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Derailed Trains of Thought, Frightening Feelings and Synchronicities

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Studies and Progress Notes (July 2010)

* * * STUDIES and PROGRESS NOTES * * *

* * SPIRITUAL AWARENESS AND WHOLISTIC HEALING * *

Embodied spiritual awareness: Washing our hands (of problems)

How many times have you heard the expression - maybe you've used it yourself: I'm going to wash my hands of something. Could there be more to the metaphor than meets the eye? Could washing your hands have some tangible effect on your thoughts? A study out recently in the journal Science suggests that the answer is yes, that hand washing can actually change your thinking. The author of the study, Mr. Lee, suggest that the concrete act of washing might provide a basis for the more complex, abstract concepts of morality and purity.  

From: DailyGood
Source: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126611413 

IJHC – WHR Observations

In addition to the metaphoric imagery of washing away negativity, leaving room for more positivity, there is also the cleansing of the bioenergetic field that leaves people more open to resonating with and welcoming connections with positive experiences.


* * FUTURE RESEARCH IN WHOLISTIC HEALING * * 

The IJHC/WHR E-Zine features monthly suggestions for future research in healing.
READERS ARE INVITED TO SUBMIT SUGGESTIONS FOR TOPICS TO STUDY
If your topic is chosen, you ill receive free access to the IJHC for a month, including the current issue and all back issues.
 
Bioenergy field observations to supplement studies of metaphoric interventions

Healers and psychic sensitives report they perceive a visual energy field surrounding every object, be it animal, vegetable or mineral. A study of family interactions demonstrated that significant bioenergy field changes could be observed in correlation with psychological/ awareness changes of family members engaged in varieties of interactions (Leigh and Metzker 2010). This model of study could yield further interesting information in studies such as that of hand washing described above.

Leigh, Geoffrey and Metzker, Jean. Investigating Adaptability, Cohesion, and Human Energy Fields in Family Interactions, International J Healing and Caring 2010, 10(1), 1-20.


* *  WHOLISTIC APPROACHES  * * 

4-day school weeks gain popularity across US

During the school year, Mondays in Peach County are for trips to grandma's house and hanging out at the neighborhood community center. Don't bother showing up for school. The doors are locked and the lights are off. The rural Georgian community is one of more than 120 school districts across the country where students attend school for just four days a week, a cost-saving tactic gaining popularity among cash-strapped districts struggling to make ends meet. "It was that or lay off 39 teachers the week before school started," said Superintendent Susan Clark. The results? Test scores went up. So did attendance. And the graduation rate will be more than 80 percent for the first time in years. "Teachers tell me they're more focused because they've had time to prepare. They don't have kids sleeping in class on Tuesday." Clark explains. "Everything has taken on a laser-light focus."  


On their off day, students who don't have other options attend "Monday care" at area churches and the local Boys & Girls Club, where tutors are also available to help with homework. The programs generally cost a few dollars a day per student…

From DailyGood
Source: Google News

IJHC – WHR Observations

This is an excellent start towards a variety of new approaches in school education. The free day is a window into:
· Independent studies
· Experiential/ project learning
· Service and apprenticeships as ways of learning
· Re-introducing creative arts – as electives in the curriculum

On another note, there were classical studies of changes in programs in the workplace that are directly relevant to this study. A factory manager wondered whether two 10-minute work breaks might be more refreshing to workers than one 20-minute break. Sure enough, productivity was significantly increased when this change was introduced. Tinkering a bit more, he introduced three 7-minute breaks, and again productivity went up. After a while, just to check that the whether the more frequent breaks really made a difference, he changed the breaks back to one 20-minute break. Yet again, the productivity was increased!

His conclusion: It is the change in routines and the novelty that make the difference.

Caution here: We need long term studies to clarify what is happening with school experiences of children. Were we to extrapolate from this lesson, assuming that less is more, we might think of reducing the school week even further…


Sleep duration and mortality

Background: Increasing evidence suggests an association between both short and long duration of habitual sleep with adverse health outcomes.
Objectives: To assess whether the population longitudinal evidence supports the presence of a relationship between duration of sleep and all-cause mortality, to investigate both short and long sleep duration and to obtain an estimate of the risk.
Methods: We performed a systematic search of publications using MEDLINE (1966-2009), EMBASE (from 1980), the Cochrane Library, and manual searches without language restrictions. We included studies if they were prospective, had follow-up >3 years, had duration of sleep at baseline, and all-cause mortality prospectively. We extracted relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) and pooled them using a random effect model. We carried out sensitivity analyses and assessed heterogeneity and publication bias.
Results: Overall, the 16 studies analyzed provided 27 independent cohort samples. They included 1,382,999 male and female participants (follow-up range 4 to 25 years), and 112,566 deaths. Sleep duration was assessed by questionnaire and outcome through death certification. In the pooled analysis, short duration of sleep was associated with a greater risk of death (RR: 1.12; 95% CI 1.06 to 1.18; P < 0. 01) with no evidence of publication bias (P = 0.74) but heterogeneity between studies (P = 0.02). Long duration of sleep was also associated with a greater risk of death (1.30; [1.22 to 1.38]; P < 0.0001) with no evidence of publication bias (P = 0.18) but significant heterogeneity between studies (P < 0.0001).
Conclusion: Both short and long duration of sleep are significant predictors of death in prospective population studies.
Source: Cappuccio FP; D’Elia L; Strazzullo P; Miller MA. Sleep duration and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Sleep 2010, 33(5), 585-592.
http://www.journalsleep.org/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=27780

IJHC – WHR Observations

Getting proper sleep is clearly good for your health. Didn't your mom tell you so?


* * COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES * * 

Omega-3 oil for prevention of psychotic disorders: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial

Context:  The use of antipsychotic medication for the prevention of psychotic disorders is controversial. Long-chain -3 (omega-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may be beneficial in a range of psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia. Given that  -3 PUFAs are generally beneficial to health and without clinically relevant adverse effects, their preventive use in psychosis merits investigation.
Objective:  To determine whether  -3 PUFAs reduce the rate of progression to first-episode psychotic disorder in adolescents and young adults aged 13 to 25 years with subthreshold psychosis.
Design:  Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted between 2004 and 2007.
Setting:  Psychosis detection unit of a large public hospital in Vienna, Austria.
Participants:  Eighty-one individuals at ultra-high risk of psychotic disorder.
Interventions:  A 12-week intervention period of 1.2-g/d  -3 PUFA or placebo was followed by a 40-week monitoring period; the total study period was 12 months.
Main Outcome Measures:  The primary outcome measure was transition to psychotic disorder. Secondary outcomes included symptomatic and functional changes. The ratio of  -6 to  -3 fatty acids in erythrocytes was used to index pretreatment vs posttreatment fatty acid composition.
Results:  Seventy-six of 81 participants (93.8%) completed the intervention. By study's end (12 months), 2 of 41 individuals (4.9%) in the  -3 group and 11 of 40 (27.5%) in the placebo group had transitioned to psychotic disorder (P = .007). The difference between the groups in the cumulative risk of progression to full-threshold psychosis was 22.6% (95% confidence interval, 4.8-40.4).  -3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids also significantly reduced positive symptoms (P = .01), negative symptoms (P = .02), and general symptoms (P = .01) and improved functioning (P = .002) compared with placebo. The incidence of adverse effects did not differ between the treatment groups.
Conclusions:  Long-chain  -3 PUFAs reduce the risk of progression to psychotic disorder and may offer a safe and efficacious strategy for indicated prevention in young people with subthreshold psychotic states.
Source: Amminger, G. Paul et al. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids for indicated prevention of psychotic disorders: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, Archives of General Psychiatry 2010, 67(2), 146-154.
http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/67/2/146?lookupType=volpage&vol=67&fp=146&view=short

IJHC – WHR Observations

It's great to have this confirmation of clinical wisdom, supported by many years of therapists observing that omega-3 oils are helpful in psychiatric treatment.


Benefits of yoga vs. exercise

Objectives: Exercise is considered an acceptable method for improving and maintaining physical and emotional health. A growing body of evidence supports the belief that yoga benefits physical and mental health via down-regulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). The purpose of this article is to provide a scholarly review of the literature regarding research studies comparing the effects of yoga and exercise on a variety of health outcomes and health conditions.
Methods: Using PubMed® and the key word “yoga,” a comprehensive search of the research literature from core scientific and nursing journals yielded 81 studies that met inclusion criteria. These studies subsequently were classified as uncontrolled (n = 30), wait list controlled (n = 16), or comparison (n = 35). The most common comparison intervention (n = 10) involved exercise. These studies were included in this review.
Results: In the studies reviewed, yoga interventions appeared to be equal or superior to exercise in nearly every outcome measured except those involving physical fitness.
Conclusions: The studies comparing the effects of yoga and exercise seem to indicate that, in both healthy and diseased populations, yoga may be as effective as or better than exercise at improving a variety of health-related outcome measures. Future clinical trials are needed to examine the distinctions between exercise and yoga, particularly how the two modalities may differ in their effects on the SNS/HPA axis. Additional studies using rigorous methodologies are needed to examine the health benefits of the various types of yoga.
Source: Ross, Alyson and Thomas, Sue. The health benefits of yoga and exercise: a review of comparison studies, J. Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2010, 16(1), 3-12.
http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/full/10.1089/acm.2009.0044

IJHC – WHR Observations

This study suggests a multitude of possible explanations for the observed differences between the effects of yoga and exercise:
Intention for inner development that is a part of yoga may activate mind-body mechanisms that produce varieties of benefits.
Various yoga positions ('asanas') are said to have specific inherent benefits on physical and psychological functions.


More CAM reviews at
www.naturalhealthvillage.com
www.mdlinx.com/FamilyMDLinx 
 www.ucalgary.ca/~camig/litsearch.html
AMSA website
www.amsa.org/humed/camresources/camnews.cfm


* * TECHNOLOGY * *

Biofuel cells turned glucose into electricity in rats.

Researchers at Joseph Fourier University in France created a new biofuel cell that harnesses oxygen and glucose from the body to produce electricity. Glucose biofuel cells (GBFCs) were placed inside the bodies of rats, and displayed peak energy densities of 24.4 microwatts per milliliter – better than many pacemaker batteries. Glucose and oxygen flow into the fuel cell, and waste products flow out, but the enzymes and metals inside don’t contaminate the body. The JFU team hopes that a new generation of GBFCs will be able to power all kinds of implants in humans.

Humans are already fitted with cybernetic implants on a regular basis. While pacemakers are the most obvious example, there are implants to help with heart monitoring, epilepsy, blindness, diabetes, and other conditions. These devices often run on batteries, or are charged through induction or external wires to a power supply. A glucose based biofuel cell would provide a clear advantage – it is dependent only on chemicals already present in the body (sugar and oxygen). GBFC powered implants could last longer between replacements, and thus reduce the number of necessary surgeries. Big benefits are to be had in patient safety and lower costs.

This GBFC produced power for three months in a rat without causing inflammation. It’s hard to know how far these biofuel cell technologies may be from actual human trials – many years probably. Still they demonstrate the possibility that our bodies could power electromechanical devices without batteries.

Source: Cinquin, Philippe. A glucose BioFuel cell implanted in rats, PLoS One. 2010; 5(5): e10476. Published online 2010 May 4. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010476.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2864295/
Forwarded by Remy Chevalier

IJHC – WHR Observations

This is an exciting development, suggesting there may be new ways to augment ailing, failing or non-functional organs in the body.


Nokia phone charges by drawing energy out of thin air
 
Nokia is currently working on a technology that they say in a few years will be able to charge cell phones from ambient radio waves. That's right--you're phone will essentially charge itself! The technology uses circuits that receive and convert ambient frequencies from radio, TV, GPS, wireless LAN, and even microwave ovens into electricity. If successfully pulled off, the limits of the technology are endless--perfect for all kinds of mobile electronic devices from e-readers to mp3 players and retaining their battery power on the go.
 
This method charges cell phones by using ambient radio waves. This intriguing and exciting technology could lead to huge reductions in energy demand if every cell phone could pull a charge of juice out of thin air.

Researchers in the UK are working hard on a technology that can harvest small amounts of energy from ambient radio and TV waves. The cell phone would pick up radio wave frequencies as low as 500 megahertz up to 10 gigahertz, which includes television broadcasts, microwave ovens, mobile phones, wireless LAN, bluetooth, GPS, and two-way radios. In theory, two circuits would be capable of receiving and then converting the free energy to an electrical current to charge the battery of a cell phone.

Hopefully, it would be enough energy to keep the phone charged in standby mode; although at first it won’t be enough to charge the phone while in use, or to full battery capacity.
http://inhabitat.com/2009/06/11/nokia-phones-pull-energy-out-of-thin-air
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/24/9-wacky-wild-ideas-for-al_n_580746.html
Forwarded by Remy Chevalier

IJHC – WHR Observations

That is the good news. The bad news is that this points out how we are living in a soup of ambient electromagnetic energies that are unnatural to living organisms. Since aspects of the biological mechanisms which keep our physiological functions working harmoniously is bioelectrical, there is every reason to suspect that living in this environment is stressful to living organisms. This may explain some of the relief people feel when visiting in natural environments on the one hand, and may be a contributor to the increases in stress related illnesses on the other hand.


* *  ENVIRONMENT (HEALING OUR PLANET) * *

Sustainable Event Management A Practical Guide
A new book by Meegan Jones

Every year, events of every possible description are held around the world. Be they community events, large academic conferences, business meetings or enormous music concerts, festival, expos, and sporting events, they all have a massive impact on our environment.

It could be said the most environmental friendly event is no event at all. But that's no fun. Public parties and events always have been and always will be a part of the human story. Yet those who stage events have a social and environmental responsibility to reduce their impacts. If all event professionals kept sustainability at the core of their planning and decision-making, then the cumulative outcome across the globe would be impressive. But where do you start?

Written by a leader in the field, this new practical, step-by-step guide leads readers through all of the key aspects of how to understand and manage the impacts of events of any type and scale anywhere. The product of tried-and-tested methods used across the event industry, coverage includes an overview of sustainable event management and detailed discussion of energy, zero emissions options, carbon management and, transport, water, waste management and reduction, procurement and supply chains as well as communications and marketing.

Numerous examples and case studies from across the world are integrated throughout to illustrate key points including how to avoid common pitfalls. Festivals profiled and their systems revealed include the iconic and incredibly green Boom Festival in Portugal, desert-based Burning Man in Nevada USA, grandmother green event Glastonbury Festival, UK rock icons Reading & Leeds Festivals and the Danish over-achiever Roskilde Festival.

Readers are also provided with checklists for action as well as additional tools for measuring performance and assessing key sustainability indicators. The book is also coupled with a companion website that provides further materials, case studies, contacts for suppliers, discussion groups and more.

This is the indispensable one-stop guide for event and facility organizers, managers and professionals, and event management students who want to adjust their thinking and planning decisions towards sustainability and who need a powerful, easy to use collection of tools to deliver events sustainably.

The author, Meegan Jones, is an events professional focusing her work on developing sustainable management solutions for live events. Apart from producing practical solutions to sustainability challenges, working with industry peers she has researched and developed benchmarking and systems for assessing the impact of events. She uses her experience in marketing and event management across the retail, music and media industries to create scenarios which engage and activate the audience, performers, crew and the supply chain.

She worked for the past three years in the UK as Sustainability Co-ordinator for Festival Republic (Reading, Leeds, Latitude & Glastonbury Festivals), developed sustainability solutions at Peats Ridge Festival in Australia, and has worked on sustainability issues for Live Earth India and the London Marathon. She is currently sitting on the working group for Global Reporting Initiative's (GRI) events industry sector supplement, is global greening consultant for the next round of Live Earth events, and is the events and festivals consultant for UK-based music industry climate impact organization Julie's Bicycle.
http://www.sustainableeventguide.com/
Forwarded by Remy Chevalier

IJHC – WHR Observations

It is great to see a growing awareness of this approach to ecological responsibility. Happily, this is a growing trend – along with people bringing their own reusable bags to grocery stores so that plastic bags may soon become a thing of the past. I was very pleased to attend the annual Guelph Hillside Music Festival and to discover that these sorts of ideas are catching on in a big way. Visitors to the event were told to bring their own reusable drinking containers. A municipal water truck dispensed drinking water at a central location. All the food booths relied on customers' drinking containers, and served food on plastic plates. An army of volunteers washed the dishes – in return for free admissions to the Festival. The savings in recycled plastic with 10,000 visitors were enormous!


* * HUMAN ECOLOGY * *

$1 Trillion for wars makes no sense by any measure

Mary Zerkel National Coordinator of the Eyes Wide Open and Cost of War programs within the American Friends Service Committee

May 25, 201

This May 30 at 10:06 a.m., we will reach another dubious milestone in our almost nine years of war. At that precise moment, we will have spent $1 trillion in operational costs for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, tracked by the National Priorities Project's cost of war counter.

What is $1 trillion worth? NPP explains it this way: if you made a million dollars a year, it would take you a million years to earn $1 trillion.

Of course, most Americans don't earn $1 million a year. In fact 9.9 percent earn nothing because they are unemployed. It's a shame that we have wasted that $1 trillion on war, rather than on a WPA-style program to repair our roads and bridges that could have hired those 15.3 million people out of work for $50,000 apiece. And on top of that, we would still have had a cool $235 billion left over to invest in clean energy, producing 3.9 million green jobs while reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, according to a study by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Many such tradeoffs exist, tantalizing us with what could have been. For instance, with that $1 trillion we could have given 4-year scholarships at state universities to the 2 million freshmen currently enrolled - and do the same thing again in each of the next 23 years. Or we could have provided the estimated 500,000 homeless families across the U.S. with affordable housing - and done that each year for the next 17 years.

In other words, $1 trillion has the potential to completely wipe out major domestic social problems that desperately need funding as we cope with the effects of the great recession.

But some very different choices have been made. Runaway spending on the wars and the military in general, puts us in a situation where priorities like education, housing and many other vital domestic needs will be taking a back seat. Is war worth it?

Congress is on the verge of approving yet another "emergency" war spending supplemental, this time for $34 billion to pay for the escalation of troops in Afghanistan. Last weekend (May 22-23) for the first time the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan surpassed those in Iraq. We're winding down one misguided conflict only to accelerate another. And we're doing so with borrowed money. For generations we will be paying the price of these wars with a diminished capacity to respond to the needs of people and communities in our own country.

Sadly, our unfunded domestic needs are not the only cost of war. Why do we continue to spend in pursuit of a military solution in Afghanistan when nearly nine years of war should prove that it is not working? Imagine what spending a fraction of that money on building schools for Afghan girls, or rebuilding an infrastructure decimated by 30 years of war and occupation, could do for the "hearts and minds" we currently are trying to win through drone strikes and the spring offensive in Khandahar.

The human and economic cost of the wars cannot be separated. In yet another sad convergence, we will reach this $1 trillion milestone on Memorial Day weekend. There is no way to quantify the tragedy of the lost lives of the U.S. soldiers and countless Iraqi and Afghan civilians. Each dollar spent on the wars not only was diverted from peaceful, productive projects, but also contributed to these lives lost. That is the greatest tragedy of all.
Source: The Huffington Post
Forwarded by Remy Chevalier

IJHC – WHR Observations

When will people wake up to the waste in resources, not to mention waste in lives when we go to war?

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