News-in-Transition

29 August 2017

 - Have you ever been told when you’re stressed to stop worrying and just relax? That it’s all in your head? It would be nice if it were that simple. But it’s not.

Physiology research shows that the stress response memory lives in your nervous system. Take for example exposure to a stressful event. One in which you felt helpless, hopeless, and lacked control. In this case your autonomic nervous system (ANS) is engaged. This is the part of the nervous system responsible for controlling unconscious bodily actions like breathing. To be more specific, it was the sympathetic branch (fight or flight) of the ANS that kicked in while you were strained. In addition, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis of the midbrain began firing. In which a signal from your hypothalamus sends a hormonal message to your pituitary gland that stimulates to your adrenal glands.

To activate this fight or flight response, stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are released from your adrenal glands. They help our body suddenly mobilize to flee danger. According to Peter A. Levine, trauma expert in the field of psychotherapy, trauma occurs when this biological process is overwhelmed and a person is unable to release and process the stressful event. It is possible to avoid a traumatic response by discharging the energy generated. For example, shaking, crying, and screaming can allow the individual to physically process the stress.

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25 August 2017

Brain Regeneration: Why It's Real & How To Do It - Have you ever wished you could regenerate those brain cells you sacrificed in college? Do you fear that your aging brain is in a perpetual state of decline? Medical science is being rewritten to show that we CAN improve the health of our brain, and that repairing damage is not only possible, it’s something anyone can do.

It is a commonly held misconception that the brain is beyond repair. Even the medical establishment has asserted that once we kill brain cells, they are gone forever. The fact is, the brain can repair itself, and as science is now proving, there is real benefit to simple practices that can help keep our brains sharp and elastic throughout our lifetime.

The field of cognitive neuroscience is relatively new - only around one hundred years old - so it’s no surprise that we are constantly arriving at a newer and better understanding of how the neural circuitry of the human brain supports overall brain functioning.

For most of those one hundred years, it was believed that once damaged, the brain could not regenerate. Brain cells were finite, and any loss or injury would be suffered as a deficiency for the rest of that person’s life. This created a false belief that the brain is essentially in a perpetual state of decline.

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22 August 2017

 - Did you know your body has an endocannabinoid system? A year ago I didn’t either.

I’m no doctor, but I thought I was familiar with the key biological systems in the body. Turns out though, I was wrong. That’s because unless you’re a research scientist or work in the field of medical cannabis, it’s unlikely you’ll ever have been told about the endocannabinoid system. And yet, it has been hailed as “the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health.”
Why do so few people know about the endocannabinoid system?

So what’s the big mystery? Well, it might have something to do with how the endocannabinoid system (ECS) was discovered. Back in the 1990s scientists were trying to understand how THC, the psychoactive substance in the cannabis plant, elicits its effect on the body. What they uncovered was a complex network of receptors (CB1) in the brain and central nervous system that were a perfect fit for the THC molecule.

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16 August 2017

 - As Millennials age and replace the Baby Boomers as the food industry’s main consumers, a new American diet that rejects processed foods is becoming increasingly popular and shifting the current supply chain.

At present, only 15 percent of U.S. farmable land is devoted to growing the fruits, legumes, and greens that this generation is hungry for, causing their cravings to be satiated by pricey imports. The lack of domestic production on a sufficient scale has inspired many Millennials to grow food for themselves, as it mitigates the food miles, expense, and lack of equitable food access that a reliance on imports creates.

In result, the National Gardening Association (NGA) reported that the number of Millennial households growing their own food increased 63 percent from 2008 to 2013. It is unlikely that this statistic has greatly decreased; a 2016 NGA survey reported five out of the six million Americans that took up gardening last year were Millennials. Even space-limited city dwellers have joined in, and it is not uncommon to find folks of this generation with apartment apiaries, rooftop gardens, or aquaponic systems.

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8 August 2017

Image: Science bombshell as new research confirms non-genetic inheritance factors are carried through multiple generations -

It was already known that epigenetic mechanisms that are modulated by environmental cues like disease, lifestyle and diet can switch genes on and off, but there has been a great deal of debate about whether these modifications can be passed along to future generations.

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics now have the answer to this question. They have shown that it’s not just inherited DNA that regulates gene expression in human offspring; it’s also inherited epigenetic instructions.

In addition, scientists have shed light on the biological consequences of this inherited information, proving that a mother’s epigenetic memory plays a vital role in her offspring’s development and survival.

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27 July 2017

 - The U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) has announced that it will ban homeopathy and herbal medicine in order to save £250 million ($325 million) a year, calling the healing methods a “misuse of scarce funds.” They are among dozens of medicines which officials said should not be funded by the health service. [1]

NHS has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on homeopathic treatment, which it now says “is a placebo” and a waste of money that could be spent on “treatments that work.”

Health officials said the products on the list were “relatively ineffective, unnecessary, inappropriate, or unsafe for prescription on the NHS.”

Moving forward, patients will be told to pay for their own treatment for dozens of common ailments, ranging from indigestion to athlete’s foot. No more homeopathic products like cough and cold treatments, eye drops, or laxatives will be covered by the service.

Additionally, the Department of Health is mulling cutting back spending on gluten-free products.

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30 June 2017

 - Age is a peculiar concept. We tend to think of it as the number of birthdays we have celebrated -- our chronological age. But this is just one indicator of the passage of time. We also have a biological age, a measure of how quickly the cells in our body are deteriorating compared with the general population. And these two figures don't always match up.

Just take a look around: we all know people who look young for their age, or folks who seem prematurely wizened. Even in an individual, different parts of the body can age at different speeds. By examining how chronological age lines up with biological age across the population, researchers are starting to pin down how these two measures should sync up -- and what it means for how long we have left when they don't.

In recent years, studies have shown that our biological age is often a more reliable indicator of future health than our actual age. It could help us identify or even prevent disease by tracking the pace at which we're getting older. It may even allow us to slow -- or reverse -- the aging process.

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26 June 2017

 - Studies of human populations suggest that our health and longevity could be affected by the diets and experiences of our grandparents. For example, studies of a small community in northern Sweden where detailed historical records were kept found correlations between food availability for one generation and the mortality rate for that generation's grandchildren.

But the exact nature of these effects and how they are transmitted across generations remain unclear. In Susan Strome's lab at UC Santa Cruz, research on a tiny roundworm called C. elegans is helping to solve this puzzle.

A key question has been whether such changes can be passed across generations. The idea that epigenetic modifications can cause changes in gene expression that are transmitted from one generation to the next is known as "transgenerational epigenetic inheritance." It is a revolutionary concept that remains somewhat controversial despite mounting evidence to back it up.

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15 June 2017

 - The sun has got his hat on, our moods feel lighter and we are gripped by a desire to soak up some solar rays. But no, we keep being told: the threat of skin cancer makes this potentially lethal.

Now, however, scientists are discovering a positive side to sun-worshiping. Getting a good dose of sunshine is statistically going to make us live longer, healthier and happier lives.

Emerging research indicates that sunlight may protect us against a wide range of lethal or disabling conditions, such as obesity, heart attacks, strokes, asthma, and multiple sclerosis. Sunshine has also been shown to boost our libidos and general mood.

This is not simply about vitamin D — which our skin manufactures from sunlight. The vitamin helps us build healthy bones and teeth and may protect against bowel cancer. But new research indicates that solar rays benefit our bodies in multiple other ways.

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7 June 2017

 - Addiction is a result of the environment directly around us. Many people are born into chaotic environments that they cannot control, and as a way to escape, numb pain and cope with life, they create dependencies on external things. Without the right kind of support, people can lose themselves in their pain. 

In this modern world, the idea of addiction is a lot more common place than we think. So many of us are addicted to the internet, facebook, media and different forms of distraction. When this can be used productively and positively, then it doesn’t become a dependency or an escape. That is the balance we are trying to achieve.

Humans are meant to live naturally in interconnect and supportive communities around the world. It doesn’t take a scientist to see that our world is greatly unbalanced, chaotic and demanding. Addiction is a result of our society, and how we collectively understand human consciousness. With the right kind of environment and support, addiction can be easily overcome.

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17 May 2017

 - Did you know you have an endocannabinoid system? A year ago, I didn’t either. That’s because unless you’re a research scientist or work in the field of medical cannabis, it’s unlikely you’ll ever have heard of it. And yet, the endocannabinoid system has been hailed as “the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health.”
 
Why do so few people know about the endocannabinoid system?

It might have something to do with how the endocannabinoid system (ECS) was discovered. Back in the 1990s, scientists were trying to understand how THC, the psychoactive substance in the cannabis plant, affects the body. What they uncovered was a complex network of receptors (CB1) in the brain and central nervous system that were a perfect fit for the THC molecule.

Soon after, another type of receptor (CB2) was discovered in the immune system, gut, and many of the body’s major organs. But that was only part of the puzzle. The hunt was on to find out whether the body produced its own cannabis-like chemicals, and with the identification of the first endocannabinoid, Anandamide, they had their answer.

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4 May 2017

 - Did you know the disconnect we have with our bodies inhibits spiritual development? Perhaps you ‘get’ the idea of self-love intellectually, but don’t ‘feel’ love. Ironically, we crave intimacy and fully armor against it.

Our body absorbs experience like a sponge. Even our lungs look and feel like plump, supple sponges. I know this because I spend hundreds of hours reverently exploring human anatomy. I marvel while breathing my own air into soft pink lungs of a human cadaver in the anatomy lab. When filled with air they appear to fly, like ‘wings’ of a great gentle Manta Ray gliding through the sea.

Look at your skin.

Notice its scars and wound etchings on your hands, your forearms, knuckles, and your thumb. If you peel off your clothes right now, how many healing marks could you count? Each one is a work of art, your cells reinvesting themselves to protect you. Each mark looks and feels different for the effort, different for the pull of skin over joints. Different for how it was cared for, or neglected. Imagine peeling away your artful skin, the largest organ through which we breathe. How many wound etchings can you imagine live inside? Each layer is intimately connected with the others.

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1 May 2017

 - New research claims that stress exerts a far heavier physical toll than previously understood.

“Stress,” Redford says. “It is a neurotoxin like lead or mercury poisoning.” He mentions the city of Flint in Michigan, where residents were exposed to lead in drinking water. “And that’s literally what’s going on” with children who are “coming from really stressful environments. We know what environmental toxins are. Well, this is an environmental toxin.” The proliferation of so-called “toxic stress” among children, Redford says, “is a public health crisis”.

“The message culturally is ‘get over it’,” Redford says. “If you have it rough, so did everyone else. There’s nothing special about you. Buck up and get on with it. If you’re struggling and you have problems with addiction, or you’re having depression or anxiety, you must be weak. That’s a very damaging message. The reason we called this film Resilience is to focus on what true resilience is. Which for most of us is something we need to develop.”

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Calendar of Events

Group healing events for the remainder of 2017:

22 September - Equinox

21 December - Solstice

Boycott Israeli Goods