Our mind and body are resilient and have the innate healing power.

You might not be who you think you are. Your very perception or idea of who you are has been weaved into your mind over time.

Surviving an accident was the easy part; coping with the chronic pain would prove more difficult. Danna Pycher shares her story about trauma and the transformative insight she gained that allowed her to harness the healing power of the subconscious mind.

We, all of us, are born as blank slates. Through our experiences, we are programmed to have certain beliefs about who we are, what we can achieve in life and what type of person we should be. From birth until six we’re essentially living life in a hypnotic trance. It’s why we learn languages so quickly at this young age. We are sponges just joyously absorbing everything around us.

At this precious age, we set up the rest of our lives. What we learned from the age of zero until six is essentially the patterns or programming we begin to develop from adolescence or from then and repeat again and again from adolescent into adulthood.

We are patterns. Sometimes our patterns do not serve us. Those patterns are called disease, depression, obesity, and the list unfortunately goes on and on. The mind and body, the disease and thought are all interconnected.

When events happen in life they’re recorded. When a stressful event happens it is recorded as is. And that creates a certain level of shock on the mind, which therefore sends the stress signals down the nervous system, which in turn will tell the endocrine system to increase adrenaline and cortisol, and while those levels are increased, our immune levels are lowered.

The fact that we have these stress responses initially is not a bad thing. And the fact that our minds compound all of these situations over time without ever letting them go, every situation builds upon each other.

So the real reason we experience stress in reality as for our own good, for our own safety. So, the initial stress isn’t bad, the continual attachment to this stress is bad.

When we experience stress, there’s a recording in the subconscious mind and enough of these recording over time will cause havoc and an overstressed nervous system, which in turn cause an overproduction stress hormones and a suppression of immune function.

So, now the gold question: How do we reverse all of this?

There’s a new study dedicated to all of this called psychoneuroimmunology. The best way that Danna has found to take the study off the paper and into real life to intervene in the influence of stress on immunity, is hypnotherapy.

The mind and body are resilient and have the innate healing power, yet sometimes they just need a bit of guidance.

Her message is: If you can heal your mind, you can heal your life.

In the video below she exposes the connection between your mind, who you think you are and the potential onset of disease:

 

Credits: The words of this article are of Danna Pycher.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

About Danna Pycher:

Danna Pycher is a certified Neuro-Linguistic Hypnotherapist specializing in chronic illness and trauma. She is also a motivational speaker and coach. Her first book 3rd Generation and Beyond is a beautiful, powerful book of life philosophies according to a third generation Holocaust descendant. ” A must read for the young and old who are trying to find an identity or just need a reminder on how to appreciate the little things in life.” She enjoyed many years in broadcasting as an on-camera host, reporter, and producer working in the fields of health reporting and corporate productions. Her curiosity about the nature of human beings is what guides her professional pursuits. Visit her website.

Is hypnosis a placebo effect or actual changes are occurring in the brain?

In this old question, the answer seems to be the latter, according to a new scientific study. This is the first study that specifically aimed to show what happens in the brain during the hypnotic state.

The researchers, led by Dr. David Spiegel, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University in California, who made the publication in the neuroscience journal Cerebral Cortex, studied the brain of 57 study participants – 36 who were highly hypnotizable and 21 who weren’t.

The functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) revealed that some vital brain regions operate differently at the hypnotic state, so the effect of the latter is not only in the person’s mind (at least not only), but is also a matter of neurophysiology. Hypnosis, which in the 19th century was used extensively, today is flourishing and is used by doctors and psychotherapists for the treatment of insomnia, phobias, pain, smoking, and other addictions, etc.

“I think we have pretty definitive evidence here that the brain is working differently when a person is in hypnosis,”

said Dr. Spiegel.

This knowledge could help hypnosis shed its reputation as a pseudoscientific slight-of-hand. And it might help researchers develop new hypnosis-based therapies or make it possible to hypnotize people, as the release states:

A treatment that combines brain stimulation with hypnosis could improve the known analgesic effects of hypnosis and potentially replace addictive and side-effect-laden painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs, [Spiegel] said. More research, however, is needed before such a therapy could be implemented.

However, it is certain that not all scientists are about to be convinced from this new study, as many insist that hypnosis is a state created not by biology but by the individual’s expectations and essentially located in the “software” of the mind and not in “material” of the brain. Functional imaging is a blunt instrument and the findings can be difficult to interpret, especially when a study is looking at activity levels in many brain areas.

Still, Dr. Spiegel highlighted that the findings might help explain the intense absorption, lack of self-consciousness and suggestibility that characterize the hypnotic state.

References:

  1. Typosthes
  2. New York Times
  3. Scope – Standford Medicine

In this cool infographic there’s a list of nine hobbies that will keep you neurologically stimulated and mentally healthy.

Finding time for yourself can be nearly impossible sometimes.

Balancing your professional, social, and family life probably leave you feeling the need just to collapse from exhaustion at the end of the day.

Trying to find the time to keep your mind sharp amid all the chaos while also trying to maintain your personal sanity is a difficult balance to strike.

This is especially true if your free time comes in small increments throughout the day. It can sometimes feel as though you have to choose between making yourself smarter and making yourself happier.

Lucky for you, research shows that several hobbies have the potential to ‘kill two birds with one stone’.

Take reading for example (the activity you are doing RIGHT NOW). Reading is perhaps the most obvious example of a hobby that can be both relaxing and mentally beneficial.

A study published in the Neurology Journal regarding cognitive aging and cognitive activity concluded:

More frequent cognitive activity across the life span has an association with slower late-life cognitive decline that is independent of common neuropathologic conditions…

So essentially, the more you use your brain, the less you lose it later in life.

Thankfully, hobbies like reading and writing have never been easier to do no matter where you are.

Between e-books, magazine articles, news feeds, and blogs there is never a shortage of content for you to choose.

If you have a few minutes where you are stuck waiting in a line, you can pull out your phone and begin reading while you wait.

Choosing a hobby that expands your intellect while also providing you with a much-needed leisure activity maximizes the limited time you have available.

The folks at Smarter Hobby created the infographic below which is a list of nine hobbies that will help keep you neurologically stimulated and mentally healthy.

Whatever your preferences are, it is important that you choose an activity that you both enjoy and fits into your hectic life.

An infographic with hobbies that can make you smarter

Well, what hobbies you pick? Let us know in the comments!

Where does fatigue come from?

It doesn’t come from the body. Even when people exercise to exhaustion, studies have shown that there is fuel left in the tank – one found there was enough energy left in muscle tissue for participants to have kept going for another seven or eight minutes. The brain puts the brakes on, stepping in to stop us from over-exerting and injuring ourselves long before we reach our actual limits.

According to the latest research, our physical endurance is determined by our “perception of effort” – how much work the brain thinks that the body has done. But the brain can be tricked. In Brazil, a group of scientists improved power output in cyclists by 10% by running a small electric current through the brain. Elsewhere, it has been shown that giving athletes incorrect information about the temperature can help them maintain their performance in hot conditions, and that lying to them about their split times can help them break personal bests.

In one study, Professor Samuele Marcora and colleagues asked people to pedal an exercise bike at a fixed pace for as long as possible. Unbeknown to the participants, a screen in front of them was flashing up subliminal images for 1/16th of a second at a time. Cyclists flashed images of sad faces rode for 22 minutes and 22 seconds on average. Those shown happy faces reported less perceived exertion, and rode for three minutes longer. Marcora now wants to develop a pair of goggles that could flash up this kind of image at athletes while they are out training.

Forcing ourselves to keep going also means ignoring all the signals from our body telling us to stop. This “response inhibition” is very mentally taxing, and it causes a substance called adenosine to build up in the brain. Adenosine is associated with the feeling of mental fatigue – it builds up when people run marathons or work on boring spreadsheets, or if they haven’t had enough sleep. Adenosine increases perception of effort. It is the enemy of endurance.

Mo Farah drinks a couple of espressos before a race, to reduce mental fatigue.

Caffeine blocks adenosine. This is why Mo Farah drinks a couple of espressos before a race, and why caffeine pills and gum have become an essential part of the long-distance runner’s pre-race preparation. You can also train your brain, by doing monotonous response- inhibition tasks before or during exercise. In the short term, this will make your performance worse, but in the long run your brain will learn to produce less adenosine, which will reduce perception of effort and increase endurance.

In one study, Marcora asked two groups of soldiers to do a time-to-exhaustion test, where they were asked to ride at a fixed percentage of their maximum until they couldn’t any more. After 12 weeks of training the control group’s time-to-exhaustion had improved by 42%. The other group performed a mentally fatiguing task alongside their physical training sessions. Their time to exhaustion improved by 115%.

Auditory versions of these tasks for smartphones are in the works, but you can replicate the effect simply by changing your training patterns. For your brain, running five miles after a hard day’s work feels like the last five miles of a much longer run. It offers a much better workout for your willpower. It’s mind over matter, and fortunately for athletes – from the elite to the amateur – the mind is much easier to manipulate.

This article was originally posted at The Guardian.

Photo credits: occoquanbayperformance.com

About the author

Amit Katwala is the author of The Athletic Brain out on 11 August. To order a copy, go to bookshop.theguardian.com.

It would seem strange if you hear about controlling illness through meditation?

Meditation is an ancient method that originally had a mystical character, but is now used by millions of people worldwide. More and more studies show the benefits of an emotional and physical level (eg. stress, blood pressure, negative emotions).

It seems that scientists will continue for a long time to deal with the “phenomenon of meditation”, since the findings of their studies are constantly confirm how much power lies behind this simple technique. Lately, scientists in Switzerland have announced that for the first time succeeded in creating a network of genes which controlled only by our thinking and that those who do meditation are achieving it a much greater extent.

What’s the relationship between the power of our thoughts, meditation and its effect on our body? Actually, this is just the way meditation works: controlling our thoughts, experts say, we can intervene in our body functions. The team of Dr. Martin Fussenegger, professor of Biotechnology and Bioengineering at the University of Basel, announced from the Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich: “for the first time, we were able to gain access to the waves of human brain, transmit them wirelessly to a network of genes and control the expression of a gene according to the kind of thought. The control of genes expression through the power of thought is a dream which we were hunting for over a decade.

The idea came up from a videogame, Mindflex, where the players wear a special helmet which records brainwaves and through their thoughts control a ball on the screen, leading it through various obstacles.

In the research of Dr. Fussenegger, some volunteers gathered just as when one plays Mindflex, while others were meditating. To evaluate the results of their research, the scientists measured the production of a particular protein. All volunteers were able to remain focused on producing the protein and thus affect with their thinking the corresponding genes. But those who were in meditative state, produced through their thoughts much larger amounts of protein.

Simply put, this study proved that our thoughts affect matter and that this affection becomes stronger with meditation.

The lead of the research said he hopes that by using brainwaves, soon we’ll be able to tackle diseases such as chronic headaches, backaches, and epilepsy.

All this looks like science fiction and perhaps remind some Star Wars, but the announcements of scientists leave no room for doubt: the power of our thought is huge and we already use it even if we don’t realize it; and meditation is a powerful tool to learn how to use this power to make our lives better. It’s no coincidence that Mayo Clinic, the hospital that was voted No1 in the US, is already using meditation techniques in the patient therapy.

References:

http://www.queen.gr/well-being/psyhologia/item/103410-dialogismos-mporoyme-na-elegxoyme-akoma-kai-astheneies-me-ti-skepsi-mas#ixzz3KeKDybew

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/changing-our-dna-through-mind-control/

https://www.ethz.ch/en/news-and-events/eth-news/news/2014/11/controlling-genes-with-thoughts.html

http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/141111/ncomms6392/full/ncomms6392.html

http://www.spiritualgenome.com/index.php/articles/44-genes-controlled-by-human-thought

http://www.wallstreetdaily.com/2014/11/28/mind-control-device/

By Nansy Kallikli