Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Researchers Finally Show How Mindfulness and Your Thoughts Can Induce Specific Molecular Changes To Your Genes... by Michael Forrester

With evidence growing that training the mind or inducing specific modes of consciousness can have beneficial health effects, scientists have sought to understand how these practices physically affect the body. A new study by researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of intensive mindfulness practice.

The study investigated the effects of a day of intensive mindfulness practice in a group of experienced meditators, compared to a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities. After eight hours of mindfulness practice, the meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice,” says study author Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs,” says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain (IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS), where the molecular analyses were conducted.

The study was published in the Journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Mindfulness-based trainings have shown beneficial effects on inflammatory disorders in prior clinical studies and are endorsed by the American Heart Association as a preventative intervention. The new results provide a possible biological mechanism for therapeutic effects.

Gene Activity Can Change According To Perception

According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, gene activity can change on a daily basis. If the perception in your mind is reflected in the chemistry of your body, and if your nervous system reads and interprets the environment and then controls the blood’s chemistry, then you can literally change the fate of your cells by altering your thoughts.

In fact, Dr. Lipton’s research illustrates that by changing your perception, your mind can alter the activity of your genes and create over thirty thousand variations of products from each gene. He gives more detail by saying that the gene programs are contained within the nucleus of the cell, and you can rewrite those genetic programs through changing your blood chemistry.

In the simplest terms, this means that we need to change the way we think if we are to heal cancer. “The function of the mind is to create coherence between our beliefs and the reality we experience,” Dr. Lipton said. “What that means is that your mind will adjust the body’s biology and behavior to fit with your beliefs. If you’ve been told you’ll die in six months and your mind believes it, you most likely will die in six months. That’s called the nocebo effect, the result of a negative thought, which is the opposite of the placebo effect, where healing is mediated by a positive thought.”

That dynamic points to a three-party system: there’s the part of you that swears it doesn’t want to die (the conscious mind), trumped by the part that believes you will (the doctor’s prognosis mediated by the subconscious mind), which then throws into gear the chemical reaction (mediated by the brain’s chemistry) to make sure the body conforms to the dominant belief. (Neuroscience has recognized that the subconscious controls 95 percent of our lives.)

Now what about the part that doesn’t want to die–the conscious mind? Isn’t it impacting the body’s chemistry as well? Dr. Lipton said that it comes down to how the subconscious mind, which contains our deepest beliefs, has been programmed. It is these beliefs that ultimately cast the deciding vote.
“It’s a complex situation,” said Dr. Lipton. People have been programmed to believe that they’re victims and that they have no control. We’re programmed from the start with our mother and father’s beliefs. So, for instance, when we got sick, we were told by our parents that we had to go to the doctor because the doctor is the authority concerning our health. We all got the message throughout childhood that doctors were the authority on health and that we were victims of bodily forces beyond our ability to control. The joke, however, is that people often get better while on the way to the doctor. That’s when the innate ability for self-healing kicks in, another example of the placebo effect.
Mindfulness Practice Specifically Affects Regulatory Pathways

The results of Davidson’s study show a down-regulation of genes that have been implicated in inflammation. The affected genes include the pro-inflammatory genes RIPK2 and COX2 as well as several histone deacetylase (HDAC) genes, which regulate the activity of other genes epigenetically by removing a type of chemical tag. What’s more, the extent to which some of those genes were downregulated was associated with faster cortisol recovery to a social stress test involving an impromptu speech and tasks requiring mental calculations performed in front of an audience and video camera.

Biologists have suspected for years that some kind of epigenetic inheritance occurs at the cellular level. The different kinds of cells in our bodies provide an example. Skin cells and brain cells have different forms and functions, despite having exactly the same DNA. There must be mechanisms–other than DNA–that make sure skin cells stay skin cells when they divide.
Perhaps surprisingly, the researchers say, there was no difference in the tested genes between the two groups of people at the start of the study. The observed effects were seen only in the meditators following mindfulness practice. In addition, several other DNA-modifying genes showed no differences between groups, suggesting that the mindfulness practice specifically affected certain regulatory pathways.

The key result is that meditators experienced genetic changes following mindfulness practice that were not seen in the non-meditating group after other quiet activities — an outcome providing proof of principle that mindfulness practice can lead to epigenetic alterations of the genome.
Previous studies in rodents and in people have shown dynamic epigenetic responses to physical stimuli such as stress, diet, or exercise within just a few hours.

“Our genes are quite dynamic in their expression and these results suggest that the calmness of our mind can actually have a potential influence on their expression,” Davidson says.

“The regulation of HDACs and inflammatory pathways may represent some of the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic potential of mindfulness-based interventions,” Kaliman says. “Our findings set the foundation for future studies to further assess meditation strategies for the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions.”

Subconscious Beliefs Are Key

Too many positive thinkers know that thinking good thoughts–and reciting affirmations for hours on end–doesn’t always bring about the results that feel-good books promise.

Dr. Lipton didn’t argue this point, because positive thoughts come from the conscious mind, while contradictory negative thoughts are usually programmed in the more powerful subconscious mind.
“The major problem is that people are aware of their conscious beliefs and behaviors, but not of subconscious beliefs and behaviors. Most people don’t even acknowledge that their subconscious mind is at play, when the fact is that the subconscious mind is a million times more powerful than the conscious mind and that we operate 95 to 99 percent of our lives from subconscious programs.
“Your subconscious beliefs are working either for you or against you, but the truth is that you are not controlling your life, because your subconscious mind supersedes all conscious control. So when you are trying to heal from a conscious level–citing affirmations and telling yourself you’re healthy–there may be an invisible subconscious program that’s sabotaging you.”

The power of the subconscious mind is elegantly revealed in people expressing multiple personalities. While occupying the mind-set of one personality, the individual may be severely allergic to strawberries. Then, in experiencing the mind-set of another personality, he or she eats them without consequence.

The new science of epigenetics promises that every person on the planet has the opportunity to become who they really are, complete with unimaginable power and the ability to operate from, and go for, the highest possibilities, including healing our bodies and our culture and living in peace.

Michael Forrester is a spiritual counselor and is a practicing motivational speaker for corporations in Japan, Canada and the United States. (from

Friday, January 2, 2015

Phobias may be memories passed down in genes from ancestors... by Richard Gray

Memories can be passed down to later generations through genetic switches that allow offspring to inherit the experience of their ancestors, according to new research that may explain how phobias can develop.

Scientists have long assumed that memories and learned experiences built up during a lifetime must be passed on by teaching later generations or through personal experience.

However, new research has shown that it is possible for some information to be inherited biologically through chemical changes that occur in DNA.

Researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine, in Atlanta, found that mice can pass on learned information about traumatic or stressful experiences – in this case a fear of the smell of cherry blossom – to subsequent generations.

The results may help to explain why people suffer from seemingly irrational phobias – it may be based on the inherited experiences of their ancestors.

So a fear of spiders may in fact be an inherited defence mechanism laid down in a families genes by an ancestors' frightening encounter with an arachnid.

Dr Brian Dias, from the department of psychiatry at Emory University, said: "We have begun to explore an under-appreciated influence on adult behavior – ancestral experience before conception.

"From a translational perspective, our results allow us to appreciate how the experiences of a parent, before even conceiving offspring, markedly influence both structure and function in the nervous system of subsequent generations.

"Such a phenomenon may contribute to the etiology and potential inter-generational transmission of risk for neuropsychiatric disorders such as phobias, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder."

In the study, which is published in the journal of Nature Neuroscience, the researchers trained mice to fear the smell of cherry blossom using electric shocks before allowing them to breed.

The offspring produced showed fearful responses to the odour of cherry blossom compared to a neutral odour, despite never having encountered them before.

The following generation also showed the same behaviour. This effect continued even if the mice had been fathered through artificial insemination.

The researchers found the brains of the trained mice and their offspring showed structural changes in areas used to detect the odour.

The DNA of the animals also carried chemical changes, known as epigenetic methylation, on the gene responsible for detecting the odour.

This suggests that experiences are somehow transferred from the brain into the genome, allowing them to be passed on to later generations.

The researchers now hope to carry out further work to understand how the information comes to be stored on the DNA in the first place.

They also want to explore whether similar effects can be seen in the genes of humans.
Professor Marcus Pembrey, a paediatric geneticist at University College London, said the work provided "compelling evidence" for the biological transmission of memory.

He added: "It addresses constitutional fearfulness that is highly relevant to phobias, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders, plus the controversial subject of transmission of the ‘memory’ of ancestral experience down the generations.

"It is high time public health researchers took human trans-generational responses seriously.
I suspect we will not understand the rise in neuropsychiatric disorders or obesity, diabetes and metabolic disruptions generally without taking a multigenerational approach.”

Professor Wolf Reik, head of epigenetics at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, said, however, further work was needed before such results could be applied to humans.

He said: "These types of results are encouraging as they suggest that transgenerational inheritance exists and is mediated by epigenetics, but more careful mechanistic study of animal models is needed before extrapolating such findings to humans.”

It comes as another study in mice has shown that their ability to remember can be effected by the presence of immune system factors in their mother's milk

Dr Miklos Toth, from Weill Cornell Medical College, found that chemokines carried in a mother's milk caused changes in the brains of their offspring, affecting their memory in later life.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Drumming and Spirituality

by Belinda Subraman

Ancient matriarchal societies used frame drums to celebrate and worship feminine divinity. Largely associated to goddess cults, these women used frame drumming and circle dancing to harness lunar energies, thought to be the symbol of creativity and fertility. Since rhythm was symbolized by lunar energy, the moon had goddess status for these women. Attuned to lunar cycles through their menstrual cycles, their rituals celebrated full moon and first moon to strengthen their creative forces. The frame drum was a symbol of this connection, and helped bring them closer to their divinity and the feminine natural mystique. Emblematic of the moon as the mother of rhythm, a woman holding a frame drum became the symbol of the moon goddess, considered to be the mother of natural rhythms... the one who governed the oceanic tides... the mother of creativity & transformation.

 Echoes at Mystical House

 Drum Jam Warm-up 12-6-14


"Drumming is an ancient technique that has been used to shift states of consciousness. In various ancient cultures chanting, rhythmic breathing and drumming constellated an ancient technique used to synchronize the body with the mind in order to explore varying levels of consciousness. The physical activity of creating repetitive sounds entrained right & left-brain activity to alter brainwaves to a relaxed theta state of consciousness. In this relaxed state creativity, intuitive insight, healing & spiritual awareness contributed towards a condition of healing of physical, psychological and emotional wounds." (Redmond, 1997) (
History tells us that the spiritual art of healing required potent transcendental states
by Belinda Subraman
of consciousness to take place. To break ties with the rational mind, rhythm was used to induce
reflective and awakened mental and emotional states. This kind of altered awareness allowed the healer to communicate with 'spirit' whilst in a trance. The Native American Indian Shamans and African healers used drumming and chanting to achieve trance state. This trance state altered brainwaves into alpha and theta states, psychologically proven to promote emotional processing and introduce peaceful thoughts. This kind of altered consciousness was used to negotiate spiritual asistance in the healing process. Many traditional healers and medicine men and women travelled on the beats of rhythmical drumming to provide the care-giving services their community required of them.

North American Indian shamans used the drum's rhythms to travel into ecstasy. They referred to the drum as a 'canoe' or a 'horse' that transported them into the underworld. Helping them connect with the healing spirit, the rhythms facilitated a journey into the future vision for the tribe. Rhythm anchored the connection to spirit, while keeping the vision alive long enough for shamans to recieve spiritual guidance in maintaining the balance for individuals and the group. In their belief system, the drummer was the gatekeeper between heaven and earth, the drumstick was the masculine device that ensured support from Father Sky, and the drum itself was imbued with feminine energy, symbolizing Mother Earth. The skin was most sacred, due to the fact that a goat had sacrificed itself to honour a 'giveaway'; an honoured gift.

Research studies conducted by the Rhythmic Entrainment Institute (REI), of the U.S.A. show that drumming can advance the following areas of psychological well-being:
  • language and communication skills,
  • social interaction and engagement,
  • sensory defensiveness,
  • comprehension,
  • attention span,
  • improvement of eye-contact,
  • containment of aggression,
  • alleviation of anxiety
    ( html).
Further research) showed improvements within 3-4 weeks. Findings conclude that a musical program of complex rhythmic patterns positively stimulates the central nervous system. These effects facilitate long-term behavioural and cognitive improvement in neurobiological, physical and psychological illnesses. Repeated exposure to specific rhythmic hand drumming patterns improved the treatment of mild depression, Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, behavioural problems, immune system problems and chronic pain disorders like Sciatica and Fibromyaglia

HealthRhythms is researching the benefits of drumming in cancer treatment
By Muriel Thomaz
programs. This study is guided by the effects of drumming on the central nervous system and tries to measure the degree to which rhythm influences and promotes
healthy immune system functioning. (
Neurologist Barry Bittman, M.D. and his renowned research team discovered that a specific group drumming approach significantly increased the disease-fighting activity of white blood cells. These 'Natural Killer cells' seek out and destroy cancer cells and virally-infected cells. Along with conventional medical strategies, Dr. Bittman includes group drumming in all of his disease-based programs at the Mind-Body Wellness Centre. (
Roskam, (1993; 1995), studied the effects of drumming with groups of troubled adolescents. Results show that drumming positively influenced self-confidence, body image, emotional tone and general mental health.
Psychotherapist Friedman uses drumming as a therapeutic modality to assist in the treatment of various conditions. Drumming activities have benefited the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease, Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Speech Difficulty, Substance Addiction, Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Post Traumatic Stress
by Belinda Subraman
Stress Management, Troubled Adolescence, Autism, Downe's Syndrome and William's Syndrome (Friedman, 2000).
A pilot study conducted with the children of the Red Cross Paediatrics Burns Unit in Cape Town, South Africa, offered them half-hour drumming sessions over a 3-month period. After two months of drumming, a sensitivity to group dynamics and the beginnings of a group identity began to form. Most of the children showed an increase in concentration span and attention. Interpersonal growth, varying degrees of emotional release and increased self-esteem were also evident (Argyrou, Albertyn, Spence, 2001).
Drumawé used drumming to increase self-esteem in adolescent boys in Cape Town, South Africa, in an extra mural art program, Just Africa. Most of the boys showed increased self-confidence which enabled them to demonstrate their rhythmical skill to the rest of their group. Group solidarity and group support also grew (Drumawé: Just Africa, 2002).

(Article excerpted by

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Secrets of the Flow by Jill Mattson

In a new born baby, energy flows easily and unimpeded. The baby’s mind and emotions do not get stuck – no endless looping of negativity thinking. Its energy and sweet babblings are like the free, natural flow of a river.

Think of traffic going smoothly until there is a red light. Likewise in our lives, energy flows until a red light flashes - perhaps defined as a decision… such as we like the color red but not blue. Now energy slows down when we see the unfavorite color. Use of will stops the energy flow and makes a selection. We can decide we like this or that – without giving something a second chance. By remaining open and adopting a “wait and see attitude,” we allow the flow of the best possible options and improve our chances of recognizing them. 

The natural flow of energy in nature does not hold on, but lets go. It does not insist on controlling everything. Remember Jesus, who said, “Thy will be done” (not my will). 

Judgment and opinion stop the flow of energetic ju ju – dead in its tracks. Having an opinion seems so harmless, yet under this thin skin lays judgment. Opinions promote, “My idea is correct.  Others are wrong.” When nasty energy is concealed (like judgment), its deadly venom accumulates while no one is alerted. 
Negative feelings block energy like a dam impounds water. We easily disregard the words of someone we dislike, but they can have great ideas. Even their criticism is “free consulting.” One with low moral values can also have brilliant ideas. Low values does not equate with stupidity. In fact, devious people are often clever! Negative judgments block solutions that parade in front of us. 

At work whoever perceived they had the worst tasks got the most attention. As we sunk in our mire of self pity, a man with Down syndrome, Dave the janitor, beamed with pride. Dave had a more degrading job than anyone of us complained about, but he was grateful for it. He was happy and we were miserable, even with our better jobs and so called superior intelligence. If one had the opinion that the mentally retarded weren’t smart, Dave’s message was dismissed. If one was open, he could see the wisdom of Dave’s attitude – that rose far above many “intelligent” people’s thinking habits. Dave was the teacher in the room. Dave had always been our teacher, but we had to refrain from judgment and opinion to receive his wisdom. The master appears when the student is ready. And what makes one ready?? A willingness to receive and not judge ideas! A willingness to think differently than mainstream thought and not worry about what others think! With this openness, you may not accept all that you hear, but you are open to consider parts of it or even the attitude or motivation underneath it. 

In a world of duality, everything has polar charges.  Easily, we assign right or wrong to these energies, but rather the energy is like the positive and negative charges of a battery. We don’t judge the end of a battery to be right or wrong, yet it has polar opposites. We can observe something without creating “show stopping” negative energy. With an open mind, plentiful good ideas can rattle around our heads, ripe for the picking.

When we even subconsciously think something is wrong, we block information (perhaps containing healthy and creative juices) from entering our consciousness - without even knowing it. Personal transparency - speaking our true mind and expressing our deep feelings restores our healthy energy flows (the truth shall set us free). 

Stress blocks the flow. Sublime music can undo this blockage. Other things as simple as relaxing your shoulders, help overcome this energy stopper. 

Keeping secrets is another way to erode the flow of energy and trust. Hiding information causes a distortion in the flow of life. Even something as simple as talking out your secrets when no one is listening helps – get it out. “The truth sets you free.”

When I read antiquity, searching for clues about ancient music, I read the most unbelievable descriptions about healing with sound and music. I resisted the urge to wonder “what drug ancient people were taking” or that they were superstitious. By staying open I understood their different dimension of thinking; where many before me could not. Is this brilliance? No…. The key? Refraining from thinking the way we know things in the twenty-first century is the correct way. Staying open!

An excellent way to stop the blockage of creative energy is all around us. Special music is sublime – IT FLOWS. It helps us to flow as well. It mingles with and softens our decisions and negativity. It slowly smoothes the currents and allows the free flow energy to resume. Now not all music does this. In fact some music creates energetic blocks – think of the sound track of a scary movie. The most impactful tool, smooth flowing music opens us up to greater possibilities and helps us ride the flow of universal energy!

Healing with Sound!

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Paint your Soul CD beautiful music with Fibonacci tones, a mathematical pattern in stars, flowers, beehives…Tune to this sacred geometry (transposed into music) that God used in creating our world. The Solfeggio tones in this track enhance spiritual enlightenment.

Star Dust CD is heavenly music with sounds of planets and elements of stars - converted into twinkling tones! Harmonize with the heavens - balance astrological energy.

Healing Flower Symphonies The literal sounds of flowers embedded in delightful music! Clear negative emotional energy and build positive feelings! 

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Special frequencies, rhythms and harmonics expand our consciousness. Fibonacci and phi tones and ancient Solfeggio tones are embedded in this soul soothing music (the free mp3s)!
Music of the movements of the stars is converted into sounds in this healing music! Also added are associated frequencies of carbon, hydrogen oxygen and nitrogen - found in the stars and in our bodies.
Soul therapy and the sounds of flower energy! Frequencies and music to clear negative emotions and build positive feelings!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Beware of Harmful Cosmetic Ingredients

People use a variety of cosmetics on their skin every day. Some of the chemicals found in these products are harmful and cause a wide range of health problems. The Food and Drug Administration does not test cosmetics, but cosmetic companies are required to list all the ingredients in their products. As a consumer, you should read all cosmetic labels and be aware of what chemicals may be hazardous to your health.


Several phthalates exist, and they are not easy to spot on cosmetic labels. Sometimes they are referred to as diethyl phthalate, or DEP, or as dinbutyl phthalate, or DBP. Phthalates appear in nail polishes, perfumes, hair products and deodorants. They are suspected to cause reproductive issues in both men and women. Phthalates may also damage the kidneys, lungs and liver.

Propylene Glycol

Found in lipsticks, sunscreens and toiletries, propylene glycol keeps cosmetics from drying out. Propylene glycol is listed on cosmetic labels as polyethylene glycol, or PEG, and as polypropylene glycol, or PPG. This ingredient is known to cause skin and eye irritation. When the body absorbs high doses of propylene glycol, it can lead to heart, kidney and liver damage.


Face powders, blushes and body powders all contain talc. Also known as talcum powder, this ingredient may be laced with asbestos, which is a well-known carcinogen. Talc may cause chronic or acute lung disorders and may contribute to ovarian cancer. You should avoid using body powders that contain talc, especially in the genital area.


Formaldehyde sometimes appears on cosmetic labels as DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate or quaternium-15. Formaldehyde may be used as a preservative in a variety of cosmetics, including eye shadows, mascaras, nail polishes, soaps, creams and shampoos. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and may cause breathing difficulties, especially for those with asthma. When it occurs in creams or soaps, formaldehyde is absorbed into the skin and may trigger headaches and allergic reactions.


Small levels of parabens are not considered dangerous, but so many cosmetics contain parabens that you could easily have a high exposure rate to this ingredient. Parabens are listed under the names propylparaben, methylparaben, butylparaben or ethylparaben on cosmetic labels. They are used as a preservative and appear in products such as shampoos, deodorants, shaving creams and makeup. Parabens have been linked to fertility issues and may increase your chance of developing breast cancer.