Saturday, February 21, 2015

Just eat, don't agonise...

Science/medicine becomes more deranged, but, there is also no doubt that obsession with what one eats, a Western indulgence where people can waste time agonising over what they will eat, while many in the Third World only agonise over, IF they will eat, is not healthy either.
Our bodies have evolved to eat a variety of foods and optimal nutrition will always come from firstly, fresh, which generally means as local as possible and home-prepared and minimally processed as many different foods as possible, to maximise nutritional opportunities.
Beyond that, food and eating should be a pleasure and where you agonise over counting calories or nutrient values or whether it is 'bad' or 'good' for you, or in this quantity or that quantity, or eaten with this food or that food, at this time or that time, sigh, then it no longer becomes a pleasure.
More to the point, stress levels rise affecting digestion and assimilation and your nutrient levels go down. Food is the first and best medicine but mostly it is simply one of life's greatest pleasures and not to be taken too seriously.
Whatever you eat, if you have robust health then you have no worries. If you have health issues then by all means spend a bit of time ensuring you get a lot of fresh, a lot of variety and even more enjoyment.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Look after the only body you will ever this life anyway.

In an age where science/medicine dominates with a philosophy of 'cut it out' or 'drug it under' it is hardly surprising that so many people believe there can be a 'quick fix' in the form of pill or product.
Whether it is supplements or the delusion of 'superfoods' it all rests on the same erroneous base as science/medicine, i.e. that the body is a machine or bag of chemicals and you can 'tinker' with it as you would something mechanical or chemical and, in an instant, your 'problem' is solved.
The fact that this belief system is sourced in no reality or anything approximating the biological and physiological nature of the human organism, has not deterred science/medicine one whit, and continues to play a part in social attitudes and beliefs.
There is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to disease and science/medicine knows that even as it continues to pretend there might be. There is no 'magic pill' which can cure or heal. There is no magic food or potion, Allopathic or organic, which can fix anyone and everyone and anything and everything.
There is only the human body, unique and individual on every count, which succumbs to dis-ease for its own reasons, sourced in a huge variety of factors known and yet to be discovered, including, emotional, psychological, spiritual, circumstantial, experiential, physiological, biological, physical... and probably in that sort of order.
What is also certain is that the 'one pill fix' is no more effective whatever the source. There is no doubt that 'medicine' in all of its forms, when prescribed by a qualified professional, can help, although with iatrogenic - doctor or medical induced - now the third biggest killer in the US, most of it from pharmaceuticals, and the fourth biggest killer elsewhere, it is very clear that the most dangerous forms of medication are Allopathic.
That is not to say that Herbal Medicine cannot kill or harm you, for it can, nor that self-prescribed supplements cannot do harm, for they can. Each needs to be approached with caution and not used unless prescribed by a qualified professional.
Medical modalities like Acupuncture and Homeopathy cannot hurt you but they also require expert diagnosis and prescription if they are to be optimally effective.
At the end of the day the body heals and cures, all else is support. The problem with things like 'superfoods' is that, as with all things, unless they are correct for you and taken in the correct dose, they are likely to do little good and can do some harm. Certainly, they will never do the harm that pharmaceuticals do, but they can do harm.
Worse, they encourage this erroneous and dangerous belief that we can maintain or restore health with no effort beyond the 'quick fix.'
The body 'speaks' in symptoms and when we listen to the language of the body we can come to understand what is at work in us and what it is our psyche and soma need for optimal health. The process is slow. There is no quick fix. We need to be aware, observant, attentive, considered and considerate.
Health is a lifelong process and while obsession is neither wise or required, attention is crucial. Listen to your body, respect your body, treat your body with love and care, eat food which contains optimal nutrition and prepare the food with care. Enjoy what you eat. Food remains the first and best medicine and while supports may be needed at times, if you are measured, sensible, moderate and informed about what you eat, your health will be the better for it.
I also believe that enjoying the preparation and eating of food is the greatest act of love and the best medicine of all. You do not need miracle foods or pills - you need to spend the time looking after the only body you will ever have.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Do we choose our feelings or do they choose us?

I have been having an interesting conversation regarding feelings. I believe that feelings are innate and instinctive and not chosen, while others believe that we choose what we feel.

We can certainly create an environment where we are likely to feel a certain way but that is different to a reaction to a given situation where, for instance, we feel hurt.

I believe that feelings just are, and require only to be felt, or honoured. We can then, if we are self-aware, choose what we do with those feelings and how we respond to the situation or the person who has triggered those feelings of hurt. We do not choose how we feel about what happens in the moment, but we do choose, or we can choose, where it takes us.

Human beings are hardwired to connect and connection is really just the technical term for love in its various forms. Research shows that the more connected we feel the more optimal is our immune function and health, so, that feeling connected, or feeling loved is an innate part of the human condition.


It is natural that in situations which indicate a 'disconnect' or 'lack of love' that we would have an instinctive and natural response as part of our 'warning system.' It is also natural that in such situations we should experience feelings which make us aware because that is part of our evolutionary survival 'kit.'


Feeling 'hurt' is a message which we need to hear for a variety of reasons, otherwise we would not experience such feelings. As an organism our body knows that 'disconnection' is 'dangerous' and never more so than when the 'disconnection' is with someone we love, i.e. with whom we have an important, supportive, loving and connected relationship.


Human beings have been created to feel and if it required thought to feel then babies and small children, before the age of true 'consciousness' would just not feel and we know that is not the case. They feel and they feel deeply. In fact, up until about seven, children are all feelings and little thought - well, little focussed thought.


So, if babies and children feel without the capacity to 'think' a feeling into existence, that says feelings are innate and instinctive, and I relate that to our hard-wired need for connection. Studies of babies and children in orphanages with poor care, has shown that those who are not touched or 'connected' with carers, have poor health and often die. We cannot survive without physical, emotional and psychological connection with others and so it is logical that the 'loss' of such connections, or the threat of loss, would trigger feelings which both warn and allow process.

Feeling hurt, if we study it closely, involves all sorts of emotions - fear, grief, sadness, anger - sourced in a sense of 'loss' or disconnection. Some people are so easily hurt that the actions of a stranger can cause them pain, but, most of us are only hurt by the actions of those we love, and I would add, trust.

There is a sliding scale of relationship based on knowledge, history, commitment and emotional connection where the same actions by a stranger in a queue would not have the equal impact on you, as those actions would from someone with whom you have a strong, committed and loving relationship.

And that is because there is no real connection with the stranger and so, any cruelty, rejection or unkindness does not create a sense of 'loss' or betrayal and so there is no capacity, in a healthy psyche, to feel 'hurt.'

I know it is a common approach in psychology to take a behavioural approach and to believe that we choose what we feel in any situation but human beings are far too complex to be reduced to mechanics and behaviour and there is not anyway, 'one size which fits all.'

Just as we do not choose to laugh or cry, but we can stop ourselves from laughing or crying, so too we do not choose to feel, although we can 'stop' ourselves from feeling. Although in truth, we do not stop the tears, laughter or feelings but merely suppress them where they will express themselves in some other way because, particularly with feelings, the physical experience must and will, be somehow felt. I am sure dreams play a part in releasing, expressing, honouring, feelings which are not allowed to be known consciously.

Quite some years ago when I saw a therapist for a short time she asked me: What comes first, the thought or the feeling?

I was not sure. I think I said 'thought' because I am more in touch with thoughts than feelings, or, I was then, but I continued to reflect on many occasions in the years that followed, as to her question.

The question raised my sense of self-awareness and I came to see that for me anyway, what came first was the feeling. Then I would apply thoughts to rationalise the feeling. It may well be different for others.

And while there is no doubt that what we 'think' can encourage, maintain and influence how we feel, the reality is that our responses to certain situations are feelings first, which come of their own accord and which are not chosen, and then we rummage through, unconsciously and consciously, the 'chest' of thoughts which might explain the feelings.

At least that is how it is for me. Others no doubt are different. Having said that, this is how I see it:

1. Feeling hurt because of the actions of others is not about allocation of blame. It is purely a reaction to a situation.

2. Feeling hurt because of the actions of others is a reaction in the moment and while grieving may take some time, the feelings of hurt should be short-lived and when processed in a healthy way, enable insight and assist grieving.

3. Feeling hurt because of the actions of others will last longer for some than others, and will depend on circumstances, but such feelings should not be enduring.

4. Feeling hurt because of the actions of others is something for personal processing and while, if any apologies are forthcoming, and are to be welcomed, is not something which requires the involvement of the person responsible for the actions.

5. Feeling hurt because of the actions of others is a reaction over which we have no control - they are just feelings. But, any responses we might make due to feelings of hurt, are within our control and are our responsibility and are not the responsibility of the person whose actions triggered the original hurt.

And I feel and think this is also good advice:

We can’t choose how we feel, but we can choose how we act in response to our feelings.

We can choose to sit with discomfort.

To feel our feelings.

To feel the loneliness and anger, the sadness and disappointment.

Unpleasant feelings don’t last forever.

They’re like waves.

The come in strong, until they peek and then ripple away.

Choose to ride the wave.

This too will pass.

Instead of disregarding the feeling or numbing out, develop an awareness.

There is always a reason behind our feelings.

Feelings are not the enemy.

They are messengers.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In forty years measles has morphed from something funny to something akin to the Black Death! Why?

In the 1970's a heap of kids coming down with measles was the subject of laughter in the popular television show, The Brady Bunch.
Fast forward to 2015 - the mere mention of measles now has people hysterical as if it were the Black Death?
What changed?
Quote: Early in the last century, measles killed millions of people a year. Then, bit by bit in countries of the developed world, the death rate dropped, by the 1960s by 98% or more. In the U.K., it dropped by an astounding 99.96%. And then, the measles vaccine entered the market.
After the vaccine’s introduction, the measles death rate continued to drop into the 1970s. Many scientists credit the continued decline entirely to the vaccine. Other scientists believe the vaccine played a minor role, if that, noting that most infectious diseases similarly petered out during the 20th century, including some, like scarlet fever, for which vaccines were never developed.
The credit for the century-long decline, scientists generally agree, goes to improved nutrition and improved health care, side effects of the West’s growing affluence. In the U.S., the death rate dropped by about 98%, from about 10 per 100,000 population a century ago to one fifth of one person by 1963, the year measles vaccines made their American debut. Both before and after vaccination started, victims tended to be poor.
A study in the American Journal of Public Health, “Measles mortality in the United States 1971-1975,” found the measles death rate to be almost 10 times higher among families whose median income was less than $5,000 than among families whose income exceeded a modest $10,000. Families outside metropolitan areas, who tended to have poor healthcare, had three times the death rate.
An earlier, landmark study in the American Journal of Epidemiology by the Center for Disease Control’s Roger Barkin found similar disturbing results of measles’ toll on the disadvantaged. Here race entered the picture because black children were disproportionately victimized, not by the measles virus per se but by poverty. A poor black child and a poor white child had the same high chance of dying from measles, but because white children rarely lived in abject poverty, measles claimed the blacks.
Measles didn’t only discriminate by income — in another study, Barkin found that children with underlying diseases were particularly vulnerable, and that the “majority of this group were physically or mentally retarded, or both.” The realization that measles was selective in whom it killed led Barkin to emphasize that vulnerable populations, rather than the general population, should be targeted for measles vaccination.
In the pre-vaccine era, when the natural measles virus infected the entire population, measles — “typically a benign childhood illness,” as Clinical Pediatrics described it — was welcomed for providing lifetime immunity, thus avoiding dangerous adult infections. In today’s vaccine era, adults have accounted for one quarter to one half of measles cases; most of them involve pneumonia, one-quarter of them hospitalization.
Also importantly, measles during pregnancies have risen dangerously because expectant mothers no longer have lifetime immunity. Today’s vaccinated expectant mothers are at risk because the measles vaccine wanes with time and because it often fails to protect against measles.
A study in Houston of 12 pregnant women and one who had just given birth, all of whom had measles, found one died, seven suffered pneumonia and seven hepatitis, four went through premature labour and one lost her child in a spontaneous abortion. A study of eight measles pregnancies in Japan found three ended in spontaneous abortions or stillbirths while four babies were born with congenital measles; two mothers endured pneumonia and one hemorrhagic shock. A Los Angeles study of 58 such pregnancies found 21 ended prematurely (three induced abortions, five spontaneous abortions and 13 preterm deliveries); 35 of the 58 mothers were hospitalized, 15 contracted pneumonia, and two died.
The danger extends to babies, whose bodies are too immature to receive measles vaccination before age one, making them entirely dependent on antibodies inherited from their mothers. In their first year out of the womb, infants suffer the highest rate of measles infections and the most lasting harm. Yet vaccinated mothers have little antibody to pass on — only about one-quarter as much as mothers protected by natural measles — leaving infants vulnerable three months after birth, according to a study last year in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. HIV-infected children, who may account for most recent measles-related child deaths, also suffer when their mothers have been vaccinated, since HIV further reduces the antibodies they inherit.
Factors such as these increased the death rate for adults and the very young, helping to reverse the decline in deaths seen in previous decades, according to a 2004 study in theJournal of Infectious Disease, authored by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Vaccines for measles have had spotty safety records. Soon after their introduction, the Vital Statistics of the United States began recording deaths from the measles vaccine, along with deaths from other vaccines. By 1970, one of the two original measles vaccines was withdrawn in Canada and the U.S. after causing atypical measles syndrome, a harsh disease triggering high rates of pneumonia. In 1975, the second original vaccine was withdrawn due to 103-degrees-plus fevers, among other severe side effects. Two variants of this vaccine also proved unsatisfactory. A measles vaccine then became part of the combination MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine in the 1980s, only to be withdrawn in 1990 by Canada and in 1992 by the manufacturer after reports from Canada, the U.S., Sweden and Japan blamed MMR for febrile convulsions, meningitis, deafness and deaths. A second version of MMR, now in widespread use, is believed safe by government officials.
Safety aside, vaccines repeatedly failed worldwide in the 1980s and 1990s. As described in “Measles Elimination in Canada”, a 2004 report authored by Canadian government officials and academics, “despite virtually 100% documented one-dose coverage in some regions, large outbreaks of measles involving thousands of cases persisted … Clearly, because of primary vaccine failure, Canada’s one-dose program was insufficient.”
The solution finally arrived at — adding a second dose for children — initially seemed to tame measles outbreaks. But in recent years, the new vaccination regime, too, has been failing, with widespread outbreaks again occurring, including among those who have received the recommended dose and especially among infants too young to be vaccinated, and thus unprotected because their mothers had been vaccinated. Now health experts, scrambling to find solutions, are suggesting numerous reforms, including earlier child vaccinations and second doses for adults.
Clearly, the science is not settled, making for parents a numbers game of the decision to vaccinate their children. Some parents rely on the press or health authorities to interpret the numbers. Others defy the authorities and weigh the risks in the numbers differently, in deciding what’s best for their own families. Who are these others? According to a survey in Pediatrics, unvaccinated children in the U.S. have a mother who is at least 30 years old, who has at least one college degree and whose household has an annual income of at least $75,000. In the absence of studies showing vaccinated children to be healthier than those unvaccinated, the parents in these educated households have determined that the numbers argue against vaccination.
Lawrence Solomon is research director of Consumer Policy
Several decades following the vaccine’s introduction, the measles death rate rose, largely because the vaccine made adults, expectant mothers and infants more vulnerable

Sunday, February 08, 2015

The fact that modern medicine is one of the top three killers is criminal.

What gets me is that the prevailing medical mindset runs counter to common sense, reason, physiology, biology, the human condition - mind and body even if you ignore soul - and any practice of true healing.
In times to come the insanity of science/medicine in believing that the human organism can be reduced to the material and mechanical and is no more than a machine/bag of chemicals, will have those who come after us, shaking their heads.
Then again, when money talks, reason, common sense and reality go out of the window. How can any medical professional today not be horrified that their industry, for it has become an industry more than a profession, is now the third biggest killer? How can that equate with 'do no harm?' Medication for life is not a cure and killing with your medical treatments is criminal.