Physical Affects Of Fear

Fear is defined as an “unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or is a threat” ( google dictionary). It also can be defined as a feeling of impending doom. Other terms used to describe fear include dread, anxiety, nervousness, worry, unease, unrest, and apprehension. We have all experienced fear at some point in our lives. Fear is a God-given emotion to alert us that something is amiss, but left to run amuck fear will cause physical illness. Fear creates stress on the body. Merriam-Webster defines stress this way:

Definition of stress

  1. 1 :  constraining force or influence: such as:

    a :  a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part; especially :  the intensity of this mutual force commonly expressed in pounds per square inch

    b :  the deformation caused in a body by such a force

    c :  a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation

    d :  a state resulting from a stress; especially :  one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium job-related stress

    e :  strain, pressure the environment is under stress to the point of collapse — Joseph Shoben

The natural bodily response to fear or stress is called the Fight or flight response.  The brain receives information regarding stimuli (the threat) from the eyes and ears alerting the amygdala. When the amygdala interprets the message as a threat it sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus. This activates the autonomic nervous system which controls heart rate, pupil dilation, blood pressure, breathing, and vessel dilation or constriction. The Autonomic Nervous system is composed of two parts: parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. The Sympathetic Nervous System elicits the Fight or Flight response. Adrenaline is released increasing blood flow to the muscles and increasing the heart rate preparing the body to make a quick exist. Adrenaline also triggers the release of glucose and fat increasing energy. As the adrenaline begins to subside, the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal is then activated. Hormones are released that stimulate the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands. Cortisol will continue to be released as long as the brain continues to perceive something as a threat. Cortisol will go down when the perceived threat is over. The parasympathetic nervous system will then kick in causing relaxation and calm.

Studies have shown that chronic levels of stress continue to activate the release of cortisol. Overtime, cortisol suppresses the immune system increasing our risk of illness. Cortisol also promotes weight gain. Increase levels of adrenaline also can damage arteries and increase blood pressure increasing our risk of heart disease and stoke. To read more about the physical effects of stress on the body, go to an article entitled Understanding the Stress Response by Harvard Health Publications.

More than 87% of illnesses are stress related and this stress or perceived threat starts in the brain. It does matter what we are thinking or meditating on. Fear can also be a learned response. If you had an anxious parent who was overly concerned about getting sick, then you may have learned to be overly worried about your health. Every ache and pain becomes, in your mind, a serious illness. And that’s when fear kicks in. You may have had a parent that was worried about you getting hurt, not allowing you to try new things, teaching you to be afraid of trying new things or fearing something bad would happen all the time. Of course, life happens and many of us have experienced unfortunate hurts and accidents that have produced fear and trauma in our lives. It’s what we do with the fear and hurt that determines how we will live each day.

Growing up in a stressful environment, I am all too aware of fear and it’s torment. At around the age of eight, a man who worked for our family sexually assaulted me several times. During one of the assaults, I had a candy sucker that I was eating while the event took place. This began may unhealthy relationship with food, using food as a way to deal with my anxiety and, in some ways, to escape reality. I was very over weight as a child and was teased a lot, compounding the feelings that something was wrong with me. As a teenager, I felt that if I was thinner that someone would love me or that I would fit in better at school. I always felt that I never fit in. Food addiction lead to bulimia and then to abusing alcohol to help me “fit in”. I went from one bad relationship to the next. Each time feeling more and more rejected and unloved. Growing up in the church, I learned about sin and thought that I had to be good enough to be loved. I saw God as angry, just waiting to punish me because “bad” people like me deserved to be punished. I had a religion, not a relationship with a loving Heavenly Father. I never learned about grace and the healing power offered to me through the cross of Christ.  I started praying when I was about 9 years old, but because things just seemed to get worse, I believed the lie that I was not lovable. I was depressed, over weight, suicidal at times, and tormented by fear of the future. I spent a month in a Dallas hospital for the bulimia and three months in a halfway house. It was in the halfway house that I had a dream. In the dream, I saw a casket in front of me and over the casket was a bright light. In this dream I heard Jesus say, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”. I remember being in church, shortly after this dream,  looking at Jesus on the cross saying please help me. It is at this point my life began to change. Things started to get better, but because I had no teaching about who I was as a believer in Christ, I continued to be tormented with fear. You name it, I worried about it. I was addicted to worrying, you might say. My mind was always going, seeming never to shut off. I would do alright for a while but if something happened, I went back into begging God to forgive me or back into condemning myself and thinking how stupid I am. I was extremely hard on myself. I was never good enough, smart enough, pretty enough or thin enough. I feared retribution from God, and I went to church and prayed out of fear, not out of love. I was also very self-righteous and critical of others. I feared the future and was alway concerned about something bad happening. I was afraid to get my hopes up because I knew something bad was just around the corner. I was also very afraid of God because I thought the bad things that happen were from Him – to punish me. In 2007, I came to a place where I sunk down into the pit of depression and condemnation again. It is at this point I told God this: “I have been praying to you since I was 9 years old. I know you are real but I need to KNOW you are REAL!” In other words, I need confirmation that you are with me because I can not live this way anymore. Shortly after this prayer, the Lord sent a wonderful woman who began to teach me the wonder of God and His amazing love. I actually felt the Holy Spirit for the first time and felt His overwhelming love. I learned that I had a stronghold of fear and that I had believed lies from Satan as to who I am and who God really is. I began to look back at my life and I could see God’s hand of protection. I really should have been dead with all the risky behavior and the bulimia. I learned that it was the devil who came to steal, kill, and destroy, and he had been trying to kill me off from the beginning. I began reading in the bible the promises of God and that He was my protector and shield. As I by faith went to Him in prayer and reading the bible, He began to heal my heart and to break one by one every stronghold of fear in my life. He put wonderful people in my life that showed me the love of the Father. All he required of me was to believe Him over the lies of the enemy. It was not easy to trust God for I really trusted no one. I really had let no one get too close for fear of refection. He told me that He would never leave me or forsake me. He began to prove His faithfulness and as a little child I began to receive and believe His love for me. His love has transformed me. He has made me courageous and confident. Not in my own strength but I am confident in His strength, power, and wisdom.

Fear was at the root of my weight problem and had caused me to never really get close to anyone. Fear also drove me to smoke cigarettes because I was told it would help me lose weight. Smoking also help calm my nerves. The Lord delivered me from smoking in 1993 but this food addiction was much harder.  I can say today, I am completely healed of my food addiction. Friends, we have an enemy, Satan, who wants you dead and he will do it anyway he can. His greatest tactic is fear. Fear is a spirit that comes to destroy your life and your health. He also uses condemnation and offense. Condemnation is the beating ourselves up over all the wrongs we have done, punishing ourselves. The bible says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ and that we can come boldly go to the throne of God for mercy and grace. Jesus has taken our sin and removed it as far as the east from the west(Psalm 103:12). Satan works by attacking our mind and our heart.

After the Holy Spirit touched my life so deeply, I began ministering and praying with my patients. I saw God touch their lives. It was so amazing. Then here comes Satan to kill, steal, and destroy. Because it was early in my new walk with the Lord, I still had lots of fear particularly about not upsetting God. I had not learned at that point how the enemy attacks our mind. It was in November 2008 on a plane going to see my daughter, that all of a sudden I had the thought that I had committed the unpardonable sin. The thought keep coming and coming and I could not stop it. It was so tormenting and I was terrified. I called my friend to pray for me but it did not help. I prayed to God asking Him to forgive me repenting for every sin I could possibly repent of.  At one point, I was on the floor in my closet crying out to the Father saying, “God, I have repented for everything I can think of what do you want from me?” He said “It’s not me tormenting you but the devil” and He gave me Psalms 27.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked advance against me
    to devour[a] me,
it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall. (Psalm 27:1-2)

I reached out to a friend who talked me into going to a deliverance session. Well the enemy did not stop his pursuit in trying to stop me from fulfilling my God-given purpose. He used this deliverance session to hurt me more and cause more fear. I was so oppressed and depressed. I would have condemning thoughts and thoughts even against God.  The people who were supposed to helped me abandoned me. The devil wounded my heart with the arrow of rejection. I had nowhere to turn but to God. It is during this time that the Lord taught me that the battlefield is in our mind. He taught me that nothing could separate me from Him and that I did not have to believe everything that “popped” in my head. He also showed me that He had given me authority over all the works of the enemy. I learned to speak out God’s Word and to meditated on it and not the evil the enemy would have me focus on. It took time but I pressed in and little by little, I took back the ground of my mind from the enemy. I was transformed by the renewal of my mind (Romans 12:2).  I also allowed the Lord to heal my heart of rejection by forgiving those who hurt me. I am no longer easily offended because I know it is a tactic of Satan to derail me. I refused to give him a foothold in my life. I go quickly to God with any offense and by His grace forgive quickly.  My journey to healing began by believing that my Heavenly Father loved me and had a good plan for my life. I gained trust in Him as Father and protector. Why am I sharing this with you? Well one reason is that during this mental attack I got sick. I had severe anemia from heavy periods and very low vitamin D. I was so tired I found it hard to get up and go to work everyday. This mental war made me physically and mentally sick. Fear was causing physical illness just like medical studies have shown.

Today, I am stronger and in better health than I have ever been. I have peace in my mind and I have no fear. Sure I feel fear at times but I go to the Father and He turns fear out the door. Maybe the enemy has not attacked your mind like he attack me, but if your mind is always going and is never at rest then you are being attack. The mental war causes physical exhaustion and can cause physical illness at some point. The mind is the battlefield. It is with the mind that we make choices everyday. It is with the mind that I choose what food I eat and if I will exercise or not. The enemy wants you to have Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and other illnesses to stop you from making a difference in this world. Don’t let Him. You can find peace and health and it is found in the perfect love of the Father. He is interested in every part of your life. He wants you to be heathy and to prosper in all things. He needs you to fulfill your God ordained purpose to bring life to a broken world.

3 John 1-2       Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.

Deuteronomy 31:8 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)      It is the Lord Who goes before you; He will [march] with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you; [let there be no cowardice or flinching, but] fear not, neither become broken [in spirit—depressed, dismayed, and unnerved with alarm].

A merry heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing. To obtain a cheerful mind and merry heart requires work. We must decide to think on things that are above or good. We must decide we want to feel better and be in health. We must decide not to allow our heart to be weight down with hurts or unforgiveness. We don’t have to do it alone. We have  helper, the Holy Spirit, who gives us strength to overcome, to walk and not faint. In the last days, the bible tells us that men’s hearts will fail them because of fear (Luke 21:26). Fear is killing the church. Fear makes us critical and afraid to reach out to a hurting world. Fear makes us overly concerned about ourselves. Fear makes it ok to stay secure in the four walls of the church while a world is dying around us. Jesus died for you and me, the Muslim and the Hindu, the Buddhist and the broken in Spirit. We must tell the world of His great love. We don’t do this with a doctrine or religion but by showing the love, the peace, and the prosperity we have in Him. It’s His love that transform us. It is His love working through us that will transform cities and nations. Let Him transform you with His love and lead you to a life that is fearless. A life that knows no limitation because you understand that if God be for you who can be agianst you.

Allison

 

Perfect Love by Allison Rolston PA-C

The world’s religions are based on us being good enough to be loved by God or the gods whereas true Christianity is based on the unconditional love of the Heavenly Father expressed through His son who came to die for us even when we did not ask for Him too. He, Jesus, showed true love. Love that sets aside its’ own life for the benefit of all. God loves us unconditionally. His love is transforming. His love is free.  His love changes our heart of stone to a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). God is into heart transformation not about following a bunch of rules.

Years ago the Lord showed me something that really changed my perspective. You see the Law or the 10 commandments were given to show us that in our own strength we are not capable of keeping any of these commandments. You see the law says that if you break one you have broken them all. To further show us that without grace, the person of Jesus, none can up hold the law, Jesus said that if you have hate in your heart it is the same as murder. Following rules relies on self effort, whereas grace relies on the Spirit of Jesus to guide and direct our lives. Paul tells us in Galatians:

Galatians 3:10-14   For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says “The person who does these things will live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: Cursed is everyone who hung on a pole. He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Jesus tells us in John chapter 7, that whoever believes in Him that rivers of living water will flow from within them. This water is the powerful and wonderful Holy Spirit. We see a picture of this in Genesis Chapter 29. Jacob had come to a field in the land of the people of the east in which he found a well. Around the well was three flocks of sheep lying by it for out of this well the sheep would receive water. Over this well was a very big stone that had to be removed before the sheep could be watered. 

Genesis 29:3 And when all the flocks were gathered there, (the shepherds) would roll away the stone from the wells mouth, water the sheep, and replace the stone on the well’s mouth.

My friends, this is a wonderful illustration of how the stone or the law has to be removed before the living water or the Spirit of Jesus can be released. The stone was replaced over the well stopping the flow of water. The same is true now, the law stops the flow of the Spirit which brings life. We see this again in the New Testament with the death of Jesus. He was placed in a tomb after He was crucified and a big stone was placed at the opening. The stone was rolled away from the tomb opening and Jesus was no longer found in the tomb. You see the stone was permanently removed. Jesus fulfilled all the law so that those who receive Him as their Savior would receive life and life more abundantly. Furthermore, those who follow Him are now children of God and heirs to the Kingdom. The Spirit brings life but the law brings with it judgement. The Spirit given to us is the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead and with this Spirit comes power to overcome sin. Grace is a person and His name is Jesus. Grace is not a license to stay in sin but the power to overcome! Jesus understood the perfect love of His Father. He understood the love God had for His children and understood that without the shedding of blood there was no forgiveness. His love ran so deep for us that He willing gave up His life to get the keys back from Satan, conquering death at the cross. Death has been conquered! If you have ask Jesus into your heart,  you will not see death but have received eternal life. How does this all relate to health you might ask? Well let’s look again at 1 John 4:18.

1 John 4:18  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Day after day, I see precious children of God weighed down with fear and condemnation. Many are so afraid of getting sick and of dying that they are actually making themselves sick. They obsess over every ache and pain and torment themselves with all the bad things that could happen in the future. This kind of fear is not from God. This tormenting fear is from our enemy-Satan. He would have you believe God is a task master only loving you when you are doing right. Those of you who have children, do you only love them when they are good? Of course not! How much more the Heavenly Father loves us! He put His Spirit in us at our conception and He has created us in His image. The enemy would also like you to question your salvation and fear retribution from God. The adversary would also have you believe God is not able to protect you or He is the giver of sickness to teach you a lesson. This is a lie from the pit of hell. I ask you this question. Did Jesus put sickness on anyone while He was on earth? No, He healed everyone that came to Him. To overcome fear, we much believe what God says over the lies of the enemy. John chapter 10 tells us that the sheep, that us who are in Christ, hear the voice of the Father and nothing can snatch us from His hands. We are also told in Jeremiah that God knows the plans He has for us and it is to prosper us not to harm us. Friends, it is the devil who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He is the giver of illness not God. It is God’s will that you have life and a life overflowing with joy and health. How do I know this? The Lord’s prayer say “thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”. Is there sickness in Heaven? No there is not! Our job as Christians is to bring Heaven to earth. We do this by taking God at His Word. God wants to heal us and work through us to heal the nations. He longs to fellowship with every living soul. His heart is that none should perish but all should inherit eternal life. The abundant life is not about right doing but about right believing. Brothers and sisters, it is time we rise up against the lies of Satan and believe the Word of God. His perfect love will drive fear out and bring spiritual and physical healing. Come as you are and receive the love of the Father. Let Him hold you in His arms and give you life abundantly. There is no one that loves you more fully, more completely than He does. He is the Great Physician. He does not need you in heaven; He needs you here to fulfill the destiny and plan He has for your life. He is able to heal and protect but we must believe He is able. The key is BELIEVING! To believe we must trust even when we don’t understand. Believing requires faith.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Our hope and confidence should be in Jesus. It is confidence in His wisdom, power, and goodness that transforms and empowers us to live above our circumstances. Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health(physically), just as I know your soul prospers(spiritually). 3 John 2

May peace rest upon you,

Allison

 

 

 

 

 

Low Inflammatory Diet- Allison Rolston PA-C

Inflammation is at the root of disease. Medical studies have shown that a low inflammatory diet reduces the risk of illnesses like Heart Disease, Diabetes, Stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Dementia, and cancers. The Mediterranean diet is a low inflammatory diet that has been shown to reduce the risk of disease and consist of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes, and fruits.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/mediterranean-diet/art-20047801

The Mediterranean diet is low in saturated fat and replaces butter with healthy fats like olive oil. It is high in plant-based foods and limits red meat. If you have been following this blog, you may remember the medical study that took blood samples from research participants eating different diets looking at inflammatory blood markers. The study found that a diet high in sugar/simple carbohydrates, red meat and fried foods increased inflammation in the body. It is clear that our diet is a contributing factor to inflammation and the risk of disease. I believe that inflammation is also at the root of increase gut permeability which many are linking to disease as well. So many of us have heard how important a good diet is but why is obesity,  heart disease, Alzheimer’s and other diseases on the rise?

I believe stress and our fast pace American lifestyle is a big contributing factor with emotional health close behind. Everyday, I see patients in my office with multiple physical complaints which can be traced back to stress and anxiety. At the very core of stress and anxiety is fear. Fear drives us to work too much, eat too much, drink too much, hurt others around us, become jealous of one another, hate one another, and run to multiple physicians (alternative and main stream) seeking health.

The fear of lack drives us to work long hours not getting enough rest. Fear of man drives us to hate those who don’t look or talk like us. Fear of not being accepted, can either drive us to seclusion or drive us to say “yes” to everything people ask us to do even if it drives us to exhaustion. Jealousy is also rooted in the fear, the fear of lack or loss. Synonyms for jealousy include envy, resentment, bitterness, spite, suspicion, distrust, mistrust, insecurity, and anxiety. Lastly, fear of sickness and death drives us to the doctor and to google researching every symptom and the related disease. Going to the doctor is not a bad thing, but many people are obsessed with every ache and pain. Fear of sickness and death drives many to spend thousands on medical and emergency room visit, alternative medicine and treatment, supplements, naturopathic medication, and diet plans.

As a medical provider, I see more and more patients with multiple complaints requiring labs and diagnostic test to rule out. Most of the times the labs and test are normal and can be traced back to poor diet, stress, lack of exercise, and emotional unrest. The biggest complaint I hear from my patients is “I am so tired” or “I have no energy”.  Again as I dig deeper into their fatigue, it almost always points to unhealthy thought life, poor diet, and stress. Our emotions are very powerful and affect our well-being. If I am in a state of worry or stress all the time, it will eventually cause physical illness. The opposite is also true, that if I have happy or faith-filled thoughts, I will have peace in my inner being and will have health in my body. When I am stressed out and tired, I more likely to make poor life choices. So what is the answer?

Perfect love is the answer.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

There is only one who loves us perfectly. He is the one who created us in His image and who calls us by name–God. He knows our every need and wants to be involved in our day-to-day affairs. He also is Jehovah Raphe the God who heals. Sadly, very few of us are running to Him before running to the doctor or google. Asa was one of the Kings of Judah who sought the Lord and had the people do the same. Under his reign, there was peace in the land. The bible says that the heart of Asa was blameless all his days (2 Chronicle 15:17). In chapter 16 of 2 Chronicles, we read that the Baasha the king of Israel came up against Judah. Instead of seeking help from the Lord, he sought help from the Syrian King through a treaty. The Syrian King agreed to the treaty and took on the army of King Baasha defeating them. Hanani the seer (Prophet) came to Asa letting him know that he had done foolishly in this matter because he did not seek the Lord in his decision to make a treaty with the Syrian King. Hanani reminded him that the Lord had always fought his battles and had given him success. The Lord told Asa that because he did not seek Him in this matter that he would always have wars. I wonder if fear drove Asa to make this bad decision. Asa got angry with the seer and put him in prison and he oppressed some of the people as well. Then we are told something very interesting in verse 12–

2 Chronicles 16:12
In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet–until his disease became very severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but relied on the physicians.

How many of us do just this very thing? We don’t seek the Lord for direction in our physical health.

Proverbs 3:7-8
Do not be wise in your own eye; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

Anger kept Asa from seeking the Lord for healing. His anger also caused him to hurt others. Could his anger contributed to his illness? A question to ponder. I wonder if he did not seek the Lord for healing because he was punishing himself. Fear involves punishment. I believe that if he had turn to the perfect love of God, that the Lord would have restored his health. We see the heart of the Father through Jesus. Jesus healed everyone who came to Him. In our current Christian culture, we rarely run to Jesus for healing or for direction in our day-to-day life. Many constantly worry about getting sick or having  disease. This constant worry is tormenting. Sadly, I am guilty of not seeking him for my own healing as well. I am deaf in my right ear and I have a ringing in the left. I sought the Lord at first but when healing did not come immediately, I stopped seeking his help. We should ask the Lord for direction in our healing. He may direct us to a doctor or to stop eating sugar. He may send us to wash in a river seven times. His ways are perfect. Let His perfect love drive out all your fears. Let His perfect love heal you in mind, body, and spirit. He is faithful and trustworthy and He will not fail you.

Words have Power- Allison Rolston PA-C

Deuteronomy 30:14
But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your mind and in your heart so that you can do it.

As a child, I remembering this saying all to well—Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. We all know too well the power of words. Words can either encourage or words can tear down. All too often, we humans use words to hurt others and to talk down to ourselves. Words are powerful and this is why the bible tells us that the power of life and death is in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). What we speak out is a reflection of our heart. With the tongue, we bless the Lord and Father but curse our fellow-man who have been made in His very image. Out of the same mouth comes blessing and cursing and this should not be so (James 3:9-10).

Dr. Daniel Amen and Dr. Caroline Leaf have studied the brain for many years. They too have seen the effects of words (thoughts) on the brain. Negative thoughts usually come out of our mouth as negative words which affect us internally and externally. Every thought we have produces a chemical that has an effect on the brain and the body. Negative thoughts produce chemicals that cause negative effects to our body such as slower thought processes, problems with memory, heart racing, constipation, headaches, muscle tension, chest pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Over time these negative thoughts cause the tree-like neurons of the brain to be dingy and dark-looking. Dr. Amen has found through his study of the brain that negative thoughts contribute to cerebellar dysfunction causing balance instability. Changing our thought process from a negative one to a positive faith-based one actually changes the neurons of the brain back to a tree-like state where information flows freely from one area to the other. Our thoughts matter!

We do not have to think or meditate on every thought that pops into our head. We can choose our thoughts and what we meditate on. It is our choice. We can choose to think on things that produce fear and anxiety or we can choose to think on things that bring peace. God gave us free will. We can choose life or death with our thoughts and words. We can choose to meditate on bad things happening in the future or we can believe what God has said, which is “he knows the plans he has for us and it is to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future”. If you look back over your life at all the things you have worried about,  I bet you would find the things you worried about did not come true. By worrying, you have missed out on the joy you could have had that day. Sad but true. So what are we to do? How do we fight the battle of our thoughts?

We must surrender our thoughts or take them captive and lead them to obedience of Christ. We must be willing to believe God and His Word over every lie of the enemy. Our thoughts lie. I may believe I am worthless, but the Word of God says that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. A lie is a stronghold or belief that does not line up with the Word of God. A stronghold is torn down by believing the Word of God (Jeremiah 23:29–Is not My word like a fire (that consumes all that cannot endure the test),” says the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks the (most stubborn) rock (in pieces)? Our weapons are not of this world but have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretense that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Taking something captive is an aggressive move not passive. We are in a battle!

Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body. Another bible translation of Proverbs 16:24,  says that pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. The battle is in our minds and choosing what we are thinking on is so important. I like what Dr. Amen has developed as a tool to help us deal with these Automatic Negative Thoughts or ANTs. He says we must learn to kill the ANTs that are causing us anxiety and often times depression. He gives examples of different types of Automatic Negative Thoughts or ANTs–Fortune telling, Mind Reading, Guilt Beatings, Blame, and Labeling (www.amenclinics.com/blog/number-one-habit-develop-order-feel-positive/).

Fortune telling is the thought pattern that predicts the worst or always thinks something bad is going to happen. Mind reading is the thought pattern that you know what someone else is thinking. This is a very common practice and a major cause of why relationships get into trouble. Guilt beatings or condemning thoughts are thoughts that shame us. They are thoughts like I should, ought or must. Blame is blaming someone else for your problem or could be blaming yourself for everything. Both make you a victim unable to change your situation. Labeling is the thought process of thinking of ourselves or others in a negative way. Remember words do hurt.

Dr. Amen recommends writing down the negative thoughts and begin to talk back to them. This is exactly what Jesus did in the desert when the devil came to tempt Him. He spoke back to the devil the Word of God. Killing the ANTs is what I believe is taking captive the thoughts that cause us to be anxious, angry, sad, or depressed. It is not true that we can’t control our thoughts. We can disciple our minds to think differently with the help of the Holy Spirit and by doing so be transformed by the renewing of our minds. It is a lie from Satan that we can’t shut off our minds. We can choose our thoughts and think on things that are good. Dr. Amen recommends asking ourselves 4 questions that he learned through his friend Katie Byron in her book called Loving What Is. Here are the 4 questions:

“Is this thought true?

Can I absolutely know that it is true?

How do I react when I think that thought?

How would I feel is I did not have this thought? Or how would I feel if I didn’t have the thought?”

I will add another question:

Does this thought line up with the Word of God?

The Word of God is active and alive and is mighty in breaking down strongholds. We are not without help. Believer’s in Christ have the help of the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit so we can choose our thoughts and discipline our minds to think differently. The key is being willing to yield to the help of the Holy Spirit and a desire to know God. (After all) the Kingdom of God is not a matter of (getting the) food and drink(one likes), but instead it is righteousness ( that state which makes a person acceptable to God, and (heart) peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). I don’t know about you but I want peace in my mind, heart, and body. I chose to believe the Word of God and my life has been transformed from a fearful and worried person to one who has complete peace knowing that Her Heavenly Father is faithful and good. The road to health begins in the mind. A transformed mind is a transformed life!

 

 

Abundant Life- Allison Rolston PA-C

We are divinely created beings created with a mind, body, and spirit. If we have a problem in the body, it can affect our mind and spirit. The opposite is also true, if we have a problem in our spirit, it can affect our mind and body. As a medical provider, I have found that to truly help my patients, I need to help them in these three areas-mind, body, and spirit.  The mind comprises our thoughts and reasonings and the body comprises our physical being. The soul is the part of us that lives forever. The soul comprises our inner self or consciousness.  The soul, I believe,  is the part of us that has to do with free will and our emotional responses. The bible tells us that God put eternity into all of us.  The spirit refers to our consciousness or personality. Many times, the soul and spirit are used interchangeably but the bible separates them into two different entities.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and full of power( making it operative, energizing, and effective). It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit (the completeness of a person), and both the joints and marrow (the deepest parts of our nature), exposing and judging the very thoughts and intention of the heart.

The English word spirit comes from the Latin word spiritus meaning “breath”. When we ask Christ into our hearts, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us. In other words, God breathes new life into us making us a new creation, giving us His Spirit of adoption making us His sons and daughters. When the bible talks about the heart, it is talking about the inner person or self not the physical heart. The “heart” of a person is evident by what they do and say.

Matthew 15:17-19  Do you not see and understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the abdomen and so passes on into the place where discharges are deposited? But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart and this is what makes a man unclean and defiles him. For out of the heart comes evil thought (reasoning and disputing and designs) such as murder, adultery, sexual vice, theft, false witness, slander, and irreverent speech.

Matthew 12:34 For out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks.

I just can’t get past the overwhelming evidence given in scripture that our physical health is linked to the health of our inner self or being. What is happening in our inner self, dictates what is happening in our outer environment. Meditation on the Word of God and believing it, is the way to inner peace. This inner peace promotes a healthy lifestyle. In 3 John 2,  we see that prosperity and health are linked to the states of our soul.

3 John 2    Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)    

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.

We can eat right and exercise but if our inner self is in turmoil, it will affect our physical health and the choices me make. I believe that diet and exercise are important but more important is the states of our soul and whether we have peace in our mind, body, and spirit. The Lord has told us that His Words are Spirit and life. When we meditate on His Words, His promises, it brings life to our Spirit. His Words ignite the Spirit within us and brings us into New Life, like the refreshing water or rain refreshing our souls. He (Jesus) has told us that He is the living water.

So as we have been discussing, inflammation is the root of illness. Reducing inflammation is key to living a healthy life free of disease. A low inflammatory diet is a good start. Reducing sugar, diary, red meats and fried foods and increasing fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will reduce inflammation. Sugar is being linked to more and more illnesses. Just yesterday, my daughter took a picture of a slide in one of her college classes. The slide stated that a 2017 study looking at sugary drinks, including diet drinks, showed that those who drank 1-2 per day had lower brain volume and lower memory scores. Sugar is linked to Diabetes and arthritis as well. Supplements like fish oil and turmeric also reduce inflammation. The brain uses Omega-3 fatty acids as nourishment and fish oil also reduces triglycerides.  I particularly like Megared for joints for those who are having joint pain. Another supplement that works great for pain is Curamin by Terry Naturally. Bovine Colostrum is another supplement that has been linked with healing leaky gut and boosting immunity. You can read more about it on the Sovereign Laboratories website.

As I have said many times throughout this blog, 87% of more of our illnesses as stress related. Stress increases inflammation in our bodies. Exercise not only reduces stress and anxiety but increases blood flow to the brain decreasing risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Exercise is also anti-aging for the brain. Unfortunately, diet and exercise alone will not bring complete health if our inner self is always in turmoil. Again meditation on the Word of God will bring health to our soul and bring true peace and prosperity. Let’s look at Proverbs 17:22 again.

Proverbs 17:22Amplified Bible (AMP)

A happy heart is good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones.

We have talked a lot about the brain and our thoughts but we have not discussed the issues of the heart. As we have read from Matthew 15:17-19, that it is from the heart the mouth speaks. The heart is deceitful above all things, and is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick (Jeremiah 17:9)! All we have to do is watch five minutes of the news to see that this scripture is true. Road rage, racism, fights, shootings, women and children being abused, and men and women slandering each other. These are all issues of the heart. Jesus is the answer to all our heart issues. He came to reveal the heart of the Father towards his children. He came not to judge but to bring life and life more abundantly. It is in relationship with Him and believing His Words that our hearts and minds are transformed. Jesus only did and said what he heard from His Father. He showed us how to love God, love others, and love ourselves. He said he came to serve not be served. He came to lay down His life for us. Following His example, will bring abundance in every area of our life. Learning to live a life of serving and giving to others, as the Lord leads, will bring with it peace and joy. God is looking for people to live in and to work through to bring healing to the nations. He is looking for a people who are emotionally healthy in mind, body and spirit. Our internal environment will dictate how we respond to the external environment. Emotional heath and mental strength are connected to the Lordship of Jesus. If we are fearful or worried, it is because we have not embraced the Lordship of Jesus and what He declares over us. We must believe Him over the enemy in the world. All heart issues are Lordship issues and all kingdom issues are heart issues. When the Lordship of Jesus is settled, then our trust is in Him and not in ourselves, resources, or possessions (Bill Johnson).

In the next blog, we will look at tools to help us in the journey of living the abundant life. I will leave you with this thought for the day:

Jeremiah 17:7-8Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is.

For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healing Leaky Gut by Allison Rolston PA-C

Psalm 19:14

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable and pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my (firm, immovable) rock and my Redeemer.

Father of Medicine said two very interesting things. He said “all disease starts in the gut” and that the human body had an innate ability to heals itself.

“All disease starts in the gut” – Hippocrates

“The natural healing force within each of us is the greatest force in getting well.” Hippocrates

What an amazing piece of God’s handiwork we are. God created this body so uniquely that with the proper care it can heal itself. I believe that this “natural healing force”  is the very essence of God. The Word tells us in Ecclesiastes that the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a pregnant woman—-

Ecclesiastes 11:5  As you know not what the way of the wind, or how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a pregnant woman, even so you know not the work of God who does it all.

Let’s thinks about this. The spirit comes to the bones of an unborn child. The bible tells us that the Lord knew us before we were born. He breathe life into us in the womb. As we have been studying, the bones( which contain the bone marrow) produce all our blood and immune cells. The bible also tells us that “life is in the blood”  (Leviticus 17:11). Furthermore, the Lord tells us that His Words are Spirit and life. So it makes sense that when we meditate on His Word it brings life to all our flesh because it is He who breathe life into us. Even more intriguing, is that he has “planted eternity in the hearts and minds of men” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) or a sense of divine purpose that can only be quenched by Him. I believe this eternity is the spirit placed in us in the womb. It is our divine purpose from the beginning that is played out as we draw near to the Lord. It is our choice to love Him or not.  We all have a sense that we were created for a purpose and that purpose is fulfilled in divine communion with our creator who loves us passionately. Proverbs 4 clearly tells us that if we pay attention to the Words of the Lord and keep them in our heart that we will find life and health to our bodies.

Proverbs 4:20-22 

My son (daughter), attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.

As we have been studying all along, there is a connection between the brain and the gut. Messages between these two system are ongoing all the time. Stress, diet, and negative thoughts and feelings can affect our physical bodies. Physical manifestations of stress and negative thoughts include heart racing, constipation, sweating, chest tightness, tingling in the hands and feelings of light-headedness. Stress related diseases include fibromyalgia, heart disease, obesity and inflammatory bowel diseases just to name a few. The gut is the first line of defense for viruses and other bacteria. Stress, negative thoughts and feeling affect the GI tract causing diarrhea, stomach ache, and or constipation.  As stated in an earlier blog, more than 87% of illness is stress related. I believe that stress and diet lead to increase permeability of the gut or what many are calling Leaky Gut Syndrome. Increase gut permeability leads to increase inflammation in the body. We know that inflammation is the root of Arthritis, Asthma, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Irritable Bowel Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Heart Disease and Crohn’s Disease. Even diabetes and obesity are inflammatory conditions. I found a study that compared different diets in regards to inflammation. The study found that diets high in sugar, red meat, and fried foods increase inflammatory blood markers. I believe that the key to living a healthy life is to learn to deal with stress, eat right, and exercise. We have all heard this over and over but I tell you the true key to health is a personal relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Lord said that His words are “spirit and life” and that through His son Jesus we can have the abundant life. Meditation on the Word of God brings life to all our flesh. Let’s look at Proverbs 3—

Proverbs 3:1-2

My son(daughter), forget not my law or teaching, but let your heart keep my commandants; for length of days and years of life (worth living) and tranquility (inward and outward and continuing through old age till death), these shall they add to you.

Prayer and meditation connect us to God. It is in the place of communion with Him that we find inner peace and joy. He is the only one who truly loves us and knows us. He is the only one who will never leave us once we have asked Him into our hearts. Prayer is simply talking with God but meditation is mulling over His Words, thinking and speaking them over our lives. Meditation is filling our minds with the Words and promises of God unlike Eastern meditation which is emptying the mind. Meditation is the renewing of the mind that transforms us (Romans 12:2).

Job 22:28 You shall also decide and decree a thing, and it shall be established for you; and the light (of God’s favor) shall shine upon your ways.

By meditating on the Word of the Lord and decreeing or speaking it over our lives, releases the favor of the Lord to shine upon us. God’s Word is so powerful. Meditation is remembering or bringing to mind the goodness of God. It is a way of practicing His presence throughout the day. A 8 week study that appeared in the Journal of Neuroscience Research, found that targeted rumination or mulling over something combined with exercise greatly reduced symptoms of depression in men and women. If meditation without God is effective how much more shall it be with Him and His Word! Meditation also includes thanksgiving or graditute which I believe is the key to the blessings of God.

Psalm 50:14-15 Offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving and pay your vows to the Most High. And call on Me in the day of trouble; and I will deliver you and you shall honor and glorify Me.

Psalm 50:23 he who brings an offering of praise and thanksgiving honors and glorifies Me; and he who orders his ways aright (who prepares the way that I may show him) to him I will demonstrate the salvation of God.

Did you know complaining is a sin. The Israelites complained in the desert and were not able to entering the promise land. What we speak has the power of life and death. It is so important that we learn to get in the secret place with the Lord. I have included a video that I hope will help you learn to meditate and worship the Lord. Your time with the Lord does not have to look like mine but it is just an example of how to engage the Lord and to meditate on His Words.

May the Lord bless you and watch, quard and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up His (approving) countenance upon you and give you peace(tranquility of heart and life continually). Numbers 6:24-26

 

 

 

Leaky Gut-Allison Rolston PA-C

3 John 2  Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health(physically), just as (I know) your soul prospers (spiritually).

There has been much talk about the condition many are calling “leaky gut” or increase “intestinal permeability”.  The gut is a very complex body system. The gut acts as our first defense from many infections as well as absorbs nutrients we need to survive. Bacteria in the gut work perfectly with other cells lining the gut to provide a perfect balance. The gut acts as a physical barrier from the rest of the body as well as a chemical barrier that consist of digestive enzymes, antimicrobial peptides,  cytokines and inflammatory components. The gut bacteria also contribute to this barrier along with other immune functions that take place in our gut. Another important component of the gut barrier, is the enteric nervous system that in response to danger initiates a defense by regulating the intestinal mucosa. In response to a perceived threat, IgA is secreted protecting the gut from viruses and harmful bacteria. IgA is an antibody that plays an important role in the immune function of mucous membranes.  IgA plays a part in regulating the gut bacteria and preventing gut mucosal inflammation.

It is becoming more apparent through medical studies, that environmental factors influence the function of the intestinal barrier and overall gut health. Antibiotics, pathogens and diet can disrupt the intestinal mucosa contributing to increase gut permeability. Medical science has known for sometime that antibiotic affect the perfect balance of the gut flora or bacteria. Antibiotics kill good and bad bacteria and in some cases can lead to an over growth of an intestinal organism called C-. difficile.  C- difficile infection can lead to toxic megacolon a serious health condition.  In a research article called  Wake Up Doctor We May Be Causing Cancer: “Antibiotic Overusage Causes Mitochondrial Dysfunction written by Elliott, Jiang and Baucum, found evidence that antibiotic overuse causes mitochondrial dysfunction that may lead to cancer and bacterial resistance. Mitochondrial dysfunction they reported is known to be associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig Disease and Parkinson’s. In this article, they stressed the importance of maintaining a healthy gut in preventing disease. A high fat diet alters the gut flora as well resulting in inflammation in the liver, fat tissue, brain, and other organs contributing to diseases like insulin resistance. This process is also associated with Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, and non-alcoholic fatty liver. Other diseases associated with gut flora changes include Inflammatory Bowel disease, Obesity, Cancer, and neurological diseases. Fat is not the only culprit in increasing gut permeability. Fructose is associated with intestinal overgrowth and increase permeability. In summary, the overall health of our gut is very important in our health. What we put in our bodies really does matter. Vitamin A found in vegetables like carrots, sweet potato, spinach, kale, broccoli and eggs regulates the growth and differentiation of intestinal cells as well as helping fight infections. Vitamin D is also very important in the intestinal barrier helping protect the mucosal lining.

You maybe asking, “How does this tie into brain health?” Glad you asked! Serotonin is also a neurotransmitter found in the brain and in the gut. In the gut, serotonin increases gut motility and in the brain regulates that since of wellbeing. When serotonin is low, people experience depression, anxiety, headaches, difficulty sleeping and fatigue. People with anxiety often have diarrhea or increased gut motility. What we are focusing on does affect our body. Toxic thoughts usually fear based or self-condemning release chemical that cause our heart rate to go up, hands to sweat, to feel light-headed, to have diarrhea and a host of other ailments. I believe that the stress of these toxic thoughts also leads to increase gut permeability leading to a suppressed immune system that eventually leads to disease. As I have mention in earlier blogs, 87% or more of our diseases are stress related. Furthermore, gut permeability plays a role in disease because the gut is often times our first line of defense. Serotonin can be increased by meditation, diet, and exercise. Let’s take a deeper look at 3 John 2:

3 John 2  Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health(physically), just as (I know) your soul prospers (spiritually).

This scripture shows us that prospering in our soul brings physical heath. Proverb 3:1-2 and 4:20-23 clearly state that remembering the Lord and meditating on His Word brings healing to all our flesh. Not surprisingly,  studies have shown that meditation increases serotonin producing a calming effect to our mind, body , and soul. I truly believe that the internal storm of our minds and souls contribute to poor health. The storm within leads many to try to calm their minds and spirit with things like food, sugar, alcohol, drugs( prescribed and illegal), sex, money, and unhealthy relationships. These things are temporary fixes to a deeper problem that can only be healed by the one who made us. True peace or internal rest comes when you know you are loved and deeply cherished. You were created for a purpose, tenderly woven in your mother’s womb, destined to do great things. God showed His great love for us through Jesus the perfect sacrifice for our sin. Through His blood,  we have access to the Father and can come boldly to His throne, unashamed. Isaiah 26:3 states that a mind steadfast on the Lord will remain at perfect peace. Jesus is our peace. He is the one who stops the storm in our souls and our minds. You may remember the story of when Jesus and the disciples were in a boat when a great storm arose. Jesus was asleep but the disciples where very afraid. They of course woke up Jesus and He calmed the storm. The Lord ask me once, “Why was Jesus asleep in the boat in the storm?” I said, “I do not know.” He said Jesus was asleep because He knew that he was perfectly safe in His Father’s arm. This is true for you and I. We are perfectly safe in His arms. We just have to be willing to rest in His arms and believe His Word over the lies the enemy.  It is His perfect love that heals and transforms us. All we have to do is come to Him and believe He is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do. He is a good, good Father and the only one who can bring lasting peace and joy to our souls. 1 John 4:18 says that there is no fear in love but perfect love cast our all fear. Fear brings torment but His perfect love given to us through the death of Jesus and through the giving of the Holy Spirit bring peace to our minds and souls leading to prosperity in all areas of our life. I urge you to seek Him and to begin to learn to turn your hearts and minds to Him. Meditation is the practice of not only thinking on the Word of God but also speaking it out. Hopefully in the weeks to come, I will have a video in how to meditate. May God rest His hand upon you and give you peace. Al

References

Wake Up Doctor We May Be Causing Cancer: “Antibiotic Overusage Causes Mitochondrila Dysfunction” Robert L. Elliott, Xian P. Jiang and Catherine Baucom

Alterations in Intestinal Permeabilty: MC Arrieta, L. Bistritz, and JB Meddings; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih/pmc/articles/PMC1856434/