Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Infographic: How To Control Your Dreams

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Hypnosis In Dermatology


Hypnosis is the intentional induction, deepening, maintenance, and termination of the natural trance state for a specific purpose. For the much maligned stage hypnosis, the purpose is entertainment. For medical hypnotherapy, the purpose is to reduce suffering, to promote healing, or to help the person alter a destructive behavior. The hypnotic phenomenon has been used since antiquity to assist in healing.
All individuals enter spontaneous mild trances daily while absorbed in watching television or a movie, in reading a book or a magazine, or in another activity or meditation. With appropriate training, an individual may intensify this trance state in himself or herself or in another individual and use this heightened focus to induce mind-body interactions that help to alleviate suffering or to promote healing. The trance state may be induced by using guided imagery, relaxation, deep breathing, meditation techniques, self-hypnosis, or hypnosis induction techniques. Individuals vary in their ability to enter the trance state, but most can obtain some benefit from hypnosis.[1]
In dermatology, hypnosis may help decrease pain and pruritus in the skin; intervene in psychosomatic aspects of skin diseases; and lead to the resolution of some skin diseases, including verruca vulgaris. Suggestion without formal trance induction may be effective in some cases. Sulzberger and Wolf[2] reported on the use of suggestion to treat verrucae.
Precisely defining hypnosis has proven to be challenging. Marmer[3] described hypnosis as a psychophysiological tetrad of altered consciousness consisting of narrowed awareness, restricted and focused attentiveness, selective wakefulness, and heightened suggestibility. For a more detailed discussion of the definitions of hypnosis, see the texts by Crasilneck and Hall[4] or Barabasz and Watkins.[5]Many myths exist about hypnosis that overrate, underrate, or distort the true capabilities of hypnosis.
Hypnosis can regulate blood flow and other autonomic functions that are not usually under conscious control. The relaxation response that occurs with hypnosis also affects the neurohormonal systems that regulate many body functions. Studies on the influence of hypnosis on immediate immune responses have shown the ability of hypnotized volunteers to significantly decrease the flare reaction to the histamine prick test. Similarly, in one study, the effect of hypnotic suggestion on delayed cellular immune responses has shown significant effect on the size of erythema and on palpable induration but no significant effect in other studies.
A report by Braun[6] on different allergic responses; dermatologic reactions; and effects on seizure disorders, pain control, and healing in the same individual with multiple personality disorder (now called dissociative identity disorder) shows how much influence the mind can have on physiologic reactions and disease processes, depending on the personality present. The report also described the differences in physiologic responses and disease conditions for selected individuals under hypnosis compared with their normal waking state.
Hypnosis may be used to increase healthy behaviors, to decrease situational stress, to reduce needle phobias, to control harmful habits (eg, scratching), to provide immediate and long-term analgesia, to ameliorate symptoms related to diseases (eg, pruritus), to accelerate recovery from surgery, and to enhance the mind-body connection to promote healing.[7] Hypnosis can be especially helpful in dealing with skin diseases that have a psychosomatic aspect. Griesemer,[8] who was trained both in dermatology and in psychiatry, recorded the incidence of emotional triggering of dermatoses in his patients during 1 year in his practice. He developed an index for various skin diseases, with 100 indicating an absolute psychosomatic component and zero indicating no psychosomatic component to the skin disease.
Good references on the responsiveness of skin diseases to hypnosis are found in the somewhat outdated book by Scott[9] and in the chapter on the use of hypnosis in dermatologic problems in the text by Crasilneck and Hall.[4] Koblenzer[10] also mentions some of the uses of hypnosis in common dermatologic problems. In an excellent resource book for patients, Grossbart and Sherman[11] discuss mind-body interactions in skin diseases and include hypnosis as recommended therapy for a number of skin conditions.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Video: Past Life Regression Investigation


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Dream Interpretation

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The Importance Of Independence


Why do we need to be independent?
1.) We need to learn to be independent in order to survive
The most important reason for independence is that if you ever find yourself without a parent, guardian or partner there to support you and look after you, you’ll still be able to support yourself.
2.) Independence is important so that you won’t be a burden to anyone
It is natural for a child to be dependent on its parents or guardians. However, when dependence seeps into an age where it is no longer a necessity, it can become a burden on the person who is being depended on. By clutching onto dependence, people are demanding others to take on responsibilities for them. Some parents, guardians or partners enjoy being needed, but ultimately inappropriate dependency is draining, burdensome, and forms an unhealthy, unbalanced relationship.

3.) Independence is an important ingredient for developing good self-esteem and therefore is an important ingredient for happiness
Feeling that you know what you’re doing in life, that you’re in control; that you know how to take care of yourself, how to survive and how to think for yourself, is very empowering. It boosts self-belief and self-respect.
It is no coincidence that young people venturing out into the world on their own for the first time and experiencing independence can be exhilarated by the experience. Listening to your inner guiding voice of what to do with your life, rather than following orders from others, is one of the keys to achieving happiness.
At the other end of the scale, confidence can be lost when people grow old or perhaps have physical disabilities that have caused the loss of some independence. Becoming needy and dependent can reduce self-belief as well as potentially leading to feeling angry and resentful about losing independence. Many charities work hard on Independent Living causes to help people retain feelings of independence in spite of physical limitations.
4.) Independence of thought can lead to incredible discoveries and innovations
By daring to think for yourself along lines that have never been thought of before, wonderful discoveries, inventions and creations can arise. Such innovations can help not only yourself and your sense of self-confidence, but can also further human advances in the world at large.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Link Between Processed Foods and Autoimmune Disease

The modern diet of processed foods, takeaways and microwave meals could be to blame for a sharp increase in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, including alopecia, asthma and eczema.


A team of scientists from Yale University in the U.S and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Germany, say junk food diets could be partly to blame.

'This study is the first to indicate that excess refined and processed salt may be one of the environmental factors driving the increased incidence of autoimmune diseases,' they said.

Junk foods at fast food restaurants as well as processed foods at grocery retailers represent the largest sources of sodium intake from refined salts.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal sent out an international team of researchers to compare the salt content of 2,124 items from fast food establishments such as Burger King, Domino's Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald's, Pizza Hut and Subway. They found that the average salt content varied between companies and between the same products sold in different countries. 

U.S. fast foods are often more than twice as salt-laden as those of other countries. While government-led public health campaigns and legislation efforts have reduced refined salt levels in many countries, the U.S. government has been reluctant to press the issue. That’s left fast-food companies free to go salt crazy, says Norm Campbell, M.D., one of the study authors and a blood-pressure specialist at the University of Calgary.
Many low-fat foods rely on salt--and lots of it--for their flavor. One packet of KFC’s Marzetti Light Italian Dressing might only have 15 calories and 0.5 grams fat, but it also has 510 mg sodium--about 1.5 times as much as one Original Recipe chicken drumstick. (Feel like you’re having too much of a good thing? You probably are.
Bread is the No. 1 source of refined salt consumption in the American diet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just one 6-inch Roasted Garlic loaf from Subway--just the bread, no meat, no cheeses, no nothing--has 1,260 mg sodium, about as much as 14 strips of bacon.
How Refined Salt Causes Autoimmune Disease
The team from Yale University studied the role of T helper cells in the body. These activate and 'help' other cells to fight dangerous pathogens such as bacteria or viruses and battle infections.

Previous research suggests that a subset of these cells - known as Th17 cells - also play an important role in the development of autoimmune diseases. 
In the latest study, scientists discovered that exposing these cells in a lab to a table salt solution made them act more 'aggressively.'
They found that mice fed a diet high in refined salts saw a dramatic increase in the number of Th17 cells in their nervous systems that promoted inflammation.
They were also more likely to develop a severe form of a disease associated with multiple sclerosis in humans.
The scientists then conducted a closer examination of these effects at a molecular level.
Laboratory tests revealed that salt exposure increased the levels of cytokines released by Th17 cells 10 times more than usual. Cytokines are proteins used to pass messages between cells.
Study co-author Ralf Linker, from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, said: 'These findings are an important contribution to the understanding of multiple sclerosis and may offer new targets for a better treatment of the disease, for which at present there is no cure.'
It develops when the immune system mistakes the myelin that surrounds the nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord for a foreign body. 
It strips the myelin off the nerves fibres, which disrupts messages passed between the brain and body causing problems with speech, vision and balance.
Another of the study's authors, Professor David Hafler, from Yale University, said that nature had clearly not intended for the immune system to attack its host body, so he expected that an external factor was playing a part.
He said: 'These are not diseases of bad genes alone or diseases caused by the environment, but diseases of a bad interaction between genes and the environment.
'Humans were genetically selected for conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, where there was no salt. It's one of the reasons that having a particular gene may make African Americans much more sensitive to salt.
'Today, Western diets all have high salt content and that has led to increase in hypertension and perhaps autoimmune disease as well.'
The team next plan to study the role that Th17 cells play in autoimmune conditions that affect the skin.
'It would be interesting to find out if patients with psoriasis can alleviate their symptoms by reducing their salt intake,' they said.
'However, the development of autoimmune diseases is a very complex process which depends on many genetic and environmental factors.'
Stick to Good Salts

Refined, processed and bleached salts are the problem. Salt is critical to our health and is the most readily available nonmetallic mineral in the world. Our bodies are not designed to processed refined sodium chloride since it has no nutritional value. However, when a salt is filled with dozens of minerals such as in rose-coloured crystals of Himalayan rock salt or the grey texture of Celtic salt, our bodies benefit tremendously for their incorporation into our diet.

"These mineral salts are identical to the elements of which our bodies have been built and were originally found in the primal ocean from where life originated," argues Dr Barbara Hendel, researcher and co-author of Water & Salt, The Essence of Life. "We have salty tears and salty perspiration. The chemical and mineral composition of our blood and body fluids are similar to sea water. From the beginning of life, as unborn babies, we are encased in a sack of salty fluid." 

"In water, salt dissolves into mineral ions," explains Dr Hendel. "These conduct electrical nerve impulses that drive muscle movement and thought processes. Just the simple act of drinking a glass of water requires millions of instructions that come from mineral ions. They're also needed to balance PH levels in the body."
Mineral salts, she says, are healthy because they give your body the variety of mineral ions needed to balance its functions, remain healthy and heal. These healing properties have long been recognised in central Europe. At Wieliczka in Poland, a hospital has been carved in a salt mountain. Asthmatics and patients with lung disease and allergies find that breathing air in the saline underground chambers helps improve symptoms in 90 per cent of cases.
Dr Hendel believes too few minerals, rather than too much salt, may be to blame for health problems. It's a view that is echoed by other academics such as David McCarron, of Oregon Health Sciences University in the US.
He says salt has always been part of the human diet, but what has changed is the mineral content of our food. Instead of eating food high in minerals, such as nuts, fruit and vegetables, people are filling themselves up with "mineral empty" processed food and fizzy drinks. 

Study Source:
This is the result of a study conducted by Dr. Markus Kleinewietfeld, Prof. David Hafler (both Yale University, New Haven and the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, and Harvard University, USA), PD Dr. Ralf Linker (Dept. of Neurology, University Hospital Erlangen), Professor Jens Titze (Vanderbilt University and Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg, FAU, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg) and Professor Dominik N. Muller (Experimental and Clinical Research Center, ECRC, a joint cooperation between the Max-Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine, MDC, Berlin, and the Charite -- Universitatsmedizin Berlin and FAU) (Nature, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11868)*. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks healthy tissue instead of fighting pathogens.

Friday, 19 April 2013

VIDEO Stress: Male and Female Differences


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

How To Stop Feeling Constantly Tired

How many times have you rolled into work bleary-eyed, wishing that you could have grabbed another hours sleep because of how tired you feel? And how many times have you heard your colleagues or friends express exactly the same desire?

Weariness seems to be a modern epidemic, and while it's not debilitating it can have a very negative impact on your life. You can miss out on opportunities and new experiences because you just want to stay in your home, and veg out while watching TV because of how tired you feel. That's not living though, it's existing.

Fortunately though you can turn your tiredness on its head by making a few simple changes to your lifestyle.

The first important change to make is to ensure you always remain well hydrated. The human body is around 70% water and uses two and half litres of water every day. Tiredness is a very common symptom of dehydration so it could be that you're not taking in enough water daily. Aim to drink about two litres of water throughout the day as you will also take in some liquid from the food you eat.

Speaking of food you should also take a look at your diet. Foods high in fat or carbohydrates are hard to digest so the body slows down while it's working the food through the system. And while sugary foods will give you a short-term boost you will soon crash and burn. Instead you should take care to include plenty vitamins and minerals in your diet and the easiest way to do this is consume plenty of fruit and vegetables. Aim to eat at least two different pieces of fruit or veg as part of each meal along with some lean meat (or protein substitute if you are vegetarian/vegan) and you will find your energy levels greatly improve.

While you boost your system with water, fruit and vegetables you should aim to greatly reduce your intake of alcohol and caffeine. Much like sugar, caffeine has a “crash and burn” effect. You’d also be surprised how badly it effects your sleep. I gave up caffeine for a week and had some of the best sleeps I’ve ever had as an adult. Ever since then I’ve stuck to just one cup of tea in the morning and no fizzy or energy drinks. Alcohol may help you drift off to sleep at night but as your body processes it it becomes a stimulant which can cause you to wake up early and greatly impact the quality of your sleep.

Sleep is certainly a key area to work on to improve your energy. It is recommended for most people to get between seven or nine hours of sleep every night. The easiest way to make sure you get the optimum amount of sleep is to set two alarms, one for when you need to wake up AND one for when you should go to bed. No excuses, no “one last TV show” or “ten more minutes on the internet”, get to bed as soon as that alarm goes. Set your alarm for about an hour before you wish you fall asleep to give yourself time to get comfortable and relaxed. Your body appreciates routine and having a regular sleep pattern will make a world of difference.

If you’re still having trouble sleeping well then I have two recommendations. The first is to stop using your TV/computer/cell phone about an hour before you plan to go to bed. You can set another alarm for this if you like. The problem with this electronic forms of entertainment are two-fold, first they provide an intense source of artificial light which can trick your brain into thinking it’s still daytime, secondly they cause an immense amount of mental stimulation which takes quite some time to “come down” from.

Another great way to improve your sleep is through the use of hypnotherapy. Hypnosis quietens the conscious mind, turning down all the mental chatter so you can drift to sleep without any worries on your mind. We have a sleep hypnotherapy MP3 that you can listen to before you go to bed (or in bed on a MP3 player) for less than ten dollars.

Finally, if you really want to super-charge your body, then it’s important to take regular exercise. This means exercising for thirty minutes at least three times a week. Exercise improves circulation, sharpens the focus of the mind and increases stamina - all important factors in avoiding tiredness. At the beginning it can be hard to find the motivation, but hypnotherapy can also help with when you use this Exercise Motivation MP3. It targets the subconscious mind to increase your motivation and will power to take regular exercise.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

What Does Your Body Language Say About You?


As we all know, communication is essential in society. Advancements in technology have transformed the way that we correspond with others in the modern world.  Because of the constant buzz in our technological world, it's easy to forget how important communicating face-to-face is. When conversing old-school style, it's not only speech we verbalize that matters, but what our non-verbal gestures articulate as well.
Body language is truly a language of its own. We all have quirks and habits that are uniquely our own. What does your body language say about you? And what can you learn about others by becoming aware of what some of the signs mean?

I thought it would be fun to list some of the well-known signs that body language experts study and recognize. It is said that when talking to a person the information that we receive can be broken down as:
  • 10% from what the person actually says
  • 40% from the tone and speed of voice
  • 50% is from their body language.

HEAD

  • Lowering one's head can signal a lack of confidence. If someone lowers their head when complimented, they may be shy or timid
  •  Touching or tugging at one's ear can indicate indecisiveness
  • Sincere smiles encompass the whole face (noticeable in the eyes)
  • A false smile usually only engages the lips
  • Tilting one's head can symbolize interest in something or someone
  • Overly tilted heads can be a sign of sympathy
  • Closing of eyes or pinching at the bridge of one's nose is often done when making a negative evaluation
  • When a listener nods, this is usually a positive message and relays that they are interested and paying attention
  • However, excessive nodding can imply that the listener has lost interest but doesn't want to be rude
  • Touching/rubbing one's nose may indicate doubtfulness or rejection of an idea
  • Sticking out one's chin toward another may show defiance
  • Resting a hand on one's cheek is often done if they are thinking or pondering; and stroking the chin can mean the person is trying to make a decision

UPPER BODY

  • Pushing back one's shoulders can demonstrate power and courage
  • Open arms means one is comfortable with being approached and willing to talk/communicate
  • Folded arms show that there is a sort of barricade between them and other people (or their surroundings) and indicate dissatisfaction
  • Resting one's arms behind their neck shows that they are open to what is being discussed and interested in listening more
  • Pointing one's finger can be construed as aggression or assertiveness
  • Touching the front of the neck can show that someone is interested and concerned about what another is saying
  • Hand movements that are upward & outward signify positive and open messages
  • Palms that are faced outwards towards another indicate one's wish to stop and not approach
  • If one's fingers are interlaced or if the finger tips are pressed together, it usually shows that a person is thinking and evaluating
  • If offering ideas to other people, many times the sides of one's palms are close together, with fingers extended

LOWER BODY

  • Putting your hands on your hips can show eagerness and readiness (also, at times, aggression)
  • Hips pushed forward, while leaning back can show that one feels powerful (also can be a suggestive gesture)
  • A wide stance - where one's feet are positioned far apart - signifies more power and dominance
  • When one sits with legs open and part, they might feel secure in their surroundings
  • Crossed legs can mean several things: relaxed/comfortable, or defensive - depending on how tense the leg muscles are
  • When you cross your legs towards another person, you are showing more interest in them than when they are crossed away in the other direction
  • A confident and powerful position is the "Figure of Four Cross" when one's ankle is atop the other leg's knee and the top leg is pointed sideways
  • Bouncing your foot if your legs are crossed can show that you are bored or losing patience

EYES

  • The lowering of the eyes can convey fear, guilt or submission
  • Lowered eyebrows and squinted eyes illustrate an attempt at understanding what is being said or going on
  • A lack of confidence or apprehensiveness can be displayed when you don't look another person in the eyes
  • One tends to blink more often if nervous or trying to evaluate someone else
  • If you look directly into another person's eyes you are displaying self-assurance
  • Wide eyes show more of an interest in a subject or person
  • If you are irritated with a comment made by another during a conversation, a common movement is to take a quick glance sideways
  • Staring at someone can be an aggressive gesture or suggest that the one staring feels dominant
  • Recalling a memory is usually done by looking up and to the right
  • Looking directly upwards can indicate that one is thinking
  • Eye contact is normally broken if someone feels insulted by another


Sunday, 14 April 2013

11 Facts About The Ambidextrous


1. If you can write equally well with either hand, then you are the one percent. Even among the small population of ‘multi-handed’ individuals, very few experience equal ease and skill with both hands. In comparison, around 10% of people are lefties.
2. Right-, left- and mixed-handedness aren’t sufficient to define the preferences of most people, according to experts. Most people experience some level of cross-dominance — favoring one hand for certain tasks, even if it’s the non-dominant one — and among the group of people who use both hands, there are even finer distinctions. Ambidextral refers to those who can use both hands as well as a right-hander’s right hand (so, really well), and ambisinistral can be used to describe people who use both hands as well as a right-hander’s left hand (that is, somewhat clumsily).
3. Unlike righties, who show strong left brain dominance, the hemispheres of ambidextrous and left-handed people’s brains are almost symmetric...
4. ... as is the typical brain of a person with synesthesia, or “mixed senses,” who experiences cross-sensory perception. Among synesthetes, the instance of ambidexterity (and left-handedness) is much higher than in the general population.
5. The ambidextrous are more likely to possess the LRRTM1 gene (on chromosome 2), which is linked to schizophrenia. Studies reveal that people with schizophrenia are significantly more likely to be ambidextrous or left-handed than people who are not schizophrenic.
6. Another study, conducted through the BBC Science website, shows that of the one percent of 255,000 respondents who indicated equal ease writing with both hands, 9.2% of men and 15.6% of women reported being bisexual. In the same study, 4% of right-handed and 4.5% of left-handed men, and 6.2% of right-handed and 6.3% of left-handed women said they’re attracted to both sexes.
7. People who identify as ‘either-handed’ score slightly lower overall in general intelligence testing, and most often those scores are lower in arithmetic, memory and reasoning...
8. ... except when they aren’t. A study of 8000 children ages 7 and 8 shows that the 87 mixed-handed students had more pronounced difficulties in language skills, and at ages 15 and 16, the same students showed a higher risk of ADHD symptoms and performed academically under both right- and left-handed students from the same sample.
9. Ambis can be quick to anger, according to a study from Merrimack College, which suggests a higher interlinking of brain hemispheres found in ambidextrous and lefties. A follow-up study found that the increased hemisphere connections correlate to increased awkwardness, clumsiness and moodiness.
10. But inconsistent-handers can also be easier to sway emotionally. Montclair State University tested a group of right- left and either-handers for emotional stability. Their findings report that of the group, righties were hardest to coerce, and ambis were most likely to report a change in mood based on their surroundings, directed thought, and music.
11. It’s not all bad news for the handedness-ambivalent, though. Being able to use both hands with (almost) equal ease can really pay off, especially in sports, arts and music. Some reportedly cross-dominant celebrities and historic figures include Leonardo da Vinci, Pete Rose, Richard Feynmen, pitcher Greg A. Harris, Michelle Kwan, Shigeru Miyamoto, Paul McCartney, Benjamin Franklin and Harry Truman.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Healing Qualities Of Hypnosis

Marie McBrown was invited to test whether or not hypnosis would help heal the scars from her breast surgery. Marie (not her real name) and 17 other women underwent surgery to reduce their breast size.
It's a common operation for women whose breasts are large enough to cause back and shoulder strain, interfere with routine tasks, or prompt social and psychological problems. The pain and course of healing from such surgery is well-known, and a team of researchers headed by Carol Ginandes of Harvard Medical School and Patricia Brooks of the Union Institute in Cincinnati wanted to determine if hypnosis could speed wound healing and recovery.

"Hypnosis has been used in Western medicine for more than 150 years to treat everything from anxiety to pain, from easing the nausea of cancer chemotherapy to enhancing sports performance," Ginandes says. A list of applications she provides includes treatment of phobias, panic, low self-esteem, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, stress, smoking, colitis, warts, headaches, and high blood pressure.

"All these functional uses may help a person feel better," Ginandes continues. "I am also interested in using hypnosis to help people get better physically. That means using the mind to make structural changes in the body, to accelerate healing at the tissue level."

Four years ago, Ginandes and Daniel Rosenthal, professor of radiology at the Harvard Medical School, published a report on their study of hypnosis to speed up the mending of broken bones. They recruited 12 people with broken ankles who did not require surgery and who received the usual treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. In addition, Ginandes hypnotized half of them once a week for 12 weeks, while the other half received only normal treatment. The same doctor applied the casts and other care, and the same radiologists took regular X-rays to monitor how well they healed. A radiologist who evaluated the X-rays did not know which patients underwent hypnosis.

The result stood out like a sore ankle. Those who were hypnotized healed faster than those who were not. Six weeks after the fracture, those in the hypnosis group showed the equivalent of eight and a half weeks of healing.

How to hypnotize

Not everyone is convinced by the results. Some experts claim that the differences can be explained by the extra attention - the increased psychological support - given to the hypnotized patients. So when she was ready to try hypnosis again on 18 breast surgery patients, Ginandes randomly separated them into three groups. All got the same surgical care by the same doctors. Six received standard care only, six also received attention and support and from a psychologist, and six underwent hypnosis before and after their surgery.

Hypnosis sessions occurred once a week for eight weeks. Psychological soothing took place on the same schedule.

Ginandes did not put the patients to sleep by swinging a watch like a pendulum while the patients lay on a couch. "That only happens in the movies," she laughs. "In hypnosis, people don't lose control and go into a zombie-like state where they can be made to do things against their will. They don't have to lie down, you can enter a state of hypnosis standing up, even standing on your head. Patients don't even go to sleep, rather, they enter a state of absorbed awareness, not unlike losing oneself in a good book or favorite piece of music."

While in this state, Ginandes offered suggestions that were custom-tailored to different stages of surgery and healing, Before surgery, the suggestions emphasized lessening pain and anxiety. "You can even suggest to a patient that she can reduce bleeding during surgery by controlling her blood flow," Ginandes notes. Overall, the suggestions focused on things such as expectation of comfort, decreased inflammation, diminished scar tissue, accelerated wound healing, return to normal activities, and adjustments to self-image.

The women received audio tapes of these sessions so they could practice at home.

At one week and seven weeks after surgery, nurses and doctors participating in the study visibly assessed and measured the wounds of all three groups without knowing which group the women were in. They took digital photographs for three physicians to review. Each patient also rated her own healing progress and how much pain she felt on scales of zero to 10.

The result was clear. Marie McBrown and the women who had undergone hypnosis healed significantly faster than the others. Those who received supportive attention came in second.

From hooey to hurrah

The researchers reported these results in the April issue of the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. This report, of course, doesn't prove conclusively that hypnosis will accelerate the healing of wounds. The biggest limitation of the study involves the small number of patients, which makes it difficult to generalize the results to other types of wounds. Then there is the possible effect of expectation, the belief of some patients that hypnotism will work. It's the same effect seen when people who take a sugar pill for a backache do as well as people who take medicine. It's going to require more studies involving many more people to get the majority of doctors to shout hurrah instead of hooey.

Ginandes agrees. "Our study underscores the need for further scientific testing of hypnosis," she says. "Subsequent studies might clarify unresolved speculations about the mechanisms by which hypnotic suggestion can trigger the physical and psychological effects that we see."

She and her colleagues suggest future experiments to compare the effects of simple hypnotic relaxation versus "targeted suggestions for tissue healing." They would also like to see more work done using hypnosis for people suffering from other kinds of wounds, such as foot ulcers caused by diabetes.

Nevertheless, Ginandes believes that the study of healing after breast surgery "breaks the ground for studying a broad and exciting range of new adjunctive treatments. Since clinical hypnosis is a noninvasive, nondrug treatment, finding that it can speed healing of wounds and other conditions could lead to fewer visits to doctors' offices and faster return to normal activities. Also, further investigation might confirm our supposition that the mind can influence healing of the body."

By William J. Cromie

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Video: What If Money Was No Object?


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

22 Things Happy People Do Differently


This article is from Chiara Fucarino. Enjoy!

There are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy. Contrary to popular belief, happiness doesn’t come from fame, fortune, other people, or material possessions. Rather, it comes from within. The richest person in the world could be miserable while a homeless person could be right outside, smiling and content with their life. Happy people are happy because they make themselves happy. They maintain a positive outlook on life and remain at peace with themselves.

The question is: how do they do that?

It’s quite simple. Happy people have good habits that enhance their lives. They do things differently. Ask any happy person, and they will tell you that they …

1. Don’t hold grudges.

Happy people understand that it’s better to forgive and forget than to let their negative feelings crowd out their positive feelings. Holding a grudge has a lot of detrimental effects on your wellbeing, including increased depression, anxiety, and stress. Why let anyone who has wronged you have power over you? If you let go of all your grudges, you’ll gain a clear conscience and enough energy to enjoy the good things in life.

2. Treat everyone with kindness.

Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that being kind makes you happier? Every time you perform a selfless act, your brain produces serotonin, a hormone that eases tension and lifts your spirits. Not only that, but treating people with love, dignity, and respect also allows you to build stronger relationships.

3. See problems as challenges.

The word “problem” is never part of a happy person’s vocabulary. A problem is viewed as a drawback, a struggle, or an unstable situation while a challenge is viewed as something positive like an opportunity, a task, or a dare. Whenever you face an obstacle, try looking at it as a challenge.

4. Express gratitude for what they already have.

There’s a popular saying that goes something like this: “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.” You will have a deeper sense of contentment if you count your blessings instead of yearning for what you don’t have.

5. Dream big.

People who get into the habit of dreaming big are more likely to accomplish their goals than those who don’t. If you dare to dream big, your mind will put itself in a focused and positive state.

6. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Happy people ask themselves, “Will this problem matter a year from now?” They understand that life’s too short to get worked up over trivial situations. Letting things roll off your back will definitely put you at ease to enjoy the more important things in life.

7. Speak well of others.

Being nice feels better than being mean. As fun as gossiping is, it usually leaves you feeling guilty and resentful. Saying nice things about other people encourages you to think positive, non-judgmental thoughts.

8. Never make excuses.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Happy people don’t make excuses or blame others for their own failures in life. Instead, they own up to their mistakes and, by doing so, they proactively try to change for the better.

9. Get absorbed into the present.

Happy people don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. They savor the present. They let themselves get immersed in whatever they’re doing at the moment. Stop and smell the roses.

10. Wake up at the same time every morning.
Have you noticed that a lot of successful people tend to be early risers? Waking up at the same time every morning stabilizes your circadian rhythm, increases productivity, and puts you in a calm and centered state.

11. Avoid social comparison.
Everyone works at his own pace, so why compare yourself to others? If you think you’re better than someone else, you gain an unhealthy sense of superiority. If you think someone else is better than you, you end up feeling bad about yourself. You’ll be happier if you focus on your own progress and praise others on theirs.

12. Choose friends wisely.
Misery loves company. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with optimistic people who will encourage you to achieve your goals. The more positive energy you have around you, the better you will feel about yourself.

13. Never seek approval from others.
Happy people don’t care what others think of them. They follow their own hearts without letting naysayers discourage them. They understand that it’s impossible to please everyone. Listen to what people have to say, but never seek anyone’s approval but your own.

14. Take the time to listen.
Talk less; listen more. Listening keeps your mind open to others’ wisdoms and outlooks on the world. The more intensely you listen, the quieter your mind gets, and the more content you feel.

15. Nurture social relationships.

A lonely person is a miserable person. Happy people understand how important it is to have strong, healthy relationships. Always take the time to see and talk to your family, friends, or significant other.

16. Meditate.

Meditating silences your mind and helps you find inner peace. You don’t have to be a zen master to pull it off. Happy people know how to silence their minds anywhere and anytime they need to calm their nerves.

17. Eat well.
Junk food makes you sluggish, and it’s difficult to be happy when you’re in that kind of state. Everything you eat directly affects your body’s ability to produce hormones, which will dictate your moods, energy, and mental focus. Be sure to eat foods that will keep your mind and body in good shape.

18. Exercise.

Studies have shown that exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft does. Exercising also boosts your self-esteem and gives you a higher sense of self-accomplishment.

19. Live minimally.

Happy people rarely keep clutter around the house because they know that extra belongings weigh them down and make them feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Some studies have concluded that Europeans are a lot happier than Americans are, which is interesting because they live in smaller homes, drive simpler cars, and own fewer items.

20. Tell the truth.

Lying stresses you out, corrodes your self-esteem, and makes you unlikeable. The truth will set you free. Being honest improves your mental health and builds others’ trust in you. Always be truthful, and never apologize for it.

21. Establish personal control.
Happy people have the ability to choose their own destinies. They don’t let others tell them how they should live their lives. Being in complete control of one’s own life brings positive feelings and a great sense of self-worth.

22. Accept what cannot be changed.

Once you accept the fact that life is not fair, you’ll be more at peace with yourself. Instead of obsessing over how unfair life is, just focus on what you can control and change it for the better.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Age Only A Mental Barrier?


To look good and feel good is work. To look great and feel great is a full-time job. There is no cheating! It's daily! Minute-by-minute, second-by-second. This is the process I love and love to work at. The reward is liking myself and living a creative life. I will turn 90 on April 4 and hope I can still create this in 10 years time.
Life in itself is a challenge and you can either, accept it and take action, or you can sit and do nothing. My advice is there is only one winner: accept the challenge, take action and get on with your life no matter what age.
I'm not aware of being 90. I'm aware of feeling physically as good as I have ever felt and mentally even better. I practice dance and workout every day. This body has to know who's boss and being 90 and feeling 20 is as good as it gets! People ask me all the time what's my secret. I tell them move, learn and listen.
The reward is a healthy body and mind. I'm totally selfish in that me and my body and mind are one. We are partners and we work play and live as one. So if that is so, we can't sit around and think about tomorrow. Our body and mind has to be trained from the first breath, otherwise it's down hill all the way. Numbers and dwelling on age is a trap. There is no age, it's living each moment to it's fullest.
I started my own fashion label at 50, became a musician and learned Italian and French in my 70s, took tango and trapeze at 80 and walked into my first yoga class at 85. So, if you think you're old, think again!
What inspires me is the process of learning. Inspiration creates creativity and creativity creates a better life. I like experimenting and have no fear of trying something new, so flying high on a trapeze at 80 was never a question. Becoming a musician late in my life was not accidental. It was meant to be.
I love to move and exercise, so my work out regime consists of yoga, tango, jump rope, hiking with my poodle Nicko and playing tennis.
Yoga gives you a life you didn't have yesterday. It's a wakeup call to every cell in your body. Every muscle sits up and pays attention. I live to do yoga and I do it to live.
Do every pose as good as you can and then do it a little better. I have arthritis in my spine, but I can do a full back bend, headstand and splits.
Dance has always been my passion. I had my first ballet lesson at 14 and knew then dance would be my life. Four years later I was performing in a night club in Boston and soon after that I was performing on Broadway.
Bloomer Girl, Oklahoma, Brigadoon, High Button Shoes and Kismet. I then went to Rio de Janeiro with the Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo. So from age 18, work was constant and life was and is really good. I'm still working creatively and love what I'm doing and have no intention of changing direction.
I have realized, that anything is possible, if you like who you are and what you do. Yes, anything is possible and even probable.
If you don't train the body every day it withers. If you don't train the mind everyday, you lose it. That's why I learned Italian and French, as learning a language is a great mental exercise. I then challenged myself to write music. I wrote the music and lyrics for my first song "Free Fall," which was inspired by flying on the trapeze. A CD followed with 12 songs: Scenes Of Passion. And then six tangos for Tango Insomnia. I now write short songs daily about things I do.
Tango dancing is a fantastic exercise, as it's physical and emotional. It's the only time, when I turn off my mind and just dance, so I am in the moment. To look effortless in dance is sheer beauty. That's my desire. I'm still performing, as it keeps my body in tune, is good for my memory and it makes my life a joy. A triple Boleo in the air would make my journey complete. Marcos (my teacher/dance partner) says it will take two years. I tell him, I have time!
I admit, I'm driven but I'm driven by desire and that's the formula. Desire is so powerful, like you are propelled as if from a canon. Desire to me is the driving force, but action is the result.
Working and accomplishing something mental and physical makes my day worth living and suddenly there is a break through, another step on the ladder. I don't give up. The sun and moon are there for everyone. The journey is worth it! This trip has been good to me and I wouldn't trade it for all the stars in the universe.
There is a way to beat the clock. Stay fit and enjoy the journey. Accept the challenge and go for it!
That's what I did!
By Phyllis Sues

Friday, 5 April 2013

Do Magic Mushrooms Alter Personality For The Better?


Forty-five years after Timothy Leary, the apostle of drug-induced mysticism, urged his hippie followers to "turn on, tune in and drop out", researchers have found that magic mushrooms do change a user's personality – for the better.

The fungi have long been known for their psychedelic effects, but far from damaging the brain, the hallucinogenic drug they contain enhances feelings and aesthetic sensibilities, scientists say. The study, at Johns Hopkins University of Medicine in Baltimore, found that a single dose of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, was enough to cause positive effects for up to a year.

"Psilocybin can facilitate experiences that change how people perceive themselves and their environment," said Roland Griffiths, a study author and professor of psychiatry and behavioural science at Johns Hopkins. "That's unprecedented."

Users who had a "mystical experience" while taking the drug showed increases in a personality trait dubbed "openness", one of the five major traits used in psychology to describe human personality. Openness is associated with imagination, artistic appreciation, feelings, abstract ideas and general broad-mindedness. None of the other four traits – extroversion, neuroticism, agreeableness and conscientiousness – was altered.

Under controlled scientific conditions, researchers gave 51 adults either psilocybin or a placebo in up to five eight-hour sessions. They were told to lie on a sofa with their eyes covered and listen to music while focusing on an "inner experience".

Their personalities were screened after each drug session and also about a year later. Of the 51, 30 had a mystical experience, after which their openness scores rose, and remained higher for up to a year after the tests. The 21 who did not have a mystical experience showed no change.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

6 Steps To Fall Asleep Fast


Can't get a good night's sleep? You're not alone. In surveys of what would improve people's lives, a good night's sleep frequently comes near the top of the list.
Poor sleep results in worse cognitive performance, including degraded memory, attention, performance and alertness. And in the long term insomnia is also associated with anxiety and depression. And people's sleep gets worse as they get older. After 65 years old, between 12% and 40% of people have insomnia.
All sorts of methods have been tried to combat poor sleep, from drugs through psychological remedies to more outlandish treatments.
The problem with drugs is that they have side-effects and are often addictive. The problem with the more outlandish treatments is that although they tend not to have side-effects, we don't know if they have any effect at all. Psychological remedies, though, combine the best of both worlds: studies show they work without side-effects.
Stimulus Control Therapy
Professor Richard R. Bootzin has been researching sleep disorders for many years at the University of Arizona Sleep Research Lab. Writing in the Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, he describes the different psychological approaches that have been used to treat insomnia (Bootzin & Epstein, 2011).
Of these the most successful single intervention is called Stimulus Control Therapy (Morin et al., 2006). You'll be happy to hear it consists of six very straightforward steps. If you follow these it should improve your sleep. After the list I'll explain the thinking behind them. First, here are their six steps:
1. Lie down to go to sleep only when you are sleepy.
2. Do not use your bed for anything except sleep; that is, do not read, watch television, eat, or worry in bed. Sexual activity is the only exception to this rule. On such occasions, the instructions are to be followed afterwards, when you intend to go to sleep.
3. If you find yourself unable to fall asleep, get up and go into another room. Stay up as long as you wish and then return to the bedroom to sleep. Although we do not want you to watch the clock, we want you to get out of bed if you do not fall asleep immediately. Remember the goal is to associate your bed with falling asleep quickly! If you are in bed more than about 10 minutes without falling asleep and have not gotten up, you are not following this instruction.
4. If you still cannot fall asleep, repeat step 3. Do this as often as is necessary throughout the night.
5. Set your alarm and get up at the same time every morning irrespective of how much sleep you got during the night. This will help your body acquire a consistent sleep rhythm.
6. Do not nap during the day.

Why it works

This method is based on the idea that we are like Pavlov's drooling dog. We attach certain stimuli in the environment to certain thoughts and behaviours. Famously Pavlov's dogs would start drooling when a bell rang, because they associated hearing the bell with getting food. Eventually the dogs would drool at the sound of the bell even when they didn't get any food. Replace the bell with a bed and food with sleep and conceptually you're there.
If we learn to do all kinds of things in bed that aren't sleep, then when we do want to use it for sleep, it's harder because of those other associations.
This is just as true of thoughts as it is of actions. It's important to avoid watching TV in bed, but it's also important to avoid lying in bed worrying about not being able to get to sleep. Because then you learn to associate bed with worry. Worse, you suffer anticipatory anxiety: anxiety about the anxiety you'll feel when you are trying to get to sleep.
So, this therapy works by strengthening the association between bed and sleep and weakening the association between bed and everything else (apart from sex!).
Other treatments supported by the research are progressive muscle relaxation, which is exactly what it sounds like, and paradoxical intention. This latter technique involves stopping people trying so hard to get to sleep. The paradox being that when people stop trying so hard, they find it easier to fall asleep.
All this assumes you don't live next door to a late night drummer and you're not downing a double espresso before hitting the sack, but those sorts of things are pretty obvious. Everything else being equal, though, Stimulus Control Therapy seems the easiest for most people to implement.