Navigating with Bicycle: The Blind Can Use Mindfulness

How well can the blind navigate around buildings? Can they do it on a bicycle? One man says yes, because he, who is blind can, by using a technique that bats use when they echolocate.

NPR logoThis is a comment on “Blindness No Obstacle To Those With Sharp Ears,” reported on All Things Considered 13 March 2011.  This post is a mixed article, using straight reporting and personal observations.
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Recipes for a Cleaner Planet (Herbs + MRT)

Tired of feeling afraid to use certain household items because you don’t know what is in them? Isn’t there an herb that will do the same thing? Don’t want to spend a lot of money on “organic” things like toothpaste, hair care products, household cleaning products? Afraid your young child will accidentally poison himself by tasting the dangerous stuff you have? It’s time to learn how to use the knowledge of chemistry that your own brain has already, but can’t tell you by traditional methods.

Child Reaching for Pesticide, from EPA

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Successful Recovery from Drug Addictions

Boiling Up Heroin, from Hendrike at Wikimedia.
Boiling Up Heroin, from Hendrike at Wikimedia

NPR logoComment on “What Vietnam Taught Us About Breaking Bad Habits” on Morning Edition for 1 Feb 2012, where I discuss how to use mind-body medicine techniques to break bad habits. I discuss how addiction involves memories and how successfully changing a behavior involves breaking down those memories into tiny parts, which allows an unconscious act to become conscious in as many ways as possible. By making all of a memory conscious, we then can analyze it in such a way that causes the brain to break those circuits apart and release us from an addiction.

Summary

NPR Reporter Alix Spiegel takes us back to 1971 when then President Nixon created The Special Action Office of Drug Abuse Prevention in response to the report that 15% of American soldiers returning from the Vietnam war were addicted to heroin. The Office set up a program to test every returning American soldier for addiction and 20% of the soldiers identified themselves as addicted.  They were not allowed home until they had been treated and dried out.  Nixon did another thing that was especially helpful. He required research on the soldiers before, during and after treatment, tracking them after they returned home to see if they relapsed later. Psychiatric researcher Lee Robins did the research and found extremely low relapse rates in these soldiers, about 5%. When these rates were compared with the 90% of heroin addicts treated in the US who relapsed, many would not accept Dr. Robins’ numbers. Now 40 years later, these results are accepted.

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Mind-Body Medicine for Babies

Comment on “Second Thoughts On Pills For Babies Who Spit Up,” reported on Morning Edition for 11/07/11 where I discuss the role that toxins and/or emotional trauma may play in causing the spitting up in babies, and how mind-body medicine techniques help to find the cause and treat it.

Summary

NPR reporter Allison Aubrey investigates the dramatic increase in the number of prescriptions being written for medication for babies who are spitting up (a 16-fold increase in proton-pump inhibitor medicines). However, Pediatrician Dr. Eric Hassall says there hasn’t been a 16-fold increase in the number of babies with GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder). He found that often a diet change in the mother can dramatically decrease the incidence of spitting up and digestive upset in the babies. Dr. Benjamin Gold cautions that by swinging the pendulum the other way (calling all of these medicines “bad”) is not the solution and calls for better diagnostic tools. Present research says that very few babies suffer from corrosive esophagitis (from acid reflux) which would suggest these medications as a solution.

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Medicinal Herbs

Posted: 12 Oct 2011
Updated: 17 July 2012

In this post, I discuss news reports and address topics critical for understanding how medicinal herbs work. Please check out my blog posting “Eating Wild Greens” for information about other herbs for both nutritional and medicinal purposes. I approach this topic very differently from most authors. I believe that less is more and that it is better to treat conditions nutritionally when possible before resorting to any medication, either pharmaceutical or herbal. However, there are many conditions for which pharmaceutical drugs or medicinal herbs are fast, thorough, and important lifesaving techniques available to us.
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Postpartum Depression and Rejection of the Newborn

Depression, from Wikimedia
Depression, from Wikimedia

Are we missing something by calling it “postpartum depression?” Or are we medicalizing a sociological pathology? Are we confusing a hormone problem with something else?

Comment on “Stigma Hinders Treatment For Postpartum Depression” reported on All Things considered 1 Aug 2011. I suggest that some of postpartum depression is misnamed, and actually reflects a rejection of the infant by the mother. By calling all “numbness toward the infant” PPD, doctors are ignoring a real sociological problem where the mother is just not ready to give birth to or care for an infant. Calling the symptoms PPD suggests a temporary problem probably due to the tremendous hormonal shifts that occur in the mother during and after pregnancy, when these shifts may have nothing to do with the problem. I discuss the different types of depression and how they have to be treated differently.

Updated: 4 Sept 2014

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Mind-Body Medicine and Joint Pain

Can mind-body medicine techniques heal tennis elbow? Yes! Along with herbal medicine, these techniques can heal, with practice. So what causes this pain? Is it “overuse?” Does that make sense? What about our mental state when we use a joint? Does that play a role?

This is a comment on “A Rubber Twist on Treating Tennis Elbow Pain” on Morning Edition 25 July 2011. Both conscious and unconscious thought may play a role in both the cause of the pain, as well as its treatment.

Updated: 4 Sept 2014

Summary:

Elbow Joint with Ligaments (Minus muscle and aponeurosis which also attach over the ligaments near the joint)

NPR reporter Allison Aubrey talks about a new kind of treatment for tennis elbow pain. She interviews a friend, Larry Holzman, who got tennis elbow from playing his guitar, and his physical therapist, Barton Bishop.  He shows Larry a simple test for tennis elbow as a “cause” of his pain. He also has Larry use a Thera-Band FlexBar to twist to gradually strengthen and lengthen muscles crossing the elbow.  Lifting weights, it seems, tends to cause pain at the same time as the contraction .  The Flex-bar does not do this.  However, some therapists are not convinced that the Flex-bar is the solution, regardless of the recent article published showing its effectiveness. Continue reading

Finding Toxins and Repairing Tissue

How tissue repairs, prepared from OpenStax College, Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site, from Wikimedia
How tissue repairs, prepared from OpenStax College, Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site, from Wikimedia

Updated: 4 Sept 2014

This is a personal story, an example of the how I discovered where damage was done by toxins, using mind-body techniques such as Visualization  (or Guided Imagery), Mindfulness, and Muscle Reflex Testing (Applied Kinesiology). In addition to relieving symptoms, the removal of toxins allowed local tissues to repair which had never been able to since I was born, in some cases. 

Furthermore, by finding the emotional links to the toxins, I was able to find out what happened to me as a baby, and all of the puzzle pieces of my life started to fall into place. I understood so much more than just what was wrong physically, why I felt the symptoms that I had felt, why they were not constantly bothering me, why they seemed to get worse under emotional stress, why I constantly had the feeling that I had to devote so much of my resources to “surviving” when no one would think that I should have that kind of difficulty. Adults are not supposed to feel that way, not if they are not starving or not so sick they had to be hospitalized.

These methods taught me how the brain thought at different levels of consciousness, how ideas, as well as language were constructed in the brain. These discoveries only come from extensive use of mindfulness and other mind-body medicine techniques, which trains the nervous system to write new programs for healing and to eventually execute them unconsciously. Continue reading

Using Mindfulness to Treat Tinnitus

Human Left Ear, from David Benbennick at Wikimedia
Human Left Ear, from David Benbennick at Wikimedia

Bothered by “ringing in the ears?” Mindfulness meditation may help relieve tinnitus, but there are extra things a person can do. This is a comment on “Rethinking Tinnitus: When The Ringing Won’t Stop, Clear Your Mind” on Morning Edition 18 July 2011. I suggest that the mindfulness meditation that is being promoted by these doctors as a method for stress reduction is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the level of training of the nervous system using mindfulness techniques that can be achieved. I bring in the different levels of consciousness that can be tapped using this technique. I discuss the possibility that toxins are causing the tinnitus and how mindfulness along with other mind-body medicine techniques can relieve the symptoms, possibly getting rid of the tinnitus altogether.

Updated: 18 July 2013

Summary

NPR Reporter Allison Aubrey reports on research at the University of California, San Francisco using mindfulness techniques learned in meditation to treat tinnitus sufferers. The researchers used MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) that was previously successful in treating patients with chronic pain or arthritis.  The emphasis was on using breathing to control and direct the focus of the mind away from the ringing in the ears.  It does not get rid of the ringing. Critical to this technique is developing the ability to separate all the “anxiety, thoughts and emotions” about the ringing from the physical sensation of the ringing. Continue reading

Using MRT: Recovering From Trauma

Updated: Sept 04, 2011

Young Jaycee Dugard (sodahead.com)

This post will provide information to guide a person when using Muscle Release Testing  (Applied Kinesiology) to treat trauma.  To learn how to use MRT, go to that website for instructions. Since all emotional trauma registers as physical damage to neurons and circuits in the brain (sometimes in the spinal cord), then “mind” = body here. I will use the case of Jaycee Dugard throughout this post as an example. I will also emphasize the repair of the brain and body parts most likely to have been damaged as a result of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) that she suffered. I will also refer to the kind of nervous system damage that probably occurred in her that needs to be addressed using mind-body medicine techniques. Continue reading

What is the Hypodermis?

Ever wonder if that pain under the arm is in any way related to the pain in the groin? Why do the soles of my feet hurt when I first start walking upon waking up? Why in some people, but not in others, especially children, can you see very clear veins on the back of the hands and  in the antecubital fossa (where nurses [in the US] or doctors [in Australia] take blood samples)? How does acupuncture work? The answer: hypodermal fluids, or more specifically, the anatomy of the skin and hypodermis. Continue reading

Helping Soldiers with Brain Injury to Return to War

Caption: Soldiers with equipment in Vietnam War 1966 (from the National Archives and Records Administration, ARC ID 530611)
Caption: Soldiers with equipment in Vietnam War 1966 (from the National Archives and Records Administration, ARC ID 530611)

A lot of soldiers returning from war have suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) or show evidence or damage, especially as seen in post-traumatic stress (PTSD). There are many mind-body medicine techniques that can help heal the brain.

National Public RadioComment on “Returning To The Battlefield, With A Brain Injury” on All Things Considered on 10 May 2011, where I discuss the neurological symptoms of brain injury, how the brain automatically attempts to repair the damage that causes them, and how using mind-body medicine techniques may offer at least relief from symptoms and at best may enable full or partial repair of the brain.

Updated: 9 June 2011

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Mindfulness Techniques

Updated 26 July 2016

What is “mindfulness”? How is it more than just “paying attention” to something? How do psychologists, psychotherapists, and psychoanalysts use it? How can we, as the general population not specializing in psychology use it?

Some of these answers will be found here. However, this concept will go further than has ever been done before. In order to do so, the reader is warned that any really effective method for treatment takes a lot of training, but that doesn’t mean book training, necessarily.

This post is a description of what “mindfulness” means to the psychotherapist, how it can be used to monitor and change physiological functioning, how one can train the nervous system to use this technique to its fullest. How it fits into the pantheon of mind-body medicine techniques is described, with examples of how it can be used. Other discussions include how the brain works when the person practices mindfulness and what the patient/practitioner is capable of doing by using this technique. This article is a mix of straight reporting and personal observation, with examples of how the author used mindfulness with other mind-body techniques.

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Visualization Techniques

Imagination, from Alex Proimos at Wikimedia
Imagination, from Alex Proimos at Wikimedia

What is visualization (guided imagery)? Does it work? Specifically, how can you make it work? Visualization is part of an arsenal of mind-body medicine practices that can aid in healing, get rid of toxins, microbes and cancer. Presented here are anecdotal information given in the news and other sources, and personal observations about using visualization for treatment of PTSD, toxin removal, and emotional and physical repair of the brain. Visualization can also be used as a method for understanding how the body works in the level of detail that most physiology courses fail to address. It is most effective when combined with other mind-body medicine techniques. It also helps to be an educated patient/doctor who already have present in their brains images of cells and tissues of the body.

Updated 30 Aug 2014

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Using MRT: Removing Toxins and Emotional Trauma

Toxic Trauma and Emotions are Linked in the Brain

In this post I discuss using Muscle Reflex Testing (MRT, or Applied Kinesiology), and visualization techniques to remove toxins and the links exposure to them may have with emotional trauma.  I speak from personal experience, having used MRT to learn that the presence of toxic substances caused my physical symptoms, that certain emotionally traumatic events were linked to them, how they came to be linked, and why my own emotions were so readily ignited with unconscious memory of those traumas. I discuss a personal example in my post “Finding Toxins and Repairing Tissue”. Continue reading

MRT 1.0-a (Appl. Kinesiology): How it Works

My Single-Hand Self-Testing MethodI will present my own theories about how Muscle Response/Reflex Testing (Applied Kinesiology) works. Others have also offered explanations which I will review very briefly first, but offer a much longer treatise on what I think (see also “MRT 1.0: Using MRT“) Muscle Response/Reflex Testing (MRT or Applied Kinesiology, see also “MRT 1.0: Using MRT“) is happening with this technique.

Updated 08 Aug 2014

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MRT 1.0: Using MRT (Muscle Reflex Testing)

Muscle Response/Reflex Testing, a mind-body medicine technique, may seem like voodoo to some when the chiropractor uses it and you suddenly are unable to keep your shoulder joint flexed. It is disturbing when what you thought should be easy to do suddenly fails. It is even more amazing when you use it to find out that some of the unconscious thought processes going on inside your brain suggest that you might be sabotaging your efforts to change bad “habits,” e.g. lose weight. However, we can use it to translate some of the most complex brain processes into something we understand. Furthermore, it can be used to train the brain into doing something that is not normally done or done at the times you want it done. I present here ideas on how I developed this technique into something very reliable for use in healing the mind and body.

I will use the abbreviation for Muscle Response/Reflex Testing (MRT, Applied Kinesiology).  From now on I will refer to the model that I developed to guide my brain in repair.  Others may use a different model, based upon what their training, e.g. psychologists who do not have the anatomical training that I have, or the chiropractor using Applied Kinesiology in its strictest sense. I discuss how it works in MRT 1.0-a (Applied Kinesiology): How it Works. Continue reading

Treating Soldiers with Back Pain

Caption: Soldiers with equipment in Vietnam War 1966 (from the National Archives and Records Administration, ARC ID 530611)

Mind-Body Medicine Techniques Enhance Medical Treatment of Pain

It is amazing how some of the techniques of mind-body medicine can be used for treating any disorder. What most people do not understand is why and how it might work in their case. Some techniques like Muscle Response/Reflex Testing, Mindfulness, or Visualization (Guided Imagery) seem like voodoo to the patient, simply because so little is written for them to understand. A news report on back pain in soldiers due to the heavy gear packs they must carry brings to mind how these techniques can help them. This post addresses how the mind is involved in every aspect of physiology, something that tends to be misunderstood in the treatment of most physical disorders. This has other implications for treating soldiers, many of whom suffer from PTSD, which may also be associated with back pain (National Center for PTSD).
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