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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Detox Guru

This is a great detox and everyday diet for Rosacea. It clears the body of acids that are inflammatory and irritate the skin, causing flare-ups.

The philosophy of Ayurvedic medicine dictates that certain food are no-nos for different body types. So, although the detox doesn't involve cutting down on portion size, eliminating refined, acidic and toxic foods such as wheat, potatoes, red meat, alcohol and dairy produce for three weeks, will alter the pH balance of your digestive system and flush out toxins. According to Dr. Roshi, creator of the Detox Diet, you will no longer crave chocolate, pies, pizzas or chips. "After the 21-day detox, people don't want to go back to how they used to eat," he explains. "It changes your palate along with increasing your energy levels. Your skin will be softer, your eyes brighter, you'll sleep better and have no sugar cravings. Generally your taste will change, so you don't want to eat very sugary or salty foods. Because the detox purifies your blood and changes your blood pH, any interruption after that, such as a biscuit or chocolate, will have a profound effect on your body. If you do, you might wish you hadn't, as it could result in a stomach upset or headache. "

No's: Red meat, dairy, fruit wheat, gluten or yeast, alcohol, biscuits, cakes or doughnuts, jams or spreads except honey, coffee, decaffeinated coffee or tea except for herbal tea sugar, chocolate or sweets, artificial flavourings such as tomato sauce, vinegar or mustard. A clean, clear system internally results in clear, radiant skin externally.

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Practice

"In the beginners mind there are many possibilities,but in the expert's mind there are few."

Rosacea is a practice in mindfulness. The constant vigilance to keep sensitive skin from flaring up is a reminder of how one is living. When you are mindful, you return to each moment new, fresh. Every breath brings you back to the present moment, returning to awareness over and over. Thoughts arise and pass like clouds, returning to each breath as you breathe in and breathe out.

Consciousness is revealed in the pattern of flareups. You can see in the pattern where you were not present. Unawareness, like missed moments in life are unconscious. Where we bring awareness to how we are living, the body is in balance and the skin smooth and clear. You can learn to be more mindful in each thought or action. The motivation to practice mindfulness is that each moment missed is a moment unlived. Missed moments are a result of automatic, conditioned thinking of feeling and doing rather than living in awareness.

It is a radical act of love to just sit down and be quiet for a time by yourself. Take a stand in your life as it is right now, however it is.Only love can give us insight into what is real and what is important. A radical act of love makes sense. A love for life and for the emergence of one's truest self.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Shadow of Rosacea

"That which we do not bring into consciousness appears in our life as fate." - --- C. G. Jung

The human body has lived for two thousand years in the shadow of Western culture. Its animal instincts, sexual passions and decaying nature have been banished to the darkness by religious philosophies honoring the realm of the mind and rational thought. The mind/body split runs deep in our culture, and is nowhere more evident than in the body as shadow.

The shadow is the repressed part of the ego, and represents what we are unable to acknowledge about ourselves. The body as shadow represents that which is repressed by the ego. Jung stated that "The ego and the shadow come from the same source and equally balance each other. . to make light is to make shadow: one cannot exist without the other." Anything of substance casts a shadow, so it is important to examine the dark side of any phenomena, particularly of dis-ease.

The shadow finds its way through the cracks in the psyche, and appears in dis-ease and dis-orders. In disowning the body we are dangerously cut off from our instinctual natures. The life energy has been cut off. The dark side of Rosacea is the unexpressed and repressed emotions that lie beneath a skin disorder.

This may also be the unexpressed aspects of the "unlived" life. Are you being authentic? Are you expressing your true emotions? Are you living the live you dream or someone elses? This is where dream analysis and active imagination are particularly effective in discovering the root cause, the essence of Rosacea. Keep a dream journal and notice dark or repressed images that appear. These images all give clues as how to balance the emotional energy in the body and give clarity and radiance to the skin.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Body as Container

The Body itself may be considered an alchemical vessel in which psychological transformation is occurring. The skin is the outward manifestation of the internal process. Skin is associated with the ideas of birth and rebirth. In the Egyptian system of hieroglyphs there is a sign comprising threee skins knotted together, signifying "to be born." The number of skins refers to the three fold nature of humanbeing - body, soul and spirit. The old skin will need to be shed for transformation to occur.

The archeytype of fire manifests itself in the skin disorder, bringing heat and pain in order to the lead the person to a level of consciousness where the psychic difficulties that lie behind the disease can be recognized. as the skin is the mirror of the soul, so fire and emotion enter one's life. Only through conflict can we begin to see the meaning of skin affliction. emotion becomes our carrier of consciousness.

In the fire of rosacea, the blisters that are symptomatic of this disorder are tiny volcanoes which are on the point of breaking through the skin. The illness, the skin disease is the stimulus that will bring profound change. The body is the carrier of transformation. The message that the "break-outs" is bringing, is that something internally is emerging, there is a transformation occurring at the psychological level.

Dreams, symbols, signs, are the echoes of ancient wise voices in the Alchemical process. One should not avoid one's destiny, but follow your dreams, because to find our personal myth and our mission on Earth is the way to find God, meaning happiness, fulfillment, and the ultimate purpose of creation. The body is the bridge between heaven and earth and the way to the divine.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Alchemical Fire

The Art of Alchemy is an ancient path of spiritual purification and transformation; the expansion of consciousness and the development of insight and intuition through images. Alchemy is steeped in mysticism and mystery. It presents to the initiate a system of eternal, dreamlike, esoteric symbols that have the power to alter consciousness and connect the human soul to the Divine.

The word "alchemy" is derived from the Arabian phrase "al-kimia," which refers to the preparation of the Stone or Elixir by the Egyptians. The Arabic root "kimia" comes from the Coptic "khem" that alluded to the fertile black soil of the Nile delta. Esoterically and hieroglyphically, the word refers to the dark mystery of the primordial matter (the Khem). The aims of the alchemists were threefold: to find the Stone of Knowledge (The Philosophers' Stone), to discover the medium of Eternal Youth and Health, and to discover the transmutation of metals.
In the alchemical process, the fire necessary for the calcinatio comes from the frustration or repression of the instinctual desires and passions. The fire of calcinatio is expressed by one's frustrated desire, for example, "I'm burning up inside" or "I'm burning with anger. Calcinatio can only take place by the means of the inward heat of the body. By the frustration of our desires and the denial of pleasure, our passions become their own punishment. In the essence of the flame, calcinatio brings the ability to see the archetypal aspect of experience, experience as the ethereal fire.

Fire in ancient times was associated with the gods and was the chief method of sacrifice to the gods. Fire was the connecting link between the divine and human realms. That which was sacrificed by burning was made sacred, and ascended to the upper regions. Myths of fire told of the transformation from the earth realm to the immortality of the gods. Demeter makes Demphoom, the child of the King and Queen of Eleusis immortal by holding him in the fire. The psychological meaning of the fire bath of immortality is that a connection is made between the ego and the archetype, making the former aware of its transpersonal, eternal or immortal aspect.

The fire of Rosacea, in alchemical terms, is the "burning up" of aspects of the psyche, the transformation to a new self. The skin manifests the psychological process with red eruptions that occur through emotional or hormonal upsets. Rosacea is a metaphor for the tremendous potential for transformation during the peri-menopause and menopause shift. Often dreams during this period will be catastrophic: dreams of earthquakes, tsunamis, fires while the body will heat up with nightsweats and hot flashes. These symptoms and images are a manifestation of the tremendous psychological power that is emerging through the pathology of Rosacea.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Code Red

In deciphering the Rosacea code, it is important to look at its meaning from a deeper level. From a symbolic level, "Red" is a color that is passionate. Red is the color of life - of blood, fire, passion. It is worn by brides in India and China as a symbol of good luck and fertility. Christian calendars marked holy days in red, hence red letter days. In China red stands for joy, happiness and good fortune.

In the chakra system, Red is the color of the root chakra, the muldahara. It represents our life energy, our physical strength and vitality. Red is used to increase vitality and to send warmth. Red is the color of blood, the source of life.

Kundalini arises by a spark of fire than constellates in muladhara, the instinctual realm. It is the fire that brings spirit to matter. The life force becomes activated through the intake of breath, the spark of life that brings consciousness to instinctual life. The redness becomes a brilliant burning red that sends sparks up the spine to the crown chakra, the thousand petaled lotus, the quinta essentia of spirit.

What the symbolism of Rosacea suggests is that the fire energy moves up through the chakras and at menopause manifests heat in the manner of hot flashes, night sweats, flushing of the skin. Rosacea is expressing heat and passionate energy internally and externally.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Rosacea and My So Called Life

"Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others.
Unfold your own myth."
---- Rumi

Be the author of your own life. Write your Rosacea Story. Keep a journal of how Rosacea is informing your life, what clues it is giving you in terms of how you are living your life, if you are living from your truth, if you are being authentic. I found my skin condition to be an incredibly accurate barometer of my true emotional state. Emotions and skin are closely connected, as any one who has been under stress will attest to those frisky little bumps that erupt on your complexion at the most inopportune times.

The most important tool in flare management is your story. It is invaluable in determining the underlying causes and patterns related to outbreaks. Most people actually feel better after expressing their emotions and thoughts in a journal. This daily exercise can help you be more aware of triggers and remind you of what works to alleviate symptoms.

Look back to the list of triggers when thinking about the day. Do you see a pattern? It is amazing how many thoughts and behaviors are unconscious. Exercise was a big one. I always assumed that exercise was great for your complexion. Not so for Rosacea. Overstimulation and overheating during my workouts was aggravating my skin. So I began exercising early in the morning or evening. Yoga was another surprise. I realized that all of those downward facing dogs were a disaster for my skin.

On my own rosacea journey, I was surprised to discover that my flare-ups were not only related to anxiety, stress and hormones, but to any exhuberant emotion. Anger, frustation and surprisingly, joyful excitement and yes, sex. At times I felt like just giving up. It seemed that everything I ate or did was a problem. The key was moderation. You have to learn to stay in the center, have a balanced lifestyle.

Acupuncturists ask what is going on in your life emotionally to understand your constitution. What appears to be happening on the surface is not always what is happening underneath. I found that while oftern I would appear happy, there really was a cover on a pot that was being to boil inside. When I began to go inward and examine my emotions, I realized that my rosecea was expressing my truth! I really was pissed off and not expressing it. Unexpressed emotions were literally boiling up to my skin!

By taking time everyday to meditate, to get in touch with myself by writing in my journal, I could begin to acknowledge and integrate emotions and feelings that were buried. By balancing my emotional state, I was also balancing my physical state. The mind body connection is so essential and tends to be overlooked in Western Medicine. Eastern medicine sees the body, mind and psyche as one.

"There is only one journey: going inside yourself."
----- Rainier Maria Rilke