The Monday Conscious Health Blog

Working with Intention – a change of heart




“Your intentions are your nonphysical causes that set energy into motion.”


Gary Zukav




We are now well into the New Year and perhaps already some of our best intentions, under the guise of New Year resolutions, have already been compromised. Perhaps some of those were regarding our health: to finally ’get into shape’; eat a healthier diet; put aside time for meditation or yoga practice; attend those workshops that had piqued our interest last year but we never quite got around to and so on.





Does our failure to follow through on some of these mean that the whole concept of intention as an aid to self development is flawed? How do we gently direct our yearning heart and restless mind towards what we desire to experience? The Conscious Health blog investigates…




”It’s a bum rap I tell ya!”


The concept of intention has received an undeserved negative reputation. This is largely thanks to the oft-used quote: ”The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”1 It argues that intention is not enough and must be followed through with consistent action. It also suggests that stated intentions only gives a head start to those who would undermine them. One of those people may even be ourself – but more on that shortly.


While it may indeed be a good idea to ”not let the devil know your plans” it does not automatically follow that intentions are useless or even counter-productive. On the contrary…



”Yi, Chi, Li”


This simple, three word statement from Taoism shows the importance of intention. ’Yi’ is our intention, the direction of our mind and heart. ’Chi’ is the energy, effort and gathering of resources to make things happen. ’Li’ is the result.


There is therefore a causal connection between our intention and the results we experience. So why don’t we always realize our intentions?



Conscious vs Unconscious creations
















Several things differentiate the conscious and unconscious (sometimes used interchangeably with ’subconscious’) parts of our mind.


  1. Both the conscious and unconscious are creative.
  2. The unconscious is continually trying to become conscious within us. Like the tide continuously rolling in, it wants our consciousness to expand.
  3. Many will experience their unconscious creations as suffering, discomfort or ”Why does this always happen to me?!” moments.


This last one is obvious but profound in light of the first two: We are not (yet) conscious of our unconscious side.


For example, if we desire to create or attract something in our life with our conscious mind but our unconscious mind has, programmed within it, convictions that we are unworthy or unable to achieve our goal we will (unconsciously) sabotage it.


This is because each creation – one from the conscious mind, the other from the unconscious – will cancel each other out. Unless we make this unconscious programming conscious to ourselves it will appear as ’bad luck’, ’poor discipline’ or simply ’not meant to be’.


To use a modern metaphor, view the unconscious as our hard disk. In order to change anything on this hard disk we need to transfer it to our desktop which resides in editable, RAM memory – ie, our conscious mind. Once there we can do something about these sabotaging programs because now at least we can see them for what they are: old lines of code that are no longer serving any useful purpose.


Illustration by Cali Rossi. All rights reserved.















So how did they get there in the first place? The usual suspects: Withheld or withdrawn love; conditional love where we only receive attention when we do what others want of us, not for who we are; negative reinforcement where we are punished or humiliated for daring to honor our own integrity and so on.


With such a hidden army of saboteurs buried in our creative unconscious is it any wonder we are bamboozled time and again even with the best of conscious intentions.



The heart of the matter


So, we cannot depend only on our tricksy mind to midwife our intentions into reality. We need assistance from the heart. There is a beautiful saying, attributed to the Buddha, that supports us in this: ”The mind has no answers. The heart has no questions.”


While the Latin root of intention, ’intentio’ means ”to stretch out with effort and attention”, the Middle English meaning speaks more to the heart: ”Emotions, feeling, heart, mind, understanding”. Effective intention need emotional content, not just mental will.






Set and setting


Both our mindset and the setting we create are vital to potentising our intention and bringing it into conscious creation.


Mindset refers to our attitude, centeredness and self knowledge about why we are doing what we are doing, free of interfering, counterproductive thoughts or practices.


Setting refers to creating an environment that helps focus and support our heart and mind on our intention. The setting guides and informs our behaviour.


For example, for the religiously inclined, temples or cathedrals provide a setting that engenders respect and humility before God. For others, the pulsing beauty and shimmering mystery of nature provides the setting to delve deeper into the Self and connected oneness with all life.


The set and setting needs to engage our heart.. While the mind stretches out with earnest intent, it is the heart that receives the message. It is this gentle tension or interplay between a clear mind and a receptive heart that is the stuff of effective intention.



Make that change


Change is decided, not by focusing upon what we do not have and want to possess or experience but rather by letting go of something we already possess and need to let go.


In traditional Chinese medicine titles are given to each of the organ systems. The rather grandiose title of ’The Minister of Change and Evolution’ is given to the humble colon. The colon removes waste that has become potentially toxic to our system. Even the nourishing food that was at one time vital for our survival and wellbeing needs to be eventually released so we can move on.


The lesson of this is that hanging onto something – a relationship; an idea or ideal; a job; a practice or habit; a belief – just because it was at one time beneficial to us (or at least we thought so at the time) does not mean that we need to keep hanging onto it.


On the contrary, letting go of something no longer useful creates the space for something new to arrive. ”Nature hates a vacuum” so those who can transform their lives effectively are those who have become skilled in identifying and letting go of things that no longer serve them.


Change never begins ’out there’. It always begins with the Self. To be effective with intention we have to look into the mirror of our Self and be honest.





Change within the Self becomes a ripple of change all around us. Mysteriously, by helping ourselves, everything that flows from that transformation positively benefits others.



What we want vs what we need


Sometimes we are disappointed when the fruit of our intentions do not deliver exactly what we wanted. This is where our receptive heart comes in. We need time to digest and feel what exactly has come back to us from our intention – what we really asked for. What we need.


It as at these moments we can glimpse our higher Self and how it gently nudges us towards self-realization. We need to expect the unexpected.


After all, how else could we ever experience anything new? Our intentions must lead us into from what we know into new areas of expansion. If we think we already know what the result should be then we are only engaging our mind, not our heart. By allowing for the mysterious and unexpected we can truly receive what we need more than merely what we want.





Till next time, when you need it but least expect it…


Often attributed to Samuel Johnson in 1775 but probably dating further back to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153) who wrote: ”Hell is full of good wishes or desires.”


© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation:

Dark Times: Light and Health







“…we can now say emphatically, that the function of our entire metabolism is dependent on light.”

– Dr. Fritz Albert Popp



The shadow rises


Here in the Northern hemisphere, we have reached the nadir of our light cycle. The earth has turned its back about as far as it can from the sun before turning back again. The Scandinavian countries in particular are all too familiar with this time of year.


For all but the most northerly areas, the snow has yet to fall consistently enough to remain and perform the service of reflecting and magnifying the available light – both from the sun by day and electrical sources at night. The daylight hours themselves are very short.



The deep North


In December at Stockholm’s latitude, the sun doesn’t bother to lift its head above the horizon much before 9am and has already sunk beneath it well before 3pm. The further North one travels, the more extreme that balance becomes.




I remember a conversation with a small hotel owner in the far North of Sweden where he was explaining how, in the winter months, the sun never breached the horizon at all.  Of course, on fine evenings the Northern Lights put on a beautiful show of light and colour but I asked him how one coped without the direct sunlight in the daytime.  Using the typically economical and dry humour of the North, he merely pointed to a large satellite TV dish on the roof of his hotel.

Light adjustments


Obviously, getting out of bed on a December morning in these conditions is a very different prospect to doing the same in say, July. After all, our body’s internal biorhythms are driven by light cycles so when that alarm rings to get up on a morning when every cell of our body is screaming at us for waking it so early (relative to the light) it makes for considerable physical and emotional discomfort.


At these relatively extreme latitudes (compared to the rest of the populated world) one would think adjustments in time schedules would vary accordingly. Surely work times would start later – synchronised with other institutions like day care centres and schools. Actually, no. The cookie cutter, one size fits no-one work/play template remains the same, year round.


It will come as no surprise then that illness and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD – aka: depression and related disorders from lack of light) rise significantly at these latitudes during autumn and winter.

The mechanism of light and the body in health


Here’s the thing: we are literally beings of light. Up until a relatively short time ago the theory that our body generated light (photons) was discredited and scientists proposing such theories like Fritz Albert Pop 1 were bullied out of their academic tenures as a result.


Now, the idea that we both receive and generate light has gained popularity. Books by researchers like Dr. Jacob Liberman have popularised this concept.


The most recent research coming out of Germany is even more compelling. It’s a little dense so let’s take a deep breath: recent Phd, Alexander Wunsch, continuing on the work of Prof. G. Albrecht-Buehler 3 has demonstrated that cells navigate towards light sources: two centro-zones att right angles to the nine tubules at the nucleus of the cells. It seems probable that the centrozones mediate the microtubulli in this movement. Internal light then, facilitates the very centre of life-sustaining metabolic processes.


So, we are light generators. We can also absorb and leak light too. This has profound implications for our health.





Leaking light


In 2015, I participated in the International Light Association’s annual conferance in Tallinn, Estonia. I attended a lecture confirming the work of Fritz Albert Popp that demonstrated healthy cells stored photonic energy (light) while diseased cells (due to trauma, inflammation or cellular change like cancer) leaked photons much like a damaged fishing net let the fish escape.


It seems our light-generating body can absorb or leak light in health and disease. Another lecture by Prof. Tina Karu 4 from the Russian Academy of Sciences demonstrated that our body is finely attuned to biolight sources – in particular the sun and monochromatic frequencies of light.



Turning off the dark…


So what does all this mean to the souls suffering in the Northern dark at this time of year? In the most basic sense, we become ’light-starved’. Our metabolic processes at a cellular level slow down. Now, what does that sound like? Ahh, yes: hibernation.



The trouble is we don’t hibernate… If anything, winter is a time when people work more. This comes from the misguided and relatively new notion that one must work in winter to free up time for a long summer holiday. The very notion of a ’summer holiday’ is a flagrant distortion of Scandinavian history however.

The history of Scandinavian ’holidays’


If one goes back in time around 150 years or beyond, most of Scandinavia was an agrarian (farming) society. In the summer, children were sent home from school – not to holiday, but to help their family with the busy work of farming life at that time of year.


Winter, by contrast, was a relatively quiet time. The harvest was over. The vegetables were stored in the root cellular or conserved and pickled. The wood was chopped. The fish was salted or pickled. The ’moonshine’ home brew was distilled. Apart from the occasional hunting expedition for fresh meat and some basic maintainence and mending winter was spent in quiet contemplation and rest.


People arose from sleep later, went to bed earlier and indulged in the odd nap or two in between. Apart from gazing meaningfully into an evening fire with a glass of something with suspiciously high alcohol content, eventually followed by an equally meaningful glance at one’s partner before retiring to bed, the pace of life was much slower than the busy, work-filled daylight seasons. (For more on the energy of this time of year and how it affects the body click here.)
The Christmas season filled this darker time with warm-toned lighting and decorations, celebration during advent and plenty of warm food and drink. This is what helped give Christmas the classic winter appearance we know today.




So what happened? The industrial revolution and the migration to city life meant we lost touch with the natural cycle of the seasons and began to navigate by mechanistic, man-made schedules instead. We no longer listened to our inner clock and our body began to ring the alarm through becoming depressed and sick. Literally, the light began to leave us light beings.


Now we suffer through overwork and light starvation in the hope that summer will cure our self abuse. And if the summer disappoints, this leads into an even more negative spiral the following Autumn/Winter.





Symptoms of light starvation
Here are few symptoms telling us we are low on light:


  • Chronic tiredness and difficulty waking up in the morning
  • Sweet and carbohydrate cravings/addiction
  • Chronic, high consumption of caffeine and stimulants
  • Alcohol cravings
  • Chronic low immunity leading to low grade inflammation and related, recurring illnesses like colds/flu, joint pain and the like.
  • Mental negativity and depressive states making us anti-social and needing to withdraw from outer life.


Addiction to negative light sources like mobile devices, computers and television is another hidden symptom. The screens from these devices generate an overdose of blue light (masquerading as white light with the aid of phospherous but don’t be fooled – the brain still registers it as blue light).


While blue light in itself is stimulating – which is one reason it attracts us –  too much of it is over-stimulating and we become tired and burnt out as a result. Think of it as the ’junk food’ of our light diet.




A light in a dark place


So what can we do about this dark state of affairs? Here are a few suggestions for healthy light habits:





  • Where possible, adjust our schedule so we work less (or at least begin later) in the winter. Even if this means working a little more in the summer we will still have more than enough daylight then to enjoy after work.
  • Get regular treatments with monochromatic light during the dark time of the year. (Quick plug: If you are in Stockholm you can book a time for this here.)
  • Avoid fluorescent light where possible. In the evening, avoid overhead lighting and use ground level illumination, preferably incadescant light in the warmer yellow/orange spectrum. Even better, light a fire if you have a fireplace and candles (if the room ventilation is effective).
  • Take a walk outside in the daylight hours. Even weak, winter light is many times stronger than inside lighting
  • Cultivate the art of the afternoon power nap. Our cortisol (stress hormone) levels will be reset, we will be much more alert in the early evenings and sleep better at night.
  • Where possible, plan time away in a sunny environment/country to reload our solar batteries
  • Use the ’Yin’ phase of winter and use the nighttime hours to be effective and creative while resting more in the day. The energy of winter is with the night and lunar cycles.



Light and shade
We need to make a conscious effort to listen to both the cycles of nature and our body. While this is always good advice, it is particularly important for those living in extreme latitudes.


We cannot reasonably expect to shoehorn ourselves into year-round templates and continue to feel good. This is tantamount to self-abuse. Life has its light and shade. We contain light and shade too. If we don’t nourish our light the dark side will only be too happy to take over.



Till another Monday that finds the balance between the ’day’ and the moon of every Mo(o)nday.



1. Popp.F. et al: Biophotons. Kluwer, Dordrecht. 1998

2. ’Light Medicine of the Future’, Jacob Liberman OD. PhD.

3. Albrech- Buehler, G.: Rudimentary forms of “cellular vision”. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 8288-8292, 89, 1992

4. Action Spectra: Their Importance for Low Level Light Therapy. Tiina Karu, Laboratory of Laser Biomedicine, Institute of Laser and Information Technologies, Russian Academy of Sciences



© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation:

The Food Obsession – an appetite for destruction





”I use food for the same reason an addict uses drugs: to comfort, to soothe, to ease stress.”  – Oprah Winfery



The ‘new’ food craze-iness


The world appears to be surfing one of the many waves of mass distraction that arise every now and then. In this case it is one that never really goes away but just resurfaces in new clothes: the food craze.


Food and cooking shows, books and magazine articles abound; top chefs have become celebrities; new diet crazes become rapidly popular only to replaced and contradicted by newer ones espousing directly opposite theories; there are cooking competition shows whose formats have been franchised across the globe.




Throughout all of this, obesity and its many related diseases have risen drastically in the developed world and is even on the rise elsewhere. Contrastingly, anorexic archetypes have plagued the media, setting impossible standards and warped body imaging.




Obsession with food and dieting is nothing new of course. In 1863 William Banting first published his ‘Letter on Corpulence’ espousing a weight loss diet. So influential was it that to ‘banta’ (diet) even entered the Swedish language and is used to this day. Fast forward to the modern day and the food and diet market is flooded with new titles every week.





Maternal love and our oral beginnings


In traditional Chinese medicine, the Earth element is said to rule the digestive system, governing the stomach and spleen/pancreas (for more on this click here). Besides breathing and the elimination of waste, the only natural ability a human baby has is to suck. It takes in mother’s milk via her stomach meridian (passing through the nipples) and into the baby’s stomach.


Breast feeding not only ensures the survival of her child but stimulates oxytoxin production to enable bonding.  The association of food with love is something that can profoundly affect us throughout our whole life.




Food and love: reward and punishment


Our relationship with food can mirror our relationship with ourself, in particular self worth. In turn, our sense of self worth is profoundly linked with love – how we have experienced it and, as a result, how we receive and give it to ourself and others.


Abandonment, separation or abuse from our mother in particular, whether it be due to physical or emotional reasons (such as post natal depression, illness, addiction, death, adoption, or other reasons) profoundly influence how we view our own self worth and even our right to exist.
Addiction to or fear of oral intake are often the result of such a negatively affected view of the Self. Examples of this can be alcohol and drug addiction, anorexia, binging and purging, morbid obesity and uncontrollable eating habits, fear of food, difficulty swallowing and so on. All are linked with an ongoing crisis of identity, self worth and self esteem linked to our oral triggers.




Self esteem goes deeper than how we value ourselves. It is bedrock of our sense of existing at all. It cannot be overstated how much of our sense of Self goes back to this early bonding with our earthly mother. We are not only nourished through feeding and touch. We are confirmed as an individual.


The existential question “Who am I?” has its earthly roots in this relationship. The comic strip character Charlie Brown, even after another trying day of failure or frustration, could still utter the phrase “At least my mother loves me.” Unfortuantely, not everyone can say that and so look for mother-love elsewhere. One of the main outlets is oral fixation.




Food and identity



”You are what you eat.” is the commonly accepted wisdom. While it is true that much of what we consume becomes part of our physical body, it can also reflect the relationship we have with ourself.


Food can reward us: ”Only good boys and girls who behave get to have desert.” Food can be used to punish us too. Obsessive binge eating followed by violent purging or extreme diet regimes only reinforce a negative self image and separate us from ourselves.





Perhaps the most famous example of this was the case of two anorexic sisters who took to leaving post-it notes to themselves in the third person on the fridge door. ”Susan took a carrot today. Who does she think she is?”


Our Earth element is meant to be our stable, neutral centre of ourself. When it becomes imbalanced we become anxious and look outseide of ourselves for a sense of identity.


This makes us particularly susceptibe to manipulation by others. In fact, the whole ’consumer society’ is built upon encouraging this feeling of anxiety that something about us is incomplete – and then offering their purchasable solutions. Unfortunately they may only add to our inner anxiety by telling us ’facts’ that we instinctively know are not true.




Is it not strange that in some of the most abundant countries in the world we are constantly being urged to question whether we are lacking something in our diet when the truth is we consume more than we need? The reality is we can exist quite well for periods of time without food at all.


Many spiritual traditions use fasting as a way to leave our earthly, head-down, grazing habits for a while in order to heighten spiritual experience. Apart from the feeling of lightness and heightened awareness an unencumbered system gives us, simply freeing up all the time normally spent planning, shopping, preparing, consuming and cleaning up after food may surprise us.


Fasting disconnects our fixation with food and earthly things for a while and makes it easier to perceive subtle shifts in consciousness.



‘Eating for energy’


While it is true that the burning of calories gives us energy, the consumption of them will initially require energy. Unless we are only drinking a sugar-water mix of some kind, taking in food will take some of our energy.


Outside of strenuous activity, the digestive process takes a great deal of our available energy long before it makes energy available to us. The christmas season is upon us. Do you remember feeling energetic after a large christmas dinner? After all, you had just consumed all that energy giving food. No?


That’s because our body is consuming vast amounts of energy just to process all that sludge through our overloaded system. To add insult to injury, much of that ’energy’ will be stored as fat as we sleep it off on a nearby couch.


Food and consciousness


Food is by no means our only source of energy. There are many more subtle forms available to us: Sunshine, light, oxygen, love, nature, inspiration, touch, happiness and joy to name a few. Unfortunately, all too often, food and drink are used as a substitute for these.


A heavy mind and body lacking in energy, joy or inspiration is the result. Food in not love. Love is love. If we have a problem in how we feed ourselves it might be a better investment of our time to investigate how truly loving we are to ourselves.
Love in all its forms – warmth, creative expression, sex, caring, empathy, touch, joy, connection and community beyond ourselves, light and colour, peace and contentment – feed and nourish us in ways food never can or will.


To be our true Self, we have to transcend ourself. We need to go beyond our own dramas; tradgedies and comedies and connect to something greater.
If we nurture these qualities in our life we may find our food obsessions fall away back to the earth and we are free to fly, unfettered by the heaviness of its gravity.




Till another Monday is not heavy all,



© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation:

The Culture of Stress



Middle class people worry a lot about money. They worry a lot about job security and they do a lot of nine-to-five stuff.” 

– Irvine Welsh



This week, we look at the affects of stress on health from a different angle: our socio-cultural and economic conditioning…



In my time as a therapist in different countries around the world, the biggest single factor affecting health – more than diet and exercise (although it influences those choices) – is stress. What constitutes stress of course varies from person to person as does conditioning from the value system within their culture.



As my experience has predominantly been with the socio-economic middle class within these countries I will look at how its conditioning values affect health.



The bourgeoisie blues


Bourgeoise is a French term referring to the rise of urban populations (literally: “living in the borough”) that became merchants and craftsmen and the like – as opposed to rural workers which previously drove the economic motor of society. This have evolved over the years to become what we know today as the middle classes.


In Marxist philosophy, the bourgeois/middle classes were driven by the need for “the twin illusions” of material comfort and social respectablity. The upper classes (those from established, multi-generational wealth or nobility) sneeringly referred to them as the ‘aspirational classes’.




While obviously disparaging, it is also informative. The middle class is perhaps the only socio-economic group that appears to view life as a game of snakes and ladders. From their view in the middle, a desire to ‘get ahead’ (climb the ladder of economic and social status) is only matched by their fear of ‘falling behind’ (sliding down into poverty or at least, a lowered status among their peers).


The most middle of the middle class can become paralysed into inaction by this fear and crave the comfort of the predicatable, bland and unchanging:


“If I don’t stand out, just keep my head down and don’t do anything wrong, I will be safe.” or:
“One knows what one has but not what one may get (so don’t risk anything).”


– are prevailing attitudes from this collective mindset. From a health perspective, it is the opposite of growth and evolution and represents a kind of spiritual death.


It also shows an enormous fear of the snake and the pitfall into disgrace it represents. I trust at this point that the symbolism of this will not be lost on you. It is no surprise then that this class has also come to represent the dubiously named ‘moral majority’ that attempt (with not inconsiderable success) to push their tastes for sexual repression and wealth conservation (the protected materialism of private ownership) into law.


All is not well however in this ivory tower (well, alright, brick and mortar house with a finely edged lawn) of the mind. The pesky thing about materialism is that it is bound to the laws of the material world, which just happen to include, well, us…



Going, going, gone!



Here’s the thing. The material world is based upon three main principles. Material things (including us):


Arise (or are born)

Maintain for a time and then:

Disintegrate (die) and disappear – from physical existence at least.


If one could look down upon the earth through a very high speed time lapse camera, things would appear to be exploding forth from and disappearing back into the earth over and over again.


Applied to us this means that, sooner or later – whether by death or misfortune – we will be separated from all our material gains (money, houses, cars, investments, our ‘stuff’, our friends, family, lovers and fellow human beings. This is not a philosophical idea but a guaranteed outcome of our material existence.


As David Bowie once sang: “I wish I had a future. Anywhere.” As we look into the setting sun of our life, the defiantly materialistic manifesto of “He who dies with the most toys, wins!” isn’t very comforting.




Releiving material stress

A big part of client stress centres around material loss and gain. It creates a stressful poverty consciousness that never allows us to feel enough and leads to constant, unsatisfied cravings for things we think will somehow complete us and make us happy:



“If I just had ‘x’ amount of money.”
“If I could just land that job or career.”
“If I just had that house, car, ‘toy’, ‘dream kitchen’
“If just had a life partner.”
“If I could just have children.”

– all of these take us out of ourselves and the present moment and into the constant craving of inadequacy – that we are never quite enough as we are.



It also means one is constantly putting off the experiences, insights and enjoyments we could be having right now. It is no coincidence that the phrase “He/she bought the farm.” (ie., finally acheived some peace through a long desired material accquisition) is a euphemism for death.


Strategies for remaining present in the present

One could choose to become anxious or depressed about this or we could see it as an opportunity to reprioritize our life. We could ask different questions about what we might do with the time we have in physical existence. Some of these might be:

What do I want to experience? (As opposed to having/owning)

What do I want to create?

What do I want to heal?

What do I want to transform?

These questions reposition our anxiety about the future or regrets about the past by bringing us back to the present.


Being separated from the present is the root of our dis-ease and many of our diseases.


It binds us in the sticky, two-sided flypaper of attachment: What we desire to possess and what we fear losing. It is the proverbial crack in the door that allows in those who would manipulate and magnify these attachments in us. We become bullied and stressed by forces within and without. It is no coincidence that this culture has also been called ‘the consumer society’.


Valuing experiences over things


Rather than be a cause of stress, the understanding of the entropic dissolution of physical existence can help us to prioritize what is most important and lasting: our experiences and what we become from them.


All experience is the proverbial grist for the mill of becoming our authentic Self, free of the craving to be something or someone else.
Life is not a report card that we must produce at our death to some authority for approval. “At least I didn’t screw up!” will not provide much comfort. The acceptance of who we are, here and now, just might.



Till another Monday that neither gives nor takes but leaves us better for the experience…



© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation:

The State of Play Behind Sufferring




“Behind the clouds, the sun.”


It is sometimes very difficult to see the love permeating our lives; to see how every moment, even painful ones, have their own beauty, their own truth beckoning us.


In my clinic, I will often have a client come in weighed down by their problems (or at least their view of them) only to leave in a much lighter frame of body and mind.


A client commented recently: “I always see people smiling and laughing when they come out of your clinic.” She had started to see a pattern in her own progression in our sessions and had begun to see it in others as well.



Beyond the illusion of suffering


‘Therapy’ of any kind need not always be a heavy serious process that focuses only on our wounds and failures. Insights can come just as easily with laughter as with tears.


Even in moments of sadness, if we are paying attention, there is another part in ourselves that is so relieved and grateful to have an issue finally being addressed consciously. It is not really sadness but profound release and relief.


I experienced this recently in a very unexpected way chatting to a friend while we were watching the sunset. We touched on an issue surrounding my attitude and assumptions to some past events in my life. An overwhelming sense of sadness, contrition, regret and harsh self-judgement suddenly overtook me and I was moved to tears.


My friend just held the space and allowed this to unfold (which by the way is a wonderful skill to possess) as I received insight after insight. Even though part of me struggled against it, another part was blissful that I could allow it to take its place.


It brought to mind a story I was told about a leader of a spiritual movement who was having the letters of followers read out during a gathering. Most of the letters were tales of suffering and sorrow. They ask for guidance or blessings during these times.


Once they were all read, the leader placed them all one by one in a small fire beside her. Her repeated words while she did this was: “So much love. So much love.”




Not taking ‘yes’ for an answer

Things are not always what they appear. If we only nourish the superficial drama we will remain stuck in it. Perhaps most importantly, we will miss the playful, caring light and love that surrounds us while we are busy and determined to reinforce a lesser version of ourselves.


Conway, the principle character in the novel ‘Lost Horizon’ used to describe himself as: “…the kind of guy who doesn’t take ‘yes’ for an answer.” Sometimes we can be so identified with our pain and suffering that we refuse to listen to the soft siren call behind it reassuring that everything is and will be alright.


Conway later regrets the cynicism that led him to leave the paradise of Shangri la and spends the rest of the story desperately trying to find it again.



Beyond survival


The most intelligent and successful species on our planet exhibit characteristics way beyond mere survival skills. Higher brain animals like apes and dolphins show a sense of creativity, play and humour as well


They play tricks on each other, invent games, have sex for pleasure as well as procreation and show compassion to help or comfort each other – even those outside their species.


Their success on the planet is expressed not just by surviving but by being able to play with all the elements of their situation, even in the midst of survival pressures.



One important and oft overlooked sign of higher evolution may simply be the expression of love, joy and playfulness. Mastery of ourselves lies beyond our suffering. So why do we assign such gravitas to suffering?



 The suffering/wisdom myth


Often we are taught that wisdom and maturity are serious things; that they are the qualities of serious people and are demonstrated through a serious, humourless demeanor. Culturally, it is linked to the romanticised notion of suffering in order to gain wisdom.


Many a mythical or biblical tale elevates the suffering of its principle characters as somehow noble in an attempt to create a dubious link between suffering and wisdom.


But why should suffering be considered noble? On the contrary:


One could argue that repeated suffering is not wisdom at all but a form of stupidity.


Higher consciousness does not express as suffering but as joy. It shines with a twinkle in the eye, not tears. The greatest people, whatever their respective field of mastery, have always shown the ability to play – even with the notion of their own importance.



Healing the wound of being wounded


Rather than indulging in morbid and masochistic suffering, helplessness and hopelessness we would do better to see our true selves as beings of light and joy. From this perspective, we are never in any real danger.



While we may experience difficult situations, it is still us, as light beings, experiencing them. From this point we can stop being victimized by our life and begin to investigate it with playful curiosity as to what it is gracefully showing us. After all:


It is not what we experience that defines us but what we become through those experiences that truly matters.


It is this fundamental shift in understanding away from an identification as a wounded, flawed being and into playful curiosity and a love for Self and others that allows us to break the cycle of suffering and not only heal but express our highest, most evolved self.


Till another Monday, where we can laugh at the preposterous notion that Mondays have to mean any kind of suffering at all…



© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation:

Female Ejaculation: a ‘Mystery’ Explored






“In my next life, I want to live backwards. Start out dead and finish off as a female orgasm.”

Woody Allen



As many of you know, the majority of these blogs come from common questions and issues raised by my clients in clinic. Some questions relate to a direct health issue but many do not. They address concerns, worries or reflections about wider aspects of life as it affects them.


Today’s blog comes from questions from both male and female clients about female ejaculation (a.k.a. ‘squirting, ‘gushing’, ‘fountain orgasm’ etc) and the potential anxieties and misunderstandings that surround it. This is not a ‘how to’ article but a look at understanding what it is and even how it might be part of old, survival mechanisms.


Copyright Castlerock Entertainment



There are varying degrees of misunderstanding around the female orgasm – in particular the ability for women to ‘ejaculate’ under certain types of sexual stimulation. There seems to be a wide range of opinion about this phenomenon – from outright denial that it exists; to thinking it is a kind of urination from ‘coital incontinence’; to curiosity but inability to achieve it for oneself.


Let us address the most common questions:



Is female ejaculation ‘a thing’ – is it real?
Simple answer to this one: yes. Understandably perhaps, reliable statistical information about the numbers of women who have experienced a squirting/gushing orgasm is difficult to obtain. Depending on the survey you read it can be anywhere from 10-50% of women who have experienced or regularly experience ejaculation orgasms.



Isn’t it just uncontrolled urination (orgasm triggered incontinence)?
No (and yes-ish…). While it is true that the liquid of female ejaculate does contain traces of urine there are two important differences.


1. It is highly diluted compared to normal urination and is virtually odourless
2. It contains substances that urine does not – which goes some way to explaining its purpose (more on this shortly)


An oft-quoted French study from the Journal of Sexual medicine is somewhat inconclusive due to the small sample number (7 women). However it is illuminating in some areas.


The women had to empty their bladders before any sexual stimulation (with a partner or alone) commenced. A sample of their urine was taken. Once they were sufficiently aroused their bladders were again measured via ultrasound and found to have already refilled (albeit in a more diluted form). Samples of the ejaculate fluid were taken, analysed and compared to the original urine sample.


So did the ejaculate fluid contain urine? Yes, but quite diluted and odourless along with other substances not found in the original urine sample: prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) and prostatic-specific antigen (PSA). These are chemicals created in the prostate gland by men. 

That female ejaculate contains both traces of urine and PAP and PSA is not surprising given that origin of the fluid is from the urethra, not the vagina.


So, to summarise:



What is PAP and PSA and what purpose might it serve for women?
Prostatic acid phosphatase and prostatic specific antigen are produced in women via the para-urethral glands (that is, situated around the wall of the urinary tract) called Skene’s glands. These glands drain into the urethra and are part of the area known as the female ‘G-spot’ (a.k.a. Gräfenberg spot, named after the German gynecologist Ernst Gräfenberg).


Copyright New Scientist


This suggests that it is connected to the so-called ‘G-spot orgasm’. Many (but by no means all) women can experience orgasm through stimulation of the G-spot area – as opposed via penetration that does not contact the G-spot directly.



Emotional content: why female ejaculation is not urination



Ask any woman who has experienced an ejaculatory orgasm and see if she considers it the same as urination! That alone should be enough evidence to understand the difference. I think we can all agree there is a very dramatic and subjectively verifiable difference between urinating and having an orgasm.


There is a saying: “Women are the victors in sex.” This not only refers to their greater stamina than men due to their potential to be multi-orgasmic without the need to ‘rest and reload’ between orgasms. We now know that there are very distinct and different ways they can achieve and experience orgasm. Among these are via:


  • Vaginal (non G-spot) stimulation/penetration
  • G-spot stimulation
  • Clitoral stimulation
  • Anal stimulation/penetration


Of course to those sensitive enough, orgasm can occur in more subtle, less mechanically clinical ways as well. After all, many areas previously thought not to be particularly erogenous can become so by stimulating our most erotic area – our mind. But that is another matter outside of this discussion.


In addition many woman report that orgasms due to different areas being stimulated are very different in nature. The G-spot/squirting orgasm is often described as affecting the whole body more than by clitoral stimulation alone for example. Subjectively at least, this suggests a different mechanism at work.


Female ejaculation: a survival mechanism?


Mothers in labour can experience orgasm and ejaculation too. Sometimes it is what it appears to be – incontinence due to the downward pressure of the baby on the bladder – but not always.

As the baby’s head puts pressure on the G-spot, the Skene’s glands can release PAP/PSA into the urethra and, along with diluted urine, express as a squirting orgasm. What practical purpose might this serve?

For one, it increases lubrication easing the most difficult part of childbirth. Secondly it causes a rush of pain killing endorphins and helps the mother to relax. It just may be part of an ancient survival mechanism to aid successful childbirth.

Of course, this is an unproven theory but it is logical and does illustrate the mechanical connection between the G-spot, Skene’s glands and female ejaculation.



Anxiety about squirting orgasms
Perhaps knowing that female ejaculation is not the same as urination will help some women just relax and enjoy themselves more during sex. While it is true that many have to overcome the initial sensation that they will pee themselves this soon passes and pleasure replaces it.


Hopefully their partners are informed about this as well (another function of this blog hopefully) and can be supportive and encouraging.


As this has been a rather technical discussion, here is a joke to lighten the confusion surrounding female ejaculation:


Copyright BBC


Two men are talking. One says he has just read about woman being able to ejaculate with a squirting orgasm. The other silently considers this revelation for a while and then replies: “Yeah, I think I’ve had one or two of those myself!”



Till another Monday comes whether we intended it to or not…



© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation:

How Intentions affect our Health


Yi, Chi, Li” 

ancient Taoist saying.


Literally, this translates as “Intention, energy, result”. That is, the software directive of our mind guides our dynamic life force (chi) into action to affect the outcome.



Which outcome of course depends (mostly) upon the intention. Intentions are creative. The plot thickens when we realise that our intentions can be conscious or unconscious ones. This means that some of our creations may come as a surprise to us.



Conscious and unconscious intentions and their creations


Conscious intentions are easier to understand and chart their cause and effect outcomes. For example, the conscious intention to say, save for a travel adventure or achieve a training or work goal within a certain time frame are quite tangible and measurable. Then, there are the other kind of intentions – those of which we are (not so blissfully) ignorant about.


For example, what if we consciously desire an outcome that is sabotaged by an unconscious belief that we are not worthy of having or acheiving it? It may appear as bad luck or treachery. The world may seem to be wickedly unfair and has singled us out for special attention.


The more likely scenario is that we ourselves have created and attracted conflicting outcomes. One has neutralized the other like a missile taking out a rocket soaring to the heavens. Both have been launched by us but we are only consciously aware of one of them.



Why does this always happen to me?!


Unconscious intentions and their resulting outcomes are harder to moniter because, by definition, we are not immediately aware of the link. It may only be later – or never if we are particularly resistant to personal development – that we see, understand and learn from our (unconscious) role in creating them. In that sense:


All learning (and indeed, personal enlightenment) might be described as making what was previously unconscious, conscious in us. 


While we remain unaware of the “Yi, Chi, Li” domino sequences we are constantly initiating, the results may feel less than satisfactory. To add insult to injury we will suffer twice from them: Firstly because of the resulting situation itself and secondly because of our continuing ignorance of our role in proceedings. 1.


It will appear to us, to quote a famous fool of our times, as: “Just a bunch of stuff that happened” and we will be doomed to repeat the process. While we are in quoting mode, to quote a friend and colleague about this very subject: “Suffering that is repeatedly endured is a form of stupidity.”



In other words, we never learn from our mistakes so long as we remain ignorant that we are making them. They appear to come from somewhere else and just ‘happen’ to us. We may even convince ourselves we are simply plagued by bad luck.





How unconscious creations affect our health


One of the tenants of Conscious Health is that the unconscious is constantly trying to become conscious in us. It will attempt to get our attention by any means possible. We now know that it is just as creative as our conscious mind and its intentions.


A common way is to create disturbances and dysfunction in the body. We call these symptoms. If we are particularly resistant to these semi-subtle prompts they can ramp up to fullblown health issues and disease.





At this point, instead of asking “Why does this happen to me?!”, we would be better served by asking questions closer to home like: “What am I trying to tell myself?”; “What function is this problem serving or giving me a chance to look at more closely?” or “What in my life do I need to change?”


A new way to see health and disease


Traditional Chinese medicine and other therapies that use the energy-consciousness model see health and disease quite simply:


Health is the free flow of Chi.

Dis-ease is some hindering of that flow.


When we understand that Chi itself also manifests as conscious (and unconscious) flows of intention we realise its vital link to our state of health.


A physical health issue, particularly one that has arisen over time, is not just a physical issue at all of course. It comes with many causal factors like emotional repression, learned patterns – perhaps stretching all the way back to childhood – and dysfunctional habits in diet, work, relationships and many more.


The potential for healing is activated as our awareness is finally awakened to the underlying issue(s) and begins to send Chi to the area where it was stagnating. This is why symptom repressing medications only work for while. Unless the root of the problem is consciously transformed it will only repeat in myriad forms.


I have lost count of the numbers of clients whom have been prescribed multiple medications for this and that symptom when they are all really related to the same underlying issue. It is like treating each weed flower separately instead of dealing with the roots from which they collectively spring.


Then of course there is the considerable extra problem of toxic side effects caused by the medicines themselves quite apart from the original disease. Usually, yet more medicines are then prescribed to ‘treat’ those and the negative spiral continues.



Collectively, this is called ‘iatrogenic’ disease (ie.,disease caused by a medical treatment for another disease). It is responsible for a staggering number of fatalities every year.



Not blame but personal empowerment


Western medicine is uncomfortable with linking a patient’s lifestyle, mental and emotional state, diet and exercise patterns to disease. The argument is that this creates a blame scenario where the patient is made to feel guilty for being sick.


We could (and should) look at it differently however. Becoming more aware of our own role in our situation empowers us to do something about it. We then have the opportunity to not only improve our health but enlighten ourselves a little more in the process.


We do not have to keep repeating the spiral of suffering. We can instead use it as the proverbial ‘grist for the mill’ to understand ourselves and our life a little better each time.



Now that’s not a bad intention to cultivate,





Till another Monday finds us a little more enlightened for the experience,


1. For more on this click here


© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved
As always you can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation:

Rivers of Light – a fresh look at meridians


“Give light and the darkness will disappear of itself.”


– Desiderius Erasmus

Attention: There are all new Spring workshops available! Go to and click on the ‘Events’ menu for more information. Tell your friends. OK, on with the show….


The energy meridians of traditional Chinese medicine may actually be a narrow bandwidth network of low-level light pathways interacting with external and internally generated light energy using the superficial fascia as a relay point to the rest of the body.



OK, that was a lot to digest in a single sentence so let us break it down a little. It is only recently that we have been able to confirm that our bodies generate low-levels of light radiation – the most easily measurable being infrared light.


Conversely, the body’s healing mechanisms respond well to low-level doses of this spectrum. We also respond to different bandwidths of light (such as monochromatic light) and even different coloured light of the same frequency. So what might be going on here? Specifically, what might this tell us about the meridian system and human health and consciousness in general? All good questions but first…
A little context about the meridian system


It is easy to become attached to our own views of reality, while forgetting it is only a view. Reality is so large and multi-dimensional that our very human nature simply ignores masses of information – and that’s just the information we already know about.


What we do to navigate this daunting jungle is to create explanatory models or stories that make it more simple to grasp and communicate them to others. In the field of energy medicine one such model is the meridian system.


The concept of energy pathways that animate a living body has been around for thousands of years. The relative newcomer of Western medical science lacks a software metaphor that might otherwise include the possibility of animating energy-consciousness. As a result it tends to marginalize or even dismiss the energy model while simultaneously making token attempts to research it.


They are only token because they are viewing this software system through the prism of hardware – anatomy and biochemistry like the nervous system. Unsurprisingly then, the results are inconclusive. But what if we viewed the meridian system in a different, err, light?


Some therapeutic applications of light have made it into Western medical practice however. The use of lasers in delicate surgery, UV light for sterilization, the blue light of humidicribs to facilitate the breakdown of bilirubin in prematurely born babies are some examples.


Blue light being used to help a premature baby break down bilirubin.
The undeveloped liver cannot yet do this by itself.



Acupoints as light receptors


The points on the main meridians are actually simple light receptors, mimicking the primitive development of our own eyes, that could only percieve and react to the presence or absence of light.


As such they are highly reactive to light. This has spawned non-needle meridian treatments like ‘colour puncture’ which applies low-level doses of coloured light to point combinations.



The meridian system – a narrow bandwidth interface


The meridian system itself operates on a fairly narrow bandwidth in and around the body. If one presses or needles more than a centimeter or so we begin to leave the influence of the meridians and to mechanically affect the muscles and connective tissue.


While there is nothing wrong with that, it becomes the provenance of other therapies – from deep tissue massage to surgery – and nullifies the specific utility of the meridian system.


Likewise, the points themselves spiral outwards beyond the body. At a relatively short distance away however they become so large as to overlap each other making traditional point and meridian protocols meaningless.



Again, this is not a negative thing but at that point, another explanatory model needs to account for the therapeutic effects of working off the body. Indeed, many healing methods, including some light therapies do exactly that.


There are already people investigating just this connection between the meridian system and light:


“The Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Novosibirsk, USSR, in a research project lasting several years, sought to explain how the human body conducts light. They found that the light conducting ability of the human body exists only along the meridians, and can enter and exit only along the acupuncture points.” (click here for the complete article)
The fascia and the ‘living matrix’
Dr. James Oschman has long been a supporter for the scientific basis of energy medicine. He makes the connection between the body’s collective response to stimulii and the vast, interconnected webs of fascia throughout the body encompassing muscles, connective tissue, nerves and beyond.


What many consider muscular or even joint pain can actually turn out to be distortions in this fascial web.


What is even more fascinating is that the fascia can be therapeutically affected by multiple means:

  • Mechanically: myofascial massage and chiropractic adjustments
  • Energetically: acupuncture, meridian based therapies like shiatsu and non-physical healing
  • By light frequency: light and colour therapies


At different times it is prudent to use one over the other. For example, light therapy to an inflamed area may be a better choice than physical massage or manipulation.


Although Dr. Oschman’s proposals need more widespread investigation it is possible that the fascial network acts as a mediator/conductor of the energy pathways we currently know as the meridian system. It’s ability to collectively respond to physical and non-physical touch, acupuncture and light frequencies seems to confirm this.




A case in point


While visiting Australia this year I was fortunate to both attend and present a lecture at the Australian Light Association’s (A.L.A.) inaugural conference.1 As it turns out, I inadvertently became a test subject for light therapy.


The sudden change to warm weather flip-plops for many kilometers of walking after a Swedish winter spent in heavy shoes lead to an inflamation of the tendons in my right foot. Having experienced this before, I knew it would take about a week to subside.


I was given a green light ‘pen’ to shine on the affected area (green coloured light in particular is used for inflammatory states). I became immediately aware of the affect of the light, not only on the inflammed area but a series of shooting sensations to connected points and meridians around the foot, ankle and lower leg.


After around ten minutes or so, I could move the toes freely without pain or inflammation. By the early evening I was symptom free. This provided for me a very clear connection between the programming frequency information of light, the meridian system and the connective tissue network.



Light, energy and consciousness



We have referred many times here on the Monday Conscious Health blog to the connection between energy flow and conscious awareness. How might this apply to scientific principles?


While scientific laws, like the second law of thermal dynamics, demonstrate how energy is lost as an object or system disintegrates it says nothing about energy-consciousness entering a conscious, living system.


Would it not be logical to assume that when this happens a higher level of integration occurs? In terms of conscious awareness we would say that we experience a higher level of consciousness.


At the physical level we would achieve a higher level of intergration and improved function. The chaos of ‘dis-ease’ would also lessen and correct itself.



The future of medical technology


Here is a prediction for the future of the technological side of medicine at least:


We will see a shift away from overly intrusive and side-affect producing interventions like biochemical medicines and surgery towards more software-based methods for diagnosis and treatment of physical and psycho-spiritual disorders.


One of these will be the use of light and colour. There will be others. To fascilitate this we must incorporate a software metaphor into our medical model. We have already taken it for granted in so many other technological fields.


In the body however it becomes the programming language that connects the body-mind and opens up an exciting new world of exploration.



Till another Monday shines the light on another week of discovery,



1. For more details and information on the work of the Australian Light Association click here




© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation:

Stress Pt. 2: Using Our Illusion


“Illusion is the first of all pleasures.”

– Voltaire



Last week, we looked at how stress was also a matter of perception and identification (click here if you missed it). The more we perceived stress to be ‘out there’ the more powerless we became to change our situation. Likewise, the more we identified as a stressed person the more likely we were to attract and create even more stress in our lives.


swan paddling


We also said that stress is a normal part of our reptile brain’s survival responses – albeit poorly adapted to modern life. The more we stress, the more our body adapts to it as ‘normal’.


Is stress normal?

We saw last week in part one how we could affect each others stress levels. In a sense we could ‘infect’ a susceptible subject to resonate with our perception of the world as a stressful place of suffering.


The institute of Heart Math takes this concept very seriously and has demonstrated how the heart has an energy field that projects out into the space around us. It is very sensitive to the heart energy fields of others as well as being capable of influencing other’s energy.


This gives us our first practical step in reducing our own stress levels: Be careful of the company we keep. The more we cultivate relationships with stressed people the more stress seeks to become justified and normalized.


Think of it as a well-meaning but dysfunctional homeostatic mechanism. When a person is highly stressed their energy field will seek confirmation of this world view. When it meets an opposing view it can feel threatened and attempt to ‘balance’ this energy between both parties. After all, opposition to a world view that we identify with can be stressful as we have invested ourselves in it.


If we accept stress as ‘normal’ then so it shall be. What many do not realize is that we have a choice in the matter…



Case study: The mysterious migraine


Many years ago a client came to me complaining of serious migraine attacks. So serious in fact that they often required a house call from her doctor and a shot of morphine to ease them. To be honest, outside of our talks about her situation, I could do little to help her symptoms.


A few months later I met her on the street and enquired about her migraines. “Oh, they disappeared.” was her reply. In the hope I might learn something I asked what other treatment she received that helped. “Oh no, I enjoyed our sessions and had no other treatments after that. I just changed my attitude.”


This demonstrates how powerful the mind-body interface can be. It also shows us how much of stress and suffering is self-generated. Therefore we must not only be careful of the company we keep but also the thoughts, feelings and attitudes we harbour about ourselves and our life.
Stress and aging


Traditional Chinese medicine makes a link between stress and aging. The Kidney/Adrenal gland complex is considered part of the Water element (for more on the Water element click here). It is the storehouse of our vital reserves of energy.


These reserves are only used for acute situations:


  • To create a life (sexual energy)
  • To save our life (emergency and danger)
  • To heal and recover (disease, trauma, exhaustion)
  • To renew energy (youthfulness, anti-aging)


If we allow our stressed, monkey mind to run fruitlessly down too many labyrinths of stress we can deplete these reserves and prematurely age our body in the process.


Think of this system as a battery pack. It distributes energy judiciously to keep us functioning at optimal levels as long as possible. If we accelerate this process with false alarms it will not be able to maintain this harmonious balance for long.




The Water element’s control of the bones and marrow, central nervous system (and therefore brain and memory function) teeth, head hair (amount and colour) along with a host of support functions to other areas can all become compromised as we become old before our time.


Stress has even been linked to degeneration of telomeres on the end of chromosomes that indicate aging. We can really stress ourselves into an early grave.
So why don’t we just let go of stress?


If stress is so bad for us why don’t we let go of it? As we have already mentioned, it is easy to become self-identified as a stressful person. Perversely, it can even afford us a certain status in our peer groups.


In part one, we saw how our need to belong to the group caused us to align with the group’s values. In some peer groups, stress is a sign of importance and status. “I’m so stressed!” can also be translated as “I’m doing such important things.”


I have observed that in corporate life, premature greying of the hair can be worn as a badge of honour. It implies that the person is working hard and taking on the big, important assignments. By association they are big and important. Our need for status and approval can age us before our time.
Materialism and stress


Survival in modern life usually refers to economic abundance. One of the surest ways to trigger our primitive survival stress reflexes is to get into debt.


Ironically many people try to releive stress through consuming. The shopping addiction may temporarily distract us from ourselves but it inevitably leads to debt and the ensuing survival stress triggers. In 2016, total outstanding consumer debt in the U.S. alone was $3.4 trillion.


That makes our materialistic, consumer society really a indebted, survival stress triggered one. One way to reduce stress then is to stop unnecessary spending, live simply and do what we can to be debt free.



Using our illusion


One of the first insights the seeker of wisdom learns is that we live in a type of illusion. A second insight may be more useful however: We create our illusion. While that may be, err, disillusioning for some it contains an opportunity as well.


If we create our (illusory) reality then we can choose to create something positive. Why have we assumed that doom and gloom are any more real or true than happiness and creativity for example? Therefore, it is not so much that the world is stressful of itself. It is more the mental creations we make and associate with a given situation or challenge that determine how we feel.


In order to consciously change our stress illusions we first have to stop feeding them:


  • Become aware of any negative phrases we repeat to ourselves and others about our perception of the world and consciously begin to remove them. If we nourish and reinforce a negative world view we will make it real to ourselves and attract others to support us in that.
  • Speaking of which, identify and remove yourself from those who nourish and support negativity and stress in you. ‘Misery loves company’. It thrives on it in fact – at our expense.
  • We can investigate our writhing, restless, monkey mind through the practice of meditation. 1
  • Exercise. The byproducts of stress are toxic to our body. The best way to eliminate them is through exercise. This increases the excretion rate of stress chemicals from the body. Modern research now sees exercise, particularly out in nature as a bigger aid to those suffering from depression than anti-depressive medications.



  • Wean yourself off the debt spiral of materialism and endless consuming. Simplify your life and spend more time with yourself and others.
  • Find a creative outlet. It may be something as simple as learning a musical instrument or doing a painting class. It might be more abstract like redecorating a room in your home or building an outdoor playhouse with your children.
  • Any new positive hobby or activity is strengthened by the company and support of others. Join a group that supports and shares your interests.
  • Create more time to meet people in real life by walking away from your computer. Leave home for a day without a mobile device.
  • Get a pet if you can look after one. The contact and company of pets are big stress relievers. It gives us a focus outside of ourselves. A well cared for pet is always glad to see us.



Stress out


The easiest way to leave stress out of our life then is to choose to. We have far more power over  how we experience the world than we give ourselves credit for. We may live in illusion but we can be creative with it.


Till the illusory stress of another Monday is creatively transformed into a stress-free week,


1 By a remarkable coincidence there is a meditation class at my clinic this Thursday. Click here for details


© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation:

Understanding Stress Pt. 1




“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

Douglas Adams


Stress is a bad thing, right?

Read more…