Our Glands, Part 2: The Upper 4 Chakras
Last talk we discussed the glands corresponding the the 3 lower chakras, the gonads, the adrenals and the pancreas. Now we will go over the functions and treatment of the glands corresponding to the 4 upper chakras.
At the level of the heart chakra is the thymus gland, often overlooked and misunderstood. The key to a healthy, functioning immune system rests with the thymus gland, a small organ lying just beneath the breastbone. The primary role of the thymus is to assist in the proliferation and differentiation of mature T-lymphocytes – cells that attack and kill viruses and bacteria. T-cells emerge from the bone marrow in an incomplete state. In order to function properly, immature T-cells migrate to the thymus gland where they are programmed into mature T-cells that orchestrate the immune response to attack and destroy invading viruses and cancer cells.
In our early twenties we have an abundance of well-trained, functioning T-cells that regulate the immune system and help the body fight off pathogens and disease. After about age 20, the thymus begins to shrink or atrophy as dying thymic cells are progressively replaced by fat and connective tissue.
By about age 40, output of thymic hormones has dropped significantly and T-cells have begun to lose their effectiveness. It is this gradual loss of functioning T-cells that is believed to be responsible for many of the age-related changes in the immune system that gradually rob the body of its ability to fight off infectious diseases, autoimmune disorders and cancer. By age 65 the thymus basically is non functional…and we know what happens to many people after then.
Some people take supplements with animal thymus extracts to feed the thymus. Antioxidants like vitamin C can slow down free radical damage and thus thymus shrinkage. Zinc is the mineral most connected to keeping your thymus healthy, try some pumpkin seeds or maybe oysters. A chemical in wheat contributes to thymus shrinkage as well. Artificial sweeteners have been shown to shrink the thymus in rats.
There is an exercise called the thymus thump, where you take your thumb and first two fingers and thump on the middle of your breast bone below the collar bones to stimulate and awaken the thymus. Try it for 15-20 seconds a day, some say it is even more effective if you hum while tapping.
Since this gland is over the heart chakra, don’t neglect the needs for love and forgiveness and gratitude to keep this amazing little gland healthy.
Corresponding to the throat chakra is the thyroid gland, which is so important for our metabolism. I have already given an entire weekly talk dedicated just to this gland. When this butterfly shaped gland spread over our Adam’s apple is poorly functioning it can produce so many awful symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, morning headaches depression, constipation, sensitivity to cold weather, poor circulation in hands and feet, getting easily sick, slow wound healing, needed excessive sleep, digestive problems, itchy dry skin, hair being dry, brittle or falling out easily, edema especially facial swelling and loss of the outer third of the eyebrows.
Doctors tend to give everyone with thyroid deficiency or autoimmunity thyroid hormone, which often helps the lab readings, but most people don’t feel any better. So you really have to look at the whole body and immune system and cut out allergenic foods, notably wheat and dairy for many people.
But don’t neglect the corresponding chakra, the throat chakra. This has to do with our self talk and self expression and personal power. So speak your truth and don’t hold back if you feel inspired to speak up.
At the third eye chakra we have the pineal gland, sometimes linked to the third eye. The famous philosopher Descartes described the pineal gland as the “principal seat of the soul.” The small, rice-sized, pinecone-shaped endocrine organ known as the pineal gland sits alone in the middle of the brain and at the same level as the eyes. As the producer of the hormone melatonin, the quality and duration of your sleep relies on how well it produces this hormone. This tiny organ regulates your daily and seasonal circadian rhythms, the sleep-wake patterns that determine your hormone levels, stress levels, and physical performance.
There are some things you can do to activate your pineal gland. The first is to get outside into the sun. This prompts it to stimulate serotonin which helps with moods and energy levels. After sunset we want less serotonin and more melatonin, but due to modern lighting we throw off this balance, especially the blue light that is emitted by most of our electronic screens. You can get apps to reduce the blue wavelengths on your devices. A dark bedroom ensures your pineal gland produces enough melatonin to ensure good, restful sleep. It is wise to invest in blackout shades instead of slats if you have sleep issues. Some people promote sun gazing, where you briefly look at the sun at sunrise and sunset to benefit the pineal. Finally meditation is most helpful for this gland as it helps with intuition and spiritual vision.
Many people get a calcified pineal gland. One of my main healing teachers said that the pineal has to do with feeling emotions and that those with calcified pineals can easily get cancer. Some explain the fact that girls are menstruating earlier that in past generations as being due to early pineal calcification.Fluoride exposure is blamed for this hardening, so use fluoride-free toothpaste, avoid tap water, and drink filtered water. For the best filtered water, use a reverse osmosis water filter. Calcium supplements can form stones in the pineal so eat calcium-rich foods rather than taking calcium supplements. Get adequate amounts of vitamin D as well. One natural and free way to stimulate your pineal is quite easy, just smile.
At the crown we have the master gland, the pituitary that is closely associated with the hypothalamus. The pituitary is an endocrine gland that sits just beneath the base of the brain, behind the bridge of the nose. It is very small – only about the size of a pea. The pituitary gland is very important as it takes messages from the brain, mostly the hypothalamus and uses these messages to produce hormones that affect many parts of the body, including stimulating all the other hormone-producing glands to produce their own hormones.
There are two parts to the pituitary body. The anterior portion produces most of the hormones such as ACTH that stimulates the adrenals, often in response to stress. FSH and LH helps normal functioning of the ovaries and testes. Growth Hormone which helps children grow but in adults aids in healthy bone, muscle mass and fat distribution as well as cellular repair. Prolactin stimulates breast milk productions and TSH stimulates the thyroid to produce its hormones. The posterior portion makes ADH which prompts the kidneys to increase water absorption in the blood. It also makes oxytocin which helps uterine contraction in childbirth and stimulates breast milk production. It is thought to play a role in the emotional bonding with an infant or partner.
Some things you can do to help your pituitary and its hormones is to lose extra weight, cut down on sugar, optimize your sleeping, take vitamin D, melatonin, GABA as well as the amino acid Arginine. Do intermittent fasting and don’t eat before bed. Do high intensity exercise and interval training.
Since the crown chakra is related to the master control system of the body, the most important thing in my mind is develop a spiritual consciousness, meditate, don’t over think, and contemplate the vastness of the universe. It is said that energy from the higher self, the higher mind, enters the body through the crown chakra.
It is simply amazing how many things these 7 chakras and their corresponding endocrine glands do and the hormones they secrete that control every single cell of our bodies. So let us stay as healthy and balanced as possible to enjoy our ability of our spirits to use our bodies with great effectiveness and joy for as long as possible on this earth.