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Jah2075

Healing Bipolar Disorder: meditation or gong?

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Hi all...

 

Im a newbie to the site and the different systems, but I've been reading up on spring forest qigong and SF Jane's remarkable story of how she healed her bipolar disorder using Bruce Frantzis Water method of Taoist healing meditation.

 

So in short, which system would you choose to heal yourself with, if like me you had bipolar disorder? BP is an illness connected to energy - either a surplus or a depletion...and although SF Jane chose meditation I am drawn to Qigong more...but it's of little consequence if it's not suitable...I will utilise whatever system will work.

 

I also realise the enormity of what I am asking as their are few known cures for BP...but when it comes to eastern healing methods who else can I ask?

 

Many thanks to anyone who responds to this post that helps to enlighten me xxx

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I would recommend daily practice of Sheng Zhen Healing Qigong...

 

http://shengzhen.org/store/dvds/sheng-zhen-healing-gong-removal-of-disease-in-three-stages-dvd

 

There are many forms of qigong in the Sheng Zhen system, all of them great (Master Li is the real deal, imo), but this qigong is particularly for healing health issues.

 

Here is part one of three parts.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tEAaq293Wk

Edited by liminal_luke
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I've had to deal with various stuff in the past most of which kicked off while I had an established seated practice. This meant I lost faith in meditation. Currently, I have a simple standing meditation routine called Zhan Zhuang, or stance training. For me this has been more effective in balancing my emotions and improving my well-being than a seated practice. So, from my limited experience, go for the gong (although in some ways they are one-and-the-same).

 

Choose something, stick to it, and it'll help.

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both sitting meditation and qigong, i'd say.

-if that's what you mean.

 

sfjane she did both. she has nice taiji. you can see it on youtube.

Edited by Ocean Form

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Seated and still during the mania. Standing and walking during the depressive. Get a good psychiatrist involved and consider medication as much a part of your discipline as meditation.

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Hey Cap sorry to hear of your troubles...I too had an awakening of sorts, powerful energies looping from the back of my neck to my head and back again.

 

Mindblowing indeed.

 

I will indeed be offering you prayers for a quick and safe recovery. Mental health services are stretched, but we can thank the short-termism of successive governments for that.

 

All the best to you...

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Hmm I agree diet plays a role...but so does the brain. Apart from diet and medication there's not a whole lot else out there for healing bar qigong/meditation...kundulini yoga is certainly out of the question...

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Diet and way of living.

 

Bipolar is due to extremes in diet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

I'm not going to reveal a lot of who I am on the internet, but I can definitively say this is not true.

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Re:

-----

"I'm not going to reveal a lot of who I am on the internet, but I can definitively say this is not true."

-----

 

Ever meet anyone diagnosed bipolar who never ate meat or refined sugar in their lives?

 

Ever meet anyone diagnosed bipolar who never used pharmaceutical drugs?

 

What was the rate of bipolar-like disorders before the processed food industry began?

 

 

 

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

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Re:

-----

"I'm not going to reveal a lot of who I am on the internet, but I can definitively say this is not true."

-----

 

Ever meet anyone diagnosed bipolar who never ate meat or refined sugar in their lives?

 

Ever meet anyone diagnosed bipolar who never used pharmaceutical drugs?

 

What was the rate of bipolar-like disorders before the processed food industry began?

 

 

 

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

Those are some big questions which i doubt any reliable statistical data can be referenced unless you personally have done a worldwide research of some sort. 

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Diet is super important, no question, but how it plays out in our lives is very individual.  Given five people with the  same "bad" diet one person will have mental health difficulties, another diabetes, another asthma, and yet another will appear not to suffer any bad effects whatsoever.  

 

In healing, dietary change can take us a long way but other factors -- exercise, sun, relationships, thought patterns, etc -- also play an important role.  My opinion.

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I'm just reading some articles about the relation between food and AD(H)D, ASS, depression and Bipolardisorder.

 

roughly it says that the disorders have a strong relation with the capacity of detoxing of the body. This detoxing capacity is part of the bodily functions as the baby starts up. So it has a genetic root. but it can be influenced by outer things such as food and psycho-social stresses. When people like this eat the wrong foods, the body slowly poisons itselfs, this then leads to indigestion problems, the gut becomes compromized which then accelerates the amount of poisonous substances that can enter the body through the gut etc. Slowly everything goes out of whack.

 

Its a lot more interwoven than this summary of course, very interesting read.

 

I cannot help you with a link, it's in Dutch, but very well documented.

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I'm just reading some articles about the relation between food and AD(H)D, ASS, depression and Bipolardisorder.

 

roughly it says that the disorders have a strong relation with the capacity of detoxing of the body. This detoxing capacity is part of the bodily functions as the baby starts up. So it has a genetic root. but it can be influenced by outer things such as food and psycho-social stresses. When people like this eat the wrong foods, the body slowly poisons itselfs, this then leads to indigestion problems, the gut becomes compromized which then accelerates the amount of poisonous substances that can enter the body through the gut etc. Slowly everything goes out of whack.

 

Its a lot more interwoven than this summary of course, very interesting read.

 

I cannot help you with a link, it's in Dutch, but very well documented.

I suppose this is applicable to all, but would impact greater on those with underpinning health issues. 

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 ** The "yoga" and "qi gong" that I perform are pretty much my own concoction. One day I might go to a class or a "master" to learn how to do things properly. I daresay it would give me some much needed feedback and discipline.  **

 

 

General advice

 

It is best to study Yoga and Qi gong under a master.

Until you have cleary understood

  • The fundamentals
  • Safety valves
  • Knowing when and when not to practice
  • What signs and symptons of deviations are and how to correct hem.

 

However, I have no interest in judging you so I will offer you the following help

 

Fundamental safety valves while practicing Qi gong and Yoga

 

I hope that you know that it is of vital importance to contact the tongue with the upper palate to avoid fire energy entering in the brain and that is also of vital importance to always return the chi to the dan tien after practicing.

 

Especially taking into account the problems or issues that you have mentioned.  

Generally, one is advised against practicing when the Shen is not in balance.

 

From the heart I wish you all the best and hope you may return to happy, healthy, peacefull state soon.

 

Good luck and all the best

With my best regards,

 

Ronaldk

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CT wrote

 

I suppose this is applicable to all, but would impact greater on those with underpinning health issues. 

 

 

 

it may also give a hint why some people have strong reactions to energy-work and meditating.

 

The dissolving of blockages is not only mental and energetically but also very physical. Bad shit literally comes loos. When the body is a bad detoxer it has problems to eliminate the debris that came loose. This in itself can make sick and maybe make prone to worsening emotional conditions.

 

just an idea that pops up,

 

Bes

Edited by blue eyed snake
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CT wrote

 

 

 

 

it may also give a hint why some people have strong reactions to energy-work and meditating.

 

The dissolving of blockages is not only mental and energetically but also very physical. Bad shit literally comes loos. When the body is a bad detoxer it has problems to eliminate the debris that came loose. This in itself can make sick and maybe make prone to worsening emotional conditions.

 

just an idea that pops up,

 

Bes

Yes, i am familiar with the process, BES, although i will not personally see any condition as better or worse. The very idea of Transformation says a lot right there. It usually involves necessary trauma, as most healing processes do. Are traumas good? Are they bad? Not fundamentally, i would assert. 

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Yes, i am familiar with the process, BES, although i will not personally see any condition as better or worse. The very idea of Transformation says a lot right there. It usually involves necessary trauma, as most healing processes do. Are traumas good? Are they bad? Not fundamentally, i would assert. 

 

hah, i did not write good or bad, I wrote worsening, making more severe.

 

that in itself is not bad...I was pointing to the physical side of it.

 

when the body comes in a situation whereby the amount of poisons in the body becomes so large and then the body is unable to detox itself I think that is indeed bad. We should take care of the bodyandmind as good as we can, and for people like me and the OP that means to tread the way slowly and carefully, giving the bodyandmind time to digest the process.

 

I've chronique fatigue syndrome, that is not due to energetical work, but now I know that it has also had a strong influence to the risk that I will not recover. So, in a way it has worsened my condition. Also i know of people who have become psychotic follow meditation or energetic work. I do not think that is well, I've once know a woman who started zen-meditation with the idea of creating some rest in her mind. Soon she got anxiety-attacks. When she asked the teacher about this she was told just to sit through it ( daily one hour).

 

Now, i do think that is stupid advice, she should have taken it slowly. She then stopped it and will probably never pick it up again.

 

when i took up my first attempts at meditation, after 5 minutes i either began crying or screaming. So that was long enough for me. before I became ill i made it to 30 to 60 minutes.

 

But now I'm unable to meditate....which was not the intended outcome.

 

so, it was just a word of warning, take it slowly and carefully,

 

Bes

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hah, i did not write good or bad, I wrote worsening, making more severe.

 

Yes, worsening, as in a deteriorating process which is likely severe and distressing, no? 

Hence i was suggesting perhaps that is not such a helpful view of things because my reasoning, which was not given above, is that the severity and degree of deterioration is very much factored by how tightly we want things to be different, but perhaps you might not agree, which is ok too. 

 

 

that in itself is not bad...I was pointing to the physical side of it.

 

when the body comes in a situation whereby the amount of poisons in the body becomes so large and then the body is unable to detox itself I think that is indeed bad. We should take care of the bodyandmind as good as we can, and for people like me and the OP that means to tread the way slowly and carefully, giving the bodyandmind time to digest the process.

 

I agree the physical body has to be cared for, but do not agree that this caring overflows into the formation of strong emotional attachments to this process of caring, to the extent that we become unable to handle certain realities in relation to the threat of 'disease' and how fragile and sudden the body succumbs to changing health - not just towards ill health, but conversely, towards optimum health as well.

 

Despite all that we think we know, the body knows itself much more and does in fact remain very capable of functioning on its own without having to depend on our experiments and our knowledge and our good intentions towards it, and those who are experiencing reduced health may have temporarily forgotten this, so indeed treading mindfully could well mean learning to trust the intrinsic intelligence of the body to heal itself without needing to impose too much expectations on it to do its own thing. But this proposal or idea can be at times tricky to negotiate due to certain fixations and/or compensatory habits built around the perceived enormity of the debilitation. 

 

 

I've chronique fatigue syndrome, that is not due to energetical work, but now I know that it has also had a strong influence to the risk that I will not recover.

 

Yes you have mentioned that before, although as a third party, and not a medical professional, its impossible for me to agree or disagree with the assessment of whether its related to energetic work or not. Not saying it is in your particular experience, but from others whom i am aware of with CFS, the root cause is usually pretty hard to determine, hence nothing could they discount in trying to manage the condition effectively. 

 

 

So, in a way it has worsened my condition.

 

Nobody wants to experience the effects of a debilitating physical condition, but certain events that occur in various stages of life, despite our best efforts in thinking we have everything in order and neatly arranged, has been known to chuck the odd spanner into the works from time to time and turn what we perceived to be a stable existence upside down, which then disturbs the way the mind view things because the tendency for negativity to set in becomes amplified, and this certainly will not make the recovery process easier - in most cases, it actually makes the opposite of that more apparent. 

 

 

Also i know of people who have become psychotic follow meditation or energetic work. I do not think that is well, I've once know a woman who started zen-meditation with the idea of creating some rest in her mind. Soon she got anxiety-attacks. When she asked the teacher about this she was told just to sit through it ( daily one hour).

 

Meditation, well, at least Buddhist meditation, ought not to be confused with therapy. Perhaps in wanting to find rest, your friend involving herself with Zen had misunderstood the purpose of Zen somewhat. It is a mistake to assume that practicing the buddhadharma, regardless of tradition, will lead to an untroubled existence, one pervaded by soothing feelings and serenity and calmness over the disarrayed hecticness which seems to beset a lot of us.

 

The purpose of the Dharma as taught by Buddha is precisely tailored to root out neurotic mental and physical habitual patterns from the inside out, and this is what we sign up for in actuality. Its clear your friend approached the practice least expecting the sort of outcome that time. 

 

 

Now, i do think that is stupid advice, she should have taken it slowly. She then stopped it and will probably never pick it up again.

 

Well, she did ask for advice. Stupid or not would largely be determined by the sort of expectations we have prior. Assuming she opted not to seek advice from the teacher, what do you reckon her eventual experience will be? By seeking advice, not only has she to deal with her new condition, but the added angst of knowing she met a teacher who gave stupid advice. She would have been better off managing her life without seeking Zen, which requires, as in all the different Buddhist paths, rather strong commitments. 

 

 

when i took up my first attempts at meditation, after 5 minutes i either began crying or screaming. So that was long enough for me. before I became ill i made it to 30 to 60 minutes.

 

But now I'm unable to meditate....which was not the intended outcome.

 

so, it was just a word of warning, take it slowly and carefully,

 

Bes

Ajahn Chah, a highly respected Theravadin master once said that if we haven't wept, we have not got to the basic understanding of what meditation is. 

 

In my tradition, 5 - 10 minutes of resting the mind with minimal to no contrivance, repeated many times, is the preferred approach. Anyway, meditation, imo, ought not to be measured by the length of time we put in while attempting a fixed posture or position. This is like an urban legend kind of idea, like a myth.

 

We sometimes get impressed by stories of so-called meditators who freeze themselves into a fixed zombie state for 5 or 6 hours, or even more... its just plain silly really. The only time we will know for certain how good we are as a practitioner is when we are close to dying. Prior to that, its not really favourable to make too many speculations as to which type of meditation, how long to meditate, or which path is the real thing. Such considerations aren't really conducive to real spiritual growth and positive fruits. 

Edited by C T
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Be careful about miraculous cures, often they come with strings attached (money, allegiance and so on).

As someone who has healed himself of a serious mental health issue (substance abuse and associated psychosis) I would like to encourage you that the biggest factor in healing is maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

 

One of the key criteria to this is setting healthy sleeping and eating patterns.

That is to say, set one time every night when you go to sleep and another time every morning when you wake up.  Try to establish at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night set according to that plan.  Keep going with it and don't break it if at all possible.

For eating patterns, you should figure out what times you need to eat in order to keep your blood sugar levels balanced.

Usually most people eat directly after waking up, and then again sometime between 11:30 AM and 1 PM.and then again after 6 PM.   What you eat is also very important, you need to adjust your diet to fit with the type of lifestyle you live.  If you do heavy exercise all the time, you should eat foods that are higher in protein, but also make sure to get lots of green leafy vegetables, fruits and so on.   Try to avoid foods that alter the chemistry of the brain such as sugar or caffeine, at least until you have the symptoms of your bi polar disorder under better control.

 

You should also adjust a schedule for physical exercise every day..  Whether it is doing a set of Qi gong, or just going for a long walk in the fresh air, make sure you exercise at the same time every day.  Usually the two best times to exercise are in the early morning, or around 6 in the evening.  The early morning reason is because not many people are out and the weather will be cooler in the summer months.  6 in the evening is because the blood pressure is at its highest between 3-5 PM, so technically those are the best times to get heavy exercise, but most people work until five and need some downtime or a commute home.   Exercising around six pm is a very good time because the blood pressure hasn't started dropping yet.   Between seven and nine you should set yourself to having dinner and engaging in some sort of quiet activity such as reading, meditating, or spending time with family.    I think most people are well served by going to bed before midnight, I usually sleep between 10:30 to 11:00 PM and rarely later.

 

If you can set your life according to a schedule like this (obviously you will change it to suit your needs), then you will have already broken one of the stems of mental illness, which is based on the mind not being focused.

 

another very valuable practice to do is begin to focus on breathing softly through the nose at all times.  If you are not exerting yourself, the breath should be soft enough that you can't hear it, but strong enough that you get enough air.   Begin to be mindful of the breath coming and going from the lungs and the relationship of the breath and the lower section of the torso.  It often helps to focus the mind on the lower abdomen, below the navel and above the genitals, about two inches inside of the body.

Gradually focus on the breathing and day by day let it break up some of the self talk going on in your consciousness.

You should always focus on not carrying on long monologues with yourself, since these are pointless and waste energy, as well as making you excited.

Remember that a long self talk is usually about a problem that could be better solved with a pen and paper.

 

I personally believe that self talk happens on three major levels:

1: involved conversation:  this is bad, it should be avoided as it doesn't have any specific use and is usually about trivial things that destabilize the consciousness.

2: intruding thoughts:  these are the thoughts that come up whether you want them to or not.  They seem to pop up out of nowhere and are very hard to control.  The best thing to do with these is just don't follow them and they will naturally go away. Let them come and go, even if they seem to mean something, it s better just to let them do what they want to do and then go away.

3: semi conscious and random words:  this is the self talk that basically goes on in the back of our minds at all times.  It is very hard to quiet and even though it seems audible when you listen to it, it usually actually isn't words, it is typically just the feeling of thinking.  Sometimes it manifests as random words or half sentences.  this is the most difficult type of thought to quiet and takes many years of practice.

 

Although mental illness has a nervous and hormonal component, you can do a lot for yourself by controlling your lifestyle and your thoughts.   Qi Gong and meditaton, at least the aspects of those arts concerned with the mind, are mainly about learning to control yourself at the start.  The other stuff comes later when you have mastered your own mental processes.

 

It took me eight years to recover fully from my mental health issues, but I have been healthy for seven years since then and feel better every year  :)

 

Good luck with your journey and I hope you feel better and better  :)

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Food and life habits in general do have an influence on both our physical and mental condition. I strongly recommend vegeterianism.

 

However, while there is a give and take between the physical and the mental planes, sometimes changes in the mind (attitude, beliefs, motivation) totally override physical factors. This makes sense, because the mind per se is not a function of the body, but a field of higher topology.

 

As for medication, better be careful with that. While it sometimes offers temporary relieve, it can also do a lot of harm in the long run, including addiction, suppression of issues, physical "side" effects. It's generally better to use natural remedies such as flower essences. Homeopathics are highly effective too, but find a skillful prescriber especially for the latter.

 

Talking about psychiatrists, well, many are doing no more than prescribing aforesaid pills these days. It's very sad to see. Their materialistic approach can be pretty devastating especially for a spiritually refined individual. There are exceptions amongst them, but it is rare to find the kind I was collaborating with as an alternative therapist during most of the 1990s.

 

However, if you are lucky enough to find a spiritually sensitive psychiatrist, psychologist, or some other kind of profesdional counsellor - sure, go for it. Such a person can be of great aid.

 

As to the original question in this thread: There are many different kinds of Qigong (both moving and still), and there are many different kinds of meditation. In fact, every Qigong method is a kind of meditation, and that includes Taiji and other internal martial arts. What works for one person may not work for another. The best advice I can give: Explore what you feel attracted to.

 

Best wishes,

 

Michael

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Hi Michael, I want to just jump in here about the pills, because I think that in some cases they are really beneficial and valuable.

For my condition, if I hadn't had anti psychotics, the first few years would have been much worse than they were (it was already bad enough).   It took me about five years of being on the pills and when I was confident enough, i was able to quit them.  There was a horrible withdrawal for months, but in the long run, I'm thankful that I had those pills to keep my mind in order when I was too messed up to handle it on my own.

Having said that, it is distressing that doctors prescribe pill even for minor problems like normal sadness, grief, and anxiety that could be dealt with in other ways.   I'm also very disturbed at the level to which young boys are given stimulants in order to help them study, it is as if we want to raise a generation of meth heads.

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that there are time when these medications are very useful to people, so I hope you won't discount them altogether.  I have some friends who would be in the hospital or on the street if it weren't for being medicated. 

 

What do you think?

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