Mind Potion Network
Sunday, 30 March 2014
Beyond positive thinking - The harmony of thoughts, beliefs, inner feelings and actions
Mood:  bright
Topic: Hypnosis & Psychology

What role can positive thinking have on our reality?

More importantly, how do you feel about positive thinking?

If you feel that positive thinking has little influence on reality, if you believe that positive people are fake people, that positivity is all for dreamers who can't face reality, then you do not understand the power of thought, belief, feeling, and action working together to attract positive results.

Positive thinking will fail you if your desires are not clear and in harmony with your belief and action. You have a unique ability to attract both positivity and negativity. If you want a life of purpose and joy, you have to think beyond what is in front of you and truly believe in the invisible. New results are attainable, attractable, achievable.

When thoughts, beliefs feelings and actions come together in unity, your own reality can be manifested. A positive thought can attract similar positive energy when your feelings and actions align with it. What is holding you back in your spirit?

The importance of how you feel about the outcome

If you feel that the outcome is impossible, then it will always be just that - impossible. You set the limits. You can accept a new universe of faith and explore the infinite, if you let it happen. It's not what happens to you that determines your reality. It's what you do about it. You can change your world for the better.

The power of positive thinking is connected to how strongly you feel about the desired result. Passion can guide that feeling, taking a thought and creating a reality through dedicated belief and an unrelenting feeling of commitment to the goal. The power of positive thinking comes from more than just the bantering of positive words and phrases. Saying positive words is nice, but if you don't feel good intentions behind what you say, if you don't believe that the positive words will have an impact, then those positive musings may have little to no effect at all on your life. Turn words into positive affirmations.

Acting out in faith

Boldly acting in faith, always pressing forward with committed energy, will carve a new destiny, moving stubborn mountains.

Action must be taken to make a positive thought and a strong feeling react and move into existence. Actions must be backed by endurance, as you move forward despite opposition. Your dream may meet many different forces of negative, opposing energy. Continuous forward movement will push you through the struggles. Don't focus on the struggle. When something doesn't work out the way you planned, always believe that something better is about to be attracted.

Learning how to manipulate reality

Reality can be deceptive. In a way, you can manipulate your current circumstances and change your reality by giving thanks. Many times our thought patterns can attract the same life circumstances over and over again because we are constantly disgusted with the result. Instead, be thankful. In order to manipulate what we see and change it all for the better, we must learn to envision something completely different. To change the course, we must then feel strongly about the fruition, showing and thinking with no doubt. Finally, we must move in ways that correspond to the manifestation of that thought.

- Looking for a soul mate? Go out of your way to include them in your life and be thankful that they are there, even if they don't exist.

- Want to be a more generous man of wealth? It's time to stop thinking that you live paycheck to paycheck. Start giving more to the deserving in preparation for who you are to become.

- Want to be healthy? Start thinking, feeling and acting the way healthy people do. Hang out with them and do what they do.

About the author:

Inspired by powerful changes in he and his family's own health, Lance Johnson is excited about the future of nutrition, cellular detoxification, and organic products. As an avid, everyday learner and researcher, Lance believes real health opportunities exist outside of the mainstream medical industry. Passionate, he has begun creating an all natural products movement from the ground up at: www.allnaturalfreespirit.com

Learn more: naturalnews.com

Posted by mindpotion Network at 00:01 MEST
Updated: Sunday, 30 March 2014 02:17 MEST
Monday, 17 March 2014
The miracle perspective that puts problems in their place
Mood:  cool
Topic: Hypnosis & Psychology

For decades, NLP practitioners have been teaching a simple yet profound "miracle" technique that puts problems in perspective and leads to solid, healthy choices. This method is so simple and powerful that most people wonder how it ever escaped them.

And now, it is validated by scientific research.

The NLP technique called visual dissociation is one of our students' favorite modules at the iNLP Center's online NLP training school.

Recent scientific research has finally proven this method and shown how helpful it can be. Of course, NLP is never mentioned in the study, but NLP practitioners are used to that!

Researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of California, Berkley have found that psychological distance (achieved through visual dissociation) may indeed be the solution. According to a series of studies conducted by psychologists Ethan Kross and Ozlem Ayduk, analyzing upset feelings from a psychologically distanced perspective provides a number of benefits.

According to Kross, most people aren't very good at analyzing their feelings. Mentally eviewing mistakes and negative emotions usually causes us to experience the negative emotions over and over again. Taking a psychologically distanced perspective can decrease this phenomenon and lead you to real freedom and choice.

Summary of the research

In 2008, Kross and Ayduk conducted a study that randomly assigned 141 test subjects to three groups. Groups were given different strategies to deal with negative emotional experiences. In the immersed-analysis group participants were asked to relive the situation.

In the distance-analysis group participants were asked to take a few steps back and view the situation objectively, and in the distraction group participants were asked to think of facts unrelated to their experience.

The study found that in the short term, both distraction and distance-analysis proved effective for dealing with depressive emotions. However, over the long term, those who used the distanced-analysis approach reported continued lower levels of depression than those in any other method.These effects appear to combat the negative physical effects of strong negative emotions as well.

In a related study, Kross and Ayduk found that participants who used distance-analysis strategies to examine feelings of anger experienced smaller blood pressure increases than those who used a more self-centric approach.

How to take a distant view, specifically

Getting distance is easy once you identify the internal image - the picture in your mind - that represents a particular problem. Think of one right now (a mild problem, please - such as a brief disagreement, having to wait in a long line, or feeling upset at your kids, etc...)

Now, notice the image in your mind the represents this situation and any feelings that go along with it. Next "push" the image off into the mental distance. Simply imagine this unpleasant image moving away from you until you can see yourself in it, as well as the larger context (other people, the setting, etc...)

Move the image far enough away that you begin to experience it as if you were an objective observer, as if you could say to yourself, "Those people over there are having a problem." Don't move it so far away that you can no longer see it, though. This is not about ignoring or repressing a problem, but taking a larger perspective.

Once you achieve inner distance from the problem, you can ask yourself useful questions, such as:

1. What can I learn from this?
2. What are my options?
3. How do I avoid this in the future?

Try it!

Interestingly, naturally optimistic people tend to distance themselves in this way from negative experiences, while keeping positive experiences close. Natural pessimists tend to do the opposite. Pessimists tend to remember negative events up close and personal, while distancing themselves from positive memories.

If you have a hard time creating the distance, then you may be more psychologically attached to the negativity than you thought. Psychological attachments lead to self-sabotage by clinging to negativity, pessimism, self-doubt, rejection, deprivation and more. In this case, you should discover your attachments and uproot them. You can start by watching this free video.

If you like this article, then like my Facebook Page to keep up with all my writing.

About the author:

Watch the free video The AHA! Process: An End to Self-Sabotage and discover the lost keys to personal transformation and emotional well-being that have been suppressed by mainstream mental health for decades.

The information in this video has been called the missing link in mental health and personal development. In a world full of shallow, quick-fix techniques, second rate psychology and pharmaceutical takeovers, real solutions have become nearly impossible to find. Click here to watch the presentation that will turn your world upside down.

Mike Bundrant is co-founder of the iNLP Center and host of Mental Health Exposed, a Natural News Radio program.

Learn more: naturalnews.com

Posted by mindpotion Network at 00:01 MEST
Updated: Monday, 17 March 2014 02:16 MEST
Monday, 3 March 2014
Can Silence Actually Drive You Crazy?
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: Hypnosis & Psychology

Many stories have circulated claiming the longest anyone has stayed in an ultra-quiet anechoic chamber is 45 minutes, the reason being any longer would drive you insane. To me this sounded like unsubstantiated rubbish, like the claim the Great Wall is the only manmade structure visible from space. So I put my own psyche on the line, subjecting myself to over an hour of the most intense quiet on Earth.

No, this was not THE quietest room on Earth (-9dB) but it is one of the quietest, and the truth is once you put a person inside, they are by far the loudest thing in there so the sound rating of the room is irrelevant.


Posted by mindpotion Network at 00:01 CET
Updated: Monday, 3 March 2014 18:59 CET
Thursday, 20 February 2014
6 ways remaining silent can ruin your life
Mood:  happy
Topic: Hypnosis & Psychology

In 1923 Rudyard Kipling addressed the Royal College of Surgeons in London. In that famous speech (which most physicians today really need to read) Kipling said the following:

Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind. Not only do words infect, egotize, narcotize, and paralyze, but they enter into and colour the minutest cells of the brain. . . .

Kipling understood the immense power of words to influence and change mind and body. Just like drugs.

At the time Kipling spoke, another leader was on the way to power. Adolf Hitler also understood the extraordinary power of words, using hypnotic language to persuade an entire culture toward hatred, war and willingness to look the other way.

Words so often are the source of hope and healing, as well as destruction and death. Consider the timeless words, spoken thousands of years ago, that still ring in our hearts and minds today: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

These words, often attributed to Jesus, are responsible for stirring the conscience of countless millions.

Words can destroy. Words can heal.

Unspoken words can lead to misery and pain

Words retain their power even when they remain unspoken. Because the meaning packaged in words can alter anyone's life in an instant, you need to be thoughtful about how you communicate. Refusing to express yourself through words, however, can create a burden on your psyche from which there is little relief.

Your unspoken message rings in your own soul as long as it is unexpressed. If that message is one of pain, then you suffer in isolated misery. However, because words have consequences, it's remains dilemma for many: To speak or not to speak?

You should learn to speak up, and do it maturity and care.

Here are six reasons to speak up and four resources you'll need to do so:

1. Unexpressed words make room for evil and wrongdoing

As long as you withhold, you are essentially consenting to whatever is going on. When you disagree, but remain silent, you may portray yourself as one who agrees. When others do wrong and you say nothing, you are colluding with the wrongdoer. When you are the one being mistreated, you mistreat yourself by not speaking up. Countless millions allow themselves to be used or taken advantage of in this way.

2. Unspoken words cause old wounds to fester

Old hurts fester when they are kept inside and words are the vehicle that transports those wounds out of your mind and body. Keeping your feelings inside is just that - trapping them in your body. Words are perhaps the best way to express feelings, putting them into the stream of social consciousness so that they can be sorted and dealt with.

3. Remaining silent: A one-way ticket to loneliness

Words enable connection like nothing else. When you withhold your words, you refuse to allow others a chance to agree, disagree, support or withdraw from you. You may think you'd rather not risk others disagreeing, withdrawing or even rejecting you. However, as you reduce your risk of being rejected, you also eliminate the possibility of being accepted. The end result is loneliness. Nobody knows who you are.

4. Silence keeps you trapped in bad situations

Many are suffering poor treatment by others simply because they will not speak up. So often, when someone knows you are unhappy, he or she will change the circumstances for you so that you can get relief. This is not always the case, but if you never speak up, you'll never know.

5. Unspoken words create emotional distance

If you're feeling ill toward another person and you don't let them know, you'll likely keep your ill feelings and begin to act differently toward the other. Your actions will betray your silence, of course, and possibly lead to passive aggressive behavior on your part.

6. Staying silent can be selfish

Not participating in conversation, opening up and sharing yourself is self-centered. Of course, you may have a history of being hurt because you spoke up at one time. Even so, remaining silent is not the solution, as it prevents you from joining in with others who would like to hear what you have to say.

Four things you'll need to discover your unique voice

Finding your voice will change your life. If you don't believe you have the right or the confidence to speak up when you know you should, you'll suffer. If you resolve to develop confidence, you'll change through your words. Learning to speak your mind may involve:

1. Courage: It may all boil down the having the courage to confront the issue. It takes time to find your voice, and courage is the fuel you'll need to sustain you. Of course, when you begin to reap
the rewards that your unique voice has to offer, you will no longer need courage. Speaking up will be the obvious choice.

2. Good communication skills: Learning how to deliver your words with rapport, sympathy and clarity.

3. Letting go of old hurts: You may have unfinished business from the past that affects your present life. Learning to let go of these memories and emotions that still drive you is critical to freeing yourself. It can be done, but you may need help.

4. Self-control: Some people don't speak up because if they did, they might lose control of their emotions. They don't want to fly into a rage or sink into pain or despair that may never end. Learning to manage emotions - not fear them - is the key. This requires experience, education and practice in a safe environment.

Of course, if you already know that you need to speak up more often and know how to do it, yet somehow still refuse, then your silence may be a form of self-sabotage. In this case you must watch this free self-sabotage video. It will explain exactly how self-sabotage works and how to release yourself from its chains.

By Mike Bundrant

Read More - naturalnews.com

Posted by mindpotion Network at 00:01 CET
Updated: Thursday, 20 February 2014 01:08 CET
Wednesday, 5 February 2014
The Psychology of Fear
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: Hypnosis & Psychology

Although fear has been classified as an emotion by psychologists, it is a very basic human emotion and can be almost considered as a simple feeling. In fact if emotions comprise of feelings and bodily reactions, then fear would be the basic feeling component of anxiety or phobias as has been explained in the psychology of emotions. I prefer the use of fear as feeling rather than as an emotion and to explain this, it is important to distinguish between feelings and emotions in psychology. As of now this distinction is blurred and psychologists do not distinguish between feeling and emotion extensively.

Emotions are complex mental and physical processes as emotions involve feelings which are mental or psychological components and bodily reactions which are physical reactions. Thus feeling is an essential part of emotion. The simple feeling is purely psychological and does not involve bodily reactions and that is how fear which may or may not involve bodily reactions could be both a feeling and an emotion. For example fear of a student at the examination centre would be accompanied by bodily reactions such as rapid heart beats or flushed face, dilated pupils and so on. Although fear which could be a feeling component may be very simple and generalized and could be even unconscious without the presence of bodily reaction, although not as intense as anxiety which necessarily involves bodily reactions. Thus perhaps you are on stage and performing a play, you may not directly sense any bodily reaction and could be calm and normal but you may still harbour a feeling of fear as in some sort of uneasiness.

Fear could thus be both a feeling and an emotion yet fear as an entirely subjective or mental feeling component would be difficult to detect as it would not be accompanied by visible or noticeable physical reactions as in fear as an emotion. Anxiety on the other hand is considered a distinct internalized emotion as it arises internally from a perceived threat rather than fear which is due to external stimuli. Fear could be defined as an externalized emotion or feeling which may or may not be accompanied by bodily reactions and fear could be conscious or unconscious.

A psychology of fear would distinguish fear as an emotion and fear as a feeling, fear as conscious and fear as unconscious as well as fear with bodily reactions and fear without bodily reactions and fear in anxiety and fear in phobias. It would be important to understand why fear occurs and what are the bodily reactions when fear is a strong conscious emotion and how this differs from fear as a feeling which may not have bodily reactions and could be conscious but would more likely would be unconscious.

Say for example you have an unconscious fear of old haunted dilapidated houses and you repeatedly dream of events in such houses, the dream itself could cause some bodily reactions but it is not apparently obvious that the fear is causing the bodily reaction. So in this case, the fear itself is simply unconscious and a feeling which manifests in dreams and the dreams are associated with bodily reactions and not the fear. So here fear is a feeling rather than an emotion. Some psychologists would however argue that this “fear’ could simply be an undefined anxiety but since the psychologists would also identify the cause of the fear (or anxiety as they would say) which is a fear of haunted houses, this is still an externalized fear and not internalized anxiety. Fear is thus externalized whether it is a feeling or an emotion.

The distinction between feelings and emotions are like trying to distinguish between meteoroids and asteroids in outer space and the distinction would require very detailed analysis of the layers of the mind. At this point we do not have sufficient frameworks or scientific evidence that would help to make this distinction easy. Modern studies in consciousness have focused on this problem of feeling. As Thomas Nagel highlighted in his very famous paper “What is it like to be Bat?’ this subjective feeling of “what it is like to be’ is very important. With the study of consciousness, the subjective aspects of emotions are all important and although hardcore physicalists who believe that our minds are nothing but neuronal firings would ignore that an emotion would have a feeling aspect, studies in consciousness have proved that feeling or the subjective aspect of being is the core of being human.

However the topic being the psychology of fear, it is essential to understand why fear happens and what would be the therapeutic directions for fear. Fear could be characterized as a general unconscious feeling of unpleasantness or could be more complex emotion such as anxiety and externalized fear. Fear could also be phobias which are persistent pathological fears directed towards specific objects and situations. Phobias could be of spiders or heights and these are exaggerated or extreme forms of fear with severe bodily reactions, almost bordering on paranoid reactions. Fear could thus be revealed as severe emotions with bodily reactions, and can be manifested as anxiety or phobia, fear could also be a general feeling. In order to understand why fear happens we distinguish the types of fear:

Fear as Emotions - Fear when accompanied by bodily reactions would signify strong emotional response to a situation or an object or event. Since fear is internalized, fear would naturally begin with a feeling or a subjective component. This means the individual would first “feel’ afraid of the situation and then react to it. Such fear in which the individual is conscious of the emotion and reacts strongly to it is generally an emotional response and this sort of fear is thus manifested as a strong emotion.

Fear as Feeling - Fear could however be simply manifested as a subjective feeling, a sense of uneasiness or unconscious perception of some sort of danger or threat that may not evoke strong bodily reactions. Fear as feeling is thus unconsciously released in dreams, slips of tongue, lapses of attention etc.

Fear in Anxiety - Fear as a feeling could also be the subjective basis of anxiety as when internalized and even unexplained anxiety has a general feeling of fear. Anxiety thus also begins with a fear but this could be largely unconscious, internalized and more generalized. But anxiety has distinct bodily reactions and that is how anxiety differs from fear as a feeling.

Fear in Phobias – Fear in phobias consist of persistent pathological emotional response towards specific objects or events. The difference between anxiety and phobia is that phobias are always externalized whereas anxiety is internalized and fear again being externalized as an emotion or internalized as a feeling would be a part of both anxiety and phobias. However phobias are not emotions but pathological responses consisting of fear as a complex emotion and bodily reaction. Since phobias are compositions of emotions and strong reactions, the reactions are expressed in exaggerated forms in phobias so individuals with phobias would react in extreme ways and could develop a state of panic especially due to the extreme and uncontrollable bodily reactions.

In therapeutic treatment of psychology it will be necessary to understand the origin of fear and this could be done with neurological studies and studies of bodily reactions and mental states. Fear as simple feelings or complex emotional responses should be identified in specific situations and extensive fear could be studied in anxiety and phobia.

About the Author

Saberi Roy is a writer/poet/analyst/political commentator/psychologist and writes on science, arts, psychology, religions, politics and philosophy. She has Masters degrees in Philosophy (MA), in Psychology (MSc) and in Consciousness Studies with QM (MS).

Posted by mindpotion Network at 00:01 CET
Updated: Wednesday, 5 February 2014 01:08 CET
Tuesday, 28 January 2014
50 Percent of The Effectiveness of All Drugs Is Due To Placebo
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Hypnosis & Psychology

By Marco Torres

There’s no doubt that many medications work in the short-term to suppress symptoms. In fact, that’s all they do as they are incapable of addressing the underlying cause of disease. But even when a medication works, half of its impact on a patient is be due to one aspect of the placebo effect: the positive message that a doctor provides when prescribing the treatment, according to a new study.

Much of medicine is based on what is considered the strongest possible evidence: The placebo-controlled trial. The problem is that this foundation upon which much of medicine rests, has no standard.

The thinking behind relying on placebo-controlled trials is this: to be sure a treatment itself is effective, one needs to compare people whose only difference is whether or not they are taking the drug. Both groups should equally think they are on the drug — to protect against effects of factors like expectation. So study participants are allocated “randomly” to the drug or a “placebo” — a pill that might be mistaken for the active drug but is inert.

But, according to Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, this standard has a fundamental problem, “there isn’t anything actually known to be physiologically inert. On top of that, there are no regulations about what goes into placebos, and what is in them is often determined by the makers of the drug being studied, who have a vested interest in the outcome. And there has been no expectation that placebos’ composition be disclosed. At least then readers of the study might make up their own mind about whether the ingredients in the placebo might affect the interpretation of the study.”

Researchers are just starting to appreciate the power that the mind can have over the body, says Tor Wager, an assistant professor of psychology at Columbia University.

“An emerging idea right now is that belief in a placebo taps into processes in your brain that produce physical results that really shape how your body responds to things,” he says. “The brain has much more control over the body than we can voluntarily exert.”

As an example of this, Wager points to the body’s response to perceived threats.

“Say it’s late at night and everything is quiet and then suddenly you see someone outside, near a window,” he explains. “Your body starts to respond. Your pupils dilate. Your heart rate goes up. You start to sweat.”

The belief that something threatening is out there produces a host of physical responses that you have little control over. If you were told to calm down and turn off these sensations, you couldn’t, Wager says. “But if the belief changes — say, it turns out that it’s just your husband coming home — the physical response changes.”

A positive or negative effect of the placebo can lead to the misleading appearance of a negative or positive effect of the drug.

The placebo effect is a consciousness event, and more specifically an event in which consciousness and matter interact to change or transform a disease structure into a healing process or flow. At the level of reality at which this event takes place, it is not even possible to say that it is an interaction. This is a level at which consciousness-matter, or as it is more popularly known, mind-body, are not different but are a ‘stuff’, for want of a better word, which is not committed to either condition, yet is both.

Study Details

Researchers designed an elaborate study, in which 66 people suffering from migraine headaches were given either a placebo, or a common migraine drug called Maxalt. However, for each migraine attack the participants had during the study period, they were told something different. For example, they were told they were taking a placebo when they were actually taking Maxalt, or vice versa, and sometimes they were told the pill could be either Maxalt or a placebo.

The pain-relieving benefits of the migraine drug increased when patients were told they were taking an effective drug for the treatment of acute migraine. And when the identities of Maxalt tablets and placebo pills were switched, patients reported similar pain relief from placebo pills labeled as Maxalt as from Maxalt tablets labeled as a placebo, according to the study published today (Jan. 8) in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The results suggest that the information people have is as important as the effects of the drug in reducing pain, the researchers said.

“In many conditions, placebo effect is a big part of the effect of the drug,” said study researcher, Ted Kaptchuk, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. In the new study, 50 percent of the drug’s effect could be attributed to the placebo effect", he said.

This could equally work for any drug including vaccines. The relevance is not related to the drug itself but how it is presented to the patient. If a patient believe they are being protected from something, that belief system alone may a role in the drug’s effectivness.

“The more you give a positive message, the more a drug works. In this case, our message was just as important as the pharmacology of the drug,” Kaptchuk said.

In other words, patients may benefit from optimistic messages from their doctors, which may enhance the effectiveness of a good pharmaceutical, the researchers said.

“When doctors set patients’ expectations high, Maxalt [or, potentially, other migraine drugs] becomes more effective,” said study researcher Rami Burstein, a professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School. “Increased effectiveness means shorter migraine attacks and shorter migraine attacks mean that less medication is needed,” Burstein said.

Placebo Effect Can Be Activated Outside of Conscious Awareness

Described in an on-line issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), new findings demonstrated that the placebo effect can be activated outside of conscious awareness, and provide an explanation for how patients can show clinical improvement even when they receive treatments devoid of active ingredients or of known therapeutic efficacy.

“In this study, we used a novel experimental design and found that placebo and nocebo [negative placebo] effects rely on brain mechanisms that are not dependent on cognitive awareness,” explains first author Karin Jensen, PhD, of the Department of Psychiatry and the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Program in Placebo Studies (PiPS) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School. “A person can have a placebo or nocebo response even if he or she is unaware of any suggestion of improvement or anticipation of getting worse.”

It has long been believed that placebo responses are related to conscious beliefs or thoughts and that when given an inert pill or therapy, patients get better because they have the expectation that they will get better, or in the case of nocebos, get worse because they anticipate that they will get worse.

However, more recently, scientists have recognized that humans learn to expect either reward or threat quickly and automatically without needing to consciously register the idea in their brains. As the authors write, neuroimaging studies of the human brain have suggested that certain structures, such as the striatum and the amygdala, can process incoming stimuli before they reach conscious awareness, and, as a result, may mediate non-conscious effects on human cognition and behavior.

Bodily memories

The placebo effect is centered on the idea that a person’s expectations and beliefs drive changes in symptoms, even though they have received a sugar pill or a sham treatment with no effect. Knowing that they have received a placebo changes their expectations, which is expected to alter the placebo effect.

However, people report pain relief even when they know the pill they are receiving is a placebo, compared with no treatment at all.

This finding “contradicts the medical beliefs,” Kaptchuk said. “Because in medicine, we think you have to think it’s a real drug for placebo to work. But apparently, the body has memories, or an embodied awareness, which operates below the level of consciousness.”

One possible mechanism for this effect could be that the body is conditioned to react positively in situations related to addressing our health.

Part of what goes into the brain’s interpretation is expectation. The placebo response, at least in part, is a manipulation of expectancy and by changing the expectancy and placebo response we might be able to ultimately find a way to provide sustained therapy for chronic pain without any medication at all.

Rituals and the words of healing activate the brain to release neurotransmitters that change the experience of illness. They can activate centers in the brain that modulate many symptoms like pain and nausea and fatigue.

Contrary to conventional wisdom that patients respond to a placebo because they think they’re getting an active drug, more findings reinforce the idea that placebo treatment alone may have a therapeutic benefit shattering the concept of functional medicine.

About the Author

Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.

Source - wakingtimes.com

Posted by mindpotion Network at 00:01 CET
Updated: Tuesday, 28 January 2014 01:23 CET
Wednesday, 22 January 2014
Why it pays to give a stranger a Smile
Mood:  bright
Topic: Hypnosis & Psychology

Giving a stranger a small smile or even just making eye contact as you pass can have a huge impact on their feelings, scientists have revealed.

Researchers conducted tests on hundreds of students to find out how tiny gestures affected people - and found even the smallest amount of eye contact made them feel connected to others.

'Ostracism is painful,' said lead researcher Eric Wesselmann, a social psychologist at Purdue University in Indiana. 'It's not a pleasant experience.'

The team hope it could now help explain why people often feel lonely in large cities where people rarely make eye contact.

They say that the problem is worst in small towns.

'Lack of acknowledgment may be more painful in some locations (e.g., small towns) and may be normative and preferred in other locations (e.g., large cities),' the researchers wrote.

Researchers also believe that feelings of loneliness can have physical effects on people.

Previous research has linked loneliness to a weakened immune system and a hardening of the arteries, while other studies have found when a person is excluded, even in a computer game, they feel worse about themselves and can be plunged into a bad mood.

Read more: dailymail.co.uk

Posted by mindpotion Network at 00:01 CET
Updated: Wednesday, 22 January 2014 01:01 CET
Thursday, 9 January 2014
Is there any point giving things up for January?
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Hypnosis & Psychology

The festive season is over. The time for guilt is nigh. But is foreswearing alcohol, junk food or caffeine for just one month really any good for your health?

Newspaper articles saying that we typically eat 7,000 calories on Christmas Day are fresh in the mind. Evidence of sustained merry-making is perhaps hanging off our waists.

As a result, many decide January is the time to try and get healthier by giving something up. But does it work?

"It's always a mistake to think you can undo the sins of 11 months in one month's good behaviour," says Sir Ian Gilmore, special adviser to the Royal College of Physicians on alcohol.

The idea that you can create a new habit in three weeks is a myth, according to psychologists at University College London. Their research suggested that it was more like 66 days. That would mean giving something up until 8 March.

Others say it depends. Not just what you give up, but how you respond once the month is up.

It's arguable that alcohol is the best thing to give up. The liver, responsible for detoxifying alcohol, is about the only organ capable of regenerating itself in weeks. A regular social drinker who goes on the wagon will lose a significant proportion of the fat that has built up on their liver within a month, says Dr Gary Murray, an expert at the US's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

"The liver is an amazing organ because it has a tremendous regenerative capacity," he says. But for a heavy drinker with more serious liver damage, such as fibrosis - where the liver is scarred - a month will not see the liver go back to normal.

A controlled experiment at the New Scientist revealed that liver fat, blood glucose and cholesterol levels all decreased noticeably among magazine staff who abstained from alcohol for five weeks.

Gilmore agrees that the liver can regenerate after a few weeks. But what happens next? If the drinker goes back to their previous ways, does that month off help? No-one really knows, he says.

It's not just the liver. The pancreas, brain and heart are all negatively affected by heavy drinking. But none has the regenerative powers of the liver. To complicate things, there is evidence suggesting that low alcohol consumption is better than no alcohol to avoid heart disease. However the amounts recommended are very low. The maximum benefit derives from one glass of wine twice a week, Gilmore says. And the benefit doesn't kick in till women reach 60 and men 45.

Gilmore says a month off is useful but more for the mental rather than physical benefits: "I think the main benefits are intangible." First it shows you that you can do it.

Read More - BBC

Posted by mindpotion Network at 00:01 CET
Updated: Thursday, 9 January 2014 01:20 CET
Sunday, 5 January 2014
Link Between Sound and Fear
Mood:  loud
Topic: Hypnosis & Psychology

Those who have been through combat know that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be triggered by sounds as benign as thunder, taking them back to experiences on the battlefield that would rather be forgotten. The same is true of others who have been through trauma – deep emotions can be set off by sounds that are non-traumatic in their essence, but result in feelings of great fear or anxiety. Until now, scientists didn’t know what caused this in the brain.

A team of researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has discovered how sound can be translated in the brain and distorted to dredge up fearful emotions. The senior author of the study, which was published in Nature Neuroscience, Maria N. Geffen, PhD, states: “Emotions are closely linked to perception and very often our emotional response really helps us deal with reality.”  This also means that emotions can alter our experience of reality. She goes on to say:

“ . . .the fear response helps you escape potentially dangerous situations and react quickly. But there are also situations where things can go wrong in the way the fear response develops. That’s what happens in anxiety and also in PTSD — the emotional response to the events is generalized to the point where the fear response starts getting developed to a very broad range of stimuli.”

To break down what happens in the brain, what we hear is attached to our emotions through the auditory cortex, a part of the brain that mitigates auditory plasticity. Utilizing mice to investigate how hearing different frequencies were linked to emotional learning, or Pavlovian conditioning, scientists observed what happened in this particular area of the brain. The mice were observed to see how certain sounds would cause them to have a particular emotional response when repeatedly exposed to a sound that was either ‘safe’ or ‘potentially dangerous.’ The scientists in charge of the study, Mark Aizenberg, PhD and Geffen, designed a series of tasks meant to teach increasing levels of emotional discrimination.

What became interesting while observing the rats as they responded to the scientists’ experiments was how their emotional perception affected their ability to hear properly. A direct link was established through this observation, to the connection of sound and perception of the world. This has not been previously documented in other studies.

Read more: naturalsociety.com

Posted by mindpotion Network at 00:01 CET
Updated: Sunday, 5 January 2014 01:04 CET
Saturday, 4 January 2014
A third state of consciousness could exist
Mood:  bright
Topic: Hypnosis & Psychology

A new study suggests the existence of a state of mind called dysanaesthesia, which is neither consciousness nor unconsciousness.

With anesthetics properly given, very few patients wake up during surgery. However, new findings point to the possibility of a state of mind in which a patient is neither fully conscious nor unconscious, experts say.

This possible third state of consciousness, may be a state in which patients can respond to a command, but are not disturbed by pain or the surgery, according to Dr. Jaideep Pandit, anesthetist at St John's College in England, who discussed the idea Sept. 19 at the at an anesthetists meeting in Dublin.

Pandit dubbed this state dysanaesthesia, and said the evidence that it exists comes partly from a recent study, in which 34 surgical patients were anesthetized, and had their whole body paralyzed except for their forearm, allowing them to move their fingers in response to commands or to signify if they are awake or in pain during surgery.

One-third of patients in the study moved their finger if they were asked to, even though they were under what seemed to be adequate anesthesia, according to the study led by Dr. Ian F. Russell, of Hull Royal Infirmary in England, and published Sept. 12 in the journal Anaesthesia.

"What's more remarkable is that they only move their fingers if they are asked. None of the patients spontaneously responded to the surgery. They are presumably not in pain," said Pandit, who wrote an editorial about the study.

Normally, while patients are under anesthesia, doctors continuously monitor them, and administer anesthetic drugs as needed. The goal is to ensure the patient has received adequate medication to remain deeply unconscious during surgery. However, it is debated how reliable the technologies used during surgery to "measure" unconsciousness are.

Read More - mnn.com

Posted by mindpotion Network at 00:01 CET
Updated: Saturday, 4 January 2014 01:35 CET

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