Professor Amit Sood: Happy Brain — How To Overcome Our Neural Predispositions To Suffering

Twenty years ago, Dr Amit Sood, a Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic, moved to the US thinking he was coming to the Disneyland of the world. He expected everyone here to be very happy. What he saw surprised and shocked him. In this funny, fast-moving, and deeply insightful talk, Dr Sood shares his journey over two decades and across two continents, finding a way to help us outsmart our neural predispositions to suffering. In the process, he takes us on a back-stage tour of the human brain and outlines the gist of a structured program he is taking globally to decrease stress and improve focus, resilience, and happiness.

Amit Sood, is Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic and Director of Mayo’s Complementary and Integrative Medicine program. He is the author of The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living and The Mayo Clinic Guide to Happiness. He is one of the most sought-after speakers at Mayo. He has received several NIH and foundation awards to test and implement integrative and mind-body approaches within medicine. Dr Sood received the 2010 Distinguished Service Award, the 2010 Innovator of the Year Award, and the 2013 Outstanding Physician Award from Mayo Clinic.

Anna Altman: Life With Migraines

Headaches are one of the most common symptoms that patients report to their doctors, but their causes and manifestations vary so much that a diagnosis does little to help.

From the Greek hemi (“half”) and kranion (“skull”), migraine is associated with severe, throbbing, unilateral pain; an aversion to light and sound; and nausea and vomiting, all of which is aggravated by movement. But migraine may include or trigger many other symptoms. An attack may be announced by sudden exhaustion, food cravings, a foul mood, or what is called an aura, a neurological phenomenon that disrupts a migraineur’s vision with silvery squiggles and zigzags.

For some, a migraine might include extreme sensitivity to touch, partial blindness, vertigo, or the inability to speak. There are also vestibular migraines – attacks associated primarily with dizziness – and abdominal migraines, when pain is instead felt in the stomach. Both of these may occur without head pain and can be bewildering to patients seeking a diagnosis. After an attack – which may last up to four days – many migraineurs suffer from a “post-drome”, when they might feel listless, agitated, or depressed.

Although migraine symptoms have been described since antiquity, doctors still struggle to understand their cause. For much of the early 20th century, migraine was thought to be a vascular condition, something that could be treated by restricting blood vessels. Now, most neurologists argue that migraine is a disorder of the trigeminal nerve system, where overactive cells in the face and head respond to benign input (light, sound, smell) by releasing chemicals that transmit pain. But doctors still can’t offer reliable relief.

The best treatment available is prevention, so my doctor tells me about possible triggers – stress, menstruation, sleeping too much, sleeping too little. Beyond that, treatment is a process of trial and error.

Anna Altman
The Guardian: Long Reads

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The Health-Care Survivor’s Comment

I have suffered from migraines since childhood, and this is the best general description of migraines I have ever found. Although this article was not written for the benefit of the medical profession, I am sure that many nurses and clinicians of all kinds could learn something from Altman’s experience.

Holistic Healer Dr Justine Damond killed by police in Minneapolis

Alternative Video Chosen As An Example Of Dr Damond’s Presentations

Australian holistic healer and former veterinarian, Dr Justine Damond, has been shot dead by Minneapolis police, as the community of physicians seeking to operate outside the confines of Big Pharma continues to be decimated.

Dr Damond, 40, was killed while standing in her pajamas outside the Minneapolis house owned by her partner. She had previously called 911 to report an intruder in the alley outside the house, however when police arrived they shot several times at the holistic doctor and killed her.

According to reports, the police who arrived (including the one who shot her) had their body cameras turned off.

The well known health and lifestyle coach, who was actively campaigning for people to take control for their lives and reject Big Pharma’s crippling products, joins the long list of holistic doctors and healers who have been killed in suspicious or unsolved circumstances during the past two years.

Her partner, Don Damond, said he was being kept in the dark about the incident.

“Sadly, her family and I have been provided with almost no additional information from law enforcement regarding what happened after police arrived,” Don Damond told reporters outside their home in suburban Fulton on Monday local time.“We have lost the dearest of people and we are desperate for information.”

… Health Nut News reports: Originally trained as a veterinarian, Justine also studied and practiced yoga and meditation for over 17 years, was a qualified yoga instructor, and a personal health and life coach.

On LinkedIn, the former veterinarian defined herself as “A Speaker, Coach & Consultant for Neuroscience & Meditation Based Change Initiatives.”

Her interest in supporting people to heal and transform themselves developed after she saw family members suffer greatly from depression, alcoholism, and cancer. And so, after losing much of her family to cancer, she spent many years on a personal investigative journey to discover how habits and disease develop.

Your News Wire

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The Health-Care Survivor’s Comment

My thanks to Anastasia Snyder for alerting me to this tragic story. It is so important that we remember those who dedicated themselves to patient well-being and also to the truth about health, as well as the real agenda of Big Pharma. Rest In Peace, and thank you for your service, Dr Justine Damond.

Why Mental Illness Can Fuel Physical Disease

For people who suffer from depression or anxiety, being diagnosed with a physical health condition on top of a mental health issue can feel like the worst kind of bad luck. But recent research suggests that this type of dual diagnosis is more than just an unfortunate coincidence. Scientists are learning that seemingly unrelated psychological and physical issues may actually be closely connected.

Doctors once thought that the link between mental and physical health problems was purely behavioral. Depressed people are less likely to take their medications or practice healthy habits, for instance, so they get sicker. Sick people experience pain and impaired function, which affects their emotional state.
“But we have really come to learn that that’s not the case,” says Dr David Gitlin, chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Psychosomatic Medicine and clinical vice chair at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “These factors are certainly important, but there is also something physiological that’s happening.”

This mysterious mind-body connection seem to be at play in a new study published this week in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, which focused on the physical and mental health of people with psoriasis, an autoimmune disease that causes red patches and flaky scales to form on the surface of the skin. Depression is common among people with psoriasis, who often deal with discomfort and social stigma related to their condition.

Researchers found that psoriasis patients diagnosed with depression were 37% more likely to also develop psoriatic arthritis—a complication that involves inflammation of and around the joints—than those without depression.

Depression can lead to behaviors that could trigger psoriatic arthritis or exacerbate an existing case, the authors say. For someone predisposed to the disease, factors such as lack of exercise, excess weight gain and poor diet can all affect the severity of symptoms. Yet the study authors controlled for many of these behaviors, and the association still held. This suggests that the depression itself, or the root cause behind the depression, has a direct influence on the development of psoriatic arthritis.

That makes sense, since psoriatic arthritis is triggered by inflammation in the body, says Gitlin (who was not involved in the study). Research over the last 20 to 30 years has shown that inflammatory processes can drive the development of depression, he says. “We now know that those processes are likely similar to those that drive some physical illnesses, as well.”

Elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol might also be linking psychological and physical conditions, beyond just psoriatic arthritis. “We know that high levels of cortisol are associated with depression, and we know that they can contribute to an inflammatory state and to conditions like diabetes and heart disease,” says Gitlin.

Time | Health

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In Memory Of Joyce Riley: An Inspirational Advocate, Broadcaster, And Friend

Joyce Ann Riley: July 31, 1948 – June 25, 2017
An Inspirational Advocate, Broadcaster, And Friend.

Joyce Ann Riley was welcomed into the world on July 31, 1948. Fittingly, she was born just outside Arkansas City, Kansas on the border with Oklahoma, in the heart of the United States. Eventually, Joyce would capture the hearts of millions of people around the world, including my own, becoming a trusted friend and mentor.

Her father owned a pharmacy while her mother was a stay-at-home mum. Joyce was the eldest of three children. One of her passions, as well as being on The Power Hour was quilting, a talent and pleasure inherited from her mother. The tragedy of her family came when one of her younger brothers died unexpectedly. Undoubtedly, her father’s involvement in the medical community influenced her career decisions.

As a young woman, Joyce was determined to make some mark in the world. The tenacity we grew to love brought her all the way to the University of Kansas. Her passion for helping those who could not always help themselves was embedded in her makeup. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in nursing, leading to a full range of nursing duties in the private sector.

Her expertise and willingness to serve landed her in the Air Force, where she attained the rank of captain. Joyce became a flight nurse aboard C-130 missions in support of Operation Desert Storm. The kinship she felt with those in uniform is a precious part of her legacy. The experimentation she endured, and witnessed, changed Joyce forever. ‘A champion of the forgotten men and women of the Desert Storm era’, may be the badge of honour she cherished the most.

Before she brought the plight of the Iraq War era soldier to the masses, Joyce became a whistle-blower, involved in exposing nursing malpractice issues. Until her health would no longer permit, she was an expert witness for both plaintiff and defence medical cases. Her courage, and determination to stand for the truth, made Joyce the target of harsh scrutiny, and vilification by those willing to value reputation above the lives of helpless infants. She also presented at the National Institutes of Health, and many legal conferences, including the American Trial Lawyers Association.

Her expertise and critical voice lead her to the radio and well over 1500 radio guest appearances. From 1996-1999 with her husband Dave von Kleist, she travelled the country as an advocate for the American Gulf War Veterans Association, with crucial information for veterans throughout the nation. In the Spring of 2000, The Power Hour Radio Show joined the GCN network. With her exuberant husband by her side, Joyce laid the path for the modern independent media movement. The Power Hour became synonymous with blowing the lid off our less than honest ‘reality’. With the tenacity of a bulldog, a unique wit, and a distinctive midwestern charm Joyce endeared herself to a massive audience. The advent and success of the truth media can be traced directly to The Power Hour and the nation of People who called it home. Her pursuit of natural treatments for her cancer diagnosis will long be admired and used in coming generations.

It was by pure luck that I first heard the voice of Joyce Riley, who would set me on course to transform my life, and I believe, to save my life, thanks to an interview I heard in December 2005. While I helped a friend to find information about a food supplement called Serrapeptase, I found a clip, from The Power Hour, in which Joyce interviewed Robert Redfern, the author of a book with a title so long that I only remembered about half of it at the time. Thankfully, the discussion was much more memorable, as was the content of the book. It was more than enough to grab my attention and convince me that I wanted to learn more and that Serrapeptase could be a safe alternative to the prescribed anti-inflammatory painkillers I had taken for years, with little and reducing benefit.

On January 3, 2006, my friend returned with a copy of Robert’s book, and a bottle of Serrapeptase, which was described in the book as, ‘the second gift from silkworms’. It was on that day that My Serrapeptase Adventure started. Within days my health improved, within weeks my health was transformed, and my life was returned to my control.

Since my adventure began in January 2006, interest from around the world continued to grow. The first hint of worldwide media coverage came on February 22nd, 2006. When Robert Redfern of Naturally Healthy Publications, appeared on The Power Hour, he was taking his regular part in a phone-in. A caller rang in asking for information about natural health products, which would be useful for a child with Cerebral Palsy. It was still in its early stages, but Robert gave a brief outline of my story so far.

On April 11th, (2006) I had the pleasure of speaking with Joyce for the first time. She invited me to appear on the following days show.

My Serrapeptase Adventure charts the four life-changing years in which I learnt that many of the symptoms from which Serrapeptase has rescued me were, in fact, known, and even expected, side effects of the toxic cocktail of prescription medications, which I took before I knew about Serrapeptase.

When I first heard people describing my return to naturally sustained good health and then Serrapeptase itself, as a ‘miracle’, I was concerned. At the time, in the summer of 2006, it was not at all certain to me that my improving health would be sustainable. I was thrilled that other people, including Joyce, were so confident, but it took me some time to begin to agree with them.

I am convinced that it is prescription medication, and the global systems designed to reinforce our dependence upon it, that should be called ‘alternative medicine’. If good health is our natural, balanced state, then the goal of health-care should be to maintain that balance or to return us to it, as naturally as possible. This approach still allows for medical and surgical treatments, when they are necessary, but they should be considered useful alternatives, and not assumed to be the only acceptable options.

To be clear, I still have cerebral palsy. Serrapeptase has not removed or cured the condition, but it has improved my health to such an extent that I have returned to the cerebral palsy of my childhood. It was then, and is now, a daily challenge to be managed and overcome. Cerebral palsy is no longer the condition, dominating my life, which it had become. Most importantly, I remain free of the toxic cocktail of prescription medication, which I believe damaged my health and quality of life, far more than cerebral palsy ever has done, or is ever likely to do.

From its very earliest days, My Serrapeptase Adventure has been as much about the kindness and inspiration of people from around the world, as it has been about my continuing search for good health. Joyce was a constant source of information, encouragement, and inspiration, which gave me the information I needed, and the confidence to try Serrapeptase for the first time, long before my eyesight was good enough to read the information for myself.

It is for this reason that I am in no doubt that without The Power Hour, my life would have been very different, and I may not have survived at all. Regular readers and listeners to the show will often have heard me taking every opportunity I get to thank Joyce and the team for their continued support.

Joyce was happy to tell my story and to give me a chance to share it, as often as possible. However, she often downplayed her part in it. In November 2008, Joyce agreed to record her personal view of My Serrapeptase Adventure, and of her contribution to it. As always, she emphasised, which she took from me. In a rare moment, Joyce also described the personal gift she considered it was, to have the opportunity to speak to, learn from, and inspire people around the world.

It is my privilege to have known Joyce and to have been inspired, not only by her knowledge but also by her friendship. Joyce will be deeply missed She is survived by an adoring body of listeners and advocates who have found the world a better place by having Joyce in it. Ever-private with so much personal information, it is proper now to note she has one brother and one son from an early marriage remaining.

The last word should be left to Joyce. It is my privilege to invite you to listen to her thoughts about my story, and the joy, and the challenge of The Power Hour — a radio show, with a worldwide audience, and a gentle touch of personal inspiration.

Never ever stand down if you know that something is going wrong. If you know there’s an injustice, speak out, regardless, because you don’t want to live the rest of your life knowing, ‘I could have done more’.

Joyce Riley, 1948 – 2017

Thanks to The Power Hour, and the Genesis Communications Network, and Naturally Healthy Publications for additional information.

Paul Offit Accidentally Speaks The Truth About MMR And Autism

The National Meningitis Association [USA] hosted a panel discussion, Achieving Childhood Vaccine Success in the US, before its 2016 “Give Kids a Shot” Gala on May 9, 2016. The panel addressed a range of issues including parents who opt out of childhood vaccine requirements, physicians who stray from the recommended vaccine schedule, and the role of the media in creating or removing barriers to vaccine success.

As part of this discussion, Dr Paul Offit accidentally admits the truth about the MMR vaccine.

You can never really say MMR doesn’t cause autism, but once you get in front of the media, you’d better get used to saying it, because otherwise people hear a door being left open, when a door shouldn’t be left open.

Dr Paul Offit

My thanks to Vaxxter.com, for alerting me to this video, via a short clip.

‘Ground-Breaking’ Films Released To Encourage A ‘National Conversation’ On Mental Health

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry released ten films as part of the Heads Together mental health campaign. The films feature people from all walks of life talking, often with the person that they first opened up to, about the life changing conversation that helped them cope with their mental health problems – from anxiety, alcoholism and depression through to loneliness, trauma and bereavement.

The first series for films, published on the Heads Together YouTube page and website, includes: two mums of young children; musician Stephen Manderson (Professor Green) and Cricketer Freddie Flintoff; a journalist and her friend; comedian Ruby Wax and her husband Ed; two paramedics based in Blackpool; model Adwoa Aboah with her mum; a blogger and her mum; and writer Alastair Campbell talking with his partner, Fiona. The directors who have given their time to help create and support the films include Stephen Frears, Hugh O’Connor, John Madden, John Crowley, Paul Katis, and Sam Blair.

When you realise that mental health problems affect your friends, neighbours, children and spouses, the walls of judgement and prejudice around these issues begin to fall. And we all know that you cannot resolve a mental health issue by staying silent.

Facebook, Twitter and Google have ‘got their Heads Together’ to ensure that people within their online communities will see the films and be inspired to have a conversation about their own mental health.

Alongside the film series, Heads Together published the most comprehensive survey of how people in Britain talk about their mental health carried out by YouGov. It shows that almost half of us (46%) have talked recently about mental health, with a quarter of us talking about our own mental health. Eight out of ten people who have talked about their own mental health found these conversations helpful. The findings show Britain is ‘opening up’ about its mental health but equally highlight some of the challenges that still remain. Men are less likely to talk than women and people aged 18-24 are almost twice as likely to discuss mental health than those over 65. Also, fewer than one in five people who have had a conversation have talked to their GP and fewer than one in ten spoke either to a supervisor at work or a counsellor.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry said:

Since we launched Heads Together last May, we have seen time and time again that shattering stigma on mental health starts with simple conversations. When you realise that mental health problems affect your friends, neighbours, children and spouses, the walls of judgement and prejudice around these issues begin to fall. And we all know that you cannot resolve a mental health issue by staying silent.

Attitudes to mental health are at a tipping point. We hope these films show people how simple conversations can change the direction of an entire life. Please share them with your friends and families and join us in a national conversation on mental health in the weeks ahead.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, which is one of the Heads Together Charity Partners, said:

It is truly groundbreaking to see so many people, from all walks of life, sharing their mental health experiences on film in the hope of inspiring others to strike up their own conversation. These films have the power to spark life-changing and, in some cases, life-saving conversations. We hope that there will be a snowball effect with more and more people seeing the benefits of speaking out and supporting each other.

Presenting the research at the preview CEO of YouGov, Stephan Shakespeare, said:

The nation is at a tipping point in our willingness to talk openly about mental health, and it is young people who are taking the lead. Our research shows that while nearly half of the British public has had a conversation about mental health in the past three months, there is still a long way to go. This is especially true among groups who are less likely to speak out, such as older people and men. This study, one of the most comprehensive ever carried out on the topic, shows how important talking about mental health can be. For instance, of those that have had such conversations, more than eight in ten found it helpful. As our research – and the work of ‘Heads together’ – shows, we are at a moment of opportunity in opening up to this vital health issue.

Press Release:
The Heads Together Campaign

The Health-Care Survivor’s Comment

Mental health, managing, and living with depression, is an area of very personal interest to me. I have never hidden the fact that I have had, and still do have, to deal with depression. Please join me — help us change the conversation about mental health. Please support The Heads Together campaign.

For more information, including what support is available in the UK, visit The Heads Together campaign, and Mind.

The Duke And Duchess of Cambridge And Prince Harry | The Heads Together campaign

The Heads Together campaign is spearheaded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to end the stigma around mental health. This film captures a conversation between Their Royal Highnesses that occurred at Kensington Palace on the afternoon of Wednesday 19th April as they looked ahead to this weekend’s Virgin Money London Marathon and reflected on the growth of the campaign over the last year.

Mental health, managing, and living with depression, is an area of very personal interest to me. Although I have not, so far, made it a focus of my published writing, I have never hidden the fact that I have had, and still do have, to deal with depression. Please help us change the conversation on mental health. Please join, and support The Heads Together campaign.

For more information including what support is available if you need it visit The Heads Together campaign,

Rebecca Brachman: Could A Drug Prevent PTSD?

The path to better medicine is paved with accidental yet revolutionary discoveries. In this well-told tale of how science happens, neuroscientist Rebecca Brachman shares news of a serendipitous breakthrough treatment that may prevent mental disorders like depression and PTSD from ever developing. Listen for an unexpected, and controversial, twist.

Rebecca Brachman is a pioneer in the field of preventative psychopharmacology, developing drugs to enhance stress resilience and prevent mental illness.

Current treatments for mood disorders only suppress symptoms without addressing the underlying disease, and there are no known cures. The drugs Rebecca Brachman is developing would be the first to prevent psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.