School Replaces Detention With Meditation With Remarkable Results

Imagine you’re working at a school and one of the kids is starting to act up. What do you do?

Traditionally, the answer would be to give the unruly kid detention or suspension.

But in my memory, detention tended to involve staring at walls, bored out of my mind, trying to either surreptitiously talk to the kids around me without getting caught or trying to read a book. If it was designed to make me think about my actions, it didn’t really work. It just made everything feel stupid and unfair.

But Robert W. Coleman Elementary School has been doing something different when students act out: offering meditation.

Photo from Holistic Life Foundation, used with permission.

Instead of punishing disruptive kids or sending them to the principal’s office, the Baltimore school has something called the Mindful Moment Room instead.

The room looks nothing like your standard windowless detention room. Instead, it’s filled with lamps, decorations, and plush purple pillows. Misbehaving kids are encouraged to sit in the room and go through practices like breathing or meditation, helping them calm down and re-center. They are also asked to talk through what happened.

Meditation and mindfulness are pretty interesting, scientifically.

Photo from Holistic Life Foundation, used with permission.

Mindful meditation has been around in some form or another for thousands of years. Recently, though, science has started looking at its effects on our minds and bodies, and it’s finding some interesting effects.

One study, for example, suggested that mindful meditation could give practicing soldiers a kind of mental armor against disruptive emotions, and it can improve memory too. Another suggested mindful meditation could improve a person’s attention span and focus.

Individual studies should be taken with a grain of salt (results don’t always carry in every single situation), but overall, science is starting to build up a really interesting picture of how awesome meditation can be. Mindfulness in particular has even become part of certain fairly successful psychotherapies.

Back at the school, the Mindful Moment Room isn’t the only way Robert W. Coleman Elementary has been encouraging its kids.

After-school yoga. Photo from Holistic Life Foundation, used with permission.

The meditation room was created as a partnership with the Holistic Life Foundation, a local nonprofit that runs other programs as well. For more than 10 years the foundation has been offering the after-school program Holistic Me, where kids from pre-K through the fifth grade practice mindfulness exercises and yoga.

“It’s amazing,” said Kirk Philips, the Holistic Me coordinator at Robert W. Coleman. “You wouldn’t think that little kids would meditate in silence. And they do.”

I want to be as cool as this kid one day. Photo from Holistic Life Foundation, used with permission.

There was a Christmas party, for example, where the kids knew they were going to get presents but were still expected to do meditation first.

“As a little kid, that’s got to be hard to sit down and meditate when you know you’re about to get a bag of gifts, and they did it! It was beautiful, we were all smiling at each other watching them,” said Philips.

The program also helps mentor and tutor the kids, as well as teach them about the environment.

Building a vegetable garden. Photo from Holistic Life Foundation, used with permission.

They help clean up local parks, build gardens, and visit nearby farms. Philips said they even teach kids to be co-teachers, letting them run the yoga sessions.

This isn’t just happening at one school, either. Lots of schools are trying this kind of holistic thinking, and it’s producing incredible results.

In the U.K., for example, the Mindfulness in Schools Project is teaching adults how to set up programs. Mindful Schools, another nonprofit, is helping to set up similar programs in the United States.

Oh, and by the way, the schools are seeing a tangible benefit from this program, too.

Philips said that at Robert W. Coleman Elementary, there have been exactly zero suspensions last year and so far this year. Meanwhile, nearby Patterson Park High School, which also uses the mindfulness programs, said suspension rates dropped and attendance increased as well.

Is that wholly from the mindfulness practices? It’s impossible to say, but those are pretty remarkable numbers, all the same.

 Sourced from: http://www.upworthy.com/this-school-replaced-detention-with-meditation-the-results-are-stunning

A neuroscience researcher reveals 4 rituals that will make you happier

Editor’s note:  I love this piece and absolutely agree with the advice given. Following these rituals will certainly make it easier to find happiness, or as I like to say, acceptance and contentment.   Finding gratitude – at least searching for it – helps and believe me when I say at times I have said “i have NOTHING to be grateful for” – but it is in the searching that can switch things in the brain.  If anything,  I am always grateful for a warm comfy bed.  And my child.  

You get all kinds of happiness advice on the internet from people who don’t know what they’re talking about. Don’t trust them.

Actually, don’t trust me either. Trust neuroscientists. They study that gray blob in your head all day and have learned a lot about what truly will make you happy.

UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb has some insights that can create an upward spiral of happiness in your life.

Here’s what you and I can learn from the people who really have answers:

1. The most important question to ask when you feel down

Sometimes it doesn’t feel like your brain wants you to be happy. You may feel guilty or shameful. Why?

Believe it or not, guilt and shame activate the brain’s reward center.

Via The Upward Spiral:

Despite their differences, pride, shame, and guilt all activate similar neural circuits, including the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, insula, and the nucleus accumbens. Interestingly, pride is the most powerful of these emotions at triggering activity in these regions — except in the nucleus accumbens, where guilt and shame win out. This explains why it can be so appealing to heap guilt and shame on ourselves — they’re activating the brain’s reward center.

And you worry a lot, too. Why? In the short term, worrying makes your brain feel a little better — at least you’re doing something about your problems.

Via The Upward Spiral:

In fact, worrying can help calm the limbic system by increasing activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and decreasing activity in the amygdala. That might seem counterintuitive, but it just goes to show that if you’re feeling anxiety, doing something about it — even worrying — is better than doing nothing.

But guilt, shame, and worry are horrible, long-term solutions. So what do neuroscientists say you should do? Ask yourself this question:

What am I grateful for?

Yeah, gratitude is awesome … but does it really affect your brain at the biological level? Yup.

You know what the antidepressant Wellbutrin does? Boosts the neurotransmitter dopamine. So does gratitude.

Via The Upward Spiral:

The benefits of gratitude start with the dopamine system, because feeling grateful activates the brain stem region that produces dopamine. Additionally, gratitude toward others increases activity in social dopamine circuits, which makes social interactions more enjoyable …

Know what Prozac does? Boosts the neurotransmitter serotonin. So does gratitude.

Via The Upward Spiral:

One powerful effect of gratitude is that it can boost serotonin. Trying to think of things you are grateful for forces you to focus on the positive aspects of your life. This simple act increases serotonin production in the anterior cingulate cortex.

I know, sometimes life lands a really mean punch in the gut and it feels like there’s nothing to be grateful for. Guess what?

Doesn’t matter. You don’t have to find anything. It’s the searching that counts.

Via The Upward Spiral:

It’s not finding gratitude that matters most; it’s remembering to look in the first place. Remembering to be grateful is a form of emotional intelligence. One study found that it actually affected neuron density in both the ventromedial and lateral prefrontal cortex. These density changes suggest that as emotional intelligence increases, the neurons in these areas become more efficient. With higher emotional intelligence, it simply takes less effort to be grateful.

And gratitude doesn’t just make your brain happy — it can also create a positive feedback loop in your relationships. So express that gratitude to the people you care about.

For more on how gratitude can make you happier and more successful, click here.

But what happens when bad feelings completely overtake you? When you’re really in the dumps and don’t even know how to deal with it? There’s an easy answer …

unhappy sad frustrated personPoint out the things that upset you. ibm4381/Flickr

2. Label negative feelings

You feel awful. OK, give that awfulness a name. Sad? Anxious? Angry?

Boom. It’s that simple. Sound stupid? Your noggin disagrees.

Via The Upward Spiral:

[I]n one fMRI study, appropriately titled “Putting Feelings into Words” participants viewed pictures of people with emotional facial expressions. Predictably, each participant’s amygdala activated to the emotions in the picture. But when they were asked to name the emotion, the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activated and reduced the emotional amygdala reactivity. In other words, consciously recognizing the emotions reduced their impact.

Suppressing emotions doesn’t work and can backfire on you.

Via Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long:

Gross found that people who tried to suppress a negative emotional experience failed to do so. While they thought they looked fine outwardly, inwardly their limbic system was just as aroused as without suppression, and in some cases, even more aroused. Kevin Ochsner, at Columbia, repeated these findings using an fMRI. Trying not to feel something doesn’t work, and in some cases even backfires.

But labeling, on the other hand, makes a big difference.

Via Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long:

To reduce arousal, you need to use just a few words to describe an emotion, and ideally use symbolic language, which means using indirect metaphors, metrics, and simplifications of your experience. This requires you to activate your prefrontal cortex, which reduces the arousal in the limbic system. Here’s the bottom line: describe an emotion in just a word or two, and it helps reduce the emotion.

Ancient methods were way ahead of us on this one. Meditation has employed this for centuries. Labeling is a fundamental tool of mindfulness.

In fact, labeling affects the brain so powerfully it works with other people, too. Labeling emotions is one of the primary tools used by FBI hostage negotiators.

To learn more of the secrets of FBI hostage negotiators, click here.

Okay, hopefully you’re not reading this and labeling your current emotional state as bored. Maybe you’re not feeling awful but you probably have things going on in your life that are causing you some stress. Here’s a simple way to beat them.

thinkingMake decisions to do things you enjoy. Francisco Osorio/Flickr

3. Make that decision

Ever make a decision and then your brain finally feels at rest? That’s no random occurrence.

Brain science shows that making decisions reduces worry and anxiety — as well as helping you solve problems.

Via The Upward Spiral:

Making decisions includes creating intentions and setting goals — all three are part of the same neural circuitry and engage the prefrontal cortex in a positive way, reducing worry and anxiety. Making decisions also helps overcome striatum activity, which usually pulls you toward negative impulses and routines. Finally, making decisions changes your perception of the world — finding solutions to your problems and calming the limbic system.

But deciding can be hard. I agree. So what kind of decisions should you make? Neuroscience has an answer.

Make a “good enough” decision. Don’t sweat making the absolute 100% best decision. We all know being a perfectionist can be stressful. And brain studies back this up.

Trying to be perfect overwhelms your brain with emotions and makes you feel out of control.

Via The Upward Spiral:

Trying for the best, instead of good enough, brings too much emotional ventromedial prefrontal activity into the decision-making process. In contrast, recognizing that good enough is good enough activates more dorsolateral prefrontal areas, which helps you feel more in control …

As Swarthmore professor Barry Schwartz said in my interview with him: “Good enough is almost always good enough.”

So when you make a decision, your brain feels you have control. And, as I’ve talked about before, a feeling of control reduces stress. But here’s what’s really fascinating: Deciding also boosts pleasure.

Via The Upward Spiral:

Actively choosing caused changes in attention circuits and in how the participants felt about the action, and it increased rewarding dopamine activity.

Want proof? No problem. Let’s talk about cocaine.

You give two rats injections of cocaine. Rat A had to pull a lever first. Rat B didn’t have to do anything. Any difference? Yup: Rat A gets a bigger boost of dopamine.

Via The Upward Spiral:

So they both got the same injections of cocaine at the same time, but rat A had to actively press the lever, and rat B didn’t have to do anything. And you guessed it — rat A released more dopamine in its nucleus accumbens.

So what’s the lesson here? Next time you buy cocaine … whoops, wrong lesson. Point is, when you make a decision on a goal and then achieve it, you feel better than when good stuff just happens by chance.

And this answers the eternal mystery of why dragging your butt to the gym can be so hard.

If you go because you feel you have to or you should, well, it’s not really a voluntary decision. Your brain doesn’t get the pleasure boost. It just feels stress. And that’s no way to build a good exercise habit.

Via The Upward Spiral:

Interestingly, if they are forced to exercise, they don’t get the same benefits, because without choice, the exercise itself is a source of stress.

So make more decisions. Neuroscience researcher Alex Korb sums it up nicely:

We don’t just choose the things we like; we also like the things we choose.

To learn what neuroscientists say is the best way to use caffeine, click here.

OK, you’re being grateful, labeling negative emotions and making more decisions. Great, but this is feeling kinda lonely for a happiness prescription. Let’s get some other people in here.

What’s something you can do with others that neuroscience says is a path to mucho happiness? And something that’s stupidly simple so you don’t get lazy and skip it? Brain docs have an answer for you.

happy laughing friendsHave fun with friends. Business Insider

4. Touch people

No, not indiscriminately; that can get you in a lot of trouble.

But we need to feel love and acceptance from others. When we don’t it’s painful. And I don’t mean “awkward” or “disappointing.” I mean actually painful.

Neuroscientists did a study where people played a ball-tossing video game. The other players tossed the ball to you and you tossed it back to them. Actually, there were no other players; that was all done by the computer program.

But the subjects were told the characters were controlled by real people. So what happened when the “other players” stopped playing nice and didn’t share the ball?

Subjects’ brains responded the same way as if they experienced physical pain. Rejection doesn’t just hurt like a broken heart; your brain feels it like a broken leg.

Via The Upward Spiral:

In fact, as demonstrated in an MRI experiment, social exclusion activates the same circuitry as physical pain … at one point they stopped sharing, only throwing back and forth to each other, ignoring the participant. This small change was enough to elicit feelings of social exclusion, and it activated the anterior cingulate and insula, just like physical pain would.

Relationships are important to your brain’s feeling of happiness. Want to take that to the next level? Touch people.

Via The Upward Spiral:

One of the primary ways to release oxytocin is through touching. Obviously, it’s not always appropriate to touch most people, but small touches like handshakes and pats on the back are usually okay. For people you’re close with, make more of an effort to touch more often.

Touching is incredibly powerful. We just don’t give it enough credit. It makes you more persuasive, increases team performance, improves your flirting … heck, it even boosts math skills.

Touching someone you love actually reduces pain. In fact, when studies were done on married couples, the stronger the marriage, the more powerful the effect.

Via The Upward Spiral:

In addition, holding hands with someone can help comfort you and your brain through painful situations. One fMRI study scanned married women as they were warned that they were about to get a small electric shock. While anticipating the painful shocks, the brain showed a predictable pattern of response in pain and worrying circuits, with activation in the insula, anterior cingulate, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. During a separate scan, the women either held their husbands’ hands or the hand of the experimenter. When a subject held her husband’s hand, the threat of shock had a smaller effect. The brain showed reduced activation in both the anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex — that is, less activity in the pain and worrying circuits. In addition, the stronger the marriage, the lower the discomfort-related insula activity.

So hug someone today. And do not accept little, quick hugs. No, no, no. Tell them your neuroscientist recommended long hugs.

Via The Upward Spiral:

A hug, especially a long one, releases a neurotransmitter and hormone oxytocin, which reduces the reactivity of the amygdala.

Research shows getting five hugs a day for four weeks increases happiness big time.

Don’t have anyone to hug right now? No? (I’m sorry to hear that. I would give you a hug right now if I could.) But there’s an answer: Neuroscience says you should go get a massage.

Via The Upward Spiral:

The results are fairly clear that massage boosts your serotonin by as much as 30 percent. Massage also decreases stress hormones and raises dopamine levels, which helps you create new good habits … Massage reduces pain because the oxytocin system activates painkilling endorphins. Massage also improves sleep and reduces fatigue by increasing serotonin and dopamine and decreasing the stress hormone cortisol.

So spend time with other people and give some hugs. Sorry, texting is not enough.

When you put people in a stressful situation and then let them visit loved ones or talk to them on the phone, they felt better. What about when they just texted? Their bodies responded the same as if they had no support at all.

Via The Upward Spiral:

[T]he text-message group had cortisol and oxytocin levels similar to the no-contact group.

Author’s note: I totally approve of texting if you make a hug appointment.

To learn what neuroscience says is the best way to get smarter and happier, click here.

OK, I don’t want to strain your brain with too much info. Let’s round it up and learn the quickest and easiest way to start that upward spiral of neuroscience-inspired happiness.

Sum up

Here’s what brain research says will make you happy:

  • Ask “What am I grateful for?” No answers? Doesn’t matter. Just searching helps.
  • Label those negative emotions. Give it a name and your brain isn’t so bothered by it.
  • Decide. Go for “good enough” instead of ‘best decision ever made on Earth.”
  • Hugs, hugs, hugs. Don’t text — touch.

So what’s the simple way to start that upward spiral of happiness?

Just send someone a thank-you email. If you feel awkward about it, you can send them this post to tell them why.

This really can start an upward spiral of happiness in your life. UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb explains:

Everything is interconnected. Gratitude improves sleep. Sleep reduces pain. Reduced pain improves your mood. Improved mood reduces anxiety, which improves focus and planning. Focus and planning help with decision making. Decision making further reduces anxiety and improves enjoyment. Enjoyment gives you more to be grateful for, which keeps that loop of the upward spiral going. Enjoyment also makes it more likely you’ll exercise and be social, which, in turn, will make you happier.

So thank you for reading this.

And send that thank-you email now to make you and someone you care about happy.

Sourced from: http://www.businessinsider.com/a-neuroscience-researcher-reveals-4-rituals-that-will-make-you-a-happier-person-2015-9

The Science of Smudging

Editor’s note:  I’ve been smudging with sage for almost 20 years and can attest to the benefits.  At the very least the energetic space feels better and I have had others claim the same.  It’s subtle and noticeable nonetheless.  Cool to know that it actually clears away harmful bacteria in the air too.  

The practice of smudging dates back to prehistoric times, and is still very much in use today worldwide for cleansing everything from dwellings to human spirits. However recent research has shed light on the popularity of this activity, revealing that burning certain plant matter actually clears harmful bacteria.

All Western use of burning herbs and plants for spiritual purposes aside, the activity rests firmly in the sensibilities of ancient cultures in that, historically, smudging was believed to put forth the spirits of various ‘allies’ to provide ease and balance to an individual or group.shutterstock_119042176

In this way, the practice was used to clear spiritual and emotional negativity that has built up in a body or a space.

Of course, there are skeptics who belittle the practice as unscientific and akin to magic.

The practice has a negative association to a form of cultural imperialism, where traditions of dwindling indigenous populations are co-opted by the descendants of those who more-or-less conquered them.

The scientific paper entitled “Medicinal Smokes” and published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology focuses a scientific lens on the practice, which is becoming more and more widely practiced, despite skepticism.

It serves to play against the role that this activity has played in a culturally diverse range of religions and tribal beliefs.

The research study looked into herbal and non-herbal remedies that were administered by the burning of various matter.

The research included information from 50 countries over 5 continents and found that, predominantly, smoke administered medicinally is mostly used to aid lung, brain and skin function. In addition, it was revealed that passive fumes doubled as a sort of air purifier.

The purpose of the study was to see whether or not these medicinal smoke deliveries could be explored by western medicine, because “The advantages of smoke-based remedies are rapid delivery to the brain, more efficient absorption by the body and lower costs of production.”

A follow up paper published in the same periodical, “Medicinal smoke reduces airborne bacteria,” found that the research concluded that, in addition to health benefits, smudging was a powerful antiseptic.

shutterstock_312949751

“We have observed that 1 hour treatment of medicinal smoke emanated by burning wood and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs (havan sámagri=material used in oblation to fire all over India), on aerial bacterial population caused over 94% reduction of bacterial counts by 60 min and the ability of the smoke to purify or disinfect the air and to make the environment cleaner was maintained up to 24 hour in the closed room.

Absence of pathogenic bacteria Corynebacterium urealyticum, Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens, Enterobacter aerogenes (Klebsiella mobilis), Kocuria rosea, Pseudomonas syringae pv. persicae, Staphylococcus lentus, and Xanthomonas campestris pv. tardicrescens in the open room even after 30 days is indicative of the bactericidal potential of the medicinal smoke treatment.

We have demonstrated that using medicinal smoke it is possible to completely eliminate diverse plant and human pathogenic bacteria of the air within confined space.”

In short, burning medicinal herbs cleared airborne bacterial populations by 94%, and the space was still found to be disinfected a day later. What’s more, a month after smudging, much of the pathogens originally found were still undetectable.

This has profound implications, as modern air quality in the developed and undeveloped world is atrocious, containing up to 1800 bacterial typesmany of them pathogenic. With an increasing deadly array of antibacterial-resistant strains, we’ll need all the help we can get.

Conventional methods of sterilization often employ chemical cocktails that are typicallymuch less effective than purported. Smudging seems to be an effective alternative, while also being natural and safe to use.

In conclusion, the ancient practice of burning powerful herbal material may be much much more than just a primitive belief that we can simply disregard due to it being unscientific.

Of course, this should not take away from the properties of smudging in the area of energy system and soul cleansing and in the power of aromatherapy.

Sourced from: http://thespiritscience.net/2015/11/26/the-science-of-smudging-how-sage-actually-cleans-bacteria-in-the-air/

Tachyon Energy and How It Works With The Body

Editor’s note:  I recently began taking tachyonized water and will report any results.  

First, the science.

All matter, from this page, to the human heart, to the cosmos and beyond, is made of energy and is part of an “Energetic Continuum”, a term used to describe the flow of energies as they move down from ‘THE SOURCE’. This ‘stepping down’ process creates the third dimensional world in which we live.

Formless Zero-Point Energy, (in Quantum Physics), is considered to be the starting point of the energetic continuum, and the first formed energy to emerge from it is called Tachyon. Named after the Greek word meaning swift, the word Tachyon, like the word electricity, merely describes a type of energy. But it is to Tachyon Energy, and its qualities and uses as a balancing tool for the human form, that I now direct your attention. What makes these Tachyon particles so special? Well, just like Zero-Point Energy, they move faster than the speed of light, are everywhere at the same time, have no frequency, spin, or gravitation, are the source of all energies, and contain the perfect potential of the entire universe within themselves,but remember, now they have form.

How Tachyon Energy Works with the Body

By interacting with what is called a ‘Subtle Organizing Energy Field’ (SOEF). This term, coined by Dr. Gabriel Cousens MD, in his book ‘Spiritual Nutrition and The Rainbow Diet’, describes an energetic theory of nutrition which states that our physical bodies are templated on SOEF’s (subtle organizing energy fields). When balanced, organized and functioning at its peak, the body is in a state known as negative entropy or ‘youthing; disorganized, it slips into a state of chaos known as positive entropy; the most radical example being the production of cancer cells. If a SOEF is blocked or depleted, the flow of life force energy through the Energetic Continuum becomes deficient. But SOEF’s can be energized. Our body naturally does this through the chakra system, oxygen, sunlight, water and food. However,when those sources are themselves deplete of Tachyon Energy, this can negatively impact our lives and may show up as symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and dis-ease.

So how can we get more of this Tachyon Energy if we want to function at optimal levels? The answer may be found in new advancements in technology that have allowed for the creation of “antennae’ that attract and focus Tachyon Energy. These ‘antennae’, when applied directly to the body, ‘feed’ the SOEF’s, giving the body the tools and energy necessary to heal itself, and do it in a self regulating fashion.

That’s right, you see the SOEF’s use only that amount of Tachyon Energy necessary to re-balance unorganized areas of the body, eliminating the need to monitor dosage requirements.

Some of the Things You Might Experience

Physically, you may experience an increase in stamina and energy; emotionally, a return to that feeling of unconditional love; mentally, you could experience increased wisdom or clarity of thought; and spiritually feel more in tune with ‘THE SOURCE’. To that list add natural detoxification,increased vitamin & mineral absorption, enhanced meditation, increased brain function, a decrease in general pain symptoms and an increased sense of well being.

In a recent independent research study by Norman McVea, Ph.D., Dir. Oxygen Research Institute, Mill Valley CA , Tachyon ‘antennae’ were found to be of tremendous value as tools for stress reduction, meditation, creative visualization, consciousness expansion, rejuvenation, and psychic exploration. Now you can see why countless lay people and health care professionals in over ninety-three countries choose to use Tachyon Energy for the betterment of themselves, their families, friends, clients and pets.

Tachyon Energy stands on its own as an exceptional balancing and energizing tool, or it can be used in conjunction with nearly all other healing modalities for its enhancing ability.

About this Contributor:Robert Ziegler, a Certified Tachyon Practitioner, and Member in good standing with the Tachyon Institute for Spirituality and Science, Santa Rosa, CA, is located in Central Florida. His practice is devoted to bringing balance to the mind, body and spirit complex through the utilization of Tachyon Energy.
Website: www.tachyon-partners.com/rcziegler

Sourced from: http://healing.about.com/od/tools/a/tachyon.htm

Doctors Now Prescribing Music Therapy for Heart Ailments, Brain Dysfunction, Learning Disabilities, Depression, PTSD, Alzheimers, Childhood Development and More

Doctors Now Prescribing Music Therapy for Heart Ailments, Brain Dysfunction, Learning Disabilities, Depression, PTSD, Alzheimers, Childhood Development and More

Written by Didge Project director AJ Block and guest author Gracy Liura.

music therapy

Music has proven time and again to be an important component of human culture. From its ceremonial origin to modern medical usage for personal motivation, concentration, and shifting mood, music is a powerful balm for the human soul. Though traditional “music therapy” encompasses a specific set of practices, the broader use of music as a therapeutic tool can be seen nowadays as doctors are found recommending music for a wide variety of conditions.

1Music Helps Control Blood Pressure and Heart-Related Disorders

According to The Cardiovascular Society of Great Britain, listening to certain music with a repetitive rhythm for least ten seconds can lead to a decrease in blood pressure and a reduced heart rate. Certain classical compositions, if matched with human body’s rhythm, can be therapeutically used to keep the heart under control. The Oxford University study states, “listening to music with a repeated 10-second rhythm coincided with a fall in blood pressure, reducing the heart rate” and thus can be used for overcoming hypertension.

 

2Listening and Playing Music Helps Treat Stress and Depression

When it comes to the human brain, music is one of the best medicines. A study at McGill University in Canada revealed that listening to agreeable music encourages the production of beneficial brain chemicals, specifically the “feel good” hormone known as dopamine. Dopamine happens to be an integral part of brain’s pleasure-enhancing system. As a result, music leads to great feeling of joy and bliss.

It’s not only listening to music that has a positive effect on stress and depression. The Namm Foundation has compiled a comprehensive list of benefits of playing music, which includes reducing stress on both the emotional level and the molecular level. Additionally, studies have shown that adults who play music produce higher levels of Human Growth Hormone (HgH), which according to Web MD, is a necessary hormone for regulating body composition, body fluids, muscle and bone growth, sugar and fat metabolism, and possibly heart function.

For more on how music can be composed to benefit the brain, read about States of Consciousness and Brainwave Entrainment.

3Music Therapy Helps Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

Music therapy has worked wonders on patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. With Alzheimer’s, people lose their capacity to have interactions and carry on with interactive communications. According to studies done in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, “When used appropriately, music can shift mood, manage stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function, and coordinate motor movements.”

4Studying Music Boosts Academic Achievement in High Schoolers

Early exposure to music increases the plasticity of brain helping to motivate the human brain’s capacity in such a way that it responds readily to learning, changing and growing. “UCLA professor James S. Catterall analyzed the academic achievement of 6,500 low-income students. He found that, by the time these students were in the 10th grade, 41.4% of those who had taken arts courses scored in the top half on standardized tests, contrasted with only 25% of those who had minimal arts experience. The arts students also were better readers and watched less television.” This goes to show that in the formative stages of life, kids who study music do much better in school.

5Playing Guitar (and Other Instruments) Aids in Treating PTSD

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs shared a study in which veterans experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) experienced relief by learning to play guitar. The organization responsible for providing guitars, Guitars For Vets “enhances the lives of ailing and injured military Veterans by providing them free guitars and music instruction.” Playing music for recovery from PTSD resembles traditional music therapy, in which patients are encouraged to make music as part of their healing process. Guitar is not the only instrument that can help PTSD. In fact, Operation We Are Here has an extensive list of Therapeutic Music Opportunities For Military Veterans.

6Studying Music Boosts Brain Development in Young Children

A research-based study undertaken at the University of Liverpool in the field of neuroscience has light to shed on the beneficial effects of early exposure to music. According to the findings, even half an hour of musical training is sufficient to increase the flow of blood in the brain’s left hemisphere, resulting in higher levels of early childhood development.

The Portland Chamber Orchestra shares, “Playing a musical instrument involves multiple components of the central (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral (nerves outside the brain and spinal cord) nervous systems.  As a musician plays an instrument, motor systems in the brain control both gross and fine movements needed to produce sound.  The sound is processed by auditory circuitry, which in turn can adjust signaling by the motor control centers.  In addition, sensory information from the fingers, hands and arms is sent to the brain for processing.  If the musician is reading music, visual information is sent to the brain for processing and interpreting commands for the motor centers.  And of course, the brain processes emotional responses to the music as well!”

7Music Education Helps Children Improve Reading Skills

Journal Psychology of Music reports that “Children exposed to a multi-year program of music tuition involving training in increasingly complex rhythmic, tonal, and practical skills display superior cognitive performance in reading skills compared with their non-musically trained peers.” In the initial stages of learning and development, music arouses auditory, emotional, cognitive and visual responses in a child. Music also aids a child’s kinesthetic development. According to the research-supported evidence, a song facilitates language learning far more effectively than speech.

8Listening To Music Helps Improve Sleep

According to The Center for Cardiovascular Disease in China, listening to music before and during sleep greatly aids people who suffer from chronic sleep disorders. This “music-assisted relaxation” can be used to treat both acute and chronic sleep disorders which include everything from stress and anxiety to insomnia.

9Playing Didgeridoo Helps Treat Sleep Apnea

 

A study published in the British Medical Journal shows that people suffering from sleep apnea can find relief by practicing the Australian wind-instrument known as the didgeridoo. Patients who played the didgeridoo for an average of 30-minutes per day, 6 days per week, saw significant increases in their quality of sleep and decreases in daytime tiredness after a minimum period of 3-months of practice. Dr. Jordan Stern of BlueSleep says, “The treatment of sleep apnea is quite challenging because there is not a single treatment that works well for every patient. The didgeridoo has been used to treat sleep apnea and it has been shown to be effective in part because of strengthening of the pharyngeal muscles, which means the muscles of the throat, as well as the muscles of the tongue.”

Sourced from: http://didgeproject.com/therapeutics/doctors-now-prescribing-music-for-heart-ailments-brain-dysfunction-learning-disabilities-depression-ptsd-alzheimers-and-more/

Imagine – Free Energy. Beam Ships For Self-Transport. Replicator’s.

Editor’s note:  Imagine.  Watch, listen and Imagine.  This is happening.  These technologies exist now.  Today.  This moment.  Let’s embrace it and think it into existence.  Love In Action.  An easy,  joyful life.  Can ya dig it?  

 

Miracle Cure: Watch What Happens When Cannabis Is Injected Into Cancer Cells

Intelligence Is Inherited From The Mother

Smart people should thank their mothers because, according to researchers, their mothers are responsible for the transmission of the intelligence genes. Thus, gender stereotypes that survived over centuries are perhaps about to disappear. Single mothers who want an intelligent son don’t need to look for a Nobel Prize at the nearest sperm bank and it is likely that men begin to re-evaluate the intelligence of women.
At the basis of this idea there are those known as “conditioned genes”, that behave differently depending on their origin. Basically, these genes have a kind of biochemical tag which allows to trace the origin and reveals even if they are active or not within the progeny cells. Interestingly, some of these affected genes work only if they come from the mother. If that same gene is inherited from the father, it is deactivated. Obviously, other genes work the opposite, are activated only if they come from the father.

Mother’s genes go directly to the cerebral cortex, those of the father to the limbic system

We know that intelligence has an hereditary component, but until few years ago we thought that much of it depended on the father as well as on the mother. However, several studies revealed that children are more likely to inherit intelligence from the mother, because intelligence genes are located on chromosome X.
One of the first studies in this area was conducted in 1984 at the University of Cambridge. This study analyzed the co-evolution of the brain and the conditioning of the genome, to conclude that the maternal genes contribute most to the development of the thought centers in the brain.
During the study, researchers created the embryos of special rats that only have genes of the mother or the father. But when came the time to transfer them to the uterus of an adult rat, the embryos died. So it was discovered that there are conditioned genes which are activated only when inherited from the mother and that are vital to the proper development of the embryo. On the contrary, the genetic heritage of the father is essential for the growth of the tissue that will form the placenta.
At that time, the researchers hypothesized that if these genes were important for the development of the embryo, it was also likely that they could play a major role in lives of animals and people, maybe they could even result in some brain functions. The problem was how to prove this idea, because embryos with genes from only one parent died quickly.
The researchers found a solution: they discovered that embryos could survive if normal embryonic cells were maintained and the rest were manipulated. This way they created several genetically modified laboratory mice that, surprisingly, did not develop the same way.
Those with an extra dose of maternal genes developed a bigger head and brain, but had little bodies. Conversely, those with an extra dose of paternal genes had small brains and larger bodies.
Deeply analyzing these differences the researchers identified cells that contained only maternal or paternal genes in six different parts of the brain that control different cognitive functions, from eating habits to memory.
In practice, during the first days of the embryo development, any cell can appear anywhere in the brain, but to the extent that the embryos mature and grow, cells that had the paternal genes accumulate in some areas of the emotional brain: hypothalamus, amygdala, the preoptic area and the septum. These areas are part of the limbic system, which is responsible for ensuring our survival and is involved in functions such as sex, food and aggression. However, researchers have not found any paternal cells in the cerebral cortex, which is where they develop the most advanced cognitive functions, such as intelligence, thought, language and planning.

New studies, new lights

Of course, scientists continued to investigate this theory. Years later, Robert Lehrke revealed that most of childrens’ intelligence depends on the X chromosome, and he also showed that since women have two X chromosomes are twice as likely to inherit the characteristics related to intelligence.
Recently, researchers at the University of Ulm, Germany, studied the genes involved in the brain damage and found that many of these, especially those related to cognitive abilities, were on chromosome X. In fact, it is no coincidence that the mental illness is 30% more common in males.
But perhaps, one of the most interesting results in this sense comes from a longitudinal analysis conducted by the Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in the United States. In this study they interviewed every year since 1994, 12,686 young people aged between 14 and 22 years. The researchers took into account several factors, from the color of the skin and education to socio-economic status. This way they found that the best predictor of intelligence was the IQ of the mother. In fact, the ratio of young people’s intelligence varied only an average of 15 points from that of their mothers.

Genetics is not the only responsible

If we leave genetics we can also meet other studies that reveal the mother plays an important role in the intellectual development of children, through the physical and emotional contact. In fact, some studies suggest that a secure bond is intimately tied to intelligence.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota, for example, found that children who have developed a strong attachment with their mothers develop a capacity of playing complex symbolic games at the age of two years, are most persevering and show less frustration during the troubleshooting.
This because the strong bond gives the necessary security to allow children explore the world and the confidence to solve problems without losing heart. In addition, these mothers also tend to help the children solving problems, thus helping to further stimulate their potential.
The importance of the emotional relationship for the development of the brain has been demonstrated by researchers at the University of Washington, who revealed for the first time that a secure bond and the love of the mother are crucial for the growth of some parts of the brain. These researchers have analyzed for seven years the way mothers relate with their children and have found that when supported emotionally their children and adequately gratified their intellectual and emotional needs, at age 13 the hippocampus of the kids was 10% greater than that of children of mothers who were emotionally distant. It is worth mentioning that the hippocampus is an area of the brain associated with memory, learning and stress response.

Can we really talk about hereditary intelligence?

It is estimated that between 40-60% of intelligence is hereditary. This means that the remaining percentage depends on environment and stimulation. In fact, what we call intelligence is nothing more than the ability to solve problems. But the curious fact is that to solve problems, even a simple mathematical or physical one, comes also into play the limbic system, because our brain works as a whole. Thus, even if intelligence is closely linked to the rational thinking function, it is also influenced by intuition and emotions, that genetically speaking, are influenced by the contribution of the father.
Moreover, we must not forget that even if a child has a high IQ, we must stimulate his intelligence and nourish it throughout life with new challenges which are constantly improving. Otherwise intelligence will disperse.
Beyond what was stated by genetics, fathers should not be discouraged, because they also have much to contribute to the development of their children, especially being emotionally present. The IQ with which we are born is important, but not decisive.
Sourced from: http://psychology-spot.blogspot.com/2016/03/did-you-know-that-intelligence-is.html

Frankincense Oil Can Help With Anxiety, Depression and Other Health Issues

Frankincense oil is known as the King of Oils – and it truly deserves this title. I use it daily to promote my health and if I ever had to choose just one oil to have, it would be frankincense. Frankincense has a long history of being used as a prized and precious essential oil. Historically it was used by the Babylonians, Assyrians and Egyptians in religious ceremonies, and as a resin for balms and salves. And of course, the three wise men brought frankincense to the baby Jesus as an offering.

Frankincense is taken from Boswellias when it is extracted from the bark of the tree. The milky-white sap will quickly harden to a resin and then be scraped off the tree in the form of pear-shaped droplets. The color and quality of this resin varies greatly, from the highest quality (clear and silvery in color) to the lowest (of a brown-yellow hue).

Today, the essential oil, acquired by steam distillation of the resin, is widely used and holds great therapeutic value.

 

The following uses of Frankincense are based upon my own personal experience.

1. Help with wounds from cuts, scrapes, and burns. For even greater benefit, apply Lavender essential oil first then layer Frankincense on top.  The combination of these two oils together is amazing when it comes to helping with wounds. (where to find) 

2. Neurological support. 

Frankincense is probably the best oil I know of for neurological support. It helps with the function of the central nervous system in particular. Whether it’s helping with clarity of thinking, or balancing the emotions, frankincense has a lot of benefits to offer.

3. Reduce and fade scars.  Just combine 2-3 drops of frankincense oil with coconut oil, and directly apply it on your skin.

4. Foster strong immune system.  Massage a few drops into the balls of your feet daily to boost your immune system. You can also diffuse it throughout your home or in your bedroom at night.

5. Reduce stress and anxious feelings.

Frankincense oil promotes relaxation and feeling of calm. You can simply rub a few drops mixed in a carrier oil on the back of the neck when you feel stressed.

6. Hormones and Memory

Frankincense can help balance hormones and improve memory.

7. Aging skin.   Mix a few drops of the Frankincense with unscented oil (like coconut) and apply to your skin. You can also add a drop of Frank to your daily moisturizer.

8. Head tension.  Frankincense can be used to relieve conditions where pain and tension are present.

9. Congestion.  Put up to six drops in a sink or bowl filled with very hot water then bend over the sink with a towel draped over your head to contain the steam. Breathe in the vapors for at least five minutes, adding more hot water as needed.  Be careful not to scald yourself; the water should be hot, not boiling.

10. Relieve itching.  A single drop applied to the affected area will bring immediate relief.

11. Relieve joint pain and swelling.  Mix with a carrier and rub into aching joints at night before bed and throughout the day,

12. Clear up problem skin.  Dab one drop on stubborn spots morning and night.

13. Relaxation.  Add 5 or 6 drops to a diffuser and breath in the oil to open the senses and create a calming atmosphere. To elevate your mood a few drops – as a perfume – works well.

14. Remove moles, skin tags, and warts.  Apply a single drop 3 or 4 times a day until gone.

15. Enhance vision.  Put 1-2 drops of Frankincense in your hand and then  rub your index finger in the oil and rub it onto each of your temple.  It can provide greater clarity to your vision and bring everything into greater focus.

16. Remove musty odors.  Place a couple of drops in a small dish of water and the room will take on a much fresher smell.

17. Oral Health: Useful as preventative measure against oral health problems such as bad breath, toothaches, cavities, canker sores, and other infections. Try mixing with baking soda and coconut oil to make your own toothpaste.

18. Promote sleep  Diffuse frankincense at bedtime to help you slow down your breathing and relieve nervous tension and anxiety.  You will sleep like a baby!

19. Enhance the efficacy of other essential oils.   Layer Frankincense over other essential oil to enhance that oil’s properties and drive the oils deeper into the cells.


References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12244881
https://draxe.com/what-is-frankincense/
Source: livingtraditionally.com

Sourced from: http://www.realfarmacy.com/anxiety-oil/

SPEAK WITH LOVE: HOW YOUR WORDS LITERALLY RESTRUCTURE YOUR BRAIN

Editor’s note: Indeed – Love In Action Now…Which must begin with ourselves…  

The words you choose to use can literally change your brain.

Dr. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist at Thomas Jefferson University, and Mark Robert Waldman, a communications expert, collaborated on the book, “Words Can Change Your Brain.” In it, they write, “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.Toward Digital Encryption

When we use words filled with positivity, like “love” and “peace”, we can alter how our brain functions by increasing cognitive reasoning and strengthening areas in our frontal lobes. Using positive words more often than negative ones can kick-start the motivational centers of the brain, propelling them into action.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, when we use negative words, we are preventing certain neuro-chemicals from being produced which contribute to stress management. Each and every one of us are initially hardwired to worry; it’s how our primal brain protects us from dangerous situations for survival.

So, when we allow negative words and concepts into our thoughts, we are increasing the activity in our brain’s fear center (the amygdala), and causing stress-producing hormones to flood our system. These hormones and neurotransmitters interrupt the logic and reasoning processes in the brain and inhibit normal functionality. Newberg and Waldman write, “Angry words send alarm messages through the brain, and they partially shut down the logic-and-reasoning centers located in the frontal lobes.”

Woman-talking-with-alphabet-letters-coming-out-of-her-mouth

An excerpt from their book tells us how using the *right* words can literally change our reality:

“By holding a positive and optimistic [word] in your mind, you stimulate frontal lobe activity. This area includes specific language centers that connect directly to the motor cortex responsible for moving you into action. And as our research has shown, the longer you concentrate on positive words, the more you begin to affect other areas of the brain.

Functions in the parietal lobe start to change, which changes your perception of yourself and the people you interact with. A positive view of yourself will bias you toward seeing the good in others, whereas a negative self-image will include you toward suspicion and doubt. Over time the structure of your thalamus will also change in response to your conscious words, thoughts, and feelings, and we believe that the thalamic changes affect the way in which you perceive reality.”

A study done by Positive Psychology further elaborates on the effects of using positive words. A group of adults aged 35-54 were given a nightly task of writing down three things that went well for them that day, including an explanation of why. The following three months showed their degrees of happiness continued to rise, and their feelings of depression continued to decline. By focusing and reflecting on positive ideas and emotions, we can improve our overall well-being and increase functionality of our brain.

What words do you choose to focus your energy on? If you notice your life isn’t exactly “peachy,” try carrying a journal with you to keep track of how often you use negative words. You may be surprised to find how simple the solution to a better life really is- change your words, change your life.

Sourced from: http://thespiritscience.net/2016/05/18/speak-with-love-how-your-words-literally-restructure-your-brain/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork