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Science Says Stress Is Killing Us. Do You Know Why?

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Stress is a word that haunts us. It inundates our lives. Its dangers seep through the nooks and crannies of our minds. We’re bombarded through TV, newspapers and the internet with the idea that stress kills! It is said to be responsible for a myriad of diseases from which we suffer: heart disease, cancer, headaches, depression, dementia and anxiety.(1) Our daily conversations are strewn with references to the stress we experience: the job, the kids, finances, terrorism, college educations, crime, etc. Life has become a balancing act of endless multitasking. Our sleep is punctuated with “what if’s.”  What if I lose my job?  What if I’m sicker than I thought? What if our child doesn’t make it to that special school? What if…?

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Given the importance stress plays in our lives, what is stress? Is it increasing? Is it something we’re doing that is fostering stress’ effect on our lives? Can it be managed? Is it as dangerous as they say?

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Let’s explore what stress is and why it seems to be so universal and on the rise.

The Nature of Things

Medical science now recognizes that our biology is intimately intertwined with our emotions, thoughts and lifestyles. Science has admitted, after long denials, that the emotional challenges we face can make us ill. There is even a bonafide scientific discipline, Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), dedicated to studying mind/body interactions.(2) But more about that later. For now, let’s learn about the nature of stress. There are, generally speaking, three types of stress that Robert Sapolsky(3) an American neuroendocrinologist, professor of biology, neuroscience and neurosurgery at Stanford University has summarized: acute physical crises, chronic physical challenges and psychological and social problems.

Acute physical crises make up much of what animals face on any given day. They may be stalked by a predator or they may be hungry and doing the stalking. It can involve long running battles across the plains or through trees. One fleeing for his life, the other hungry and needing to feed her young.  Homo sapiens through most of our history have been either the hunters or the hunted.

Chronic physical challenges such as storms, famines, droughts and earthquakes have plagued animals all throughout natural history. Humans have had to recognize the seasons, cope with weather disruptions and the like. When it stops raining and water is scarce large herds of animals and humans have had to travel far and wide to survive.

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Psychological and social problems are reserved mostly for humans, other social primates and some animals. If I asked you to make a list of the things that worry you, what might they be? For most of us reading this article, much of what worries us would not be the fear of starvation because the crops have failed or whether or not we will be attacked by a predator while out searching for food. Mostly, we create stress through our own thinking.  I’m sure you have worked yourself up into a frenzy over some perceived interpersonal issue (the boss, the spouse, the traffic, the news) while sitting alone in a room. And, we can carry that frenzy around inside of us for hours, days, years and even entire lifetimes. This ability is what science has found can make us, in the long run, sick.

Sapolsky (4), in his acclaimed book Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers states:

A large body of evidence suggests that stress-related disease emerges, predominantly, out of the fact that we often activate a physiological system that has evolved for responding to acute physical emergencies, but we turn it on for months on end, worrying about mortgages, relationships, and promotions. (p. 6)

Our social position in society adds to this long term stress. Are we closer to the winners at the top of the hierarchy or closer to the perceived losers at the bottom? Epidemiologists have demonstrated that societies with the greatest status inequalities are the least healthy. Not surprisingly, poverty is a sure predictor of disease. But social status alone and its accompanying stigma also is a predictor of ill health. In the famous UK Whitehall studies, conducted by Michael Marmot, (5) Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London, the health of 18,000 British civil servants was tracked from 1968 to the late 1990’s. Marmot, in his groundbreaking work The Status Syndrome, found that:

The men at the bottom of the office hierarchy have, at ages forty to sixty four, four times the risk of death as administrators at the top of the hierarchy. More dramatic than the difference between top and bottom is the gradient.  The group second from the top has higher mortality than those above them in the ranking. (p. 39)

Although we suffer from all three forms of stress, it is the psychological and social aspects that we experience most in modern society. There are still physical threats, like gangs on the subway, and physical challenges, like hurricanes, but most of our stress comes from long-term psychological stress that we create in our minds and is the result of living in a hierarchical, competitive society. Our built-in coping capacities, inherited from our ancient ancestors, enables us to deal very well with physical crises and challenges but unfortunately is not as good at the stresses we face today.

What was once meant to help us survive is now killing us.

An excellent summary of the work of Sapolsky and Marmot appears in the National Geographic documentary Stress, Portrait of a Killer. (6)

Let’s take a look at how our ability to deal with stress is compromised in the modern world.

The Physiology of Stress

Our ability to deal with stress grew out of hundreds of thousands if not millions of years of evolution. When facing a threat or challenge Saplosky (4) indicates that the mind/body makes a “rapid mobilization of energy from storage sites…Glucose…and fats come pouring out of your fat cells, liver and muscles, all to stoke whichever muscles are struggling to save your neck.”(p. 11) To do this our heart rate increases, along with blood pressure and respiration.  Digestion stops, as does the sex drive and all growth related functions. A myriad of stress hormones flood the body, cortisol, epinephrine,  glucocorticoids, etc. The sensation of pain diminishes. Our immune system becomes compromised. When you’re running for your life there’s no time to worry about healing a wound or infection. This is all done to support our survival and maintain allostasis, the dynamic equilibrium of our body/mind.

In the end, it is the suppression of the immune system that does us in.

stress and illness

Stress and Modern Living

So now we come to the crux of the matter.  Our modern lifestyles burden our bodies and minds in ways very different from that experienced by our ancestors. Our stress response system was not intended to deal over the long-term with the psychological and social stressors we have created. Chronic, long-term stress is killing us. Saplosky says it succinctly:

It’s not so much that the stress response runs out, but rather, with sufficient activation, that the stress-response can become more damaging than the stressor itself, especially when the stress is purely psychological.  This is the critical concept, because it underlies the emergence of much stress-related disease. (4)

Put another way by John Ratey and Richard Manning in Go Wild: Free Your Body and Mind from the Afflictions of Civilization (7):

…the real problem, the killer, is the chronic, unrelenting, unremitting series of regular events that wears us down. (p. 237)

Regular events that remain perpetually unresolved and over which we feel little control, such as hours in traffic, the unfair boss, monthly mortgage payments, boring sex and relationships, lousy food day after day, addictions, lack of sleep, crime, etc. Our stress response never rests. In a fashion similar to the pancreas producing more and more insulin in response to excess exposure to glucose “If we repeatedly turn on the stress response, or if you cannot turn off the stress-response at the end of a stressful event, the stress-response can eventually become damaging.” (4) (p. 16)

Our stress response is always in the “on” position. We find it hard, if not impossible, to turn off our autonomic nervous system. We can’t relax. We need constant stimulation. Our blood pressure never returns to normal, our stress hormones remain high, our blood vessels are constricted and our blood thickens. Our moods fluctuate with anxiety or depression. The Mayo Clinic conservatively states that: “Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to…high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.” (8) I would add Irritable Bowel Syndrome, insomnia, chronic fatigue, rosacea, allergies, asthma, anxiety, depression, anger, drug abuse, social and interpersonal problems and more.

Modern lifestyles predispose us to disease. Our ancestral health is compromised. Combined with sedentary behaviors, industrialized diets, Western hygienic practices (9) and certain vaccinations (10) stress creates the perfect storm of degenerative disease and psychiatric disorder. Although evolution designed us to meet a wide variety of conditions, modern living places us in a perpetual state of stress that exhausts our immune systems. This sets the stage for chronic disease.

In the next article, I will explore what we can do to reduce stress, restore our ancestral health and remain productive within modern society.  Meditation, fostering positive relationships and affiliations, successful aging, cognitive re framing, and “Going Wild” will be covered.

References

  1. http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/features/10-fixable-stress-related-health-problems
  2. http://www.stressforskning.su.se/english/research/research-areas/psychoneuroimmunology
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Sapolsky
  4. Sapolsky, Robert M., Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers. (2004). Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
  5. Marmot, Michael, The Status Syndrome. (2004). Holt Paperbacks.
  6. National Geographic. (2008). Stress: Portrait of a Killer. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYG0ZuTv5rs
  7. Ratey, John & Manning, Richard, Go Wild: Free Your Body and Mind From the Afflictions of Civilization. (2014). Hachette Book Group, Inc.
  8. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987
  9. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-unintended-and-deadly-consequences-of-living-in-the-industrialized-world-5324305/?no-ist
  10. http://www.utsandiego.com/uniontrib/20080304/news_1n4immune.html

 

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Trump Gives 1.16 Billion To Bill Gates’ Vaccine Alliance & Inks Deal With Pfizer For A COVID Vaccine

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Not long ago, President Trump gave more than a billion dollars to a vaccine alliance called Gavi that was co-founded by Bill & Melinda Gates. He also inked a deal with Pfizer for 100,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you going to get the vaccine? Will it be required to travel and to enter into certain buildings? If so, will you get it then? Are mandatory medical measures a violation of our freedom and human rights? Is it really for the good of everyone?

What Happened: Last month, US President Donald Trump “donated more to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to prevent the spread of infectious diseases worldwide.” He did so in a statement of support for Gavi at the public Gavi pledge conference, which was hosted by the United Kingdom, on June 4th. So far, the United States has donated more than $12 billion for the development of COVID-19 vaccines and therapies, and “the U.S. commitment to immunization complements the work of innovators in the United States and other countries who are racing to find a vaccine and treatments for COVID­19.” (source)

Bill and Melinda Gates co-founded the Gavi alliance in the year 2000, it’s a public-private partnership that claims to support “global health-system strengthening and vaccine deployment for infectious diseases worldwide.”  (source)

Here’s a video clip of Trump talking about his decision.

Shortly after this, Trump announced that they will give nearly $2 billion to Pfizer, a big pharmaceutical company, for 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that could make its way into the public domain sometime next year. According to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the U.S. could buy another 500 million doses under the agreement if the vaccine is safe and effective in the U.S.

Multiple countries are now purchasing vaccines for the new coronavirus.

Why This Is Important: It’s important because the coronavirus vaccine is extremely relevant right now and on the minds of many as the only possible solution to this pandemic, at least that’s how it’s being marketed, despite the fact that multiple peer-reviewed studies and examples have emerged from all over the world regarding the success of other interventions.

For example, a study published last month in Frontiers in Immunology titled “Quercetin and Vitamin C: An Experimental, Synergistic Therapy for the Prevention and Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 Related Disease (COVID-19)” concluded the following:

Quercetin displays a broad range of antiviral properties which can interfere at multiple steps of pathogen virulence – virus entry, virus replication, protein assembly – and that these therapeutic effects can be augmented by the co-administration of vitamin C. Furthermore, due to their lack of severe side effects and low-costs, we strongly suggest the combined administration of these two compounds for both the prophylaxis and the early treatment of respiratory tract infections, especially including COVID-19 patients.”

As far as vitamin C goes, this is not the only study or article to recommend its use when it comes to treating COVID-19. For examplem Medicine in Drug Discovery of Elsevier, a major scientific publishing house, recently published an article on early and high-dose IVC in the treatment and prevention of Covid-19. High-dose intravenous VC was successfully used in the treatment of 50 moderate to severe COVID-19 patients in China. The doses used varied between 2 g and 10 g per day, given over a period of 8–10 h. Additional VC bolus may be required among patients in critical conditions.”

New York hospitals were also seeing success with Quercetin and Vitamin C. You can read more about that here. Vitamin C isn’t the only ‘alternative’ therapy, Hydroxychloroquine also caused quite a bit of controversy. The main point I am trying to make here is that mainstream media has not only ignored these facts, but there seemed to be a coordinated attack on the idea that these therapies can work. Once the mainstream media and organizations who are threatened come up with a way, whether it be by paying scientists or manipulating data, to ridicule an idea, that idea instantaneously loses credibility in the minds of the masses. That’s how much of a stranglehold mainstream media has, and has had on our collective perception.

Secondly, it’s important because according to organizations like the American Medical Association as well as the World Health Organization, vaccine hesitancy among people, parents, and, as mentioned by scientists at the World Health Organization’s recent Global Vaccine Safety Summit, health professionals and scientists continues to increase. This is no secret, as vaccines have become a very popular topic over the past few years alone. In fact, the World Health Organization has listed vaccine hesitancy as one of the biggest threats to global health security. The issue of vaccine hesitancy is no secret, for example, one study (of many) published in the journal EbioMedicineoutlines this point.

This fact was also  emphasized by Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project. She is referenced by the authors in the study above. At the WHO conference, she emphasized that safety concerns among people and health professionals seem to be the biggest issue regarding vaccine hesitancy.

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers, we have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen–and we’re constantly looking on any studies in this space–still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider.

There are a number  of physicians and scientists raising awareness about this. The Physicians For Informed Consent are one of many such groups. This brings me to my next point, informed consent.

Vaccine mandates have already caused quite a controversy when it comes to children. The right to receive a medical or religious exemption is being taken away in various states, and a child cannot attend a public school unless they are up to date with the CDC’s recommended vaccination schedule. This is done on the basis that unvaccinated children are a danger to vaccinated children, which is a highly flawed argument given the fact that vaccines aren’t safe and effective for everyone, which is why the National Childhood Vaccine Injury act has paid nearly $4 billion to families of vaccine-injured children, and that’s only counting approximately 1 percent of vaccine-injured children because most of them go unreported. You can read more about that here.

It’s also important because we need to weigh the dangers of the vaccine compared to the actual disease. The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) recently published a report titled “Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) Compares COVID-19 to Previous Seasonal and Pandemic Flu Periods.” According to them, the infection/fatality rate of COVID-19 is 0.26%.

Similar to CDC estimations, PIC’s analysis results in a COVID-19 CFR of 0.26%, which is comparable to the CFRs of previous seasonal and pandemic flu periods. “Knowing the CFR of COVID-19 allows for an objective standard by which to compare both non-pharmaceutical interventions and medical countermeasures,” said Dr. Shira Miller, PIC’s founder and president. “For example, safety studies of any potential COVID-19 vaccine should be able to prove whether or not the risks of the vaccine are less than the risks of the infection. (source)

You can read more about that story here.  So far, multiple clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines have shown severe reactions within 10 days after taking the vaccine. You can read more about that story, here.

Alan Dershowitz and Robert F. Kennedy recently had a vaccine debate regarding the safety of vaccines. It includes a discussion about the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine. You can watch that and read more about it here.

Last but not least, it goes to show just how susceptible politicians and presidents are to what many before them have referred to as the invisible government. Donald Trump was clearly not a fan of vaccines, and that was made clear during his 2016 election campaign. When it comes to politics, big business always seems to win. Even those from within our federal health regulatory agencies are speaking up. In fact, only a few years ago, more than a dozen scientists from within the CDC put out an anonymous public statement detailing the influence corporations and rougue interests  have on government policy. They were referred to as the Spider Papers.

The invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation…The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both parties…(and) control the majority of the newspapers and magazines in this country. They use the columns of these papers to club into submission or drive out of office public officials who refuse to do the bidding of the powerful corrupt cliques which compose the invisible government. It operates under the cover of a self-created screen and seizers  our executive officers, legislative bodies, schools, courts, newspapers and every agency created for the public protection.” (source)(source) – John F. HylanMayor of New York City from 1918-1925

Another great one from Theodore Roosevelt

“Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare, they have become the tools of corrupt interests which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government, owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.”(source)

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, the new coronavirus and the measures taken to combat it have caused a lot of controversy. When someone like NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said governments are using the coronavirus to push more authoritarian measures upon the population, it’s important that we listen. Instead, we prosecute them, exile them, and put people like Julian Assange who expose war crimes in jail while we agree with and identify with those who are committing the crime. What is encouraging, however, is that just like 9/11 did, COVID-19 is shifting human consciousness in a major way.

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Awareness

Physicians For Informed Consent Say Infection Fatality Rate of COVID-19 Is 0.26 Percent

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) recently published a report titled "Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) Compares COVID-19 to Previous Seasonal and Pandemic Flu Periods." According to them, the infection/fatality rate of COVID-19 is 0.26%.

  • Reflect On:

    Is the new coronavirus as dangerous as it's being made out to be, or does it compare to other severe respiratory viruses? Is what we've gone through with regards to lockdown measures and mask really about the virus, or something else?

What Happened: The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) recently published a report titled “Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) Compares COVID-19 to Previous Seasonal and Pandemic Flu Periods.” In their article, they stated the following:

The public has been made aware of the number of COVID-19 deaths and reported cases that have occurred since the beginning of the current pandemic; however, the number of unreported cases has not been widely known or publicized. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that more than one-third of SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus that can lead to COVID-19) infections are asymptomatic, meaning that initial estimations of its severity were grossly overestimated. Now, for the first time, Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) has collated data from U.S. antibody studies and produced an educational document outlining how an accurate case-fatality rate (CFR) requires antibody studies in order to guide and measure medical care and public health policies.

Similar to CDC estimations, PIC’s analysis results in a COVID-19 CFR of 0.26%, which is comparable to the CFRs of previous seasonal and pandemic flu periods. “Knowing the CFR of COVID-19 allows for an objective standard by which to compare both non-pharmaceutical interventions and medical countermeasures,” said Dr. Shira Miller, PIC’s founder and president. “For example, safety studies of any potential COVID-19 vaccine should be able to prove whether or not the risks of the vaccine are less than the risks of the infection.

“Regardless of proof of safety, however, a potential COVID-19 vaccine should only be voluntary, in order to safeguard a patient’s human right to determine what will happen with his or her body,” said Dr. Miller.

You can view the PIC’s educational document assessing COVID-19 severity and how they came to their conclusion, here. Obviously the data is always delayed and things are constantly changing with regards to COVID-19 numbers.

Who are the PIC? They are a group of doctors and academics from around the world who have come together to support informed consent when it comes to mandatory vaccine measures. Their information is based on science. Their mission is to deliver data on infectious diseases and vaccines, and to unite doctors, scientists, healthcare professionals, attorneys, and families who support voluntary vaccinations. Their vision is that doctors and the public are able to evaluate the data on infectious diseases and vaccines objectively and voluntarily engage in informed decision-making about vaccination.

They are not the only ones in the ‘academic world’ who make the point that COVID-19 perceptions of danger and numbers are unsubstantiated. For example, John P. A. Ioannidis, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Stanford University has said that the infection fatality rate is close to 0 percent for people under the age of 45 years old, explaining how that number rises significantly for people who are older, as with most other respiratory viruses. You can read more about that and access that here. In fact, not long ago a study published by several academics from the Stanford School of Medicine suggests that COVID-19 has a similar infection fatality rate as seasonal influenza, you can read more about that and access the study here.

The mainstream media has also addressed the low case fatality rate, warning the public not to be compliant.

Why This Is Important

This is important because the data validates what many doctors have been emphasizing from the beginning of the lockdown, that the new coronavirus is being made out to be far more dangerous than it actually is. This is the opinion of many, not a consensus. As a result, many scientists were extremely confused, and still are, at the measures that multiple governments have taken. For example, Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, a specialist in microbiology and one of the most cited research scientists in German history, was one of them. (source) There seem to be dozens upon dozens of doctors and scientists raising the same ideas.

Doctors and scientists of such a prestigious background with decades of experience in the field have been censored and silenced by multiple social media platform for sharing their opinion and research, simply because it opposes the narrative that’s being put out by organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations, for example. YouTube has flat out said that it’s censoring any information that contradicts the WHO.

It’s understandable why so many people are confused. On one hand you have mainstream media outlets reporting an overwhelming amount of dead bodies that have to be carted away in freezer trucks, and on the other hand you have a number of scientists and doctors letting people know that we are dealing something that we’ve been dealing with for decades, just another non-severe respiratory virus. Complimenting that is “fact checkers” that are going around blindly upholding the government and health agency narrative. In reality, they are censoring different perspectives, not fact checking.

Other factors are also confusing, like the fact that deaths are being attributed to Covid that are not a result of it.

Did you know that metapneumovirus has been shown to have worldwide circulation with nearly universal infection by age 5? We are talking billions of people. Did you know that outbreaks of metapneumovirus have been well documented every single year, especially in long term care facilities with mortality rates of up to 50%? (source) Did you know that human metapneumovirus infection results in a large number of hospitalizations of children every single year? Did you know nearly 1-2 million children every single year die of these types of respiratory illnesses because they lead to acute respiratory illness? Imagine if the infection rates and death numbers were constantly tracked, and put on an easy to access website, mainstream media, radio etc… Imagine if the other coronaviruses and respiratory illnesses that are more severe in some cases, and arguably more infectious in some cases were subjected to constant monitoring and beamed out to the population every single minute, could you imagine the fear and hysteria?

Are fear and hysteria being used as a marketing tool for a vaccine?

What about Edward Snowden’s thoughts about the under-discussed consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and how it’s being used to take away more human rights?

Here’s a recent Instagram post I came across from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. It makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

The Takeaway

Right now, and we seem to see the same thing with other major global events, there seems to be a great divide amongst the population with regards to what is going on. How dangerous is the virus is? Are receiving the correct information from not only our federal, state, and provincial health authorities but the WHO as well?

This divide was further expressed by the collective reaction to lockdown and other mandated measures that have been put in place. There are simply a growing number of people who do not agree with the actions governments have taken to combat Covid, and many of them are doctors, scientists, and people who have some sort of expertise in this area.

The point is, we are not obligated to listen to our government. Although it seems that way sometimes, “obey or be punished”, the ultimate power lies with the people. We as a collective choose what direction we go, and right now many of us are simply choosing to follow, obey, not question, and be wary of the ones who are asking questions. This is OK, this path is not wrong, but how does it feel to simply follow narratives that you don’t know are true? Why are so many others questioning and backing up their conclusions with facts? What world is created out of blind acceptance of anything?

Furthermore, the emergence of a digital “fact-checker” going around the internet that’s censoring the opinions and research of some experts in the field simply serves as a catalyst for many to also question what is going on here. The fact checks, in many cases, become so ridiculous that people are now realizing that the information that is fact checked is often the information to reflect on.

One thing is for certain, the coronavirus has served as a great catalyst for more people to start questioning what they’re told, and to seek out information for themselves. For quite a long time, we haven’t really been thinking for ourselves, instead we’ve let “the corporation” do that for us. This is why we are seeing the emergence of so much information that continues to contradict what we are being told.

We have so much potential as a human race, and to come closer to accessing that potential, a great step would begin asking deeper and better questions about what we’re told. We can do this by gathering different perspectives as opposed to s simply one from mainstream media.

Reflect, is participating in our current political process helping us thrive? Or are we simply giving our power away to a system that is full of what we call corruption and that doesn’t have our best interests at hand?

Our current system was created from a level of consciousness that we as humans are evolving beyond. This is why so many are feeling a desire to look for new ideas and ways of seeing things, because our current ways no longer resonate with our being, we are simply doing them out of. habit and unconsciousness.

In order to create a new system, you can’t do it from the same level of consciousness we are at now or else we will only create more of the same thing. If we want change, might we create it when we as individuals operate from a greater sense of awareness and inclusiveness, a higher state of consciousness? Might we create it from a place of peace, understanding, and non-judgement as opposed to ego consciousness and polarity?

At the end of the day no matter what is happening, we are all united in our desire to see humanity thrive.

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Awareness

Why Is The Western Caucasian Image Of Beauty Something We Are Made To Idolize??

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    An ideal image of what it means to be physically "beautiful" has been beamed into the minds of the masses for quite a while. Skin-lightening in itself is its own market.

  • Reflect On:

    Does this industry profit from our lack of self-confidence and self-doubt? Is it part of the marketing strategy to define what beautiful is in hopes that people will try and achieve it through the purchase of their products?

No matter what country you’re in, France, the UK,  Japan, India, or Canada, you are surrounded by it at any given moment. The latest sale, the hottest new look, the ideal body, the only way to ‘fit in’. This overtly westernized image of beauty has become the international standard through the influence of clever marketing and advertising schemes. We are taught that in order to fit into the globalized culture we must fully embrace the western body.

Vanity-Insanity

Sadly, lighter-colored skin is considered the ideal image of beauty in most countries that contain darker skinned people. The use of skin lightening creams are rampant throughout these countries, pulling in billions of dollars every year. The majority of these products work by eliminating the production of melanin, the natural pigment found in our skin. The global market for skin lighteners will reach a staggering is worth billions of dollars.. But the use of these products don’t come without dangerous risks.

skin-zip-picture-head-2

Skin lightening products are estimated to bring in $20 billion by 2018.

Hydroquinone, a common topical ingredient found in skin lightening creams has been shown to cause leukemia in mice and other animals. The European Union even banned the ingredient in cosmetics in 2001, although it can now be prescribed by a doctor.

In Korea and other Asian countries, blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, has become the most common cosmetic procedure. The idea is to create a look that makes the eyes appear more open, similar to the shape of Caucasian eyes. If you look at the models and Anime characters portrayed in Asian magazines and advertisements, it is easy to see the exaggerated size of their eyes and the influence this has on the population.

800px-Kami_Parsa_MD_Cosmetic_LowerEyelid_Blepharoplasty

Eyelid surgery, known as blepharoplasty, is the most common cosmetic procedure in Asian countries.

Self-Love = No Profit For Beauty Industry

Where do these beauty ideals stem from? The sad part is that the desire to look a certain way doesn’t come from the men and women themselves, it is often imposed on them from the mass media and society at large. Why? Because insecure people make better consumers.

And this isn’t just a female related issue either, men face the same bombardment of chiseled models and beefy sports super-heroes every day. There is a market pin-pointed for every faction of the population.

In truth, if someone were completely happy and confident with how they felt and looked, they wouldn’t feel the need to wear makeup, do their hair, dress fashionable, or pay for expensive and invasive surgeries. These industries would all fail, and this is something they know.

This is why the big companies spend billions on advertising every year. This is why the westernized standard for perfection is pushed in everyone’s faces day-in and day-out. And this is exactly why we need to put an end to these standards.

The Illusionists is a documentary coming out this year that aims to raise awareness around the vanity-insanity issue currently plaguing our world. Their 4 minute teaser has been going viral around the web and for good reason, I think the timing of this message couldn’t be any more imperative. We can’t wait for the conversation around westernized beauty standards to be at the forefront of international discourse.

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