Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Effect On Fetus' Brain Of Eating Fish During Pregnancy

image by bal1969,

Fish Have Essential Nutrients, But Beware Of Mercury Levels

A recent press release quotes a study conducted by a team of "respected" scientists from Harvard and the University of Michigan on the impact of fish intake during pregnancy on children's academic performance. (The quotes around the word 'respected' are mine; wonder if not using the adjective makes the study or the people behind it any less credible? Ask the press release writer! Here is the release.)

image by hobbesyeo,

The study is available online here: . This study seeks to qualify an advisory issued by the FDA way back in March 2001, on the presence of Methyl Mercury in fish, and its harmful effects on the fetus if consumed during pregnancy. For the study has concluded that children of mothers who consumed canned tuna at least twice in a week performed better on cognitive tests before they reached their third birthday.

image by ilco,

Though very welcome, this news must be treated with caution. The study does not give a green signal to consume any and all kinds of fish during pregnancy. The study in fact reinforces the document already put out by the USEPA here:

image by cx_ed,

While eating good food that strengthens the child's brain to perform well, always nurturing good, positive thoughts in the mind during pregnancy strengthens the child's psyche and emotional structure to face life more wholesomely. Here is one post that dwells on this aspect.

image by planetka,
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Monday, March 17, 2008

Teaching The Mind A Trick Or Two During Sleep

image by paulmt,

Utilize The Time Spent During Sleep Too, For Self-Development

You can try this experiment yourself. In your household, when a family member goes to sleep or is taking a nap, just sit not very far from them, and may be read a passage from some storybook. Or talk loudly enough (a soliloquy if there is nobody to share this experiment with you), for a few seconds, on a subject that you know the sleeper holds dear.

image by weirdvis,

While you are performing your act, the words you utter are falling in the sleeper's ears, and from there on, flowing through to their brain. Since the alert, judgmental, questioning, defensive conscious is deep in sleep, the words have no trouble in seeping quietly, drip, drip, drip, into the subconscious; the subconscious that is always awake, always alert, and always receiving signals from the senses. If you are perceptive, you will notice a change in the sleeper's eyelid movement and their breathing rhythm. This is a sure-shot signal that your words have gone in.

image by amab7,

When the sleeper wakes up, they may not realize that they were guinea-pig to your experiment. But whatever words you said, would have an impact on their thinking process. Try it! Never fails to work!

image by giselaroyo,

It is this simple technique that the myHelpHub people have deployed in a set of CDs (16, per the latest count). Priced at five cents less USD 120 (for downloaded version), the audio sessions last about one hour each. Cut away the usual marketing hype on the site's page, and you see that these recordings do exactly this: program your mind, or rather the subconscious component. And since you are controlling what your subconscious is receiving, and since what it is receiving pertains to a plane of your existence where you need the positive reinforcement the most, you benefit at the end of the exercise.

image by nina_shine,

You too could do it yourself, no? Them recordings? So then, why pay these guys for the sessions? Actually, it is both the quality of the content and the quality of the recording that matters here.

image by rob_gonyea,

Go through the site. Here is the link:

image of a CD

Go to sleep. Teach the mind a trick or two. And awaken to say hello to the true you.

image by coryaguila,
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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Bouncing For Autism

Autism Society website image

Self-Dev Industry Should Look At Tools For This Condition

The US is observing April as "National Autism Awareness Month", and this year the Autism Society of America (ASA) have tied up with Pump It Up, the company that has over 240 franchised party facilities across the country. Together they plan to organize a fundraising event called "Bounce for Autism", across all the franchises of Pump It Up, where participants can play to their heart's content on the gigantic inflatables. Proceeds of the event will go to a fund dedicated to support autism.

ASA image for 'Bounce for Autism'

A Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), the condition of autism becomes known when an infant is usually about three years old. I quote the symptoms of autism from the pages of the website of (ASA):

1. Lack of or delay in spoken language
2. Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
3. Little or no eye contact
4. Lack of interest in peer relationships
5. Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
6. Persistent fixation on parts of objects

ASA Image

Beyond identifying the regions of the brain where the structure and shape is different from those without this condition, science has not really made any headway so far in understanding the mechanisms that cause this condition in the first place. Treatment goals are frustratingly restricted to "managing" as opposed to "curing" this condition, and the immediate (and thus far the only) goal is to reduce family distress, and increase functional independence and the quality of life of the autie. As for pharmacologic interventions, the less said the better: doctors are trained to routinely prescribe stimulants and anti-psychotics.

ASA Image

Research shows that over the years, the incidence of autism among children is gradually growing.

ASA Image

Talking about the self-dev discipline as a whole, obviously the present stock of tools we presently hold in our arsenal falls short in addressing this condition. Which brings me to the motivation behind this post. Can somebody think of something radically new that can address this condition? This is one challenge that I would like to throw at the Self-Dev discipline and its practitioners: can we come out with a good, working tool that can be used as a CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) intervention to address Autism?

image by hapekla,

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