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New Documents Expose How The CDC Has Been Lying About Vaccine Safety – They’re Not That Safe

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Note from the World Mercury Project Team:  Following is Part Five in Vera Sharav’s seven-part exposé of the complex and widespread corruption that exists in the vaccination program, the deceptive practices by officials of “authoritative” international public health institutions and further evidence of the callous disregard for the plight of thousands of children and young adults who suffer irreversible harm. Sharav’s research is a must-read by those in our community. 

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You can read the other parts here.

The internal correspondence between CDC officials and the authors of the Danish epidemiological studies reveal a culture of corruption. CDC officials are intent on shielding vaccines and the childhood vaccination schedule at any cost — including outsourcing dubious epidemiological studies that have no relevance to the vaccination exposure of U.S. children. These documents confirm that CDC and its commissioned scientists resorted to all manner of subterfuge and deception, in their concerted effort to subvert bona fides safety assessments.

Dr. Edward Yazbak,[48] a pediatrician, referred to CDC’s epidemiological studies “just a distraction. They hope to bury evidence of the dangers of vaccines. At the same time, they have waged a misinformation campaign in making claims that skyrocketing Autism/ASD rates are due to better diagnostics.”

An email exchange (2001) between Dr. Verstraeten, Dr. Chen and Dr. Elizabeth Miller (a consultant epidemiologist to the WHO, previously headed the UK Immunisation Department for 15 years) discussed the national differences in infants’ exposure to thimerosal. They all acknowledged that the U.S. vaccination schedule exposes American infants to much higher doses of thimerosal than babies in Europe, including the U.K. They further acknowledged that Danish babies’ exposure to thimerosal does not come close to the exposure of U.S. babies – Danish babies received 75% less thimerosal than U. S. babies. That difference in exposure to mercury-laced vaccines renders the Danish studies non-comparable to U.S. children, and, therefore of no value toward ascertaining the risk posed by thimerosal-laced vaccines.

CDC officials disregarded the incompatibility of Danish vs. U.S. infants’ exposure to 75% higher doses of thimerosal; despite the incongruity, they chose Denmark as a population study comparator.

CDC officials selected a Danish network of scientists who were either employed by the Danish vaccine manufacturer, Statens Serum Institut (SSI), or worked at institutions closely connected to SSI, such as the Danish Epidemiology Science Center, and Aarhus University. The details of how the studies’ results were premeditated are revealed in internal CDC email correspondence .

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The Danish studies were crafted to deliver “proof of innocence” to offset Dr. Verstraeten’s evidence documenting a disturbing Thimerosal-autism risk; and they were crafted to refute Dr. Wakefield’s suggestion of an autism-MMR connection.

CDC disregarded the scientific reservations about comparing “apples to pears”

Dr. Verstraeten expressed concern about scientific dishonesty in an email (dated July 14, 2000) addressed to Harvard professor, Dr. Philippe Grandjean, an expert in heavy metals toxicity, (copies addressed to Chen, DeStefano, and four other CDC scientists) he stated:

“many experts looking at this thimerosal issue, do not seem bothered to compare apples to pears… I do not wish to be the advocate of the anti-vaccine lobby and sound like being convinced that thimerosal is or was harmful, but at least I feel we should use sound scientific argumentation and not let our standards be dictated by our desire to disprove an unpleasant theory.”

CDC officials sought to obtain reports that would provide the appearance of scientific evidence that thimerosal, the mercury-based vaccine additive is safe, the MMR is safe, and that vaccines do not cause autism.

Dr. Diane Simpson, the CDC official tasked with obtaining proof to offset Dr. Verstraeten’s demonstrated thimerosal-autism risk,[49] traveled to Denmark in 2001 where she met with a network of Danish scientists. CDC provided tens of millions of dollars in grants to a Danish team at the University of Aarhus in Denmark; the management of the grants was entrusted to psychiatrist Poul Thorsen, who had been a CDC “visiting scientist” in 1990.

At Thorsen’s recommendation, Simpson recruited Kreesten Madsen, a doctoral candidate, who was listed as the lead author on several pivotal Danish studies. However, the principal scientist who co-authored those studies was, in fact Thorsen.

Beyond the continued influence of fraudulent CDC and CDC-sponsored Danish epidemiological studies, Thorsen was a participant in a pivotal Working Group of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), which led to the controversial re-defining of the criteria for an autism diagnosis in the DSM-5, psychiatry’s diagnostic “bible”; the new DSM-5 criteria reduced the autism prevalence rate substantially.

In another email addressed to Dr. Chen (2001), Dr. Verstraeten expressed serious doubts about the reliability of the UK General Practice Research Database (GPRD)[50] which numerous authors[51] have continued to rely on, to support the claim that there is “no evidence of a causal association between thimerosal and autism”.

“I think two issues are important in assessing the potential strength of the GPRD study:.1. Maximum exposure and 2. Unbiased controls.

I’m not sure if the GPRD is that reliable that you can be sure that low exposure is really low exposure and not underascertainment in the database. I hate to say this, but given these concerns, it may not be worth doing this after all. On the other hand, maybe the [WHO] grant can be given to Herald in Sweden to do a follow-up of the DTaP trial.” (June 26, 2001)

Dr. Verstraeten’s criticism of the GPRD alarmed Dr. Miller who expressed her concern (in an email to Chen): “Do I have to give my GPRD grant money from WHO back”?

The CDC VSD study (1999) led by Dr. Verstraeten, underwent a series protocol manipulations and statistical tricks aimed at eliminating the 7.6 relative increased risk of autism from exposure to thimerosal.

During a four year “evolution”, the study’s original conclusion – an increased risk factor of 7.6 – a risk that Dr. Verstraetn had indicated in 1999 – “it just won’t go away” – was systematically reduced at each phase in a series of 5 protocol modifications – even after his departure from CDC for GSK in June 2001. In phase 2, infants’ exposure to Thimerosal was compared at 3 months rather than 1 month – when infants are their most vulnerable; the original 400,000 records from the 4 HMOs, were reduced to 124,170 records from 2 HMOs, with the addition of records from the Harvard Pilgrim HMO – which used different diagnostic codes than the other two – (and whose records’ accuracy was in doubt).

These changes reduced the relative risk to 2.48. In phase 3, the age criteria of the children included, was changed from (0 to 6 years) to (0 to 3). A cut off at age 3 eliminated a significant number of children who were subsequently diagnosed, but not counted in the study. This was acknowledged by Dr. Coleen Boyle in an internal email to Dr. Frank DeStefano (April, 2000):

“For me the big issue is the missed cases — and how this relates to exposure. Clearly there is gross underreporting… Considering that the average age of diagnosis of autism in the VSD database was 44 to 49 months it is easy to see that almost half of the children in the database were too young to be diagnosed.”

This dubious cut-off resulted in reducing the relative risk 1.69. A manuscript was submitted for publication but was rejected by the journal Epidemiology. Two more “modifications” wiped the risk out of existence. The study was then submitted for publication to Pediatrics (2003).[52] The study’s illegitimate, manipulated findings exonerating Thimerosal were widely publicized.

In October, 2003, Congressman Dave Weldon, MD raised serious concerns in a letter to CDC Director, Julie Gerberding, citing specific issues undermining the scientific integrity of the CDC Pediatric study, and CDC’s undue influence on the IOM report:
I found a disturbing pattern which merits a thorough, open, timely, and independent review by researchers outside of the CDC, HHS, the vaccine industry, and others with a conflict of interest in vaccine related issues (including many in University settings who may have conflicts)… A review of these documents leaves me very concerned that rather than seeking to understand whether or not some children were exposed to harmful levels of mercury in childhood vaccines in the 1990s there may have been a selective use of the data to make the associations in the earliest study disappear.

Furthermore, the lead author of the article, Dr. Thomas Verstraeten worked for the CDC until he left over two years ago to work in Belgium for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) a vaccine manufacturer facing liability over TCVs [thimerosal containing vaccines]. In violation of their own standards of conduct, Pediatrics failed to disclose that [serious conflict of interest].

“In reviewing the study there are data points where children with higher exposures to the neuortoxin mercury had fewer developmental disorders. This demonstrates to me how excessive manipulation of data can lead to absurd results.” [Highlight added]

Internal email correspondence reveal a culture at CDC that is intent on shielding vaccines and the childhood vaccination schedule at any cost. That culture was the subject of a follow up letter by Congressman Weldon to CDC Director, Dr. Julie Gerberding (January 2004):

“For too long, those who run our national vaccination program have viewed those who have adverse reactions, including those with severe adverse reactions, as the cost of doing business… It appears to me not only as a Member of Congress but also as a physician that some officials within the CDC’s NIP may be more interested in a public relations campaign than getting to the truth about thimerosal.”[53]

Public distrust in government vaccine safety pronouncements is validated in documented evidence showing that CDC-sponsored published reports are the product of scientific fraud, in violation of legally mandated, ethical requirements, and malfeasance by high level CDC officials.

In 2011, Poul Thorsen was indicted by a federal grand jury on 22 criminal counts of forgery, money laundering, embezzlement, among others, whereupon he fled the country to Denmark and remains a fugitive from justice. In 2012, Thorsen was added to the Office of Inspector General’s “Most Wanted” list of criminals.

At the very least, Thorsen’s documented criminal actions clearly call into question the validity of those CDC-sponsored Danish epidemiological reports whose inordinate influence continues to permeate the vaccine literature and vaccination policies. Yet, the academic community, and the medical journals – with the exception of Nature Online – have maintained a deafening silence – even as the evidence of fraud and criminality by the principal scientist of the Danish studies was laid bare.

What was also laid bare in internal correspondence is that CDC officials colluded with Thorsen’s Danish team in deception and fraud in the preparation of autism research studies for publication.

In January 2011, BMJ Editor-in-chief, Dr. Fiona Godlee, reignited and intensified the campaign against Andrew Wakefield, by launching an unprecedented assault that declared his research to be “fraudulent”, and Dr. Wakefield guilty of “elaborate fraud.”

Was the timing of BMJ assault a coincidence?

The BMJ assault was launched at the very moment that conclusive evidence of far-reaching, elaborate scientific fraud was uncovered in CDC internal documents. These documents also provided the US Inspector General with evidence of elaborate criminal actions committed by Poul Thorsen, MD, PhD (dubbed “Master Manipulator” in a book by James Grundvig, 2016). Thorsen was the principal investigator of the pivotal CDC-commissioned Danish studies that declared that neither thimerosal nor the MMR posed a risk of autism.[54] CDC relies on those studies to dismiss evidence of serious risks posed by the MMR and thimerosal for young children.

Whereas Poul Thorsen’s extensive fraud and malfeasance was substantiated by evidence; Dr. Godlee’s charge of fraud against Andrew Wakefield was made without a shred of evidence.

Internal correspondence document that the CDC commissioned Danish studies were designed and manipulated to provide the pre-determined exoneration of Thimerosal as a causative trigger for autism. The authors delivered the “evidence” that CDC sought (and paid millions to obtain) in its effort to quell public suspicions that an autism epidemic has been triggered by (a) vaccines laced with mercury (thimerosal) and/or (b) the combined measles/mump/ rubella (MMR) vaccine.

The six Danish studies are:[54]

  • Madsen KM, Hviid A, Vestergaard M, Schendel D, Wohlfahrt J, Thorsen P, Olsen J, Melbye M, New England Journal of Medicine, 2002;
  • Hviid A, Stellfeld M, Wohlfahrt J, JAMA 2003;
  • Madsen KM, Lauritsen, MB, Pedersen CB, Thorsen P, Plesner AM, Andersen PH and Mortensen PB, Pediatrics, 2003;
  • Stehr-Green P, Tull P, Stellfeld M, Mortenson PB, Simpson D. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2003;
  • Larsson HJ, Eaton WW, Madsen KM, Vestergaard M, Olesen AV, Agerbo E, Schendel D, Thorsen P, Mortensen PB. American Journal of Epidemiology, 2005;
  • Lauritsen MB, Jørgensen M, Madsen KM, Lemcke S, Toft S, Grove J, Schendel DE, Thorsen P. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 2010

The foundation for CDC’s public assurances that “conclusive” evidence shows that vaccines, with or without mercury are safe, relies on invalid, fraudulent studies.  

The authors of the “the definitive Madsen MMR Study” sent a letter to the editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine (2002) to persuade him to accept their study for publication. They emphasized the political value of their study and claimed their study refuted Wakefield and provided strong support for the MMR vaccine program:

“It has been suggested that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine may cause autism.

If true, this could jeopardize the MMR vaccine program in children.

The debate was initiated by research in Britain [Wakefield] provided suggestive evidence of an association between the MMR vaccine and autism…

In addition, Uhlmann recently published a study where they found measles in the gut in patients with developmental disorders but not I controls. So far, no study has had sufficient power to address the topic.. Our study gave no support for an association between MMR vaccination and autism or autism-like conditions.” [Emphasis added]

Evidently, the editor, Dr. Jeffrey Drazen, was persuaded and the article was published in the NEJM (2002). Dr. S. Suissa, an epidemiologist at McGill University, questioned the statistical analysis in this large population-based epidemiological study. However, his letter to the editor was not published. In 2004, Gary Goldman, PhD and F. Edward Yazbak, MD submitted their detailed scientific critique of the same study; their critique was not published in the NEJM; it was published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

The emails document how the Danish studies were manipulated to exonerate the MMR vaccine and thimerosal in vaccines. They misclassified children, masked the association of autism, and deleted portions of the data. This constitutes fraud.

Principal CDC insiders who colluded with Thorsen in deception and fraud include.

Dr. Coleen Boyle, Director of National Center for Birth Defects & Developmental Disabilities [Boyle was the lead investigator of the Congressional investigation of Agent Orange in 1984-1987. She and her team reported, “no association” between the defoliant dioxin and the inventory of cancers and autoimmune diseases that sickened tens of thousands of US troops. Her exoneration of Agent Orange deprived those veterans of getting compensated].

Dr. Marshalyn-Yeargin-Allsopp, Head of Developmental Disabilities Branch; Dr. Joanne Wojcik, Procurement and Grants Office, CDC;  Epidemiologist, Dr. Diana Schendel, was the senior CDC scientist directly involved in the Danish project. She was Thorsen’s longtime girlfriend who co-authored more than three dozen studies with Thorsen, including the “definitive” NEJM (2002) study. In 2009, she was officially reprimanded for the conflict that her intimate relationship posed.  In 2014, she moved to Denmark, taking a position in the epidemiology department at Aarhus University.

Internal correspondence provides a record showing that the authors knew that the results that they reported in the Pediatrics (2003) were contradicted by the data from the Danish Psychiatric registry. The actual data confirmed that following the removal of thimerosal in 1992, the “incidence and prevalence” rate of autism in Denmark decreased.[55]

The study, “Thimerosal and the Occurrence of Autism”, was published in the journal Pediatrics, (2003). The first named author was Madsen; however the principal investigator was psychiatrist Poul Thorsen and a team of six co-authors at Aarhus University. The study was presented as an analysis of the Danish Psychiatric Registry from 1971 – 2000. The ostensible, stated purpose of the study was to determine whether the removal of Thimerosal from children’s vaccines in Denmark (in 1992) decreased the incidence of autism.

The report they submitted for publication claimed that the prevalence of in autism in Denmark increased after thimerosal was removed from childhood vaccines in 1992. Figure 1 in the published report in Pediatrics shows a 20-fold increase in autism. The authors stated:

“From 1991 until 2000 the incidence (of autism) increased and continued to rise after the removal of thimerosal from vaccines, including increases among children born after the discontinuance of thimerosal …The discontinuation of thimerosal-containing vaccines in Denmark in 1992 was followed by an increase in the incidence of autism. Our ecological data do not support a correlation between thimerosal-containing vaccines and the incidence of autism.”

Despite the implausibility of such a correlation, no one within the medical establishment questioned or critically examined this study or any of the Danish epidemiological studies. The first detailed critique of the Madsen / Thorsen Pediatrics study (2003) was by Mark Blaxill; it was posted on Safe Minds, September 2003.  Blaxill, who is a business analyst, not a medical scientist, identified inconsistencies with the previous study (NEJM, 2002) by the same Danish authors who used the same Danish dataset.

Blaxill’s analysis showed that the claimed findings in the Pediatrics report were invalidated by their biased methodology. Blaxill identified the scientifically illegitimate methods the authors used to arrive at their predetermined CDC-commissioned “findings” exonerating vaccines and thimerosal. He did so – even without the benefit of the incriminating internal CDC documents that provide evidence of fraud.

  • Inconsistent inclusion criteria: Prior to 1993, only inpatient autism cases were reported in the Danish registry; representing only 10% of autism cases. Following the removal of Thimerosal from childhood vaccines in 1992, patients from a large Copenhagen outpatient clinic were added. But the authors excluded these cases from the report. In 1995, a new Danish registry was introduced to include all outpatients. These existing, previously unregistered patients were counted by the investigators as new—thereby artificially increasing the number of reported autism cases significantly.
  • Inconsistent diagnostic criteria: In 1994, Denmark changed the diagnostic criteria for autism from “psychosis proto-infantilis” to the more commonly used “childhood autism” to determine a diagnosis. The diagnostic criteria require autism to be identified before a child is three years old. But the authors misrepresented newly registered outpatient cases – many of who were children between the ages of 7 and 9 as “newly diagnosed.”
  • Deletion of data: The authors also deleted the entire year 2001 data for seven year old children from the final published report. This constitutes flagrant research fraud. Blaxill also invalidated the Danish mercury vaccine exposure experience as not a proper comparator:

“The context for the early mercury exposures was completely different in Denmark when compared to any other country, and particularly compared to the U.S. and U.K., where autism rates are being watched most closely. The Danish report describes a different world of vaccine exposures and ignores exposures that are present today that were not present in Denmark in the 1970s. Autism onset has been reliably associated with exposure to viruses.

In the cases where increasing thimerosal exposures have accompanied autism increases, numerous additional confounders were present that were not present in Denmark. Between 1970-92, the only childhood vaccine given in Denmark until 5 months of age was the monovalent pertussis vaccine. In the United States in the 1990s, children were exposed to multiple doses of diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, hepatitis B and haemophilus influenza B (Hib) vaccines before five months of age.

In the United Kingdom, injections before age 5 months included multiple doses of meningitis C, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, Hib, and pertussis vaccines. Increasing autism rates there were accompanied by earlier thimerosal exposures due to schedule changes, new exposures to MMR and Hib vaccines, and stringent on-time compliance procedures. Denmark did not administer thimerosal-containing Rho D immunoglobulin during pregnancy.”

This is the pivotal study that CDC has relied on as “scientific evidence” of the innocence of thimerosal.  The only in-depth critical analyses of the Madsen/ Thorsen Danish studies has been by vaccine safety advocacy groups, independent scientists, and alternative news sources. But these valid critiques analyzing the methodology of the Danish studies did not make it into “high impact” journals where the Danish studies were published. The independent analyses were ignored by the medical establishment and by the media as well.

By burying the criticism, this study not only “enjoyed a prolonged period of acceptance: It influenced the outcome of the IOM Immunization Safety Review Committee of February 9, 2004 and helped sabotage the MMR litigation in the United Kingdom.”[50]

In 2014, a review by a group of independent scientists examined the six studies that CDC continues to cite as evidence in support of its claim, that there is “no relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism rates in children”, was published in Biomed Research International.[59] Dr. Brian Hooker and colleagues identified more than 165 published studies that refute CDC’s claim that thimerosal is safe.

Of these 165 studies, 16 studies specifically examined the effects of Thimerosal on infants / children. Among the adverse effects, the studies documented following exposure to Thimerosal, include: one death, 4 allergic reactions, 5 malformations, 6 autoimmune reactions, 8 developmental delay, 9 neurodevelopmental disorders, including tics, speech delay, language delay, ADHD, and autism.

CDC’s childhood vaccination policy rests on the denial of the existence of evidence documenting safety hazards posed by the vaccines in the CDC Vaccination Schedule. CDC uses its influence with the gatekeepers of “high impact” medical journals, who reject scientific studies that contradict the sacrosanct vaccine safety mantra. Although a body of scientific studies documenting serious vaccine-related ill effects, has accumulated in the scientific literature, CDC and those “high impact” journal editors invoke their authority to declare: “there is no evidence of a risk from thimerosal or MMR”.

WMP NOTE:  This concludes Part Five. Part Six of the seven-part series will be entitled: A Foolish Faith in Authority.

Previously published articles: Sharav’s Introduction to the full article,  L’affaire Wakefield: Shades of Dreyfus & BMJ’s Descent into Tabloid Science, outlines her well-researched and documented belief that, “Public health officials and the medical profession have abrogated their professional, public, and human responsibility, by failing to honestly examine the iatrogenic harm caused by expansive, indiscriminate, and increasingly aggressive vaccination policies.” Part One focuses on how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the vaccine industry control vaccine safety assessments, control the science of vaccines and control the scientific and mass channels of information about vaccines. In Part Two Ms. Sharav interprets the complex web of internal CDC documents, revealing how key CDC studies and CDC-commissioned studies were shaped by use of illegitimate methods. Part Three takes a closer look at the Brighton Collaboration and the extraordinary influence these stakeholders have in the business of vaccines and their power to control the science and research and manipulate reports to further their own interests. Focusing on the HPV vaccine, in Part FourMs. Sharav explores how a global network of government/academic and industry stakeholders can suppress information about genuine scientific findings and, when needed, engage in corrupt practices to thwart the airing of information about vaccine safety issues.

More about the author: Vera Sharav is a Holocaust survivor and a fierce critic of the medical establishment. This article was originally published at www.ahrp.org. Stat news recently published an article about her and her work. 

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Meditation Changes The “Structure & Function of the Brain” In A Positive Way

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A recent study has found found that different types of meditation can actually effect different areas of the brain.

  • Reflect On:

    Should meditation be included in the school curriculum, and used to treat certain mental ailments?

If you look at most ‘masters’ in the field of meditation, a common theme that currently exists is a big misconception about meditation, that it has to be done a certain way, that you have to sit a specific way or do something in particular in order to reap the benefits. These masters will be the first to tell you that it doesn’t have to be one specific way.

That being said, many spiritual groups, like certain monks for example, are taught different types of meditation in several different ways, so really, there’s no correct way to meditate, and the process of connecting with one’s higher self and quieting the mind can be done in multiple ways and practiced at various levels.

When meditating, one shouldn’t try to “empty” their mind, but instead, try to let ones thoughts, feelings, and whatever emotions end up ‘popping’ in there, pop in there. There should be no resistance to thoughts, no judgement of them. Simply let them be, don’t attach to them and just be at peace with it. You’re not doing anything wrong, just focus on your breath.

Personally, I believe that meditation is a state of being more than anything else.  Throughout the day, one can resist judging their thoughts, letting them flow until they are no more, or just be in a constant state of peace and self awareness. Contrary to popular belief, you can meditate anywhere, it can be done before bed, in the shower, while you are going for a walk, or even while washing the dishes.

That being said, I do also believe, speaking from my experience, that sitting down and doing the proper breath work and being present is a slightly different method and can sometimes create a more powerful experience, but there seems to be different variations of the exact same thing.

What’s interesting about meditation is the fact that it’s been practiced for thousands of years, and several ancient cultures were well aware of not only the non-physical benefits but its physical benefits as well, something modern day science is just starting to discover.

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One of the most recent studies has found that different types of meditation can actually effect different areas of the brain.

As Alice G. Walton, a writer for Forbes points out,

“Meditation and mindfulness training have accumulated some impressive evidence, suggesting that the practices can change not only the structure and function of the brain, but also our behaviour and moment-to-moment experience.”

She is correct, probably even more so than she knows. The evidence showing just how strong the mind-body connection is can actually be overwhelming. In fact, studies in the field of parapsychology have just as much, if not more, statistical significance via peer-reviewed research than the science which has been published to approve several different drugs, like antiplatelets, or the science that shows a daily dose of aspirin can help prevent a heart attack. It was published in 1999, by a statistics professor at UC Irvine.

This new study, which was recently published by the Max Planck Institute found that three different types of meditation are associated to changes in corresponding brain regions.

Watson goes on to explain,

“Participants, who were between 20 and 55 years of age, engaged in three different types of training for three months each, totalling a nine-month study period. The first training was dubbed the “Presence” module, and was very similar to focused awareness meditation, an ancient practice that’s been studied a lot in recent years. In this study, participants learned to focus their attention, brining it back when it wandered, and to attend to the breath and to their internal body sensations.” 

The second phase of training was called “Affect,” and its purpose was to increase compassion and empathy for others. The participants learned about a specific meditation dealing with “loving-kindness,” and again, the sole intention here was to enhance one’s compassion and empathy.

The last one was called the “Perspective” module, where the focus was simply to observe one’s own thoughts without judgement, while enhancing their understanding towards the perspectives of other people.

The researchers hypothesized that these methods would lead to volume increases in corresponding parts of the brain.  Numerous studies have proven the many physiological benefits of meditation, and the latest one comes from Harvard University of a study conducted by Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)  who determined that meditation literally rebuilds the brain’s grey matter in just eight weeks. It’s the very first study to document that meditation produces changes in grey matter over time.

This recent study found the same thing, and they discovered that when they scanned the participants’ brains at the end of each module and then compared the groups against one another:

“Training in Presence was linked to enhanced thickness in the anterior prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which are known to be strongly involved in attention. Affect training was linked to increased thickness in regions known to be involved in socially driven emotions like empathy: and Perspective training associated with changes in areas involved in understanding the mental states of others, and, interestingly, inhibiting the perspective of oneself.” 

These results further elaborate on a wealth of previous studies showing what meditation can do to the brain.

Walton goes on to emphasize,

“Lots of research has found that experienced meditators have significantly altered brain structure and function, but a growing number of studies has also found that relatively brief meditation training in novices (for instance, the well-known eight-week MBSR program) can also shift brain function, improve well-being, and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.” 

The authors of the study mention:

“With growing globalization, interconnectedness, and complexity of our societies, ‘soft skills’ have become increasingly important…Social competences, such as empathy, compassion, and taking the perspective of another person, allow for a better understanding of others’ feelings and different beliefs and are crucial for successful cooperation.” 

Why This Is Relevant & Important

Imagine if this type of practice became a requirement of multiple school boards, what do you think would happen? For most of us, since the day we are born we’re all encouraged to follow the same path, and one of those paths is spending a large portion of our lives, for many years, for the entire day, at school. Then, as we age into adults, we do the same thing with ‘work.’ This type of human experience is far from natural, which is why I believe it to be one of the reasons (out of many) that stress, diseases, and mental health issues, among other rates, continue to rise exponentially.

While going through this process, we’re never really taught how to question the experience, we simply comply and are never really taught any sort of emotional education, at all. We don’t learn to deal with our emotions, we don’t learn about empathy, compassion, and stepping into another persons shoes… We’re not really taught what we are naturally gifted with from birth. It’s our empathy and compassion, our concern for others that makes human beings so special, but growing up, we don’t really talk about these things.

The world is changing in many different ways, and awareness about this kind of practice is spreading around like it never has before. Multiple schools are incorporating mindfulness education into their programs, and many parents from my generation are also incorporating these important concepts into their child’s development.

This is great to see, and as time unfolds, the more we tap into non-physical science and its tremendous benefits, the more we will speed up the changes that are so desperately needed on our planet right now.


Related CE Articles:

Scientists Demonstrate What Meditation Does To Your Gut & Your Brain

Mind-Body Connection During Meditation Can Now Be Measured – Thanks To Science

Study Outlines What Prayer, Meditation & Yoga Can Do To The Human Body

Physicists Examine Consciousness & Conclude The Universe Is Spiritual, Immaterial & Mental

Physicists Say Consciousness Should Be Considered A State of Matter – The Non-Physical Is Real

This is How Powerful The Mind/Body Connection Really Is

Nepals Military Set To Use Transcendental Meditation To Relieve Global Collective Stress To Stop War

“I Was Sort of a Jackass Before Meditation” – This Is How We Can Change Police Brutality

Tibetan Buddhist Master Monk Explains How Meditation Is Not What Most People Think It Is

How To Meditate: 6 Method That Can Get Anyone Meditating

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Dr. Lawrence Palevsky Testimony: Unvaccinated Children Are “The Healthiest Children I’ve Ever Seen”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dr. Lawrence Palevsky, a NY licensed paediatrician, speaks at a forum on vaccines in Connecticut, discussing the repeal of the religious exemption for childhood vaccines.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is vaccine hesitancy on the rise?

It’s always worrisome publishing an article about vaccine safety and posting it on Facebook. But why is that? One would think that discussions and concerns about vaccine safety would be encouraged. However, the opposite is true–Facebook has been cracking down on any information that they deem as “anti-vaccine.”

Does this mean that reporting on a study addressing the concerns of aluminum adjuvants in vaccines, for example, will be prevented from spreading and possibly even labelled as “fake news,” despite the fact that it’s been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal?

Does this mean that a paediatrician, like the one below, will also be censored for sharing his opinion based on his research and experience?

Dr. Heidi Larson’s Comments at WHO Summit

I’d like to point out that many scientists presented facts about vaccines and vaccine safety at the recent Global Health Vaccine Safety Summit hosted by the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. At the conference, Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project, emphasized that doctors and professionals should forego name-calling with ‘hostile language’ such as “anti-vax”.

She recommended encouraging people to ask questions about vaccine safety. After all, it makes sense–in order to make our vaccines safer and more effective, you would think everybody would be on board with constant questioning and examination. After all, that’s just good science, and it’s in everyone’s best interest. She also brought up the issue of confidence in vaccines:

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. And if we lose that, we’re in trouble.

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You can read more about the concerns brought up by scientists at that conference, in detail, here.

Dr. Lawrence Palevsky

One of those doctors who is losing confidence in vaccines is Dr. Lawrence Palevsky, a practicing paediatrician trained at the NYU School of Medicine who did his residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. He spent the first nine years of his career working in emergency rooms running a neonatal intensive care unit. He recently spoke at a forum on vaccines in Connecticut, discussing the repeal of the religious exemption for childhood vaccines. In the video below, he provides a great summary as to why so many parents and physicians continue to become concerned about vaccine safety.

The parents that I work with in New York, that I see around the country are very concerned that their rights are being taken away, that their knowledge about the science is being pushed away by an agenda that only says, unvaccinated children are a problem.

No study has every been done in this country, appropriately, to address the health outcomes of children who are vaccinated versus the children who are unvaccinated. I have been seeing families in my practice for over 20 years, that have opted out of vaccination, they are the healthiest children I’ve ever seen.

Vaccine hesitancy among among health professionals is no longer a secret. A study published in the journal EbioMedicine outlines this point:

Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts, and science. These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviors and attitudes varying according to context, vaccine, and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines and ensure satisfactory vaccination coverage.

The Takeaway

The scientific community should never stop questioning, especially when it comes to medication. Based on the information that’s come out at the conference mentioned in this article, and the testimony shown above, it’s quite clear that there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to the development of vaccines and vaccine safety overall. Discussion is always encouraging, as long as it’s peaceful and facts are presented in a proper manner.

It’s better to understand the reasons why a lot of people, parents, scientists and physicians are hesitant about vaccination and appropriately respond, instead of simply using ridicule and hatred, because that’s never effective and both parties cannot move forward that way. At the end of the day, scientists should never cease to question.

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Awareness

A Potential Solution To Reduce Snoring & Sleep Apnea

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I’d like to share with you a convenient alternative remedy that has helped all of my clients to reduce snoring and sleep apnea, and that is by wearing a tape to keep your mouth closed during sleep. A new study published this year also showed the efficacy of this treatment.

Snoring and sleep apnea not only represent a holistic health risk to an individual, the irritating noise at night can often create conflict in a couple’s relationship. I’d like to share with you a convenient alternative remedy that has helped all of my clients to reduce snoring and sleep apnea, and that is by wearing a tape to keep your mouth closed during sleep. A new study published this year also showed the efficacy of this treatment.

Major Cause of Snoring & Sleep Apnea

One major cause of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea is mouth breathing during sleep, especially when you sleep in the supine position. When you sleep in the supine position with an open mouth, gravity pulls down your jaw and tongue, which then compresses your throat. As a result, your airway gets suppressed and narrowed, leaving less space for the air to pass through.

Mouth breathing also introduces stronger air flow as you inhale and exhale, which exacerbates the airway soft tissue vibration, causing the loud snoring noise. Strong air flow during mouth breathing also induces strong negative pressure that sucks in the soft tissues around the throat area, further narrowing your airway and eventually causing it to collapse, resulting in obstructive sleep apnea.

The Quick Fix? Wear Tape To Keep Your Mouth Closed

As I mentioned earlier, one of the main causes of snoring and sleep apnea is mouth breathing. A quick fix to keep your mouth closed during the night is to apply a small piece of tape over it. When your mouth is closed and lips are together, it is harder for you jaw to fall back even when lying in a supine position. Keeping your mouth closed also forces you to breathe through your nose, which not only helps to regulate the airflow to reduce the negative pressure inside your airway, but also reduces soft tissue vibration

An otoralyngology study published this year in the American Academy of Otolaryngology Journal demonstrated the effectiveness of this technique, showing significant reduction in median AHI (Apnea-Hypopnea Index) score and snoring index [1].

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In the past few years, ENT specialist Dr. Hung Cheng Tseng and I have recommended wearing tape for all of our clients as part of our AirwayFit training program, and the feedback has been great. For some CPAP users, wearing tape on their mouth can help to eliminate the air leakage issue. In addition, if you often find yourself waking up with a dried mouth and throat, this method will also help you keep your mouth and throat moisturized throughout the night.

How To Apply?

In practice, wearing tape to sleep is actually a lot less daunting than it sounds.

Visit any drug store near you and pick up a small roll of medical grade paper tape. It should cost you no more than $10. I recommend ones that are hypoallergenic, porous, and non-waterproof. When you wear the tape, you want to roll your lips slightly inward so you don’t apply it directly onto your lips. Otherwise, your lips can really hurt when you remove it in the morning. Some people apply some lip balm or vaseline onto their lips first as a layer of protection.

You don’t have to wear the tape over your entire mouth. You can start by wearing it vertically, in the center, right beneath your nose, and that should suffice; as long as the tape keeps your jaw up, you should be fine. I also recommend you to pre-fold one of the corners of the tape, just so that there’s a corner you can grab onto easily in the morning to tear it off.  If you have sensitive skin and you find removing the tape hurts, you can wet it with water before you remove it in the morning. You could also reduce the stickiness of the tape prior to use by sticking it onto your forearm a couple of times before applying to your lips.

If you really are panicked by this idea, then as I mentioned before, you can try wearing it only at the center portion of your mouth. This will leave gaps on the two sides of your mouth but still keep your jaw in the upright position during sleep. Also, if it’s your first night trying this method, wearing the tape 30 minutes before you go to bed can help you adjust to the feeling.

Most people who have tried the tape method to keep their mouth closed find it convenient and more comfortable and cheaper than the alternative methods. However, I would caution against wearing tape to keep your mouth closed if you experience the following: nausea or epilepsy, or if you have consumed alcohol or any pill or medicine prior to sleep. Otherwise, give it a try today and you will find yourself waking up feeling much more energized and hydrated the next morning!

To learn more about your sleep trouble, visit www.AirwayFit.com

Source:

[1]    Huang TW., Young TH., “Novel Porous Oral Patches for Patients with Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Mouth Breathing: A Pilot Study” American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery 152.2 (2015): 369-373. Print.

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