to celebrate your uniqueness
while honoring our Oneness.
|"The holidays are a good time to renew your heart connection with people. Make that your focus and priority. Spend more time enjoying people and their holiday spirit and it can help rekindle your holiday spirit. A great way you can enjoy more of the holiday spirit is by keeping your focus on genuinely appreciating and caring for others. Ask yourself each morning, "Who can I show a little more appreciation to, or who can I express more genuine care for today?" It can be as simple as opening the door for someone or telling people that you appreciate them. Genuine gestures of care and appreciation are often remembered long after the holiday glitter is gone. You’ll find this is a fun gift for others and a big gift to yourself."|
Serious Mojo Publications | P.O. Box 390373 | Edina | MN | 55439
When Julia Banks was almost 70, she took up transcendental meditation. She had clogged arteries, high blood pressure and too much weight around the middle, and she enrolled in a clinical trial testing the benefits of meditation.
Now Mrs. Banks, 79, of Milwaukee, meditates twice a day, every day, for 20 minutes each time, setting aside what she calls “a little time for myself.”
“You never think you’ve got that time to spare, but you take that time for yourself and you get the relaxation you need,” said Mrs. Banks, who survived a major heart attack and a lengthy hospitalization after coronary artery bypass surgery six years ago.
“You have things on your mind, but you just blot it out and do the meditation, and you find yourself being more graceful in your own life,” she said. “You find out problems you thought you had don’t exist — they were just things you focused on.”
Could the mental relaxation have real physiological benefits? For Mrs. Banks, the study suggests, it may have. She has gotten her blood pressure under control, though she still takes medication for it, and has lost about 75 pounds.
Findings from the study were presented this week at an American Heart Association meeting in Orlando, Fla. They suggest that transcendental meditation may have real therapeutic value for high-risk people, like Mrs. Banks, with established coronary artery disease.
After following about 200 patients for an average of five years, researchers said, the high-risk patients who meditated cut their risk of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from all causes roughly in half compared with a group of similar patients who were given more conventional education about healthy diet and lifestyle.
Among the roughly 100 patients who meditated, there were 20 heart attacks, strokes and deaths; in the comparison group, there were 32. The meditators tended to remain disease-free longer and also reduced their systolic blood pressure by five millimeters of mercury, on average.
“We found reduced blood pressure that was significant – that was probably one important mediator,” said Dr. Robert Schneider, director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention, a research institute based at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, who presented the findings. The study was conducted at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, in collaboration with the institute.
An earlier study of high-risk Milwaukee residents, many of them overweight or obese, also found transcendental meditation, along with conventional medications, could help reduce blood pressure. Most of those in the study had only high-school educations or less, about 40 percent smoked and roughly half had incomes of less than $10,000 a year.
The participants found transcendental meditation easy to learn and practice, Dr. Schneider said.
“Fortunately, it does not require any particular education and doesn’t conflict with lifestyle philosophy or beliefs; it’s a straightforward technique for getting deep rest to the mind and body,” he said, adding that he believes the technique “helps to reset the body’s own self-repair and homeostatic mechanism.”
Dr. Schneider said other benefits of meditation might follow from stress reduction, which could cause changes in the brain that cut stress hormones like cortisol and dampen the inflammatory processes associated with atherosclerosis.
“What is it about stress that causes cardiovascular disease?” said Dr. Theodore Kotchen, associate dean for clinical research at the Medical College of Wisconsin. “Hormones, neural hormones, cortisol, catecholamines — all tend to be elevated in stress. Could they in some way be contributing to cardiovascular disease? Could a reduction in these hormones with meditation be contributing to reduction in disease? We can only speculate.”
Another recent study focusing on transcendental meditation, published in The American Journal of Hypertension, focused on a young healthy population. It found that stressed-out college students improved their mood through T.M., and those at risk for hypertension were able to reduce their blood pressure. Dr. Schneider was also involved in that study, which was carried out at American University in Washington and included 298 students randomly assigned to either a meditation group or a waiting list.
Students who were at risk of hypertension and practiced meditation reduced systolic blood pressure by 6.3 millimeters of mercury and their diastolic pressure by 4 millimeters of mercury on average.
|Enticing Pumpkin Recipes from this week's My Vegetarian Times|
Morning Pumpkin Coffee Cake
Bake a breakfast treat that looks and tastes like fall.
Savory Pumpkin Quiche
Try this easy, healthful recipe out on kids—they'll love it.
Taste how well pumpkin goes in a curry-based soup that gets its creaminess from coconut milk.
Spicy Fall Stew Baked in a Pumpkin
Wow guests with this meal-in-one recipe that makes pumpkin the focal point of a meal.
Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/165712.php
Main News Category: Bipolar
Also Appears In: Neurology / Neuroscience, Psychology / Psychiatry,
Past research has shown that the body emits visible light, 1,000 times less intense than the levels which can be seen with the naked eye. In fact, virtually all living creatures emit very weak light.
To learn more about this faint visible light, scientists in Japan employed extraordinarily sensitive cameras capable of detecting single photons. Five healthy male volunteers in their 20’s were placed bare-chested in front of the cameras in complete darkness in light-tight rooms for 20 minutes every three hours.
The researchers found the body glow rose and fell over the day, with its lowest point at 10 AM and its peak at 4 PM, dropping gradually after that. These findings suggest there is light emission linked to the body clock, most likely due to how metabolic rhythms fluctuate over the course of the day.
Faces glowed more than the rest of the body. This might be because faces are more tanned than the rest of the body, since they get more exposure to sunlight.
In Memory of Dr. Hulda Clark
We just received word that Dr. Hulda Clark passed away peacefully in her sleep September 3, 2009.
Since she had retired and closed her clinic last fall she has spent much time with her family.
We will certainly miss Dr. Clark both as a friend and researcher who gave so much of her self to so many.
A website is being setup in memory of Dr. Clark where people may leave their thoughts and experiences to share with all.
Further information will be posted at that website next week:
For her family and many close friends our condolences and thoughts are with you.
Our address: 1055 Bay Blvd, Ste A
Chula Vista, California 91911
The American Cancer Society recently asked baking and pastry students at the Culinary Institute of America to reinvent the birthday cake using better-for-you ingredients.
The winner was a healthful twist on the red velvet cake, created by Alexandra Mudry, a former actress from Pleasantville, N.Y., who will graduate from the school in October. The recipe cuts back on the sugar, eggs, oil and butter in the traditional version, substituting roasted beets, dried cherries, applesauce and whole grain flour to boost the nutrient content. Ms. Mudry’s New Red Velvet Cake, which is filled with chocolate ganache and topped with cream cheese frosting, is now the official cake of the American Cancer Society’s “More Birthdays” campaign.
Recipes from the other four finalists include:
Chocolate Raspberry Cake: Runner-up Arthur Battistini, from Middleboro, Mass., reduced the calories and boosted the beta carotene and flavonoid content in making his chocolate raspberry cake.
Blueberry Dream Cake: Finalist Tamara King, a former banking industry worker and a native of Harrod, Ohio, made her cake with whole-wheat flour, applesauce and blueberries, which are rich in antioxidants.
Chocolate Cake: Finalist Laura Sansone, a native of Boonton, N.J., who will graduate from C.I.A. in February, created an egg-free applesauce version of the traditional favorite.Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake: Finalist Lorraine Tran, originally from Garden Grove, Calif., created a gluten-free cake filled with a yogurt-berry mousse.
Here is an explanatory (or at least I hope so) excerpt of the relevant material from my book (and for those of you who have the book, it’s in Chapter 5, The Physical Effects of Trauma, pages 78-80.
Chronic Pain Conditions
This constant activation of the alarm state leads to an accumulation of metabolic waste products in the muscle fibers, and the release of kinins and other chemical pain generators in the tissue, resulting in myofascial pain and the appearance of those seemingly intractable chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic headache, TMJ and more.
And because these conditions are generated in the brain stem and the motor reflex centers in the spinal column, and routed through a perturbed, automatic, arousal circuitry, peripheral forms of treatment provide only temporary relief. Constantly activated by everyday sensory cues, normal muscle movement and spontaneous memories, symptoms grow and become more and more entrenched over time. In other words, this is one nasty gift from the kindled feedback loop that, if not interrupted, will just keep on giving.
Our epidemiology research has already shown us an astounding percentage of people with baffling chronic pain conditions and “functional” diseases that have no obvious causes, who have been found to have prior histories of severe trauma. Probably if we could tease out the subset of traumatized people who experienced substantial dissociation during their trauma, and a truncated freeze response in the midst of it, we might find closer to one hundred percent suffering from posttraumatic stress. Unfortunately for them, they are often assumed to be malingering or engaged in attention-seeking behavior for neurotic reasons, instead of suffering from a very serious, self perpetuating condition with a potentially worsening trajectory.
Included in this group of maligned and misunderstood patients would be scores of people suffering from pelvic and low back pain, orofacial and myofascial pain, genito-urinary and abdominal pain; interstitial cystitis; and the previously mentioned headache, fibromyalgia (FM), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD); irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD), multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) and migraine.
Thanks for asking. Too many people still don’t know about this connection.
Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/159817.php© 2009 MediLexicon International Ltd
The Use of Herbal Preparations to Alleviate Climacteric Disorders and Risk
of Postmenopausal Breast Cancer in a German Case-Control Study
Nadia Obi, Jenny Chang-Claude, Jurgen Berger, Wilhelm Braendle, Tracy
Slanger, Martina Schmidt, Karen Steindorf, Wolfgang Ahrens, and Dieter
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009;18 2207-2213
At seven cents per pound, hexane is currently the dominant extraction solvent for soy products. Whether you're eating Boca burgers, firm tofu, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, granola crumbs for texture, or Silk soy milk, hexane likely played a role in the extraction process. Hexane was formerly used as a cleaning agent for removing grease in the printing industry as well as a solvent for rubber cement, but now it's showing up in many so-called "natural" and even "made with organic" soy foods.
The Obama Administration is putting two notorious biotech bullies in charge of food safety. Former Monsanto lobbyist Michael Taylor has been appointed as a senior advisor to the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner on food safety. And, rBGH-using dairy farmer and Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff, is rumored to be President Obama's choice for Under-Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety. Wolfe spearheaded anti-consumer legislation in Pennsylvania that would have taken away the rights of consumers to know whether their milk and dairy products were contaminated with Monsanto's (now Eli Lilly's) genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH).
and that's not all folks....
Last week, USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack spoke at the La Crosse, Wisconsin County Fair. Nearly 200 organic farmers showed up to protest. The farmers, organized by the Cornucopia Institute, rallied to convince Vilsack to take action against factory farms that are saturating the market with fake organic milk, like Aurora and Horizon (Dean Foods). One farmer shouted a question to the Agriculture Secretary, asking when the USDA will take action against organic lawbreakers. "I commit to you that we will enforce the rules," Vilsack responded. The OCA is working hard to make sure this is true.
Objectives: To test experimentally whether a psychological intervention reduces depression-related symptoms and markers of inflammation among cancer patients and to test one mechanism for the intervention effects. Depression and inflammation are common among cancer patients. Data suggest that inflammation can contribute to depressive symptoms, although the converse remains untested. Methods: As part of a randomized clinical trial, newly diagnosed breast cancer patients (n = 45) with clinically significant depressive symptoms were evaluated and randomized to psychological intervention with assessment or assessment only study arms. The intervention spanned 12 months, with assessments at baseline, 4, 8, and 12 months. Mixed-effects modeling tested the hypothesis that the intervention reduced self-reported depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale, Profile of Mood States Depression and Fatigue subscales, and Medical Outcomes Study-Short Form 36 Bodily Pain subscale) and immune cell numbers that are elevated in the presence of inflammation (white blood cell count, neutrophil count, and helper/suppressor ratio). Mediation analyses tested whether change in depressive symptoms, pain, or fatigue predicted change in white blood cell count, neutrophil count, or the helper/suppressor ratio. Results: The intervention reduced significantly depressive symptoms, pain, fatigue, and inflammation markers. Moreover, the intervention effect on inflammation was mediated by its effect on depressive symptoms. Conclusions: This is the first experiment to test whether psychological treatment effective in reducing depressive symptoms would also reduce indicators of inflammation. Data show that the intervention reduced directly depressive symptoms and reduced indirectly inflammation. Psychological treatment may treat effectively depressive symptoms, pain, and fatigue among cancer patients.
May 26, 2009 -- Washington, D.C., tops the American College of Sports Medicine's new list of America's fittest cities.The list is based on personal factors -- including the percentage of residents who smoke, are obese, get regular physical activity, eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and have conditions such as diabetes and heart disease -- and on local resources, such as parks, farmers' markets, number of primary health care providers, and crime rates. Data came from sources including the CDC, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the nonprofit Trust for the Public Land.
Here is how the cities ranked:
ACSM American Fitness Index: "Actively Moving America to Better Health."
News release, American College of Sports Medicine.