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Oregon’s Youngest Medical Cannabis Patient Is Curing Her Cancer – See How She’s Doing It

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cannPaediatric cannabis therapy is saving children. Awareness is the most important thing at this moment. This young lady is finishing up her last bit of required chemotherapy (because she is a child,  her parents had no choice) treatment, so take a moment to send her your love and healing vibes, and then read away. You can stay updated on her story via the links throughout this article (in bold), which will take you to her Facebook page which is run by her parents, and her website.

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The anti-tumor effects of cannabinoids and THC have been demonstrated for quite some time now.  In the 1980’s, cannabinoid receptors were discovered in the human brain, which made it obvious that our body has to synthesize something that binds to these receptors. Our bodies produce these compounds in our own endocannabinoid system, which is now known to be responsible for a number of biological functions.  This is why the plant has such a wide therapeutic potential for multiple diseases when it’s consumed in certain forms.

Numerous studies have demonstrated time and time again the anti-tumoral effects of cannabis. Studies have shown that cannabis completely kills cancer cells, and it has a great impact on rebuilding the immune system. Cannabis has the potential to replace a multitude of pharmaceutical drugs, and it remains a mystery as to why human trials are not under way. If you’re looking for these studies, I’ve put multiple links within the article for you to further your research.

In the United States, there are only two approved treatments for cancer, radiation and chemotherapy.  Scientists have discovered that chemotherapy can fuel cancer growth and can kill the patient more quickly, yet nothing has been changed.  Both are extremely toxic to the human body. Thanks to a growing awareness with regards to cannabis, and its high rate of success with individuals choosing to use it as a cancer treatment, more people are starting to realize the healing power of this plant. Coupled with all of the success stories, are hundreds of scientific studies that prove cannabis kills cancer, it’s really becoming a no-brainer.

When you are an adult with cancer, you have the choice to use the two recommended options or refuse treatment and select alternative methods. When you are a child, your parents do not have the option to refuse the approved way without facing legal repercussions, which can include loosing custody of the child.

Brave Mykala  had T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, it’s a very rare and aggressive form of childhood leukaemia. It accounts for 15-18% of childhood leukaemia cases. Her DNA was altered in someway, and it caused her bone marrow to start producing leukaemia white blood cells. She fell ill in may of 2012, and in July of 2012 doctors discovered a basketball sized mass of lymphoblasts in her chest. Her mass was so large that she was not able to be sedated for risk of death from the pressure on her esophagus and heart.

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Click on her name above to visit her website, click HERE to visit her Facebook page to stay up to date with everything that’s going on with her. So far, cannabis has helped tremendously.

For more CE articles on Cannabis and Cancer, click HERE.

We also covered a story of a teenage girl that used cannabis to treat her leukaemia, doctors in Toronto published the case study. Click HERE to read more about that.

Here is a summary of her treatment via her web-site (highlighted above):

This protocol is used to treat low risk leukemia patients (Mykayla is technically intermediate risk). It is a 3-5 chemotherapy drug and steroid combination that is done in 5 rounds lasting 2.5-3 years. The first 4 rounds are very intense and last for 6-8 months. The last round is called “maintenance”, it is done mainly from home and is far less damaging then the first 4 rounds. Mykayla will begin maintenance chemotherapy in February of 2013. Mykayla began chemotherapy on July 16th 2012 (she began steroid treatment on July 14th 2012). Mykayla’s Lymphoblast level was monitored daily for the first 8 days and weekly or twice weekly thereafter. Her lymphoblast level would go down after receiving chemotherapy but a few days after it would be back up and sometimes higher than before chemotherapy. The doctors were concerned. They spoke to us about the possibility of Mykayla having a bone marrow transplant due to the leukemia not going into remission with the chemotherapy. 95% of children with leukemia go into remission during the first 30 days of chemotherapy… the majority of them go into remission just a few days after receiving chemotherapy for the first time.

The oncologist did recommend cranial radiation in Mykayla’s case as she is intermediate risk, t-cell phenotype, and had a very small amount of leukemia cells in her brain and spinal fluid. Using cranial radiation to treat leukemia is a topic that is already controversial between the different cancer research groups… our family felt 100% confident in denying cranial radiation for Mykayla as she is in remission (it was for prophylactic/preventative reasons that it was recommended) and she has natural treatment methods that protect her from cancer and relapse.

“Once again we as parents feel that the balance between natural medicine and conventional medicine has been lost. “

We had a plan from the very beginning to combat Mykayla’s cancer and chemotherapy naturally and that was to use cannabis in the form of very concentrated and potent oil, raw cannabis juice, and cannabis cooked into food. Cannabis has been known to kill cancer, protect the body from the damage of chemotherapy, relieve pain and nausea, and it is a neuroprotectant and antioxidant. In order to use this form of treatment Mykayla had to get a recommendation from another physician and a state medical marijuana license. This took us 10 days to complete… Mykayla began cannabis therapy on July 24th 2012! Instantly she was able to eat again. That was the first benefit that we noticed. She was happier, she smiled and laughed constantly. We loved it! One week after we began the oil treatment Mykayla’s physicians notified us that her leukemia had vanished from her bone marrow and blood! She was in remission. Never again will I fear cancer… We found the answer! Mykayla is currently 6 months into the intense treatment part and has never used any pain relievers (not even Tylenol) and has only had to take anti-nausea medication a few times.

“There are other aspects of our lives that play a role in Mykayla’s treatment. “

Diet is medicine. Cancer thrives in an acidic environment and is fed by sugar. We try our best to create a diet for Mykayla that is healthy, vegetarian (vegan if she will tolerate), organic, with no artificial additives, preservatives, or dyes. We also give her tons of alkali water. Although from time to time Mykayla just like any other kid slips on her diet… she is NEVER allowed things such as soda pops and high fructose corn syrup. 

Supplements work wonders. Some important supplements that we have found helpful in the fight against cancer and chemotherapy are. Vitamin C, Green Tea extract, Milk Thistle, Beta Carotene, coconut oil, vitamin D, essiac tea, COQ10, selenium, omega 3, garlic, cannabis, and tons of fruits and vegetables.

Positivity. Having a positive attitude and providing your child with a happy, bright, and loving home provides a better outside environment to fight cancer in. I believe strongly that the love and happiness that our family values dearly has to do with the success that we have seen Mykayla have while battling leukemia.

Lymphoblasts are immature cells which typically differentiate to form mature lymphocytes. Normally lymphoblasts are found in the bone marrow only, but in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), lymphoblasts proliferate uncontrollably and are found in large numbers in the peripheral blood smear.

Cell Counts Affected By Cannabis

July 14th 2012 (diagnosis day and steroid treatment began)
Mykayla’s Lymphoblast percentage in her blood smear was 33%
July 15th 2012 – 51%
Lymphoblasts in Mykayla’s blood smear July 16th 2012 – 11%
Lymphoblasts in Mykayla’s blood smear (began chemotherapy) July 17th 2012 – 14%
Lymphoblasts in Mykayla’s blood smear July 18th 2012 – 16%
Lymphoblasts in Mykayla’s blood smear July 19th 2012 – 3%
Lymphoblasts in Mykayla’s blood smear July 20th 2012 – 29%
Lymphoblasts in Mykayla’s blood smear (got released from hospital) July 23rd 2012 – 31%
Lymphoblasts in Mykayla’s blood smear July 24th 2012 – BEGAN CANNABIS OIL July 26th 2012 – 5%
Lymphoblasts in Mykayla’s blood smear July 30th 2012 – 3%
Lymphoblasts in Mykayla’s blood (doctor spoke to us about Mykayla’s Lymphoblast count failing to go down to 0 and said that a Bone Marrow Transplant MAY BE in our near future because her blasts are not gone from her blood.)
August 2nd 2012 – 0% blasts
August 6th 2012 – 0% blasts
August 13th 2012 – 0% blasts
August 20th 2012 – 0% blasts

TODAY – 0% blasts! 

July 30th 2012 was THE VERY LAST TIME THEY HAVE FOUND LYMPHOBLASTS IN MYKAYLA’S BLOOD SMEAR!!!! The very next time we saw the oncologist they told us Mykayla was in remission. Some may say that cannabis does not “cure” cancer… I am not saying the steroids and chemo didn’t help… but this right here shows something… proof enough for me! Some say cannabis is inappropriate for children… We say cancer is inappropriate for children.

Current Research Concerning Cannabis and LeukemiaEffects of cannabinoids on L1210 murine leukemia. 1. Inhibition of DNA synthesis. (abst – 1977)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=Retrieve&list_uids=897352&dopt=abstractplus

Cannabinoids induce incomplete maturation of cultured human leukemia cells (full – 1987) 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC298868/?tool=pmcentrez&page=1

Fatal aspergillosis associated with smoking contaminated marijuana, in a marrow transplant recipient. (full – 1988) 

http://chestjournal.chestpubs.org/content/94/2/432.long

Anandamide Induces Apoptosis in Human Cells via Vanilloid Receptors (full – 2000) 

http://www.jbc.org/content/275/41/31938.full

Targeting CB2 cannabinoid receptors as a novel therapy to treat malignant lymphoblastic disease (full – 2002) 

http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/cgi/reprint/100/2/627.pdf

Gamma-irradiation enhances apoptosis induced by cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, in cultured HL-60 myeloblastic leukemia cells. (abst – 2003)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=Retrieve&list_uids=14692532&dopt=abstractplus

Cannabis-induced cytotoxicity in leukemic cell lines: the role of the cannabinoid receptors and the MAPK pathway (full – 2005)http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/cgi/content/full/105/3/1214

Cannabidiol-Induced Apoptosis in Human Leukemia Cells : A Novel Role of Cannabidiol in the Regulation of p22phox and Nox4 Expression (full – 2006) 
http://molpharm.aspetjournals.org/cgi/content/full/70/3/897

{Delta}9-Tetrahydrocannabinol-Induced Apoptosis in Jurkat Leukemia T Cells Is Regulated by Translocation of Bad to Mitochondria (full – 2006)
http://mcr.aacrjournals.org/content/4/8/549.full

Is there a temperature-dependent uptake of anandamide into cells? (full – 2006)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1629410/

Parental marijuana use and risk of childhood acute myeloid leukaemia: a report from the Children’s Cancer Group (United States and Canada). (abst – 2006)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16466429

The effects of cannabinoids on P-glycoprotein transport and expression in multidrug resistant cells. (abst – 2006)
 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16458258

Cannabis destroys cancer cells (news – 2006)
http://www.news-medical.net/news/2006/03/01/16340.aspx220

Cannabidiol inhibits tumour growth in leukaemia and breast cancer in animal studies (news – 2006)

http://www.cannabis-med.org/english/bulletin/ww_en_db_cannabis_artikel.php?id=220#2

HU-331, a novel cannabinoid-based anticancer topoisomerase II inhibitor (full – 2007)

http://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/6/1/173.long

Medical Marijuana Use and Research Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Statement (full – 2008)
http://www.maps.org/mmj/lnls-res.pdf

Enhancing the in vitro cytotoxic activity of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in leukemic cells through a combinatorial approach (abst – 2008)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18608861

Marijuana’s Active Ingredient Kills Leukemia Cells (news – 2009)
http://medicalmarijuanadoctors.org/marijuana-active-ingredient-kills-leukemia-cells


Substance use and survival after treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). (full – 2010)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2847847/?tool=pubmed

Cannabidiol induced a contrasting pro-apoptotic effect between freshly isolated and precultured human monocytes. (abst – 2011)
http://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/ebm/record/20471992/abstract

Tumor necrosis factor activation of vagal afferent terminal calcium is blocked by cannabinoids. (abst – 2012)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22496569

Marijuana compound could stop aggressive cancer metastasis (news – 2012)
http://in.news.yahoo.com/marijuana-compound-could-stop-aggressive-cancer-metastasis-064950912.html

Can marijuana stop cancer? (news – 2012)

http://www.mynycdoctor.com/can-marijuana-stop-cancer/

Sources:

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Awareness

If Your DNA Information Is Being Sold, Shouldn’t You Make The Profit?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Companies like 23andMe, Ancestry.com and others are collecting your DNA data and can sell the data to third party companies. Timicoin is a blockchain based ecosystem that allows you to monetize your health data.

  • Reflect On:

    Shouldn't you have the option to sell your own data? Is your DNA data safe with some of these companies? The blockchain is helping to create further security and consumer-based monetization of personal data.

Amidst the rise in popularity of companies who take samples of our DNA in order to provide us with information about our ancestry and health risks, there are growing concerns that are not immediately apparent to the average consumer. While most are just happy to be getting exotic information about where they came from and what they should be watching out for health-wise, all for little more than a few hundred dollars, not many consumers are seeing this as a threat to their privacy, and more specifically, as a threat to their control over the most essential information about their unique personal identity–their DNA sequences.

“The key thing about your genetic data … it is uniquely yours. It identifies you, so if you are going to entrust it to a company, you should try to understand what the consequences are,” said Jennifer King, director of consumer privacy at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, whose research on the issue and interviews with individuals shows a lack of consumer knowledge.

Company Disclaimers

Of course, companies who deal in such services will do all they can to convince consumers that their data is safe and secure. But as this CNBC article notes,

Companies in this space, including 23andMeVeritas Genetics and Ancestry, have a good reason to protect your DNA — their business future depends on maintaining the trust of consumers. But there are thorny issues related to genetic privacy that still today don’t have easy answers or iron-clad legislative protections. And regulators aren’t convinced they are doing right by consumers. A recent Fast Company report indicates that 23andMe and Ancestry are being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission over their policies for handling personal info and genetic data and how they share that info with third parties.

All of these companies say they have clear policies that they will not share your DNA with any third-party unless you explicitly consent to it:

23andMe provides consumers the choice of opting into research conducted on behalf of academic, nonprofit and industry organizations. They also offer an option to consent separately to specific disease studies in which their DNA is used in conjunction with for-profit drug companies, such as the Parkinson’s disease research conducted with Genentech and the lupus and IBD research conducted with Pfizer.

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Abuse Of Private Data

Hearing about research conducted on behalf of ‘academic, nonprofit and industry organizations’ reminds me of the article I wrote on Cambridge Analytica’s fraudulent effort to characterize themselves as an academic organization while mining people’s private Facebook information to target them with ads for the 2016 U. S. Presidential Election. Facebook knowingly sold the information to Cambridge Analytica demonstrating that, when it comes to big companies and corporations, the only thing we know for sure is that money and profit will eventually trump respect for the privacy of people’s information.

If there is money to be made by selling our personal information, corporations will do whatever they can to skirt around privacy agreements. They may even flat-out change their policy and inform us in a pages-long letter that they know no one reads and will simply click the ‘accept’ button. In the current environment, it is wise to be extremely cautious when deciding to consent to having one company share our information, especially our genetic information, with third parties.

Think about it. As technology evolves, surely there will be ways our DNA codes could be used in the future that we would not agree with. But once we have given our consent to the use of this most private information, we can no longer guarantee what happens with it. Wouldn’t it be great if WE had control over our genetic information, encrypted and only accessible by us, to use and share in a manner of OUR choosing?

If we so choose, we may even be able to profit from it. Did you know that health information is a commodity that is already collected and sold via third-party companies? Selling health data around the world is already a multi-billion dollar industry, much like how your data collected from Facebook is. But how do we get back control of our DNA information, which could be our most valuable resource about who we are?

Think outside the box. Think blockchain. Think Timicoin.

Timicoin

Timicoin is a platform bringing together a crypto token and the blockchain and is pioneering the tokenization of health information, including your DNA sequencing and other genetic information, through a decentralized blockchain ecosystem. They promise to allow users to monetize their own data, have access to their health information whenever they need it and verify that it is accurate.

The Timicoin platform is built on their own custom blockchain and it’s already fully functioning. This means that in a short time, you will be able to begin using Timicoin’s blockchain to monetize your health data. For more information, please refer to this earlier CE article. You can also read Timicoin’s White Paper here.

Shift In Business Paradigm

Analysts believe that Healthcare information on the blockchain will grow aggressively in the coming years given the global need for ease of sharing healthcare information. Secure storage of our DNA information is only one part of Timicoin’s larger endeavor to make your healthcare information available globally and instantaneously as needed, but only with your personal consent.

It represents a new business paradigm, whereby information is centralized in terms of permitted access but decentralized in terms of who has the power over the information. No longer will masses of valuable personal information be owned and controlled by large corporations, but rather will be owned and controlled by each individual, not only giving the individual the ability to monetize their personal information themselves, but also securing the validity of that information through personal verification and safeguarding against fraud. Supporting blockchain technologies is supporting individual empowerment in our society, a move that undoubtedly scares the power structure at top levels of our current corporatocracy.

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Awareness

The Damaging Effects Of 5G Wireless On Your Health

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Wireless radiation is a huge health problem that continues to be ignored and another opportunity for us to gaze into the past of similar occurrences and learn from our mistakes. Take tobacco for example, at one time in history you were considered a fool and ‘crazy’ for speaking up against the big tobacco companies and letting people know that cigarettes compromise our health. Today, science has spoken, and it has spoken for a long time, despite what the corporations put out into the public and the “science” they used to approve these things in the first place.

There doesn’t seem to be much more of a difference between communication companies that sell and manufacture wireless products and services, which, according to hundreds of scientists and countless amounts of publications, are urging authorities to pay closer attention to what wireless radiation is doing to human health.

This is one of the multiple examples where corporate control rules and dictates government policy, policies that favour big corporations at the behest of planet Earth and the rest of the human population. But it’s more so apparent in North America.

European Restrictions

In Europe, multiple countries have restrictions on WiFi and have pointed out some disturbing things. France passed a law in 2015 banning WiFi from all nursery schools, the law states that WiFi must be turned off in all elementary schools when it’s not in use. W wired connection if possible, is preferred. Advertisements directing cell phone use towards young children are banned.

An example from Namibia states quite clearly that current so-called “safety” standards don’t protect citizens from long-term health effects, and that the guidelines governing their use do not guarantee adequate protection against the effects of long-term exposure.

Other countries include Belgium, Spain, Israel, Australia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, India, Finland, Cyprus and more.

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Why are they saying no to WiFi? See for yourself:

You can access hundreds of these scientific papers and read more here, just click on the science section and under each heading, there are links directly to the research. If you click on the drop-down tab, a list of scientific references as documentation appears. 


Related CE Article with more information:

Why Multiple Countries Have Banned Wifi & Cell Phones Around Schools, Young Children & Fetuses


Yes, we are making progress, and awareness is being created and steps are being taken, but the corporate take over of North America and almost the entire planet is simply brushing our health under the table, because, unfortunately, they have the power to do so.

At the same time, we are the ones using this technology. It’s becoming so useful, and so easy to just rely on the corporation like we do with everything else. How ironic is it that we raise money and advocate for cancer, yet support the very things that are contributing to it, on grande scales?

Millions of children and adults in schools around the world spend significant amounts of time around wireless devices and Wi-Fi. Many schools are introducing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies and installing industrial wireless routers for tablets. However, wireless devices expose students and staff to microwave radiation that can impede learning and overall health. Studies have shown that microwave radiation can damage reproductive systems, impact the immune system, alter brain functioning, and may increase cancer risk. Tablets have up to 5 antennae that are constantly emitting short intense bursts of radiation even when not connected to the Internet. Wireless devices in classrooms thus result in multiple sources of wireless radiation exposure. – Environmental Health Trust

The 5G Health Concerns

So, what about 5G? Science already indicates that the current wireless technologies of 2G, 3G and 4G – in use today with our cell phones, computers, and wearable tech. – creates radio frequency exposure which poses a serious health risk to humans, animals and the environment. 5G is the term used to describe the next-generation of mobile networks beyond the 4G LTE mobile networks used today. 5G is intended to be the technology that allows the “Internet of Things” (IOT) to exist and connects all internet connected devices together.

Scientists have been studying the health effects of 5G and wireless radiation and are deeply concerned with their findings and are calling for a stop to the rollout of 5G,  as well as a halt to the proposed increase in radio frequency radiation exposure to the public.

Thanks to all of the efforts by various researchers, scientists and more, the world is waking up to this information and it’s actually starting to become talked about within the mainstream. It always seems like such a long process from the point where something is known, to actually mass consensus and action steps being created.

A CBS news report recently emphasized:

The wireless industry is in a race to roll out 5G service. The network is supposed to be up to 100 times faster than current data speeds, but it requires cellphone tower equipment to be closer to users than before. Wireless companies in the U.S. say they’ll have to install about 300,000 new antennas – roughly equal to the total number of cell towers built over the past three decades. That’s causing outrage and alarm in some neighbourhoods, as antennas go up around homes.

5G requires the installation of new equipment across the U.S. Every wireless company is working to build its own 5G network. This is worse than cell phone use, and yet, according to government health authorities, “a limited number of studies have shown some evidence of statistical association of cell phone use and brain tumour risks… but most studies have found no association.”

Waiting for high levels of scientific and clinical proof before taking action to prevent well-known risks can lead to very high health and economic costs, as was the case with asbestos, leaded petrol and tobacco.
Dr. Martin Blank, Ph.D., from the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University, has joined a group of scientists from around the world who are making an international appeal to the United Nations regarding the dangers associated with the use of electromagnetic emitting devices like cell phones and Wi-Fi. He and hundreds of other scientists around the world are currently petitioning the UN, and have been for quite some time, regarding the dangers associated with these devices.

“Putting it bluntly they are damaging the living cells in our bodies and killing many of us prematurely” (source)

Melissa Arnoldi, who leads AT&T’s efforts, said “if it’s not already in your neighbourhood, it’s coming.” This is quite concerning, she told CBS news that “5G uses high-frequency waves that support faster speeds but don’t travel as far as current wireless frequencies. So instead of relying on large cellphone towers spread far apart, they need “small cell” sites that are much closer together.”

Sometimes I wonder, how is this even allowed to happen? Who are the people which control what type of information with regards to our health gets emphasized, and what doesn’t?

This new 5G equipment is currently being installed in a neighbourhood near you.

I’ll leave you with this TED talk by a Silicon-valley engineer turned technology health advocate, Jeromy Johnson.


Related CE Article:

FCC Intimidates Press & Evades Questioning About Wireless & Cancer at 5G Rollout 


 Solutions Exist

You can use a wired connection, which is very fast and in most cases faster than a wireless connection. Minimize your cell phone use, and perhaps look into some devices that may be used to block the biological effects this stuff is, does, and can have on us.

FactSheets:What Parents Need to Know About Wireless Radiation,

American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendation Protect The Ones You Love Card  English,Spanish

BabySafe Project: “Reduce Your Wireless Exposure”English BrochureSpanish Brochure

New Jersey Education Association Minimize health risks from electronic devices”Article,PDF of Recommendations

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Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.

With the ancient science of Numerology you can find out accurate and revealing information just from your name and birth date.

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Awareness

This Super Simple Breathing Technique Can Help Alleviate Anxiety & Depression

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Small study finds breathing technique can help treat major depressive disorder and anxiety.

  • Reflect On:

    The answers to our challenges are much simpler than we thought, we have everything we need inside of us. Great alternative to prescription anti-depressant medication, or other substances.

The breath is one of the most underrated and under-utilized methods of healing. Breathing comes naturally to us, we do it without thinking, which is why it is not something we generally think of as a way to connect deeply with ourselves, calm our anxieties or even reach higher levels of consciousness. Something as simple as breathing can help those who suffer from severe mental conditions and those who have survived global disasters.

There are many forms of breathwork, there is the well-known Holotropic Breathing, made popular by the Iceman himself, Wim Hof. There is another technique known as transformational breathwork and the featured practice of breathing that will be featured in this article, resonant breathing or Coherent Breathing, which is a trademarked term.

This specific style of breathwork came from years of studying the ancient breathing practices of indigenous people all over the world including those from African, Hawaiian, and Native American traditions.

Assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College, Patricia Gerbarg, studies the technique with her husband, Richard Brown, associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “We wanted to identify a short program that could be given quickly to people, that they would have immediate relief within five or ten minutes, and that over time would produce long-term changes,” Gerbarg told Vice.

The Study

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary medicine in 2017 led by researchers from Boston University asked 30 people with major depression to practice the breathing technique regularly as well as Iyengar yoga. After 3 months, results from a standard depression inventory test showed how the depressive symptoms had significantly declined.

Even though the study size was very small, it is comforting to know that something as simple as breath alone could help to alleviate symptoms of severe depression. No pills needed. This technique is especially powerful because it can be practiced anytime, anywhere. The process involved taking regular breaths in and out of the nose, at a pace of 5 breaths per minute, each breath in and out taking around 6 seconds. When starting out, it is recommended that this be practiced with the eyes closed, but once you get it under control you can easily do it with your eyes open, meaning while you’re driving, while in a meeting, anytime during the day that you may find yourself feeling anxious, stressed or down. Gerbarg says, “It’s totally private. Nobody knows you’re doing it.”

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The breath should be calm and gentle because the goal is to balance the sympathetic — fight or flight with the parasympathetic — rest and digest areas of the nervous system. Interestingly, when the couple first began looking into the power of the breath, the first thought was that this must send extra oxygen to the brain that we may have otherwise been lacking. However, they knew that there must be more to this to explain the profound effects they had been seeing in those who practiced the breathing technique. Not to mention, some types of breathwork actually decreases the amount of oxygen going to the brain.

Why Does This Work?

Gerbarg and Brown believe that the reason this technique works is thanks to the vagal nerves, those connecting the brain to the body and what tell the organs when to beat, digest, breathe and all other functions, have been found in recent years to send even more messages in the opposite direction from the body to the brain. “These ascending messages strongly influence stress response, emotion and neurohormonal regulatory networks,” stated in a book written by the couple, Yoga Therapy: Theory and Practice.

According to Gerbarg, “Respiration is the only autonomic function we can voluntarily control,” it’s easy to see how changing the breathing pattern can shift the messages received by the brain.

The calm and even breaths send messages of safety, according to Gerbarg, this can reduce anxious or depressive thoughts and makes way for more loving and connected emotions to be felt. Adverse reactions are generally rare, but those with asthma or other breathing conditions should only try this practice under the guidance of a trained professional.

We really do have everything we need inside of us. Our human bodies are magnificent, and if something as simple as breathing can help alleviate symptoms of depression, then we should certainly be studying this more. If you are skeptical about this information and feel it’s too good to be true, give it a shot next time you find yourself feeling down or anxious and see if it helps!

Much Love

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