Moving to Facebook

6 May, 2015 at 09:25 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

..Time for Insights.

Hi everybody :-)

As you may have noticed, I have not made any posts for a while and I have now decided to only post things on Facebook, simply because lack of time.

So click *like* on my FB-page and keep following me there, if you wish :-)

All the best to you!

If You Speak Mandarin, Your Brain Is Different

28 February, 2015 at 07:14 | Posted in Body & Mind, Science | Leave a comment
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By Larry Taylor
Northumbria University, Newcastle

We speak so effortlessly that most of us never think about it. But psychologists and neuroscientists are captivated by the human capacity to communicate with language. By the time a child can tie his or her shoes, enough words and rules have been mastered to allow the expression of an unlimited number of utterances. The uniqueness of this behaviour to the human species indicates its centrality to human psychology.

That this behaviour comes naturally and seemingly effortlessly in the first few years of life merely fascinates us further. Untangling the brain’s mechanisms for language has been a pillar of neuroscience since its inception. New research published in the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences about the different connections going on in the brains of Mandarin and English speakers, demonstrates just how flexible our ability to learn language really is.

Read more: If You Speak Mandarin, Your Brain Is Different

Report Says ‘2,500 Tons Of Fake Food’ Seized Across the World

27 February, 2015 at 06:29 | Posted in Body & Mind, Food, health, Society | Leave a comment
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By Jack Phillips
Epoch Times

Thousands upon thousands of pounds of horse meat hamburgers, as well as “counterfeit” mozzarella, strawberries, eggs, and dried fruit and thousands of gallons of alcohol laden with antifreeze, and fake cooking oil were seized by Interpol, the agency said in a report.

The report, which said the operation was carried out in 47 countries over the past two months, could cast doubt on some of the food we eat. It revealed that a number of brand-name food items could have fake ingredients, counter to what is on the ingredients label.

“Of the nearly 275,000 liters of drinks recovered across all regions, counterfeit alcohol was among the most seized product, including in the UK, where a plant making fake brand-name vodka was raided,” said a release from Interpol.

“Officers discovered more than 20,000 empty bottles ready for filling, hundreds of empty five-liter antifreeze containers which had been used to make the counterfeit alcohol, as well as a reverse osmosis unit used to remove the chemical’s color and smell,” the release stated.

Interpol said that international criminal gangs are behind the slew of fake food items.

In Italy, 31 tons of seafood was labeled as “fresh” but was actually frozen and doused with a citric acid and hydrogen peroxide to hide the fact that it was actually rotting. Also in Italy, officers raided a cheese factory and found expired dairy that was then laden with chemicals to make it appear fresh.

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials seized approximately 35 tons of counterfeit butter and closed down an entire factory that claimed to be selling tea.

And elsewhere, “Some 85 tonnes of meat illegally imported into Thailand without testing to ensure they complied with health and safety regulations were destroyed, and police also dismantled a criminal network producing fake whisky and seized nearly 20,000 liters of the counterfeit alcohol,” the policing agency said.

According to a report from Oceana in 2014, fake food items are on the rise across the world. For example, about 30 percent of the shrimp products are misrepresented.

“The issue stems in part from a lack of general information available when purchasing these products, the researchers said,” said TIME magazine’s Sarah Begley. ” In many cases, retailers and restaurants don’t offer information about the shrimp’s species or country of origin, or whether it was farmed or caught in the world. Oceana argues that improving traceability of seafood would help decrease label fraud and enable consumers to make sustainable choices.”

The countries that partook in the Interpol operation include Austria, Belgium, Benin, Belarus, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burundi, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, South Korea, South Sudan, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Uruguay, United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam.

via Report Says ‘2,500 Tons Of Fake Food’ Seized Across the World

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Mummy Found Inside 1,000-Year-Old Buddha Statue

26 February, 2015 at 11:05 | Posted in beyond science, Science | 1 Comment
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By Tara MacIsaac
Epoch Times

The universe is full of mysteries that challenge our current knowledge. In “Beyond Science” Epoch Times collects stories about these strange phenomena to stimulate the imagination and open up previously undreamed of possibilities. Are they true? You decide.

A Buddha statue dating back to the 11th or 12th century was examined by CT scan and endoscopy in the Netherlands late last year, revealing that it encapsulated the mummified remains of the Buddhist Master Liuquan. It is believed in some Buddhist traditions that the bodies of masters may remain relatively untouched by the decay of ordinary people, as the masters have attained a higher state of being. 

The examinations were conducted at the Meander Medical Centre in Amersfoort by the Drents Museum, where the statue was on display. In place of some of the internal organs, researchers found papers marked with ancient Chinese script among other rotted material.

Read more: Mummy Found Inside 1,000-Year-Old Buddha Statue

Chinese New Year 2015: The Year of the Goat

19 February, 2015 at 17:14 | Posted in Chinese culture | Leave a comment
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By Lily Choo and Tanya Harrison
Epoch Times

This year, Feb. 19 marks the beginning of the Year of the Goat, from which we will enter a new Chinese zodiac year.

Chinese New Year is the most important festival to Chinese people the world over. Like the solar New Year, it represents a time for reflection, for resolutions, and new hope in the year to come.

Chinese New Year celebrations run for about 16 days, from the New Year’s Eve until the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first lunar month.

The Chinese lunar calendar incorporates both the lunar cycle and the position of the sun. So, using the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, the first day of the Chinese lunar year may fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February.

Chinese people have used the lunar calendar since 2600 B.C when the mythical Yellow Emperor, or Huang Di, started the first cycle of the Chinese zodiac.

According to legend, Huang Di named an animal to represent each year in a 12-year cycle that includes the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

Good Associations And Attribution

The Chinese character羊 (yáng), which generally refers to a goat, sheep, or ram, is considered a symbol of auspiciousness, good luck, and peace. Since ancient times, people have used 羊to symbolize good-naturedness.

羊is among the animals that Chinese people like most. It is generally gentle, calm, and quiet by nature and is a source of many things that benefit humankind.

羊 is close to the meaning of good things. As such, it is used in many Chinese characters to indicate something beneficial.

Here are a few characters related to羊

祥 (xiáng) means good omen or auspiciousness. It has a 羊 on the right.

善 (shàn) means compassion and kindness. There is a 羊on the upper part.

義 (yì) means righteousness and justice. It has a 羊on the upper part, too.

美 (měi) means perfection and beauty. There is also a 羊 on the upper part of this character.

鮮 (xiān) means fresh and tasty. You can find 羊 on the right in the character.

The Sign Of The Goat

The Goat is the eighth sign in the Chinese zodiac. If you were born in 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, or 2015, your Chinese zodiac sign is likely the goat. It is important, though, to consider the day of your birth in January or February in regard to the first day of the Chinese New Year.

Since ancient times, the goat became closely linked to Chinese people’s livelihood. Its meat and milk are highly nutritious, and its wool makes fabric that is lightweight, soft, and has other good properties. Chinese people also learned to use its fleece to make writing brushes and its skin to keep warm.

Being mostly quiet and calm, goat are considered peaceful animals. Like their animal counterpart, people born in the Year of the Goat are seen as calm individuals. Their personalities are quiet, reserved, and soothing. They tend to be easygoing and relaxed. Hanging in the background, they watch contentedly away from the limelight as others dazzle company. They enjoy life in their own quiet, individual way.

Read more: Chinese New Year 2015: The Year of the Goat

7 Essentials of Mindfulness Practice

17 January, 2015 at 11:49 | Posted in Body & Mind, Spirituality | Leave a comment
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By Dr. Frank Lipman, http://www.drfranklipman.com

Nearly twenty years ago, I did a workshop with Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., whose first book “Full Catastrophe Living” and overall teachings have had a lasting influence on me. This book is a classic on the topic of mindfulness and it has played a spiritual role in both bringing this practice into the Integrative Medicine World as well as in developing the method we teach our patients on how to deal with stress.

I would like to share with you the Seven Essentials of Mindfulness Practice, adapted from this great book.

Non-Judging

Be an impartial witness to your experience. Observing without judging helps you see what is on your mind without editing or intellectualizing it, or getting lost in your thoughts.

Non-Striving

No goal other than to be yourself. It is not about achieving bliss, relaxation or anything else.

Acceptance

A willingness to see things the way they are. By fully accepting what each moment offers, you are able to experience life much more completely.

Letting Go

Of thoughts, ideas, things, events, desires, views, hopes and experiences, both pleasant and unpleasant. Allowing things to be as they are, without getting caught up in our attachment to or rejection of them. It means to give up resisting or struggling and allowing things to be as they are. Watching your breath as it goes in and out is an excellent starting place for this practice of letting go.

Beginner’s Mind

Free of expectations from past experience. Remove the attachment of the past and just be.  Watch the moments unfold, with no agenda other than to be fully present.  Use the breath as an anchor to tether your attention to the present moment.

Patience

Remembering that things must unfold in their own time. An alternative to the mind’s restlessness and impatience. Not letting our anxieties and desire for certain results dominate the quality of the moment.

Trust

In yourself and your feelings. A feeling of confidence that things can unfold within a dependable framework that embodies order and integrity.

This article was originally published on www.drfranklipman.com. Read the original here.

via 7 Essentials of Mindfulness Practice

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015!

31 December, 2014 at 14:19 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Let’s start with a nice quote :-)

Let our New Year’s resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.” ~ Goran Persson, former Prime Minister of Sweden

Yes, may this year be a year of peace, love, non-violence, understanding…

Merry Christmas!

23 December, 2014 at 06:12 | Posted in classical, Culture, Music, Spirituality, thoughts of the day | Leave a comment
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The opening of this cantata is really Bach, I think. Swinging and beautiful :-) It also suits well at Christmas time, translated it means Wake up, the voices calling us“.

I’m then thinking of that Christmas is a time of message, that Jesus was the messenger of that time bringing a message of love, peace and serenity. A message that still this very day applies, considering everything bad that happens in the world.

If only humanity could wake up and see the reality of love and kindness that the higher spiritual world of enlightened beings convey, if humanity just could take it to heart and incarnate this higher reality into itself

Fortunately, we have spiritual messengers continually coming to Earth to remind us of how we should actually live and be: True good people who do good deeds. They come to remind us of the love, peace and serenity that a higher self-realization leads to; in ourselves and in our surroundings.

We can choose out of free will how we want to create our reality. By choosing good thoughts and good deeds, for ourselves and for all life on this planet, our reality will become a much more positive one.

Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance are important and good guidelines on the path of life. By following these three principles in everyday life, a lot of positive things can come about.

I’m wishing you all a Happy and a Merry Christmas! :-)


Bach – Cantata 140: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140 (1731)

How to Manage Stress

22 December, 2014 at 19:01 | Posted in Body & Mind, health | Leave a comment
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By Gaye O’Brien
http://www.NaturallySavvy.com

What is Stress?

Stress is an inability to adapt to your ever-changing environment and to react to the stimuli or events around you. Distress is extreme stress, great pain, anxiety, or sorrow, acute suffering, affliction. (“Dis” meaning negative or reverse force.)

Some stress is good because:

  • It gives you the opportunity to see that your perceptions and emotional reactions are unbalanced and expectations are unrealistic.
  • It gets you moving toward what you want and away from what you don’t want.

Read more about emotional eating

Why is it Important to Manage Stress?

“It is not stress that kills us but our reaction to it.” ~Hans Selye

Stress is a part of life and affects every aspect of life and can accelerate the aging process. When you learn to balance your expectations, perceptions and emotions you will live longer. When emotions move erratically up and down, the tendency toward bipolar sets in and physiology, hormones and adrenals, are affected. Your emotions electrically change your body and mind and this can be either for our benefit or not.

Signs of stress include tense muscles, unbalanced thoughts, erratic speech, shallow breathing and tight chest. Prolonged stress can result in constipation, stomach issues and high blood pressure.

How to Manage Stress:

I have found that I learn the most when I am stressed, as it means that I have to choose my priorities, slow down a little, listen to my body and really learn from the situation at hand.

Here are more tips for dealing with stress:

  • Set balanced expectations and goals whilst allowing for flexibility.
  • Prioritize your actions and what is important for you.
  • Delegate low level priorities to others.
  • Chunk down large projects, doing something everyday to keep up momentum, reduce procrastination, lack of clarity and frustration.
  • Plan the night before for the following day and write goals down to unclutter your head.
  • Congratulate yourself on what you have achieved and reflect on what you have learned.

Read more about self-love

  • Take time daily to relax with meditation, inspiring texts, peaceful music or walks in nature.
  • Work on reducing limiting beliefs as they affect our thoughts and actions that then creates negative emotions.
  • Be passionate about what you do and establish a purpose that is larger than your immediate life.
  • Take some gentle time line therapy with me, to reduce limiting beliefs and negative emotions.
  • Switch from a negative emotion to a positive one by remembering a time when you felt that positive emotion. Change from fear to faith for example.
What if You Learn to Manage Stress?

When you practice mastering stress your hormonal cortisol levels will go down and your endorphin levels with go up. You will feel fulfilled, poised and centered. This will add years to your life by slowing down the aging process.

You will then have the opportunity to develop your gifts and passions and share them with others to create a better world for all!

This article was originally published on www.NaturallySavvy.com.

via How to Get Rid of Stress

Thousands in Beijing Protest for Their Rights on Human Rights Day, Are Arrested

11 December, 2014 at 11:54 | Posted in China, human rights, persecution, Society | Leave a comment
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By Lu Chen
Epoch Times

While International Human Rights Day is celebrated around the world, in Beijing the day was marked by security rounding up and detaining those who dared to complain about violations of their rights.

On Wednesday—Human Rights Day—many petitioners showed up at Liangmaqiao Station, a subway station in Beijing close to many foreign embassies, in the hope of raising awareness in international society of the deteriorating human rights condition in China.

Beijing police were arrayed to meet the petitioners, with the train stations and streets near the embassies heavily guarded.

Petitioner Wang Fang from Wuhan City, Hubei Province said all the 50-some petitioners from Wuhan, including herself, were captured at Liangmaqiao Station by police, according to New York-based New Tang Dynasty (NTD) television.

“Police officers and police cars were everywhere near Liangmaqiao,” Wang said. “Every subway exit was guarded with 40 to 50 police and several police cars. All the captured petitioners were sent away in large buses to Jiujingzhuang.”

Jiujingzhuang is an extra-legal detention center in suburban Beijing that detains and makes records of the petitioners. Wang said she escaped from the bus she was on when many buses filled with petitioners were waiting in line to get into Jiujingzhuang.

Yin Xu’an, a petitioner from Hubei Province, said police strictly checked IDs at the train station exits, and frequently arrested petitioners, the NTD report stated. Yin explained that petitioners who have been detained before all have records in the police identification information system.

“They [police] check your ID as long as you look a little like a petitioner,” Yin said, “If you are a petitioner, their identification equipment will recognize it. They immediately pull you into the vehicle.”

Yin said he witnessed eight large buses fully loaded with arrested petitioners driving away from the site within 40 minutes.

Yu Nanzhe, a petitioner from Jiangsu Province, told NTD that police examined people’s bags, and once police found materials for protesting in their bags, the police forced those petitioners onto prearranged buses.

Yu saw that buses loaded with petitioners had formed a long line waiting to get into Jiujingzhuang since around 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Each of the buses had 40 to 50 petitioners, and Yu estimated thousands or even 10,000 petitioners were sent to Jiujingzhuang on Human Rights Day.

This week thousands of petitioners with grievances have come to Beijing, and protested in different places, such as Tiananmen Square, foreign embassies, the headquarters of China Central Television, among others.

On the day before Human Rights Day, over 100 Chinese petitioners put up banners in front of the Yongdingmen Square in central Beijing, urging the Chinese Communist Party to implement the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, according to Sound of Hope (SOH) radio.

The demonstration was soon interrupted by police. Petitioner Li Zhiguo from Henan Province participated in the protest and told SOH that the demonstration lasted for about 20 minutes with over 100 petitioners yelling slogans and holding banners.

“Then the police came, crushing my banner and cellphone. They didn’t allow us to stay there and took our stuff away. We ran away. Some other [petitioners] were taken away by police,” Li said.

“Chinese petitioners live lives worse than the grass in Beijing,” Li said. “Our human rights are harmed. We come to Beijing and sleep on the streets. We have been chased and arrested by police here and there. … No one takes care of our disputes. … When we attempted to visit the central inspection officials to report the issues, we were blocked and beaten. We called the central inspection teams, and no one answered the phone.”

via Thousands in Beijing Protest for Their Rights on Human Rights Day, Are Arrested

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A Healthy Winter By Following Eastern Medicine Guidelines

7 December, 2014 at 06:25 | Posted in Body & Mind, Food, health | Leave a comment
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By Loyola University Health System

While mainstream medicine recommends eating right, exercising and getting your flu shot to stay healthy during cold weather months, Eastern medicine takes this advice a step further.

“Traditional Chinese medicine teaches us to live in harmony with the seasons to protect our health,” said Aaron Michelfelder, MD, a family medicine and integrative medicine physician at Loyola University Health System. “Making certain adjustments to our diet, sleep regimen and lifestyle will make us more in sync with nature and better equipped to cope with the plunging temperatures.”

Dr. Michelfelder recommends the following Eastern medicine tips to “winterize” your body and protect your health this season:

Eat Warming Herbs and Foods

The environment and the food we eat can create imbalances in the body, according to Eastern medicine guidelines. Using warming ingredients for meals that are in season to counteract any imbalances created by the cold weather. Warming herbs and foods include cinnamon, ginger, garlic, spicy foods, sweet potatoes, squash, meat and nutrient-dense soups and stews. Save raw, leafy greens for the summer.

Eat less

We typically are not as active during the winter so we require less food. Cut down on your caloric intake.

Sleep More

Traditional Chinese medicine recommends following the sun and sleeping more in the fall and winter because we have fewer hours of daylight. It is best to get nine to 10 hours of sleep as opposed to the recommended eight hours in the summer and spring.

Slow Down

We should expect ourselves to slow down naturally and be less active during winter months. This is a hard concept for many Americans to grasp given our busy culture.

Meditate More

As our bodies naturally slow down, it is best to slow the mind as well through meditation. Don’t resist what the body is naturally meant to do this time of year.

Turn to Acupuncture

An acupuncture winterizing treatment naturally restores balance and boosts energy levels.

Practice Self-Care

Get a massage, engage in social activities and take a vacation, if possible. Self-care will help you recharge your body.

“Our immune system is naturally suppressed in the winter,” said Dr. Michelfelder, who also is a professor at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. “Try not to fight the seasons. If we are not aligned with the natural cycles of life, we won’t be able to recharge our immune system to protect our health.”

From Newswise

via A Healthy Winter By Following Eastern Medicine Guidelines

Beijing Struggles to Reach a Decision About Hong Kong

6 December, 2014 at 13:01 | Posted in China, human rights, Society | Leave a comment
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By Wang Taotong
Epoch Times

As the Hong Kong government continues to clear democracy protesters from the streets, drawing the world’s attention to the Umbrella Movement, Beijing faces the problem of how to handle the anger in Hong Kong over the denial of universal suffrage.

On Nov. 25, Wall Street Journal quoted news sources saying that Beijing authorities are discussing how to respond to the Hong Kong public’s dissatisfaction with the reform package that stated how Hong Kong’s next chief executive would be elected.

The reform package resolution was passed on Aug. 31 by the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee and states that Hongkongers can elect their chief executive with universal suffrage as long as the candidates are chosen by a nominating committee. The nominating committee in question is largely controlled by Beijing.

This decision provoked widespread anger in the Hong Kong public, who viewed it as blocking them from true universal suffrage and democracy. The event triggered tens of thousands of students to protest in Hong Kong on Sept. 22 and the start of the Umbrella Movement for democracy on Sept. 28.

According to WSJ, the Beijing authorities’ decision would include adjusting the composition of the chief executive nominating committee to make it better reflect public opinion, especially the voice of pan-democrats. However, the decision must also ensure that Beijing continues to control the elections.

Party Divided

The two factions of the Chinese Communist Party, one headed by current Party leader Xi Jinping and the other supporting former leader Jiang Zemin, have delivered conflicting messages on how the Party is planning to handle Hong Kong.

Jiang faction member Zhang Dejiang, the chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, said to Hong Kong pro-Communist groups on Sept. 16 that the NPC Standing Committee has the highest unshakable legal power over the decision about Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, also a Jiang faction supporter, has declared that dialogue with the protesters must be carried out under the framework of the NPC. In response to the Umbrella Movement, Leung said he was “willing to have dialogue with anyone who is in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Law and the resolution of the NPC.”

Xi Jinping, on the other hand, has never mentioned the NPC’s reform package in public since it was made.

On Sept. 22, Xi held a high-profile meeting with over 70 Hong Kong businessmen in Beijing. Xi said in his speech that there would be no change to the “one-country, two-systems” policy that gives Hong Kong a high degree of independence from China.

When official Party media reported on Xi’s speech, they did not mention the reform package but emphasized maintaining the authority of the Basic Law instead of the authority of the NPC. This indicates the difference between the two factions’ stances.

In Beijing on Nov. 9, Xi met Leung Chun-ying, who was attending the APEC summit. Xi started their talk with a request for a comprehensive and accurate understanding of the “one-country, two-systems” principle and the Basic Law, to support the development of democracy in Hong Kong under the legal system.

In Xi’s public speeches and the subsequent reports by official Party media, there has been no mention of either the reform package or the White Paper made by the Jiang faction earlier this year that stated Hong Kong only has as much power as Beijing is willing to give it.

The NPC has gradually become an anti-Xi Jinping base. On Sept. 30, Li Shenming, deputy director of the Standing Committee of the NPC, published an article in Party mouthpiece newspaper People’s Daily with an implied threat to Xi. Li quoted former Party leader Mao Zedong in the article: “Our chairman cannot dissolve the National People’s Congress; on the contrary, the NPC can remove the chairman from office.”

Sources in the Party have said that Zhang Dejiang intended to solidify the power of the NPC and prevail over Xi by disturbing Hong Kong’s situation, using the Aug. 31 reform package resolution to create trouble for Xi.

The sources reported that Xi has almost full control of the army since the Party’s fourth Plenary Session in late October. It is expected that once he fully controls the Central Military Commission, Xi will move against Zhang, and the situation will change dramatically.

Is That Fear?

Washington-based China expert Shi Cangshan said that Xi’s officials have apparently not changed the NPC’s resolution and have not made Leung Chun-ying step down according to Hongkongers’ wishes. However, Shi pointed out that sources have said Xi would expand the make up of the nominating committee, which would in fact change the NPC’s resolution.

According to Shi’s analysis, the Party is horrified that the struggle for democracy in Hong Kong has created an obstacle against the Party. In addition, mainland Chinese people are supporting the Umbrella Movement and continuing to speak out, which is a major blow to the Party.

The Chinese Communist Party has actually been forced to compromise. Shi believes that a lot of major policies will be changed gradually after this.

Shi said the Jiang faction is playing a life-and-death game with the Xi faction. He thinks the Xi faction is about to continue its widespread purging of Jiang faction members, making use of the military.

Translation by Susan Wang. Written in English by Sally Appert.

via Beijing Struggles to Reach a Decision About Hong Kong – The Epoch Times

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Treating Body and Mind Through the Spleen

2 December, 2014 at 13:41 | Posted in Body & Mind, Chinese culture, health | Leave a comment
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Obesity, insomnia, and depression can all result from trouble with the spleen

By Christopher Trahan

While Western medicine views disease as being biochemical or mechanical, in Chinese medicine, all disorders can involve both physical and psychological processes.

Therefore, when we talk about an organ in traditional Chinese medicine, it has a different scope than the Western organ with the same name (and for this reason, is capitalized in this article).

So, while Western spleen diseases all affect the “Spleen” of traditional Chinese medicine, the Spleen of Chinese medicine also includes other physiological functions.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the Spleen provides perhaps the most far-ranging array of physiological functions and is the most complex when compared to its Western equivalent organ.

The Spleen of Chinese medicine maintains our daily energy and metabolism. It includes our digestive system, our immune and lymphatic systems, our blood nutrients, and various aspects of our endocrine system.

The Spleen’s mental-emotional states are worry, over-thinking, pensiveness, and rumination. In modern Western psychological terms, the Spleen relates to anxiety and nervousness and some forms of depression and insomnia.

In Chinese medicine terms, the Spleen “Governs Transportation and Transformation” of food and fluids. In Western terms, this includes digestion, assimilation, the distribution of nutrients, and the utilization of lipids, hormones, and electrolytes.

Imbalances in these functions of the Spleen produce most digestive disorders, including diarrhea and constipation, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, excess or lack of appetite, obesity or emaciation, eating disorders, water retention, and skin disorders such as acne and weeping eczema.

Dampness

In traditional Chinese medicine, wind, heat, cold, dryness, and dampness can unbalance the body and cause illness.

Spleen disorders are particularly affected when a person is exposed to damp environments. Damp weather aggravates conditions like diarrhea, edema, and excess mucous.

On both physical and mental levels, dampness is associated with dullness, slowness, and lack of energy. Dampness can weaken the Spleen energy, causing fatigue and lassitude, and can lead to hypothyroidism. When the Spleen is weak as a result of dampness, a person can develop environmental, seasonal, and food allergies, as well as yeast infections.

Taste

The taste associated with the Spleen is sweet. Craving sweets can indicate an imbalance in the Spleen, and over-consumption of sweets, including carbohydrates, can cause the Spleen to lose energy. Taken to the extreme, sweetness and excess dampness can lead to obesity. Deficient Spleen energy can also result in hypoglycemia and diabetes.

Insomnia

Spleen imbalance often occurs in combination with imbalances of other organs. Insomnia of all types relates to the heart, which is said to “house the mind” in Chinese medicine.

When people have trouble falling asleep, this relates to the blood of the Spleen failing to nourish the heart and is often due to over-thinking, anxiety, or worry.

Traditional Chinese medicine recognizes that the Spleen’s digestive function, which produces blood, relates to onset-insomnia. Chinese doctors understood the sleep-stomach connection, thousands of years before modern Western medicine discovered that some 70 percent of serotonin metabolism occurs in the gut.

Treating the Spleen

In my practice, at least 30 percent of my patients experience frequent insomnia, and most of them have trouble falling asleep, which can occur both at the start of the night or when their sleep is interrupted.

In my practice, I always use formulas combining herbs to flesh out the benefits to the Spleen and to address other organs’ imbalances.

Chinese herbal medicine treats all deficient Spleen energy with formulas featuring ginseng and other Spleen tonics such as astragalus and atractylodes.

When we treat Spleen disorders such as excess dampness, we use herbs such as hawthorn to enhance lipid digestion and utilization, and alisma to promote urination.

Global Herbal Medicine and Homeopathy

I also use global herbal medicine and homeopathy to treat spleen issues. In global herbal medicine, I use Ayurvedic and Western herbs to treat spleen syndromes.

In classical homeopathy, I treat these syndromes, including physical and mental-emotional issues, with one or more of homeopathy’s hundreds of plant-based remedies.

The homeopathic remedy Lycopodium treats digestive and mental symptoms associated with Spleen imbalances. I also use the remedy Ceanothus, which dilates the splenic artery, allowing more oxygenated blood to get to the spleen, which enhances the spleen’s function as filtration.

I have found that classical homeopathy often achieves even more impressive results than traditional Chinese medicine and global herbal medicine when it comes to treating more severe psychological pathologies such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Homeopathy is also very effective in some cases of hormonal and immune disorders, including infertility and allergies.

Dr. Christopher Trahan, O.M.D., L.Ac., is the medical director of the Olympus Center for Holistic and Integrative Medicine. He is nationally board-certified in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine (NCCA) and is a classically trained homeopathic physician. He has been in clinical practice for over 30 years. Complimentary consultation: Olympus-Center.com

via Treating Body and Mind Through the Spleen

37 Million Bees Found Dead In Ontario, Canada After Planting Large GMO Corn Field

23 November, 2014 at 07:33 | Posted in animals, Body & Mind, Environmental issues, Food, health, Science, Society, sustainable development | Leave a comment
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Organic Health

Millions of bees dropped dead after GMO corn was planted few weeks ago in Ontario, Canada. The local bee keeper, Dave Schuit who produces honey in Elmwood lost about 37 million bees which are about 600 hives.

“Once the corn started to get planted our bees died by the millions,” Schuit said. While many bee keepers blame neonicotinoids, or “neonics.” for colony collapse of bees and many countries in EU have banned neonicotinoid class of pesticides, the US Department of Agriculture fails to ban insecticides known as neonicotinoids, manufactured by Bayer CropScience Inc.

Two of Bayer’s best-selling pesticides, Imidacloprid and Clothianidin, are known to get into pollen and nectar, and can damage beneficial insects such as bees. The marketing of these drugs also coincided with the occurrence of large-scale bee deaths in many European countries and the United States.

Nathan Carey another local farmer says that this spring he noticed that there were not enough bees on his farm and he believes that there is a strong correlation between the disappearance of bees and insecticide use.

Read more: 37 Million Bees Found Dead In Ontario, Canada After Planting Large GMO Corn Field | Organic Health

My comment: I once saw a television program about the death of bees, and there it said that one drop of dew from a GMO plant in a GMO crop field kills a bumble bee when it drinks it in the morning (as bumble bees usually do…). GMO really kills…

Are You A Highly Sensitive Person?

22 November, 2014 at 12:06 | Posted in Body & Mind, books, Culture, health | Leave a comment
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Do you have a keen imagination and vivid dreams?  Is time alone each day as essential to you as food and water?  Are you “too shy” or “too sensitive” according to others?  Do noise and confusion quickly overwhelm you?  If your answers are yes, you may be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).

For those people who have a keen imagination, are labelled too shy or too sensitive, who perform poorly when being observed even though they are usually competent, have vivid dreams and for whom time alone each day is essential – this is the book to help them understand themselves and how best to cope in various situations. Highly sensitive people are often very bright and creative but many suffer from low self esteem. They are not neurotics as they have been labelled for so long. However, high sensitivity can lead them to cease to engage with the outside world.

In The Highly Sensitive Person, by Elaine N. Aron, you will discover:
* Self-assessment tests to help you identify your particular sensitivities
* Ways to reframe your past experiences in a positive light and gain greater self-esteem in the process
* Insight into how high sensitivity affects both work and personal relationships
* Tips on how to deal with overarousal
* Informations on medications and when to seek help
* Techniques to enrich the soul and spirit

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