1. Did you know that essential fatty acids are as effective as anti-depressants? ( See the work of Bassant Puri, Psychiatrist, and co-author of The Natural Way to Treat Depression). In his work he has shown that diets low in omega 3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) essentially starve the brain and weaken the phospholipids layer of the brain cells. This in turn inhibits the activity of the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine. There is good clinical evidence that essential fatty acids are as effective as anti-depressants, and are particularly effective in improving patients with ME, chronic fatigue, depression, and fibromyalgia. The human brain is one of the largest consumers of DHA, (docosahexaenoic acid) which is also from the omega 3 family. A normal adult brain contains over 20gms of DHA. Any deficiency in DHA also has an impact on serotonin levels, which as previously stated, are connected to feeling good. More importantly there is increasing evidence that a deficiency in DHA produces not only an increase in depression, but also in the incidence of suicide and violence (see The Essentiality of Fats on our research page).
2. Did you know a higher intake of the carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, as well as increases in vitamin E, could reduce the risk of developing cataracts, and maintain good eye health for the rest of your life? (Archives of Opthalmology January 2008, vol 126-authors D. Christen, S. Liu, R.J. Glynn, J.M. Gaziano, J.E. Buring). Their study included over 35,000 women and where the two carotenoids were increased, the risk of cataracts was reduced by 18%. The lead author, William Christian, from Harvard Medical School, stated that these carotenoids are the only ones detected in the human lens, and the evidence is showing that they are critical in maintaining lens clarity, and are important in supporting the health of the eye. The evidence is now showing that they are particularly helpful with age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness for people over 55 in the developed world. This study followed the women for ten years, and although more research is required, there is a clear correlation between these two carotenoids and vitamin E, and the maintenance of optimal health for the eye.
3. Did you know that researchers at the Harvard Medical School have successfully used fish oil supplementation to treat bipolar disorder (manic depressive illness) (Stoll, Andrew L., et al. Omega 3 fatty acids in bipolar Archives of General Psychatry, Vol. 56, May 1999 and Hibbeln, Joseph R. Fish consumption and major depression. The Lancet, Vol. 351, 1998). British researchers are also reporting encouraging results in the treatment of schizophrenia. (Laugharne, J.D.E, et al. Fatty acids and schizophrenia. Lipids, Vol. 31, 1996. The evidence suggests that the best sources of DHA and EPA (see the Essentiality of Fats also on the research page) are from fish sources but for those who are vegetarian or prefer not to derive it from a fish source for other reasons, then flax oil is the best. Other conditions that have benefited from fish oil consumption are breathing difficulties, such as asthma and various lung diseases like cystic fibrosis and emphysema, (Lawrence, R. and Sorrell, T. Eicosapentaenoic acid in cystic fibrosis: evidence of a pathogenetic role for leudotriene B4. The Lancet, Vol. 342, August 21, 1993, and Schwartz, Joel. Role of polyunsaturated fatty acids in lung disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 71, Jan. 2000). So, good mental health depends on a diet rich in essential fats. They are called essential fats for a reason. They are essential. Without them optimal living is not possible.
4. Did you know that high-tech brain imaging scans have been used to help patients ‘wish away’ chronic pain? The technology, which relies on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, is aimed at treating a range of problems from backache and neuralgia to nerve pain and migraine. The pilot study has allowed patients to see where the pain is coming from (using the MRI scan), then watch as their own positive thoughts drive it away. The results thus far have shown a 64% reduction in pain after having this innovative therapy. Chronic pain is often unresponsive to conventional treatments such as painkillers, but an increasing number of studies have shown it is possible to ‘think away’ some chronic pain, or at least distract oneself from it. This new treatment plan uses the MRI scans to monitor the blood flow in the brain. This identifies activity levels in the area involved with pain. Patients are then given special goggles similar to those used in virtual reality computer games, which show this area of activity, which is represented by the image of a burning flame. The greater the pain, the greater the blood flow, and the bigger the flame. Patients are then taught to reduce the size of the flame e.g., visualising the flame being put out with a bucket of water. The theory is that once the patient sees their thinking is reducing the size of the flame, they will in turn learn to control their pain without having to see the flame. The research is being led by Dr. Jon Hawkinson, who is the vice president of research and development of the US based company Omneuron. Trials have been conducted jointly with Stanford University (USA). This research clearly shows that we can beat pain with the power of positive thought, and helping patients to see that, has strengthened their belief in their own ability to do so.
5. Did you know that early trauma can lead to a child experiencing major difficulties in forming healthy relationships (see Children Who Hurt, also on research page)? What has become known as attachment theory, has helped us make sense of the way children and their brains develop. To really understand this process, we need to understand that the brain and the nervous system are heavily centred around association. For example, if the child’s caregiver does not respond with sensitivity and kindness to the child having hurt herself, in other words they are scolded or even punished for being so clumsy or awkward, then the child associates hurting herself with emotional pain, in addition to the physical pain they are experiencing. They take on a disproportionate sense of responsibility for what really is an accident, and they behave as if what has happened is totally about their incompetence. In such an example the links between the nerve cells in her growing brain and nervous system (see Neurotheology, also on the research page) are being wired in line with her experience, but unfortunately ‘false’ associations and therefore connections, are being made. As the different neuronal pathways are used again and again, where those connections are healthy the child’s sense of self is strengthened. Where, as in our example, the connections established are unhealthy, the child’s sense of self is eroded. This is how the dismantling of the self begins, and the uphill struggle to be at peace with oneself becomes a lifelong consequence.
6. Did you know that your liver’s job is to analyse, excrete or turn to fuel all substances you ingest or inhale? It routinely performs thousands of vital functions, 24 hours a day. It is truly a genius. The liver is the receiving and processing plant that takes the food, delivered from your digestive tract, processes it, repackages it, and then ships it out to the rest of your body for use. Amongst the liver’s many tasks are energy production, protein building, repackaging fats so you can deliver cholesterol to nerve and brain cells and rearranging amino acids, so you have the specific ones you need. The liver is pivotal in dealing with toxins in your body. There is no system in your body that does not depend to some extent on the function of the liver, or that may not be adversely affected if your liver is unhealthy, not functioning, or toxic. The liver breaks down toxins into safer substances or eliminates them from the body. The liver will even store toxins, to protect the rest of the body. However, after a while this leads to liver damage and the rest of the body will suffer anyway. The liver houses the gallbladder (the lynchpin of the body’s immune system) which regulates blood sugar, cleanses the blood, stores iron, metabolises fat, carbohydrates, and protein, and synthesises vitamin A. This too is truly an amazing organ. It is when these two compatriots fall foul of our countless indiscretions that some of the worst diseases afflict the body. (See the work of Andreas Moritz, The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse 2007).
7. Did you know that a toxic liver adversely affects the body in hundreds, if not thousands, of different ways? The list is truly mind-boggling. It includes indigestion, atherosclerosis, diabetes, hormone imbalances, PMS, menopausal problems, headaches and migraines, allergies, eczema, asthma, arthritis, sinusitis and hives, behavioural problems, mood swings and mental confusion. These are some of the liver’s cries for help. In addition, you could experience blood sugar imbalances with all the associated problems, and hundreds of different vitamin and mineral deficiency signs. These include feeling tired, having poor skin and hair health, being overweight, and your risk of cancer could greatly increase. This is why it is important to undertake a regular detoxification programme (see The Secret of Health Is the Removal of Waste). Detoxification gives your liver a chance to get rid of all the hideous toxic compounds it has been storing. It will help to leave you feeling cleansed, revived, rejuvenated, and can protect against future illness. In a world where there are countless pollutants, our diets are poor and our lifestyles hectic, it is the liver that pays the greatest price. Prevention truly is better than cure. So, rather than waiting for your past mistakes to come and find you, be proactive in generating good habits, which support the health of your liver in an ongoing way.
8. Did you know your two bean-shaped organs (the kidneys) track the body’s fluid usage, levels, pressure, and location? Fluid is used to transport waste from the body’s organs to the kidneys for processing or treatment, and then excretion as urine. Your body also must rid itself of gases, acids, oils, resins and sludge. Some of the compounds processed by the kidneys include lactic acid, uric acid, various proteins, sugars, salts, excess calcium, and potassium. When these products/by-products cannot be fully flushed from the body, it is forced to uncomfortably store them. Healthy kidneys utilise 4 to 8 pints of fluid a day, cleansing your system. Because of their importance in keeping us healthy, the Chinese call the kidneys ‘The Master Organ’. Since all of our organs run on fluid, the kidneys regulate every organ of the body. They regulate your entire system and its functions, including the bladder, blood pressure, the ovaries, production levels of testosterone and oestrogen, period cramps, the testicles, sperm production, the uterus, the prostate, sex drive, the pancreas, the spleen, the lymphatic system, the heart, the ligaments, the ears, the scalp, the back, the pectorals, trapezes, elbows, both calves, thighs, biceps, triceps, forearms, wrists, knees, ankles, the spine, all fingers and toes. It is also important to note that there is never a kidney problem that does not include a liver problem. The two organs are the primary detoxification organs of the body, and they work hand in hand. So, here you can see we have another magician, which deserves our respect (see Persuading the Body series on our resources page).
9. Did you know there are only four forces in operation in the world around us? They are electromagnetism, gravity, the strong nuclear force, and the weak nuclear force (see the work of Max Planck who is considered by many to be the Father of quantum theory, and Albert Einstein whose contribution to the field is second to none). Everything taking place around us falls into one of these four categories. Electromagnetism accounts for heat, electricity, light, radio waves, TV, X- rays etc. Gravity makes the world go round and holds the planets and stars in place. The strong nuclear force holds the nucleus together at the heart of the cell. It’s the dividing of this nucleus that creates what we refer to as nuclear power, which as we’re all aware, is awesome. The weak nuclear force holds the sub-atomic particles together. This refers to the most subtle of energy, which in quantum physics is now being referred to as ‘information’, existing in time and space, serving up unlimited possibilities. These four forces are responsible for all life as we know it and are often referred to as the ‘unified field’. When we take an even closer look, it becomes clear that these four expressions of matter are merely the manifestation of one energy; that energy is light. All four are merely reflecting light in a slightly different way. It’s all about vibrations. According to the speed and the resonance of light, matter expresses itself in a slightly different way, offering us endless possibilities. Once we understand that everything around us is light and we too are beings of light, it will come as no surprise that just as matter is able to influence us, we are able to influence it. It is our ignorance about our amazing power that most enslaves us (see Neurotheology on our research page). So, stop what you’re doing and take a look around you, and begin to appreciate the amazingness of the world that you reside in, and more importantly your own amazingness.
10. Did you know that there are three attributes that some of the greatest minds to have blessed this earth have in common; some of our greatest poets, philosophers, religious leaders, and activists? These attributes are ones we too can develop, and it would be in our best interests to develop. They require courage because they demand that we step outside of our ‘tribal consciousness’ and dare to be individuals. The three attributes are:
i) To become detached from the ‘good opinion’ of others.
ii) Not to focus on outcome.
iii) To have no desire to control.
Those who are detached from the good opinion of others have the courage to listen to their own hearts and dance to its beat. This does not mean they are unable or unwilling to listen, but if what they are hearing is not in sync with the beat of their own hearts, they are not afraid to walk alone. Those who are not focused exclusively on outcome, understand that the ultimate destination is ‘right action’. So, as long as they are doing what’s right, in line with their knowledge and experience, they know ‘right action’ will take them to their destination, so they need not worry. Those who have no desire to control others do not get caught up in the web of envy and jealousy. They are too busy being focused on who they are and their own journey, hence they waste no time trying to get others to dance to their tune. In fact, their mission is to help each heart listen to its own beat, because they know in doing this, true happiness and peace will be found. For those of you who want to fulfil your highest purpose and potential, make these three attributes yours. History has served up some wonderful examples of those who have made this choice. You may know some yourself but some beautiful examples, for those of you who want to take a closer look, include Aristotle, Buddha, Byron, Confucius, Einstein, Emerson, Gandhi, Keats, Lao Tzu, Martin Luther King, Michael Angelo, Plato, Pascoe, Rumi, Socrates, Shelley. This list is the tip of the iceberg. Each of these individuals, in their respective fields, carved their own unique path. Why don’t you?
11. Did you know that by simply watching an event you are participating? As far back as 1935, Nobel Prize winning physicist, Albert Einstein, acknowledged the ‘spooky’ quality of quantum effects, the ability to influence something by the act of observation. How does this work? When we are focused on anything, we have expectations and beliefs about what we are watching. Sometimes we’re aware of these preconceptions, but often we’re not. It’s these inner experiences that become part of what we’re focused on. In fact, it is impossible to simply watch anything. We are always participating. Our attention on a given place, in a given moment in time, means we are involving our consciousness. To really grasp this means to understand that we live in a ‘joined up world’. Everything is energy of one kind or another and everything is connected via the unified field. We live in an interactive reality, where we change the world around us by changing what happens inside of us, while we’re watching. This paradigm shift moves us away from the Newtonian laws of physics, formalised in 1687, which gave us a much more mechanical understanding of ourselves and the universe. The science of the twenty first century is showing us that we humans are part of the unified field and rather than being victims to forces greater than ourselves, we are indeed masters of that universe if we simply step into the true consciousness of ourselves (see the work of Gregg Braden in The Divine Matrix 2007). We are the architects of our reality with the power to rearrange the atoms of matter itself. So, what problem cannot be solved and what solution could possibly be beyond our reach?
12. Did you know that the great Sufi poet, Rumi (1207-1273 AD), said ‘what strange beings we are, whilst sitting in hell, at the bottom of the dark, we’re afraid of our own immortality’? Rumi, in so much of his poetry, describes the contradiction of the human spirit. On the one hand we’re told we’re frail and powerless beings, who live in a world where things just happen for no apparent reason, and on the other hand our most ancient and cherished spiritual traditions tell us there’s a force that lives within each one of us that has the power to survive the darkest moments in life. Kahlil Gibran, the Lebanese philosopher and poet, in his classic book The Prophet (1923), also speaks of this contradiction that we humans seem to possess in abundance. He suggests that we have the great gift and the power already lying dormant within us. He states, ‘no man can reveal to you aught than that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge’. So, which is it? Are we hopelessly fragile victims of events that are beyond our control, or are we powerful creators, harbouring unimaginable abilities that we’re only just beginning to understand? The answer is both. According to the choices that you make you can be the master of your destiny, or its slave. The universe is dancing to your tune. It’s mirroring back the expressions of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Remember, we live in an interactive universe of cause and effect. We have unimaginable power, but if not used wisely it works against us. Look what we’re doing to the planet right now. That same power can be harnessed and channelled and when focused with divine intention, miracles are possible (see Focusing with Faith, Miracles are Made and Invocation on our resources page. Also see the work of Dawson Church Ph.D., The Genie in Your Genes and Bruce Lipton Ph.D., The Biology of Belief). It is our wish for everyone who has, through their search for self-improvement, found themselves reading this material, that you cast off the illusion of your impotence and embrace the truth of your importance. You are spectacular but only if you are generating the right thoughts. So, focus on your own importance and your impotence will fade away.