The Physical Aspect of Grief: A Natural Healing Therapy

Not only does grief disrupt and ‘irritate’ our mental and emotional states of mind, it can also play havoc with our physical bodies.

According to Susan Neva, L.P.N., C.C.T, a practicing colon hydrotherapist in Tempe, Arizona, when one is going through a difficult time -- whether sad, depressed or grief-stricken -- individuals have a tendency to “hold on.” For many, this holding on affects bodily waste elimination.

In this situation, Susan recommends utilizing a Castor Oil Pack. Castor oil is a counter-irritant. Used topically (as described below), it liberates waste removal from the gut and tonifies the entire immune system.

Susan states, “Castor Oil Packs are one of the most healing therapies you can endure. A benefit from using this modality is that you relax horizontally for 30 minutes of your day. This is a great opportunity to practice meditation, belly breathing and healing visualization.

Moreover, by taking the time to lie down with a pack, we allow ourselves to “be with” whatever we are feeling. This quiet time allows us to learn to be okay with our feelings.

Feelings have a way of persisting until we acknowledge them. However, once acknowledged, we then empower ourselves by claiming the choice to decide whether we will remain stuck by holding on or move forward by releasing feelings detrimental to our health. As we become more comfortable with this process, we relax. As we relax, both our physical and emotional eliminations improve.

Health is about self-honor. Begin the practice now and your future will reflect strength and vitality.”

How To Prepare and Use Castor Oil Packs

Materials Needed
Castor oil (must be cold pressed)
Flannel or cotton cloth (such as a wash cloth)
Heating pad or hot water bottle

1. Soak cotton cloth in Castor Oil
2. Prepare hot water bottle or heating pad
3. Rub oil into skin over belly
4. Place soaked cloth on belly
5. Place thin towel over soaked cloth
6. Place hot water bottle or heating pad over towel
7. Leave on for 30 minutes (minimum) each night

Ready-made Castor Oil Packs are available at most health food stores. They also may be purchased online at or toll free from Heritage Products @ 1.800.862.2923.

For more information, you may reach Susan by phone (480.755.0222 or 602.292.0061), or visit her website at

Ellen Gerst, a Life Coach who specializes in grief and relationships, is the author of A Practical Guide to Widow/erhood. Born out of Ellen’s own experiences as a young widow, A Practical Guide provides "how-to" information to help a griever re-adjust each aspect of his/her life without his/her loved one. Her newest book, 101 Tips and Thoughts on Coping with Grief, is an easy-to-read reference guide filled with suggestions for every day use on moving forward through the grief journey. Ellen has also written Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story, a step-by-step guide on how to redesign your life to include a new love connection after the loss of a mate. For more detailed information on products and services, visit her website.

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