What is energy medicine

The term energy medicine usually refers to putative energy fields (energy that is presumed to exist). Although it can’t be measured in conventional ways, therapists or energy healers say they can see it, sense it or feel it.

Energy healing or energy medicine is based on the fundamental premise that everyone’s thoughts, emotions, beliefs and attitudes are made of energy. Therefore, if we are all infused with this life force often referred to as qi (pronounced chee), we can channel or use its power for healing.

In Chinese medicine energy is called qi; in Ayurvedic medicine it is doshas; in traditional Hindu metaphysics the word is chakras (illustrated in the photo at bottom). Therapies such as acupuncture and acupressure, reconnective healing and reiki work on these energies to restore health and well-being.

“In Chinese medicine the theory is that energy flows through 12 channels that cover your body. When you are healthy, this energy flows smoothly and your body remains in a state of balance. When you experience a physical, emotional or spiritual trauma, the energy gets disrupted, depleted or stuck,” says Tom Ingegno, a licensed acupuncturist with a masters of science in Oriental medicine and a certified animal acupuncturist in Baltimore.

Acupuncture is a form of energy medicineIf left in this state too long or if the trauma is severe enough, disease or pain manifests. “By placing needles in points along these pathways we can help restore proper flow of energy and allow the body, mind and spirit to heal itself,” says Ingegno.

“What reiki does is actually use the universal life-force in association with the qi of our own body, so it’s a combination of those two,” says Dr. Kathy Gruver, a massage therapist, reiki master and author of “Conquer your Stress with Mind/Body Techniques.”

“The great thing about reiki is I’m not using my energy, so when I put my hands on somebody, they’re not getting my bad morning, my illness, my karma; I’m a conduit. I’m a total empty vessel for the energy to flow through.”

How reiki works

To do reiki, practitioners have an attunement, which consists of a reiki master giving you reiki energy. They teach you the symbols and the hand positions and perform a ritual, which awakens your hands and allows you to perform energy healing on someone else. Gruver advises people to receive an attunement in person, never over the Internet.

“I think it’s a complete misconception that there are these special gifted people that can do it. Certainly people have gifts that are unexplainable, but reiki is not one of them; anyone can do it,” says Gruver.

During a session Gruver lays her hands on or hovers them above the part of the body she wants to heal or send energy. She also does it unconsciously when she rests her hand on her husband’s leg during a movie, for example. If he has any pain or something going on emotionally, the energy goes to where it’s needed.

The majority of people seek reiki for emotional issues, physical problems or because they are terminally ill. Reiki provides peace, comfort, healing and relaxation. Cancer patients often say it’s the only thing that helps their pain. There are some preliminary studies that suggest reiki can knit bone back together more quickly and heal wounds faster. The American Hospital Association says 15 percent of hospitals (more than 800) offer reiki in the U.S.

After a session people are relaxed. They may fall asleep, giggle or cry; it opens up many emotions. Some find it completely energizing, while others want to curl up and sleep. It’s also a powerful treatment for grief, loss and sadness.

Chakra energy centersA massage for the soul

Shani Enns, spiritual coach, energy healer and founder of www.embraceyourhumanity.com in Kansas City, grew up around energy healing. She has certificates from many modalities but says she’s practiced her own brand of energy medicine for the past 10 years.

Enns performs energy healing along with spiritual coaching and says whatever problem someone comes in with, she works to shift their beliefs, patterns and habits with both coaching and energy healing.

Some people come in with cancer, some with health problems, others with depression; many come for emotional issues. It usually goes in tandem. “People who don’t feel good physically also don’t feel good emotionally,” says Enns.

Someone once described her work as a massage for the soul.

Similar to reiki, Enns lays her hands on various parts of someone’s body such as their head, heart or belly and sends energy inward. She frequently works with entrepreneurs who are looking to manifest wealth and success in business.

During or after a session people feel buzzing, tingling, dizziness, a sense of heaviness, and may see colors, Enns says. Many feel a state of peace or nothingness. Occasionally people say they don’t feel anything other than well rested. Enns says one of the most gifted energy healers she knows doesn’t feel anything giving — or even receiving energy work. He goes on faith because his clients experience amazing effects.

Results are very individual for any type of energy work. Enns says she had a client in kidney failure who was cured and didn’t need further dialysis. She also had a client with advanced breast cancer who was comforted and benefited from pain relief. “Sometimes healing means being OK with dying,” says Enns.

There are many ways practitioners provide reiki. Some use crystals and gemstones; others play music; some chant. “If it’s too weird for you or too mainstream for you, find another practitioner,” says Gruver. Enns offers her first session free for just this reason.

Many practitioners provide distance energy work via phone or Skype, and many offer animal healing. Enns explains that practitioners of energy medicine draw energy from the endless source that the universe provides. She always comes out of energy work feeling better than before she gave it. “I feel joy, peace and bliss giving it.” People who receive energy healing often feel the same way.

credit:JenniferNelson  sources:mnn.com

Meditation helps alleviate gut symptoms by altering genetic signals

If you thought meditation was only good for your emotional well-being, think again. A new study shows that meditation may actually alleviate the symptoms of two gut disorders by altering certain genetic signals.

The study looked at people who had either irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or irritable bowel disease (IBD). It found that doing yoga and meditating regularly for two months eased the symptoms associated with the two gut disorders, the researchers said.

This mind-and-body intervention seemed to work by inducing genetic changes in the body, the study authors said. The findings suggest that stress-relieving meditation can suppress the activities of certain genes responsible for causing inflammation and other immune system problems in patients suffering from IBS or IBD, the study stated.

Previous research has shown that meditation can change people’s gene expression in some ways, but the new study is among the first to show an impact on gene expression in patients with a specific disease, said lead researcher Dr. Braden Kuo, a gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The study used a mind-body technique called Relaxation Response, which a Harvard University doctor developed in the 1970s.

The new findings are especially interesting given that researchers have established a relationship between stress and digestive problems. Research has shown that psychological trauma can contribute to IBS, a disorder that leads to abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea.

The condition is fairly common in the United States, affecting about 1 in every 10 people at some point in their lives, according to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. Yet scientists do not exactly know what causes the disorder. [7 Biggest Mysteries of the Human Body]

Although IBS and IBD can be mistaken as the same condition, they are actually very different, and IBD is much less common. Unlike IBS, IBD involves chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. The two main types of IBD are ulcerative colitis, which affects the colon, and Crohn’s disease, which mostly affects the intestines, but can also occur anywhere in the digestive system.

However, IBS and IBD also share some common factors: Both can be triggered by stress, and neither one has real treatment options. The drugs currently available can only lessen the severity of symptoms and bring some temporary relief.

In the new study, researchers enrolled 19 patients with IBS and 29 patients with IBD. They all underwent a nine-week program that included breathing exercises, meditation and yoga. The patients met for a 1.5-hour group session every week, and practiced the activities at home for 15 to 20 minutes every day. The researchers assessed the patients’ symptoms before, after and midway during the study, and took blood samples for genetic analyses. However, the study design did not incorporate a separate control group of patients who did not practice meditation.

At the end of the study, the patients reported a reduction in their symptoms compared with what they experienced at the study’s start. A genetic analysis of their blood provided evidence of changes in genetic pathways related to the two disorders.

Significantly, more genetic changes were observed in IBD patients than in patients with IBS, said Manoj Bhasin, who co-authored the study and is the director of bioinformatics at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Researchers found that more than 1,000 genes were altered in IBD patients over the study period, whereas only 119 genes changed in the people with IBS.

There was one inflammation-related gene, called NF-kB, whose activities were suppressed in both groups, according to the study. This indicates that meditation and similar practices can offset stress and inflammation, the researchers said.

“In both IBS and IBD, the pathway controlled by a protein called NF-kB emerged as one of those most significantly affected by the relaxation response,” Dr. Towia Libermann, a senior researcher in the study and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston, said in a statement. It’s possible that relaxation techniques could help both people with IBS and those with IBD, he said.

The researchers noted two important limitations in their study: First, two tests that measured certain markers of inflammation in the blood showed no changes over the study period. Second, previous research has shown that even a placebo can sometimes produce adequate relief of IBS symptoms.

More studies, such as randomized trials that include a control group, are needed before a program of meditation and yoga could be suggested as a treatment for patients with these disorders, the researchers said.

The study was published on April 30 in the journal PLOS ONE.

Read more: http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/at-one-with-the-belly-meditation-may-ease-gut-ailments#ixzz3fA79EBoi

Russell Simmons says the key to his success comes from meditation

For those wondering if the daily practice of meditation really works, Russell Simmons has both a succinct response and a more in-depth answer totaling more than 220 pages.

His book Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple he recently wrote. As the title suggests it is a very straight-forward, easy-to-digest guide on how to get past whatever misconceptions or apprehensions you might have about meditation and learn how to use this simple yet incredibly effective tool.
“As I move around talking about the book, one question I seem to get asked over and over again is, ‘Does mediation really work?’ And my answer is always an unequivocal ‘YES!'”

The 56-year-old vegan and healthy living guru, who has built a net worth estimated at more than $340 million, says he was skeptical at first that 40 minutes of daily meditation could do anything to stem the anxiety he was feeling.

“The idea of being still and operating from a calm place is one that I never would’ve thought would’ve suited my lifestyle or my goals or the way that I pursue life, ’cause I pursue everything with a vigor,” he told Yahoo! News.

Simmons explains that he practices mantra-based meditation, in which one repeats a word or sound for a period of 20 minutes. Simmons repeats the word “Rum” over and over, a process he says has led him to greater happiness.

“I come out of meditation, and sometimes I just start giggling, I feel so happy, right in the mornings,” he shares.

According to a study released earlier this year, while feelings of happiness may not necessarily occur for all practitioners of meditation, reductions anxiety, depression and possibly pain are possible.

“Meditation helps young people and adults to get control of the noise,” says Simmons. “The noise is the cause of almost all sickness and sadness. If we can calm the noise, our relationship with the world benefits tremendously.”

 

What makes Zen Buddhist unique

What makes the Zen Buddhist culture unique?
A Zen Buddhist devotes a portion of every day to sitting, known as the practice of Zazen. This is a time to meditate and consider your existence in the universe. During the Zen meditation sessions I attended at USM, the instructors had you focus on slowing down your thoughts. The goal is to ultimately detach yourself from the worries and burdens of day to day life. Try and be mindful of your place in nature and determine what is essential to a happy life. I was surprised to find that Zazen is practiced with your eyes open. I always assumed that it would be easier to mediate with your eyes closed to avoid visual distractions. My instructors said to avoid concentrating on anything in particular and simply gaze at what is before you.

The Zen Buddhist culture values simplicity. It is critical for a Zen Buddhist to live a life free of unnecessary materialistic possessions. In my mediation I quickly realized how hard it is to honestly detach yourself from your normal train of thought. The key is to realize what things are truly giving you happiness, and what things could go. For a Zen Buddhist, it is much easier to accomplish the goal of mindfulness with a simplistic lifestyle.

Unlike most cultures, Zen Buddhism puts a great concentration on something as simple as breathing. During Zazen it is impossible to detach yourself from all thoughts if you are still preoccupied with breathing. I was given the instructions to breathe deeply; inhaling and exhaling through your nose. You want to let each breath come and go naturally. In my meditation I found it helpful to use your slowed breathing to help slow down your mind. Each inhale envision the air gathering all the unneeded thoughts in your mind; which are then released with every exhale.

A Zen Buddhist shows more outward respect to others and to the world. At each mediation I attended, we began by facing each other and bowing. Zen Buddhism values selflessness and respect for others, bowing is a sign of respect. I was surprised by the fact You then bow to your cushion out of respect for your place in the universe. The extreme example of this is Zen Buddhist monk, whose entire life is devoted to teaching and serving others.

Zen Buddhism is a unique philosophy because of the importance it places on the individual. They do not waste their time trying to determine the universal way to reach enlightenment. I have great respect for a Zen Buddhist who recognizes that while they may have found peace of mind, what worked them will not work for everyone. We all have different needs and find happiness in different ways. The goal is determine what is essential to your own life, not to anyone else’s life.
Sources
http://www.ibiblio.org/zen/faq.html

12 Essential Rules to Live More Like a Zen Monk

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10 crystals and stones that make you healthier

1. Turquoise helps you heal.

Turquoise is the master healer. It is believed to be the energetic bridge between heaven and earth. Since ancient times, it’s been highly regarded for its protective and good-luck-charm properties. It’s believed that when Turquoise is given as a gift, its healing properties are magnified by one hundred! Turquoise is a stone of communication that helps you to speak your truth, from the highest source of love.

2. Bloodstone gives you energy.

In ancient times, Bloodstone was often worn as an amulet to help purify the blood. When our blood and energy is flowing smoothly, our life force remains strong and healthy. This crystal is a powerful energizer, helping you to overcome lethargy, negative thoughts and self-doubt. Bloodstone also helps to boost enthusiasm, increase drive and maintain emotional wellbeing.

3. Smoky quartz helps you let go.

Smoky quartz transmutes negative energy and acts as a protective shield against unwanted energy. It helps you to let go of old patterns and belief systems that are holding you back. It releases all blocked, old and stagnant energy in the body. Once all of your old energy is removed, new energy is able to fill the open space with light and hope.

4. Rose quartz cultivates love.
Rose quartz is a stone of unconditional love that helps to open and heal the energy of the heart. It encourages the forgiveness of others and, most importantly, of yourself. The secret to finding true love is to love yourself. Rose quartz emits vibrations of love, beauty and compassion. It’s a feel-good stone that nurtures, supports and allows you to feel the most powerful energy in the universe: LOVE.

5. Carnelian is good for creativity.
Ancient civilizations believed that carnelian attracted fortune and helped you attract your deepest desires. It removes blocked or stuck creative energy that may be dominating your mind and leaving you feeling burnt out or uninspired. Its vibrant orange color stimulates your passion to move forward and achieve your dreams. Carnelian is an action stone that restores motivation, confidence and joy.

6. Quartz crystal works wonders in clearing the mind.
Quartz crystal is made of silica, the most abundant element on the earth. It also makes up the human body, on a cellular level. When quartz crystal touches your skin, a merging of energy occurs, which is believed to encourage optimal health and healing. Ancient civilizations utilized quartz to balance the body and clear the mind. It’s a powerful crystal that transmutes negativity and amplifies energy to raise your vibration and help you align with light and clarity.

7. Celestite relieves stress.
Celestite’s name is derived from the Latin word caelestis, meaning celestial. By simply gazing upon it, the heavenly blue color of this crystal inspires deep peace and happiness. It’s an ideal crystal to place in your bedroom to bring tranquility and harmonious energy, encouraging restful sleep. When placed directly on your body, celestite brings muscle and stress release to the area on which it is placed.

8. Citrine helps to live in the now.
Citrine is a crystal of light and happiness. It doesn’t hold any negative energy and emits large amounts of positive energy. It serves as a friendly reminder to be present and in the now, because in this moment, you can create miracles. Citrine is a manifestation stone that encourages you to dream big, maintain a positive state of mind and attract everything you want in your life.

9. Aventurine attracts new opportunities.
Aventurine helps you to overcome feelings of self-doubt. It opens up the energy of the heart, attracting new opportunities. It helps to increase confidence, self-worth and optimism. As your mind and energy field open up, you are able to see the infinite abundance and opportunities that surround you.

10. Shungite protects against EMF.
Believed to be millions of years old, Shungite is an ancient crystal that is found in Russia. Scientists are still currently researching the full potential of this magical mineral. It’s utilized as a powerful shield against electrical magnetic energy (EMF). Shungite helps to absorb negative energy and pollutants. Place a piece of Shungite next to computers or wear on your body as an energetic shield.

Parallel universe theory being put to the test as the power of Aum is studied

Quantum mechanics, though firmly tested, is so weird and anti-intuitive that famed physicist Richard Feynman once remarked, “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.” Attempts to explain some of the bizarre consequences of quantum theory have led to some mind-bending ideas, such as the Copenhagen interpretation and the many-worlds interpretation.

Now there’s a new theory on the block, called the “many interacting worlds” hypothesis (MIW), and the idea is just as profound as it sounds. The theory suggests not only that parallel worlds exist, but that they interact with our world on the quantum level and are thus detectable. Though still speculative, the theory may help to finally explain some of the bizarre consequences inherent in quantum mechanics, reports RT.com.

The theory is a spinoff of the many-worlds interpretation in quantum mechanics — an idea that posits that all possible alternative histories and futures are real, each representing an actual, though parallel, world. One problem with the many-worlds interpretation, however, has been that it is fundamentally untestable, since observations can only be made in our world. Happenings in these proposed “parallel” worlds can thus only be imagined.

MIW, however, says otherwise. It suggests that parallel worlds can interact on the quantum level, and in fact that they do.
“The idea of parallel universes in quantum mechanics has been around since 1957,” explained Howard Wiseman, a physicist at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, and one of the physicists to come up with MIW. “In the well-known ‘Many-Worlds Interpretation’, each universe branches into a bunch of new universes every time a quantum measurement is made. All possibilities are therefore realised – in some universes the dinosaur-killing asteroid missed Earth. In others, Australia was colonised by the Portuguese.”

“But critics question the reality of these other universes, since they do not influence our universe at all,” he added. “On this score, our “Many Interacting Worlds” approach is completely different, as its name implies.”

Wiseman and colleagues have proposed that there exists “a universal force of repulsion between ‘nearby’ (i.e. similar) worlds, which tends to make them more dissimilar.” Quantum effects can be explained by factoring in this force, they propose.

Whether or not the math holds true will be the ultimate test for this theory. Does it or does it not properly predict quantum effects mathematically? But the theory is certain to provide plenty of fodder for the imagination.

For instance, when asked about whether their theory might entail the possibility that humans could someday interact with other worlds, Wiseman said: “It’s not part of our theory. But the idea of [human] interactions with other universes is no longer pure fantasy.”

What might your life look like if you made different choices? Maybe one day you’ll be able to look into one of these alternative worlds and find out.

Credit: Mother Nature Network

5 breath exercises for energizing the spirit

1. Alternate Nostril Breath

My absolute favorite form of pranayama (breath control) is Alternate Nostril Breathing. It’s simple to do and in just a few moments can completely calm and balance the monkey mind.

Alternate Nostril Breathing is traditionally done in a seated, cross-legged meditation posture, though it’s fine to sit in a chair if you’re not comfortable on the floor. In either case, sit up with a tall spine and relaxed face and shoulders.

The mudra (hand position) is done with the right hand. Fold the index finger and middle finger down to touch the palm. Begin with the thumb lightly closing your right nostril. Inhale through the left nostril, to the count of four, six or eight. Hold the breath in for four, six or eight seconds. Then, lightly close your left nostril with your ring finger and release the thumb from your right nostril. Exhale through the right side. Inhale again through the right side. Retain the breath here in the middle only if you feel comfortable doing so. Exhale through the left.

That is one cycle.

To summarize: inhale left, exhale right, inhale right, exhale left. Optionally retain the inbreath in and the outbreath out. Continue for five cycles or more. You can work up to doing this breath exercise for five or more minutes at a time.

Alternate Nostril Breathing works like a charm to clear and calm the mind. It’s a terrific technique to incorporate at the beginning and/or end of your yoga session.

2. Bumblebee Breath

Use your fingertips to lightly cover your closed eyelids. Using your thumbs, close your ears. Inhale deeply through the nose and as you exhale, let out a long, low humming sound. With the eyes and ears closed, the hum will reverberate in your head and sound like a buzzing bee. Repeat three, four, or more times.

As you do this breath exercise, bring your inner gaze to the third eye, the point between your eyebrows. The Bumblebee Breath is purported to calm the mind and inspire new creative ideas.

Next time you are feeling overstimulated or uninspired, give it a shot.

3. Dog Breath (a.k.a. Breath of Fire)

You need to get in touch with your inner child for this one. (It’s great for kids yoga, as is Bumblebee Breath.) For Dog Breath, pant like a dog, first through the open mouth. Then, close your mouth and continue the panting breath through the nose. Do two sets of thirty seconds each, pausing between the sets and taking deep breaths. This technique brings oxygen to the brain and help you wake up and feel more alert.

4. Ocean Breath

“You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.”

~ Alan Watts

Ocean breath is super simple and calming yet energizing. Take deep, slow, long, active inhales and let the exhale out naturally and passively. Close your eyes and notice how this creates a sound like the waves in the ocean.

5. Just Sit

“There is no success or failure, no great place you are going. You are “just sitting.” To wander, to obsess, to lust—you get a flavor of the mind, a direct meeting. Without acting on any of the thoughts, you get to see how they rise up and—if you’re lucky–pass away. Sometimes we get stuck. You get to observe the nature of being stuck.”

~ Natalie Goldberg

Simple breath awareness is an excellent meditation technique. As you breathe consciously through the nose, recall that this magnificent function has been with you since the moment of your birth and will be with you until your final exhale of this precious life.

Credit; Elephantjournal.com

Heal your skin with meditation and mind focus.

It may come as no surprise that a connection between skin and mind exists. Some folks break out into hives when stressed, while others flush red if embarrassed. But in recent years, studies have shown that a person’s mental and emotional state can have a profound effect on the body’s largest organ. Stress, depression, anxiety and other psychological conditions can contribute to a host of skin diseases including acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, alopecia and vitiligo.

“The skin and the central nervous system are intertwined,” says Dr. Adam Friedman, director of dermatologic research at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. “Therefore, it’s not surprising that almost any and all skin diseases can be impacted by changes in the nervous system.”

Stress, especially, can leave a mark. Bodies under stress produce more skin sebum, oily discharge that can contribute to clogged pores and aggravate acne. Stress can also increase inflammation in the body, which can worsen eczema, a chronic inflammatory skin condition. And stress is known to trigger cold sores, caused by the herpes simplex virus, on and around the lips.

Research published in 2008 in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology & Leprology revealed that more than a quarter of 50 subjects suffering from psoriasis – a chronic skin condition resulting in thick scaly patches – were experiencing stressful life events such as unemployment, major personal illness or family death. And a 2012 study in Dermatology Research and Practice found that 45 percent of 100 patients with psoriasis had anxiety.

“Many psychological conditions that affect the skin can be traced back to elevated levels of stress and anxiety,” says Dr. Carla Marie Greco, a clinical psychologist based in Santa Rosa, California.

When the body is free of worry and stress, hormone levels remain relatively balanced, Greco explains. But when faced with conditions that are psychologically or physically stressful, the body’s “flight or fight” response is triggered, and the sympathetic nervous system sends signals to the adrenal glands to flood the system with adrenaline and cortisol, both major stress hormones.

Under normal circumstances, Greco says, the parasympathetic nervous system helps bring the body back into balance once the danger has passed. But when faced with relentless stress or anxiety, the body is always bathed in these stress hormones. As a result, Greco adds, the skin suffers from the body’s chemical responses to psychological stressors. “The skin – the human body’s barrier against the damaging effects of the outside world – is less able to act as a shield,” Greco says.

Skin serves as the body’s primary system of protection. “[It] provides the first level of defense to infection, not just as a physical barrier, but also as a site for white blood cells to attack invading bacteria and viruses,” explains Dr. Jeanette Raymond, a clinical psychologist practicing in Los Angeles.

A 2007 study from the University of California–San Francisco found that mice subjected to psychological stress experienced a decrease in the expression of antimicrobial peptides in their skin, thus making them more susceptible to skin infections than mice cared for under normal conditions.

Given that the skin is the most visible organ, the emotional impact of skin diseases can be overwhelming and damaging. “Social ostracism and feelings of insecurity only fuel the pathophysiology of these conditions, often making them worse. It becomes a vicious, perpetual cycle between the skin and the nervous system, both having a cause-effect impact on one another,” Friedman says.

Friedman advises going to a dermatologist early for relief, education and the management of chronic debilitating skin conditions and a possible referral for mental help. “I often tell these patients that the skin condition, their primary concern, is causing them stress, and seeing a psychologist could help them manage the stress so as not to exacerbate the condition,” he says. “Psychologists can be helpful in addressing the emotional burden and can be a helpful part of the overall treatment regimen, which can include both topical and oral medications.”

Raymond describes the two main types of psychological treatment typically given: One method works on challenging irrational beliefs and fears while enhancing coping skills; this may include stress-reduction techniques for self-soothing. The other method tries to get to the root cause of stress – attachment insecurity, fear of loss, unprocessed childhood trauma. “It provides a vehicle through which people can learn about emotional experience and speak rather than somatize their emotions,” Raymond says. “Gaining power over their emotions in this conscious way will be of lifelong benefit.”

Janice Pastorek, a registered nurse and medical skin care specialist based in New York City, emphasizes the need to address psychological issues, which can accelerate recovery. “Our bodies offer us personal guidance, showing us where and why we are holding tension,” she says. “We just haven’t been shown how to interpret the messages or how to incorporate good wellness practices into our everyday [life] to quell the anxiety or stress that contributed to triggering the condition.”

Along with a change in diet (think more water and less sugar, Pastorek says) and exercise (what Pastorek calls “the No. 1 treatment for depression”), Pastorek also adds that the most important thing her patients can do is to change the predominant focus of their thoughts – “stress is a thought you keep thinking that doesn’t make you feel good.” And activities such as meditation and writing can help do just that. “Writing is a powerful way to focus your thoughts.”

Greco also adds that guided relaxation, visual imagery, breathing exercises and yoga are among the practices useful for stress reduction, while proper sleep – key to a healthy immune system – is an important factor in treating skin conditions.

So if you’re suffering from a skin disease and conventional treatments alone don’t seem to work, the solution to your skin issues could be in your head.

“A balanced mind equals a balanced physical body,” Pastorek says.

Does meditation strengthen brain tissue?

Meditation may be just the thing to keep the brain going strong as we age.

A new study out of the University of California, Los Angeles, a follow-up to an earlier study, found that the brains of people who meditate have regions that are larger than those who do not mediate and demonstrate less age-related atrophy.

“Our results suggest that long-term meditators have white-matter fibers that are either more numerous, more dense or more insulated throughout the brain,” said Eileen Luders, visiting assistant professor at the U.C.L.A. Laboratory of Neuro Imaging and lead author of the study.

“We also found that the normal age-related decline of white-matter tissue is considerably reduced in active meditation practitioners.”

Luders and her team used a new type of brain imaging system called diffusion tensor imaging. It allows scientists to see structural connectivity of regions in the brain.

Using the imaging technology on 27 active mediators and 27 control subjects, they found that the differences of brain connectivity was not confined to a single region of the brain, but included the frontal and temporal lobes, as well as the limbic structures and the brain stem.

“It is possible that actively meditating, especially over a long period of time, can induce changes on a micro-anatomical level,” said Luders, who is also a meditator.

The areas that demonstrated the most structural connectivity included the corticospinal tract, where the axons travel between the cerebral cortex and the spinal cord and helps govern the body’s movements.

Luders cautions that while it is tempting to draw connections between meditation and brain health, other factors should be considered as well.

“It’s possible that meditators might have brains that are fundamentally different to begin with,” Luders said.

“For example, a particular brain anatomy may have drawn an individual to meditation or helped maintain an ongoing practice — meaning that the enhanced fiber connectivity in meditators constitutes a predisposition towards meditation, rather than being the consequence of the practice.”

Luders does maintain, however, that meditation does have its benefits.

“Meditation appears to be a powerful mental exercise with the potential to change the physical structure of the brain at large. Collecting evidence that active, frequent and regular meditation practices cause alterations of white-matter fiber tracts that are profound and sustainable may become relevant for patient populations suffering from axonal demyelination and white-matter atrophy,” she says.
Read more: http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/research-innovations/stories/meditation-exercise-for-the-brain#ixzz3dWzkjmnc

Could You Transfer Your Consciousness To Another Body?

Consciousness has been defined as “individual awareness of your unique thoughts, memories, feelings, sensations and environment.”

Your own unique consciousness lives in a series of brain cells, or neurons, which, when fired in certain patterns, cause you to recall memories and emotions – even smells and sounds.

A study conducted at UCLA by lead researcher Martin Monti used fMRI scans to study how the flow of information in the brains of 12 healthy volunteers changed as they lost consciousness under anesthesia with propofol. They concluded that “consciousness does not “live” in a particular place in our brain but rather arises from the mode in which billions of neurons communicate with one another.”

So will it ever be possible to accurately map an individuals intricate and totally unique consciousness, and upload it into another mind?

According to AsapSCIENCE, the short answer is yes – it will be become possible one day.

Take a look at their video explaining the necessary processes and knowledge required to make it possible.

– See more at: http://sixpenceee.com/post/121679366059/could-you-transfer-your-consciousness-to-another#sthash.g3j5BrT1.dpuf