Posting is going to be a little lighter here on spiritualselfhelp.org for a couple of weeks, for two main reasons:
1) I’ve got my hands full launching my latest book, The Secret Diary of a Jewish Housewife, which you can find out more about by clicking HERE.
2) I’m planning to start posting up some longer, properly researched posts here about how electricity is the missing link in human health and well-being, that will connect all the dots from the electrically-charged semi-conducting liquid crystal that is the human body, to the sun and its solar flares, and everything else in between.
God willing, I will start posting that stuff up in the next couple of weeks and let me tell you: it’s completely mind-blowing!
(I know I say that about a lot of the things I write, but hey, have I been wrong yet?)
So keep your eyes peeled for that, and in the meantime, there was a huge solar flare a few days’ ago that directly led to the massive storms currently ravaging the USA, and may also be causing you some weird, excessive sunburn, even if it doesn’t feel so hot at the moment.
I’ll explain all this in more detail over the coming weeks, God willing, but in the meantime - slap on the sunscreen and don’t be surprised if you find your mood very odd and changeable for no obvious reason at the moment.
The weather really does affect us much more than we think it does, and I hope to start sharing with you very soon exactly HOW that’s happening, and what it means for our health and well-being.
We're covering a lot of ground pretty fast with these posts, so I decided to 'sum up' most of what we've learnt so far about C-PTSD before we continue discussing how you can know if you're affected, and most importantly of all, what to do about it all!
Even just having the knowledge that you're not 'crazy' or 'bad', and actually are just very traumatised by your life experiences makes an enormous difference to the way you start to relate to yourself and your 'issues'.
The key here is to crank the self-compassion to the max, because self-compassion is really the key to starting to heal from C-PTSD. Try to see yourself through God's eyes, and know that the 'real' you is actually only good and kind, and really wants to build the world anyway it can.
Once you start to get a handle on how your C-PTSD is preventing you from accessing and expressing the 'real' you, you just came a huge step closer to getting out of C-PTSD prison...
the one minute definition of c-ptsd:
C-PTSD is a severe form of PTSD that is characterised by the following five things:
• Emotional flashbacks
• Toxic shame
• Vicious ‘inner critic’
• Social anxiety
In contrast with ‘regular’ PTSD, the flashbacks most sufferers of C-PTSD are NOT visual, but are usually a regression to an overwhelming state of mind or feeling state from childhood.
See HERE for a post on how to tame the 'inner critic'.
The most common types of emotional flashback in C-PTSD are overwhelming feelings of:
Emotional flashbacks occur on gradient. Some can literally paralyse the C-PTSD person on the spot, while others will be experienced as a more ‘low grade’ sense of being lost, worthless, anxious, or ‘down’.
FLASHBACKS AND FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT
Emotional flashbacks usually trigger the fight-flight-freeze-fawn stress response, causing a person to snap instantly into ‘danger’ mode, where their either experience hyper-arousal of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) - (fight of flight) or in more ‘overwhelming’ cases, move straight to the exaggerated parasympathetic response of FREEZE.
(Fawn fits somewhere between the two, with the ‘fawning’ of a flattery-prone personality attempting to forestall danger by appeasing it, in any way possible.)
See HERE for more about fight-or-flight, and to start figuring out which 'reaction' you tend to most have to stress.
FEAR FLASHBACKS CAN LEAVE YOU FEELING:
DESPAIR FLASHBACKS CAN LEAVE YOU FEELING:
• Don’t exist
TOXIC SHAME FLASHBACKS CAN LEAVE YOU FEELING:
• Can’t do anything right
‘ALONE’ FLASHBACKS CAN LEAVE YOU FEELING:
While there is often a ‘primary’ feeling underlying an emotional flashback, each flashback usually contains a mixture of shame, fear, depression and ‘aloneness’.
See HERE - for how to stop emotional flashbacks in their tracks.
In the last couple of posts we’ve been setting out the stall a little, explaining how:
So now, we’re up to the third part of this series, where I’m actually going to start laying things on the line for you, biologically, so you can see that what we’ve covered so far is clearly being demonstrated in how the human brain and mind works (or doesn’t work…) leading to our modern epidemic of mental illnesses of just about about every stripe.
Let’s begin with my trusty ‘three part brain’ infographic, which I’ve modified a little for the purposes of this post. What this infographic is showing is that the brain is made up of three different main parts, often referred to as:
The infographic also briefly describes the main functions that each of these three parts of the human brain are responsible for.
You can sum it up like this:
REPTILIAN / PRIMITIVE BRAIN (aka, ‘snake’ brain…) - is the home of everything to do with day-to-day physical survival, the fight/flight/freeze response, plus our most base impulses and desires, like food, procreation, sleep and self-preservation (i.e. ‘ME FIRST’).
ME FIRST is the founding principle of Darwin’s completely selfish, aggressive and destructive ‘survival of the fittest’, just he made it sound a whole lot more virtuous than it actually is.
MAMMALIAN / EMOTIONAL BRAIN (aka, ‘monkey’ brain) - is where our experiences are categorized and sorted into ‘good or bad’, leading to conditioned responses like Pavlov’s dog, where Pavlov famously trained his dog to salivate by pairing a ringing bell with lunch-time.
To put this another way, the emotional brain is responsible for reading cues in our environment, and shaping our behavior in response to those cues. Once Pavlov’s dog associated the bell being run with supper, you couldn’t talk it out of that association. Only a different experience would ‘overwrite’ the initial experience with the bell, and eventually prevent the conditioned reaction to subside.
With me so far?
This level of human reaction / feeling / thinking is where the Darwin-lovers would like us to stop. Remember, they’re telling us we’re just evolved apes, with a lot more brain power? So according to the pro-evolution crowd, all that mental capacity stored in our frontal lobes is just meant to help us solve maths equations better, and build bigger skyscrapers.
The evolutionists want you to believe that the ‘human’ brain that we’re about to discuss is primarily about helping you get a first in University and to get a nice job. When the human brain is effectively being controlled by monkey brain and snake brain, then it turns the human being into a clever, or rather cunning, animal.
But when the human brain is controlling the monkey brain and snake brain, then things are very, very different, as we’re about to discover.
HUMAN / COGNITIVE / RATIONAL BRAIN - This is the home of all our uniquely ‘human’ abilities, like communicating with others, feeling empathy for other people’s pain, the ability to act altruistically and generously, even when it seems that putting someone else’s needs is not in our best interest, and the ability to think about intangible things like God, the spiritual world, and the deeper reasons for why we’re alive in the first place.
I know I’m harping on this point a lot, but it can be stated enough times that the theory of evolution cuts people off from their very humanity, and emphasizes again and again that they are ANIMALS, not ANGELS.
When someone is being repeatedly brainwashed that the only way they got here in the first place is because their ancestors excelled in the selfish, aggressive, competitive game called ‘ME FIRST’, they are being given the unmistakable message that this sort of ‘reptilian’ behavior is not only acceptable, it’s a mandatory part of staying alive.
We’re going to go into this even more in the next post, but ‘ME FIRST’ is the main message of our primitive snake-brains. When people keep listening to their snake brains instead of empowering their human brain, they will indulge in the most ‘ill’ behavior imaginable.
I could go on… (and I will in the next post).
But as these are big ideas, let’s stop there for now. In the next post, we’ll move on to examining some of the scientific research being done to show how connecting to God via prayer and meditation can empower the human brain over snake brain, and help people to act much more like the quasi-angels God actually designed us to be.
So now that you know that the Theory of Evolution is completely unproven, and never WILL be proven, and is arguably one of the biggest frauds ever perpetuated by the atheistically-inclined members of the scientific community, it’s time to take a look at the sort of damage this crazy theory has done to mankind, and particularly, to our mental health.
To sum it up as simply as possible, the Creationist view of life is that we’re here because God made us, and He made us for a specific purpose and reason (namely, to work on fixing our character and negative traits), and that everything that happens to us is meaningful, and for our ultimate spiritual good. This view encourages people to put God in the picture, to find meaning in their suffering, and to work on developing their altruistic spiritual self, as opposed to their purely materialistic ‘animal’ self.
By contrast, the ‘Darwinist’ view of life is that everything is random and happenstance, nothing is meaningful, planned or created, only ‘winners’ survive, and that it’s perfectly OK to act like the vicious evolved animal you really are, and to throw all thoughts of kindness, selflessness, generosity and empathy to the wind.
To sum up the contrast, on the one hand God is telling you that you’re almost an angel, and you need to behave like one, while Darwin is telling you that you’re effectively an animal, and you need to behave like one.
And boy o boy, has modern society been falling over itself to prove Darwin ‘right’. You only need to spend five seconds listening to the news, or one second surfing the internet, to see how more and more people are plain acting like the cruel, competitive, immoral, purely materialistic ‘animals’ that Darwin (and people like Richard Dawkins) have spent a lot of time convincing people they really are.
In the meantime, here’s a few quotes that you might want to consider in relation to how Godless-ness is creating more and more human misery and mental illness, including personality disorders like narcissism:
This post is just setting out the basic ideas of HOW Darwinism has empowered the worst excesses of human nature, leading to an explosion in mentally-ill ‘animalistic’ behaviors that are still being lauded as praiseworthy in a culture that has made ‘survival of the fittest’ its credo and religion.
In the next post, we’ll start to break things down into practical elements and points, to see how believing you’re an animal, and increasingly acting like one, empowers what’s known as the ‘primitive’ parts of the brain, and those parts of the brain involved in the gratification of desires and self-preservation, while effectively cutting you off from the frontal lobes that give us our uniquely ‘human’, quasi-angelic spiritual capabilities.
To be continued…
This week, I’m taking my tent and heading over to Even Sappir, in the Jerusalem suburbs, to participate in Israel’s first ever English speaking Wholistic Health Forum.
The Forum is running the whole week, and I’m planning to be there for most of it, as it sounds like an amazing opportunity to meet other Jewish holistic health professionals, learn about more of the up-and-coming techniques and approaches out there, and even (whisper it) enjoy myself, a little.
Hey, as soon as I don’t have to cook or hang washing, I’m already in a pretty good mood…
If you’re based in Israel and you’d like to come too, you can buy tickets online or on the door, by clicking HERE.
If you’d like to see the full program of speakers and events, take a look at the impressive line-up HERE.
And the last thing to tell you is that I’m speaking at the Forum myself, on Tuesday, May 17th, at 2.30 pm in the Marquee, on the topic of ‘Why the Jews Were Right About Holistic Health’.
So if you’re around, come say hello!
Q: How did you come to start Torahpractic Medicine? What inspired you, how long has it been going, and what was your aim in beginning it?
When I was twelve, I was granted a vision of my life's purpose: to heal and to teach healing. And although there were many details as to how to conduct both the healing and the teaching, at the age of twelve all that I had been exposed to was western medicine. So I read medical texts, worked in a research lab and as a nursing assistant, and even enrolled in a pre-med program. However, the more I studied and experienced, the more I realized that conventional medicine was missing something essential.
Then, at the age of nineteen, while in the hiking in the mountains, I was granted another vision. This sent me on a search for my spiritual roots, and eventually led me to a Chabad Lubavitch rabbinical seminary. There I began my study of Chabad Chassidus and immediately recognized that it contains a vast literature of spiritual healing—in fact, a rigorous and detailed system of traditional Jewish medicine.
Over the last forty-five years, I have been researching, teaching and practicing that system—which we now call the Five Gates of Torahpractic Medicine.
Q: Can you sum up the Torahpractic healing approach succinctly in a couple of sentences?
Q: Describe some of your biggest successes or milestones with Torahpractic.
All of our healing successes result from the patient's recognition and acceptance that it is his or her behavior in relation to the Divine that is causing a spiritual disorder manifesting as physical, emotional or mental illness. From that point on, “passive sufferers” become active, purpose-guided individuals, and even the supposedly incurable can be resolved in ways that conventional and even most alternative medical systems consider impossible or miraculous. Such cases have included psoriasis, advanced stage cancer, chronic Lyme disease, autoimmune disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorder, rachmanah litzlan (God should have mercy on us).
In terms of the development of Torahpractic, every day brings new insights into the over 5,000 year Jewish traditional approach to healing. Our greatest successes typically involve bringing those insights to the public—both to those seeking healing and healing practitioners—in ways that make them accessible and relevant.
Q: What have been your biggest challenges and / or obstacles? How have you overcome them?
The first is patients who say “Heal me but don't make me religious.”
The second is the widespread belief that our Torah-based tradition has nothing to offer with regard to spirituality and health.
As for overcoming those challenges: as Rabbi Akiva teaches, it is a matter of water dripping on a stone—over time, even the hardest rock yields. Patient by patient, lecture by lecture, we bring the message that it is not about being “religious,” but rather about connecting with the Divine, and that traditional Jewish medicine, or Torahpractic, is the most comprehensive and rigorous medical system for achieving true healing.
Q: How many people have trained as Torahpractic healers / spiritual doctors? Can you describe the ‘typical’ characteristics of a successful Torahpractic practitioner?
So far, approximately twenty people have completed the training to become a Torahpractic healing mentor. The only characteristic that distinguishes those who find success as a Torahpractic practitioner is an overwhelming desire and commitment to using a Torah-based approach to healing others.
Q: If someone one wants to learn Torahpractic, do they need prior training or experience? If yes, please describe what sort of things you require, and why.
Some familiarity with human anatomy/physiology, or experience as a healthcare practitioner—whether conventional or alternative, is helpful but not necessary. Our students have included a naturopath, life coach, reflexologist, as well as an artist and a retired fireman. We strive to create a supportive environment and forge an ongoing relationship with our students to help them fulfill not only their academic, but also their highest human, potential.
Q: What sort of illnesses or health issues have you found respond the best to the Torahpractic approach?
Torahpractic is applicable to all types of health issues. However, patients who suffer from chronic physical, emotional and mental health issues are often more open to the cognitive and behavioral changes required to truly heal.
Q: Are there are any health issues that you feel are NOT suitable for the Torahpractic approach? Why?
Every ailment is a communication from the Divine. Torahpractic diagnosis helps individuals decipher and understand that communication. Torahpractic treatment enables individuals to act upon that understanding. Even a stubbed toe or a 24-hour flu can be of significance. It all depends upon the individual's commitment to their attaining their highest human potential and achieving their life's purpose.
Q: Is Torahpractic only for Jews, or could it also be applied to other people too?Torah is universal. And yet it draws a distinction between Jews and non-Jews with regard to their relationship with, and obligations to, the Divine. Torahpractic, being wholly Torah-based, is likewise universal, applicable to both Jews and non-Jews. Yet there are distinctions in diagnosing and treating each. That notwithstanding, one of our most active and successful Torahpractic practitioners is a Bnei Noach (a non-Jew committed to fulfilling the 7 Noahide laws).
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the Encyclopedia of Jewish Healing – how does it differ from Torahpractic, and what are its main aims or goals?
Our primary goal is to make the Encyclopedia the most comprehensive, authoritative, accessible, and relevant compendium of traditional Jewish, or Torahpractic, healing wisdom and practice in over two millennia.
We envision it as a tool for both those seeking authentic healing and healing practitioners.
Q: How can people find out more about your healing approach? How can they get more involved?
To learn more about Torahpractic medicine, visit the Encyclopedia of Jewish Healing at: www.encyclopediajewishhealing.org.
To become more involved, send us a message via the Contact form on the Encyclopedia.
Q: If there’s one key message you want readers to take away from this interview, what would it be?Each of us has the very real potential to achieve total wellbeing—purposefully lived. The Five Gates of Torahpractic Medicine is the most comprehensive and rigorous approach to realizing that potential.
Thanks for the interview, Rabbi DuBrow!
To learn more about Torahpractic medicine, visit the Encyclopedia of Jewish Healing at: www.encyclopediajewishhealing.org.
In a time when 'Jewish' and 'Doctor' seem to go together like strawberries 'n cream, you could be forgiven for thinking that Western-based medicine is a Jewish invention. Crack open any list of alumni for pretty much any Med school, and a whole bunch of 'Cohens' and 'Weissbergs' and 'Steinmans' will leap out at you.
But what's so ironic is that the authentic Jewish view of health and wellbeing couldn't be further from the current Western medical model, which believes and teaches that the body's health depends purely on biological and chemical factors.
In the West, most leading medical thinkers, researchers and practitioners have increasingly reduced human health to one big chemical equation. How the patient actually lives, eats, and acts before they get sick is barely examined, and often completely ignored.
But the authentic Jewish view of health has always made physical health a function of a person's character traits (ie, their emotions and their behaviour), and their soul...
Continue reading over at onjewishmatters.com
OK, so now that we're grudgingly starting to accept that repressing, suppressing and drugging away our emotions could make us (and our children) spiritually, emotionally and physically ill.
Great! So what, exactly, are we supposed to do about it all? I mean, if it was so easy to deal with our negative emotions in the first place, no-one would go to all the bother of trying to make them go away.
In the secular world, this is where I'd be pushing you down the therapy route, where you spend the next 20 years of your life talking it all out with someone you're paying a fortune to, just to listen to you.
Thank G-d, we're not in the secular world! There is one way, and one way only, to heal the soul, and that's to get G-d involved in the process. Over the course of many years of praying, teaching and trying to heal myself and others, G-d's helped me to understand that healing the soul can be broken down into three main areas:
NESHAMA healing: Happens when we strengthen our tangible connection to G-d. We do this by talking to Him every single day, for at least five minutes; and working on our emuna that G-d is running the world, all of it, even the bit called our life (This is Rav Arush's first rule of emuna). That emuna is what gives our neshamas the strength they need to start to impose some spiritual order on the ruach and the nefesh.
RUACH healing: Happens when we work on improving our spiritual health, and in particular on developing healthy compassion, accountability and appropriate kindness. How do we do this? We talk to God about it! We also work to develop the belief that G-d is doing everything, even the things we don't like, for our own good. (That's Rav Arush's second rule of emuna.)
NEFESH healing: Happens when we work on improving our emotional health. I don't repress my feelings, and I also don't give myself licence to act out and hurt others. If I get angry, for example, I'll admit it to myself and I'll take it back to G-d and I ask Him to help me deal with it. If I lash out at someone else when I'm angry, I'll also take responsibility for my behaviour, apologise to them, and ask G-d to help me work on it better.
At the same time that I'm praying for G-d to help me stop feeling so angry, I'm also doing my own detective work to find out WHAT is making me so angry in the first place, and what might need to change in my outlook, circumstances or relationships to prevent it from re-occurring. (This is Rav Arush's third rule of emuna, namely that G-d is always sending us messages to change, grow or improve in some way.)
Here's the magic touch: working with our energy meridians and acupressure points can also help us to unblock this stuff from the NEFESH up. For example, sedating gallbladder meridian can unblock and dissipate repressed or over-whelming feelings of anger, making it much easier for the person to work through their anger, and reconnect at all levels.
You can sum it up like this:
More G-d = stronger neshama = healthier emotions (ruach) = nefesh (body) more under control.
In the last post in this series, I'll share a quick diagnostic quiz tool, to help you see which part of your soul might need some work.
So why do we need to be connected to our 'ruach', or our emotions in order to truly be spiritually-healthy? And what happens, health-wise, when our emotions go AWOL - when they're permanently squashed down, or drugged away?
Let's start by addressing the question of spiritual health, first.
As we learnt, we're meant to fix each level of our soul, then move up to the next level. We know we've made it, spiritually, when the most-refined part of our souls, called the neshama, is effectively 'in charge' of the other two levels.
Practically speaking, we can see how this plays out in our holy tzadikim, and how they live their lives. The nefesh is all about desires, lusts, physical pleasures and self-gratification. When a person's neshama is truly in control of their nefesh, a person won't over-indulge in food, drink, gashmius, or other material pleasures. They'll get up early for the netz minyan; they'll sleep minimally, and the body's desires will be indulged minimally, just enough to maintain good physical health.
At the next level up, we hit the ruach. As we learned, ruach is all about emotions and feelings. We feel happy, we feel sad, we feel important, we feel like we're nothing, we feel angry, we feel forgiving, etc etc.
When a person's neshama is truly controlling their ruach (and let me just add in here that the level I'm about to describe takes years' and years' of serious prayer and work), a person is in control of their emotional reactions.
When someone upsets them or hurts them, they won't automatically lash out and punch them in the face, or shout curses at them. They'll be patient, forgiving, understanding, kind. When life doesn't go their way, they don't get bitter, broken and depressed, and accept their lot happily.
How can they do this? Only if they have really strong emuna. Only if they truly believe G-d is running the world, and that He does everything for our good.
Now, let me make a crucially important point here: CONTROLLING OUR EMOTIONAL REACTIONS IS NOT THE SAME AS REPRESSING THEM, OR DRUGGING THEM AWAY.
In the first case, the neshama is in control, and the person can still feel their emotions, and then choose how to respond. In the second case, the emotional response is still occurring under the surface, but the person has no conscious idea what's really going on, or how to deal with it.
In the second case scenario, people can believe they've 'fixed' their ruach, or emotions, when all that's happened is that they've gone underground. Instead of the neshama running the whole show, control has actually reverted back to the animalistic nefesh - and the person themselves has no clue about what's really motivating their behaviour or how much of a mess their soul is actually in.
Repressed emotions don't just go away. If they aren't dealt with and released in a healthy way (more on this in the next post) they go 'inwards' and they start to cause all sorts of physical, mental and spiritual blockages.
If someone is feeling lonely, for example, that feeling can go underground and then pop-again in the nefesh as an impossible-to-resist urge to eat a whole chocolate cake. Then it will resurface in the ruach as a feeling of inferiority or self-hatred; then it will move up the neshama and make the person feel so distant and far away from G-d.
That one 'lost' feeling just did damage to all three levels of the soul. And this is what happens with every other 'lost' feeling we have, too.
Even if we somehow manage to repress our ruach without any obvious damage to ourselves, the next thing that happens is that the problems we've repressed simply manifest themselves, often shockingly, in our children.
My repressed anger has now turned into my child's out-of-control rage fits; my hidden feelings of self-hatred have morphed into my child's terrible depressions; my secret apathy and despair about life are the reason my kid can't get out of bed any more, and is flunking out of school.
We can't run away from our emotions, our ruach. If we do, we'll either just make ourselves sick, or make our children certifiably crazy. G-d gave our emotions to us to work on, to fix and to heal. So how, exactly, do we do that? G-d willing, I'll discuss that in the next post.
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