciousness and understanding.

Our level of consciousness, or lack thereof, is also reflected in our relationships. The many layers of conflicted feeling held in the body can easily distort our perceptions of other people, preventing us from seeing them for who they truly are. And so we get caught up in all kinds of projections and toxic relational dramas. We’re often drawn to and become involved with partners that hurt and abuse us or that are not well matched for us. And then we become strung out emotionally because of our inability to process our emotions and that makes it hard for us to leg go and move on when things are not working in our relationships.

Avoidance coping

Avoidance has for many become the primary means of coping. Our tendency to avoid that which we find uncomfortable has become so habitual that it’s like a knee jerk reaction. Consequently, many of us never develop the resources that would enable us to process our emotions and bring our issues to a place of resolution. Our limited processing capacity greatly reduces our capacity to learn, heal and grow. The feelings, issues and realities that we avoid muddle our consciousness and that diminishes our awareness of ourselves and our impact upon others and the world in which we live.

Many years of intensive practice and experience working with people has taught me to go right to the underlying source of the issues. People tell me that they want to heal and yet the conditioning among many people to avoid one’s feelings, issues and the realities of their everyday lives is so incredibly strong. Those who are not willing to do the work necessary to facilitate their healing or that are too afraid to face what’s going on within tend to bail out. It can sometimes be incredibly uncomfortable to go to these vulnerable places within ourselves and yet in many instances it is the only way that we can heal the deep emotional wounds. Only those of us who are truly committed to doing what it takes to heal can make this journey.

Everyone has their shortcomings and yet the majority of people are basically good hearted. Most want to get to a place in life where they feel comfortable. Everyone is negatively impacted and in some instances incapacitated by their wounds. Much of the population is what I refer to as self-avoidant, meaning that they are avoiding being fully present with or turning away from themselves. And as a result, they lack much of the basic drive or motivation that is necessary to compel them to heal and grow. What they really want is to have their suffering taken away so that they can continue on in their lives without out having to address the issues or experience their true feelings. Only a small percentage of the population possesses the kind of growth orientation that compels them to take whatever steps are that are necessary to facilitate healing.

Food and drugs

So much of the highly processed packaged content made to resemble food that is found in our supermarkets contains very little nutritional value. Much of this garbage is highly toxic for the human body and yet we continue to shovel it into our mouths. These food substitutes have a deadening effect upon our body — mind consciousness.

We’re devouring billions of pounds of candy, cake, ice cream and other foods loaded with processed white sugar a year. Our attention span and ability to learn deteriorate in proportion to the amount of refined sugar we consume. Many of us are also jacked up on caffeine to compensate the fact that we are not getting adequate rest. Caffeine and refined sugar have a numbing effect that impairs our ability to process our emotions.

The vast majority of livestock and produce raised for mass consumption is produced solely for profit. Many of our crops are now genetically modified. Serious health risks associated with genetically modified foods include infertility, immune deficiencies, damage to the internal organs and acceleration of the aging process. Commercially produced beef, chicken, pork and farm raised fish are loaded with antibiotics and growth hormones. The chickens, cows and pigs that we consume are subjected to horrific abuses, trauma and terror. The traumas suffered by these animals are held within the flesh. We’re ingesting this suffering every time we consume the flesh of other living beings.

Cigarettes contain about 600 ingredients and generate more than 7,000 chemicals when they burn according to the American Lung Association. Many of these chemicals are poisonous and at least 69 of them are carcinogens. Smoking causes extensive damage to the lungs, the cardiovascular system, brain and other parts of our bodies. Smoking has a numbing effect that impedes our ability to process our emotions. The combination of unprocessed emotion and toxicity resulting from the pollutants being inhaled into our lungs contributes to the stagnant quality in the physical and subtle bodies of people that smoke. Statistics on the number of smokers per capita vary considerably by country. Despite all of the warnings and risks associated with smoking, somewhere between five to thirty-five percent of the population continues to light up.

Alcohol and other drugs are so attractive to many because they provide us with a momentary escape. We’re escaping from the hellish internal state of being that we create when we suppress, resist or avoid our feelings, our physical bodies and the realities of our everyday lives. We find ourselves caught up in an addictive cycle when the pain we hold within compels us to ingest excessive amounts of alcohol and other intoxicating substances. Our bodies may also develop a dependence upon these substances. The substances we ingest to get high may initially relax our bodies and inhibitions. They may even induce a momentary expansion of our consciousness and yet with excessive use they diminish our connection to the authentic core residing deep within and the higher power. These substances deaden our consciousness by impairing our ability to process our feelings and by causing damage to the subtle bodies along with the brain and other internal organs.

The pharmaceuticals that many of us depend upon to address various physiological and psychiatric issues may be necessary, but they also have many harmful side effects. Psychiatrist Julie Holland stated in an article published in the New York Times, “Medicating Women’s Feelings” that one out of every four women in the United States in on some form of psychiatric medication. Anti-depressants, anti-anxiety and psychotropic medications turn down the volume on, and in some instances, completely deaden our feelings. The use of these medications may be the best known option, but there is a danger in that they interrupt the innate healing intelligence residing within our bodies and minds while deadening our consciousness.

Pharmaceuticals, alcohol and other drugs that we use to numb ourselves reinforces the disconnect between our bodies and minds. The resulting desensitization further impedes our ability to process our feelings. The residue of this unprocessed stress, pain and other emotional content is transformed into a toxic substance. Our bodies and minds have a very difficult time processing this toxic residue. The use of these substances may also result in damage to the hardware that facilitates consciousness. The combination of these factors contribute to the stunting of our emotional, intellectual and spiritual development.

The foods and substances we put into our bodies are largely a reflection of our level of consciousness. People that work with me individually often cut down on or completely stop smoking, drinking and using other recreational drugs. Many have been able to discontinue the use of medications that they had been dependent upon. People that work with me generally begin to make better food choices, consuming more nutrient rich foods that actually nourish their bodies and minds.

Dead zones and toxic waste dumps

Our life experiences and any subsequent emotional response we have to them need to go through a process in which they are digested. This digestive process transforms our life experiences and feeling responses into fuel for growth. The vast majority of us have never learned how to work constructively with our feelings. The emotions and stresses of everyday life that we fail to process remain trapped within our bodies indefinitely. We feel the tension in our neck and shoulders when the undigested emotions and other stresses cause them to tighten up. Stressful emotions stored in the chest and lungs can make it difficult for us to breathe. Stressful emotions can also precipitate panic attacks by overloading our neuro-circuitry. They can do lots of other damage throughout our body and mind. And in doing so they greatly accelerate the aging process.

Much of the stressful emotion that we fail to process accumulates within the abdomen. The majority of adults are holding a backlog of residual emotion and other stresses within this part of the body. The stresses held within the abdomen bog down the internal organs and thereby hinder their ability to function. Accumulated stresses account for much of the gas, bloating, poor digestion and constipation. These stresses are also one of the primary causes of digestive disorders such as Crohn’s Disease, colitis and irritable bowel.

Some of us eat to suppress our emotions and in the process of doing so we become numb to our feelings. But then we keep on eating and as a result we end up putting on considerably more weight. The additional layers of accumulated fat act as a buffering that prevents us from feeling. Using food to stuff our feelings shuts down the body – mind’s innate healing intelligence. And that leaves us further removed from the source of our power. Our inability to access our feelings reinforces the stuckness that keeps us locked into our dysfunctional holding patterns.

The emotions that we suppress operate primarily outside of our conscious waking awareness. These emotions sometimes intrude upon our conscious awareness when we’re under stress and during times of crisis. We widen the gulf between our intellectual mind, our feelings and physical bodies as we continue to deny, avoid or suppress our feelings.

Undigested emotions and other stresses held within the body indefinitely become toxic. The heavy dense energies of the emotions and stresses that we internalize create hardened areas of armoring, pools of stagnant emotional energy and deadness. These denser energies make it far more difficult for the life force to circulate within certain parts of our bodies. Areas within the abdomen and other parts of our bodies sometimes become toxic waste dumps or dead zones. We generally experiences very little consciousness or awareness within these parts of our bodies.

The practices I teach enable people to heal and become more fully present within the various parts of their bodies. Some people will initially feel nauseous when I have them bring their awareness to their abdomen. People are more likely to feel nauseous when the accumulation of emotion and other stresses held within the abdomen and other parts of the body becomes toxic and begins to putrefy.

A big part of the healing process involves dissolving the many layers of body-mind armor and cleaning up the toxicity and bringing clean vital life force into the parts of the body mind that have become so toxic and deadened. People that have spent so much of their lives disconnected from their feelings and physical bodies possess so little self-awareness and understanding. Many discontinue the healing process when the body begins to cleanse itself of toxicity and the emotional backlog stored within the body begins to make it’s way to the surface. That’s very unfortunate, because whatever toxicity people fail to clean up will remain trapped within the body indefinitely. The backlog of toxic emotion and other stresses held within the body maintain the dysfunctional holding patterns that are preventing people’s lives from working. It also causes their physical and subtle bodies to break down at a faster pace, thereby accelerating the aging process.

I do the best I can to help the people that show up in my classes and those I work with individually to understand the patterns playing out in their lives and the healing process taking place. But it can at times be especially difficult to convey this understanding, because the conditioning to avoid, suppress or disconnect from one’s feelings and physical bodies is so incredibly strong. Many are fearful of, resistant to, blinded and dumbed down by the huge amount of unprocessed emotion residue and other stresses held within their bodies.

The effort that it takes to get through to people can sometimes be exhausting, because many are slow to understand. And people nowadays are less likely to hold onto any understandings because the endless media barrage saturating their minds is making it so much more difficult for them to keep their attention focused long enough for healing to occur. Some people never gain awareness or get in touch with the forces that motivate or drive them. Sadly, they’re just not teachable.

Now that Technology has taken over the still place within

We now live in a world where we are overly dependent upon our cell phones, computers and other devices. Continuing advances in technology are making our phones, computers and the internet all the more enticing to the point that many of us have become addicted. We feel compelled to reach for the phone, to check email and text innumerable times a day. And then we’re spending hours surfing the net. The technology that was initially designed to serve us has in many ways taken over our lives.

Our bodies and minds cannot possibly process the vast amount of information flying through our sensory channels. The information overload that many of us are experiencing as a result of our use of smartphones and the internet and the corresponding changes taking place in our neuro-circuitry are making it more and more difficult for us to keep our minds focused for any considerable length of time. Our minds are getting pulled off course so easily by all kinds of irrelevant distractions and that’s preventing us from maintaining the level of focused attention needed to address relevant issues.

The sensory overload that we’re experiencing is also contributing to our growing desensitization. And that’s making us less aware of our feelings and physical bodies and the world in which we live. The never ending stream of sensory input in the form of videos, news stories, instant messages, texts, tweets, Facebook updates, celebrity gossip and games flooding our bodies and minds now occupies so much of the internal space that we need to go to in order to heal. The overburdening of our brain-body-mind means that we have less of the much needed resources required to do the deep level processing that facilitates healing and personal growth.

Many of us are in serious need of a digital detox to clear the backlog of sensory clutter that is congesting our body, mind and spirit. That can be hard to do now that nearly every aspect of our lives revolves around the use of technology. We have to maintain an awareness of our internal state of being in order to heal and grow. And we need to be returning to this space on a on a daily basis to continue the healing process. For many of us, that can only happen when we make a concerted effort to create the internal space needed to do the deep level processing and make consistent use of the various practices and resources that facilitate healing.

Chakras and layers of the aura

The subtle bodies that are comprised of the chakras and layers of the aura are a very intricate form of bio-electrical circuitry. They are a critical part of the infrastructure that maintains the structure and that facilitates the functions of the body’s organs and systems. The patterns or configurations that manifest within the subtle bodies are a reflection of all the processes taking place physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually within the body and mind of an individual.

The subtle bodies often fail to fully develop in those who were neglected as children or that suffered extensive childhood trauma. People’s subtle bodies often become damaged or disfigured as a result of prolonged illnesses, traumatic experiences and other forms of chronic and extreme stress. The stagnant emotional residue that accumulates within the body when we suppress our feelings can also cause extensive damage within the subtle bodies.

Antidepressants, anti-anxiety, psychotropic, analgesic and other medications may be the best option to address the psychological and physiological health issues of many individuals, and yet their use often causes damage within the subtle bodies while interrupting the body and mind’s innate healing intelligence. Excessive use of alcohol and other recreational drugs also causes tremendous damage to the brain, other internal organs and the subtle bodies.

The lack of development in the subtle bodies can also signify an individual’s limited range of motion. It can also be an indication that a person is not making good use of the resources that would enable them to fulfill their true potential.

Damage within the subtle bodies can greatly impede the functions of the brain and other internal organs and systems. It also distorts our perceptions, thereby interfering with our ability to think clearly, to process our emotions and to bring issues to a place of resolution. Damage to or a lack of development within the subtle bodies can also greatly limit the realization of our own unique gifts and potentials and the fulfillment of our life’s purpose.

But isn’t it just their karma?

The greatest challenge I face in my work is getting people to stay present long enough to move through their internal resistance and heal the deeply wounded parts of themselves. It can feel very uncomfortable when the fear, pain and other emotions held within the body are making their way to the surface. For many, it is the only way to resolve the core issues, heal the deep emotional wounds and continue to move forward on the path of personal growth.

Much of the population operates at the surface most levels of awareness. They may be holding all kinds of toxic emotion within and in some instances their bodies are falling apart. Their lives may also be an absolute mess and yet they are often hugely resistant to doing the deep internal work necessary to facilitate true healing. Their resistance to healing and growth reminds me of some of the homeless in New York City who haven’t bathed in ages that become very defensive, fearful and angry if someone were to attempt to clean them up and get them to put on a fresh set of clothing. They’re either fearful of change, too attached to the comfort of that which is familiar or deriving some form of secondary gain.

So much of what is being offered to us in our modern day society in terms of spirituality lacks any real power or substance and is very escape oriented. Much of what is referred to as shamanism has very little resemblance to the spiritual or healing practices of indigenous peoples. The vast majority of those who call themselves shamans have never spent time among any indigenous groups of people. Many are now referring to themselves as master healers after three weekend workshops. Most of these shamans and healers are like children playing doctor as they possess no real power. Most people nowadays have never experienced the kinds of healing gifts and powers possessed by indigenous peoples, therefore they do not know the difference.

Most people in our modern day society lack the discipline and commitment found among the indigenous peoples and those in other cultures that have for many centuries followed the ancient spiritual traditions. What makes it even worse is that people nowadays can be so damn flaky. They’re more likely to be intimidated or frightened by the powers possessed by those who have attained mastery in the indigenous spiritual traditions and many make a run for it as soon as their feelings and issues make their way to the surface.

I sometimes hear people say that each individual comes into this world at a certain level of development. And that some people supposedly have not matured on a soul level, so it’s all they can do to take small steps in their evolution. And that’s why they cannot progress beyond a certain point in their development. But is it really just their karma? Or are we living in a society that conditions us in such a way that it prevents us from developing spiritually and realizing our true potential?

Our media saturated culture teaches us to be good little consumers of products. The unfortunate consequence is that we can easily lose touch with our authentic core along with our unique sense of purpose when we’re working at jobs that deaden us mentally, emotionally and spiritually while chasing the dollar so that we can acquire more material possessions. Other cultures may not have enjoyed the high standard of material wealth and yet they placed a great deal of emphasis on tradition, religion, social hierarchies, politics and other abstract values. The danger of instilling values that are so diametrically opposed to our basic human nature is that it tends to produce people that lack empathy, compassion, self-awareness and connection to one’s inner source.

I’m fortunate that I’ve had the opportunity to spend considerable amounts of time in India and Sri Lanka and to live among Native American tribes in Oklahoma and New Mexico. I’m also fortunate that to be able to do many years of intensive training with a traditional Native American doctor and a Master from China. It can be much more difficult for people that haven’t traveled and spent time among other cultures to break out of their ethnocentricity.

Ancient traditional cultures such as those found in China, India and among Native Americans certainly had their drawbacks and yet they provided a framework that encouraged people to develop spiritually. It was fairly common in the various parts of Asia for those who were truly committed to developing their bodies and minds and deepening their connection to the higher power to do many years of intensive yoga, martial arts and meditative practices such as Chi Gong and Pranayama.

Native Americans were much more connected to the Earth and the forces of nature. Nearly everyone in the tribe participated in rituals such as the vision quest, sun dance and other kinds of intensive spiritual practices. They often did so many times over the course of their lives. There were many individuals among the various tribes that possessed all kinds of unique powers, gifts of healing and in some instances paranormal abilities.

Native Americans and the people I worked with in India and Sri Lanka tended to be very respectful and appreciative. A large percentage of those I have worked with possess an innate sensitivity that enables them to be very aware of the presence working through me and the changes that were taking place within their bodies and minds. Much of their receptivity has to do with their constitutional makeup. It also has a lot to do with the fact that there has always been a segment of the population in these cultures that spent their life time doing intensive daily practices to become the living embodiment of a force far greater than themselves, to experience a profound awakening and to become more fully present.

The exceptional few

The majority of the population in our modern day society is not growth oriented. They may be successful, possess a lot of intellectual knowledge, be good natured and even kind hearted. And yet the motivation to heal and grow beyond a certain point is very limited or non-existent.

I do encounter a small number of truly exceptional people along the way that are deeply committed to their healing and personal growth. People who are truly growth oriented are not content to get to a comfortable place and just hang out. They feel a profound desire to do and be more coupled with a willingness to take whatever they experience in life and use it to facilitate their healing and continued development. People that are truly growth oriented are continually learning. Their willingness to adapt and openness to change allows them to remain relevant and that gives them a more youthful quality.

Our responsibility to heal

We all have been wounded somewhere along the way. Addressing these wounded parts of ourselves can be very uncomfortable at times. Those of us who demonstrate the courage to heal will discover that the discomforts are short lived. These momentary discomforts are greatly offset by the rewards that come as a result of our commitment to do whatever it takes to heal and grow.

We all have a responsibility to take constructive action to heal our woundedness to the best of our ability. The negativity generated when we fail to take the steps necessary to facilitate the healing of these wounds feeds into the destructive force created by our global collective shadow. This collective shadow manifests in the form of addictions, poverty, the abuses of animals and other people, oppressive leaders and governments that brutalize their people and that favor the needs of corporations over their own citizens, wars, the destruction of the planet and other forms of dysfunction. We offset the destructive force of our own individual and the collective shadow as we increase our awareness, become ever more present and heal those parts of us that are wounded.

Most people have never learned to work constructively with their feelings. Undigested emotional residue and other stresses accumulate within the body where they remain indefinitely. Our resistance to being present, lack of understanding and lack of resources needed to effect healing are a big part of what maintains our state of unconsciousness.

Feelings can be messy, confusing, inconvenient, uncomfortable and even painful at times, but they are an essential component of the innate healing intelligence that resides within our bodies and minds. Our feelings facilitate growth and transformation as we learn to work constructively with them. Our feelings can then serve as a doorway into the subconscious mind. They provide us with a valuable source of feedback that gives us a greater understanding of ourselves, our needs as well as the needs and considerations of others.

Our life experiences along with any subsequent emotions that arise need to go through a process in which they are digested. The practices I teach facilitate a crucial aspect of this digestive process. We begin by acknowledging what’s happening in our lives and the feelings that arise in response to the issues impacting us. We then notice where these feelings are situated within our bodies. We breathe softly and deeply while fully immersing our awareness in the middle of any feelings or bodily sensations that arise. We then follow the feelings and sensations as they go through their progression.

Most of the readily available therapeutic modalities are very limited in their effectiveness when it comes to healing the deep emotional wounds that many of us carry. That is clearly evidenced by the fact that the vast majority of those who have gone through extensive trauma continue to suffer indefinitely. Many of us are going to have to go beyond that which is familiar if we are to ever heal in this life time.

Indigenous people have for centuries allowed other forces or beings to work through them to facilitate healing that would not have otherwise been possible. There were many powerful indigenous healers in times past. Only a small number of individuals carry on these traditions. I would encourage people to work with these individuals whenever the opportunity presents itself. I possess these same healing gifts as a result of having trained with a traditional doctor from the Kiowa Indian tribe and going on so many vision quests.

I do this work because I truly do care and I want to make a positive difference in people’s lives. A big part of that involves helping to alleviate people’s suffering by facilitating the healing of the deep emotional wounds. Emphasis is then placed upon building a strong foundation along with the resources needed to fulfill each individuals true potential and realize their life’s purpose.

The presence working through me during the individual sessions cultivates body – mind consciousness. Damage is repaired within the physical and subtle bodies. More and more layers of emotional body armor dissolve with each session. Stagnant emotions and other stresses held within the body are transformed into vital essence that can then be integrated as a functional part of the self. This essence will then serve as fuel for growth. The resulting transformation facilitates the emergence of one’s true self while deepening one’s connection to the higher power. The changes resulting from these sessions bring about a greater sense of aliveness, clarity, sense of purpose and renewal of one’s passions.

©Copyright 2015 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. Call (913) 927-4281 to learn more or to schedule an individual session.

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Why Isn’t the Law of Attraction Working For Me?

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The Law of Attraction has gained popularity in recent years and yet it is nothing new. Various Christian and esoteric traditions have been practicing some versions of this philosophy for thousands of years.

Simon, the minister at the church I went to as an adolescent was very charismatic. He manifested a large congregation and sanctuary to hold services in along with cars and a nice home. He and other Evangelical Christians pointed to numerous scriptural examples claiming that one could manifested whatever it is they desired as long as they were in alignment with the word of God. Rather than calling it the Law of Manifestation, Christian Evangelicals referred to it as “living by faith.” I made a very concerted effort to follow these teachings in my teens and a more metaphysical version as an adult, but despite my best effort I often felt as though something were standing in my way.

Spiritual materialism

Many of the people that are into the Law of Attraction are placing a great deal of, if not too much, emphasis on acquiring material possessions. Some of the more prominent teachers are showing off their Mc Mansions, their very expensive cars and their beautiful spouses. It’s important for us to consider the implications of our actions upon other people and the planet. A great deal of pollution is created in the process of extracting natural resources and manufacturing all of these material goods. So much of what we consume has a very limited live expectancy. Before long we end up discarding our cars, electronics and most of the other goods we accumulate. And many of us are continually repeating this cycle of consumption over and over again.

I have at times felt grossed out to see the excessive amount of consumption and waste that occurs here in the United States after returning from India and Sri Lanka. There’s nothing wrong with having basic comforts, but no one really needs the massive amount of stuff that many of us are accumulating. And if we’re such wonderful and spiritually evolved people, then why don’t we take some of our excess and use it to feed, shelter and educate children in need or even adopt one or a few of the millions of children that do not have homes or parents to love and care for them. Or we can donate some of that wealth to combat human trafficking.

Manifesting within the context that we find ourselves

The circumstances of our lives vary hugely according to where we live, the families we were born into, the innate resources we each possess as individuals and a wide range of other factors. The majority of us who reside in the United States live a very sheltered existence in a land of opportunity. We have opportunities in terms of career and education that are seldom, if ever, made available to most people living in developing nations. We enjoy a quality of life in terms of material comforts that much of the world’s population cannot even conceive of. We can manifest all kinds of cool stuff this context, but that’s not going to happen for the majority of those living in developing nations that are struggling just to pay for clothing, shelter, their children’s education or even to have enough food to eat.

You’re just not doing it right!

Many people into the Law of Attraction operate with the absurd notion that bad things don’t happen to people that are spiritually evolved. The Tibetan Buddhists were highly developed spiritually and yet thousands of them were imprisoned, tortured and killed by the Chinese. A large percentage of the Tibetan population fled over the mountains to India where they now reside. American Indians lived in harmony with the forces of forces of nature. Some possessed powers that would enable them to bring the rain or even divert a tornado. And yet over ninety percent of the native people living in what is now the United States died as a result of disease and the genocidal practices of the European settlers and United States Government.

One of the most annoying tendencies among certain individuals within the Law of Attraction community is the smugness and pretension that they have their shit together by virtue of the fact that they’re doing well financially or that they’re able to manifest the nice house, car and other toys. Everything about this world we live in is transitory. We are all vulnerable and it’s just a matter of time we grow old, our bodies break down and we lose many of the freedoms and capabilities that we’ve grown so accustomed to. We, along with everyone we know and love will eventually die. That’s why it’s so important for us to live fully, enjoying life while we can, but to do so with humility.

My own personal experience varies tremendously according to where I’m at, the cultural context I find myself in and the people with whom I interact. I find it very easy to connect with people when I’m in India and Sri Lanka, but I’ve experienced extended periods of being very alone in New York City.

People that I’ve worked with in India really value and appreciate the healing gifts that I work with. I do find people here in the United States that truly value and appreciate the healing gifts I possess, but I encounter more people who are so resistant to being present that they run as soon as their feelings and issues make their way to the surface. It’s even worse now that people are spending so much time staring into the screens of their computers and smartphones. Many have become so disconnected from their core self as a result of being so distracted that I have to now work four times harder just to hold people’s attention and connect the dots for those who are not capable of doing so on their own. People that I worked with while I was staying in Germany seemed to be a bit lost in the beginning, but they tended to catch on quickly. I have found many of the people that I’ve worked with from Germany to be the most committed to doing whatever it took to facilitate healing within their own bodies and minds.

My mentor Horace was one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa tribe. He often had to hide whatever car he was driving at the time in someone’s garage or behind their home, because the word would get out and his own native people would line up to see him once they learned of his whereabouts. It is true that he was exceptionally powerful in his day, but he also had the advantage that his own people understood and valued the healing gifts that he possessed.

Why does it seem to work so well for some and not for others?

One thing I noticed as I developed the ability to read the human aura is that people vary significantly according to their constitutional makeup. The people I’ve seen that do best with the Law of Attraction tend to have a very strong dynamic presence along with a power that enables them to attract more of what they want. Some have a greater ability to compartmentalize their suffering as opposed to having it take over them, and that makes it easier for them to keep moving forward. Sometimes the aura has a very Teflon quality about it. Stress just seems to roll off of them. Not everyone can be like that.

One of the negative psychological consequences of the Law of Attraction is that it tends to induce shame in people when they fail to manifest what it is they think they want. I’ve heard many people say things to indicate that they feel as though they have somehow failed because things are not manifesting the way they expected them to.

Many of us have been subjected to some form of emotional, physical or sexual trauma at various times in our lives. Traumatic experiences can elicit overwhelming emotional responses that trigger biochemical reactions within the brain. The vast majority of us never fully process these traumas. Many of us continue to hold much of the painful feelings and impressions within our bodies.

The conscious mind of an individual that has suffered extensively as a result of having been deeply traumatized may want to attract a good job, a safe and comfortable home and a loving companion. But our bodies, which contain the vastly more powerful subconscious mind, continue to hold onto all kinds of painful feelings and impressions associated with past traumatic experience. The horrible pain and suffering that we hold within often causes us to attract more people and circumstances that reinforce our suffering. Sad thing is that most people do not possess the tools or resources to completely heal that trauma on their own. That’s why many are locked in a cycle of repeated victimization and suffering.

I know from personal experience what it’s like to attract more people and circumstances and have that reinforce the trauma of my childhood and adolescence. I felt helpless to do anything about it for quite some time. My experience only began to change as I began to heal from within. I developed a series of practices that enabled me to “digest” my past and all of the subsequent emotions attached to it. I then started working with a number of exceptionally powerful healers and going on the vision quest, a traditional Native American healing practice that involves fasting alone in the mountains for four days and nights without food or water.

I have worked with many deeply traumatized people over the years and I could see how they continued to attract many of the same kinds of individuals and recreate the suffering of past traumas. I’ve watched many of these individuals began to attract people and experiences that nourished them and facilitated growth as a result of the healing taking place within their bodies and minds.

A split in consciousness

I’ve heard a number of popular teachers say that the Law of Attraction always works. That may be true to some extent, but it obviously doesn’t work the way that many of us want it to. We tend to operate primarily from our conscious mind in our attempts to manifest. The problem many of us run into is that our conscious mind is not congruent with the subconscious mind which is vastly more powerful in comparison.

Attempting to attract the things we want in life is not inherently bad. It’s just that many of us have a tendency to go up into our heads in our attempt to manifest what we want, but in the process of doing so we disconnect from our feelings and physical bodies. That creates massive incongruencies in our body-mind consciousness. In other words, parts of us are affirming, seeing and believing while other parts of us are forced to hold onto all of the fear, pain, anger, doubt, unworthiness and other feelings that we’re not allowing ourselves to experience. Painful or unpleasant feelings and other stresses that we fail to process can remain trapped within our bodies indefinitely.

Unprocessed emotions, the impressions of what we have experienced in our life and the thought processes attached to them continue to accumulate within our bodies. We may eventually find ourselves overwhelmed by the backlog of painful emotion and other stresses that consume us. The parts of us that are hurting, fearful, confused and conflicted cause us to attract more of what we don’t want into our lives. They also have a negative impact upon our relationships. And in many instances they manifest in the body as some form of pathology.

I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to spend time with individuals who have attained mastery in a number of different spiritual traditions as a result of many years of intensive discipline. I have been training for twelve years at the time of this writing with Chinese Master Li Tai Liang in Xin Yi Quan, Baguazhang, Tai Chi and Chi Gong. I have also trained with a traditional Native American doctor (medicine man) and have gone through numerous vision quests that involve going out alone in the mountains to fast for four days and nights without food or water.

One encounters people nowadays with no real training or discipline, but they’ve attended lectures and workshops and have read “The Secret.” Many are in absolutely horrible shape. Their emotions and lives are a total mess. Despite the obvious, we have now have lots of people who possess no real power or substance that have somehow delude themselves into thinking that they have evolved spiritually.

To deny a truth is to give it strength beyond all endurance

The Law of Attraction can easily become another form of New Age escapism for people that are not willing to be present to their feelings, physical bodies and the realities of their everyday lives. People that follow the Law of Attraction are constantly censoring their thoughts and the words coming out of their mouths. They’re so afraid to think or say anything that would be considered negative.

Tracy told me when we first spoke by phone that she had been following the law of attraction for some time, but that she was experiencing a sense of heaviness as many of the old feelings she had struggled to move beyond kept resurfacing. She said that she was experiencing a sense of unworthiness and shame over not having succeeded to the extent that she thought she should.

I could see that Tracy had disconnected from her feelings and physical body. Lots of old stagnant emotional content had backed up in her abdomen. She told me that she was feeling better when I spoke with her by phone afterwards and yet she never returned for a follow up sessions. Tracy’s problems are only going to get worse as the gap between her conscious mind and sub-conscious widens.

The woman that initially referred Tracy to me suffered terribly as a child as a result of having been severely neglected by a mother suffering from mental illness that didn’t have the capacity to care for her. Alicia was not fully inhabiting the lower portion of her body. Her abdominal region had a very deadened quality about it. The presence working through me enabled Alicia to process huge amounts of old hurtful stagnant emotion while drawing more of her spirit into the abdominal region, which then began to feel more fluid and alive.

Alicia began to talk to me about the Law of Attraction at one point. I responded by telling her that it hadn’t helped her to attract anyone into her life. I then reminded Alicia that it was the changes that took place as a result of the healing sessions that enabled her to let go of the man who had been jerking her around emotionally that she had been strung out on for quite some time.

I have spoken for a number of Law of Attraction groups. I would start out the evening by asking those in attendance if they wanted me to lecture or take them through practices that would enable them to become more firmly rooted in their bodies. Not a single person in attendance at any of these groups was well integrated with their feelings and physical bodies. In fact, many of them were holding all kinds of hurt, anger, resentment and a backlog of other toxic emotional residue bottled up on the inside. None of them had the courage or commitment needed take the steps that would have facilitated the healing of these deep emotional wounds.

Developing greater congruence

The bottom fell out from under me when the economy crashed in 2008. People were afraid of making any investment in themselves, the phone stopped ringing and I had no idea of know how I was even going to survive. There were many nights when I couldn’t fall asleep until two or three in the morning or I would wake up during that time feeling overwhelmed with anxiety. I would lay there in bed breathing into all of that horrible anxiety and ask myself “What can I do? How am I going to make it?” It took some time, but creative insights began to emerge as I continued to breathe into all that fear. And that gave me the inspiration to offer classes to help people heal the loss of a love and learn how to attract healthier people into their lives.

The practices of affirming what we want, seeing it in our mind and believing we have it can work very powerfully in some instances. Numerous athletes have used these practices to improve their performance. The danger here is that many our tendency to disconnect from our feelings and physical bodies as we attempt to affirm, see and believe what we want into existence.

The practice of focusing my attention on what I want and following up by taking constructive steps to make it happen has helped me in many ways. I take it a step further by breathing softly and deeply while focusing my attention on any corresponding feelings of desire that I experience within my body. The challenges I face on a daily basis can sometimes elicit anxiety, fear, pain, self-doubt or any number of other feelings. Breathing with my attention immersed in these feelings initiates a digestive process that transforms them so that they become fuel for growth.

I make a daily practice of breathing with my attention fully immersed in the stuck places within my body and mind that are bound or constricted. After some time I can feel these parts of me beginning to flow. The world feels more responsive as life takes on a more fluid quality. I become more responsive to people and circumstances. That makes it easier for me to adapt to the challenges of my everyday life.

Digesting all the charged emotions and other forms internal resistance creates an opening for change. New opportunities do have a way of presenting themselves. Sometimes it’s more of a matter of being able to let go of what’s not working so that I can embrace what does. And in many instances I’m able to recognize and respond to opportunities that I had previously overlooked.

©Copyright 2014 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. Call (913) 927-4281 to learn more or to schedule an individual session.

Building the Momentum for Healing and Personal Growth

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Momentum
Most of us want to get to a place in our lives where we feel comfortable. The problem with hanging out in our comfort zone for indefinite periods of time is that we cannot sit still for very long without becoming stagnant. Essentially we are either moving forward or sliding backwards. Many of our lives are set up in such a way that we get up in the morning and ready ourselves for work. We spend long hours at work and are depleted by the time we get home in the evening. At times find ourselves overwhelmed by the demands and responsibilities of our daily lives, and yet we often make matters worse when we sit down in front of the television or go online. The massive amount of stimulus flooding our sensory channels overwhelms our body and mind’s processing capacity. And that impedes our ability to process the realities of our daily lives and any subsequent feelings that arise.

The vast majority of us are operating from holding patterns and that limits our ability to grow, move forward in our lives and realize our true potential. Unprocessed emotional residue, the stresses of our everyday lives and additional sensory input that we fail to process causes stagnation in our physical and subtle bodies. Our life force literally congeals and that greatly impedes our growth and personal development.
Reaching out in times of crisis

Shiori was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. She had been strung out emotionally for quite some time on a guy who wasn’t all that interested in her when she showed up in my class. Shiori was in a more grounded and emotionally comfortable place after a few of the individual healing sessions and was able to completely let go of the guy.

I could see that Shiori was making a lot of progress, but I knew that we had only scratched the surface. I could see the backlog of unprocessed emotional residue and other stresses held within her body that we hadn’t gotten to yet. I called Shiori to follow up, but she never returned my call. Shiori called me to schedule an appointment a few months later when the deeper levels of imbalance surfaced and she found herself in a depressive state that made it difficult for her to even get out of bed.

People nowadays tend to approach healing as something to do only when they have serious emotional, interpersonal or health crisis. Many people think to themselves “I’m fine now. I’m feeling much better. The problems are resolved so I don’t need to take any further steps to facilitate healing” as soon as the storm blows over.

Many of us think of healing as something to do so we can just get on with our lives. This type of mentality and approach to healing is so indicative of our tendency to operate at the very surface most levels of consciousness. We may have diffused the immediate crisis, but we have yet to address the underlying cause of our suffering. We need to understand that we have only scratched the surface. The changes we experience may feel profound, and yet they are barely a taste of what is truly possible.

Staying focused on what matters

I called Steve to check in and see how he was doing after a recent healing session. At one point he said “One of my greatest problems is that I get distracted and end up wasting a lot of time and then I don’t accomplishing the things that I truly want to get done.”

I responded by telling Steve “I know you have a lot on your plate, but I would encourage you to do the practices I’ve been teaching you for at least an hour a day if at all possible. Do twenty or thirty minutes if that’s all the time you have. The practice I showed you to awaken your instinctual consciousness will give you a clearer sense of purpose. You will get a strong feeling in your body that reveals what you need to be doing. It will also create the sense of urgency that will build the momentum needed to propel you forward. You’ll find yourself making better use of time and you will become more productive as a result.

The traumas of my own childhood and adolescence began to surface during my mid-twenties. I then found myself attracting women that reenacted my early life trauma. I had an instinctive knowing that I needed to breathe softly and deeply while fully immersing my awareness in the painful feelings and sensations that I experienced within my body during these times. Working with my feelings in this way helped to alleviate the pain while making it possible for me to let go when relationships were not working.

There were other times when I wasn’t in so much pain, but my love life wasn’t happening and I was struggling to get by financially. I was stuck in a holding pattern, but I didn’t know what steps to take to effect change in my life. It took me some time to realize that I needed to be doing practice every day.

I’m very fortunate to have had the opportunity to train with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. Native Americans have for centuries gone out to fast alone in the mountains for four days and nights without food or water. It was during the vision quests that the traditional doctors received the gifts of healing and other powers that made it possible for them to be of assistance to others.

I feel a strong presence moving within whenever I come down from the mountain. The powerful forces moving through me after a vision quest diminish over time and my body and mind tends to go back in the direction of its old familiar way of being. I’ve learned that I can keep the momentum of the vision quest going by doing as much intensive practice as I can afterwards. I get a lot more mileage out of the vision quests by doing more practice and the changes I experience are much more profound.

The vast majority of people who have been deeply traumatized will continue to suffer the adverse effects of the trauma for the remainder of their lives. They are, to varying degrees, incapacitated by the deep emotional wounds. That has a lot to do with the fact that many of our conventional and alternative approaches to healing are very limited in their effectiveness. It may be necessary for us to go beyond our comfort zone by stepping into the realm of the unfamiliar in order to heal.

The traumas that had such a debilitating impact upon me gradually healed as a result of the many hours of intensive practice, deep tissue body work, healing sessions and vision quests. The horrible pain subsided and then I began to experience a greater sense of freedom and aliveness. I recognized the progress I was making as my range of motion continued to expand, but I could still feel the parts of me that had yet to develop and that made me acutely aware of my limitations. I could feel where I was not as responsive or engaging as I would like to be. Rather than assuming that I was done at any point, I thought more along the lines of “I’ve come this far. How much further can I progress in my development? And what steps can I be taking on a daily basis to make that happen?”

Many of us have become so numbed or desensitized. We operate from such a profound state of disconnect that we do not even comprehend the amount of fear, hurt, sadness, anger and the stresses of daily life that are stored within our bodies. And we’re not very cognizant of the adverse impact that these stresses are having upon our organs and systems. Our woundedness will invariably become more deeply entrenched and we will become more stagnant if we’re not doing intensive spiritual practice on a daily basis, making use of resources such as deep tissue body work, working with gifted healers or going on the vision quest.

I’m also very fortunate to have the opportunity to train with Sifu Li Tai Liang in the Internal Martial Arts of Xin Yi Quan and Baguazhang. Those who attain mastery in the Internal Martial Arts train for hours a day over the course of their lives to continually refine their forms and build greater internal power. Sifu began to train under his father and other masters for five to seven hours a day at the age of five. He went on to become the national fighting champion in the competitions in all of China. Sifu Li Tai Liang and others who have attained mastery clearly demonstrate the value of intensive daily practice.

Healing and personal-spiritual development isn’t just a passing fad or something one does in times of crisis for those who train in the ancient traditions. It’s a way of life. I follow the examples provided for me by the traditional Native American doctors and Internal Arts Masters in China by doing everything I possibly can to build a stronger foundation, deepen my connection to the source and increase the presence moving through me. I start my day with Chi Gong and other intensive Xin Yi Quan and Baguazhang Practices. I make a concerted effort to spend an hour doing the mindfulness practice I developed of breathing into any feelings or sensations that arise. I have worked with a number of powerful healers whenever the opportunity has presented itself. I have been going back to the Wichita Mountains in Southwest Oklahoma to go on the vision quest in March and October like clockwork for over twenty years now.

The more practice I do, the stronger and more resourceful I become. And I can feel the momentum building as my connection with the authentic core residing within and the higher power grows stronger. I’m very cognizant of the progress I have made. I’m also acutely aware of my limitations, because I come up against them all the time. A big part of my daily practice involves breathing with my awareness immersed in those parts of myself that feel contracted, jammed up or not flowing in some way. I can feel these parts of me becoming more malleable and responsive as a result of this practice.

We all internalize a great deal of stress over the course of our lives. The stresses that we hold within our bodies cause all of us to contract to some degree. Many years of intensive spiritual practice has enabled me to develop my sensory capacity to such an extent that I can feel the stresses of daily life along with the hurt, sadness, loss, anger, fear and other emotions held within people’s bodies and see how it causes them to shut down. I can see and feel how people’s minds become constricted and sluggish. I feel how the suffering held within stunts the process of growth and maturation. These same stresses can also be very hard on the body. They create a heavy stagnant presence and accelerate the aging process by causing the body to break down at a faster pace.

Some people are completely engulfed by the distressing emotions held within their bodies while others go numb to them. Many are able to conceal their woundedness behind the façade of a polished public persona. Our defense mechanisms often break down during times of crisis. And they will eventually break down as we age.

I see many people like Shiori that do one or a few sessions and then disappear. The tendency to disappear has a lot to do with people’s short attention span and their unwillingness to do the work necessary to facilitate healing. It also has a lot to do with the fact that many don’t have enough sense to listen and follow instruction.

People I’ve worked with have told me on many occasions that the presenting issues have been resolved and that they are now in a much better space. The problem with stopping the healing process the moment we feel better is that in many instances we have only dealt with the surface most levels of imbalance. The conscious mind is only aware of a very small portion of the stress held within the body. In many instances, the underlying cause of our emotional, interpersonal and health crises remain trapped within the body – mind. And it’s only a matter of time before these imbalances take resurface in the same or other forms.

People who have spent the vast majority of their lives disconnecting from their feelings and the realities that they haven’t wanted to deal with have difficulty comprehending the healing process taking place. They can become very resistant when their feelings and issues make their way to the surface and have a tendency to run when that happens. It concerns me when I see people interrupt their healing process. Healing cannot possibly take place until we process these feelings. Those who fail to do so will invariably continue to hold the painful feelings and traumas within their bodies and reenact the same destructive patterns in their lives.

An amazing process of growth begins at the time of conception. This process continues on throughout our childhood, adolescence and into early adulthood. The momentum slows down as we age. Much of this slowing down comes as a result of the stresses that we internalize over the course of our lives. These stresses can be the source of our undoing or a catalyst for healing and personal growth and that depends largely on what we do with them.

We all need to be doing some form of intensive spiritual practice on a daily basis to facilitate our continued healing and personal growth. The practices I teach awaken the innate healing intelligence that resides within the body and mind. They effect healing and personal growth by making it possible for us to digest the conflicted emotions and other stresses held within the body. Other practices such as Chi Gong and Pranayama can help us to draw in more life force to nourish the organs and systems of the body.

There are also times when we need outside intervention to facilitate the parts of our healing process that we are not capable of doing on our own. There are lots of healing resources available to us such as acupuncture, deep tissue massage and homeopathy that we need to be making use of.

There were many exceptionally powerful doctors among the Native American tribes in times past. The traditional native doctors would go out to fast alone in the mountains for four days and nights without food or water. It was during the vision quests that they received various gifts or healing powers. These native doctors allowed other forces or beings to work through them to facilitate healing that would not have otherwise been possible. Indigenous healers from parts of Central and South America, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and countries in various other parts of the world possess similar gifts and capabilities.

I would often come up against my own limitations despite the fact that I was doing as much intensive practice as I could on my own. I would always jump whenever the opportunity to work with a powerful healer presented itself. I have always experienced a breakthrough whenever I worked with these individuals. The problem is that I often had to wait six months to a year between sessions because they didn’t come around very often.

My mentor Horace had me going on the vision quest during the times he transmitted portions of his own healing gifts to me. I wandered aimlessly through much of my twenties until I realized that I needed to get back to the mountain. I have gone through dozens of vision quest since that time.

Parts of the vision quest feel like a near death experience. I could see all kinds of imagery and experience the feelings attached to them as memories of past abuses, traumas and other stressful events made their way to the surface. I could feel other forces or beings helping me to thoroughly digest what I had gone through while simultaneously building a much stronger and healthier foundation. I felt as though my whole body – mind consciousness was being reformatted.

Many of the same forces or beings that have facilitated my own healing during the vision quests now work through me to assist others during the individual healing sessions. Those who have the opportunity to work with me go through a process of evolution. The highly charged emotions and impressions associated with anxiety, depression and emotionally traumatic experiences are digested. Processing the accumulated emotional backlog and other stresses increases one’s overall life force. Damage is repaired within physical and subtle bodies. The regenerative process taking place within the body and mind makes people healthier, stronger and more resilient.

Changes that take place within the body and mind as a result of the individual healing sessions increase one’s capacity for learning and growth. People I work with often tell me about the new resources and capabilities that are developing as a result of this work. I’ve worked with visual and recording artists, writers and people working in a wide range of professions. Many have told me how the sessions are helping to increase their range of motion in ways that is making it possible for them to further refine their work and in many instances take it to a whole new level.

True healing is an ongoing journey in which one continually evolves to realize more of their true potential and develop a greater connection with the authentic core residing within and the higher power. People I work with often tell me that they are now better equipped to process their own feelings and the realities of their daily lives. The increased processing capacity makes it easier for them to work through their emotions and bring issues to a place of resolution.

Working through progressively deeper layers of grief, hurt, sadness, resentment, anger, fear and confusion facilitates the development of a much stronger and healthier connections to the authentic core within and the world in which we live. Deepening this connection makes it possible for us to live from a place of greater honesty and integrity. By living in a way that is congruent with our authentic core we develop a greater capacity for love, empathy and compassion.

©Copyright 2014 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. Call (913) 927-4281 to learn more or to schedule an individual session.

Internal Martial Arts and the Healing of Trauma

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Xin_Yi
Mugging attempts are fairly common in New York City. I was cat sitting for some friends on Avenue A in Manhattan’s East Village in the fall of 2002 when someone attempted to rob me as I was walking along 7th Street. I immediately whipped out pepper spray and chased the attacker down the street. Next thing I knew the police had me up against the wall and were on the verge of taking me to jail for having pepper spray in my possession. I said to one of the officers “What am I supposed to do? Get beaten up because some trash thinks he’s going to mug me?” The officer responded by saying “This is New York. You just have to get used to it.” I thought to myself “Okay, fine …I’m going to go out and find the most ruthless master I can find to train with and next time I’m going to paralyze the son of a bitch.”

I stopped by one of the Martial Arts supply store in Chinatown shortly thereafter and asked the man behind the counter if he had any recommendations as to who I should train with. He then referred me to a rack of flyers telling me to take whatever I wanted. I went home with a whole stack of flyers that evening.

Some of the flyers were very attractive and included glossy photos of Shaolin Monks in all kinds of fighting postures. But there was one flyer printed on dingy looking yellow paper that caught my attention. Sifu Li Tai Liang’s flyer was written in very poor English, but it talked about his training in the Internal Martial Arts of Xin Yi Quan and Baguazhang. I had a knowing as I read the description that this is the person I wanted to train with. I called the next day and went later that evening to Li Shifu’s studio in Corona.

Xin Yi Quan and Baguazhang are highly complex systems of martial arts that require many years of disciplined practice to master. I didn’t feel that I was able to fully grasp what Sifu was teaching in the class setting so I began to train with him privately. Sifu has taught me a vast array of forms and practices since that time.

Sifu started talking to me one day about the Taoist belief that much of the soul does not fully incarnate within the physical body. He then said that intensive practice helps to draw more of the soul into the body. I had heard similar things in my early twenties while I was training with Horace Daukei, the last surviving traditional doctor among the Kiowa Indian tribe.

I had shut down on many levels as a means of coping with the traumas of my own childhood and adolescence. Trauma held within prevented me from being fully present in my body. A number of people commented on the fact that I was very dissociated and that I held a lot of anger and rage in my body. All of that pain finally erupted in my mid-twenties as I found myself involved with women who reenacted the past traumas. The debilitating emotional pain made it very difficult for me to function at times.

The heavy, painful and sometimes overwhelming feelings associated with anxiety, depression and emotionally traumatic issues can have a debilitating impact upon us. These stressful energies and emotions can be very hard on the body. These energies and emotions will in many instances express themselves through the body as some form of disease, illness or injury. One of the things I like about doing Chi Gong practice is that it infuses the body with clean vital life force. This life force has a nourishing and soothing quality that helps to offset the painfully debilitating emotions. The cleansing process that takes place as we draw vital life force into our body – mind also makes it easier for us to process our emotions.

Years later I was engaged to an ethnic Tamil woman from Sri Lanka. I was devastated when the relationship ended in the summer of 2007. I couldn’t really do much of anything else at the time other than breathe for hours with my awareness centered amid the painful feelings of loss. I would then do hours of intensive Chi Gong practices. Working with the pain in this way had the effect of opening doorways within. I began to experience a greater sense of connectedness with the higher power and that left me feeling euphoric at times. It was during that time that I came to a place where my sense of wellbeing did not depend upon another person.

Some people reading this chapter will wonder if intensive martial arts and Chi Gong practice alone will heal trauma. No, it will not. It’s common for people who follow the various spiritual traditions to attempt to bypass the emotional and psychological aspects of their development. People who have attained mastery in the Internal Martial Arts, Chi Gong and in various Yogic disciplines have often acted out in various ways because of their failure to do the ground work necessary to address their issues and deal with their own emotions. This failure to build a strong healthy foundation on an emotional level accounts for much of the dysfunction playing out in various spiritual communities.

Chronic stress has an adverse effect on the brain, especially the hippocampus located near the middle of the brain, which plays a major role in our ability to retain information. The hippocampus facilitates the process of converting new information briefly retained in the prefrontal cortex into working memory. The hippocampus is especially vulnerable to ongoing emotional stress, because of the damaging effects of cortisol. The vast majority of the brain’s production of new neurons and the formation of new neural-connections take place within the hippocampus. The hippocampus loses neurons and shrinks in size when the neurons are flooded with cortisol. Cortisol stimulates the amygdala’s fight or flight reaction, while impairing the hippocampus’ reasoning capabilities. We go into self-preservation mode as our attention is redirected to the reactive survival oriented emotions and that impairs our ability to take in new information. That’s why we tend to forget things when we’re stressed out.

Exercise increases the production of the chemical messengers such as norepinephrine that promote healthy cognitive function, learning and positive emotional states. Exercise also helps to balance our physiology by stimulating our heart rate and improving the quality of our sleep.

I can see that lots of people are still holding all kinds of stressful emotions in their body despite the fact that they work out consistently. This unprocessed emotional baggage is clearly evidenced in the high incidence of digestive disorders, TMJ and other stress related health issues. I have also known dancers and yoga practitioners who had a strong presence and aliveness about them, but were totally neurotic because of their failure to deal with their own issues and emotions.

Doing Chi Gong practices doesn’t mean that all the painful and anxious feelings are just going to go away. One of the things I noticed as I began to work consistently with the various Chi Gong practices is that it made it possible for me to draw the life force into the parts of my body I had disconnected from that were holding a lot of painful emotion, trauma or other stresses. In many instances I find that Chi Gong practice brings the emotions held in the body that I hadn’t been able to access up to the surface so that I can process them. I like the fact that it helps me to get in touch with feelings that would otherwise be difficult to access.

Learning all these highly complex forms encourages the development of new neural pathways. These additional neural faculties also facilitate emotional processing and that makes it easier for us to work through our feelings and bring issues to resolution.

It can be very difficult, if not all together impossible, to process our feelings when we are not fully inhabiting our bodies. Training in the Internal Martial Arts has helped me to become more fully present in my physical body and the world in which I live. The changes that have taken place as a result of my practice are making it easier for me to move through the world with a greater sense of resilience and self-assurance.

One of the things I like most about the Internal Martial Arts such as Xin Yi Quan and Baguazhang is that it incorporates Chi Gong into the fighting forms so that the practitioner is always building the life force within the body. I do lots of Chi Gong practice and find that it nourishes and strengthens the internal organs of my body. I feel cleaner, healthier and a greater sense of resilience.

I encourage anyone to learn and practice any of the Internal Martial Arts. People with physical limitations can easily do Chi Gong and Tai Chi. Those who are more physically able that are up for the challenge can experience even greater benefit by training in disciplines such as Xin Yi Quan and Baguazhang.

I find that Chi Gong practice helps me to access my feelings, but it doesn’t facilitate the actual processing of the feelings. Chi Gong can be a highly valuable healing tool and yet there is no one approach that will address all of our needs. I make much greater progress when I combine various healing practices. I make a consistent effort on a daily basis to do the groundwork needed to build a strong and healthy foundation. A big part of that involves a whole different kind of practice of breathing with my awareness centered in the midst of any feelings and bodily sensations that arise in response to what is taking place in my life. Breathing into the feelings in this way facilitates a process that enables me to digest my life experience and any subsequent feelings that arise.

I have done lots of deep tissue body work and have worked with a number of powerful healers whenever the opportunity presented itself. I have gone on numerous vision quests, which are a traditional Native American healing practice that involves going out to fast alone in the mountains for four days and nights without food or water. It was during the individual healing sessions and vision quests that I could feel the parts of myself that were holding trauma being transformed. It’s the combination of all of these practices that have made it possible come as far along as I have.

©Copyright 2014 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. Call (913) 927-4281 to learn more or to schedule an individual session.

Healing After Surgery

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Melina wasn’t feeling very good for about a week and thought that she had come down with some kind of stomach bug. She kept taking Gas-X and Pepto Bismal and other over the counter products and yet nothing seemed to be working. Melina’s symptoms were getting progressively worse by the day. She was in such horrible pain by the following Thursday that her husband rushed her to the emergency room. After a lengthy wait she was wheeled into the operating room where they performed emergency surgery to remove her appendix.

Melina felt very apprehensive going into surgery, fearing that she could possibly die on the operating table. She was greatly relieved afterwards that her appendix was out and that she was still alive and no longer in horrible pain.

Melina felt as though she had been traumatized afterwards saying “I wanted to close in on myself and not let anyone near me except my cats.” She was also experiencing a tremendous sense of fatigue which was also accompanied by numbness and pain.

The body and mind experiences varying degrees of shock any time it is subjected to some form of trauma. Surgery is, in many instances, the best option to address various health issues and yet it is also experienced as an invasive trauma by the body and mind. The body cannot fully process this trauma on its own. People often experience confusion and disorientation after surgery. I have on many occasions looked into people’s auras after surgery. In many instances the person who has undergone surgery appears to be dissociated from their physical body. This inability to be fully present in their body impairs their ability to function.

I noticed a very unusual quality during the healing session when I began to work in Melina’s abdomen. It felt as though this part of her body were in shock. There was a very inert or nonresponsive quality to the visceral organs. The visceral organs gradually became more responsive as we continued to work.

Invasive surgical procedures have a tendency to break down our boundaries and the defensive armor that enables us to contain the feelings and memories that we haven’t been able to process. Melina told me later on that feelings and memories associated with past sexual trauma began to surface during and after the session.

The prospect of undergoing surgery fills many of us with a sense of dread and anxiety. The more radical surgical procedures such as curative surgery that involve being cut open and having parts of our bodies cut out can be as devastating as the sickness. The overwhelming sense of violation experienced by some makes surgery’s potential to traumatize is comparable to that of assault, accidents and combat. In fact, reports of post-operative anxiety and depression are common. Patients who suffer a heart attack, cancer and other life threatening medical issues posing a threat to their physical survival that evoke feelings of horror and helplessness may develop PTSD. And that may precipitate the emergence of painful or traumatic memories and feelings from the past.

Saving lives

There are times when surgery is an absolute necessity. A ruptured appendix that is not surgically removed can lead to peritonitis. Left untreated, peritonitis can result in sepsis, a condition in which infection spreads rapidly into the blood and to other organs, resulting in multiple organ failure and death.

Congenital heart defects are problems with the heart structure that are present at birth. These defects involve the interior walls, the valves inside the heart and the arteries and veins carrying blood to and from the heart. Corrective surgery has saved the lives of many children born with congenital heart defects.

Coronary heart disease is the result of plaque buildup in the arteries, which blocks blood flow and leads to blockages. Arteries that were once smooth and elastic become narrow and rigid, thereby restricting blood flow to the heart. That starves the heart of oxygen and the vital nutrients it needs to pump properly. In some instances, a blood clot will totally block the blood supply to the heart muscle, causing heart attack. A blood clot blocking blood vessels to the brain may result in a stroke. Coronary bypass surgery replaces damaged arteries with blood vessels from other parts of the body such as the legs or arms, restoring blood flow to the heart muscles.

Stroke

Stroke symptoms can vary depending on the type of stroke, where it occurs in the brain, and how severe it is. Sometimes symptoms of stroke develop gradually. An individual having a stroke, is more likely to have one or more sudden warning signs:

• Numbness or weakness in the face, arms and legs, especially on one side
• Severe headache that comes on for no apparent reason
• Confusion or difficulty understanding other people
• Difficulty speaking
• Difficulty seeing with one or both eyes
• Difficulty walking
• Dizziness

A stroke or “brain attack” is a medical emergency. Every minute counts during a stroke. Call 911. An ambulance staffed with medical personnel can begin lifesaving treatment immediately.

Treating Ischemic Stroke

An ischemic stroke occurs if an artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain becomes blocked by a blood clot. Medication is used to break up blood clots in the arteries of the brain. Anticoagulants may also be prescribed to prevent blood clots from getting larger and to prevent new clots from forming.

Treating Hemorrhagic Stroke

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs if an artery in the brain leaks blood or ruptures. The first steps in treating a hemorrhagic stroke are to find the source of bleeding in the brain and then control it. Surgery may be needed to treat a hemorrhagic stroke.

The types of surgery used include aneurysm clipping, coil embolization, and arteriovenous malformation repair. Aneurysm clipping or coil embolization is performed if the stroke is caused by an aneurysm. Aneurysm clipping blocks off the aneurysm from the blood vessels in the brain. This surgery helps to prevent further leaking of blood from the aneurysm. It also can help prevent the aneurysm from bursting again. Coil embolization is a less complex procedure for treating an aneurysm. The surgeon will insert a tube called a catheter into an artery in the groin and then thread the tube to the site of the aneurysm. A tiny coil will then be pushed through the tube and into the aneurysm. The coil will cause a blood clot to form, which will block blood flow through the aneurysm and prevent it from bursting again.

Arteriovenous Malformation Repair

Arteriovenous Malformations are a tangle of faulty arteries and veins that can rupture in the brain. Surgery to the AVM may be recommended if it is determined to be the cause of the stroke. AVM repair helps prevent further bleeding in the brain. The AVM is often surgically removed. Substances may also be injected into the blood vessels of the AVM to block blood flow. Radiation may also be used to shrink the blood vessels of the AVM.

Mending broken bodies

Emergency surgery is often required to stop bleeding, close open wounds, set broken bones, treat head trauma, facial, abdominal, pelvic and various other injuries suffered as a result of automobile accidents.

Cancer

One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime. More than a third of all cancers are diagnosed in people aged 75 and older. Poor diet, tobacco and exposure to sun, radiation, chemicals and other substances all contribute to the dramatic increase in the frequency of cancer.

In many instances surgically removing tumors is the most effective approach to cancer treatment, especially if the cancer is localized and hasn’t metastasized. Advances in modern Allopathic medicine have led to the development of newer specialized surgical techniques to eradicate or prevent the spread of various forms of cancer. Some of the new methods being used to remove or destroy cancer cells are blurring the line between what we commonly think of as surgery and other forms of treatment.

Laparoscopic surgery can safely and effectively be used in surgeries for cancers of the colon, rectum, liver, prostate, uterus, and kidney. It involves less cutting and less damage to healthy tissues. Laparoscopic surgery can help to reduce blood loss during surgery and pain afterward. It can also shorten hospital stays and allow people to heal faster.

Preventive or prophylactic surgery is done to remove body tissue that is likely to become cancerous, even though there are no signs of cancer at the time of the surgery. For example, pre-cancerous polyps may be removed from the colon during a colonoscopy.

Curative surgery is usually done when cancer is found in only one area or region of the body, and it is likely that all of the cancer can be removed. In this case, curative surgery can be the main treatment. Curative surgeries remove a sizable part of the organ where the cancer originated, and in some instances the entire organ itself. A certain amount of healthy tissue is removed along with the cancerous tissue to ensure that all cancerous cells are gone.

Laser surgery can be used to burn and destroy some cancers of the cervix, larynx, liver, lung, rectum and skin. Laser surgeries are generally less invasive, involving less cutting and trauma to the body. The laser can, in some instances, be directed inside a natural body opening without having to make an incision. The laser is then aimed directly at the tumor or cancerous cells in order to destroy them.

Cryosurgery is a technique involving the use of liquid nitrogen or argon gas to freeze and kill abnormal cells in pre-cancerous conditions such as those affecting the skin and cervix. It is also used to treat cancers of the liver, prostate and bone. Cryosurgery may be the best option for cancers that are considered inoperable and for patients who are not good candidates for conventional surgery due to age and other medical conditions. One of the greatest advantages of cryosurgery is that it kills cancerous cells while limiting damage to healthy tissues.

Cryosurgery is less invasive involving only a small incision or insertion of the cryoprobe through the skin. In some instances cryosurgery can be performed using only local anesthesia. It generally has fewer and milder side effects, requires shorter recovery time and is less expensive. Cryosurgery can be highly effective in treating cancers visible to physicians using imaging technology. It’s main drawback is that the microscopic cancers that are not visible to these technologies can be missed.

Curettage is a process of scraping the skin with a spoon shaped instrument to remove skin tissue. Electrosurgery utilizes High-frequency electrical current to destroy cancer with an electric current that runs through a metal instrument or needle. Electrosurgery is often done after curettage to control bleeding and destroy any remaining cancer cells.

Mohs micrographic surgery, also known as chemo surgery, is considered to be the most effective technique for removing Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma, the two most common skin cancers. Mohs surgery used to remove skin cancers by shaving off one thin layer at a time. A doctor looks at the tissue under a microscope after each layer is removed. The surgeon stops removing layers of tissue once all the cells look normal under the microscope.

Improving the quality of life

Cleft palate

A cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth resulting from the failure of the palatal shelves to come fully together from either side of the mouth and fuse during the first months of development as an embryo. Modern surgical techniques have made it possible to greatly improve the quality of life for children born with a cleft palate. Repairing the cleft palate improves a child’s ability to eat, speak, hear and breathe and create a more normal appearance and function.

Joint replacement

Chronic pain in the knees, hips and other joints can make it difficult to walk, climb stairs, get up from a chair, or carry on with other normal activities. Joint replacements can significantly relieve pain and increase mobility in the vast majority of people who get them.

Risks and complications

Despite the best of care, all surgical procedures have inherent risks of complications. Assessing these risks is an important part of patient counseling. Age, medical history and current condition all have to be taken into consideration. Surgical incisions are at times slow to heal and in some instances they do not fully heal. Other risks include fever, nausea and vomiting, wound infection, septicemia, blood loss resulting from hemorrhaging either during or after surgery, shock, clotting and pulmonary embolism and disfigurement.

Fatigue

Patients often assume that they can go right back to work after surgery. But the trauma to the physical body and the general anesthesia causes fatigue that can last for some time. Energy levels can take time to get back to normal. And in some instances a person’s energy level never fully comes back on its own.

Pain and other discomforts

Nearly everyone experiences aches, pains, bruising and soreness after surgery. The amount of pain one experiences often depends on the degree of invasiveness of the surgical procedure. One of the greatest advantages of the newer less invasive procedures such as laparoscopic surgery is that there is usually considerably less trauma to the body. The process of recovery is also much faster.

Partially collapsed lung

Patients sometimes complain that it hurts to breathe after surgery. A condition known as Atelectasis, a partial collapse of the lungs may occur after surgery when patients are not able to breathe in enough air to fill their lungs. Mucus normally cleared by breathing and coughing builds up in the lungs. That may lead to pneumonia, especially in older patients. Warning signs of atelectasis include shortness of breath and faster heartbeat.

Blood Clots

Blood clots are far more likely to occur after surgery, especially orthopedic surgery. People that smoke, that are obese or immobilized are at greater risk for blood clots. Blood clots often form in the legs, but can migrate to the lungs where they can cause potentially fatal pulmonary embolism. Patients need to be attentive to potential warning signs such as swelling in the affected leg and calf pain. Shortness of breath and chest pain may be an indication that the clot has moved to the lungs.

Reactions to anesthesia

Anesthesia is derived from the Greek word anaisthēsía meaning ‘loss of sensation’. Anesthesia makes it possible to perform surgical procedures necessary for the health and wellbeing of the patient that would otherwise be too unbearably painful to endure. Without anesthesia the patient might go into shock and die. There are however a number of complications that result from surgical procedures and the use of anesthesia.

Common reactions and complications associated with anesthesia include headaches, pain, bleeding, dizziness, feeling faint, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, hematoma formation, nerve injury, infection and embolism.

Headache

Headaches may occur as a result of the anesthetic, the operation, dehydration and anxiety. Most headaches will subside within a few hours. Severe headaches are more likely to happen after a spinal or epidural anesthetic.

Confusion and disorientation

People that undergo surgery often complain that they don’t feel quite like themselves. They sometimes feel tired for weeks or months afterwards. Confusion, disorientation and memory loss are common reactions to surgery and anesthetic. These symptoms are usually temporary, but may sometimes be permanent.

Nausea and Vomiting

Patients undergoing surgery sometimes become nauseous and vomit. A condition known as aspiration pneumonitis can occur when food, saliva, liquids, or vomit is breathed into the lungs or airways leading to the lungs. Vomit and other foreign substances aspirated into the lungs can cause inflammation and infection.

Anaphylaxis

Patients undergoing surgery sometimes experience anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction involving the entire body in response to drugs or substances used for anesthesia or surgery. Tissues in different parts of the body release histamine and other substances. This may cause the airways to tighten and lead to other symptoms.

Ischemic Necrosis

The use of anesthesia can sometimes cause ischemic necrosis, a condition that occurs when the organs and tissues fail to get adequate blood supply because of constriction or obstruction of the blood vessels. The lack of blood supply to a part of the body such as the heart, brain, skin or bowel can lead to tissue death in the affected area.

Cerebral Hypoxia

The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to function. Drowning, choking, suffocating, cardiac arrest and complications resulting from surgery may prevent the brain from getting the oxygen it needs to function. Cerebral hypoxia is a condition that occurs when there is not enough oxygen getting to the brain. The more complete the deprivation, the more severe the harm to the brain and the greater the consequences. Cerebral hypoxia can rapidly lead to severe brain damage or death.

The cells of the brain will start to die within a few minutes if they are deprived of oxygen. The disruption of the transmission of electrical impulses impedes the production of neurotransmitters, which regulate many physiological, cognitive and emotional processes. Patients who experience brain hypoxia may experience memory loss along with reduced physical mobility. It may also impair their ability to pay attention and make sound decisions.

High Blood Pressure, Heart Attack and Stroke

Stress, medication, pain and lack of exercise are stressors for the body that can lead to an increase in blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Residual anesthesia

Patients typically wake up after surgery once the anesthesia passes out of the blood stream. Many anesthetics used in surgery are fat soluble, which means they are absorbed by the fat cells in the body. Residual anesthetic stored in the fat cells comes out over time and may cause us to feel sluggish or drowsy for weeks or months afterwards.

The period of time that anesthetics stay in the body greatly depends on the aesthetic used during surgery. Anesthetics that have a relatively short life are metabolized and removed by the body quickly while others stay around for a while. Propofol which is commonly used as an induction agent is longer lived in the body. Versed or Midazolam, a drug used before surgery or certain medical tests to make patients sleepy, drowsy, or relaxed has been detectable in urine up to ten days after a procedure in which it was used.

Nerve damage

Nerves can be compressed, stretched, or severed by trauma or surgery. Symptoms of nerve damage may also be caused by surgery-induced inflammation. Symptoms of nerve damage include burning or stabbing pain, sensitivity to touch, numbness in the hands, feet or other parts of the body. The muscles in the arms or hands may fail to regain their previous strength.

Neurological deficits

Neurological deficits are functional abnormalities resulting from injury to the brain, spinal cord, muscles, or nerves resulting from surgery and other forms of physical trauma. Neurological deficits range temporary to permanent. Changes in the way that one experiences sensation include numbness, a decrease in sensation and unusual sensations. Patients may experience loss of muscle tone and control and involuntary movements such as tremors after surgery. The loss of coordination may interfere with one’s ability to perform complex movements. Patients may experience speech or language difficulties that impair their ability to write, comprehend written or spoken information or speak clearly. Changes in vision may include diminishment of one’s visual field, double vision and loss of vision.

Scar tissue

The body creates scar tissue in its attempt to heal. The formation of scar tissue causes visible changes in one’s appearance. Scar tissue may cause pain in the area where the surgery occurred. Scar tissue can sometimes impact one’s range of motion if it develops in the tissue near joints. Scar tissue causes visible changes in the appearance of one’s skin. Scar tissue typically is thicker, pinker, redder or shinier than the rest of a person’s skin. The degree of scarring depends on the following factors: wound size, depth and location, a person’s age and skin characteristics, including skin color or pigmentation. Scar tissue on the skin’s surface often fades with time, but it rarely fully returns to normal.

Adhesions are bands of scar tissue that bind parts of the body’s tissue together that should remain separate. They often appear as thin sheets of tissue similar to plastic wrap or as thick fibrous bands. Adhesions will sometimes develop in response to surgery, infection, trauma or radiation as the body attempts to repair itself. The body’s repair cells cannot distinguish between one organ or part of the body and another. Scar tissue will sometimes form to connect the two surfaces when one organ undergoing repair comes into contact with another organ or part of the body.

Adhesions typically begin to form within the first few days after surgery, but they may not produce symptoms for months or even years. Adhesions can occur anywhere, but are most likely to develop within the stomach, the pelvis and the heart. Abdominal adhesions occur in the majority of patients who undergo abdominal and pelvic surgery.

The majority of adhesions are painless and do not cause complications. However, adhesions cause a large percentage of small bowel obstructions in adults. In extreme cases, the fibrous bands surrounding a segment of the intestine restrict motion making it difficult to pass food through the digestive system. The constriction of blood flow may result in tissue death.
Adhesions may form within the membranes surrounding the heart, and that may restrict heart function. Pelvic adhesions usually occur after surgery and can involve any organs within the pelvis, such as the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes or bladder and are believed to lead to the development of chronic pelvic pain.

Indigenous healing traditions

We’re living in a society where we have been taught to disconnect from our feelings and physical bodies. Consequently, many of us lack the understanding and resources needed to process our emotions and heal deep emotional wounds. Unpleasant emotions and other stresses that we fail to process often manifest within the body. A large percentage of the digestive, respiratory and other conditions that manifest in the body are stress related. In many instances these conditions could be resolved through noninvasive holistic healing modalities. And yet many opt to suffer the unnecessary physical and psychological trauma of undergoing invasive surgical procedures such as having portions of their colon removed.

Indigenous people in various parts of the world lived close to the land in harmony with the forces of nature. Indigenous healers of the Americas and other parts of the world such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines allowed other forces or beings to work through them to facilitate healing that would not otherwise be possible. Some had the ability to close open wounds and extract tumors from the body. I’m fortunate to have trained with one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe.

The old Native American doctors were very pragmatic in that they encouraged their patients to utilize both modern allopathic and traditional indigenous medical approaches to facilitate healing. I have on numerous occasions intervened during medical emergencies. I also encourage anyone experiencing a medical emergency such as a heart attack or stroke to pick up the phone immediately and call 911. We need to make the best use of the healing resources that are available to us.

I’ve worked with a wide range of conditions over the years. The presence working through me during the individual healing sessions facilitates a regenerative process within physical and subtle bodies. People with inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease have healed. Fibroids have in some instances dissolved. Cancers have also gone into remission.

The body – mind is not able to fully process the trauma experienced while undergoing surgery. It’s fairly common for people to experience varying degrees of numbing or deadening long afterwards. The resulting disconnect can prevent people from being as fully present in their bodies as they were prior to surgery.

Jenna was experiencing a great deal of difficulty after giving birth to her son via caesarian section. The incisional wound was healing poorly and she was also experiencing a great deal of fatigue and disorientation.

Jenna’s body healed as we began to work together. She regained her mental focus and became more present in her body. Jenna went on to complete her thesis and degree and in counselling psychology and has since built a practice as a psychotherapist.

Eda underwent surgery to correct the damage to her toes resulting from wearing high heeled shoes for many years. She expected to be off her feet for weeks afterwards. The healing sessions accelerated the healing process. Eda’s surgeon said that she healed much faster and better than expected.

Many of the people that have come to me after having gone through surgery were still experiencing pain, fatigue and a sense of disorientation. In many instances, the body’s innate healing power had become so compromised. Incisional wounds were healing slowly. The presence working through me during the individual healing sessions would alleviate the physical pain and accelerate the healing of the wounds while cleansing the body of residual anesthetic and other toxins.

Surgery often causes significant damage to the subtle bodies consisting of the chakras and layers of the aura. The subtle bodies help to facilitate the functioning of the various organs and systems of the body. Damage to the subtle bodies impairs the functions of the organs and systems. Damage is repaired within the physical and subtle bodies during the individual healing sessions.

This presence also facilitates the processing of trauma the held in the body along with any feelings and memories that may have surface. Emotions are processed, the deep underlying wounds heal and issues are brought to resolution. Emotional vulnerability replaced with a sense of calm and wellbeing.

People who didn’t feel quite like themselves are able to regain their natural resilience and get back on track in their lives. Many have told me that the sessions helped them to become more fully present in their bodies and to regain their physical strength along with their mental clarity and ability to focus.

©Copyright 2014 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. Call (913) 927-4281 to learn more or to schedule an individual session.

You Can Heal Sexual Trauma

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new beginnings of a dragonfly
Childhood sexual abuse is one of the most insidious forms of trauma. Each individual’s experience or reaction is unique. Many survivors experience low self-esteem or self-hatred, guilt, shame and blame. They often have difficulty trusting as they were betrayed by the very people that were entrusted to love and care for them. Many survivors re-experience the visual imagery and other sensory impressions associated with past sexual abuse as if it were occurring in the present. They may also suffer from nightmares, panic attacks and have difficulty sleeping. Survivors often dissociate from their bodies as a means of coping with the intrusive thoughts, memories and feelings. Survivors are also far more likely as an adult to find themselves in abusive or dangerous situations where they may be victimized again.

The vast majority of those who were sexually abused continue to live with the trauma for the remainder of their lives. In this chapter, Ann shares her own personal account of the transformation that has taken place as a result of healing from childhood sexual abuse. This chapter is especially valuable for those who were sexually abused. People who were never sexually abused will also gain valuable understanding of the body and mind and its innate healing processes.

Ben: What kind of space were you in at the time we first started working together?

Anne: When we began to work together in March of 2005 I felt like I was a tightly wound ball of twine that was midway thru unravel. I had a host of physical issues that include anxiety, insomnia, repeated and chronic sinus infections for which I had had surgery, irritable bowel and chronic fatigue. I felt like my vital life force was slowly leaving my body. There were times I did not think that I would live long, and there were times that I didn’t care. I would not have done harm to myself, but I was losing the will to live. The only thing that kept me fighting was my young daughter. I did not want her to grow up with the baggage of a clinically depressed mother, so I fought as hard as I could. Had it not been for her, I am not sure where I would be today in terms of healing.

I was extremely fragile at the time we began to work together. I could barely access the memories due to the highly charged nature of the emotions. I was taking a low dose of anti-depressants at that time just so I could relieve the anxiety enough to sleep at night. I was hypervigilant and I had heart palpitations every time I fell into a light sleep. The doctor’s I was seeing pumped me full of sleeping pills that did not work, as anxiety was the culprit.

Ben: The kinds of symptoms you’re describing are very common for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Of all the things I work with, sexual trauma is one of the most insidious. In many ways it works like sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis or gonorrhea destroying the body and mind from within.

Anne, I would agree with that.

Ben: Your system felt way out of balance energetically. I remember how I would always sense this excessive heat in your body resulting from the sexual trauma. This heat had a very dark, static, toxic and angst ridden quality about it. Is that anything like what you were experiencing on the inside?

Anne: Yes, because every herbalist and other holistic practitioner that I was receiving treatment from at that time was telling me the same thing. And they were always trying to give me herbs and supplements to help me dissipate that heat, because it was causing other problems in my body.

Ben: What other problems?

Anne: I was very depleted. They were trying to build up my blood, my kidneys and my digestion.

Ben: I’m not saying this to criticize other practitioners, but in many respects they were only treating the symptoms.

Anne: That’s because they didn’t know and I didn’t know at that time that these imbalances stemmed from sexual trauma. I had no idea. I thought I was suffering from postpartum depression, because these symptoms began to manifest after my daughter was born.

Ben: I’ve watched this same phenomena taking place with a number of the women I’ve worked with. Having a baby growing within the womb and then pushing through the birth canal during the birthing process or removed from the womb via cesarean section breaks apart a woman’s defensive structures. Emotions and traumas that have been held within the body for many years are dislodged. This traumatic content can have a devastating impact upon the body and mind.

Anne: I would say that’s what was happening to me.

Ben: The early sessions were especially difficult for you. What were they like? How would you describe your experience?

Anne: I experienced a lot of physical reactions after the initial healing sessions. I would sometimes experience horrible diarrhea or be vomiting after you left. I would feel weak and cry a lot. I was basically just a raw nerve. There was no other way I could describe it. I couldn’t handle too much external stimulation, crowds or noises. It was very hard for me to function.

Ben: I feel tremendous concern for the people I work with that have suffered from traumatic abuse. I like to use the analogy of going through a cleansing fast to help people to understand the process that takes place when one heals from trauma. The body will at various points along the way go through some form of physical reaction when going through a detoxification or cleansing fast. In many instances this process can be very uncomfortable.

The process that one needs to go through in order to heal from traumatic abuse essentially involves working a very insidious infection out of the body – mind. Some become fearful and run because of their lack of understanding of the healing process. And that’s very unfortunate because those who run will most likely end up having to live with all that pain and trauma in their bodies for the remainder of their lives.

It’s important for anyone who works with a healer such as me to understand is that these kinds of reactions are a normal part of the healing process that takes place when a lifetime of toxicity is working its way out of the body. Those who work with me also need to understand that not only are they not only going to get through the reaction, but they will get to a place where they feel much better because of it. In time they will be free of that insidious toxicity.

People who have been severely traumatized have never been in full possession of their own bodies and minds or truly lived their own lives. Many of those who have the opportunity to do this work will discover for the first time what it’s like to truly live.

Anne: I had been working with holistic practitioners since 1993 and had done various cleansing and detox processes so I knew all about healing crises on a physical level. But I had not yet dealt with a healing crisis or detox on an emotional and energetic level. But I had an intuitive sense that it would probably be pretty much the same.

And if you’re asking me why I continued to work with you …I had a small child, I didn’t want her to grow up carrying the baggage of a clinically depressed mother, so I fought as hard as I could. Had it not been for her, I am not sure where I would be today in terms of healing. I wanted to live to raise her. Part of my anxiety about her at that time had to do with abandonment issues. I felt terrified that she and I were going to be separated in some way. I feared that I would not be able to finish raising her and that she would never remember me. Just talking about this now makes me very emotional. I don’t know if that’s part and parcel of the anxiety and depression or if that’s something I initially experienced emotionally in an earlier part of my life, but it was very strong and that motivated me. I didn’t have the luxury of laying on the sofa feeling sorry for myself. I had to take care of this child and I didn’t want her to have a crappy childhood.

Ben: It’s important for parents to understand that children are very empathic. They have not yet formulated boundaries or defensive structures and that makes them more susceptible to internalizing much of the suffering we’re carrying. There is so much less toxicity for our children to internalize when we heal our wounds.

It’s inevitable that we will all be wounded at points along the way. Parents who fail to deal with their own woundedness are giving their children a message that says “You don’t have to be in integrity with yourself. You can always run away or find some other means of escape.

Their children never internalize the model of healing that says I need to come from a place of courage and face the issues head on. I need to do whatever it takes to heal the parts of me that are wounded and I will get a much better place in life by doing so.

You’re providing a very good model of growth and development for your daughter by doing what it takes to truly heal. This is one of the most important gifts that a parent can ever give to their child.

Anne: When my daughter was three years old, we would get in the car and every single day she would say to me “Mommy, are you happy?” when in fact I was not. This was before I was getting any kind of significant treatment. I would respond by saying “Yes Sophia, I’m so happy I’m with you.” She asked me that question every single day for at least a year. And then last year on New Year’s Day she looked at me and said “Mommy, Thank you for not being a drug addict or alcoholic. I’ve had a pretty good life so far.” So that kind of gave me a whole lot of validation.

Ben: Sometimes there would be these gaps between sessions. There were challenging circumstances that needed to be dealt with pertaining to your family such as taking care of your mother. You were carrying a huge amount of responsibility and had no choice but to deal with it. There was also a certain amount of resistance. I would have to call you at times to put the pieces together and help you understand the process and say “Okay Anne, we need to be taking that next step by scheduling another session.

Anne: I was angry and resentful. And I was tired. My anger didn’t have anything to do with you. I was very angry in the beginning because I had way too much on my plate. I was trying to deal with my mother, trying to take care of my health and trying to care for my daughter. There was also a point in time when I was going to at least three or four doctors ever week and I was so resentful that I had to add you into the mix.

I’ve been overwhelmed by my circumstances during the past year or two and just feeling like I couldn’t set aside the time for myself. Not being able to set aside time for myself is unfair to me. So I’ve made it my business to stop constantly putting myself last, because if this ship goes down, everybody else goes down.

Ben: How have you changed physically, mentally and emotionally as a result of the work we have done?

Anne: Although I still struggle with many things in the present day, I feel that all of the trauma associated with the sexual abuse has gone. I no longer carry that baggage. I have been able to forgive all those responsible and I no longer have the anxiety or depression that I lived with for such a long time. I feel clearer in my heart and head and now use my time for more creative and enjoyable endeavors. My intuition has grown stronger as has my creativity. I also allow my intuition to guide most of my decisions in my day to day relationship with friends and family members.

The most important change I have experienced is that I feel more present in my day to day life. I feel more present in my relationships. I was always present with my daughter. I never had any problem with her. I very rarely was ever on autopilot with her. But everyone else took a back seat. I wasn’t even present with myself. And every chance I could get, I would run away. Now I‘m present. And during the times that I’m not present it’s a conscious choice to say “Oh fuck it …I need an hour or two. Now it’s a matter of choice and not just a habitual escape mechanism.

I definitely have more energy. The things that I need to do for people from day to day still weigh me down and make me feel tired, but twelve years ago this would not have even been a possibility. There’s just no way that I could have functioned with everything that’s been on my plate regarding my mother and her care. Had I not done the work with you, I would have been absolutely paralyzed. I would have been completely unable to handle that.

Ben: You mentioned something about running to three or four doctors a week. How are you doing physically now?

Anne: Physically I’m fine. Like I said, I get bogged down with chores, errands and responsibilities. I’m thinking about all the places I have to go and things to do and that exhausts me. Just this week, I had to set myself down and say to myself “Going over and over your schedule every day and all the things you have to do in your mind makes you tired …tired before you even start. The best thing for me to do is to stay in the moment and only think about what I have to do from minute to minute.”

I don’t have as much time to devote to activities that would produce the endorphins that would make me feel more alive and energetic at this time. I’m just hanging on for the ride

Ben: It sounds like you have a lot more internal strength and stability. And that you have become much more physically resilient.

Anne: Yes, that is true.

Ben: You’re no longer in that anxious, angst ridden state of hypervigilance. What’s your internal state like at this time compared to the time we first started working together?

Anne: I think that I’m always going to be vigilant to some extent. I’m always going to be cautious around people. I’m always going to be reserved. The difference is that I rely on my intuition more than my kneejerk reactions to protect myself.

I rely upon my intuition by allowing myself to feel another person’s energy. I back away if I don’t like what I feel. If I’m in a situation where I feel a little uncomfortable meeting a person for the first time, but otherwise if I don’t feel a threat, then I just let myself experience it.

Ben: Would now you say that you feel calm, assured or a sense of happiness?

Anne: There’s the big picture happy and the little picture happy. I try on a daily basis to find something every day to bring me pleasure. The big picture right now is a little tough because I do have so much hanging over my head, so I try not to get caught up in it. I really try to take little bites out of the life I have, because I can’t digest everything.

Yes, I’m calmer and more peaceful and when I really manage to stay in the present and stop letting my mind spiral out of control. I’m definitely calmer than I have been. One of the most important things that people need to understand about this process is that the work is not done when the crisis has abated. It’s a day to day process, because we’re so habituated in these patterns of self-medicating, escaping or whatever it is that we do. We have to be consciously aware that every single day we make choices that impact us positively or negatively. It’s never over.

There’s no pill or magic wand that’s going to make you completely whole. At the same time there’s a certain presence or power working through me that has transformed much of that suffering. I’m sure that’s what has gotten me to the point of saying you have to stay in the present. Let’s put it this way. I’ve become very clear mentally and emotionally. I’m very clear with what I need to do. I may not always want to do it, but I’m very clear with what I need to do and that’s huge.

Ben: The physical and emotional abuse I endured during my own childhood and adolescence had a debilitating impact on me. And I was seeing it reflected back to me in the women I would attract. They were usually unavailable, uninterested and in some instances would reenact early traumas. I jumped at the rare opportunities I found to work with powerful healers and later on I went back to do the vision quest, which is a traditional Native American practice that involves going out to fast alone in the mountains for four days and nights without food or water. I could always feel a powerful presence working to heal and transform the wounded parts of myself.

There are certain facets of the healing process that we cannot fully do on our own. The emotional, physical and sexual traumas that many of us have gone through are so deeply ingrained within our makeup. Readily available conventional and alternative approaches to healing such as Allopathic Medicine, psychotherapy, acupuncture and herbs are not fully healing these traumas. Many people continue to suffer unnecessarily as a result. American Indians and other indigenous groups of people learned to access other forces or beings that could facilitate healing that would not have otherwise been possible. These forces or beings were especially effective in their ability to heal the deep emotional wounds that have such a debilitating impact upon people.

Anne: I would agree to that, because I underwent talk therapy, hypnosis, bio feedback, sleep studies, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and eventually EMDR (Eye Movement Reprocessing and Desensitization) which is used to treat people with post-traumatic stress disorder. EMDR helped, but it didn’t change things on a cellular level where the trauma was stored in my body. However, I continued to pursue these other practices as a result of your encouragement as you felt that they would complement the work we’re doing.

And I often think back on the relationships I had and specific situations where past abuses were reenacted. I have to say now as I look back on those experiences that I would never allow those people near me. I would never tolerate these people or their behavior. It just wouldn’t happen.

Ben: That’s good. Having the assistance of the presence or forces that Native Americans and other indigenous people have relied upon to go in and do the restructuring within your body – mind has made it possible for you to have a completely different experience. Now you can derive much greater enjoyment and truly live life.

Anne: Do you find that this process does not work with people who have little or no insight into their own emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing? Because I really do not see how you can teach that to someone if they don’t have it.

Ben: Many are lacking these resources because of the conditioning from their families and society that causes parts of them to shut down. People who were initially lacking these valuable resources will gradually develop them as a result of the individual healing sessions.

Anne: I’ll buy that, because I had these resources, but they became much stronger as a result of the work we’ve done.

Ben: The earlier stages of healing process that take place when the traumas are beginning to surface, heal, integrate and become functional parts of ourselves are by far the most difficult. The healing process gradually changes over time. The process actually becomes enjoyable as the deep emotional wounds heal and you gain a clearer sense of your life’s purpose and begin to fulfill your true potential. You have seen a certain amount of that through your art work. The prints you’re making are really beautiful. The beauty of your work is a reflection of the changes that are taking place within you.

Anne: Absolutely and I look forward to the day when I can really devote more time to it.

But it seems to me that I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing even though it’s not what I want to be doing. I’m sure that helping my mother transition from this life time to the next is only second to my taking care of myself right now. I just really feel that this is what I need to be doing at this time. The challenge now is to just accept that and not get frustrated and angry that I cannot do all the things I want to do at this time.

With respect to the very difficult process of caring for my aging mother, I have no life experience from which to draw necessary information for making choices that have a major impact on her life and mine. Emotionally, had I not done all the work I did up to this point, I would be paralyzed by sadness and fear, and I would resort to old coping mechanisms to help myself escape the sense of hopelessness and helplessness I felt. This is the work that continues to this day and probably for the rest of my life.

Ben: Being able to care for your mother is also something truly amazing in itself. Your mother was not the most kind, loving and supportive parent. She wasn’t there to protect you as a mother needed to be in many respects. Despite all of that, the healing that has taken place thus far has allowed you to truly be there for your mother in ways that any parent would be very fortunate to experience.

Anne: Well that’s a bonus because I was able to heal the wounds pertaining to my mother. That’s huge.

Ben: Trauma and other forms of stress that we fail to process accumulate within our bodies as we go through life. There’s a deadening and disconnect as that happens and then we lose that spark and sense of aliveness. Trauma and other stresses held within cause parts of our bodies break down more readily or they express themselves as some form of illness.

You healed from the trauma related to the chronic bladder infections that you experienced as a child. How are the reproductive issues that we began to address a few months ago?

Anne: I was so disconnected not just from sexual trauma but also physical trauma. The lower abdominal and pelvic regions of my body were in horrible shape. For the longest time I really felt dead, even on a sexual level. I just had a lack of interest. Part of that has to do with the hormonal changes taking place as a result of going through menopause. I’m feeling a little better. I seem to be starting to rally.

Ben: I’m very cautious about working in certain areas of the body because I want to be respectful of people’s boundaries. I normally work around the pelvis or breasts unless there is a specific health related issue that needs to be addressed. Stresses and traumas are also contained in these regions of the body. And that sometimes makes it necessary to work in these areas.

Healing is definitely a work in progress. We’re just beginning to work in this area. Those who have trained in the Internal Martial Arts which are rooted in Taoism do intensive practices throughout the course of their lives to cultivate the consciousness in specific organs of the body. It’s also important for you to center your awareness in this part of the body when you’re doing your own practice. Your efforts will really pay off in the long run.

Anne: How I even functioned and managed to attract a healthy man I don’t even know. There must have been some healthy part of me that said “You need this man. He’s going to be very important to you down the road.”

Ben: You’re definitely very fortunate in that respect. The majority of the people I encounter that have gone through so much trauma tend to attract partners who reenact early traumas. And if someone were to come along who could really love and care for them, they’re just not attracted to that person. They just don’t feel it.

Anne: It’s because you think you don’t deserve it. That’s the sick part. I didn’t do anything to deserve to be sexually abused. I didn’t do anything wrong, but the insidiousness of the shame and the way you internalize these things makes you feel like you’re less of a human being because of it

Part of you is thinking “Oh if people really knew me, they would hate me.” So you keep attracting the same kind of person who treats you the same way. I didn’t think I was going to attract someone who was going to be good to me. It wasn’t a cautious thing. I was caught up in a whole victim schema. That’s what you put out there and then you attract people who are going to take advantage of it.

Ben: Yes, because that whole victim model is wired into us physiologically, emotionally and energetically. At some level people really want to be loved and cared for. But all the pain and trauma held within the parts of the body – mind that operate outside of our conscious awareness have far more power than the conscious mind. That’s why many people just keep attracting partners who hurt, abuse and that are incapable of loving them.

People come to me suffering from anxiety, depression and emotionally traumatic issues, digestive, respiratory and a wide range of other health related conditions. Many of these conditions are easy to work with and respond very well to this form of healing when people listen to instruction and follow through with the sessions. Those who are consistent with the individual healing sessions will experience the kinds of changes that you’re describing.

What would you say that people really need to understand?

Anne: Part of it is self-love. Another part is saying that I deserve this. For me a huge component of following through is that I was motivated because of being a parent. I always looked at it as if I were the mother of a child. Not everyone has that motivation. They don’t have a child, but they need to be willing to do this for themselves. They need to be able to step outside of themselves and look at themselves, step back and say “Do I not deserve protection, love, support, encouragement and healing?”

Someone would say to me, look at yourself the way you would look at your daughter. Wouldn’t you want her to heal? And of course I would want her to. I would step into that role and never say yes, I certainly deserve that. I don’t know how to instill that in someone that never had it

Ben: The damage is visibly apparent when someone breaks a bone or has a gaping wound. Wounds in the psyche are not quite so obvious. But we need to understand that these wounds are also real and we need to take the necessary steps to facilitate their healing.

Another thing to take into consideration is that people within our present day society really don’t have a model of healing because it hasn’t been a part of our culture. There’s so much misunderstanding when it comes to healing. A lot of the spirituality out there is taking people even further away from their feelings and physical bodies. There are many things about how things work in our society that are set up to disconnect people from themselves. Many have spent their entire lives running or disconnecting. People need to really need to understand that in order to heal they have to be present. A big part of healing is finding the courage and commitment to be present and part of that is being willing to stay with and face whatever comes up.

Anne: Another thing to take into consideration is that this process requires a huge amount of trust.

Ben: I felt intimidated and overwhelmed by the all-consuming feelings and impressions of my own past traumas when they surfaced in my mid-twenties. I had no one there to hold my hand or explain the process taking place. Fortunately I had an intuitive sense that this is something I had to do. I went into the process with a willingness to face whatever came up until I came out the other side.

Embarking on this journey of healing definitely does require trust. Can you say more about trust?

Anne: I was desperate enough that I was willing to try anything. And maybe that’s what has to happen. Some will have to hit rock bottom before they take the initiative. They may have to become so depleted or so low that they don’t have any place else to go but up.

Ben: That’s a good point, because many of the people that I’ve worked with over the years that have really stuck with the process are those who have hit bottom or were in such a desperate space because of the suffering they were going through that they absolutely had to do something.

If you go among cultures like you find in India, Tibet or China where they have these ancient spiritual traditions, those who are seriously committed to their own healing and development always enter a mentor – apprenticeship or master – student relationship. I’m trained as a doctor in an ancient system of medicine – healing that dates back thousands of years. Facilitating the healing of traumatic issues is one of my prime areas of specialization. Having healed from my own traumatic past makes me especially suited to facilitate this process in others.

One of the greatest challenges involved with working here in the United States is that most people do not have any kind of realistic model of healing. Many have little, if any, concept of the commitment and discipline involved in healing and personal and spiritual growth. One needs to be able to listen to instruction and follow through. Healing from traumatic experience involves a massive restructuring of the body – mind consciousness. Building a whole new foundation requires tremendous work, but it’s one of the most valuable things that anyone can ever have the opportunity to experience.

Anne: Yes, definitely

©Copyright 2013 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. To learn more go to http://www.doiohm.com Call (913) 927-4281 to learn more or to schedule an individual session.

Healing After an Automobile Accident

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Automobile accidents can cause a wide range of injuries to virtually any part of the body depending on the nature and severity of the impact. Head and brain injuries ranging from a mild concussion to traumatic brain injury (TBI) often occur when the brain is jostled inside the skull as a result of the impact of the crash. Neck injuries such as whiplash, neck strain and more serious injuries such as herniated disc and back injuries such as sprains, strains, fractures, disc injuries resulting from the torque of the driver’s and passenger’s bodies can cause long lasting pain and discomfort. Facial injuries such as scrapes, bruises, lacerations, fractures and jaw and dental injuries are frequently caused by impact with the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, airbags, car seats and shattered glass. Drivers and passengers involved in serious automobile accidents and especially those resulting in severe injuries and even loss of life often experience short and long term emotional-psychological distress and may even suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Aden was seriously injured after being hit broadside while moving through an intersection by a driver who ran a red light. The impact of the collision was so great that it snapped his seat belt. Aden flew up into the air and then landed on the pavement. He remembered floating up out of his body momentarily and seeing people standing around and looking down at him as his body laid there on the pavement.

I first learned of the accident from Aden’s sister and later inquired about him when ran into his mother while shopping at Wild Oats market in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Aden’s hip was broken during the accident and much of the flesh on his right outer thigh was worn away when his body slid on the pavement. His body was hunched over and he was experiencing a great deal of physical pain. I sat Aden down in a chair in the Wild Oats market and went to work. Aden’s response was “Wow …this is the first thing that has helped me. Physical therapy has felt like torture. But I could feel the pain being pulled out of my body as you were working on me.”

Aden had me come over to his home to work with him. The “road rashes” shrunk dramatically in size. And he was able to go back to work at his construction job after the first session.

Injuries to the spinal cord

Duane suffered serious injury to the spinal cord as a result of a head on. Duane didn’t remember much of the accident except for the short time that he regained consciousness as he was being loaded into the ambulance. Duane told me that the headband he was wearing at the time of the accident ended up getting stuck in the broken glass when his head slammed up against the windshield.

Duane had been going for Chiropractic adjustments two or three times a week to help him manage the pain at the time I began to work with him. He was forced to call out of work on many occasions because the pain was so incapacitating. Duane gradually improved as we continued to work together. The pain and other physical discomforts subsided as his spinal injury healed.

Whiplash

I suffered injuries to my neck and upper back after being broadsided by a driver who ran a red light. I had received numerous deep tissue massages and chiropractic adjustments and yet I still experienced a great deal of discomfort. I was hit a second time from the rear while traveling across country. Fortunately, I was able to spend some time with a Kiowa-Apache medicine bundle being kept by a friend when I stopped off in Oklahoma. I felt as if the room were spinning around me as I placed my hands on the sacred bundle. I could feel the presence residing within the bundle working to heal the injuries in my neck and upper back. My injuries healed completely later on as I went through the vision quest.

American Indians relied upon the forces of nature to effect healing within the body and mind that would not have otherwise been possible. Gifts of healing that were passed down over time were transmitted directly from an older traditional doctor to a younger apprentice. One then had to go alone into the mountains to fast for four days and nights without food and water to earn the right to work with these gifts of healing. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to train with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa tribe.

The subtle bodies which are comprised of the chakras and layers of the aura are not perceived by most people and yet they are an essential part of the infrastructure that facilitates consciousness. The subtle bodies also support the structure and functions of all the body’s organs and systems. The chakras and layers of the aura are often seriously damaged as a result of the impact of an automobile accident. Much of the damage to the subtle bodies does not heal on its own.

The first layer of the aura consists of a fiber like grid or meshwork that mirrors the structure of the physical body. This layer of the aura helps to maintain the structure and functions of the various cells, organs and systems. The grid like structure in the first layer of the aura helps to maintain alignment and facilitate the cohesive interplay between of the skeletal structure, ligaments, tendons and musculature. The first layer of the aura also helps to conduct the subtle life force to all the various cells and organs throughout the body.

The traumatic impact of a collision often tears the first layer of the aura and in some instances rips it away from the physical body. That’s part of the reason why the spine keeps coming out of alignment and people have to keep going back in for adjustments.

The physical and subtle bodies serve as a form of protective boundary that helps to give us some sense of a coherent structure and meaning in our lives. It also helps us to contain the stressful memories and emotions that we have not been willing or able to deal with. All kinds of residual memories and emotions can leak out when our defensive structures break apart as a result of an automobile accident. That can greatly contribute to our sense of vulnerability and overwhelm. The shock resulting from the impact of an automobile crash, damage to the physical and subtle bodies and the resulting physical pain can also cause us to dissociate and feel a sense of disorientation.

The individual healing sessions greatly accelerate the healing process. They also facilitate certain aspects of healing that would not otherwise happen on their own. The presence working through me surgically repairs damage within the physical and subtle bodies. Physical pain and shock resulting from the traumatic impact are neutralized so the experience can be fully processed and the body and mind can heal. The sessions help those injured in automobile accidents to become firmly rooted in their bodies and digest the emotional aspect of the trauma and other subsequent emotions that surface.

Broken bones that are not set right do not heal properly. A broken bone may turn or twist during the healing process or end up being shorter than the other. I encourage people who have been injured in an automobile accident to work with me immediately afterwards when the body-mind is most responsive to healing if at all possible to ensure that damage within the physical and subtle bodies can be repaired. Although many who were suffering from chronic injuries resulting from accidents that had occurred months or years prior have still derived tremendous benefit from the healing sessions. I also recommend that people do as many sessions as they can immediately afterwards to derive greater benefits of the healing.

©Copyright 2013 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. To learn more or to schedule a private session call (913) 927-4281