The Mind Body Connection And Placebo Effect

 

 

Is the power to heal ourselves increasing?

 

This coming together between the spiritual and scientific communities shows an unprecedented opportunity for humans to embrace vibrant, healthy, thriving lives. Recent research on placebos comes from a McGill University and is published in Pain, the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain. I first learned about this in a wonderful article by Carolyn Gregoire in Huffington Post titled, Placebo Effect Puzzle Has Scientists Scratching Their Heads.

I highly recommend reading the entire article which shows how the placebo effect is exploding in the United States, but nowhere else.

http://upliftconnect.com/power-to-heal-ourselves/

The Mindful Child

 

It’s long been known that meditation helps children feel calmer, but new research is helping quantify its benefits for elementary school-age children. A 2015 study found that fourth- and fifth-grade students who participated in a four-month meditation program showed improvements in executive functions like cognitive control, working memory, cognitive flexibility — and better math grades. A study published recently in the journal Mindfulness found similar improvements in mathematics in fifth graders with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. And a study of elementary school children in Korea showed that eight weeks of meditation lowered aggression, social anxiety and stress levels.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/well/2016/05/10/the-mindful-child/?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share&_r=0&referer=

From JAMA- Mindfulness Limits The Possibility Of Depression Relapse.

CHICAGO -- April 27, 2016 -- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was associated with a reduced risk of depressive relapse over a 60-week follow-up period compared with usual care and outcomes were comparable to those who received other active treatments, according to a study published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Recurrent depression causes significant disability. Interventions that prevent depressive relapse could help reduce the burden of this disease. A growing body of research has shown the potential of MBCT for depression.

Willem Kuyken, PhD, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, and colleagues reported the results of analyses of individual patient data from 9 published randomised trials of MBCT. The analyses included 1,258 patients with available data on relapse.

MBCT was associated with a reduced risk of depressive relapse/recurrence over 60 weeks compared with those who did not receive MBCT. There also appeared to be no differing effects for patients based on their sex, age, education or relationship status.

The treatment effect of MBCT on the risk of depressive relapse/recurrence appeared to be larger in patients with higher levels of depression symptoms at baseline compared with non-MBCT treatments, suggesting that MBCT may be especially helpful to those patients who still have significant depressive symptoms, according to the authors.

The authors acknowledge study limitations related to the availability of the data within the studies.

“We recommend that future trials consider an active control group, use comparable primary and secondary outcomes, use longer follow-ups, report treatment fidelity, collect key background variables (ie, race/ethnicity and employment), take care to ensure generalizability, conduct cost-effectiveness analyses, put in place ethical and data management procedures that enable data sharing, consider mechanisms of action, and systematically record and report adverse events,” the authors concluded.

In an accompanying editorial, Richard J. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Linked to Reduced Depressive Relapse RiskDavidson, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison,

Madison, Wisconsin, wrote: “Mindfulness practices were not originally developed as therapeutic treatments. They emerged originally in contemplative traditions for the purposes of cultivating well-being, and virtue. The questions of whether and how they might be helpful in alleviating symptoms of depression and other related psychopathologies are quite new, and the evidence base is in its embryonic stage. To my knowledge, the article by Kuyken et al is the most comprehensive meta-analysis to date to provide evidence for the effectiveness of MBCT in the prevention of depressive relapse. However, the article also raises many questions, and the limited nature of the extant evidence underscores the critical need for additional research.”

SOURCE: JAMA Psychiatry

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Linked to Reduced Depressive Relapse Risk

CHICAGO -- April 27, 2016 -- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was associated with a reduced risk of depressive relapse over a 60-week follow-up period compared with usual care and outcomes were comparable to those who received other active treatments, according to a study published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Recurrent depression causes significant disability. Interventions that prevent depressive relapse could help reduce the burden of this disease. A growing body of research has shown the potential of MBCT for depression.

Willem Kuyken, PhD, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, and colleagues reported the results of analyses of individual patient data from 9 published randomised trials of MBCT. The analyses included 1,258 patients with available data on relapse.

MBCT was associated with a reduced risk of depressive relapse/recurrence over 60 weeks compared with those who did not receive MBCT. There also appeared to be no differing effects for patients based on their sex, age, education or relationship status.

The treatment effect of MBCT on the risk of depressive relapse/recurrence appeared to be larger in patients with higher levels of depression symptoms at baseline compared with non-MBCT treatments, suggesting that MBCT may be especially helpful to those patients who still have significant depressive symptoms, according to the authors.

The authors acknowledge study limitations related to the availability of the data within the studies.

“We recommend that future trials consider an active control group, use comparable primary and secondary outcomes, use longer follow-ups, report treatment fidelity, collect key background variables (ie, race/ethnicity and employment), take care to ensure generalizability, conduct cost-effectiveness analyses, put in place ethical and data management procedures that enable data sharing, consider mechanisms of action, and systematically record and report adverse events,” the authors concluded.

In an accompanying editorial, Richard J. Davidson, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, wrote: “Mindfulness practices were not originally developed as therapeutic treatments. They emerged originally in contemplative traditions for the purposes of cultivating well-being, and virtue. The questions of whether and how they might be helpful in alleviating symptoms of depression and other related psychopathologies are quite new, and the evidence base is in its embryonic stage. To my knowledge, the article by Kuyken et al is the most comprehensive meta-analysis to date to provide evidence for the effectiveness of MBCT in the prevention of depressive relapse. However, the article also raises many questions, and the limited nature of the extant evidence underscores the critical need for additional research.”

SOURCE: JAMA Psychiatry

Attitude Breathing To Shift Emotional States Positively

Attitude Breathing®

Attitude Breathing is a tool that helps you synchronize the nervous system activity in your entire body. By using this tool regularly, you gradually build the power to make attitude shifts that last. Attitude Breathing will restructure your emotions and re-pattern your neural circuitry and hormonal responses so you can change long-standing unproductive attitudes, including those you are not even consciously aware of.

Many people have grumbles and gripes running as background noise behind their thoughts. This makes the day look bleak, like a black-and-white movie, instead of colorful, vibrant, and filled with rich texture. Attitude Breathing will help you clear out these old gripes and negative undercurrents so you can minimize the stress hormones running through your system and gain access to the feel-good hormones that keep you feeling vibrant.

• Attitude Breathing Tool

  1. Focus on the heart as you breathe in (as you learned to do in the Quick

  2. Coherence technique). As you breathe out, focus on your solar plexus.

  3. Practice breathing in through the heart and out through the solar plexus for thirty seconds or longer to help anchor your energy and attention there. Next, select a positive feeling or attitude (try appreciation, for example) to breathe in through the heart and out through the solar plexus for another thirty seconds (or longer).

  1. Once you feel the appreciation, lock in the feeling of that positive attitude. Now, as you breathe, visualize building and storing the positive energy that the feeling of appreciation gives you. Practice breathing that appreciation for a few minutes.

  2. Select attitudes to breathe that will help offset the negative emotion or imbalance of the situation you are in. Breathe deeply, with the intent of shifting to the feeling of that attitude. You can breathe two attitudes, if you’d like. For example, you can breathe in an attitude of balance and breathe out an attitude of forgiveness, or you can breathe in an attitude of love and breathe out an attitude of compassion.

Using Attitude Breathing

Practice different attitudes you want to develop. You can tell yourself, “Breathe courage,” “Breathe ease,” “Breathe forgiveness,” “Breathe neutral,” or whatever attitude you need. Even if you can’t feel the attitude shift at first, making a genuine and earnest effort to shift will at least help you get to a neutral state. In neutral, you have more objectivity and you save energy.

Attitude Breathing is especially handy during highly charged situations. The tool combines the power of the heart and gut to enable you to shift emotion and physiology right in the middle of a strong reaction. The heart is the most powerful rhythmic oscillator in the body, so it pulls the body’s other rhythms into synchronization with its own. Your power to make attitude adjustments will build fast as you use Attitude Breathing in the middle of a reaction or disagreement.

When you first try Attitude Breathing in a charged situation, it can feel like you’re going against the grain or against what you know about the situation. You may have to apply earnest effort against resistance. During strong reactions, you may need to breathe the new attitude earnestly for two or three minutes before your nerves quiet down and you experience a shift. Do it for the sake of creating coherence. Do it for yourself. Have a genuine “I mean business” attitude to really move those emotions into a more coherent state and shift your physiology.

• Use your notebook to write down unproductive attitudes you know you have and more positive attitudes you wish you had. Now think of that nemesis in your life or that person who gets your goat or has been a problem for you. Consider what attitudes might help you stay in more coherence when you’re around that person. Pick one or two and use them in Attitude Breathing.

Simply focus in the area of your heart while breathing those feelings or attitudes. Try attitudes opposite from what you’ve been feeling—for example, love and appreciation if you’ve been feeling animosity and resentment. Breathe the feelings of love and appreciation in through the heart as best you can, then breathe them out through the solar plexus area. Imagine love and appreciation flowing in and out with your breath until you find an easy rhythm with it. Don’t worry about whether you are doing it right. Just look for the rhythm. Practice this genuinely and earnestly for thirty seconds or longer. Then stop and note what you perceive and feel. The shift might be subtle, but you will probably be more balanced about the situation.

Stress Relief With Freeze Frame Technique From HeartMath Institute

Shift from frictional consciousness to harmony consciousness. Cut thru stress.

Freeze Frame Technique

  1. Recognize the stressful feeling, and FREEZE FRAME it. Take a time out.

  2. Make a sincere effort to shift your focus away from the racing mind or disturbed emotions to the area around your heart. You can pretend that you are breathing thru your heart to help focus energy in this area. Keep your focus there for ten seconds or more.

  3. Recall a positive, fun feeling or time you’ve had in life and attempt to re-experience it.

  4. Now use your intuition common sense and sincerity-- ask your heart, what would be a more efficient response to the situation, one that will minimize future stress?

  5. Listen to what your heart says in answer to your question. Its an effective way to put your reactive mind and emotions in check and an inhouse source of common sense sense solutions.

 

 

Don’t start with the biggest, most emotionally charged issue you have. Start with a beginner level stress.

 

Notice what you’ve been going through around this situation: thoughts that keep recurring, feelings and reactions….

frustratration, worry, impatience, burnout.

 

After reviewing the situation and the head reactions --take a minute to review the five steps of freeze frame . Then relax and go thru each step.  

Why Meditation Is One Of The Most Important Things You Can Do For Heart Health: A Doctor Explains

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-23718/why-meditation-is-one-of-the-most-important-things-you-can-do-for-heart-health-a.html?utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily&utm_campaign=160212-8-steps-to-attract-the-greatest-love-of-your-life

Despite medical advances, heart disease remains the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

This is a startling reality, especially given how preventable the condition is for those of us who are not genetically predisposed to it. Stress, along with smoking, sedentary habits, and a poor diet are some of the main lifestyle-related risk factors that increase one’s chance of developing the condition.

February is National Heart Disease Awareness Month. So what better time than now to take a hard look at your lifestyle choices?

As an integrative medicine practitioner, I know the importance of stress management for heart health and overall wellness. Here, I'll explain why stress is a risk factor for heart disease and share why meditation is a natural and proven method to mitigate its effects.

How the Stress-Response System Works

Whether it’s related to work, health, money, relationships, or some other life situation, stress eventually finds its way into all our lives.

Thankfully, our bodies are well-equipped to handle stressful situations thanks to the autonomic nervous system, which is dedicated to regulating the often subconscious processes, such as increased heart rate and shallow breathing, that kick in when stress or anxiety is present.

The stress-reaction process is truly an amazing and efficient one: when the body is under stress, the amygdala in the brain fires up and sends an alert that there's a stressor. Then the sympathetic nervous system is activated and prepares the body to “fight or take flight.” The adrenals go to work, supplying the body with cortisol and adrenaline, completing the trifecta of the stress-response process.

When the stressor is gone, cortisol and adrenaline levels typically subside, and stability is restored to the body. However, when the stress-reaction process is repeated multiple times over a relatively short period, stress becomes chronic and the system breaks down.

This is called “allostatic load,” and it can result in an increase in physiological issues that compromise the immune system and even accelerate some disease processes, such as heart disease.

Why Meditation for Stress Relief Can Help Your Heart

In recent years, meditation for stress relief has become more widely accepted as a complementary treatment to conventional medicine.

As research continues to affirm its positive psychological and physiological effects on the body, the attitude of “it can’t hurt” has slowly shifted to “it can help.” According to a 2012 National Institutes of Health survey, meditation is the third most used mind-body therapy (next to yoga and osteopathic manipulation), with more than 18 million people in the U.S. engaging in some type of practice.

Here's what the science says about how a regular meditation practice can play a role in reducing cardiovascular disease:

1. It lowers blood pressure.

When left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to stroke and heart disease. One 2013 study showed that a regular mindfulness-based stress-reduction program was able to reduce both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure of participants over a period of eight weeks.

2. It releases feelings of stress and tension.

Meditating quietly even for just a few minutes a day can restore feelings of calm and peacefulness. In a 2015 study on nursing students, participants reported significant reduction of anxiety and stress after engaging in mind-body techniques, such as meditation and biofeedback, over a period of time.

3. It improves sleep.

Increasing evidence shows that mindfulness meditation can be successfully used for the treatment of insomnia, with good patient acceptance and durable results.

4. It boosts the immune system.

After an eight-week period of mindfulness meditation, the researchers in a University of Wisconsin, Madison, study reported “demonstrable effects on brain and immune function.”

5. It reduces inflammation.

Inflammation plays a major role in heart disease. Chronic inflammation is involved in all stages of atherosclerosis, the process that leads to cholesterol-clogged arteries. Research shows that practicing a mind-body therapy such as meditation, along with dietary and exercise programs, can help reduce underlying inflammatory processes.

The bottom line: Meditation is a practice that can be done anywhere at any time, alone in the privacy of your own home, or in the company of others.

As with many things in life, getting started is the hardest step. Private consultations with a trained practitioner can be a wonderful way to take that first step or to enhance an existing practice.

In the battle against stress and even heart disease, there is a lot you can do! By being proactive now, you can bring about changes that can make a significant difference in how you feel, both physically and emotionally, in the very near future.

Freeze Frame Technique From Heart Math Institute

Here is a way to strengthen and activate the parasympathetic nervous system by activating neurons in the heart. This creates a heart brain coherence that creates positive emotional states.

Move from frictional consciousness to harmony consciousness.

  1. Recognize the stressful feeling, and FREEZE FRAME it. Take a time out.

  2. Make a sincere effort to shift your focus away from the racing mind or disturbed emotions to the area around your heart. You can pretend that you jare breathing thru your heart to help focus energy in this area. Keep your focus there for ten seconds or more.

  3. Recall a positive, fun feeling or time you’ve had in life and attempt to re-experience it.

  4. Now use your intuition common sense and sincerity-- ask your heart, what would be a more efficient response to the situation, one that will minimize future stress?

  5. Listen to what your heart says in answer to your question. Its an effective way to put your reactive mind and emotions in check and an inhouse source of common sense sense solutions.

Neurobiological Changes Explain How Mindfulness Meditation Improves Health

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-02/cmu-nce020416.php#.VrUc3OZYLYQ.facebook

Over the past decade, mindfulness meditation has been shown to improve a broad range of health and disease outcomes, such as slowing HIV progression and improving healthy aging. Yet, little is known about the brain changes that produce these beneficial health effects.

New research from Carnegie Mellon University provides a window into the brain changes that link mindfulness meditation training with health in stressed adults. Published in Biological Psychiatry, the study shows that mindfulness meditation training, compared to relaxation training, reduces Interleukin-6, an inflammatory health biomarker, in high-stress, unemployed community adults.

What A Happy Cell Looks Like And How To Get It With Meditation

Perhaps the most striking theory posed of meditation is that it could alter genetic material.

 

“We already know lots of ways to achieve hedonic happiness. The big question now is how can we evoke a more eudaimonic-linked profile in our immune system?” he continues.

One way is through mind-body practices, like meditation, which “have been shown to cultivate positive and happy immune cells,” he says. Research has linked meditation to reduced negative inflammatory activity, increased positive antiviral response, improved function of specific strains of immune cells, andhigher antibody production.

 

 

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/02/what-a-happy-cell-looks-like/385000/?utm_source=SFFB

10 Mantras To Start Your Day

Morning is the best time for meditation as it promotes a positive  state  of being for  your day. A good way  to enter a meditative state is by practicing mantras and I like to use binaural beats as well. Mantras can work as ‘higher energetic vibrations’ and help you achieve a whole new level of flow in meditation. Here, we have compiled a list of 10 morning meditation mantras for you. Please have a look.

 

http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/morning-meditation-mantras/