Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year's Resolution

New Year's resolutions are simply goals for the coming year, but have never worked for me - mainly because I haven't written them down or reviewed them.

I have read about goal setting in numerous books and on the web for many years but have never taken the time to actually try them. So My New Year's resolution (main goal) for 2006 - to write down my short and long term goals and to review them on a daily basis.

I am resolute in my resolve to be resolute with my resolution. Or, with my apologies to the great John Lennon - "They say you want a resolution, well you know - we all want to change the world"!
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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

In memory of water

A controversial subject which has fascinated me for a long time is the so called memory effect of water. This is the basic fundamental behind the production of homeopathic remedies. In a nutshell, a substance is dissolved vigorously in water so it comes into contact with all (or most of) the water molecules in the solution. A small amount of this solution is then diluted with another measure of water. This process is continued from nine to more than thirty times.

It is hypothesized that after about nine dilutions, not a trace of the original substance remains in the solution (it is just water). However, the theory is that the hydrogen bonds in the water molecules retain a 'memory' and can cause effect as if it were the original substance. Homeopaths also claim that the more this dilution process is carried out, the more potent the effect.

I have seen enough first and second-hand proof with homeopathic remedies to realize that there is definitely something to this theory. Perhaps, and this will really test the sceptics, it also has something to do with our brain's incredible memory processes. After all, the brain comprises more than 90% water, more than any other organ in the body.

If you would like to know more about this fascinating subject, this web site is a good starting point.
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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Researchers discover why stress can make us ill

It has long been known that stress can cause illness, but the exact reason has eluded scientists until now. Scientists from Australia's Garvan Institute have discovered how a particular hormone, released in the body whilst under stress, can prevent our immune system functioning properly.

Stress is something which is particularly difficult for traditional medicine to treat. Special vitamin formulations, generally high dose B vitamins, are said to help manage stress levels. Personally, I have found a herbal preparation of gingko biloba and brahmi to be particularly helpful.

However, I believe that a balance of a healthy diet, exercise and meditation to effectively manage stress levels is the best strategy.

As far as a healthy diet goes, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables or juice, lots of water and not too much fat tend to work well. Exercise, a dirty word to some, doesn't mean you have to rush out and purchase a gym membership or begin training for the next triathlon (although either of these would be fantastic!). Walking for as little as 30 minutes a day will do wonders for your health and general well being.

Meditation is not something which comes easily to a lot of people (including me). It can take years to become proficient in the art of meditation. Luckily, there is really exciting technology out there by which one can induce meditative states at will simply by donning a pair of headphones and pressing play on the CD player. This technology is known as brainwave synchronization and is produced by applying differing audio signals to each ear. The session can be guided by the CD track or software and your brainwaves follow the stimulus by what is termed in the industry as the "frequency following response". For a well written explanation of how this technology works, see this quick guide.

With this technology, all you need do is relax and listen to the track and you will soon find yourself in a highly meditative state. You can do this for ten minutes or an hour - it's up to you. I rarely miss a day without listening to at least one session.

The first one I ever tried and to which I still listen occasionally is Centerpointe Institute's Holosync. It comes in the form of audio CDs and while excellent, is quite expensive, especially for the more advanced levels. Another very good meditation CD which I use often is Insight by the Immrama Institute, formerly Awakened Minds, Inc. It is more gentle than Holosync and requires just one CD, not a series. At $34.95, it represents good value.

The CD I find the most effective for my meditation needs is the Ultra-Deep Meditation CD by Binaural-Beats.com. It is extremely relaxing and induces a meditative state consistently and easily. At a mere $29.95 with free shipping, it is also the best value I have found.

As well, there are software programs available which you can use to make your own custom brainwave synchronization CDs. Two that I use are Bwgen and Brain Sound Studio. I also use Adobe Audition for more complex tracks but it requires some serious study and practice to be useful for this purpose.

In conclusion, brainwave synchronization is an exciting and powerful technology in enhancing relaxation and meditation. Many more uses in the self-development area are possible; I will be covering these in later posts.
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Friday, December 02, 2005

Is Immunics the answer?

A group of volunteers is claiming to be able to teach you the ability to cure yourself of diseases ranging from the 'common cold' and influenza to cancer.

According to the CureDrive.org web site:

"Immunics is the conscious, immediate, and intentional control of the physiological and psychological aspects of your immune system and the use of your control to do methodical immunological actions that effect cure."

The current tally of reported cures stands at more than 22,000 since June, 2004. Free tutorials are available in video, audio and text format and they say the basic skill can be learned in as little as half an hour - a much larger slice of your time would be required if you were to become serious.

I guess this might be classified as self-administered faith healing. The subconscious mind is so powerful when it believes something without question. I'm sure some would see Immunics as a cult, but what if it works? With the number of cases I've heard about where traditional medicine is letting people down, this could well be worth a shot.

If you're interested in checking it out, you might also like to have a look on the Peak Oil Message Board forum. This is an intelligent and informative debate on Immunics which may make your decision easier, one way or the other.

In the end, as with everything, it will be your choice. The next time I come down with something I find hard to shake, I'll certainly be giving it a try.
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