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Doctors Explain How Hiking Actually Changes Our Brains

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While it may seem obvious that a good hike through a forest or up a mountain can cleanse your mind, body, and soul, science is now discovering that hiking can actually change your brain… for the better!

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Hiking in Nature Can Stop Negative, Obsessive Thoughts

Aside from the almost instant feeling of calm and contentment that accompanies time outdoors, hiking in nature can reduce rumination. Many of us often find ourselves consumed by negative thoughts, which takes us out of the enjoyment of the moment at best and leads us down a path to depression and anxiety at worst. But a recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that spending time in nature decreases these obsessive, negative thoughts by a significant margin.

Do you know what your personal cancer risk is? Take this quiz to find out: www.collective-evolution.com/a/cancer-quiz

To conduct this study, researchers compared the reported rumination of participants who hiked through either an urban or a natural environment. They found that those who walked for 90 minutes in a natural environment reported lower levels of rumination and they also had reduced neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain related to mental illness. Those who walked through the urban environment, however, did not report decreased rumination.

The researchers noted that increased urbanization closely correlates with increased instances of depression and other mental illness. Taking the time to regularly remove ourselves from urban settings and spend more time in nature can greatly benefit our psychological (and physical) well-being.

Hiking While Disconnected From Technology Boosts Creative Problem Solving

A study conducted by psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and David L. Strayer found that creative problem solving can be drastically improved by both disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature. Participants in this study went backpacking through nature for about four days, during which time they were not allowed to use any technology whatsoever. They were asked to perform tasks requiring creative thinking and complex problem solving, and researchers found that performance on problem solving tasks improved by 50% for those who took part in this tech-free hiking excursion.

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They also noted that both technology and urban noise are incredibly disruptive, constantly demanding our attention and preventing us from focusing, all of which can be taxing to our cognitive functions. A nice long hike, sans technology, can reduce mental fatigue, soothe the mind, and boost creative thinking.

Hiking Outdoors Can Improve ADHD in Children

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is becoming more and more common among children. Children who have ADHD have a difficult time with impulse control and staying focused, get distracted easily, and exhibit excessive hyperactivity.

While raising children who have ADHD can be difficult for parents, the usual solution — opting for prescription medication — may be doing more harm than good, particularly when natural solutions can work just as well. A study conducted by Frances E Kup, PhD, and Andrea Faber Taylor, PhD, found that exposing children with ADHD to “green outdoor activities” reduces symptoms significantly. The results of this study suggest nature exposure can benefit anyone who has a difficult time paying attention and/or exhibits impulsive behaviour.

Hiking In Nature Is Great Exercise and Therefore Boosts Brainpower

We already know that exercise is fantastic for our overall well-being. Hiking is an excellent way to burn between 400–700 calories per hour, depending on your size and the hike difficulty, and it is easier on the joints than other activities like running. It has also been proven that people who exercise outside are more likely to keep at it and stick to their programs, making hiking an excellent choice for those wishing to become more active on a regular basis.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia found that aerobic exercise increases hippocampal volume — the part of the brain associated with spatial and episodic memory — in women over the age of 70. Such exercise not only reduces memory loss, but helps prevent it as well. Researchers also found that it can lower stress and anxiety, boost self esteem, and release endorphins. Many people take medication to solve each and every one of these issues, but the solution to these ills may be a lot simpler than you think!

How Can You Begin Hiking?

Luckily, hiking is one of the easiest and least expensive sports to get involved in, and it can have great benefits for the whole family, including grandma! Start out small and test your abilities. Do what works for you; if that means just walking through trails in a park, that’s fine. Any exercise outdoors is better than none. You can easily find maps of trails around your home online, and there are plenty of smartphone apps to map them out, too. I recommend turning off your signal and your phone while hiking though, so you can reap the most benefits of the hike (though it may be wise to at least carry it with you in case of emergency).

Make sure you have some good sturdy hiking shoes, a hat, and a water bottle, and be sure to layer your clothing so you can take things on or off easily as you warm up and cool down. You may want to consider using trekking poles as well, which can increase your speed and take some of the pressure off your knees. Now, can you just do one thing for me?

Go take a hike!

Much Love

Photo Credit: Mike Heller

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Health

12 Reasons To Drink Celery Juice

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    There are many reasons to drink celery juice according to the Medical Medium, and people's results after even a short period of time on it are astonishing.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you currently caught up in fad diets that are symptom managers or quick fixes? Are you working towards true, deep physical healing?

Inevitably, you have heard about it: Medical Medium’s celery juice challenge that has the world drinking celery juice in order to help heal a number of health issues — and it’s working!

The challenge does not come without some backlash from the scientific community as we watch people heal diseases and health challenges that drugs, the paleo diet or even a vegan diet haven’t been able to help. Now, this isn’t to say diet isn’t the answer, because it often is, it’s more so to say that just because you are vegan, for example, does not mean you are addressing your health issues. There are plenty of unhealthy vegan foods like mock meats that wreak havoc on your digestion and clog detoxification systems.

What I love about the Medical Medium’s work is the simplicity. Go back to consuming vast amounts of fruits and vegetables. Ease up massively on processed foods, dairy, meat, and high fat diets. As he points out in his book The Liver Rescue, and as you can learn more about in this article, high fat and high protein diets are not healing diets, they are symptom management diets. Eventually, we have to move to the healing phase if we want to get our health back.

The carnivore diet and paleo diet have misinformed a lot of people when it comes to fruit, as they’ve made an enemy out of fruit due to its fructose content. However, fruit happens to be the one thing that can truly help heal the body.

I was in great shape just two and a half years ago. It wasn’t just my body shape as you can see in the picture below, it was my state of mind, being, and strength.

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I was incredibly strong in my callisthenics practice and I slept like a champion all the time. This journey for me was kickstarted by a 17 day fast that helped heal digestive issues I had. But healing takes time, and although my fast helped a bunch, my journey was not complete, and I knew this.

About a year after the picture above was taken, I went through quite a stressful journey thanks to a business arrangement that affected both CE and personal investments I had made. I outlined that story and what I learned from it here if you’re interested. Through that journey, I let stress and worry get the best of me. My eating changed, my sleeping got bad, my workouts stopped, and I was watching all aspects of my health slowly decline.

Fifteen pounds later, which for me was a noticeable discomfort, I began focusing back on the health practice I learned about 11 years ago. Simple! Fruits and vegetables and a plant-based diet. But I noticed that even during times when I would fast or eat about 1800 calories per day, I was gaining mystery weight. I was no longer stressed or worried, but I was still putting on random bits of weight.

So I began reading the Liver Rescue book and started adding celery juice back into the mix for a period of time. During that period, my weight began to go back to normal, my sleep improved, and my digestion was already noticeably better. What happened next? I got a bit busy in life again, no stress this time, but I stopped making time for the celery juice and the mystery weight began to reappear.

What I was reminded of again was that healing takes time. I knew full well that 6 months to a year on celery juice and a simple diet would truly help my body go back to its natural state, but I wasn’t making the time to do that.

The fad diets we see popping up every few months or a year (carnivore being the latest) are not long-term healing diets, they are diets people jump to and from once symptoms begin to reappear after a while on the previous diet. Give yourself 6 months to as much as 2 years on dietary choices like those prescribed in Medical Medium’s Liver Rescue book. Without that, you are just managing symptoms, you are not creating freedom.

My next step: Once I get home from my travels I’m going to get back on celery juice and continue my journey toward fully healing my gut. I’ve already made many strides over the last year, but these things take time. As Dr. Greger says:

“Our body has a remarkable ability to recover from sporadic insults, as long as we’re not habitually poking it with a fork.”

So instead of getting overwhelmed with all the rights and wrongs in this very moment, I challenge you to grab a copy of Liver Rescue and begin drinking celery juice on a daily basis. When you get the book, read it with an open mind and truly examine the long-term healing results people are getting off of such simple yet powerful changes. What you’re going to see isn’t symptom management, it’s true healing.

Clearing up severe skin issues. No creams or steroids needed. Click image to read her full story.

Regain weight balance and healed digestion. No paleo or carnivore diets needed. Click image to read her full story.

12 Reasons to Drink Celery Juice

1. Lowers Inflammation
Celery juice starves the unproductive bacteria and viruses that are behind inflammation.

2. Supports Weight Loss
Celery juice helps to clean up and detoxify the liver, and a sluggish, toxic liver is behind mystery weight gain.

3. Aids Digestion
Celery juice restores hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach for better long-term digestion.

4. Reduces Bloating
Celery juice prompts the liver to increase bile production and strengthens the stomach’s hydrochloric acid production. Old undigested, rotting protein and rancid fats trapped at the bottom of the stomach and in the small intestinal tract can then be broken down, helping to reduce bloating.

5. Helps Eczema & Psoriasis
The undiscovered cluster salts in celery juice break down the cell membranes of the pathogens responsible for eczema, eventually killing and destroying them.

6. Fights Infections
Celery juice enhances your entire body’s immune system. White blood cells absorb the sodium cluster salts in celery juice through their cell structure and then use them as an offence mechanism, not just a defence mechanism.

From being told he couldn’t eat fruit because of ADHD and struggling with keeping his mind and emotions in check, to a solid peaceful state of being. Click image to read full story.

7. Helps Prevent UTI’s
Celery juice is an antiseptic to streptococcus bacteria, which is the true unknown cause of Urinary Tract Infections.

8. Healing For Acne
Celery juice’s undiscovered sodium cluster salts are toxic to bacteria, including streptococcus in the liver and lymphatic system, which is the real cause of acne.

9. Prevents High Blood Pressure
Celery juice helps stabilize blood pressure by cleansing the liver of Liver Troublemakers (see Liver Rescue for info), which leads to healthier blood that can be easily pumped by the heart.

10. Helps Lower High Cholesterol
Celery juice helps cleanse and strengthen the liver, and breaks up undigested rotting proteins and fats that contribute to a sluggish liver, which is behind high cholesterol.

11. Helps Prevent Ulcers
Celery juice helps destroy the bacteria responsible for ulcers.

12. Protects Liver Health
Your liver’s individual immune system relies on the undiscovered sodium cluster salts inside of celery.

The Takeaway

We must observe this repetitive process of ‘this is the next diet that will finally heal all for you’ or ‘this is the magical cure-all for what dis-ease you are experiencing.’ Health and wellness is both physical and emotional. This means we must approach it from a physical point of view, with time tested and truly powerful proven ways of healing, and we must observe our emotions along the way.

It often is simple when it comes to diet. A whole foods, plant-based diet including a ton of fruits and vegetables is a sure fire way to begin your healing journey.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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Health

How To Activate Autophagy: Your Body’s Self-Cleansing System

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Autophagy, the body's self-cleaning system, allows the cell to get rid of old cell machinery, breaking them down into smaller parts to be reused by the cell. Activating autophagy through fasting has neuroprotective and immuno-regenerative benefits.

  • Reflect On:

    Intermittent fasting (IF) is an easy and sustainable way to activate autophagy as well as reap many other health benefits. The easiest way to IF is to pick an eating window that is eight hours or less every day that works best with your schedule.

 

The fountain of youth has long been sought by man, science being the critical avenue in which we’ve explored this prospect, and one Nobel Prize-winning scientist recently uncovered a vital piece in the search.

On October 3rd, 2016, the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Yoshinori Ohsumi for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy, a term that translates to “self-eat.” In short, autophagy is the body’s self-cleaning system, a mechanism in which cells get rid of all the broken down, old cell machinery (organelles, proteins and cell membranes). It is a regulated, orderly process to degrade and recycle cellular components.

The process of autophagy is like replacing parts in a car—sometimes we need a new engine or battery for the car to function better. The same thing happens within each of our cells. During autophagy, old cellular debris is sent to specialized compartments within the cell called “lysosomes.” Lysosomes contain enzymes that degrade the old debris, breaking it down into smaller components to be reused again by the cell.

Fasting & Autophagy

Scientists have found that fasting for 12 to 24+ hours triggers autophagy, which is thought to be one of the reasons that fasting is associated with longevity. There is a large body of research that connects fasting to improved blood sugar control, reduced inflammation, weight loss, and improved brain function, and Oshumi’s findings provide greater insight into this research.

“Sporadic short-term fasting, driven by religious and spiritual beliefs, is common to many cultures and has been practiced for millennia, but scientific analyses of the consequences of caloric restriction are more recent…short-term food restriction induces a dramatic upregulation of autophagy in cortical and Purkinje neurons. As noted above, disruption of autophagy can cause neurodegenerative disease, and the converse also may hold true: upregulation of autophagy may have a neuroprotective effect.

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Food restriction is a simple, reliable, inexpensive and harmless alternative to drug ingestion and, therefore, we propose that short-term food restriction may represent an attractive alternative to the prophylaxis and treatment of diseases in which candidate drugs are currently being sought.”

So autophagy and fasting is in essence a form of self-cleansing, getting rid of the junk to make room for new healthy cellular components. And it is the accumulation of the junk that may be responsible for many of the effects of aging. The consequences of accumulating old proteins all over the place can be seen in two main conditions – Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and cancer. Alzheimer’s Disease involves the accumulation of abnormal protein – either amyloid beta or Tau protein, which gum up the brain system. So, if inducing autophagy cleanses the body of denatured proteins, it would make sense that the process has the ability to prevent the development of AD.

Other Benefits of Fasting—Stem Cell Regeneration

While inducing autophagy is one of the key benefits to fasting, there are also many incredible longevity-related reasons to fast.

A study in the journal Cell Stem Cell shows that cycles of prolonged fasting not only protect against immune system damage but also induce immune system regeneration, shifting stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal.

Fasting triggers regeneration of immune stem cels.

In a study on mice and a Phase 1 human clinical trial involving patients receiving chemotherapy, long periods of not eating significantly lowered white blood cell counts. In mice, fasting cycles “flipped a regenerative switch,” changing the signalling pathways for liver stem cells, which are responsible for the generation of blood and immune systems. Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose, fat and ketones, but it also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells.

During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induced changes that triggered stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells. In particular, prolonged fasting reduced the enzyme PKA, an effect previously found to extend longevity in simple organisms, which has been linked in other research to the regulation of stem cell self-renewal and pluripotency (the potential for one cell to develop into many different cell types). Prolonged fasting also lowered levels of IGF-1, a growth-factor hormone linked to aging, tumor progression, and cancer risk.

How To Fast Intermittently & Activate Autophagy

While there are many ways to fast, one of the more sustainable methods of fasting is intermittent fasting (IF). IF is done cyclically and for shorter periods of time, so it is much easier to adopt IF into your weekly schedule as it won’t take much out of you compared to longer periods of fasting. In fact, practicing IF will have you more focused and energized throughout your day compared to when your body is in a constant state of digestion.

The easiest way to IF is to pick an eating window each day and stick to that window. This can be an eight hour window or less, but typically you want to keep your eating window under eight hours in order to reap the most benefits. An example of an eight hour eating window could be 11am-7pm, or if you normally eat later in the day then you could try something like 3pm-10pm.

During your fast you can still drink beverages as long as they contain no calories such as lemon water, tea, or coffee (without cream or sugar). There are incredible regenerative benefits to dry fasting as well (abstaining from consuming any food or water); however, dry fasting will push the body into deeper levels of detoxification and should be approached more slowly.

Breaking your fast is just as important as the fast itself. The first meal after a fast should be easy to digest. Juices, coconut water, and smoothies are great options as well as watery and astringent fruits such as grapes, cherries, and oranges. After that, salads are the next best option. After breaking the fast with raw fruits and vegetables, you can then move on to eating cooked foods as your digestive system will be activated by then.

Autophagy and fasting are the key to regenerating the body on a cellular level and, when used strategically and systematically, these tools hold enormous potential in transforming your health.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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Lifestyle

How To Release The Stress Stored In Your Body

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It’s all about taking time to unlock the ‘Muscle of the Soul’

Do you spend much time sitting in front of a computer, on a plane, in a car? If so your hips may be locked up which effects your ability to dance, but worse than that it may be causing you undue stress and fear. The Psoas Muscle, is a long muscle located on the side of the lumbar region of the vertebral column and brim of the pelvis, that is also known as the “muscle of the soul”.

It is one of the largest muscles in the body and it is a place where we often store stress or trauma that can literally influence our mood and our outlook on life. We recently explored in depth just how much fear can inhibit our ability to think clearly thus creating an unhealthy perspective that can harm us and those around us. Now let’s look at where that fear might be stored in our body, and a few ways to release it.

In humans, the extremes of the two polarities might appropriately be described as LOVE (+) and FEAR (- ). Love fuels growth. In contrast, fear stunts growth. – Bruce Lipton, Ph.D

How Built Up Stress Makes Us Easy To Manipulate

Being in a state of fear allows us to be easily manipulated. Advertisers and politicians have learned to capitalize on this biological aspect of humans also known as the lizard brain. Unfortunatel,y our fast-paced lifestyles (mentally), combined with our relatively stagnate physical activity (driving, working at computer, etc.) causes our bodies to be ineffective at releasing built up stress which manifests in our thoughts as fear or anxiety.

Lizard brain refers to the oldest part of the brain, the brain stem, responsible for primitive survival instincts such as aggression and fear (flight or fight) – Joseph Troncale M.D., Psychology Today

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The effects of stress on the body.

Where Is A Majority of The Stress Stored?

It is often stored in one of the largest muscles in our body, the psoas. This muscle stretches from our lower trunk through our hips into the top of our thighs, it is used for core stability and the fight-flight reflex. Every time we see something that startles us (real or perceived threat) like an animal crossing the road while we drive, or a violent scene in a movie, our brain sends signals our body to respond by releasing epinephrine (adrenaline).

The muscle that is most central to our fight/flight response is the psoas. When we don’t respond, these stress hormones go unspent and become stored in the body. This can bring many health problems including insomnia, lowered immune system, anxiety, eating disorders, depression, and living in a constant state of fear or alert.

Because the psoas is so intimately involved in such basic physical and emotional reactions, a chronically tightened psoas continually signals your body that you’re in danger, eventually exhausting the adrenal glands and depleting the immune system. As you learn to approach the world without this chronic tension, psoas awareness can open the door to a more sensitive attunement to your body’s inner signals about safety and danger, and to a greater sense of inner peace. – Liz Koch, Author of The Psoas Book

Therapeutic Approach

Since stress accumulates on an unconscious level, healing our bodies is a process that must happen consciously. There is no single way to do this, it requires gradual lifestyle changes and a daily practice. Craniosacral Therapy is powerful because it helps teach our body how to relax into a parasympathetic state which relaxes the nervous system. This gentle and non-invasive approach helps us bring awareness to and melt away the stress stored within us.

To work with the psoas is not to try to control the muscle, but to cultivate the awareness necessary for sensing its messages.  This involves making a conscious choice to become somatically aware. – Liz Koch, Author of The Psoas Book

Yoga and Personal Practice

The best doctor is already within you. There is no replacement for cultivating a practice that heals, replenishes, and relaxes you from the in-side, out. There are numerous yoga poses that can help you on your journey of releasing this stress, anxiety, and fear stored within your psoas. Yoga calls this “the muscle of the soul” so any focus here is sure to give great results to your overall well-being. Yoga International seems to have a comprehensive list of photos and descriptions of poses that can start you on your journey.

If you spend as much time stretching your psoas muscle every day as you just did reading this article, you will notice some big changes in your life. First you may begin catching a lot of attention on the dance floor, but more importantly you will loosen your mind from the grips of fear and anxiety. It comes down to a conscious choice to live in trust and love instead of fear and anxiety, and that choice has to be followed by real-world action. It all starts within!

H/T: Uplift Connect where I originally published this.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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