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Women stress and the mind body connection

Surprising as it may seem, the intimate connection between the mind and the body was not well understood until the closing decades of the last century. In the early 1970’s, for example, a scientific research paper published in Scientific American was one of the first studies to scientifically investigate this connection. That particular paper studied what happened in the body when the mind was in a meditative state. The paper found that as the mind settled down with a specific, effective practice of meditation, the body gained a profoundly deep state of rest. Respiration settled significantly. Stress hormones in the blood were reduced. Skin resistance increased (an indicator of increased physiological relaxation). The paper was a landmark work in the scientific recognition of the mind/body connection.

Also in the 1970’s we were all becoming familiar with the concept of stress. Stress had been with us for a long time of course, but through the work of scientists such as Hans Selye stress was becoming a defined process. Hans Selye, an endocrinologist, became widely recognized as an expert in the field of stress management. Selye defined stress as the body’s nonspecific response to a demand placed on it. For example, if we are home alone and a strange noise is heard in another room, our heart rate may increase and probably our blood pressure too, adrenaline shoots up and our senses become heightened. These physiological changes are the result of what scientists call the fight or flight response. Such ancient mechanisms in the human physiology are meant to prepare one to either ‘fight’ in a challenging situation (e.g. the tiger in the path before us) or to remove oneself from danger. While these mechanisms may be useful in a specific challenge, occurring in the physiology on a sustained basis they can create the basis for a myriad of health problems.

Understanding stress and the close connection between mind and body spawned another level of discovery about health and disease in terms of psychosomatic disorders. Psychosomatic disorders result from the influence that the mind has over physical processes. A psychosomatic disorder is one in which a physical disease is thought to be caused, or made worse, by mental factors. Such physical diseases—including skin disorders, cardiovascular problems, respiratory disorders, and disturbances of the nervous system including multiple sclerosis—can be particularly aggravated by mental factors such as stress and anxiety.

Women are particularly susceptible to stress. Their lives are challenged by special stressors. Women often care for others much more than they care for themselves. They may push themselves hard in the juggling of professional and personal lives. Stress in women is also often caused by the constant array of hormonal changes occurring in the female physiology. It is important for women to understand how to maintain balance: how to nurture the connection between mind and body, and to avoid the accumulation of stress that can break this vital connection. To prevent the onset of psychosomatic disorders and to avoid the deleterious effects of stress, women can only gain by fostering a healthy mind/body connection.

-Lesley Goldman

Stress Reduction

Read More: Women stress and the mind body connection – Stress articles – Messaggiamo.Com

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How Meditation Has Changed My Life

By Karen Hood-caddy

Every week day for the past 2 years, I’ve done a daily practice with others virtually. Here’s how it works. I call the others on the phone, then one of us rings a bell to start and then again at the end, after 30 minutes. When we’re done, we each wish each other a wonderful day and go about our business.

During the 30 minutes, we each do our own practice. Sometimes I do all mindfulness meditation, sometimes I add in some meridian tapping and at times I’ve done some energy work on myself during the half hour. I always state my intention for who I want to be as the day unfolds.

Having this daily practice has probably been the most significant factor in helping me be my best. I never would have stuck with it so consistently if others hadn’t been involved. Just knowing others were waiting for my call each day made all the difference. We’ve been going for 2 years now and I can really see how it’s changed me.

Here’s what I notice:

  • Instead of helping me ‘get away from it all’, my practice helps me to show up for it all. I’m clearer about who I am, so I’m not so rocked by the world and others. I can let WAY more of life in and just BE with situations that before would have been very stressful or difficult.
  • It gives me a daily reminder of a bigger picture of myself and who I am as a spiritual being. Instead of reacting like a pinball machine to things in my life, I actually feel as if I have choices.
  • I feel healthier than ever. No colds or flu this year….
  • Since I review my intentions every day, I am much more likely to act in congruence with them during the day after this reminder.
    Having a daily practice has been very rich and rewarding and I heartily encourage people to design one for themselves and then create the support to make it happen.

About the Author

My passion is to help professionals who are tired to letting their personal problems and limitations stop them from having a deeply fulfilling life.

Visit my website at

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Can listening to music help you sleep?


Sleep (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Joseph F Chandler, Birmingham-Southern College

By now, you’ve surely heard that Americans aren’t getting enough sleep.

In our always-on society, a solid chunk of nightly rest seems, well, like a dream. We shave the edges of sleep to keep up, exchanging extra waking hours for compromised health, productivity and safety.

Despite this, we actually know how to sleep better; the list of empirically supported, low-cost, simple behavioral tweaks is extensive, whether it’s avoiding alcohol as bedtime approaches or just going to sleep at a regular hour. Though changing habitual behavior is easier said than done, one of these tweaks may be as simple as putting in your earphones and pressing play.

Recently, British composer Max Richter released an eight-hour-long composition titled Sleep, which he has described as a lullaby, meant to be listened to while sleeping.

The composition ranges from sweeping, airy selections called Dream to the heavy, trance-inducing Space sequence. Indeed, it is an ambitious, impressive piece of conceptual art. But could it actually improve your sleep?

Conflicting results

Research on improving sleep with music is filled with methodological mistakes.

Self-reported sleep quality – the metric of choice for many music studies – often doesn’t correlate with objective measures of sleep: people will often think they’ve gotten a good night’s sleep (best defined as an unmedicated, uninterrupted night somewhere between seven and ten hours). But in many cases, they haven’t.

On the other hand, when objective measures are used (like the industry standard Polysomnography), true control groups (like a placebo group in a drug trial) are often left out.

With these drawbacks in mind, it’s easy to understand why the literature reads as equivocal. Some studies claim music can have a positive effect on sleep quality, while others cite no objective benefit.

A recent, methodologically sound meta-analysis reported an overall positive effect of music for improving sleep in those with a sleep disorder. This is promising, but even the article’s authors admit that more precise work is needed to reach a clear conclusion.

A carefully choreographed cycle

Perhaps the answer is hidden in a more basic question. Given the way sleep is structured, can music even influence it to begin with?

The answer is yes and no.

Sleep is not a gentle slide into unconsciousness. Rather, it’s a complicated ride into an alternate conscious state, where reality is actively created from internal information, rather than external sensation.

That transition from “outside” to “inside” happens in four distinct steps. The sleep process manifests as a non-REM (NREM) phase (which is divided into three parts: NREM 1, 2 and 3) and Rapid Eye Movement (REM).

Imagine you’ve turned on Richter’s full Sleep composition and have just gotten into bed. As your eyes get heavy and your attention wanders, you are entering early NREM 1 sleep. You are deeply relaxed. This lasts for a few minutes.

A selection from Sleep’s Dream sequence.

At this point, the research suggests that Richter’s work may be having an effect; anything that contributes to your relaxation will help induce NREM 1 sleep. Richter’s Sleep certainly has relaxing qualities, like many of the classical pieces often used in music and sleep research.

As you continue to relax, your brain begins to exhibit what are called “organized theta waves,” which slowly switch attention channels from the outside environment to internal cues. At this point, you may feel as if you’re floating or lightly dreaming; if someone says your name insistently enough you may still respond. This lasts about 10 minutes, after which K-complexes and sleep spindles appear in your brain wave pattern.

This is where it gets tricky. K-complexes and sleep spindles – brief bursts of high activity on an otherwise slowing brain wave pattern – actively shield external stimuli. That is, during this stage your brain purposefully blocks the reception of and response to outside sensory information.

This hallmark of NREM 2 sleep means that, for all intents and purposes, you are no longer hearing Richter’s work. The auditory cortex is still receiving the sounds, but the thalamus – essentially the call center of the brain – stops the signal before any memories or sense can be made of the music.

NREM 2 lasts for about 20 minutes. Then your brain waves become very slow and very organized. These are called delta waves, and they indicate NREM 3: a state of near-complete nonresponsiveness to the external world. After 30 minutes of NREM 3, you briefly travel back up into the lighter stages of sleep, at which point you may again hear the composition. In fact, if it’s loud enough, unusual ambient noises at this point may actual wake you up, disturbing the carefully choreographed cycle.

With time, all external stimuli slip away, and you recede into your dreams.

If you remain asleep, however, you quickly slip into the REM portion of the cycle: your body becomes paralyzed, and your external senses get rewired to pay exclusive attention to your memories. You are essentially awake, but feeding off an internally derived reality to create the crazy dreams associated with REM. At this point I could walk into your room, call your name loudly and leave without you even knowing I was there. In other words, the external world – including what is being piped through your headphones – doesn’t matter for those amazing few minutes of REM sleep.

As the night goes on, the cycle will repeat itself many times, and each time the proportion of REM will become greater. By the end of the night, you are spending most of your time in your own internally created universe, for which the current external world has no bearing. For a grand total of 60 minutes of the eight-hour period, you will be able to hear Mr Richter’s beautiful work. The rest of the time, only your memories matter.

So for all its merits, can Max Richter’s Sleep help you sleep? The answer is probably yes: it could make falling asleep easier. But you’ll be missing most of the show.

The Conversation

Joseph F Chandler, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Birmingham-Southern College

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


Circumcision Bans Are Unhealthy, Unholy And Unwise For All Males

By Rabbi Allen S. Maller

People who hate religion in general, or Islam and Judaism in particular, often attack circumcision as a cruel, barbaric ritual lacking any positive outcome. Others attack circumcision for hidden political reasons of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

And some attack circumcision on secular humane grounds as a needless, cruel procedure. For example, in September 2011 the Dutch Medical Association discouraged the practice of circumcision, calling it a “painful and harmful ritual.” (This advice as we shall soon see, was unwise medically.)

So it is good news for Jews and Muslims that on October 1. 2015 PACE-The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe nullified its earlier recommendation that European countries ban ritual circumcision, when it passed (73-6) a resolution on religious freedom.

PACE did not reverse its earlier recommendation due to recent scientific discoveries which explained the health benefit of circumcision; but due to the active political pressure of an alliance of Jewish and Muslim organizations.

Yet in the last two decades several major medical studies have shown the positive effect of circumcision; and this led the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support male circumcision procedures for male newborns and teenagers in the US, according to federal guidelines released 12/2/2014.

Clinical trials and observational studies have found that men who are circumcised are less likely than their uncircumcised peers to acquire sexually transmitted infections during vaginal sex. Being circumcised reduced the risk of infection with HIV from a female sexual partner by 50% to 60%. It also reduced the risk of getting genital herpes by up to 45% and of getting cancer-causing strains of human papilloma virus (HPV) by 30%.

Studies have also found that sex with circumcised men is safer for women. They are less likely to become infected with HPV, bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis, the CDC guidelines state.

The CDC also states that the risk of adverse events from circumcision is low, and that minor bleeding and inflammation are the biggest problems. The CDC also says minor complications arise in less than one-half of 1% of newborns and about 5% of adults. So being uncircumcised is unhealthy and unwise for all males.

As I stated above Muslims and Jews do not circumcise their children for medical health reasons. For Jews and Muslims ritual circumcision is a sign of communal loyalty and acceptance of God’s will. Christianity, Islam and Judaism all teach that circumcision was already practiced by Prophet Abraham, who is revered by Christians, Jews and Muslims to this day.

Christians do not believe circumcision is still a required observance. But, even during Medieval times, Christian governments never prohibited ritual circumcision for Jews and Muslims living under their rule. Equally, Jews and Muslims never tried to force Christians to circumcise their children.

Only pagan governments like the Greeks and the Romans, or anti-religious secular governments like Communist Russia, have done this.

These governments are led by people who believe that their own humanistic, rational philosophy is on a much higher level than what has been taught by traditional religions, which they do not believe in.

For Jews, the ritual dates back to God’s covenant with Abraham. The Torah declares:
(Genesis 17:7) “I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you…

(17:8-11) “And I will give to you, and to your offspring after you, the land where you are now an alien, all the land of Canaan, for a perpetual holding; and I will be their God. God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised.

(17:12) “You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. Throughout your generations every male among you shall be circumcised when he is eight days old,”

Jews have observed this commandment for almost 4,000 years. More than once, attempts to prevent Jews from circumcising their sons led to resistance. In 132 CE a revolt was started by Simon bar Kochba, when the Roman Emperor Hadrian forbade circumcision.

For Muslims, circumcision is connected to Allah commanding Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to follow the religion of Ibrahim (peace be upon him). When Allah says (Qur’an 16:123)  “Then We inspired you: ‘Follow the religion of Ibrahim, the upright in Faith’.” And part of the religion of Ibrahim is, as is evident from the verses cited above, to practice circumcision.

Abraham was an old man when he circumcised himself, thus becoming a good example that one is never to old to do God’s will. As a Hadith says: Prophet Muhammad said: ” Prophet Ibrahim circumcised himself when he was eighty years old and he circumcised himself with an axe.” (Related by Bukhari, Muslim & Ahmad.)

Prophet Muhammad himself selected the 7th day after birth to circumcise his own grandsons: Abdullah Ibn Jabir and Aisha both said: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) performed the Aqiqah of al-Hasan and al-Hussein (the prophets grandsons) circumcising them on the 7th day. Day.(Related in al-Bayhaq & Tabarani)

Another Hadith also demonstrates further the importance of male circumcision: The Prophet told a man who had just embraced Islam, “Remove the hairs from the time of disbelief from you and get yourself circumcised.” (Related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud)

Thus, for Jews circumcision is a sign of the covenant that God made with Abraham and his sons Ishmael and Isaac and their descendants for future generations. For Muslims it is a sign of their close connection to Abraham, which is also celebrated each year at the annual Hajj ceremonies.

For both Muslims and Jews, ritual circumcision is a sign that one who submits to God’s commandments and covenant cannot expect a life without some pain and suffering. But when endured for the right reasons, duty to God’s commandments always leads eventually to great spiritual, and even physical benefits. This is true wisdom.

Rabbi Maller’s web site is:

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The brain and the gut are more connected than you’d think

Intuitives, shamans and mystics have known for many years that the brain is not the entire person. While psychiatrists tend to focus on the brain, this can be misleading. The human being is a whole person, to include body, soul and a relationship with God.

To exclusively focus on the brain seems superficial to some, dangerous to others. Luckily, however, modern research is beginning to realize the inadequacy of purely brain-based psychiatry. Last night I saw this video with author David Perlmutter:

At first glance I thought Perlmutter was just another new age, health huckster who will say or do anything to peddle his book. But once he began to speak, I realized he was an intelligent, articulate proponent of the idea that the brain and the gut are intimately connected.

Dont get me wrong. I agree that the brain is crucial. But it’s not alone. It’s part of a total organism located in a physical, social and spiritual environment.


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Are we living in an overmedicalized society?

People talk about the water supply, and water shortages in California. How many stop to consider all those “medications” (a bit of a euphemism, in some cases) that are being urinated into the water supply? And why isn’t this kind of drug problem making the headlines?

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What Professions Drink the Most Coffee?

This article is basically an ad for a product the author is selling. But I found it interesting, and believe it has enough stand-alone informational content to qualify for earthpages’ non-commercial status. Also, I’m not getting paid a cent for taking my time to post it. No connection whatsoever to the author. So I thought I’d just say this before posting (see FAQ about our stand on commercial vs. non-commercial info).  And yes, I’m drinking coffee as I post this… —MC

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What Professions Drink the Most Coffee?

By Marcey Barichello

What Professions Drink the Most Coffee?

We all love to drink our coffee, lots and lots of coffee; however, there are certain industries that consume lots more coffee than others. Some industries are notorious for consuming coffee like it is water. So what are they?

  1. Journalists and other media staff
  2. Law officials (policemen)
  3. Teachers
  4. Plumbers and other trade workers
  5. Nurses and other medical professionals (doctors)
  6. Corporate executives
  7. Telesales professionals
  8. IT technical support
  9. Retail employees

10. Drivers (truck drivers, semi-trucks, etc)

So why do journalists and other reporters drink so much coffee? Imagine walking into a newsroom, you might see a large amount of grizzled journalists hunched over keyboards, neckties slightly loosened, sleeves rolled up, maybe a cigar, and a large mug of Joe. Well, newsrooms look rather different than that but you would be correct about the latter part. According to a new survey, Pressat, they surveyed a wide variety of industries and found that journalists drink the most coffee.

85 percent of the professionals, across all the industries, said that they consume at least three cups of coffee per day. Believe it or not, K-Cup coffee has played a big role in the amount of coffee consumed. Having three cups of coffee per day is well beyond the recommended 200 milligrams per day. The professionals in the high-stress jobs, like the ones in that list of 10, drink the most coffee.

It seems that consuming coffee while on the clock is a necessity in today’s professional world. Is it possible that people are being stretched beyond capacity and even working late or early will push professionals to drink more coffee?

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70 percent of the people surveyed in this study believe that if they cut their coffee consumption, then their job performance will suffer; whether they cut the coffee out completely or reduce it, they believe quality will decrease. Men turned out to drink a bit more coffee than the women in the study, a whole 5 percent more coffee.

Looking at the list, you can see why coffee is a huge part of their lives. One would even think that medical professionals would consume the most; one may also be surprised to not find military on the list.

If you find your job requires a lot of coffee, then be stress-free about buying it and purchase coffee K-Cups from Coffeevines! We ship your order directly to you! Shop from the comfort of anywhere and get brands like Starbucks, Martinson’s, Peet’s, Green Mountain, and more! We also carry tea and hot cocoa.

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Coffeevines is an online coffee distributor of K-cup coffee! We carry many name brands of coffee, tea, & cocoa! Order online, get deliveries right to your door, & be happy sooner.


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