***ASK IRMINA! ***
Do you have questions about healing, relationships, spirituality or emotions? All of our life experiences affects our energetic field and it is my intention to help as many readers of the Healing Art Community as I can. I may not be able to answer all questions, but I will do my best. Please give me your question below. Thank you!
Answers to questions that readers frequently ask or I realize need to be discussed can be found here:
(but it's required)
Ačiū jums iš anksto už atsakymą.
Some time ago, my husband made a suggestion that really touched my heart. He knew that I wanted to get more active and use my knowledge and ability as a Distant Healer, using Bio-Energy. So, he told me that there are many people suffering from a lot of serious illness, and suggested that I simply offer my services to them. And that is what I am doing. Over time, I have discovered others that have healing power and were seeking a conduit through which to heal. Some have joined this Healing Art Community and will bless us with their healing gifts through articles, answering questions and working one on one with clients. To find out about the healers that are available through the Healing Art Community, please go to the Community Healers page.
HEAD, MRI Sagittal section. 1. Brain. 2. Corpus callosum (splenium). 3. Septum lucidum. 4. Thalamus. 5. Mamillary body. 6.Mesencephalon. 7. Pons. 8. Medulla oblongata. 9. Spinal cord. 10. Cerbellum. 11. Frontal sinus. 12. Ethmoid cells. 13. Concha. 14. Sphenoidal sinus. 15. Genioglossus muscle; tongue. 16. Mandible. 17. Rhinopharynx. 18. Oropharynx. 19. Laryngopharynx. 20. Trachea. 21. Soft palate. 22. Bone of the skull. 23. Internal cerebral vein; Great cerebral vein (called of Galien) and right sinus. 24. Forth ventricle. 25. Anterior arch of the Atlas. 26. Posterior arch of the Atlas. 27. Tooth of the axis (called ontoid process). 28. Optic chiasm. 29. Pituitary gland. 30. Clivus (called basilar cap splint). [source]
(NaturalNews) Distress – The first mental and emotional cause of cancer Sunday, January 29, 2012 by: Dr. Keith Nemec
How can you live a stress-free life and prevent cancer and other health problems? By learning to manage your cortisol stress hormone levels and by putting the mental/emotional stress in your life in the proper perspective. Once you know how to balance the physical factors of sleep, diet and exercise along with the mental and emotional stresses in your life then you will restore health in your body and mind. This is critical in any alternative cancer treatment.
It is a fact that high stress is a major contributing factor to cancer and many other diseases. The question is how does stress cause cancer? To answer this, one must look at what the stress response does physiologically in the body. Hans Selye, the father of stress research, said there are two types of stress, distress and eustress. Distress is a longer, more damaging response which negatively affects the organs, glands and systems including the immune system. Eustress is a short term beneficial stimulus to the system. If you run up and down the stairs ten times you feel invigorated. Now if you run up and down the stairs one thousand times you are exhausted and totally drained, so eustress is health boosting whereas distress is health depleting.
The stress response is controlled by the brain via the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis or HPA axis. The hypothalamus, which has been called the brain of the brain, is the part of your brain that senses biochemical changes similar to the thermostat in your house. If certain biochemicals go high or low, it triggers the brain to respond. The hypothalamus does so by telling the master hormone gland, the pituitary, to send messages to the adrenal glands to secrete a hormone called cortisol. When cortisol is at the proper level it is anti-inflammatory and promotes health. When cortisol goes too high with acute stress or too low with chronic stress, it causes your immune and digestive systems to shut down, inflammation to increase, blood sugar to rise, hormones to go out of balance and bones to become osteoporotic. When cortisol stays high or low it predisposes you to cancer and many other diseases.
What causes cortisol to go out of balance?
1. Mental/emotional stress (distress)
2. Lack of total sleep and pre-midnight sleep (four hours is ideal)
3. Diet high in sugar, starch or acid forming foods
4. Too little or too much exercise
Cancer can form when cortisol becomes chronically high or low because adrenal exhaustion causes immune system suppression and your immune system is what keeps the individual cancer cells (which everyone has), from growing into colonies called tumors.
The most important stress management plan starts with proper sleep, diet, and exercise along with learning how to change your perception of the situation. When you change your perception you can change your reality and your health. To reduce the mental/emotional distress one must live fully in the moment without spending time thinking about the “if only I would have” past or the “if only I could” future. If you had excruciating pain in your body, what does your mind say? “I am going to die if I do not get out of this pain”. But is this really true? Can you endure the pain for one second? The answer is yes and this is how you will endure any storm in your life, by living one moment at a time instead of living in the past or the future. This type of living keeps your cortisol and immune system in balance and keeps you healthy in mind and body.Learn more:http://www.naturalnews.com/034798_stress_cancer_emotional.html
Red-Wine Researcher Charged With ‘Photoshop’ Fraud (Accused Dr. blames “racial hatred” )
Medscape Medical News | January 13, 2011 | Robert Lowes Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 6:21:57 PM by Stoat
“Some red wine studies may soon be called into question following a report that a top researcher at the University of Connecticut falsified data on more than 100 occasions.”
January 13, 2012 — A University of Connecticut researcher known for touting the health benefits of red wine is guilty of 145 counts of fabricating and falsifying data with image-editing software, according to a 3-year university investigation made public Wednesday.
The researcher, Dipak K. Das, PhD, is a director of the university’s Cardiovascular Research Center (CRC) and a professor in the Department of Surgery. The university stated in a press release that it has frozen all externally funded research in Dr. Das’s lab and turned down $890,000 in federal research grants awarded to him. The process to dismiss Dr. Das from the university is already underway, the university added.
A university special review board (SRB) found evidence of research fraud in 2 dozen published papers dating back to 2002 as well as 3 grant applications. The university said it has notified 11 journals that published the studies of its findings. The publications include The American Journal of Physiology — Heart and Circulatory Physiology and the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology. Some of the studies asserted that a substance in red wine called resveratrol promoted heart health.
“We have a responsibility to correct the scientific record and inform peer researchers across the country,” said Philip Austin, interim vice president of health affairs at the University of Connecticut.
The review board findings “point to a pervasive attitude of disregard within the CRC for commonly accepted scientific practices in the publication and reporting of research data,” its report stated. “Given the large number of irregularities discovered in this investigation…the SRB can only conclude that they were the result of intentional acts of data falsification and fabrication, designed to deceive.”
The review board report stated that the US Office of Research Integrity (ORI) tipped off the university in 2008 about alleged fraud involving a 2007 article in Free Radical Biology and Medicine coauthored by Dr. Das titled “Redox regulation of resveratrol-mediated switching of death signal into survival signal.” The ORI is now conducting its own investigation of Dr. Das, according to the university.
Other members of the CRC played a part in the research fraud, and they are under investigation as well.
“No Resemblance to Any Legitimate Experiment”
The exact nature of the alleged fraud involves images of “blots” obtained through gel electrophoresis that were featured in article figures. Most of the figures presented Western blots, designed for studying proteins.
Using Photoshop software as a forensic tool, the review board determined that dozens of images bore evidence of inappropriate manipulation by “photo imaging software.” The most egregious examples were pasted-up “artificial blots” that “bear no resemblance to any legitimate experiment” and represent total fabrications. The board also found examples of background erasure, image duplication, and images having been spliced together.
The board noted that splicing various blot images together can serve a legitimate purpose but that researchers must precisely describe the manipulation that they perform. Such explanations were lacking in articles coming out of Dr. Das’s laboratory.
The review board report stated that as head of the lab and senior author of all but one of the tainted articles, Dr. Das “bears principal responsibility for the fabrication and/or falsification that occurred.” Furthermore, the evidence “strongly suggests” that Dr. Das was directly involved in faking images for publication. Some of that evidence was pulled from his personal computer.
Accused Researcher Cites “Racial Hatred”
The report quoted Dr. Das as saying he does not know who prepared the figures that appeared in the journal articles. It stated that he has provided “no substantive information” that could explain the research irregularities.
An exhibit in the report contains what the board called Dr. Das’s response to the investigation. In a document dated July 30, 2010, Dr. Das said the accusations against him are part of a campaign to rid the university health center of the “Indian community.”
“I became the Devil for the Health Center, and so did all the Indians working for me,” he wrote. “The evidence for conspiracy and racial hatred is overwhelming.”
He also alleged that the stress of battling the university administration led to a brain hemorrhage and stroke.
Medscape Medical News did not receive a reply to an email sent to Dr. Das at his university email address. A company called Resveratrol Partners, which markets a resveratrol-based dietary supplement called Longevinex, said yesterday in a press release that “Dr. Das is attending a scientific conference in India and has not been able to respond to the allegations.”
The Web site of Resveratrol Partners highlights some of Dr. Das’s studies on the cardio benefits of resveratrol. In yesterday’s press release, Resveratrol Partners managing partner Bill Sardi said that Dr. Das does not have any business relationship with the company and that other researchers have confirmed the value of Longevinex.A world-renowned Buddhist teacher from Tibet, Sogyal Rinpoche is also the author of the highly acclaimed The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Born in Kham in Eastern Tibet, Sogyal Rinpoche was recognized at an early age as the incarnation of a great master and visionary saint of the nineteenth century, Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa (1856-1926), a teacher to the thirteenth Dalai Lama. He received the traditional training of a Tibetan lama under the close supervision of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, one of the most outstanding spiritual masters of the twentieth century, who raised Rinpoche like his own son.
He went on to study with many other great masters, of all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, especially Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche and Kyabjé Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. In 1971, Rinpoche went to England, where he also studied Comparative Religion at Cambridge University.
First as a translator and aide to his revered masters, and then teaching in his own right, Rinpoche traveled to many countries, observing the reality of people’s lives, and searching how to translate the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism so as to make them relevant to modern men and women of all faiths, by drawing out their universal message while losing none of their authenticity, purity and power.
Out of this was born his unique style of teaching, and his ability to attune these teachings to modern life, demonstrated so vividly in his ground-breaking book, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. More than 2.8 million copies have been printed, in 34 languages and the book is available in 80 countries.
Rinpoche is also the founder and spiritual director of Rigpa, an international network of over one hundred and thirty Buddhist centres and groups in forty countries around the world. He has been teaching for over thirty years and continues to travel widely in Europe, America, Australia and Asia. The original article is from RIGPA. To view the original article please click here. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying you can read from : holybooks.comPRACTICING THE POWER OF NOW ESSENTIAL TEACHINGS, MEDITATIONS, AND EXERCISES THE POWER OF NOW by Eckhart Tolle For the full book please read here Illness is part of your life situation. As such, it has a past and a future. Past and future form an uninterrupted continuum, unless the redeeming power of the Now is activated through your conscious presence. As you know, underneath the various conditions that make up your life situation, which exists in time, there is something deeper, more essential: your Life, your very Being in the timeless Now. As there are no problems in the Now, there is no illness either. The belief in a label that someone attaches to your condition keeps the condition in place, empowers it, and makes a seemingly solid reality out of a temporary imbalance. It gives it not only reality and solidity but also a continuity in time that it did not have before. By focusing on this instant and refraining from labeling it mentally, illness is reduced to one or several of these factors: physical pain, weakness, discomfort, or disability. That is what you surrender to – now. You do not surrender to the idea of “illness.” Allow the suffering to force you into the present moment, into a state of intense conscious presence. Use it for enlightenment. Surrender does not transform what is, at least not directly. Surrender transforms you. When you are transformed, your whole world is transformed, because the world is only a reflection. We spoke about this earlier. If you looked in the mirror and did not like what you saw, you would have to be mad to attack the image in the mirror. That is precisely what you do when you are in a state of nonacceptance. And, of course, if you attack the image, it attacks you back. If you accept the image, no matter what it is, if you become friendly toward it, it cannot not become friendly toward you. This is how you change the world. Illness is not the problem. You are the problem – as long as the egoic mind is in control. When you are ill or disabled, do not feel that you have failed in some way, do not feel guilty. Do not blame life for treating you unfairly, but do not blame yourself either. All that is resistance. If you have a major illness, use it for enlightenment. Anything “bad” that happens in your life – use it for enlightenment. Withdraw time from the illness. Do not give it any past or future. Let it force you into intense present-moment awareness – and see what happens. Become an alchemist. Transmute base metal into gold, suffering into consciousness, disaster into enlightenment. Are you seriously ill and feeling angry now about what I have just said? Then that is a clear sign that the illness has become part of your sense of self and that you are now protecting your identity – as well as protecting the illness. The condition that is labeled “illness” has nothing to do with who you truly are.
*** Private Questions***
People who don’t think for themselves are often scared of disagreeing with others. A freethinker, on the other hand, bases their self worth on something other than what people think of them. These people may still experience rejection, discomfort, and anguish, but they will continue to think for themselves…
So, how they can help themselves and what does “think for yourself” mean in the reality?Reply by R.Stiles says: September 4, 2012 at 3:46 PMWhere would we be now if no one had questioned the convictions of those who taught that the world was flat or that the sun revolved around the Earth? Listening to others and learning from them has tremendous value, but in the end we must select our teachers wisely and always think for ourselves. Create your circumstances through your energetic thoughts instead of choosing to be a victim of the circumstances that others hand us. Do not be a victim; be free. Freedom is choosing and creating your reality, not something that simply happens to you. There are no coincidences and no one is merely lucky, some of us just choose our course while others take the course chosen by others. Keep the following in mind, you are responsible for you, no one else. No one can harm or heal you without your permission. Only you are capable to build your life and health.ALWAYS remember: Our thoughts are energy, and thus create the world around us and our reality, either consciously or unconsciously. The world, as we experience it, is one great “reflector” of our inner attitude to life and our inner vibration that is actively transmitted as energy via our thoughts. We all live according the thoughts or image we have of ourselves. Often, this image is not created by our active thoughts, but by the thoughts and opinions that other people have of us and that they want us to believe. In other words, we become something or someone that we really are not because we don’t know our true living self. The key to freedom is to start thinking for ourselves. Or, to put it in the words of Socrates, “To know yourself, think for yourself.”Love and Light,
Ronald“Does drinking coffee reduce the risk of skin cancer?” Monday, July 23, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer NaturalNews
A recent study published in the journal Cancer Research claims that coffee drinkers may be at a reduced risk of developing basal cell carcinoma, one of the most common types of skin cancer. According to the research, individuals that drink at least three cups of coffee a day have a 20 percent decreased risk of developing this mild form of skin cancer which, while not necessarily deadly, can cause significant disfigurement of skin.
Jiali Han, author of the study and associate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at both Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and the Harvard School of Public Health, evaluated data on 113,000 men and women, all of who drank three or more cups of coffee a day. She discovered that rates of basal cell carcinoma were 20 percent less among this group compared to those who drank no coffee at all, and that the active substance in question appears to be caffeine.
“Caffeine may help the body kill off damaged skin cells,” claimed Dr. Josh Zeichner, an assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, in response to the study’s findings. “If you get rid of these cells that are damaged, then they don’t have the opportunity to grow and form cancers.”
The findings seem to correlate with a 2011 study out of Rutgers University that identified a link between caffeine and skin cancer prevention. According to that research, caffeine appears to be an effective topical treatment for protecting skin against damage caused by excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. (http://www.tgdaily.com)
“Although it is known that coffee drinking is associated with a decreased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer, there now needs to be studies to determine whether topical caffeine inhibits sunlight-induced skin cancer,” said Allan Conney, Director of the Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research about the Rutgersstudy.
Drinking coffee can exhaust your adrenal glands, lead to substance addiction
As promising as the new research on coffee drinking may initially appear for preventing skin cancer, it is important to remember that coffee consumption can be dangerous and damaging to health. There are many other ways to prevent skin cancer, including regular exposure to natural sunlight without burning and vitamin D supplementation, that do not cause other health problems.
Coffee consumption stimulates the production of adrenaline in the body, which can overspend the adrenal glands, leading to chronic fatigue, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), allergies, chronic infections, and other problems. (http://www.naturalnews.com/)
Drinking coffee is also highly addictive, as many who regularly consume it suffer withdrawal symptoms such as headaches when they try to stop. While it may give its drinkers a buzz that helps them through their busy days, coffee ends up exhausting the body’s energy reserves, which can lead to irritability, confusion, severe mood swings, and other problems. (http://www.naturalnews.com/)
Instead of coffee, why not try naturally exposing your skin to between 15 and 30 minutes a day of unfiltered sunlight, or supplementing with between 2,000 and 10,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D3 every day? This simple, inexpensive, and proven health regimen will not only help protect you against skin cancer, but will also improve your health in many other areas while preventing a myriad of chronic illnesses.
Science shows us that everything is made up of energy. Energy is always in motion with atoms constantly losing and gaining electrons, resulting in a complex, always world. We discussed in yesterday’s post that there exists positive and negative energy, but going more deeply into this question, we find that energy is simply energy, and that the nature of its exchange is a result of positive and negative poles. It always moves from a higher state to a lower state. This is what gives energy the negative and positive character that we were talking about. Energy is never lost or destroyed, thus it does not have mortality and is infinite.
So, if God is simply all the energy that exists in the whole Universe, and He/She is infinite and not mortal, and we’re His/Her children, we’re must be the same as Him/She. We are everlasting energy; this includes our bodies, minds, and spirit. For the world to be healthy, its energy must be in balance, and the same is true of us, we must understand that we’re energy, so we need to keep our energy in balance. This balance is a product of the air that we breath, the foods that we eat, the information that we receive and the thoughts that we think.
Our reflection for today is, what can we do to better balance our energetic being and existence? How to be happy and wealthy?Love and blessings, Irmina
BBC.co.uk January 2006 The Ghost in Your Genes
The scientists who believe your genes are shaped in part by your ancestors’ life experiences.
Biology stands on the brink of a shift in the understanding of inheritance. The discovery of epigenetics – hidden influences upon the genes – could affect every aspect of our lives.
At the heart of this new field is a simple but contentious idea – that genes have a ‘memory’. That the lives of your grandparents – the air they breathed, the food they ate, even the things they saw – can directly affect you, decades later, despite your never experiencing these things yourself. And that what you do in your lifetime could in turn affect your grandchildren.
The conventional view is that DNA carries all our heritable information and that nothing an individual does in their lifetime will be biologically passed to their children. To many scientists, epigenetics amounts to a heresy, calling into question the accepted view of the DNA sequence – a cornerstone on which modern biology sits.
Epigenetics adds a whole new layer to genes beyond the DNA. It proposes a control system of ‘switches’ that turn genes on or off – and suggests that things people experience, like nutrition and stress, can control these switches and cause heritable effects in humans.
In a remote town in northern Sweden there is evidence for this radical idea. Lying in Överkalix’s parish registries of births and deaths and its detailed harvest records is a secret that confounds traditional scientific thinking. Marcus Pembrey, a Professor of Clinical Genetics at the Institute of Child Health in London, in collaboration with Swedish researcher Lars Olov Bygren, has found evidence in these records of an environmental effect being passed down the generations. They have shown that a famine at critical times in the lives of the grandparents can affect the life expectancy of the grandchildren. This is the first evidence that an environmental effect can be inherited in humans.
In other independent groups around the world, the first hints that there is more to inheritance than just the genes are coming to light. The mechanism by which this extraordinary discovery can be explained is starting to be revealed.
Professor Wolf Reik, at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, has spent years studying this hidden ghost world. He has found that merely manipulating mice embryos is enough to set off ‘switches’ that turn genes on or off.
For mothers like Stephanie Mullins, who had her first child by in vitro fertilisation, this has profound implications. It means it is possible that the IVF procedure caused her son Ciaran to be born with Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome – a rare disorder linked to abnormal gene expression. It has been shown that babies conceived by IVF have a three- to four-fold increased chance of developing this condition.
And Reik’s work has gone further, showing that these switches themselves can be inherited. This means that a ‘memory’ of an event could be passed through generations. A simple environmental effect could switch genes on or off – and this change could be inherited.
His research has demonstrated that genes and the environment are not mutually exclusive but are inextricably intertwined, one affecting the other.
The idea that inheritance is not just about which genes you inherit but whether these are switched on or off is a whole new frontier in biology. It raises questions with huge implications, and means the search will be on to find what sort of environmental effects can affect these switches.
After the tragic events of September 11th 2001, Rachel Yehuda, a psychologist at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, studied the effects of stress on a group of women who were inside or near the World Trade Center and were pregnant at the time. Produced in conjunction with Jonathan Seckl, an Edinburgh doctor, her results suggest that stress effects can pass down generations. Meanwhile research at Washington State University points to toxic effects – like exposure to fungicides or pesticides – causing biological changes in rats that persist for at least four generations.
This work is at the forefront of a paradigm shift in scientific thinking. It will change the way the causes of disease are viewed, as well as the importance of lifestyles and family relationships. What people do no longer just affects themselves, but can determine the health of their children and grandchildren in decades to come. “We are,” as Marcus Pembrey says, “all guardians of our genome.”“How Hospital Gardens Help Patients Heal” Hospital gardens turn out to have medical benefits Scientific American.com by Deborah Franklin | March 19, 2012 |
To get an inkling of what a well-designed hospital garden can mean to a seriously ill child, watch the home video posted on YouTube last August of Aidan Schwalbe, a three-year-old heart-transplant recipient. The toddler is shown exploring the meandering paths, sun-dappled lawn and gnarled roots of a branching shade tree in the Prouty Garden at Children’s Hospital Boston. “He loves to be out in the garden feeding the birds and squirrels,” wrote Aidan’s grandmother in an August blog entry. “They will all weigh 30 lbs. each by the time we leave here!”
The garden that Aidan loves with its vibrant greenery, shaded places to sit and walk, and small, half-hidden animal sculptures that fascinate visitors of all ages is “one of the most successful hospital gardens in the country,” says Clare Cooper Marcus, an emeritus professor in landscape architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dismissed as peripheral to medical treatment for much of the 20th century, gardens are back in style, now featured in the design of most new hospitals, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects. In a recent survey of 100 directors and architects of assisted-living residences, 82 percent agreed that “the design of outdoor space should be one of the most important considerations in the design.” But can gardens, in fact, promote healing? It turns out that they often can. Scientists around the world are now digging into the data to find out which features of gardens account for the effect.
Common Sense Put to the Test The notion that the fresh breezes, dappled sunlight and fragrant greenery of a garden can be good for what ails us has its roots in ancient tradition and common sense. But a much cited study, published in 1984 in the journal Science by environmental psychologist Roger Ulrich, now at Texas A&M University, was the first to use the standards of modern medical research strict experimental controls and quantified health outcomes to demonstrate that gazing at a garden can sometimes speed healing from surgery, infections and other ailments.
Ulrich and his team reviewed the medical records of people recovering from gallbladder surgery at a suburban Pennsylvania hospital. All other things being equal, patients with bedside windows looking out on leafy trees healed, on average, a day faster, needed significantly less pain medication and had fewer postsurgical complications than patients who instead saw a brick wall.
Esther Sternberg, a physician and neuroimmunologist at the National Institute of Mental Health, calls Ulrich’s work “groundbreaking.” At the time, studies showing that loud sounds, disrupted sleep and other chronic stressors can have serious physical consequences were only just beginning. “In 1984 we all took it for granted that hospitals were noisy, smelly, disorienting mazes,” says Sternberg, who details the history in her book Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being. “But it hadn’t occurred to us that stress could affect a patient’s healing or that we could do anything about that.”
Fortunately, as the evidence implicating hospitals as major engines of stress builds, the stack of data suggesting that gardens and planted alcoves can encourage healing has grown, too. Just three to five minutes spent looking at views dominated by trees, flowers or water can begin to reduce anger, anxiety and pain and to induce relaxation, according to various studies of healthy people that measured physiological changes in blood pressure, muscle tension, or heart and brain electrical activity.
Indeed, the benefits of seeing and being in nature are so powerful that even pictures of landscapes can soothe. In 1993 Ulrich and his colleagues at Uppsala University Hospital in Sweden randomly assigned 160 heart surgery patients in the intensive care unit to one of six conditions: simulated “window views” of a large nature photograph (an open, tree-lined stream or a shadowy forest scene); one of two abstract paintings; a white panel; or a blank wall. Surveys afterward confirmed that patients assigned the water and tree scene were less anxious and needed fewer doses of strong pain medicine than those who looked at the darker forest photograph, abstract art or no pictures at all.
“Let’s be clear,” Cooper Marcus says. “Spending time interacting with nature in a well-designed garden won’t cure your cancer or heal a badly burned leg. But there is good evidence it can reduce your levels of pain and stress and, by doing that, boost your immune system in ways that allow your own body and other treatments to help you heal.”
Growing Insight Still, research shows that not all gardens are equally effective. In 1995 Cooper Marcus and landscape architect Marni Barnes received a grant from the nonprofit Center for Health Design to analyze the physical layout and daily use of several hospital gardens in northern California. In 32 hours of observations, which included taking detailed notes and interviewing users (who collectively made 2,140 visits), the researchers noticed several patterns that have been borne out in subsequent studies of other sites.
Among their findings: users mostly visited gardens seeking relaxation and restoration from mental and emotional fatigue. Tree-bordered vistas of fountains or other water features, along with lush, multilayered greenery of mature trees and flowering plants, appealed most. Those results are consistent with Ulrich’s findings of the healing power of a “window view” and also correspond with the theories of evolutionary biologists that people prefer views that are reminiscent of the savannas where humans evolved. Throughout human history, trees and water have signaled an oasis, and flowering plants have been a sign of possible food. Open views deter surprises by predators, and shaded alcoves offer a safe retreat.
The more greenery versus hard surfaces, the better. “We found that a ratio of at least 7:3 seems to work best,” Cooper Marcus says. Less greenery signals a “plaza or shopping mall courtyard” and is not as relaxing.
What you can do in the garden is as important as what you see. The results of “behavioral maps” tracking visitors’ actions while in a garden suggested a need for private conversation areas; smooth, tree-lined paths that invite strolls but that will not trip wheelchairs or intravenous poles; lightweight furniture that can be tugged into the shade or sun; and naturalistic landscaping that lures birds, squirrels and other wildlife.
One finding, in particular, surprised Cooper Marcus and Barnes. Stressed hospital employees accounted for as many visits to hospital gardens as stressed patients, and interviews confirmed that staffers depend on the greenery. “I feel like one of the Mole People,” an employee who works in the basement radiology department of a Berkeley, Calif., hospital told the researchers. She said she comes to sit amid the trees of the rooftop garden daily to relax and meditate. “It’s a big mental, emotional lift.”
Different generations seem to value the same things in gardens, but research has turned up differences, too. In 2005 clinical psychologist Sandra A. Sherman and her colleagues conducted a study of three gardens at a children’s cancer center in San Diego to try to figure out what worked and what did not. Some of the findings made intuitive sense. A mosaic turtle sculpture that small children could climb, for example, was more alluring than a crane sculpture the kids could only look at. Other results were less obvious. A riverlike water feature where kids and parents could splash and float boats together was twice as popular with the kids as a child-size playhouse that adults could not enter.
Focusing on the other end of the age spectrum, Susan Rodiek of Texas A&M has looked at long-term care institutions. In her studies, published in 2009, of a random sampling of 68 assisted-living facilities, Rodiek talked to 1,100 residents and 430 employees. “Older people,” she found, “need and benefit from outdoor space and greenery just as much as the young.”
But the adults desire some different features. Middle-aged adults, for example, tend to look for peace and quiet in the garden, and older adults are more likely to seek stimulation. At one new senior residence Rodiek studied, the facility’s architect had created a lovely, secluded lawn and pond at the back of the apartment building. But every afternoon, the researchers noticed, at around the same time, the elderly residents dragged their lightweight aluminum chairs to the front of the building to be part of the community of commuters passing by. “You can only watch a pond for so long,” Rodiek says. “And a grass lawn doesn’t change much.”
The Search for Standards To help ensure that outdoor areas promote as much healing as possible, Rodiek has recently created a checklist, drawing on the evidence described above, that administrators of long-term care facilities and others can use to evaluate their garden design. And she is working on one geared specifically to hospitals so that hospital-accrediting agencies can set standards.
Codified standards are needed because therapeutic gardens are becoming so popular. “New hospitals are now competing on the basis of whether they have a ‘healing garden’ or not,” Cooper Marcus says. “But when you go to look, some are not much more than a rooftop with a chaise lounge and a few potted plants.” Designing a good garden for health care settings “isn’t rocket science,” she adds. Yet basing the design on good science instead of whim will strengthen the healing nature of nature.
What Makes a Garden Healing? The following checklist, based on research, shows what works:
Keep it green Lush, layered landscapes with shade trees, flowers and shrubs at various heights should take up roughly 70 percent of the space; concrete walkways and plazas about 30 percent.
Keep it real Abstract sculptures do not soothe people who are sick or worried.
Keep it interesting Mature trees that draw birds and chairs that can be moved to facilitate private conversation foster greater interaction.
Engage multiple senses Gardens that can be seen, touched, smelled and listened to soothe best. But avoid strongly fragrant flowers or other odors for patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Mind the walkways Wide, meandering paths that are tinted to reduce glare allow patients with low eyesight, wheelchairs or walkers to get close to nature. Paving seams must be narrower than one eighth of an inch to prevent trips by patients trailing wheeled IV poles.
Water with care Fountains that sound like dripping faucets, buzzing helicopters or urinals do not relax anyone, and neither does the strong smell of algae.
Make entry easy Gardens should not be far away or behind doors that are too heavy for a frail or elderly person to open.
This article was published in print as “Nature That Nurtures.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Deborah Franklin is based in San Francisco and has reported on science and medicine for National Public Radio, the New York Times, Fortune and Health Magazine.
“Living in the moment really does make people happier” by Ian Sample, science correspondent guardian.co.uk,
Psychologists have found that people are distracted from the task at hand nearly half the time, and this daydreaming consistently makes them less happy.
Happiness is found by living in the now, particularly if the now involves having sex, according to a major study into mental wellbeing.
But the study also found that people spend nearly half their time (46.7%) thinking about something other than what they are actually doing.
The benefits of living in the moment are extolled by many philosophical and religious traditions, but until now there has been scant scientific evidence to support the advice.
Psychologists at Harvard University collected information on the daily activities, thoughts and feelings of 2,250 volunteers to find out how often they were focused on what they were doing, and what made them most happy.
They found that people were happiest when having sex, exercising or in conversation, and least happy when working, resting or using a home computer. And although subjects’ minds were wondering nearly half of the time, this consistently made them less happy.
The team conclude that reminiscing, thinking ahead or daydreaming tends to make people more miserable, even when they are thinking about something pleasant.
Even the most engaging tasks failed to hold people’s full attention. Volunteers admitted to thinking about something else at least 30% of the time while performing these tasks, except when they were having sex, when people typically had their mind on the job around 90% of the time.
“Human beings have this unique ability to focus on things that aren’t happening right now. That allows them to reflect on the past and learn from it; it allows them to anticipate and plan for the future; and it allows them to imagine things that might never occur,” said Matthew Killingsworth, a doctoral student in psychology and lead author of the study.
“At the same time, it seems that human beings often use this ability in ways that are not productive and furthermore can be destructive to our happiness,” he added.
For the study, Killingsworth and his supervisor, Daniel Gilbert, author of the 2006 book Stumbling on Happiness, developed a web application for the iPhone that contacted participants at random times during their waking hours. When they received a message, those taking part had to respond with information about what they were doing, by selecting from a list of 22 activities, such as doing housework, shopping, or watching TV. They went on to rate their happiness on a scale from zero to 100, and said whether they were focused, or daydreaming about something positive, negative or neutral.
The results showed that happiness was more affected by how often people drifted off, and where they went in their imagination, than by the activity they were doing at the time. The researchers say they’re confident that being distracted was the cause of unhappiness, rather than the other way round.
The authors write in the journal Science: “A human mind is a wandering mind and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. The ability to think about what is not happening is a cognitive achievement that comes at an emotional cost.”
Asked why people seemed to be particularly focused during sex, Killingsworth observed: “If you were messaged while you were having sex it probably wouldn’t turn out so well if you whipped out your iPhone. Sex is one of the few broad categories of activity that requires and perhaps benefits from our full attention.”
More than 5,000 people have signed up for the happiness study and the researchers hope to attract more so they can look at mental wellbeing in different geographical regions and between the sexes with greater accuracy.
“Hopefully we will get a lot of new participants from all over the world and be able to answer questions we’ve not really been able to ask before, because we’ve never had this kind of data on people’s experiences,” Killingsworth said.
Take part in the study at www.trackyourhappiness.org
OSHO “In Search of the Miraculous” Volume 2 – chapter 3 “Kundalini and The Seven Bodies”
In order for you to understand this the structure of the various subtle bodies must be fully elaborated upon. The individual can be divided into seven bodies. The first body is the physical body which we all know. The second is the etheric body, and the third – which is beyond this second – is the astral body. The fourth – which is beyond this – is the mental or psychic body; and the fifth – which is beyond this again – is the spiritual body. The sixth is beyond the fifth, and it is called the cosmic body. Then the seventh and the last is the nirvana sharir, or the nirvanic body, the bodiless body. A little more information about these seven bodies will make it possible for you to understand the kundalini fully.
1. The Physical Body
In the first seven years of life, the sthul sharir - the physical body alone is formed. The other bodies are in seed form. They have a potential for growth but they lie dormant in the beginning of life. So the first seven years are years of limitation. There is no growth of intellect, emotion or desire during these years. Only the physical body develops within this period. Some people never grow beyond seven years; they stagnate at this stage and are no more than animals. Animals develop only in the physical body; the other bodies remain untouched within them.
2. The Etheric Body
In the next seven years – that is from seven years to fourteen years – the bhawa sharir, the etheric body, develops. These seven years are years of emotional growth of the individual. This is why sexual maturity, which is the most intense form of emotion, is reached at the age of fourteen. Now some people stagnate at this stage. Their physical bodies grow but they are stuck with the first two bodies.
3. The Astral Body
In the third seven-year period, between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one, the sukshma sharir, the astral body, develops. In the second body emotion is developed; in the third body reasoning, thinking and intellect are developed. This is why no court of law holds a child responsible for his actions up to the age of seven, because the child has only the physical body. We treat the child the same way as we would treat an animal; we cannot hold him responsible. Even if a child commits a crime it is assumed that he has committed it under the guidance of someone – that the real criminal is someone else. After the development of the second body a person reaches adulthood. But this is the adulthood of sex. Nature’s work is complete with this development, and this is why nature gives its full cooperation up to this stage. But at this stage man is not man in the full sense of the word. The third body, where reason, intellect and the thinking power develop, is an outcome of education, civilization and culture. This is why the right to vote is granted to a person when he is twenty-one years of age. Though this is prevalent all over the world, some countries are debating whether to allow an eighteen-year-old the right to vote. This is natural, because as man is becoming more and more evolved the usual span of seven years for the growth of each body is becoming less and less. All over the world girls reach puberty at the age of thirteen to fourteen years. Since the last thirty years the age for this is becoming less and less. Even a girl of eleven reaches puberty. The lowering of the voting age to eighteen is an indication that man now completes the work of twenty-one years in eighteen years. Normally, however, twenty-one years are required for the growth of the third body, and the majority of people do not develop further than this. Their growth stops short with the development of the third body, and there is no further development for the rest of their lives.
4. The Mental Body
What I call the psyche is the fourth body – the manas sharir. This body has its own wonderful experiences. Now a person whose intellect is not developed may not be able to take interest in or enjoy mathematics, for instance. Mathematics has its own charm, and only Einstein can be absorbed in it as a musician is in music or a painter is in colors. For Einstein mathematics was not work but play, but the intellect must reach this peak of development in order to turn mathematics into play. With each body that develops infinite possibilities open before us. One whose etheric body does not develop, who stagnates after the first seven years of development, does not have any interest in life beyond eating and drinking. So the cultures of those civilizations where the majority of people have developed only up to the first body revolve entirely around their taste buds. The civilization where the majority of people have got stuck at the second body will be sex centered. Their personalities, their literature, their music, their films and books, their poetry and paintings, even their houses and vehicles, will all be sex centered: all these things will be completely filled with sex, with sexuality. In the civilization in which the third body develops fully, people will be intellectual and contemplative. Whenever the development of the third body becomes very important in a society or in a nation, many intellectual revolutions take place. In Bihar, the majority of people were of this caliber at the time of Buddha and Mahavira. This is why eight persons of the stature of Buddha and Mahavira were born in the small province of Bihar. Besides, there were thousands of others at the time who were endowed with genius. Such was the condition of Greece at the time of Socrates and Plato; such also was the condition of China at the time of Lao Tzu and Confucius. What is even more wonderful to note is the fact that all these luminous beings existed within a period of five hundred years. Within those five hundred years the development of the third body in man reached its peak. Generally man halts at the third body. The majority of people do not develop after twenty-one years. There are unusual experiences of the fourth body. Hypnotism, telepathy, clairvoyance, are all the potential of the fourth body. Persons can have contact with one another without hindrances from time or place; they can read the thoughts of another without asking or project thoughts into another. Without any external help one can instill a seed of thought into another. A person can travel outside of his body; he can do astral projection and know himself apart from the physical body. There are great possibilities in the fourth body, but we do not normally develop this body as there are many hazards as well as much deception. As things begin to get more and more subtle, the possibilities of deception increase. Now it is difficult to find out whether a man has actually stepped out of his body or not. He can dream that he stepped out of his body and he can actually do so too, and in both the cases there is no other witness than himself. So there is every possibility of deception. The world that starts from the fourth body is subjective, whereas the world before that is objective. If I have a rupee in my hand, I can see it, you can see it, fifty others can also see it. This is a common reality in which we can all take part, and it can be investigated whether the rupee is or is not. But in the realm of my thoughts you cannot be a partner, nor can I be a partner in the realm of your thoughts. From here the personal world begins with all its hazards; none of our external rules of validity can be used here. So the real world of deception starts from the fourth body. All the deceptions of the preceding three can be seen through. The greatest danger is that it is not necessarily the case that the deceiver is aware of the fact that he is deceiving. He can deceive unknowingly – himself as well as others. Things are so subtle, so rare and personal on this plane, that one has no means to test the validity of his experiences. So he cannot tell whether he is imagining things or whether they are really happening to him. So we have always tried to save humanity from this fourth body, and those who made use of this body were always condemned and slandered. Hundreds of women were branded as witches and burnt in Europe because they used the faculties of the fourth body. Hundreds who practiced tantra were killed in India because of the fourth body. They knew some secrets that seemed dangerous to human beings. They knew what was taking place in your mind; they knew where things were placed in your house without ever having stepped into it. So the realm of the fourth body was looked upon as “black” art all over the world, as one never knew what might happen. We have always tried our best to stop progress from going any further than the third body, because the fourth has always seemed very dangerous….The experiences of the kundalini on the fourth body can be psychic, but that does not make them false. There are authentic psychic states and false psychic states. When I say that kundalini could be only a mental experience, it does not necessarily mean that it is a false experience. Mental experiences can be false as well as authentic. You see a dream at night. Now this dream is a fact because it has happened. But on waking in the morning you might recollect some dream that you did not actually dream; yet you can insist that that is what you dreamed. Then this is false. A man might get up in the morning and say he never dreams. Many people believe they do not dream. They do dream: all night long they dream, and this has been proved scientifically. But in the morning they assert they never dreamed. So what they say is absolutely false, though they are not aware of it. In fact, they do not remember the dreams. Quite the opposite also takes place: you remember dreams you never dreamed. This will also be false. Dreams are not false; they have their own reality. But dreams can be real as well as unreal. Real dreams are those which have been actually dreamed. The trouble also is that you cannot narrate your dream precisely upon waking. For this reason, in the old days any man who could narrate his dream clearly and precisely was held in high esteem. It is very, very difficult to report a dream correctly. The sequence of the dream is one thing when you dream it and just the opposite when you remember it. It is like a film. When we see a film the story unwinds from the beginning of the film. Similarly, the reel of the dream drama winds in one direction in sleep and begins to unwind in the opposite direction in the waking state, so we remember the last part of the dream first and go backwards in recollection. What we dreamed first becomes last in recollection. This would be just like someone who tries to read a book from the wrong end; the reversed words would cause just such a chaos. So to remember a dream and give a true representation of it is a great art. Generally, when we recall a dream we recollect happenings we never dreamed of. We drop a good portion of the actual dream and later most of the rest. Dreams are a happening of the fourth body, and the fourth body has a great potential. Whatever siddhis are mentioned in yoga are attained in this body. Yoga has incessantly warned the meditator not to go into them. The greatest danger is there of going astray. Even if you go into a psychic state it has no spiritual value. So when I said that the kundalini is psychic, what I meant was that it is actually a happening of the fourth body. This is why physiologists cannot discover the kundalini within the human body. So it is only natural that they deny the existence of kundalini and the chakras and call them imaginary. They are the happenings of the fourth body. The fourth body exists, but it is very subtle; it cannot come within our grasp. Only the physical body can be grasped. Yet there are corresponding points between the first body and the fourth body. If we were to place seven sheets of paper one on top of the other, prick a hole through them with a pin so that all the papers are pierced, then even if the hole disappears from the first sheet it will still carry a mark that corresponds to the holes in the rest of the sheets. Then although the first paper does not have the hole, it has the point which will correspond directly with the pinholes on the other sheets when it is placed upon them. So chakras, kundalini, etcetera, do not belong to the first body as such, but there are corresponding points in the first body. So a physiologist is not wrong if he denies them. The chakras and the kundalini are in other bodies, but points corresponding to them can be found on the physical body. So kundalini is the happening of the fourth body and it is psychic. And when I say that this psychic happening is of two kinds – one true and one false – then you will understand what I mean. It will be false when it is a product of your imagination, because imagination is also a characteristic of the fourth body. Animals do not have the power of imagination, so they have very little memory of the past and no idea of future. Animals are free from anxiety as anxiety is always of the future. Animals see many deaths taking place, but they never imagine that they can die also; therefore, they have no fear of death. Among men also there are many who are not bothered by the fear of death. Such a man always associates death with others and not with himself. The reason is that the power of imagination in the fourth body has not developed fully enough to see into the future. This means that imagination can also be true or false. True imagination means that we are capable of seeing further ahead, that we can visualize that which has not yet come to pass. But to imagine that something will happen that cannot be, which does not exist, is false imagination. When imagination is used in its right perspective it becomes science; science is primarily only imagination.
…If I say that science is imagination and madness is also imagination, don’t think they are one and the same thing. A madman imagines things which do not exist and which have no relationship with the physical world. The scientist also imagines: he imagines things which are directly related with the physical world. And if it does not seem so at first there is a complete possibility of their being so in the future. Among the possibilities of the fourth body there is always a chance of going wrong. Then the false world begins. This is why it is best if we do not harbor any expectations before entering this body. This fourth body is the psychic body. Now, for instance, if I want to go down to the ground floor of this house I will have to look for a lift or a staircase in order to do so. But if I want to go down in my thoughts there is no need for a lift or a staircase. I can sit right here and go down. The hazard of imagination and thoughts is that one has to do nothing except imagine or think, and so anyone can do it. Moreover, if anyone enters this realm with preconceived ideas and expectations, then he immediately goes down only into these, because then the mind will be only too willing to cooperate. It will say, “You want to awaken the kundalini? All right! It is rising… it has risen.” Then you will begin to imagine kundalini rising, and the mind will encourage you in this false feeling until ultimately you will feel that it is fully awakened and that the chakras are fully activated. But there is a way of testing the validity of it, and that is that with the opening of each chakra there will be a distinct change in your personality. This change you cannot imagine or preconceive, because this change takes place in the world of matter. So, for instance, when the kundalini awakens you cannot take intoxicants; it is impossible. The mental body gets influenced by alcohol very quickly as it is very delicate. This is why – and you will be surprised to know this – when a woman consumes alcohol she becomes more dangerous than a man who does so. This is because her mental body is even more delicate, and it gets affected so quickly that things get out of her control. This is why women have protected themselves from this hazard by certain rules in society. This is one place where women did not seek equality with men, although unfortunately of late she is trying to. The day she asserts her equality in this area and tries to outdo men in it she will cause such harm to herself as has never been caused by any action by men. In the fourth body the awakening of the kundalini cannot be proved by your telling about the experience, because, as I said before, you can falsely imagine the awakening and experiencing of the kundalini also. It can only be judged by your physical traits: whether any radical transformation has taken place in your personality. No sooner does the energy awaken than there will be immediate signs of change in you. This is why I always say that behavior is the outer criterion and not the inner cause. It is a criterion of what has happened within. With each attempt some things inevitably begin to happen. When the energy awakens it becomes impossible for the meditator to take any intoxicants. If he does indulge in drugs and alcohol, then know that his experiences are all imaginary, because it is absolutely impossible. After the awakening of the kundalini the tendency for violence disappears completely. Not only does the meditator not commit violence, but he has no feeling of violence within himself. The urge to commit violence, the urge to harm others, can only exist when the vital energy is dormant. The moment it awakens the other ceases to be the other and so you cannot wish to harm him. Then you will not have to repress violence within yourself because then you cannot be violent. If you find that you have to repress the feeling of violence, then know that the kundalini has not awakened. If after the eyes open you still feel your way about with a stick, then know that the eyes cannot see yet, no matter how much you claim otherwise – because you have not yet given up your stick. Whether an outsider can find out whether you can see or not is dependent your actions. Your stick, your stumblings and your unstable walk prove that the eyes have not yet opened. So there will be a radical change in your behavior with the awakening, and all the religious vows like those of the mahavrata - nonviolence, not stealing, nonpossession, celibacy and full awareness – will become natural and easy for you. Then know that your experience is authentic. It is psychic, however, but authentic all the same. Now you can proceed further. You can proceed ahead if your path is authentic, but not otherwise. You cannot stay forever in the fourth body because it is not the goal. There are yet other bodies that have to be crossed.
5. The Spiritual Body
The atma sharir - the fifth body, which is called the spiritual body – is of great value. If growth in life continues in the proper manner, then by the age of thirty-five this body should be fully developed. But this is a faraway idea because even the fourth body is only developed in a very few people. This is why the soul and such things are only a topic of discussion for us; there is no content behind the word. When we say atman, it is merely a word; there is nothing behind it. When we say wall, there is not only the word but also the substance behind the word; we know what “wall” means. But there is no meaning behind the word atman, because we have no knowledge, no experience of the atman. This is our fifth body, and only if the kundalini awakens in the fourth body is entrance possible in the fifth; otherwise we cannot enter. We are not aware of the fourth body so the fifth also remains unknown. Very few people have discovered the fifth body; they are those whom we call spiritualists. These people take this to be the journey’s end and declare, “To attain the atman is to attain all.” But the journey is not yet over. However, these people who stop at the fifth body deny God. They say, “There is no brahman; there is no Paraatman,” just as he who stagnates on the first body would deny the existence of the atman. Just as the materialist says, “The body is everything; when the body dies, everything dies,” so the spiritualist declares, “There is nothing beyond the atman: the atman is everything; it is the highest state of being.” But this is only the fifth body.
6. The Cosmic Body
The sixth body is the brahma sharir - the cosmic body. When a person evolves beyond his atman, when he is willing to lose it, he enters the sixth body. If mankind develops scientifically the natural development of the sixth body would take place at the age of forty-two, and that of the nirvana sharir - the seventh body – at the age of forty-nine. The seventh body is the nirvanic body which is no-body – which is a state of bodilessness, an incorporeal state. This is the ultimate state where only the void remains – not even the brahman, the cosmic reality, but only the emptiness. Nothing has remained; everything has disappeared. So when anyone asked Buddha, “What happens there?” he replied, “The flame dies out.” “Then what happens?” he would be asked again. “When the flame is lost, you do not ask, ‘Where has it gone? Where is the flame now?’ It is lost, and that is all.” The word nirvana implies the extinction of the flame. Therefore, Buddha said, nirvana takes place. The state of moksha is experienced in the fifth body. The limitations of the first four bodies are transcended and the soul becomes totally free. So liberation is the experience of the fifth body. Heaven and hell pertain to the fourth body, and he who stops here will experience them. For those who stop at the first, second or third body, life between birth and death becomes everything; there is no life beyond death for them. If a person goes beyond into the fourth body, after this life he experiences heaven and hell where there are infinite possibilities of happiness and misery.
7. The Nirvanic Body
If he reaches up to the fifth body there is the door of liberation, and if he reaches up to the sixth there is the possibility of the state of God-realization. Then there is no question of liberation or no liberation; he becomes one with that which is. The declaration of “Aham Brahmasmi” – I am God – is of this plane. But there is yet one step more, which is the last jump – where there is no aham and no Brahman, where I and thou are totally nonexistent, where there is simply nothing – where there is total and absolute void. That is nirvana.
A House Needs A Strong Foundation
These are the seven bodies which are developed within a period of forty-nine years. This is why the midpoint of fifty years was known as the point of revolution. For the first twenty-five years there was one system of life. Within this period efforts were made to develop the first four bodies; then one’s education was supposed to be complete. Then one was supposed to search for his fifth, sixth and seventh bodies throughout the remainder of his life, and in the remaining twenty-five years he was expected to attain to the seventh body. Therefore, the age of fifty was looked upon as a crucial year. At this time a man became a wanaprasth, which only means that now he should turn his gaze towards the forest – that now he should turn his eyes away from people, society and the marketplace. The age of seventy-five was yet another point of revolution – when a man was to become initiated into sannyas. To turn toward the forest means to remove oneself from crowds and people; sannyas means, now the time has come to look beyond the ego, to transcend the ego. In the forest the ‘I’ will necessarily be with him though he has renounced all else, but at the age of seventy-five this ‘I’ too has to be renounced. However, the condition was that in one’s life as a householder one had to pass through and develop all the seven bodies so that the rest of the journey would become spontaneous and joyful. If this is not done it is very difficult, because with every seven-year cycle a particular state of development is connected. If the physical body of a child does not grow fully in the first seven years of his life, he will always be sickly. At the most we can see to it that he does not remain ill – but healthy he will never be because his basic foundation for health that should have been formed in the first seven years has been shaken. That which should have become strong and firm was disturbed, and that was the time for its development. It is just like laying the foundations for a house: if the foundations are weak it will be difficult – no, impossible – to repair it once the roof is reached. At the foundation stage only could it have been well laid. So in the first seven years, if proper conditions are available for the first body, the body develops properly. Now if the second body and the emotions do not develop fully over the next seven years, a number of sex perversions result. Then it is very difficult to remedy these later. So the period of development for a particular body is most crucial. On each step of life, each body has its predetermined period of development. There may be a slight difference here and there, but that is beside the point. If a child does not develop sexually within fourteen years his whole life becomes a long ordeal. If the intellect does not develop by the time he is twenty-one there is very little chance of its developing at a later period. But so far we are in agreement: we take care of the first body, then we take care to send the child to school to develop his intellect also. But we forget that the rest of the bodies also have their apportioned time which if lost puts us in great difficulties. A man takes fifty years to develop the body he should have developed in twenty-one years. It is obvious that he does not have as much strength at fifty as he had at twenty-one, so he has to put in a lot of effort. Then what would have been easier to accomplish at the age of twenty-one becomes long and arduous. There is yet another difficulty which he encounters: at the age of twenty-one he was right at the door but he missed it. Now, over the following thirty years, he has been to so many places that he has lost sight of the right opening. His wandering now makes it impossible for him to locate the place where he stood at twenty-one and which then needed only a slight push to open. Therefore, a well organized situation is required for children until they reach the age of twenty-five. It should be so well planned that it takes them to the fourth body level. After the fourth body the rest is easy. The foundation will then be well laid; now only the fruits remain to grow. The tree is formed up to the fourth body; then fruits begin to appear from the fifth which culminate in the seventh. We may have to make a little allowance here and there, but we should be very mindful of the foundations.
The Difference Between Men and Women
In this respect a few more things should be kept in mind. There is a difference between man and woman throughout the first four bodies. For instance, if the individual is a man his physical body is a male body. But his second body – the etheric body, which is behind the physical body – is female, because no negative or positive pole can exist by itself. A male body and a female body, in the terms of electricity, are positive and negative bodies. The woman’s physical body is negative; therefore, she is never aggressive in the matter of sex. She can bear the violence of man in this respect, but cannot be violent herself. She can do nothing to a man without his consent. Man’s first body is positive – aggressive. He can, therefore, do something aggressive to a woman without her consent; he has an aggressive first body. But by negative is not meant zero or absent. In terms of electricity, negative means receptivity, reservoir. In the woman’s body, energy lies in reserve; much energy lies in reserve. But it is not active: it is inactive. This is why a woman does not create anything. She does not compose poetry, nor does she create a great painting, nor does she carry out any scientific research. This is because it is necessary to be aggressive for research or for some work of creation. She can only wait; that is why she can only produce children. Man has a positive body, but wherever there is a positive body there must be a negative body behind it or else it cannot last. Both are present together; then the circle is complete. So the second body of a man is female, whereas the second body of a female is male. This is why – and this is an interesting fact – man looks and is, as far as his physical body goes, very strong. But behind this outward strength stands a weak female body. This is why he manages to show his strength only for a few moments at a time. In the long run he loses at the hands of the female, because the body behind her weak female body is a strong positive body. This is why a woman’s power of resistance, her capacity to endure, is greater than a man’s. If a man and a woman suffer from the same illness the woman can endure it longer than the man. Women produce children. If men had to produce children they would realize the ordeal that has to be passed through. Then perhaps there would be no need for family planning – because man cannot bear so much pain for so long a time. For a moment or two he can freak out in anger, beat a pillow perhaps, but he cannot carry a child in his abdomen for nine months, nor bring him up patiently for years afterwards. If it cries all night long he might strangle it. He will not be able to tolerate the disturbance. He has extraordinary strength, but behind him is a frail, delicate etheric body. Because of this he cannot bear pain or discomfort. This is why women fall sick less than men, their lifespan is longer than that of men. For this reason we should keep a difference of five years between a boy and a girl at the time of marriage, or else the world would be filled with widows. If the boy is twenty we should choose a girl of twenty-four or twenty-five for him. Man’s lifespan is four or five years less, so this difference would equalize things and both synchronize each other. A hundred and sixteen males are born to every hundred females. The difference in number at time of birth is sixteen, but later on the number becomes equal. Sixteen males die by the time they reach the age of fourteen and so the number becomes almost equal. More boys die early than girls. This is because the latter have a great power of resistance that comes to them through the second male body. Now the third body of the male – that is the astral body – will again be male, and the fourth or the psychic body will again be female. Just the reverse will be the case in the female. This division of male and female exists only up to the fourth body; the fifth body is beyond sex. Therefore, as soon as the atman is attained there is no male and no female – but not until then. There is another thing that comes to mind in this connection. Since every male has a female body within him and every female has a male body within her, if by coincidence a woman gets a husband who is identical with the male body within her, or if a man marries a woman who is identical with the female body within him, then only is a marriage successful; otherwise not. This is why ninety-nine percent of marriages are failures: because the intrinsic rule of success is not known yet. As long as we are unable to ascertain the right alliance between the respective energy bodies of two persons, marriages are bound to remain a failure no matter what steps we take in other directions. Successful marriages can only be possible if absolutely clear scientific details concerning these various inner bodies are achieved. A boy or a girl who has reached up to the point of the awakening of the kundalini finds it very easy to choose the right partner in life. With the full knowledge of all his bodies within, one can make the right choice outwardly. Prior to this it is very difficult. Therefore, those who knew insisted that the child should be made to develop his first four bodies in the first twenty-five years by maintaining brahmacharya, and then only could he marry – because whom should he marry? With whom does he want to spend the rest of his life? Whom is he seeking? What man does a woman seek? She seeks the man within her. If by coincidence the right connections are made, then both the man and woman are satisfied; otherwise, dissatisfaction remains and a thousand perversions result from this. The man then goes to a prostitute or seeks the woman next door. His distress grows day by day, and this misery is bound to increase with the growth of man’s intellect. If a person’s growth stops at fourteen he will not suffer this agony, because all suffering starts from the growth of the third body. If only the first two bodies are developed the man would be satisfied by sex. So there are two ways: either in the first twenty-five years, during the period of brahmacharya, we should develop the child up to the fourth body, or else encourage child marriages. Child marriage means marriage before the development of intellect so that the person stagnates at sex; then there is no trouble as the relationship is entirely on the animal plane. The relationship of a child marriage is purely a sexual relationship; there is no possibility of love in it. Now in places like America, where education has made great strides and where the third body has developed completely, marriages break. They are bound to, because the third body rebels at a wrong partnership. So divorce results, because it is not possible to drag such marriages along. The correct form of education is that which develops the first four bodies. Right education is that which takes you up to the fourth body. There the work of education is complete. No education can help you enter the fifth; you have to go there by yourself. Right education can easily take you up to the fourth body. After this the growth of the fifth body, which is very valuable and personal, begins. Kundalini is the potential of the fourth body; this is why kundalini is a psychic phenomenon. I hope this is now clear to you.by Robbie’s Kitchen ACNE, BLACKHEADS, AND PIMPLES: ***Dab a small amount of toothpaste (paste, not gel) on pimples before bed; this helps dry out the pimples. ***Mix equal amounts of lemon juice and rose water, apply to face with a cotton ball, and allow to sit for 30 minutes before rinsing. 15-20 days of this application helps cure pimples and also helps to remove blemishes and scars. ***Apply fresh lemon juice on the affected area overnight. Wash off with warm water next morning. ***For acne that hasn’t seemed to respond to anything, steep 2-3 tsp. dried basil leaves in 1 cup boiling water for 10-20 minutes, cool, and apply to affected area with a cotton ball. ANEMIA: ***Avoid drinking tea (regular, not herbal varieties) and coffee immediately after meals, as the tannin present in these interferes in the absorption of iron from the food. ***Drink a cup of herbal tea mixed with 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses each day. This provides 80% of the iron needed in one day. ***Foods high in iron: lean beef, lean pork, skinned poultry, shellfish, fish, liver, organ meats, egg yolks, pinto, kidney, lima, navy, chick peas, black-eyed peas, lentils, split peas, green peas, spinach, kale, collards, beet greens, chard, broccoli, raisins, prunes, figs, dates, dried peaches, dried apricots, nuts, peanut butter, whole grain breads. ***Your body absorbs iron from meats easier than fruits and vegetables. To aid in the absorption of iron from fruits and vegetables, eat them with a good source of vitamin C. ARTHRITIS: ***A daily serving of fresh fish or fish oil capsules helps to give relief of arthritis and other joint pains. ***3-4 walnuts eaten daily, on an empty stomach, will help. ASTHMA: ***Mix 1 tsp. honey with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and take it at night before going to bed. ***Avoid taking aspirin, as this may invoke an asthma attack. BAD BREATH: ***Boil some cinnamon bark in a cup of water. Store it in a clean bottle in your bathroom. Use it as a mouthwash frequently. ***Parsley leaves are rich in chlorophyll, nature’s own deodorizer. Chew some leaves regularly and your breath will remain fresh. ***You can chew some cardamom seeds to sweeten your breath. BLADDER INFECTION: Take a bag of fresh or frozen cranberries and boil them in water (they will fall apart). Cool and drink. Don’t add sugar! This remedy is also useful for people with kidney problems. BLADDER STONES: Boil 2 figs in 1 cup of water. Drink daily for a month. BRUISES: Slice a raw onion and place over the bruise. Do not apply this to broken skin. COLD AND FLU: Here is a delicious recipe for a cold and flu soup: Sauté 6 crushed cloves of garlic in 1 tsp. vegetable oil until golden. Pour in a quart of beef or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and whisk in 2 egg whites. Beat together 2 egg yolks and 2 Tbls. distilled white vinegar; pour this mixture into the soup. Season with salt and pepper and top with croutons, if desired. CONSTIPATION (IN ADULTS): ***Eat a few black licorice sticks. ***Take apple pectin. ***Make sure you’re getting enough Folic Acid in your diet. ***Drinking ginger tea will help start a bowel movement. CONSTIPATION (IN SMALL CHILDREN): Soak 6-8 raisins in hot water. When cool, crush well and strain. When given routinely even to little infants, it helps to regulate bowel movement. COUGHS AND ASTHMA: Steep 3-4 cloves of garlic in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks. Use several drops at a time, several times a day for coughs or asthma. Garlic is an exceptional cleanser for the body and has antimicrobial action similar to other antibiotics. DAMAGED, DRY HAIR: A nourishing conditioner for dry or damaged hair which can be used for all hair types: Separate the white of an egg from the yolk, whip it to a peak. Add 1 Tbls. water to the yolk and blend until the mixture is creamy. Then mix the white and yolk together. Wet your hair with warm water, remove the excess moisture, and apply the mixture to your scalp with your fingertips. Massage gently until the froth is worked into your scalp, then rinse the hair with cool water. Keep applying the mixture until it is used up and then rinsed until all of the egg is washed away. DANDRUFF: Pour distilled white vinegar onto the hair, as close to the scalp as you can manage; massage into the scalp; and allow to dry for several minutes before washing as usual. Repeat daily until the dandruff disappears, usually within a few days. DARK CIRCLES AROUND EYES: Make a paste out of 1 tsp. tomato juice, 1/2 tsp. lemon juice, a pinch of turmeric powder, and 1 tsp. of flour. Apply around eyes. Leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing. DEPRESSION: 3/4 cup of cooked spinach a day is enough to give dramatic relief from depression if you are deficient in B vitamins. DIARRHEA: Eat boiled sweet potatoes seasoned with salt and pepper before bedtime to cure chronic diarrhea. DRY SKIN: Combine 1 cup oatmeal, 1 cup warm water, 1 Tbls. vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup baking soda in a blender or food processor until you have a smooth paste. Pour this paste under the running water while drawing the bath. Very soothing to dry, itchy skin. EARACHE: Steep 1-2 tsp. chamomile flowers in boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Strain out the water, and apply the hot flowers in a cloth for alleviation of the earache. ECZEMA: Rub a whole nutmeg against a smooth stone slab with a little water and make a paste. Apply on affected parts. (Note: It is believed by some rural, old fashioned practitioners that instead of water, one’s own early morning saliva can be used for better results.) ENERGIZER: Simmer 1 cup honey and 3 cup water together slowly. Allow 1 cup of the water to evaporate. Strain off the top surface, and put the remaining liquid into a stoneware crock or dark bottle. Put a towel over it so it can breathe, yet be free of dirt. Place in a cool place. You can add cinnamon, clove, or the juice of 2 lemons, if you like. EYE PROBLEMS: Simmer 1 cup water and 1 tsp. honey for 5 minutes. Dip a cloth in the liquid and apply to the closed eye. FACIAL CLEANSER: Mix 2 Tbls. cornstarch, 2 Tbls. glycerin, and 1/2 cup water until smooth. Heat in a small pan placed in a water bath inside another pan. Heat until thick and clear; it will have the consistency of pudding. Do not boil. Cool completely, Use in place of soap to cleanse your skin. (If mixture is too thick, you may thin it by adding a little water, 1 Tbls. at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.) FATIGUE: Take a glass of grapefruit and lemon juice in equal parts to dispel fatigue and general tiredness after a day’s work. GUM IN HAIR: Soak the gum-coated hair in Coke® and it should wipe out easily. HAIR LIGHTENER: To lighten hair, use 1/4 cup chopped fresh rhubarb to 2 cups boiling water. Cool, strain, and apply as a rinse. HANG-OVER: Eat honey on crackers. The fructose in the honey will help to flush out the alcohol in your system. HAY FEVER: Steep 1 tsp. fenugreek seed in 1 cup water, covered, for 10 minutes. Drink 1 cup a day to help hay fever symptoms. HEADACHE: Eat 10-12 almonds, the equivalent of two aspirins, for a migraine headache. Almonds are far less likely to upset the stomach. HICCUPS: Only 2 remedies have I ever know to actually work. The first listed makes the most sense, since a hiccough is simply a spasm of the diaphragm, and you need to disrupt this spasm. The second offers no rhyme or reason, but works nonetheless. ***Breath in as deeply as you can, then exhale as hard as you can; repeat 10 times; when exhaling the last time, keep the air pushed out, not taking another breath for as long as you can stand. This normally works the first try, but repeat if necessary. Be sure to sit down when doing this. ***This is a remedy only feasible when sitting at a bar. Have the bartender fill a small glass with club soda. Light a match and drop it, then drink the water quickly (being careful not to drink the match). It works, but I don’t know why! ***Drink 1/2 glass water, slowly. ***Keep a tsp. of sugar in your month and suck slowly. ***Suck 2-3 small pieces of fresh ginger. ***Take a large mouthful of water with out swallowing, plug both ears, and slowly begin to swallow the water. Unplug your ears and you’re hiccup free! (Submitted by Mrs T. Falkmann) ***Eat a heaping teaspoon of peanut butter all at once. (Submitted by Tracy Pletcher) HICKEY: ***Coat area liberally with lotion. Rub with the back of a cold spoon vigorously for as long as you can stand to, changing out spoon for new cold one every 10 minutes. Recommended time for this treatment is 45-60 minutes. Why it works: a hickey is a bruise; the discoloration of a bruise is caused by blood accumulating under the skin from broken capillaries; this remedy breaks up the old blood so it can be reabsorbed by the body more quickly, therefore diminished the discoloration. ***Rub white toothpaste over the hickey, allow to dry, and later, wipe it off with a warm facecloth. After a few applications, the hickey will be faded. Do not use gel toothpaste. (Submitted by Hot Rod Anne.) INSECT BITES: Mix water with cornstarch into a paste and apply. This is effective in drawing out the poisons of most insect bites and is also an effective remedy for diaper rash. MORNING SICKNESS: Mix 1 tsp. each fresh juice of mint and lime, and 1 Tbls. honey. Take 3 times a day. MOSQUITO BITES: Apply lime juice diluted with water on bites with cotton ball. MUCUS IN COUGH: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1/2 tsp. each of ginger, ground cloves, and cinnamon. Filter. Sweeten with 1 tsp. honey and drink. MUSCLE CRAMPS: Apply clove oil on the affected body parts. NAUSEA: Boil 1/2 cup of rice in 1 cup of water for about 10-20 minutes. After it is boiled, drain the water into a cup and sip at the rice water until symptoms are gone. OBESITY: ***Mix lime juice with honey and water; drink a glass of this every morning. ***Mix 3 tsp. lime juice, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. honey, and 1 cup water; drink a glass a day for 3 months. ***Mix 1 tsp. lime juice with 1 cup water and drink each morning. ***Eat a tomato before breakfast. OILY SKIN: For oily skin, mix 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal, 1 egg white, 1 Tbls. lemon juice, and 1/2 cup mashed apple into a smooth paste. Apply to face and leave on 15 minutes. Rinse. OVERWEIGHT: Effective at getting rid of fat, drink up to 3 cups of green tea daily. Regular tea can also be used with a lesser effect. PAIN RELIEVER: Mix 3 Tbls. of honey in boiled water and drink. Honey has natural pain-relieving powers. SMELLY FEET: Soak feet in strong tea for 20 minutes every day until the smell disappears. To prepare your footbath, brew two tea bags in 2 1/2 cups of water for 15 minutes and pour the tea into a basin containing two liters of cool water. SMOKING HABIT: Lick a little salt with the tip of your tongue whenever you feel the urge to smoke. This is said to break the habit within 1 month. SORE THROAT: Mix 1 tsp. lime juice and 1 Tbls. honey. Swallow tiny amounts slowly 2-3 times a day. SPLINTERS: ***Lay scotch tape over the splinter and pull off. ***Soak the area in vegetable oil for a few minutes before removing with tweezers. STOMACH ACHE: A simple cure for a stomachache is to dissolve 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon in 1 cup warm water, cover and let sit for 15 minutes, then drink it like tea. This remedy can also ease diarrhea and flatulence. STOMACH ACIDITY: ***Drink coconut water 3-4 times a day. ***Have a plateful of watermelon and/or cucumber every hour. SUNBURN: Mix 2 tsp. tomato juice and 1/4 cup buttermilk. Apply to affected area. Rinse after 1/2 hour. TOOTHACHE & MOUTH PAIN: To ease toothache or other mouth pain, make a tea by boiling 1 Tbls. fresh peppermint in 1 cup water and adding a little salt. Peppermint is an antiseptic and contains menthol, which relieves pain when applied to skin surfaces. VARICOSE VEINS: Take 2-3 tsp. black strap molasses orally daily. This also treats all kinds of circulatory ailments. VOMITING AND NAUSEA: ***Sucking a piece of ice controls vomiting. ***Eat 1/2 tsp. ground cumin seeds. ***Cinnamon and sliced ginger work by interrupting nausea signals sent from the stomach to the brain. If you are an herbal tea drinker, simply sprinkle cinnamon on the tea and drink. To make ginger tea, simmer a few slices of ginger in hot tea water. WARTS: Try taping a slice of garlic to the wart. Be sure to first protect the surrounding skin with petroleum jelly. WEAK NAILS: To strengthen and shine nails, combine 2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. castor oil, and 1 tsp. wheat germ oil and mix thoroughly. Pour into bottle. Shake before using. To use, rub a small amount into your nails. Leave on 3-5 minutes and tissue off. Follow up with more plain castor oil, if desired. WRINKLES & SKIN FRESHENER: ***Combine 2 Tbls. vodka, 1 Tbls. fennel seeds, and 1 1/2 tsp. honey. Stir well and allow to sit for 3 days. Strain mixture. Use full strength or add 2 Tbls. water to dilute. Use a cotton ball to apply to face as a toner. ***Apply coconut oil on the portions of skin and face where wrinkles set in and gently massage every night at bed time. YELLOW TEETH: Mix salt with finely powdered rind of lime. Use this as toothpowder frequently.Psychology Today, “Nature’s Bounty: The Smartest Food” “Phytochemical-rich berries can multiply their own brain-saving effects when eaten with certain fat-rich foods” By Daniel A. Marano, published on May 01, 2008
Neuroscientist James A. Joseph is one of those lucky people who gets to have his cake and eat it, too. At the HumanNutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Joseph revels in his research demonstrating that dark-hued fruits and vegetables, especially blueberries, are just about the best foods you could consume for inoculating brain and body against the ravages of time.
Every morning before heading to his Boston lab, Joseph pours himself a glass of ruby-red pomegranate juice and then chases it with roughly a cup of blueberries. Not just any blueberries but wild ones, flash-frozen to preserve the phytochemicals that research shows are particularly abundant in the tiny fruits that fend for themselves against the short growing season and harsh conditions of northern climates. There they stretch themselves across stony fields so inhospitable they are known as blueberry barrens.
At work, studying the nutritional modulation of cognitive decline, Joseph delineates the bioactive properties of the fruits he calls “brainberries.” Yes, blueberries provide traditional nutrients carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins C and E, manganese.
But the deeply pigmented flavonoid phytochemicals known as anthocyanidins that are found in the fruit are not nutrients in the strict sense of the word. They are, however, biologically active in surprisingly sophisticated ways: intervening at the molecular level along signaling pathways to turn vital genes on or off in brain cells, making brain cells maximally responsive to incoming messages from other cells, even prompting the growth of new nerve cells.
Cumulatively the berries produce antioxidant effects, neutralizing cellular damage created by free radicals of oxygen and blocking pathways by which oxidative stress damages cells. Perhaps more important, they function as anti-inflammatory agents to preserve cardiovascular as well as brain integrity. “Oxidative stress and inflammation are the evil twins of brain aging,” Joseph insists.
Berries make a difference at the behavioral level, too. Aging rats fed the equivalent of a cup of berries a day navigate water mazes like pups, with few mistakes of memory. Plus, as Joseph told a meeting of the Metropolitan (New York) Area Geriatric Society, the animals were powered by leg muscles “that look like those in the legs of young rats.”
As good as blueberries are by themselves, Joseph finds, they are more biologically extravagant in combination with certain other foods. Blueberries have a particularly complex relationship with fats both the good kind and the bad.
Eaten, for example, with oil-rich walnuts or avocados, the berries act synergistically to keep brain cell membranes youthfully flexible a feat of wide impact since every flicker of thought or intentional movement starts with a transaction across a brain cell membrane. Then, too, blueberries lower the body’s burden of cholesterol, minimizing the threat of atherosclerosis in the blood vessels that supply heart and brain.
Walnuts, Joseph finds, contain both polyphenols, like dark berries, and omega-3 fatty acids. They are especially rich in the omega-3 fat known as alpha-linolenic acid. Nerve cell membranes, he explained to the New York conference, are host to a wide array of receptors, such as those for serotonin and other neurotransmitters; receptors are the gateway to nerve cells. But with age, the membranes become rigid and blunt the actions of receptors.
“Together, the polyphenols in berries and walnuts and the fatty acids in the walnuts fluidize the nerve cell membrane,” Joseph reported. “They make it more responsive to a wide array of signals,” increasing the efficiency of all transactions. The membrane effects are at least as powerful as the antioxidant effects that have already earned blueberries a place at the well-appointed table.
Walnuts may amplify the effects of richly hued berries in still other ways. The equivalent of one ounce of walnuts the amount recommended for heart health may help block inflammation at the cellular level, a process now implicated in cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other degenerative processes of aging. “All this is reversible,” Joseph insists. “The effects of natural combinations such as walnuts and blueberries or strawberries or blackberries are powerful.”
In a study led by Joseph’s occasional collaborator, Canadian Wilhelmina Kalt, researchers found that a diet moderately rich in blueberries also directly affects cholesterol transport in the body. The net effect is a decrease in total cholesterol and especially of artery-clogging LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, cholesterol.
Kalt’s study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, is the first to document lipid-lowering effects of blueberries. The investigators called the results especially notable because they were achieved in pigs models of human heart disease with “doses that could reasonably be achieved in the adult human diet,” about a cup of berries a day. The anthocyanins had the greatest cholesterol-lowering effect in those animals fed diets rich in other plant foods as well. Kalt, a Nova Scotia-based researcher with Agri-Food Canada, spends part of every summer meeting with Joseph and his “brainberry group” at the halfway point, in Maine.
“We have fun in here,” Joseph says of his research lab, filled with baskets of fruit. “And it’s fun to talk about. It’s something that people can use right now. Adding walnuts and berries or purple grape juice to the diet could delay the onset of the degenerative diseases of aging.” —Daniel A. Marano
It’s Never Too Late
The right dietary changes have immediate brain payoffs at any age, contends neuroscientist James Joseph. They can slow down neural aging.
- Eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, which are high in antioxidants, along with nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and pecans.
- Spice up your food with circumin, which has neuroprotective effects.
- Consume foods rich in folic acid to preserve memory.
- Maintain zinc levels to help ward off Alzheimer’s disease.
Nutrition Facts and Information for Blueberries:USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23 (2010)
Per 100 grams
Per 1cup (148g)
Water g 84.21 124.63 Energy kcal 57 84 Protein g 0.74 1.10 Total lipid (fat) g 0.33 0.49 Cholesterol mg 0 0 Carbohydrate g 14.49 21.45 Fiber, dietary g 2.4 3.6 Sugars, total g 9.96 14.74 Sucrose g 0.11 0.16 Glucose g 4.88 7.22 Fructose g 4.97 7.36 Starch g 0.03 0.04 Minerals Calcium mg 6 9 Iron mg 0.28 0.41 Magnesium mg 6 9 Phosphorus mg 12 18 Potassium mg 77 114 Sodium mg 1 1 Zinc mg 0.16 0.24 Copper mg 0.057 0.084 Manganese mg 0.336 0.497 Selenium mcg 0.1 0.1 Vitamins Vitamin C mg 9.7 14.4 Thiamin mg 0.037 0.055 Riboflavin mg 0.041 0.061 Niacin mg 0.418 0.619 Pantothenic acid mg 0.124 0.184 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.052 0.077 Folate mcg 6 9 Vitamin A, IU IU 54 80 Vitamin E mg 0.57 0.84 Vitamin K mcg 19.3 28.6 Carotene, beta mcg 32 47 Carotene, alpha mcg 0 0 Lycopene mcg 0 0 Lutein + zeaxanthin mcg 80 118This article is taken from Yale News By Karen N. Peart March 15, 2012 Exposure to radiation from cell phones during pregnancy affects the brain development of offspring, potentially leading to hyperactivity, Yale School of Medicine researchers have determined. The results, based on studies in mice, are published in the March 15 issue of Scientific Reports, a Nature publication. “This is the first experimental evidence that fetal exposure to radiofrequency radiation from cellular telephones does in fact affect adult behavior,” said senior author Dr. Hugh S. Taylor, professor and chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences. Taylor and co-authors exposed pregnant mice to radiation from a muted and silenced cell phone positioned above the cage and placed on an active phone call for the duration of the trial. A control group of mice was kept under the same conditions but with the phone deactivated. The team measured the brain electrical activity of adult mice that were exposed to radiation as fetuses, and conducted a battery of psychological and behavioral tests. They found that the mice that were exposed to radiation tended to be more hyperactive and had reduced memory capacity. Taylor attributed the behavioral changes to an effect during pregnancy on the development of neurons in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is a developmental disorder associated with neuropathology localized primarily to the same brain region, and is characterized by inattention and hyperactivity. “We have shown that behavioral problems in mice that resemble ADHD are caused by cell phone exposure in the womb,” said Taylor. “The rise in behavioral disorders in human children may be in part due to fetal cellular telephone irradiation exposure.” Taylor said that further research is needed in humans to better understand the mechanisms behind these findings and to establish safe exposure limits during pregnancy. Nevertheless, he said, limiting exposure of the fetus seems warranted. First author Tamir Aldad added that rodent pregnancies last only 19 days and offspring are born with a less-developed brain than human babies, so further research is needed to determine if the potential risks of exposure to radiation during human pregnancy are similar. “Cell phones were used in this study to mimic potential human exposure but future research will instead use standard electromagnetic field generators to more precisely define the level of exposure,” said Aldad. Other Yale authors on the study include Geliang Gan and Xiao-Bing Gao. The study was funded by grants from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, and Environment and Human Health, Inc.Gydytoja psichiatrė psichoterapeutė Zita Alseikienė Medicinos Centras „Neuromeda“ 2008 10 30Akivaizdu, kad ne vis reiškiniai žmogaus gyvenime paklūsta mechaninei logikai – didelę įtaką mums daro įsitikinimai, masiškai paplitę ir toliau plintantys per masines informacijos priemones, dėl to paprastai priimami be kritikos. Dabar juokingai atrodo viduramžiais populiarūs mitai, pvz., kad, Velykų dieną iššukavus plaukus, galima atsikratyti utėlių, o sifilio – permiegojus su skaistuole. Taip atsiranda kolektyviniai mitai, ir vienas iš šiuolaikinių mitų – energetiniai vampyrai, apie žmones, neva siurbiančius mūsų energiją, ir magiškus apsisaugojimo nuo jų metodus. Iš tikrųjų visi pastebime, kad ne su visais žmonėmis vienodai lengva bendrauti. Su kai kuriais sutarti sunku beveik visiems, o, pabendravus su jais, lieka nemalonus jausmas. Taigi „vampyrizmą“ galima apibūdinti kaip tam tikrą elgesį, kai taip besielgiantys gerai jaučiasi tada, kai kitiems sukelia nemalonias emocijas. Tačiau kaltinti šio žmogaus taip pat negalima – juk apie savo elgesio problemas jis dažnai net nežino ir toli gražu pats nesijaučia gerai. Tokiam žmogui reikalinga kvalifikuota psichoterapeuto pagalba. Kaip, beje, ir jo aukoms – nuo „energetinių vampyrų“ paprastai nukenčia ypač jautrūs ir pažeidžiami žmonės. Ir padėti geriausiai gali ne būrėjos ar ekstrasensai, o profesionalai, mokantys psichologinę būklę koreguoti moksliniais metodais. Psichoterapijos požiūriu, „enegetinio vampyrizmo“ esmė yra tam tikri psichologiniai žaidimai, nuodugniai aprašyti žymaus JAV psichoterapeuto Eric Berne knygoje „Žaidimai, kuriuos žaidžia žmonės: žmogiškųjų santykių psichologija“. Tai nenuoširdus bendravimas, lyg su „dvigubu dugnu“, kurio metu kyla jausmas, kad pašnekovas nori mumis pasinaudoti. Ir jis iš tikrųjų mus panaudoja, tik tikslas čia – ne materialus. Tai savotiška psichologinė vagystė, kurios objektas – ne pinigai ar materialios vertybės, o … mūsų jausmai. Paprastai vampyras pasinaudoja mūsų užuojauta ir jautrumu, kad „išlietų“ savo susikaupusią blogą nuotaiką, bet ne tiesiogiai, o subtiliai, tam radęs pretekstą. Dažniausią energetinio vampyro variantą galima pavadinti emociniu egoizmu. Taip besielgiantis žmogus rūpinasi savo ramybe ne pačiu geriausiu būdu – aplinkinių sąskaita. Savo blogą nuotaiką jis išlieja psichologiniu gynybos metodu, vadinamuoju perkėlimu. Neigiamas emocijas (pyktį, agresiją, nuoskaudas, susierzinimą, nusivylimą ir t.t.) jis nukreipia ne į juos sukėlusį žmogų, o į kitą – priklausomą nuo jo materialiai ar pagal pareigas arba bejėgį pagal savo elgesio stilių. Taip dėl viršininkų neigiamų emocijų tenka kentėti pavaldiniams, tėvų – vaikams, šeimoje lyderiaujančio sutuoktinio – „silpnesnei pusei“. Kitas „energetinio vampyro“ variantas būdingas vaikams ir suaugusiems žmonėms, kurie vaikystėje negavo pakankamai dėmesio ir šilumos, buvo „nepakankamai mylėti“. Dėl to susiformuoja žema savivertė ir slaptas nepasitikėjimas savimi. Siekdami panaikinti vidinį diskomfortą ir užmaskuoti psichologinį pažeidžiamumą, įsitikinti savo reikšmingumu, tokie žmonės bet kokia kaina siekia į save atkreipti aplinkinių dėmesį. Šis stiprus poreikis numalšinamas tik tada, kai „vampyras“ gauna ne formalius, išorinius dėmesio požymius, o pajaučia gyvą emocinį pašnekovo atsaką (to jis visomis jėgomis ir siekia, net jei pašnekovas atsako neigiamomis emocijomis). Tačiau yra ir kita medalio pusė. Jei panašios „energetinių vampyrų“ manipuliacijos priverčia mus netekti pusiausvyros, tai iš dalies kalti esame ir mes patys. Ne kiekvienas žmogus tampa „vampyrų“ manipuliacijų objektu, nes šie subtiliai jaučia, kuris pasiduos jų „atakoms“, o su kuriuo taip elgtis negalima. Pirmiausia nuo jų kenčia emocionalūs, pernelyg jautrūs pašnekovo intonacijoms ir užuominoms, kas leidžia pastariesiems suprasti jų jautrias vietas. Šiuo atveju kenksmingai veikia ir automatinė emocinio mėgdžiojimo reakcija, kurios dėka mūsų viduje kaip veidrodyje atsispindi pašnekovo emocinė būsena. Pirmiausia, norint atsiriboti nuo „energetinio vampyro“ ir jam padėti, reikia gerai suprasti, kas vyksta (panašiu būdu, kaip aprašyta aukščiau). Pagalba „vampyrui“ būtų paradoksali – jį mylėti, rūpintis juo ir jį suprasti (jokiu būdu – nebijoti jo ir nevengti). Pasitaiko atvejų, kad vaikai, net pakankamai maži, elgiasi kaip energetiniai vampyrai, tuo sukeldami tėvams įvairius sunkius jausmus. Tokiais atvejais vaikui būtina skirti daugiau dėmesio, o ypač tai reikia daryti tam iš tėvų, kuris mažiau būna su vaiku. Su vaiku reikia praleisti daugiau laiko, kurio metu ne griežtai auklėti ar moralizuoti vaiką, o emocinės artumos atmosferoje užsiimti bendra veikla. Labai svarbu, kad artumas būtų tiek emocinis, tiek fizinis: vaiką kuo dažniau stenkitės paglostyti, priglausti. Tada mažojo „vampyro“ elgesys darysis ramesnis, o po kurio laiko šios problemos neliks nė ženklo. Tuo tarpu su paaugliais yra sudėtingiau: jau reikia mokėti išlaikyti tam tikrą distanciją, turėti daugiau kantrybės ir mažiau kritikuoti, gerbti jų pačių nuomonę. Suaugusiems žmonėms, tiek „vampyrams, tiek jų „aukoms“, iš esmės tinka tos pačios rekomendacijos. Tai – prisiimti atsakomybę už savo emocinę būklę bei elgesį tiek svarbiose, nekasdieniškose situacijose, tiek kasdienybėje. Požymiai, padedantys atskirti „energetinį vampyrą“ nuo kitų žmonių: • Žmonės „vampyrai“ mėgsta su aplinkiniais kalbėtis apie įvairiausius nemalonumus, nesėkmes, išsiliedami pašnekovui „iki dugno“. • Jie mėgsta klausti patarimų, tačiau jais niekada nepasinaudoja. Iš tikrųjų šiems žmonėms svarbūs yra ne patys patarimai, o jūsų įsitraukimas ir dėmesys jam. • „Energetiniai vampyrai“ labai praktiški. Jeigu žmogus jiems nenaudingas, jie greit su juo nustoja bendrauti. Todėl jie ir neturi senų draugų. • Visiškai beviltiška yra stengtis juos sujaudinti arba priversti ką nors užjausti. Priešingai, svetimas džiaugsmas šiems žmonėms sukelia pyktį ir liūdesį. • Jie dideli liežuvautojai ir mėgsta už akių apkalbinėti žmones, deja, ne iš gerosios pusės. • Jie nemėgsta gyvūnų, nors kartais namuose laiko katę ar mažą piktą šuniūkštį. Svetimiems gyvūnams jaučia agresiją. Ne kiekvienas gali tapti „vampyro“ auka. Aukos dažniausiai pasižymi šiomis savybėmis: • Pernelyg atviri ir emocionalūs žmonės, pasiruošę į formalų klausimą „Kaip reikalai?“ atsakyti nuodugniu pasakojimu apie savo pasiekimus. • Pagyrūnas – pats skaniausias kąsnelis „energetiniams vampyrams“. Užtenka pagyrūną bent kiek pagirti, ir daryk su juo, ką tik nori. • Nepasitikintys savimi ir savęs nevertinantys žmonės. Tokiems žmonėms vis nepatogu kitą pertraukti, nors ano kalbos tuščios ar nemalonios. • Žmonės, kurie nuolat jaučiasi kalti. Kažin ar yra žmogus, kuriam būtų malonu jaustis niekšu. Būtent todėl mes dažnai ir vengiame nutraukti pabodusį bendravimą su įkyruoliu, prilipusiu prie mūsų kaip musė, nors jis ir siekia sugadinti mums nuotaiką. Kaltės jausmas, jei mes jį jaučiame ir jo siekiame bet kokia kaina išvengti, „energetinius vampyrus“ vilioja kaip jaukas. Psichologinė gynyba nuo „energetinių vampyrų“: • Nuslopinkite savyje kaltės jausmą: jūs niekam nieko neprivalote. Jeigu jūs skubate, užsiėmę arba paprasčiausiai nenorite su niekuo bendrauti, paprasčiausiai taip ir pasakykite. • Nepasakokite apie save nieko asmeniško, bendraudami išlaikykite distanciją, nesikvieskite į savo namus. Neduokite peno apkalboms. Emocinis šaltumas – geriausia gynyba nuo „energetinio vampyro“. • Neleiskite, kad jumis manipuliuotų. Išmokite pasakyti „Ne“, kai pašnekovas iš jūsų tikisi išgirsti „Taip“. Baikite galvoti apie tai, kaip jūs atrodysite aplinkiniams. Jūsų interesai visada jums turi būti svarbiausi. • Savo kalba demonstruokite tvirtumą ir pasitikėjimą savimi. Tokie žodžiai, kaip „turbūt“, „galbūt“, „atrodo“ ir t.t. „vampyrams“ parodo jūsų silpnumą. Sakykite „aš manau“, „aš užtikrintas“, „aš žinau“. • Niekada nekaltinkite žmonių vampyrizmu. Jų atsakomoji reakcija sukels kaltės jausmą jumyse, o taip jūs iš karto neteksite daug energijos. • Jei manote, kad su jumis kalba užuominomis (o „vampyrai“ taip mėgsta), išveskite pašnekovą į „švarius vandenis“, perklausdami, ką jis turėjo omenyje. Geriau turėti reikalų su prašytoju negu su manipuliatoriumi.