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Bras Cause More than Breast Cancer: Preliminary Results of the International Bra-Free Study

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Written by Sydney Ross Singer, a pioneer of the field of Applied Medical Anthropology, author, & Director of the Institute for the Study of Culturogenic Disease. Originally published at Greenmedinfo.com, it is shared here with permission.

  • Reflect On:

    Is it time to ditch the bra?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

If you are a woman, then there is important information you need to know to keep healthy and avoid disease. This is information that you should be told by your doctor and other health professionals, but many of these professionals simply don’t have this information.

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The issue pertains to the wearing of tight clothing. Studies, and common sense, tell us that wearing anything tight is bad for health. Tight clothing compresses our soft body tissues, impairing the function of blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, nerves, and more. Research shows tight neckties, tight pants, girdles, corsets, bras, and other compression garments can cause serious harm.

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The purpose of the International Bra-Free Study is to assess the changes a woman experiences once she stops using bras. The study began in 2018 and is still recruiting participants from around the world. Participants pledge to stop using bras and their progress is followed through open and closed-ended questions. The study is ongoing, but we have seen some amazing patterns in the experience of women who stop wearing bras. We believe it is extremely important to share these preliminary findings with the public at this time, hoping to warn as many women as possible about the effect of bra usage on health.

We started our study considering the effect of bras on breasts, and expected improvement in breast pain, cysts, and reduced cancer incidence in our group of bra-free women. What we discovered was that, in addition to the above, we also found that women recovered from many other bodily ailments that seemed completely unrelated to bra usage.

We are discovering the many ways tight bras harm health, including every part of the body. As you will see, bras cause more than breast disease.

Background

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Much of fashion is about altering the body to achieve a culturally-defined shape. When tight garments cause disease, the fashion industry opposes the research revealing the disease, and the medical industry gets caught in the middle. Medicine is a business that profits from the detection and treatment of disease, and makes money when people are sick, not well. This conflict of interest helps perpetuate harmful cultural practices, such as wearing tight clothing, since medicine, and the culture in general, are influenced more by industry and money than by health.

Bras have been shown in numerous studies to contribute to breast cancer incidence. While the link between breast cancer and bras has been recognized by doctors since bras became popular, in the early 20th Century, cultural acceptance1 of the bra and extensive promotion by the fashion and lingerie industries have eclipsed information that bras pose a significant threat to health.

When cultural influences from industry and social practices bias human behavior and cause disease, the resulting disease can be called “culturogenic”. Breast cancer is mostly a culturogenic disease, with a small (less than 10%) genetic component, and a large cultural-environmental component. These non-genetic causes of breast cancer include exposure to environmental carcinogens and x-rays(including mammograms), along with direct inhibition of the breast lymphatic system by tight bra usage.

How Bras Cause Breast Cancer

Impaired lymphatics is central to the etiology of breast cancer. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system, and is responsible for the circulation of interstitial fluid. This fluid develops from the bloodstream, delivering nutrition and oxygen to the cells, along with toxins that are in the bloodstream as a result of contaminants in our air, water, and food. The lymphatic system consists of microscopic vessels with one-way valves that lead to lymph nodes. Lymph fluid passively passes into lymphatic vessels to be eliminated from the tissue, inspected by the lymph nodes, and returned to the bloodstream.

Waste products from cellular metabolism, along with toxins delivered to the cells from our petrochemically-polluted air, food, and water, are removed from the tissues by the lymphatic system. In addition, pathogens and cancer cells are also swept through the lymphatic, to the lymph nodes, where an immune response is elicited.

However, when the tiny, easily-compressed lymphatic vessels are constricted by tight bras, this fluid channel becomes restricted, causing a variety of problems. Most women who wear bras experience breast pain and cysts as a result of this lymphatic impairment. In addition, the resulting lymph-stasis and lymph congestion of the tissue results in reduced toxin elimination, causing the progressive toxification of the breasts. The local tissue environment becomes low in oxygen, reducing the body’s ability to process free radicals. The resulting accumulation of endogenous and exogenous toxins increases cancer risk significantly.

According to our 1991-93 US Bra and Breast Cancer Study, published in our book, Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras, the bra-cancer link is the major cause of breast cancer. This study concluded that bra-free women have about the same risk of breast cancer as men, while the tighter and longer the bra is worn the higher the risk rises, to 125 times higher for a 24/7 bra user compared to a bra-free woman.

This was the world’s first study that looked directly at the bra-cancer link. A 1991 study from Harvard found pre-menopausal bra-free women had half the risk of breast cancer compared to bra users, but this finding was incidental to the main focus of the study, which was on breast size, handedness, and breast cancer incidence.

Since the release of Dressed to Kill in 1995, there have been dozens of other bra-cancer studies performed internationally that show a significant link. However, this issue is considered “controversial” due to its potential cultural and economic impact, similar to resistance to the tobacco-cancer link back in the mid-20th Century. Current opponents of the bra-cancer link include thought leaders such as the American Cancer Society2 and Susan G. Komen Foundation3, which have publicly called the link scientifically implausible.

Figures Don’t Lie, but Liars Figure

Critics of the bra-cancer link refer to a 2014 study that was commissioned by the National Cancer Institute, which has been denying any possibility of a bra-cancer link since the release of Dressed to Kill. Due to public acceptance of the link, NCI felt it necessary to counter the studies showing a link by funding a study to oppose the link. This study was done at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, which raises money for breast cancer research through promoting “Bra Dash” events4. The study was done on post-menopausal women only, and none of the women were bra-free, so there was no control group. The author of the study, who is a female graduate student who also wore bras, unsurprisingly found no bra-cancer link in her selected group of bra users.

This single, un-reproduced, flawed study has been used by the ACS and Komen Foundation, and others who follow them, as final proof of no bra-cancer link. While conflicting studies are typical of scientific research, this one study has been considered the first and last word on this issue by the cancer “experts” who deny the bra-cancer link. This study clearly serves the interests of the cancer detection and treatment industry, as well as the lingerie industry which fears class action lawsuits for the harms caused by bras.

Nevertheless, since that attempt to stop interest in the bra-cancer link in 2014, there have been many newer studies that show the link. And a recent trend5 in breast cancer research is asking about bra usage as a standard question, just like asking about family history. In fact, a recent study from Iran shows bra usage is a bigger factor in causing breast cancer than family history.6

Culturally, bra usage has been questioned as a result of the #MeToo movement that has been challenging sexism and abuse in the workplace. Many women are now opting for being comfortable and bra-free at work, as well as in their everyday lives. Girls in high school are objecting to dress codes that require bras. And the general legal consensus is that women at work cannot be forced to wear sexualizing clothing, including high heels, short skirts, and bras.7 These trends are making it easier for the culture to accept the fact that bras are causing disease.

Perhaps the biggest impediment to this potentially lifesaving information is the resistance from the medical field, such as the ACS and others who follow their lead. We discuss in the 2018, updated, second edition of Dressed to Kill why we believe there is this resistance to this information, instead of a call for further research. Regardless of the reason, this unscientific, biased opposition to the bra-cancer link is a public health threat.

It is to combat this threat to health that we began the International Bra-Free Study in 2018. This study, which is free to join, is designed to create a cohort of bra-free women in order to see what happens to their breast health over time. While the study accepts women who have been bra-free for years, most of our participants have been bra users, allowing us to see what changes happen to their breasts and overall health once they stop using bras.

While this study is expected to help women avoid breast cancer and other breast disease associated with bra usage, the women in our study could also be available for other breast studies which require bra-free women. One big flaw in breast cancer and other breast disease research is that bra usage has been ignored as a factor. This is as scientifically flawed as ignoring smoking when doing lung disease research, which was the case prior to the acceptance of the tobacco-cancer link.

The 2014 Hutchinson study did not include any bra-free women as a control group, which that study admits is a flaw. They rationalize that flaw by saying that it was nearly impossible to find bra-free women for their study. Of course, you cannot do a valid breast cancer study looking at the bra-cancer link without including a control group of bra-free women for comparison. So instead of conducting poor breast cancer research without control groups, we hope to offer our study participants for possible inclusion in their future studies.

The response from the medical industry was swift after we announced our International Bra-Free Study. The American Council on Science and Health, a public relations firm that aims to dismiss and discredit all those who challenge the interests of the drug industry, published a hit piece against me and the study. Ironically, they claimed8 the study is flawed by not including a control group of bra users.

Nevertheless, despite the resistance by the medical industry over the years, many women have heard about the bra-cancer link and have stopped wearing bras. Many have joined the International Bra-Free Study. We expect that this group of women will have a lower incidence of breast cancer than the general public, which is our control group.

However, we have discovered something unexpected in the study. There have been some definite health changes following the elimination of bra usage, and while the study is ongoing, we felt it important to report these surprising findings.

Bras Constrict More Than the Lymphatics

First, we must explain that tight bras compress more than just the lymphatics. They also compress nerves and muscles. In fact, research has shown that wearing tight bras impairs the autonomic nervous system, leading to a host of problems.

For example, researchers have found that tight bras essentially create a full-body stress response. According to one study9, “The main results can be summarized as follows: (1) urinary excretion of adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol was facilitated, and the amounts of urinary excretion were significantly higher when TC (tight clothing) were worn. Heart rate was significantly higher in the TC group; (2) nocturnal urinary melatonin excretion was significantly greater in the TC group. These results are discussed in terms of an enhancement of diurnal sympathetic nervous system activity caused by pressure on the skin produced by tight clothing.”

Another study of tight bras found that constipation is a result10, presumably due to suppression of the parasympathetic nervous system and intestinal mobility.

Another study11 found that women who were bra-free had shorter menstrual cycles, averaging 30 days, compared to bra users, whose menstrual cycle averaged 45 days.

A study also found that tight clothing hampers breathing12, reducing lung expansion, inhalation volume, and deep breathing.

Research has also shown that breasts lift and tone once the bra is no longer worn.13 The study author concluded, “Medically, physiologically, anatomically – breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity. On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra.” While this scientific finding stands in contrast to bra-industry propaganda claiming that bras prevent droop, the science behind the bra-causes-droop effect is that reliance on the bra results in weakened suspensory ligaments and more droop. Once the bra is no longer worn, the ligaments strengthen and the breasts lift and tone. In addition. bras make the breasts heavy with excess fluid due to lymphatic impairment, resulting in more pendulous breasts.

Surprising Results of the International Bra-Free Study

I must admit that before we started the International Bra-Free Study in 2018, we thought we already knew what to expect when women stopped wearing bras. Since we first announced the results of our research in 1995, women have stopped wearing bras and have reported to us that their breast pain and cysts disappeared. In fact, this surprising recovery was rapid, within a month of no longer wearing bras. Many times, women felt a big improvement in pain and cysts within days of ending the bra-caused constriction of their breasts. Indeed, this tangible self-demonstration of the harm caused by bras has kept this issue alive despite denials of any ill effects from bras by the cancer industry.

But we had no idea how many other problems would improve by not wearing bras, until we started the International Bra-Free Study. While the study is ongoing, we feel that it is imperative that women learn how bras can interfere with their health, to take proper precautionary measures.

From the hundreds of women who are part of this study, with more joining daily, it has become clear that bras cause more than breast disease.

Everyone has reported reduction of breast pain and cysts, if they had them before starting the study. In no case has breast pain or cysts worsened.

Most report that their breasts are less saggy, and are rounder. Some report that their nipples now have more feeling than when they wore bras.

Every woman reports that she breathes easier without a bra.

Most women report that their digestion has improved.

Women who had shoulder pain with a bra report loss of that pain once being bra-free.

Many women report loss of headaches since being bra-free.

Most women report having more confidence in public without a bra, and a greater sense of confidence and empowerment.

Women in the study report they have no problem being bra-free at work, and appreciate the comfort.

Most women report that they like their breasts more since being bra-free.

Most report friends and family supporting their decision to be bra-free.

Surprisingly, being bra-free does not seem to alter these women’s sex lives.

Some women reported that their menstrual cycles became shorter and normalized after being bra-free.

Importantly, not one participant has experienced any negative effects of being bra-free.

We also found that once women freed themselves from bras, they began to free themselves from other oppressive aspects of their lives. As one participant explained, “I am more confident, I like my breasts now, and I want to advocate for girls and women to understand the link between bras and cancer and how easy, rewarding and healthful it can be to feel this comfortable. I am more empowered now, too.”

To Be Continued…

It should be clear that when you use a garment that compresses and constricts the lymphatic system and the autonomic nervous system, you are potentially altering the physiology of the breasts and of the entire body. Breast cancer may be the end disease for the breasts, but there will also be other disease conditions caused by tight bras, and other tight clothing, that can lead to nervous, hormonal, and circulatory problems.

When we first researched the bra-cancer link, we were surprised at how little research there was on the subject. Many people assume there can’t be a bra-cancer link, or they would have heard about it. People assume that the American Cancer Society would be warning women about bras if there was research that linked bra usage to cancer, just like the ACS finally got to warning people about smoking (after taking decades to finally accept the link.) But we are not just dealing with smoking. When we talk about bras, we are talking about breasts. And in our breast-obsessed culture, breasts are sexualized, objectified, molded, squeezed, sucked, compressed, constricted, pushed-up, tattooed, pierced, implanted, cut off, and framed in a lacy bra. It’s a cultural package that interferes with science and common sense. And even as doctors smoked cigarettes in the 1950s and promoted their use, doctors today wear bras and promote their use, oblivious to the obvious.

We are all victims of a bra-using culture. As a result, there is an epidemic of breast pain and cysts than affects more than half of women who use bras. Most of this is caused by the bra and improves rapidly once bra usage ends.

Some women will develop breast cancer as a result of a bra-constricted lymphatic system and exposure to cancer-causing chemicals, which consequently become concentrated in their breasts.

Radiation damage and other harmful impacts, such as trauma, to the breasts cannot be as effectively repaired when the lymphatics are constricted by bras. And the immune system cannot as effectively fight developing cancer cells without good lymphatic circulation.

Through the International Bra-Free Study, we have also seen confirmation of other research into the effects of tight clothing, including bras, on various bodily functions, due to impacts on the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. This means that women are suffering from constipation, shallow breathing, increased stress, menstrual abnormalities, and other possible problems because of their bras.

How tight is tight? If it leaves a mark in the skin, then it is too tight.

While the impact of bras on the autonomic nervous system has been known for decades, it has been largely ignored, along with research showing the other health hazards of bras. When a carcinogen is part of the fabric of the culture, it takes ripping the culture apart to remove it.

Denial is a much easier and profitable strategy for the industries that sell bras, and sell disease detection and treatment services.

We encourage women everywhere to join the International Bra-Free Study and see for themselves, on themselves, how chronic health problems that plagued them for years could be related to the cultural practice of wearing tight bras and other tight clothing. You have nothing to lose but your discomfort and chronic health problems, and this almost certainly will help you prevent breast cancer.

Join the International Bra-Free Study at https://brafreestudy.com.

SOME STUDIES THAT SUPPORT THE BRA-CANCER LINK14

• 1991 Harvard study (CC Hsieh, D Trichopoulos (1991). Breast size, handedness and breast cancer risk. European Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology 27(2):131-135.). This study found that, “Premenopausal women who do not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared with bra users…”

• 1991-93 U.S. Bra and Breast Cancer Study by Singer and Grismaijer, published in Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras (Second Edition, Square One Publishers, 2018). Found that bra-free women have about the same incidence of breast cancer as men. 24/7 bra wearing increases incidence over 100 times that of a brafree woman.

• Singer and Grismaijer did a follow-up study in Fiji, published in Get It Off! (ISCD Press, 2000). Found 24 case histories of breast cancer in a culture where half the women are bra-free. The women getting breast cancer were all wearing bras. Given women with the same genetics and diet and living in the same village, the ones getting breast disease were the ones wearing bras for work.

• A 2009 Chinese study (Zhang AQ, Xia JH, Wang Q, Li WP, Xu J, Chen ZY, Yang JM (2009). [Risk factors of breast cancer in women in Guangdong and the countermeasures]. In Chinese. Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 2009 Jul;29(7):1451-3.) found that NOT sleeping in a bra was protective against breast cancer, lowering the risk 60%.

• 2011 a study was published, in Spanish, confirming that bras are causing breast disease and cancer. It found that underwired and push-up bras are the most harmful, but any bra that leaves red marks or indentations may cause disease.

• 2015 Comparative study of breast cancer risk factors at Kenyatta National Hospital and the Nairobi Hospital J. Afr. Cancer (2015) 7:41-46. This study found a significant bracancer link in pre-and post-menopausal women.

• 2016 Wearing a Tight Bra for Many Hours a Day is Associated with Increased Risk of Breast Cancer Adv Oncol Res Treat 1: 105. This is the first epidemiological study to look at bra tightness and time worn, and found a significant bra-cancer link.

• 2016 Brassiere wearing and breast cancer risk: A systematic review and metaanalysis World J Meta-Anal. Aug 26, 2015; 3(4): 193-205 This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the association between 8 areas of brassiere-wearing practices and the risk of breast cancer. Twelve case-control studies met inclusion criteria for review. The meta-analysis shows statistically significant findings to support the association between brassiere wearing during sleep and breast cancer risk.

• 2018 Lymph stasis promotes tumor growth Journal of Dermatological Science “(t)hese findings come as no surprise to us who for a long time have been aware that alterations in regional lymphatic flow may produce dysregulation in skin immune function and consequent oncogenesis. In fact, since 2002, our team has held the view that lymphedematous areas are immunologically vulnerable sites for the development of neoplasms as well as infections and immune-mediated diseases. In recent years, increasing evidence has confirmed this assumption.”


References

1 For example, Dr. John Mayo, one of the founders of the Mayo Clinic, wrote in the article “Susceptibility to Cancer” in the 1931 Annals of Surgery, that “Cancer of the breast occurs largely among civilized women. In those countries where breasts are allowed to be exposed, that is, are not compressed or irritated by clothing, it is rare.” A bra patent in 1950 stated, “Even in the proper breast size, most brassieres envelop or bind the breast in such a fashion that normal circulation and freedom of movement is constricted. Many cases of breast cancer have been attributed to such breast constriction as caused by improperly fitted brassieres.” (Taken from the 2018 edition of Dressed to Kill.)

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/risk-and-prevention/disproven-or-controversialbreast-cancer-risk-factors.html

https://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/FactorsThatDoNotIncreaseRisk.html

https://www.maplevalleyreporter.com/news/search-for-answers-at-heart-of-bra-dash-5k/

https://www.academia.edu/36287546/HOW_BRAS_CAUSE_LYMPH_STASIS_AND_BREAST_CANCER

https://www.academia.edu/38566926/Should_Bra_Usage_Become_a_Standard_Question_in_Breast_Cancer_Research_New_Study_From_Iran_Says_Yes

https://www.academia.edu/38702156/Bra-Free_at_Work_Ending_Sexist_and_Illegal_Dress_Codes

https://www.acsh.org/news/2018/03/29/bra-free-activist-seeks-free-boobing-women-shambreast-cancer-study-12776

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00484-002-0145-z

10 https:// www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11037693

11 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1076/brhm.33.3.279.8255

12 https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Erik_Peper/publication/ 21224253_The_effect_of_clothing_on_inhalation_volume/links/ 53d2e4650cf228d363e96c78.pdf

13 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/259073.php

14 https://brasandbreastcancer.org/supportive-references


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3 Powerful Tools to Help Overcome the Emotional Toll of the Pandemic

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  • The Facts:

    The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

  • Reflect On:

    If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try these suggestions before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies.

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Every news cycle paralyzes us with fear of a new variant. Some feel grief over who or what they have lost or continue to have feelings of social disconnectedness. Despite what we have all been through, we need to start moving forward with our lives and truly live again. We must recognize that we have more control over our physical and mental health than advertised. The truth is that there are many helpful things that we can do.

PTSD is a stress-related disorder that may develop after exposure to a traumatic event or ordeal in which death or severe physical harm was a threat or occurred. Those with PTSD may experience agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, social isolation, flashbacks, fear, anxiety, depression, attention difficulty, loneliness, insomnia, or nightmares.

Trauma can lead to feelings of powerlessness, but powerlessness can also keep us trapped in a PTSD cycle. The psychological imprint of trauma rewires the brain. There’s an old saying in neuroscience: “neurons that fire together wire together.” Our brain neurons begin firing in the amygdala, the emotional part of our brains, during a traumatic event. People can get stuck in an emotional loop, and the rational voice in their heads does not weigh in. This looping can cause a person to respond disproportionately to stress – freezing, panicking, or acting out in anger. Some dissociate or enter a trance-like state. Maladaptive coping skills can sometimes develop. Cutting, burning, overeating, drinking, drugs, overspending, etc., is all an attempt to dampen our painful emotional feelings. So, to avoid getting stuck in a PTSD cycle, we must act and take our power back.

Time to seek out the most effective help so that we can feel calm and in control again. What can we do?

1. Boost Your Immune System

If you fear getting sick, it’s time to live a healthier lifestyle and boost your immune system. Sadly, we are taught (with the help of pharmaceutical dollars) that health comes from a needle or a pill. Our “experts” recommend masks, hand-washing, social distancing, and mRNA vaccines. Still, they seldom suggest a healthy diet, supplements, and other natural remedies to help improve our health and support the body to fight off illness and disease. Click here for my article that includes 16 Tips on Boosting Immunity.

2. Embrace Spirituality

Over the last 20 years, I have been honored to have worked with many great therapists, healers, spiritual leaders, and trauma survivors to witness the power of Spirituality in healing. Spirituality is an inner belief system providing an individual with meaning and purpose in life. Whether it involves a higher power, nature, religious rituals, meditation, mindfulness, or prayer, the premise is to stay connected to the core of who we are. That place of stillness within us holding the memory of wholeness, peace, inner strength, and balance – despite what has happened. A spiritual philosophy or practice can provide us with a bigger context for our experiences and clarify our purpose. Spiritual methods also connect us with a sense of community and support. Finding our tribe is essential in the face of trauma and loss. The spiritual journey often allows us to go inside ourselves and listen to our inner guidance and “knowingness.” The inner voice may know, for instance, that the virus will not hurt us, or what we are being told by the media is untrue. Spirituality also helps us shift our perspective from “why me” to “what can I do about it. It brings us a sense of power and control.

3. Guided Imagery & Bilateral Stimulation

Both tools are essential for the trauma therapy toolbox. They are noninvasive and helpful for overcoming the effects of trauma. Guided imagery can help us alter the negative or stressful pictures and thoughts in our minds and help us create new, more peaceful ones—a form of instilling positive affirmations. Before you read on, I thought you might like to download my 10-minute exercise. This science-based, comprehensive video will help you to cultivate a sense of inner peace and give you a way to help overcome the effects of this pandemic – GET IT HERE

Is There Science Behind This?

Science, yes. Magic, no. This method requires regular practice if you want to make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel. The good news is that both guided imagery and bilateral stimulation are widely practiced and well-established practices. However, I recommend that if you are still struggling after repeated listening, you find a qualified trauma therapist to continue the work you have already started.

A Look At The Research

Guided imagery is a behavioral technique using a series of verbal suggestions to guide oneself or others in visualizing an image in the mind to bring a desired response in the way of a reduction in stress, anxiety, or pain. A growing list of empirical literature supports the use of these techniques in various physical and emotional conditions. Guided imagery resulted in a clinically significant reduction in PTSD and related symptoms in a returning, combat-exposed active-duty military population. Positive affirmations can positively affect the brain’s circuitry. There is MRI evidence suggesting that specific neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks.

Numerous research articles have established that bilateral stimulation is one of the most effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some therapists practice Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a combination of psychotherapy and bilateral stimulation. EMDR is very effective for treating a wide range of mental health issues due to emotional and physical trauma. During bilateral stimulation, patients tend to “process” the memory in a way that leads to a peaceful resolution. And, often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long-held negative thoughts about the self.

“Bilateral Stimulation induces a fundamental change in brain circuitry, similar to what happens in REM sleep. It allows the person undergoing treatment to process and incorporate traumatic memories into general association networks in the brain. This therapy helps the individual integrate and understand the memories within the larger context of their life experience.” – Robert Stickgold, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Takeaway

If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try the above suggestions and download my helpful video before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies. Also, you can discover the many mind-body practices you can do at home to help manage stress more successfully and so much more. SIGN UP HERE to receive your free download today. To purchase my book Healing Without Hurting, click here.

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Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

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Awareness

Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.

Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.

 “Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine

According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame. 

A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal. 

“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Get enough sun. Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.

If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.

Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D. Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms. 

Get checked for the VDR mutation. A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.

“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina

Supplementation 101. Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients. 

Final Thoughts

Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.

To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication SIGN UP HERE or purchase my book Healing without Hurting.

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Awareness

Most Diabetic, Heart Disease & Alzheimer’s Deaths Categorized As “Covid” Deaths (UK)

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CE Staff Writer 10 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to professor of evidence based medicine at Oxford Dr. Carl Heneghan , who is also an emergency GP, most diabetic, heart disease & alzheimer's deaths were categorized as COVID deaths in the United Kingdom.

  • Reflect On:

    How many deaths have actually been a result of COVID? Why is this pandemic surrounded with so much controversy? Why does mainstream media fail at having appropriate conversations about 'controversial' evidence/opinions?

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 Dr. Carl Heneghan has an interesting view on the pandemic, not only is he a professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, he also works Saturday shifts as an emergency GP. This allows him to see healthcare from both the academic perspective as well as the healthcare experience, more specifically, it allows him to see COVID from both perspectives.

What Happened: In a recent article he wrote for The Spectator, he writes the following,

It’s hard to imagine, let alone measures, the side effects of lockdowns. The risk with the government’s ‘fear’ messaging is that people become so worried about burdening the NHS that they avoid seeking medical help. Or by the time they do so, it can be too late. The big rise in at-home deaths (still ongoing) points to that. You will be familiar with the Covid death toll, updated in the papers every day. But did you know that since the pandemic, we’ve had 28,200 more deaths among diabetics that we’d normally expect? That’s not the kind of figure they show on a graph at No. 10 press conference. For people with heart disease, it’s 17,100. For dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s 22,800. Most were categorised as Covid deaths: people can die with multiple conditions, so they can fall into more than one of these categories. It’s a complicated picture. But that’s the problem in assessing lockdown. you need to do a balance of risks.

Evidence-based medicine might sound like a tautology — what kind of medicine isn’t based on evidence? I’m afraid that you’d be surprised. Massive decisions are often taken on misleading, low-quality evidence. We see this all the time. In the last pandemic, the swine flu outbreak of 2009, I did some work asking why the government spent £500 million on Tamiflu: then hailed as a wonder drug. In fact, it proved to have a very limited effect. The debate then had many of the same cast of characters as today: Jonathan Van-Tam, Neil Ferguson and others. The big difference this time is the influence of social media, whose viciousness is something to behold. It’s easy to see why academics would self-censor and stay away from the debate, especially if it means challenging a consensus.

This is something that’s been a concern since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, a report published during the first wave in the British Medical Journal  titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″ has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom, as a result of the new coronavirus, may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May.

According to the data, COVID-19, at the time of publication, only accounted for 10,000 of the 30,000 excess deaths that have been recorded in senior care facilities during the height of the pandemic. The article quotes British Health officials stating that these unexplained deaths may have occurred because quarantine measures have prevented seniors from accessing the health care that they need.

Fast forward to more recent research regarding lockdowns, and these concerns have grown. Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID. You can read more about that here.

These are just a few of many examples. You can read more about the hypothesized “catastrophic” impacts of lockdown, here.

When it comes to what he mentions about academics shying away from debate, especially if their research goes against the grain, we’ve a seen a lot of that too. Here’s a great example you can read about from Sweden regarding zero deaths of school children during the first wave despite no masks mandates or lockdown measures. Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute is quitting his work on COVID-19 because of harassment from people who dislike what he has discovered.

Why This Is Important: Heneghan’s words are something that many people have been concerned about when it comes to the deaths that are attributed to COVID-19. How many of them are actually a result of COVID? The truth seems to be that we don’t really know. But one thing we do know is that total death toll caused by COVID doesn’t seem to be quite accurate.

That being said, we do know that people with comorbidities are more susceptible to illness and death from COVID, and that’s something to keep in mind. For people with underlying health conditions, covid, just like flu or pneumonia, can be fatal.

Ontario (Canada) Public Health has a page on their website titled “How Ontario is responding to COVID-19.” On it, they clearly state that deaths are being marked as COVID deaths and are being included in the COVID death count regardless of whether or not COVID actually contributed to or caused the death. They state the following:

Any case marked as “Fatal” is included in the deaths data. Deaths are included whether or not COVID-19 was determined to be a contributing or underlying cause of death…”

This statement from Ontario Public Health echoes statements made multiple times by Canadian public health agencies and personnel. According to Ontario Ministry Health Senior Communications Advisor Anna Miller:

As a result of how data is recorded by health units into public health information databases, the ministry is not able to accurately separate how many people died directly because of COVID versus those who died with a COVID infection.

In late June 2020, Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Public Health tweeted that:

“Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.”

It’s not just in Canada where we’ve seen these types of statements being made, it’s all over the world. There are multiple examples from the United States that we’ve covered since the start of the pandemic.

For example, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health stated the following during the first wave of the pandemic:

If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death, despite if you died of a clear alternative cause it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone who is listed as a COVID death that doesn’t mean that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death.

Also during the first wave, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had to announce a change to how it tallies coronavirus deaths due to complaints that it inflated the numbers.

As you can see, we’ve struggled to find an accurate way to go about tallying COVID deaths since the start, creating more fear and hysteria around total numbers that are plastered constantly in front of citizens by news stations. That being said, a lot of people who are dying of COVID do have co-morbidities as well. But as the professor says, “it’s a complicated picture” and hard to figure out, and probably something we will never figure out.

There’s been a lot of “fear mongering” by governments and mainstream media, and some believe that lockdowns and masks are simply being used as a psychological tool to keep that fear constant, which in turn makes it easier to control people and make them comply.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of experts in the field who are pointing to the fact that yes, COVID is dangerous, but it does not at all warrant the measures that are being taken, especially when the virus has a 99.95 percent survival rate for people over the age of 70. There are better ways to protect the vulnerable without creating even more chaos that lockdown measures have created, and are creating throughout this pandemic.

That said, it’s also important to note that some calls for lockdown measures are focused on stopping hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Why do some places with very restrictions see no hospital capacity issues? Why do some places with a lot of restrictions see hospital capacity issues? Why do we also see the opposite for both in some areas? These questions appear to be unanswered still. That being said. Hospitals have always been overwhelmed. This is not a new phenomenon.

The main issue here is not who is right or wrong, it’s the censorship of data, science, and opinions of experts in the field. The censorship that has occurred during this pandemic has been unprecedented.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. COVID-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. –  Dr. Kamran Abbasi, recent executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal (source)

This censorship alone has been an excellent catalyst for people to question what we are constantly hearing from mainstream media, government, and political scientists. Any type of information that calls into question the recommendations or the information we are receiving from our government seems to be subjected to this type of censorship. Mainstream media has done a great job at not acknowledging many aspects of this pandemic, like clinically proven treatments other than a vaccine, and therefore the masses are completely unaware of it.

Is this what we would call ethical? When trying to explain this to a friend or family member, the fact that they are not aware of these other pieces of information, because they may be avid mainstream news watchers, has them in disbelief and perhaps even sometimes labelling such assertions as a “conspiracy theory.” This Brings me to my next point.

The Takeaway: As I’ve said in a number of articles before, society is failing to have conversations about “controversial” topics and viewpoints. This is in large part due to the fact that mainstream media does such a poor job at covering these viewpoints let alone acknowledging them. The fact that big media has such a stranglehold over the minds of many is also very concerning, because we are living in a time where independent research may be more useful. There seems to be massive conflicts of interest within mainstream media, and the fact that healthy conversation and debate is being shut down by mainstream media contributes to the fact that we can’t even have normal conversations about controversial topics in our everyday lives.

Why does this happen? Why can’t we see the perspective of another? To be honest, I still sometimes struggle with this. When it comes to COVID, things clearly aren’t as black and white as they’re being made out to be, and as I’ve said many times before when things aren’t clear, and when government mandates oppose the will of so many people, it reaches a point where they become authoritarian and overreaching.

In such circumstances I believe governments should simply be making recommendations and explaining why certain actions might be important, and then leave it to the people to decide for themselves what measures they’d like to take, if any. What do you think? One thing is for certain, COVID has been a catalyst for more and more people to question the world we live in, and why we live the way that we do.

To help make sense of what’s happening in our society today, we have released a course on overcoming bias and improving critical thinking. It’s an 8 module course and you can learn more about it here.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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