How CBD Works

Originally published in O’Shaughnessy’s.

Cannbidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of the marijuana plant, has generated significant interest among scientists and physicians in recent years—but how CBD exerts its therapeutic impact on a molecular level is still being sorted out. Cannabidiol is a pleiotropic drug in that it produces many effects through multiple molecular pathways. CBD acts through various receptor-independent channels and by binding with a number of non-cannabinoid receptors and ion channels.

Here are some of the ways that CBD confers its therapeutic effects.

CBD and FAAH

Unlike psychoactive THC, CBD has little binding affinity to either the CB1 or CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Instead, CBD indirectly stimulates endogenous cannabinoid signaling by suppressing the enzyme fatty acid amide hydroxylase (FAAH)—the enzyme that breaks down anandamide, the first endocannabinoid discovered in the mammalian brain in 1992.

Whereas the cannabinoid molecules found in cannabis are considered “exogenous ligands” to the cannabinoid (CB) receptor family, anandamide is an “endogenous” cannabinoid ligand—meaning it binds to one or more cannabinoid receptors and is found naturally inside the mammalian brain and body. Anandamide favors the CB1 receptor, which is concentrated in the brain and central nervous system. Because FAAH is involved in the metabolic breakdown of anandamide, less FAAH means more anandamide remains present in the body for a longer duration. More anandamide means greater CB1 activation.

CBD enhances endocannabinoid tone by supressing FAAH.

By inhibiting the enzyme that metabolizes and degrades anandamide, CBD enhances the body’s innate protective endocannabinoid response. At the same time, CBD opposes the action of THC at the CB1 receptor, thereby muting the psychoactive effects of THC.

CBD also stimulates the release of 2-AG, another endocannabinoid that activates both CB1 and CB2 receptor. CB2 receptors are predominant in the peripheral nervous system and the immune system.

The Vanilloid Receptor

While CBD has little binding affinity for either of the two cannabinoid receptors, it has been shown to directly interact with other “G-protein-coupled” receptors and ion channels to confer a therapeutic effect. CBD, for example, binds to the TRPV-1 receptor, which is known to mediate pain perception, inflammation and body temperature.

TRPV is the technical abbreviation for “transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V.” There are several dozen TRP receptor variants or subfamilies that mediate the effects of a wide range of medicinal herbs.

Scientists also refer to TRPV-1 as the “vanilloid receptor,” named after the flavorful vanilla bean. Vanilla contains eugenol, an essential oil that has antiseptic and analgesic properties; it also helps to unclog blood vessels. Historically, the vanilla bean has been used as a folk cure for headaches.

CBD is a TRPV-1 “agonist” or stimulant. This is likely one of the reasons why CBD-rich cannabis is an effective treatment for neuropathic pain.

Capsaicin—the pungent compound in hot chili peppers—activates the TRVP-1 receptor. Anandamide, the endogenous cannabinoid, is also a TRPV-1 agonist.

The Serotonin Receptor

Jose Alexandre Crippa and his colleagues at the University of San Paulo in Brazil and at the King’s College in London have conducted pioneering research into CBD and the neural correlates of anxiety.

At high concentrations, CBD directly activates the 5-HT1A (hydroxytryptamine) serotonin receptor, thereby conferring an anti-depressant effect. This receptor is implicated in a range of biological and neurological processes, including (but not limited to) anxiety, addiction, appetite, sleep, pain perception, nausea and vomiting.

5-HT1A is a member of the family of 5-HT receptors, which are activated by the neurotransmitter serotonin. Found in both the central and peripheral nervous systems, 5-HT receptors trigger various intracellular cascades of chemical messages to produce either an excitatory or inhibitory response, depending on the chemical context of the message.

CBD triggers an inhibitory response that slows down 5-HT1A signaling. In comparison, LSD, mescaline, magic mushrooms, and several other hallucinogenic drugs activate a different type of 5-HT receptor that produces an excitatory response.

The Adenosine Receptor

CBD’s anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties may in part be attributable to its activation of the adenosine receptor. Adenosine receptors play significant roles in cardiovascular function, regulating myocardial oxygen consumption and coronary blood flow. The adenosine (A2A) receptor has broad anti-inflammatory effects throughout the body.

Adenosine receptors also play a significant role in the brain. They down-regulate the release of other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and glutamate.

GPR55

Whereas cannabidiol activates the TRPV-1 vanilloid receptor, the A2A adenosine receptor, and the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, some studies indicate that CBD functions as an antagonist that blocks, or deactivates, another G protein-coupled receptor known as GPR55.

GPR55 has been dubbed an “orphan receptor” because scientists are still not sure if it belongs to a larger family of receptors.

GPR55 is widely expressed in the brain, especially in the cerebellum. It is involved in modulating blood pressure and bone density, among other physiological processes.

GPR55 promotes osteoclast cell function, which facilitates bone reabsorption. Overactive GPR55 receptor signaling is associated with osteoporosis.

GPR55, when activated, also promotes cancer cell proliferation, according to 2010 study by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai. This receptor is expressed in various types of cancer.

CBD is a GPR55 antagonist, as University of Aberdeen scientist Ruth Ross disclosed at the 2010 conference of the International Cannabinoid Research Society in Lund, Sweden.

By blocking GPR55 signaling, CBD may act to decrease both bone reabsorption and cancer cell proliferation.

PPARs

CBD also exerts an anti-cancer effect by activating PPARs [peroxisome proliferator activated receptors] that are situated on the surface of the cell’s nucleus. Activation of the receptor known as PPAR-gamma has an anti-proliferative effect as well as an ability to induce tumor regression in human lung cancer cell lines.

PPAR-gamma activation degrades amyloid-beta plaque, a key molecule linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. This is one of the reasons why cannabidiol, a PPAR-gamma agonist, may be a useful remedy for Alzheimer’s patients.

PPAR receptors also regulate genes that are involved in energy homeostasis, lipid uptake, insulin sensitivity, and other metabolic functions. Diabetics, accordingly, may benefit from a CBD-rich treatment regimen.

CBD’s enzyme-mediated activation of the PPAR-alpha receptor may have antipsychotic effects. Polymorphisms or mutations in the gene encoding PPAR-alpha can result in deficient PPAR-alpha signaling, which has been linked to schizophrenia. PPAR-alpha activation is both anti-inflammatory and can decrease dopamine release, thereby minimizing schizophrenic symptoms.

Sourced from: https://www.projectcbd.org/how-cbd-works

 

15 Reasons To Keep Coconut Oil In Your Bathroom

Editor’s note:  I have kept coconut oil (virgin, organic, cold-pressed, unrefined) in my bathroom for a few years now and follow many of the 15 uses listed below.  I also cook with it.  A must have!

By Dr. Mercola

While multiple companies manufacture and market “new and improved” FMCGs — fast- moving consumer goods — that we use every day, such as soap, toothpaste, deodorant and body lotion, one of the best and most natural products has been right under our noses, so to speak.

Coconut oil has a pleasant scent, and besides being very economical, it’s an amazingly versatile and therapeutic substance. Since the mid-1990s, roughly, coconut oil for a number of applications, such as cleansing, deodorizing and healing, has been growing on the larger population.

Questions like “Where does coconut oil actually come from?” and “What does it smell like?” are apropos. Coconut oil, like butter, is a solid substance, melting to a liquid form when it reaches about 76 degrees.

Insoluble at room temperature, it takes on a creamy consistency when blended with water using a whisk. If not treated to processes such as bleaching, refining or deodorizing, coconut oil exudes the mild fragrance you would expect — like coconut.

2 Kinds of Coconut Oil — Commercial Grade and Virgin

The relatively recent interest in the many uses of coconut oil also elicits questions regarding its production. There are two basic types: Commercial-grade and virgin coconut oil.

Commercial grade coconut oil — This product is made from copra, which is the dried meat of the coconut. It’s usually smoke-, sun- or kiln-dried or a combination of the three. But when standard copra is used to make coconut oil, it’s not sterile and therefore unsuitable for human consumption.

It’s “purified” or refined through a process known as RBD — refined, bleached and deodorized. According to Coconutdiet.com:1

“High heat is used to deodorize the oil, and the oil is typically filtered through (bleaching) clays to remove impurities. Sodium hydroxide is generally used to remove free fatty acids and prolong shelf life.

This is the most common way to mass-produce coconut oil. The older way of producing refined coconut oil was through physical/mechanical refining. More modern methods also use chemical solvents to extract all the oil from the copra for higher yields.”

Virgin coconut oil — In comparison, like olive oil, coconut oil is best when “first-pressed” and “virgin.” Like pressing a teabag that’s been steeping in boiled water a few minutes, the first water released will contain the most actual extracts.

The second time it’s pressed, as in the teabag analogy, the result isn’t as concentrated. Coconutdiet.com continues:

“Virgin Coconut Oil can only be achieved by using fresh coconut meat or what is called non-copra. Chemicals and high heating are not used in further refining, since the natural, pure coconut oil is very stable with a shelf life of several years.

There are currently two main processes of manufacturing Virgin Coconut Oil:

    • Quick drying of fresh coconut meat which is then used to press out the oil. Using this method, minimal heat is used to quick dry the coconut meat, and the oil is then pressed out via mechanical means.
    • Wet-milling. With this method, the oil is extracted from fresh coconut meat without drying first. ‘Coconut milk’ is expressed first by pressing.

The oil is then further separated from the water. Methods which can be used to separate the oil from the water include boiling, fermentation, refrigeration, enzymes and mechanical centrifuge.”

Why Keep Coconut Oil in the Bathroom?

Raw, organic coconut oil, besides being good enough to eat (which we’ll discuss in a minute) has a plethora of benefits apart from actual ingestion. Here’s a list of 15 benefits of coconut oil, in no particular order:

1.Smooth shave — If you’ve been plagued by red, irritated and razor-burned skin after shaving, coconut oil is both soothing and antibacterial.

2.Rash recovery — Other rash problems from diaper rash to mild allergic reactions can be remedied using coconut oil. Propylene glycol is one chemical found in commercial moisturizers that can cause skin irritation and dermatitis.

3.Lip balm — Use coconut oil to moisturize, nourish and hydrate chapped lips without inadvertently eating endocrine disruptors.

A study on the metal content in lip balm revealed lead, aluminum, cadmium, chromium and manganese in high concentrations, some associated with reproductive, developmental or other adverse health effects.2

4.Facial cleanser — Effective as a face wash, mixing equal parts coconut oil and castor oil is known as oil cleansing. Massage it into your skin and remove gently with a warm washcloth.

Ninety percent of the body washes and cleansers you buy contain harmful chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, which, in combination with other chemicals, can form cancer-causing nitrosamines.3Coconut oil can even improve acne.

5.Makeup remover — Not only can you cleanse your face, you can remove use it as a natural makeup remover — even stubborn mascara and eyeliner.

6.Night cream — While you may not want to use coconut oil under makeup, applying it lightly before bed will hydrate your skin because its fatty acids form a natural emollient. If the skin around your nails is hard and peeling, treat your cuticles to a soothing coconut oil rub to keep them soft.

7.Deodorant — A tiny dab of coconut mixed, if you desire, with an essential oil such as lavender is very effective — so much better than the antiperspirants containing aluminum, which is linked to Alzheimer’s.

Another deodorant recipe combines 3 tablespoons each of coconut oil, arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) and baking soda.

8.Foot fungus fighter — Because it’s antimicrobial and antibacterial, coconut is very effective in combating athlete’s foot. Rub it on the bottoms of your feet after every shower.

Antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal compounds in coconut oil have been shown to inactivate microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and fungi.4

9.Soothing bath — As an alternative to bubble baths that may induce urinary tract infections, especially in children, drop a dollop of coconut oil in your bath with a few essential oils. It’s both moisturizing and helps kill bacteria.

10.Body scrub — Combining equal parts coconut oil with sea salt, sugar or baking soda to make a homemade scrub softens, smoothes and moisturizes your skin.

11.Body lotion — Moisturizers you buy at the store typically contain harmful chemicals such as aluminum, phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde and propylene glycol.5 Coconut is a fragrant, moisturizing alternative containing none of these.

12.Toothpaste — To combat tooth decay and even whiten teeth, make a DIY coconut oil toothpaste by mixing 1 teaspoon with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 2 drops of peppermint essential oil. Just brush as usual.

13.Oil pulling — An oral rinse works much like a mouthwash, only you shouldn’t gargle with it. As you swish vigorously for five to 15 minutes, it penetrates the soft tissue between your gums and “pulls out” bacteria that causes cavities, plaque and bad breath.

14.When applied to infected cuts or wounds, coconut oil develops a layer of naturally protective chemicals that also keep out dust, fungi, bacteria and viruses. Applied to bruises, it speeds up the healing process in damaged tissues.

15.Frizz fighter — People with hair that tends to frizz often turn to silicone- or alcohol-based gels and mousses, which coat the hair, prevent it from absorbing moisture and dries out the hair shaft. Just a few drops of coconut oil are all you need for anatural hair conditioner for smooth, silky shine.

Healing Properties of Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil has been described as having a “haunting, nutty, vanilla flavor (and) even milder and richer-tasting than butter.” A New York Times article noted that coconut oil, while once demonized by the “all saturated fats are bad for you” camp, has now become accepted:

“The main saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid. Lauric acid increases levels of good HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, and bad LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, in the blood, but is not thought to negatively affect the overall ratio of the two.

… Any number of health claims have been made for lauric acid. According to proponents, it’s a wonder substance with possible antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral properties that could also, in theory, combat H.I.V., clear up acne and speed up your metabolism.”6

Even applied topically, coconut oil has healing properties. One interesting factoid is that while antiperspirants containing aluminum are associated with Alzheimer’s, coconut oil actually prevents it because of the medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) that are easily absorbed and metabolized by the liver and can convert to ketones. One study noted:

“Ketone bodies are an important alternative energy source in the brain, and may be beneficial to people developing or already with memory impairment, as in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) … (It may also) be beneficial in the treatment of obesity, dyslipidaemia, elevated LDL, insulin resistance and hypertension — these are the risk factors for (heart disease) and type 2 diabetes, and also for AD.”7

Alzheimer’s is projected to affect 1 in 4 Americans in the next generation, rivaling obesity and diabetes, but evidence suggests that ketone bodies in coconut oil may help restore and renew neurons and nerve function in your brain, even after damage has set in.

Unhealthy Alternatives to Coconut Oil

Regarding coconut oil in the kitchen, even as a household cleaner, there are a few points to consider:

Virgin coconut oil has a smoke point of 350 degrees, so for cooking, it’s best used at lower temperatures. Olive oil overcooks even as low as 250 degrees, which may cause oxidization, doing your body more harm than good.

You can substitute coconut oil for butter or olive oil, and most definitely instead of so-called vegetable oils. Here’s why:

Multiple studies reveal coconut oil to impart amazing benefits when used in nutritional applications. One of the most dramatic changes you can make in your health will be to replace the so-called “healthy” vegetable, soy, corn and cottonseed oils such as canola when sautéing food or baking cake or cookies.

It’s interesting to note that Polynesian populations, who’ve been using full-fat coconut oil as a diet staple for untold generations, have no heart disease to speak of. Why? It’s a direct contradiction to what conventional medicine touted for a few decades, that saturated fats are bad for you, and will lead to obesity, high cholesterol levels, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

The truth is, saturated fat like that of coconut oil and olive oil is natural, not the concocted substances created in a laboratory using methods like hydrogenation and partial hydrogenation that convert polyunsaturated fatty acids to trans fats. Vegetable and seed oils undergo the double whammy of hydrogen atoms and high heat, creating a cheaper oil with a long shelf life that’s very bad for your health.

Further, when vegetable oils are heated to a high temperature, the chemical compounds break down, get “stuck” in your cells, oxidize and create dangerous free radicals that lead to disease, including heart disease and cancer.

Sourced from: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/26/coconut-oil-benefits.aspx

Depression: It’s Not All In Your Head

Editor’s note:  While I find this piece interesting and it certainly provides useful information, speaking for myself, I believe the primary cause of most if not all mental suffering is due to the constructs of our society.  Either eliminate money or provide a universal basic income so that people will no longer have to concern themselves with how they will feed/house/clothe/educate themselves and their families.  Release free energy devices to the public.  Release healing techniques that actually WORK and do not create a host of unnecessary side effects.  Remove the 40 hour work-for-someone-else-and-make-them-rich bullshit and instead, have a system where people are free to share their gifts with their communities.  Have educational/religious/cultural centers that actually support the well-being of the human mind/body/soul/spirit.  Create small communities again.  Slow down.  Meditate.  Remember who we really are.  Live to play and create and connect with others.  These are the things that will eliminate depression and the like – over and above diet.  

Kelly Brogan, M.D., Green Med Info
Waking Times

No, it’s not “all in your head.” Depression and all of its relatives are manifestations of glitches in the immune system and inflammatory pathways—not a neurochemical deficiency disorder.

Psychiatry: A Very Special Specialty

Psychiatry, unlike other fields of medicine, is based on a highly subjective diagnostic system. Essentially you sit in the office with a physician, and you are labeled based on the doctor’s opinion of the symptoms you describe. There are no tests. You can’t pee in a cup or give a drop of blood to be analyzed for a substance that definitely indicates “you have depression” much in the way a blood test can tell you that you have diabetes or are anemic.

Psychiatry is infamous for saying “oops!” It has a long history of abusing patients with pseudoscience-driven treatments and has been sullied by its shameful lack of diagnostic rigor. Consider, for example, the 1949 Nobel Prize winner Egas Moniz, a Portuguese neurologist who introduced invasive surgical techniques to treat people with schizophrenia by cutting connections between their prefrontal region and other parts of the brain (i.e., the prefrontal lobotomy). And then we had the Rosenhan experiment in the 1970s, which exposed how difficult it is for a doctor to distinguish between an “insane patient” and a sane patient acting insane. Today’s prescription pads for psychotropic drugs are, in my belief, just as harmful and misguided as physically destroying critical brain tissue or labeling people as “psychiatric” when really they are anything but.

Is It All In Your Head?

My fellowship training was in consultation-liaison psychiatry, or “psychosomatic medicine.” I was drawn to this specialization because it seemed to be the only one that acknowledged physical processes and pathologies that could manifest behaviorally. I noticed that psychiatrists in this field appreciated the role of biological actions such asinflammation and the stress response. When I watched fellow psychiatrists consult on surgical patients in the hospital, they took these brain-body connections much more seriously than they did in their Park Avenue offices. They talked about delirium brought on by electrolyte imbalance, symptoms of dementia caused by B12 deficiency, and the onset of psychosis in someone who was recently prescribed anti-nausea medication. These root causes of mental challenges are far from the “it’s all in your head” banter that typically swirls around conversations about mental illness.

The term psychosomatic is a loaded and stigmatized term that implies “it’s all in your head.” Psychiatry remains the wastebasket for the shortcomings of conventional medicine in terms of diagnosing and treating. If doctors can’t explain your symptoms, or if the treatment doesn’t fix the problem and further testing doesn’t identify a concrete diagnosis, you’ll probably be referred to a psychiatrist or, more likely, be handed a prescription for an antidepressant by your family doctor. If you are very persistent that you still need real help, your doctor might throw an antipsychotic at you as well. Most prescriptions forantidepressants are doled out by family doctors—not psychiatrists, with 7 percent of all visits to a primary care doctor ending with an antidepressant prescription. And almost three-quarters of the prescriptions are written without a specific diagnosis. What’s more, when the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health did its own examination into the prevalence of mental disorders, it found that “Many individuals who are prescribed and use antidepressant medications may not have met criteria for mental disorders. Our data indicate that antidepressants are commonly used in the absence of clear evidence-based indications.”

So we have overprescribing, but we also have some very sick women struggling in ways that are dismissed as “psychiatric”. In 2014 Scottish researchers addressed the gap between what the science says about the causes of depression and what patients experience when they find themselves caught in the default web of psychiatric care. In their paper they highlight the value of what I practice: psychoneuroimmunology. Indeed, it’s a mouthful of a word, but it simply refers to examining (and respecting) the complex interplay between various systems and organs of the body, especially those that syncopate the nervous, gastrointestinal, and immune systems in a brilliant dance that in turn affects mental well-being. These researchers point out that many patients who are told they have psychiatric conditions originating in their head or related to some (fictitious) brain chemical deficiency actually share real biological imbalances related to their immune-inflammatory pathways. These patients show elevated levels of inflammatory markers in their blood, signs that their body is on the defensive, activating processes that can result in unexplainable physical symptoms and that are diagnosed as psychiatric rather than biologic. And rather than treating the underlying biology, they are instead relegated to a lifetime of therapy and medication, to no avail.

Brain Body Connection

The idea that depression and all of its relatives are manifestations of glitches in the immune system and inflammatory pathways—not a neurochemical deficiency disorder—is a topic I explore at length throughout my book, A Mind of Your Own. This fact is not as new as you might think, but it’s probably not something your general doctor or even psychiatrist will talk about when you complain of symptoms and are hurried out of the office with a prescription for an antidepressant.

A multitude of studies now show an undeniable link between gut dysfunction and the brain, chiefly by revealing the relationship between the volume of inflammatory markers in the blood and risk for depression. Higher levels of inflammatory markers, which often indicate that the body’s immune system is on high alert, significantly increase the risk of developing depression. And these levels parallel the depth of the depression: higher levels equates with more severe depression. Which ultimately means that depression should join the ranks of other inflammatory disorders including heart disease, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cancer, and dementia. And it’s no surprise, at least to me, that depression is far more common in people with other inflammatory and autoimmune issues like irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, insulin resistance, and obesity. All of these conditions are characterized by higher levels of inflammation.

To really grasp the fact that depression is not a disorder primarily rooted in the brain, look no further than some of the most demonstrative studies. When scientists purposefully trigger inflammation in the bodies of healthy people who exhibit no signs of depression by injecting them with a substance, they quickly develop classic symptoms of depression. And when people with hepatitis C are treated with the pro-inflammatory drug interferon, as many as 45 percent of those individuals develop major depression.

Depression: It’s a Lifestyle-Body Mismatch

So when people ask me about why we’re suffering from what appears to be an epidemic of depression despite the number of people taking antidepressants, I don’t think about brain chemistry. I turn to the impact of our sedentary lifestyles, processed food diets, and unrelenting stress. I turn to the medical literature that says a typical Western diet—high in refined carbs, unnatural fats, and foods that create chaos in our blood sugar balance—contribute to higher levels of inflammation. Contrary to what you might assume, one of the most influential risk factors for depression is unstable sugar. Most people view diabetes and depression as two distinct disorders, but new scientific findings are rewriting the textbooks. One game-changing study published in 2010 that followed more than 65,000 women over a decade showed that women with diabetes were nearly 30 percent more likely to develop depression. This heightened risk remained even after the researchers excluded other risk factors such as lack of physical exercise and weight.

Personalized lifestyle medicine that accounts for the role of the environment in triggering inflammation and the manipulation of the immune and endocrine systems is the most sensible way to approach those individuals who would otherwise be candidates for multiple medications. It turns out that it may not all be in your head—but rather in the interconnectedness among the gut, immune, and endocrine systems.

It’s time we rewrite the textbooks. And it’s time we treat depression for what it really is.

About the Author

Dr. Brogan is boarded in Psychiatry/Psychosomatic Medicine/Reproductive Psychiatry and Integrative Holistic Medicine, and practices Functional Medicine, a root-cause approach to illness as a manifestation of multiple-interrelated systems. After studying Cognitive Neuroscience at M.I.T., and receiving her M.D. from Cornell University, she completed her residency and fellowship at Bellevue/NYU. She is one of the nation’s only physicians with perinatal psychiatric training who takes a holistic evidence-based approach in the care of patients with a focus on environmental medicine and nutrition. She is also a mom of two, and an active supporter of women’s birth experience. She is the Medical Director for Fearless Parent, and an advisory board member for GreenMedInfo.com. Visit her website.

Sourced from: http://www.wakingtimes.com/2016/09/20/depression-not-head/

Research Proves Raw Milk Prevents Infections And Boosts Immunity


Alex Pietrowski, Staff Writer
Waking Times

In 1948 Michigan became the first state to require all milk sold to consumers to first be pasteurized, thus beginning the war on raw milk. The national effort to prevent people from obtaining raw milk has become so absurd that state and local governments around the country are willing to sick S.W.A.T teams on U.S. citizens to protect us from the potential harm in consuming raw milk which has been a dietary staple for generations.

The ostensible premise for such militant enforcement of food law is of course public safety, as authorities say that certain manufacturing processes do not prevent the bacterial contamination of milk, and the government now claims that raw milk is too dangerous for human consumption even though it is entirely possible to produce it without contaminating it.

Advocates of the consumption and free sale of raw milk describe pasteurization as a process that destroys the real nutritional benefits of milk in an effort to prevent the risk of contamination.

“In response to the public’s concerns, regulators and hygienists improved the practices of caring for and milking cows as well as how milk was distributed to consumers (Gould et al. 2014; Leedom 2006). At a similar time, a heat-treatment process that could kill microbes, known today as pasteurization, was introduced to further ensure milk safety. Pasteurization requires heating milk to a specific temperature for a minimum period of time, and then quickly cooling it back down to refrigeration temperatures (4°C).” [Source]

Yet, the damage done to raw milk by the pasteurization process, as described below, is widely known to destroy most if not all of the nutritional benefits of milk.

“Pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins C, B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. Calves fed pasteurized milk do poorly and many die before maturity.” [Source]

In 2014, an important research study into the benefits of raw milk, conducted by The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology looked at a group of pregnant women in rural Europe to determine what benefits the consumption of raw milk had on infants and young children. The findings of the investigation concluded that raw milk is an important nutritional food that can dramatically impact early immunity, especially in regards to the prevention of respiratory illnesses which are quite common in infants today.

“Early life consumption of raw cow’s milk reduced the risk of manifest respiratory infections and fever by about 30%. If the health hazards of raw milk could be overcome, the public health impact of minimally processed but pathogen-free milk might be enormous, given the high prevalence of respiratory infections in the first year of life and the associated direct and indirect costs.” [Source]

“The main finding of this analysis was an inverse association between consumption of unprocessed cow’s milk and rhinitis [cold or runny nose], RTI [respiratory tract infections], and otitis [ear infection],” wrote the authors. “The effect was strongest when cow’s milk was consumedraw; boiled farm milk exhibited an attenuated effect.” [Source]

The consumption of raw milk actually helps infants build immunity to certain infections and diseases, even though the U.S. government claims that it has no nutritional benefit whatsoever.

“According to the research, raw milk works a lot like breast milk in providing protective, anti-infective health benefits to children. Compared to highly processed commercial milk, raw milk was found to help lower C-reactive protein levels, which are directly associated with inflammation. Raw milk, in other words, works against inflammation, while processed milk may help promote it due to its altered proteins.” [Source]

Raw milk is still widely consumed in the U.S. in spite of government efforts to prevent access to this natural food, and in spite of evidence demonstrating the positive benefits of raw milk consumption on childhood immunity.

“In America, 80 percent of the Amish studied by Dr. [Mark] Holbreich consume raw milk. In a study published earlier this year, Dr. [Bianca] Schaub’s group showed that European children who consumed farm milk had more of those regulatory T-cells, irrespective of whether they lived on farms. The higher the quantity of those cells, the less likely these children were to be given diagnoses of asthma.” [Source]

In addition to helping to prevent respiratory illness, raw milk also aids in the prevention of allergic diseases, as noted by Moises Velasquez-Manoff in a piece for The New York Times on possible cures for the allergy epidemic.

“In Europe, the consumption of unpasteurized milk has repeatedly correlated with protection against allergic disease.” [Source]

Final Thoughts

Aiming a gun at someone, kicking down their door and destroying homes, farms, and uneaten food in the name of safety is an affront to public safety in its own right. In light of the fact that we have credible scientific research backing up the notion that raw is not only not as dangerous as they’d like us to believe, but that it is actually good for you, it begs the question of why the government would treat is as such a dangerous controlled substance.

Take a look at the following video of the 2011 police raids against Rawesome Foods in California where armed police raided a raw foods outlet, destroyed high quality food and arrested the owner, James Stewart.

About the Author

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and Offgrid Outpost, a provider of storable food and emergency kits. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.

Sourced from: http://www.wakingtimes.com/2016/08/23/research-proves-raw-milk-prevents-infections-and-boosts-immunity/

Our Right To Informed Consent Being Usurped – Will You Resist?

zika-resistBy Alex Pietrowski

Through case-law, as well as by the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, it is well established as a legal precedent in the United States that an individual has the right to informed consent of any invasive medical procedure.

No right is more sacred, or is more carefully guarded by the common law, than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law…To compel any one, and especially a woman, to lay bare the body, or to submit it to the touch of a stranger, without lawful authority, is an indignity, an assault, and a trespass…  ~Union Pacific Railway Co. v. Botsford (1891)

Mandating an invasive procedure in order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state. No person should be directed to undergo an invasive procedure by the state, without their consent, as a precondition to another medical procedure. ~Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell (2012)

This is quite common sensical, yet now we find a pressing need to extend this to include the right to not be poisoned without our consent, as state and corporate powers are granting themselves the authority to spray people with dangerous and toxic chemical insecticides… for public health, of course.

Fighting Aerial Spraying of Toxic Zika Insecticide Naled

Florida residents have begun to fight back against the aerial spraying of the insecticide Naled which is being used to control the spread of the Zika virus by killing adult and young mosquitoes in targeted areas. Organized and organic resistance is growing, as many people are voicing objections to having their persons, families, homes, pets, and surrounding areas sprayed without consent.

“If you’re going to spray, we should have a say,” chanted protesters during a heated meeting atMiami Beach City Hall recently. This is the information age, and as one protestor pointed out it doesn’t take a genius to look up the health risks of Naled.

Naled is moderately to highly toxic by ingestion, inhalation and dermal adsorption. Vapors or fumes of naled are corrosive to the mucous membranes lining the mouth, throat and lungs, and inhalation may cause severe irritation. A sensation of tightness in the chest and coughing are commonly experienced after inhalation. As with all organophosphates, naled is readily absorbed through the skin. Skin which has come in contact with this material should be washed immediately with soap and water and all contaminated clothing should be removed. Persons with respiratory ailments, recent exposure to cholinesterase inhibitors, impaired cholinesterase production, or with liver malfunction may be at increased risk from exposure to naled. High environmental temperatures or exposure of naled to visible or UV light may enhance its toxicity. [Source]

The EPA ad the CDC maintain that when used in proper dosages and applied at the proper times in the proper manner it does not pose a risk to humans or household pets, which is in itself debatable; however, residents are not only speaking on behalf of themselves, but also for other insects, plants, wildlife and waterways that are being treated as well.

Spraying Airline Passengers Without Consent or the Right to Decline

Another startling example of this is practice of spraying airline passengers with toxic pesticides during flight. A toxic insecticide, d-phenothrin is commonly used on airlines to prevent the spread of insects from one region to another, and is often directly sprayed on passengers. It is toxic, according to this fact sheet:

‘d-phenothrin is low in toxicity when eaten, breathed in, or applied to skin or eyes. When d-phenothrin gets on the skin, it can cause skin sensations like tingling, itching, burning, or numbness at that spot. These sensations usually go away within 48 hours. d-Phenothrin can also be mildly irritating to skin and eyes. Reported symptoms from eating or breathing in d-phenothrin are rare, but can include nausea, vomiting, throat irritation, headaches, and dizziness.’ [Source]

cabin-spray

This practice is done ostensibly to protect public health, yet spraying people with a low-level toxic poison entirely contradicts this, and world bureaucrats see this as permissible.

This process is being referred to as “disinsection,” a word that seems to have been made up by the TSA or airline industry. Disinsection, or the spraying of an insecticide or pesticides on planes, is now permitted under international law. The Department of Transportation says that the supposed intent is to protect public health, crops and agriculture, and the environment. [Source]

The following video was posted on YouTube with a description of events:

This is on a China Eastern flight from Shanghai to Sydney. The hostesses sprayed this all through the cabins about 30 minutes before landing. I was told to stop filming.

I personally don’t think being subject to a pesticide spray while I am stuck in a pressurized cabin is protecting my health; it’s just the opposite—it’s an assault. What happens to people with asthma or someone like me who suffers from an auto immune condition and is uber sensitive to chemicals? [Source]

Surprisingly, very few people are willing to directly confront things like this as they’re happening; however, not everyone has become a sheeple. Here is a thought-provoking video from a woman who was on a flight to Australia when she vocally objected to the practice. She says she looked to other passengers for support, but not a single person would voice concern along with her. When the plane landed she was escorted off the plane by six police officers.

Final Thoughts – Playground Bully Logic

Americans, and people all over the world, are being pressed evermore by big government and corporate authoritarians to forfeit personal sovereignty under the weight of authoritarian decree and the guise of ‘public health.’

It’s playground bully logic, really. If you want something from someone and you’re bigger than them, just take it, as there’s a one in a thousand chance that the underdog will object, let alone fight back.The flip-side of this logic, however, is that when even the smallest and seemingly weakest stand up to bullying, bullies nearly always shirk away in defeat. Will you resist this latest assault on your rights?

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. ~Amendment IV to the U.S. Constitution

Read more articles from Alex Pietrowski.

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and Offgrid Outpost, a provider ofstorable food and emergency kits. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.

Sourced from: http://www.activistpost.com/2016/09/right-informed-consent-usurped-will-resist.html

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/