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)