Minding Your MindStuff

Mind Stuff — The Next Frontier in your Yoga Practice 

I realized this is 23 pages of mind stuff trying to teach you about the power your mind stuff …  So lets break it down into different areas I am approaching:

  1. Taking your practice from the inside out, looking at thoughts and emotions.
  2. Your nervous system and how your thoughts effect your nervous system.  This is powerful alone, you can stop the stress response in a second by changing your mind!
  3. The power of your mind and using it in visualizations
  4. The power of the placebo effect
  5. The Power of what you believe – Quantum Physics, Biophotons, Intension, and perceptions

The other sides of Yoga

There comes a time when we’ve done enough asana!  While asana will remain in a daily yoga practice, what I mean is its time to move beyond asana and stop defining your yoga by your asana.

The Inner Experience

We can start by taking your practice from the inside — do your practice from the inside out — working with your nervous system, your endocrine system, your organs, and very importantly your breathing system and patterns of your attention or consciousness, you get the inner experience.  This is much deeper and satisfying, you are not limited to what your muscles and bones can or can’t do.

Do not define your yoga by what your muscles and bones can do!

Go for the Inner Experience

Health entails all parts of us, we are not just physical bodies walking around, we are mental, emotional, and social.  These aspects effect our health, just as much as smoking or eating vegetables impacts our health — so does our social life effect our health — if your attitude is off, your health will be too.  

We all know by now that stress is bad for us, stress is a mood, an emotion, a feeling — kind of intangible yet it effects our health — well so do emotions like Joy and Happiness, and Pleasure — these effect our emotions and our health in a very positive way.  Its not just the removal of stress we are looking for — its positive emotions like love and joy, and gratitude we want to bring in that build health and well being in our body — actually making us healthier in a similar way as exercise.

While we know stress hurts our immune function and increases our risk for heart issues, Joy actually IMPROVES IMMUNE FUNCTION, and is good for heart health!

There are so many ways to be healthy 🙂

Time to get more joy and less stress in our asana practice!

Yoga is not just for our physical bodies — yoga is really more a mental practice than a physical. Or I should say yoga is more a practice of being aware of your mental thoughts!   This was lost as yoga became more physical as it moved west.  We have more and more science supporting the role of how our thoughts and moods effect our health.

Many times the method is mistaken for the goal.  The goal of yoga is not attaining a posture – a yoga posture is a method to remove tension and toxins from the body to get to the goal of being aware of what you are thinking and how it is effecting you — and those around you.

This awareness begins by looking at what you are thinking and feeling.  Let’s take emotions for example.  What we are feeling can release good for us or bad for us chemical molecules into our blood stream as I mentioned — it’s not just that we want to stop the bad thought, we want to replace it with a good thought.  While currently I am in a  love/hate relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO); I do quote them often with this line “Health is a complete State of Mental, Physical, and Social well being, not just a lack of disease.”  -World Health Organization

Before we go tucking away little molecules of negative emotion into our tissues; when negative thoughts or experiences do pop up, while we don’t want to dwell on them – we do want to transform them – turn them into good.  This is the alchemy of yoga.

When we do experience negative emotions many tend to want to keep them pent up — anger, jealousy, grief are common emotions that get pent up because we don’t want to feel this way or want others to see us this way.  When we don’t acknowledge them, and figure out a way to let them go, these feelings then lodge a tangible molecule carrying peptide — a neuropeptide (‘molecules of emotion’ — more shortly on this) that can lodge in your body indefinitely blocking the flow of information in the body compromising immunity, mood, and energy.  

If it is something that may take some work to accept and transmute or alchemize then choose a limited time to work on it; say in a 15 minute meditation.  If you don’t transmute it or turn it to good after 15 minutes, then make the conscious decision to put it in a box and tuck it away (where you do not think about it or brood on it) for a week or so until the time is right to pull it out and look at it again.  How can you turn it into gold?

Like stress, pent up emotions also can block blood flow to parts of the brain; specifically our prefrontal cortex which is the part of our brain we use to make good decisions and judgments.  Instead blood is shifted to our amygdala which is where our stress response is located, when blood in the brain shifts to the amygdala the body wants to think fight or flight — it stimulates that will to personally survive — sometimes at others expenses.  You want to feel this process in your body so you can calm yourself down, and get better blood flow back to your entire brain.

Reduced blood flow to the brain also interferes with our mental clarity and our ability to handle stress, creating a viscous cycle.

Chronic stress or holding on to emotions leads to = chronic reduced blood flow in the brain = less of an ability to handle stress = compromised decisions and health = chronic stress.  YOU CAN BREAK THIS CYCLE.  Minding your mindstuff is a good start — you can learn do it in meditation of course, but you can also just learn to pay attention to your thoughts and shift them to a higher purpose.  

  • By being conscious with your thoughts you can release the neuropeptides that are blocking the flow of information into your cells and into your brain. You do this by making a conscious effort to be joyful, thankful, appreciative, and aware! 
  • Breathing and meditation and yoga are some of the most effective ways to release those neuropeptides … and there is another way that is even better …
  • Cuddling! (cuddling will release oxytocin into our bloodstream which is the feel good “I am loved” hormone) Cuddling has been shown to also break the stress cycle allowing you to look at your emotions and thoughts and sort them out for better health.

Psychoneuroimmunology

PNI – Psycho – Neuro – Immunology
A big word that was termed in the 70s and pooh-poohed by modern medicine (just like adrenal fatigue and leaky gut were), and now modern medicine is acknowledging PNI.

Psychoneuroimmunology looks at the response the mind and emotions produce in the body — how these emotions physiologically effect our autonomic nervous system (stress vs. no stress), endocrine system, and immune system.

Basically stress — even stressful thoughts effect the body much the same way as an infection or a virus.  And if you are stressed it paves the way for you to be more likely to get an infection or virus as well, and vice versa — if you have an infection it is a type of stress on the body and makes it easier for you to become more stressed out.  Basically stress is another form of an infection or illness in the body.

However, you have more control over stress than you do an infection sometimes.  All you have to do is have power of mind to stop the negative thought and turn it into a good though — power of mind is developed through minding your mindstuff.  Short meditations (5-20 minutes) is a nice place to start this work — or start by minding your mindstuff while you do your asana practice — after all this how yoga was intended to be used.  Other good times to mind your mindstuff;

  • While you are cooking!  The ancient yogis believe that if you cook food while you are upset you will transfer some of your “upset emotions” into the food — Time to cook in happiness.
  • While you are driving is another good time to evaluation your thoughts.  It could save you a little road rage …

Inner Contemplation – watching our thoughts and feelings
Yoga needs to have an internal contemplation to be yoga.  Contemplation is defined as an inner seeing or inner vision with a spiritual component — or even a mystical awareness.  If you are stressing, you are consumed by the stress and unable to get to this inner contemplation.

Inner contemplation, watching your thoughts and feelings.  Pay attention to what you are thinking as you go through practice.  How can you direct your thoughts to be on a higher plane? Thinking thoughts of well being and sending well wishes to what pops up … and on the flip side not beating yourself up.  We tend to beat ourselves up over our yoga practices, STOP THAT.   If you are having a ‘bad’ thought don’t beat yourself up like one more thing you struggle with – look at how you can shift that thought into something positive.  Then send yourself a little love because you are human and everyone has negative thoughts pop up — it’s not listening to them and changing the tune that is important.

As I have been talking about over the past couple years — another main reason for all this yoga asana is its effect on our nervous system.

Our nervous systems are the key component on whether your practice or exercise is helping your health or breaking you down.

A balance in our autonomic nervous systems seems to be a primary goal of all alternative mind body medicine and exercise practices.

Almost 30 years in the yoga and exercise industry brought me to the realization that all these practices — and the Traditional Chinese Medicine physical practices as well like tai chi, qi gong, etc. are all based on shifting us to a parasympathetic nervous system dominance.

Sympathetic vs. Parasympathetic 

This brings me to the importance of understanding your nervous system and the balance between the different branches of our nervous system.  

Most people don’t understand why the stress response is called the “sympathetic” response — I hope my explanation helps you understand why we call the stress-out side of our nervous system the sympathetic nervous system — its because our body is being sympathetic to whatever we need to get out of the stress-out situation!

Our bodies are very sympathetic, when there is any stressful thought or physical problem our body will immediately respond by increasing blood flow, neuron flow, etc. to the area — or an area that is “connected” to our thought pattern.  Short term this does not pose a problem — but long term, the body is so sympathetic … it will drain itself to “fix” the situation.

For example (these examples are based on German New Medicine); as a woman if you lose a baby — we yearn to nurture that baby again … Women’s breasts are about nurturing — so our very sympathetic body hears this “need” and will send additional energy and breast tissue to the area so we can nurture.  

The energy the body was sending to the breast tissue was energy that was being used elsewhere in the body for our daily maintenance, if this goes on for a short period it’s not a problem, we can handle it.  If this goes on for a long period of time the other systems of the body that are now getting less energy and will start to deteriorate (as I explain with the abacus and our energy below) and lead to disease.

Before I scare everyone, realizing that we are all going to have challenges and loss in our lives at some point — I don’t want you to think that loss or heartache will result in a disease!  It is important to have a mourning process — and its also important to pick yourself up and heal your hurt.

I hope I am painting a picture here of just how sympathetic our body is — and what we have to pay attention to is our thoughts!  Our thoughts can drive this process for the better or the worse.

At this point in our suffering, if we can get a grip on our mind stuff and direct it in a more useful manner the body will stop being so sympathetic that it drains other systems or builds too much tissue in an area.

I lost my father very unexpectedly and tragically.  How did I do this after the tragic death of my father?

  • I now have pictures and little momentos from my father all around at my house reminding me of all the good he shared with me.
  • I offered a one year Yoga Scholarship in his honor each year I had my yoga studio after he died.
  • Talking about his accomplishments and how fun and unique he was to have as a dad.  There is no other man I would have chosen for my dad — even if I could have!

YES our mind and thoughts can direct these processes in our nervous system!  How?

We have two sides to our autonomic nervous system —thats the side of our nervous system that beats our heat, shines our eyes, grows our hair — actions that happen involuntarily.  The two sides of our involuntary nervous system are the sympathetic and parasympathetic sides.

We try to use yoga to influence the shift to be parsympathetic — in the calming, happy side of our nervous system — and away from the sympathetic stress response.

This is MOSTLY involuntary … There are ways we can control our body to consciously switch from being sympathetic dominant to parasympathetic dominant, the two most available to us ~

Breath

    &

Mind (thoughts)

I’ve spent the last couple decades educating everyone about breath and its importance and how much effect conscious breathing has on our body.  It’s time to now engage our mind in this process as well.  Our mind can shift our stress response in an instant — Just as quickly as changing your mind.

Imagine; you are walking down a dark street alone at night, you suddenly hear foot steps behind you -and they are getting faster.  You start to pick up your pace, heighten your senses, dart your eyes around (this would be the start of your stress response) … then all of a sudden you hear a familiar voice call out your name -It’s someone you know!  Stress response over.  Back to being parasympathetic dominant 

You can make this switch at will, anytime.  It is within your control.  All you need to do is change your mind. Change what you are thinking.  Most all stress is not longer life threatening as its as in the caveman days, it’s time for us to learn a new evolutionary response to stress.

On the nervous systems

Our body doesn’t have unlimited energy to handle every system of the body all day long.  Instead our body moves energy around to where we need it.  During this process some organs and systems of the body may be deprived for a period of time — if it short, its not a problem.  If there is an increased or prolonged need for energy in one particular area or system, the other systems will start to be drained. 

Those of us that know plants and when to harvest understand this; early in the spring plants energies are mostly in the roots, since the plant is small and depending on climate may have had to hibernate underground for the winter the roots hold more energy.  If you want the medicine from the root, you harvest in the spring.

However if you harvest the root in the summer when the flower is blooming, there will not be very much energy — plant medicine in the root as the plant can not send its energy to both the root and flower — there is not enough for that.

Flowers have the energy of the plant in the early morning hours, usually flowers are harvested during the early morning hours to get more medicine from them.

Late summer and into fall the energy of the plant is going to the leaves and to seeds, it is in the fall we harvest these parts as the plant is putting more of it’s energy there.

Just as a plant moves energy (we are so like the plants!), so does our body.  We can not maintain all 10 systems of our body at high output — instead we shift our energy from one system to another depending on what we are doing and what is going on.

Understanding our Nervous Systems – 

  • PNS and SNS branches of the autonomic nervous system.  The autonomic nervous system has two sides to it; a calming restorative state where we want to spend most of our time (Parasympathetic) and an “emergency” state or sympathetic response where all the bodies energies shift to just a few functions to save our life in an emergency —at the detriment to the other systems and organs in the body.
  • I can explain this process in two different examples … we have an abacus or we could have a bandwidth …
    • Picture an abacus, see the beads on their rods — and take notice the beads and rods are all enclosed so you have a set amount of them.  This is kind of like our energy on any given day — while we can over a course of time increase our energy — on any given day you have X amount for that day.
    • The beads represent all your energy, and in the abacus you can move your energy around; in the abacus instead of having rows or columns of 1s, 10s, 100s, etc. you have a column that represents your digestive system, a column for your immune lymphatic function, a column for reproductive and endocrine function, a column for muscles and bones and movement energy, a column for your nervous system, your circulatory system etc. (there are 10 major systems of the body).  On a good day your beads are spread out over all those columns so each area of your body has some energy.  
    • However your body can not handle an overload on any one of these systems without pulling energy from another system — remember your energy is limited.  So if you get the flu, suddenly all the beads go to your immune system and you are so tired you can barely get out of bed ~ your beads moved your energy away from your muscles and bones, and even from your digestion to give more strength to your immune system to fight off the invaders.  So the good thing is you feel this and stay in bed.
    • In the stress response your energy goes to your muscles — your body needs to pull energy from your immune system, your digestion, your reproductive and endocrine system, etc.  ~ all that energy is sent to your muscles and bones ~ so you feel strong and energetic, not a bad thing.The problem is if this is sustained your body breaks down because the other systems need energy to function for your health — and the bigger problem is you don’t feel this until an imbalance or disease develops.  You can feel the energy shift away from your muscles when you are sick but you don’t feel the energy shift away from your immunity or digestion during stress.  You don’t feel your body not breaking down B12, iron, zinc, magnesium so you can digest and utilize it.  You don’t realize you are becoming deficient in these nutrients until you experience the side effects of being too low for too long.  For example your muscles cramping from lack of magnesium, or depressive states from lack of B12, etc.
    • Let’s Re-Iterate:  Under the stress response we do not digest, detox, heal or regenerate our organs and skin. We send all our energy to think quick and run quicker …. If you are spending too much time in this fight or flight response with stress hormones you are not detoxing or healing, you are breaking down your body. 
    • We have tools to bring down our stress response — specifically our breathing and bandhas and some other muscular contractions that stimulate our parasympathetic nervous system.  I will share some of these shortly.

And the problem here is:  The body can’t tell if this stressor is only in our thoughts (its in all your head!) or if it is a real danger.  This potentially sets us up to be in our stress response for hours every day if we are not aware of what our thoughts are creating in our body.

AND what is the best way to access control over your PNS?

YOUR BREATH and YOUR THOUGHTS

And these are also the MOST important aspect of our physical yoga practice.

Our nervous system greatly effects our health — as I explained in the abacus story of how energy moves in our body to where we need it — we don’t have enough energy to support the functioning of all ten systems, so our body moves our energy to where we need it.

Stress is a big sucker of this energy — and it shifts us to the undesirable side of our autonomic nervous system, if you have stress in you, you have less energy to heal, regenerate, be happy, go to the bathroom, and circulate all those neurons, blood, lymph, and hormones.

Yoga is really about mind control.  Learning to use your mind to not put stress in your body and to help direct your energies toward healing, regenerating, digesting and other endeavors.

As we start to do the work of watching what we are thinking it is important to not fall into the habit of self-criticism.

  • When you first start this work you will become aware of all the negative thoughts you have, how many thoughts you don’t want, and how often you beat yourself up.  THIS IS NORMAL.
  • Don’t beat yourself up for beating yourself up
  • Self Criticism = SNS activation.  We are working here to not set off a stress response, being hard on yourself will set off your stress response.

If you need to look or critique yourself for something — say “constructive criticism;

  • Don’t talk to yourself in your own voice, use a voice of someone who soothes you, someone over the years who would give you gently, loving advice.  Maybe it’s a grandparent?  Or an Aunt or Uncle, or a childhood friend.  When you talk to yourself, in your minds’ eye see and mind’s ears see and hear this loving person gently giving you feedback.
  • Or if it is hard for you to not talk to yourself in your own voice, then talk to yourself as you would a friend you were consoling.

1 by 1 start to reshape what you are thinking, one little thought at a time.

How to get aware enough to become aware?

Some suggestions of how to start minding your mindstuff, frequently ask yourself:

  • What am I thinking?
  • “What do I need right now?”  Do I need a sip of water?  A feel good stretch?  A bathroom break?  A smile? 
  • Am I breathing through my nose?
  • Tension anywhere?

Train your brain by habitually asking yourself these types of questions.  Habitually “check in”.

Having a daily meditation or breathing practice can help.  Try to make a 10 minute slot most days where you sit and consciously watch your mind as it jumps around, and gently bring it back.  Bring it back to what?

  • What do you want to grow?
  • What are you trying to build?

You can shape your future with your thoughts. More on this coming!

Before we look at our mind power in shaping our future, let’s look at how emotions are stored in the body and how our thoughts effect what emotions are created.  What you think effects your body and mind — there is science on all this!

“The Issues are in your Tissues”

ALL THOUGHTS CREATE A NEUROPEPTIDE CHEMICAL that is released into our body.

What is a neuropeptide?  It is a type of neurotransmitter.  What is a neurotransmitter?

Neurotransmitters are chemicals the body releases from one neuron that binds to receptors in the next neuron — it is how our nervous system relays a mesaage. 

Neurotransmitters are small and fast, and their messages are either inhibitory or excitatory — as in the stress response.  Inhibitory neurotransmitters calm us down, think PNS acitivation, excitatory transmitters tell our body to release stress hormones, think SNS activation.  Neurotransmitters are here and gone — they attach quickly to their receptors, do their job, and what does not attach the body re-uptakes or destroys.

Neuropeptides are larger and slower, they “secrete” as like a gland, they stay in our system (our body) much longer.  While they are released from the neurons to neurons they act on more receptors than a neurotransmitter — They also attach to receptors in our glands such as the thyroid, hypothalamus, the pituitary gland and others sites on our body as well relaying or blocking information to and from the cell.  

Here are some examples of neurotransmitters and neuropeptides that you may have heard of:

Neuropeptides: Oxytocin, vasopressin, TSH, LH, GH, insulin, and Glucagon are neuropeptides.

Neurotransmitters: Acetylcholine, Dopamine, Serotonin, and Histamine are neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters and neuropeptides both influence our emotional state — neurotransmitters by either making us alert and precautious or relaxed and and carefree.  Neuropeptides influence our hormonal balance which greatly effects our moods — and vice versa, our moods, emotions, and thoughts effect what neuropeptides get released.  By making a conscious effort to control your thoughts you will have a much better balance in your hormones. 

Literally all our thoughts and perceptions get flavored by emotions that release these chemicals — what we are thinking and feeling creates a chemical network of neurotransmitters and hormones that integrates our mental, emotional, and physiological states.

  • This is interesting; emotions are not tangible, yet they release into our blood stream as tangible chemicals that we can trace.  Something intangible becomes tangible = matter into energy!

What are you thinking and what state does that put you in?

Dr. Candace Pert discovered the role neuropeptides play in carrying the emotional chemicals that get released when we feel emotions.   These chemicals attach to receptors all over the body blocking the flow of information and hormones in our body.  Literally our old traumatic events alter the flow of information in our bodies.

These neuropeptides can be released through deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and cuddling 🙂  

Dr. Pert often referred to “touch therapy”.  Many of the receptors molecules of emotion attach to are in the skin, spine, and organs as well; making hugs and cuddling a therapy — especially for those who have experienced trauma.  

I have often said in my yoga classes “Touch is to the emotions what food is to the body“, even a caring assist in a yoga class can begin the healing from trauma.  Therapies that address the spine like massage, chiropractic, and craniosacral therapies can help release trauma and theses molecules of emotion.  Dr. Pert also included meditation, breathing, diet, yoga & exercise, among other modalities.

While we can clean up these neuropeptides, let’s be more aware about how our thoughts create these neuropeptides.

To clean up your neuropeptides~

  • Touch Therapy 
  • Dr. Pert also included meditation, breathing, diet, yoga & exercise, among other modalities such as:
  • RELAX.  Each evening make sure you take any issues you might have had to deal with throughout the day, put them in a box and put them on a shelf for night.  Having a period of relax each night will help your body release emotionally stored neuropeptides.
  • Each evening take a few minutes and review your day.  I learned this habit from Carolyn Myss back in the 90s, she used to do a morning and evening short chakra medition — the a.m. meditation to set how you want to behave for the day, and the p.m. meditation to evaluate your day and release any emotions – or make note of how you might handle something differently tomorrow.
  • NATURE – one of the easiest ways to release these stored hormones is by getting outside with nature. Nature creates plant chemicals that help to regulate our neurotransmitters;
  • If you can’t get outside, you can bring the outside in with plants and herbs, and oils.  For example:
    • Lemon (ingested) lowers the neurotransmitters adrenaline and noradrenaline (aka epinephrine and norepinephrine) while it increases dopamine and serotonin
    • Lavender helps GABA — our feel good neurotransmitter, I call it the red wine neurotransmitter — get to the receptors of the receiving neuron, therefore calming us down better.
    • Clary sage increases dopamine and therefore is a very good anti-depressant.
    • Spanish sage improves acetylcholine in the brain — there fore improving cognitive issues — by inhibiting the release of the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine allowing it to act on the brain longer.

‘Molecules of Emotion’ by Candace Pert (http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Molecules-of-Emotion/Candace-B-Pert/9780684846347) 

 The science is there, “THE ISSUES ARE IN THE TISSUES”  What you think becomes imbedded in your physical body.  

Memories also leave traces in our body, I came across some research on Engrams. Engrams are the means that memory is stored in the brain and other tissues.  From wikipedia:

  • Engrams are means by which memory traces are stored[1] as biophysical or biochemical  changes in the brain (and other neural tissue) in response to external stimuli.
  • They are also sometimes thought of as a biological neural network or fragment of memory, sometimes using a hologram analogy to describe its action in light of results showing that memory appears not to be localized in the brain. The existence of engrams is posited by some scientific theories to explain the persistence of memory and how memories are stored in the brain. The existence of neurologically defined engrams is not significantly disputed, though their exact mechanism and location has been a focus of persistent research for many decades.)  http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engram_%28neuropsychology%29

We used to think we stored memories only in the brain and neural tissue; more recently there is more data showing these memories and emotions are stored in all our tissues, not just neural tissue.

It does make sense, we know our muscles have s memory. A muscle can remember a repeated action without brain involvement — hence the reason for some of the repetition of the Ashtanga practice. It allows you to get off the physical plane and in a meditative state.

In alternative therapies it is believed that when sometime traumatic happens to us our brain is not yet ready to sort it out and store it, the the engram or piece of memory gets stored somewhere in our body.  At some point that memory maybe tapped into – be it with physical movement or therapy like massage, or something that stimulates the memory of it, and you most likely will feel some emotion as the body moves the memory — or releases it.  Many people have felt this; during or after yoga while in rest pose you feel overwhelming emotions, sometimes so strong they bring on tears, 

While on the subject of what we are carrying around with us aka our baggage — or what is being stored in our tissues:

Where are our emotions stored?  Our emotions are happening everywhere in our bodies simultaneously. Emotions are in our digestive system, our immune system, and our endocrine systems.  These systems are spread throughout our entire body as are our emotions. 

When you get triggered by an event you feel it all over your body; your hands, shake, your heart rate increases, your knees get weak, you stutter or have a hard time getting your words out, etc.  Emotions are all over our body everywhere at the same time.

What emotions are you putting in your body?

We store a lot in our tissues!  This is why movement and breathing exercises like yoga can release feelings and emotions in us that we stored and were not aware was even there.  We do want to release these emotions, and at the same time make sure to not store more of them.

And lastly, I want to look at our “gut”.  What about your gut?  Our gut is our second brain, after all.  Not only that, it is another powerhouse in our bodies — and the mind and the gut are very connected — the vagus nerve is a direct highway between our gut and brain.

Your Gut Instinct — Trust it — Our mind power starts in our gut

Even though I am talking about the power of our mind — there is an inherent intelligence in the power of our gut as well.  All those microbes give us some pretty powerful feedback.

Our gut talks to our brain!  All of our lives we have used terms such as gut instinct, butterflies in your stomach, listen to your gut, — or as kids sometimes we’d say something like “I hate his guts” — why did we say guts as kids and not something like heart or brain?  

OUR GUTS INFORM OUR BRAIN!

Via the vagus nerve, and it turns out 80% of the communication is gut to brain and only 20% is brain to gut.  Truly our gut informs our brain.  The power starts in the gut.

And this is true for the heart as well!  The heart sends more signals to the brain (telling the brain how to respond) than the brain sends to the heart.

Through the work of HeartMath they discovered our eyes communicate what they see to our heart and gut first, and then to our brain.  They determined this by hooking test subjects up to biofeedback devices, then showing them a horrible picture or a beautiful picture (car crashes vs. flowers) and noting what areas of their body reacted to the scene first.

So what your eyes see communicate in this order:

  1. to your heart
  2. to your gut
  3. to your brain

And I experienced this myself when a nice big cane spider came to visit me and decided to hang out on my knee … by the time I realized it was a cane spider on my knee I was already standing up and washing him down the tub as his 100 cute little beady eyes were pleading with me 🙁  It was gut instinct — or I should say my guts setting my actions in motion before my brain even had a chance to react.

Our Thoughts

The power of your Mind 

Through biofeedback we now know what the yogis said about ‘where your thoughts go energy flows’ is true. When you think about a certain organ in your body, you increase not only blood flow to that area but lymphatic and neural flow, etc. as well.  Because of this there is now a renewed interest in looking at the power of visualizations.

We can harness the power of our mind and direct it to good use for ourselves.  When you put your mind into what you are doing it is more effective.  

Use your mind to heal your body.

Mind body medicine is defined as using the mind to effect the body.  Many mind body medicines are rooted in calming the nervous system, which effects the systems of the body that allow healing to occur.  If our thoughts or actions or situations put stress hormones in us, then healing is less likely happening.  Learning to make this shift yourself at will can help your healing potential.

Due to the placebo effect we also have a good deal of science backing the power of your mind to heal your body from disease. And the good news is there are many different mind body medicine techniques available that are effective; from placebos to imagery to visualizations, and your belief system.  Thanks to the fact that most of our society is familiar — and believes that placebos somehow “trick” our body into healing or working — it improves their efficacy.   Our belief system plays a big role in how illnesses, diseases, or injuries effect us emotionally, physically, and in our healing process.

We can use our imagination to improve our health, job, relationships, and our happiness or mood by developing a deeper self-awareness about what we are thinking and constantly saying to ourselves. Many successful people be it speakers, actors, business people, or athletes have learned how to stop their negative back talk and incorporate positive visualizations — some of them on purpose and some through intuition.

Your mind is a powerful tool!  It can enhance anything we are trying to accomplish — or lead us down wrong paths . . . You can even use the power of your mind to increase healing, boost your immune system, and improve strength and coordination in your physical body, and help to achieve your dreams.

Right now, lets use our mind to boost our immune system; here is a picture of a white blood cell (the orange) consuming pathogenic bacteria (the blue rods) and neutralizing them.  Now close your eyes for a moment and picture this in your body. You can help your immune system rid your body of bad bacteria!

Figure 2. Phagocytosis

Figure 2. Phagocytosis
Coloured scanning electron micrograph of a white blood cell (orange) caught in the act of engulfing bacteria (blue rods). As Ilya Metchikov observed, wandering cells called phagocytes migrate to areas of tissue damage or infection to engulf and digest any harmful foreign particles, bacteria, and dead/dying cells.
Credit: Dr Kari Lounatmaa / Science Photo Library.The photo was kindly provided by Dr Kari Lounatmaa / Science Photo Library.

Here is another image of another type of white blood cell, a macrophage eating candida albicans — gobbling them up.

Candida albicans being eaten by a macrophage in your immune system

For example, you can use the power of your mind to improve strength; here is a study done on mind only exercises vs. using resistance training for muscle strength for the same exercises (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14998709 ). 

In this study they tested elbow flexion and pinky abduction with what they called “mental contractions” — Only doing the exercises in the mind without any physical exercise being done; they tested the same exercises being done with real weights, and had a control group. The results . . . the “mental contraction” group had a 35% increase in muscle strength, the group who used real weights had a 53% increase in strength and the control group stayed the same — simply focusing and imagining doing the exercise increased muscle strength! This study concluded “The mental training employed by this study enhances the cortical output signal, which drives the muscles to a higher activation level and increases strength.”

I would classify this as a Neuro-Muscular improvement — improving how our brains and muscles communicate. Before you move a muscle, the brain has to signal it to move, mental contractions send the signal to the muscles even though we voluntarily do not move them — this communication between brain and muscle enhances strength and performance even without movement.

    • for example, gyms that have TVs by the aerobic devices, while exercise is good no matter how you can get it (for the most part) if you put your mind into your exercise it will be even more beneficial instead of zoning out on the tv.  For example feel your breath rate, work with nasal breathing (this takes awareness to not slip into mouth breathing while exercising), feel your muscles responding 🙂 Exercising this way has the potential for even more benefit than zoning out while you work out.  Exercising in this way keeps you present and away from spinning stories in your mind.

Imagery is a type of mind body medicine that works like a placebo. Guided imagery reduces stress, and improves immune function by increasing white blood cells and lymphocytes. If you are ill, have disease, or planning a surgery you can use guided imagery to improve your healing response.

Training the mind is just as important as training the body

I have read studies of Olympic skiers rehearsing the course in their head and gaining more consistent improved performance — As in this NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/sports/olympics/olympians-use-imagery-as-mental-training.html?_r=0

We can also use imagery to improve artistic performance, here is a study where participants who Mentally Practiced on an imaginary piano had the same neurological changes (and reductions in some mistakes) as the participants who Physically Practiced. While the group that physically practiced improved overall performance slightly better — there were measurable gains in improvement in the Mental Practice group. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3747442/

This type of mental practice is especially beneficial to prevent overuse injuries — or in the case of athletes who may get inured; mental imagery allows them to “practice” while they are off for recovery.

How does mental practice enhance performance? Before our muscles move our brain has to engage to tell them to move, this is the corticol output signal. Imagery or rehearsing in your mind stimulates the corticol output signal driving muscles to a higher level of performance or coordination. As stated in the piano study “Some have suggested that mental practice activates the same brain regions as physical practice, and may even lead to the same changes in neural structure and synaptic connectivity.”

To get the most of your visualizations, pull in as many senses as possible; as Emily Cook (a U.S. freestyle aerials Olympian) in the NY Times link above says, she goes beyond “visualization” in her training. “You have to smell it,” she said. “You have to hear it. You have to feel it, everything.” For example she talks of feeling the wind on her face, hearing the crowd, feeling her muscles work as she does the imagery.

I did some research on using the power of your mind, here is what I found:

To use your mind power, you have to know how to employ it — the best way to do that is to know what it is you want to do and to think it often;

  • The thoughts you think most often are more likely to happen
    • If you put your mental energy into the same thoughts day after day they become stronger — and eventually affect your health, attitude, and behavior.
  • Not every thought turns into reality, a thought not only has to be repeated but believed to carry power.
    • Doubts, fears and worries tend to destroy what you build with the power of your mind. It is helpful to clear your mind of negative thoughts and doubts.

Your daily exercise or yoga practice is a good place to put your thoughts into the healing of your inner body, in this way every day when you practice you are using the power of your mind to keep your body healthy. This is why I feel it is so important to share where we are working internally in yoga postures and the benefits of exercises.

Another way of using your mind to heal your body is “talk to your body”.   “What if your body could speak to you?” For example if you are having heart trouble, imagine your heart could speak to you — what would it say? What does it want? If you have chronic headaches, imagine your head or brain telling you what it needs in order to not hurt. You may get some very useful insights. Try it and see.

You too can harness the power of imagery

We can use mental imagery to heal our body, improve how we do our job, find the way to change to our “dream life”, or toward any area in life we want to rise to a higher level. 

The Placebo Effect

Take the power of your mind to medicine … Placebos are getting some exciting attention, it seems the placebo effect is increasing. 

Pharmaceutical companies are having a harder time proving medications are better than a placebo. To receive FDA approval a pharmaceutical company has to prove their medication can outperform a placebo. This is getting harder and harder to do, and often requires companies to make studies look more effective than they are; for example by using a relative vs absolute numbers and not disclosing “effect size”.  Here is a quote from Michael P. Hengartner, PhD

“The mean efficacy reported in the most recent meta-analysis by Cipriani and colleagues3 and in many other meta-analyses before1 4 15consistently show that the effect size corresponds to a standardized mean drug-placebo difference of 0.3. I will not enter into statistical details, instead I want to summarise briefly what this figure means: It indicates, that the short-term effects of antidepressants and placebo overlap by 88% and that 9 patients need to undergo antidepressant pharmacotherapy for 1 patient to experience a benefit that is superior to placebo. This undoubtedly is not an impressive figure and clearly shows that in most people with major depression8 9 the drugs do not have an effect that is different from the effect of an inert sugar pill.”

Statins have an even worse “effect size”; 83 people need to take a statin and deal with the side effects for 1 person to benefit.

Why take a medication with side effects when you can take a placebo … and why take a sugar pill when you can just think and believe you can heal your body?

There are companies popping up now that sell placebos and tell their clients they are placebos.

We also know our body makes it’s own natural opioids that are released during intense exercise or stress — it is believed that placebos can also have this effect.  Taking a placebo over an opioid and believing the placebo helps your body release your own natural pain relieving opioids is effective.  In fact there is a company called zeeboo effect that is sharing these studies and selling placebo pills, they have a pdf book called “The placebo Cure

What the pharmaceutical companies look at as a hassle we can use to our advantage!

Sham or placebo surgeries?

Even sham surgeries work! We have studies of sham surgeries done on knees with great results. Here is an study on Arthroscopic surgeries where they made incisions but never operated — the sham surgery had as high of a success rate as the real surgery. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24369076) This could be called the pre-cebo effect.

Using your mind to improve outcomes of a surgery is being employed now too.

In my Functional Medicine Health Coaching certification they taught about mind body medicine and using imagery to make a surgery more effective and to speed the healing process.  Health Coaches are taught prior to a surgery to help your client with visualizations of the surgery being successful, waking up feeling no pain, etc.  And after surgery visualizations are used to speed the healing process, seeing your body heal from the surgery.

The doctors who are using imagery before and after surgery are finding a greater success rate, many of them have started documenting this and getting studies published.  I think we will start to see more use of imagery in the medical fields.

And more recently I was listening to a podcast the Dr. Stuart McGill, PhD – aka “The Back Mechanic”.  He teaches how to move and use your body and muscles to heal and protect your back from pain.  He works very closely 1:1 with his patients, sometimes taking up to 3 hours to get a full intake on the first visit.

Many of his patients had been scheduled for back surgery, but thanks to the pandemic he had a chance to work with them prior to surgery.  Prior to them going to their surgeon, he made a “virtual surgery visualization” and he guided them through the entire visualization process, multiple times.  Of those who did his virtual surgery 95% of them never needed the surgery — he can stand by that statistic — he is documenting and currently running studies to be published.

It’s not only the surgery or virtual surgery that heals, but it is his belief that the rehabilitation after the surgery — in cases where actual surgery was done successfully — is what did the healing and re-educating of how to move your body.  In other words he thinks the rehabilitation process after the surgery is what healed the person, not so much the surgery itself.

“A lot of people who get better from back surgery, its because they are forced into a rehabilitation program. They’re forced to comply with that rehabilitation program.” 

Back Mechanic: The step-by-step McGill method for back pain

There was some research done on placebos vs. pain meds, surgery, or other pain management therapies. Some placebo treatments works better than others. Placebo means “to please you” by the way. That’s a nice thought  Here is what the study found :

  • Placebo surgery worked better than placebo injections
  • Placebo injections worked better than placebo pills
  • Color and size of the placebo pill makes a difference
  • Sham acupuncture works better than a placebo pill
  • The more expensive the more effective the placebo, and the more administered the more effective
  • Telling the patient “this will relieve your pain” is better than saying “this might help”.

Clearly our beliefs have a powerful effect on our body and healing. Scrutinize the quality of your thoughts.

In addition to placebo, we also have:

  • pre-cebo = your perception will effect the outcome
  • placebo = ‘to please’ – A substance that has positive effects as a result of a patient’s perception that it is beneficial rather than as a result of a causative ingredient.
  • nocebo = Believing something will harm – A substance that causes undesirable side effects as a result of a patient’s perception that it is harmful when it is void of a causative ingredient.
    • Or a substance which a patient experiences as harmful due to previous negative perception, but which is in fact is pharmacologically (medicinally) inactive.

Placebos in reverse work too!  There was also another study I came across here on anti-depressant use; Patients who felt they were better on Prozac were told that they would be “randomized” to either continue the exact dose that had helped them OR get a sugar pill. It turns out that both groups became equally depressed — even those that were still taking the real prozac.  The exact same pill that made them feel better the day before, suddenly did not work when they thought they were one of the one’s getting the placebo.  More on this here.  On antidepressants?  Would you like to get off?  Dr. Kelly Brogan, MD uses education, food, breathing, yoga, online support groups, and imagery and visualizations to help her patients get off antidepressants.

A word about Rumination

Rumination aka re-hatching — the worst thing you can do!  Rumination is directly linked to depression, anxiety, and PTSD.  (Tartakovsky, M. (2018). Why Ruminating is Unhealthy and How to Stop. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 11, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/why-ruminating-is-unhealthy-and-how-to-stop/)

When you are faced with an unpleasant situation or find yourself very mad or upset at something someone did — STOP YOURSELF FROM RUMINATING ON IT.  

To continue to hash in out in your mind will harm you way more than it will harm the person you are mad at.  Rumination aka bad worry has been known to lead to digestive issues due to its impact on our stress levels.

Instead try to paint a positive picture of the best possible outcome from this situation.  Every time you start to worry, train your mind to go back to the positive painting.

If you need to worry about something — say to plan a better response; Pick a “worry time” each day (if you are a worrier) — for about 15 minutes when you are calm and relaxed and can look at the situation from a higher perspective.  Save all your worries for this time of day!

I listened interview Dr. Mercola did with Dr. Martin Rossman on worry and how worrying may effect our health more than bad food, smoking, and/or lack of exercise! Dr. Rossman has a long-standing interest in the practical importance of attitudes, beliefs and emotions in mind-body medicine and is a big fan of the Power of Visualization — He uses guided imagery and Visualizations in his clinical practice.

He has a book out called “The Worry Solution” which includes a CD set of visualizations you can listen to.  According to Dr. Rossman:

“Imagery, which seems so invisible and ethereal and airy-fairy, is one of the most powerful faculties we have as human beings for not only changing our behaviors, but changing our minds, which changes our physiology. It changes our body. It changes our health.”

Be careful what you are spinning in the back of your mind.

What is your Belief System?

As I mentioned in order for the power of your mind to heal and change your body to be most effective, you need to believe.  Our belief system also effects our health.

Your belief system is more powerful than your genes, more powerful than any medication you put in your mouth, and even more powerful than eating 9 cups of vegetables per day.  Our mind is strong and can influence our body greatly.
Power of what we believe

*Is our intelligence level fixed or can it grow?  It depends on what you believe!  

100 7th graders were given this question, then tracked for two years through math grades.  Those with fixed mindset showed a decrease in math grades.

Those with a growth mindset steadily increased their grades over the 2 years.

(I have read similar studies by Positive Psychology experts.)

*They then took another (different) 100 7th graders all doing poorly in math and randomly assigned them to two different workshops.  One workshop was on how to study, the other workshop taught about the expanding nature of intelligence and the brain — how it can grow and change shape as we learn something new, and about how neurons wire together to create pathways of learning and skills.

By the end of the semester, the group who had been taught that the brain can grow smarter, had significantly better grades than the group taught how to study better.

Who’s your teacher?  Beware of who you choose to learn from.

Your thoughts effect every cell of your body!

In the book The Biology of Belief  by Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D a cell biologist will forever change how you think about your own thinking. He proves the biochemical effects of the brain’s functioning effects all the cells of your body — literally your cells are affected by your thoughts.  He states “think beyond your genes” and poses questions such as “What would your life be like if you learned that you are more powerful than you have ever been taught?”

He also has been interviewed by many people who host podcasts, he is very interesting to listen to.  
 
How do you think about your childhood?  Or past traumatic events?  We all have had challenges and stories through our lives, how do you think about yours?  Your perception of those events effects your DNA, your health, and your quality of life.  There is an abundance of research now on how Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs) effect people well into adulthood and most of their lives.  This is not necessary!  You  can be your own alchemist and turn your challenges into strength and resilience.
 
This is not new knowledge. We have a history of research by Albert Ellis in how our beliefs effect the consequences of what happened to us — again restated — It is not what happens to us that effects us, it is how we think about what happened to us that effects us. He calls it Emotional behaviors consequences, and it is in line with other studies in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Cognitive behavior meaning “how you think”.  If you think something is going to wreck your life for the rest of your life, then it might.  If you believe you can heal and overcome whatever it is you are facing, then you can.

And more recently Gregg Braden has been offering courses on “Radical Resilience”.  Here is a blip from one of his emails I received:

“New discoveries are changing the way we’ve thought about resilience in the past. Beyond just surviving and bouncing back from the unexpected, Radical Resilience is an adaptive form of strength that gives us the power to think, and live, in a way that prepares us to meet life’s unexpected twists and turns, and to do so in a healthy way.”  

He states about our how current pandemic is changing how we have lived, worked, and moved around for our entire lives: “Science shows us that such abrupt changes create a kind of stress that weakens our immune system, accelerates the aging process, strains our relationships and catapults our survival instincts into high gear. Our ability to resolve this kind of stress, and thrive in the new reality that we’ve awakened to, is directly linked to the level of resilience in our lives.  And this is the good news!”

What do you believe about your health and your body’s ability to heal?  Do you believe you need something outside of you, like a doctor to heal you, or a medicine to kill the invader or balance your body?  Most traditional medical practices lead one to believe we are unable to heal ourselves and we need something outside to heal. Our reliance on medications leads one to believe there is a particular remedy that is best for each particular disease and the only way to heal or overcome disease or infection is with that particular pill or treatment.  While there are times when we do need medical assistance, there are many times we don’t — and even adding insult to injury we have to heal from the treatment then heal our own body!

Where as alternative and Eastern medicines teach us about the amazing ability of our body to heal.  That we are not sitting ducks in this pandemic — there are many things we can do to resist diseases, aging, and the coronavirus even if we are exposed.  They also teach about the importance of food as medicine and keeping your body healthy with good food and lifestyle goes along way against resisting disease and aging.

Which would you rather believe?

What beliefs are holding you back?  

You can change your DNA by your perception  Your belief system has the ability to turn certain genes on and to turn certain genes off. Our feelings and our thoughts effect our gene expression and our health.

Human consciousness also effects our DNA.  When a person is feeling gratitude, love, and appreciation the DNA relaxes and opens, it becomes longer.

When you feel anger, fear, frustration, or stress the DNA became shorter, tighten up, and switch off.  You don’t want to stay in this state very long.

Our perception of love or fear will also effect our DNA in the same way.

If we are getting tweaked emotionally it is so expensive to every cell in your body — even you are just in a rush and not as conscious, the same effect happens.

Energy has a physical effect.  Your thoughts effect your physical body.

What is going on inside your skin?  What is your thought process?  Your DNA is eaves dropping on what you are thinking!

Wake up excited about your day and genes turn on for learning and growth.  Wake up bummed about your day — ugh another day of work … and disease promoting genes turn on.

Side lesson — don’t carry your cell phone on your person!  When I was doing research on what effects our DNA, came across some studies on EMFs.
EMFs can change our DNA too — data shows EMFs can turn on certain genes and turn off other genes effecting health negatively.

Let’s apply this to our current situation, the coronavirus … Here is my belief about this virus, I am going to make my body a very inhospitable host for that virus!

Do you know the coronavirus is really quite easy to disrupt?  It has an glycoprotein biofilm that is pretty easily rendered.  There are many substances that can break up these biofilms or attack the virus in various ways so that it can not gain access to your cells.

Lectins for example — a demonized plant compound from grains and beans thought to be harmful actually break glycoprotein shell the virus builds around itself effectively stopping its’ replication.

Between my mind power, food, and herbs and oils, this virus does not have a chance in my body!

Thinking about having to fly … I have 3 layers of protection.  

1st layer is the outer layer, I have a different silk scarf for my face for each airplane, a mask for each airport, and my big travel cloak with a big hood.

2nd layer is the herbal oils I use on my skin, in my nasal passages, ears, and mouth!  I use my covid Immunity Body oil on my skin which contains essential oils that kill SARS, nasya oil that contains eucalyptus (powerful anti-viral), ear oil that contains garlic (also a powerful anti-viral), and sesame oil with clove (also known to kill SARS) in it for my mouth which I will swish and gargle with at each airport.  And I will chew on cloves in the airplane (like I do when I’m teaching).

Foods I eat to kill the virus:  Leeks, taro, green tea, oregano, turmeric and ginger, elderberry, garlic and lots of vegetables in general — and beans I have been including more regularly because of this.  When I fly I put fresh turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and now thyme in my traveling tea tumbler.  Then after I get through security all I need to do is go find hot water.  I refill it several times to get all the nutrients out of the herbs.

Other foods I’m eating to protect myself — foods high in zinc, people with higher levels of zinc fare much better when exposed to the virus and foods high in Vitamin C (I’m lucky to live where I have lemon and grapefruit trees on the property!).  Foods high in zinc include:

  • Shellfish — clean sources only
  • Legumes
  • Seeds especially hemp, pumpkin, and sesame
  • Nuts especially almonds, pine nuts, and cashews
  • Dark Chocolate 🙂
  • Cheese and eggs have a half decent amount of zinc
  • Potatoes, kale, and green beans do too
  • Red meat — but ONLY grass fed and humanely treating animals in small amounts only. 

Vitamin D will also protect you from the virus, GET OUTSIDE in the sun — NO sunblock — each day for 10-20 minutes and soak up your vitamin D supply for the winter.

To improve your Vitamin D absorption eat fermented foods and leafy greens to get your dose vitamin K.  Vitamin K and magnesium boost your absorption of Vitamin D.

And lastly … clog up your ACE receptors!  The virus uses the ACE2 receptor to gain access to your cells, imagine your ACE2 receptors all bound up with other enzymes.  And if you are on any blood pressure medications check with your doctor to make sure they are NOT ACE2 inhibitors.

I give many other tips and herbs and essential oils that block or kill SARS viruses in this blog.  The virus doesn’t have a chance of surviving in my body!

Mind Power & Intentions

Intention, Quantum Physics & Albert Einstein’s “spooky effect from a distance”.

Quantum physics is the study of the behavior of matter and energy at the molecular, atomic, nuclear, and even smaller microscopic levels. It seems the laws that govern macroscopic objects that we can see and hold do not function the same on microscopic molecules.

The next step down from a molecule is an atom. The next step down from an atom are subatomic particles which consist of Photons, Leptons, Electrons, Neutrons, Quarks, etc.  Of concern right now are photons— specifically biophontos.

Photons are quantum particles that can be expressed as particles or electromagnetic waves — depending upon what you are looking for!
If you are looking for a particle it will behave as a particle.
If you are looking for a wave, it will behave as a wave.
Is this mind power effecting whether you see a particle or wave? More on this later. 

Biophotons are photons that emit a very weak light that all living beings have, they are classified as UPEs or ultra weak photon emissions.

Biophotons are stored and concentrated in our DNA

Biophotons act as communicators in our body (and possibly outside of our body!).  They are connected to vitality as biophotons helps our cells and organs communicate wirelessly and very fast — kinda like wifi.  As I mentioned before; normally information and nutrients get in a cell only in a lock and key method — the receptors act as a lock and certain nutrient’s molecular form acts as a key that allow only that molecular form to enter a cell.  Biophotons bypass this and directly and faster communicate information and nutrients into the cell!  We want biophotons in our body.

Good communication between all the cells and systems of our body is important for health.  This is why alternative therapies are always looking to remove blockages and improve the flow of energy with acupuncture, massage, yoga, etc.  The better your cells and systems of your body communicate the more vitality you have.  For example;

  • Our thalamus receives signals from our senses, filters them, then communicates to the brain what it detects.
  • Our hypothalamus receives signals from our nervous system, it then responds by sending signals to our adrenals and pituitary glands.
  • Our pituitary gland responds to the hypothalamus by secreting hormones that effect thyroid function, reproductive hormones, growth hormones, adrenal hormones, oxytocin, and more — these hormones then act as little communicators turning cells on for growth and regeneration during good times or turning those cells off if stress is being communicated.
  • Breathing exercises and other modalities encourage gamma brain waves in our brain — gamma brain waves help all four lobes of our brain communicate faster and better helping us integrate life experiences better.
  • Our Brain, heart, and gut  communicate between one another sending signals of happiness or stress accordingly.
  • Our breath rate communicates to our heart, regulating it and improving “coherence” between heart and mind.
  • Communication also happens between food nutrients and cells.

The better and quicker these communications happen the healthier your responses are and the better your body can handle a stressor, cope, adapt, and grow.  For example the better and quicker you can absorb nutrients from the food you eat the healthier your cells are.  Biophotons improve and hasten how our body communicates.

There are some different theories about how we get biophotons, one is through digestion processes — which might be connected to “light in food”.  Another theory is that we absorb these biophotons from the sun through our skin, eyes/pineal gland, and from food we eat.  

Plants also collect these biophotons, when you eat fresh vegetables from your garden they are loaded with biophotons, once those vegetables are in the fridge the “light” in them or biophotons start to fade.  The longer the vegetables is out of the sunlight the less “light” it carries.  Another reason to eat local fresh organic produce!

Interestingly damaged DNA can not hold onto biophotons either, and leaks about 20% of their biophotons resulting in higher oxidation and free radicals.  Yoga and meditation have been found to reduce the leaking of the damaged DNA — and even help the DNA repair itself and reduce free radicals and the loss of biophotons.  Yay for yoga and meditation.

If you live near the west coast (and other places) you can see biophotons in action… the phenomenon of bioluminescent waves — which we just had appear in April in May along the CA coastline this year.

Bioluminescent waves glow off Hermosa Beach.(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Certain types of plankton make the phosphorescence as a protection — when a predator comes around they use their light to scare them away.  When they are tossed around in waves they also light up. The phosphorescents are BIOPHOTONS 🙂

Cameron Storyful San Diego CA

 
I enjoyed reading these studies in PubMed, I have copied and pasted part of the study here:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4267444/ : He (Fritz-Albert Popp (1938- ), German biophysicist and cancer radiotherapist) concluded that biophotons appear to communicate with all the cells of the body instantaneously in a synchronous wave of informational energy (Popp et al. 1988). Overall, there is a relatively large amount of literature about DNA and its ability to create photons in a coherent state (Laager 2008; Conference 2013).
Another excerpt from a study in PubMed:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5433113/  By Division of Yoga and Physical Sciences, Swami Vivekananda 
In one experiment, photomultiplier tubes were used along with a charge-coupled camera.[3] Any stress to the skin in the form of exposure to ultraviolet radiation or cigarette smoke enhances the emission of biophotons while topical application of ascorbic acid or antioxidant solutions reduces such radiation. It is thought that studies of spontaneous ultraweak photon emission could be used for assessing aging in humans as well as for determining oxidative processes in humans.[3]

It is known further, that after practice of meditation, biophoton emissions from the body decrease; this could be due to reduced free radicals in meditating subjects.[4] Communication and control are two required activities within and between cells to maintain homeostasis. Normally, it is thought that both these functions are achieved through biochemical and neurological means. The coherent light source is now thought to be another arm through which both control and communication are achieved. This may be true especially in long-range communications in the body.[5]

Prana, Chi, and Biophotons

It has been theorized by Swami Vivekananda and other Yogis and Chinese Doctors that biophotons are akin to prana and chi.

Interestingly many alternative medicines such as Ayurveda, German New Medicine, and TCM view disease in the body as junction between mind and body — or matter & consciousness.  Biophotons are somewhere between energy and matter (they are matter that emits energy), and prana is understood to be between mind and body helping to synchronize body and mind. 

Spooky Action at a Distance

A strange or spooky aspect of quantum physics is entanglement of photons:  when two photons become entangled you can observe a particle in one place, another particle—even one light-years away—will instantly change its properties, as if the two are connected by a mysterious communication channel — that can communicate faster than the speed of light. Scientists have observed this phenomenon in tiny objects such as photons, atoms, and electrons. But what makes them entangled??  Maybe the don’t have to get entangled if they are biophotons — instead they emit.

I have been following some of the research by Dr. John Douillard and by Kevin Spellman on this and our intensions or thoughts, and how they effect our biology, and even how thought can effect matter. 

This took me into a research rabbit hole on quantum physics and Albert Einstein’s spooky action at a distance theory — It seems photons that are entangled can communicate wirelessly at very fast rates over great distances.  What gives them this ability?  It goes against other theories about not being able to travel faster than the speed of light.  The answer seems to be in this new understanding of biophotons — that can travel even faster than the speed of light.

Biophotons as I explained, help our body and its cells communicate — now researchers are starting to describe a phenomenon where not only cells in an individual body communicate via biophotons— it seems whole animals communicate with each other through emission and reception of biophotons; and even from species to species communication happens energetically through emissions of the low level light coming from our biophotons. 

(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4267444/)

In one study a healthy rodent was put in a cage for 48 hours with a rodent that had a single dose of brain radiation. The unradiated rat had similar (or even greater) health effects as measured in the radiated rat.  This study was also duplicated with human brain tissue.  This has been dubbed the ‘Bystander Phenomenon’.

*The following studies below were taken from a lecture by Kevin Spelman at the National Ayurvedic Medical Association.  I did not look up these studies and include links to the studies — he knows more than I do about reading scientific studies and I trust his opinion.

*In another study: white blood cells were taken from a woman who had been through trauma, and put in a different room.   The woman then told her story of the traumatic event — while she was speaking of the story, her white blood cells (the leukocytes) – which had been removed from her – responded to her retelling her event.

They replicated this study with the same woman retelling an amorous event … the leukocytes in her white blood cells responded accordingly!

*This study was repeated again with cheek cells and violent movies.  This time the researchers took the cheek cells of the participants 50 miles away (thinking just in the other room could be a “local” communication) — at the moment of violence in the film the cheek cells responded simultaneously even 50 miles away.

What researchers are figuring out is that biophtons communicate in a wave of synchronous information at the speed of light.  It seems biophotons can manipulate or change matter — physiological changes, and these photons can interact and carry information over vast distances faster than the speed of light. 

Taking this a step further it seems biophotons can carry intention.  Bokkon’s Hypothesis looked at this and tried to put science to it — this is beyond the scope of where I was going, but I did learn something cool:  

Biophotons are responsible for our visualizations!  Biophotons create what we see in our mind’s eye.

  • Interestingly what I also learned from this study is the images you see when you rub your eyes or put pressure on your eyes — you know those fluorescent orbs floating behind my eyes I used to get into creating and watching in my mind’s eye as a child … are a result of the biophotons in our eye.  Remember the eye is one of the areas on the body with the most biophotons.

At the beginning of this blog I spoke about the power of visualizations and they effect they have on our healing capacity; these mental images are created in our brains by biophotons! 

These biophotons create biophysical images in our brains — and further it seems they get charged with the intention of what we are imaginingIt seems biophotons can manipulate or change matter — physiological changes

I heard Bruce Lipton, PhD in a podcast talking about his book “The Biology of Belief”, he was talking about the power of our thoughts, he explained mental images — aka biophysical images — in our brain are actually get “painted by hormones and chemicals” in our body.  
Like a paint by numbers in reverse; you create the image in your mind (with biophotons), your body and brain turns the image into “colors of chemicals” — and your body behaves ‘as a canvas’ and becomes the image.

Here is a link from another little piece regarding biophotons and mental images, its called Bokkon’s Hypothesis, I found this whilst searching for studies on biophotons and mental images:

However, if it can be proved that perception of cortical induced phosphene lights is due to biophotons; intrinsic regulated biophotons in the brain may serve as a natural biophysical (redox molecular) substrate of visual perception and imagery. 

In other words, intrinsic biophysical visual virtual reality may emerge from feedback and feedforward iterative operation processes and biophotons in early retinotopic V1 and V2 areas. Kosslyn’s reality simulation principle [40] states that mental imagery mimics the corresponding events in the world. 

However, our concept of intrinsic biophysical visual virtual reality (by iterative processes) in retinotopic areas may be nothing else than a possible biophysical basis of the reality simulation principle in the case of visual imagery.

BÓKKON, SALARI, TUSZYNSKI. EMERGENCE OF INTRINSIC REPRESENTATIONS OF IMAGES BY FEEDFORWARD AND FEEDBACK PROCESSES AND BIOLUMINESCENT PHOTONS IN EARLY RETINOTOPIC AREAS Journal of Integrative Neuroscience, Vol. 10, No. 1 (2011) 47–64

And interestingly I came across this study posted by Funnel of Love following up on Bokkon’s Hypothesis:

If you think hard about a bright light whilst sitting in a dark room, will your head emit photons? Recent research from B.T. Dotta, K.S. Saroka and M.A. Persinger at Laurentian University, Ontario, Canada, suggests the answer maybe yes. The team has, for the first time, found that “increased photon emission from the head while imagining light in the dark is correlated with changes in electroencephalographic power.”

Experimental subjects sat blindfolded in a darkened room, whilst they tried to imagine either a bright light, or a control scenario called ‘casual thinking’. An extremely sensitive photomultiplier was positioned so that it could register any photons which might be emitted from the subjects’ brains.

The tests : “…demonstrated significant increases in ultraweak photon emissions (UPEs) or biophotons equivalent to about 5 × 10−11 W/m2 from the right sides of volunteer’s heads when they imagined light in a very dark environment compared to when they did not.”

This is pointing toward our mental images effecting reality.

A particle or a wave = matter or energy

Einstein had figured out the photons and biophotons can be both a wave and a particle —
A particle is matter
A wave is energy

Actually better stated is that It depends whether Photons will be a wave or particle … depending on the consciousness of who’s asking the question.

If you ask a particle question we get a particle answer.

If you ask a wave question (energy) you get a wave answer,

So it is dependent on our perception.  Just thinking the photon is matter made it matter — and just thinking photons were energy made them energy.  Our perception is so powerful we can change the reality of the photon to be matter or energy.

Another way I read Einstein’s spooky action explained as:  Observation eliciting a change in what is observed instantly and over extremely large distances.

Mediation may do the same thing — change or heal the body simply because we are self-observing it with a positive intention.

  • This puts photons at the junction between physical and non physical — physical representing the particle and the wave representing the non physical. 

Pulling this all together, Quantum physics on a particle level — The small particles make up a whole and while changing a few small particles does not change the whole, it can start to change the whole … at some point so many particles will change that it does change the whole!

While you may not see immediate change in your total physical body, at a cellular level healing is happening that you are not even aware of.

Our thoughts will start the cells moving in the direction of healing or mutating.  One or two mutated cells our body can handle, if the disease causing stressor is not figured out cells will continue to mutate until you have an autoimmune disease, or cancer. or lyme disease or whatever your weak point is.

Our thoughts effect our cells — keep your thoughts positive and prevent disease at a cellular level.

Although this may be particle thinking … changing one particle at a time to effect the whole will take time.  Wave thinking could change the whole in the split second …

More on wave thinking and connecting to the wave later.

Your mind and emotions are just as important to your overall health as keeping your physical body healthy.  

To summarize, I was speaking about using the power of your mind and learning how your thoughts affect your body, start to pay attention to your “back talk” ~ meaning the dialog that is running in your back mind as you move throughout your day.  

Part of the work of yoga is to teach us to pay attention to our mind and its thoughts, and direct them in a positive, productive direction.  Most of us beat ourselves up with our mind talk and think very negatively about situations around us.  Now that we know negative back talk slowly eats away at our health its time to catch yourself with your thoughts and paint positive pictures in your mind.  

See your body healing, regenerating.  See the YOU that is really in there.  When you find yourself worrying about something, your best option is to dream up the the best possible scenario in your mind of how it can turn out.

If you worry about the negative results of something challenging …. you are giving those results more power to manifest.

Pay attention to your back thoughts!  What are you telling yourself? 

As we sit for a moment for meditation, is there something troubling in your life?  Use this time to sit and dream up the best scenario for that situation.  Send your energetic thoughts to manifesting a positive outcome.

 

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