In a recent discussion on the FitEyes email discussion list we had an interesting exchange about allergies to the glaucoma eye drops. If you want to see how serious this can be, one picture is worth a lot of words:
On Fri, May 20, 2011 at 7:39 PM, a FitEyes member wrote to the discussion list:
But at my doc's suggestion I decided to tolerate the side effects of alphagan . It took almost a month but the extreme swelling itchiness redness and tearing all disappeared completely. I think your body adjusts to the allergies over time
Would any of the alternative medicine practitioners in the FitEyes community like to comment on this?
I'm going to comment on it. You can consider this to be part two of a prior post I made which was entitled, "Glaucoma, elevated intraocular pressure, membrane permeability and emotions".
The fact that the most obvious allergic symptoms subside does not necessarily mean that the body has entered a balanced state where the immune system reaction to the eye drops is now normal and healthy (i.e., non-allergic). In many cases, it simply means that the obvious reactions are now suppressed.
In some, but not all, cases the issue that was causing the original allergic reaction remains active in the physiology. But now the manifestation of that problem is less obvious. But it is in fact manifesting somewhere, somehow, in the body.
That does not have to be the case. But in my opinion, the issue is whether we did something to foster balance so that the body could adopt a healthy relationship with the eye drops or whether we did everything we could to suppress the symptoms without actually creating a balanced and healthy inner state.
In my experience, emotions are the key to this. I'll explain this in more detail below.
Here's one way to think about it in terms of principles. First, consciousness structures the physiology. This has been known for thousands of years in traditional medical systems such as Ayurveda. Now modern science is starting to provide us with evidence in support of this principle.
The most tangible aspects of consciousness are our thoughts, emotions and our habits. These things drive our actions and reactions in the world as well as the biochemical reactions in our body. We once thought DNA drives the biochemical reactions, but that idea is far from sufficient to explain anything important. The science of epigenetics helps us begin to see that factors beyond the genes play the governing role. (And none of this denies the reality of inheritance, either.)
When one recognizes the subtleties of how this works, one can see that we come to physically embody our habitual emotions (within the context of our inherited form, which btw, could be an expression of an earlier state of consciousness). That's a simplification, of course, but it only simplifies it in a way that allows us to focus on what is fundamentally most important. It's a clarification of the key principle so we can put our energy and attention on what really matters (for our well-being and our health).
I think by now everyone knows that suppressing emotions is not a healthy thing to do. Bailey spoke to that point in the recent FitEyes Interactive Group meeting that was held via telephone conference.
The way this works is that when we have an obvious emotional reaction that we deem inappropriate, we suppress it (disallow its expression). The emotion, however, has not gone away. But it has now left our conscious awareness. (NOTE that the word consciousness, as just used, has a different meaning than the prior usage.) We know that suppressed emotions are much more dangerous than normal emotions. They become persistent (habitual) because, being outside of our awareness, their entire reason to exist has been short circuited. They are stuck in a kind of limbo in the physiology and they corrode us from the inside.
Emotions have a job to do. At the simplest level they bring us information. This information has value. We miss that value when we block the emotions out of our awareness.
Now, come back to the first principle: consciousness structures the physiology. Fundamental principles like this are very powerful because they strip away the distractions of complexity and empower any individual (as opposed to exclusively trained scientists) to more accurately perceive reality -- especially, in this context, the reality of a healthy and well-functioning human body. You'll see what I mean if you work with these concepts (and I'll explain more as we go).
What happens if someone you are in a relationship with tries to tell you something and you keep ignoring it? If the issue is really important, it does not go away. But the person who you are ignoring will find another outlet for getting their message across. Inevitably, that outlet will be more destructive than the original direct interaction would have been.
When you understand that consciousness is fundamental, you can leverage what you know about life and apply it to the body you inhabit. These realms are not disconnected in reality. Real life is not neatly segregated into "biochemistry," "psychology," and "anatomy." There is a unity to life and that unity has its foundation in consciousness. (I'm tempted to talk about how a universal life energy, such as Qi, relates to this, but I'll do that in a future article.)
If you have decided that a glaucoma eye drop is the right choice for you, yet that drop has some unwanted side effects, the act of cultivating love and appreciation for that eye drop can be a powerful way to help it do its job while minimizing side effects. The placebo effect is well-known -- and is even as strong as medical and surgical interventions in many cases. The nocebo effect is equally powerful. What I'm describing are the principles that help us have a more powerful conceptual framework for leveraging this scientific knowledge.
Recognize that emotions are, in fact, chemicals in your body. You have a phamacy inside you that produces chemcials just as powerful (usually more so) as the chemicals sold at the neighborhood pharmacy.
The most powerful trigger for the production of those chemicals is... emotions!
That's pretty obvious, right? How could medical science overlook something so obvious? It's partly because those who are conduction the research usually do not understand these broader principles. In this very specific case, I think we all know that scientists are not the best authorities on emotions!
For several years I have been wondering how I can actually teach more people the specific skills that make this knowledge practical in a way that they can apply it in their own lives. Talking this much about emotions is one thing. But I know it is not really all that useful for most people because unless we start working skillfully with our emotions, nothing will change. The intellect is certainly impotent when it comes to doing anything useful with our emotions. In fact, the intellect -- via suppression -- is the key problem. So reading and intellectually understanding these facts about the relationships between health and emotions has very limited value. The value comes from acquiring skills -- and those skills are not at all the same as having an intellectual understanding. The FitEyes Interactive Group meetings have given me the idea that maybe I can teach Serene Impulse in that format... so that's something I'm considering now. Most of my comments in these meetings have come from my perspective as a Serene Impulse teacher anyway, so it might be nothing more than an extension of what we are doing in those meetings, which some exercises and more specific instruction added in. Ultimately, I do think one-on-one instruction is required, but maybe there are group opportunities which would allow me to provide this knowledge (and the skills) to many more people.
BTW, my messages to the FitEyes email list, like everyones', go through a human moderator who makes his own decisions about what is appropriate. Many of the experts who comment here have professions related to the area on which they are commenting. We welcome those comments even when they also promote the individual's professional activities. There is a criteria that the information itself has to have independent value. It cannot simply be promotional. I think we have found the perfect balance here. For example, I don't think any of the acupuncturists have engaged in promoting their own professional activities in an inappropriate way, even though each time they comment on acupuncture for the treatment of glaucoma they are in fact promoting their own professional activity.
Possibly, in an effort to be overly cautious, In the past I have tended to limit my own comments about Serene Impulse to cryptic messages in an effort to not turn my posts into Serene Impulse promotional material. However, that may actually backfire to some extent because it deprives interested people of useful information. Therefore, I may start discussing Serene Impulse a bit more and leave it up to the moderator to decide if my messages are appropriate, using the same criteria he would use for any other professional.**
Everything I said above comes from what I have learned through Serene Impulse. But I trust that it is of value to people even if they never have any professional contact with a Serene Impulse teacher.
BTW, I'm not a medical professional. I'm a glaucoma patient. But teaching Serene Impulse is my primary profession and I came to do that because of the personal benefit I derived as a glaucoma patient from Serene Impulse. But Serene Impulse is not a treatment for glaucoma or any other medical condition. It is somewhat similar to a meditation and it does have general health benefits, but it makes no claims to treat any disease. Indeed, part of my own philosophy, which I picked up from Serene Impulse, is that I keep my attention on health and I purposefully do not allow my thinking to become disease-centric. Therefore, I'm happy that, as a Serene Impulse teacher, I do not have to give any attention to treating diseases. That is the doctor's job*.
Our "job" as individuals (and glaucoma patients) is to create health. :)
* I love the quote from one of the teachers in "The Secret" DVD where he says this. I found it disagreeable the first time I heard it, but back then my own thinking was much more disease-centric. Now that I have a healthier perspective, I can see exactly what he meant.
** update: I decided not to submit this post to the email list. Once again, I may be erring on the side of caution, but people are very sensitive to email spam, so I decided not to send this via email.