Yet Another Study Shows Psilocybin Significantly Helps With Anxiety and Depression

By John Vibes

More research continues to be published showing the potential impact that psychedelic compounds can have on mental health treatment.

A team at New York University‘s Grossman School of Medicine recently conducted followup research to the 2016 study which showed that cancer patients who took psilocybin noticed “significant improvements” in their levels of stress and anxiety. The 2016 study was actually a follow-up of groundbreaking research that began at John’s Hopkins University in 2012. All of the studies have had very similar results.

In the 2016 study, patients taking psilocybin along with therapy noticed “immediate, substantial, and sustained improvements in anxiety and depression and led to decreases in cancer-related demoralisation and hopelessness, improved spiritual wellbeing, and increased quality of life.”

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In the newest study, researchers found that test subjects later said that the experience led them to make positive changes in their lives. The research is published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

According to the study:

Participants overwhelmingly (71 to 100 per cent) attributed positive life changes to the psilocybin-assisted therapy experience and rated it among the most personally meaningful and spiritually significant experiences of their lives.

Researchers are still unclear about how this process works mechanically in the brain, but there are theories that psilocybin relaxes areas of the brain associated with rumination, worry, and rigid thinking.

Gabby Agin-Liebes, a lead author of the most recent study, explained:

“These results may shed light on how the positive effects of a single dose of psilocybin persist for so long. The drug seems to facilitate a deep, meaningful experience that stays with a person and can fundamentally change his or her mindset and outlook.”

With so many new studies showing the potential of these compounds for therapeutic use, steps are being made to bring legal psychedelic treatments to the market.

It was announced last year that a startup called Compass Pathways had received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to develop treatments for depression and possibly even pharmaceuticals containing psilocybin, the active ingredient in psychedelic “magic mushrooms.”

Compass Pathways launched in the UK in 2016 thanks to funding from PayPal founder Peter Thiel. While the company is just now receiving approval to run trials in the U.S., they were already approved in Canada, the Netherlands, and at their base of operations in the UK.

By John Vibes | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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WHO Declares Coronavirus Outbreak a Global Health Emergency

By Sean Walton

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a public health emergency of international concern on Thursday amid the coronavirus outbreak in China.

The organization held discussions for two days last week on the virus but did not declare a global health emergency at the time. Now a number of new patients who did not visit China have been diagnosed in Japan, Germany, Vietnam, and Taiwan.

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WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus traveled to Beijing and met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to discuss the outbreak, which is centered in Wuhan, Hubei Province. Chinese regime officials have ordered the lockdown of Wuhan and a number of cities across Hubei in an attempt to quarantine the area, affecting tens of millions of people. Most forms of transportation have been banned.

“Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems, and which are ill-prepared to deal with it,” Ghebreyesus said Thursday. “I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern over the global outbreak,” he remarked.

“The vast majority of cases outside China have a travel history to Wuhan, or contact with someone with a travel history to Wuhan,” he said, adding that there have been no deaths outside of China.

The declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern has only been done five times in the past decade, including outbreaks of Ebola in Africa, the Zika virus outbreak, and the 2009 swine flu outbreak. The coronavirus is in the same family of viruses as SARS or the common cold.

WHO describes the move as “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response.”

On Thursday, Russia ordered the closure of a 2,500-mile border with China in the Far Eastern District. In the United States, federal officials expanded screening for the virus at 20 airports and the State Department and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have called on Americans to avoid “nonessential travel” to China, urging citizens not to go to Hubei Province.

Cases of the virus outside of China have been confirmed by U.S. health authorities in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Vietnam.

So far in the United States, five cases have been confirmed, including two in California, one in Washington state, one in Illinois, and one in Arizona, according to the CDC’s latest update. The CDC also confirmed that a patient in Illinois as the first person-to-person transmission of the coronavirus in the U.S.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump confirmed he was forming a coronavirus taskforce made up of top health, transportation, and national security officials. The task force will respond to the virus and work to prevent it from spreading in the United States.

Several major airlines confirmed they would suspend some or all flights to China, including United Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Airlines, and Lufthansa.

Meanwhile, the United States flew 195 of its citizens back home from Wuhan, and they are currently in isolation at a military base in California. Japan also evacuated its citizens, finding that three tested positive for the virus, said the Japanese government on Thursday, reported AFP. There are now 14 confirmed coronavirus cases in Japan, and two patients showed no symptoms, said officials.

The U.S. Statement Department has placed U.S. diplomatic staff and their families in China on “authorized departure,” meaning they are permitted to leave the country amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Sean Walton is a researcher and journalist for The Daily Sheeple, where this article first appeared. Send tips to sean.walton@thedailysheeple.com.

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Avoid Burnout Before You’re Already Burned

If you’re feeling tired, cranky, stressed out and overwhelmed, you’re likely heading quickly down the slippery slope to burnout. Burnout, which is a term used to describe physical or emotional exhaustion that’s typically the result of prolonged stress or frustration,1 is a common human condition, but definitely not a desirable one.

 A 2018 Gallup study of nearly 7,500 full-time employees found that 23% feel burned out at work always or very often, while another 44% said they sometimes feel burned out. That amounts to about two-thirds of full-time employees feeling burnout while they’re at work.2 Yet, work is only one route to burnout.

Other areas of life, such as control, reward, community, fairness and values3 — and how well each of these is served in your life — also correlate with burnout, some of which are more easily tackled and changed than others. Perhaps the best lesson on burnout, however, is to take action against it before it has consumed you.

Once you’re officially burned out, it can be hard to dig yourself out of the hole. But if you make proactive changes ahead of time, on a regular basis and certainly if you feel yourself start to slide downhill, you may be able to avoid burnout entirely, staying emotionally and physically strong instead.

Three Anti-Burnout Foundations: Sleep, Diet and Exercise

Taking care of your body on a physical level is the foundation of avoiding burnout, and this starts with the three pillars of health: proper sleep, diet and exercise. Data from the U.S. CDC suggests one-third of U.S. adults are not getting the recommended seven hours of sleep each night,4 and most people likely need closer to eight hours to be healthy.

When you don’t sleep, your mood, productivity and inclination to make positive lifestyle choices can suffer, and your body’s ability to handle stress will be impaired. Poor sleep lessens a person’s self-control, which in turn increases the rate of selfish impulses leading to unwanted behaviors — even workplace theft.5

Insufficient sleep, in fact, predicts clinical burnout and combines with other risk factors, namely preoccupation with thoughts of work during leisure time and high work demands, to increase burnout risk.6

Not only is getting proper sleep important to avoiding burnout but it can also help you recover from burnout once it occurs.7 What you eat is also fundamentally important. A healthy diet that optimizes mitochondrial function and limits inflammation will bolster your body’s ability resilience and ability to ward off stress, providing you with the energy for physical and mental strength.

Optimizing your omega-3, vitamin D and magnesium levels can also help reduce stress and positively impact brain health. Exercise is the third essential to avoiding burnout, and exercising three to five days a week for 45 minutes has been suggested as the “sweet spot” that leads to the greatest mental health gains.8

In a large study involving 1.2 million U.S. adults, participants reported their activity levels for one month along with rating their mental well-being. On average, people who exercised reported 1.5 fewer days of poor mental health in the past month compared to those who did not.9

This may be, in part, because exercise has been found to create new neurons designed to release the GABA neurotransmitter, which inhibits excessive neuronal firing, helping to induce a natural state of calm.10

Align Your Life With Your Personality

If you’re living a lifestyle that’s contradictory to your true personality or values, it can also cause mental fatigue and anguish, facilitating burnout. In The New York Times, Robert L. Bogue, co-author of “Extinguish Burnout: A Practical Guide to Prevention and Recovery,” explained:11

“Self-care is dependent on the individual. It is based on what helps them to feel more like they’re in their natural state, which is the thing, place or feeling that would happen if there were no pressure on them — the thing they would want to do.

When you’re operating outside of your natural state, you are consuming energy. The more in alignment you become, the less you’re demanding of yourself and the more personal agency you build up.”

Toward this end, it’s important to take time to recharge in the way that feels right to you. For some, recharging may require spending time with others while some people can only regroup via solitude. Along these lines, prioritize activities that make you feel energized while avoiding those that drag you down.

This likely means you’ll need to learn to say “no” and make a point to engage in activities that make you happy and create “flow.” Flow, according to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, is the secret to happiness and occurs when you are completely absorbed in an activity (often one that involves creativity).12

When you’re immersed in flow, your sense of time becomes distorted because nearly all of your brain’s available inputs are devoted to the activity at hand, Csikszentmihalyi states. If you’re depressed and unable to fully give your attention to the present moment, and as a result find time is agonizingly slow, mindfulness-based therapies may be very helpful, particularly in cases of a depressed perception of time.13

As Csikszentmihalyi said, “The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times … The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”14

Taking the time to pursue such moments can be a key to avoiding the burned out feeling that comes from excessive time spent on activities you do not enjoy or which drain you of mental and physical energy.

Work With Your Reality

To some extent, you have to learn to be happy and manage stress within your existing reality. You can take steps to start a new career or otherwise change aspects of your life that are contributing to burnout, but in the immediacy it’s important to, at a bare minimum, use strategies to control your day-to-day work stress. This may include meditation, exercise or time with family and friends.

Ideally, find work that suits your personality and gives you meaning and purpose, but if you don’t have that, remember that you can find purpose in nonwork pursuits including volunteering and hobbies. Elizabeth Grace Saunders, a time management coach and author of “The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment, How to Invest Your Time Like Money, and Divine Time Management,” wrote in The New York Times:15

“Another alternative is to stop expecting satisfaction in these areas within your job and, instead, seek opportunities outside of work that fulfill these core needs. For example, maybe you volunteer with an organization where you feel appreciated, find the activities intrinsically rewarding, have values alignment and a strong sense of community.

Or maybe you invest time in your family or friends to cultivate a feeling of belonging, fulfillment and autonomy. When you’re ‘filled up’ by how you invest your time outside of work, and you feel supported by people who know and care about you, you have a buffer against the drain that may exist in the office.

You may not have the ability to change everything you don’t like about your job, but you do have the ability to improve how good you feel about yourself and life in general.”

Foster Self-Acceptance

Self-acceptance is an important part of psychological health and involves accepting all of your attributes, both positive and negative. “Self-acceptance enables an individual to appropriately evaluate his/her efficient and inefficient features and accept any negative aspects as parts of their personality,” researchers wrote in the journal PLOS One.16

Self-acceptance includes three main attitudes, including love for your body, even if you’re not completely satisfied with your weight, fitness level or any other physical attribute. It also involves the ability to protect yourself from others’ negative judgments, such that you don’t let it phase you if other people judge you.

Self-acceptance also involves recognizing and appreciating your own capabilities and believing in yourself. People who have high levels of self-acceptance tend to also have higher levels of self-esteem and interpersonal satisfaction. They’re also less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, eating disorders and obesity.17

In the video above, Julie Schiffman demonstrates a simple technique to help you love and accept yourself — something most of us can benefit from. Schiffman is a practitioner of the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), which is a form of psychological acupressure that involves tapping with the fingertips on specific meridians in order to clear negative emotions and thought patterns. This is but one way to bring more self-love into your life, akin to giving your inner critic a giant bear hug.

How to Heal Burnout

Preventing burnout is easier than recovering from it, but it’s possible to get better by focusing on balance in key areas of your life, namely physical, spiritual, work and relationship aspects of your life. First, it’s important to be aware of the signs of burnout and take action as soon as (or ideally before) they occur:18

  • Physical exhaustion, signaled by chronic fatigue, insomnia, forgetfulness, impaired concentration, inattentiveness, physical illness and loss of appetite
  • Emotional exhaustion, a “feeling of internal collapse,” loss of perspective, detachment, irritability, frequent anger, loss of enjoyment, pessimism, increasing isolation, apathy and hopelessness
  • Reduced performance and productivity despite best efforts, loss of self-esteem, feeling like a failure
  • Depression

Burnout predicts a number of physical and psychological effects as well, including the following, which highlights the importance of preventing and healing from this deleterious condition:19

Type 2 diabetes

Coronary heart disease

Hospitalization due to cardiovascular disorder

Musculoskeletal pain

Changes in pain experience

Prolonged fatigue

Headaches

Gastrointestinal issues

Respiratory problems

Severe injuries

Mortality before the age of 45 years

Insomnia

Depressive symptoms

Use of psychotropic and antidepressant medications

Hospitalization for mental disorders

Job dissatisfaction

Absenteeism at work

In the interview above, Dr. Joseph Maroon, professor of neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and author of “Square One: A Simple Guide to a Balanced Life,” speaks on the topic of burnout — something he, too, once struggled with.

He explains that recovering from burnout (or avoiding it in the first place) boils down to finding and maintaining a balance between your work life, physical activities, relationships and spirituality or mindfulness. Only by nurturing all aspects of life can you feel truly fulfilled and centered, so if you find yourself feeling off balance, place your attention on the areas you’ve been neglecting. As Maroon noted:

“The point is we can’t escape adversity. We can’t escape stress. But what happened to me is I didn’t recognize how bad off I was in a unidimensional [all work] life.

I didn’t recognize it until I was working at a truck stop as a pump jockey … I think the most important thing I missed was mindfulness. I didn’t have insight into where I was; insight on how I got there, when everything was lost.”

Likewise, Saunders also suggests following your inner truth as a key to fulfillment: “By investing your time based on the truth of your body, personality and reality, you can reduce your risk of burnout.”20

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How Sugar Changes Your Brain Chemistry

If you’re like most people, chances are you’re consuming unhealthy amounts of sugar on a regular basis. Even if you’re not big on candy, most processed foods will provide you with an excessive amount of added sugars.

As noted in the BBC One report “The Truth About Sugar,” a serving of Pad Thai noodles contains 9.5 teaspoons of sugar and a package of sweet and sour chicken with rice contains 12.5 teaspoons, which is more than a can of soda.

A can of baked beans contains 6 teaspoons of sugar, which would ideally be your grand total for the day, so it’s important to realize that it’s not merely cakes, cookies, candy and ice cream that get people into trouble.

Even many baby foods contain shocking amounts of sugar,1,2 which can set your child on the path of lifelong sugar addiction and the health problems that go along with it. The idea that sugar is addictive is not new. A number of studies have shown it acts much like other addictive substances.

One of the latest studies looking at the addictive potential of sugar was published in the November 2019 issue of Scientific Reports,3,4,5,6,7 in which they point out that “Excessive sucrose consumption elicits addiction-like craving that may underpin the obesity epidemic.”

Sugar Alters Your Brain Chemistry

By using PET imaging along with beta-opioid and dopamine receptor agonists, the researchers were able to show how sucrose affects the brain chemistry in miniature pigs. The miniature pigs were chosen for the fact that they have well-defined subcortical and prefrontal cortical regions, which “enable a more direct translation to human brain function.” As explained by the authors:8

After 12 days of sucrose access, BPND [non-displaceable binding potentials] of both tracers had declined significantly in striatum, nucleus accumbens, thalamus, amygdala, cingulate cortex and prefrontal cortex, consistent with down-regulation of receptor densities … The lower availability of opioid and dopamine receptors may explain the addictive potential associated with intake of sucrose.”

Even a single exposure to sucrose produced as much as a 14% decrease in carfentanil (a beta-opioid receptor agonist) binding in the nucleus accumbens and cingulate cortex, which is consistent with opioid release.

In more layman terms, sugar consumption triggers the release of natural opioids and dopamine in your brain, thus lowering the availability of those receptors. Reduced receptor availability is a sign of overstimulation, as when your brain gets overstimulated, it downregulates the receptors in order to protect your brain from damage.

The drawback of this protective mechanism is that you now need a higher dose of the substance to get the same pleasure response, and this is a key mechanism by which addiction develops.

You can learn more about the mechanics of addiction in my interview with Dr. Pamela Peeke, author of “The Hunger Fix: The Three-Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction.”

Sugar Affects Your Brain Like Other Addictive Drugs

Figure 4 from the Scientific Reports study shows how carfentanil binding potential changed from baseline levels over the course of 12 days. Figure 6 shows the change in raclopride, a selective antagonist on dopamine receptors.9

Figure 4: Regional analysis of carfentanil bonding potential between baseline and after 12 days of sucrose water exposure.

Figure 4

Figure 6: Regional analysis of raclopride bonding potential between baseline and after 12 days of sucrose water exposure.

Figure 6

According to the authors, “The results clearly demonstrate that sucrose affects reward mechanisms in a manner similar to that of drugs of abuse.”10 In the discussion section of the paper, they further explain:

“The intake of sucrose as a palatable substance is known to release DA [dopamine] and induce dependency in rodents, with sucrose shown to be even more pleasurable than cocaine in rodents in certain contexts. Thus, rodents work more intensely to obtain sucrose than cocaine, even in the absence of food deprivation.

However, the effects of sucrose are regulated both by the homeostatic system and by hedonic reward circuits that may mediate the distinction between nutritional and hedonic aspects of sucrose action.

We opted for a one-hour per day schedule in order to promote ‘binging’ … Behavioral studies of food intake often target food-restricted animals, but the design may not necessarily reflect the same neural mechanisms active in obesity. Pigs in the present study were not food restricted and were fed the usual amounts of their normal diet in addition to access to sucrose.

Opioid receptors (OR) are widely expressed in the brain, specifically in structures known to modulate eating and reward processes. ORs have been shown to be important in the rewarding and relapsing effects of cocaine … Previous studies have shown that palatable food can lead to feelings of pleasure by stimulating opioid release.

After 12 days of sucrose access, we observed decreased carfentanil binding, which has several possible explanations, including endogenous opioid release and binding to μOR [beta-opioid receptors], μOR internalization as a result of increased opioid binding, and increased DA D2/3 receptor activation leading to heterologous desensitization of μOR …

In a study of acute feeding behavior in healthy men, feeding led to robust and widespread endogenous cerebral opioid release, both in the presence and absence of hedonia, suggesting that opioid release reflects metabolic and homeostatic, as well as hedonic, responses.”

Other Brain Changes Triggered by Excessive Sugar

Other research has shown daily sugar consumption impairs spatial memory and inhibits neurogenesis in the hippocampus, a brain area involved in learning and memory processes.11

Research12 on rats has also shown a high-sugar diet tends to alter inhibitory neurons in the prefrontal cortex, where decision-making and impulse control are centered. Aside from impaired impulse control and the inability to delay gratification, this alteration may also increase the risk of mental health problems in children and adolescents. As noted in a 2015 study:13

“We found that sucrose-exposed rats failed to show context-appropriate responding … indicative of impairments in prefrontal cortex function. Sucrose exposed rats also showed deficits in an on object-in-place recognition memory task, indicating that both prefrontal and hippocampal function was impaired.

Analysis of brains showed a reduction in expression of parvalbumin-immunoreactive GABAergic interneurons in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, indicating that sucrose consumption during adolescence induced long-term pathology, potentially underpinning the cognitive deficits observed.

These results suggest that consumption of high levels of sugar-sweetened beverages by adolescents may also impair neurocognitive functions affecting decision-making and memory, potentially rendering them at risk for developing mental health disorders.”

Eliminating Sugar Is a Quick Route to Improved Health

Needless to say, a high-sugar diet will also take a toll on your health by packing on unwanted pounds, and the pace can be remarkably rapid. As noted in the BBC program, “The Truth About Sugar” (hyperlinked at the beginning of this article), drinking three cups of tea or coffee per day with 2 teaspoons of sugar added to each cup can result in a 9.9-pound weight gain (4.5 kilos) in a single year, provided you don’t increase your physical activity to burn off the extra calories.

When you consider that most consume five or six times more added sugar than that each day, it’s easy to see how obesity has become more the norm than the exception.

The World Health Organization recommends limiting your daily sugar consumption to 10% of your total intake, or better yet, 5%, which equates to about 6 teaspoons or 25 grams, if you want to really optimize your health.14

The good news is research15,16,17 shows reducing added sugars from an average of 27% of daily calories down to about 10% can improve biomarkers associated with health in as little as 10 days — even when overall calorie count and percentage of carbohydrates remains the same.

While this sounds simple enough, it can be tricky business if your diet consists primarily of processed foods. According to SugarScience.org, added sugars hide in 74% of processed foods under more than 60 different names. For a full list, please see SugarScience.org’s “Hidden in Plain Sight” page.18

When you’re trying to avoid sugar, you need to avoid any and all of these, as they all have similar effects, although processed fructose — such as high fructose corn syrup — tends to have the most adverse health effects and is a primary driver of obesity and diabetes.19

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How to Break Your Sugar Addiction

If you find yourself struggling with sugar cravings, intermittent fasting can help. For optimal results, you’ll want to replace the calories from sugar and non-vegetable carbs with vegetables and healthy fats, as this will help reset your body’s metabolism, allowing it to effectively burn fat for fuel again. When sugar is not needed for your primary fuel and when your sugar stores run low, your body will crave it less.

Another helpful technique, which addresses the emotional component of food cravings, is the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). If you maintain negative thoughts and feelings about yourself while trying to take physical steps to improve your health and body, you’re unlikely to succeed.

While traditional psychological approaches may sometimes work, EFT has shown to be a far better, not to mention inexpensive, solution. If you feel that your emotions, or your own self-image, may be your own worst enemy when it comes to altering your relationship with food, I highly recommend you read my free EFT manual and consider trying EFT on your own.

A version of EFT specifically geared toward combating sugar cravings is called Turbo Tapping. For further instructions, please see The Epoch Times article, “Turbo Tapping: How to Get Rid of Your Soda Addiction.”20

My previous article, “EFT: Tapping for Weight Loss” also offers helpful guidance. To get an idea of how it works, see the video below, in which EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman demonstrates how to use EFT to fight food cravings of all kinds.

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Coronavirus Fears – Protect Yourself and Boost Immunity With These 10 Methods

By Dr. Scott Graves

You may have already heard the news about the coronavirus that started in Wuhan, China. It is reported that dozens of people have died from viral pneumonia and thousands more are infected. They even have quarantined cities totaling 50 million+ people.

Viral pneumonia can occur when an initial cold virus worsens and causes air sacs in your lungs to fill with fluids or pus, making it hard to breathe. Symptoms can include chest pain, cough with phlegm (yellow or green), fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and shortness of breath.

Here is what is important to know about this virus. First, let’s get some perspective. Remember the swine flu and Ebola viruses? Many people panicked and the mainstream media spread fear throughout the world. Fortunately, neither of these viruses amounted to anything at that time. Many people don’t know that on average 30,000 people die every year in the USA from complications to colds and flus leading to pneumonia. This is especially tragic with infants and the elderly (over age 65) being the most susceptible due to compromised or weakened immunity. Could the hype with this coronavirus be just that…hype? We don’t know yet, but I urge you not to buy into the fear peddled around by the mainstream media. Don’t give your inner power away to fear. Instead, be reassured that knowledge is power and there are many things you can do to be ready and to powerfully support your immune function.

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What that being said, it is very wise to be armed and ready during flu season. The worst months of flu season are January and February, historically. A coronavirus is part of a family of viruses that typically causes the common cold, but can be more severe at times. The virus is spread through respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing and close contact. You also can be infected and not have any symptoms.

Here is my list of things to do to make sure that your immune system stays strong during this flu season.

1 – Wash your hands frequently but not obsessively (from fear). Please use organic soap. I suggest not using non-organic soaps and hand sanitizers due to them containing triclosan, parabens, synthetic fragrances, and alcohol, which are toxic and STRESS the immune system. My favorite organic hand soap is Dr. Bronners, which smells divine. Our obsession with germ-killing items has bred antibiotic-resistant bacteria around the world. We should not fear viruses and bacteria; instead, we should learn how to let go of our fears. Being in a state of fear severely weakens immune response.

2 – Many people don’t get a cold or the flu each year. Only 10% of the population gets sick with the flu every year. The flu is more severe than the common cold. An adult gets around 2 colds per year on average. What are the factors that separate people who get a cold or flu versus those who don’t? Rather than believing we “catch” a cold or flu, instead take the road of personal responsibility and realize that behaviors and habits we have (fear and stress) can lower our immunity for opportunistic pathogens to affect us. I personally am around many people who are sick every year in the clinic and I haven’t gotten a full-blown cold in 9 years.

3 – Immunity is compromised by eating foods that lower immunity, nutritional deficiencies and stress. Foods that lower immunity the most are refined sugar (even just a little), dairy products (yogurt, cow’s milk, cheese), GMO wheat, GMO corn, GMO soy, GMO canola (fried food), alcohol (even wine), pork and artificial sweeteners like Splenda. Sugar is perhaps the worst offender and can lower immune function by up to 33% for 24 hours.

4 – Make sure you are eating lots of nutrient-dense foods that support immunity including at least 3 servings (cups) of both vegetables and fruits per day and whole, unprocessed organic food. I recommend juicing vegetables with a juicer.

5 – Taking mega amounts (upwards of 30-60,000mgs per day or more) of vitamin C can often stop a cold or flu dead in its tracks. Start taking high amounts upon noticing first symptoms. This journal article outlines how to take the vitamin C. It is important to have vitamin C on hand AHEAD of time, before initial symptoms appear. The kind of vitamin C I recommend is found here. Otherwise, for an adult, it is safe to take 5,000mgs every day to prevent cold/flu and keep your immune system strong. The scientific studies they have done stating that taking vitamin C doesn’t help were done with less than 1,000mgs per day, which I can tell you will do almost nothing to cold or flu symptoms.

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6 – Taking mega amounts of zinc when you get first symptoms can also stop a cold/flu in its tracks. I suggest Good State Liquid Zinc Sulfate. Make sure you have this on hand AHEAD of time. Take 2 droppers full every four hours during the day. Repeat this for 3 days and go to one dropper full every day until symptoms disappear. You can also take a little zinc every day as a regular supplement.

7 – Taking mega amounts of vitamin D is also a powerful and inexpensive way to stop a cold/flu in its tracks. For example, one doctor reported giving his patients the vitamin D hammer who have influenza. This consists of a one-time 50,000IU dose daily or 10,000IU three times daily for 2 to 3 days. The results may be dramatic with complete resolution of symptoms in 48 to 72 hours. I have seen powerful results from this in the clinic as well. Make sure you have this on hand AHEAD of time. Most people are very deficient in vitamin D and it is very safe to take in large amounts. I recommend NOW Vitamin D3 – 5000IU. You can also take vitamin D every day as a regular supplement.

8 – Regular consumption of warming herbs during the winter can be very helpful including cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, ginger, garlic, fennel seeds. In the clinic I also use Immuplex and Congaplex from Standard Process to boost immunity and provide support while one has cold or flu symptoms. They are very powerful tools as well. Chinese medicine also has many herbal formulas for boosting immune function.

9 – Many people don’t know that acupuncture is a powerful way to strengthen the immune system and powerfully deal with colds and the flu. Get acupuncture regularly, but especially get it when you get first symptoms (runny nose, sore or itchy throat, congestion, headache, body ache, etc).

10 – Stress is one of the main depressors of immune function, especially fear and anger. One of the best tools that can help you to deal powerfully with stress is either tapping or The Sedona Method. I highly recommend using either one. You can also meditate daily for incredible learned relaxation. I suggest listening to this guided meditation every day for the next 60 days. Meditation is life changing.

We don’t have to fear this coronavirus or cold and flu season. Eating good clean organic foods, avoiding immune lowering foods and having some vitamin C, zinc and vitamin D ready during the cold and flu season can do wonders for increasing your immune function. Also, by learning how to relax in our stressful world can do wonders for our immune system. With these tools you will be armed and ready for cold and flu season.


Note: “Links to products in this post are through Amazon’s affiliate program. Dr. Scott Graves is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. The products are exactly the same cost as you would find through a regular amazon.com search.”

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The Ugly Face of Beauty: Is Child Labor The Foundation For Your Makeup?

By Kalee Brown

  • The Facts: Russia Today reported that 20,000 Indian children work in Jharkhand’s illegal mica mines, working toward extracting this product for people’s makeup and beauty products all over the world.
  • Reflect On: Children literally risk their lives for unfair wages (on average they make $3 per day) just so we can give a more shimmery appearance to our skin. Have you looked for better alternatives? Because they are out there.

Whether it’s being applied to our eyes, our faces, or our bodies in general, shimmery beauty products have been on the rise for decades. It may be less common to see sparkles all over people’s faces, but they’re still popular, especially the ones that claim to produce the illusion of a “natural glow.” And with the world’s latest obsession with “highlighter,” shimmery makeup is back in style and being applied to millions of people’s faces all over the world.

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Not only are many of these products extremely toxic for our skin, but the way in which they’re made is unethical as well. Glittery products such as those produced by L’Oréal and Estée Lauder often require mica, which is typically mined in India. However, children as young as five work in these illegal mines in dangerous conditions.

Your beauty products may range from $5-$50 in price, but the true cost of these items are the unethical conditions behind their production as well as the health risks they pose to your body.

Russia Today reported that 20,000 Indian children work in Jharkhand’s illegal mica mines, working toward extracting this product for people’s makeup and beauty products all over the world. They literally risk their lives for unfair wages (on average they make $3 per day) just so we can give a more shimmery appearance to our skin.

Inhaling the dust from mica mining can cause a variety of health problems, including cancer and tuberculosis. It’s no secret that the medical industry in India isn’t as advanced or affordable as it is in North America, so many of these health problems could result in death for these workers.

You can learn more in the following Russia Today video:



For more specific information on the production of mica, check out their shorter video.

Health Risks of Shimmery Beauty Products

As outlined in the above videos, mica has been linked to a variety of problems when inhaled, including lung cancer and tuberculosis. However, it’s not just the workers in these mines who are at risk of developing health problems from inhaling mica.

Mica is small enough that even though it’s in your makeup, the particles can be inhaled as they float through the air. You’re at even greater risk when applying mineral-based makeup, which is often marketed as a “more natural alternative.” Although there’s not nearly enough research to identify how carcinogenic mica is when inhaled, it’s obviously not going to be very good for your body.

This gives an entirely new meaning to the saying “beauty is pain,” because even if it’s not contributing to your own health decline (which it probably is given the toxic chemicals used in many beauty products), it’s still contributing to the pain and suffering of others. So, next time you’re purchasing a glittery beauty product, remember that the numbers on the price tag don’t reflect the true cost of these products.

Related CE Article:

What Happens To Your Skin When You Switch or Stop Using Cosmetics 


Article source: Collective Evolution

Kalee Brown — I work full time as a writer & in social media at Collective Evolution. My education background is in business, economics, accounting & environmental studies. I am extremely passionate about environmental sustainability, yoga, health, veganism, and animal rights. Please feel free to reach out to me by email at kalee@collective-evolution.com or on linkedin

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