Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Can my brain heal my body?

Can my mind heal my body?
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“Can my mind heal my body?” That’s what Dr. Michael Mosley, a British science journalist, TV presenter, and author wanted to know. So he created a study with BBC to find out.

He invited people with incurable back pain to join the study for a new analgesic. He chose 117 people who had tried everything from morphine to tramadol, many had been hospitalized, all without relief from their pain. He told them that half of them would receive a new trial drug and the other half would receive a placebo. In truth, everyone on the study was given a placebo made of ground rice. Everyone was required to create a daily video diary of their results.

The study was very thorough in masking the placebo. Even the bottles of inert substance were labeled, “keep away from children”. The pills were blue and white striped because that’s what research shows evicts the most pain-killing effect.

Jim, a 71 year old, had become an invalid, sitting in a wheel chair all day, due to his pain. At the end of the study, he said in his video he had not had any pain since he began the program and even stood up out of the chair, walked a few steps, and claimed fantastic results.

Unsurprisingly, they were shocked by the truth: “I can’t believe I’ve been taking nothing, yet I feel so wonderful”; “Something’s working. I don’t know what it is, but whatever it is I hope it carries on working.”
Scientists have been studying various aspects of the placebo effect to see how it impacts each individual:
  • Another aspect to the above BBC study included the amount of time spent with the physician at the beginning of the program. One study showed a minimum of 40% effectiveness of the placebo when the patient spoke for 9 minutes and 22 seconds with the doctor (the average patient visit) but 51% effective when the patient spent 20 minutes with a doctor trained to show very empathetic behavior toward the patient.
  • Another study considered the type of person most likely to respond to a placebo. One might assume it was the “simple-minded” person. However, the study showed it the “most aware” and the person “most interested in new experience” who received the most effect from the placebo. They identified these people by scanning the “responders” and the “non-responders” with an MRI. All patients that had positive effect in a particular study also showed a marked difference in the amygdala from those that had no effect from the placebo.
  • Another research showed that there is a genetic predisposition to someone that experiences the placebo effect.
What is now recognized by science is that the mind is playing a powerful part in the process of healing, such as the personal beliefs and expectations of the patient, the symbolism and reaction of the patient regarding the size, shape, color of a remedy, how the doctor speaks to the patient, the strength of the ritual, etc. By ritual, I mean, it is found that an injection (and all that goes with it) seems to be more powerful than a pill; a surgery and all that goes with it, is even more powerful than the injection. So the mind believes something powerful is happening, even if it’s a placebo (a saline injection, rather than drugs; a sham surgery rather than a therapeutic surgery). By the way, 4 popular surgeries have been tested and found that placebo surgeries equal the results of the therapeutic surgeries!

The mind is closely connected to the body! What is the difference between health and disease? It is determined by our thoughts, our beliefs the way we use our minds.

Were these outward dramatic experiments necessary to activate the mind? Or could one induce their own mind toward healing effects?

Imagine if we could learn to still the internal chatter, those subconscious beliefs that run constantly about problems, limitations and lack. Instead, we could learn to experience life again in the present moment. Have you ever dropped a single stone into a quiet pond? What happens? Perfectly concentric ripples spread across the water. This is like having one thought only moving through the mind. The mind is coherent, it is orderly, and it is powerful.

The Art of Ascension teaches a series of procedures for the mind. These cause the mind to change from its old habits to new upward spiraling habits of creativity and possibility. This practice does not require concentration or effort. It is only necessary to devote the time to learn the practice.

Contact me for more information about how you can learn these simple techniques.

Monday, September 6, 2021

How to Boost Your Immune System Without Effort

How to boost your immune system without effort 

Our minds have hidden depths.

Dr. Herbert Spector at the National Institute of Health performed a study on mice. He gave mice a powerful immune system stimulating drug (poly I:C ) at the same time he exposed them to camphor (a neutral agent with a strong odor). With their strong immune system, no bacterial agents made them ill, no tumors developed if exposed to carcinogens, etc. Even after removing the immune system stimulating drug but continuing to administer the camphor, they remained strong and healthy. Later, receiving the camphor alone, every mouse showed three times the killer cell activity than that of the control group.

Drs. Ader and Cohen at the University of Rochester performed a similar but contrasting study. The researchers gave rats water sweetened with saccharin (a neutral agent) followed by an injection of cyclophosphamide, an immunosuppressant that caused nausea. Through classical conditioning, the rats quickly began avoiding the saccharin water. Ader and Cohen force fed the rats the saccharin solution minus the drug injection. Even so, rats began to die. They found the rate of death was directly related to the quantity of saccharin solution the rats consumed. Due to weakened immune systems, the rats contracted bacterial and viral infections that they were unable to fight off.

From these findings, they proposed a theory that the rats died because their association of the taste of saccharin with cyclophosphamide was enough to suppress their immune system – even though the drug injections had long been discontinued.

Do you see what’s happening here? The two groups were interpreting a completely neutral agent differently. What causes the difference? The interpretation of reality. This shows how much our interpretation of reality influences our experience of reality. If we have learned to associate bad health or unhappiness with a certain experience of life, it becomes a very difficult habit to break.

Dr. Ader, of the rat study above, coined the word psychoneuroimmunology to describe the field of study he helped create. He believed that the human mind could significantly affect the ability of the immune system to fight disease.

So we see from the above studies that life experiences can affect our immune system. How do we program our conditioning toward health? Here’s just a few studies showing the positive effects of meditation on the immune system.

A study at UCLA showed that HIV positive patients who meditate slowed down the drop in their immune cells. 100 HIV positive men were taught to meditate. 50 of them practiced daily. The other 50 did not practice. The CD-4 cells (those that fight HIV) sharply diminished in the men who did not practice. Those that practiced regularly maintained their CD-4 cells. In fact, the more training sessions that the regular meditator attended, the more CD-4 cells they had. Dr. Servan-Schreiber, a neuroscientist, said about meditation, “it’s clear that periods of time spent focusing on the inner life, allowing the sensations of life to take root without anxiety about the past and future, are so beneficial to the mind and body that it would be a pity to forego them.”

Dr. Davidson, University of Wisconsin, performed another study to see if meditation could boost the immune system. He found that those that meditated for 4 months following an 8 week meditation course had significantly more antibodies after a flu vaccine than did the control group. The study also showed meditators had more positive brain patterns compared with the non-meditators.

In a regular meditative practice such as the Art of Ascension, stress begins to fall away as conscious awareness begins to expand. It becomes more and more obvious that most if not all the problems of life are rooted in the old self-defeating patterns we created to deal with our life experiences.

Just 20 minutes of this effortless practice gives more rest than 8 hours of sleep at night. This restful time erases old patterns and brings clarity and focus to deal with life in a more focused fashion. All of these new patterns produce improved immune response, more health and increased vitality.

The practice is simple and can be used anytime, anywhere, by anybody.