Environmental toxicity is absolutely everywhere. There are disturbing levels of man-made chemicals in wildlife, fish, waters, plants, even in the frozen Arctic. Household cleaning products, kitchenware, house insulations, carpet outgases, paints, solvents, insecticides, greases, lawn mower, gas water heater, heated car engine, gas dryer, wallboards, pressed wood, plywood, wallpaper, mattresses, pillows… You name it, and it has a toxic chemical. And it is not one or two toxic chemicals. Take for instance carpet emissions, which emanate over 200 volatile organic compounds which then overload your liver.
When some toxic chemicals are broken down by detox pathways on the liver, they become oxidized, and therefore more reactive and more toxic than the original toxin. These reactive compounds can trigger cancer or DNA changes before they are fully broken down. Toxics can get stored in your fat potentially for years if not permanently. Biopsy studies of fat deposits have found chemicals in 100% of those studied including things like styrene, dichlorobenzene, dioxins and PCBs – which are among the strongest causes of cancer known to man.
So it is not only the food we eat, it is the environmental medium we live in. While we can’t do much to avoid taking in thousands of pollutants every time we take a breath or every time we take shower for that matter, understanding how we got here is essential if we are to take some steps to recover our health and counteract the environmental impact on our genes. Let’s review an example of our toxic world so we can have an idea what we are up against and why switching to a diet that is the most physiological one for the bodies is the best option we have.
The Petrochemical Industry
I believe that much of the environmental science (and social sciences as well) is being held hostage by powerful interests vested in oil, petrochemicals, the auto industry, and other corporations that grow rich on polluting our commons—the air, water, and soil we all share freely. It is not in corporations’ best interest to have science educate society about the true risks—the threat to life on earth—posed by side effects of their businesses. So these corporations buy scientists, university professors and others, to spin counter stories, create public confusion, and stall unfavorable policy changes. “Whose truth are we talking about, your truth or my truth?” public relations specialist, John Scanlon, retorted to a reporter who had asked him whether he served his clients or the truth. Until science deals with its Achilles’ heel of advocacy science, it cannot meet society’s needs to protect life and we will continue to pollute our soil, air, and water, ourselves, and other life on this planet. Like lemmings, we are all racing towards the cliff. -Riki Ott, PhD. Sound Truth and Corporate Myth$: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.
Mainstream medicine doesn’t recognize diseases that are due to environmental toxicity of even very low levels of everyday chemicals. These ailments can manifest in a myriad of different ways including physical, mental or emotional symptoms. It is all too easy for a doctor to dismiss them as “all in your head”, when in reality most physicians are neither trained nor educated in environmental toxicity. Doctors tend to concentrate only on recent chemical exposures, and not on the toxic load we have accumulated throughout our lives. Medical treatment, which only hides the symptoms with drugs, is a totally incorrect approach. You don’t cover up chemical sensitivities, or add to them with chemicals in drugs. You must treat the root cause of the problem.
Or how ignorant it is to see a young woman with multiple chemical sensitivities as crazy for “making stuff up”? A young person, who is beating herself up because she can’t keep up with friends and feels like he is missing on life?
In fact, mainstream doctors are only not trained in multiple chemical sensitivities and environmental medicine; they are woefully ignorant of nutrition and the crucial role it plays in health. Lacking the training to diagnose and treat chemically sensitive patients, doctors try to fit the symptoms to their limited knowledge. Doctors will often give a diagnosis of “delusional” for a real clinical manifestation of which they are simply unaware. This lack of education is partly due to the fact that critics of chemical sensitivity often have financial ties to the chemical and drug industries, and the traditional allergists, which then go on to sponsor medical education.
Chemical injury to our bodies is often mistaken for colds, flu, stress or other medical conditions. These symptoms can be the first signs of chemical exposure, but if doctors are not trained to diagnose occupational or environmental diseases that are the result of exposure to toxic chemicals, they dismiss them and thereby contribute to the under-reporting of the very real effects of chemical exposure. Despite this, there is scientific data that demonstrates that exposure to very low doses of certain chemicals can result in serious health problems including nervous system damage, reproductive disorders, endocrine disorders, immune system effects, and birth defects.
As toxicologist Riki Ott reports,
Dr. Rea [expert in multiple chemical sensitivity] witnessed the slow emergence of chemical sensitivity as a new disease paradigm, and its slow acceptance within the scientific and medical communities, during his pioneering quarter century career in the field. Dr. Rea and his colleagues had dubbed this “the petrochemical problem,” because the increasing incidence of chemical sensitivity seemed to parallel the growth of the petrochemical industry and the increased use of synthetic products such as pesticides, plastics, food additives, synthetic textiles, and particleboard.
The nervous system is able to amplify our body’s responses to chemicals that are perceived as dangerous to the organism. It is the toxic-induced loss of tolerance.
“Forget the standard 70-kilogram human (150-pound man) used in risk assessment; we need a system that protects the most vulnerable among us.” […]
“Chemical sensitivity and the emerging new disease paradigm these symptoms represent – toxic induced loss of tolerance or TILT – are slowly breaking through a wall of recognition-resistance formed by traditional doctors, allergists, and the petrochemical industry.”[…]
“There is a deep-seated societal bias against the recognition of chemical illnesses in general, primarily because of liability concerns by the petrochemical industry, health insurers, and the federal government. The medical profession with its attendant drug industry and insurance providers has grown huge, and it has much to lose by people and doctors who claim that debilitating illnesses are caused by chemicals at trace levels far below regulated levels.
“The drug industry is part of the revolution in synthetic organic chemical production, which had soared from less than 10 million tons per year in 1945 to over 100 million tons by 1980. Over 1,000 new chemicals a year were entering U.S. markets by the 1990s. Production – and profit – overwhelm common sense and societal safeguards.
“The health effects and toxicity of the vast majority of the chemicals in commerce – drugs, pesticides, cosmetics, food additives – are unknown, and what is known was from research mostly sponsored by the drug and chemical industries.
“People with chemical sensitivities are the undesired and silent side effects of this chemical-based prosperity. Chemical sensitivity is an emerging area of both medicine and law, and it is extremely controversial in both arenas.
“The often vague and multi-system symptoms associated with chemical sensitivity pose a problem for health care professionals and create a field day for corporate lawyers. Environmental doctors such as Dr. Rea find themselves constantly pitted against legions of other physicians, primarily allergists and psychiatrists who believe that chemical sensitivity is psychological, a view that serves corporate interests and infuriates patients. Professional jealousies and rivalry from the traditional practices, inflamed by corporate lawyers, hamper understanding of the new disease process and hold patients and public policy hostage. -Riki Ott, Ph.D.
Outdoor air contains some of the nastiest cocktails of pollutants. Most people tend to think of air pollution as having effects on the lungs but, exposure to road traffic and air pollution may be a trigger of acute myocardial infarction. But people are right; air pollution does cause lung cancer. A much-anticipated government study of more than 12,000 miners has found that exposure to diesel engine exhaust significantly increases the risk of lung cancer. For NON-smokers, the risk was seven times higher. The authors of the study say “we also observed an interaction between smoking and 15-year lagged cumulative REC [marker for estimation of diesel exhaust exposure] such that the effect of each of these exposures was attenuated in the presence of high levels of the other.”
You have no idea how many times I have found again and again the protective properties of tobacco smoking. When it comes to hard-core petrochemical industry pollution, smoking is a blessing from above. Take for instance this report by Riki Ott from Sound Truth & Corporate Myth$: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill :
Workers in jobs with high oil exposure to oil fumes, mists, and aerosols have a greater prevalence of self-reported symptoms of respiratory problems, neurological problems, and chemical sensitivities than unexposed workers. Among workers with high oil exposure, nonsmokers reported a greater prevalence of symptoms of chronic bronchitis than smokers. Symptoms of chronic airway disease included sleep apnea, pneumonia, other lung conditions, chronic sinus and/or ear problems, asthma, persistent hoarseness. […]. [Annie O’Neill, a graduate student at Yale Medical School’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, conducted an internship with ACAT and AFER, the two nonprofit organizations investigating the health effects of the EVOS cleanup. She conducted independent research on Exxon’s cleanup and an investigation of self-reported chronic health problems among EVOS cleanup workers for her master’s thesis.]
Anti-smokers say things like “smoking is bad because it has thousands of chemicals including arsenic and cadmium.” For God’s sake, there are far more toxic levels of arsenic in the chicken they eat! Factory poultry farms produce shitloads of concentrated waste, and poultry processing byproducts which are later fed to pigs, cows and fish are loaded in arsenic. Arsenic in the water is a global threat, and it induces both genetic and epigenetic changes related with lung cancer and other diseases.
Yes, tobacco has pollutants, but because it is in the water, the air, in baby food, and often in even higher concentrations. A conservative estimation puts more than 80,000 chemicals introduced into our society since 1800s, which doesn’t even take into consideration nanotechnologies and only a few hundred have been tested for safety. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about 2.5 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released yearly by large industrial facilities. You breathe thousands of chemicals every time you inhale air whether you like it or not, and whether you are sitting next to a smoker or not.
Chemicals in found carpets, leather, insecticides food packaging and Teflon and which are known to be toxic to the liver, among others, have been found in 100% of 299 umbilical cord samples of newborn babies. Another study found 287 toxic chemicals in umbilical cord samples, from which 217 were known to be toxic to the brain and nervous system. And we still wonder why we have so many neurodevelopmental problems?! Of 28 pesticides tested, 21 came back positive. Even when pesticides are banned, they persist for decades in the environment. According to environmental doctor Sherry Rogers, MD, “After over 30 years in medicine, I can safely say that I believe the number one culprit that has damaged the largest number of people has to be pesticides.”
Bottom line is, detoxify or die!
Basic Body Detox Cocktail
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid, has been the one thing that has made a difference for detox purposes, especially when you are still eating carbs which increases your needs for vitamin C. It also helps you with withdrawal symptoms and keeps your bowel movements going. It protects your DNA from free radical damage, which is why workers with severe radiation exposure at the Fukushima nuclear plant had no significant change in both free DNA and overall cancer risk when supplemented with vitamin C.
Vitamin C also helps manufacture collagen, vital for the health of all our tissues including repair of blood vessels, teeth, joints and bones. It also helps to normalize blood pressure, and staff of degenerative diseases and premature aging, and it is vital so our immune systems can fight viruses, bacteria and other microbes. Vitamin C is important in the synthesis of brain chemicals such as our happy mood-serotonin.
Nobel Prize winner, Linus Pauling and Dr. Irwin Stone have helped pioneer the concept of orthomolecular medicine which uses megadose vitamin therapy – vitamin C in doses higher than those required for normal cellular functions. When taken in very high doses (10 or 100 grams or more per day, depending upon the person’s requirements and illness) vitamin C fights off serious illness. For instance, when the body is challenged by cancer, colds, toxicity or diseases, we are overwhelmed with free radical production. This is when our requirements of vitamin C increases. Mainstream medicine continues to be adamant against vitamin C, despite the miraculous effects it has had on people whose prognosis was fatal. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid, is something you want to have in your medical cabinet, as it can save your life as it has some of ours.
As a powerful water-soluble anti-oxidant that we are not capable to synthesize within our bodies, you might want to take 1 heaping teaspoon (4 grams) per day, when you first start detoxifying. During stressful times (either emotional or from illness) more doses are required, especially when you are eating carbs. Vitamin C and sugar use the same port entry to access our cells, and when with little to no sugar to compete, a higher percentage of vitamin C gets into the cells making our requirements shrink. This is why requirements of vitamin C have gone down to the point where most people have to minimize or even eliminate it in a non sugar diet. Most animals make their own vitamin C, so it is possible to get enough vitamin C in the diet without any plant foods by eating the proper parts of the animal: organs.
Keep in mind that vitamin C dosage should be built up gradually, and the same is also true for lowering the dose of vitamin C, in order for our bodies to adjust to the change. Going slowly also prevents Herxheimer reactions which come when you first start detoxifying. A Herxheimer reaction is an excretion of toxins from dying microbes (i.e. yeast overgrowth), sometimes called a ‘die off’ reaction.
Pregnant women are recommended to not exceed 5 grams of vitamin C a day. Large doses can cause diarrhea since excess vitamin C than your body requires doesn’t get absorbed. In time of illness, you can gradually increase vitamin C by 2 to 4 grams each hour until your tummy starts to gargle or you have a loose stool. This is what is known as titrating doses of vitamin C.
The most inexpensive vitamin C is ascorbic acid which you can get in bulk size, although other high quality forms and alkaline versions are available. If ascorbic acid gives you acidity, mix with some stevia or a little bit of sodium bicarbonate to take the bite off.
For those concerned that vitamin C will increase their blood sugar levels, well, it seems that it doesn’t even at doses of 2 grams every 3 hours.
Magnesium has a relaxing, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on our organism. It is critical for metabolic processes, cell growth and reproduction and is involved in hundreds of enzyme processes affecting every aspect of life. It is not only essential for maintaining good health, but also for detoxification and the treatment of numerous diseases including: anxiety and panic attacks, asthma, blood clots, bowel disease, cystitis, depression, detoxification, diabetes, fatigue, heart disease, hypertension, hypoglycemia, insomnia, kidney disease, migraine, musculoskeletal conditions, nerve problems, PMS, osteoporosis, Raynaud’s syndrome, alcohol abstinence, etc.
Just as with vitamin C, excess doses will cause loose stools or diarrhea since it will not get absorbed. To benefit from magnesium supplementation, take chelated magnesium (bound to organic amino acids) for maximum absorption: magnesium citrate, malate, orotate, taurate, or magnesium glycinate. You can follow label instructions or take two capsules before bed time. If magnesium oxide or chloride is your only choice available that will do (research shows that the minimal doses absorbed are beneficial), but just take enough of it that it will not cause laxative effects.
Magnesium can be taken with or without meals but it’s best to take it between meals as it requires stomach acid to be absorbed. Digestion after a full meal may make the stomach acid less readily available for mineral absorption. Magnesium is an alkaline mineral which may act as an antacid, neutralizing the stomach acid needed for digestion.
For detox purposes 200mg four times per day is a better dose. If this dose has a laxative effect, cut down by 200mg until this effect stops.
Magnesium chloride can be used to make magnesium oil which can be readily absorbed through the skin when sprayed or rubbed on the body. It increases magnesium bioavailability in the body and provides the ideal solution for those individuals who experience loose stools when they try to take enough oral magnesium to meet their needs. Some researchers have found that using magnesium oil at a concentration of 25% magnesium chloride restores a magnesium deficiency in a matter of weeks that would otherwise require months or a year to restore with oral supplementation. If you pump about 6 sprays of magnesium oil for each leg and arm, you are applying about 400mg of magnesium (a 25-35% magnesium chloride solution delivers between 13 and 18 mg per pump). Using a few sprays under your arms will also function as a highly effective deodorant. If any redness or stingy feelings result, use a more diluted magnesium oil.
Requirements for a very ill person are much higher than for a healthy person. In general, if you take a full body magnesium bath, two ounces of magnesium chloride could be used. Some people prefer a very concentrated magnesium chloride bath with as many as eight ounces of magnesium at a time. Foot baths use much less water, so two ounces will yield a very concentrated intake. Soak the body or just the feet in the warm solution for 20-30 minutes. It is best to do it daily during the first week, starting at lower concentrations and working towards higher levels. Then continue at 2-3 times a week for 6-8 weeks or longer.
Magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salts, is another excellent option even though it is rapidly excreted from the kidneys and more difficult to assimilate. The effects from Epsom salt baths do not last as long, so you will need more magnesium sulfate than magnesium chloride in a bath to get similar results.
For the average individual, high doses of magnesium have no side effects except loose stools. However magnesium therapy is contraindicated in individuals with kidney failure, myasthenia gravis, excessively and pathological slow heart rate, and mechanical bowel obstruction. In such cases, it should at the very least be given under the supervision of a health care provider.
People often find relief from their symptoms when they take magnesium, so they immediately tell friends and relatives. This word-of-mouth spread of information about this miraculous mineral is really making a difference in the epidemic of magnesium deficiency, and I hope that you will benefit as well.
Omega-3s prevents irregular heartbeat, reduce arterial plaque, decrease blood clotting, lower blood pressure, and minimize inflammation among many other benefits. In order to protect its vulnerability, it should be taken with animal fats from the diet.
Take 2 to 4 capsules of fish oil.
The anti-oxidant N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), as a source of our most powerful anti-oxidant and detoxifier – glutathione, and as a source of healing sulfur, is an excellent supplement to take. It has been used to detoxify heavy metals, as an anti-viral and anti-bacterial, to treat depression, schizophrenia, addictions, bipolar disorder, and other mood problems. It helps enormously to heal a leaky gut and it is a powerful anti-inflammatory.
NAC is most commonly known as mucous dissolver and it is an excellent respiratory supporter for those with asthma, bronchitis or any respiratory problem. It is used in hospitals as an antidote of Tylenol (acetaminophen) liver toxicity.
Around 500mg twice a day is a good dose. People often take NAC in higher doses along with titrating doses of vitamin C in order to staff off any infection. Both supplements are also essential in slowing the spread of cancer.
Far Infrared Sauna
Far infrared (FIR) Saunas are the best way to get rid of toxic chemicals such as pesticides, heavy metals and hydrocarbon residues. Normal saunas usually make people feel sick, dizzy and miserable. But FIR saunas are safe and tolerable, using heat energy to penetrate tissues, mobilizing chemicals stored in fat, directly into sweat.
Far infrared waves speed removal of toxins from the body. When far infrared waves are applied, large water molecules vibrate and breakdown the ion bond to toxins, releasing them so they can be then cleared out from the cell. Far infrared heat also expands capillaries and skin pores to expel toxins from the body. This means that lower temperatures can be used and chemicals won’t float throughout your bloodstream, but go out into the sweat. With periodic use of a FIR sauna, toxins eventually get safely mobilized from the organs to reach out the fat under your skin, where FIR sauna works.
Those who are particularly incapacitated by their disease will benefit the most from FIR saunas, some need a detox solution that will restore their health after a life-long toxicity lifestyle. People who have had significant toxicity exposure have benefited miraculously from FIR saunas. For instance, clean-up workers after the Gulf Oil spill who started with multiple chemical sensitivities and strange neurological syndromes recovered after FIR sauna treatments at Dr. Rea’s Environmental Health Center.
Typically, people who have congestive heart failure and who cannot tolerate normal saunas (it is actually contraindicated for them) have no choice but to receive mainstream treatment with a dire prognosis of a few years life-expectancy. They can only hope to be candidates for heart transplantation, and then, making it to the top of the heart transplantation waiting list is another story. In the mean time, all kinds of technologies with artificial hearts or support systems are being developed that gives them hope. But what most people don’t know is that toxicity plays a crucial role in heart function deterioration as well as cardiovascular disease in general. Moreover, research has proved that FIR saunas has proved life-saving in these patients when nothing else was left to be done, changing thereby their fatal destinies. Yes, late stage heart failure patients usually tolerate 15 minutes of FIR sauna at 60 degrees Celsius (140 F) five times a week without problems – and with life-saving benefits! Not only that, it also improved symptoms in severe peripheral vascular disease (think of someone whose circulation is so bad that often amputation is the only treatment), it also served as a treatment for high blood pressure, diabetes, autonomic nervous system imbalances, and chronic pulmonary lung obstruction where environmental pollution is likely the key.
The energy from far infrared rays is a spectrum of energy from the sun and those most vital to healing are those in the 4-14 microns in the FIR range. According to Dr. Sherry Rogers:
Far infrared wavelengths have other beneficial properties. They lower lactic acid (the acid that accumulates and causes pain in muscles when you have overdone during exercising), stimulate endorphins or happy hormones of the brain, and kill organisms like bacteria and parasites. More important, they penetrate tissues, detoxify cells by vibrating ionic bonds, stop swelling, improve lymphatic flow and blood circulation, and attract calcium to cell membraines where it is needed for healing. […]
It should not surprise you by now the mysterious joint pain in war veterans exposed to Agent Orange also disappeared, as did a host of other pain syndromes. Schnare of the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) also showed that not only did sauna reduced body levels of HCB (hexachlorobenzene) and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in electrical workers, for example, but it did this even though the men were continually exposed at work.
This is important because it means that if your livelihood depends on an occupation with continual exposures, you still have a chance of being able to tolerate it more safely, as long as you are reducing chemicals faster than you are taking them in. And let’s face it. Most occupations have their specific toxins. Also this could allow tolerance of poorly tolerated inplanted items that we would like to keep, like root canals and artificial joints.
Schnare also reviewed different types of workers, drug users, victims of accidental ingestions, and those poisoned by a variety of environmental chemicals; all recovered with sauna detoxification […] The bottom line is that sweat is the only proven method for getting the most damaging toxins out of the body. There are no drugs, no surgery, no chelation, nor other detoxification methods with before and after measurements proving that unwanted chemicals like PCBs and pesticides were eliminated.
Not only do FIR saunas improve brain function, they actually improve the function of neurons that have been damaged by toxins. It has proved effective in chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, chronic pain, and depression. I’ll say, if you are starting to detox, you might be highly interest in investing on FIR sauna as it really makes a whole lot of difference in the journey towards health recovery.
I recommend a FIR blanket sauna since it is not only more cost effective and uses less electrical current, but it also ensures that your whole body is exposed. You can watch a movie or listen to an audio while detoxing and healing.
Each person is different, and some may not tolerate long stretches of time inside the blanket. But when one is toxic 2 hours everyday is appropriate, you just have to get there progressively. That is, the first time you get into the FIR sauna blanket; do so for 15 to 30 minutes at 60 degrees Celsius (140 F). Build up progressively each session according to your tolerance level. Never over exert yourself; patience is needed when it comes to detoxification. Make sure to wash thoroughly with soap to remove the toxins from your skin. Keep a towel close to you so you can dry up the sweat. If you don’t sweat at the beginning, be patient, you’ll eventually do as you detoxify.
Take at least the Basic Detox Cocktail: a teaspoon of vitamin C, N-acetylcisteine as a precursor of glutathione and magnesium before you go in. You can take other supplements you might take later or throughout the day. Make sure you drink enough water and take a bone broth to help you restore minerals.
Detoxifying the Body, Mind and Soul
“It is not group helplessness that leads to narcissistic rage, it is narcissistic rage that produces group helplessness. And a helpless group can be driven to any evil, even to their own destruction.” – Laura Knight-Jadczyk in ‘A Structural Theory of Narcissism and Psychopathy‘
Other than a basic detox, what can we do to heal the body, mind, emotions and spirit?
1. A genuinely healthy diet
Certain fundamental changes in diet and lifestyle that occurred after the Neolithic (Agricultural) Revolution, and especially after the Industrial Revolution, are too recent – on an evolutionary timescale – for the human genome to have completely adapted. This mismatch between our ancient physiology and the Western diet and lifestyle underlies many so-called diseases of civilization, including coronary heart disease, obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, epithelial cell cancers, autoimmune disease, and osteoporosis, which are rare or virtually absent in hunter-gatherers and other non-Westernized populations. Most of the human genome has ancestral genes that adapted over millions of years to a Paleolithic diet. Low-carbohydrate eating seems to be the normal metabolic state associated with health, which is consistent with the view that throughout most of our human evolution, we thrived under a low-carb diet. We are here today because our ancestors survived prolonged periods of fasting while they hunted for foods and they were able to thrive on animal foods under very interesting environmental conditions, particularly prolonged and intense periods of cold.
The most important tool you have with which to change your health is the food you eat. It doesn’t rely on the latest stem cell study or genetic tweaking in a mad scientist’s lab. Food is information that talks to your genes and is capable of turning them on or off, telling them what to do or what not to do. The food you eat has the information needed to affect your health in the fastest way.
From a biological, genetic, and physiological point of view, we are highly optimized and geared by nature to be ‘hunter-gatherers’. We have been mostly eating high-quality animal foods that were hormone-, antibiotic- and pesticide-free with no genetic alteration. This diet was very high in fat, something that was treasured, and low in carbs. The few carbs ingested, if any, were eaten as seasonally available.
For most of us, from an evolutionary perspective, a high-sugar diet is a metabolic challenge that some find difficult as early as birth and many fail to meet as early as adolescence. Humans are NOT meant to consume ‘healthy whole grains.’ Our intolerance can show up as type 1 diabetes in kids, type 2 diabetes in kids and adults, acid reflux, bowel urgency, autoimmune diseases, dementia, seizures, hypertension, water retention, paranoia, anxiety, eating disorders, or just plain feeling rotten. For more information, check out ‘Life Without Bread‘, the ‘Ketogenic Diet‘, or any resource on the Paleolithic diet.
2. Regular and healthy exercise
I know this is going to run counter to everything you’ve been told before, but chronic cardio-aerobic exercise is simply bad for your health, period. It stresses your adrenals into fight-or-flight mode, and besides burning you out, it also creates lots of joint problems. People who run marathons typically have CPK (creatine phosphokinase) blood levels that are high, a marker of muscle damage that is used to detect heart attacks. Excess aerobics cause over-training and muscle-wasting, which later leads to reduction in fat burning. Aerobic exercises increase your bodies’ need for oxygen. From running to spending hours on a treadmill or stationary bike, many aerobic workouts are long and their overall effect on your body is inflammatory. Quite a few people who have had a heart attack were jogging supposedly ‘for better health’.
In contrast to aerobic exercise, resistance training builds lean mass, but the implications are far more than just that. Resistance training minimizes and even reverses mitochondrial dysfunction – our powerhouse energy factories. It also induces mitochondrial biogenesis – a process where new mitochondria are formed within the cell, and it does it not only in the muscles, but in the brain, kidney, fat tissue and liver as well. The implications here are enormous! By exercising our muscles, we have the potential to not only reverse aging and brain-related diseases such as dementia which are characterized by mitochondrial dysfunction, but as it happens, mitochondrial dysfunction is the final step in ALL diseases. In fact, by making new mitochondria, there is a remodelling of entire networks of mitochondria. New mitochondria merge with old ones, leading to elimination of damaged or dysfunctional mitochondria.
There are several ways to do resistance training, but as a general rule, brief bouts of peak anaerobic exertion are far better for your overall health, including your cardiopulmonary system. It is important to remember that more is not better when it comes to resistance training, it is the quality that makes the whole difference. Exercise no more than 20 minutes and focus on brief bouts of significant anaerobic exertion, interspersed with brief periods of recovery at a slower pace that will allow you to return to resting heart rate.
3. Last but not least: prayer and meditation
This is not only fundamental, it is the key healing mechanism in a world gone mad. Stress reduction through meditation and group social interaction is arguably how our ancestors lived and interacted with challenges thrown at them via their environment.
This is where Éiriú Eolas (pronounced “AIR-oo OH-lahss”) comes into play. The Éiriú Eolas (‘EE’ for short) program of breathing techniques grew out of research conducted by the Quantum Future Group under the direction of Laura Knight-Jadczyk. Central to this is stimulation of the vagus nerve, which activates the calm-inducing parasympathetic system – a powerful anti-inflammatory system in our bodies. The program has been thoroughly researched and proven to work through the thousands of people who are already benefiting from it. The effects are cumulative and results and benefits can be seen in a very short time, sometimes after just one session!
EE allows you to:
- instantly control stress in high-energy situations
- detox your body, bringing pain relief
- relax and gently work through past emotional and psychological trauma
- regenerate and rejuvenate your body and mind.
Éiriú Eolas will enable you to rapidly and gently access and release layers of mental, emotional and physical toxicity. You can get a copy of the program at eebreathe.com, but you can also find an online version there where you can learn the techniques.
The EE program also includes emotional releasing techniques developed by Carl Jung and promoted by Alexander Lowen. The program leads to a general sense of well-being and improved sleep, leading to faster healing, psychological relief, including release of PTSD, decreased substance abuse, improved mood, longer attention span, better mental focus, and increased stress tolerance. It can be applied to improve symptoms associated with cardiovascular disorders, autoimmune diseases, pulmonary diseases such as asthma, autonomic nervous system imbalances, depression, and anxiety. Stimulation of the vagus nerve is known to reduce oxidative stress, improve the overall antioxidant status, and thus has relevance for numerous diseases.
The combination of specific rhythms for voluntary breath control, conscious inhalation, retention and exhalation, in conjunction with meditation and ‘belly-breathing’ with correct use of the diaphragm, helps to increase levels of the anti-stress hormones GABA (our natural valium), melatonin (our pineal gland hormone), and serotonin (our ‘happy mood’ brain chemical), whereas levels of the stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine are decreased.
With Éiriú Eolas, there is no need to sit in special postures, or be present in a carefully prepared relaxing atmosphere. The strength of the program comes from its high adaptability to stressful conditions in modern world settings. Anyone can do it. In addition to reducing stress, calming and focusing your mind, it creates better links between body and mind, thus improving quality of life and increasing a sense of connection with others in the community.
The Éiriú Eolas program uses what is called ‘Pipe Breathing’ as the key to instant stress reduction and control. Pipe breathing brings the entire body-mind system into balance. You can use it in any place at any time for instantaneous results: controlling fears and phobias, recovering quickly from shocks, or in high-energy situations where decisive action is required and stress control is essential.
It is pipe-breathing that stimulates the vagus nerve, the heart of the parasympathetic nervous system – the body’s own ‘anti-stress system’. The vagus nerve is your calming and relaxing nerve which goes from your brain down to your abdomen, dividing into multiple branches that reach your throat, your heart, and all your viscera. It is also called ‘the wanderer’, as it wanders throughout your body. When you take deep breaths in specific rhythm sets and meditate with Éiriu Eolas, the nerve is activated and it releases acetylcholine, which reduces the production of inflammatory molecules like cytokines that are linked to every known disease. For instance, brain inflammation is linked to every known mood, behavior, attention, memory, or degenerative disease.
The vagus nerve enhances neurogenesis (the creation of brain tissue) by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) output, which is like a super-fertilizer for your brain cells. It helps repair brain tissue, but also helps with tissue regeneration throughout your body. BDNF plays an important role in neuronal plasticity, which is essential for learning, thinking and higher levels of brain function. Practising Éiriú Eolas will therefore kick-start or improve neurogenesis and neuroplasticity, processes that are essential for maintenance of brain functions as we age, but also for recovery from trauma, emotional adaptation, and learning.
When we stimulate the vagus nerve, we produce what is called sensory motor rhythm (SMR). This is an activated pattern in the parietal cortex that is associated with a state of relaxed vigilance, mental focus and heightened awareness. People who exhibit this pattern show improved sleep, digestion, thinking, memory, and their brains become much more resistant to seizures. In addition to that, they have fewer cravings and addictions.
Vagus nerve stimulation also releases hormones such as prolactin, vasopressin and oxytocin. These are anti-stress and social-bonding hormones. Oxytocin is known as the ‘cuddle hormone’, so it is no wonder that the vagus nerve has been called the ‘nerve of compassion’. In fact, the vagus nerve is intertwined with neural networks involved in pro-social and empathetic communication, involving muscle groups that are related in care-taking. Oxytocin is intimately involved in the experience of trust and love.
During the breathing exercises and the meditation portion of the program, several neurochemical changes take place. Levels of the anti-stress hormones GABA, melatonin and serotonin are increased. GABA and serotonin are neurotransmitters that make us happy, relaxed and peaceful. People with anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia have low levels of GABA. Serotonin is necessary for a happy mood, reducing anxiety and irritability and helping us to sleep. Melatonin is our natural sleep-regulating hormone.
All these natural chemicals are enhanced during Éiriú Eolas without the need for Big Pharma’s prescription drugs! Think about it: they only work at all because there are receptors in our bodies that bind with them. If we can activate and regulate these receptors ourselves, consciously, well then, who needs Big Pharma?…
With Éiriú Eolas there is more information exchange between the two hemispheres of the brain (left-right integration), which means there is increased coherence and better problem-solving. It also improves balance between parts of the cortex and subcortex, which means that higher functions of your cortex can influence primitive messages from your subcortex. Selfless love, reasoning, logical deduction and emotional processing ‘originate from’ or ‘take place’ in these higher cortical areas.
Éiriu Eolas evokes deep insight, resolution of emotional conflict, and a subjective sense of newfound mental clarity. It also has a strong impact on stress-reduction and eases anxiety and depression. This is in part due to the fact that there is a complex interrelationship between breathing, cognition and emotion. Emotional states can affect the respiratory rate, depth, and pattern. On the other hand, voluntarily changing the pattern of breath can account for at least 40% of variance in feelings of anger, fear, joy, and sadness.
Psychotherapist Peter A. Levine has proposed the idea that trauma is not a “disorder” (as in ‘Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder’), but an injury to the body-mind. Rather than a syndrome that may be a life-long burden, trauma can be healed. He explains in
In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness:
Trauma occurs when we are intensely frightened and are either physically restrained or perceive that we are trapped. We freeze in paralysis and/or collapse in overwhelming helplessness. In freezing, your muscles stiffen against a mortal blow, and you feel “scared stiff.” On the other hand, when you experience death as being unequivocally imminent, your muscles collapse as though they have lost all their energy. In this “default” reaction (when it has become chronic, as it does in trauma), you feel that you are in a state of helplessness resignation and lack the energy to fuel your life and move forward. This collapse, defeat and loss of the will to live are at the very core of deep trauma. Being “scared stiff” or “frozen in fear” – or, alternatively, collapsing and going numb – accurately describes the physical, visceral, bodily experience of intense fear and trauma.
While we might not actually remain physically paralyzed, we do get lost in a kind of anxious fog, chronic partial shutdown, dissociation, depression and numbness. When one is overwhelmed, the frontal cortex of the brain, where things are put into perspective, shuts down and our abilities to stand back and observe one’s sensations and emotions is lost; we then become those emotions and sensations. This makes us feel terribly overwhelmed, fearful and stiff, and we get stuck in an immobilized fearful response which translates into a lack of vitality and engagement towards life.
As breathing is controlled by a complex feedback of both voluntary and involuntary mechanisms – involving autonomic networks, the brain stem headquarters of the vagus nerve, the limbic system, cortex, and the neuroendocrine system – voluntary control of breath can help create a physiological state where we can finetune our automatic reactions and influence the reactivity of our central nervous system. For instance, long-standing overwhelming feelings of helplessness or fear can be released through the breathing exercises as physical trembling, changes in body temperature or spontaneous crying that is relieving and non-traumatizing. It is the release of long-term, ‘bound’ energy held in the body’s primitive defense mechanism patterns. This brings balance between the most evolved parts of the brain and our most primitive ones, allowing for complex, knotted and ‘heavy’ emotions to emerge in a safe setting, where they can be integrated and transformed. Through the breathing exercises, the prefrontal cortex is engaged in observing primitive fearful sensations generated in the limbic system, allowing us to process the information and let it go.
Peter Levine adds:
Beginning meditators are often painfully surprised at the tumultuous activity of their minds. Thoughts, sensations, feelings, fears and desires chaotically pursue each other like dogs obsessively chasing their tails. However, as they gain some steadiness in awareness, practiced meditators start taming their restless minds. They begin having extended periods when they are not sucked into the endless swirling vortex of their frenzied thoughts and emotions. In place of this turbulent state a sublime inquisitiveness about moment-to-moment experience begins to develop. They start to investigate the “how” of each arising moment, as well as their reactivity to various thoughts, sensations, feelings and situations.
Breathing as a therapeutic tool provides a means for regulation of mental and emotional states, which cover a broad area ranging over psychology, physiology, and spirituality.
The Prayer of the Soul Meditation, the centerpiece of the program, is done every night before going to sleep. Employing an initial period of Pipe Breathing that rapidly induces a deep state of meditative relaxation, the Prayer consists of affirmations that enter deeply into the subconscious and trigger deep body and soul-level healing and rejuvenation. The effects are cumulative and its results and benefits can be experienced after only a short period of practice, often after just a single session since our need for emotional connection and our need to hear consistent and constructive calming words that open our potential in unlimited ways is met. The breathing exercise context of the meditation serves as an enormous tool which speeds up the process by working and soothing our body-mind-soul connection. The Prayer of the Soul works like a seed which sprouts new life from within. It is open-ended, allowing for the best of our potential to be manifested within us without the limited preconceived notions that may restrict our capabilities. Sometimes we don’t know what is best for us!
The Éiriú Eolas team is spread around the world, offering group sessions where practitioners can do the breathing and meditation together as a group. Many of them have experienced reaching a deeper meditation level when practicing in a group than when on their own. This has to do with the concept of limbic resonance, also known as the ’empathic harmony’ that arises when our limbic systems connect with each other, in a mutually enriching experience.
The concept was first introduced by psychiatrists Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini and Richard Lannon whose scientific, yet very poetic, A General Theory of Love explains that limbic resonance is vital for survival, especially for the young:
Within the effulgence of their new brain, mammals developed a capacity we call limbic resonance — a symphony of mutual exchange and internal adaptation whereby two mammals become attuned to each other’s inner states. […] To the animals capable of bridging the gaps between minds, limbic resonance is the door to communal connection. Limbic resonance supplies the wordless harmony we see everywhere but take for granted — between mother and infant, between a boy and his dog, between lovers holding hands across a restaurant table. […] Because limbic states can leap between minds, feelings are contagious, while notions are not. If one person germinates an ingenious idea, it’s no surprise that those in the vicinity fail to develop the same concept spontaneously.
The authors cite a terrible experiment undertaken by a 13th century emperor of southern Italy, Frederic II, who in his unwise mind thought that he could discover the inborn language of mankind if he raised children who never heard a spoken word. He had women bathe, change and feed the infants, but no one was allowed to talk to them or prattle with them. The experiment did not produce any results because all the children died before they reached speaking age. In the 13th century this monarch proved (in such a horrible way) what the scientists of today are learning through experimentation and observation: that “children could not live without clappings of hands, and gestures, and gladness of countenance, and blandishments”. It is the limbic connection with their primary caregivers that keeps them alive. As for adult humans, it is our limbic resonance that keeps us healthy, and banishes one of the biggest stressors of our daily living: feeling lonely and neglected.
Limbic resonance is one of the wonderful results of group breathing and vocalizing together, which is of course what we do in group sessions of Éiriú Eolas. Increasing limbic resonance encourages the development of all that is best in human society: warmth of feeling, empathy, connection. We hope that those of you who are able to go to classes will make it a regular part of your life. For those who are currently far from a regular class, you still make another sort of connection with those practicing on Mondays and Thursdays. Thought and feeling aren’t limited by time and space!
It surely is no accident that a world ruled by psychopaths who are excluded from the ‘limbic field’ shared by humans because they have no empathy – meaning that they either lack higher cortical functions – is controlled by manipulating the emotions of everyone else, provoking them to feel rage, hopelessness, frustration, intimidation, fear, despair, or to lash out and act violently.
That’s the key; the Powers that Be want you to feel upset because then you are not using your higher cortex and its faculties and you are in a stupefied and dumbed-down state, like a sheep waiting to be sacrificed. They win. You become a reactive and ineffective machine who cannot effect a creative output in the world. And creativity is what these psychopathic rulers fear the most. No matter how great our potential might be, when we are in reactive mode, we are no match for the evil that has overcome this world.
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