Sleep theory: noradrenaline

I’m still looking for a sensible theory to account for my weird sleep pattern of insomnia after the 5h non-REM sleep part of the night.

At the moment I’m looking into the excitatory neurotransmitters because I found out the disposal system of these is a bit crooked in me. The enzyme responsible of breaking down (nor)adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin is called MAO A and I have an allele combination that makes it do its work veeeeeery slowly. Making me an upbeat, cheerful person by nature. Going into manic chattering when excited too much:

I found some tidbits I’m going to connect without knowing what I do.

LAST NIGHT
I woke up after 5 hours of sleep. I lay there with my eyes closed, observing, and noticed that although my brain was ON my body was not. My body was heavy, warm, sleepy.
I tried to not get my brain any more excited than it already was (no lights on, no surfing, no worrying, no thinking up clever schemes, no planning). I did resolve to investigate another angle to this insomnia when properly awake: what if it’s not cortisol keeping me awake but something that’s only active in the brain?
Cortisol travels through the blood and should have effect all over the body. Maybe one of the excitatory neurotransmitters keeps its actions restricted to the brain?

NORADRENALINE IN THE BRAIN
Noradrenaline is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter. It’s made in the adrenals (not the same part that makes cortisol though) and released in the blood = hormone. And it’s made in the brain (in sections called Locus Coeruleus, in the brain stem) = neurotransmitter.
As a neurotransmitter it’s active in the central nervous system and sympathetic nervous system. As such it fires up the sympathetic nervous system, elbowing the parasympathetic system into submission.
The actions of norepinephrine are carried out via the binding to adrenergic receptors.

Locus Coeruleus, noradrenaline HQ

Wiki says: “Noradrenergic neurons project bilaterally (send signals to both sides of the brain) from the locus ceruleus along distinct pathways to many locations, including the cerebral cortex, limbic system, and the spinal cord, forming a neurotransmitter system.”
Does it say here that there’s a distinctive network in the brain for this neurotransmitter? Is there a web bringing it’s activity fast and furious into all parts of the brain?
yes it does

This network can be tested. Increase in activity can be measured. Data can be found!
They think this network is involved in decision making and in storing memories. There’s research on it (using rats I believe).

BUILDING NORADRENALINE AND USING IT TO BUILD OTHER STUFF
Noradrenaline (or norepinephrine) is synthesized in 3 steps:

  1. the aminoacid Tyrosine is hydroxylated into L-DOPA (by enzyme/gen Tyrosine Hydroxylase)
  2. L-DOPA is decarboxylated into Dopamine
  3. Dopamine is hydroxylated into Noradrenaline

Wiki: “Noradrenaline is the hormone and neurotransmitter most responsible for vigilant concentration in contrast to its most chemically similar hormone, dopamine, most responsible for cognitive alertness.[4]”

check. check. This is what I have in abundance, especially at night. This is also what places me on the other end of the spectrum from people with ADD, I believe. I wish we could barter and both end up in the middle.

 

 pic by Paul Turnbull

There’s a fourth step when fiddling with noradrenaline:

4. Noradrenaline is made into Adrenaline via methylation of its amino group.

It takes methylation to get rid of noradrenaline! Does this get hindered by the same dna-oopsies I have hindering the Methylation Cycle? This would account for huge amounts of noradrenaline lingering in the system, firing up the brain.

Although: would I want to trade noradrenaline for adrenaline in the middle of the night? I don’t think so.

GETTING RID OF NORADRENALINE
Here’s the wiki link on how it is terminated or degraded. Need to read it myself and use its terms to dig through scientific papers.

On first scan I see I shouldn’t take cocaine since it inhibits uptake of noradrenaline. That’s good to know, I’ll inform my dealer.

What facilitates degradation in mammals? What is the usual half time?

“α-Methyltyrosine is a substance that intervenes in norepinephrine synthesis by substituting tyrosine for tyrosine hydroxylase, and blocking this enzyme.”
what’s this? can I buy this? cook it up myself?

“Vesicular transport modulators[edit]
This transportation can be inhibited by reserpine and tetrabenazine.[33]”
are these drugs?

A few inhibitors to the release of noradrenaline are named. And a few that stimulate it. Adrenaline causes noradrenaline. Stay away from stress, children.
This does explain a lot of my own experiences.

Tyrosine is found in eggs, nuts, meat and cheese. And we make it ourselves from Phenylalanine.
Cutting down on any of these food stuffs won’t do much good as the body choses how much it converts. It’s not particularly dependent on intake. Unless you really stop eating these as hard core veganists do. And they might well be happier and more zen because of it too.

 pic by Penny Mathews

 

NORADRENALINE AND SLEEP

They suspect that the network of noradrenaline in the brain is used to store memories.
They also found that in the nonREMsleep this network’s activity coincides with the waves that are visible on EEG. When the wave goes up, so does the activity in the noradrenaline network. When the wave goes down, so does the firing frequency. They suspect this is how mammals store memories during sleep.
Here’s the link to the study (rats).

To me it says that during nonREMsleep the system pulsates, in the same slow way as the sleep waves do. I expect this to change once the sleep waves change. I.e. when the sleep cycle changes so does the activity of the neuron network. I need to go look for studies that tell me wether its activity increases or decreases.
Based on my insomnia I expect it to increase. Leaving me with a surplus of noradrenaline bouncing around my head.

If I can pinpoint why it stays active I can experiment. Or I can start experimenting and use the outcomes to focus the theory better.
It might be that methylation into adrenaline doesn’t work properly or that the MAO A clean up crew is working with two hands tied behind its back. Or the degrading system doesn’t work very well. I’m going to investigate further the subjects I touched upon above.

Or I might figure out why the surplus noradrenaline becomes active in the first place. If I can decrease its release (by taking away the cause or by taking surpressing drugs) I might sleep through the night. It would illustrate that it’s indeed noradrenaline waking me up and keeping me awake.

Well, I’m still just theorizing here. But in theory it all makes sense and it all coincides with my own symptoms and data.

If this becomes a credible, logical train of thought I plan to test it out. (no idea how to test, yet)
At night I want to sleep, from nonREM to REM. So I can wake up and be cheerful all day.

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Holle Time Day 13: wrapping up 2013

This is the last post in the Holle Time series. Where I wrote about anything I fancied. Holle Time will continue for another 13 days but my blogposts will not be all over the place anymore. I like me some structure ;)

In this post I’m wrapping up the year 2013!

THINGS TO BE PROUD OF
I’m proud that I wade through the shit for three months this summer, getting my Zinc up en my Copper down. Those Copper dumps were no fun… yay for me for sticking it through! Zinc now goes down well, no more Copper madness.

pic by Alicia Solario

I’m proud also with the mental clean up I did in november, when I revised my idea of what makes a meaningful life. I’m not sure any of you could follow my writings backthen, it wasn’t very well composed. But it made sense to me back then and it gave me new outlooks on life and purpose, outlooks I use every day now. I now feel good about my life.

HAPPY TO BE LUCKY
I’m happy with the luck of finding out my genome data last Spring.
It was a plan B, because plan A -visiting an excellent specialist in system broad illnesses- fell through.
A year ago I’d never thought of getting DNA information and now look what it brought me.
It explains the excitatory neurotransmitter thing that seems to be my personal trait. And the vitD and vitB12 and folinic acid things that I need supplementation for.

I also feel lucky to have found the Atlas Profilax treatment. Wasn’t looking for it, had never heard of it. It lessened my body burdens.

SAD AND CRINGING EPISODES
Some things I did in the previous year still make me cringe and cry.
How I wrecked my health by going on holiday in Ireland and not having a good bed to rest in. And how I tortured my digestion two weeks later by eating too much weird cheese. And how, around that time and in the six weeks to follow, I failed to notice my adrenals were out of commission and I really ought to have taken more hydrocortison. How I hurt from the death of my grandmother.
I don’t want to think about any of this.

THINGS TO ENJOY

I am so glad I got a car this year! It is mine, it has a weird felted head rest cover (mine!) and handknitted pouch with lavender in the glove compartment (mine!)
I love driving it. It’s not very tiring and quite empowering. I had a glorious day out in the summer (when I was still high on my holiday trip cortisol). I took the car for a drive through the country, I had a picnick in the field, picked up at least two spinning wheels and visiting my aunt.

Sinterklaas this year was great! So much fun and love and cheer and laughter!
A day to remember which is very easy because i got three teleidoscopes and lots of thongs I now use daily (a board for making wool rolls to spin, Japanese kitty fabric, a handembroidered squirrel cushion, seven moustache paperclips)

THE BIGGER PICTURE
In the larger picture I’ve noticed my brainfog has now been lifted structurally.
Starting this blog was one symptom of regaining my mental faculties. This year I’ve been able to think more clearly and on more subjects then ever since 2008. I’ve even spared some thoughts in art.


(Back in 2008 I could not think. This lasted well into 2010. I could only think, reason, deduct, at night, in the two hours of waking I had. I used to write myself notes and instructions for the following day.
In the beginning I’d find a note with one word on it, “magnesium”, and had no idea what I was meant to do. Night time me quickly learned to spell things out for brain fogged day time me. These were also the years I saw less colours and forgot my own name and couldn’t hold my balance when walking. All these things have gone.)(Still loose my balance when tired though.)

I took up illustrating, I’m so chuffed!
Still frustrating though, to want to do so many fun things when there’s only one hour available every day. With illustrating and art and design there’s the extra dance of getting the mood right. No ambition, no commercial plans, no purposed goals, no fighting mentality whatsoever. It has to be play and exploration, nothing else.

I’ve turned to new dresses! Sewing them, buying them, felting them.
A dress really is such a joy.

And the last few weeks I’ve moved back to the city. I like the city. I like our house.
Spending more time with my husband is great too.

PLANS FOR 2014
I hope next year will be about the fun of exploring.
Exploring illustration, exploring some of my old fascinations in art. And I’d like to learn the technique of enamelling. And make some graphic jewellery (is this insinuating I want to make porn bling? I hope not. I want to make some pieces using spaces and blocks of colours like a blockprinter would)

pic by Andrew Smith

Healthwise this will be the year of the parasympathetic nervous system. Keeping it calm around the clock. I’ve just stumbled upon learning to relax the eyeballs and -muscles. There’s a connection there.
And an old book about the body-mind connection when battling back pain that came into my life again recently. I have no back pain but this book addresses the same connection I’m exploring.

Perhaps this year I’ll get my sleep analyzed in a sleep study facility…

I’d like more squirrels in 2014.

Holle time Day 12: Spinning Sparklies

This:

into this:

This is half a yarn. It needs to be plied with another half and then it will loose some of its twist and poof up into thicker yarn with more sparklies.
It’s very soft. It’s BFL with Nylon. BFL is “Blue Faced Leicester”, some sort of sheep. The Nylon is the sparkly bit.

I spin for the sake of spinning. I’m enjoying the softness, the colours, the sparklies.

What I do with the yarn is not of concern right now. It will be pretty much unusable yarn anyway, with all these colours tumbling over each other. If you knit with it the endresult will be ….. ’80s clown barf.

I could weave with the yarn I guess, that would make it a bit less obnoxious.
Or I could ply it in a way that the yarn could be more usable, having longer colour repeats.
But I won’t. I’m spinning this now and enjoying it.

Where it came from:

Holle time day 11: hiding in a hole

Around this time Frau Holle retreats into her well, taking with her all the souls of new and old life of this year, to be reborn in the next.

During the year she transforms from a Spring Maiden into a Fertile Summer Woman who reaps the fruits (and souls) from the land in the Fall. Come Winter she becomes a Snow Queen.

pic by Belovodchenko Anton
pic by Vatik
pic by Ayhan Yildiz
pic by Joseph Hoban

But when the wheel of time turns the year, just around these days, she is ageless. Timeless. Shapeless. She has taken all the life of the land to a safe haven, under her skirts, into her house at the bottom of the well, in a deep dark hole where no winter cold or humans can reach.

pic by Katinka Kober

I too would like to crawl away into a hole like that. Start sleeping. Healing. Only to emerge when the first promises of a new year are showing.
(Perhaps they are already here, these promises? Today was a bright winters’ day, with crisp light and some small birds already chattering. I see from behind my window.)

Yes I want to hide. Because today, and also yesterday, I am battling against stress. It’s been building up for a few weeks now but today it is particularly bad. It shouldn’t be, I have no stress, there’s nothing in my life threatening me. (Well, except the x-mas cards I didn’t send, to 5 people who really NEED to get some sort of hello from me)
really, need, desperate, hello

… I’ve got no words and I’ve got no energy. I should at least let the know this, if nothing else…

My body is twisted and cramped. My heart is pounding. I’m wearing my shoulders around my ears once again. Gone is the freedom of movement and fluidity the AtlasProfilax provided. I’ve stuffed it all away under tensed up muscles and startling responses.

Fifty times a day I realize I’ve slipped into a twisted posture. Sitting askew, not really relying on muscles to keep me upright but more on cushions and fatflaps.
I find myself leaning deep into the computer, squinting my eyes, and realize I’ve been sitting like this for an hour.
I can’t sleep. My breathing is shallow. I am in stress.

This is out of the ordinary. I’ve left this habit of stress behind when I moved to the cabin. It took a few months (or years) to grind it into omission. Now it’s back! This is how I was for 35 years. This is how my body was 35 years… it is not how I truly am.

Something in my body is whipping up stress.
It could be a number of things:

  • my period just started. Usually I take no progesterone for a couple of days to allow for my period. Today I cannot be without progesterone, my body is screaming for it.
  • something could be frustrating the clean-up of excitatory neurotransmitters. It’s already hindered by the MAO A mutation but it now seems it doesn’t get done at all. I’ve got no idea what that could be and I haven’t got the braincells or rest to study it online.
  • something could be egging on the production of these neurotransmitters. Could it be the mB12 and the Folinic Acid, releasing too much toxins in the system?
  • I had quite a bit of commercial chocolate at my sister-in-law’s the other day because we were there longer than expected and I was so going down the drain. I’d think it would have left the system already but you never know
  • I have quite a lot of bleeding “in the pyama region” (euphemism I heard today), this is adding to the bodily stress. I thought I was taking enough cortisone to deal with it but who knows? Sitting and lying doesn’t help it heal, that’s for sure. Of course, sitting and lying is all I want to do…
  • is the breakfast I had today? I went back to my usual two egg yokes.
  • is it the rice-gingerbread cookies I’m eating these days? are cinnamon and clove building up, messing with my brain?
  • I’ve been eating fish with kerry and fresh koriander all week, is that you nutmeg-in-the-kerry?

I can’t figure it out at the moment.

So I better approach it from an other angle. If I cannot reason my way up from the cause, I better start at a remedy and work from there.

What might help in this case is movement. If there’s toxin in the blood moving around will help it clear up. Yes, I should move…

Ha! you know how that is. You should. But you don’t.
The trickery part is that the longer I postpone it the more difficult it becomes.

Really, I should get up and get out there. Be a snow queen.
pic by Alfred Borchard
(I should also take a shower. Probably won’t happen either)

Oh, COME ON!
If I don’t move this mood will wreck my sleep tonight for sure! These things have a way of effecting the future. Move your butt!
pic by Thibaut Monot
grrrrr!

UPDATE
I wrote this post last night. I then went to sleep and slept from 22.30 untill 8.30. That’s the longest I’ve slept in…… EVER.
????
This body, it really has advanced humour.

pic by Nate Brelsford

I didn’t go outside.
I didn’t take a shower (it’s just not logical on day 2 of a period, I’ve got more waste to shed, day 3 is a glorious day for showering because then the period has drawing to a close.)
I did do some felting which involves standing at the sink and pounding. I didn’t watch tv and didn’t take my iPad to bed. I tried to relax my eyeballs because I think I’ve caused double vision by staring too intense at iPad and knitting. I skipped any x-mas cookies or nutmeg. I ate very light (= chocolate ganache and whipped cream which may be fat heavy but are not heavy to digest)
And I took echineaforce for the first time since september, when my liver needed a rest.
Now I’m back to my original suspicion that my night time waking has to do with allergies (dust mite) and a disproportionate reaction to that (neurotransmitters).

oh, I don’t know! It doesn’t make sense at all. I need to keep my body calm, that’s all I know. And it has a weird sense of humour.

I just woke up with a zit on the inside of my eyelid. The inside. Of the upper eyelid. The part that touches my eyeball.
pic by Sheldon Pickering

Holle time day 10: being a Rebel Dresser

Yesterday I spend my Golden Hour buying a dress. I conceded to the fact that although I have fabric for 14 dresses here at home I will probably not sew one before x-mas. Next year. So I was daring: I set out to buy a dress I could easily have made myself.
(Only not that easily.)

I hadn’t set foot in a fashion shop for years. The first few shops were a terrible experience. There’s so much crap for sale! Flooded with so much bad music!
Bad fabrics, bad shapes, badly made dresses. How am I supposed to keep warm in skimpy little nothings made of plastic?

Anyway, there’s one shop in town where the pleasure of wearing a comfortable dress comes before anything else: Art Fashion at the Colperstraat 26.

I even remembered to favour breathing ease over the perfect fit. And try to sit down with it to check ease and creeping up of hems.
So here it is, my new dress, in a comfortable one-size-bigger-than-necessary:

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It’s 15% wool (which is considerable in this town). It has enough ease to wear a longsleeve or more under it. And this shop showed nuemerous examples of combining layers of clothing and of combining colours and textures. They share the fun of wearing a dress! They enable play.

So I have a green and a silver petticoat to go with this and lots of cardigans (which I will knit in the near future, hopefully before x-mas 2014).

It’s well made (in China) and it is lined with friendly looking fabric.
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A nice patterned lining is like a little extra gift for the dress wearer. An inside giggle, meant to make you feel pampered.

Personally I love all my dresses to be lined, preferably with quirky patterns:
DJ-ing hermit crabs; insulting cats in Pippi-wigs; prints of Dutch masterpieces such as Van Gogh or silkprints of weird knitted fabric. A little funny on the inside.

This morning I woke up with a mind to return this dress. You see, the colour is wrong.
It’s all right for the colour analysis I had done:

but I need to think of contrast too.

I need to wear lighter colours near my face and a darker colour contrasting that further away. This matches the contrasts my skin/eyes/hair have and I will look beeeeeautiiifullll. A nice trick.

This new dress forces me to wear light ice pastels near my face (or white) and nothing else. I better exchange it for the dark grey one they have, that one will allow for much more coloured fun to be worn around my face.

Being a knitter I have heaps of coloured-fun-to-be-worn-around-the-face: lace shawls, scarves, cowls, hats, bonnets, wimples, knitted crowns.
I don’t have much of them in ice pastels though…

Here’s the trick in action: this cloche has about the same darkness as my hair, thusly accentuating my fair skin and dark eyebrows (and blue eyes).

This cloche would look could on a likewise dark or darker coloured garment. Not on the new, light dress. I have heaps of knitwear in this midrange of darkness.

Yes, the dark grey dress would be a much better stage for all the knitted goodness and my contrasty face to sparkle on. Resolved I took the dress to put it into the bag again.
That’s when the rebel dresser in me put her foot down.

I want to wear this dress. This will make me smile whenever I look down. A dark grey dress may look smashing to whomever is looking me in the face but the person looking out of this face, me, will only see a dark grey blob when looking down. Nothing to smile about.

So that’s it. I’m keeping the dress. I’ll wear it with whatever I want. In whatever contrast I want. My visible wearing glee will make up for the not-quite-smashing-look. I’m a rebel dresser!


(knitted crown)

Holle Time day 9: stand up straight.

Atlas Profilax results, before and after picture:
atlasprofilax result atlas profilax before after

First picture is from six months ago. Second picture from night before last.
In both I am standing up straight, straight legs, weight equally distributed on both feet and relaxed. My stance feels the same. But it looks so different.

What the pictures do not show is the rotation my upper body used to have. My left shoulder was in front of my shoulderseam. This is also why the bodice of the dress is askew in the before-picture.

In the before-picture you see I have the tendency to wear my head tilted to the right (left in picture). This invited every part below my head to compensate: shoulders not level, a fold in my side, hips uneven and the rotation.
The after-picture shows what is happening now that my head is no longer tilting: it sits more in the middle (Center Front to you sewists), shoulders level out, the fold in my side is decreasing and my hips are leveling out more too.
It’s not all there yet, my body still has to adjust, but you see the first changes.

I had my first massage ever and the lady taught me about my muscles. They release their tension fairly easy. And it’s where they connect to bones that’s sensitive. (Could this be why I want to eat gelatinous fish stock ever since I had the AtlasProfilax treatment? I have a fresh batch in the fridge right now.)

The yoga class I had on Sunday…. is not my thing. I particularly dislike other people breathing it seems.
Also I prefer flowing movements and more freedom in postures, I don’t like to tangle up in a particular prediscribed way. However, I plan to go a few more times because so many people rave about it, I could be easily missing the point.

Holle time day 8: cats singing songs

Merry x-mas day!
The churches is this Catholic city have been chiming for hours. We got up early (this may be related to the church bells or BECAUSE I SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT) and this morning will be spend in restfull bliss in our sitting room:

Untitled
Hey, there’re two cats in this picture!

Frau Holle is all about cats. And celebrating the season.

You probably spotted the white one on the red couch fast.
But on the utmost left, there’s a dark blob snoring… a dark blob on a purple cushion…

mrs Dark Blob! mrs Dark Blob!

Untitled
Are you awake?
Untitled
Aw, Pookie, hello. Can you sing us a x-mas song? Pleeeeeease?

“SANTA CLAWS IS COMING TO TOOOOOOWN!”
Untitled

…. thank you, Pookie….
au.
.
.
.
And what about mrs White Blob?
Hello?

Untitled
Hello? Lillepoes?

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Would you please sing a little song for us, Lillepoes?

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pleeeeeease???

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pleeeeeease???

“mumble bells… mumble bells…”
Untitled
“mumblealltheway….”

Holle Time day 7: Cats and Knitting

Today was all about cats and knitting.

20131224-101524.jpg

Tinkerbell was here and we knitted on the couch, sharing cat stories. She laughed at Lillepoes a lot. For making strange sounds when walking, sleeping, meowing. Lillepoes spend lots of time cuddling. Between us.

When Tinkerbell left Lillepoes wasn’t done cuddling. She butted in while I tried to take a pocture of my new hat, “Devonshire Cream”.



I spend the evening on the (other) couch knitting my little heart out, watching four episodes of Victorian police series Ripper Street. I love the attention to detail in this series. And the amount of flakey paint.


Cat on lap the whole time.

Holle Time Day 6: s(h)itting dog, dancing lady

I keep planning to tell you about the Atlas Profilax experience but things get in the way. Fun things!

So let me get the fun thing out of my system first, then I’ll jot down some fast things about my experience.

Frau Holle time for me means going with the flow. As long as I keep my rest schedule and manage to enjoy my social calendar I pretty much get to do what I want. All of the Grown Up Things To Do seam to be taking a back seat.

In stead of sewing up curtains for the three bare windows we have I find myself researching wool spinning colour theories and playing with roving. Those windows really need curtains! They’re single plated glass and the rooms are COLD! But no: colour study! Wool!

Instead of clearing the table where my husband spend his workdays and which I showed you yesterday I find myself bending shawl pins that I’ve been postphoning for ….oh…well…. 8 months now?

Luckily my husband has eye blinders for my clutter. They’re one of the pillars of our marriage.

But those pins, let me tell you!
As you know I’m handy with my hands. And I have a thing or two for letting things evolve in the moment, when it comes to art or design.

Now I haven’t been able to bend pins for over a year now because I want it too bad. There are a couple of people I want to bend pins for and this amount to such pressure -in my own head- that I’m unable to let things flow or enjoy the process. It’s the same reason I won’t knit for anybody nor make art for anybody. Or create things with the intention of selling them.

Yesterday Pippi was here! And we were sitting on the couch, chatting away, knitting. Pippi is the kind of person who doesn’t mind that I hadn’t removed the protective fleeces from the couch -because cats- nor that my hair is weird -because no time/energy to cut but have hat so there.

And it suddenly was there: that free time and free mind to bend some pins. I’m looking to make two pins for two friends who love dogs.

First one was a sketch. Second one was a success. Still a try-out.

20131222-095159.jpg

Third one was a real one, in silver wire. Turned out ok. It still needs to be hammered down, this will give the wire character, more like a brushline with variation in thickness.

20131222-095212.jpg

I was on a roll! I moved on the the fourth one. Oops!

20131222-095218.jpg

This one looks more like it’s pooping…

Hmm.

I’m sure there are people who appreciate a pooping dog shawl pin. Just add a brown bead!

20131222-095223.jpg

That’s when I rolled of the couch laughing, taking Pippi with me.

So there you have it. Holle time Day six is about poo and laughter.

Now: AtlasProfilax!

I briefly explained what it is. Reading back I don’t think I can explain it any better. But let me emphasize that in now way are the bones manipulated. All that is done is that the muscles keeping your head in place are nagged untill they relax a tiny little bit. In that split second the skull assumes its natural position, sitting comfortably and straight on the two little bone parts of that top vertebrea that are made for supporting the skull.

This is a shift of millimeters, you cannot see or feel it happening.

You can see and feel the results though. At the back of your ears, a bit downwards, left and right feel the exact same now, when you stroke and poke there with your fingers. That’s also where the muscles are located that the practitioner is harassing.

THE TREATMENT ITSELF

Only takes 5 minutes. 2 minutes prodding on one side, 2 minutes on the other and one again on the first site.

The prodding is done with a prod. A handheld little jack hammer (or that’s what it feels like). Yes, a monkey can hold the prod. But it takes a clever person to know where to prod exactly and to come up with the idea in the first place.

I found the treatment painful. Not extremely but it was quite annoying.

“Annoying” is also how my body experienced it. During the five minutes it started to panic a bit. My palms became sweaty and my body entered Fight or Flight, preferably the last one. I tried to talk it down, calm it, soothe it. It was like soothing a child while you overpower it so the doctor can give it a painful but well meant treatment. It wasn’t fun. But I overruled my body and submitted it to the treatment.

Five minutes over we sat on the chair for a bit, my body and me. We noticed no difference from before. My body grew extremely annoyed with me. It was positively insulted that I had submitted it to this uncomfort.

I’ve never experienced anything like this, it was like there are two entities in this body. Me and my body (which is also me ofcourse). I pleaded and apologized and mentally cuddled my body but it was having none of it.

I stood up, still no difference.

Then I stood with my toes on one of the lines of the floor tiles and I looked down. I could see the top of my breasts. They were facing forwards. This is novel.

I looked up and asked the practioner what he saw. “level shoulders” he said. This is new too.

Untill the treatment I was skewed. My left shoulder was in front of my body, my right behind. I compensated by holding my head tilted so I can look straight ahead.

My hips are not level either, usually. Right is about three centimeters higher.

I usually wear my shoulders around my ears, I’m that much stressed. This is also where my RSI comes from.

Five minutes later I was at the front desk, paying the man. There was an ache coming up in my back. Muscle ache. It grew and grew. My right shoulder too, man, it started to hurt.

My body was still insulted and wouldn’t talk to me so I figured it might be some kind of punishment. However, I didn’t have a vegetal reaction and there was no other pain or ailment. I felt comfortable leaving the building, walking down the street towards the busy Amsterdam street where the tram and the traffic and all the noise was. So I did.

While walking I felt freedom coming down on me. I felt so souple. I could turn my head all the way to the right (haven’t been able to for years). I could move my arms any way I wanted too. I felt so … tall. It was as if I was stretching without effort. I walked tall and proud. That’s why I decided to linger in the city and enjoy it. Also because movement would help the muscle ache which was now severe, all over my shoulders and upper back. And moving will help my body explore its new soupleness and possibities.

There was a bounce in my step.

RESULTS

Since then, two full days later, the muscle aches are diminishing. There’s only a bit left in my right shoulder. I’ve felt like dancing constantly. And have been doing so, in the kitchen. I naturally take on a straight position when I stand or sit. There’s no effort involved in this. My shoulders are level and I wear them low now.

Somehow my intestines have found a better nesting position in my pelvis. They don’t blob over it like they used to. I had a muscle ache in my buttock for which Robert had a probable explanation: my pelvis has naturally tilted. I’m “tucking my butt under”.

I’ve been out of the house every day since. First day I went to the organic farmer’s market. Haven’t been there for years! The noise and people, I could cope with. And again: I was walking tall. And hungry. I’m so hungry! But not for my usual foods. I crave fish and vegetables. So I bought two kinds of trout -my totem animal- and celery root and made myself dinner. Twice. Ate the lot of it too!

The other day me and Pippi went out to get sushi and I didn’t mind one bit to take a detour to get something at another shop too. Noise and people, where?

Now I’m getting down from my fluffy cloud I feel. The first honeymoon is over. Old habits and old postures are creeping back, I found myself wearing my shoulders for earmuffs again last night.

So now the working part of the treatment has started: I have to actively work on keeping my muscles loose and long. Having a nice posture. Not overeating.

Today I am going for a yoga lesson. Because yoga is specifically recommended for this treatment. As are massages but on these days right before x-mas I couldn’t find a masseuse.

Also: this is not a cure all. I still need my pills and hormones, I still need my rests. But boy, has there been a lift of body burden for me!

Last night I have slept through the night.

ME/CFS THEORY

This week I entertain the thought that the body is a natural habitat for pathogens, just like any environment hosts critters. I have visions of a pond in the woods; the wild plains with big beasts and biofilms in the shower. All environments where there are conditions, food, critters trying to hold on, trying to survive, altering their environment, the environment altering them, other organisms hunting them. Why not the body too?

White blood cells are the predators of these critters. It’s that video I showed before that keeps popping up in my head. The hunted bacteria and the hunting blood cell are in their element, their environment, they know all the ins and outs and hiding spots, they are at home.

In systemic illnesses there’s an overburden and the environment is overwhelmed. Poisoned. It cannot function properly anymore. I’m thinking… medicine might be more like environment management than something else…

 

Sorry for the many words, few pics. Pics take time with me… Now I’ve gotta run, yoga starts in a bit. (I can run! yay!)

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Holle Time Day 5: Building a nest?

I swear this table was empty when I arrived here last week…

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There’s a bag of potatoes here….
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and a half burned candle from four years ago, a candle that resembles a Bossche Boll in wrapping paper, roving I have to think about how to spin, last years diary, liqorice I mean to throw out for a good 5 months now, two shawls, a washed bag, various pieces of emergency chocolate, the content of three purses spilled because I couldn’t find what I was looking for, a catalogue for more brushes and a paper bag with chestnuts to roast. And that bag of potatoes.

This is all wool and knitted related things I brought to the city over the previous weeks:

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I clearly thought they came with bags of time, to process them.

Here’s miss Holle herself, she clearly doesn’t mind. In fact, she’s smiling. She like wool.

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