A Quick Primer on Hives

Monday, January 9th, 2012

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I was telling my mother about the healing technique I used for Lisa’s hives, and realized there’s some medical background that would probably help readers understand why it’s so hard.

Several of your body’s systems are involved in rashes. (This isn’t magick stuff, this is just standard medicine. Also, I’m not a doctor, so don’t base medical decisions on this post).

First is your nerves. They signal itching, which (1) makes you scratch, damaging your skin, causing a bunch of skin responses that make you itch more, and (2) makes the area where the rash is release chemical messengers to take on fluid and get attention from the immune system. So that’s feedback loop 1: Itching nerves trigger cellular responses that cause more itching.

Second is the immune system, which is the direct cause of the rash: It incorrectly believes that your cells are foreign cells and starts attacking them, which releases chemicals that cause you to itch. But that’s not all: Your white blood cells also release messengers for other white blood cells, putting them into what I’m calling “attack mode,” which would be great if there were an actual infection to attack, but here just means they’re on a hair trigger, ready to attack her skin if she comes into contact with anything she’s remotely allergic to. That’s the second feedback loop: White blood cells release chemicals to put your immune system on high alert, which then causes more immune responses, which releases more of those “attack mode” chemical messengers.

To draw a picture of it would be two feedback loops that touch in the middle, like an 8. The top loop is your nerves, the bottom is your immune system. And either loop can get the problem as a whole started again.

Hopefully there’s not a third loop I don’t know about, waiting to kick things off next.

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Healing Energy for Chronic Hives: Follow-up #2

Monday, January 9th, 2012

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I’m trying something new: In addition to the detailed Thursday posts, I’m quickly writing other posts throughout the week. Let me know what you think.

The command to increase Lisa’s neurotransmitter reuptake worked great for two weeks. Then, while on a nursing shift, she broke out again. It’s still much less bad than before we started, and the anti-itching effect still works, but it’s disheartening to see her breaking out at all.

Looking at the nerves, I didn’t see the same overactivity energy signature as before. In other words, the energy didn’t look like an overabundance of neurotransmitter, so the neurotransmitter reuptake effect (1) had done what it was supposed to, but (2) was unlikely to help at this point.

So I tried a new technique: I connected to the nerve’s energy, and look for a signature that might be related to the physical process that’s triggering the itch. And I spot one, an unusual signature that I’ll assume corresponds to the white blood cells attacking her skin cells (which is the cause of these problems, according to modern medicine).

Looking through the blood in the rest of her body, this energy signature is fairly active everywhere, as you would expect from a chronic auto-immune condition. So I programmed the ethereal software we’ve been using to tone down that signature throughout her body. The intent isn’t to prevent white blood cells from going into attack mode (which would leave her open to infections), the intent is only to make them less sensitive to the chemical messenger that triggers attack mode, so they require more of that messenger before activating.

To do that, I connected the ethereal software to the cells, pointed out the signature, explained my take on what physical process that signature corresponded to, and explained what I wanted the software to do to that process.

That was this morning. We’ll see how it works. But here’s what I’ve realized from these healing sessions:

Healing techniques for symptoms are easy: Use energy designed to inhibit the nerves signalling itching, pain, or whatever the problem is.

Healing techniques for tissue damage is easy, too: Use energy designed to increase tissue growth and wait a few days.

But healing techniques for chronic conditions, that’s really hard. You have to study modern medicine like a doctor. I’m lucky Lisa’s a nurse, because without her to teach me how the body works, I wouldn’t be able to find most of what I need to heal this.

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Follow-Up on Healing Energy for Chronic Hives

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

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How I debugged the healing energy to get better results.

A few weeks ago, I posted about a healing technique for Lisa’s hives. Since then, the technique I posted stopped working, and we developed a new technique that seems to be far more effective. So a follow-up seems in order.

Why the Itching Returned

Here’s the intuition I got from the ethereal software*. (I can’t say for certain it’s medically accurate, but we assumed it was accurate and got great results.) It said: Suppressing the itch signal along the nerves caused a buildup of the neurotransmitter that signals the itch.

*Reminder for long-time readers: Ethereal software is my new term for “systems,” the forces you channel when doing magick.

A little background, from Lisa’s medical training (she’s a nurse):

Nerves communicate via neurotransmitters. One nerve releases a chemical, like dopamine, which the next nerve absorbs. When that nerve absorbs enough of the neurotransmitter (such as dopamine), it signals the next nerve. Here’s the Wikipedia page on neurotransmitters.

When you block a nerve from receiving a signal, this often prevents it from absorbing the neurotransmitter. This can lead to a buildup of neurotransmitter that causes problems later. Hangovers are partially caused by this buildup of neurotransmitters. (The alcohol blocks neuroreceptors, which leads to a buildup of neurotransmitters.)

That part was all normal biology, like you’d learn in college. OK, back to the energy techniques:

The ethereal software we’re using has a built-in safety check that, among other things, detects a buildup of neurotransmitters before they become a problem. When that happens, it refuses to perform the anti-itching effect.

(If it didn’t have that check, what would happen? Probably something in the ballpark of a hangover, like an increase in the itching and a decrease in effectiveness of the anti-itching effect. So, nothing that makes me nervous about using these healings on myself, just something to keep an eye out for.)

Healing the Underlying Cause

I didn’t know all that at first, so I asked the ethereal software why it was no longer performing the healing technique, and what to do about it. It explained about the neurotransmitters, and recommended a command designed to increase reuptake. (Reuptake is when the nerve that released the neurotransmitter takes it back, removing the chemical from circulation). The command takes 4-8 hours to run, so I configured it to run overnight.

So how did it work? Well, before this effect, Lisa would typically wake up with hives all over her body. Not covering every inch, but a lot of spots over a large area, with intense itching. (That’s why we needed the healing technique in the first place).

After the overnight neurotransmitter effect, she woke up with just one hive, covering a couple inches of her back, and only itching a little. Normally, if she scratches her arm, it develops hives within 90 seconds. This morning, she showed me that she could scratch it without developing any hives.

End Results

The ethereal software recommended to run this command once a day for 2-4 days. Lisa worked a few nursing shifts at night, and she has four days off starting today. So we’re going to focus on this technique and see if we can make further improvements. But even if her condition stays where it is now, she’s better than she’s been in months.

Why Not Just Send Out Your Intent?

You’ll hear people talk about “sending out their intent” or “creating a servitor to help someone.” They don’t think about how that intent gets implemented, but the short version is that some ethereal software connects to you, reads the instruction from your thoughts, and implements it as best as it can.

When you send out your intent, you can’t control how the ethereal software implements it. Most likely, the software I used would have tried the first command (which didn’t work) or the second command (which stopped working after a week or so). No good.

If you send out a more forceful intent (“No, really, heal her hives”), you’ll most likely get a larger amount of one of those ineffective commands. To get to this third command (the one that’s working well so far), I had to very specifically tell the software how to implement that intent: Increase neurotransmitter reuptake. And I only figured that out by talking with the software, seeing why it had stopped working and what errors it was detecting, and testing out new commands to find one that worked.

Could other ethereal software have done better? Sure. Knowing the answer, I can reprogram this software to correctly handle an instruction like “heal these hives,” and I can imagine other software that’s already got that programming. But that’s the point: Someone has to program it.

That’s why I focus on magick’s implementation, rather than on sending out intent: Working on the implementation lets you solve problems that haven’t been solved yet.

(Note: I can’t say for certain that the command “increase neurotransmitter reuptake” actually increases neurotransmitter reuptake. It seems like a safe assumption, but I hope to one day work with biologists to quantify exactly what it does.)

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Case Study: Healing Energy for Chronic Hives

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

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Before the healing session, my girlfriend’s itching lasted an hour or more. Now, it’s down to 5 minutes or less.

My girlfriend developed chronic itching and hives earlier this year. We’re not sure the cause — it could be a latex allergy (she recently finished nursing school), or a response to hair dye, or something pet-related — but it’s been going on for months. Her dermatologist recommended steroid cream, which worked for a while, but she’s developing a tolerance to the cream, and it no longer controls her outbreaks. So it’s time for to see what my healing techniques can do.

We had found that, when I applied my healing techniques, her itching came down for several hours, but that I would have to re-apply the healing energy several times a day, which is impractical, especially since I travel for work. And Lisa is experienced with channeling psychic forces*, but not with physical healing, so she can’t easily learn the technique I’d use.

*Note to long-time readers: “Force” is my temporary term for “system” as I consider a proper re-naming.

Here’s where the first bit of direct magick comes in: The forces that provide psychic information work in basically the same way as the forces that provide healing energy. If you can instruct one, you can instruct the other, particularly if both forces were made by the same group of spirits.

A couple of years ago, I’d gotten her a better psychic force to channel. So I go back to the same group of spirits, explain the problem, and ask them to recommend a force to channel for healing. They do, and tell me the command to use:

Connect it to the nerves experiencing the itching or pain, and ask it to “Heal the itching.” (Alternately, you can ask it to “Numb the itching.”)

I can see why they set up the force’s command this way: This is the most general way to set up the command language. It has a general command to heal (or numb), and a general input of “This tissue that I’m connecting you to,” which gives the user a lot of flexibility with a small language.

But there’s a problem: Lisa doesn’t know how to make a connection to her nerves. Because, you see, connecting to your nerves isn’t the same as imagining your nerves, or imagining a wire going to your nerves. It requires you to first awaken the mental muscles for working with physical cells, then practice recognizing different types of cells until you can find your way around your body, and only then can you make a connection to your nerves. Imagining it, without first developing the skills required for the technique, doesn’t work.

Here’s where the second bit of direct magick comes in: These forces are programmable. Like making a shortcut* in a computer, you can create a simpler, more specific command. So that’s what I did: I connected to the force, connected it to Lisa’s nerves, told it to what energy to apply, then told it that, when she says “Numb my itching” and gives it her signature, it should execute the same command I just gave it.

*For the computer-savvy: It’s actually more like writing a shell script.

Why not just make a servitor to do the healing automatically? Short answer is, because I don’t work with servitors. Long answer is, because (1) I’m less confident the servitor would work (since I don’t know the exact steps it uses to perform a healing), and (2) if the servitor did work, it would wind up invoking a force like I just set up, and I’d rather know exactly which force I’m using so I can debug the commands.

That debugging turned out to be really important. When I first tried this technique, I didn’t specify the right set of nerves*, and Lisa only got minor relief, and only in specific areas she focused on. So I went back to the spirit that recommended the system. He helped me debug the technique, specifying additional sets of nerves, and specifying “her whole body.” After that, when she gave the command, her itching dropped down from a 8/10 to a 4/10 in under a minute, which is a pretty significant result. (She’s a nurse, so she uses the nursing 10-point pain scale).

*I’d initially targeted only the nerves touching her skin. You also need to get the nerves that those nerves signal — the nerves one step closer to the spine.

If I hadn’t been able to step through the technique consciously and discuss it with an expert, we would have been stuck with the less effective healing energy, instead of the more effective version. I see things like this all the time, where the most intuitive technique isn’t particularly effective, and a few tweaks produce a much better result, which is why I place so much emphasis on debugging.

Since setting this up on Saturday, Dec 10, Lisa has been applying healing energy to herself a few times an hour, whenever she triggers a new itch. (Lots of things trigger itching: Changing clothes, bumping into something, etc). The results are pretty consistent: The itch is noticeably reduced within 1 minute, and stops within 5. Without the healing energy, each itch lasted for an hour or more.

Can you set up a command like that? Probably not yet. You’d need to have forces that allow this type of re-programming, and you’d need the ability to command forces with words. (That post is coming soon). But I thought this would be a good example of what direct magick lets you do.

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