Open your heart and brain, heal your physical body

by | Conscious Living, Print Articles, Thought Leaders, Winter 2024

Are you feeling: stressed out, overwhelmed, anxious, exhausted, and tired of trying too hard or that meditation is too challenging for your busy mind? Then this PROCESS experience might be just the thing for you!

P ause, breathe, focus

R elease technique

O pen, willing, accepting/welcoming, allowing, loving, kindness

C reative, easy, fun solutions

E nergy enhancers to support your physiology

S tillness, silence

S oul connection, set your spirit free.

In the quagmire of the new consciousness, with all the accompanying chaos of new beginnings and changes we are all experiencing now, is often a huge challenge! It is not an easy ride, as is giving birth to a baby. Exciting and creative, but associated with a deep responsibility nevertheless.

Transforming from scorpion (deep earth, subconscious, past-focused consciousness) to eagle (soaring high with eagle eye perception of earthly worries, troubles, fear-based survival responses), to phoenix rising from the ashes of old (even ancestral) beliefs, patterns and habits, to soar freely, flying untethered as authentic souls living and expressing who we truly are, how to express our purpose in this life now. It is a life journey of high responsibility and commitment to living beyond the egotistical me-me-me self, to a superconscious, transcended higher self of blessing, miracles and love.

It is a daily choice!

Mental-emotional level

In your transformation journal, ask the following questions, and write down intuitively and truthfully, without overthinking:

What do I want?

Why am I here now, this lifetime, this day?

Am I willing to change? Choose!

Focus on one area of challenge.

What is it? How long has this challenge been around in your life?

How does it make you feel?

Which other challenges have developed because of it?

Is it perhaps time to release, surrender it and grow through it to who you truly are?

In quiet and in stillness, focus upon preparing for daydreaming time, sleep dreaming and remembering the dreams. Contemplate the symbolism for you personally. (A book by Pamela Ball that might help you understand the symbolism of your dreams is The Complete Book of Dreams and Dreaming.)

Think, feel, write, draw (even stick figures will do) the elements of the dreams. Dance the dream with your choice of evocative, rhythmic, harmonious music, expressing through flow, drumming, stomping, crossover, jazzy movements deeply felt in body cell memories. Write down how you feel after this practice. Sing and express your voice and truth. Sit in nature, noticing and really seeing the macrocosm and microcosm around you. Choose joy and inner peace moment by moment. It is there, deep within you.

Keep these points in mind:

  • The heart-brain connection and body awareness.
  • 3 Ps: practice, patience, perseverance. A daily practice… stumble, fall, get up, dust yourself off, rewire in private and finally, try and try again.
  • Play-dance through rhythm and harmony – excellent for brain integration and mental health. Each one of us is able to move to music!
  • Love for self, cells and others is highest frequency feeling for brain plasticity, health and flourishing! Mental health par excellence! As do feelings of gratitude for big and little things, always tuning in to abundance if you too choose to see with deep inner vision.
  • There are many practical ways to hack your happy chemicals.

Expressing emotions and feelings through the release technique

Our cells feel like we do! Gratitude or appreciation and deep breathing lead to a slower and more coherent heart rate (parasympathetic – relax, digest, unwind – system). We can choose in any moment to run the gratitude frequency circuitry inside our minds to have a positive effect throughout the body and every single one of our cells too.

Emotions like bitterness, unresolved anger, resentment, fear and worry constantly trigger your stress response. These then become buried in ever deepening layers inside the cell memories. The layers become the physical footprints of your dream body, psyche or soul, manifesting in unhappiness, mood swings and, eventually, physical illness or chronic health problems.

The whole range of human emotions is valid and worthy of your complete attention. Become aware of your emotions, welcome them, maybe feel them somewhere in your body, then choose to let go of the ones that don’t serve your health and wellness any longer – it can be as simple as that! It starts with becoming aware of how you’re feeling in this present moment, right now.

Tip: Position where you are by sensing how you feel (content, hopeful, angry, irritated, fearful, worried, etc). It is ideal to do this once a day, soon after you wake up. Then set your intention on a higher bar, just one or two steps up. Then ask yourself: “What can I do to feel better?” Focus, breathe deeply, align, connect with nature in this moment, sleep a while, take a short power nap or a hot bath with essential oils, listen to soothing music, draw a stick figure or two, colour in a mandala. Ask yourself: “What brings me joy?” Do more of that!

Some of the many health benefits of meditation (and the release technique)
Reduces cortisol and other stress hormones, therefore helping in coping with and lowering mind-body stress levels.

~ Essential as part of the holistic management toolkit (dowsing the runaway, uncontrollable, renegade fire of chronic inflammation) in high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression, stroke, insomnia, eczema, diabetes and insulin resistance, osteoarthritis, autoimmune diseases, cancer, etc.).
~ Helps to remain focused and calm down breathing in acute panic attacks, asthma and heart attack until emergency medicine can take over.
~ Helps to manage fear, worry and generalised anxiety by dialling down emotional overreactions.
~ Supports you whenever you use food as distractor for facing your inner dragons and use emotional eating as distractor factor.
~ Supports memory, concentration and focus.
~ Reduces heart rate.
~ Supports immune and respiratory system health.
~ Helps you to develop an inner sense of joy and peace.

Physical level

Getting a time out in nature has the power to quiet the mind, encourage creativity, improve your energy, help you destress, improve concentration and allow for more inspiration. Walk barefoot on grass, in water and on the beach. “Meta-analyses of multi-disciplinary research studies have clearly shown the evidence-based conclusions of the multiple health benefits of daily earthing (grounding) practice for healing mind, body and soul and restoring balance, homeostasis and integration in the whole system of living on Earth for all living beings. ”On a physical level there are also many foods, micronutrients, herbs, movements and more to support mental health.

Food and physical factors for mental health

Feel-good foods and other Feel-good facts:
Serotonin and dopamine

Rice, potato and pasta.
Banana, berries and chilli peppers.
Legumes (lentils and beans).
Sesame and pumpkin seeds.
Making love, tender touch and intimacy.

Kissing and hugging: Oxytocin.
Feeling of bliss, peace and joy.
10-20 minutes of sunlight each day.

Eating for brain, heart and the entire body

Salmon, trout, sardines – fatty fish.

Olive oil, coconut oil.

Probiotics for optimal gut-brain/mental health.

Lion’s mane, shiitake mushroom soup.

Nuts that look like the brain: Walnuts, pecan nuts.

Support and supplementation Mental health
5 HTP.
St. John’s Wort
Lion’s Mane
Gingko Biloba
Vitamin C
B-Complex: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6,
B9 (folate) and B12
Oils – Lavender, rose and orange blossom.


Stay hydrated! Every cell in your body depends on it. For every 10kg of bodyweight, 250ml liquids should be taken daily for maintenance, with more for when it’s hot or when you’ve been exercising. Choose from the following:
Water, rooibos or any herbal tea.
Ceylon/English tea and coffee use water when metabolised in the body.

Food for thought
 ‘In stillness and in quiet listening, I can hear the hymns of gratitude the world is singing underneath the sounds of fear’ – A Course in Miracles.

The stillness of a quiet mind, inner ease, align soul to mind to body, dance, sing, joyful being, grounding, gratitude: some keys to mental health!

‘Our souls want us to dance, whoop and shout. Music allows us to bypass the logical loops in our brains’ Dr Arien

Meet Dr Arien van der Merwe and Anri van Rooyen of Ariani Health at the KwazuluSpirit Festival 9, 10, 11 August. Festival Time Slots:
9.8.2024             9:30-11:30        The Heart of a Woman              Dr. Arien in the Marquee
9.8.2024            11:30-12:30        Fun Ways to Women’s Health  Anri in the Open Workroom
10.8.2024          10:00-11:45        Optimal Heart Health                Dr. Arien in the Open Workroom 

Dr Arien van der Merwe

Dr Arien van der Merwe

Medical doctor, author & holistic health counsellor

Dr Arien van der Merwe is a medical doctor, author and holistic health counsellor. She developed and presents continued professional development training through VideoLearn and Synergetica CPD Courses on Mental Health in Challenging Uncertain Times; Heart Health; Inflammation both Friend and Foe and Neuroplasticity.

Dr Arien teaches group and individual meditation and relaxation classes, as well as health coaching online (WhatsApp video consultations) and at her rooms in Pretoria. More info: 

Arien van der Merwe

Dr Arien van der Merwe is a medical doctor, author and holistic health counsellor. She developed and presents continued professional development training through VideoLearn and Synergetica CPD Courses on Mental Health in Challenging Uncertain Times; Heart Health; Inflammation both Friend and Foe and Neuroplasticity. These online CPD Courses explore ways to support both ourselves, our nearest and dearest, as well as our clients/patients.

Dr Arien is the author of Stress Solutions, the ‘Relax & Unwind’ relaxation CD as well as the books Health & Happiness, Managing Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome and Herbal Remedies. Dr Arien teaches group and individual meditation and relaxation classes, as well as health coaching online (WhatsApp video consultations) and at her rooms in Pretoria.