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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nature's Field - Looking in the Eyes to Understand the Nerves


February 23, 2010

When I Look Into Your Eyes
I Can Avoid Getting on Your Nerves
by Steven Horne, RH(AHG) 
Nature's Field Published by www.treelite.com 

Valentine's day is past and Greg, the Green Cupid (who wrote last week's article) has done his work. So hopefully a lot of lovers are gazing lovingly into each others eyes.  If those lovers were iridologists, they might notice their pupils getting slightly bigger when they're making that eye contact.  Do you know why they would see the other person's pupils getting larger?  Well, you will by the time you finish reading this article.

My goal is to help you understand the nervous system better and particularly, to share with you something I figured out a few years ago that had puzzled me for a decade ore more.  The dilemma started 20 years ago when some friends of mine formulated some trace mineral supplements mixed with essential oils.  NSP marketed these formulas for a while, so if you've been with NSP for more than 20 years, you might remember them.  They were called Aromin Day and Aromin Nite. 

The Day blend contained essential oils that stimulated the sympathetic nervous system and was supposed to be taken in the morning for energy.  The Nite blend contained essential oils that stimulated the parasympathetic nervous system and was supposed to be taken in the evening to help you relax.  Sounds simple enough doesn't it?

The problem was that about 10% of the people who took it experienced an opposite reaction.  The Nite blend energized them and the Day blend had a calming effect. The problem bugged me for two reasons.  One is that I couldn't figure out why some people were reacting backwards to the products and secondly, I had no way of telling who was going to react in what way.

Later I learned that both children and adults who suffer from true ADHD have this problem.  Herbs like valerian and lavender, which are supposed to help you relax, will energize a person with ADHD and can even make them feel more stressed and anxious.  For instance, there are people who have taken valerian before bedtime to help them sleep and wound up staying up all night. 

In contrast, these same people would find that an herb like Chinese ephedra or using caffeine-bearing plants like coffee, tea and kola nut have relaxing effects on their nervous system.  In fact, that's what Ritalin, a drug used to treat ADHD is, a stimulant.  And why a stimulant would calm some people down was a mystery to me and to everyone I talked to.  In fact, many professional herbalists were aware that some people reacted "backwards" to nerviness, but no one knew how to tell who was going to react this way.

When I figured it out, it was so simple!  And, with the help of Kimberly Balas, I also figured out how to tell how someone was going to react to nervine herbs just by glancing in their eyes.

Why Some People Appear to
React Backwards to Nervines

To understand the solution to this dilemma, you need to understand a few facts about the two branches of your autonomic nervous system—the sympathetic and the parasympathetic.  The sympathetic nervous system is the branch of your nervous system that "winds you up."  It get's your motor racing.  It's activated by the fight or flight response, but it's also activated when something interests or excites us.

The sympathetic nervous system makes our muscles tense, our digestion shut down, our heart rate faster and our breathing more rapid and shallow.  It also raises our blood pressure and inhibits elimination.  Most people associate this branch of the nervous system with stress, but it's also associated with excitement.  When a guy sees that "gorgeous girl" across the room or a woman sees that "big hunk" that racing heartbeat is a sign the sympathetic nervous system is in action.

The parasympathetic nervous system has the opposite effect.  It turns on digestion, slows the heartbeat and makes our breathing slower and deeper.  It lowers our blood pressure and helps us "let go," which helps us detoxify.  Most people associate it with being relaxed and easy-going, but I'm going to let you in on the secret—it's balance in the nervous system that helps us feel good.  Being too far in either direction will make you feel stressed. 

In other words, a person who has an overactive parasympathetic nervous system can feel just as nervous and anxious as a person who has an overactive sympathetic nervous system.  They are just stressed in a different way. 

The sympathetic nervous system helps us focus, which is why I think many people wait until the last minute to "cram" for exams.  The stress of know the test is tomorrow, helps them focus.

So, a person who has too much parasympathetic activity and not enough sympathetic activity can't focus.  This means they also can't filter things out.  Every little noise, sensation, image or smell is a distraction.  Because they can't tune anything out, they feel constantly "bombarded" by their environment.  They're chronically stuck in sensory overload.

Most herbs we associate with relaxation help to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and sedate the sympathetic.  This includes hops, valerian, skullcap, lavender, passion flower and formulas that contain them, like Stress-J and Herbal Sleep.  This works great for people who are in sympathetic overload and need to shift the balance towards the parasympathetic nervous system, and since this is the situation with 90% of the population we see these herbs as relaxing.

Unfortunately, 10% of the people have the opposite problem.  They are in parasympathetic overload.  Their nervousness, anxiety and agitation come from exactly the opposite problem.  That's why they appear to react backwards to traditional nervine herbs.  If someone is already in parasympathetic overload, taking something that further stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system takes them further out of balance.

When a person stuck in parasympathetic mode takes something that stimulates their sympathetic nervous system, it restores balance.  That makes them feel more relaxed and calm.  A person experiencing sympathetic overload is over stimulated by substances that further stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, so these remedies would make them feel more nervous and anxious.

So, the children and adults with ADHD and the other people who experience parasympathetic overload only appear to react backwards to nerviness.  They aren't really reacting backwards, they just have the opposite nervous system imbalance that the rest of us tend to have. 

How to Tell If a Person is Excess Sympathetic or Parasympathetic

So, now that we know the problem, how do we tell which kind of nerviness to use?  Well, remember what I said about lovers pupils getting larger?  That's because the sympathetic nervous system dilates (enlarges) the pupil.  This happens when we're excited or scared or anxious and our sympathetic nervous system is dominating. 

So, if you see a person acting nervous, stress and anxious and you look into their pupils and see they are enlarged, you know that herbs like valerian, kava kava, hops, skullcap, passion flower and other traditional nerviness will help restore balance to their nervous system.  So, you'll give them Stress-J, Nutri-Calm or Herbal Sleep to stimulate their parasympathetic nervous system and calm down their sympathetic nervous system so they will be more in balance.

In contrast, when the parasympathetic nervous system is overactive, the pupils will be small.  That's because the parasympathetic nervous system contracts the pupil.  If you see someone who is nervous, anxious or stressed and their pupil is small, you won't have a happy customer if you give them products like Stress-J or Herbal Sleep.  You need to give them stimulants instead.

We used to use Chinese ephedra for this purpose, but it got taken off the market.  So now we use ENERG-V, caffeinated green tea, organically grown coffee, yerba mate and kola nut to help these people calm down.  Small amounts are all that is needed in most cases.  Red meat (especially for breakfast) and supplements that boost the thyroid (and iodine levels) are also helpful, such as Thyroid Support, Thyroid Activator, Liquid Dulse or Concentrated Black Walnut. 

So, if you want to avoid getting on people's nerves (by giving them the wrong remedy), just look into their eyes.

If you'd like to learn more about iridology, we have Bill Caradonna's Essential Chart of Iridology on sale this week.  It's regularly $15, but we're selling them for just $9.00 if you order by Friday.  That's a 40% savings.  You can also check out our Practical Iridology course.  Just go to www.treelite.com.

Saving Money with Natural Heading

This fall I had to use the services of medical doctors for the first time in nearly a decade.  It's not that I'm unwilling to use modern medicine when the situation warrants it, it's just that I so seldom need medical services.

Anyway, I was blown away at the cost of a doctor visit and very grateful that my knowledge allows me to seldom require their services.  The amazing thing is that it doesn't take a great deal of knowledge to avoid most doctor visits and that's the knowledge I want to share with you on my Get Well Now Webinar.

Get Well Now is based on the material in my Dr. Mom-Dr. Dad course.  In the nine two-hour sessions of this webinar, you'll learn how to relieve pain and reverse minor injuries in minutes.  You'll learn how to cure colds, flu, fevers, sore throats, earaches, coughs and headaches fast!  You'll also learn how to keep yourself and your family from getting sick in the first place.

Best of all, the first class is absolutely free.  And, if you decide to take the remaining eight classes, the cost is only $97. That's half the price of most doctor visits and the information you'll acquire even in the free webinar class is enough to avoid many doctor visits.

So, sign up now to reserve your spot in the free first class for Get Well Now by clicking on the link below.

Sign me up for my free webinar class!

Essential Chart of Iridology on Sale Until Friday

You can purchase Bill Caradonna's Essential Chart of Iridology for 40% off if you order by Friday.  Bill is co-founder of IIPA (the International Iridology Practitioner's Association) and the person who taught Steven the constitutional approach to iridology.

Most iridology charts contain a lot of information that is irrelevant at best and of questionable accuracy at worst. There are three reasons why this is the case.

First of all, iris maps are only approximations. In real life, the actual location of people's organs varies from person to person, which means the reflexive areas represented in the iris also vary.

Secondly, if you look at several different iris maps, you'll find variations from map to map in what different specific areas mean. However, you will find a general consistency in the areas where major organ systems are represented.

Finally, much of the information found on the average chart is irrelevant to the real practice of iridology. Differentiating lobes of the lungs or body parts like ribs, foot, arms and hands has very little relevance in determining what kinds of nutritional and lifestyle changes a person needs to make to be healthy.

This Essential Chart of Iridology eliminates this non-essential information and provides you with only the major organ areas represented in the iris. It is color coded according to major body systems and iris zones, making identifying information that's really important quick and easy.

The chart is an extremely effective chart for anyone practicing iridology at any level. The chart is regularly $15, but if you order by Friday, you can get the chart for just $9 (a 40% savings).  Order yours today by going to:


or by calling 800-416-2887.

This chart is also an ideal companion to our Practical Iridology course, which teaches you how to look at the eye starting with the big picture and working down to the details. You can learn more about our Practical Iridology course by clicking here.


A note from Karen Doolan:

Thank you Steven Horne for these wonderful publication every week. I enjoy learning all that you teach!  I hope by posting your Free Nature's Field ezine to my blog that others will benefit from your incessant knowledge. I am a member of your Sunshine Business Alliance, as a Gold member. This program has been a first class education for myself and all others I have shared it with. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being our mentor. 

Share the Health,
Karen Herrmann-Doolan 
Nature's Sunshine Herb Specialist 
Natural Health Educator
O: 704-966-6645
H: 704-588-7638
Visit my Nature's Sunshine Online Store:
Learn about the Body Systems 
Check out my Health & Nutrition Blog!


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