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How Our Mind Plays A Critical Role In Healing Our Body

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Multiple studies and experiments have demonstrated that the mind does have an ability to heal, or assist with healing and recovery.

  • Reflect On:

    How powerful is our mind? Why do some people still regard this thought as 'pseudoscientific' when there is a lot of statistically significant research that's available with regards to the mind/matter mind/body connection?

The interaction of our thoughts with the physical material world is of huge interest today, garnering increasing attention by academics around the world. Despite a wealth of scientific data showing that one can influence the other, and even more evidence proving that certain emotional states can lead to chronic illness, many who work in mainstream medicine remain entirely ignorant of these concepts.

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Perhaps this is why more and more people are gravitating towards alternative forms of medicine. As Garth Cook from Scientific American points out:

A growing body of scientific research suggests that our mind can play an important role in healing our body — or in staying healthy in the first place. . . There are now several lines of research suggesting that our mental perception of the world constantly informs and guides our immune system in a way that makes us better able to respond to future threats. That was a sort of ‘aha’ moment for me — where the idea of an entwined mind and body suddenly made more scientific sense than an ephemeral consciousness that’s somehow separated from our physical selves.

The Research/Placebo

When it comes to learning about the mind-body connection and its relationship to our health, it can be difficult to choose a starting place amongst the vast and growing body of research; one of the best places to start, however, is the placebo effect, which demonstrates that the mind can create physiological changes in the body. Neuroscientist Fabrizio Benedetti explains:

There isn’t just one placebo effect, but many. Placebo painkillers can trigger the release of natural pain-relieving chemicals called endorphins. Patients with Parkinson’s disease respond to placebos with a flood of dopamine. Fake oxygen, given to someone at altitude, has been shown to cut levels of neurotransmitters called prostaglandins (which dilate blood vessels, among other things, and are responsible for many of the symptoms of altitude sickness.

The placebo effect is so wondrous because it unlocks the power of the mind; the biological changes observed in the body after administration of a placebo are not triggered by the placebo itself, but rather by our mind, by our perception, by our psychological response to these fake treatments.

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Despite intriguing results, research into the placebo effect has been limited. So far, only a few model systems have been investigated, like pain, depression, and Parkinson’s, but there is much more to be learned. One thing, however, does remain clear, and that is that we can change our biology simply by changing what we believe to be true. In his book The Biology of BeliefBruce Lipton, PhD, persuasively argues for further research into this untapped resource within ourselves:

The placebo effect should be the subject of major, funded research efforts. If medical researchers could figure out how to leverage the placebo effect, they would hand doctors an efficient, energy-based, side effect-free tool to treat disease. Energy healers say they already have such tools, but I am a scientist, and I believe the more we know about science of the placebo, the better we’ll be able to use it in a clinical setting.

Let’s take a look at a few more interesting studies that warrant further investigation into the matter. One great one is a Baylor School of Medicine study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002. It looked at surgery for patients with severe and debilitating knee pain. Many surgeons know there is no placebo effect in surgery, or so most of them believe. The patients were divided into three groups. The surgeons shaved the damaged cartilage in the knee of one group. For the second group they flushed out the knee joint, removing all of the material believed to be causing inflammation. Both of these processes are the standard surgeries for people who have severely arthritic knees. The third group received a “fake” surgery; the patients were only sedated and tricked into believing they had had the knee surgery. Doctors simply made the incisions and splashed salt water on the knee as they would in normal surgery. They then sewed up the incisions like the real thing and the process was complete. All three then groups went through the same rehab process, with astonishing results: the placebo group improved just as much as the other two groups who had surgery. 

Dr Moseley, the surgeon involved in the study, made a bold comment, emphasizing that his “skill as a surgeon had no benefit on these patients,” and that “the entire benefit of surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee was the placebo effect.” (Lipton, Bruce. The Biology of Belief. Hay House, Inc, 2005)

Another very interesting example of a placebo technique used in medicine comes from researchers in Seattle, who have developed a virtual reality landscape known as ‘Snow World.’  In the game, the participant flies around inside an ice canyon shooting snowballs at other characters, theoretically distracting them from the pain of their physical body. Gareth Cook from Scientific American reports on his experience trying the game:

It’s mean meant to work as a painkiller: the idea is that the brain has a limited capacity for attention, so if the ice canyon commands that attention, there is less capacity left over for experiencing pain. When I tried Snow World, the researchers used a heated box to simulate a burn to my foot – it was quite painful outside the game, but once immersed, I had so much fun I barely noticed it. (source)

The technique was utilized to help burn victims deal with their sessions of wound treatment and physiotherapy, which can be extremely painful. In trials, researchers discovered that undergoing these therapy sessions while immersed in Snow World lessened patients’ pain by fifteen to fourty percent.

This, among other research, tells us that the brain plays an enormous role in the level of pain we feel. Cook explains:

So I think we’ve got our approach to pain all wrong. Our focus is almost exclusively on trying to banish it with drugs, which is incredibly costly and causes huge problems with side effects and addiction. Research like Snow World shows the potential of psychological approaches for treating pain: both to maximize the effectiveness of drugs and perhaps in some cases to replace them.

Another great example of the power of the placebo effect was demonstrated in a 1999 report by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The report discovered that half of severely depressed patients taking drugs improve compared to the thirty-two percent taking a placebo. Considering all of the dangers and side effects associated with antidepressants — not to mention how much pharmaceutical companies profit from their sale — this statistic seems an important one. If we can accomplish nearly as much with our minds alone, without harming our health or creating chemical dependencies, shouldn’t we be exploring that avenue first?

Yet in a study published in the British Medical Journal by researchers at the Nordic Cochrane Center in Copenhagen, it was revealed that pharmaceutical companies were not disclosing all information regarding the results of their drug trials. Researchers looked at documents from 70 different double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) and found that the full extent of serious harm in clinical study reports went unreported. These are the reports sent to major health authorities like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. You can read more about that and access the studyhere.

A 2002 article published in the American Psychological Association’s Prevention & Treatment, by University of Connecticut Psychology Professor Irving Kirsch titled “The Emperor’s New Drugs,” made even more shocking discoveries. He found that 80 perecent of the effect of antidepressants, as measured in clinical trials, could be attributed to the placebo effect. This professor even had to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to get information on the clinical trials of the top antidepressants. (source)(source) “The difference between the response of the drugs and the response of the placebo was less than two points on average on this clinical scale that goes from fifty to sixty points. That’s a very small difference, that difference is clinically meaningless,” he reveals.

And the placebo effect is not just limited to depression. One trial found that patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) had much greater relief from their symptoms if the practitioner was warm and empathetic rather than cold but polite. Another found that patients with acid reflux disease did dramatically better after an extended consultation with a physician, compared to the usual quick go-around. From back pain to childbirth and more, many patient outcomes depend not just on what drugs are prescribed, but on how care is delivered.

There are even studies indicating that the mind plays a role in both cancer growth and recovery. In animal studies, for example, stress hormones make a range of cancers spread faster, and patient trials suggest that stress management interventions reduce inflammation. (source)

The list goes on and on,

Researchers all over the world have found that placebo treatments can stimulate real biological and physiological responses — everything from changes in heart rate to blood pressure and even chemical activity in the brain. It has been effective with a number of different ailments, from arthritis and Parkinson’s to depression, fatigue, anxiety, and more.

Beyond Placebo

The placebo effect is most commonly cited during discussions of the power of the mind-body connection, but there is a wealth of other data that also strengthens the argument. For example, studies have been conducted which investigate the influence of A’s intention on B’s physiological state — a process referred to as “remote intention.” They further examine the influence of A’s attention on B’s physiological state while A gazes at B over a 1 way video link, called “remote staring.” Last but not least, they study the influence of A’s intention on B’s attention or behaviour, which is referred to as “remote helping.”

The effects of distant mental interactions are measured using electrodermal activity, heart rate, blood volume pulse, and electrocortical activity (EEG electrodermal activity, heart rate, blood volume pulse, brain blood oxygenation [MRI], and electrogastrogram [EGG]).

These studies have yielded remarkable results which have since been successfully repeated in laboratories around the world. They actually hint at the possibility that another person’s mental attention could possibly have some sort of physiological effect on someone else.

For more information this, you can read the publication titled “Distant Healing Intention Therapies: An Overview of the Scientific Evidence.”

If our thoughts and intentions can actually affect physical systems, just imagine what our own thoughts and intentions could do to us.

If we look at it from a Quantum Mechanical perspective, factors associated with consciousness (measurement, observation, attention) have indeed influenced physical systems, which is why all of the pioneering and prominent figures in this field regarded consciousness fundamental, where matter is seen as a derivative from consciousness.

Then, we have studies published in peer-reviewed journals making even more astonishing claims. A study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, as seen in the the US National Library of Medicine, for example, demonstrated that a women with special abilities was and is able to accelerate the germination of specific seeds for the purposes of developing a more robust seed stock. As the study states:

Chulin Sun is a woman with exceptional powers (Shen and Sun, 1996, 1998; Sun, 1998). A member of the Chinese Somatic Science Research Institute, she is a practitioner of Waiqi. Waiqi is a type of qigong that teaches the practitioner to bring the qi energy of traditional Chinese medicine under the control of the mind. Chulin Sun can induce plant seeds to grow shoots and roots several cm long within 20 min using mentally projected qi energy (Fig. 1). This has been demonstrated on more than 180 different occasions at universities as well as science and research institutions in China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong) as well as other countries (e.g., Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, etc.) (Ge et al., 1998; Qin et al., 1998; Lee et al., 1999). We took part in and repeated the qi germination experiments seven times, and five of them succeeded (Ge et al., 1998). This remarkable effect on seed development has drawn widespread attention (Tompkins and Bird, 1973; Lee, 1998), but the biological mechanisms that underlie this phenomenon are unknown.(source)

You can read more about that here.

The examples are endless, making clear that the mind-body connection definitely warrants more attention when it comes to mainstream medicine and therapeutic interventions.

Mind Matter Interaction/Healing

Nikola Tesla once said that “the day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” In fact, Vedic philosophy heavily influenced Nikola Tesla’s ideas about free energy. You can read more about that here.

Fast forward to today, and we now know hundreds, if not thousands of internationally recognized scientists from around the world coming together to stress the fact that matter (protons, electrons, photons, anything that has a mass) is not the only reality.

If we wish to understand the true nature of our reality, we must stop limiting ourselves to only examining physical systems. We must consider the role of non-physical systems, such as factors associated with consciousness, and their interaction with physical systems (matter).

Today, this type of science is known as post-materialist science. If Nikola Tesla was around, there would be no doubt that he would be leading the charge in this important field.

To summarize the current contrast between material science and post material science, is to look at the points made in a document that was co-authored by r. Gary Schwartz, professor of psychology, medicine, neurology, psychiatry, and surgery at the University of Arizona, Mario Beauregard, PhD, from the University of Arizona, and Lisa Miller, PhD, from Columbia University. It was presented at an international summit on post-materialist science, spirituality, and society. They (and hundreds of other scientists) have come to several conclusions which you can view in their Manifesto For Post-Material Science.

Below is an intriguing short video by the Institute of Noetic Sciences,  with regards to mind-matter interaction, which is the topic of this article, because ‘psychic healing’ deals with mind interacting with human biology.

When it comes to mind/matter interaction, which is part of non-material science, measurements can and have been made in both blind and double blind peer-reviewed literature.  To learn more about and examine these concepts, feel free to browse through a selected list of downloadable peer-reviewed journal articles reporting studies of psychic phenomena, mostly published in the 21st century, you can click HERE. It is the home of Dr. Dean Radin, Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

I also wanted to provide a brief background with regards to this topic, because it is often ridiculed within the mainstream, despite the fact that we have some of the most brilliant scientists in the world attesting to its credibility. One of them is Elizabeth Rauscher.

She is a nuclear physicist who is a former researcher with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Stanford Research Institute, as well as NASA.

The interviewer is Jeffrey Mishlove, founder of Thinking Allowedwhere he interviews a number of fascinating guests on various interesting topics.

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Consciousness

An Animation That Beautifully Explores ‘The War On Consciousness’

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Many feel there is a great effort to suppress human consciousness. Not just our will, but the exploration of who we truly are. This shows up in many ways, originating top-down from corporations to governments etc.

  • Reflect On:

    There is no actual 'war.' This is a state of perception. If we see it as war, we create fighting. Instead, let's simply evolve and expand our consciousness knowing we're more powerful than those who suppress. Spreading knowledge and living it is key.

The animation below is great and Graham Hancock’s message in it is also powerful, but I want to address something important quickly before we start, as what I’m about to say is a crucial part of the message we have been working so hard to convey here at CE since inception.

I get that ‘the war on consciousness’ is a figure of speech in the case of this talk, but with 10 years working in this field of journalism and consciousness, I do see many of us getting caught up in the idea that we have to fight and that there is a war to be won.

I see this as a state of consciousness that will keep us locked in a state of disconnection and loss of power.

Moving Beyond A Key Myth

One of the biggest myths that gets spread around this movement is that we must get angry to change the world. The truth is, some of us might get angry at first, and that’s totally fine! But we have to shift beyond the consciousness of being angry about our world before we can change it in any way that will TRULY cause change.

When we change things out of anger, spite, judgement or anxiety, we don’t create systems from the heart, this we will need to break them down again in a very short time. Not because we have evolved beyond them again, but because they are systems created from a polarized state of being. THIS is what we’re moving beyond in this shift.

Change Starts Within.

This is neutrality in action. This is how we evolve beyond what we see in our world.

What does it mean to evolve beyond it? It’s to be in a state of being and emotion where these events can no longer happen. When you assume you must fight for something, you are saying that there needs to be a fight, thus you are met with a fight. That emotion and idea comes from a disconnected state of consciousness where we can still create that experience.

If we as individuals evolve beyond the need for the fight, it would mean to be in a state of being where we do not need to see the fight. That comes from changing our view and perception of something.

Being present, being here now, and not identifying so strongly with the body, our identity, culture, skin color, struggle etc is powerful. We instead see and live in a state of being where we practice the knowing of our pure potential, living through the heart, collaborative oneness and true heart guidance.

Thus, to evolve beyond it is to change your state of being so that this type of reality no longer exists as it can’t be created from that new state of being. When we achieve this collectively, it no longer exists in our world.

Now that I got that out of the way, one last note is, Graham Hancock will speak of psychedelics in his talk. They have become incredibly trendy today, and while they can help people, research is suggesting this happens when done in specific ways and with specific intentions. Many are starting to put all their power into these plants as if it will do the work for them. They don’t, and won’t.

You can also achieve these exact same insights without the use of these plants. It’s important we maintain a grounded and realistic approach to these plants so they can be used with respect and for their intended purpose. We explore the purpose of psychedelics deeply in an episode of The Collective Evolution Podcast here.

 The ‘War’ On Consciousness

This animation was created by the talented team over at After Skool. You can check out their channel here.

Transcript

What is death? Our materialist science reduces everything to matter, materialist science in the West says that we are just meat, we’re just our bodies. So when the brain is dead, that’s the end of consciousness, there is no life after death, there is no soul; we just rot and are gone. Actually, many honest scientists should admit that consciousness is the greatest mystery of science and that we don’t know exactly how it works.

The brain is involved in it some way but we’re not sure how. It could be that the brain generates consciousness the way a generator makes electricity, if you hold to that paradigm, then, of course, you can’t believe in life after death, when the generator’s broken, consciousness is gone. But it’s equally possible that the relationship — and nothing in neuroscience rules it out – that the relationship is more like the relationship of the TV signal to the TV set, and in that case, when the TV set is broken, of course the TV signal continues. And this is the paradigm of all spiritual traditions, that we are immortal souls temporarily incarnated in these physical forms.

If we want to understand consciousness, the last people we should ask are materialist scientists. Instead, we should look at ancient cultures, like the Egyptians, who highly valued dream states. Many ancient cultures around the world used hallucinogenic plants to understand consciousness and expand their minds.

However, in today’s society, visionary plants are highly illegal because they promote a state of consciousness that does not agree with the agenda of profit. Substances, like coffee, alcohol, sugar and pharmaceuticals, are forced upon the population, but possession of even small quantities of cannabis, Ayahuasca or psilocybin will land you in jail. If we do not recognize the right of adult sovereignty over consciousness, then we can NOT claim to be free.

Look at what our moderns state of consciousness has done. We have destroyed the natural gifts of the earth in pursuit of short-term, selfish gain. We must reconnect with spirit immediately or else we will encounter disaster. Visionary plants could be the remedy for our current sickness.

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Consciousness

Smiling At Cashiers & Other Sparks Of Divinity

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    It is possible to have profound experiences in some of the most mundane encounters with others.

  • Reflect On:

    How would your life change if every interaction you had with other people was infused with the conviction that we are all one?

It’s one of the things I like to do, as the receipt is being put in my hand: offer a grateful ‘thank-you,’ and look in the cashier’s eyes for an extra split-second and smile, and see if they are ready to share a spark of divinity that crosses between our souls.

Sometimes they are, as happened to me recently at a ‘No Frills’ express lane. I looked at the girl as she handed me the bill, she looked at me, and then came the recognition in her eyes, in her smile, whether conscious or not, that we are connected, that we see each other, that we are grateful to be alive to have this kind of experience. Magic.

Sometimes the cashier is not ready, and my smile is met with a furtive glance, back to the next matter at hand, the next customer in line. No matter. No effort to connect is wasted. Some of the energy still gets through and gives the person a lift.

Sometimes it is me who is not ready, and the smile from the cashier awakens me into appreciation. Imagine, they are the ones working a long, tiring, repetitive job and they take a moment to wake ME up!

When the cashier is efficient, friendly, light, then my appreciation for what they are doing pours out into that moment. When the cashier is slow, tired, fed-up, it is not so easy for me. But at times, I am prepared to take the opportunity to help reconnect that person to the vitality of life. Have you ever eased a busy, ragged, overwhelmed cashier into a moment of divinity with a warm smile of empathy? Have you ever made a frowning, wrinkled face light up? Try it! This may be the best experience of them all.

Learned Practice

I’m just grateful to have found this practice. It did not come naturally to me. I was always shy, cautious, pensive, ‘in my head’. It was through years of watching a few trusted friends, seeing how they interacted easily and openly with strangers, that I started to try to adopt a new approach.

I had long been a student of philosophy and spirituality. But if the study of esoteric matters remains on the pages, in the words, in the concepts, simply a tool of the intellect to make one feel smart, evolved, superior, then the whole point is missed, not only about spiritual knowledge but about life itself.

At first, the practice for me was about trying to feel connected myself; it served to make me feel more comfortable in the world, especially around other people. As I continued to practice, and expand that practice into other situations, not just with strangers but with friends, loved ones, enemies, it really broadened and deepened my understanding of spiritual principles which I had previously fancied myself an expert in. Perhaps one of the most important realizations I’ve had through all this is that true knowledge is humbling. If one’s knowledge base serves to inflate one’s sense of self-importance in the world in comparison to other people, then it is not true knowledge.

The Unbearable Lightness Of Being

Our lives on this planet are fraught with difficult emotions: fear, sadness, anxiety, and many others. One of the great healing salves is to endeavor to demonstrate to others the knowledge that we are all one. Most likely, you have had this kind of experience in some situations in your life, like smiling at a cashier or hugging a loved one. The key to a great life is to work to expand this experience into all our interactions with people, to overcome the barriers of separation, not only in others but especially the ones within ourselves.

This is the task of the bringers of light. And whether we are conscious of it or not, we are all here to bring our light upon the darkness, and collectively transform our world into our shared vision of harmony.

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Consciousness

Expanding Reality Through Consciousness: A Fascinating Interview With A Neurosurgeon

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Joe recently sat down with Dr. Mario Beauregard for an in-depth discussion into consciousness, current events and how we can begin responding to the emerging desire for change.

  • Reflect On:

    What direction is our global society moving towards with regards to understanding the true nature of consciousness? Is a new consciousness emerging within us that no longer resonates with the 'old world?'

Mario Beauregard, PhD., is a neuroscientist currently affiliated with the Department of Psychology, University of Arizona. He has received a bachelor degree in psychology and a doctorate degree in neuroscience from the University of Montreal. He has also underwent postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Texas Medical School (Houston) and the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI), McGill University.

Dr. Beauregard is the author of more than 100 publications (articles, essays, book chapters) in neuroscience, psychology, and psychiatry. He was the first neuroscientist to use neuroimaging to investigate the neural underpinnings of voluntary control in relation to emotion. Because of his research into the neuroscience of consciousness, he was selected (2000) by the World Media Net to be one of the “One Hundred Pioneers of the 21st Century.”

In the episode below, Collective Evolution founder Joe Martino and Dr. Beauregard sit down to discuss what transhumanism, AI, near death experiences and our current events have in common, which is consciousness. They all stem from what level of consciousness we are creating these things out of. Joe explores this topic with Dr. Beauregard in a recent episode of The Collective Evolution Show on CETV.

CETV is a platform we created to combat the tremendous amount of censorship and demonetization we have experienced and are currently experiencing. It’s our own platform, away from social media platforms like Facebook and it’s how we are able to continue doing what we do and keep Collective Evolution alive. If you’d like to become a member, start a free trial to check it out or simply support the work that we do, you can sign up HERE.

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