Peeling the Onion- Health Challenges and their Origins
Peeling the Onion on Health Challenges
I was going over a few cases we’d done in common with an apprentice shaman. We were discussing a mid-sixties patient who seemed to have perennial eye issues. Three years ago, she was very concerned about being able to retain the ability to drive due to cataracts. She saw halos around oncoming lights at night and lost a lot of detail in the road picture on a bright day, where the sun might glint off an oncoming vehicle.
On that occasion, I Worked on her eyes, and the left was worse, no doubt in part due to having lived for decades in a harsh desert environment.
The following year, the issue became one of astigmatism, so we adjusted the viewing so that reading was much easier and the eye strain and headaches from it went away.
Several months later, myopia began to appear and quickly intensify. Then, just weeks ago, in the first week of January, 2021, she was finding a ‘black spot’ or “blank spot” in her right eye. This appears to be from a minor retinal stroke and required a directed beam to clear and rebuild the tiny capillaries that feed the retina, with whose partial closure, parts of the vision can shut down.
While I was working on the latter, Michelle was paying her usually hyper-absorbed attention, I felt, to processes deep within the patient’s skull, but not tracking the optic nerve and the occipital area where, for part of the session, I was Working.
Afterward, she shared with me that Freyja was simultaneously pulling what appeared to be a caved in ,concave area, about where the third eye is imagined, but a bit lower, pulling it forward where in the patient’s energy body, it had sunken dangerously inward. This was completed, and, for the moment at least, the patient’s vision is such that she can read without glasses or eye strain and subsequent headaches.
In discussing the visual part of the patient’s health challenges, it seemed a good time to go over the many levels- and Freyja’s probing brought this all to mind- at which what we tietaja view as challenges to function or integrity of the body are formed.
We began to discuss the different levels at which what manifests to us as a health challenge emerges and exists.
That many levels of causation and / or manifestation take place accords with the emerging trend in medicine toward a wholistic approach. The following is not meant to be a typical grid work which our science or our learned discourse force-fits onto the rough-hewn structure of our experience or, in the larger sense of ‘reality’, however an individual or group derives it, but rather a simple set of observations in which I introduce them in order as I have experienced them with patients over the prior decades.
Yes, there may be considerable overlap. When is the young man with Barrett’s Disorder suffering from a disorder of, a somaticization of the anger that he carries from early childhood neglect and abuse or was it from the highly acidic diet, with “carbonated” (phosphoric acid containing) liquids being his principal source of hydration, all the while punctuating this with hot coffee not given the chance too cool, to ‘shots’ of undiluted whiskey, and the expected acidity from vegal irritation caused by his smoking? Yes, he had just been diagnosed with adenocarcinoma when I first Worked on him, so was this a pathogen? Or was this self-induced, perhaps even self-destructive and subconsciously self-annihilating behavior from a powerless, persecuted member of the White minority? You see, the categories are always slippery. My only aspiration in presenting this is, besides sharing observations with the larger community of alternative healing practitioners, to elucidate the levels and hope that it leads to further discussion and exploration.
I will take a case presented over the past year as a starting point, and a not uncommon complaint, tachycardia. I will add to it another which is often multi-determined or overdetermined, depressive disorder. I will also explore, to a lesser extent, a purely physical disorder, frozen shoulder.
> Injury or Trauma- In the case of the man who participated in a contact martial art, or the patient who suffered frequent TBI at the hands of one abusive spouse or mate or another, blows to the head can result in depression even years later.
> Pathogens- Candida Albicans overgrowth in the lower GI can create lethargy and depression, as can the overconsumption of simple carbs toward which it inclines those suffering from it. Damage to the heart from blood-borne pathogens via long-standing jaw infections or esophageal lesions can result in valvular degradation and resultant valvular tachycardia.
> Self-Induced- Here we are on the fluid membrane of ontology.
~ Self-induction by choices, character orientation, or lifestyle.The fighter voluntarily exposed himself to head trauma, as did the abused woman through repeatedly turning away gentle, kind men and finding the dangerous and dominating type who physically controlled her more desireable. The tachycardia was exacerbated by the patient’s constant obsession with staying “well-informed” and somaticizing all the negative manifestations of a crumbling empire as reported in controlled corporate or alternative media as anxiety, The anxiety no doubt also elevated epinephrine and cortisol, further fueling the cardiac manifestation.
~ Self-induction by mental state, or habits of mind and emotion: The person chooses where to place his or her attention, at least outside of working hours. If we consider events in our lives from the perspective of victim hood, as the battered lady did, we court depression and a sense of powerlessness. These had real consequences prior to remediation, including ‘phantom’ back and abdominal pains for which medical testing failed to find a cause. Holding in one’s mind thoughts that lead to an anxiety or anger response certainly have physical consequences. Many of these issues are treated through Body Code or Emotion Code or even the various tapping or visual exercises that branched from Karl Pribram’s work. The depressive patient may be too distraught to bathe brush and floss the teeth regularly or may fail to practice regular physical exertion to tone muscles and energize heart and lungs, so emotional disorders are made into physical manifestations.
~ Self-induction through lifestyle choices: These can include self medication through illicit “street” drugs or misuse or recreational use of prescription medicines. One might argue that recreational use cannot be synonymous with self-induced pathology, but I argue that from a different perspective. Normally the “recreational” use is for purpose of escaping circumstances where otherwise the person might have sought problem resolution. The avoidance of reality-engagement compromises the person’s pragmatic or coping responses to the normal stresses of our environment, so, if it is done in other than a safe time and place after the ‘basic’ responses have been addresses, it, too is a form of pathology.
> Occupational causes: The patient who presented with frozen shoulder had worked in a meat-packing plant for 23 years. She had to reach over her head frequently to move the carcasses, hanging on mobile hooks above her, pulling them to the next station where she would operate a saw and toss the hewn parts of cattle, often heavy, onto another moving line. The repetitive use degradation of the left shoulder started to manifest over the last two years of her employment.
The medical office manager, suffering macular degeneration from looking into blue light emitting screens all day would be another example. A long-haul truck driver with UTI is another example.
> Orlag: Here we veer off into Cosmology and I can only speak through our Tietajar tradition (and that of Vitkar and Benendr) . There are a few layers of causation here, in one’s “fate” or “destiny” or results of what one has done both in this life and prior lives and what one has brought forward from ancestral or the larger family, racial inheritance.
~ Racial: Tay-Sachs manifests primarily in Jews of European origin. Sickle Cell anemia is mainly found in those of African descent. If the culture of the society involved “honor killing” and constant physical violence and some do, then the person might go around in agitation, fear, and the precursors to tachycardia, never feeling safe.(Oettarsfylgja)
~ Familial: If the family history included abuse, where the child associated getting battered with affection via a harsh father and later sought out abusive mates, resulting in TBI and later depression, there is a connection. The family of a COPD patient lived on the edge of an Oklahoma farm where both parents worked and the environment was full of toxaphene, malathion, and herbicides. Additionally, both parents smoked in the house continually as did, when she was an adolescent, older siblings. While as an adult, this person never smoked, she later was married to a “meth cook” who smoked his product and was a heavy cigarette smoker as well. So she had a lifetime of family-driven exposure (overlapping, obviously with environmental or occupational) to respiratory degradation. (Kynnsfylgja)
~ Personal: Life-choices can lead to exposure to pathogens or pathological behavior (reckless driving, fighting, drug use, etc.) that impact health. Living in continual drama, an addiction in its own right, persons choosing a theatrical lifestyle, can create a variety of conditions from anxiety to depression or a perennial state of anger or fear. Worse, poor lifestyle choices, leading to a negative mental state via the mechanism of mirror neurons in others will attract others with similar disposition, in a self-feeding downward spiral. (Mannsfylgja)
As a footnote to the above Orlag considerations. We are souls moving through different bodies, and in many cases being born into even other planets of conditions over time. As such, we ‘carry’ the tendencies “in the blood,” as we might see in a people known for hundreds of years of thrift and industriousness, where these traits are the ‘default setting’, the software running in the background, the accrued experience of generations of bodies with specialized adaptations to certain conditions of life. In a similar way, the inverse might be persons with little self-control, who create chaotic and dangerous societies, as the men have high testosterone, but poor frontal dominance.
In the familial sense, we do encounter cases where the guardian spirit (Hammingja) or the recording spirit (mannsfylgja - yes, it refers to the phenomenon as well as the Being who carries the personal history forward over lifetimes) tell us of a curse put onto generations. Sometimes, when we remove the same, we find that a curse had been placed on the lineage, sometimes generations prior to the patient’s present life. The most obvious manifestation of Orlag in the spiritual sense is the person, herself. The prior life work left unfinished, unresolved death trauma, or harm toward others or the planet can inflict symptoms in this life. I observed a woman who had suffered migraines much of her adult life where the body told me (and she confirmed) that it began in the neck right where the noose would have separated the spinal cord. As if the barbarity and depravity of ritual, juridically sanctioned killing were not bad enough for the group consciousness of a state or nation, sometimes the symptoms are carried forward into a present life in no way connected with the one for which the soul was previously punished. Upon uncovering the conditions of the prior life and dialogue with the prior personality at the time of her demise, it was resolved for her not to cling onto and continue repeating the injury to the one now in this body, ending that part of the Mannsfylgja.
> Existential: The “posture” that the person chooses, their loyly, or self-image, as projected into the world, can attract experience, good fortune (meginn) or mischief and misfortune. The person who views his life as a victim or a passive spectator in a game that he cannot possibly win invites many emotional maladies which manifest in the body and the lived experience. This is where the Will (hugr) is important. If the person has the will to overcome the disorder, if it aligns with my will for them to regain function or comfort and health, then much is possible that is not possible with a mentality of pessimism and defeat, or an acceptance of suffering as “that’s just the way it is, or must be..”
As Tietajar shamans, we must operate between these levels of causation and manifestation. Our discernment grows through voluminous learning, practice, observation and experience. In the process, we learn to discover which of these levels primarily applies to a person’s challenge, or, if many levels, in what order to engage the issue.
We sent this out to a few colleagues or persons who had experienced Tietajar wholistic healing and had a technical background in the life sciences. A comment came in from Dr. Osvaldo Demo, M.D., who worked here in our clinic in 2016:
“Hello Greg, thank you for sharing your excellent practice, observation, conclusions, genesis and comments about these cases, the most impressive thing is the depressive and / or addictive effect of situations of suffering not only physical but also psychic and the consequences both in the body As in the mind, the "holistic" concept is also very useful in the practice of medicine; I remember when you corrected Ms. Jo S's eye problem in 2016 and also calibrated my own vision, ’fond memories’, I send you a big hug.
Osvaldo Demo, MD, Pediatrician, Geneticist, Internist (holds 3 board certifications) from Cordoba, Argentina”