Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gregg Braden - The Spontaneous Healing of Belief

I have checked out the video in which Gregg Braden shared about his new book "The spontaneous healing of belief  - shattering the paradigm of false limits". From what I understand from the interview, his previous book on "Divine Matrix" illuminates a scientific fact that is being established nowadays and is no longer just a theory or metaphor, which is that there is a field of energy that underlies everything that we know and experience in our world, and everything in this field of energy is connected, and one of the powerful elements of that understanding is that we are all born with a language to speak to this field. 

As for his new book, it explores how to apply this language of human emotions, feelings and beliefs to get spontaneous healing. While it (spontaneous healing) may appear dramatic from viewed from the outside, but the deeper scientists explore our physical world, time, universe, atoms etc, the more it becomes apparent that there is some guiding principle (behind these phenomena) - whether we choose to call it a mathematical formula or God (it refers to that same entity/principle).

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thoughts on The Conscious Lifestyle: Facing Your Stress

Walking meditation in Nature
In this article "The Conscious Lifestyle: Facing Your Stress", I think Deepak Chopra has put the issue of stress in its proper perspective in terms of long-term health because I have heard and read some other articles saying that some stress is good for people. Then again, these articles are probably written from the perspective of living in a modern society where people are expected to perform in work and studies, and see stress as a form of motivation. But Deepak goes deeper into the issue, noting that the primitive fight-or-flight response is an inheritance from our pre-human past, and "No one can healthily sustain the heightened alertness, quick burst of energy, rapid heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and other marks of the fight-or-flight response."

Yes, while our lifestyle may have changed to adapt to a fast pace of living in a modern society, our body remains physiologically and psychologically unchanged, and I have come to learn that our body is designed to function optimally when we are peaceful and rested as much and as often as possible. On looking back in my life, I can see why on some days I would have symptoms such as constipation - it must have been partly due to stress which caused various processes in my body (growth, digestion, oxygenation of muscles, etc) to temporarily shut down.

So I have been learning to be mindful not to allow "normal stresses" such as being stuck in traffic, trying to meet deadlines at work, etc affect my health. As noted in the article, diet, exercise, meditation and stress reduction are ways to manage stress and improve heart conditions (and overall health too).

Related post
Some more helpful tips on walking meditation

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Overcoming winter blues (including panic attacks or anxiety disorder)

I understand it can be especially tough during winter time because usually people would feel more isolated than usual during this season. It may seem as if the world out there is a cold world where most people appear to be cold and unfriendly and ignoring others, and it can be depressing to think that those who have lots of friends and family members seem to be having fun while the rest of us are suffering alone here. It is not easy to choose to live a solitary life where we are not dependent on belonging to any kind of group or organisation or institution, but it takes courage. 

Propranolol - anxiety relief

Perhaps to help relieve anxiety, I suggest getting propranolol from a pharmacy or GP, because I find it helpful for myself to slow down rapid heartbeats. It has no side effects except lowering blood pressure temporarily, and you need only take a tablet when necessary.

Here's sharing this testimony I read about propranolol which I thought may be helpful to you. Other kinds of anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax tend to have side effects and cause withdrawal symptoms. In my own experience, propranolol is relatively safe in that it doesn't have addictive or withdrawal effects. The only side effect it had on me is that my blood pressure was lowered if I were to take a regular dose of 1 tablet every morning and every night, which may cause dizziness in the long run. Eventually I stopped taking it regularly as the palpitation episodes became fewer and far between in 2009.

As mentioned, you need only take it when you are experiencing palpitations, and if you take only once every few days (when necessary), then I think it won't result in dizziness. You could try asking the medical doctor or pharmacist for propranolol and the recommended dosage as I believe this may be the most suitable drug to prevent/minimise anxiety attacks (besides other measures such as diet, rest, deep breathing and so on).
I know of the stress you speak of and am on Propranolol myself and for the same reason. The classification of propranolol is a beta adrenergic blocker. It simply blocks the effects of adrenaline which causes "the fight or flight" response felt when we feel in danger, like a near miss car accident or a lion chasing you. It occurs when one is stressed to the max about anything. Adrenaline causes a lot of immediate responses in your body when released from your adrenal glands, the increased heart rate and blood pressure, palpitations and a bunch of other things.
This class of medications lowers your heart rate and blood pressure and usually stops palpitations (the feeling of your heart skipping a beat). It's been around for a long time, is very safe when taken as directed. I take mine three times a day, but I flip out about everything, and it helps in preventing my migraine headaches. So, just a bit more information.
Relieving/Preventing anxiety attacks through diet
Chamomile tea eases tension and anxiety
As mentioned earlier, besides taking propranolol when needed to reduce/alleviate heart palpitations, diet is another way to relieve or prevent anxiety attacks. This article shares some herbs for dealing with seasonal affective disorder (aka winter blues).
"(3) Chamomile tea can take the edge off "cabin fever." It smooths out tension and anxiety that externally enforced confinement tends to promote. It's best to use the flowers for making the tea. You'll enjoy its mild taste and soothing quality. Perfect for relaxing before bedtime or anytime."
Mushrooms contain Vitamin D
Also, I have read that Vitamin D is essential for fighting against winter blues. Since the cold weather may make it difficult to go out during the day to get the necessary sunlight exposure at times, this article recommended taking mushrooms since they naturally contain Vitamin D.
Part of the "winter blues" includes extremely limited exposure to natural sunlight. Sunlight has been shown not only to make people happier, but it also triggers the human body to produce vitamin D, a necessary component of good health ( And mushrooms are loaded with vitamin D, being the only item in the produce aisle that contains it.
Learn more:
Other natural remedies to avoid depression/anxiety attacks
Here's sharing another article you might find useful as it recommends some natural remedies to avoid depression (or anxiety attacks) during winter without using medical drugs (except for propranolol as mentioned earlier for dealing with heart palpitations). While you are probably already familiar with some of these suggestions, but it is always good to remind ourselves from time to time because we may sometimes forget to take care of ourselves in some areas especially when going through challenges.
"A depression which recurs annually during the winter, as well as feelings of depression which deepen during this period, are related to lack of vitamin D, which is delivered in its most powerful form through sunshine. Vitamin D increases brain levels of serotonin, which has been called the "happiness hormone." Vitamin D also plays an important role in the body's production of dopamine, a mood-lifting transmitter. One excellent source of vitamin D is fermented cod liver oil; just one teaspoon a day delivers a potent dose of this vitamin. Dietary sources include salmon, sardines and mackerel as well as organ meats and eggs (choose organic sources for maximum health benefit, of course). You may also want to try a vitamin D supplement to ensure that you get your daily dose."
Learn more:
Cod liver oil (orange flavour)
As suggested above, you could try cod liver oil (which contains Vitamin D, which in turn helps the body to produce dopamine, a mood-lifting transmitter) - it is available in pharmaceutical stores. I have taken cod liver oil before, usually one tablespoon every day. I kinda like the taste, and I find that it helps build immune system in the long run too. There is a version of cod liver oil with orange flavour, if you don't like the original flavour.

Natural vitamin D from the sun
This article suggests getting some sunlight outdoors (whenever weather permits). I agree it is important too as our mood usually lifts naturally when we are outside the building, and it is always good to be away from the internet for some time too.
"Get as much sunlight on your face and body as is available

Facing the sun for 10 minutes, with your eyes open or closed is an excellent way to absorb the energy of the sun. Take your dose of Vitamin D3 at the same time in order magnify the body's production of Vitamin D. This will boost and protect immunity."
Learn more:
I agree with this part of the first article too.
"Also, take some time to perform emotional self-care. Express your feelings rather than suppressing them, whether by visiting a therapist, writing in a journal or talking with a trusted friend. Re-connect frequently with feelings of happiness, whether watching a funny movie or listening to music that lifts your spirit."
Learn more:
Yes, it is good to express your feelings by blogging and sharing about it. At the same time, it is also important to not allow your emotions to affect your health too much, or else it would be counterproductive. Expressing feelings is always good for relieving stress and anxiety in the long run, so long as you can find a balance and not be overwhelmed by them (as mentioned in the article below). Please remember that in spite of all the hurts and pains you may have experienced in the past, you are always greater than your sorrows, disappointments and challenges. The Christ in you, or the Divine in you, or the Buddha nature in you, is far above the storms in your life.
"Learning to meditate can help provide a balanced path between those two extremes and enable you to feel that you are not at the mercy of your emotions."
Learn more:
Deep breathing exercises can keep us in touch with our inner peace
Yes, meditation and deep breathing can bring you to a place of inner peace where you are safe from being buffeted by the waves, even if they come back and remind you of the past.

Related links

Holiday season blues
Healing Emotional and Psychological Trauma - Symptoms, Treatment, and Recovery Christmas Blues
Transform Your Life – Overcome Your Abused Childhood Trauma
How to Deal with Childhood Trauma as an Adult
What are the Christmas Blues?
Getting Rid of Those Holiday "Blues": Ryerson University Expert

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Inner Peace

I have listened to the video on inner peace. Like what the presenter said, each of us has the power to create the reality we prefer, and there is no reality apart from how we choose to define it. This may sound self-explanatory but I guess everyone needs a reminder from time to time because circumstances can seem overwhelming and we can be carried away or absorbed in our pains and sufferings.

Being in touch with our emotions is a normal process to go through for us human beings, and I think we are blessed and equipped with a higher consciousness that we can tap into at any time in our journey of healing and strengthening - while it is true we can change our thinking in an instant, there is usually a period of time we come to terms with our experiences before we are ready to emerge, just as a caterpillar doesn't change into a butterfly immediately but goes through a metamorphosis and finally emerges from the cocoon and spreads its wings ready to fly.

I agree the truth is simple yet profound, and maybe that's why listening to the silence of our heart is crucial to remembering the truth since there are often distractions out there in the world from mass media and so on. We are our own best healers and physicians (and metaphysicians).

An interesting cancer quote

"If cancer specialists were to admit publicly that chemotherapy is of limited usefulness and is often dangerous, the public might demand a radical change in direction—possibly toward unorthodox and nontoxic methods, and toward cancer prevention. ...The use of chemotherapy is even advocated by those members of the establishment who realize how ineffective and dangerous it can be." - Ralph W. Moss, author, The Cancer Industry
Yes, like what Ralph Moss said, even cancer specialists are aware of how ineffective and chemotherapy can be in treating cancer. I remember one doctor shared in his interview with Dr Mercola that only a few cases of cancer may be successfully treated with chemo but the majority of cases do not respond well to chemo, hence that's where natural remedies come into the picture, such as eating anti-cancer super foods such as turmeric, soursops, mushrooms and so on, getting more oxygen intake and Vitamin D, etc. 
"Yes, there are few cancers that respond to chemo, but there are very few. For a hundred different types of cancer, maybe four or five respond well to any kind of chemo. The vast majority doesn’t respond well. And believe me: after 23 years of doing this, they don't know how much money they make.

You know, when they start out, there’s at least some idealism. Even in the most cynical doctor, there was some idealism when went into medicine. And it’s very difficult. I love coming to work – I don’t care what the AMA, the NCI think – and I love coming to work to see the patients getting well. There’s nothing better than that."
Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez (from "Dr Nicholas Gonzalez on Steve Jobs")
On finding a balance between eastern/holistic/naturopathic medicine and western/allopathic medicine:
"The healing professions are divided today between alternative, holistic therapies which are most often not covered by mainstream insurance companies, and conventional western medicine, which is hashed into various specialties, focusing on
dispensing drugs and surgery rather than examining the total person. I personally advocate a blending and revamping of the two approaches, which to my mind represent feminine and masculine approaches: the holistic treatments being primarily feminine, and conventional western medicine being focused on aspects of the masculine, such as logical reasoning and action over reflection. Offering one’s health to the open arms of social media is an attempt to engage society, globally, into a revolution of our health care systems world-wide. People want change, want to be treated as individuals, and want to be responsible for their own choices regarding their emotional and physical bodies."
Related article

Monday, December 3, 2012

Some thoughts about water fasting and dieting

In this video, Keith Owens tells of his experience on day 9 of his water only fast. I noted that he felt like he was being cleansed of toxins, not just physically (through bowel movement in the washroom on the 9th day) but also cleansed mentally, and he felt good after that. The water fasting had changed his lifestyle - he stopped smoking, for example. It involves weight loss, as I also learnt from this website, so it requires careful moderation and supervision if one were to carry out water fasting.

I suppose you could start slow if you try water fasting. As advised by this website:
"If you're going to water fast on your own, honor the rules about rest and recuperation and attention to increasing bodily awareness. You must slow down. You must honor your body and its needs and messages. You must give every opportunity for this to be a healing experience--on all levels--and you know intuitively what you need to do and what you need to let go of to allow this."
Besides, I learnt from this wikiHow website that water fasting may have side effects such as dizziness, nausea and headaches. It recommends alternating "a juice fast with a water fast if you're contemplating a longer fasting period. That way, your body can receive important vitamins and nutrients on a periodic basis." Perhaps a safer alternative is taking more fruits and vegetables. (The website also noted that doctors nowadays advised against colon cleansing, such as enema, since our body will naturally cleanse itself.)

Here's sharing a person's testimony on water fasting in view of her low residual iron levels in her blood.
"It's so important that you listen to your body. 2 days of water fasting can be too much for some people... whereas others can do much longer periods. 

My daily iron levels are fine but my residual iron levels are low... so when I water fast... one day is enough for me. Then I make sure to have watermelon juice the next day with a touch of lime - as the lime assists my body to absorb the iron. 

So... if you find yourself getting super dizzy, really weak, your skin turns really pale... consider switching to juices or back to eating raw. 

Other than that... I don't see a problem with what you are wanting to do."
If you are anemic, I suppose it's advisable to start slow if you want to try water fasting. Since having slight iron deficiency in your blood may cause fatigue easily, you could consider alternating with juices and broths, as well as ensuring a regular intake of iron rich food (such as beet, sweet potatoes, broccoli, prune juice, raisins, eggs, etc) in between short periods of water fasting.


On another note, here's sharing a new diet that is mainly plant-based and follows "a comprehensive set of dietary guidelines proven to enhance the immune system and improve overall health in addition to routing cancer." So I thought it could be a good diet to follow when alternating between water fasting (if you are planning to start one) and juice fasting at different periods of time.

GOMBBS - Greens, onion, mushrooms, berries, beans and seeds

Fuhrman coined this quirky acronym to capture the most demonstrably powerful anti-cancer foods. Greens are the most nutrient-dense foods in the world; the cruciferous vegetable family in particular, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and many others, generates compounds known as isothiocyanates (ITCs) when blended, chopped or chewed that have a plethora of anti-cancer actions. In one study, higher intake of cruciferous vegetables halved the total incidence of cancer, while in another, higher intake saw a 57 percent reduction in the occurrence of colon cancer.

Allium vegetables including onions, garlic, shallots, leeks and scallions contain organosulfur compounds that are released when chewed, chopped or crushed. Increasing consumption of these healthful vegetables is proven to reduce the risk of prostate and gastric cancers. The flavonoid quercetin, abundant in onions, slows tumor growth and causes death of colon cancer cells.

All commonly eaten mushrooms contain powerful cancer-fighting agents including angiogenesis inhibitors, aromatase inhibitors and antigen-binding lectins which block estrogen production and prevent cancer cell growth. Eating just one mushroom per day lowers risk of developing breast cancer by 64 percent.

Berries' extraordinarily high antioxidant content merits them a spot on Fuhrman's short list of cancer fighters. For the greatest health benefit, dip berries in a homemade chocolate sauce; the combination of antioxidant-rich cacao and berries has been proven to have a synergistic effect that doubles the amount of antioxidants absorbed.

Beans, peas and lentils are nutrient-rich and high in protein and fiber; eating legumes at least two times a week reduces colon cancer risk by 50 percent. Additional protective effects have been shown for kidney, stomach, oral, larynx and pharynx cancers.

Seeds (and nuts, to a lesser degree) are high in protein, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats. Flax, hemp and chia seeds are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and nut and seed consumption generally is linked to heart health, prevention of diabetes and weight control.
Learn more:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Drinking water at the correct time maximises its effectiveness on the human body

I agree to a large extent with the above post about drinking water at the correct (or appropriate) times that maximises its effectiveness on the human body.

I have learnt that drinking 1-2 glasses of water after waking up in the morning helps activate the internal organs. Usually by then, the body would have felt slightly hydrated after not having drunk water for the past 8-10 hours the previous night, so drinking water first thing in the morning would give the body a much needed hydration, and also give the internal organs a wake-up call to start the usual active functions such as digesting food during breakfast and so on, as I understand it.

I am also learning to drink some water before having a meal (lunch or dinner) to aid digestion of the meal. However, when it comes to night time before going to bed, I think there are mixed views from different sources on whether it is advisable. For me, I prefer to drink only a little amount of water (at the most I glass) by dinnertime around 8 pm, and then I try not to drink water after that, or else I might wake up a few times in the early morning hours to go to washroom.
"Drinking a glass of water or warm milk may help soothe you to sleep, according to Dr. Oz, though water is preferable. However, drinking water right before bed may cause you to wake up to urinate during the night, possibly more than once. This could prevent you from getting enough rest to function optimally the next day. If you find this to be a problem, drink enough water throughout the day up until two hours before bedtime so that you are already well hydrated when it is time to go to bed. Then, drink a full glass of water first thing in the morning."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Combating fatigue with Chicken Essence

Brands Chicken Essence is a common health tonic in Singapore, and I learnt that it is also available in Canada in Chinatown and Chinese drug stores as well as major Chinese grocery stores.

BRAND'S® Essence of Chicken (EOC)
  2. BRAND'S® EOC with Cordyceps
  3. BRAND'S® EOC with Lingzhi
Where to find:
  • Major Chinese Groceries
  • Chinese Drug stores
  • Chinatown
You can take it straight from the bottle, warm or chill it. It's excellent for brain alertness, boost immunity as well as helps in metabolism. Once you have bought the chicken essence, you can place the unopened bottle in 1/2 cup of hot water for a while to warm it and then drink straight from the bottle, without adding water. This way, you will have full benefits of the undiluted essence. The Brand's chicken essence is scientifically proven for its efficacy.

When I used to study for exams or work late or sleep late at night, I would sometimes take Brand's chicken essence, and I would feel slightly more rested and invigorated the next day. It takes a combination of sufficient rest and drinking this health tonic (once a day on average), besides eating healthy high fibre natural diet and exercise, to overcome chronic fatigue in the long run, I believe.

Here's also sharing a post below that summarises some effective ways to feel less tired, which I find helpful.
"Do you get about seven to eight hours of quality sleep every night? Your body needs an uninterrupted seven to eight hours of sleep to feel rejuvenated and fresh. But good sleep is not the only factor. We feel tired when we are experiencing low energy levels mentally or physically. In order to perk up your physical energy, you need to eat healthy, nutrient dense foods like whole grains, nuts and fresh fruits and vegetables and stay away from refined, processed food such as canned food high in salt, fats and simple sugars. Take a fresh approach to your daily diet and try to eat at least every 2 ½ to 3 hours. You also need to schedule in some exercise, although it may sound contradictory, the body is more energized after a workout. Nothing too tough, a quick 30 min brisk walk or jog is a great energy booster. Mental fatigue can be dealt with by taking the right supplements such as essence of chicken and managing stress through exercise such as yoga. Getting enough rest and sleep at night is also crucial to alleviate fatigue. If required, take a 15-30min power nap in the afternoon. It can be a great pick-me-up, especially after a heavy lunch. However, you should not nap for more than 30minutes as it may affect the quality of sleep at night."
I can understand the fatigue, and it probably takes some time to fully recover from stress and lack of rest (or sleep/rest debt). It took me a few months to fully recover from fatigue and heart palpitations in 2009. So yes, making rest your priority is the way to go. 
Last night I drank a bottle of Chicken Essence, and this morning I woke up feeling a bit more refreshed as the health tonic helped me sleep a little better.

"Eu Yan Sang’s Essence of Chicken series is made from the 100% pure essence of premium-grade chicken, with no caramel colouring added. It does not contain any flavouring, preservatives and additional salt, and is cholesterol-free. It can be taken chilled or warmed, every day by everyone, and is particularly suitable for those recuperating from an illness, pregnant and post-pregnant women, students preparing for their examinations, and the aged who feel weak."
Here's a scientific report on how drinking chicken essence helps to overcome or relieve fatigue.
Folk wisdom suggests that chicken extract is useful for recovery from physical and mental fatigue. To explore this question, the physiological effect of Brand’s Essence of Chicken (BEC), a popular chicken extract used as a traditional remedy, was assessed during recovering from mental stress. We quantitated the blood levels of stress-related substances, and examined the task performance and subjects’ mood states during mental workloads. Subjects were 20, healthy male students who have never tasted BEC. They took two bottles of BEC or a placebo (70 ml/bottle) daily in the morning for 7 days. On the final experimental day, two mental workload tests were performed: (A) a mental arithmetic test (MAT; 1600 trials of two or three figure-addition or subtraction for 40 min). (B) a short-term memory test (SMT; 20 trials of memorizing 9 digit numbers). Blood was collected before and after each workload task. After the mental workload, the recovery of mean cortisol level of subjects who consumed BEC was significantly faster than that for those consuming the placebo. The task performance of subjects performing the MAT and SMT was also improved with BEC consumption compared with placebo. According to the profile of mood state questionnaire, subjects felt more active and less fatigued during the workload when they took BEC regularly. We conclude that the extract of chicken has the potential to metabolize stress-related substance in blood and to promote recovery from mental fatigue.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cancer is finally cured in Canada but Big Pharma has no interest

According to the following website:

"News covers Dr. Evangelos Michelakis at the University of Alberta and the drug called DCA which has been found to reduce the size of cancerous tumers. Dr. Dario Alterieri from the University of Massachusetts agreed that the drug should be tested for its side effects and safety issues. However, there is no patent on this drug.

Since there is no patent on DCA and no pharmaceutical company owns this drug, CTV reported that drug companies will not want to bring this drug out on the market or conduct studies on this drug due to the fact that they can't make a profit off a drug that can be inexpensively produced. CTV News also mentioned that it costs nearly $100 million dollars for testing to become completed on a new drug, so it looks like everything comes down to a matter of money."
This sounds familiar as I have also come across news that in a similar case, pharmaceutical companies did not want to publicity announce or acknowledge the anti-cancer effects of graviola in soursop fruits since they cannot patent this naturally occurring product for making profits. But thanks to the Internet, more people are being aware of the health benefits of soursops, including its anticancer effects. 

I learnt from this website that the researchers of DCA drug manages to get some funding from some government organisations and online donations so far. 

Also, an update shows that trials of the DCA on humans in curing cancer are going great, according to this website.
[link to]

"Latest update says trials are going great."
I hope DCA will get its recognition by more and more (non profit-minded) health practitioners 
soon to treat cancer patients. 

On a similar note, someone in the above website also commented that "DCA is chemically DCA is vinegar, 2 parts chlorine and water". That reminds me of apple cider vinegar - I learnt that ACV also have anti-cancer effects, as noted in this website. It has been recommended that people can drink a glass of water mixed with 1 or 2 teaspoon of ACV (honey can be added) daily to benefit from it.
"Studies have also shown it may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth.  Nice!

Apple Cider Vinegar is also reported to assist in curing allergies, sinus infections, acne, flu, chronic fatigue, candida, acid reflux, sore throats, contactdermatitis, arthritis, and gout."
 Related links

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Reducing computer fatigue and improving eyesight naturally

I have learnt to take breaks from the computer screen as often as I remember to because prolonged computer usage can cause eye fatigue and mental fatigue. The other day, I was reading this article that reminds people to minimise sitting for a prolonged period of time and take time to move around.
(NaturalNews) "In today's workplace, the majority of people sit for eight or more hours per day. Think your desk job isn't affecting your health? Think again. A sedentary lifestyle, at home or work negatively impacts your health in multiple ways. Smoking, alcohol, lack of exercise and junk food are all detrimental to our health... we need to add sitting to that list as well. "Sitting diseases" are quickly lowering our lifespans and increasing our healthcare costs."

Learn more:
Usually when we get up from your computer and move around, we would feel better. Hence, making it a regular habit to take breaks from the computer screen will help prevent fatigue. It will also prevent eye strain and shortsightedness. I learnt from this article about exercising our eyes, to look away faraway objects when resting our eyes from the computer screen.
"Another way to approach this is to simply exercise the range of motion of your ciliary muscles by alternating between focusing on close objects versus far away objects (such as the horizon). This is most accomplished from inside your home, near a window. Simply look at something on your desk, then look at something outside your window that's far, far away (ideally, at the horizon). Alternate this process several times, then rest your eyes, and then repeat. Do this daily for a few minutes each day."

Learn more:
Here's sharing this article that summarises three ways to minimise computer fatigue, using the 3 Rs:
  • Readjust the computer screen so that our eyes look down (slightly from the top of the screen)
  • Refocus our eyes on something far away once in a while (and also blink our eyes to keep our eyes moist)
  • Remove ourselves from the workstation every now and then
Sometimes in the office, I would forget the above tips and I would find myself using a computer for about two hours or more at one stretch, before I started to feel mentally tired. I then had to remind myself to take a break. One way to help myself remember to take regular breaks is to drink water, so that before long, I would feel the urge to go to washroom, which gives me a chance to take a breather from the computer. Walking up the stairs and going to the rooftop also helps me refocus and refresh my mind, even as I look at faraway trees in the horizon to refocus my eyes for a few minutes. In my bedroom, I would remind myself also to look at the trees outside my bedroom window. I suppose you could do the same, and when the weather is fine, taking a walk outside does wonders too.

On a similar note, here's sharing the website on how to prevent myopia, which my colleague emailed me and other colleagues yesterday.

It has a free online ebook on the myopia myth, which I find informative. I learnt that pinhole glasses can help correct short-sightedness, so I have gotten a pair of pinhole glasses from a pharmacy store recently.

According to the pinhole glasses manual, "The Bates method and vision therapy, like chiropractic and physiotherapy practices versus medical surgeries, as well as natural, organic health food and supplementation versus pharmaceutical drugs, are becoming a mainstream and effective alternative to the traditional views of health care today." I agree, as more and more people are coming to realise the importance and effectiveness of natural therapy, which is risk-free, drug-free and has no side effects.

The manual also gives the following advice, which we have discussed earlier about taking breaks regularly from the computer screen:
"You should take a vision break for 1-2 minutes every 30-40 minutes of near work, such as reading, computer work, playing computer games, including handheld games. A vision break is to look at far away objects, preferably at nature, and multi-coloured natural surroundings. You can put away your work, and take a walk, or close your eyes and relax for a moment. This activity helps to minimize vision-stress."
I can understand sometimes it can be easy to forget to take a vision break especially when we are engrossed in reading materials on the internet. So, reminders such as these are welcoming as they help ensure we avoid experiencing eye fatigue and mental fatigue. There were times when I felt a bit breathless walking up a few flights of stairs at my office, and I would heed these signs of fatigue and decided to take longer breaks in between my time on the computer so as to maintain sufficient energy and stamina in the long run.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Finding peace and relaxation naturally

You could try deep breathing exercises to relieve any kind of anxiety or discomfort. You could also try lying down and rest your eyes from the computer screen for a while.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Step 1

Sit or lie in a comfortable position. Do not try this exercise while standing in case the deep breathing makes you dizzy.

Step 2

Put one hand on your abdomen, just below your rib cage, and the other on your chest. Your hands will act as guides so you know you are breathing correctly.

Step 3

Inhale as deeply as possible through your nose. You should feel your stomach expand first, then your chest. Hold this breath for 2 to 5 seconds.

Step 4

Exhale through your mouth. You should feel your chest deflate, then your stomach.

Step 5

Repeat the breath five times or until your heart rate drops and you feel calm. Check your heart rate with the heart rate monitor, by taking your pulse or by gauging your heartbeat.
Read more:
According to this article, visualisation is also a good form of relaxation, besides deep breathing.

2. Visualization Process
If you want to relax without using prescription drugs, try visualization. Visualization requires an individual to think of images such as a peaceful setting and mentally takes a journal to their favorite, calming place. This technique typically requires a person to sit in a quiet place and closing his or her eyes.
For example, if a person loves the beach, he may imagine himself taking a walk to the beach and feeling the warm sun on his skin. As he enjoys his day at the beach, he smells the salty water, listens to the waves crashing and feels the sand between his toes.
This video on binaural beats with the sound of ocean waves for deep relaxation is also quite soothing to listen to, and it shows a peaceful natural surroundings of a beach for visualisation.  
I learnt from this article that listening to the binaural beats together with music and natural sounds produces slower heart rate and decreased anxiety.
"Researchers found that those who listened to the binaural beats plus the music and natural noises had a slower heart rate and decreased anxiety, compared with those who didn't listen to anything. And both the binaural beats and music group and the music-only group experienced lower blood pressure than the no-noise group."

Friday, November 9, 2012

The link between weed and psychosis

While smoking might attribute to heightened cognition or even a cancer cure, it might also cause other issues like early Alzheimer's or depression....
This article "The Link Between Marijuana and Schizophrenia" shares about how studies show that cannabis smokers are more likely to develop schizophrenia than non-smokers. I suppose it depends on how it is used wisely, since shamans are known to use cannabis for spiritual and medicinal purposes due to its hallucinatory and medicinal effects respectively. 

According to this article, younger people are more susceptible to the psychotic effects of cannabis.

"Why should teenagers be particularly vulnerable to the use of cannabis? No one knows for certain, but it may be something to do with brain development. The brain is still developing in the teenage years – up to the age of around 20, in fact. A massive process of ‘neural pruning’ is going on. This is rather like streamlining a tangled jumble of circuits so they can work more effectively. Any experience, or substance, that affects this process has the potential to produce long-term psychological effects."
Cannabis then need to be reserved for medicinal use instead of recreational use, since cannabis is found to be effective cancer cure. Also, some studies suggest that whether people develop psychosis may depend on their genetic predisposition to develop mental illness.

"Both advocates and opponents of the drug are able to call upon numerous scientific studies supporting their respective positions. For instance, while cannabis has been implicated in the development of various mental disorders in some studies[which?], these studies differ widely as to whether cannabis use is the cause of the mental problems displayed in heavy users, whether the mental problems are exacerbated by cannabis use, or whether both the cannabis use and the mental problems are the effects of some other cause. Positive effects of long-term cannabis use have also been noted.[1]"
So, it boils down to knowing when and how to use cannabis appropriately. It may not work well for everyone, and is best used only for a temporal period of time, and for medicinal purposes where necessary.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The mind needs to be exercised

"The mind needs to be exercised, just as the body does, and exercises are beneficial in reducing the experience of some of these brain-related problems. Solving puzzles, brainteasers, discussing opposing ideas, creative painting or sculpting are just a few ways to engage the mind and keep it youthful and healthy."
(From "Ways to Exercise Your Brain")

I agree that keeping our mind active not only keeps us young, delaying the ageing process, but also prevents brain-related problems such as Alzheimer's disease. As we continue to learn new things and keep ourselves abreast with current events, we will naturally find opportunities for solving puzzles and discussing opposing ideas, such as how to address health and food issues, how to overcome inequality in the world, why and how people need to be free from bondages imposed by religions, and so on. These mental challenges stimulate the mind and give us a sense of purpose as we endeavour to help share the knowledge and insights we have gained with others for their benefit, even as we continue to learn new things and broaden our thinking.

The article also suggests some foods that improve the mind's functionality, such as egg yolks, fish, berries and avocados. I think I have read or heard before that fish is a recommended food for the brain too, so eating fish is good for us, and it is rich in proteins too.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Doctors

Video information
A short exceprt from his Keynote presentation at the Amazing Meeting 6 in Las Vegas, NV. Tyson talks about UFO's and Inept Aliens. For more information about The Amazing Meeting go to

I have listened to Neil deGrasse Tyson's anecdotes on doctors. I suppose there is a flaw in the system of medical school in which doctors are trained to mainly specialise in one area and focus on treating symptoms instead of the root cause. So when it comes to cancer, for example, their medical training taught them to see cancer as terminal disease and use conventional methods to treat cancer cells, such as chemotherapy, which are harmful to the body. Their diagnosis may not take into account the self-healing nature of the body, so they tend to misdiagnose a patient's chances of recovery, as Tyson pointed out, noting that the medical system hasn't really helped doctors make accurate diagnoses. Perhaps if doctors are taught to think holistically, they may stand a better chance in helping patients heal and recover faster, since the human body responds best to holistic healthcare, which includes diet, exercise and other lifestyle adjustments.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Knee joint pains caused by GM foods containing gluten?

I have been googling about gluten and knee pain and I learnt from this website that knee joint pain could be linked to eating food that contains gluten, such as wheat and other grains.

Foods That Can Trigger Joint and Muscle Pain

In my clinical experience the following short list of foods commonly contribute to arthritis. The list is not comprehensive, but includes some of the more common food triggers of joint pain.
  • Grain (all grains including wheat, barley, rye, oats, corn, rice, millet, sorghum, etc)
  • Nightshades (potato, eggplant, tomato, peppers, tobacco)
  • Hydrogenated Fats (hardly a food, but added to a lot of processed food items)
  • Sugar (in all processed forms)
  • Coffee and Tea
  • Soy
  • Peanuts
I have been eating wholemeal bread containing grains such as bran wheat the past few years as I learnt they are generally healthy and contain high fibre which is good for the digestive system. Then again, I have also been experiencing knee joint pain on and off around the same time too. About 10-20 years ago, I didn't experience knee pain often despite I the fact that I have been eating bread for breakfast every morning. So, my guess for now is that (most of) the bread that is sold in supermarkets today may contain genetically modified (GM) wheat (although it is not labelled as GMO). I will continue to do research to verify this information.

I just came across this website that says:
"A recent study by the Mayo Clinic found that 1 in 100 people has CD, making it four times more common today than it was in the 1950s. According to Dorfman, this may have to do with the fact that the gluten in today’s wheat has been genetically modified to contain more protein, causing it to become more reactive. If your child shows any of these symptoms, Dorfman suggests starting an elimination diet. Even if the CD screen comes back negative, you should start the elimination diet anyway because the child may still be sensitive to gluten. "
While I think I may not be gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant since I usually have no problems consuming rice, barley, oat and so on as my staple diet, the gluten in today's wheat that has been genetically modified to contain more protein may trigger symptoms related to celiac disease, as noted by the above article. So, in the meantime, I hope the health authorities will consider labelling GMOs for a start so that people can make informed decisions on whether to buy foods that contain GM wheat and so on.

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