THE NUMBER ONE KILLER OF WOMEN IS IN PART A FORM OF SPIRIT SICKNESS

by Christina SarichStaff Writer Waking Times

With all the Susan G. Komen “runs for the cure” and incessant talk of pink ribbons, you’d think women were dropping like flies from breast cancer, but this isn’t the number one killer of women in modern society.

The most common killer of women is also one of the most preventable diseases. According to research from Harvard, coronary heart disease, and the stress which is behind it, is the leading cause of death among the female gender, but why?

As per the study, women are six times more likely to worry about getting breast cancer, but heart-disease is a much more real and present danger. Part of the problem is that breast cancer usually hits a woman in her 50s, while the first heart attack happens to women when they are much older, so it is easier to discount heart disease, and the underlying factors which contribute to it.

Another possible reason women worry about breast cancer more than the health of their hearts, is two-fold: we are naturally outwardly focused as nurturers, and Big Pharma has a racket going with breast cancer, so we’re primed to think of this disease first. $9,850 dollar breast cancer drug anyone?

Heart disease is also sneaky. It doesn’t always start with a serious stroke or heart attack. The physical symptoms can include fatigue, shortness of breath, mid-chest pressure (not pain), nausea, and radiating pain from the jaw or the left shoulder.

Non-physical symptoms of an ailing heart can include:

–       An inability to express openly, the suffering and pain we’ve endured emotionally. (Even the Harvard study says that a woman’s stress is often discounted and her symptoms chalked up as hypochondria, so women are taught to ‘suck it up.’)

–       An inability to forgive and express compassion.

–       Leading with our heads instead of our hearts.

–       Co-dependent tendencies or a lack of expressing our full power.

–       Lack of acceptance.

In Sanskrit, the heart chakra is called Anahata, which means unstruck note, or unwounded love. A woman is born with an innate ability to love unconditionally, but through cultural and familial pressure we’ve been taught, just like men, to stuff it down, and cut ourselves off from the emotions that can with a broken heart or a heart that needs to express forgiveness for pain caused by others.

When the heart chakra is balanced, it radiates serenity balance, and calm. It easily gives and receives love. It doesn’t ruminate on past hurts because they’ve been expressed in a healthy way.

Why are so many women dying of a heart attacks and strokes associated with heart disease? Our hearts must return to the “unhurt” or “unstruck, unbeaten” state, the “unmade sound” which is infinitely, AUM. (Or, really the fourth sound following A-U-M, which is silence).

When the Zen koan asks, “What is the sound of one hand clapping/” It refers to this “unstruck note.” It is referring to the primal energy of sound itself, the sound of creation, of love in its creative force.

We must trust the intelligence of the heart to be our inner compass again. As we nurture others, we must also nurture ourselves. If we feel as if we don’t belong or fit in, it’s time to reach out and connect with others who can accept us as we are.

It is also interesting to note, that women don’t respond to traditional medicine the way that men have. As the Harvard study details,

Most of our ideas about heart disease in women used to come from studying it in men. But there are many reasons to think that it’s different in women. A woman’s symptoms are often different from a man’s, and she’s much more likely than a man to die within a year of having a heart attack. Women also don’t seem to fare as well as men do after taking clot-busting drugs or undergoing certain heart-related medical procedures. Research is only now beginning to uncover the biological, medical, and social bases of these and other differences. The hope is that new knowledge will lead to advances in tailoring prevention and treatment to women.” 

The heart is a fascinating muscle, and its energy is used for much more than just pumping blood through our veins. According to Rollin McCraty, Director of Research at the Institute of HeartMath, the heart’s electromagnetic field is about 5000 times stronger than that of the cranial brain, interacting with and permeating every cell of our bodies. When we heal the heart’s energy, women will return to their natural state of compassionate, uncompromising, unconditional lovers. This is what needs healing.

About the Author

Christina Sarich is a staff writer for Waking Times. She is a writer, musician, yogi, and humanitarian with an expansive repertoire. Her thousands of articles can be found all over the Internet, and her insights also appear in magazines as diverse as Weston A. PriceNexusAtlantis Rising, and the Cuyamungue Institute, among others. 

This article (The Number One Killer of Women is in Part a Form of Spirit Sickness) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Christina Sarich and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement. Please contact WakingTimes@gmail.com for more info.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Waking Times or its staff.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/06/26/number-one-killer-women-part-form-spirit-sickness/

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7 Ways to Stay Cool & Prevent Heat Stroke Symptoms

Heat stroke symptoms - Dr. Axe

Heat stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when the body can no longer cool itself. The body suffers from dehydration  because it can’t release internal heat into the environment, resulting in core temperatures of over 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The scary part is that most people aren’t aware that they are in danger of heat stroke — the most severe heat-related illness — until it’s too late. And by then, they have become confused and delirious as a result of nerve damage. To reduce your risk of becoming ill, the first step is to become aware of heat stroke symptoms and the warning signs of heat-related illness. A quick diagnosis is crucial in order to avoid organ failure, cognitive impairment and death. (1)

But to ensure that your health is never put in harm’s way because of the heat, take preventative measures to keep your body cool and stay hydrated. It’s also important to avoid actions that increase your risk of developing heat-related illnesses, like engaging in physical activity that increases your chances of heat stroke, such as hot yoga and exercising in the direct sun.


What Is a Heat Stroke? 

Heat stroke occurs when your body’s natural processes to regulate your core temperature begin to fail as you become overheated. Our bodies regulate our core temperature to maintain a constant temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit — even in the hottest or coldest environmental conditions. For this to be possible, our thermoregulatory system uses different physiological mechanisms in order to balance the heat produced inside the body and the amount of heat lost to the environment. When these mechanisms break down, heat stroke symptoms occur.

Did  you know that you have temperature receptors in your skin? When the temperature outside the body becomes too high, the receptors send messages to the hypothalamus, which is the processing center in the brain. When the body becomes overheated, it releases heat by sweating and activating the muscles in your skin. Your blood vessels also begin to swell, or dilate, causing your skin to look red. More warm blood then flows close to the surface of your skin so that heat is lost through the skin and into the air.

Muscles in your skin work to increase heat loss by causing your hairs to lay down flat, as opposed to raising them up in order to trap more warmth. Your skin glands also secrete sweat onto the surface of your skin in order to increase heat loss by evaporation. Your body will keep sweating, releasing internal heat, until your body temperature returns to normal. (2)

The problem is when you sweat so much in an effort to cool down the body that you become dehydrated. When your body runs out of fluids to sweat out, and you haven’t been drinking enough water to supply more fluids, your body temperature will continue to rise. Then you may begin to notice heat stroke symptoms. Once your body’s core temperature rises, all of your innate processes that are in place to regulate your internal temperature break down, creating a serious problem.


Heat Stroke Symptoms 

Before heat stroke symptoms develop, you will experience a few warning signs. Generally, heat-related illnesses occur in four stages: beginning with muscle cramping, leading to heat exhaustion and ending with heat stroke. Here’s a breakdown of these four stages (3):

1. Heat Syncope (fainting): Heat syncope, or fainting, occurs when your body tries to cool itself, which causes your blood vessels to dilate so much that blood flow to your brain is reduced. This usually occurs when a person has been working outside or has been physically active in a hot environment. Besides fainting, a person experiencing heat syncope may feel dizzy, restless and nauseous. (4)

2. Heat cramps: Heat cramps, also known as muscle cramping, is one of the first sign of heat-related illness. You may feel like you pulled a muscle, even though you weren’t doing anything strenuous. Muscle aches or cramping is a huge warning sign that you are dehydrated and need to get somewhere cool and drink water before your symptoms worsen.

3. Heat exhaustion: Heat exhaustion happens when the heat begins to make you feel uncomfortable and ill, leading to symptoms such as heavy sweating, weakness, headache, changes in pulse, cold, pale and clammy skin, nausea, vomiting and fainting. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can advance to heat stroke. (5)

4. Heat stroke: Heat stroke is the most serious of all heat-related illnesses. It is a medical emergency because it can lead to serious brain damage, organ failure and even death. The most common heat stroke symptoms include:

  • body temperature above 103 degrees Fahrenheit
  • rapid and strong pulse
  • shallow breathing
  • hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • severe headache
  • fatigue
  • minimal or no sweating, despite the heat
  • nausea and vomiting
  • muscle weakness
  • muscle cramps
  • dark-colored urine
  • delirium
  • confusion
  • seizures
  • unconsciousness

Heat stroke is so serious because it can lead to organ failure and even death. It immediately affects your cognitive function and can lead to impairment. In fact, research shows that approximately 20 percent of patients who suffer from heat stroke have long-term, irreversible brain damage as a result. (6) That’s why some of the most common heat stroke symptoms are delirium and confusion. Your nerve cells are particularly vulnerable when the body becomes overheated, and your brain is made up of these nerve cells. When the body overheats, the blood vessels dilate and blood flow increases, which strains the heart as well…

more…

https://draxe.com/heat-stroke-symptoms/

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Toxic Exposure: Chemicals are in Our Water, Food, Air and Furniture

by University of California, San Francisco

When her kids were young, Tracey Woodruff, Ph.D., MPH, knew more than most people about environmental toxics. After all, she was a senior scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But even she never dreamed, as she rocked her children to sleep at night, that the plastic baby bottles she used to feed them contained toxic chemicals that could leach into the warm milk. 

Back then, in the late 1990s, it wasn’t widely known that the chemicals used in plastic sippy cups and baby bottles can potentially disrupt child development by interfering with the hormone system. That, in turn, could alter the functionality of their reproductive systems or increase their risk of disease later in their lives.

“When I had babies, I did many of the things we now tell people not to do,” says Woodruff, who for the past decade has been the director of UC San Francisco’s Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE). Also a professor in the University’s Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, she earned her doctorate in 1991 from a joint UCSF-Berkeley program in bioengineering and then completed a postgraduate fellowship at UCSF.

Woodruff’s children have since grown into physically healthy teenagers, but many children are not as lucky. Unregulated chemicals are increasing in use and are prevalent in products Americans use every day. Woodruff is concerned by the concurrent rise in many health conditions, like certain cancers or childhood diseases, and the fact that the environment is likely to play a role in those conditions. What motivates her is the belief that we need to know more about these toxics so we can reduce our exposure to the worst of them and protect ourselves and our children from their harmful effects. (Woodruff points out that the word “toxics” as a noun means any poisonous substances, from either chemical or biological sources, whereas “toxins” are poisons only from biological sources, either plant or animal.)

The PRHE is dedicated to identifying, measuring and preventing exposure to environmental contaminants that affect human reproduction and development. Its work weaves together science, medicine, policy and advocacy.

For example, research over the past 10 years by UCSF scientists and others has showed that bisphenol A (BPA) – an industrial chemical used since the 1950s to harden plastics in baby bottles, toys and other products – is found in the blood of those exposed to items made with BPA and that it can harm the endocrine systems of fetuses and infants. As a result, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) outlawed BPA in baby products in 2012, and some manufacturers developed BPA-free products. But now scientists believe the chemicals that replaced BPA may be just as harmful. 

Furthermore, BPA is only one in a long, long list of chemicals we encounter every day in our homes, schools, workplaces and communities. And scientists have barely scratched the surface of understanding them. Of the thousands and thousands of chemicals registered with the EPA for use by industry, the agency has regulated only a few. 

“In the last 50 years, we have seen a dramatic increase in chemical production in the United States,” Woodruff explains. Concurrently, there’s been an increase in the incidence of conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, childhood cancers, diabetes and obesity. “It’s not just genetic drift,” Woodruff maintains.

And we’re all at risk from increasing chemical exposure. The water we run from our taps, the lotion we smear on our skin, the shampoo we rub in our hair, even the dust in our houses is full of synthetic chemicals.

Preventing exposure in babies

PRHE experts do more than just measure such trends. They also collaborate with clinical scientists and obstetricians at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG), so their findings directly benefit pregnant patients. “We partner with the clinical scientists,” explains Woodruff, “because they look at treatments for disease, and environment might be a missing factor in the cause and prevention of disease.”

Though environmental toxics affect us all, there’s a reason PRHE focuses on pregnant women and children, Woodruff adds. Exposure to even tiny amounts of toxic substances during critical developmental stages can have outsize effects. So exposure to toxics is especially detrimental to fetuses, infants and young children, as well as preteens and teenagers.

“If you prevent the problem at the beginning, you get a lifetime of benefits,” says Woodruff.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began measuring human exposure to chemicals in 1976. These so-called “biomonitoring” studies found a range of toxics in subjects’ blood and urine – substances like DDT, BPA, air pollutants, pesticides, dioxins and phthalates. Phthalates, for example, are a class of chemicals known to be endocrine disruptors but widely used as softeners in plastics and as lubricants in personal-care products. Biomonitoring has determined that women of reproductive age evidence higher levels of phthalates than the population at large. One reason, says Woodruff, is that young women use more products like perfume, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner.

Woodruff herself recently led a study in which UCSF researchers collected blood samples from pregnant women at ZSFG. After the women delivered their babies, the researchers collected umbilical cord blood samples – and discovered that almost 80 percent of the chemicals detected in the maternal blood samples had passed through the placenta to the cord blood. It was the most extensive look yet at how the chemicals that pregnant women are exposed to also appear in their babies’ cord blood (and followed an earlier study by Woodruff that marked the first time anyone had counted the number of chemicals in the blood of pregnant women). Published in the Nov. 1, 2016, print edition of Environmental Science and Technology, the study also found that many chemicals were absorbed at greater levels by the fetuses than by the pregnant women…

more…

https://www.biosciencetechnology.com/news/2017/06/toxic-exposure-chemicals-are-our-water-food-air-and-furniture

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TAMING FEMALE SEXUALITY: MYTH, LIBIDO AND THE PHARMACOLOGICAL SUPPRESSION OF WOMEN

by Christina Sarich, Staff Writer Waking Times

It doesn’t take a witch hunt for most people to realize that female sexuality has been feared for as long as we can remember human history. Male-constructed images of women, and men, are so embedded in Western culture that they can appear quite “natural,” but the ways in which the patriarchy has tried to quell women’s sexuality is absurd, if not shocking.

From the beginning chapters of the Bible, in the Adam and Eve story, we, in the West, have been taught how to think about a woman’s sexual personality. The imagery is reinforced in art, prose, and modern medicine. Without tangling the web even further, the deeply rooted fear of women’s sexuality also weighs heavy on the heads of depopulationists, but we shall save this tangent for another time because there is ample and astounding evidence to prove strange cultural programming without opening that Pandora’s box. Pun intended.

I should preface, I am overjoyed that our country went through a sexual revolution, and that women are now at least legally allowed to have sex with whomever – man or woman – they choose. Nonetheless, mankind didn’t even realize that there was a correlation between the womb and sexual intercourse resulting in pregnancy until 9000 BCE, but even now obsesses with preventing a woman’s natural expression of her Divinely given sexual gifts in any way possible. Pregnancy or no pregnancy, Paleolithic societies prohibited women from having sex during their periods, yet in our very recent past, women were encouraged to use Lysol as a contraceptive. Which is more farcical?

These odd views have affected men and women alike. Men were encouraged to be circumcised, lest their wives stray to another man, and his foreskin, now proven to be sensitive just like a woman’s clitoris, was to be surgically, if not barbarically removed, to lessen the pleasure associated with sex – for both parties.

Female genital mutilation still occurs today, with more 130 million women enduring scarring, urinary issues, poor obstetric and neonatal outcomes, but aside from the patently obvious acts of removing the sexual organs themselves, how has our warped cultural training taught us to fear female sexuality, and what inane methods have they attempted to stifle this “scary beast?”

The “Hysterical” Woman

If a woman explores a sexual free-for-all, with one partner, or many, she is called hysterical – the word literally coming from the Greek word hysterikos; meaning “of the womb,” or “suffering of the womb.” Preposterously, the psychologically termed illness, “hysterical neurosis” persisted in medical literature until the 1980s.

 

This concept was based on the ridiculous notion that a woman’s womb wandered around her body (like her wandering sexual eye?) causing her to become ill. This idea resulted in doctors prescribing odd “medicines” as far back as 1900 BC, when ancient Egyptians thought the “wandering womb” could cause “excessive vaginal lubrication,” or anxiety and nervousness from erotic fantasies.

Medical “experts” later treated a woman’s excess libido by prescribing suppositories, salves, and Dover’s powder, a special combination of opium and ipecac. If that wasn’t sufficient, your genitals could be sprayed with a high-powered hose, or you would be prescribed rat poison (strychnia) to help calm your nervous system.

Birth Control and Douching

Women were also supposed to separate child-birth and sexual pleasure. One was not to be mixed with the other. In the most extreme versions of the Madonna-Whore complex, our illustrious physicians have prescribed a host of health-harming birth control methods, from the modern-day pill, which can cause cancer, to more antiquated remedies like those suggested by an American physician of the 1800s named Charles Knowlton who suggested douching as a form of contraception. After sex, women were supposed to inject a syringe full of watered-down salt, vinegar, liquid chloride, zinc sulfite or aluminum potassium sulfite into their vaginas.

 

In fact, from 1930 until 1960, the most popular contraceptive for women was Lysol disinfectant. Though Lysol as a form of birth control has since been debunked, and douching has been proven to cause numerous health problems, one in four women between the ages of 15 and 44 still douche, according to the Department of Health and Human Services…

more…

About the Author

Christina Sarich is a staff writer for Waking Times. She is a writer, musician, yogi, and humanitarian with an expansive repertoire.

This article (Taming Female Sexuality: Myth, Libido and the Pharmacological Suppression of Women) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Christina Sarich and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement. Please contact WakingTimes@gmail.com for more info.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Waking Times or its staff.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/06/22/taming-female-sexuality-myth-libido-pharmacological-suppression-women/

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The future is emotional

Resultado de imagem para Photo by Thomas Peters/Reuters

image edited by Web Investigator

Human jobs in the future will be the ones that require emotional labour: currently undervalued and underpaid but invaluable

by Livia Gershon is a freelance reporter who writes about the intersection of economics, politics and everyday life. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Weekly and The Progressive, among others. She lives in New Hampshire.

Early last year, the World Economic Forum issued a paper warning that technological change is on the verge of upending the global economy. To fill the sophisticated jobs of tomorrow, the authors argued, the ‘reskilling and upskilling of today’s workers will be critical’. Around the same time, the then president Barack Obama announced a ‘computer science for all’ programme for elementary and high schools in the United States. ‘[W]e have to make sure all our kids are equipped for the jobs of the future, which means not just being able to work with computers but developing the analytical and coding skills to power our innovation economy,’ he said.

But the truth is, only a tiny percentage of people in the post-industrial world will ever end up working in software engineering, biotechnology or advanced manufacturing. Just as the behemoth machines of the industrial revolution made physical strength less necessary for humans, the information revolution frees us to complement, rather than compete with, the technical competence of computers. Many of the most important jobs of the future will require soft skills, not advanced algebra.

Back in 1983, the sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild coined the term ‘emotional labour’ to describe the processes involved in managing the emotional demands of work. She explored the techniques that flight attendants used to maintain the friendly demeanours their airline demanded in the face of abusive customers: taking deep breaths, silently reminding themselves to stay cool, or building empathy for the nasty passenger. ‘I try to remember that if he’s drinking too much, he’s probably really scared of flying,’ one attendant explained. ‘I think to myself: “He’s like a little child.”’

Today, the rapid shrinking of the industrial sector means that most of us have jobs requiring emotional skills, whether working directly with customers or collaborating with our corporate ‘team’ on a project. In 2015, the education economist David Deming at Harvard University found that almost all jobs growth in the United States between 1980 and 2012 was in work requiring relatively high degrees of social skills, while Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at the jobs site CareerBuilder, told Bloomberg BNA in January that corporate hiring this year would prize these skills to a greater degree than in previous economic recoveries. ‘Soft skills,’ she said, ‘can make the difference between a standout employee and one who just gets by.’

Across the economy, technology is edging human workers into more emotional territory. In retail, Amazon and its imitators are rapidly devouring the market for routine purchases, but to the extent that bricks-and-mortar shops survive, it is because some people prefer chatting with a clerk to clicking buttons. Already, arguments for preserving rural post offices focus less on their services – handled mostly online – than on their value as centres for community social life.

Historically, we’ve ignored the central role of emotional labour to the detriment of workers and the people they serve. Police officers, for example, spend 80 per cent of their time on ‘service-related functions’, according to George T Patterson, a social work scholar in New York who consults with police departments. Every day, officers arrive at families’ doorsteps to mediate disputes and respond to mental-health crises. Yet training at US police departments focuses almost exclusively on weapons use, defence tactics and criminal law. Predictably, there are regular reports of people calling the police for help with a confused family member who’s wandering in traffic, only to see their loved one shot down in front of them.

In the sphere of medicine, one of the toughest moments of a physician’s job is sitting with a patient, surveying how a diagnosis will alter the landscape of that patient’s life. That is work no technology can match – unlike surgery, where autonomous robots are learning to perform with superhuman precision. With AI now being developed as a diagnostic tool, doctors have begun thinking about how to complement these automated skills. As a strategic report for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) put it in 2013: ‘The NHS could employ hundreds of thousands of staff with the right technological skills, but without the compassion to care, then we will have failed to meet the needs of patients.’

A growing real-world demand for workers with empathy and a talent for making other people feel at ease requires a serious shift in perspective. It means moving away from our singular focus on academic performance as the road to success. It means giving more respect, and better pay, to workers too often generically dismissed as ‘unskilled labour’. And, it means valuing skills more often found among working-class women than highly educated men…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/the-key-to-jobs-in-the-future-is-not-college-but-compassion

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LEADING ADDICTION EXPERT TALKS ABOUT THE ROOTS OF ALCOHOLISM, OUR FAVORITE SPIRITUAL DISEASE

by Alex Pietrowski, Staff Writer Waking Times 

Many believe that alcoholism is a spiritual disease, and that at the very least there are real spiritual consequences of alcohol consumption. Yet, is ubiquitous in our society, a strange culture which simultaneously prohibits those mind-altering substances which elevate consciousness and help us to live more meaningful lives.

Alcohol is decidedly more dangerous than cannabis, magic mushrooms, ayahuasca, LSD, and so many other drugs, but our cultural addiction to booze is evident everywhere. Research has shown that even moderate alcohol consumption is extremely detrimental to your health.

Research has shown over and again that alcohol is the most destructive drug known, and if you look at the etymology of the word itself, it’s clear there is a spiritual dimension to this substance, one that consumes lives and happiness, prohibiting people from living joyous, full lives.

“The word “Alcohol” comes from the Arabic “al-kuhl” which means “BODY EATING SPIRIT”, and gives root origins to the English term for “ghoul”. In Middle Eastern folklore, a “ghoul” is an evil demon thought to eat human bodies, either as stolen corpses or as children.

 

The words “alembic” and “alcohol”, both metaphors for aqua vitae or “life water” and “spirit”, often refer to a distilled liquid that came from magical explorations in Middle Eastern alchemy.” ~Zahrah Sita

So why then are so many of us interested in seeking oblivion with booze? Surely the supply is put in front of us by the alcohol industry, but why is the demand so high?

“The contortions we go through just not to be ourselves for a few hours!” ~Keith Richards, Life, an autobiography

In a recent interview with London Real, the world’s leading expert on addiction, Gabor Maté was asked by host Brian Rose about alcohol. Rose first tells a very common story of how consuming alcohol on a daily basis is normal for people who’ve experienced something in their past which darkly colors their world.

Maté’s reply speaks to so many of us, for it breaks down the drivers behind alcohol consumption in our fast-paced, money and success driven culture. He says:

“It’s an archetypal story. First of all you’re hurt as a child, and then you have to compensate for it. So you compensate in two ways. One is by becoming a ‘success….’ When despite all of your best efforts in your successes, and your ability to impress people, the gnawing pain still shows up, now you use something to soothe the pain. And what do you say about somebody who drinks too much? There’s an old expression. When someone has drunk too much, there used to be an old saying. ‘They’re feeling no pain.’” ~Gabor Maté

In a sick society it makes sense that so many of us are addicted to painkillers, the number one of which is alcohol. We are simply wanting to feel no pain. When you consider the depth of the opioid epidemic today, you have to wonder how we can heal this massive spiritual illness, and hope is to be found in the wisdom of those healers who understand the roots of the problems individuals attempt to face on their own.

About the Author
Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and Offgrid Outpost, a provider of storable food and emergency kits. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.
This article (Leading Addiction Expert Talks about the Roots of Alcoholism, Our Favorite Spiritual Disease) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alex Pietrowski and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/06/22/leading-addiction-expert-talks-roots-alcoholism-favorite-spiritual-disease/

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Why Your Brain Hates Other People

Sapolsky_BR-art

ILLUSTRATION BY IGNACIO SERRANO

 BY ROBERT SAPOLSKY

And how to make it think differently

 As a kid, I saw the 1968 version of Planet of the Apes. As a future primatologist, I was mesmerized. Years later I discovered an anecdote about its filming: At lunchtime, the people playing chimps and those playing gorillas ate in separate groups.

It’s been said, “There are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into two kinds of people and those who don’t.” In reality, there’s lots more of the former. And it can be vastly consequential when people are divided into Us and Them, ingroup and outgroup, “the people” (i.e., our kind) and the Others.

The core of Us/Them-ing is emotional and automatic.

Humans universally make Us/Them dichotomies along lines of race, ethnicity, gender, language group, religion, age, socioeconomic status, and so on. And it’s not a pretty picture. We do so with remarkable speed and neurobiological efficiency; have complex taxonomies and classifications of ways in which we denigrate Thems; do so with a versatility that ranges from the minutest of microaggression to bloodbaths of savagery; and regularly decide what is inferior about Them based on pure emotion, followed by primitive rationalizations that we mistake for rationality. Pretty depressing.

But crucially, there is room for optimism. Much of that is grounded in something definedly human, which is that we all carry multiple Us/Them divisions in our heads. A Them in one case can be an Us in another, and it can only take an instant for that identity to flip. Thus, there is hope that, with science’s help, clannishness and xenophobia can lessen, perhaps even so much so that Hollywood-extra chimps and gorillas can break bread together.

The Strength of Us Versus Them

Considerable evidence suggests that dividing the world into Us and Them is deeply hard-wired in our brains, with an ancient evolutionary legacy. For starters, we detect Us/Them differences with stunning speed. Stick someone in a “functional MRI”—a brain scanner that indicates activity in various brain regions under particular circumstances. Flash up pictures of faces for 50 milliseconds—a 20th of a second—barely at the level of detection. And remarkably, with even such minimal exposure, the brain processes faces of Thems differently than Us-es.

This has been studied extensively with the inflammatory Us/Them of race. Briefly flash up the face of someone of a different race (compared with a same-race face) and, on average, there is preferential activation of the amygdala, a brain region associated with fear, anxiety, and aggression. Moreover, other-race faces cause less activation than do same-race faces in the fusiform cortex, a region specializing in facial recognition; along with that comes less accuracy at remembering other-race faces. Watching a film of a hand being poked with a needle causes an “isomorphic reflex,” where the part of the motor cortex corresponding to your own hand activates, and your hand clenches—unless the hand is of another race, in which case less of this effect is produced.

The brain’s fault lines dividing Us from Them are also shown with the hormone oxytocin. It’s famed for its pro-social effects—oxytocin prompts people to be more trusting, cooperative, and generous. But, crucially, this is how oxytocin influences behavior toward members of your own group. When it comes to outgroup members, it does the opposite.

The automatic, unconscious nature of Us/Them-ing attests to its depth. This can be demonstrated with the fiendishly clever Implicit Association Test. Suppose you’re deeply prejudiced against trolls, consider them inferior to humans. To simplify, this can be revealed with the Implicit Association Test, where subjects look at pictures of humans or trolls, coupled with words with positive or negative connotations. The couplings can support the direction of your biases (e.g., a human face and the word “honest,” a troll face and the word “deceitful”), or can run counter to your biases. And people take slightly longer, a fraction of a second, to process discordant pairings. It’s automatic—you’re not fuming about clannish troll business practices or troll brutality in the Battle of Somewhere in 1523. You’re processing words and pictures, and your anti-troll bias makes you unconsciously pause, stopped by the dissonance linking troll with “lovely,” or human with “malodorous.”

We’re not alone in Us/Them-ing. It’s no news that other primates can make violent Us/Them distinctions; after all, chimps band together and systematically kill the males in a neighboring group. Recent work, adapting the Implicit Association Test to another species, suggests that even other primates have implicit negative associations with Others. Rhesus monkeys would look at pictures either of members of their own group or strangers, coupled with pictures of things with positive or negative connotations. And monkeys would look longer at pairings discordant with their biases (e.g., pictures of members of their own group with pictures of spiders). These monkeys don’t just fight neighbors over resources. They have negative associations about them—“Those guys are like yucky spiders, but us, us, we’re like luscious fruit.”

Thus, the strength of Us/Them-ing is shown by the: speed and minimal sensory stimuli required for the brain to process group differences; tendency to group according to arbitrary differences, and then imbue those differences with supposedly rational power; unconscious automaticity of such processes; and rudiments of it in other primates. As we’ll see now, we tend to think of Us, but not Thems, fairly straightforwardly.

The Nature of Us

Across cultures and throughout history, people who comprise Us are viewed in similarly self-congratulatory ways—We are more correct, wise, moral, and worthy. Us-ness also involves inflating the merits of our arbitrary markers, which can take some work—rationalizing why our food is tastier, our music more moving, our language more logical or poetic…

more…

http://nautil.us/issue/49/the-absurd/why-your-brain-hates-other-people

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