Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Kundalini and Flu-Like Symptoms

I have been away for a bit and have not had time to work much up on the topic of awakening, so my apologies.  I had a wonderful trip to the West coast to celebrate my 50'th year here, and it was a marvelous gift from a wonderful friend who is one of a kind.  I like to travel because I have found that the very location, the particular flow of energy from the earth itself can trigger a different turn of mind or some new realization.  It is true that the electromagnetic field that protects us from plasma from the sun has a different feel or flavor that really has little to do with the surface appearance of the location. Its just....different.  And out there on the Island of San Catalina, it was an energy I was so ready to feel into.  So what a wonderful gift, right?

I have noticed that there are a lot of search inquiries on my blog about flu symptoms connected to kundalini.  I don't look at my stats enough, apparently, because this is a topic that I may have touched on from time to time, but never directly. So given the interest, I am going to hopefully give you some insight into these symptoms that might make the going a little easier.

As many of you know, I feel that we have everything we need inside of us to discern the manner of our condition and how to heal ourselves. This is especially true in the midst of awakening.  Even so, the sheer volume of symptoms and the fast-paced change can be a lot to take in and try to make sense of! 

The Reaction To Solar Energy

The Hindus describe the qualities of energy (prana)  in our bodies as solar and lunar.  It isn't that your energy is tied to these solar and lunar qualities, but rather it seeks to describe the character of the energy.  It is no different from the Chinese yin and yang. Simply, we have and are aware we have two complimentary energies that we often ascribe a character like male and female, hot and cold, solar and lunar, etc. Sometimes different qualities of energy are needed to help dissolve the blocked material that awakening brings.  A very male-leaning energy (yang) might need the compliment of the cooler feminine to help move it along (yin).  Solar energy most often can cause stomach upset.   The answer is to find ways to unblock and let ourselves FLOW in a more balanced way.

Solar energy, or yang, can be very healing.  It can be the "fire" that burns away blocks.  But because of the nature of this energy (which is not always experienced as heat, but this is how many traditions describe it), you can also experience varying degrees of over-stimulation from it.  Good, yes, but if you have too much of it, it can lead to discomfort.  For what it is worth, in my own experience, I experienced a lot of yang energy in my body that helped to move a lot of blocks very quickly.  I also suspect that it also led to my body protecting itself by producing extra fluid to insulate it from the energy that was so strong. What this means is that the body creates mucus, and mucus can lead to feeling of nausea.  It is kind of a double-edges sword.  Hair of the dog: you sometimes need that strong energy to clear you out, but it can also make you feel....bad.  The light at the end of the tunnel is that as the body is cleared of stored emotional material called "blocks" or "knots," you experience a much calmer and peaceful state with the energy. This has been my experience, and I have noted that others who I know have expressed similar observations. But this is all intuitive.  What do other sources have to say about this?

To illustrate to you how you can know intuitively what kind of energy you need to help bring a fix of healing, I just typed in the paragraph above my feeling that yang energy was tied to the stomach/colon, and is responsible for problems we see there.  But the truth is, I had no outside source telling me this.  I just wrote it and then figured I could find out if this was right.....and if I was wrong, I would correct it.  Want to know what I found?  Look here to read this very interesting article on the type of energy in the stomach and intestines (you will need to skip down several paragraphs....I will excerpt the information for you but the link could prove helpful so that is included also)

Traditional Chinese Medicine is all about relationships. The Large Intestine energy also has a special relationship with the Stomach energy, in that they are both designated as “Yang Ming” or “Yang Brightness”. Yang, as we have mentioned, is the active, hot, fiery, expansive parts of our being. (As opposed to Yin, which is the passive, watery, cool, inward parts.) Yang Brightness, as the name implies, are strong Yang energy systems. This means that they are easily affected by heat. This heat may be generated by long-term patterns of stagnant energy, a poor diet, or physically or emotionally toxic environments. The Yang Ming designation also means that we can effectively use these systems to clear pathological heat from the body. Some of the best acupuncture points in the body to clear excess heat are on the Large Intestine meridian.  One of the ways to clear excessive heat (such as a high fever) with herbal medicine is to use herbs that stimulate the Large Intestine to promote a bowel movement and bring the fever rapidly down.

In the excerpt above, the tradition comes from Chinese medicine.  As with all healing modalities, there is always, or tends to be, a leaning in one direction or another towards certain ways of seeing and treating a given issue.  The gist in this article, though, as you may well find, is that yang energy is tied into the digestive track and is probably often responsible for problems when this energy becomes stagnated (which can also mean it is moving too strongly, the other side of the coin!).  If this is the case, how then do you correct for this?  You move that energy!

These energies become much more intense during awakening.  They can be so intense that they can have very real physical effects.  The question in people's minds is if these effects are bad for us?  What is important to bear in mind is that when the self resists the flow of this energy, there is always pain, anxiety, etc.  Whenever the self surrenders, the energy flow goes from hard to blissful.  This is the important lesson of this new world of energy. It is simple: don't fight it.  I guarantee you that at any point at any time when someone is feeling difficulty in the midst of awakening, it is ALWAYS attributed or has its root in some resistance in the individual.  But when you awaken, you don't just magically enter into it perfectly formed for letting this energy flow through you.  Yes, the INITIAL awakening might have involved a blast of white light up your spine that sent you into a transcendent state for a few minutes or even a few days, but everyone, and I mean everyone, returns to their lives to work at the level of the personality to work to clear and purify all levels of the self into a finer form.  This takes time.  As a result, you can be dealing with the effects from the dross or old material as it exists side by side with this other energy.
Flu symptoms are not unusual.  I had them.  I had them but without the accompanying high temperatures that might tell me this was a real flu.  Instead, I had stomach upset, nausea that would come and go, and even diarrhea which would itself also come and go with no rhyme or reason.  My appetite was effected, and my stomach often would feel on edge at certain stages of the cleansing process.  The observations I made were that just prior to and just after a big release of blocked material, I would get these digestive anomalies.  They would come based in large part to how big the block was.  I found that breath work (I was shown that I should pant like a wild cat....a type of panting that is not unlike the breathing that yogi's teach to their students when dealing with kundalini), as well as physical exercise, mild foods, and proper hydration were all aspects to my working through these symptoms.

The unique problem when talking about kundalini is that we have what I would call "referred" symptoms that happen a LOT.  I define "referred" symptoms as energetic symptoms that aren't even physical that get picked up by the brain and then are interpreted to BE a real physical symptom.  The way to tell the difference between real and referred is that when you go to the doctor, they can find nothing behind the symptoms.  In time you will be able to discern for yourself what is real and what is referred.  Many people do go to the doctor in the beginning of their awakenings because they think there is something wrong, only to find nothing is to be found. The real danger in this situation is the doctor who feels he or she must prescribe SOMETHING to make the patient feel better.  The accompanying sense of relief that you get when they give you that piece of paper called a prescription begins to bring relief right away, long before you even buy the prescription.  However, as you may know, the placebo effect is not improved upon by taking drugs that we really do not need, so patient beware.

When I awoke I was having this nagging stomach problem that would come and go with no seemingly good explanation for it.  Of course, I worried about what it might mean since it was unlike any stomach problems I have ever had, so I thought it was something new.  Well, the short story was that it was something new, just not what I thought or feared it might be.  Luckily my doctor did not give me medication, but suggested it was some kind of re-balancing of my system and to just give it some time, watch what I was eating, etc.

In my case, I was having bouts of diarrhea for no known cause.  I would feel a little sick during these bouts, but not as if I had a flu or some bug.  In my mind I thought this could be some unknown effect from something I might need to be careful about.  The clue for me was that each time that I took pepto bismal, the symptoms went away, only to come back about a month later.  This happened a number of times in the six months between my first initial epiphany encounter with nonduality and the sudden rising of the force that came up my spine in serpentine fashion. I simply had not connected the dots yet.

So some strategies for dealing with this

Treat Yourself Right
  • You might want to see a doctor first to rule out anything that might be the root of something physical first.
  • Take simple remedies that will help settle your stomach(pepto worked well for me)
  • Lighten your food intake to include bland softer foods (barley, oats, wheat, etc., for morning)
  • Certain foods will be easier on your stomach than others such as eggs, eggs, high fiber grains

Help Yourself Move Energy

This is what is causing the flu symptoms if it's not due to a bug.  Learning to move energy and help with blocks is an important long-term strategy

Breathwork - See Pranayama and Hatha Yoga. Using a panting type of breath while concentrating awareness on the solar plexus and imagining the energy rising out of the stomach into the heart, is a good way to encourage energy flow through your body.

Physical disciplines that help to dissolve energetic blocks in your system.  Consider Qi Gung (also called Chi Gong), Thai Chi, as well as yoga all can be helpful in dissolving blockages.  Acupuncture/pressure and deep tissue work can aid in energy movement. Deep tissue massage with a therapist who is good at energy work can also be extremely helpful.  You will have to do your homework here.  I have found two extremely good practitioners who know how to listen to my energy and then help to move what they can feel is causing me problems. One therapist was trained in Kahuna massage and turned out was only a few blocks from my home. The other is a dear friend who approaches this type of work in a big picture way, integrating a broad range of methods all used when the moment requires it.  Sometimes she will make things up based on what her inner guidance is telling her at the time.  As a result, she is one of the most sought after masseuse in her area. 

I often will simply ask myself why I am having trouble.  As I do, I observe myself carefully, and I zoom in on my feelings as I ask myself this.  It is really amazing what you can find out about yourself when you are no longer invested in hiding things the way you used to.  Access to the subconscious is much clearer now in awakening.  You might want to sit quietly and ask your stomach or gut why its feeling this way.  FEEL into it, don't think into it.  Is this feeling reminding you of a feeling you have had before?  As  child?  Or in a certain circumstance?  What do these instances all have in common? You would be surprised just how quickly you can do this type of inner inquiry in order to get to the root of the cause or issue.  This type of work can be very healing and very helpful for you in all other forms of healing work (releasing blocks).  Don't be shy, give it a try.  :-)

Alternative Methods
  • Diet
Try changing your diet.  You might need a higher fiber diet.  Very high fiber has helped me to deal with some of the fallout from energetic block movement.  In fact, I often use "All bran" as a kind of tonic in the morning and make sure that I eat food high in fiber. Cut down on sugar intake and eat foods that are high in beneficial bacteria.  This aids digestion and also gives the immune system a boost.

Often "cooling" foods will help with these symptoms.  Try melon.  Melon also has the effect of calming symptoms of kundalini, something I discovered early in my awakening process (I was told about this by a guide in the middle of the night-he showed me an image of a cut piece of cantaloupe or all things, I only later read about how melon can be helpful) Try cucumber and light vegetables.  Fruits have also been helpful.  Things that never caused you upset may now be upsetting.  Foods that you didn't like you might find that you like because of how they can help you feel in the throes of awakening. 

Bland foods often work.  Fiber could also make it worse in some cases, before it gets better.  Your body will tell you what feels the best.  Consider trying different methods for more than just a few days since it takes time for your digestive system to re-balance itself. 

During the early stage of awakening, I used Pepto-Bismal to calm my stomach.  It worked for several weeks until the next round came back around.  
  • Fasting
Fasting may help tone your gut.  How you choose to do this depends on you and your health.  There are many ways to fast, some that involve still consuming food.  Some fasts involve colon cleansing.  While you will want to check with your doctor whether fasting is right for you (if you have health issues that could be affected by a fast), there are a lot of resources on the web today about the many ways to fast.  When I fasted, I found that it really helped with my energetic flow.  It helped the energy to flow less hindered.  My fast was a draw-down of food so that I ate half the amount the second day of the fast, then I ate nothing the third day and then did not eat anything for the next three days.  I made sure that I always had water on hand.  I was physically active the third day of my fast, but not excessively so.  I drove on a four hour trip one way and had no problem with being light headed. I found this type of fast to have been very beneficial to me.  Everyone is different, so the results I have may be different for you.  My experience has been that fasting tones my body as well as my mind and seems to help open channels of energy.  Fasting was long considered a way to open ones self to the world of the spirit. You can read up on the history of fasting from a number of different cultural and religious perspectives.

In a story about Pythagoras who was seeking entry into the Mystery Schools of Egypt, he was told that to "be different" he needed to fast, do breath work, and focus on different places in his body (such as the third eye).  Fasting was done for extended periods back then.  When Pythagoras had done as they instructed, he returned a changed man. Did he have an awakening?  Its certainly possible that this was exactly what took place.

This link is ALL about fasting.  Really. An entire site dedicated to it. :-)

~As in all practice, extremes are to be avoided.  Good luck in your work!

UPDATE: 7/2016

I have been doing a lot of research on the dopamine connection and Kundalini experiences. Without going to deeply into this let me just say that there is I believe a very real connection between the experience of Awakening and the production of dopamine in the body. The effect of an opiate like opening is almost always something that produces a certain degree of knowledge. I am not a researcher and I do not have studies to back up my contention, but I do think that this is an area that warrants more attention. I think that it is possible that the increased level of dopamine in the body can contribute to feelings of nausea and loss of appetite. I began by looking at what compounds similar to dopamine did to people and their appetites.  Opium, for example, kills appetite, and often creates nausea.  While opium is not exactly like dopamine, it is a natural analog to it, and I think it is very likely that there is a connection with the effect in one being expressed in the bodily produced one. What I have found in my own experience is there is little to ameliorate the effects of nausea other than altering my diet so I take in foods that are more bland and soothing to my stomach. Everyone may be different but my experience has shown that protein sources like Greek yoghurt and eggs have helped me to get the nutrients necessary to remain healthy. Also a vegetarian diet has helped in many instances.

Not directly related to this have been several foods that have helped to smooth out the more difficult sides to intense energy. These are cantaloupe (try any melon that you like) when energy is running high. Also Indian curry has helped at early stages. Later on hot spicy foods have seemed to provide a smooth bliss during times of intense energy. This was only beneficial during a stage in the process, but it gave me a couple of hours of relief, which was a welcome change at the time. 


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your insights. I practiced Kundalini Yoga for my first time last night. I woke up to a lot of muscle soreness and stiffness and then flu-like symptoms a bit later in the day followed by mental feeling that I can relate it to being like a THC/cannabinoid experience. I am curious if this will happen to me if I practice Kundalini yoga again next week and how I will feel tomorrow.

Him said...

Sounds like its stirring you! These symptoms are pretty normal for the strong flow of energy (during the forward edge of kundalini flow it does not always feel like you are feeling energy right away...just some symptoms that ARE releated to higher energy flow). I do strongly suggest doing as much energetic release you can do prior to awakening, and it sounds you are very close to that. Pranayam, kundalini yoga, and Chi Gung are all very good methods designed for this kind of release work so awakening is more calm. When you release the backlog of blocked emotional material (there is a lot in all of us) it makes awakening much less turbulent and difficult. All of the people waking up spontaneously today tend to do so without a practice or knowledge of how to do this type of release. Kundalini, once established, does it naturally, but it really amplifies the backlog of emotional material and can make it difficult to navigate through this with everything so amped up.
all have different things happen that often makes people wonder if they are being normal or not just because they haven't read of others' experience (we are all different).

Best of luck in your journey!