Change Your Vibration, Relieve Your Pain!

Everything in the universe is made up of energy and is vibrating at specific frequencies. There is dense energy, loose energy, erratic energy, calm energy, high frequencies and low frequencies. The human body, too, is nothing if not a physical body constructed of energetic vibrations.

All aspects of health and well-being—especially pain—are tied to energetic frequencies. The problem is, most of us who suffer chronic pain only get the “pain channel” and keep ourselves “tuned in” to it 24/7. Thus the “pain frequency” is maintained and our suffering is prolonged. Needlessly.

If you tune in to an opera channel on your radio, you will get opera, not country music. If you dial your mother on the cell phone, you won’t get cousin Betty. If you say bad things about people, you will lose friends. "You reap what you sow," is a good example of the power of attraction, the power of like energy meeting like energy.

If your mental energy is vibrating at a low frequency you will have trouble studying, thinking or remembering names, places or events. If your physical energy is blocked or sluggish you will experience aches and pains such as sciatica, headache, fibromyalgia and others. In short: low frequency = low function and poor health; high frequency = high functioning and good health.

You must change your energetic frequency to feel better and live better.

The Energy Body
Traditional cultures around the world built their healing models on correcting energetic imbalances in the body. Indeed, the role of Shamans in Siberia, Alaska and Southeast Asia was to eradicate “bad spirits” (i.e., negative energy) from the body to restore physical or mental health in those suffering. The entire pantheon of Chinese and Indian healing practices was built on the premise of energy systems and pathways in the body that, when blocked, cause pain and disease. Clearing these channels or centers of blocked energy (e.g., toxins, spasms) is what restores health to the ill and offers relief to the pain sufferer.

Perhaps the most common term used to talk about human energy is aura. This is a general term used to describe the color, mood or quality of five overlapping energy layers. These layers of energy (or "energy bodies") refer to the spiritual, mental, emotional, etheric and physical energies that make up all human beings.

Energy is developed, stored and moved in the body through the adrenals, the organs, chakra centers and meridian pathways. There is a saying in traditional Chinese medicine that tells why we experience pain: "Where there is energy blockage, there is pain. Where energy moves freely, there is no pain."

The key to pain relief and lasting health, then, is to open the energy channels, raise your vibrational frequency and keep your energy moving at all times. There are a number of alternative therapies whose primary function is focused on just that. Let’s look at a few here.

Qigong
Qigong is an ancient Chinese system of energy cultivation. Also called “breath work.” Qigong exercises balance energy in the body through coordination of thought, breath and movement in specific sequences.

The nucleus of qigong is the exercise of consciousness and vital energy. The goal being to circulate, build and balance qi (vital life-force energy) throughout the body to promote physical and mental health.

Regular practice of qigong exercises aid in regulating the functions of the central nervous system. Along with exercising and controlling one’s mind and body, qigong influences one’s physical states and pathological conditions.

There are both practitioner-applied and individual self-regulating qigong methods. If you are in serious pain and can find a reputable local practitioner, make an appointment. If not, there are good instructional programs available. Look into them.

Reiki
Similar to qigong, reiki is a Japanese energy technique for reducing stress and inducing relaxation to help promote the free-flow of energy in the body. Unlike qigong, reiki requires the "laying on of hands" of a practitioner in order for its benefits to be gained.

Reiki practitioners lay their hands on patients in various configurations that are modeled on ancient Tibetan and Chinese powerful healing symbols. It is believed that re-creating these symbols on the body will allow "God’s energy" to flow from the universe, through the practitioner and into the patient. This energy, which is vibrating at a high frequency, will lift the low energy of the sufferer to relieve pain and illness.

Reiki has become a popular healing modality among nurses in hospitals. The patient does not have to be awake for them to administer a few minutes of healing touch.

Acupressure and Acupuncture
All Chinese body-healing practices are based on the idea that energy flows through the body in channels called meridians. These transport energy and life essence from organ to organ. Again, where there is slow energy or blockage, there is felt pain and soon disease.

Acupressure is the non-invasive and non-needle offspring of acupuncture. Both work on the same theory, but acupressure does not require needles to affect a change in the patient. In both cases, the practitioner will either “needle” or apply finger pressure to specific points on the body. These points are numbered and named and have specific indications for application.

Using a correct “prescription” of points, the practitioner can, in effect, change the energy in a patient, open their channels and help their energy move more freely. Again, when energy moves freely… there is no pain or disease.

Acupuncture and acupressure are both widely practiced today and worth looking into. They have been around 5,000 years… not too shabby!

Conclusion
The above-mentioned alternative therapies are just a handful of those which are able to bring relief from pain and illness by correcting energetic imbalances in the body. They are based on thousands of years of trial-and-error application and have an amazing track record of success.

If you have tried just about everything and are still in pain, then you might want to ditch the mainstream idea of health. Instead, open your mind to these traditional ideas of the body being composed of energy, and that energy vibrating at various frequencies, positively and negatively affecting the mind, body, spirit and organs.

Pain is caused when there is a blockage of this energy. These practices unblock your inherent life energies. Give them a try… pain relief may be just around the corner!

—Dr. Mark Wiley

Foods for Pain and Inflammation

Pain comes in many forms and from many sources. There are sprains, strains, tears, breaks, fractures, pulls, spasms… you name it. And the sources range from imbalanced activities in daily living, stress, poor posture, muscle imbalances, physical trauma, falls, allergies, mental anguish and… FOOD! One of the secrets to pain-free living is found in a diet based in prevention and reduction of self-induced pain.

Before we delve into the food aspect of pain, let’s first understand the mechanism of inflammation.

The Inflammation Story
Pain is generally felt as a reaction to swelling or inflammation in the body. This efferent signal is the body’s way of telling you something is wrong and in need of change. Inflammation, then, is both a sign and a symptom of pain.

The term "inflammation” generally evokes thoughts of painful joints and muscles, swelling and loss of mobility. While these are the obvious markers of inflammation, research also shows that chronic inflammation, if left untreated, can actually lead to serious diseases including diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and Alzheimer’s!

The amount of inflammation in your body varies and depends on a number of factorsincluding your activity level, the amount of sleep you get, the degree of stress in your life, and yes… even the food you eat. What you have to realize is that these factors are cumulative; they build up over time. And the more that any or all of these factors become out of control your risk for disease increases.

If you have pain due to inflammation, you may choose to take the traditional medical path, which includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), steroids and even go so far as to have joint-replacement surgery. But none of these “big guns” may be necessary. You should especially avoid long-term use of prescription and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory painkillers. These have been proven to cause liver dysfunction, kidney failure, stomach bleeding and ulcers… all causes of additional inflammation.

Sure, inflammation is a necessary part of the healing process. It brings fluid, nutrients, blood, oxygen and healing biochemicals to the injured area. However, if left to linger, inflammation poses greater threat to your health, arrests the healing process and can turn your pain from acute to chronic.

Foods That Cause Inflammation
Food is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to controlling inflammation. There are dozens of foods that create inflammation in our bodies, and there are dozens of foods that reduce and/or prevent inflammation in our bodies. Consuming the right mix of these throughout the day, weeks and months is essential toward living pain free. And in times of injury or pain suffering, the foods you consume may be what keep the inflammation active well past its usefulness, and send your pain into chronic territory. This is unacceptable.

The typical American diet consists of too much fat, tons of sugar, loads of red meat and a frightening amount of processed foods. Each and every one of these items is shown to increase inflammation and contribute to obesity, which is simply massive inflammation of adipose tissue. By switching to an anti-inflammatory diet consisting of healthy whole foods you can actually decrease inflammation and ease the pain and discomfort associated with it.

Before we dive into the good food list, let’s take a look at the bad food list. Each of these nine categories of bad foods should be avoided if you suffer pain or have inflammation.

Animal Milk Products: Milk, cream, ice cream, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt.

Hydrogenated Oils: Non-dairy creamer, crackers, cookies, chips, snack bars.

Nitrates: Hot dogs, cold cuts, pepperoni, sausage, bacon, liverwurst.

Processed Sugars: Candy, soda, bread, bottled fruit juice, cookies, snack bars.

Night Shade Vegetables: Potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant.

Fast Foods: French fries, onion rings, loaded baked potatoes, fatty burgers, Mexican food, pizza, calzones, strambolis.

Caffeine: Coffee, black tea, soda, chocolate.

Saturated Fats: Marbleized beef, chuck ground beef, deep fried foods, chicken skin.

Processed White Foods: Flour, bread, pasta, sugar, artificial sweeteners.

Surprised? As you can see, most of the items on this list are actually the staple American diet! Is it any wonder Americans are among the most obese and pain suffering peoples in the world? If you look closely at this list and pay attention, you will notice these ingredients are found in just about every snack, frozen dinner, bread and even so-called ‘healthy’ foods. Whatever you do, don’t believe the marketing. Read the labels instead!

Do yourself an easy, no-cost favor: Stop eating foods from the above list if you are in pain!

Merely eliminating these items from your diet will help stop the inflammation cycle when its natural course has been run. By eating these foods you are increasing the longevity of the inflammation, and thus self-inducing your own chronic pain.

Foods That Reduce Inflammation
Now that you know which foods actually cause inflammation or make it worse, let’s look at those foods that can help reduce and even prevent inflammation.

To begin, it is essential to any healthful dietespecially a pain free dietthat you consume as much fresh, organic, whole foods as possible. Eating foods in or as close to their original state is one of the keys to being healthy, preventing self-induced diet-based inflammation and reducing the inflammation you are experiencing as a result of an external problem (posture, physical stress, trauma).

Here is a list of the best foods known to prevent and help reduce inflammation, and thus reduce pain. These should be eaten throughout the day as part of balanced wholesome meals.

Inflammation-Reducing Foods: Wild Atlantic salmon, fresh whole fruits, bright-colored vegetables (except night shades), green or white tea, purified or distilled water, olive oil, lean poultry (skinless), lean beef (filets), nuts, legumes and seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, organic oatmeal (regular, not instant), aromatic spices (turmeric, ginger, cloves, garlic, onion, coriander, ground mustard seed, cayenne pepper).

As you can see, a diet high in fiber and whole foods, low in preservatives and fat and infused with blood-invigorating aromatic spices is the key to diet-based pain relief. But specifically, the above-mentioned foods actually work to reduce pain and inflammation.

—Dr. Mark Wiley

The Arthritis Obstruction Patterns: Differentiation of Syndrome is the Key to Relief

Did you know that arthritis is believed to be the oldest discovered ailment? Scientists have found this disease in the joints of some dinosaurs and even mummies!

It’s no wonder that the Arthritis Foundation estimates that some 59 million Americans will have arthritis by the year 2020. That’s nearly 20 percent of the population!

As a term, arthritis means “joint inflammation.” While there are many forms of arthritis, the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis, the most common form, is a degenerative condition that is caused when the joint cartilage begins to break down, either from prolonged wear-and-tear, traumatic injury or infection, thus leading to a bony enlargement.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease of the autoimmune system that causes inflammation of the synovial membrane (joint lining) and destruction and deformity of bone, cartilage, ligament and muscle tissue.

Regardless of type, common arthritic symptoms include pain in the joints, redness and swelling of the joints and loss of joint function. The pain of osteoarthritis gradually worsens with use over the course of the day, whereas the pain of rheumatoid arthritis tends to be worse on waking and improves as the day progresses.

Ancient Approach to Ancient Disease
Mainstream medicine has no cure for arthritis. In fact, physicians have no real way of knowing if someone is getting arthritis until its symptoms begin. At that point, doctors advise rest, exercise and a two-pronged drug therapy approach.

Given that arthritis is the oldest disease known to man, it only makes sense that the Chinese have been diagnosing and treating it for thousands of years. Yet doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) do not look at it as a disease. Rather, they see it as an “obstruction pattern” which can be differentiated, depending on signs and symptoms. Once the obstruction pattern is identified the pattern of imbalance can be corrected.

According to the theories of TCM, one can contract an obstruction pattern when wind, cold, dampness and/or heat enter the body and lodge in the meridian channels and network vessels. These are the energy channels of acupuncture and spaces between joints, muscles and organs. This leads to impairment of blood and body fluids which then causes such signs and symptoms as achy pain, impaired joint movement, numbness, tingling and/or heaviness of the limbs.

There are two main obstruction patterns in TCM. They are Wind-Cold-Damp and Wind-Damp-Heat. Identifying which pattern you have gives you clues to its treatment. Let’s take a look at the patterns now.

The Wind-Cold-Damp pattern is caused by wind, cold and/or dampness invading the body when immunity is low. Think of when you have been tired and worn out and suddenly caught a cold or started experiencing back pain or headaches. This is the same thing. Your immune system is low and is therefore unable to “defend” against the cold and dampness, which then congregate around the joints, thereby restricting movement and causing pain.

Wind-Cold-Damp obstruction pattern is further differentiated as Moving Obstruction, Painful Obstruction and Fixed Obstruction.

Moving (Wind) Obstruction finds the pain in the joints tends to move or wander from location—like the movement of wind. Symptoms include impaired movement of the joints that changes location and an aversion to wind. It may be accompanied by fever and chills, a tongue with yellow fur-like build-up and a rapid pulse.

Painful (Cold) Obstruction finds severe pain in one location. Symptoms include impaired movement of specific joints, pain that is worse when exposed to cold and is alleviated when exposed to warmth, thin, white fur-like build-up on the tongue and a pulse that is generally considered tight and wiry.

Fixed (Damp) Obstruction finds the pain to be fixed or in its location. Symptoms include numbness and swelling of the skin and heaviness of the limbs with worsening conditions in weather that is cool, cold or damp. The tongue will have a coating that is greasy and the pulse will be moderate.

The Wind-Damp-Heat pattern is caused when wind, dampness and/or heat lodges in the body. This can easily happen when immunity is low during the long hot/humid/damp summer days.

Symptoms include hot skin, swelling and red color of painful areas that increases with contact. Since it is a heat condition, there is often dehydration causing dry mouth, dark concentrated urine, constipation, a tongue with greasy, yellow fur-like build-up and a rapid pulse.

How to Prevent and Alleviate Arthritis

Since TCM differentiates between the syndromes of obstruction, it does not treat each pattern of arthritis in the same way. Various acupuncture points would be needled and herbal medicines would be used to do any number of the following: eliminate wind and/or dampness, dissipate cold, warm the channels, free the network vessels, resolve heat toxin and stop pain.

If you live in an area where there are acupuncturists or Chinese herbalists, I recommend consulting them for treatment. Additionally, there are five simple things that you can do yourself to help prevent or alleviate the symptoms of arthritis:

  1. Be mindful of wear-and-tear on the joints through repetitive stresses or strained activities, such as running, lifting, machine work, dancing, martial arts, etc. Try to take a break or change position (or activity) often to decrease chances of breakdown. Be sure to warm up the muscles and joints properly before engaging in such activities.
  1. Inactivity can also lead to joint problems, since lack of exercise or movement in general can weaken the joint-supporting musculature and decrease mobility. A joint, like a muscle, that is not used enough will atrophy, becoming weak, stiff, dysfunctional and prone to injury. So get up and move around, clean the house or exercise as often as possible. Movement is the key here.
  1. Studies have shown that obese individuals are at risk for developing arthritis because of the constant load placed on the joints, especially the knees and hips. Changing your diet and exercise habits will help prevent this from happening!
  1. If you have Wind-Cold-Damp obstruction pattern “arthritis,” you can wear gloves and dress warmly in winter, avoid cold beverages, eat warm food and beverages and use heat as therapy on painful days.
  1. If you have Wind-Damp-Heat obstruction pattern “arthritis,” you can refrain from too many spicy foods and diuretic beverages such as coffee, tea, alcohol and those high in sugar. On painful days you can use ice as therapy.

In another article I will share with you the results of a study on arthritis and a certain drink. Until then, if you are suffering, please see which of the above “obstruction patterns” you most closely fall into and then incorporate the above-mentioned tips as appropriate.

Yours in self-directed wellness,

—Dr. Mark Wiley

Optimal Health is Your Birth Right

You don’t have to live in pain. You don’t have to suffer a chronic health condition that is non-life-threatening. You don’t ever need to be sick. The various pains, illnesses and diseases you “deal with” every day are not permanent fixtures in your life.

Yet, from early on, most of us are taught “to manage” or “to mask the symptoms of” and then later “to live with” our poor health conditions. This is perverse and goes against our homeostatic (self-balancing) nature. What’s more, despite lackluster results, too many people keep following the practices of a healthcare system that simply has not delivered on its promises.

Are we doing this because we don’t realize it’s not working?

What if I told you there was in place at this very moment a healthcare model to lose weight, be emotionally strong and illness free? Would you be interested in it? One would think so. But if I then explained that this same model allows 16.2 million adults to suffer from chronic asthma; that 16 percent of the followers have high cholesterol; that 25.1 million live with heart disease and 32 percent suffer hypertension; that one in every six followers of this program develop arthritis; and that a whopping 67 percent of the entire population on this program are clinically obese… would you still be interested?

I would think the fast answer is, “No.” Yet even with freedom of choice and an information superhighway available at our fingertips 24/7, we are still participating in this failed model of wellness called Western allopathic medicine. Are we insane?

Not sure that your ill health is not only not getting better with mainstream medicine but is actually getting worse? Then consider the sickening statistics.

Way back in 1996 only 77 million Americans were suffering in chronic pain. Today, that number is more than 150 million. That’s a 100 percent increase in a symptom in just over a dozen years of medical progress. Now that’s what I call Super Sizing!

Here are some of the current medical statistics from the United States, a nation that spends more resources per capita on healthcare than any other in the world.

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans, killing nearly 27 percent of the population.
  • Twenty-three and a half million Americans over age 20 develop Type 2 Diabetes.
  • More than 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 experience frequent back pain.
  • More than 25 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches. And nine out of 10 Americans have other kinds of headaches each year.
  • Thirty-three percent of adult Americans lose more than 20 hours of sleep each month due to pain.
  • Each day 10 percent of adult Americans suffer from acid reflux.
  • Financially, pain accounts for 25 percent of all sick days taken by full-time workers, costing the economy $50 billion in lost work days and $3 billion in lost wages.

Each and every one of the above-mentioned “conditions” is rampant among adults, despite medical “progress.” Why? Because the medical system responsible for that progress is based on a flawed model of health.

Simply put, mainstream medicine fails to eradicate people’s everyday pains, illnesses and diseases. It fails because it is passive and reactionary and thus is unable to prevent you from experiencing chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, stress, anxiety, depression, headache, back pain, tendonitis, colitis, metabolic syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, Raynaud’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease and hundreds of others.

And this model will always fall short because it uses “disease” as its basis of finding health. That is, you see your primary care physician when you are ill, the doctor diagnosis your illness, labels the disease, then prescribes a protocol for treating that disease. Your personal health issues are “managed” by prescription medication, various therapy and surgery. Such a model can never hope to cure your daily non-terminal health problems, yet these are the important issues you face and that steadily undermine your quality of life.

So, who am I and why should you believe in what I say?

I am Dr. Mark Wiley and I know how you feel. I suffered from severe chronic headaches and musculoskeletal pain my entire life. Like you, as I went from doctor to doctor, desperately hoping for relief, no one could help me. Every day was a soul-destroying battle with neck and shoulder pain, mid-back pain, hip pain and head pain. Pain, pain, pain.

Unlike some chronic pain sufferers, I was fortunate enough to have support. My parents are both healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, even with their love, direction and referral to experts in various specialty fields, the suffering was constant, unbearable and unrelenting. I was forever putting myself in front of medical doctors, osteopaths, naturopaths, chiropractors, physical therapists, psychologists, allergists, body workers, hypnotists and dieticians. No treatment or surgery had lasting results.

I became proactive in college. In addition to studying medical anthropology, I was in close contact with dozens of mind/body health practitioners around the country. I became a research assistant at Harvard Medical School, looking into how to combine various mind/body methods for pain relief and even using martial art drills as vehicles to create altered states of consciousness. Yet despite all this, the net results were underwhelming. I was finally forced to face the fact that conventional Western medicine and many of the so-called “complementary medicines” were unable to heal me. So I became the Marco Polo of pain.

I began traveling, tracking down rumors of cures for pain and suffering to be found in far away places with strange-sounding names. Reiki and qigong in Japan, tui na in Taiwan, acupuncture and traditional herbs in Singapore, faith healing and bone-setting in the Philippines, spiritualists and medicine men in Malaysia. Been there, done that, designed the tee shirt. Yes, as with Western doctoring there was some short-term relief, but the pain always returned. Always. Then one day, I had had enough and decided to make a final desperate change in my life’s direction.

What did I do?

I became a doctor of Oriental and alternative medicine to cure myself. And over the past 10 years of treating patients and lecturing worldwide, I have developed a proactive self-directed, self-cure model of optimal health and pain-free living. And I will share it with you here every Tuesday.

I know the information will change your life, as it did mine. And please, if you have a specific health concern you would like me to address, let me know and I will do so as soon as possible. Until next week…

Yours in self-directed wellness,

Dr. Mark Wiley