You be the judge

Typically Peggy and I would post this on CATNIPblog since it is health related but I think it important enough to share it with you.

I personally knew two men in their 40’s and a close friend in her 50’s (all spent the good part of every day with cell phones to their ears on personal and professional calls) who developed malignant gioblastoma brain tumors just behind their “phone-ear”.  Each died within 1 – 2 years of diagnosis.  Coincidence?  Pre-disposition?  I don’t know but it changed my behaviour and I only use the cell on “speaker” mode.  

When I read this release it got my attention.

Always having to look over my shoulder for people in white lab coats.

Cross talk: Federal agencies clash on cellphone cancer risk*

By LAURAN NEERGAARD AND SETH BORENSTEIN, ASSOCIATED PRESS

“Two U.S. government agencies are giving conflicting interpretations of a safety study on cellphone radiation: One says it causes cancer in rats. The other says there’s no reason for people to worry.”

“No new research was issued Thursday. Instead, the National Toxicology Program dialed up its concerns about a link to heart and brain cancer from a study of male rats that was made public last winter.”

THE ORIGINAL STUDY

“In a $30 million study, scientists put rats and mice into special chambers and bombarded them with radiofrequency waves, like those emitted by older 2G and 3G phones, for nine hours a day for up to two years, most of their natural lives.”

“The levels the rodents experienced were far higher than people are typically exposed to.”

THE FINDINGS

“Last February, the National Toxicology Program said there was a small increase in an unusual type of heart tumor in male rats, but not in mice or female rats. The agency concluded there was “some evidence” of a link. Also, the February report cited “equivocal evidence” of brain tumors in the male rats.”

“Thursday, the agency upgraded its description of those findings. The heart tumor increase marked “clear evidence” of cancer in male rats, it announced. There is “some evidence” of brain cancer.”

“The change came after the agency asked outside experts to analyze the findings.”

“We believe that the link between radio frequency radiation and tumors in male rats is real, and the external experts agreed,” said John Bucher, the toxicology agency’s senior scientist.”

“While his agency said the risks to rats don’t directly apply to people, the study raises safety questions.”

THE DISAGREEMENT

“The FDA immediately disagreed, firing off a press release assuring Americans that “decades of research and hundreds of studies” has made the health agency confident that the current safety limits for cellphone radiation protect the public health.”

“Plus, FDA pointed out confusing findings from the rodent study — such as that the radiated rats lived longer than comparison rats that weren’t exposed to the rays. The toxicology agency said it appeared that the radio-frequency energy helped older rats’ kidneys.”

“There’s a reason two different government agencies are clashing — they’re asking different questions, said George Washington University public health professor George Gray.”

“A former science chief for the Environmental Protection Agency, Gray said the toxicology program examined how cellphone radiation affected animals. By looking at what it means for humans, the FDA “brings in more sources of information and data than just these recent tests in rats and mice,” he said in an email.”

You be the judge.

*https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/cross-talk-federal-agencies-clash-cellphone-cancer-risk-58909891

If you don’t watch this you are stooooopid

Yes, I’m name calling to get your attention.  Watch this TO THE END!

Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain. . . .”

ERIN, THANK YOU for telling me about this!!!

 

Gut it out! Mind-Body links with Bacteria

Coincidently read this article and

received a note from a friend who said that some probiotics and supplements she was taking have incredibly elevated her mood.  I thought it worthwhile to post a snippet from and link to the article.

Gut Bacteria May Exacerbate Depression
By Tori Rodriguez

“The digestive tract and the brain are crucially linked, according to mounting evidence showing that diet and gut bacteria are able to influence our behavior, thoughts and mood. Now researchers have found evidence of bacterial translocation, or “leaky gut,” among people with depression”.

“Normally the digestive system is surrounded by an impermeable wall of cells. Certain behaviors and medical conditions can compromise this wall, allowing toxic substances and bacteria to enter the bloodstream. In a study published in the May issue of Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, approximately 35 percent of depressed participants showed signs of leaky gut, based on blood tests.”

IMG_0015

“Bugs That Influence the Brain
Preliminary research suggests that these common gut microbes can also affect our thoughts and feelings.

1. Helicobacter pylori: Children infected with this ulcer-causing bacterium performed worse on IQ tests, suggesting a possible link between H. pylori infection and cognitive development.

2. Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum: Healthy human volunteers who consumed a probiotic mix of these bacteria exhibited less anxiety and depression.

3. Probiotic bacteria B. animalis subsp. lactis, Streptococcus thermophilus, L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, L. lactis

From judy's bug collection

From judy’s bug collection

subsp. lactis: Healthy women who consumed yogurt containing these bugs showed less activity in brain regions that process emotions and physical sensations. Researchers do not yet know whether these effects were beneficial; they also have not discovered the mechanism underlying the observed shift in brain activity.

4. Lactobacilli: Healthy students had fewer of these bacteria present in their stool during a high-stress exam time compared with a less stressful period during the semester. The findings suggest a potential link between stress and gut microbes, but the exact relation remains unknown”.

 

 

 

Sticks & Stones May Break My Bones but Rejection Feels GOOD

intriga090400013Pain Rx: Make inappropriate, insulting or degrading comments to people you know, barely know or don’t know at all!!!!!!!!!!!!  Here’s proof it works:

 Excerpt from Sticks and Stones: Brain Releases Natural Painkillers During Social Rejection

“Over more than a decade, U-M work has shown that when a person feels physical pain, their brains release chemicals called opioids into the space between neurons, dampening pain signals.”

“David T. Hsu, Ph.D., the lead author of the new paper, says the new research on social rejection grew out of recent studies by others, which suggests that the brain pathways that are activated during physical pain and social pain are similar.”

To read the entire research article click on the title

My back is really hurting, could use a bit of brain opioids . . . mmmm, I wonder if it works with blogs? . . .  you fools! . . . nope, guess I need to insult you in person to get my opioid hit . . .

Loneliness, like Chronic Stress, impacts our Immune System

DCP_7260The times when I feel most ‘alone’ is when I’m ill or fatigued.  Those are the times when I also isolate myself the most – little energy or desire to interact. With this research I wonder if I make my condition even worse by  isolating myself when I don’t feel well physically or emotionally?  (The research doesn’t specifically address that question.)  Just wondering . . .

(I’ve edited out a lot of the research description.  If you just want the bare bones read the red areas.)

Loneliness, Like Chronic Stress, Taxes the Immune System, Researchers Find

“New research links loneliness to a number of dysfunctional immune responses, suggesting that being lonely has the potential to harm overall health.”

“Researchers found that people who were more lonely showed signs of elevated latent herpes virus reactivation and produced more inflammation-related proteins in response to acute stress than did people who felt more socially connected.”

“These proteins signal the presence of inflammation, and chronic inflammation is linked to numerous conditions, including:

  • coronary heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • arthritis
  • Alzheimer’s diseases
  • the frailty and functional decline that can accompany aging.”

“Reactivation of a latent herpes virus is known to be associated with stress, suggesting that loneliness functions as a chronic stressor that triggers a poorly controlled immune response.”

“It is clear from previous research that poor-quality relationships are linked to a number of health problems, including premature mortality and all sorts of other very serious health conditions. And people who are lonely clearly feel like they are in poor-quality relationships,” said Lisa Jaremka, Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State University and lead author of the research.”

“The results are based on a series of studies conducted with two populations: a healthy group of overweight middle-aged adults and a group of breast cancer survivors. The researchers measured loneliness in all studies using the UCLA Loneliness Scale, a questionnaire that assesses perceptions of social isolation and loneliness.”

“The researchers first sought to obtain a snapshot of immune system behavior related to loneliness by gauging levels of antibodies in the blood that are produced when herpes viruses are reactivated.
Participants were 200 breast cancer survivors who were between two months and three years past completion of cancer treatment with an average age of 51 years. Their blood was analyzed for the presence of antibodies against Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus.”

“Both are herpes viruses that infect a majority of Americans. About half of infections do not produce illness, but once a DSCN1415person is infected, the viruses remain dormant in the body and can be reactivated, resulting in elevated antibody levels, or titers — again, often producing no symptoms but hinting at regulatory problems in the cellular immune system.
Lonelier participants had higher levels of antibodies against cytomegalovirus than did less lonely participants, and those higher antibody levels were related to more pain, depression and fatigue symptoms.”

“Previous research has suggested that stress can promote reactivation of these viruses, also resulting in elevated antibody titers.”

“The same processes involved in stress and reactivation of these viruses is probably also relevant to the loneliness findings,” Jaremka said. “Loneliness has been thought of in many ways as a chronic stressor — a socially painful situation that can last for quite a long time.”‘

“In an additional set of studies, the scientists sought to determine how loneliness affected the production of pro-inflammatory proteins, or cytokines, in response to stress. These studies were conducted with 144 women from the same group of breast cancer survivors and a group of 134 overweight middle-aged and older adults with no major health problems.”

“In both populations, those who were lonelier produced significantly higher levels of a cytokine called interleukin-6, or IL-6, in response to acute stress than did participants who were more socially connected. Levels of another cytokine, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, also rose more dramatically in lonelier participants than in less lonely participants . . .”

“In the study with breast cancer survivors, researchers also tested for levels of the cytokine interleukin 1-beta, which was produced at higher levels in lonelier participants.”
“When the scientists controlled for a number of factors, including sleep quality, age and general health measures, the results were the same.
“We saw consistency in the sense that more lonely people in both studies had more inflammation than less lonely people,” Jaremka said.”
“It’s also important to remember the flip side, which is that people who feel very socially connected are experiencing more positive outcomes.” ‘

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University, via Newswise. The original article was written by Emily Caldwell.

Are You Man or Mouse?

The newest singing sensation in the animal kingdom? Mice.

Pavarottis sing 

When sexually excited.

Are you man or mouse?

By Rick Yerman Mice sang happily
while considering new mates.
Hearing, do cats clap?

“The creatures (mice) not only sing ultrasonic melodies high above sopranos, distinct from their regular squeaks, but they also learn new tunes from each other, researchers report today.”

Song learning is known to exist in humans, dolphins, songbirds and parrots, but the new research overthrows a 50-year assumption that mouse vocalizing is inborn and instead shows that mice have a rudimentary vocal system to control their vocal cords and learn new tunes.

This is not Pavarotti

“The mouse brain and behavior for vocal communication is not as primitive and as innate as myself and many other scientists have considered it to be,” senior author Erich Jarvis, a neurobiologist at Duke University, told LiveScience.”

“Mice have more similarities in their vocal communication with humans than other species like our closest relatives,” Jarvis added, referring to chimpanzees”.

“Generally, vocalizing comes from a coordinated effort between the brain’s motor cortex, which controls voluntary muscles, and the vocal cords in the larynx. Jarvis and colleagues found a rudimentary indirect connection in mice between the two, absent in chimpanzees and monkeys” (and me).

“The findings may also impact human speech disorders such as those found in autism, commonly studied in mice genetically engineered to mimic the disorders.”

“Previous research had shown male mice become mini-Pavarottis when sexually excited by the female

This is not a mouse

scent. But the new research suggests mice are able to mimic new songs.”

“These results came to light after placing two mice strains with different vocal ranges, like tenors and basses, in the same cage with females. After eight weeks, the tenors sang in the lower bass range. Some basses sang higher, but most continued to sing in the same register.”

“In other words, the mice changed their tune in front of the ladies so they all sounded pretty much the same, Jarvis said.”

Read the entire article at : http://www.livescience.com/23878-singing-mice.html

Men Explode, Women Erode

Tallulah Pacehead sez: "DRINK MILK"

Tallulah, my pacemaker, is doing her job and luckily resting on her laurels a lot (translation:  my pacemaker is only having to work 2% to 25% of the time).  I still having a bit of “heart matters” going on so this post on my favorite Heart blog: Heart Sisters caught my attention.

(P.S.  Fascinating information on Stem Cells and their impact on MEN)

If you are a woman or know a woman take a moment to listen.

“One out of every two of you reading this right now will be impacted by cardiovascular disease in your lifetime, warns cardiologist Dr. Noel Bairey-Merz, Director of the Cedars Sinai Women’s Heart Center in Los Angeles. And worse, diagnostic and treatment strategies “developed in men, by men, for men for the last 50 years” are not working so well for women.”

Sign up for My Heart Sisters Newsletter. 

http://myheartsisters.org/newsletter/

Worms, BuckWheat & Horticulture Therapy – all good for you!

Stress-free Worms, lying around

Do you know that BuckWheat is NOT wheat?  Do you know how to make worm juice to fertilize your garden?  – Important things I learned at The International Association of Clinical Hypnotherapy Meeting www.hypnosis4u.org!!!!

Linda Weisner a wonderful hypnotherapist and I learned about more than just hypnosis from John Warhank a talented hypnotist and Qigong teacher.  Since you didn’t attend the meeting I’m passing on information John knows that EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW:

1.  WORMS!

2.  BuckWheat!

While many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel making it a suitable substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens. Buckwheat flowers are very fragrant and are attractive to bees that use them to produce a special, strongly flavored, dark honey.

3.  Can Gardening Help Troubled Minds Heal

by Kristofor Husted

If you haven’t noticed, gardens are popping up in some unconventional places – from prison yards to retirement and veteran homes to programs for troubled youth.

Most are handy sources of fresh and local food, but increasingly they’re also an extension of therapy for people with mental health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD; depression; and anxiety.

Anxious worm, tied up in knots

It’s called horticultural therapy. And some doctors, psychologists and occupational therapists are now at work to test whether building, planting, and harvesting a garden can be a therapeutic process in its own right.

One 2007 study in the journal Neuroscience found a bacteria found in soil linked with increased serotonin production in the brain — a sign that gardening could increase serotonin levels and improve depression.

Depressed worms who've lost their way

Much of the science behind just how gardening affects the mind and brain still remains a mystery. What scientists do know is that gardening reduces stress and calms the nerves. It decreases cortisol, a hormone that plays a role in stress response.

click here to Read entire article


P.S. If you have questions don’t call me,  

call John johnwarhankhypnotist.com for more information

or Linda yourinnerjourney.net for help!

Cry Me a River

Do Tears Dilute Your Pain? was a post I had several people commented  that tears cleansed the body of certain chemicals.  Not one to leave a topic alone here’s some excerpts from an article that I found interesting.

Written by Natasha Mann, health journalist
The Health Benefits of Crying

Emotional or stress-related tears are thought to help us through difficult times in a number of ways.

“. . . research has suggested that tears could actually be a way of flushing negative chemicals out of the body and doing you a world of good. We look at why it’s good to cry.

A study by Dr William H. Frey II, a biochemist at the St Paul-Ramsey Medical Centre in Minnesota, found that there is an important chemical difference between emotional or stress-related tears and those simply caused by physical irritants – such as when cutting onions.”

Emotional Tears:

“They found that emotional tears contained more of the protein-based hormones prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and leucine enkephalin (a natural painkiller), all of which are produced by our body when under stress.”

Basal tears

“We all need the layer of protective fluid covering our eyeballs known as continuous or basal tears.

Basal tears contain lysozyme, a powerful and fast acting antibacterial and anti-viral agent. Without this, the eye – because it’s a moist environment – would suffer enormous amounts of bacterial attack and you could potentially go blind.”

Eye watering

“One of the most important functions crying can have is to protect our eyes from irritants and foreign bodies, such as dust or getting rid of the acidic fumes when cutting onions.

These tears are known as reflex tears. When our eyes come under attack from irritants, the lachrymal glands in our eyes start stimulating more fluid to wash away the irritant and drain it from the eye.

Physically, they are thought to wash toxic chemicals out of our bodies, while psychologically giving your feelings a good airing is thought to be a healthy tonic.”

Stress release

“Crying is thought to help reduce stress, which can have a damaging effect on our health and has been linked to a number of health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes and obesity.

According to the Minnesota study, crying can help to wash chemicals linked to stress out of our body, one of the reasons we feel much better after a good cry. Higher levels of adrenocorticotrophic (ACTH) have been found in emotional tears (compared to reflex tears).

Removing this chemical from the body is beneficial because it triggers cortisol, the stress hormone – too much of which can lead to health problems associated with stress.

‘When you’re upset and stressed, you have an imbalance and build up of chemicals in the body and crying helps to reduce that.'”

Dealing with sorrow

“Aside from removing toxic substances from our body, crying can also have the psychological benefit of lifting our mood and helping us to deal with painful situations.

Deep crying is generally felt to be good for you in that it exposes and expresses deep emotions, which means they can then be dealt with.

‘Whether crying is good for you depends a lot on the reasons for it, the context, and how it is handled.

‘Public displays tend to be looked down on, and any emotional catharsis in a situation, such as the work place, may be far outweighed by disapproval, embarrassment and guilt.

Crying can also signal a need for help from others and bring people together. People are usually more likely to help someone when they see them dissolve into tears, and it can prompt helpful behaviour.

It may also be a signal for physical contact, such as a hug or reassuring hand placed on an arm – and touch has been linked with helping stress reduction”.

Too many tears

“However, frequent crying is not always good for you and can be a sign of more serious conditions, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and postnatal depression.

What’s more, the healing affect of crying won’t work for everyone. Researchers have discovered that people who suffer a mood disorder are less likely to feel better after crying. If you’re depressed and crying all the time, it’s not good and you might need help,’ says Dr Abigael San.”

Counting the tears

“88.8 per cent of people feel better after crying, with 8.4 per cent feeling worse.
On average women cry 47 times a year and men a mere seven.
Until puberty, crying levels are much the same for each gender – testosterone may reduce crying in boys while oestrogen and prolactin increases the tendency in girls.
Men may excrete more of the toxins related to emotional stress in their sweat because they have higher sweat levels than women.”

The mantra to children ‘Be brave, don’t cry’ might not be the most helpful because some believe crying can actually help reduce pain.”

http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-living/wellbeing/the-health-benefits-of-crying.htmThe health benefits of crying

Trauma: To Sleep or not to Sleep, That is the questions . . .

Before I was licensed I was the director of a Rape Trauma program.  I’ve gone on to successfully treat people with all manners of traumatic experiences from being in airplane crashes to buried alive.   One of the hallmarks is disturbed or disrupted sleep.  No matter what suggestions I might have or what they might try it doesn’t often help.   Even sleep medications don’t  always help.

Reading this release from The University of Massachusetts about how it might be better NOT to sleep after a traumatic event got my attention. 

“Sleeping after a traumatic event might lock in bad memories and emotions, a new study has found.
Researchers from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst asked more than 100 healthy adults to rate their emotional responses to a series of images, some depicting unsettling scenes. Twelve hours later, they rated the images again. The difference: Half of the subjects slept during the break; the other half did not.
“Not only did sleep protect the memory, but it also protected the emotional reaction,” said Rebecca Spencer, a neuroscientist at UMass Amherst and co-author of the study that was published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Study subjects who stayed awake for 12 hours had a weaker emotional response to the unsettling images the second time around, suggesting sleep serves to preserve and even amplify negative emotions. Their memories were also weaker than those of their well-rested counterparts, as they struggled to remember whether they had seen the images before.

“It’s true that ‘sleeping on it’ is usually a good thing to do,” said Spencer, citing evidence that sleep boosts memory and other cognitive functions. “It’s just when something truly traumatic or out of the ordinary happens that you might want to stay awake.”
Spencer said people often find it difficult to sleep after a traumatic event.
“This study suggests the biological response we have after trauma might actually be a healthy, she said. “Perhaps letting people go through a period of insomnia before feeding them sleeping meds is actually beneficial.”
While the findings may have implications for post traumatic stress disorder, Spencer emphasized that daily emotional ups and downs are not grounds for sleep deprivation.
Just because we have a bad day doesn’t mean we should stay awake,” she said. “We need to maintain some memories and emotional context to know what to avoid. We do learn something from them.”

Although sleep gives the body some much-needed rest, the brain stays active. Spencer used polysomnography to monitor brain activity in some sleeping subjects.
“REM sleep in particular was associated with a change in how emotional you found something,” she said. “We think there are parts of the brain being activated during sleep that allow us to process those emotions more than during day.”

http://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/newsreleases/articles/144715.php

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors College.

“What you pay attention to GROWS” and not just for monkeys


Dr David Bresler

Dr Marty Rossman

I’ve had the incredible fortune of studying under David Bresler  Ph.D and Marty Rossman M.D.  Both are pioneers in the field of MindBody Medicine.   They founded The Academy for Guided Imagery, a teaching academy for health care professionals to provide treatment using individualized one-on-one imagery for health and wellness.

Not only did they train me to teach Interactive Guided Imagery(sm) they introduced me to a different way of thinking and experiencing my world.

Many of you already know that I keep ranting and raving about the power of our minds and not to dwell on the negative, not to focus on what we can’t do but on what we are capable of.  SO!  When I came across this article by Dr Rossman I HAD to share!!

Shifting Your Attention Can Change Your Brain

from The Worry Solution by Martin Rossman, M.D.

“Repetitively shifting your attention to positive outcomes may actually result in growth in areas of your brain that start to do this automatically. My colleague, neuroscientist Dr. David Bresler, always says that

“what you pay attention to grows” and research proves him correct.

Neuroscience journalist Sharon Begley wrote in a 2007 Wall Street Journal article, “Attention, … seems like one of those ephemeral things that comes and goes in the mind but has no real physical presence. Yet attention can alter the layout of the brain as powerfully as a sculptor’s knife can alter a slab of stone.

Not to be confused for either Dr Bresler or Dr Rossman

” She describes an experiment at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in which scientists “rigged up a device that tapped monkeys’ fingers 100 minutes a day every day. As this bizarre dance was playing on their fingers, the monkeys heard sounds through headphones. Some of the monkeys were taught: Ignore the sounds and pay attention to what you feel on your fingers…Other monkeys were taught: Pay attention to the sound.”

After six weeks, the scientists compared the monkeys’ brains and found that monkeys paying attention to the taps had expanded the somatosensory parts of their brains (where they would feel touch) but the monkeys paying attention to the sounds grew new connections in the parts of the brain that process sound instead.

UCSF researcher Michael Merzenich and a colleague wrote that through choosing where we place our attention, “‘We choose and sculpt how our ever-changing minds will work, we choose who we will be the next moment in a very real sense, and these choices are left embossed in physical form on our material selves.'”

I promise I won’t say “I told you so.”

Rats have feelings too! (parenthetically speaking by Max)

Dear all my Best Friends and Fans,

I’m here to tell you that rats have been given a bad rap.  First,  they are very small and don’t eat much.  Second, they are fun to chase.  Third, THEY HAVE FEELINGS and are very upset they have been so maligned for so long by you humans.

And now I have proof.  So please read this and I won’t say “I told you so.”

Cagebreak! Rats Will Work To Free A Trapped Pal

“Calling someone a “rat” is no compliment, but a new study shows that rats actually are empathetic and will altruistically lend a helping paw to a cage mate who is stuck in a trap. (Do you think my human has ever lent a paw to help a rat get out of a cage? NO! She smiles when the poor little thing is trapped)

Not only will rats frantically work to free their trapped cage mate; they will do so even when there’s a tempting little pile of chocolate chips nearby, the study reveals. Instead of leaving their pal in the trap and selfishly gobbling the candy all by themselves, rats will free their cage mate and share the chocolate.” (My human gobbles up all the chocolate and won’t share with anyone, much less a rat)

“To me that’s absolutely stunning,” says neurobiologist Peggy Mason of the University of Chicago. “The fact that the rat does that is really amazing.” (Ms Mason would share her chocolate)

Mason and her colleagues designed a series of experiments, described in the journal Science, to explore the evolutionary roots of empathy.

They wanted to look at rats because they already knew, from previous work, that rodents can be emotionally affected by the emotions of their cage mates. For example, during lab procedures, mice seem to experience more pain when they see another mouse in pain.

This is called “emotional contagion,” and humans have it too — just think of how one crying baby can make other babies cry. “But in the end, emotional contagion doesn’t take you very far,” says Mason. “It’s an internal experience. It doesn’t actually do anything for another individual.”

Helping A Fellow Rat

So Mason and her colleagues devised a test to see if rats would take the next step and actually try to help out a fellow rat in distress. They took two cage mates, who knew each other, and trapped one of them in a narrow Plexiglas tube. That’s a mild stressor and one the trapped rat doesn’t like (now that’s a stupid observation – what’s to like. . .unless there’s chocolate in the tube)— it would sometimes make an alarm call.

The free rat outside of this tube seemed to immediately “get” the problem and would work to liberate its pal, says Mason.

The free rat would focus its activity on this plastic tube, crawling all over it and biting it, and interact with the trapped rat through little holes in the tube. “And if the trapped rat has a tail poking out, the free rat will actually grab that tail and kind of pull on it,” says Mason.

Eventually, all this activity would lead to the free rat accidentally triggering a door that opened, releasing the trapped animal. The rats quickly learned to purposefully open the door, and during repeated experiments they would do so faster and faster — but only for a trapped rat. They didn’t act this way when the plastic trap was empty or contained a toy rat.

Rats would free their pals even if the experiment was set up so that the other rat was released into a different cage, so that the two rats did not get to interact after the door was opened. This suggests that the door-opener was really trying to aid its fellow rat, and not just working to get a playmate.

A Helping Behavior

The researchers had a question for the rats: What is it worth to you, to free your fellow rat? “Obviously we can’t ask that question verbally, (now that’s a stupid statement, Rats can’t speak English because their tongues get stuck in their buck teeth) so we wanted to ask it in terms that a rat can communicate to us,” says Mason.

So the scientists used chocolate. They put rats into a cage that held two different clear plastic traps. One contained chocolate chips. The other contained the trapped cage mate.

What they found is that the free rats quickly opened both cages, in no particular order. And they did not eat all the chocolate — instead, they shared it with their fellow rat. (I said I won’t say “I told you so” so I won’t)

A ‘Pro-Social’ Behavior

Jeffrey Mogil of McGill University in Montreal, who has studied empathetic behavior in mice, says this is a surprising study.

“You know, it’s one thing to free the trapped rat that might be making alarm calls. It’s quite another thing to share the chocolate chips,” Mogil said.  (Would my human share chocolate if I were trapped, I think not)

Even though, in the past, many scientists have assumed that altruistic behavior is something uniquely human,  Mogil says we really should not be so surprised to see it in the lowly rat.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.

Lickingly, LLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

Max

P.S.  (The next time you are called a rat. . . Smile and have a piece of chocolate.)

How to Make the Question: “Am I Enough?” Funny!

Important topic for EVERYONE

and a funny presentation by Brene Brown in the Ted video.  

You will enjoy!

I work with people everyday, helping them intellectually understand and emotionally integrate the truth of who they are.

I would not be able to do this if I hadn’t taken my own journey in my own therapy to learn I was “enough” :  I wasn’t a fraud and I didn’t have to be afraid that others would discover what was wrong with me if I allowed myself to be vulnerable.

I would not be able to work with others if I didn’t believe we all need to live our lives based on that which Jesus taught – LOVE and Baha’u’llah taught – WE ARE ALL ONE.

When I heard this talk by Brene Brown I was blown away to hear her say with science, with humor and with vulnerability what I had learned and struggle to live by.

In moments of shame

practice gratitude and joy

Let myself be seen

In moments of fear

love with my whole heart and soul

Know, I am enough

(P.S. This haiku was written weeks ago!  I am still haiku’d-out!)

Productive Procrastination (Parenthetically Speaking)

My personal physician Dr. Oz sent this to me.  He wanted to validate that my day dreaming was NOT a form of procrastination NOR detrimental to my well-being.

Part of my mission is to help people understand that those of us who are perceived as procrastinators have GOOD reasons for our behaviour.  Mehmet.Knows!

“You might think of daydreaming as a slacker habit, but it turns out that it’s good for your brain.  (yippi) So let your mind wander a little bit today.”

“Zoning out doesn’t mean your mind is on vacation. Just the opposite. New research involving brain scans showed that when people daydream, the brain actually works harder, and in different ways.”  (Beginning to make sense why I’m exhausted all the time!)

“Stop Paying Attention (who said I ever began)
A new study compared brain activity during two different conditions — when people played an easy game and when their minds simply wandered freely. And daydreaming lit up the brain areas that researchers expected it to, such as those areas that handle routine daily activities.”

“But, surprisingly, the activity of daydreaming also activated the lateral prefrontal cortex and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex — the so-called executive network of the brain, where complex problem-solving happens. Which led researchers to conclude that giving your brain a break allows these higher-function areas to work on the weighty questions humming in the background of your thoughts. You know, those big things, like how to solve a problem at work, resolve an argument with your spouse, or start a new business venture.” (how to figure out how to get someone else to do the things you were going to do when you were daydreaming, resolve world peace, make plans to move to a château in the South of France and/or a Tuscan Villa)

“Make It a Habit  (I’m waaaaaaaaay ahead of the game.  It’s not a habit with me but a way of life)
The researchers suggest people encourage daily daydreaming with simple, mindless activities. Washing the dishes, knitting, doing jigsaw puzzles, or weeding the garden are all good choices.” (These researchers that came up with these were all born before WWI and never burnt their bras)

Weight Gain Bedtime Story

Haiku
by Max
 
Don’t stay up too late
Get up out of bed early
You won’t be burly.
 
My Human is always complaining that she can’t lose weight.  So I brought her a study about people who stayed up late (I have to stay up late to make sure I get my treats) ate more calories later at night (every night she eats and eats) than the humans who went to bed early.  My Human’s  a night owl and they also tended to be heavier. I told her humans with later bedtimes choose food that isn’t good – they ate twice the junk food as the early-to-bed humans and ate half the fruits and vegetables.  (Half!  She’s lucky if she eats 1/4th)

I made her read this: “Researchers think that a late sleep-wake cycle may encourage the packing on of pounds because it throws the body out of its natural circadian rhythm of sleeping at night and eating during the day, when bodies are more active. Doing the opposite — eating at night and sleeping more during the day — may boost weight gain by altering appetite, eating behavior, and metabolism”

NOW she won’t give me cookie treats at night so I “won’t get fat and live a long life”.  I say, if I can’t have cookie treats what’s the sense of living?  She agreed.

New Poem

by Max

Late to Bed, Late to Rise
Eating cookies is wise.
Makes  Me Heavy and Happy,
No surprise.

Judy Running . . . at the Mouth . . .again

Judy's Journal collage page

My dry sense of humor, bordering on the sarcastic got me in trouble . . . again.

My post yesterday on the research on exercise was meant to be in support of exercise.

The data suggested that “go for the burn” type of exercise isn’t necessary for health and well-being.

“. . .new research shows that regular, low-intensity exercise may help boost energy levels in people suffering from fatigue.”

I think those findings are great, especially for people with physical disability.  We can reap the rewards of exercise with whatever capability we have.

When I was in my 30’s I jogged 3 -10 miles daily or swam for 1 mile.  Can’t do THAT anymore but I  can brisk walk for 30 – 60 minutes at least 4 times a week.  If my feet are hurting too badly I use my folding recumbent bike.

When fibro set in I started exercising slowly because I knew that any type of aerobic exercise helps with depression, stiff joints, boosts the immune system and gives us a sense of accomplishment and control.  In the 1990’s my clients who were told by their doctor’s to stay in bed got worse and worse.  I’ve been blessed to learn from my clients.  (The other thing I learned is that pain killers didn’t help, but that’s another story)

In my practice I tell clients to move everyday – walk slowly 5 minutes out and 5 minutes back, once or twice a day; walk or march in place to music or while watching a commercial on TV.  JUST MOVE.

My dear friend Jann who lives in Minnesota and who has suffered through incredible pain since being a teenager now walks for 2 hours a day — rain, sleet or snow.  The only thing that stops her are blizzards.  If Jann can do it I decided I can move for at least 30 minutes in the California sunshine.

“Why exercise helps fatigue isn’t clear, but Dr. Puetz said his findings suggest exercise acts directly on the central nervous system to increase energy and reduce fatigue. Notably, the improvements in energy and fatigue were not related to increases in aerobic fitness.”

My apologies to Dr. Puetz and everyone else  for the confusion . If I led you astray hopefully this post helps you walk back!

Hey! Any kind of movement counts!  (whoops, there I go again with my warped humor . . .)

Proof Exercise is Exhausting (Parenthetically Speaking)

February 29, 2008, 1:12 pm

The Cure for Exhaustion? More Exercise?

fatigureFeeling fatigued? (George Ruhe for The New York Times)

When a person is sapped by fatigue, the last thing he or she wants to do is exercise. But new research shows that regular, low-intensity exercise may help boost energy levels in people suffering from fatigue.

(I do low intensity exercise EVERY day, like walk from my office to the bathroom down the hall, Type slowly and I’m still fatigued.)

Fatigue is one of the most common health symptoms and can be a sign of a variety of medical problems. However, about one in four people suffers from general fatigue not associated with a serious medical condition.  (That’s reassuring)

University of Georgia researchers decided to study whether exercise can be used to treat fatigue. The research, which appears in the February issue of the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, involved 36 volunteers who were not regular exercisers but who complained of persistent fatigue.

One group of fatigued volunteers was prescribed 20 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise three times a week for six weeks. The second group engaged in low-intensity aerobic exercise for the same time period, while a third control group did not exercise.

The study volunteers used exercise bikes that allowed the researchers to control their level of exertion. The low-intensity exercise was equivalent to a leisurely, easy walk. The more intense exercise was similar to a fast-paced walk up hills. ( I live on a very hilly neighborhood)  Patients with fatigue due to serious medical conditions, such as those with chronic fatigue syndrome, weren’t included in the study.  (Now they tell me.)

Both of the exercise groups had a 20 percent increase in energy levels by the end of the study, compared to the control group. However, the researchers found that more intense exercise isn’t the best way to reduce fatigue. The low-intensity group reported a 65 percent drop in feelings of fatigue, compared to a 49 percent drop in the group doing more intense exercise.

“Too often we believe that a quick workout will leave us worn out — especially when we are already feeling fatigued,” said researcher Tim Puetz, in a news release. Dr. Puetz recently completed his doctorate at the university and is the lead author of the study. “However, we have shown that regular exercise can actually go a long way in increasing feelings of energy — particularly in sedentary individuals.”

Why exercise helps fatigue isn’t clear, but Dr. Puetz said his findings suggest exercise acts directly on the central nervous system to increase energy and reduce fatigue. Notably, the improvements in energy and fatigue were not related to increases in aerobic fitness.( I resent the implication that I’m sedentary just because my job forces me to sit in a chair all day and talk to people)

  1. The most important question to ask is, which people within the exercise groups benefitted and which did not? Did some people feel less fatigue, while others had no response? And, if so, what are the differences between responders and non responders in the exercising groups? The model used in Chinese medicine may provide some insight. Fatigue essentially breaks down into two categories those who have too little energy, and those whose energy is stuck stagnant) and unavailable to them. The stagnant type of fatigue would respond to exercise, as the physical movement gets the previously unavailable energy moving and available. The deficient (too little) energy people would not improve with exercise. (I’m sure I’m deficient so it’s better that I not exercise )In fact, the deficient group might become worse due to the consumption of energy that is already too little. This might explain the less desirable response in the higher intensity exercise group compared to the lower intensity exercise group. It would be wonderful to see these questions answered so that physicians could know which patient should exercise more, and which one should get more rest. (I’m going to show this to my doctor the next time she tells me I need more exercise.)

How Gossip Will Help You Survive & Thrive

I’m so relieved to know that my urge to read the National Inquirer Headlines at the check-out stand means I’m highly adaptive in the food chain . . . if not the food market.

This is fascinating!

P.S. If you aren’t in the mood to read the whole thing, scroll down to where I’ve highlighted the results of the study.


Psst! The Human Brain Is Wired For Gossip  by Jon Hamilton, May 20, 2011

“Hearing gossip about people can change the way you see them — literally.

Negative gossip actually alters the way our visual system responds to a particular face, according to a study published online by the journal Science.

The findings suggest that the human brain is wired to respond to gossip, researchers say. And it adds to the evidence that gossip helped early humans get ahead.

“Gossip is helping you to predict who is friend and who is foe,” says Lisa Feldman Barrett, distinguished professor of psychology at Northeastern University and an author of the study.

Barrett is part of a team that’s been studying how gossip affects not just what we know about an unfamiliar person but how we feel about them. The team has shown that getting second-hand information about a person can have a powerful effect.

But Barrett and her team wanted to answer another question: Once hearsay has predisposed us to see someone in a certain way, is it possible that we literally see them differently?

That may seem like a strange thing to ask. But it makes sense when you consider that the human brain has a whole lot of connections between regions that process visual information and areas involved in our most basic emotions, Barrett says.

So the team brought in volunteers and had them look at faces paired with gossip. Some of these faces were associated with negative gossip, such as “threw a chair at his classmate.” Other faces were associated with more positive actions, such as “helped an elderly woman with her groceries.”

Science/AAAS
Participants in the study were shown a neutral face paired with (A) negative gossip, (B) positive gossip, (C) neutral gossip, (D) negative non-social information, (E) positive non-social information, and (F) neutral non-social information. When the study participants viewed the faces again, their brains were more likely to fix on the faces associated with negative gossip.
Then the researchers looked to see how the volunteers’ brains responded to the different kinds of information. They did this by showing the left and right eyes of each person very different images. So one eye might see a face while the other eye would see a house.

These very different images cause something called binocular rivalry. The human brain can only handle one of the images at a time. So it unconsciously tends to linger on the one it considers more important.

And the researcher found that volunteers’ brains were most likely to fix on faces associated with negative gossip.

Gossip doesn’t just influence your opinions about people, it actually influences how you see them visually, Barrett says.

The finding suggests we are hardwired to pay more attention to a person if we’ve been told they are dangerous or dishonest or unpleasant, Barrett says.

“If somebody is higher than you in the food chain, you want dirt about them. You want negative information, because that’s the stuff you can exploit to get ahead.”
– Frank McAndrew, Knox College psychology professor
Other scientists say that makes sense from an evolutionary perspective.

“I was actually pretty excited to see this paper,” says Frank McAndrew, a professor of psychology at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. “For years people like me have been saying that our intense interest in gossip is not really a character flaw. It’s part of who we are. It’s almost a biological event, and it exists for good evolutionary reasons.”

Even when primitive humans lived in small groups, they needed to know things like who might be a threat and who was after a particular mate, McAndrew says. And learning those things through personal experience would have been slow and potentially dangerous, he says.

So McAndrew says one shortcut would have been gossip.

“People who had an intense interest in that — that constantly were monitoring who’s sleeping with who and who’s friends with whom and who you can trust and who you can’t — came out ahead,” he says. “People who just didn’t care about that stuff got left behind.”

And it makes sense that our brains pay special attention to negative gossip, McAndrew says.

“If somebody is a competitor or somebody is higher than you in the food chain, you want dirt about them,” he says. “You want negative information, because that’s the stuff you can exploit to get ahead.”

Who knew Tabloid News is the best thing

since we discovered fire?     

Want to live longer? THIS Will Make You Smile.

Oh my goodness! Here’s synchronicity in real-time.

Last night I posted A Smile an Hour Keeps me from Getting Sour http://wp.me/pLGhj-20i

and THIS MORNING, trying to catch up on my e-mails etc, here’s what I found!

Art Expedition

a painter´s attempt to conquer the great white canvas

Letters from Athens

A blog about life and times in Greece

Around ZuZu's Barn

Conversations with Kindred Spirits

My Window

Sharing my thoughts, poems, travel & art

Gary Komarin

Master of Post-Painterly Abstraction

What's cooking on page 32

Sharing recipes from a huge collection of cookbooks

fjamesgreco

Thoughts on writing, music, news, & politics

Catnip blog

Self-care tips, tools, techniques & neuroscience research for MIND, BODY & SOUL - shared with a wink and a smile

The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

kateosborne

painter's progress step by step

Dee Berridge's Life Drawings

My head is in the tiger's mouth...

Sketch Away: Travels with my sketchbook

Just another WordPress.com site

Create art every day

Ideas and inspiration for creating art with passion!

Doodlewash®

Adventures in Watercolor Painting and Sketching, Watercolour Magazine, with Charlie O'Shields

Sara Fryd

198 countries | author | 224,000 visitors

The HeART of Spirituality

"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22

Judith Clemmer

Wearable Art & a bit of life

Blog - Kathrin Werner

Stuff that makes me love, learn and laugh. ("It is good to laugh. Laughter is spiritual relaxation." - Baha'i World Faith)

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

Teesha Moore

Follow Your Bliss

WordDreams...

Jacqui Murray's

Where to next?

Riding in cars with dogs

"On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea"

All Is One With Our Creator

Mama Cormier

.... my journey to a healthy life, making new memories and so much more

Design of the Picture Book

the intersection of graphic design + picture books

A Little More Than Ordinary...

Stuff that makes me love, learn and laugh. ("It is good to laugh. Laughter is spiritual relaxation." - Baha'i World Faith)

Unbelievable to the Max

Poems, Plays, Pictures & Prose from the Murky Recess of My Mind

Picnic with Ants

My life disABLED with Chronic Ilnnesses, it just IS. Taking one moment at a time.

poetry diary

I rhyme to see myself, to set the darkness echoing. (Seamus Heaney, from Personal Helicon)

Day by Day With My Adrenals

Fighting the monsters everyday of my life

Heart Sisters

For women living with heart disease

Ping-O-Matic

New offsite pingomatic.com blog

sunshine and chaos

Things that amuse and bemuse me as I wander the wilderness that is invisible chronic illness.

Mo is blogging...I think

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Real Life Artist

An unapologetic marching band against the forces of darkness!

Ask Daru

Bariatric, Bypass Surgery, Emotional, Psychological and Spirtitual Healing for Success

%d bloggers like this: