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8 Reasons Why You’re Still Bloated (That Have Nothing To Do With Your Diet)

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Bloating is the single most common digestive complaint afflicting people today, with millions around the world suffering from it, yet it is also one of the least understood. We try to do all the right things — avoid common allergens and inflammatory foods like gluten, sugar, and dairy, limit processed foods, exercise regularly — and yet still find ourselves with uncomfortably swollen abdomens after virtually every meal.

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It has certainly plagued my life for as long as I can remember, and I worry about it constantly. It’s stressful, it’s embarrassing, and it often leaves me feeling utterly defeated — all of which, of course, only exacerbates the issue. I have tried everything to rid myself of this seeming curse, but unless I’m depriving myself and eating like a bird, very little seems to help.

-->Listened to our latest podcast episode yet? Joe speaks with Franco DeNicola to explore how we can overcome fears and uncertainty during this time. This episode includes some helpful exercises as well. Click here to listen!

Fortunately, gastroenterologist Robynne Chutkan has taken some of the guesswork out of this unwelcome visitor by compiling the most common bloating culprits into her latest book, The Bloat Cure. “I wanted to create a guide for women to be their own medical detectives,” says Dr. Chutkan. “Bloating is absolutely is the number one thing I see in my practice. It’s sort of that common, non-specific way for the GI tract to let you know it’s unhappy.”

“To a layperson, our digestive tract can feel like this empty tube, but people don’t appreciate how specialized it is,” she continues. “There are so many different things happening in different parts, and so many things that can go wrong.” This complexity is what makes identifying and treating the root cause of bloating so difficult.

So if you’ve taken care of the diet piece and are still struggling with bloating, the following list of 8 common mistakes may help you banish this digestive demon for good.

1. Distracted Eating

The Problem: Do you scroll through your Instagram feed while eating? Reply to work emails, text your friends, or read the news? Then you are among a growing population of people for whom multitasking has become an essential, habitual part of life. As our lives get busier and our attention spans shorter, we begin to treat every moment as an opportunity to be entertained, productive, or both. Eating lunch while sitting at our desks and continuing to work has become standard practice in many offices, and sit-down family dinners, where people connect with one another and reestablish bonds over a leisurely meal, have almost disappeared entirely.

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The loss of this important social ritual has obvious implications for our psychological well-being, but its impact on our digestion, while less immediately apparent, is no less profound. According to Dr. Chutkan, aerophagia — aka swallowing air — is becoming more common as we become less mindful of the process of eating. “A lot of people with aerophagia feel like they have acid reflux, but they’ve been on drugs for months and aren’t any better,” she says. “There’s often a waxing and waning to it; they don’t necessarily start the day feeling full.” Essentially, the faster we eat, the more air we gulp down, and the more bloated and gassy we feel.

The Solution: Eat slowly and mindfully, paying attention to the taste and texture of every bite. This not only prevents the ingestion of excessive air, but also inhibits overeating. The more we pay attention to what we’re eating and the more slowly we eat it, the more time the brain has to receive the “I’m full” message from the gut, and the less food we consume overall.

You should also sit down for your meals rather than eating while standing or on the go, and take several deep, calming breaths before beginning your meal to allow your autonomic nervous system to leave the “fight or flight” state and enter its “rest and digest” state.

2. Depression

The Problem: Only recently have we discovered that a healthy microbiome is essential for good mental health, and how strongly the two are linked. Eve Kalinik, a UK-based certified nutritional therapist, explains that “recent research has directly [shown] the microbiome influences neurotransmitters in the brain, affecting the way that we think and feel,” and “certain strains of beneficial bacteria can themselves produce many of the same mood-positive chemicals used in brain signaling, such as dopamine, serotonin, and GABA.” Researchers are even experimenting with replacing antidepressants with probiotics, with promising results thus far.

We have also discovered a link between low serotonin levels in the gut and depression, with constipation and bloating being the result, and unfortunately, many antidepressant medications themselves cause bloating, making this mental illness a double digestive whammy.

The Solution: To combat the bloating effects of depression, Dr. Chutkan recommends both talk therapy and exercise, a well established and potent mood booster. “Movement helps to lift the mood, and it doesn’t have to be intense to get a little bit of an endorphin rush,” Chutkan says.

Have trouble motivating yourself to exercise? Check out these seven ways to banish those excuses for good.

3. Dehydration

The Problem: Despite the pervasiveness of the ‘eight glasses a day’ myth, the amount of water we need to stay hydrated varies widely from person to person and from situation to situation. You might know that caffeine, a diuretic, saps your water reserves, but did you also know that spending too much time in air conditioning or even taking antihistamines has the same effect? As far as our digestion goes, when we get dehydrated our intestines become less lubricated, resulting in stagnation and then, of course, bloating.

The Solution: The easiest and most effective way to ensure your fluid intake is adequate is not to tally up your glasses of water each day but to monitor the colour of your urine — the paler the better. And the best way to stay hydrated throughout the day is to keep water with you at all times and sip steadily, even if you’re not thirsty. This also helps prevent overeating, since hunger is often thirst disguised. The next time you feel hunger pangs, try drinking a glass of water first and see what happens. You might be surprised to find out it was water you wanted, not food!

4. Skipping Meals

The Problem: You’ve probably experienced this before: You went all day without eating, becoming ravenously hungry in the process, then scarfed down an enormous meal when you finally found time to eat. From there, you promptly felt as if your belly were about to explode.

Skipping meals is a surefire way to ensure that your stomach bloats when you do finally eat. “If there are long periods of time where nothing’s moving through the gut, it becomes a little bit inactive,” says Dr. Chutkan. So not only are you eating too quickly and not chewing your food sufficiently, your digestion itself has slowed down, all of which is a recipe for major bloating.

The Solution: The best way to avoid this is to fuel up regularly, eating both meals and snacks throughout the day, and eating well before you get to that desperate, hangry, empty-the-fridge level of hunger.

5. Haywire Hormones

The Problem: Estrogen dominance in women is becoming increasingly common, thanks largely to artificial hormones like the birth control pill and hormone replacement therapy, and it’s making us more bloated than ever before.

The Solution: To combat this problem, Dr. Chutkan recommends avoiding xenoestrogens, like those found in conventionally-raised produce and meat, plastics, and cleaning supplies, as well as considering alternative methods of birth control.

6. Post-Workout Pain Meds

The Problem: Sometimes even the most well-intentioned and well-informed personal trainers give poor advice, and the most common I’ve heard is recommending pain killers to combat muscle soreness. Aside from their questionable effects on our physical and mental well-being, they can also wreak havoc on our gut, particularly if it has already been compromised by chronic inflammation. Multiple studies have shown that pain killers worsen intestinal permeability, or leaky gut, as well as inflammation. “NSAIDS are super toxic to the GI tract, but because there’s so much marketing of these drugs, there’s this perception that they’re benign,” says Dr. Chutkan.

The Solution: She advices using over-the-counter pain meds sparingly and, more importantly, to opt for holistic options, like epsom salt baths or active recovery. “Every time you take something, you have to do a risk-benefit analysis,” she says. “There’s nothing you can take with no side effect. And the place you’re most likely to see a side effect is in your gut.”

7. Desk Jobs

The Problem: Is there no end to the ills of desk jobs? We know sitting all day wreaks havoc on our health, causing neck and back pain, decreasing blood flow throughout the body, and even accelerating the aging process. Sitting has also been linked to higher blood glucose levels and blood pressure, so the more we sit, the larger our waist circumference becomes.

Decreased blood flow also means that all your biological processes are slowed down, including digestion. When your GI tract is moving at this reduced speed, bloating is almost inevitable. “A lot of the people I see are lawyers—they’re literally at their desk for 14 hours in a row, five days a week, and then sitting even more at home,” says Dr. Chutkan. “It’s horrible for the gut, because we’re meant to be on the move,” she adds.

The other problem with sitting is that most people don’t eat less to make up for how few calories they’re expending. Indeed, many people graze at work or eat treats and fatty foods to either alleviate their boredom or get through the post-lunch slump. (I’ve been there.) Thinking still makes us hungry, but it doesn’t burn calories the way movement does. So not only are we eating too much compared to how little we’re moving, but our body is processing that food at a glacial rate.

The Solution: Fortunately, taking frequent breaks throughout the day can mitigate these harms. You should be out of your desk for a minimum of five minutes every hour. Use this time to do some stretches and restore blood flow to your limbs, or to walk a few laps around the office. If you need to speak with a coworker, get up and physically meet with them rather than emailing — I’ve seen people who were sitting two feet away from each other exchange emails, all to avoid getting out of their chairs!

Bonus: If you’re staying hydrated the way I described earlier, you’ll have to go to the bathroom more often, which means more opportunities to get up and stretch your legs!

8. Stress

The Problem: The only thing worse for our health (and bellies) and more endemic to modern society than sitting is stress.

As I mentioned previously when describing mindful eating, when our nervous system is fired up as a result of stress, our bodies enter the ‘fight-or-flight’ mode, halting digestion and releasing cortisol, the stress hormone linked to increased abdominal fat.

Evolutionarily speaking, says Dr. Chutkan, “when a T-Rex is upon us and we have to get away from it, it shunts blood flow away from the digestive tract to the big muscles in the legs and the heart so you can run.” These days we aren’t running from tigers or bears, but our lives are stressful in other ways, and unfortunately, our bodies can’t tell the difference. This means that for many of us, that stress state is constant. This not only slows down gut movement, but also affects the pH of our digestive tract and our enzyme and acid secretion. 
The Solution: Aside from exercise, meditation is your complete well-being panacea, and it can alleviate anything from stress and anxiety to digestion and pain. I personally challenged myself to meditate every day for one month last year, and it changed my life. Within the first few days I saw my IBS symptoms improve drastically, going from having a bowel movement once or twice a week to one every day. Meditation is now an essential part of my self-care routine, and it has helped me to become happier, healthier, and calmer. 
Unsure of how to get started? Try this short guided meditation, or visit headspace.com and download their meditation app. The first 10 meditations are free, and serve as a wonderful introduction to the practice. I use the app every day and cannot recommend it enough. 
You can also check out some of these other natural anxiety fixes. 
Source:
http://www.wellandgood.com/good-advice/bloating-causes-beyond-diet/

Dive Deeper

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

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

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Health

How Effective is The Covid-19 Vaccine?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The 95% efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine is widely touted by the media and the medical establishment, but there are important questions to be asked about this claim.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we being given all information available from covid vaccine study to make informed decisions? Are the studies even being done in a way that represents what effects the vaccine may have on the whole population?

Are you going to decline the Covid-19 vaccine if it is offered to you? Why or why not? No matter how certain you are in your reasoning there will no doubt be someone else who feels exactly the opposite to you and will be just as certain of their position. We trust different sources of information, we have had different experiences with vaccines and we have different impressions of the threat of SARS-COV2 to us and our species.

I would suggest that those in the “vaccine cautionary” community would decline the vaccine based on their ideas around its potential risks. On the other hand, supporters of the vaccine are more likely to focus on its potential benefits. The debate has largely been centered around the disagreement people have about the risks. In this essay I will consider the uncertainty I and others have about its benefits.

Is the Medical Community biased about the Vaccine?

As a contributor to Collective Evolution I am well aware of the “cautionary” perspective on vaccinations and CDC directives. As a physician, I have a reasonable understanding of how those in the medical community regard the “best of what modern science has to offer”. I am part of a Physician group on social media where doctors can seek advice from each other around all matters Covid-19, from interesting cases to rare side effects to how to address special concerns raised by patients. It has been alarming to realize how unilateral the support of vaccination is in this community. 

I mean no disrespect to my medical colleagues. Many of those in this community have seen their patients die from this very real virus. They have had to struggle with the divergent directives coming from the CDC. They have had to work through many weeks where Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was in short supply as their hospital wards rapidly reached capacity and overflowed. Now that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have met minimum requirements for efficacy under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), they are faced with yet another impediment to getting themselves and their patients through this pandemic: growing skepticism around the vaccine coming from the very same people they are endeavoring to help. Their frustration around the situation is understandable, but is it biasing them?

Before consenting to any intervention it is important to understand its relative risks and benefits. As I mentioned earlier, there has been much concern in the “vaccine cautionary” sphere about side-effects and deaths. Here I will take a closer look at what we know about the benefits of the vaccine based on Pfizer-Biontech’s  briefing document to the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. How confident can we be in the efficacy of the vaccine? Has the manufacturer done its due diligence in its analysis and in being transparent? These are the central questions that need to be answered.

Understanding False Positives and Negatives

There has been a lot of discussion about the rate of “false-positives” with regard to the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for confirming infection with SARS-COV2. The PCR test can return a positive result even if only trace fragments of the virus are present. Fragments of the virus on a nasal swab is not necessarily representative of an active infection or transmissibility. Moreover the sensitivity of this test is dependent on the number of amplification cycles, or the cycle threshold (Ct), used.  The Ct is not standardized. It is not unreasonable to say that there will be a percentage of people who test positive that do not have the disease. Nevertheless, without a better test we as the public must treat all positive PCR tests as an indication of an infection. We must assume the test is right. The rate of false positives, whatever it is, is directly proportional to the overestimation of the prevalence of the disease. 

Here I would like to discuss the significance of “false-negatives”. These are people who get a negative PCR result but may still be infected. The rate of false negatives is directly proportional to the underestimation of disease prevalence. This aspect of the inaccuracy of our primary diagnostic test gets relatively little attention for practical reasons. If you are suffering symptoms consistent with Covid-19 but have a negative PCR test we assume that you have Covid-19 anyway. In other words, if someone is symptomatic we assume that the test is wrong, i.e. that it is a false-negative, and necessary measures are taken. We quarantine and isolate until we feel healthy again whether we have Covid-19 or not. 

Because we are in the midst of a pandemic we have no choice but to make these assumptions. We are responding appropriately given the limitations of the test. Because of the assumptions we are forced to make, we are exaggerating the prevalence of the disease and our response to it to some extent. It is the nature of the situation we are in.

How do we know that the Vaccine is 95% effective?

With this in mind I would like to discuss a post in the opinion blog of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that appeared earlier this month. The author, Peter Doshi (PhD and Associate Editor at the BMJ), takes a rigorous look at the results reported by Pfizer regarding the efficacy of their mRNA vaccine. The success of their vaccine has been widely publicized to be 95%. Where exactly does this figure come from?

During the four weeks of observation (three weeks between 1st and 2nd dose followed by 7 days), 162 participants who received the placebo expressed symptoms of Covid-19 and tested positive by PCR. Compare that with only 8 in the group that received their experimental vaccine. The chance of getting Covid 19 after receiving the vaccine was about 20 times lower than if you got the placebo. This is the basis of the claim that their vaccine was 95% effective, well over the 50% threshold required for Emergency Use Authorization that allows their product to be deployed despite the fact that the two-year Phase III trial is still 20 months from completion.

How did Pfizer handle study participants in the “Suspected Covid-19” group?

It is less commonly known that of the nearly 38,000 participants in the Pfizer study, 3,410 fell into a group labeled “suspected Covid-19”. These are people who developed symptoms consistent with disease but tested negative by PCR. 1,594 of those in this group received the vaccine and 1,816 received the placebo. It should be quite clear that how we regard this much bigger group of symptomatic participants will have an enormous impact on the true efficacy of the vaccine. In other words, if we assume that the PCR test was accurate in all of these people and that they didn’t have Covid-19 and developed symptoms from another virus, the flu for example, then the vaccine would in fact be 95% effective as reported. On the other hand, if the PCR test was wrong every time and they all in fact had Covid-19, the efficacy of the vaccine would be much different: 1602 (1594 + 8) in the vaccine wing vs. 1978 (1816 + 162) in the placebo wing results in a vaccine efficacy of only 19%. 

The PCR test (like any test) can be wrong some of the time and right some of the time. The true efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine can only be calculated if we know how many symptomatic people in each wing had Covid-19 despite testing negative. It is likely that the percentage of false negatives are different in each arm. As the FDA briefing document on the Pfizer study and the BMJ piece correctly note, there should be fewer false negatives in the vaccine group. Why? It is because there is a greater chance of developing Covid-19 symptoms after receiving the vaccine compared to getting a placebo. Reactogenicity, or the acute response of the body to the vaccine, is common. Most of the acute inflammatory reaction to the vaccine occurs in the first seven days after receiving the vaccine. Looking more closely at the data, 409 patients in the vaccine group developed symptoms in the first seven days after inoculation. Compare this to 287 in the placebo group. If we assume that any participant who expressed symptoms in the first seven days must be suffering from the side effects of the vaccine or the placebo and not a new Covid-19 infection, the efficacy of the vaccine is still only 29%.

How important is this matter of the 3,412 “suspected Covid-19” participants? Let us say hypothetically that we as a nation decide to vaccinate our entire population with the Pfizer vaccine assuming that it has a 95% efficacy in preventing the disease. We can predict that within a month about 6.3% people will develop Covid-like symptoms from something other than vaccine reactogenicity or the disease itself. This is based on the number of participants who became symptomatic (from something other than reactogenicity) despite getting the vaccine and tested negative (1,185) divided by the total number who got the vaccine (18,801) = 0.063. With a population of 300 million we would expect roughly 19 million people to develop symptoms of Covid from something other than SARS-COV2 within a month. We can agree that we must be extremely confident in our assumptions about whether these 19 million people have the disease or not. Why would we assume they all don’t have Covid-19 when the vaccine trial itself considered them to be “suspected” of having it?

There is another extreme possibility. If all of the vaccinated participants who were suspected of Covid-19 truly did not have the disease and all of the unvaccinated (placebo) participants who were suspect did have the disease we would have a true miracle vaccine. Why? It would mean that only 8 people got the disease in the vaccinated group compared to 1978 in the placebo group. This would mean that the vaccine was approximately 99.6% effective.

Pfizer either did not do or report additional testing that would have helped

The real issue here is that we shouldn’t be guessing about such important numbers. What do you suppose Pfizer did, knowing that this larger pool of symptomatic participants could have an enormous impact on the estimation of their vaccine’s efficacy? In my opinion, they should have tested everyone who developed symptoms for antibody titers to help quantify the percentage of false negative PCR tests. If a participant felt like they were coming down with Covid-19 but had a negative PCR test, it seems clear that performing an antibody test would have offered a great deal of clarity. This was either not done or not reported.

We must be careful when interpreting the power of a vaccine safety and efficacy study. Although tens of thousands of people were enrolled in the study, the only meaningful numbers have to do with those that contracted the disease during the period of observation. This is the only way to assess the efficacy of the vaccine. When Pfizer only considers participants that became symptomatic and tested positive we only have a group of 170 cases to cross compare.

The 3,410 people who became symptomatic but tested negative during the four weeks of observation would represent a much larger set of cohorts and would amplify the power of the study 20 fold if infection could be confirmed or ruled out through additional testing. In other words, the 3,410 symptomatic people should be the ones that Pfizer were hoping would emerge when they enrolled 37,000+ individuals in their study. I find this lapse in diligence suspicious and at the very least inexplicable, especially in light of the latitude they are granted under the EUA. The fact of the matter is that we do not know if this was done. Pfizer, per their own protocol, will not make this data available until the trial is completed 20 months from now. 

Why didn’t Pfizer look harder?

This forces us to ask some sobering questions. If Pfizer is required (or has agreed) to make all data available in two years, would they have conducted antibody tests on the “suspected Covid” group? If those results told a different story it would be quite damning, if not now, eventually. Their product would not be permitted for use under the EUA if a 50% efficacy requirement could not be met. On the other hand, if antibody tests were conducted and the results confirmed the impressive efficacy of the vaccine, why wouldn’t they have made the data available right now?

It should be clear that if Pfizer’s primary goal was to obtain approval under the EUA they would have had little incentive to do further testing to confirm their product’s efficacy. Why would they take the risk of seeking more information on 3,400 participants that could potentially overturn their results that were based on only 170 outcomes? This is where we must be very careful in our assessment of the situation. If you believe Pfizer and vaccine manufacturers are only out for profits it would be easy to conclude that they are being manipulative. If you believe that these corporations are seeking to improve public health and safety you may grant them a lot of latitude here. To be truly objective we must ask if they have been scientific in their approach.

At the very least I feel that they have not been diligent, and their position hints at disingenuousness: Pfizer didn’t mention this group of participants in their 92 page report or in their publication in the New England Journal of Medicine. This group was only mentioned in two paragraphs of a 53 page briefing to the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) of the FDA submitted December 10, 2020. The FDA, an agency of the department of Health and Human Services that ostensibly serves to protect the public by ensuring the safety of drugs, biological products and medical devices, continues to remain silent around this issue.

The Take Away

The 95% efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine is widely touted by the media and the medical establishment. Why didn’t Pfizer test or report the testing of an enormously important group of participants in their trial? We can predict that without these additional tests deploying the vaccine will not change our behavior nor our attitude to this pandemic.

Dive Deeper

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

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

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Alternative News

Norway Investigates 29 Deaths in Elderly Patients After Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccination

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Norway has registered a total of 29 deaths among people over the age of 75 who’ve had their first Covid-19 vaccination shot, raising questions over which groups to target in national inoculation programs.

  • Reflect On:

    Should freedom of choice always remain here? Should governments and private institutions not be allowed to mandate this vaccine in order to have access to certain rights and freedoms?

What Happened: 29 patients who were quite old and frail have died following their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. As a result, Norwegian officials have since adjusted their advice on who should get the COVID-19 vaccine.

This doesn’t come as a surprise to many given the fact that the clinical trials were conducted with people who are healthy. Older and sick people with co-morbidities were not used in the trials, and people with severe allergies and other diseases that can make one more susceptible to vaccine injury were not used either. It can be confusing given the fact that vaccination is being encouraged for the elderly in nursing homes and those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Steinar Madsen, medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NOMA), told the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that “There is no certain connection between these deaths and the vaccine.”

On the 15th of January it was 23 deaths, Bloomberg is now reporting that a total of 29 deaths among people over the age of 75 who’ve had their first COVID-19 shot. They point out that “Until Friday, Pfizer/BioNTech was the only vaccine available in Norway”, stating that the Norwegian Medicines Agency told them that as a result “all deaths are thus linked to this vaccine.”

“There are 13 deaths that have been assessed, and we are aware of another 16 deaths that are currently being assessed,” the agency said. All the reported deaths related to “elderly people with serious basic disorders,” it said. “Most people have experienced the expected side effects of the vaccine, such as nausea and vomiting, fever, local reactions at the injection site, and worsening of their underlying condition.”

Madsen also told the BMJ that,

There is a possibility that these common adverse reactions, that are not dangerous in fitter, younger patients and are not unusual with vaccines, may aggravate underlying disease in the elderly. We are not alarmed or worried about this, because these are very rare occurrences and they occurred in very frail patients with very serious disease. We are not asking for doctors to continue with vaccination, but to carry out extra evaluation of very sick people whose underlying condition might be aggravated by it. This evaluation includes discussing the risks and benefits of vaccination with the patient and their families to decide whether or not vaccination is the best course.

The BMJ article goes on to point out that the Paul Ehrlich Institute in Germany is also investigating 10 deaths shortly after COVID-19 vaccination, and closes with the following information:

In a statement, Pfizer said, “Pfizer and BioNTech are aware of reported deaths following administration of BNT162b2. We are working with NOMA to gather all the relevant information.

“Norwegian authorities have prioritised the immunisation of residents in nursing homes, most of whom are very elderly with underlying medical conditions and some of whom are terminally ill. NOMA confirm the number of incidents so far is not alarming, and in line with expectations. All reported deaths will be thoroughly evaluated by NOMA to determine if these incidents are related to the vaccine. The Norwegian government will also consider adjusting their vaccination instructions to take the patients’ health into more consideration.

“Our immediate thoughts are with the bereaved families.”

Vaccine Hesitancy is Growing Among Healthcare Workers: Vaccine hesitancy is growing all over the globe, one of the latest examples comes from Riverside County, California. It has a population of approximately 2.4 million, and about 50 percent of healthcare workers in the county are refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine despite the fact that they have top priority and access to it.  At Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, one in five frontline nurses and doctors have declined the shot. Roughly 20% to 40% of L.A. County’s frontline workers who were offered the vaccine did the same, according to county public health officials. You can read more about that story here.

Vaccine hesitancy among physicians and academics is nothing new. To illustrate this I often point to a conference held at the end of 2019 put on by the World Health Organization (WHO). At the conference, Dr. Heidi Larson a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project Emphasized this point, having  stated,

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…still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider.

A study published in the journal EbioMedicine  as far back as 2013 outlines this point, among many others.

Pfizer’s Questionable History:  Losing faith in “big pharma” does not come without good reason. For example, in 2010 Robert G. Evans, PhD, Centre for Health Services and Policy Research Emeritus Professor, Vancouver School of Economics, UBC, published a paper that’s accessible in PubMed titled “Tough on Crime? Pfizer and the CIHR.”

In it, he outlines the fact that,

Pfizer has been a “habitual offender,” persistently engaging in illegal and corrupt marketing practices, bribing physicians and suppressing adverse trial results. Since 2002 the company and its subsidiaries have been assessed $3 billion in criminal convictions, civil penalties and jury awards. The 2.3-billion settlement…set a new record for both criminal fines and total penalties. A link with Pfizer might well advance the commercialization of Canadian research.

Suppressing clinical trial results is something I’ve come across multiple times with several different medicines. Five years ago I wrote about how big pharma did not share adverse reactions people had and harmful results from their clinical trials for commonly used antidepressant drugs.

Even scientists from within federal these health regulatory agencies have been sounding the alarm. For example, a few years ago more than a dozen scientists from within the CDC put out an anonymous public statement detailing the influence corporations have on government policies. They were referred to as the  Spider Papers.

The Takeaway: Given the fact that everything is not black and white, especially when it comes to vaccine safety, do we really want to give government health agencies and/or private institutions the right to enforce mandatory vaccination requirements when their efficacy have been called into question? Should people have the freedom of choice? It’s a subject that has many people polarized in their beliefs, but at the end of the day the sharing of information, opinion and evidence should not be shut down, discouraged, ridiculed or censored.

In a day and age where more people are starting to see our planet in a completely different light, one which has more and more questioning the human experience and why we live the way we do it seems the ‘crack down’ on free thought gets tighter and tighter. Do we really want to live in a world where we lose the right to choose what we do with our own body, or one where certain rights and freedoms are taken away if we don’t comply? The next question is, what do we do about it? Those who are in a position to enforce these measures must, it seems, have a shift in consciousness and refuse to implement them. There doesn’t seem to be a clear cut answer, but there is no doubt that we are currently going through that possible process, we are living in it.

Dive Deeper

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

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Awareness

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

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

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

  • Reflect On:

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

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

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

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

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

brain_scan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dive Deeper

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

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

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading
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