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Some Doctors Don’t Believe In This Disease Yet It Predisposes Many Diseases

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mitoThe tragic case of Justina Pelletier has been in the news quite a bit lately.  Justina Pelletier is the teen (14 when her ordeal started, 15 now) who is at the center of a nasty custody battle between her parents and Boston Children’s Hospital. Boston Children’s Hospital and the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families have taken custody of Justina, against the will of her parents, because they assert that Justina’s health problems are psychosomatic and that Justina’s parents are guilty of medical abuse. Justina’s parents, on the other hand, assert that Boston Children’s Hospital has kidnapped their daughter and that Justina is in need of medical care for her mitochondrial disorder.

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Hundreds of news stories and blog posts have been written about Justina’s case.  One of the best articles that I’ve read about the horrible, tragic situation that Justina is caught in the middle of is “A Medical Collision with a Child in the Middle” in The Boston Globe.  The Boston Globe article, and many others, have given a good overview of Justina’s situation, but they have given very little information about the condition which Justina’s parents say she has and the Boston Children’s Hospital doctors deny exists – mitochondrial disease.

This post is to give some basic, introductory information about mitochondrial disease – a topic that most journalists and bloggers who have been writing about the case have glossed over, and a topic that some of the doctors in Justine’s case are woefully ignorant of.  (A doctor who Justine Pelletier sought help from “didn’t believe” in mitochondrial diseases)

Mitochondria 101

Mitochondria are the energy centers of the cells.  They are found in almost every cell in the human body and they produce more than 90% of cellular energy through the generation of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate).  Mitochondria also play key roles in cellular processes including “calcium, copper and iron homeostatis; heme and iron-sulfer cluster assembly; synthesis of pyrimidines and steroids; thermogenesis and fever response; and calcium signaling” (1) and additionally produce ROS (reactive oxygen species) (2), which play key roles in regulating and determining apoptosis (programmed cell death), as well as signaling communication between cells and tissues.  (3)   Mitochondria have their own DNA, mtDNA, which is separate from the nuclear DNA of the cell.  Proper function of mitochondria is vital for all areas of health.

A hallmark of mitochondrial dysfunction is crippling fatigue and exhaustion.  Because mitochondria are the energy centers of cells, when they are not operating properly patients are unable to do things that require energy.  It is an organic, physical lack of energy, not a choice not to get out of bed or run around the block.

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Mito Action lists poor growth, loss of muscle coordination, muscle weakness, neurological problems, seizures, autism, visual and/or hearing problems, developmental delays, learning disabilities, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, GI disorders, diabetes, increased risk of infection, thyroid dysfunction, adrenal dysfunction, autonomic dysfunction and neuropsychological changes as symptoms of mitochondrial diseases.

When mitochondria are not functioning properly, multiple disease states can ensue.  According to Dr. Richard Boles, Director of the Metabolic and Mitochondrial Disorders Clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles:

“these are partial defects. Mitochondrial dysfunction doesn’t really cause anything, what it does is predisposes towards seemingly everything. It’s one of many risk factors in multifactorial disease. It can predispose towards epilepsy, chronic fatigue, and even autism, but it doesn’t do it alone. It does it in combination with other factors, which is why in a family with a single mutation going through the family, everyone in the family is affected in a different way. Because it predisposes for disease throughout the entire system.” (source:  Hormones Matter)

It makes sense that when the energy centers of cells are not functioning properly, the body starts to shut down, and when the body shuts down on a cellular level, multi-symptom, diffuse illnesses result.

Mitochondrial Diseases

There are three basic categories of mitochondrial disease:  1)  Diseases that are recognized as verified mitochondrial diseases, 2)  Diseases that there is a large amount of evidence that links them to mitochondrial dysfunction, but are not generally recognized as mitochondrial diseases, and 3)  Diseases that are indirectly related to mitochondrial function.

The first category of mitochondrial diseases, those that are verified and acknowledged as mitochondrial diseases include:

  1.  Progressive External Opthalmoplegia
  2. Alper’s Syndrome
  3. Leigh’s Syndrome
  4. Friedrich’s Ataxia

These diseases are matrilineally inherited (mtDNA is passed down through the mother) and involve recognized mtDNA mutations.  The prognosis for many with these diseases is, sadly, poor, and there are “currently no pharmaceutical cures for any mitochondrial diseases.”  (3)   “Although individually rare, diseases caused by mtDNA and nDNA mutations are estimated to collectively have an incidence of ~1/4000 individuals.”  (1)  Interestingly, “a number of human mitochondrial genetic diseases that are clinically discreet are being diagnosed at unexpected rates.”  (4)  A possible explanation for an unexpected increase in hereditary mitochondrial diseases is that some of the environmental toxicants and pharmaceuticals that damage mitochondria have been shown to deplete mtDNA (5), and that depleted mtDNA may be passed from a mother on to a child.

The second category of mitochondrial diseases are diseases that are typically categorized as “mysterious diseases” of modernity.  These diseases have increased in prevalence significantly over the past 50 years.  They are controversial and their existence is denied by many.  Patients suffering from these diseases struggle to have their health problems acknowledged as having a physical cause, and are often accused of making things up or having a somatoform disorder, “a psychiatric condition when a person experiences physical pain for which no known medical explanation can be found.”   The exact cause of these diseases is officially unknown and there are many theories as to their origins.  There is much evidence, however, that these diseases at least feature, and are possibly (probably) caused by, mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress (which occurs in mitochondria as a result of mitochondrial stress, damage or injury).

  1. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) (6, 7)
  2. Fibromyalgia (8, 9, 10)
  3. Gulf War Syndrome (11)
  4. Autism (12, 13, 14)
  5. Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome and adverse reactions to other mitochondria damaging prescription drugs (15, 16, 17)
  6. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (18)

All of the sources linked to are peer-reviewed.  Yet, these diseases are still woefully under-acknowledged and people, including doctors, seem to feel that they are at liberty to “not believe” in them.

There are a couple of reasons for disbelief in these diseases.  First, tests do not currently exist which can reliably determine the existence of these diseases.  An unfortunately common attitude in medicine is, “if it doesn’t show up on the tests, it doesn’t exist.”  Second, they are diseases of modernity, so there is little history from which to gather information on them.

The link between these mysterious diseases and mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress has been ignored.  This intentional ignorance is likely caused by the notion that if it is admitted that mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress are the causes of these diseases, the question may be asked, “what causes mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress?”  The answer is one that doctors, and anyone else who believes that the current medical system causes more good than harm, doesn’t want to admit – pharmaceuticals and environmental toxins are the causes of mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress. (1, 20) Chemicals in our drugs and in our environment are causing damage to our mitochondria, which are, in turn, causing multi-symptom, chronic, mysterious illnesses that afflict millions of people.

Offending drugs that cause mitochondrial damage include bactericidal antibiotics (15), statins (17), chemotherapy drugs (1), acetaminophen (4), metformin (a diabetes drug) (19), and others.  Disease states caused by chemical harm to mitochondria are often delayed and can involve a threshold of harm to the mitochondria (4), so it is often difficult to connect the mitochondria damaging chemical to the disease state.

The third category of mitochondrial diseases are those that are indirectly related to mitochondrial function.  Per a Review entitled, “Medication-induced Mitochondrial Damage and Disease,” the following diseases are related to mitochondrial damage:

“Damage to mitochondria is now understood to play a role in the pathogenesis of a wide range of seemingly unrelated disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, migraine headaches, strokes, neuropathic pain, Parkinson’s disease, ataxia, transient ischemic attack, cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetes, hepatitis C, and primary biliary cirrhosis.”

These diseases are often associated with old age (1) but they are afflicting younger and younger people over the past couple of decades.

The Regulatory Agencies are Failing to Protect our Mitochondria

Seeing as mitochondrial health is related to almost every chronic disease there is, it wouldn’t be too much to expect for the FDA and EPA to regularly look at the effects of drugs and environmental toxins on mitochondria when determining the safety of drugs and chemicals that humans come into contact with.  However, “mitochondrial toxicity testing is still not required by the US FDA for drug approval.”  (20)  The researchers who wrote the review entitled “Mitochondria as a Target of Environmental Toxicants” in 2013, noted that, “The existence of so many mitochondrial diseases illustrates the critical importance of maintenance of mitochondrial and mtDNA integrity for health.  It also raises an important question with implications for environment-mediated mitochondrial toxicity: Why did it take us so long to realize that many diseases are in fact mitochondrial diseases?” (1)  Good question.

Ignorance surrounding mitochondrial diseases can be explained by noting the following:

  1.  Mitochondria are a strange mix of vulnerable and resistant to assaults.  All sorts of drugs and chemicals damage mitochondria, and mtDNA is far more vulnerable to damage than nuclear DNA.  However, damage to mitochondria does not manifest itself in a disease state until a certain threshold of damage has occurred.  So, an individual can tolerate a certain amount of a mtDNA depleting drug, like Cipro/Ciprofloxacin (21), until their mtDNA is depleted sufficiently, then disease states will ensue. (4)
  2. The onset of diseases caused by mitochondrial damage are often delayed for days, months or even years after the offending chemical has done damage.  (4)
  3. Inertia.  The role of mitochondria in health has been ignored for years.  It would require a paradigm shift for medical professionals to start noticing mitochondrial dysfunction.  And if they start noticing mitochondrial dysfunction, they might start to realize that their drugs are the cause of the dysfunctional mitochondria.  (1, 20)
  4. There is very little that Western Medicine can do to fix mitochondrial dysfunction.  (1)  Rather than admit that there is nothing that they can do to fix the problem, those in the medical system deny that there is a problem.
  5. GREED, CORRUPTION and INFLUENCE.  The FDA and the EPA don’t require testing of drugs or environmental toxicants on mitochondria because the results would be incriminating, and those who would be incriminated have a massive amount of money and power.  It’s pretty simple, actually.

The ignorant, foolish doctor who “didn’t believe in mitochondrial disease” may want to note that:

“Mitochondrial function and behavior are central to the physiology of humans and, consequently, ‘mitochondrial dysfunction’ has been implicated in a wide range of diseases that encompass all aspects of medicine.”  (3)

It is time for those in the medical profession to stop ignoring the role of mitochondria in modern, chronic diseases.  The answers to preventing and fixing modern, chronic illnesses lie in the mitochondria.  Neither the questions nor the answers may be pleasant or convenient, but they are true and honest ones.  Cells don’t lie.  And the evidence against pharmaceutical and environmental toxicants that damage mitochondria is damning.

Post Script:  The author’s mitochondria were damaged by a prescription antibiotic, Cipro/Ciprofloxacin, a fluoroquinolone antibiotic.  Her blog, describing her story, and road to healing, is www.floxiehope.com.

Peer Reviewed Sources: 

  1. Toxicological Sciences, “Mitochondria as a Target of Environmental Toxicants
  2. Biochemical Society Transactions, “Mitochondrial Matirix Reactive Oxygen Species Production is Very Sensitive to Mild Uncoupling
  3. Cell, “Mitochondria:  In Sickness and In Health
  4. Molecular Interventions, “Mechanisms of Pathogenesis in Drug Hepatotoxicity Putting the Stress on Mitochondria
  5. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, “Calcium Signals are Affected by Ciprofloxacin as a Consequence of Reduction of Mitochondrial DNA Content in Jurkat Cells
  6. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Mitochondrial Dysfunction
  7. Journal of Internal Medicine, “Chronic fatigue syndrome: assessment of increased oxidative stress and altered muscle excitability in response to incremental exercise
  8. Muscle and Nerve, “Mitochondrial Myopathy Mimicking Fibromyalgia Syndrome
  9. The Journal of Rheumatology.  Supplement., “The Muscle in Fibromyalgia – A Review of Swedish Studies
  10. PLoS One, “Clinical Symptoms in Fibromyalgia Are Better Associated to Lipid Peroxidation Levels in Blood Mononuclear Cells Rather than in Plasma
  11. Nature Precedings, “Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Injury in Chronic Multisymptom Conditions: From Gulf War Illness to Autism Spectrum Disorder
  12. Pathophysiology, “Oxidative Stress in Autism
  13. Journal of Childhood Neurology, “Developmental Regression and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in a Child with Autism”
  14. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, “Evidence of Toxicity, Oxidative Stress, and Neuronal Insult in Autism
  15. Science Translational Medicine, “Bactericidal Antibiotics Induce Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Oxidative Damage in Mammalian Cells
  16. Journal of Young Pharmacists, “Oxidative Stress Induced by Fluoroquinolones on Treatment for Complicated Urinary Tract Infections in Indian Patients
  17. American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs, “Statin Adverse Effects: A Review of the Literature and Evidence for a Mitochondrial Mechanism
  18. BMC Medicine, “Chronic fatigue syndrome: Harvey and Wessely’s (bio)psychosocial model versus a bio(psychosocial) model based on inflammatory and oxidative and nitrosative stress pathways
  19. Biochemical Journal, “Metformin inhibits mitochondrial permeability transition and cell death: a pharmacological in vitro study
  20. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, “Medication Induced Mitochondrial Damage and Disease
  21. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, “Calcium Signals Are Affected by Ciprofloxacin as a Consequence of Reduction of Mitochondrial DNA Content in Jurkat Cells

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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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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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