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> Coberst, and others: Let's dialogue about holistic health and ..., What does it mean to be healthy?
Lindsay
post Apr 26, 2008, 03:08 PM
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At 78, I consider that I have the good fortune that I am a healthy senior, so far. At 74, how are you doing?

What does it mean, to be healthy?
What does it really mean to be a healthy person--a senior or otherwise?
What is it that makes some people healthy, and others not so healthy?
Is it just the luck of the draw?

For example, my mother and father did not enjoy good health. Both died when they were relatively young. How come? Do we really have any kind of control?
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coberst
post Apr 27, 2008, 01:39 AM
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Lindsay

I shall respond later today.

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coberst
post Apr 27, 2008, 03:31 AM
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Lindsay

To be physically healthy one needs to exercise the body, to be lucky, and to eat properly. To be intellectually healthy ones needs to exercise the mind, to be lucky, and to become a Critical Thinker.

If we work at it we often become luckier. We evidently have some control of our longevity because we live longer today than we did centuries ago.

I would like to suggest that we all study CT in order to prepare our self to dialogue. I first learned of CT (Critical Thinking) about 6 years ago. I studied "Critical Thinking: What Every Person Needs to Survive in a Rapidly Changing World" by Paul and Elder. This book taught me many things but one of the most important things that I was unfamiliar with is dialogical reasoning.
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Lindsay
post Apr 28, 2008, 04:49 AM
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QUOTE(coberst @ Apr 27, 2008, 03:31 AM) *

Lindsay

To be physically healthy one needs to exercise the body, to be lucky, and to eat properly. To be intellectually healthy ones needs to exercise the mind, to be lucky, and to become a Critical Thinker.


OKAY, LET'S SAY WHAT WE MEAN BY HEALTH
=====================================
In my opinion, health has three components: Somatic, or physical health; psychosomatic, or mental health, and pneumasomatic, or spiritual health.

Having said that, I will agree with those who say that physical health is the happy adaption of the internal environment of the body to the external environment.

THE HEALTHY BODY, OR SOMA
In the 1930's, the Harvard researcher, Dr. Walter Canon, who wrote the book, Wisdom of the Body, coined the word "homeostasis"--the tendency of an organism to maintain internal equilibrium (balance) of temperature, fluid content, glucose levels, blood pressure, etc., by the regulation of its processes. When things get out of balance--that is, when levels get too high or too low--we feel ill.

Coberst, you mentioned longevity. I am sure you are aware that life expectancy has increased, not because we have more doctors armed with wonder drugs, but because of the spectacular decrease in infant mortality. Authorities--including epidemiologists (See Dr. Michael Rachlis' book, Second Opinon)--agree that better nutrition and better public health practices are what have contributed most to this.

You mention the need for us to practice CRITICAL THINKING and the value of dialogue. I agree. Tell us more about what you have read.

BTW, perhaps we need to do some CT around the way we have allowed the big pharma companies to take control of the health industry.

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coberst
post Apr 28, 2008, 09:15 AM
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Lindsay

I was watching watching a TV documentry about health care and if I am not mistaken The United States is doing very poorly in this matter because our health care system is the best that money can buy but is lousy for those who can't afford the best.

CT is an acronym for Critical Thinking. Everybody considers themselves to be a critical thinker. That is why we need to differentiate among different levels of critical thinking.

Most people fall in the category that I call Reagan thinkers—trust but verify. Then there are those who have taken the basic college course taught by the philosophy dept that I call Logic 101. This is a credit course that teaches the basic principles of reasoning. Of course, a person need not take the college course and can learn the matter on their own effort, but I suspect few do that.

The third level I call CT (Critical Thinking). CT includes the knowledge of Logic 101 and also the knowledge that focuses upon the intellectual character and attitude of critical thinking. It includes knowledge regarding the ego and social centric forces that impede rational thinking.

Most decisions we have to make are judgment calls. A judgment call is made when we must make a decision when there is no “true” or “false” answers. When we make a judgment call our decision is bad, good, or better.

Many factors are involved: there are the available facts, assumptions, skills, knowledge, and especially personal experience and attitude. I think that the two most important elements in the mix are personal experience and attitude.

When we study math we learn how to use various algorithms to facilitate our skill in dealing with quantities. If we never studied math we could deal with quantity on a primary level but our quantifying ability would be minimal. Likewise with making judgments; if we study the art and science of good judgment we can make better decisions and if we never study the art and science of judgment our decision ability will remain minimal.

I am convinced that a fundamental problem we have in this country (USA) is that our citizens have never learned the art and science of good judgment. Before the recent introduction of CT into our schools and colleges our young people have been taught primarily what to think and not how to think. All of us graduated with insufficient comprehension of the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary for the formulation of good judgment. The result of this inability to make good judgment is evident and is dangerous.

I am primarily interested in the judgment that adults exercise in regard to public issues. Of course, any improvement in judgment generally will affect both personal and community matters.

To put the matter into a nut shell:
1. Normal men and women can significantly improve their ability to make judgments.
2. CT is the domain of knowledge that delineates the knowledge, skills, and intellectual character demanded for good judgment.
3. CT has been introduced into our schools and colleges slowly in the last two or three decades.
4. Few of today’s adults were ever taught CT.
5. I suspect that at least another two generations will pass before our society reaps significant rewards resulting from teaching CT to our children.
6. Can our democracy survive that long?
7. I think that every effort must be made to convince today’s adults that they need to study and learn CT on their own. I am not suggesting that adults find a teacher but I am suggesting that adults become self-actualizing learners.
8. I am convinced that learning the art and science of Critical Thinking is an important step toward becoming a better citizen in today’s democratic society.

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Lindsay
post Apr 28, 2008, 06:27 PM
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Good thinking, Coberst. Keep it up. When I get time I will add to this important topic. After all, at our age we can speak from experience.
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Lindsay
post May 07, 2008, 05:59 PM
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QUOTE(coberst @ Apr 28, 2008, 09:15 AM) *

... if I am not mistaken The United States is doing very poorly in this matter because our health care system is the best that money can buy but is lousy for those who can't afford the best.

CT is an acronym for Critical Thinking. ...

You offer and summarize CT in 7 points. Then you conclude: 8. I am convinced that learning the art and science of Critical Thinking is an important step toward becoming a better citizen in today’s democratic society.
From what you say about national health care in the USA, I assume that you agree with me that all of you need to do some deep CT around this issue. I hope you do.

In my opinion, any government which neglects the health of its citizens neglects one of of the most important assets any nation can have: spiritually mature citizens who, with the help of the sciences, have healthy minds and bodies.

BTW, I have a suggestion: Require all the private insurance companies to get together and come up with a plan which is designed to include all legal citizens with the right to be a registered voter. This could also help decreased the number of illegal immigrants.
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Lindsay
post May 09, 2008, 07:47 AM
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To any reader: When were you born? I was born in 1930. If you were born then, or in the 40's, 50's, 60's & 70's, here, sent to me by a friend, is what we survived:

QUOTE
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight. WHY?
Because we were always outside, playing...that's why!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Play Stations, Nintendo's and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.
WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside
and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had try outs and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.
Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers problem solvers and inventors ever.

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

If YOU are one of them? CONGRATULATIONS!

======================00000000000000000000=====================
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Joesus
post May 09, 2008, 09:18 AM
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If we look into the topic or Holistic health, based on Holism: The theory that living matter or reality is made up of organic or unified wholes that are greater than the simple sum of their parts, we must necessarily draw ourselves to the greater.
The organic being subservient to the greater follows, conditioning and interpretation of reality.

Here are some examples:
How does our mind make us sick? There has been some fascinating research over the past years which shows just how closely connected our minds are to our bodies: our habitual thoughts determine the state of our health and even our longevity.
One of the earliest and most interesting studies was performed on some rabbits at Ohio University in the seventies. The scientists were attempting to prove the relationship between a toxic, high cholesterol diet and hardening of the arteries. They thought that if they fed the rabbits' high cholesterol food, they should logically develop high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and the other symptoms we have learned to associate with heart disease, which is still the largest killer in the Western world. The experiment was going along very well, with most of the bunnies developing the expected symptoms, except for one group of rabbits that were not having the expected results. The scientists just couldn't understand it -- they were feeding the rabbits in this group the same high cholesterol food, but the rabbits just weren't developing any of the predicted symptoms. No high blood pressure. No hardening of the arteries. No hypertension. Nothing.
Fortunately for the study, and unfortunately for the rabbits, the technician who was feeding that particular group of rabbits fell ill. Almost immediately, her rabbits started developing the expected symptoms! Naturally the scientists were curious as to why and asked her what she had done differently. "Why nothing," she said, "I fed the rabbits the food as you told me to. I took them out of their cages, held them, stroked them, and sang to them, fed them. Wasn't this right?"
It was the same food, but the rabbits' minds turned the high cholesterol food into other channels, which protected their health! The scientists were amazed. They thought they were studying hardening of the arteries; they were really studying the effects of love. They tried this over and over again and found that rabbits that were loved simply wouldn't fall ill as readily. Isn't this amazing? And this was just rabbits, not even people! How can love change the effect of food? So the moral is: if you're going to eat Big Macs, sit on your boyfriend's lap while you're eating it.

We do exactly the same thing. Our minds control our bodies. You've probably heard of the placebo effect? 30% of patients can be given a chalk tablet and told that they will get well and they do get well. There is also a nocebo effect. A physician tells a patient, "I'm very sorry to tell you, Mrs. Jones, but your breast cancer has metastasized throughout your internal organs; you'll be dead in six weeks." If Mrs. Jones believes her doctor, her body will respond and kill her.
For decades, surgeons assumed that if you were unconscious during surgery, it didn't matter what was said in the operating room. But it was found that what is said affects the likelihood of recovery! If they open you up and say, "Oh, look at that, it's worse than we thought -- " then your chance of recovery goes way down. The more positive the surgeon's remarks, the greater the chance of recovery. The power of the mind is awesome.
In a study of four hundred spontaneous remissions of cancer interpreted by Elmer and Alyce Green of the Menninger Clinic there was only one factor in common -- every person changed his or her attitude before the remission occurred, fundamentally changed his or her way of thinking, became more hopeful, courageous, positive. They somehow broke through the collective consciousness, through their self-destructive beliefs and programs and changed their minds on a fundamental level, deep inside. And so they were "miraculously" cured.
The collective belief system extends deeply into our minds. Did you know that our society has even given us a standard time to die? I'm not kidding! There is a day and a time when it is more likely you will die than any other? Do you know when that is? 9 AM on Monday morning. Why is that? It just seems easier to die than face another week of this horrible job! This is a truly remarkable achievement of our species. Presumably no other species recognizes which day Monday is. The power of the mind is everything.

Some scientists at the University of Miami a few years ago heard of the rabbit study in Ohio and decided to do an experiment to see if this effect might also hold true for humans. They decided to do a study on preemies -- premature babies -- because in intensive care, they are very expensive and the rate of survival is not that high. What are we, seventeenth in the world for infant mortality? Not so hot. So three times a day for fifteen minutes, wearing rubber gloves, the technicians stroked the tiny babies inside their intensive care units. They didn't call it "stroking," of course; they called it "tactile kinesthetic stimulation," which is the Orwellian term for stroking. God forbid we should call it love!
These scientists concluded that tactile kinesthetic stimulation is cost effective, for these preemies gained an average of 49% more weight per day, which meant that they were discharged from intensive care an average of five days earlier for a saving of $3,000 per admission. The amazing thing to me about this study is that it ever had to be done! How could our doctors and scientists have become so absurdly divorced from common sense to have to do a study to prove this, a fact that any mother knows?
My heart especially grieves for the preemies in the control group at the University of Miami who didn't have the good fortune to experience tactile kinesthetic stimulation.
But the good news is that most hospitals are embracing this information and are permitting more contact with newborns. Physical contact for newborns is vital to ensure proper development and growth.
Dr. Herbert Specter at the National Institute performed another study that illustrates this mind-body connection even more graphically for Health -- this one on some mice.
Dr. Specter divided the mice into two groups. One group was the control group; he gave a potent immune-system-stimulating drug called Poly I-C to the other. Poly I-C increases the number of killer T-cells in the immune system. When he gave the drug to the mice, he also exposed them to the smell of camphor. Do you know what camphor is? It is a pungent-smelling material that most drug stores sell in the form of little white cubes. People think it helps with congestion and breathing problems. It is impossible to forget the scent once you've smelled it. It's the active ingredient in Campho-Phenique.
Dr. Specter treated the mice for a few weeks with the Poly I-C and the camphor, and then took the drug away and just let them smell the camphor. Do you know what happened? Their immune systems were still stimulated -- they had become mighty mice -- no bacteria could make them sick, no tumors would develop if they were exposed to cancer- causing agents.
Another group tried this the opposite way at the University of Rochester. They took rats and administered a potent immune-system-destroying drug, cyclophosphamide -- cyclophosphamide is used in organ transplants, it keeps the body from rejecting the new organ -- and at the same time gave them a taste of saccharine-sweetened water, substituting this for camphor as a neutral agent. After doing this, a number of times, they took the drug away and just allowed the rats to taste the water. With just the smallest taste of the sweetened water, they would fall sick, develop tuberculosis or pneumonia from the slightest intrusion of bacteria or develop cancer from a very slight exposure to a carcinogen. Do you see what's going on here? The two groups were interpreting a completely neutral agent differently.
This shows how much our interpretation of reality influences our experience of reality. If we have learned to associate bad health or unhappiness with our experience of life, it becomes a very difficult habit to break.

Think of a set of twins. Both have identical backgrounds, both have the same parents, the same heredity, the same environment; they are treated virtually the same. What happens? One grows up to be successful and happy, has a wonderful family, lives to a ripe old age. The other becomes an alcoholic and is dead by thirty-six. What causes the difference? The interpretation of reality. Our society may have deeply programmed condemnation and judgment into us, and we may have learned to look at all of life and say, "Oh, bad, the glass is half empty." But it is just as easy to say, "Oh, good, the glass is half full." And that is completely within our power.
It is the mind that is dominant.
In Massachusetts, a group of scientists were studying the risk factors for heart disease because about 50% of those who contract this fatal killer didn't fit any of the known profiles: they didn't smoke, they didn't have a high cholesterol diet, they didn't even have hypertension, and yet they had a myocardial infarction, a heart attack, and died. Why?
These scientists found that they could ask two very simple questions to determine whether a person was likely to have heart problems. Do you know what these two questions were? First, "Do you like your job?" If you could say, "Yes," to this, your risk of heart attack falls by 50%. And second, "Are you happy?" And again a "Yes," answer drops your risk of heart attack by another 50%. What is the difference between health and disease? It seems more and more it is determined by our thoughts, our beliefs, the way we use our minds.
Another study showed that if you do happen to have a heart attack, your chance of recovery is virtually 100% if you are happily married. This was found much more important than diet, exercise or smoking. The mind controls the body, not the other way around. The old thinking was that the body was dominant and the mind was a ghost in the machine, a fantasy. But if you take the body away, the mind remains!
This was confirmed by Karl Lashley, a pioneer in neurophysiology. He trained rats to run in a maze, and then began to systematically remove their brain tissue. He kept taking out more and more and found that their brains worked just fine. He took out as much as 90% and the rats still could run the maze!

There has been a revolution going on in the forefront of the medical profession in the past decades. The old notion that the body is primary and the mind is secondary is being more and more deeply questioned. The old thinking that the body is a frozen sculpture, never-changing, is falling by the wayside. We breathe in 100000000000000000000000 atoms of air with every breath.
These atoms become part of our organs and tissues. With every breath, we breathe out part of our body, which goes to become part of other people's bodies. For example, right now there are about a million atoms in you that used to be part of Michelangelo, about a million that were part of Da Vinci, about a million that were once in Genghis Khan. The body is continually changing, it is not frozen sculpture, and it is in a constant state of flux. You breathe today atoms that were yesterday part of a peasant in China.
Radioactive isotope studies have shown that we change 98% of the atoms of our body every single year. And the atoms in some of our body parts change even more quickly than that: we have a new skin once a month, a new liver every six weeks. Even the skeleton, which seems so solid and permanent, is changed completely every three months. We have a new stomach lining every five days; the surface cells, which contact the digesting food, are changed as often as every five minutes. We have a new DNA every six weeks. Even the brain cells (which do not regenerate as do the other cells in the body) weren't there last year in terms of the atoms composing them. 98% of the atoms in your body weren't there last year! It is as if we have a magical building, in which the building blocks are being replaced at the rate of 98% a year, and because we don't know any better, we keep putting the blocks in exactly the same places, over and over and over again.
If we have a tumor, we rebuild the tumor. If we're old, we rebuild the body old. If we're sick, we rebuild the body sick.
But if we could become the friend of the contractor who is directing how the building is being built, then we could change the order in which the bricks were being placed. If we could gain familiarity with the inner programmer who is directing exactly how those atoms are being replaced, we could rebuild our tissues and organs and cells in a different fashion. We would gain a truly awesome power for health.
This is possible because the body is really a thinking machine.

In the last couple decades, scientists have found that the brain cells communicate in the language of neuropeptides. Neuro, because found in the brain, and peptide, which means protein molecule. This is how the brain cells talk to each other, not in Latin or Greek or Russian or English, but in the language of these chemical messengers. A cell produces neuropeptides, and other cells have receptor sites for these molecules.
This one says, "Hey, I'm unhappy!" and the other cells all get depressed because of these little molecules.
What is more interesting than this is that the cells of the immune system, the lymphocytes and killer T-cells and macrophages have also been found to have receptor sites for these neuropeptides. What this means is that the immune system is eavesdropping on our internal dialogue, it is responding to what we think.
Every cell in our bodies has these receptor sites; every organ has these receptor sites. Having a sad heart is literally true. When you say, "I have a gut feeling about this," that is actually true. The body is a thinking machine.

There was a study done on rats, kind of a horrible study, in which the researchers threw the rats into a bucket of water until they would practically drown, then take them out, dry them off, throw them in again, over and over and over for about six weeks. At the end of that time, they killed them and performed an autopsy on them and found that they had the bodies of old, old rats. Their bodies were stiff and rigid and looked liked ancient decrepit rats. That is the effect of stress. That is what is happening to us in our society. The arteries of a child look like flexible plastic tubing. Those of the average octogenarian look like old brittle water pipes, rusty, leaking, filled with material deposits. The habitual thoughts of the average adult quite literally steal youth and health, and replace them with sickness, aging and death.
This shows why simply throwing a new thought in the mind occasionally -- like an affirmation -- doesn't do much good. It is the traditional thought, the habitual thought, the thought that continues to run and run and run that determines the body's response. You paste some very positive thought to your mirror -- "Today I will be happy, today I will succeed, today I will find True Love" -- and for thirty seconds or a minute you think that nice positive thought and the whole rest of the day you continue to think, "You can't have that," "You don't deserve that," or whatever -- to which thought is the body going to respond, the one that is put in for five or ten minutes, or the continual stream of 60,000 thoughts Stamford scientists say we think every day?
But imagine if you could learn to still the internal chatter, learn to experience life again in the present moment. Then the full power of your mind would be available for you at any time. The mind is like a pond. The thoughts moving in the mind are like the waves moving in the pond.
Have you ever dropped a single stone into a quiet pond? What happens? Perfectly concentric ripples spread across the water. This is like having one thought only moving through the mind. The mind is coherent, it is orderly, and it is powerful. What happens when you drop several stones, a whole handful into the water? The waves become very choppy. Some troughs end up on tops of crests, many get cancelled out. This is like the mind when it is caught by those continually running internal programs. It just keeps going and going and going and nothing comes of it.

Scientists have actually measured this. Hooking electroencephalographic leads onto the brain, onto the temporal, parietal and occipital lobes of the left and right hemispheres, they find that the measurement of the surface thinking level of the mind looks very much like a chaotic pond: the measurements show many different frequencies in the brain waves, very little coherence. This kind of chaotic, disordered thinking is the way most adults think, but not everyone. There has been a lot of research lately about the Peak Experience and what has been found is that the human mind can become completely coherent.
Do you know what Peak Experiences are? The psychologist Abraham Maslow, who was a pioneer in studying the positive aspects of human psychology, defined them. He wrote, "These moments were of pure, positive happiness, when all doubts, all fears, all inhibitions, all tensions, all weaknesses were left behind. Now self-consciousness was lost. All separateness and distance from the world disappeared..." These experiences are rare, but can come at any unpredictable time and completely transform life. People have adopted whole new belief systems from one single taste beyond the veil of the senses. These experiences have a curative power.
This kind of perfect harmony in brain wave patterns is also found in small infants when they are nursing, in pets when they are being petted and in adults when they are experiencing expansion of consciousness.

What is being measured is a mind that is still, a mind that is in the present moment, not caught by regret for the past or worry for the future.
A mind that is working like this is creating a healthy body. Your body is already spewing out millions of chemical reactions every second. When your mind is tense, anxious, nervous, your body responds by producing tense, anxious, nervous molecules like adrenaline and noradrenaline. When your mind is calm and peaceful, your body produces calm and peaceful molecules like Valium. Your body is already producing chemicals similar to any that your friendly neighborhood pharmacist will give you, but without the side effects. When your body produces Valium, it makes you feel tranquil but without also making you feel like a zombie. When your body produces anti-cancer drugs or anti-bacteria drugs, these drugs have no side effects. The body does this absolutely naturally, in the right amount at the right time, ideally suited for the correct target organ, and all the instructions are included in the packaging. Your body does this completely spontaneously for you when it is not stressed.
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Lindsay
post May 09, 2008, 11:04 AM
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The above, and the following quotes from it, makes a lot of holistic sense to me
QUOTE(Joesus @ May 09, 2008, 09:18 AM) *

If we look into the topic or Holistic health, based on Holism:

The theory that living matter or reality is made up of organic or unified wholes that are greater than the simple sum of their parts, we must necessarily draw ourselves to the greater.

The organic being subservient to the greater follows, conditioning and interpretation of reality ...

...Our minds control our bodies. You've probably heard of the placebo effect? 30% of patients can be given a chalk tablet and told that they will get well and they do get well. There is also a nocebo effect. A physician tells a patient, "I'm very sorry to tell you, Mrs. Jones, but your breast cancer has metastasized throughout your internal organs; you'll be dead in six weeks." If Mrs. Jones believes her doctor, her body will respond and kill her. ...
...The power of the mind is everything.

Dr. Herbert Specter at the National Institute performed another study that illustrates this mind-body connection even more graphically for Health -- this one on some mice.

Dr. Specter divided the mice into two groups. One group was the control group; he gave a potent immune-system-stimulating drug called Poly I-C to the other. Poly I-C increases the number of killer T-cells in the immune system. When he gave the drug to the mice, he also exposed them to the smell of camphor. Do you know what camphor is? It is a pungent-smelling material that most drug stores sell in the form of little white cubes. People think it helps with congestion and breathing problems. It is impossible to forget the scent once you've smelled it. It's the active ingredient in Campho-Phenique.

Dr. Specter treated the mice for a few weeks with the Poly I-C and the camphor, and then took the drug away and just let them smell the camphor. Do you know what happened? Their immune systems were still stimulated -- they had become mighty mice -- no bacteria could make them sick, no tumors would develop if they were exposed to cancer- causing agents.

Another group tried this the opposite way at the University of Rochester. They took rats and administered a potent immune-system-destroying drug, cyclophosphamide -- cyclophosphamide is used in organ transplants, it keeps the body from rejecting the new organ -- and at the same time gave them a taste of saccharine-sweetened water, substituting this for camphor as a neutral agent.

After doing this, a number of times, they took the drug away and just allowed the rats to taste the water. With just the smallest taste of the sweetened water, they would fall sick, develop tuberculosis or pneumonia from the slightest intrusion of bacteria or develop cancer from a very slight exposure to a carcinogen.

Do you see what's going on here? The two groups were interpreting a completely neutral agent differently.

This shows how much our interpretation of reality influences our experience of reality. If we have learned to associate bad health or unhappiness with our experience of life, it becomes a very difficult habit to break.

However
... simply throwing a new thought in the mind occasionally -- like an affirmation -- doesn't do much good. It is the traditional thought, the habitual thought, the thought that continues to run and run and run that determines the body's response.

You paste some very positive thought to your mirror -- "Today I will be happy, today I will succeed, today I will find True Love" -- and for thirty seconds or a minute you think that nice positive thought and the whole rest of the day you continue to think, "You can't have that," "You don't deserve that," or whatever -- to which thought is the body going to respond? The one that is put in for five or ten minutes, or the continual stream of 60,000 thoughts Stamford scientists say we think every day?

... But imagine if you could learn to still the internal chatter, learn to experience life again in the present moment. Then the full power of your mind would be available for you at any time. The mind is like a pond. The thoughts moving in the mind are like the waves moving in the pond. ...

MEASURING THE PATTERN OF OUR THOUGHTS
... Scientists have actually measured this. Hooking electroencephalographic leads onto the brain, onto the temporal, parietal and occipital lobes of the left and right hemispheres, they find that the measurement of the surface thinking level of the mind looks very much like a chaotic pond: the measurements show many different frequencies in the brain waves, very little coherence.

This kind of chaotic, disordered thinking is the way most adults think, but not everyone. There has been a lot of research lately about the Peak Experience and what has been found is that the human mind can become completely coherent.

Do you know what Peak Experiences are?

The psychologist Abraham Maslow, who was a pioneer in studying the positive aspects of human psychology, defined them. He wrote, "These moments were of pure, positive happiness, when all doubts, all fears, all inhibitions, all tensions, all weaknesses were left behind. Now self-consciousness was lost. All separateness and distance from the world disappeared..."

These experiences are rare, but can come at any unpredictable time and completely transform life. ... These experiences have a curative power.
... also found in small infants when they are nursing, in pets when they are being petted and in adults when they are experiencing expansion of consciousness.

What is being measured is a mind that is still, a mind that is in the present moment, not caught by regret for the past or worry for the future.

A mind that is working like this is creating a healthy body. Your body is already spewing out millions of chemical reactions every second. When your mind is tense, anxious, nervous, your body responds by producing tense, anxious, nervous molecules like adrenaline and noradrenaline. When your mind is calm and peaceful, your body produces calm and peaceful molecules like Valium. ... without the side effects.

...When your body produces anti-cancer drugs or anti-bacteria drugs, these drugs have no side effects. ... Your body does this completely spontaneously for you when it is not stressed.


BTW, we all know that the above ideas, found in all cultures, have been around for centuries. It is about time we ALL took notice. Thanks, J.
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Lindsay
post May 22, 2008, 02:41 PM
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THE FOLLOWING IS INTERESTING, TO ME:
===================================
QUOTE
Our Love Affair With Depression
by Kate Melville

A psychiatrist, writing in the British Medical Journal, has lashed out at what he claims is the medicalization of normal human distress. Professor Gordon Parker, a psychiatrist from Australia, says the current threshold for what is considered to be "clinical depression" is too low. He fears it could lead to a diagnosis of depression becoming less credible.

It is, he says, normal to be depressed and points to his own cohort study which followed 242 teachers. Fifteen years into the study, 79 percent of respondents had already met the symptom and duration criteria for major and minor depression.

He blames the over-diagnosis of clinical depression on a change in its categorization. This saw the condition split into "major" and "minor" disorders. He says the simplicity and gravitas of "major depression" gave it cachet with clinicians while its descriptive profile set a low threshold.

Criterion A required a person to be in a "dysphoric mood" for two weeks which included feeling "down in the dumps". Criterion B involved some level of appetite change, sleep disturbance, drop in libido and fatigue. This model was then extended to include what he describes as a seeming subliminal condition "sub-syndromal depression." He argues this categorization means we have been reduced to the absurd.

He says we risk medicalizing normal human distress and viewing any expression of depression as necessary of treatment. "Depression will remain a non-specific 'catch all' diagnosis until common sense prevails," he concluded.

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