This is the March edition of the series I am doing with Grounded Nutrition where we are highlighting a different body system every month and giving specific dietary, supplementation, spirituality and holistic living advice. If you would like to sign up for the four e-mails we will send out/month, you can do so here!
This month is all about The Endocrine System - so here are my thoughts on how your spirituality ties into your Hormones.
Your endocrine system is one of the most special and powerful in your whole body.
The endocrine glands and their precious secretions could be easily labelled as the main driving force of your overall health and wellbeing. When your hormones are in balance, the levels of health and wellness you can experience are essentially through the roof - and when they are out of balance the effects are far reaching and systemic.
We have been talking about how to support the endocrine system through food, supplements and lifestyle factors this month, and I would love to encourage you to take everything you have learned so far and integrate it into what you are going to read in this article here. Approaching the body/mind complex from all angles and vantage points allows you to get the fullest and most accurate picture which means you are empowered with more information. This vast array of puzzle pieces, when fit together will empower you to make the best holistic choices for yourself - and that is what we want. Holistic health.
This is body, mind spirit medicine. Taking all the pieces and layers of the self into account and creating a protocol that brings harmony to all.
Your Hormones Tell A Story:
Your hormones tell a specific story. Your hormones and the glands that create them are delicate, specific and are dependent upon balance while at the same time are responsible for helping to create and sustain balance. If you have ever stood on one foot or attempted to master a handstand, you know that in balance there is the need for constant re-adjustment and motion while at the same time there must be precise alignment along a centre line or plumb-line, so that there is not too much stress or strain in any one direction. Balance implies that there is a central stillness that facilitates the movement of an energy or substance. That energy or substance must have enough freedom and space within the container of the central channel to change and adapt, while not being given so much space that it can leak or flow in places where it is not useable.
This my friends, is the definition of flow. A central line that facilitates dynamic movement.
Without the central line, there is nothing for whatever needs to flow to flow through. If the centre line is kinked or disjointed, the flow will be hindered or blocked. If there is not openness and room for movement, there too can be no flow.
A central structure that facilitates the conditions of whatever is running through it to be constantly changing and adapting based on the current circumstances is the formula for flow.
Energetically, I would like you to consider your hormones and your endocrine system at large as being the indicator for where there is and where there isn’t flow in your life.
The Glands And Their Secretions:
The endocrine glands can be likened to the central channel or plumb-line - the through-point that facilitates the flow of hormones throughout your body. The hormones themselves are that which is flowing and needs to be facilitated.
The hormones need to be able to change and adapt to create balance in the body, and the glands must be strong and open enough to facilitate this constant flux. The glands are the stability and the hormones are the fluidity.
We must also consider that all of the glands and all of the hormones work in synchronicity with one another - meaning if we are demanding too much of one gland or hormone, this is going to borrow energy from the other glands and take up space where the other hormones should have been able to express, thus causing a systemic disruption of balanced flow within the body.
Looking For The Root Of Disruption:
When we look at endocrine disruption, the first things to consider is where the root issue is taking place. Are we dealing with a lack of structure that facilitates flow? A set of leaky boundaries? Too much rigidity that does not allow for the flow? Or are we looking at the flow being cut off pre-maturely? Are we asking for too much energy to be directed in one area that causes an imbalance in other areas? Is there a combination of factors - a set of too rigid or loose boundaries with an over emphasis on one hormone or a suppression of another?
If we see that our issues start in the glands themselves - either in their over or under production of a hormone, we can see that this points to a lack of solid and healthy structure. We are either asking a specific gland to work over time, which is the ‘hyper’ state of dis-ease, such as when we are over producing thyroid hormones leading to hyperthyroidism, or we are blocking its production/have asked too much of it in the past causing it to burn out, which leads us to the ‘hypo’ state, like we see in hypothyroidism.
We must also look at the timing of hormone production - is there a condition in the body where the hormones being produced are being produced at inappropriate times? Such as when we see the production of cortisol in the evening when we want to be winding down, and the lack of production of cortisol in the morning when we need it to get going.
These conditions point us to the idea that perhaps we have asked too much of a particular structure in our lives and this excessive rigidity/tightness has constricted proper flow. The excessive demand we have placed on one area of the self is causing a burn out, as well as a weakening of the other areas that are being underutilized.
If on the other hand the issue is with the hormone itself - if we are seeing that there is adequate production of certain hormones being produced but their action is being thwarted - such as in the case of certain mood disorders where the pineal gland is producing adequate amounts of serotonin but that serotonin is not being allowed to fulfill its role within the body.
In this we must ask ourselves where we are stunting flow and creativity in some areas, asking for too much focus in others.
The Specific Glands/Hormones And Their Stories:
Lastly, we want to look at the specific glands/hormones that are out of synch and their corresponding role in the body/mind complex.
Hypothalamus/Pituitary: Issues of hormone imbalance or glandular dysfunction in the hypothalamus or pituitary glands can indicate lack of overall vision for your life, too much emphasis on thinking rather than feeling, an overly negative view of the self and the world and in many cases can have their roots in self loathing/wanting to cut the self off from love.
Pineal Gland: Issues within the pineal gland can point to a lack of willingness to embrace rest and action cycles - wanting to be ‘on’ all the time or wanting to be ‘off’ all the time, never allowing for the eb and flow.
Thyroid/Parathyroid: Thyroid/parathyroid issues can indicate a lack of willingness to express the self, a manic fear that the self is not being expressed enough leading to the pushing and forcing of expression, the tendency to avoid taking necessary action steps in one's life or the tendency to be overactive and not intentional enough.
Adrenal Glands: Adrenal gland troubles of course are showing us where we are handing our power away through stress and worry rather than realizing where we have autonomy. Overproduction of stress hormones can indicate that we are lacking in self love and self awareness so as to believe we are victims in this life who must constantly be on the offense/defense. Under production of the stress hormones can show that we have become complacent in our lives, not taking responsibility for ourselves and our creations but rather are allowing the winds of the world to direct our ship.
Pancreas: The pancreas shows us where we are accepting and where we are rejecting nourishment. Issues in the pancreas or the hormone of the pancreas can point us to seeing where we are not allowing ourselves to process or digest our lives, our experiences and the love and support we are being handed. We may be feeling that there is scarcity in nourishment, or that the nourishment we are getting is somehow inadequate.
Gonads: Gonadal issues have to do with our willingness to create, to nourish, to nurture, to embrace and hold what needs to be embraced and held and to be HUMAN. This is a BIG ONE for most people. The gonads truly point us to where we are allowing and where we are resisting our most primal and fundamental human nature, and the experience of being embodied itself. Imbalance in the hormones produced by the gonads show us where we are resisting our experience as a human, our desires, and our capacity to create ourselves in this world.
There is obviously much more that could be said about each of the glands, their specific hormones and the specific over/under expressions of each and how they play together with the other glands. What I would love to offer you is the challenge to explore and contemplate these things for yourself within the context of your own hormonal system and its current expression. Where can you connect some of these dots? Where do the issues in one area show you what is going on in another? How is your specific hormonal system speaking to you about the flow in your life?
Applying This Information:
Are my issues rooted in the gland or the hormones? What does this indicate? (Lack of of or over rigid structure, blockage of flow, over emphasis or under emphasis in a certain area of life.)
Which specific glands/hormones are expressing the most? This will be your primary root to look at.
Is the expression hypo or hyper? What does this mean?
Is the hormone over acting or under acting?How does this primary expression affect the secondary expressions I am experiencing?
I would encourage you to spend some time with this and really dig in. There is so much wisdom for you to discover within your own body and how it is speaking to you.