Science says that technology is speeding up our brains’ perception of time


It’s not just you, this year went really fast.

Every year, it feels like time speeds up a little more. One day it’s Easter and then before you know it, some high school friend’s posting on Facebook about how there are only five more Fridays before Christmas (seriously, what the hell).

But it turns out it’s not just another downside of getting older – a psychologist has found evidence that our constant use of technology is making our brains more efficient at processing information, and as a result is tricking us into thinking time is passing faster than it really is.

“I’ve found some indication that interacting with technology and technocentric societies has increased some type of pacemaker within us,” said Aoife McLoughlin from James Cook University‘s Singapore campus. “While it might help us to work faster, it also makes us feel more pressured by time.”

Even though our near-constant use of technology is a relatively new phenomenon, the speed at which time passes is something that people have been concerned about for centuries. As far back as the French Revolution, there are reports of individuals complaining about the pace of modern life.

But McLoughlin has found evidence that our perception of time is now speeding up even faster thanks to smartphones. Her research looked at groups of people who are always connected to technology and those who rarely use it, and compared how each perceived the passage of time.

She found that those who were always online or on their computers or smartphones overestimated the amount of time that had passed compared to those who rarely used technology. So while sitting in room, they’d think that an hour had passed when it had only been 50 minutes. That perception difference could make them feel stressed because they were more likely to feel like time was running out than their disconnected peers.

And it wasn’t just those who used technology often – McLoughlin found that even people who read an advertisement for the latest iPad perceived time as passing more quickly than those who had read an excerpt from a non-technological novel.

“It’s almost as though we’re trying to emulate the technology and be speedier and more efficient,” McLoughlin told ScienceAlert. “It seems like there’s something about technology itself that primes us to increase that pacemaker inside of us that measures the passing of time.”

The findings back up the frequently issued advice that we should all take time to detach from social media and the Internet each week in order to slow down that pacemaker.

“What I’m arguing is that there is a genuine quantifiable cognitive basis for this advice, rather than it simply being about taking a step back,” said McLoughlin. “It’s a scientific reason to stop and smell the roses.”

But before you freak out and throw your iPhone into the ocean for stealing all the precious time you have left, McLoughlin is now looking into whether this phenomenon is having any long-term positive or negative effects on our lives.

Other research has shown that technology use can help us process information more efficiently, and actually become faster at performing tasks, which could help us save time in the long run.

“On the positive side, a faster processing speed may be an advantage in many circumstances,” said McLouhglin. But she’s also investigating the long-term effects of this speed-up.

“I feel it would lead to an increase in time-stress, which has been linked to heart disease, among other things,” she said. “High time-pressure is also significantly related to distress among both men and women, and is related to increased levels of depression in women who work outside of the home.”

So the good news is that time isn’t actually speeding up, only our brains are. The bad news is that we’re all too busy using technology to appreciate the extra time that buys us. Ah, the irony.

Scientists are Making a Thorium Engine That Can Run for 100 Years Without Refueling.


If your car was powered by thorium, you would never have to refuel it. The vehicle would burn out long before the chemical did. The thorium would last so long, actually, it would perhaps outlive you.

That’s why a company called Laser Power Systems has made a model for a thorium-powered car engine. The element is radioactive, and the team utilizes bits of it to construct a laser beam that heats water, yields steam, and powers an energy-producing turbine.

Thorium is one of the densest materials on the planet. A small sample of it packs 20 million times more energy than a same-sized sample of coal, making it a perfect energy source.

The thing is, Dr. Charles Stevens, the CEO of Laser Power Systems, told Mashable that thorium engines won’t be in cars anytime soon.

“Cars are not our primary concern,” Stevens said. “The automakers do not want to buy them.”

He said too much of the automobile industry is attentive to making money off of gas engines, and it will take at least a couple decades for thorium technology to be used enough in other industries that vehicle builders will start to consider refurbishing the way they think about engines.

“We’re building this to power the rest of the world,” Stevens said. He considers a thorium turbine about the size of an air conditioning unit could more deliver cheap power for whole restaurants, hotels, office buildings, even small towns in areas of the world without electricity. At some point, thorium could power singular homes.

Stevens understands that people may be wary of Thorium as it is radioactive — but any such worry would be groundless.

“The radiation that we develop off of one of these things can be isolated by a single sheet off of aluminum foil,” Stevens said.” “You will get more radiation from one of those dental X-rays than this.”

Fukushima’s radiation has finally arrived: U.S. mainland now covered with ‘invisible blanket of death’


5 discreet ‘weapons’ you can carry with you almost anywhere


While we’d all like to fully utilize our Second Amendment right to carry a firearm no matter where we go, the reality is that there are numerous restrictions on our right to keep and bear arms.

But even though we can’t take concealed weapons everywhere, there are alternatives, and this post examines five of the most common, yet discreet, objects that can be turned into weapons should the need arise for you to have to defend yourself.

In no particular order:

— Newspaper/magazine: Yes, you read that correctly, a rolled up newspaper or magazine can certain suffice as a quick makeshift weapon. The key is to ensure that you roll it up tightly and hold it in the right spot. Rolling it towards the fold means the pages would layer out so it will hold up better. You can also pre-roll a newspaper or magazine and keep it even tighter with rubber bands, though that might make it less discreet. See the video below:

— Small flashlights: These can readily be transformed into a gouging or striking weapon. Also, some mini-flashlights are being purposely designed to double as weapons (which has led some places like courthouses and some businesses to ban them, as well). But if you pick up a mini-light that is sturdy (preferably made of metal) you can definitely inflict some pain on an attacker. The best ones will fit in your pocket but be long enough to extend out both sides of your clenched fist.

 

— Cane/umbrella: These might be the most effective of all makeshift weapons on this list. Canes are generally very sturdy and while they aren’t carried by many these days, they also aren’t so odd that they make people question why you might have one.

Umbrellas can be tricky; many of them are flimsy and tend to open up if jostled too much. But one, models like the U-115work much more effectively as weapons, yet won’t typically be viewed as one. Drawback: If it’s not raining, you might look a bit out of place carrying an umbrella around. Still, most people might double-take when they walk past you but they aren’t going to ask you about your umbrella in any suspicious manner.

— Belt: A belt can be a very effective personal defense tool. The key is to find a belt (and pair of pants) that will enable you to pull the belt off quickly if you need to (and without our pants dropping to your ankles!).

— Pens: A good, sturdy pen makes an awesome weapon in a pinch. In fact, many people carry so-called tactical “survival” pens as part of their standard carry gear. But really, any pen can be used as a personal defense weapon; you really just need one that protrudes out of your clenched fist on one end about 2 inches or so. Check out the video below for a demo:

Watch the videos: https://youtu.be/r8dWFGuFOiI

 

Granted, some of these items won’t work in certain situations, but think “diversity” when preparing to venture out – that is, try to have a couple of these items with you at all times, so that you’ll have something with which to defend yourself when you have to leave your firearm behind.

How GMOs and Glyphosate (RoundUp) Impact Soil Biology


Robert Kremer Ph.D, co-author of the book Principles in Weed Management, is a certified soil scientist and professor of Soil Microbiology at the University of Missouri. He recently retired from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) where he worked as a microbiologist for 32 years. He’s conducted research since 1997 on genetically engineered (GE) crops.

In this interview he reveals how GE crops and glyphosate impact soil ecology and biology.

How GMOs and Glyphosate Impact Soil Biology

Roundup Causes Buildup of Pathogens on Root Systems

Prior to the advent of genetically engineered (GE) crops, his research projects were focused on plant and microorganism interactions in the soil.

It was well-known that one of the secondary mechanisms of actions of glyphosate was that it tended to cause the plant to become infected with opportunistic soil pathogens.

When the first transgenic plants came out around 1996, Kremer’s team decided to investigate whether the use of glyphosate on genetically engineered (GE) soybeans might attract certain soil pathogens like Fusarium.

While often considered as a pathogen, several species in the Fusarium genus can be beneficial in the environment, as they mediate decomposition of organic substances in the soil.

Other species are opportunistic, and if the conditions are just right on a plant, they will attack the plant and become pathogenic (infectious) under those circumstances.

What they found was that after application of Roundup (the active ingredient of which isglyphosate), there was always a buildup of soilborne Fusarium on soybean and corn root systems during the season.

“When you see that amount of Fusarium building up on a root system, you would suspect there would be a potential for disease development under ideal conditions,” Kremer says.

“As it turns out with soybean and corn, we identified four or five major species. We found actual disease-causing pathogenic species in only 10 to 20 percent of root samples that were assayed.

One is the causal agent of sudden death syndrome in soybean, which causes a wilt and root rot, primarily under wet soil conditions.

But interestingly, while we thought we would consistently detect this pathogen on roots of soybean treated with glyphosate, it was never a dominant species found in field soil or on the roots season after season.

What we did find were many other Fusarium species, some of which could be pathogenic or cause a disease under certain conditions.

Our main conclusion from that was that these soybean varieties, due to their genetic modification and glyphosate treatment, provided a soil environment very conducive for proliferation of Fusarium, thereby setting up a good potential for disease to rapidly develop if the conditions were optimal for that to happen.

This is because the inocula needed for disease progression is already built up on the roots and ready to infect when conditions allow whereas non-transgenic soybean did not exhibit that disease potential.”

How Glyphosate Disrupts Plant Growth

As described by Kremer, glyphosate’s primary mode of action is that it shuts down amino acid synthesis, followed by inhibition of protein synthesis necessary for plant growth.

A complementary mode of action is that when this happens, it causes the plant to be more susceptible to the microbes (and any pathogens) in the soil.

The reason for this is because the amino acids are also building blocks for other compounds that have defensive functions against soil pathogens — such as Fusarium. As a result, the plant becomes more susceptible to attack and infection by many microorganisms in the soil.

Glyphosate also acts as a mineral chelator, and minerals such as zinc, copper, and manganese which are essential cofactors in many plant and human enzymes.

Chelating or removing these minerals from the plants is largely responsible for impairing their protein synthesis as the enzymes involved in syntheses require the minerals to function. This then opens the plant up to attack.

How GMOs and Glyphosate Impact Soil Biology - systemic

Glyphosate Is Systemic, and That’s Part of the Problem

We often think of glyphosate as just another herbicide being applied topically, but it’s important to realize that one of the properties of glyphosate is that when it enters a plant, it becomes systemic, and cannot be washed off like many other herbicides.1

It becomes integrated into every cell in the plant, especially the faster growing cells. As explained by Kremer:

“It is translocated throughout the plant, primarily towards growing points of the plant, meristematic tissue, and one of the most active growing points in the plant are young root tips.

A lot of the glyphosate applied to the plant passes through the plant. It goes to meristems and to developing seeds. But a lot of it is transported to the roots, and much of that passes through the root, into the soil…

When glyphosate is released there… it will contact nutrients that are in the soil solution and chelate or immobilize them, tying them up, and making them unavailable to the plant.

The nutrients also become unavailable to beneficial microorganisms that are in the rhizosphere. They are not able to acquire those micronutrients at all. You have a two-way effect here.

You have an effect on the plant where it can’t take up these essential nutrients to mediate the reactions by the enzymes, where those micronutrients are needed.

Also, the microorganisms that have enzymes to those of plants, cannot accomplish their metabolism either.”

Once Bound by Glyphosate, Micronutrients Are Also Made Unavailable to Your Body

Interestingly, if you do a tissue analysis of a GE plant looking for micronutrients, the test may reveal that there are sufficient amounts of manganese and other minerals present. However, the tissue analysis will not tell you how much of this manganese is tied up and therefore made unavailable by the glyphosate in the plant…

Moreover, if the minerals are bound to glyphosate in the plant, there’s no way for your body to dissociate that bond to make the nutrients available when you eat it. Instead, those minerals will simply be excreted back out, or worse, stored in your body right along with the glyphosate.

Making matters even worse, glyphosate formulations such as Roundup are synergistically even more toxic than glyphosate itself. For example, surfactant chemicals disrupt the cellular membranes in the plant, making uptake of other chemicals like glyphosate a lot easier, and hence riskier.

“With some of the microorganisms we found, [the surfactants] will interfere with cellular membrane lipids. For example, in some of these microorganisms, it will interfere with soil enzyme activities that have beneficial effects in some biological processes. There’s a lot more that we need to learn about this, because there are many additives in the formulation of Roundup, surfactants being just one of those compounds.”

How GMOs and Glyphosate Impact Soil Biology - No Till

The Drawbacks of ‘Burndown Application’ of Glyphosate in No-Till Farming

Some sustainable agriculture no-till farmers use of Roundup in what’s called a “burndown application” in the spring to kill off any weeds and vegetation in the field prior to planting. No-till is a very beneficial practice, as tilling the soil decimates many beneficial soil microbes, especially the mycorrhizal fungi, and it contributes to the massive loss of topsoil. However, sterilizing the soil in this manner has significant drawbacks in the long-term, and if a farmer is not careful, it can result in a failed crop.

As explained by Kremer:

“The burndown is often used as a pre-treatment for no-till. When that happens, any vegetation is going to get a flush of microbial activity in the root zone. This is why it’s recommended farmers wait at least a week or 10 days in order for that flush of potential pathogenic microbes in the soil to peak and die down.

Then you can plant your crop without the risk of this unbalanced microbial community attacking the seedling of your new crop. That’s a real problem. I’ve known personally of some farmers who can’t wait. They plant right after burndown, and they pay for it with the appearance of their crops later, because it does affect their early growth.”

You can think of this as being similar to the clinical application of an antibiotic for a serious disease. In this case, the glyphosate is not applied to treat a disease; it’s just an agricultural process. Nevertheless, it’s killing the soil microbiome just as an antibiotic kills the microbiome in your gut and has nearly identical adverse side effects. It decreases the soil’s ability to nourish the plants and resist pests.

The residual activity — in both cases — can last for quite a while, not just a few days. Sure, the bacterial balance will begin to improve, but it still leaves an unbalanced microbial community in its wake. And there are many components of the microbial community that actually thrive with glyphosate. Fusarium is one of them, and most of them are not beneficial.

“Another one that tolerates glyphosates is Agrobacterium,” Kremer says. “Some of the Agrobacterium species can be very important disease agents. Those two organisms kind of bring this full circle. They not only tolerate glyphosate, but they are also what we call manganese oxidizers; they will actually tie up manganese in the soil.

So not only do you have glyphosate tying up [manganese], but you have this increase in organisms that will also tie-up manganese because it oxidizes it to an unavailable form. This is one of the other outcomes of using glyphosate… Now, it’s interesting that glyphosate is used a lot in perennial crops, such as vineyards, orchards, and almond production.

I believe it’s fair to note that when we use a lot of glyphosate in those systems for vegetation control, what is happening is that when the glyphosate is released through the roots in those systems, glyphosate can then be taken up by some of those desirable plants, such as grapevines and trees, which are not Roundup-resistant.

The next thing you know, we will have some root dieback in the topsoil, or we have this abnormal growth that we’ve seen in grapes. Then they wonder why they’re having production problems. The overuse of glyphosate in some of these perennial systems is a very serious problem.”

GMOs Have Led to Increase in Herbicides and Other Agricultural Chemicals

One justification the chemical technology industry used to promote and support the use of GE crops is that they would decrease the need for pesticides. In reality, weed resistance to the chemical has led to a steady increase in use. An estimated 60 million acres of farmland are now overrun with glyphosate resistant superweeds.

Even though farmers rotate between growing corn and soybeans, most grow Roundup Ready versions of both crops. In other words, these crops tolerate Roundup applications for weed control. So even though the crop changes, you have a continuous application of Roundup year after year. Often, that is preceded by Roundup in a burndown treatment.

“Instead of going to different crops that are not Roundup Ready, the thought was, ‘Well, let’s just engineer the crop to resist other herbicides that can kill out the Roundup-resistant weeds.’ Yes, [we] will have crops that are resistant to at least two or three different herbicides, including glyphosate. The other herbicides may be 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and dicamba. These are to take out the glyphosate-resistant weeds.

But we already know that in 2,4-D and dicamba, there are weeds that have been shown to be resistant to that class of compounds as well. It’s just a matter of time before those weeds will be resistant to maybe three different herbicides. We know that there are some weeds that are resistant to five different herbicides. The writing is on the wall that this is going to happen,” Kremer says.

More chemicals are also being used to control diseases associated with soybeans and corn. When the first transgenic soybeans came out, the seed was never treated with insecticides or fungicides. Now you can’t buy Roundup Ready seed without having it treated with at least one insecticide and a fungicide to control anticipated pests. So farmers cannot buy “clean” seeds anymore; certainly not from Monsanto. And this cocktail of chemicals is eventually transferred to the plant, and consumed by livestock and humans.

How GMOs and Glyphosate Impact Soil Biology - Regenerate

To Regenerate Soil, We Need a New Agricultural System

According to Kremer, after years of growing GE corn and soybeans, many farmers are now noticing a decline in productivity — which again is the exact converse of Monsanto’s promises. And the reason for this decline is directly linked with declining soil health. As noted by Kremer:

“What has happened, primarily with industrial agriculture, is that using glyphosate and transgenic [plant] varieties, and all the chemical fertilizers that we’re putting out there, we’ve decreased soil organic matter, which is the key to soil health, because it affects all the properties of the soil.”

As you would expect, many nutrients, especially the micronutrient levels, have also decreased in our food. As a result of these adverse ramifications, increasing numbers of farmers are ready for change, and many now want to revert back to non-GMO crops. This is certainly part of the answer, but it’s not the whole solution. Soil must be actively regenerated with appropriate processes. It’s not enough to just switch to non-GMO seeds.

Using cover crops is an important part of the solution, as it helps build up organic matter in the soil, breaks up compactions, and allows for better water and air infiltration below the surface of the soil, which helps beneficial microorganisms thrive. Incorporating holistic herd managementis another key component.

“I think there is a lot of opportunity for that,” Dr. Kremer says. “I know some farmers who are already doing that. And, if we could have the grazers on the land to process that vegetative material and deposit the organic matter around, that would go a long way to reviving and remediating these soils. The biggest problem is that we have this separation of the various types of agriculture.

Most of the confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are out West, and we ship all our grain out there. We’re taking the nutrients away from here, and they have these huge of piles of manure in the West [that need to be in the soil]… I think the demand for meat that is not fed with GE crops is growing, and I believe we’re going to see more local processors and maybe local feeding operations where we have grass-fed cattle and grass-fed hogs.

We may be seeing a turn towards that, because most of those large feeding operations obviously are using the commodity corn and soybean, which are Roundup Ready. I think there’s going to be a point where we will see this change come around. We’re going to have a complete, sustainable system with livestock and the feed grains being grown in the same landscape.”

Do You Have a Victory Garden?

The idea of planting Victory Gardens goes back to World War I and II, and was advertised as a way for patriots to make a difference on the home front. Planting these gardens helped the citizens combat food shortages by supplying themselves and their neighbors with fresh produce.

Planting your own Victory Garden can go a long way toward healthier eating, and in the long run, it can provide incentive for industry-wide change, and a return to a diet of real food, for everyone, everywhere. A great way to get started on your own is by sprouting. They may be small, but sprouts are packed with nutrition and best of all, they’re easy and inexpensive to grow.

 

The Love Bite – Paranormal Interference in Human Love Relationships


“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” ~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet Act 1

The Dark Side of Cupid

When a love relationship ends in a volatile way and we get hurt, we generally either blame ourselves (for being inadequate and not good enough to satisfy our partners needs) or blame our ex (for being inadequate and not good enough to satisfy our own needs). While we may consider that some sort of “stress” or “frustration” may have been a factor in the breakdown of our relationship, how many of us ever stop and wonder exactly ‘why’ some of those stressful things have happened, or what it is that is making one or other of us feel so frustrated and dissatisfied with our partner?

The Love Bite - Paranormal Interference in Human Love Relationships -

Besides the obvious things we can all come up with — financial worries, work-related stress, family problems, unexpected illness etc, which likely do play a role to some degree — many of us have experienced bad relationships and bad breakups which have left us with a strong sense that there has been more going on – in some cases, a lot more going on – yet we cannot quite put our finger on exactly what that ‘more’ is.

Have you ever experienced almost ecstatic excitement when you meet somebody new? A somebody you immediately feel is your “twin flame“, the person of your dreams, everything you always wanted all wrapped up in one parcel? He/she seems familiar, you feel you already know them, your heart flutters, your mind can’t stop thinking about this person, and you can hardly wait till you become lovers and share everything with them. You shiver with excitement, expectation, full of anticipation at the mere thought of being together, because your desire for them is that strong?

Or perhaps you lost the love of your life, and it left you feeling emotional pain of such intensity you didn’t believe you would survive it? Shock and grief so overwhelming it felt as though an invisible hand was twisting and clawing at your heart, while trying to rip it from your chest? I’ve felt pain like this, it lasted for many days on end, and it took a trip to a doctor to convince me I was not having a heart attack – one that just wouldn’t quit. I had experienced what is called a “love bite”, and this is what this article and video presentation is all about.

lovebite2

It is my hope — and indeed the hope of all the researchers involved in the Love Bite panel discussion featured below — that what is presented here may help shed some much-needed light on a subject that so many of us have experienced in the past, are experiencing now, or may experience in the future. If knowledge and higher understanding is the key to our personal spiritual growth, then there can be no better people to present to you the wealth of information you need to know to make sense of the reality you are living in. To that end, I’d like to offer to those of you who seek this knowledge, an amazing group of individuals who are more than qualified to offer you the benefit of their ground-breaking research and personal experience.

“In the end, we return to the question, just how much do you love truth? Do you really love truth or are you just curious? Do you love it enough to rebuild your understanding to align to a reality that doesn’t fit your current beliefs, and doesn’t feel 120% happy? Do you love truth enough to continue seeking even when it hurts, when it reveals aspects of yourself, or human society, or the universe, that are shocking, complex and disturbing, or humbling, glorious and amazing – or even, when truth is far beyond human mind itself? Just how much do we love truth? It’s a good question to ask ourselves, I think.” ~ Scott Mandelker

The Love Bite – Paranormal Interference in Human Love Relationships

Here now, without further ado, is the 3 hour and 22 minute panel discussion. Featuring Eve Lorgen, James Bartley, Tom/MontalkBernhard Guenther, Laura Leon, Carissa Conti andArella Eliora, this is by far the most comprehensive discussion available on the theme of paranormal interference in human love relationships, orchestrations of “love bites”, interference patterns, disruptions of “true love” and so much more.

Banish Osteoporosis, Insomnia, Fatigue and More With Simple Taoist Bone Breathing Technique


Many years ago in the U.S., while walking one of the main streets through the heart of Berkeley, California, I stumbled across an unassuming store dedicated to Tao philosophy. Books galore, recordings, diagrams — along with various trinkets and tools — lined the walls. I wasn’t overly familiar with Taoism, but I was strongly drawn to the recorded tapes of bone breathing meditations. Since I was struggling mightily with insomnia, the tapes seemed like a godsend — promising nights of restful sleep and days filled with vitality. I adhered faithfully to the program for many months. Be it by coincidence or not, I enjoyed an exceptionally energetic (and well-rested) period in my life while utilizing this unusual practice.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, the tremendous potential of bone breathing had been demonstrated several years prior, when a middle-aged woman suffering from severe osteoporosis was dramatically healed by the method.

A Miracle in the Making

Mantak Chia is considered one of the foremost Taoist masters alive today. He has introduced many important Taoist teachings to the West — like Bone Marrow Nei Kung — and has made this wisdom accessible to the general public. In the early 1980’s, he had an American student in Los Angeles, California who was plagued with rapidly deteriorating bone mass from osteoporosis. Specialists in Western medicine tried everything within their arsenal, to no avail — and the disease continued to progress at an alarming rate. The prognosis was bleak: collapse of the spine, threatening the nervous system with paralysis or even death.

After enrolling in the bone breathing class taught by Chia, the student began a daily practice involving 3 hours of continuously “washing” her skeletal system, with what is referred to as the subtle breath in Taoism.

Within half a year, not only was the bone loss arrested, but it began to reverse. She gained an impressive 10% bone mass during the six month period. Her physicians were astounded. At the end of five years of diligent practice, she had replaced 100% of her bone mass without any symptoms of osteoporosis. This is just one instance of many where people have been miraculously healed by the method.

Banish Osteoporosis Insomnia, Fatigue and More With Simple Taoist Bone Breathing Technique

Basic Bone Breathing

“The ancient Taoists have left us the maxim that says that `The practice of the Tao begins with feeling’. Without feeling the practice may degenerate into being just a mental exercise unrelated to the bones. Bone breathing is not only for those repairing bones, … the Taoists developed these practices for opening the human potential to its maximum. One powerful effect of bone breathing sessions is the ability to calm the mind and arrest the current of internal talk which goes on constantly. It also brings a profound sense of relaxation and openness that aids in resolving muscular tension and stress.” ~ Healing Tao

Bone breathing (or marrow washing) is a profound, yet simple technique to strengthen the bones, reduce stress, encourage revitalizing sleep, fortify immunity, boost energy and overall heal the body. It can be practiced anytime and is easy to learn.

Beyond healing the bones, Taoist practitioners use the method as a means to absorb subtle energies — of the trees, rivers, sun, moon and stars — to maintain ultimate health and enjoy the ocean of calmness the technique inspires.

If you would like to experience this deep healing and relaxation for yourself, below is the fundamental practice. For a more comprehensive understanding, see: “Bone Marrow Nei Kung: Taoist Techniques for Rejuvenating the Blood and Bone” by Mantak Chia.

The Fundamental Practice

  • To begin, bring yourself into a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down. Fingers are stretched open and relaxed. Inhale through the nose and take several deep breaths. Imagine there is energy in your environment that can be felt subtly on the surface of your skin.
  • Next, bring your attention to the tips of your fingers on your left hand. Feel the energy of your surroundings move through the skin and down into the bones — you should experience a sense of warmth/heaviness/tingling. Keep the breath rhythmic and deep. Continue to the draw energy into all the bones of the hand and upwards into the wrists, forearms, upper arm and shoulders — visualizing your bones are like a sponge absorbing energy from all around. Repeat with the right hand.
  • Proceed by drawing energy into the scapulae, collarbone, sternum and ribs from both arms. Now, move your attention to your toes, moving energy up through both feet to the ankles, calves, knees, thighbones, pelvis and sacrum. You will then breath energy up the vertebra into the spinal column and skull. Lastly, breath energy into the whole body for a minimum of nine full breaths. Conclude by drawing all energy into the navel center and imagine “closing” it.

In addition to fortifying the skeleton, bone breathing increases the production of red and white blood cells, fosters sexual energy, stimulates the immune system and improves the flow of blood.

Healing Tao offers this final advice about the practice in “Bone Breathing: Strengthening your Bones”:

“Eventually it is possible to have the whole skeleton doing bone breathing, that is including the teeth. As practice develops try to breathe through the whole body at once, like a sponge.

If more specific knowledge of the bones is desired then it is advisable to work with a anatomical chart of the skeleton to guide the energy with more precision.”

Could Glutathione Be the Key to Slowing the Physical Aging Process?


Glutathione, The ‘Master’ Antioxidant

If there were such a thing as a nutrient that “does it all”, glutathione would have to be a top contender for the number one spot. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that prevents damage to important cellular components, repairs and protects the body from harmful toxins and other dangers we encounter in our polluted environment.

Briefly, Glutathione (GSH) is a tripeptide comprised of three amino acids, cysteine, glutamic acid (ionic salt from glutamate), and glycine. All three of these amino acids are considered to be non-essential, meaning our body synthesizes them.

So if the body produces its own glutathione, then why is it necessary to consume foods that support glutathione production? The simple answer: Oxidation.

Oxidation is caused by nutrient-deficit diets, a polluted environment, pharmaceuticals (prescribed and over-the-counter), physical and emotional stress, electromagnetic stress, and radiation.

Oxidative stress is a primary cause of aging, sickness and disease. The oxidation of cholesterol is the root cause of heart disease and arteriosclerosis, not necessarily cholesterol levels as so many believe.

Glutathione is found in every cell of the body. It is thought that the younger you are the more glutathione your body produces. However don’t be misled by statements such as this because there are two very different explanations for decreased Glutathione levels:

  1. As we get older glutathione decreases do to the “normal aging process”, and
  2. The oxidative stress of our environment, the chemicals in our food, and both normal and unnecessary emotional stressors in life, cause glutathione levels in the body to decrease, thus compromising our immune systems and the body’s ability to detoxify.

And although the first explanation may be grounded in some truth, the second is far more logical. In fact, it is because of decreased immune function that we have an increase in all major diseases today!

Glutathione is vital for protecting against:

  • Aging
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dementia

Undisputedly, glutathione is needed in the body not just for normal functioning of the immune system, but also for optimal functioning. Remember the term oxidation? Glutathione is ‘the’master antioxidant that aids all other antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E, in free radical scavenging.

Could Glutathione be the Key to Slowing the Physical Aging Process - Oxidation

For years, vitamins have been touted as free-radical killers and not only has this been proven by research, we now know that Glutathione is the most valuable player of them all! Imagine if you would, a football team. Each and every player has a vital role in moving the team toward its major goal—to win. If we were to think of each player as a different supplement, both offensive and defensive, a very interesting analogy would come about. When a team’s offense is on the field, they need to block or counter every move the defense makes in order to stay alive in the game. And which player is the one that is most often considered the MVP (most valuable player) on the winning team? The quarterback. A great quarterback can actually help the other players to excel in their roles on the field. In other words, he helps his teammates shine.

And the quarterback in the body’s fight against oxidation, and thus disease, is glutathione. The goal of glutathione and all of the free-radical scavengers in the body is simple—life!

The correlation between glutathione and the fight against free radicals has been known for quite some time, so it is unfortunate that a majority of the general public likely hasn’t heard of it.

The Lancet, the world’s leading general medical journal, published a review in 1998 entitled,Nuttal SL Glutathione: In Sickness and in Health, which clearly outlines the links between glutathione in health and disease. The study measured the amount of glutathione in blood plasma in both healthy and non-healthy individuals of all ages. What they found was interesting indeed. The higher the glutathione level, the less oxidative damage and the healthier the person; the lower the glutathione level, the more oxidative damage and the sicker the person. They concluded:

“Ageing is therefore associated with a decrease in plasma antioxidants and an increase in evidence of oxidative damage even in those who are apparently healthy. Disease, particularly acute severe disease requiring hospital admission, is associated with greater changes in antioxidants and evidence of oxidative damage.”

Glutathione is also known to be a potent detoxifier of drugs and carcinogens (cancer causing chemicals). If you remember, one of the components that make up the tripeptide of glutathione is cysteine. N-Acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), a derivative of cysteine, is well recognized as the treatment for acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdose in hospitals. La Clinica Terapeutica, journal of Clinical and Laboratory Medicine and Surgery of Italy, did a study on the effects of reduced glutathione (GSH) administration and its effectiveness against liver damage caused by chronic alcohol consumption.

“…The relationship between glutathione, GGTP and glucaric acid is discussed, suggesting the possible role of GSH against the oxidative damage of alcohol.”

Another 2003 study, also from Italy, sought to directly link Glutathione and detoxification based on the premise:

“In humans, GSH depletion is linked to a number of disease states including cancer, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.”

They concluded the following:

“Glutathione is a critical factor in protecting organisms from toxicity and disease.”

So how can you increase Glutathione levels in your body?

Eat Foods rich in Glutathione

Could Glutathione be the Key to Slowing the Physical Aging Process - Eat Glutathoine Rich Foods
Glutathione-rich foods

Consume plenty of sulfur-rich foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, asparagus, cabbage, garlic, onion and spinach. Foods high in sulfur increase glutathione production. It is worth noting that cooking these foods reduces the glutathione content.

Foods containing selenium, such as Brazil nuts, meat and seafood can also promote glutathione production. Selenium is a mineral that helps the body to produce glutathione.

Add Herbs and Spices That Help Prevent Glutathione Depletion

Turmeric, cardamom and cinnamon contain compounds that increase the production of Glutathione.

Reduce the Stress in Your Life

Chronic stress and anxiety is one of the main factors in decreased glutathione levels. It is important to seek out ways in which to reduce every day stressors. Spending time outdoors, listening to music, going for a walk, reading and meditating are all great ways to de-stress.

We have all heard how yoga has the ability to reduce stress. Well, a 2007 study looking at the effects of yoga on oxidative stress showed that, “Reduced glutathione level increased significantly (p < 0.05) in the yoga group after completion of training.”

 

Reduce the Amount of Chemicals You Are Ingesting – Eat Organic

The body not only naturally produces Glutathione, but it also recycles it. However, when there is too much oxidative stress caused by a poor diet and consuming foods laden with toxic chemicals such as those found in pesticides, herbicides, artificial sweeteners, synthetic food dyes, nitrates and other food preservatives, glutathione becomes depleted subjecting us to infection, inflammation and the inability to rid our bodies from toxins.

 

Drink plenty of Clean Filtered Water – at Least ¾ of a Gallon a Day (but Try for 1 Gallon)

Drinking plenty of water each day plays a major role in our body’s natural ability to detoxify. But unfortunately our water sources are polluted with harmful chemicals such as chlorine, ammonia, fluoride and prescription medications, just to name a few. Continuously ingesting toxic chemicals in the water you are drinking can deplete glutathione levels and lead to oxidative stress and liver damage. Drinking clean filtered water is one of the best ways to protect your body from the thousands of known toxins that may be present in our water supplies.

 

Reduce the Amount of Chemicals in Your Home – Add Filter Plants

You are exposed to dangerous chemicals everyday, and in the least likely place—your home! Chemicals such as trichloroethylene, benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and toluene have all sadly become part of the air we breathe. Fortunately Mother Nature has the answer!

Could Glutathione be the Key to Slowing the Physical Aging Process - English Ivy
English Ivy

There are many indoor houseplants that actually filter many of these chemicals from the air allowing for a healthier environment. In the 1980s, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America researched houseplants that may be used to purify the air in space facilities. This study concluded that the number one air-filtering houseplant is the English Ivy. Other plants that can reduce the number of toxins in the air include the Peace Lily, Palm, Philodendron, Spider Plant and Golden Pathos. 

 

Eliminate Nutritional Deficiencies

Nutritional deficiencies caused by improper nutrition, environmental pollutants, pharmaceutical drugs and unhealthy lifestyle practices can all lead to oxidative stress and decreased levels of Glutathione. Eating a nutrient rich whole foods diet, taking supplements when necessary, and taking measures to reduce physical and emotional stress and can help to boost Glutathione levels and counteract some of the factors that deplete it.

Could-Glutathione-be-the-Key-to-Slowing-the-Physical-Aging-Process

Glutathione Supplementation

There is ongoing debate over whether oral supplementation of glutathione is effective at increasing levels in the body. There are those who believe that glutathione supplementation is not effective because since it is a protein, it is digested and not absorbed. The same could be said about eating foods to increase glutathione levels. It is true that the body digests various foods differently. For example, proteins take much longer to digest than carbohydrates. However, digestion and/or absorption are also very much dependent upon the health of the gut. And sadly, most studies done on “healthy” adults have a low standard of what constitutes a healthy gut. This is very apparent when you are in a grocery or drug store perusing the aisles dedicated to relieving diarrhea, constipation, and heartburn.

Putting that aside, there are studies that claim that oral supplementation of glutathione is effective. There is one factor that sets these studies apart from the others. The participants in these studies were instructed to take the glutathione on an empty stomach along with a full glass of water.

“A battery of immune function markers was examined after three months of glutathione supplementation and NK cytotoxicity was enhanced more than two-fold for participants taking 1000mg daily doses.” Furthermore, “We believe GSH supplementation may represent an effective intervention strategy for disease prevention and may enhance immune function.

“Our research showed that in most cases increases were dose and time dependent, and levels returned to baseline after a one-month washout.” Dr. Richie continued, “By taking daily GSH supplements, we believe efficacious levels will persist, and that oral intake is an effective means of chronically enhancing the body’s stores.”

So yes, the absorption of oral supplementation of glutathione can be a bit tricky, but certainly possible as long as the following steps are adhered to:

  1. Maintain a healthy gut by eating clean organic whole foods, eating fermented foods and/or taking probiotics.
  2. Drink at least a gallon (or close to it) of filtered water per day.
  3. Exercise regularly!
  4. Having at least 1 (better yet 2) fully formed bowel movements per day is a great indicator that you have a healthy gut.
  5. If you choose to supplement glutathione, take on an empty stomach followed by plenty of water.

The Triad of Life

For more health related information, and tips for reducing stress and incorporating more organic foods into your diet, join Online Holistic Health’s exclusive Holistic Lifestyle Community, The Triad of Life™.

Dr. Michelle Kmiec - The Triad Of LifeBy participating in this new and continuously growing online community, you will be guided through a myriad of comprehensive exercises as you learn how to find balance in the three major components of your health — Physical, Nutritional and Emotional, which together comprise “the Triad.”

 

China smog hits 50 times WHO limits, as U.S. consumers keep buying contaminated herbs and food from China .


In China, the fog in Changchun, the capital of Jilin province in the northeast, is so thick that buildings in the area are completely invisible. In other areas throughout the country, it’s not uncommon for people to walk the streets wearing face masks, surrounded by a blanket of haze. China’s smog problem – brought on primarily by vehicular emissions, heating needs and rising industrialism – has long been an issue. However, it’s recently reached a high of epic proportions.(1)

Smog

So bad is the smog that it’s now reached a shocking 50 times the World Health Organization’s (WHO) maximum. The organization recommends a maximum of 25 micrograms of the dangerous smog particulates during a 24-hour period. But in Shenyang, China, that figure has been exceeded to an unbelievable degree, reaching a whopping 1400 micrograms – more than 50 times what WHO suggests. In this area, it’s coal use that’s mostly to blame, with many people pointing fingers at heating companies who opt to use cheap, low-quality coal that wreaks havoc on the environment and in turn, on human health.(1)

“Inhalable particles” lead to health issues such as lung cancer and heart disease

Indeed, more than the issue of diminished visibility are the serious health problems linked to living in a smog-filled environment. According to an Environmental Health Perspectives abstract, China’s increasing number of “inhalable particles” has greatly contributed to a rise in hospitalizations, premature mortality and respiratory problems. Lung cancers, emphysema, stroke and heart disease are also common. Air pollution there is also linked to serious water quality issues; exposure to it has been linked to digestive cancers as well as hepatitis and cholera.(1,2)

It’s these health concerns that leads people to walk around the streets wearing disposable face masks, or – like one person seen biking through Shenyang – gas masks. At the very least, most people cover their noses and mouths with their hands, or lift the necks of their shirts for the same purpose. Unfortunately, these efforts do little to make a dent in improving health and the overall way of life in China; Shenyang’s respiratory ward, for example, has reached capacity. It’s also not unusual for people countrywide to frequently receive emergency warnings urging them to stay indoors.(1)

In fact, a few years ago, dangerous levels of smog almost entirely shut down Harbin, the capital of northeastern Heilongjiang province. There, 11 million people were affected, as dangerous particulate levels – associated with the first day of heating being turned on for the colder winter season – led to the suspension of school classes and the closing of the airport and several bus routes.(3)

So, with China’s huge smog problem, why would you eat their contaminated food?

Efforts to address the problem include everything from supporting public transportation to rooftop gardens. Using public transportation more often will cut down on vehicular pollution; in some instances, there are bans on individual car use on days when air pollution is deemed particularly high. As for rooftop gardens, it’s thought that the greenery will help contribute to a cleaner environment. Furthermore, it’s believed that talking more about health problems associated with poor air quality will also serve as a wake-up call that will encourage more action.(4)

“Crucially, re-framing climate change as a human health issue makes it a much more tangible concept,” says Nick Watts, director of the Global Climate and Health Alliance. Watts explains that couching much of this issue in terms of one’s health makes the issue more relatable. Discussing such things as atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, he says, are often too complex and therefore, not enough to get people to take action.

The air quality in China is all the more reason not to consume herbs and other foods from that country. If it’s getting into people’s bodies over there, filling their respiratory wards to the brim, and causing the declaration of massive emergencies, it’s certainly contaminating the food supply.

As always, choose fresh, organic foods that are locally-grown. Of course, it doesn’t get any more locally-grown than your own home, so why not consider growing indoor herbs in window containers or, even better, turning to FoodRising.org. The site is filled with self-sustainability ideas from Mike Adams, including his Mini-Farm Grow Boxes which allow you to easily grow fruits and vegetables yourself.

Hobbits Were a Separate Species, Ancient Chompers Show


Teeth from these diminutive individuals suggest they belonged to a unique species rather than a modern human with a growth disorder, as previously suspected

A cast of the Homo floresiensis skull.

An ancient, 3-foot-tall (0.9 meters) human whose diminutive stature has earned it the nickname “hobbit” has puzzled evolutionary scientists since its little bones were discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores. Some have suggested the individual was a Homo sapiens with some miniaturizing disorder.

Now, teeth from the hobbit suggest it belonged to a unique species rather than a modern human with a growth disorder. The new research also suggests hobbits may share a direct ancestor with modern humans.

The 18,000-year-old fossil remains of the hobbit were discovered in 2003. Since then, scientists have suggested that the hobbit, which had a brain about the size of a grapefruit, was a unique branch of the human lineage Homo, dubbed Homo floresiensis. However, other researchers have argued the hobbit was really a modern human with microcephaly, a condition that leads to an abnormally small head, a small body and some mental retardation. [Real-Life Hobbit: See Photos of Homo floresiensis]

To learn more about the hobbit, scientists have now performed the first comprehensive analysis of the ancient human’s teeth. The researchers compared the 40 known hobbit teeth with those from 490 modern humans from Asia, Oceania, Africa and Europe, as well as from a variety of extinct hominins, such as Homo habilis, which is suspected to be among the first makers of stone tools. (Hominins consist of humans and their relatives dating after the split from the chimpanzee lineage.)

The researchers found hobbit teeth were as small as those from short modern humans. However, other features of these teeth looked completely dissimilar from those of modern humans.

The hobbit teeth displayed a unique mosaic of primitive traits seen in early hominins mixed with more-advanced traits seen in later hominins, the researchers said. For instance, the canine and premolar teeth looked primitive, whereas the molar teeth looked advanced, or as if they had emerged later in the evolution of Homo sapiens, the scientists said.

The researchers found that the hobbit’s primitive dental features are most similar to specimens of Homo erectus, the earliest undisputed ancestor of modern humans, from the Indonesian island of Java. However, H. erectus was about as tall as modern humans. The scientists suggest that on isolated islands, the ancestors of the hobbit underwent dramatic dwarfism, with their bodies shrinking from about 5.4 feet (1.65 m) to 3.6 feet (1.1 m), and brains dwindling from about 52 cubic inches (860 cubic centimeters) to 26 cubic inches (426 cubic cm).

“For me, this work will turn the tide about the question of evolutionary origin of H. floresiensis,” study lead author Yousuke Kaifu, a paleoanthropologist at Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo, told Live Science.

While the human lineage generally evolved larger bodies and brains over time, the hobbit suggests that isolation on islands could substantially reverse this evolutionary trend, Kaifu said.