Men’s Changing Roles and Mental Health Resources

–By Coralie Darsey-Malloy

This is a previously published article from a column I had in the Aquarium newspaper. Perspectives on Balanced Living featured a variety of articles on healthy, dynamic living, self-health and whole-person healing methods and all rights are reserved.

If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.

The lack of resources for men make it challenging for them to seek help when most needed

The lack of resources for men make it challenging for them to seek help when most needed

                 Michel De Montaigne

The number of men who feel hopeless and helpless is a growing problem in North American society. Mental health professionals accept the growing need to support men and their changing roles, needs and way of life.Medical and non-medical mental health resources report that men on the  ‘edge of brokenness’  do not access support systems for a variety of reasons.

A document released in September of 2004 (Patterns of Regional Mental Health Illness Disorder Diagnoses and service Use in Manitoba: A Population Based  Study) revealed  men commit suicide more than three times as often (two per 10,000) to females (0.6 per 10,000).The ratio is approximately 102 men to every 22 women. The study does not  reveal why  more men commit suicide only that they do.

According to Constance Eagle from the Anxiety Disorder Association of Manitoba, women may attempt suicide but  men carry it through…and in ways that are more violent. Although  the reasons behind higher suicides rates in men are unclear, professionals theorize it is their unwillingness or inability to access mental health services that puts them at higher risk. Barriers such as peer pressure and gender socialization  can make it difficult for men to open up to their  wives, partners, family members and even their  churches. The harsh and often shocking reality of their situation only hits when  men run away from home or take their own lives.

Men’s tendency to  internalize feelings may lead to addictions, financial problems,  and violence, spousal and family abuse. When this occurs, there is often a fear of  the justice system and create resistance to seeking help. The inability to access  mental health resources can lead to suicidal thoughts and acting upon them.

While researching this topic a media contact added her experiences. She published an article on depression. Afterwards, numerous men from her readership called and admitted to living in quiet desperation with  nowhere to turn. Police records in Manitoba confirm that growing numbers of men struggle in similar despair. There are 105 missing Manitobans and 95 of them are male and known to have health and psychological problems. On a larger scale, FBI databases in the United States contain the names of approximately 8,000 missing adults within the last year. Statistically, these men reveal how many are struggling with a variety of personal problems.

During interviews wtih mental health professionals they raised concern that Canada is one of the few countries that does not have  standardized mental health policies. In Manitoba there is up to a six-month waiting period for those seeking psychiatric help unless patients are a considered a danger to themselves or others. Couple that with the stigma associated with mental health issues and the stereotypical conditioning about “real men not showing vulnerability” many struggle with nowhere to turn. One individual who left home in the midst of his crisis summarized the broader male perspective in this way,

Society is beginning to address the growing need for more resources for men.

Society is beginning to address the growing need for more resources for men.

“When faced with challenging situations men do not think to look in the yellow pages. It is hard for us to disclose what we think and feel at the best of times. Men rarely ask peers what they did (or do) because most of them do not know where to turn either. He added, “In conversations with other males  I found there is a general view that it would be easier to seek help if Manitoba had a centralized intake process with a 24 hour crises line strictly geared to men and their personal challenges. The lack of services for men is a growing problem in society today. Interviews with men for this article underscored their concern about privacy even if they did seek counseling. Frequently men have difficulty in relating to their peers on a personal level. Sharing feelings is something the male gender is comfortable in doing. Terminology about “manning up or sucking it up” from a young age lead to masking hurt, disappointment and frustration out of a fear of being “weak.” Things often remain the same until they become intolerable…then we act and often in ways that are not in our best interest.”  

He and other interviewees’ agree that access to  toll-free crisis lines  ‘for men by men’ could provide support and confidentiality. During interviews, men admit to being  apprehensive about their health and well-being but resist going to doctors, healers or therapists because of their up bringing or conditioning. Some of their health related concerns include; high blood pressure, heart disease, impotence, memory loss and prostate cancer. They admitted that outside influences at work, marriage, divorce, weight, appearance, retirement and financial security impacts self-perception and increases stress levels.

When these affairs become more than they can handle some men leave home as a coping mechanism. At times men  return to untenable situations because there is no other place for them to go. Men who have gone through this process say they did not have a sense of equality within our social system. One man put it this way, “When men do cave, leave home and contact family housing and services…some workers don’t  know what to do with him. For example, a friend of mine ended out on the street for two days before making it to the Salvation Army. He said one  worker told him to ‘get his act together and go back to his family where he belonged.’ Therefore, he did. His circumstances did not change and he ended up killing himself two months later.

Comparatively, when women are in crisis/danger existing safety nets kick and provide housing, direction and a sense of support. Men understand that women’s socialization conditions them with a higher comfort level in ‘sharing and caring’. This provides support systems than many men do not have. However, men who commented on this topic said they are completely lost when it comes to taking a proactive approach to resolving their problems. They view themselves and each other as pragmatic, problem solvers and have a low comfort level when life’s circumstances overwhelm them and alter their ability to cope in a ‘manly’ way…whatever that is.”

The social conditioning many men grow up with often inhibts their ability to access and express their feelings.

The social conditioning many men grow up with often inhibts their ability to access and express their feelings.

In another interview the contact summerized it for some of the ohers.  “I believe men do not want to contact whatever resources are out there because of  a genuine concern about being put when  feeling weak or vulnerable.” He continued with a face washed in emotion, “Most women I’ve talked to keep towing the party line and say men need to take anger management classes and maybe we do. However, what they do not  understand  is that our anger is  outer expression  of other deeper feelings that we do not know how to handle.

Anger is the one emotion men are able to demonstrate as a ‘gender societal norm.’ Males display that in the sports arena and the crowds cheer. Nevertheless, how many men, women or children are  equipped to handle a sobbing male who is overwhelmed with life? From childhood, men  soldier on regardless of how they are feeling or what they are going through. Unfortunately most  men I know have never been shown another way  to do it…so we stay in our comfort zones of familiarity and when that doesn’t work…we end it. I have had a couple of close friends admit to being physically and emotionally abused by the women in their lives but they are unwilling to seek help much less discuss their problems with anyone…especially other men. There is a tendency for men to diminish each other if and when we take the risk to reveal painful, troubling emotions. Then there are still others who were molested in youth and they walk around as wounded warriors hiding their shame rather than finding ways to heal and release it.

Men who are abused often repress the lasting effects due to gender bias and stereotypical conditional.

Men who are abused often repress the lasting effects due to gender bias and stereotypical conditional.

Men thrive if they have  a project to manage, re-build or construct…that we can do. Comparatively, ask us to organize a system that would support our physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being and fell lost. That is why many modern men are floundering or leaving the life they had in whatever form, they do it. “ As my fingers clicked the keys on this article, I understood the differences in how men and women approach self-health needs. The women ’s movement fostered change, continues to provide resources and supports to assist them in healing, independence, and empowered living. It is time to address offer men equal opportunities.

Social stigma

Dr. Sig Heibert and Randy Hildebrand from Eden Mental Health Centre suggested there are a number of reasons why both men and women may be reluctant to seek psychological help. One of the main factors is the social stigma associated with mental health problems. Gender socialization can make it difficult for men to admit they are having difficulty coping, so they continue to suffer in silence. That pattern can lead to addictions, violence or spousal and family abuse. When this occurs, there is a fear of  the justice system. These concerns about openly confronting personal problems interfere with their ability to make proactive decisions. Courses in anger management and partner abuse,  provide coping skills and healthy self-management techniques.

Counselors in the field of men and mental health indicate that mature men from all occupations, up to that point,  have no role models to assist them in discovering alternative ways to think and behave. A central crisis line or service directed to men and their issues could provide what is currently missing. As men and women, address the lack of resources for men there is greater potential for both genders to implement services that meet men at their point of need.

Men and Women hand and hand can lead to the creation of resources to assist men in their self-health needs.

Men and Women hand and hand can lead to the creation of resources to assist men in their self-health needs.

 

 

Excerpt from What Your Mother Couldn’t Tell You & Your Father Didn’t Know by John Gray

P. 56, 1994, Harper Collins 427 pages,

Silently Sitting on a Rock

It is crucial to remember that one of the most significant differences between men and women is that while women cope with stress through sharing in nurturing relationships, men cope through solving problems. Traditionally, men assess options and when there do not appear to be any they look for alternatives. Ancient hunters would sit on a rock and silently search the horizon, looking and listening for their prey, or looking across the plains at their target, studying its movements and planning the attack.

This process of sitting, waiting, scheming, and planning allowed him to relax and conserve energy for the inevitable chase. Focusing keep  his mind away from the fear of being attacked or of missing his target. When he achieved the goal, he returns home a happy, stress-free man.

Why Men Watch TV

When a modern man comes home, quite commonly, he sits in his favorite chair and either reads the  newspaper or watches TV. Like the ancient hunter who needed to recover from the stress of his day, he instinctively finds his rock to sit on and begins gazing off into the horizon. Through reading or listening to the news he is, in effect, looking out over the world or scanning the horizon. As he picks up the remote control and begins searching through the stations, or turns the pages of his paper, he is once more in control: he silently and swiftly continues his hunt. As he assumes this ancient posture, deep and reassuring feelings of security begin to emerge. Feeling in control, he is able to cope with the stress of not having immediate solutions to the problems of his life. Through this instinctive ritual, he is able to temporarily forget his problems at work and is eventually ready for the relationship.

 

 

 

De-clutter Life and Live More Freely

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By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy

This article was previously published in the Aquarium Newspaper and after 30 days from the print date this author has all rights reserved.

You will never know what is enough…
Unless you know what is more than enough.

–William Blake

David and I have been presenting courses on de-cluttering and self-management since the mid 1990’s after Creative Retirement Manitoba asked us to write, produce and present a seminar with the above focus. Clutter shows up in many forms, mental, emotional and physical. The teachings within Fung Shui and Ancient Native American cultures suggest that all forms of life and the elements are transient, swirling patterns of energy.

Life force (Chi) flows internally through each of us and externally throughout our surroundings. Depending on how the energy moves, these two energetic patterns can support harmony or disharmony, health or disease. Once a person begins to assess the constricting energy aspects of clutter they are often more motivated to create order inwardly and outwardly.

With a clear intent to harmonize and clarify the energy within inner/outer landscapes the space moves into higher resonances. This often leads to a reduction in stress and an overall improvement in health and well-being.

For those who are used to living within their clutter the idea of letting it go can feel daunting and overwhelming. In the courses our company presents on reducing clutter the first suggestion is to assess what the outer clutter represents.

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Hoarding often comes from patterns of conditioned thinking, fear and poverty consciousness. The most common reason for not letting things is a belief it might be needed again. Others feel comforted by their clutter. For some, there is an attachment to objects because they belonged to someone who has moved on in whatever form that may be. The reason why “things” are packed away rather than being used or enjoyed is something to consider. While working with clients the guideline we use is summarized in a quote by Jimmy Conners to use it… it or lose it.

Excess material possessions that outlive their purpose can clog living spaces. In our understanding of energy, flow, releasing and renewal, it is importance to let go of the old to make room for the new. For those who have sentimental attachments to items we suggest taking a photograph with them or them. The memories remain whether the item is there or not. That approach assists clients in releasing items. Gifting to friends and loved ones is another option as is repurposing them or giving to charities or thrift stores. For some, that approach is easier than throwing treasured items in the trash. One of the best ways to begin to let things go is to accept that holding on to rather than releasing leaves little room for the Universe to provide more. After all when there is so much “packed” energy with congested lifestyle…where is the opportunity or opening for something fresh and new to flow into it?

The intention to simplify one’s space fits into the recycle and reuse idea and just one of the many reasons I feel so passionate about thrift store shopping. Many of our clients feel better about letting their gently used items go when they know they are unconditionally giving them away to someone who may need it.

Mental/emotional clutter often shows up in a “busy-ness” syndrome. People cram their lives with so many projects, events, commitments that there is little time or energy left to keep their space in “divine order.” All time management begins with self-management and the world will not come to an end if a decision is made to create an absolute priority list and say “no.”

Simplifying one’s life requires a multi-tiered process that involves some thoughtful soul searching about who and what really matters.

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GUIDELINES FOR DE-CLUTTERING:

The key to getting organized is to focus. Initially the tendency might be to flit from one area to another, but completing one before moving on is far more effective. It is easier to get started on what may seem like a monumental task if the process is broken down into smaller projects.

Draw a planning sheet with two columns and mark one “Weekend” and the other “Project.” Place it in a prominent area (fridge, bulletin board or mirror.) That way your goals will be in full view. Here is a suggested six-week plan of action:

Weekend 1: Closets & Drawers
Clean and organize all closets throughout the house/apartment. Clients we work with are asked a few basic questions to assist them in reframing things. If the item does not make them happy and they are not using or wearing it…why not give it to someone who will? Having “fat/thin” wardrobes often leads to unwanted clutter, regrets and low self esteem. If clothes do not fit for ANY reason…we suggest lovingly giving it to a favorite charity with no regrets. Newer clothes can be purchased when the body size changes.

Once again thrift stores have great clothing and very reasonable prices. Same principle applies for shoes that are uncomfortable, worn or out of style. Weed out all items that have not been worn in a year or longer. Apply the same principle to outdoor gear, mitts, scarves and gloves without mates. Items that have sentimental value can be appropriately stored towards the back of the closet. Tattered sheets, table cloths and towels can be turned into “rag bags” for cleaning. Extra towels, blankets and sheets can also be given away or donated to thrift stores.

Weekend 2: Paper

Gather, organize, toss or recycle accumulated paper in the house, garage and work areas. Go through warranties and expired polices, outdated catalogs, coupons, and old bank statements unsolicited mail and either shred, burn or toss them. Throw away used grocery lists, receipts, old film and batteries and all the “stuff” that is of no real use. Decide to go through those “piles of paper” and choose what you need to keep and file them…then toss the rest. While doing that pull records and receipts for tax purposes and put them in a storage box marked “current year.” That puts you ahead of the game for filing taxes.

Weekend 3: Reading

it can be hard to consider recycling piles of magazines and beginning again. Removing all but the current issues of favorite new magazines is an option…the rest really is old news. The approach we suggest in our seminars is to take a magazine, scan the table of content and pick a maximum of three articles. Tear them out and put them in a file folder…if there really is intent to make time to read them. Otherwise pass them on. To avoid falling back into the same pattern we suggest subscribing to a clipping service or downloading articles to your PC from the Internet. If books and magazines are an absolute “need” rather than a “want” taking a speed reading course is another option.

Weekend 4: Correspondence

Check e-mails daily and responding promptly keeps efficiency levels high and reduces a cluttered mailbox. Sort through snail mail daily and recycle what outdated. Create a file for monthly bill payments. An efficient way of remembering all birthday and anniversary dates is create file folders marked with the months of the year and shop for ALL of the cards once a year.

Mark the important date of the person’s event in light pencil where the stamp will be placed and file it. At the beginning of each month review the folder and mail cards and well wishes out. This approach assures that birthdays and anniversaries will not be missed.

Weekend 5: Storage

Clutter’s last stand usually shows up in the basement, garage, attics or shed. The biggest problem comes when items are stacked items atop one another. When a box storage system is created the clutter can be eliminated. Choose boxes that are strong and the same size and shape and create shelving system. Repack items that must be stored in a new box and clearly label the contents on the side. Store them in alphabetical order on each shelf. That way it is easier to retrieve boxes from the bottom of the pile.

Items that quality for storage are holiday material, hand-me-down clothes a child can wear soon, maternity clothing and infrequently used items such as camping or seasonal sports gear. The question of memorabilia can be a challenging one. Our suggestion is one box or trunk per person. Unwanted, unused gifts should not be kept because of the thought behind it. Take a picture, or keep the thought behind and pass unwanted items on. Images and thoughts take up a lot less space.

Weekend 6: Fix-it

This weekend implements the “time management begins with self-management” idea. Gather up and everything that needs to be fixed. Make a list of all the places you need to go or repairmen that will come to you. If it can’t be repaired then throw it away. Use this weekend to do oil changes, catch up on calls and correspondence.

After you have some momentum going, keep going! Weekend 7 could be cabinets, 8, photographs, 10 making an “absolute yes” list for commitments, social engagements and community event, Weekend 10 could be a “breathing space” respite where you kick back and enjoy the sense of accomplishment and freed up energy.

Once you get clutter under control be sure to keep on top of it so it doesn’t creep back in. Developing habit patterns or order and simplified living makes it easier to making a home for everything and keeping everything in its place. With specific goals and designated time for completion it becomes easier to plan for successful outcomes in manageable increments. Anytime is the perfect time to reduce clutter. Each stage of release frees time and energy and adds to the ability to manage time and energy more efficiently. Enjoy!

For more information about our de-cluttering coaching, interactive workbooks and seminars check out the Fresh Beginnings website at www.fresh-beginnings.com with the specific page link on de-cluttering. http://www.fresh-beginnings.com/De-Clutter.html

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Perspectives on Life Extension

By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy

This blog is a combination of personal experience with some information from Wikipedia.

This blog post explores some of the research and information about  life extension  and biological regeneration. There are many in the new age movement who  believe that the energetic aspect of one’s innate spiritual nature has the potential to transform one’s biology and promote the changes needed to live well and strong  into advanced years.

My birthday is on New Year’s Eve and at the beginning of the next   journey around the sun adds to a belief that it is possible to remain youthful and strong into advanced years. Whatever it is there is a burgeoning interest and scientific study in life extension, immortality and youthful aging. I wrote this article to present some of the perspectives, ideas, beliefs and answered questions about the possibility and/or probability within some of this issues and concerns. One thing is inarguable is that humanity has already extended their lifespan over those of our ancestors. Whether we will continue to be able to do so will remain to be seen…and experienced. If extended longevity does not occur in our lifetime, there is a very real possibility that it will for future lifetimes.

Youth is generally the time of life between childhood and adulthood (maturity). Definitions of the specific age range that constitutes youth vary. An individual’s actual maturity may not correspond to their chronological age, as immature individuals can exist at all ages. Youth is also defined as “the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit characteristic of one who is young.” Youth is a term used for people of both genders, male and female, of young age. The term “youth” usually refers to individuals between the ages of 16-24. Around the world, the terms “youth”, “adolescent”, “teenager”, “kid”, and “young person” are interchanged, often meaning the same thing, occasionally differentiated. Youth generally refers to a time of life that is neither childhood nor adulthood, but rather somewhere in-between. Youth is an alternative word to the scientifically oriented adolescent and the common terms of teen and teenager. Another common title for youth is young person or young people.

The term youth also identifies a particular mindset of attitude, as in “he/she is very youthful”. The term youth is also related to looking, feeling and BE-ING young or in a state of “youthfulness.” It is aptly interpreted in a quotation by Robert Kennedy. “This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the life of ease.”

With more people living into advanced years there is a growing interest in the idea of “youthing while aging. This view involves new constructs within self-concepts. The self-perception of youth is influenced by several variables such as peers, lifestyle, gender and culture. Within this context, aging involves attitude and life choices to sustain “youthfulness.” Those who are genuinely interested in aging well and life extension science involves a number of co-factors.

Life extension science is an umbrella term that is also referred to as anti-aging medicine, experimental gerontology, and biomedical gerontology, is the study of slowing down or reversing the processes of aging to extend both the maximum and average lifespan. Some researchers in this area, and “life extensionists” or “longevists” (those who wish to achieve longer lives themselves), believe that future breakthroughs in tissue rejuvenation with stem cells, molecular repair, and organ replacement (such as with artificial organs or xenotransplantations will eventually enable humans to have an indefinite lifespan (agerasia) with   rejuvenation in healthy, strong youthful conditions.

The sale of putative anti-aging products such as nutrition, physical fitness, skin care, hormone replacements, vitamins, supplements and herbs is a lucrative global industry, with the US market generating about $50 billion of revenue each year. Medical experts state that the use of such products has not been shown to affect the aging process, and many claims of anti-aging medicine advocates have been roundly criticized by medical experts, including the American Medical Association. However, it has not been shown that the goal of indefinite human life spans itself is necessarily unfeasible; some animals such as lobsters and certain jellyfish do not die of old age, and an award was offered to anyone who could prove life extensionist Aubrey de Grey’s hopes were ‘unworthy of learned debate’; nobody won the prize. The whole question of life extension has branched out and Bioethicists question the ethical ramifications of life extension.

There has been and continues to be extensive research on how diet, lifestyle, nutrition and supplements and how they may or may not extend life or add to the quality of it during the aging process. The many diets promoted by anti-aging advocates are often contradictory. A dietary pattern with some support from scientific research is caloric restriction. The free-radical theory of aging suggests that antioxidant supplements, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Q10, lipoic acid, carnosine, and N-acetylcysteine, might extend human life. However, combined evidence from several clinical trials suggests that β-Carotene supplements and high doses of Vitamin E increase mortality rates. Other substances proposed to extend lifespan include oxytocin, insulin, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and erythropoietin (EPO). Resveratrol is a sirtuin stimulant that appears to extend lifespan in simple organisms such as nematodes and short-lived fish.

Some supplements, including minerals selenium or zinc] have been reported to extend one’s lifespan in rats and mice. However, the results have not been replicated in humans. There is concern for toxicity in high concentrations. Metformin is another supplement that may extend lifespan but the studies are only in preliminary stages. Interestingly there is a tea called Jiaogulan that has been dubbed China’s “Immortality Herb” but more studies need to be done to confirm any of the above findings. The discussion whether aging should be viewed as a disease or not has important implications. It would stimulate pharmaceutical companies to develop life extension therapies and in the United States of America, it would increase the regulation of the anti-aging market by the FDA. Anti-aging falls under the regulations for cosmetic medicine which and are less regulated than drug therapy.

The anti-aging industry offers several hormone therapies. Some of these have been criticized for possible dangers to the patient and a lack of proven effect. For example, the American Medical Association has been critical of some anti-aging hormone therapies. Even if some recent clinical studies have shown that low-dose GH treatment for adults with GH deficiency changes the body composition by increasing muscle mass, decreasing fat mass, increasing bone density and muscle strength, improves cardiovascular parameters (i.e. decrease of LDL cholesterol), and affects the quality of life without significant side effects.

The evidence for use of growth hormone as an anti-aging therapy is mixed and based on animal studies. An early study suggested that supplementation of mice with growth hormone increased average life expectancy. Additional animal experiments have suggested that growth hormone may generally act to shorten maximum lifespan; knockout mice lacking the receptor for growth hormone live especially long. Furthermore, mouse models lacking the insulin-like growth factor also live especially long and have low levels of growth hormone

People suffering from rare condition known as Laron syndrome have mutation in the gene that makes the receptor for growth hormone. It’s theorized that that mutation may hold a key to life extension. Dr. Longo said that some level of IGF-1 was necessary to protect against heart disease, but that lowering the level might be beneficial. A drug that does this is already on the market for treatment of acromegaly, a thickening of the bones caused by excessive growth hormone. “Our underlying hypothesis is that this drug would prolong life span,” Dr. Longo said. He said he was not taking the drug, called pegvisomant or Somavert, which is very hard to obtain. There is a considerable amount of scientific controversy regarding anti-aging nutritional supplementation and medicine and it is important that consumers educate themselves and make informed choices before looking for a magic bullet with their anti-aging and longevity goals.

Some experts categorize aging as a disease. While others   dispute that diagnosis and label. Many critics dispute the portrayal of aging as a disease and scientist Leonard Hayflick, determined that fibroblasts are limited to around 50 cell divisions, reasons that aging is an unavoidable consequence of entropy. Hayflick and fellow biogerontologists Jay Olshansky and Bruce Carnes have strongly criticized the anti-aging industry in response to what they see as unscrupulous profiteering from the sale of unproven anti-aging supplements.

In the United States, product claims on food and drug labels are strictly regulated. The First Amendment (freedom of speech) protects third-party publishers’ rights to distribute fact, opinion and speculation on life extension practices. Manufacturers and suppliers also provide informational publications, but because they market the substances, they are subject to monitoring and enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which polices claims by marketers. What constitutes the difference between truthful and false claims is hotly debated and is a central controversy in this arena.

Research by Sobh and Martin (2011) suggests that consumers on the anti-aging bandwagon are driven to purchase products that will provide hoped-for results (e.g., keeping a youthful skin) or to avoid a feared-self (e.g., looking old). The research shows that when consumers pursue with this in mind their expectations for success drive their motivation. Even when their purchases do not provide the desired outcome, they continue to search and buy similar items in a driving desire to avoid what they fear within their aging process. In this rapidly advancing aspect of consumerism, it is good to maintain a “buyers beware” mindset. Anything that sounds too good to be true may be. This emerging branch of science and medicine is bringing interesting possibilities for healthy aging and life extension but it still has a long way to go for anyone to “know for sure” that ageless living is truly possible.

Nanotechnology is a branch of medicine that could give rise to life extension through the repair of many processes thought to be responsible for aging. K. Eric Drexler, one of the founders of nanotechnology, postulated cell repair machines, including ones operating within cells and utilizing yet hypothetical molecular computers, in his 1986 book Engines of Creation. Raymond Kurzweil, a futurist and transhumanist, stated in his book The Singularity Is Near that he believes that advanced medical nanorobotics could completely remedy the effects of aging by 2030.

Some life extensionists suggest that therapeutic cloning and stem cell research could one day provide a way to generate cells, body parts, or even entire bodies (generally referred to as reproductive cloning) that would be genetically identical to a prospective patient. Recently, the US Department of Defense initiated a program to research the possibility of growing human body parts on mice. Complex biological structures, such as mammalian joints and limbs, have not yet been replicated. Experiments with dogs and primates and transmutation experiments failed when they were unable to restore nerve connections. As of 2006, the implantation of bio-engineered bladders grown from patients’ own cells has proven to be a viable treatment for bladder disease. Proponents of body part replacement and cloning contend that the required biotechnologies are likely to appear earlier than other life-extension technologies.

The use of human stem cells, particularly embryonic stem cells, is controversial. Opponents’ objections generally are based on interpretations of religious teachings or ethical considerations. Proponents of stem cell research point out those cells are routinely formed and destroyed in a variety of contexts. Use of stem cells taken from the umbilical cord or parts of the adult body may not provoke controversy. The controversies over cloning are similar, except general public opinion in most countries stands in opposition to reproductive cloning. Some proponents of therapeutic cloning predict the production of whole bodies, lacking consciousness, for eventual brain transplantation.

For cryonicists (advocates of cryopreservation), storing the body at low temperatures after death may provide an “ambulance” into a future in which advanced medical technologies may allow resuscitation and repair. They speculate cryogenic temperatures will minimize changes in biological tissue for many years, giving the medical community ample time to cure all disease, rejuvenate the aged and repair any damage that is caused by the cryopreservation process. Many cryonicists do not believe that legal death is “real death” because stoppage of heartbeat and breathing—the usual medical criteria for legal death—occur before biological death of cells and tissues of the body. Even at room temperature, cells may take hours to die and days to decompose.

Although neurological damage occurs within 4–6 minutes of cardiac arrest, the irreversible neurodegenerative processes do not manifest for hours. Cryonicists’ state that rapid cooling and cardio-pulmonary support applied immediately after certification of death can preserve cells and tissues for long-term preservation at cryogenic temperatures. People, particularly children, have survived up to an hour without heartbeat after submersion in ice water. In one case, full recovery was reported after 45 minutes underwater. To facilitate rapid preservation of cells and tissue, cryonics “standby teams” wait by the bedside of patients who are to be cryopreserved. They apply cooling and cardio-pulmonary support as soon as possible after declaration of death. No mammal has been successfully cryopreserved and brought back to life, and resuscitation from cryonics is not possible with current science. Some scientists still support the idea based on their expectations of the capabilities of future science.

Another proposed life extension technology combines existing and predicted future biochemical and genetic techniques. SENS proposes that rejuvenation may be obtained by removing aging damage via the use of stem cells and tissue engineering, removal of telomere-lengthening machinery, allotopic expression of mitochondrial proteins, targeted ablation of cells, immunotherapeutic clearance, and novel lysosomal hydrolases. There is no scientific evidence that supports this strategy, and Robin Holliday called SENS “overly ambitious”.

Some of the other strategies being considered for future are gene therapy. This is a process where artificial genes are integrated with an organism to replace mutated or otherwise deficient genes. Targeting catalase to the mitochondria resulted in a 20% lifespan increase in transgenic mice, and improved performance in AAV therapeutically infected mice. In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins describes an approach to life-extension that involves “fooling genes” into thinking the body is young. Dawkins attributes inspiration for this idea to Peter Medawar. The basic idea is that our bodies are composed of genes that activate throughout our lifetimes, some when we are young, and others when we are older. Presumably, these genes are activated by environmental factors, and the changes caused by these genes activating can be lethal. It is a statistical certainty that we possess more lethal genes that activate in later life than in early life. Therefore, to extend life, we should be able to prevent these genes from switching on, and we should be able to do so by “identifying changes in the internal chemical environment of a body that take place during aging… and by simulating the superficial chemical properties of a young body”.

History of life extension and the life extension movement

In 1970, the American Aging Association was formed under the impetus of Denham Harman, originator of the free radical theory of aging. Harman wanted an organization of biogerontologists that was devoted to research and to the sharing of information among scientists interested in extending human lifespan. In 1976, futurists Joel Kurtzman and Philip Gordon wrote No More Dying. The Conquest Of Aging And The Extension Of Human Life, (ISBN 0-440-36247-4) was the first popularized book on research to extend human lifespan. Subsequently, Kurtzman was invited to testify before the House Select Committee on Aging, chaired by Claude Pepper of Florida, to discuss the impact of life extension on the Social Security system.

Saul Kent published The Life Extension Revolution (ISBN 0-688-03580-9) in 1980 and created a nutraceutical firm called the Life Extension Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes dietary supplements. The Life Extension Foundation publishes a periodical called Life Extension Magazine. The 1982 bestselling book Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach (ISBN 0-446-51229-X) by Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw further popularized the phrase “life extension”. In 1983, Roy Walford, a life-extensionist and gerontologist, published a popular book called Maximum Lifespan.

In 1988, Walford and his student Richard Weindruch summarized their research into the ability of calorie restriction to extend the lifespan of rodents in The Retardation of Aging and Disease by Dietary Restriction (ISBN 0-398-05496-7). The work of Clive McCay in the 1930s shows that calorie restriction can extend the maximum lifespan of rodents. Nevertheless, the work of Walford and Weindruch provides detailed scientific research in this field of study, [citation needed] Walford’s personal interest in life extension motivated his scientific work and he practiced calorie restriction himself. Walford died at the age of 80 from complications caused by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Money generated by the non-profit Life Extension Foundation allowed Saul Kent to finance the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, the world’s largest cryonics organization. The cryonics movement had been launched in 1962 by Robert Ettinger’s book, The Prospect of Immortality. In the 1960s, Saul Kent had been a co-founder of the Cryonics Society of New York. Alcor gained national prominence when baseball star Ted Williams was cryonically preserved by Alcor in 2002 and a family dispute arose as to whether Williams had really wanted to be cryopreserved. Regulatory and legal struggles between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Life Extension Foundation included seizure of merchandise and court action. In 1991, Saul Kent and Bill Faloon, the principals of the Foundation, were jailed. The LEF accused the FDA of perpetrating a “Holocaust” and “seeking gestapo-like power” through its regulation of drugs and marketing claims. In 1992, the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) was formed to create what it considered an anti-aging medical specialty distinct from geriatrics, and to hold trade shows for physicians interested in anti-aging medicine. The American Board of Medical Specialties recognizes neither anti-aging medicine nor the A4M’s professional standing.

Even though there are numerous scientists claiming that life extension and radical life extension are possible there aren’t any international or national programs focusing on radical life extension. There are political forces staying for and against life extension. In 2012 in Russia, and then in USA, Israel and Netherlands the Longevity political parties started. They aimed to provide political support to radical life extension research and technologies and ensure fastest possible and at the same time soft transition society to the next step – life without aging and with radical life extension and provide such the access to such technologies to the most of the currently living people.

Leon Kass (chairperson of the US President’s Council on Bioethics from 2001 to 2005) has questioned whether potential exacerbation of overpopulation problems would make life extension unethical.] He states his opposition to life extension with the words: “simply to covet a prolonged life span for ourselves is both a sign and a cause of our failure to open ourselves to procreation and to any higher purpose. The desire to prolong youthfulness is not only a childish desire to eat one’s life and keep it; it is also an expression of a childish and narcissistic wish incompatible with devotion to posterity. John Harris, former editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Ethics, argues that as long as life is worth living, according to the person himself, we have a powerful moral imperative to save the life and thus to develop and offer life extension therapies to those who want them.

Comparing perspectives on the subject of life extension Transhumanist philosopher Nick Bostrom argues that any technological advances in life extension must be equitably distributed and not restricted to a privileged few. In an extended metaphor entitled “The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant”, Bostrom envisions death as a monstrous dragon who demands human sacrifices. In the fable, after a lengthy debate between those who believe the dragon is an unpleasant fact and those who believe the dragon can and should be destroyed, the dragon is finally killed. Bostrom argues that political inaction allowed many preventable human deaths to occur.

Fit, Fab Ageless Living

Gaining muscle strength, contour and definition keeps the body strong as we age.

Gaining muscle strength, contour and definition keeps the body strong as we age.

January 17 2014

–By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy

If exercise could be put in a pill it would be the number one anti-aging medicine and the number one anti-depression medicine.— Dr. Robert N. Butler

I decided to create a blog about ageless living as I prepare to move into the 70th decade of my life. There is growing interest in life extension, aging and disease. People are living longer and many in the baby boomer generation are refusing to give into unhealthy, disabled aging. David and I are so passionate in our belief that it is possible to feel fit and fab as we age. Consequently we created another blog with that focus. prompted us to create a Fit, Fab and Ageless Blog and the link is http://feelingfitfabandageless.blogspot.ca/

This image is from the Fit, Fab and Ageless blog on Blogspot http://feelingfitfabandageless.blogspot.ca/

This image is from the Fit, Fab and Ageless blog on Blogspot http://feelingfitfabandageless.blogspot.ca/

Even though we are at an age when many of our peers are retiring we love what we do and feel a commitment to presenting diverse views and opinions about living strong and living the best possible life as we age.  My hubs David and I promote the idea that it is never too early or too late to create a “fresh beginning.”  It is more about the quality of life than the length of it that matters to us. We created and co-direct a person al development company called  Fresh Beginning Being happily married to my life and business partner  write, produce and present dynamic living seminars,  public speaking and offer life coaching services on and off line.. Our  website provides information about our focus and services the link is http://www.fresh-beginnings.com

During my late teens and early twenties I did some modeling and worked in the fashion industry. With what I perceived then as my “vertically challenged” (5’ 2″ height I resorted to starving my body down to under 80 pounds to compensateConsequently, I developed the eating disorders anorexia nervosa and bulimia at the age of 17 and struggled with the self-destructive elements within these compulsive coping patterns for 30 years. The fixation on “being skinny” led to distortions in self-perception that took me years to overcome.

After years of therapy and soul searching, I recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse. After going through therapy and adopting a whole person approach to healing my life, I eventually understood that on a subconscious level I abused my body to outwork what I thought I “deserved. At age 31, I started working as a fitness leader and that that was when I started working out and it took me down a different path.

My birthday is New Year’s Eve and I reached my 70th decade in 2013. At this age and stage of life I made a firm commitment to becoming fit and feeling fab. A year later  I am in the best shape of my life and have no intention of retiring.  When clients hear about my journey from victimhood and a host of personal and professional setbacks they encouragewd me to write a book about how I transformed my scars into stars. After some self-doubt I decided to  share what I learned along my path. My bood is titled I’ve Been There…A Testimony of Hope and the website is www.ibtbook.com

II had some knee and hip problems in 2011 and 2012 and put on 40 pounds. After trimming down my body it is time to build muscle, contour and strengthen. Now it is a pleasure to see how my body is transforming through progressive strength and resistance training. With my weight arond 100 pounds I am confidently open to replacing the old flab with fit, lean, muscle tone.

When I work out I feel fit, fab and ageless and it keeps me going. The rewards of being an exercising person pay immeasurable  dividends. I have a l goal is to continue making  fitness as a way of life into advanced years. Feeling fit and fab as I, age is empowering and rewarding.

 

 

Studies show that it is possible to increase strenth, flexibility and sustain good health as we age. Why not begin right here...right now?

Studies show that it is possible to increase strenth, flexibility and sustain good health as we age. Why not begin right here…right now?

Bucket List Living

This movie inspired the Bucket List Living Movement.

This movie inspired the Bucket List Living Movement.

–By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy

For those of you who have seen the movie Bucket List you will be familiar with the term. For those of you who haven’t seen it the movie shows how two old timers decide to create what they call a “bucket list” containing 100 things they want to do and experience before they pass on.

David and I started creating our own bucket lists and have already fulfilled our first hundred and are working on our second one. Some of the past ones that we have completed include hiking in magnificent areas in Moab in Southern Utah. We loved it so much there that we have added going back there on our current bucket list. Climbing rock walls is another bucket list completed that has been added to be re-experienced again. When they are outstanding experiences they are worth repeating!

Others included being self-employed and running our companies together and leaving city life and moving to the country. Living on acreage on a lake in the Kenora area of Ontario was another one.  Writing my book was another completed bucket list goal. Having my book published and in greater circulation is a bucket list goal that I have yet to complete. Remaining healthy and strong as we age is an on-going bucket list goal.

Creating a bucket list is a great way of having “a look forward to” as my Mom always said. Writing down small and large things you want to experience before passing on keeps life fresh and enlivened. Each time we strike, one off your list add another. Having 100 on the list allows you to keep creating new ones and reminding ourselves that it is never too late to create a fresh beginning and try something new.

 

Creating and adding to bucket/anticipation lists makes life an exciting ride!

Creating and adding to bucket/anticipation lists makes life an exciting ride!

David and I focus our list around experiences new things and moving beyond our comfort zone. It is so easy to settle into comfortable groves. Having a bucket list as a tantalizing reminder to go beyond familiar comfort zones is a great to keep the inner adventurer alive and well at any age.
Bucket list or Anticipation list keep life interesting and inspiring. David and I continually revise, repeat and redefine ours. Great experiences are joyful do-over as is the satisfaction of checking off the ones we achieve.

Here are some notable quotations about the joys in keeping life fresh.

It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one.
~ Jack Kerouac ~
~ The Ultimate Rebel ~

 

Bucket List motivator, stop being afraid and start living life to the fullest.

Bucket List motivator, stop being afraid and start living life to the fullest.

The Feminine Mystique’ at 50: Three Feminists on Betty Freidan’s Legacy

Betty Freidan's lifelong commitment to women's rights and equality lives on.

Betty Freidan’s lifelong commitment to women’s rights and equality lives on.

I have been a feminist since the discovering the powerful message while divorcing my first husband. Betty Freidan, Helen Gurley Brown and Gloria Steinman were role models for me as I struggled to redfine and reinvent myself. I also valued the original philosopjy that the women’s movement was about equality for both genders without one or the other being superior. From that time I incorporated those ideas into my belief and value system. Thankfully, I am married to a man who is a feminist with the same outlook.

Men who embrace feminism understand it does not emasculate men. Instead, it holds to equality and human rights for everyofne.

Men who embrace feminism understand it does not emasculate men. Instead, it holds to equality and human rights for everyofne.

This timely article includes the original source and authors at the bottom on the page.

Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique was published 50 years ago this month, all but bringing the nascent second-wave feminist movement to the national spotlight. We asked three feminists, each representing a different generation, to discuss the intellectual legacy of the book. Letty Cottin Pogrebin is the founding editor of the groundbreaking feminist Ms. Magazine; Alisa Solomon is a drama critic and a journalism professor at Columbia University; Jessica Bennett is the executive editor of Tumblr and a former Newsweek senior writer. Here’s what they thought of the classic text and the issues that it dealt with in Friedan’s time.

Three feminists from different generations revisit Betty Friedan’s groundbreaking book on its 50th anniversary. Does the work still hold up?

Jess: I’ve been thinking all week about having to sheepishly reveal to you all that I had never actually read The Feminist Mystique before this! Maybe I didn’t need to read it—I think, for a lot of us, it felt like we’d had Friedan’s message ingrained in us since we were teens. You can do anything! Don’t hold yourself back! But reading the text for the first time this week, what struck me was just how relevant how many of her points remain. Consumer culture, women’s magazines, depiction of our bodies, fear—there are parts that could have been written yesterday.

Alisa: I was an undergraduate in a progressive program at the University of Michigan called the Residential College, a place where feminism was taken for granted. It was the mid-‘70s and we were feeling the impact of Title IX, which had just gone into effect. I remember being impatient with the book’s repetitiveness and relentlessness and sensed that it wasn’t really talking to me since my friends and I already knew so ardently that we would not be looking for total fulfillment as housewives. Looking back now, I can see that so much of her critique did actually speak to our experiences beyond the context of “occupation: housewife” much as we may have felt we were past all that.

Betty Friedan at the National Women’s Conference in Houston, Texas on Nov. 20, 1977. (Greg Smith/AP)

Letty: I read it in 1963, the year it was published, which was the year I was married. Back then I felt it was “natural” for me to fulfill the feminine role—come home from work and cook dinner. But I didn’t feel the book was about me; I felt it was about my mother’s generation of housewives who were trapped in their suburban kitchens while I was a hippy “career woman” who also happened to have a husband.

I mostly read it on the bus to and from work. The women at the publishing house where I worked were all reading it. The married ones with kids found it especially fascinating that a woman could complain out loud about “the problem that has no name.” We all had homemaker friends who were on Valium or drank booze as soon as they got the husband off to work and the kids to the school bus. The book was a phenomenon in terms of its sales so everyone in publishing was reading it and paying attention. The men at the water cooler at my office—think “Mad Men” which was exactly the atmosphere in which I worked throughout the 60s—found it laughable that any woman dared find fault with her life of luxury since they were providing their wives with “allowances,” closets full of clothing, jewelry, charge accounts at the hairdresser’s as well as food, status, sex, and patio furniture. The idea that a woman might feel infantilized by having to get her husband’s signature to open a Bloomingdale’s credit card never occurred to these guys.

In fact it never occurred to me either. I, too, needed my husband’s signature for such things—back then women couldn’t get loans, insurance, or bank accounts in their own names. But at work I had a Diner’s Club card in my own name and I took men to lunch as part of my job so maybe I felt some compensatory social power. In short, while I was clearly disavowing the book’s relevance to me, I was also admiring what it was doing for other women.

Embracing the feminist philosophy transformed my thinking and gave me the strength to move beyond the victimhood mindset in my earlier days. Empowered and free!

Embracing the feminist philosophy transformed my thinking and gave me the strength to move beyond the victimhood mindset in my earlier days. Empowered and free!

Alisa: I was struck by the rhetorical strategies and astonishing scope of the book. Friedan takes on psychology, advertising, education, media. And I was impressed by the tone of sympathy. There’s no victim-blaming, but a sense of solidarity with her subjects (despite many differences in her own life). The impact of social, political, economic change on women in the post-war era when, as she put it, “the nation stopped growing up”—her laying out and marshalling of the context—is part of what achieves that tone. It’s the hard analysis—not any touchy-feely bromides—that helps create a sense of fellow (sister?) feeling.

In the epilogue Friedan decries the impact the “man-haters” were having on the nascent feminist movement. It sounded like her buying into an anti-feminist stereotype and maybe a coded condemnation of what she infamously described as the “lavender menace.”

Letty: “Man-haters” may have been a coded condemnation of lesbians—and Friedan certainly had problems incorporating lesbian issues into her feminist ethos—but I don’t think it’s simply that. She knew that many of the more outspoken radicals were straight women whose extreme anti-male rhetoric was a shock-and-awe tactic intended to garner media attention—which it did in spades in the early years. In fact, she and her fur-coat wearing colleagues who marched on McSorleys were often eclipsed by women in overalls and combat books screaming about male chauvinism. I think she resented their spotlight-stealing capacity.

I think her railing against that sort of feminist was at its core an expression of a deeply personal need: Friedan was, to the very end of her life, a flirt and a man-pleaser. She wanted male approval even as she excoriated “men.” She played to the guys at the dinner table, the men in any room, and even if dozens of women had their hands up, she always took the first question from a man in the audience. Later in her life, she dreamed of transforming the women’s movement into a men-and-women’s movement with battalions of men advocating for women’s rights, and both genders marching arm-in-arm into the sunset.

I always believed her favoring of men over women must have had roots in her childhood and early romantic experiences: maybe she had to work hard to be loved. I know the end of her marriage was fiercely painful to her. She always struck me as someone who wanted to improve women’s condition without losing men’s love.

Alisa: I confess to feeling uncomfortable about bringing personality into the conversation. Not because it’s not relevant—especially for someone like you who was there—but I fear that the all-important issues might be dismissed or feminists further mischaracterized as bitchy, and so on. I’m inclined, therefore—and likely also because I didn’t know Friedan personally—to step back and wonder what the costs of fighting for intellectual space might have been for Friedan in the early ‘60s in New York.

Was this a case of shouting ever more abrasively to be heard and recognized—even to the point of not being able to see the extent to which she was, in fact, heard and recognized? Did the amazing sweep and brashness of her prose in The Feminine Mystique somehow come with a price-tag of public brashness in general? Maybe neither she nor the culture was ready to deal with the book’s explosive power. The culture could figure out how to absorb the work without really changing sufficiently—the “repressive tolerance” Marcuse wrote of at about the same time—while it curdled something in her, perhaps.

Jess: It’s hard to read the text objectively knowing what a controversial figure she became.

Alisa: The assumption that one risked men’s love by working to improve women’s condition seems to be an internalization of everything she was writing against—the “mystique” doing its work.

Jess: In the book, a young woman says, “Maybe education is a liability” because “even the brightest boys just want a sweet, pretty girl.” A young woman today might not call education a liability (I hope), but I do think she has internalized cultural messages that tell her it’s OK to be smart, but not too smart. It reminds me of a study I was reading recently about women in math and science. Some of the girls told researchers that they didn’t want to take math classes, even though they liked the subject, for fear it would make them less “dateable.”

Letty: In the 1950s, my mother always warned me to downplay my knowledge/ vocabulary/opinions. “Smart girls scare boys,” she said, along with other classic ‘50s advice such as “Beauty hurts. Just grin and bear the misery of those 3-inch heels.” Or, “Remember your ABCs: Always Be Charming!” And of course, “Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.” Which accounts for me stumbling through high school and college until contact lenses were invented.

Alisa: I, too, heard too many echoes in those comments, from the deep caves of my grad school days (yes, a professor slapped my butt and told me not to aspire to be a writer; sexual harassment was rampant and unmentionable). And yet, when I read the 1997 addendum that Friedan wrote for an edition published then—“Metamorphosis: Two Generations Later”—I was practically shouting back at her. That chapter is so sanguine and cheery. While it’s right and proper to name and celebrate all the achievements, I was thinking: Are you kidding? The Gingrich Congress was just installed! Abortion rights are dwindling all over the country!

 

 

We need to stand up for the right of free choice. It is not a decision any governement should be deciding.

We need to stand up for the right of free choice. It is not a decision any governement should be deciding.

Jess: Anybody read about New York City Council candidate Ed Hartzog? He asked a female reporter at a press conference what “a pretty girl like her” was doing reading campaign finance reports.

Letty: Hartzog’s comment reminds me of Congresswoman Pat Schroeder’s experience. When she got to the House for the first time in 1973, a member said, “How can you be a Congresswoman and a mother, too?”

Pat famously replied, “Because I have a brain and a uterus and I use both.”

Like The Daily Beast on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates all day long.

Jessica Bennett, formerly of Newsweek, is executive editor of Tumblr. Find her online.

Letty Cottin Pogrebin, a founding editor of Ms. magazine, is the author of many books, including Deborah, Golda, and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America and the upcoming How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick. She is a past president of Americans for Peace Now, co-founder of the (now-defunct) International Center for Peace in the Middle East, and co-founder of several Palestinian/Jewish dialogue groups, one of which has been ongoing for three years. She is also a former president of The Authors Guild.

Alisa Solomon is a professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she directs the Arts and Culture concentration in the M.A. program. She is the author of Re-Dressing the Canon: Essays on Theater and Gender and, with Tony Kushner, co-editor of Wrestling With Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast at editorial@thedailybeast.com

Feb 11, 2013

 

The progression of equal rights for women has come a long way since the Feminine Mystique was written 50 years ago...we need to stand together to assure that human rights continues to move forward by working together for the greatest good of the all.

The progression of equal rights for women has come a long way since the Feminine Mystique was written 50 years ago…we need to stand together to assure that human rights continues to move forward by working together for the greatest good of the all.

 

Brain-Wave Technology – A Dynamic Way to Change Patterns and Improve Health

Graphic illustrating brain-wave activity in various states. How Brain-Wave Optimization works

By  Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy

This article was previously published in the Aquarian Newspaper under my column Perspectives on Healthy Living and I have permission to repost it here. All copywrites protected and if the content is reposted please refer to this Blog for reference. Thank you. 

Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins.

Jim Rohn

No matter how many goals you have achieved, you must set your sights on a higher one.

Jessica Savitch

Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.

Denis Waitley

I was first introduced to brain wave technology in the mid-eighties by a Winnipeg massage therapist. Since that time I have continued to use a variety of brain wave technologies. They have assisted me in transforming limiting patterns and augmenting my goals.

Robert Monroe was one of the founders of this breakthrough technology. He began doing research in different levels of consciousness in the 1970s after having an out-of-body experience that expanded his awareness.  Then in 1978 he started The Monroe Institute in Faber, Virginia, as a nonprofit education and research centre devoted to the exploration and expansion of human consciousness. Robert Monroe’s pioneering work with hemispheric synchronization sound patterns (Hemi-Sync®) inspired an entire industry of mind/brain products and technologies.

This audio-guidance technology works through the generation of complex sounds and signals that are used to influence brain wave activity. This system encourages activity that is based on the innate electrical brain processes and mental states. The combination of sounds and specifically designed tonalities influence brainwaves and consciousness. The multi-layered patterns (heard through headphones) assist the brain by producing a third sound called a binaural beat that encourages the desired brainwave activity and synchronization process. When the left and right sides of the brain are working together, the mind is in an optimal condition for improving performance in all areas of life.

Over the years, the process has evolved and there are an unlimited range of sound frequencies that are effective for a variety of given applications. For example, the sleep products incorporate predominately delta frequencies and the learning products are predominately beta. (Beta equals awake and alert; alpha and theta are slower frequencies, and delta is sleep level.)

Each title is usually 30 to 40 minutes in length. Even hearing-impaired individuals can receive the benefits of balancing left and right hemispheres of the brain. The frequencies are carried to the brain by the bones in the ear canal.

 

Sleep Help

 

One of the first applications of brain wave technology that I tried was a tape to help my over-active mind calm down and it worked. When I wanted to get off some sleep medication I had been used brain-wave technology and it assisted me in regulating my sleep naturally.

 

Some of the other benefits I have gained include:

 

  • entering deep meditative states more easily
  • achieving deep body and mind relaxation
  • helping me to reach goals
  • releasing self-limiting thoughts and behaviour ­
  • opening to abundance and financial freedom
  • enhancing my creativity, writing abilities and productivity
  • assisting me in managing stress and anxiety
  • increasing my focus and concentration
  • achieving a healthy weight and fitness

 

I often suggest brain-wave technology to clients and those who use it for the recommended three-week period find the same benefits. When I am asked if this technology is similar to hypnosis I tell them that brain-wave technology and hypnosis both open the doorway to expanded states of awareness. In this state, one can be fully aware of the environment such as sound, light and temperature – while receiving greater insight into past lives, out-of-body experiences, and information from spiritual allies or one’s higher self. 

 

Neither brain-wave technology nor hypnosis can make people do anything they do not choose to do. It is always possible to maintain value systems, including choosing to follow suggestions from the therapist or brain-wave CDs, or not. The process is akin to self-hypnosis and leaves control in the hands of the listener. What is Hemi-Sync®?

Hemi-Sync is a trademarked, state-of-the-art audio technology that encourages coherent brainwave activity based on the natural functioning of the brain. Our brains produce waves or patterns of electrical activity. Different patterns indicate different mental states, such as rest (occipital Alpha), deep sleep (central Delta), meditation (central and frontal Theta), and normal daily awareness (widespread Beta). It is scientifically verifiable that sound can influence brainwaves, and thereby influence consciousness. To take this a step further, specific combinations and sequences of sound can lead the brain into states such as deep relaxation, sleep, or keen alertness.

When the brain receives a different frequency in each ear, using stereo headphones or speakers, it generally responds by “hearing” a third frequency, the difference between the two incoming frequencies. This will bring both the right and left hemispheres of the brain into unified activity; thus the term hemispheric synchronization, or Hemi-Sync for short. The third frequency relates to states of consciousness. The synchronized brain tends to produce the same state through the Frequency Following Response.

In addition to verbal instructions, this auditory-guidance process involves carefully constructed blends and sequences of stereo sound patterns designed to evoke beneficial brainwave states through neurological mechanisms.

Right and left auditory input combines in the brainstem. The superior olivary nucleus routes to the reticular formation and uses neurotransmitters to initiate changes within neurological activity in the thalamus and cortex.

Hemi-Sync does not employ the use of subliminal suggestions. The versatility of Hemi-Sync gives the basic technology an almost limitless range of applications for mental, physical, and emotional well-being. The technology simply and effectively allows you to involve your own total capabilities and direct them as you choose. Metaphorically, it is akin to a powerful software program that facilitates extraordinary levels of performance and productivity, guided by the intention and desire of the listener.

 

Sometimes productions embed subliminal messages within their recordings subliminal messages are in sub-audible levels and high speeds. The CDs from the Monroe Institute do note embed subliminal input. The verbal instructions and auditory-guidance they use process involves specific blends that augment goals and listener’s intentions. Through the process of sound sequences   and specific combinations the brain is led into a variety of states that include sleep, calm and heightened focus

 

Coralie Darsey-Malloy is a writer, author, counselor, group leader and public speaker. For more information go to the Fresh Beginnings website at www.fresh-beginnings.com

For Further Information about the above, search the Internet with key words of brain-sync, Hemi-Sync, Monroe Institute or brain science. Search the internet using key words such as brain-sync, Hemi-Sync, Monroe Institute, and brain science.

and brain-wave optimization.