5 Everyday Wellness Tips to Boost Your Health

a guest article by Jennfier McGregor of Publichealthlibrary.org

5 Everyday Wellness Tips to Boost Your Health

Living a healthy lifestyle does not require as much effort as you might think. If you already feel like you’re juggling too many responsibilities, you may assume that you just don’t have the time to focus on wellness, but thankfully, incorporating basic healthy habits into your day-to-day life is relatively easy. Here are a few ways you can change your life for the better by focusing on your health from head-to-toe.

Create a Calm Atmosphere at Home

Are you struggling to deal with a negative atmosphere at home? If your family has been highly critical or argumentative lately, changing up your domestic environment might help switch up the mood in your household. A messy, cluttered home can create feelings of bad energy, but you can remedy this by deep cleaning and dusting your home, cracking the windows to get fresh air circulating, and putting items away in their proper storage places. You can even take things a step further by smudging each room to banish bad vibes!

Stick to Supportive Routines

It’s much easier to practice healthy habits day in and day out when you adhere to structured routines. After all, if you start the day off right and end it with a relaxing ritual, you’ll feel energized and motivated! If you’re trying to think of which activities you should include in your morning routine, VeryWellMind recommends going for a brisk walk to get some exercise, eating a filling breakfast, and making an organized to-do list for the rest of your day. To wind down for the night, make it a point to turn off your devices and curl up with a book an hour or two before bed.

Establish a Regular Spiritual Practice

You do not have to be religious to have a spiritual practice! Believe it or not, embracing spirituality can actually help you improve both your physical and mental health. Meditation and yoga are secular activities that bring serious benefits to consistent practitioners.

When it comes to yoga, you can start with a basic sequence that includes poses like downward facing dog, cobra, and seated twists. To really relax, you can follow up your yoga flow with a body-scan meditation session led by Wisdom Healing Arts. Tuning into your physical and spiritual self can be the key to better well-being!

Write In a Journal

Writing in a journal can be highly beneficial for your mental health. If you’ve never written in a journal before, and you’re not quite sure how to get started, Fast Company suggests setting a time limit for writing sessions. For instance, you could block off ten to fifteen minutes every morning to journal. Remember, you don’t need to be an author to enjoy writing in a journal – it’s okay if it feels a little awkward at first!

You can also use your journal as a space to record your diet and workout sessions, or perhaps try your hand at some poetry. It’s your space to express yourself and write about whatever you want!

Choose Helpful Supplements

Eating a nutritious diet is essential for your overall mental and physical health. Aim to cook at home with whole foods and organic ingredients as often as possible. But sometimes, we all need a little help to maintain our health! Choosing the right supplements can fill in any nutritional gaps in your diet. You can find promos and deals like Vitacost coupons for supplements when you shop online – staying healthy doesn’t have to break the bank!

When you concentrate on holistic health and embodied wellness, you can change your entire life. Health isn’t just about what we put in our bodies or how many hours we spend working out. It’s also about your mindset and your environment. If you can make small changes in every area of your life, you will be amazed at how much better you feel.

Photo via Pexels

August update 2020

Hello dear readers!

For those of you who know me well… or could piece together a few things from Facebook… I have had a full summer to be certain.

We are all facing extra layers of activation and dissociation with the pandemic. So I hope you (we) are all leaning into support and getting what we need! And staying safe and healthy.

My blogging has certainly been stop and go since I emerged from retreat back in May. Here is why: Since then, I did not have time to integrate said 3-month retreat as I was given 3 weeks to move out of my apartment at the time… there are a few big events in here, so I am taking a moment for a deep breath.

And due to a reduced number of clients (bodywork in a pandemic), my girlfriend and I decided to move in together sooner than expected… another deep breath and feeling my feet, feeling my seat, noticing my skin.

So I went into overdrive to pack all my things, sort through the stuff that would not fit in our new place and even paint the room I was moving into… and then move everything! So June and even into July I felt like I was recovering from that… yet another timeout here. I am ready for this pattern of being swept away by significant events to be over – time now to actually allow integration and digestion of these poignant changes.

I love my partner – and her five year old daughter who we have living with us half the time. Yes, another big change there!

Therefore, in a one month period, I went from noble silence (not talking except for a few times / day) and having my own place to becoming a de facto step-father to a delightful precocious child, acquiring a relatively new family and cohabitating. Oh and my finances have changed so far having less than half the clients I was used to! So one might say I am still adjusting to all these enormous changes! (Uranus crossed my MidHeaven in late May, with Saturn opposing my Jupiter in there, among other big aspects)

Adding up all the changes that occurred, I would say my life shifted at least 80 – 90% in one month. Whoa! Like seriously, I need to pause and take it all in (for a while). At least I had the solid foundation of retreat potency to buoy me through it!

Therefore, these days, I am taking more me-time – napping when I can, seeing occasional clients here and there (I love doing the rare in-person session with strict safety protocols and the long distance sessions too!), spending quality time with my new family (outdoors as much as possible) and generally attempting to unhitch the horses and put my feet up. It is not easy for me to slow down this much – I would prefer to be working, doing, making or at least having a plan for what is next. Apparently not yet.

I am still very happy to offer Spiritual Astrology interpretations in the midst of it all, along with in-person Craniosacral or Somatic Experiencing bodywork sessions or preferably long-distance (or outdoor) S.E. sessions! I got a LOT out of retreat in spite of the challenge of integrating it normally (ideally we would have at least 3 weeks post-retreat to chill, be in nature, go slow and continue practicing each day). And I would love to share the learning and wisdom I gleaned with you, in whatever form of support I can offer.

I enjoy leading a Gentle Somatics support group – we meet most Tuesdays and I will be starting the next one in early September (let me know if you are interested).

Wishing you well in spite of everything, wishing for us all to get the support we need, to feel touched and held and to realize solid nervous system regulation!

Thank you for reading,

Kirby Moore

konchog chakchen

New Somatics Class beginning

Thank you for visiting my blog! If you would like to make a donation, that would be most appreciated as I have almost entirely disabled the ads (I found them quite annoying). Even just $2, $5 or $10 goes a long way – helps me pay for tea to keep the ideas flowing: click here – paypal

You can also visit my site here: http://www.mkirbymoore.com to see what else I offer as far as Western Astrology interpretations, Somatic Processing work (in-person or long distance sessions) and other bodywork options.

I want to emphasize the long distance sessions I offer. Somatic Experiencing is a powerful modality! It allows the practitioner (me) to track the client’s nervous system (autonomic, polyvagal system) and then to apply techniques which build resilience and keep the client close to their regulated functional range (or window of presence). I call it Somatic Processing because I also include Zapchen Somatic exercises, Biodynamic Craniosacral wisdom, Birth Process work (Pre- and Perinatal Psychology) when appropriate. Let me know if you are interested in having extra support!

I just started a new Zapchen Somatics class this evening. And it is the first class in a series of six. It was a small group, so there is still room for more people to join us. It is on Zoom – long distance somatic processing / support group. I am asking for donations if participants are able to – $10 / class, but if you want to join us and can’t pay, no problem! I would rather have you leaning into support than worrying about scraping money together.

Tuesdays at 7 pm Eastern time (Washington DC time). For the next five-six weeks.

To join the class, go to this page: https://www.jaydemaio.com/qigong and click on Join Any Live Class link. Hope to see you! (Please let Jay or myself know if you are planning to attend – we want to keep the classes to a maximum of 9 or 10 participants.)

I have been practicing Zapchen Somatics for 15 years now. I was very fortunate to be mentored by Julie Henderson, PhD (the creator of Zapchen) from 2007 – 2009, plus I have done at least half a dozen advanced 10-day Zapchen / Tibetan Buddhist retreats. And I just completed a 90-day retreat in this area back in May of this year. Therefore, I am able to track the energetic field and to lead the group as we gradually move toward greater clarity, compassion and potency.

The theme of this 6-weeks is Openness, Awareness and Presence. Once we have been practicing an embodiment-oriented modality for several years (could be yoga, Chi Gong, meditation, Buddhist practice, Somatic Experiencing, Craniosacral Therapy, etc), then we will start to come down out of our heads and into our bodies. Beginning to embody our heart space and hopefully coming into the potency and creativity of the pelvis. And once we have a stable relationship with Openness, Awareness and Presence, then our connection to Source can also start to stabilize.

“There is no such thing as a trivial Zapchen exercise.” Julie Henderson’s words. They are simple, occasionally playful, easy exercises, but they aren’t trivial. Especially if our intention is to gradually (skillfully, kindly, gently) come down out of our head and to move toward well-being and embodiment.

So come and join our group. There are still five classes remaining! And we will be going slow – and starting wherever you are. Donations are welcome and I would rather see you than not. If you need some extra support in your life at this time, then I hope to see you!

Thank you for visiting!

Kirby Moore

konchog chakchen

Astrology Video on Yods

Hello Dear Readers,

Thank you for visiting! To cover the cost of hosting this site and to possibly pay me a tiny sum for my time and energy, I am making this page subscription only. However, you can Pay-What-You-Can, even as low as 50 cents / month to get access to my videos and other Premium Content.

So become a member today and enjoy access to this video and much more to come!

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The Yod is a unique aspect formed by two 150 degree “Inconjunct” aspects where the two base planets are in a sextile aspect (60 degrees). The Yod is sometimes referred to as the “Hand of Fate” or the “Finger of God.” Hyperbole? Maybe, but the Yod is a very potent and complex aspect. In this video I am covering maybe half of what I have gleaned (about Yods) from working with the charts of about 400 clients professionally.

Of course, let me know if you have any questions about this video.

May all beings develop greater clarity and compassion!

Thanks for watching and reading,

Kirby Moore

konchog chakchen

Parnashavari

In this day of pandemics, is there a spiritual practice which is very efficacious for repelling epidemics and plagues? Other than hand washing, hand-sanitizer rubbing, mask wearing behavior? Or Chi-increasing (life-force-energy increasing) activities like Qigong, Tai Chi, yoga, getting out in nature, eating fresh local organic food, etc?

According to my Tibetan Buddhist teachers, there is such a practice! And it can be found in an obscure, less-well-known practice of Deity Yoga called Parnashavari.

Drikung Kagyu Parnashavari painting

Who or what is Parnashavari? She is one of the 21 Taras… and she has a most interesting story.

Here is a link to the 84,000 project’s version of her short Dharani (with accompanying notes and introduction): https://read.84000.co/translation/toh736.html

Parnashavari, which basically translates to “leaf-clad mountain woman” was a Pishatsi, or a semi-divine being (wild woman) who lived in the forests of southern Asia and the Himalayas. Whenever she showed herself, horrible things happened – plagues swept through the lands, epidemics spread throughout the region and she might even take some people with her and devour them. She was basically a demoness (according to the story or myth). But there is a happy ending of sorts…

After she showed herself multiple times and caused widespread fear and terror among any who lived near her forests, they prayed fervently that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas would save them from her wrath and hunger. No one could help them until Bodhisattvas pleaded with Vajrayogini to intercede. She did, converting Parnashavari to the Dharma.

Then Parnashavari practiced the Buddha-Dharma day and night for hundreds and even thousands of years, purifying her negative karma and her mind-stream. Eventually she became fully enlightened, becoming the twentieth of the twenty-one Taras. As a Buddha, she came forth, and people were horrified again, as she still looked like a Pishatsi, a wild demon woman. But at that point, as a fully enlightened being, even if she had wanted to cause harm, she couldn’t because of her vows to benefit beings.

A highly realized teacher saw this in her wisdom eye, and told people that Parnashavari was now able to cure diseases (which she formerly caused) and prevent epidemics. And if the people prayed to her with faith and devotion, Parnashavari would even prevent harm and remove obstacles.

Recently, at least prior to January 2020, very few Buddhist practitioners did Parnashavari practice (deity yoga). But then the Corona Virus took the planet by storm, an epidemic turned pandemic. And suddenly, today most Holiness’ (heads of the Tibetan Buddhist lineages) are recommending that their followers accumulate Parnashavari practice.

It is a beautiful practice. If you are an individual with high acumen, it is worth getting the transmission or empowerment from an appropriate Tibetan Lama or teacher. Then there are several versions of the text available (not hard to find). Parnashavari really can help to remove obstacles – inner or outer and prevent disease.

Of course, keep up the mask wearing, hand washing and hand sanitizer use! We don’t want to create circumstantial karma – don’t give the virus the causes or conditions to take root.

Thank you for reading and may we all stay healthy and safe!

Kirby Moore

konchog chakchen

Body Scan meditation

Thank you for visiting my blog! If you would like to make a donation, that would be most appreciated as I have almost entirely disabled the ads (I found them quite annoying). Even just $2, $5 or $10 goes a long way – helps me pay for tea to keep the ideas flowing: click here – paypal

You can also visit my site here: http://www.mkirbymoore.com to see what else I offer as far as Western Astrology interpretations, Somatic Processing work (in-person or long distance sessions) and other bodywork options.

I want to emphasize the long distance sessions I offer. Somatic Experiencing is a powerful modality! It allows the practitioner (me) to track the client’s nervous system (autonomic, polyvagal system) and then to apply techniques which build resilience and keep the client close to their regulated functional range (or window of presence). I call it Somatic Processing because I also include Zapchen Somatic exercises, Biodynamic Craniosacral wisdom, Birth Process work (Pre- and Perinatal Psychology) when appropriate. Let me know if you are interested in having extra support!

Below is a Body Scan meditation I recorded for a Gentle Somatics class I just completed. (By the way, I intend to start a new Gentle Somatics class soon. We are deciding on a good evening time to offer it. Let me know if you might be interested!)

This is a good meditation to do if you feel anxious, nervous, stuck in your head, irritable, having difficulty sleeping or if you need to blow off some steam.

Enjoy!

Let us move gently toward embodiment and well-being!

Thank you for visiting and let me know what you think!

Kirby Moore

konchog chakchen

Become a Member

Thank you for visiting my blog! If you would like to make a donation, that would be most appreciated as I have almost entirely disabled the ads (I found them quite annoying). Even just $2, $5 or $10 goes a long way – helps me pay for tea to keep the ideas flowing: click here – paypal

You can also visit my site here: http://www.mkirbymoore.com to see what else I offer as far as Western Astrology interpretations, Somatic Processing work (in-person or long distance sessions) and other bodywork options.

I want to emphasize the long distance sessions I offer. Somatic Experiencing is a powerful modality! It allows the practitioner (me) to track the client’s nervous system (autonomic, polyvagal system) and then to apply techniques which build resilience and keep the client close to their regulated functional range (or window of presence). I call it Somatic Processing because I also include Zapchen Somatic exercises, Biodynamic Craniosacral wisdom, Birth Process work (Pre- and Perinatal Psychology) when appropriate. Let me know if you are interested in having extra support!

Hello Dear Readers,

I am writing posts about my experiences and insights from a recent 90-day meditation retreat I completed in May. These posts, for the most part, will be available to subscribers only. I repeat – only members will have access to most of the posts over the next two months. In addition, I will also post astrology videos to the member only section of my blog. So sign up today!

Also (bonus!) I won’t be constantly asking for donations if you become a member. Hooray!

Also, if you choose this $5 monthly plan, you can choose what you pay – as low as 50 cents I believe! What a deal – pay what you can (if you need to).

I will be posting teasers for these Retreat Insights posts, so there will be more opportunities to become a member. But you can always support my blogging efforts and light that (wisdom) fire under me to blog more frequently!

Thank you, thank you and thank you again for visiting, reading and supporting my efforts!

With Metta,

Kirby Moore

konchog chakchen

Summer Solstice (Eclipse) 2020 Impressions

Thank you for visiting my blog! If you would like to make a donation, that would be most appreciated as I have almost entirely disabled the ads (I found them quite annoying). Even just $2, $5 or $10 goes a long way – helps me pay for tea to keep the ideas flowing: click here – paypal

You can also visit my site here: http://www.mkirbymoore.com to see what else I offer as far as Western Astrology interpretations, Somatic Processing work (in-person or long distance sessions) and other bodywork options.

I want to emphasize the long distance sessions I offer. Somatic Experiencing is a powerful modality! It allows the practitioner (me) to track the client’s nervous system (autonomic, polyvagal system) and then to apply techniques which build resilience and keep the client close to their regulated functional range (or window of presence). I call it Somatic Processing because I also include Zapchen Somatic exercises, Biodynamic Craniosacral wisdom, Birth Process work (Pre- and Perinatal Psychology) when appropriate. Let me know if you are interested in having extra support!

What does the current summer solstice in June 2020 mean? What are some themes that we should pay attention to at this time?

First we have the Summer Solstice as the Sun moves into the sign of Cancer, meaning the longest day of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere (shortest day for Southern Hemisphere folk). This alone is pretty big. The height of yang energy. From here on, for the next 6 months, yin energy is gradually emerging. What seeds have we planted in the past 6 months? They are coming to fruition now. What seeds do we want to plant now for the Fall or the Winter? Now is the time! Today is a great day if you have rituals for manifesting or working with the seasons and cycles of time (but then, you know that).

Which brings me to an important ritual today – setting intentions. It is a great day to reflect, to contemplate, and meditate on what we want to bring into manifestation in the next 3, 6 or 12 months. This is amplified as we have a New Moon (annular) solar eclipse tomorrow! What is/are my intention(s) for the summer, the rest of this year, for the next full year? Take some time to jot down notes and form a clear intention (realistic, kind, do-able) for the next 6 to 12 months. What is my intention for the next year?

Kirby Moore (and others) on last day of 90-day meditation retreat May 2020

As I mentioned, we have this powerful eclipse in the beginning of the sign of Cancer. Summer Solstice eclipse. Wow! This is another reason to take some time to peer within – pausing, doing a body-scan meditation or a breathing meditation. Here is a link for a great body-scan meditation by one of my teachers (Myrna Martin): http://myrnamartin.net/meditations

What does the sign of Cancer tell us? To me it is about attachment and aversion. Whether we think of Cancer the Crab or the Turtle (older symbolism), many who know strong Cancerian people know how hard they can hold onto friends, possessions, heirlooms, etc. So when I say attachment, I’m talking grasping, clinging, hoarding. We are now looking at a choice point – individually and as a global phenomenon. Do we go with the old patterns of greed, industry and getting ahead in the world (only protecting our friends and loved ones)? Or are we willing to move into more intuitive, collaborative, in-touch-with-Mother-Earth paradigms?

When we create something new, how hard do we grasp onto it? Do we hold it tightly to our chest, not allowing anyone else to benefit from our creative acumen? Or can we let go just a little bit more, allowing, surrendering, practicing generosity?

The sign of Cancer is all about nurturance and nourishment. How easily do we receive nurturance from others? Of course our history (developmental) will play a big role here. And also how easily do we nurture others? Can we both give and receive nourishment? Can I truly nourish myself? (This is a profound question by the way…)

The sign of Cancer is associated with Ceres or Demeter – the great Earth mother in the Hellenistic Greek pantheon of gods. When we act as mother to someone else (or to our own projects), can we give love and caring and then let go? Can we allow our babies (or our creations) to have some autonomy, some independence, more freedom? Or do we cling tightly to how we want things to be? (yet another profound question…)

How can we change this if we find patterns of tension, clinging and rigidity? First of all, patience – go slow, press pause, take some deep breaths. There is no rush. Softening old deeply engrained patterns (think deeply entrenched grooves in the mind – obviously they are not going to change overnight) takes time. And kindness. And a willingness to know what is true.

We need to start by being gentle with ourselves. If I have an area where I am harsh to myself, then just notice that. “There are those harsh thoughts again, oh boy!” And I can notice my breath, I can wiggle my toes, feel my sits bones on my seat, noticing gravity working its magic on my body. Be gentle, go slow, take a break, we can invite in some kindness to self. And we can lean into support – is there a good somatic therapist in my area? Right now, therapists are working online – we can get support from someone a thousand miles away! We just have to take that first step – to realize “no one is an island” meaning we are social creatures, we require, we are fed by connections with others. If we try to go it alone for too long, our well will dry up. The contours of harshness so pervasive in our society and culture will creep in and we might find ourselves with tight, stuck shoulders, back pain and/or other ailments. Lean into support today!

Also naming, “This is hard!” or saying, “This is overwhelming…” or “I am having a really tough time right now.” Etc. It is so important to be honest about this – then we can start to have more coherence in the nervous system rather than more over-riding overwhelm, over-riding exhaustion, etc. Be honest about what you need (as appropriate of course) – if we are parenting night and day, then seek out support. Seek support anyway.

Just a reminder, I also offer Somatic Experiencing sessions online. Leave a comment or visit my site to sign up for a session – www.mkirbymoore.com

And this is all happening in the context of the Corona virus crisis (which is still a crisis here in the United States). We are literally stewing (sitting, abiding, resting, living) in an environment of fear and uncertainty. Most of our friends or loved ones are extra strained and stressed right now. Anyone with kids who have been parenting full time, 24/7 since all the schools and day care centers were closed for two+ months, is going to be running on fumes. So self care is extremely important. Can I make time to do some Yin Yoga? Relaxing, restorative yoga? Or Chi Gong / Tai Chi? Or Vipassana meditation? Or just going for a nice 30-minute walk in nature? It is so important that we find alignment and regulation in ourselves. Then maybe we can consider helping others!

And just so you know I am attempting to walk my talk… I joined a group of advanced Qigong practitioners this morning and we did a potent hour together. We set our intentions for the upcoming year. And then chatted about how things are going. Qigong support group! Yay! And I am wrapping up a Gentle Somatics group in the next couple of weeks – leading that has been great! Assisting others to come down out of their heads and to gently and playfully come down into the body is something very precious, very special.

In addition, if you want to attend some (free or by donation) classes – Jay DeMaio is an awesome Qigong teacher – https://www.jaydemaio.com/qigong Inquire with him about where you should start. I believe he is teaching three separate classes / week!

Thank you for reading and good luck with this potent and transformative planetary configuration! May we all rest in ease and confidence!

Kirby Moore

konchog chakchen

Astrological Chiron and the Polyvagal System: Part Two

Thank you for visiting my blog! If you would like to make a donation, that would be most appreciated as I have almost entirely disabled the ads (I found them quite annoying). Even just $2, $5 or $10 goes a long way – helps me pay for tea to keep the ideas flowing: click here – paypal

You can also visit my site here: http://www.mkirbymoore.com to see what else I offer as far as Western Astrology interpretations, Somatic Processing work (in-person or long distance sessions) and other bodywork options.

I want to emphasize the long distance sessions I offer. Somatic Experiencing is a powerful modality! It allows the practitioner (me) to track the client’s nervous system (autonomic, polyvagal system) and then to apply techniques which build resilience and keep the client close to their regulated functional range (or window of presence). I call it Somatic Processing because I also include Zapchen Somatic exercises, Biodynamic Craniosacral wisdom, Birth Process work (Pre- and Perinatal Psychology) when appropriate. Let me know if you are interested in having extra support!

This post is a continuation from the previous post about Chiron and the Polyvagal System. If you have not read that yet, I would encourage you to go back and read that first as it provides context for this post.

Astrological Chiron was identified in late 1977. It was the first of many new solar system bodies which would come to be known as the centaurs – asteroids or comet fragments orbiting between the asteroid belt and the Kuiper belt. As mythological Chiron was one of the most powerful (and immortalized) of the centaurs, this first object got his name. It has a very eccentric orbit – in how it occasionally (when in Aries and Taurus) drifts out near Uranus’ orbit, but also spends time close to Saturn’s orbit (in Libra and Scorpio). Meaning it spends close to 7 years in two signs, and only 3 years in the two opposite signs.

In a similar manner, the Vagus nerve (getting back to the Polyvagal System) has its two main branches – the ventral branch (underside / front of body) and the dorsal branch (back / upper side of body). Remember, the Vagus nerve is one of the primary regulators of our autonomic nervous system. What state is my system in right now? Am I alert and vigilant having just heard a novel sound? Am I feeling safe and comfortable after eating a big meal, and now I am digesting it with ease? Am I comfortable interacting with friends and loved ones, smiling when appropriate, expressing objection if needed? These questions show are we in a sympathetic state (sympathetic to threat)? Are we in parasympathetic rest and digest? And if we are really regulated, are we (also) able to be in a healthy, resilient social engagement state as well? This is over simplified, but these examples start to get the picture across.

Speaking about how Chiron has a slow phase (in Aries and Taurus) and a quicker phase (in Libra and Scorpio), a fascinating fact about the Vagus nerve is that the ventral branch is myelinated and the dorsal branch is not myelinated. Why is this important? Myelin is a lipid (connective tissue) coating of nerves which greatly speed up their transmission time. So the ventral branch of the Vagus nerve can send and receive nerve impulses at least 5x as fast as the dorsal branch. As the ventral Vagus nerve innervates the heart and the lungs, this is very important – if we are extremely amped up, adrenaline pumping, in a strong fight response, we want the ventral Vagus nerve to “hit” the Vagal brake and slow the heart (quickly if need be). However, the dorsal branch, transmitting nerve impulses slower, is responsible for rest, digest and deeper states of freeze – and if things are really bad, the dorsal branch can even put us in a state of deep shock that looks like feigning death. All of these dorsal branch needs do not require split second transmission times, and hence are slower.

As we can see, there is a curious correlation between Chiron’s faster (closer to the Sun) years and its distant slower years, with the Vagus nerve’s different branches. Myelination of neurons is very important for timing impulses. And the ventral Vagus branch is much faster in action potential (nerve impulses) transmission than the dorsal Vagus branch. The myelinated ventral branch is closer to the heart and head (it has the connections to the ears and our ability to hear sounds with ease), just as when Chiron is closer to the Sun and moving faster. At this time Chiron is also closer to Saturn, which has to do with boundaries, structure and limitation (among other traits) – and the ventral Vagus branch has more to do with the sympathetic system (of fight-flight-or-freeze – this would be a lighter version of freeze, like the rabbit which has “frozen” as it waits to see what the eagle flying overhead will do).

When Chiron is moving slower (further from the Sun), it is more similar to the dorsal branch of the Vagus nerve. At this point, Chiron is closer to Uranus, Neptune and Pluto’s orbits. Likewise, a deep dorsal freeze state (or shock) can also have strong elements of dissociation, which can lead to substance abuse and addiction. When the nervous system is stuck in certain phases of the threat response, we can have erratic, challenging behaviors (Uranus) as the adrenal glands are running in dysregulation. It takes working with a skillful practitioner to start the healing process, and usually at least 3 sessions (if more acute issue) and sometimes more like 10 – 20 sessions (if it is a chronic issue or a developmental trauma / attachment issue).

Also, certain types of trauma (see below for some links to the Adverse Childhood Experience studies, A.C.E. for short) lead to inflammation. In fact, much of the ACE research shows that individuals who had very challenging childhoods (if their ACE score is a 4 or higher) are much more likely to develop an inflammatory disease – and these diseases take many forms, from diabetes, to auto-immune problems, to digestive inflammation, the obvious arthritis and even nervous system issues. And this last piece, inflammation in the nervous system usually has to do with inflammation and disruption of the myelinated neurons – which has serious and often times painful results.

The good news is that if we are willing to put in the work, whether we work with a body-psychotherapist, a Somatic Experiencing practitioner, a Birth Process work practitioner, Hakomi, a well-trained Craniosacral Therapist, etc, there are ways to get at these deeply held emotions / patterns. We can identify where a person is stuck in their threat response and apply appropriate techniques and tools (like mythological Chiron) to get them to allow flow and openness to move through old hardened tissue and constricted patterns.

A high ACE score is not a guaranteed sentence for inflammation and suffering, if we are willing to put in the work. We can start with meditation, work with a skillful practitioner (or support group) and begin to ply apart any tangled parts of ourselves. It is possible. I have done it. It takes time and dedication. See below for links to the ACE studies.

I will continue this discussion of Chiron and the Polyvagal System in the next post.

And by the way, if you or someone you know is in the publishing industry, maybe pass along these posts as a potential topic that could easily be expanded into a book!

Nonetheless, thank you for visiting and reading!

Kirby Moore

konchog chakchen

Adverse Childhood Experience study links:

https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/acestudy/index.html

https://www.icmec.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/ACE-and-Illicit-Drug-Use-Pediatrics-2003.pdf

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.555.7921&rep=rep1&type=pdf

https://acestoohigh.com/got-your-ace-score/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adverse_Childhood_Experiences_Study

Astrological Chiron and the Polyvagal System: Part One

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You can also visit my site here: http://www.mkirbymoore.com to see what else I offer as far as Western Astrology interpretations, Somatic Processing work (in-person or long distance sessions) and other bodywork options.

I want to emphasize the long distance sessions I offer. Somatic Experiencing is a powerful modality! It allows the practitioner (me) to track the client’s nervous system (autonomic, polyvagal system) and then to apply techniques which build resilience and keep the client close to their regulated functional range (or window of presence). I call it Somatic Processing because I also include Zapchen Somatic exercises, Biodynamic Craniosacral wisdom, Birth Process work (Pre- and Perinatal Psychology) when appropriate. Let me know if you are interested in having extra support!

In this post, I plan to elucidate the connection between astrological Chiron and the modern (last 20 years of) research on the Autonomic Nervous System and the Polyvagal System. I suspect it will take several posts to get all of my ideas out coherently!

I am uniquely placed to be able to discuss this topic. As a healing facilitator utilizing Somatic Experiencing, Craniosacral Therapy and Pre- and Perinatal Psychology (along with Polyvagal techniques), plus having spent the past 15 years studying and practicing Spiritual Astrology, I can easily bridge the gap between experiential learning (understanding, repairing, and healing my own and others’ Polyvagal Systems) and cognitive understanding. Also, having my personal astrological Chiron conjunct the MidHeaven in my own chart, I have spent a lot of time researching this dynamic asteroid.

So let’s get started!

Who or what is Chiron in the astrology chart? Not to reinvent the wheel each time I write about a previous topic… you can go back to some of my previous posts about Chiron here: https://astrodharma.me/2010/09/02/chirons-curse/ or here: https://astrodharma.me/2012/01/11/astrological-chiron-spiritual-barometer-or-errant-asteroid/

In addition, if you type in Chiron into the search function here on my blog, you will discover about a dozen other posts which mention Chiron’s attributes or aspect interpretations etc.

Next, to get a primer on Somatic Experiencing or Polyvagal Theory (in Therapy), here are more links: Somatic Experiencing (SE): https://traumahealing.org/about-us/ Or for a technical (very scientific) approach to the Polyvagal Theory: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3108032/ And a general description on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyvagal_theory Also using Polyvagal Theory in Therapy (Deb Dana is a well-known researcher and therapist using it): http://www.debdanalcsw.com/the-rhythm-of-regulation.php and finally from Counseling Today, a psychologists take on using the Polyvagal Theory in practice: https://ct.counseling.org/2016/06/polyvagal-theory-practice/#:~:text=Polyvagal%20theory%20identifies%20a%20third,out%20of%20unique%20nerve%20influence.&text=When%20the%20dorsal%20vagal%20nerve,us%20into%20immobility%20or%20dissociation.

In a nut shell, Stephen Porges (the scientist did the lion’s share of research on and who coined the term: “Polyvagal Theory”) revolutionized the previous paradigm of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) in the late 90’s when he discovered several new differences from the classical dual Fight-or-Flight (sympathetic system) and Rest-and-Digest (parasympathetic system) view of the ANS. In other words, most people who take a college level science class have heard of the Fight-or-Flight sympathetic response, which is usually paired with the parasympathetic Rest-and-Digest response. Prior to 1997, that was where the ANS story ended. Porges added more pieces to this picture:

1) He discerned that first of all, the Vagus Nerve – which is one of the primary regulators of the ANS – comes out of the brain stem in two different places. Meaning there is a dorsal branch (upper side) and a ventral branch (under side) and each of these branches controls different functions in the body. In general, the ventral branch is more associated with the sympathetic nervous system (and the social engagement system, which I will discuss below), where as the dorsal branch is more about rest-and-digest functions and the parasympathetic system.

2) Second he also noticed that when there is good regulation (which requires safety, support, caring, protection, etc) in the organism, then their nervous system can come up out of sympathetic or parasympathetic behaviors into what he termed the Social Engagement System (a.k.a. the 3rd branch of the Polyvagal System). When we are well-regulated, which requires repair and healing for those of us stuck in old trauma-based patterns, we can rest easily in our body, we can interact with others without bracing, without assuming the worst, without worry. This is what being in the Social Engagement System is all about – we can be social with others with ease. We can smile and speak our truth and expect to get most of our needs met. Wow! (For some of us who are stuck in old challenging patterns, this might seem impossible. But with a skillful practitioner or well-trained support team, we can repair and re-pattern these stuck, braced, twisted, tangled parts of ourselves! It does take time however.)

3) Third, Porges and other researchers noted that there are many connections between Cranial Nerves – for instance, the Vagus nerve (the 10th cranial nerve) is intertwined with the 11th cranial nerve, the Accessory nerve. Sometimes damage to the Vagus nerve also affects functions of the Accessory nerve and vice versa. Also, the Vagus nerve (ventral branch) has a number of connections to the facial nerves – the Facial nerve, Trigeminal nerve, etc, which play a significant role in the Social Engagement System functions. Can we smile with ease and authenticity for instance? Does it feel safe to smile and express joy? If I object to something, can I express that with relative ease? In addition, the ventral branch of the Vagus nerve plays a significant role in our hearing – one of the reasons that trauma can lead to hearing loss or loss of hearing certain tones.

In the 80’s and 90’s, and up to the present moment, along with Porges’ groundbreaking work, a researcher (PhD) named Peter Levine was doing work with trauma – in particular looking at why animals in the wild do not experience traumatic reactions to overwhelming events but animals in captivity (and humans) do experience trauma responses to the same events. This is a very crucial area of research! Levine’s innovative research eventually led to his creating a modality for trauma resolution called Somatic Experiencing (SE). SE works to track the nervous system, to see which stage of the stress response the system is stuck in and then to apply specific techniques to skillfully move the system back toward regulation and resilience. (See the link above for a clearer, more elaborate description.)

In the next post, I will begin to describe how Astrological Chiron can be woven into this beautiful tapestry of contemporary research and progress in working with the Autonomic Nervous System, the Polyvagal System and Trauma Resolution.

Thank you for reading!

Kirby Moore

konchog chakchen