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Ayahuasca: A New Approach to Western Medicine

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eyes Depression, anxiety, and addiction are among the most common illnesses that plague the western world today. It seems that every second person is either taking some form of anti-depressant or self-medicating themselves with alcohol or recreational drugs. This occurrence can be viewed in all age groups; the idea of escaping problems using the common vices previously mentioned. It seems as though our overall health and well-being are no longer in the interests of the health care system, when a person of any age can walk into a doctor’s office and attain a prescription to antidepressants. It’s time to take a step back to look inside ourselves to find out where these issues are coming from. Are any of these substances or so called medications serving us, or allowing us to find peace within ourselves? For centuries ancient cultures from around the world have taken the naturopathic approach to healing their ailments, and it’s this concept of utilizing nature that western society has moved away from that might be one of our biggest downfalls. Deep within the Amazonian jungles, a traditional plant based medicine called ayahuasca has been used throughout their culture’s history to cure any known illnesses. In recent years, this form of medicine has found its way to North American culture, and is gaining widespread attention from many medical professionals.

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peruSo what is ayahuasca? Traditionally, it is a tea or brew made from the combination of the vines and leaves of certain plants from the Amazonian jungle. This tea is brewed by what is described as a “shaman”. Shamans are considered the medicinal doctors of the native cultures in South America. These people are said to have the ability to communicate with the spirit world, and during an ayahuasca ceremony the shaman uses these abilities to help the participants through their journey with the plant medicine. It is unknown how long these ancient cultures have been using this alternative form of medicine. The first recorded usage of ayahuasca in western society was made in 1851 by a famous European scientist named Richard Spruce. Archaeological evidence suggests that native plant use dates back thousands of years.

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Ayahuasca is considered a sacred practice by the natives of South America, and the tea is usually ingested in a group setting using a ceremonial approach. The ceremony is led by the Shaman, and the participants usually include people from all walks of life. Academic researchers have taken interest in this sacred practice in recent years, exploring the idea of using ayahuasca to treat depression, anxiety, or even drug addiction. These scientists are finding their way to the amazon to take part in these ceremonies to expand their own awareness of foreign medicine in hopes to take what they have learned back to America. National Geographic has written articles on the plant based medicine; even David Suzuki has explored the idea in his CBC program “The Nature of Things”. It is clear that the North American science community is beginning to realize that our current approach to therapy is no longer serving the masses.

ayahuasca-limpia

So you may be wondering what an ayahuasca experience entails? Usually a participant agrees to take part in an ayahuasca ceremony because there are either physical or emotional issues that need to be dealt with, or sometimes the intent behind participating can simply be to attain knowledge of self. These mental issues can vary from traumas such as abuse, depression in the teenage or adult years, drug and alcohol addictions, and so on and so forth. The participant is required to go on a strict diet, called a “dieta”, the week before their experience. This cleanse allows for the body to rid itself of dangerous toxins that may interfere with the effects of ayahuasca, and it also allows for the mind to be clear and ready for what the medicine will teach its user. Traditionally, the ceremony will take place within the amazon, although it is becoming common for trained shamans to travel to Canada or the United States, bringing the medicine to local communities for people who are not able to commute. The brew is usually taken after the Sun has set, and so the group of participants meet beforehand to introduce themselves to the rest of the party and to the shaman leading the ceremony. Once settled in, the ceremony commences as one by one each person drinks the amount of ayahuasca decided by the shaman that will be necessary for their healing journey. After the participant has drunk the ayahuasca, they return to their bed and begin their solitary meditation for the rest of the evening. Ayahuasca brings its user into an altered state of consciousness, which can seem frightening at first, however the shaman and other helpers are there to guide and aid people if they are going through a difficult experience. It’s through this altered state of consciousness that the ayahuasca users become aware of mental or emotional traumas that have been affecting them at a subconscious level, whether it is abuse, substance addiction or so on. It is said that when someone takes ayahuasca, the spirit of the plant manifests through the guide of the shaman, and it is this spirit who helps teach and heal the participants throughout the ceremony. The ayahuasca ceremony can bring up difficult experiences, and it is common that when someone is dealing with a difficult memory that in order to heal they will expel bad energies in the form of purging, crying, yawning, or even defecating. The more difficult experience a person goes through, the more they are healing and shedding themselves of the ghosts of their past. During the ceremony, the shaman may feel that someone needs personal attention, and can do one-on-one healing work with that person. In the tradition of the ayahuasca culture, the shamans will chant sacred hymns throughout the ceremony to guide the participants through their journey, which can last anywhere from 2-6 hours. After the effects of the plant medicine have worn off, the patient is usually exhausted and will need to sleep; it is in the following day and days to come that they will feel like a new person, having shed any unnecessary emotional and physical weight that they have been carrying. The participant carries with them a new level of awareness that has ultimately changed their life forever. It is said that the amount of healing one can gain through only a few nights of drinking ayahuasca is equivalent to the amount of healing one would receive from years of psychotherapy.

What has happened to North American culture that has made us think that we are separate from nature? What has caused us to think that synthetically created drugs or alcohol can solve our problems? These are important questions which must begin to be addressed during this time. Stats Canada states that 8 % of Canadian adults suffer from depression. The pharmaceutical industry brings in billions of dollars a year, and the alcohol industry is not far behind that number. Perhaps the indigenous cultures that recognize that we are a part of nature, and who understand that nature has the ability to restore our health and well-being, are more ahead of the game than we know. Western society is now beginning to explore the concept of alternative medicine and is starting to accept that the way in which we are dealing with illnesses are no longer serving the masses. With these new alternatives such as ayahuasca being utilized, perhaps we are on the brink of a new era of health empowerment and a new era of self-awareness like never seen before.

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*Most of the ceremonial information from this article comes from my own experiences with ayahuasca.

References:

1.)    http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cd-mc/mi-mm/depression-eng.php

2.)    http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/lsg-pdsv.nsf/eng/h_hn01703.html

3.)    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02860772?LI=true

4.)    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0163725804000464

 

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These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

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Awareness

Psycho-Acoustic Medicine: Science Behind Sound Healing For Serotonin Production

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A number of studies and experiments have shown that sound can be used as medicine for various ailments and diseases.

  • Reflect On:

    Is our modern day medical industry truly interested in the health and well-being of people, or do profit and control take more priority?

Mental illness has reached an all time high in the world, and yet the modern day medicines to relieve symptoms have gained controversy. This is, in part, why people have dug up the past to better understand alternative ways of healing.

Sound, for instance, has been a tool for promoting the physical and emotional health of the body for as long as history can account for, deeply rooted in ancient cultures and civilizations. The ancient Egyptians used vowel sound chants in healing because they believed vowels were sacred. Tibetan monks take advantage of singing bowls, which they believe to be “a symbol of the unknowable” whose “vibrations have been described as the sound of the universe manifesting.”

“Our various states of consciousness are directly connected to the ever-changing electrical, chemical, and architectural environment of the brain. Daily habits of behavior and thought processes have the ability to alter the architecture of brain structure and connectivity, as well as, the neurochemical and electrical neural oscillations of your mind.”

Psychoacoustics is the scientific study of the perception of sound, and it has fueled researchers paths to better understand how it can be used as medicine. For instance, in 1973, Dr. Gerald Oster, a medical doctor and biophysicist, proved, in his research paper, “Auditory Beats in the Brain,” how sound affects the how the brain absorbs new information, controls mood, sleep patterns, healing responses, and more, and how quickly. Thus, specific frequencies of sound and music can be used to generate neurotransmitters such as serotonin.

brain_scan

To understand the fundamentals of sound in healing, we must first understand our brain waves. The nucleus of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, is the communication between neurons. Brain waves are generated by way of electrical pulses working in unison from masses of neurons interacting with one another. Brain waves are divided into five different bandwidths that are thought to form a spectrum of human consciousness.

The slowest of the waves are delta waves (.5 to 3 Hz), which are the slowest brain waves and occur mostly during our deepest state of sleep. The fastest of the waves are gamma waves (25 to 100 Hz), which are associated with higher states of conscious perception. Alpha waves (8 to 12 Hz) occur when the brain is daydreaming or consciously practicing mindfulness or meditation.

According to Dr. Suzanne Evans Morris, Ph.D., a speech-language pathologist:

Research shows that different frequencies presented to each ear through stereo headphones… create a difference tone (or binaural beat) as the brain puts together the two tones it actually hears. Through EEG monitoring the difference tone is identified by a change in the electrical pattern produced by the brain. For example, frequencies of 200 Hz and 210 Hz produce a binaural beat frequency of 10 Hz (The difference in 210 Hz and 200 Hz is 10 Hz). Monitoring of the brain’s electricity (EEG) shows that the brain produces increased 10 Hz activity with equal frequency and amplitude of the wave form in both hemispheres of the brain (left and right hemisphere).

It is thought that different brain wave patterns are connected to the production in the brain of certain neurochemicals linked with relaxation and stress release, as well as better learning and creativity, memory, and more. Such neurochemicals include beta-endorphins, growth factors, gut peptides, acetylcholine, vasopressin, and serotonin.

A series of experiments conducted by neuro-electric therapy engineer Dr. Margaret Patterson and Dr. Ifor Capel, revealed how alpha brainwaves boosted the production of serotonin. Dr. Capel explained:

As far as we can tell, each brain center generates impulses at a specific frequency based on the predominant neurotransmitter it secretes. In other words, the brain’s internal communication system—its language, is based on frequency… Presumably, when we send in waves of electrical energy at, say, 10 Hz, certain cells in the lower brain stem will respond because they normally fire within that frequency range.

Additional research upholds the beliefs of mind-body medicine in this sense, stating that brainwaves being in the Alpha state, 8 to 14 Hz, permits a vibration allowing for more serotonin to be created.

It’s important for us to come to terms with the fact that there is science behind age-old medicinal practices that do not require putting unknown substances in our bodies to alleviate issues like stress, depression, anxiety, and more.

But even more intriguing is to think something as simple as sound, as music, which we have come to treat as utterly pleasurable entertainment, has not only been used to promote healing and well-being, but has proven to work through research as well.

If your mental health is of concern, try listening to a binaural beat to generate alpha waves between 8 and 14 Hz to produce more serotonin. Another option is to take advantage of music that promotes a relaxed alpha state in the brain such as classical music.

Related CE Article: Research Shows We Can Heal With Vibration, Frequency & Sound

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Awareness

Study: Short Break From Cosmetics Causes “Significant Drop of Hormone Disrupting Chemicals”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A study led by researchers at UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas demonstrates how even a short break from certain kinds of makeup, shampoos and lotions leads to a large drop in levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals in the body.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is this industry so poorly regulated?

A study led by researchers at UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle Salinas has demonstrated how taking even a short break from various cosmetics, shampoos, and other personal care products can lead to a substantial drop in the levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals present within the body.

The results from the study were published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Researchers gave 100 Latina teenagers various personal care products that were labeled to be free of common chemicals including phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and oxybenzone. These chemicals are used regularly in almost all conventional personal care products such as cosmetics, soap, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, and other hair products, and animal studies have shown that they directly interfere with the body’s endocrine system.

“Because women are the primary consumers of many personal care products, they may be disproportionately exposed to these chemicals,” said study lead author Kim Harley, associate director of the UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health. “Teen girls may be at particular risk since it’s a time of rapid reproductive development, and research has suggested that they use more personal care products per day than the average adult woman.”

Results

After just a three-day trial with the girls using only the lower-chemical products, urine samples showed a significant drop in the level of chemicals in the body. Methyl and propyl parabens, commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics, dropped 44% and 45%, respectively, metabolites of diethyl phthalate, used often in perfumes, dropped by 27%, and both triclosan and benzophenone-3 fell 36%. The authors of the study were surprised to see an increase in two lesser common parabens, but, being minor, could easily have been caused by accidental contamination or a substitute not listed on the labels.

Co-director of the study Kimberly Parra explains why having local youths participate in the study was of particular importance:

The results of the study are particularly interesting on a scientific level, but the fact that high school students led the study set a new path to engaging youth to learn about science and how it can be used to improve the health of their communities. After learning of the results, the youth took it upon themselves to educate friends and community members, and presented their cause to legislatures in Sacramento.

Included in the CHAMACOS Youth Council were 12 local high school students who helped design and implement the study. One of the teen researchers, Maritza Cárdenas, is now a UC Berkeley undergraduate majoring in molecular and cell biology.

“One of the goals of our study was to create awareness among the participants of the chemicals found in everyday products, to help make people more conscious about what they’re using,” said Cárdenas. “Seeing the drop in chemical levels after just three days shows that simple actions can be taken, such as choosing products with fewer chemicals, and make a difference.”

The researchers noted that cosmetics and personal care products are not well-regulated in this country, and that getting data about health effects from exposure, particularly long-term ones, is difficult. But they say there is growing evidence linking endocrine-disrupting chemicals to neurobehavioral problems, obesity and cancer cell growth.

What Can You Do?

Well, you can be sure to check the labels on any products you purchase. Most personal care products contain a list of ingredients, but unfortunately many cosmetics do not. If you use a particular brand that you really love you can try contacting the manufacturer directly and asking them for an ingredient list.

You can also opt for more natural and organic products, but be sure to keep in mind that in the industry of personal care products, the words “natural” and “organic” are often meaningless. A safe bet would be to buy these products from a health food store and be sure to read the ingredients or ask the sales clerk. Generally, when products do not contain specific chemicals, the manufacturers are happy to label them as such.

The less demand for these chemically-laden products there is, the less these chemicals will be used. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLAR! We have the power to create the type of world we want. Be the change.

Check out The Story Of Cosmetics below!

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Alternative News

Three Eminent Epidemiologists Explain Why They Strongly Oppose Lockdowns For Covid-19

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Three eminent epidemiologists explain why they, and many others, believe the response to the pandemic should be much different than what it is.

  • Reflect On:

    Are government health authorities really doing the right thing? Are they really protecting us? Has there been conflicts of interest? Are they really concerned about our health and well being or is something else going on here?

Censorship of information by Big-Tech, all of whom have strong connections to Department of Defense agencies and big politics, is at an all time high. Not only has a sitting president had his social media accounts completely wiped out,  but thousands of doctors, scientists, journalists and people have had the same thing happen to them. Regardless of your views and what you believe, whether you are “left” or “right”, this is quite concerning. This type of censorship comes under the guise of good will, claiming that freedom of speech is causing harm, but this, in many cases, simply isn’t true. We’ve see academic thought, opinion, evidence and research removed from social media, especially when it comes to Covid. Any information that opposes the narrative that’s constantly beamed out by mainstream media or government health authorities seems to come under a watchful eye. A political scientist like Dr. Anthony Fauci is given free reign, instant virality and air time yet other renowned experts in the field have their voice silenced and never get a chance to speak to the masses. This has many people questioning what’s really going on here? Open scientific discussion is being stifled.

Over the last few months, I have seen academic articles and op-eds by professors retracted or labeled “fake news” by social media platforms. Often, no explanation is provided. I am concerned about this heavy-handedness and, at times, outright censorship. – Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH (source)

Because this article is presenting a discussion of three renowned scientists who oppose government measures, I am also concerned that it will be “flagged” and perhaps labelled as “fake news.” When this happens, not only is the discussion and article completely censored from our followers but our social media accounts, like our Facebook Page, is punished. As a result of the “flag” our algorithms are adjusted and anything we post with this “flag” on our page is essentially blocked from our followers. This is why we are moving away from Facebook and asking people who wish to keep in touch with us to join us on Telegram, and/or our email list.

Below is a video of Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician and epidemiologist where the initiators of the declaration. Together, they created The Great Barrington Declaration. The declaration has an impressive list co-signers, and has also now been signed by more than 50,000 doctors and scientists and more than 700,000 concerned citizens, which is pretty impressive given the fact that it’s received no attention from mainstream media.  Follow their twitter account here.

The declaration explains why these health professionals and scientists strongly oppose lockdown measures, and also brings up the topic of herd immunity. In the video below they explain their belief of why there should be a different response to the pandemic.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading
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