Monthly Archives: February 2010

Memory & Supplements

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Many of us can become memory challenged at different times in our life. Here are some dietary supplements which can help to improve our memory performance.

Lecithin (Phosphatidylcholine)
This can sometimes improve memory storage and retrieval abilities.

Fish Oil (Omega-3)
Is very beneficial for health in general, and helps in cell formation.

Ginkgo
This helps with blood circulation, and hence improves blood flow to the brain.

Vitamins B2, B12 & D
All assist with mental health.

Folic Acid
This improves cognitive functioning in healthy older people.

Isoflavones
These are plant hormones, for example soy is a good source.

Phosphatidylserine
These enhance memory and the ability to think straight. A good source of these are soybeans, mackerel, herring, liver, kidneys and white beans.

Sage
This is a mental stimulant and it also inhibits the enzymes which deactivate the brain’s neuro-transmitters.

A highly recommended book on this subject is:

The Essential Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and Herbal Supplements,
by Dr. Sarah Brewer

USA Books UK Books Canadian Books

 

© David R. Durham

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Reiki & Chakras

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When healing someone with reiki techniques, special emphasis is often given to our main energy centers, called chakras.

The word chakra simply means wheel or disc. And they help to store, balance and distribute energy around our bodies. There are seven main chakras which are addressed in a reiki healing session. These seven main chakras run vertically through our body’s trunk and into our neck and head.

Located at the base of our spine is the first chakra, called the Muladhara (root chakra) is our foundation and links us energetically to the earth.

The second chakra called Svadhistana (Own Dwelling Place) is located between the genitals and naval, and it is the center for our sexual energy.

Moving up our body, the Manipura (Dwelling Place of Jewels) is located in our solar plexus area and it is an energy associated with personal power.

In the centre of our chest is our heart center called the Anahata (That Which Is Ever New). This energy relates to our compassion, self-acceptance, relationships and internal balance.

The 5th of our chakras is the Vishuddha (Purest of Pure) and it is located at our throat level, and it is concerned with communication and self-expression.

In our forehead, between the eye brows lies our Ajna (Command) chakra, which is associated with our vision and imagination.

And our 7th chakra is located at the crown of our head and is called Sahasara (Thousand Petalled Lotus) and it relates to our wisdom and spiritual levels.

Reiki healing aims to unblock these chakra centers and balance the energy flows between them.
Source:
Reiki And The Seven Chakras, by Richard Ellis. 2010, Random House Press.

To learn much more and experience real reiki for yourself, Click Here for a comprehensive and fascinating online reiki masters course.

© David R. Durham

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Wealth & Health

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There is an old Chinese saying that health is wealth. Within English speaking westernised cultures, the acquisition of wealth itself has become the dominant way of living, with sometimes disastrous results on many people’s health.

In his fascinating book Affluenza, psychologist Oliver James outlines the frightening correlation between self-centred capitalism and emotional ill health.

He defines Affluenza as a set of values which increase your vulnerability to emotional distress. Where emotional distress is defined as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and personality disorders.

And it is a life-style which places an excessively high value on financial and material wealth, on physical appearance and on wanting to be famous.

At the core of the problem is that we have become obsessed (almost hypnotised) with measuring ourselves and others through the distorting values of Affluenza. This happens to such an extent, that we can end up defining our happiness in terms of what we do not have and measuring ourselves against people we can never be.

Ironically, it is most prevalent in western English speaking cultures where the mantras of self-centred capitalism rule. These are cultures where the values of being human have been replaced by measurements of having.

When we focus on being as an internal state we can interact more fully with our world, without the need to obsessively control or destroy it. And when we focus on having, we begin to intellectualise the world we live in and to create an internal and external distancing. As a result we create a never ending cycle of irrational consumption in order to fill the void.

This consumption is irrational in the sense that it fails to differentiate between our genuine needs and externally created wants. Where the externally created wants are generated for us by advertising, marketing promotions and mass media.

A highly recommended book:

Affluenza: How to be successful and stay sane, by Oliver James

USA Books UK Books Canadian Books

 

© David R. Durham

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Reiki Healing

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Reiki is a system of healing which activates our natural life-force energy towards greater health and vitality.

Reiki is highly effective on its own, and is an ideal complimentary therapy working seamlessly in conjunction with other healing modalities. It is a non-invasive therapy which has no unwanted side-effects.

It is often taught in two in two stages or degrees. First degree reiki is concerned with understanding life-force energy (or Ki), and how to help to balance it. Much of this work concerns the main energy centers of our bodies, known as chakras.

If you are new to these concepts, then a fair degree of trust and letting go of old concepts may be required on your part.

The next learning stage called second degree reiki, introduces reiki symbols, which can be used to empower our thought and being. There are three key symbols.

The first is the power symbol, which works with our intention. The second is the emotional / mental symbol which is the key to our unconscious. And the third reiki symbol relates to distance healing, and it represents time and space.

Source:
Reiki And The Seven Chakras, by Richard Ellis. 2010, Random House Press.

To learn much more and experience real reiki for yourself, Click Here for a comprehensive and fascinating online reiki masters course.

© David R. Durham

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Lavender

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Lavender is one of the most popular of essential oils.

It is found in aromatherapy, fragrances, soaps, fabric softeners etc.

The reason is that lavender has many beneficial properties including emotional balancing, antiseptic, antidepressant and general calming effects.

And because of its calming effects on our nervous system, it can help to relieve us of excess stress and anxiety. It can also be used to reduce depression, and help with headaches and insomnia.

With its antiseptic qualities it is very beneficial for a wide range of skin conditions.

Lavender can also help to reduce muscle aches, and is recommended for joint problems.

The good news is that correctly applied, it has few if any side-effects.

Source:
Change Your Mood With Aromatherapy, by D. W. Brown, 2010.
Teach Yourself Series (Hodder Education).

© David R. Durham

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Aging V

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The reality of our aging touches all of us, and when beginning to explore this topic as mentioned in the first blog in this series, it has many different aspects: Personal, family, social, economic and scientific.

For instance, who is it that ages? Are our mental and physical aging different phenomena? What are the social, economic and environmental costs of our living longer? And so on.

One of the most aggressive proponents of dealing with aging and not simply accepting it as the way it is, is Dr. Aubery de Grey.

In his fascinating book called Ending Aging, he explains how his thinking process shifted on the often complex subject of biological aging. So, rather than only focusing on understanding the metabolic process which creates our aging, what if we sought to understand and to address the damage which aging causes to our bodies.

This paradigm shift in thinking, which moves away from the seemingly endless complexity of the underlying biological processes, to the relatively simpler issues of damage management is explained in detail in his book.

Running alongside this approach is also the concept that addressing the aging issue is not only about adding digits to our total age. It is also concerned with reversing the side effects of aging, so we live healthier and active lives for longer.

To find out more …

Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime by Aubery de Grey with Michael Rae

USA Books UK Books Canadian Books

 

© David R. Durham

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Mind Control

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When we look at how we develop as personalities, we often have several underlying assumptions underpinning this.

For instance, we may assume that we are a solid fixed ‘I’, that most of the time we make our own decisions and that the world we observe is the world as it is.

The above assumptions, and probably several more, are hardly the things we think about at the breakfast table, and they may well be factors in our life which we seldom consider.

When I wake up in the morning am ‘I’ the same ‘I’ that woke up one morning a year ago? We may have a sense that we are the same person, but neuro-scientific research suggests that this is not necessarily so. At the minute levels of our brain the building blocks of neurons and their synaptic connections are not permanently fixed. Our brains are changing continually. Often these changes are imperceptibly small, whilst of some occasions they can be life changing.

So what research is suggesting is that rather than being fixed, we are fluid beings living in an ever-evolving mental and physical landscape of shifting memories, assumptions and mental constructs.

Whilst some of these changes may be incidental environmental changes to our daily lives, others can be direct attempts to influence our thinking and behaviour. So is it possible to deliberately create a personality, or to substantially change one?

When we look at the roles of education, religion, politics, marketing, legal systems, linguistics and media etc., the answer is a definite yes. In fact a part of the remit of such cultural processes is to mold acceptable and desired patterns of belief and behaviour in the individual. And without them there would be social chaos.

Which leads us back to one of our assumptions, that we make our own lifestyle choices. Whereas in fact many of our deepest rooted beliefs, desires, hopes and fears are formed during our early development. This is a time when our cognitive functioning is not fully developed, and hence our ability to determine what makes sense to us is severely limited.

In our complex web of beliefs and assumptions, plus our desire for consistent thought and behaviour, lies our interpretation of the world we live in. These are our mind maps that we use to navigate this world. Whether these maps are accurate, always correct or even up to date is often overlooked.

We often find ourselves at ease with people who have similar mind maps to us. And can find people with other mind maps to be fascinating or threatening.

It is often this mis-match of mind maps that leads to conflict. This may simply be due to accidents of cultural diversity, but often they are manufactured by malevolent forces, who through political or religious indoctrination can shape our beliefs and behaviour towards their own ends.

We may often be tempted to this that this is simply the ‘other’ person’s problem. But none of us are immune from the influence of our cultural bias. Does an obsession with property ownership at the expense of other aspects of the economy and wealth make any more sense than stoning people to death for minor social mistakes?

For a more detailed discussion of mind control, I’d recommend the following book:

Brainwashing: The Science of Thought Control by Kathleen Taylor

USA Books UK Books Canadian Books

 

And for a detailed investigation of how our brain functions, I’d recommend:

Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind, by Joe Dispenza.

USA Books UK Books Canadian Books

© David R. Durham

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